Thursday, December 25, 2003

Merry Christmas... And One HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Hurray for Christmas! I'm half way done! In just six days I'll be home again. Just in time for New Years. This morning has been... interesting. But interesting in the usual way. My sister yelled at my parents for being disorganized, crazy and annoying and I got blamed for it. I cooked breakfast this morning and cleaned up and my sister got credit for it. During our traditional Christmas breakfast my parents talked and talked about how wonderful my sister is then grilled me on how exactly I became the complete worthless piece of white dung I am now. Then we opened presents... and a Christmas miracle happened... because... well... there was one under there for me! I got a car stereo. It was just what I wanted and I'm so excited to have it installed when I get home... but mostly I'm just excited to get home. My sister's getting ready now to take me to Starbucks. She's still completely disgruntled with me for not going to the bar with her last night. But I think she'll get over it once I buy her a latte. No Wild Turkey or pot to be seen yet... but I'll keep you posted... :o)

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 24, 2003

Christmas Eve

So, it's Christmas Eve. The time has come. As tradition claims, tonight will go semi-smoothly. However, by tomorrow it'll be a Christmas mess. Perhaps though, this tradition will go to the dogs too. We've already stopped having stockings and we quit the tradition of me getting any gifts on Christmas quite a few years ago. I don't think we're opening up a present tonight. Another tradition bites the dust. So maybe, just maybe, the tradition of Christmas hell will also be discontinued. It only seems fair that it should go too.

On the plus side, it's a little after 7pm and I've only been home for a half hour. I babysat from 8am until 6:30pm and it was wonderful! Hurray for excuses to be around people who find me absolutely delightful! Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 23, 2003


There are babies everywhere. I spent my entire day today babysitting. I babysat four very sick children (ages 10 mo, 2yrs, 5 yrs and 8 yrs) from 10am until 5pm. Then I babysat eight children (ages 10 mo, 2yrs, 3yrs, 5yrs, 6yrs, 6yrs, 8yrs, 8yrs) from 5pm to 9:30pm. It was crazy. Crazy. Crazy.

Tomorrow morning I'm babysitting again at 8am for five kids (ages 1yr, 3yrs, 5yrs, 7yrs, 9yrs). There are kids everywhere!


Saturday, December 20, 2003

Hansen Christmas Is For The Dogs


Our tree, once decorated with ornaments created by young Judy, Emily and Wayne hands amidst beautiful Christmas ornaments with stories of their own have now been replaced with ornaments for our dogs. There are bone ornaments, puppy ornaments, dogs dressed as Santa, dogs dressed as elves, dogs with candy canes, dogs with stars... it's actually really embarassing.

The Christmas decorations all around the house have a common theme... dogs, dogs, dogs. Everything says either Oreo or Mitzi on it. All the Christmas treats are in their Christmas tins and on their Christmas plates but they all say things like "Liver flavored" or "Special Doggie Christmas Delight" on them. Not for me. For the dogs.

There are presents already wrapped with great care placed under the tree and hidden in my parents' room. But they all say "To: Oreo; From: Santa" or "To: Mitzi; From: Mom and Dad." It's sick. The wrapping paper even has Santas and doggie bones on it.

I've been home for less than 24 hours but if my mom makes me refer to those dogs as my sisters one more time I swear I'm going to snap. I refuse to give up my chair or my food when one of them stares at me and blinks. I refuse to believe that that hurts their feelings and choose to believe instead that they're as confused as I am as to why the house has exploded into an embarassing display of tinsel and puppies.

This Christmas is for the dogs.
Northwest Christmas

It's raining. Quite appropriate really. But it's also green and beautiful. I have no more tears to cry and my half dead appearance can be blamed on my three hours of sleep last night. So far I have been attacked by two dogs and a few cats, watched my brother bowl for a few hours while being introduced to all my mom's white trash friends (who are actually quite delightful!), did six word search puzzles and ate two candy canes. I smell like dog and cigarette smoke. I've heard more cussing and seen more color than I have in four months and it's barely noon. Ah, home sweet home... Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 19, 2003

Happy Birthday to Me!!

Hurray for being 23. Hurray for AMAZING friends who put tons of work into a fantastic surprise party. Hurray for being done with work for a few weeks. Hurray for the sunshine outside. Hurray for tons and tons of candy canes. Hurray for Excedrin PM. Hurray for friends with phone numbers. Hurray for 22 first graders who think I'm cool. Hurray for chocolate. Hurray for birthdays, thoughtful and wonderful friends, airplanes, drugs and prayer.


Monday, December 15, 2003

Right On Schedule

Everything is going according to planned. But I don't remember planning these events. In fact I don't even remember when all of this stuff was originally planned at all and I don't recognize the handwriting. But somehow I know I'm right on schedule, whether I like the upcoming events or not. But good news... January starts a whole new year and with new years come new day planners with new events... better events... and in my own handwriting.

Saturday, December 13, 2003


There are a few things that I feel very strongly about...
1 - The Down-Play Theory
2 - Letting the little things go
3 - Chocolate

To be continued... or not...

Friday, December 12, 2003

GRE Madness

I've spent the last two hours studying for the GRE. I spent five hours yesterday doing the same thing. And I expect to use the next two hours reviewing the same questions I have now missed twenty million times in a row. I take the test at 8am tomorrow morning and since the test is computerized, as soon as I'm finished my score will flash on the screen like an unwanted pornography pop-up. I'll do my best not to cry or throw anything at the screen and get up acting as if I just qualified for Stanford, walk to my car, cry frustrated tears, then drive to the mall and spend money I don't have until five o'clock when the ward gets to SLC to see the lights. At this point I'll pretend like nothing happened, wander around with the ward, probably get white-washed by Steve and then move on with life. Such is the GRE... such is life...

Thursday, December 11, 2003


As the last week of classes come to a close and finals week quickly approaches I'm reminded of a great life lesson that I'd like to share with you. It goes something like this...

Pbbbbttttt!!! I'm graduated! No finals for me! Woohoo!!

Wise words... wise words...

Tuesday, December 02, 2003


For interactive writing time, the teacher gives the kids an ending sound and then the kids raise their hands to tell her the words they thought of that end in that way. Then the teacher spells it for them as they write it on some big paper at the front of the class. Then I cut them out and tape them to corresponding shapes.

Yesterday was the -ell sound. Imagine the possibilities! (I had one in particular running through my head right after I ran into the bookshelf for the tenth time today.) I looked over the words they had written yesterday in their cute first-grader handwriting. Bell, tell, Nell, fell, smell, jell... What? Jell. That's right. Jell.

I laughed. I couldn't help it. I asked the teacher if she wanted me to tape "jell" to the shape of the bell with the other words even though jell wasn't a real word.

"But gel is a word."
"Right. But this is j-e-l-l."
"How do you spell it then?"
"But jelly is j-e-l-l-y and jell-O is spelled j-e-l-l-o-w."
"Jell-O is spelled J-e-l-l-o."
"Isn't it spelled like yellow?"
"No. And even though jelly and jell-O are with a "j", gel is with a "g" because it's short for gelatin."
"Oh, well... if you're sure then don't tape it up."

