Monday, April 6, 2015

The Alyssa Manual: Or, the Care and Feeding of a Roommate

The Alyssa Manual*

Feeding the Alyssa

Feeding the Alyssa is quite simple, as she prefers an unvaried diet. Her daily meals can consist of a rotation between pinto beans with rice, steak, and things on tortillas with cheese. Make sure she always has an ample supply of both Coke and Pepsi (or Tab if she's on an anti-caffeine strike), as she tends to become quite displeased when she runs out. For snacks, Marie biscuits, muffins, microwave popcorn (the preferred brand), and more steak should do nicely. Avoid giving her either Steer's burgers or chicken feet.

Sleeping Habits

The Alyssa likes to stay up later and sleep in later than any other variety of roommate, except when she doesn't and then she gets up at 4 am and goes on the internet. Please keep the room as dark as possible and avoid waking her unless necessary. Note: Do not be disturbed by the weird vibrating noise she makes right before bed. She's not experiencing a malfunction - it just means she's cold, which is a rare occurrence for an Alyssa. Try telling her to wear more layers (and watch her laugh at you).

Suggested Uses

The Alyssa does not come with many everyday functions, but can easily be programmed to perform a reasonable number of them. Ideas for utilizing your Alyssa's skill set include: preparing guacamole, pico de gallo, and steak, doing laundry, loving cranky and incorrigible babies, making trips to the corner grocery, and drafting amazing checklists.

Intellectual functions, however, come pre-programmed and are almost unlimited. These include: reading maps, defining words, discussing politics, debating, speaking pidgin Afrikaans, and discussing the universe, among many others.

Laundry Requirements

The Alyssa doesn't ask for much when it comes to laundry; once a month should be sufficient as she has a seemingly endless supply of clothing, including socks. Also, note previously her adverse reaction to layers. However, one should set aside an adequate slot of time in the laundry schedule for the once-a-month occurrence. Note: Folding clothing is not a programmable function.


Troubleshooting is fairly straightforward: don't expect the Alyssa to be able to read your mind. Most problems can be resolved swiftly if you remember this and avoid any passive-aggressive tendencies.

Music tracks

The Alyssa's music function has many available songs, but she tends to automatically form short playlists of 2-3 songs at a time that are stuck on repeat. Her most commonly heard selections are "Shenandoah," anything from a musical, "Lean on Me," and "Stars and Stripes Forever." She can be set to vocal or whistling mode. Her preferred volume is "loud enough to be heard throughout the building" although her auto-adjust function will come into play if someone is sleeping.

*dedicated to one of the best roommates ever...don't let this blog post fool you. ;)

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