And that was that. Jell? And Jellow? For heaven's sake! There's even a song for that one! Jell-O's had the same jingle for the last 50 years! J-E-L-L-O!

Monday, December 01, 2003

Moments of Surprise

Sometimes I surprise myself. For example, after just getting sick because I drank a milkshake, why would I decide that cereal with milk would be a good idea? When panicking and crying this morning, why did I decide that calling my dad would be the best option? Who knew that it was possible to be late to work three times in one day? I guess I really shouldn't be surprised. Actually, I'm kind of surprised that I'm surprised... hmmm... interesting...

Sunday, November 30, 2003

Christmas Checklist

I have less than twenty days before I land in Seattle to spend eleven days with my family for Christmas. It's true that I love Christmas. I mean, I'm practically a Christmas baby. I used to have a teddy bear dressed in a Santa suit who sang several different Christmas carols when I would push a paw and I would fall asleep with him singing to me every night... until I was 18. I love Christmas. I love that we get to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, I love that people make an extra effort to be kind to one another (unless you're in a store) and I love the sights, the smells and the sounds of Christmas. But I don't love my family's special edition of the holiday. So, in my attempt to prepare myself for the scene that is to come I have to start now. I have prepared a Christmas Checklist...

Em, I mean Emily (I have to get used to that... and also responding to Little Sh#@), please remember the following...
-your head
-candy canes
-Excedrin and Tylenol with Codeine
-running shoes
-cell phone
-phone card
-keys to the Lunsfords, Faerbers, Armstrongs and Ridings (oh... ya... and to your parents' house)
-CDs and personal CD player
-a lock for your suitcase
-also please remember that you're going home for only eleven days and you will be required to come back on the 31st to share New Years with your friends and under no circumstances are you under any authority to promise your parents that you will move home when your contract ends. Eleven days. That's it.

Bring it!

Saturday, November 29, 2003

Thanksgiving Miracles

This Thanksgiving was a Thanksgiving of Miracles for me. What counts as a miracle? Let me tell you...

- I didn't get lost on the way to or from Caroline's house (granted I was following Caroline but you would be surprised at how often that doesn't make a difference.)
- I had no use for my "escape vehicle." Not once! (In fact I think the only person that used it was Jena.)
- I ate three candy canes in three days and I ate them just for kicks, not out of nerves. (And believe me, I came prepared to eat a lot of them!)
- I cried zero tears for the very first time on the third Thursday of November. (And I don't mean 2%! I mean no tears!)
- I was not scared at all at any given time. (I don't think I was even jumpy. It was as if I didn't think anybody was going to hurt me... ooh!)
- I didn't think anybody was going to hurt me. (A huge miracle because...)
- I was safe this Thanksgiving for the very first time!
- I was not expected to make the whole meal myself at the same time my family was yelling at me and eating all of my
ingredients and then clean up the whole mess myself afterward as my family was yelling at me to move faster and asking about dessert. (Instead I hardly did anything useful at all and the only people yelling were the people watching the football game. Which brings me to my next miracle...)
- I didn't find it necessary to take a single Excedrin or Tylenol with Codeine. (And I was packing... believe me.)
- I didn't feel like a social reject even though I had never been in a situation like that before.
- I didn't have a single nightmare!! Can you imagine??
- I was with people that I loved and liked me back enough to allow me to come over and be in their way for three days and they even acted like they liked it!

They may seem like no big deal to you but they were miracles to me! And Caroline and her family and my Ann-Marie are definitely my angels. I told Caroline's mom that this was my best Thanksgiving ever and it was no lie. This Thanksgiving wasn't full of the bare minimal survival tactics. This Thanksgiving I had fun and a lot of it! I was happy and content. I felt welcome and comfortable. And really... that was the greatest Thanksgiving Miracle of them all.

Wednesday, November 26, 2003


It turns out that I'm a napper. I have never been able to take naps. I think the only time I took a nap in high school was my senior year when I was ridiculously sick and even asked my mom to take me to the hospital. And then once during my freshman year of college when I had been up for 3 days. And then again my senior year of college when I had a continuous cold for four months. So that's three naps in five years.

I took a nap this last Wednesday. I was feeling pretty sick and Eddie called and asked if I wanted to watch Finding Nemo with her. I went over there with a pillow and blanket and crashed on her couch. I took a nap today, too. I haven't really been sleeping all that well. After lunch, Liz came over to watch Finding Nemo with me. I fell asleep on the couch. That's two naps in less than a week.

Why? There are three possible causes. A) Finding Nemo is like unto NyQuil. B) I'm turning into an even bigger pansy. C) I'm getting old enough that I'm gradually moving towards the "old-man-sleeping-in-the-front-porch-rocking-chair" mode. Oh dear.
Stings Like a Bee...

My Thanksgiving Break officially began at 12:45 today (as in Tuesday). I came home and remembered that my mom had mailed me a package last week so I stopped by the office to pick it up. I had an idea about what would be inside and I did my best to harness the Chi before I opened it up. But even though I anticipated their move and saw the fist coming, I didn't dodge quick enough. Curse my bad reflexes and trusting nature! I cried. End of match. They won. And then, as if to gloat their victory, they called. Within an hour of beginning my Thanksgiving Break they had successfully brought me down to my pansy knees. D'oh! However, I anticipate that the next few days will be exponentially better. It just so happens that I have the coolest friends in the world. Interesting...

Saturday, November 22, 2003

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas...

Well, it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas in the movies anyway. Christmas back home looked just like the 4th of July and Easter and every other holiday. Wet and green. But not here. Here it's white and beautiful and it looks like every winter childhood fantasy I ever had. But I was a stupid child. Now I realize that snow is just a wretched combination of wet and cold that never goes away! Maybe if I skiied or snowboarded I would understand the underlying joys of winter but I don't. Just driving down the street to the grocery store takes twice as long and that time is twice as uncomfortable as all the heat is directed at your windows for defrosting instead of your fingers which are frozen as well. So, in an attempt to accept winter here is a list of things I love about the season... (just a few...)
1. candy canes
2. hot chocolate
3. hot apple cider
4. decorations
5. holiday movies
6. holiday music
7. heated apartments
8. blankets
9. days off work
10. travelling
And I'm still excited!

Wednesday, November 19, 2003


I only ate one candy cane today. (Mostly because I was sick but still... give me some credit here...)
My parents didn't call today. (The second day in a row!)
I took a nap. (I think this was the second one this year.)
I didn't wear any makeup today. (Just something I forgot to do today...)

Miracle of the Day

Caroline dropped off muffins for breakfast and Mrs. Ord bought me lunch. This counts as a miracle because they were both kind to me for no apparant reason and also because I have zero food in my cupboards and their kindness was the only reason I ate before 4:30pm for the first time this week. (But don't worry. I now have half of a very large vegetable pizza in my fridge. Yes... only half... but sadly enough me eating half of a pizza wasn't part of the miracle...)

Tuesday, November 18, 2003

Top Obvious Statements of the Day

5. "The skin is our largest organ."
4. "I'm easily entertained."
3. "I was just entertaining myself."
2. "I wasn't listening."
1. "I fell."
Top Ten Reasons Why I'm Happy

10. I graduated from Elementary and Junior High
9. I have about a dozen candy canes coursing through my vanes
8. I only slept about 4.5 hours last night (campy... happy... same thing)
7. I passed cleaning checks on the first try and I didn't even need to take a tooth brush to it
6. Debbie was fired and I never have to see her again
5. I got to spend quality time with Kat, Eddie and Jena today
4. My parents did not call
3. Caroline's drawing of my Sunday tumble
2. Justus claiming me as his new "kissing friend"
1. Pratt, Bennett and Peterson Thanksgiving

I may have graduated from BYU in April but today I graduated from two schools apparantly.

Today I took 23 first-graders to Timpview High School to watch "Cinderella" and since it was a high school production there were... you know... high schoolers there. And these high schoolers were running around the auditorium doing what high schoolers do.

We had just gotten seated when little Annie got very excited. "Miss Hansen! Miss Hansen! Is this where you go to school?"

"Nope. Not even six years ago when that was possible."

Although it's true that it's been over four years since High School graduation, I was a bit pleased to be associated with these pubescents. Why? Because just a few weeks ago I was mistaken as a sixth-grader. In just a few weeks I have graduated from elementary school and junior high! And that, my young friends, is my greatest success thus far!

Sunday, November 16, 2003

Sunday Morning

I set my alarm clock last night for 6:25am. I was asleep by 12:30 because I knew that today would be an early one. Something did go off at 6:25 but it rang instead of playing the Winnie the Pooh song. I looked at the clock. 6:25. Why is my alarm clock ringing?? Oh, it's my phone. I've been here before. I'm the one that has to say hello. I did (at least I got one thing right today) and it was my Caroline on the other end. She called to tell me that they had to be on time and so they were leaving and asked if I wanted to go with them.

An hour early? Was she crazy? Not likely. It must be me. But the clock said 6:25. I hang up the phone and sit up to get out of bed. I look at the clock again. 7:28. WHAT??? 7:28. Not six. Seven.

"What time is it?"
"Not 7:30?"
"Nope. I just looked at the clock. It's 6:30. Even look. See? Si... SEVEN THIRTY!!! I swear that it just said SIX thirty!"
"Mine too!! I know it did!"

Kat does my hair as I do my make-up and I get ready in... three minutes!! I run out to my car. Then realize I forgot my purse and run back upstairs. Then I run back to my car and start backing out and...

... run into the dumpster. D'oh!!!! WHY????? I figure there's nothing that I can do about it now so I start driving towards the SFH for the meeting that I'm already ten minutes late for. I arrive at the building, pull into a spot, get out and walk around to check my bumper. There's a scratch but it's not too bad. Could be worse. So I start walking to the building. But then...

... I fall. And I fall hard. I scratch the inside of both knees and ankles. Ya, picture THAT one! So, with visions of Bambi's first attempt to walk, I untangle my body, gather my things and head back to the meeting sure that my three tragedies for the day had been fulfilled. And they were... I hope!

Saturday, November 15, 2003

Phone Home

My dad called again today. And by "again" I mean AGAIN! I'm telling you, this new calling plan is kicking my trash. He called my cell phone while I was at Jena's wedding reception. I "accidentally" didn't answer it. But lucky for me he didn't neglect to leave a nice message on my machine. Phew! I listened to it on the way home...

Hi Emily. This is your dad. I looked up your bank statement and it says something about a GRE. Is that the test you took? You took it a few weeks ago, right? What was your score? Also, have you purchased your plane ticket home for Christmas yet? You have to do it. You need to decide when you're coming and going soon. That's everything. You can just e-mail me back with your answers, I guess. Bye.

Just so you know, although I do try to keep my parents at a safe distance, I do tell them things. Especially about major changes in my life like taking the GRE and applying to grad schools. But as history proves, they don't listen to me. And they don't care about what I do until it shows up on a bank statement. I've told them the last fifteen million times that they've called that I'm taking the GRE on the 13th (one day after my brother's birthday to help them remember), that my birthday's on the 19th, that I'm coming home on the 20th and that I would have to be back in Provo before New Years. Why before New Years? Because I'm in charge of planning a huge ward New Years party and I have to be there. Yes, this last part is definitely a lie. But you gotta do what you gotta do...

"If this is going to work then you have got to listen!!!"

Friday, November 14, 2003

When Patience Pays Off

I'm one of the lucky few that is assigned to tend the hundreds of screaming first - third graders for an hour during lunch recess. The hour can be long sometimes but there are occasional shining moments that make it all worth while.

There's a small hill leading down to the mini-field where the youngsters play football and soccer. Since it's been raining pretty heavy for the past few days there's a huge mud area right on that hill and quite frankly I've been watching that spot a lot lately. Why? Because I've been waiting for a kid to come flying past there and totally slide into it. I've been waiting all week and there have been quite a few close calls. But the little buggers always seem to be able to keep on their feet!

But today was my lucky day. Little Hunter, a second grader, came running towards the hill. Poor kid never saw it coming. He ran and ran and then WHAM! His feet slid out from under him, he caught a bit of air and then that kid face planted it right into the thick, gushy mud! Sara and I both saw it happen and since we're both mature adults, paid to tend the children, we immediately burst into laughter. Hunter looked up at us, covered from head to toe in mud, and saw us laughing. He got up, smiled at us (showing off all his missing teeth) and then ran off to finish his game of chase with his friends. Sometimes... just sometimes... patience really pays off.

My engine light went on just as I was entering the on-ramp to head toward Blackfoot for Marci's party last Friday. Today I decided to do something about it, guessing that it just needed an oil change. I pulled into Jiffy Lube and almost an hour later I pulled out with a still slightly unhappy car and $190 less in my pocket. I have to go back next month (if the car lasts that long) , when I get paid again, to get a new battery and an engine analysis to figure out why in the heck the stupid engine light is still on after the oil change, filter changes, etc that I paid for today. This sucks. But on the plus side, I think my car likes me again. I was able to get out of it twice this afternoon without it shocking me. Baby steps...

Wednesday, November 12, 2003


Today was a wretched day. And it's all Debbie's fault. You know, usually I have good associations with the name Debbie due to the fact that "Little Debbie" brings so much joy to millions of people all over the world. This Debbie, however, does not. Quite the contrary actually. Because this Debbie is crazy.

Debbie works at the elementary school with me and she tutors kids one-to-one all day long. This is what I do in the afternoons. Debbie sets up shop in the library and stays in the same tiny area all day long. Debbie thinks this is hard and whines to me about it a lot. "Hi Emily. Do you work all day, too? It's hard, huh?"

It's not hard.

We've recently run into some issues. Sara, my friend who also tutors in the afternoon witnessed a disturbing scene the other day when Debbie got in a fight with one of her students. She makes the kids tell her that she's nice and that they love her. She's mean to them and says she does it because she loves them and wants them to be safe, smart and happy. Debbie's a twisted human being. She's manipulative to the max. The kid came in with a cough and this is what followed...

Debbie: Are you still sick?
Kid: Kinda. Got this little cough.
D: But it's been like a week!
K: Ya.
D: Are you taking medicine or anything?
K: Nah, my mom says I don't need anything. I'm fine.
D: NO! That's not okay! You've been sick for a WEEK! Your mom is wrong! I love you and want you to be better!
K: That's something between me and my mom. I'm not that sick.
D: It is about me too! I'm your tutor and I love you! I see you every day and I want you to be better! I'll talk to your teacher and the principal about this! Your mom is wrong! Here, I have some pills in my purse. (She pulls out some pills.) Take it.
K: No, thank you. I don't want to.
D: Take it!!
K: No, I don't need it. I'm not going to.
D: Don't talk back to me!!

And so the session continued. The twisted, twisted session. The kid got upset. Debbie caught on and said, "Here, I'll only make you read two words instead of the whole list and you can read to yourself instead of out loud to me. Aren't I nice? I don't let all the kids do that but you're special. I'm nice, right?" The kid was scared and so he said, "Ya."

So Sara told me this story at recess and asked if I would sit by Debbie today to see what I thought about it before we reported it to our supervisor. I set up shop by where Debbie usually is and waited. Soon enough in came little Ramos. Debbie was manipulative and bossy but not too bad. But at the end she made the girl give her a hug. She looked so uncomfortable. I felt bad. Then in came the kid that Sara had seen yesterday. They started their session. The kid has a hard time reading (which is why he needs tutoring in the first place) because he reads too fast and skips over words. Instead of helping him slow down and showing him what he missed, Debbie just tells him he's wrong and makes him read it over and over again until finally she gives a deep sigh and tells him to move on. He does and then she shouts, "No! Go back and do it again!" He looks at her scared and says, "But you told me to move on." Debbie's ticked, "DON'T TALK BACK TO ME!! I'll take you to the principal and my supervisor! I'm sick of this! If I were your teacher you wouldn't talk back to me!" The kid started to cry (he's in the 6th grade) and Debbie told him to just go back to class and cool out. He got up to go when suddenly Debbie must have realized it's not a good idea to send a crying child back to class. "Wait!" she called. She chased after him and said, "I'm sorry. It's just that I love you and want you to be a good reader. Why do you talk back to me when I correct you?" They went and sat back down. He told her that she made him feel stupid. And she kept repeating that she loved him. She laid down ground rules (1. He couldn't talk back. 2. He had to do what she said and 3. They needed to have more fun together) and told him that if he followed them for a week he'd get a prize and then another one for reading. "See? I'll be giving you two prizes! I'm nice, right? Tell me I'm nice!"

It was like watching my own childhood and I just wanted to take the poor child away. She was so random. She was mean. She was manipulative. And she made kids hug her and tell her she was nice and that they love her. It was all too sick and twisted for me and I was shaking and wanted to throw up. I let my student leave early because he was doing such a great job and also because my mind was swimming. Debbie came up to me.

Debbie: Sorry you had to see that.
Em: Ya, me too.
D: It's just that he always talks back. He's such a problem.
E: I actually didn't hear him talk back.
D: Well you didn't hear everything! He DID!
E: I was sitting right next to you. I heard everything. He wasn't talking back. He was just a bit frustrated.
D: Yes he was! You didn't hear everything!
E: I gotta go. (Debbie walked away. I packed up.)
D: (Comes back as I'm leaving.) I'm sorry if I offended you.
E: I gotta go.

I was shaking like crazy and I had to work not to throw up. I could feel tears coming to my eyes and I just wanted to get out of there. Amy, my supervisor saw me. We had a chat with Sara and the principal about it. The whole thing just freaked me out and I never want to see that woman again. I never want her to be around kids again. I just never want to experience that again. Oh, gosh... here come the holidays...

Tuesday, November 11, 2003

Little Homestar

There's a little bald boy in the next first grade classroom over from ours. His name is "David W." I don't know why his parents shaved his head but they did and the kid has been hiding behind hats ever since. But my favorite thing about this kid is that he sounds exactly like Homestar Runner. I kid you not! He sounds just like him and, since he's only six, many of the things he says are things that Homestar Runner would say too! It kills me! The kid's in my friend Sara's class and she told me about her family presentation. She had invited her brother, Daniel, since he was the only family in Utah that she had because he was attending BYU as well. The kids were so excited to see a "real college student" and when it came time for questions and answers they were all too excited.

David W. was first...
D.W.: What is your favorite key?
Daniel: What kind of key? A musical key?
D.W.: Yes.
Daniel: Well, my name's Daniel so I guess my favorite key is the key of D.
D.W.: (very pleased.) My name is David W. and the key of D is my favorite key as well."

Another little girl was next...
Girl: What is your favorite thing to ride?
Daniel: Write? Or Ride?
Girl: Ride!
Daniel: Uh... a boat I guess.
Girl: Woah! That is really cool!

The class oohed and ahed at the intellect, maturity and dashing good looks of this real college student. But nobody more than David W. "Woah, Danwiel. Dat is weawy coo!"

Sunday, November 09, 2003

Things I Don't Understand...

1. My Auto Insurance Policy
2. Why I have to become a UT resident with an UT license and an ugly UT plate for my cute car.
3. My parents.
4. My annual addiction to candy canes.
5. Why I've become the new designated ring leader for a new ring of insanity.
6. Math.
7. The importance and usefulness of the GRE.
8. Thanksgiving.
9. The last blog I wrote... huh? You get sugar how?
10. My cell phone plan.
11. How my room is a mess... again!!

Saturday, November 08, 2003

For Ann-Marie: To Free Up Her Thanksgiving

SUGAR BEETS TO SUGAR... (at home.)

1. Clean the sugar beets. (two 8-10 pound beets)
2. Slice it up small.
3. Cover with water and boil for about an hour until it's mushy.
4. Strain the juice, reserve the pulp.
Purify the Juice
5. Use about a 1/2 cup of milk of lime (acting as calcium hydroxide) and a shot of seltzer water (acting as carbon dioxide).
6. Let juice set for about 2 hours. (semi-solids will settle to the bottom)
7. Pour off the water on top (this can be fed to livestock)
8. Sugar mass is left... cook it very slowly and carefully. It will take about an hour and a half for it to turn think and molasses-black.
Seperation of the refined sugar from the molasses
9. Put the molasses gunk into a procolator (juicer) and make sure the lid's on tight.
10. The spinning with throw the white sugar into the bowl of the juicer and the molasses gunk drips out the spout.
11. The sugar will be a bit damp so allow it to air out a bit.
12. You now have about a cup and a half of refined sugar!

And that my friends is how you get sugar from sugar beets! Ta-da!!!

Thursday, November 06, 2003


Last night I had a dream that I got shot by somebody near my right shoulder. I don't know who shot me but I knew it was bad and lots of people saw it happen but nobody was willing to help me. I wasn't bleeding but it hurt a lot and I couldn't use my arm and it hurt to breathe. But since nobody else seemed to care or think it was a big deal, I did my best to shrug it off. I ignored it, too. I went throughout the whole dream... wandering around the Villa, hanging out with wardies and all the rest of my odd dream activities. I kept trying to forget about the fact that I was shot and put on a happy face but there were a couple of times that I would use my left hand to touch the bullet hole to see if it had gotten worse and I'd remember that I still hadn't taken care of the problem. There were a few times that I would complain about it to one of my friends that were there but they'd just say that I looked fine to them and if it was really serious then I wouldn't be able to look so happy. I figured they must be right. I mean, all those wardies couldn't be wrong, right? Just like the time when I was convinced that it was my birthday on December 16th. It's weird, though, because I never did really freak out about it. I just dealt with it. I pretended nothing was wrong. No, no... it's no big deal. Yes, I realize I've lost the use of my right arm but I'm guessing it'll take care of itself...

This dream was a sign of two important facts...
One... The holidays are coming -- I frequently get nightmarish dreams like this when holidays are approaching and family is involved... and
Two... I'm a huge freak.
Three (I lied about there being only two)... I need to stop drinking the bong water. Especially before bed...

Wednesday, November 05, 2003

Baby Boy

Today I was exceptionally excited because I finally got my computer back. It's true. It was a mini miracle. I checked my email for the first time in ages and this is what I got...

I want to say I miss and love you so much. And I am disappointed and upsetu cannot come for thanksgiving. It broke the traditional. I'm sad and imagine all the good how wonderful family for thanksgiving. Now without u, now it ruin and worst. It will not feel like thanksgiving to me. So love you so much
W a Z z Y

So this is what I want to know... what do I do? That email broke my heart. And as much as I believe that I can in no way make Hansen Family Thanksgiving worse by me not being there, I feel bad. Because, well, he's young. And I'm a jerk. I promised that I would take care of him and then I ended up going to college and now I'm not even coming home for Thanksgiving? And what if my parents follow through with their threats? Quite frankly I wish the whole holiday would just disappear. Or that I could disappear for the holiday. I'd just rather not. Every single one of them up to this date has ended in tears, many of them mine. And I can't see this one being much different even if I am a thousand miles away. The day itself conjures up horrific memories and I turn into a huge freak. They're going to get me. They always do. By staying here I'm just postponing the inevitable and imposing on somebody else's family.

But maybe... just maybe... this will turn into a good thing. Maybe my family really will miss me and recognize that I'm an okay person. Nah!!

Some people got it and some people don't. I don't. At all. Not even a little bit. It's true that I have Vertigo. And it's amusing when I do my little stumbles and I even get the giggles sometimes when the world starts to spin. It's like being in the teacups and who doesn't love Disneyland? Yes, my imbalances can be fun.

But sometimes they're scary. Like when I'm at the top of a staircase looking down. And unfortunately my imbalance isn't restricted to physical tipsiness. In case you haven't noticed, my whole world is imbalanced. It's usually funny and I get a big kick out of not knowing what the heck I'm doing half the time or who I'm talking to or what's going on... whazit? But then sometimes it's scary. Like when I'm facing a big decision. Or when I'm facing a whole bunch of them at the same time. Like now.

Oh dear.

Saturday, November 01, 2003

My Halloween

I woke up excited because I knew that because I worked at an elementary school that this was going to be one GREAT day. I hurried and put on a psuedo-cowgirl costume, sprayed myself with sparkles and headed out the door. Here are a few of my favorite Wasatch trick-or-treaters...

Elijah as the Red Ninja Turtle (his little face painted) - "Grrr! I'm a tough Ninja Turtle! See?" He shows off his best karate moves. (a.k.a. he flails his arms around.)

Benjamin as a Frog - Ben walks out the way my dog walked when I put boots on her. He's dressed in a green sweat suit with eyes glued to his good. "I'm a frog." He hops a few times to prove it.

2nd grader as a BYU Football Player - Comes out with his head down. "I already had this stuff. I bought it before I knew that the Cougars were going to suck this year..."

Yes, work was hillarious. It made me want to have kids for a minute.

And the party that night topped the cake. Good times... good times...
One Giant Step

Yep, I finally did it. After months of whining and trying to decide if it was worth it, I finally signed up to take the GRE. One-hundred and thirty dollars is a lot to pay for test score that will most likely get me no where but, hey, who am I to take away the opportunity for the test scorers to have a good laugh? And since I have signed up to take the test and realize that the test date of December 13th is really not that far off, I have begun the studying process. In the beginning stages of this process I have realized that I have forgotten several important items of information from my undergraduate experience.
Just a few...
1) I'm not smart.
2) I'm not a good test taker.
3) It really is important to have a "lucky" pencil.
4) Studying apparantly doesn't help all that much.
5) I'm in big, big trouble.

Wednesday, October 29, 2003

1. Death to Dell
2. What's up with psycho elementary students? (Story to Follow at later date...)
3. No means NO!!!!! (maybe...)
4. Death to the holiday season
5. GRE. Why? WHY???
6. Grad School... whatever...
7. Van down by the River. Home sweet home...
8. Halloween in nice.
9. My roommate is nice.
10. D'oh!!!!!!

Friday, October 24, 2003

You look burnt... or dead...

Speaking of brutally honest elementary students, I got quite a big dose this morning.

Annie: Miss Hansen?
Em: Ya?
Annie: You look sick!
Em: Thanks.
Annie: Are you sick?
Em: No.
Annie: Because if you're sick then you shouldn't be here...
Em: I'm not sick. Just a bit tired.
Annie: Oh, then you should get more sleep. Like me.
Em: Thanks for the tip...

Maloy: Miss Hansen?
Em: Ya?
Maloy: I know your real name. It's Emily.
Em: Yep, how did you know that?
Maloy: Mrs. Ord calls you Miss Emily sometimes.
Em: Oh, ya.
Maloy: Miss Hansen? How old are you?
Em: 22.
Maloy: You're SHORT!!!
Em: Ya...

Gotta love 'em!
The Day of the Field Trips (a.ka. Day of the Dead Em)

Yesterday was the day. Pain was at a high. Patience was at a low. My day started 45 minutes earlier than usual (at 7:45am) and ended 2 hours later than usual (at 6:30). Yes, from 7:45 until 6:30, I was chasing small children around. Chasing small children during a field trip to BYU, chasing small children during a fire drill and chasing small children around "Hee Haws." I am tired!!

Field Trip #1
BYU - Smith Field House
All the "wanna-be elementary P.E. teachers" got a big dose of reality as my first graders ran into their previously carefully set up gym. I sat back and watched and laughed as they tried their best to get the 30 first-graders to hit a ball with a bat, throw a football, jump rope and (most amusing of all) listen and follow simple directions. By the end of the hour, the college students had tears in their eyes and the first-graders were whining. "Man, that was boring!" "Ya, the best part of this stupid field trip was the bus ride!" If anything, the college students at least learned about the brutal honesty of elementary students.

Fire Drill
Wasatch Elementary
I had a meeting at 7:45am where we all got lectured about what to do during fire drills. And by "lectured" I mean they handed us a red piece of paper that went through what each job position does in a fire situation. And since my job title wasn't on there, it wasn't much help at all. But, since I knew what time the fire drill was scheduled to be, I just let my student go early so I wouldn't have to deal with it. Instead, I watched the complete chaos unfold as I casually walked from class to class and searced for missing children. This is what I found...
Niel (a boy in my first-grade class)
"Hey, buddy. Aren't you supposed to be outside?"
"I already did that."
"But then you were supposed to go find your neighborhood color."
"Oh. I thought we were supposed to come back in."
"No, we're pretending the building is on fire right now."
"Oh. Where's my class?"
"Outside. Right there. See your teacher? She's the one looking frantically around for you."
"Hehe. Ya. See ya!"

Field Trip #2
Pleasant Grove? Hee Haws.
I was placed in charge of four children. Two of them were bigger than me and one was autistic. Hee Haws is a wonderful place. This dirt palace of the world has a huge corn maze in the shape of some famous Jazz player. Whatever. But the thing was dang hard. And I'm not smart. And the kids I was with were in the special program for a reason. We kept getting lost.
"Miss Hansen? Which way are we supposed to go?"
"This is about you finding your way. What fun would it be if I just told you?"
Eventually I figured out how to backtrack and we went out the entrance.
"Look! We made it! Way to go!"

I came home dirty, tired and with the headache of my life. And yet, I was a happy girl! I love those kids! I love my job!
The Piper Is Down...

Curse Dell and all their "interns" with their zero knowledge about computers and complete unfeeling towards their customers who spent tons of money on their piece of plastic that is now as much use to me as an oversized paper weight. A plague on all their houses.

Em's been away from the computer world and will be for some time apparantly. And yet... I find a comfy neck of the Villa in order to bring to you... THE DAY OF THE FIELD TRIPS! Da da da dum!!!!

Tuesday, October 21, 2003

Manic Monday

Apparantly whether or not you go to work/school on Monday... the day itself is evil.

Monday, October 20, 2003

Day Four of Day Five

This weekend was perfect!! It really was. A+ on productivity. A+ on relaxation. A+ on fun. A+ on socialization. It was an A+ weekend. And the best part of this A+ weekend is that there's still an entire day ahead of me! That is... if I can get myself to bed. And that's where I'm going. To bed. This weekend is going up on the fridge, folks!

Saturday, October 18, 2003

Day Three

My sister's new hobby is text messaging me on my cell phone. My sister and I haven't been all that close. At least not since I was seven and she tried to kill me at my cousin's house. She's also six years older than I am and our interests never really blended that well. She was into bongs when I was into Barbies. And our likes and dislikes didn't mesh either. Apparantly she really likes hospitals; I have a deep seeded phobia of them. We're not the kind of sisters that excitedly hug when we see eachother or the kind that call each other all the time. She has her life and I have mine. And quite frankly they're polar opposites.

She's only tried to contact me six times in the over four years I've been away. Four times to tell me to buy Christmas presents and put her name on them for the parents. And twice to try to get me to move home because things weren't right at home and she wanted me to come clean up.

And now she's taken to text messaging. Over and over with the same theme. "When are moving home?" At first I joked about it and responded back, "I'm thinking about moving home in December of two thousand and NEVER!" But she kept asking and asking. I thought that maybe something was going on at home that my dad wasn't telling me. Maybe my mom had hit bottom again even though she sounded fine on the phone the MILLIONS of times she calls me now. I asked my dad about it and he talked to my sister. Apparantly she wants me home because... she misses me.

He said she wants me there for her wedding and when she starts having kids. She wants me there to be her friend and an aunt to her children.

Well, this is new.

And now I'm left to decide. Is this just another mind game? Or is she serious? And if she is serious, do I act upon her request? I do love Seattle. And as much as I love Provo and all the people here... they're leaving in April. Soon, I'll have no place here. I'll be homeless again.

So, do I move back and hope it's better? Just be an adult and put it all behind me? Or maybe I'm with Joe. "I don't have any people of my own, Cheif. I'm my only hope for a hero."

Friday, October 17, 2003

Day Two

I slept in a bit! Probably because I stayed up way later than I should have. But for some reason I couldn't tear myself away from the History Channel. I watched "We Built This City: New York" followed by "We Built This City: London" followed by "We Built This City: Paris." It's official. I wasn't adopted. I am definitely my father's daughter. If there were encyclopedias around, I would read them. I'm a huge dork. Dorkiness is a big chunk of the Hansen genes. And it's a big chunk of me. There's no getting around it.

However, even though I spent my evening in Dork Land, I still had nightmares last night. I don't really remember a lot of details but I do remember being stranded and then stalked in a deserty place with people that I assume were supposed to be my family. There were these evil men holding us there and it was my fault that they now knew that we were unarmed, in the middle of nowhere... and stupid.

This morning, as I was just lying in bed I was thinking about my dream (what I could remember of it) and how evil those guys must have been to leave a whole family in the middle of nowhere. Then I remembered back to a time when I used to think I was evil. And I laughed. When I was younger I had been so convinced that I was evil that I would spend hours in front of the mirror waiting for my eyes to turn cat-like or red because that's what my childish idea of evilness was. I waited and waited with my heart pounding in my chest. I so much didn't want it to happen but at the same time I was so sure that it would happen and I knew my scary eyes would scare myself once it did. Every day I'd go back to the mirror and watch and wait. But it never happened. My eyes never showed evil. Obviously. I was more than a bit relieved but not yet entirely convinced that I wasn't evil. It would take years before I was truly convinced. Fortunately for me I found an online test for such a situation. (Sorry about the questions that don't apply.) What was the comforting result of my test? I'm only a "Little Evil." Good to know. Baby steps...

Thursday, October 16, 2003

Day One

Apparantly my obnoxious Winnie the Pooh alarm clock has had permanent effects. I hate the sound of this thing so much that I usually get up myself right before it goes off. Then I quickly turn off the alarm clock so that I don't have to start my day with the belted tune. But I guess I've done that so many mornings in a row now that I just can't sleep in on a Thursday. I feel okay about it though. My free day will be longer and also, I'm pretty sure I was dreaming about being in a cult so it's best that that dream ended before the inevitable "end of the world" talk by our "leader guy."

Wednesday, October 15, 2003


Today is a beautiful day and let me tell you why. I got off work at 1pm. Earlier than I thought I would and way earlier than I usually do. Also, I don't have work tomorrow. Or Friday. Or Monday. That's right, a FIVE-DAY WEEKEND!! I'm a happy girl. And when I say "happy girl" I mean a really happy girl! Also, tonight I get to see Finding Nemo (which I love) with my friends (which I love)! Happy, happy, happy girl. Hurray!

Apparantly I'm a lot like Marlin. Which leaves me to wonder... which Finding Nemo character would you be?

Tuesday, October 14, 2003

James' Uncle

James is six years old and one of the two boys I take out to the playground each day during PE. He's also the boy that ran away a few weeks ago. James is small and comparitively strange. On our way out to the playground the other day, James shared some valuable advice.

James: Will you give me an underdog?
Me: Sure.
James: We'd better do it on the big swings. Because if you do it on the small swings then maybe I'd swing all the way around the bar. And then I'd get hurt.
Me: Good point.
James: My dad's brother did that and his neck got caught and wrapped around the chain and his head came off and he died.
Me: Ew. Sorry to hear that.

A few moments pass as we walk to the big swings...
James: Actually, that didn't happen to my dad's brother.
Me: Oh...?

A few more moments pass as we approach the swings...
James: Actually, I don't even think my dad has a brother.
Me: Interesting...

Monday, October 13, 2003

Swing Time

Every day for the past few weeks it's been my responsibilty to supervise two first graders as they play outside for about fifteen minutes as their classmates are in PE learning how to defend themselves against kidnappers. The kids play tetherball or play on the toys or swing. There's only two of them and they're great at entertaining themselves. I'll occasionally redirect their play, push them on a swing or chase them around but usually they keep to themselves and have no need for me. So I spend this time swinging.

I swing and swing. I go back and forth, back and forth, higher and higher. The swinging is constant and predictable. But my thoughts race. They're random. I think about serious things. Things that bother me, things I remember but wish I didn't and things I fear. But on the swing it's different. I don't get upset, or scared or worried. I'm on a playground with kids and I'm on a swing. It's simple and innocent. And so are my thoughts. Even the most complex concerns seem to be scrawled out in crayon. They're not a big deal any more. Those memories are just as important as remembering what I ate last night for dinner. On the swing I'm happy and light as I swing back and forth, higher and higher thinking and swinging. And that's all.

Also, when I swing with the kids I can get WAY higher than any of them! "No child can beat me!"

Saturday, October 11, 2003

Please note that when the telephone rings and you choose to pick it up, it is then your responsibility to say hello. I understand that it's them trying to contact you but still you must say hello. Answering the phone, waiting for them to say hello and then just hanging up is not a valid option. The actual ringing of the phone counts as their first "hello." Please remember this in the future to save yourself further pain in the social realm of the world. Let's admit it, you're already suffering in that area.
Also, it helps if you turn your ringer on. This will limit all of those annoying messages on your phone that you never check anyways.
Common Sense

Friday, October 10, 2003

"I Play By My Own Rules."

Tetherball is the in thing to do at recess. Kids gather and line up around the tetherball polls as they take turns competing against each other. It's all very serious. I like to watch every now and again. Every once in a while a kid will get hit with the ball or try some new weird stunt that will make me laugh. (Yes, I can see how you thought doing a cartwheel at that moment would help you win this game of tetherball. Good point.) While watching today I overheard the following conversation between two third graders...
"Hey, man. You can't grab it like that."
"You can't grab the ball like that. Only hit it."
"Oh, I play by my own rules."
He said it so matter of factly as if it were perfectly acceptable to create your own rules that work towards your advantage and expect the competition to be okay with it. Did he expect the other kid to say, "Oh, sure. Do whatever you need to win. I'll just stand here and play by the real rules and let you cream me" or what? I waited for the response of the other kid, too. What would he say to that one?
"Okay... whatever..."
And they kept on playing their serious game of tetherball.
I thought to myself, "Well, that wasn't so bad." The other kid was obviously a bit annoyed but they kept playing and when the game was over the victory was as legit as if they had been both playing by the real rules. Nobody called foul play. Hmmm... can I apply this to adult life?
"Hey, you have to pay your bills."
"Oh, I play by my own rules."
"Okay... whatever..."

Monday, October 06, 2003

Recess Fun

There's a little girl named Camille who is in the third grade that I have loved since the first day I saw her. She's a little girl with Tri-21 (Down Syndrome) and since kids with this disorder all look like they're related she reminds me of my Fallon back home. I just love Camille! Unfortunately this love is not often mutual. I'm the one that has to tell her when recess is over and Camille doesn't like that much.

Camille's favorite recess game is "chase and then tie up Colin with a jump rope." Colin's a good sport. A cute 2nd grader who apparantly loves the attention of this older woman. But today... well, he may rethink this recess activity.

Somebody told me that there was still a 3rd grader out even though the 3rd grade bell had rung several minutes before. I looked under the slide and there was Camille, Colin and a few other kids with worried faces. Camille had Colin tied to a pole under the slide. "It's okay. I like it," said Colin. I told him that I knew he was okay with it but that it was time for Camille to go inside. "Come on inside, Camille. Your recess is over," I told her. She told me to wait. That she had to just tie it a few more times. "No, Camille. It's time to go. You're already late and you already have two warnings. If you don't go in nice today then you can't have lunch recess any more." Camille continued to tie her rope. Suddenly Colin looks at me and says, "Uh! Miss Emily? It's actually starting to hurt..." I gave Camille a warning and told her that she had 5 seconds to come out before I went to get her teacher. "No! Don't get my teacher!" I counted to five but she wasn't moving...

I walked over to her class and went inside. The whole class was on the rug staring at the teacher as she closed a book she had read to them. "Excuse me, but is Camille supposed to be in here right now?" I whispered.
"Yes, she is."
"She won't come in from recess."
"Then bring her in."
"She won't do that for me and I certainly can't drag her."
"Alright, I'll go get her. You take care of the class."
And she was gone...

Wait! What? "Take care of the class." What does that mean???

"Hehe... so... guys... in the 3rd grade, huh? That's cool..." I sat in the chair in front of the class with 60 young eyeballs on me. "Books... nice... so you're readers... what kind of books do you like to read?" Hands shot up. I kept asking weird questions and they ate it up. I was a hit! I may not be Camille's favorite person but her class loves me. I'm okay with 30:1. I can live with that. Besides, I still have my Fallon...

Sunday, October 05, 2003


Monday. Monday. It's Monday again. Yep, good ol' Monday. If there's one thing you can count on, it's a Monday. It comes every week and every week it carries with it A) a first day back to school or work and B) the promise of four other days in a row just like it. Although I hate Mondays I'm not about to start weird internet chains or go completely insane and try to swat actual Monday Blue Bugs. I mean, come on. Nobody's that crazy, right?

Friday, October 03, 2003


It's Friday and I'm happy, happy, HAPPY!
Top Ten Reasons that I'm Happy it's Friday!
10) I got off work early and was home in time for a late lunch.
9) No work tomorrow
8) General Conference Weekend
7) Bennett Night
6) General Conference Tickets
5) I see Sarah tomorrow
4) Girls Night Out tomorrow night
3) Ward breakfast and Conference viewing
2) Roommate and friend love!
1) Although I've recieved two emails from them today, I have NOT recieved any phone calls from my parents!... nevermind... they just called! D'oh!!!

Wednesday, October 01, 2003

The Answers...

Question from my sister: When are you moving back?
Answer: I'm thinking that I'll be moving home in December of two-thousand-and-NEVER!!

Question from Will: Why do I have to do this?
Answer: Because, believe it or not, knowing how to read and write really is valuable in the real world.

Question from Mom and Dad: What will you do once you fail? Move back home?
Answer: If I fail then I'll eat it and sleep in my car and live off of government cheese but I'm not moving home.

Question from the Principal: How is it being just as tall as the students?
Answer: It feels just like Christmas.

Question from Jennifer: What are you going to do now?
Answer: I dunno. I'm thinking about going into bartending. They're always in need of people with Psych degrees.

Question from Aimee: Oh, yeah? Well, what's 100 + 100??
Answer: 200.

Any Questions?

Tuesday, September 30, 2003


Those are z's.

Because I'm tired. Oh so very tired. I got tired around 9:00 last night. But did I go to bed early? No. I went to a birthday party and had a good time. I left because I was tired. But did I go to bed? No. I talked to Heather. And Sarah. (And had overdue and absolutely delightful conversations.) But then I had to run away in case my dad decided to call back. I'm a jerk. I know. But this would have been phone call number 5 from him this week and I still haven't recovered from phone call number 4. (Or 3, 2 or 1 for that matter.) I came home around 11:30. But did I go to bed? No. I talked to Kat until almost 1am. That was better than sleep anyway. But then I just laid in bed, exhausted. But did I go to sleep? No. NO! Why? I don't know! I don't know why. Why? WHY? My mind just raced around through things I hadn't let myself resolve and poked into things I still didn't want to think about.

I obviously find it necessary to stress over things I can't control. (An annoying and time consuming quirk.) But why must it take up my sleep time? Maybe if I give up, say, my lunch break for unecessary stressing then I can sleep during sleep time. Ooh! And maybe if I'm stressing during my lunch break then I won't eat so much and then I'll be well rested and finally find my girlish figure within.

I like it. I like it a lot.
Baby Liar

Cute little girl comes up to me at recess and sits on the bench with me.
"What's your name?"
"What's yours?"
"Miss Hansen."
"Where do you live?"
"In an apartment."
"Oh, I live in that house on the mountain." She points to the new HUGE house on the mountain. I didn't think it was in our school boundaries.

Some kids come by with a BABY TURANTULA in a jar. Em freaks out. Tells them to go feed it some place else and to do everything necessary to make SURE it stays in the jar!
"You don't like spiders, huh?"
"No, I really don't."
"I don't like people."
"Oh, that's too bad."
"Ya. Because people are mean."
"Why are they mean?"
"Because they make fun of me when I wear my Indian clothes. They're always like, 'It's not Halloween. Why are you wearing a costume?' And I tell them that it's not a costume. And they laugh at me. But I like my Indian clothes. We all get to wear them sometimes."
"Sometimes when people don't understand something they make fun of it. It's not very nice but it happens."
"Do you like Indian clothes?"
"They're pretty. Lots of bright colors."
"I like being Indian."
"Cool. Your parents are from India?"
"NO! Don't you know??"
"I really don't."
"My Dad is dead!!"
"Oh, I'm sorry to hear that. When did that happen?"
"When I was really small."
"Oh. Well, was your Dad from India?"
"NO! My Dad was from Mexico! He was a Mexican."
"Oh, is your Mom from India?"
"NO! She's from Mexico, too! We're Indian!"
"Oh, what kind of Indian?"
"I don't remember."
"Oh. So your parents were both from Mexico but you're an Indian?"
"Oh! I remember! Navajo! I'm a Navajo Indian!"
"Ya. I just got adopted today."
"You just got adopted today? That's neat. How many brothers and sisters do you have?"
"25? How many are girls?"
"How many are boys?"
"So you have 25 brothers and sisters and 18 of them are girls and 13 of the are boys? Never heard of that before. What are their names?"
She makes up names...

Throughly confused, I talked to another teacher's aide named Sarah...
"Hey, do you know that one girl with the short dark hair and the brown eyes in Mrs. Hannig's class?"
"Ya, but that's not her name."
"It's not?"
"No, that's what she tells everybody her name is. It's really Maria. She's a compulsive liar."
"She's six."
"Ya. Scary."
"But she's six."
"Ya, her teacher told me about her when she caught me calling her Bianca. Her mom should tell her about the little boy who cried wolf."
"Ya, and then get her some serious therapy."

Today at recess "Bianca" comes up to me again...
"Hi, Bianca."
"Hi. My sister is a gymnast."
"Ya. She's actually doing it right now. She's going to be on TV. I'm going to watch her today. If I can find the right channel."
"Cool. So, Bianca, what name do you write on your school papers?"
"When you, say, take a spelling test... what name do you write on top?"
"My sister's."
"Your sister's?"
"Ya, I write my sister's name, Maria. But don't tell."
"My sister's a virgin."
"No, my other one."
"How old is she?"
"Then I'm glad she's a virgin. Who told you she was a virgin?"
"She did."
"Do you know what that word means?"
"No. What does it mean?"
"That's a word you should ask your mom about and not use until you do."

And the bell rang and my baby compulsive liar went back to class...

Sunday, September 28, 2003

P.S. This also means that Em's week of grumpiness and all around brattiness and self-absorption has officially come to an end.
Miracle on Em Street

Today I was miraculously healed. It's true. I've had a wretched headache all week. Yesterday was the worst as I sat in the stake center listening to the Relief Society General Broadcast, holding my head wondering how long it could go on. (My headache, not the broadcast.) It wasn't a migraine. Just one of the worst tension headaches I've ever had. I came home and was a zombie for the rest of the night. BUT when I woke up this morning... it was GONE!!!

No headache! And I don't mean 2% headache either. I mean headache free! NO headache!

So today's a happy day. That's all.

Saturday, September 27, 2003

This Week's Minor Victories

I finally found a group of people who A) have heard the "Gooey Duck" song and B) know who Mr. Yuck is.

I got Aimee to focus on math for almost a full 30 minutes by making up a game.

I went to work every day.

I watched West Side Story for the first time.

The last of the 1,000 cranes were folded.

I survived three phone calls from my parents.

I didn't get a Slurpee tonight.
Date Clips

Justus: Woah! Cool! Look at this thing! I've never seen such a huge and awesome spider before!
Em: (whimpers)
Ann-Marie: Shhh!!! Emily doesn't like spiders!
Justus: I mean, it would be cool if I saw a huge and awesome spider... but I don't... at all... there isn't one here...


Ann-Marie: I'm going to put my socks on this rock. Don't let me forget them.
Em: Okay...


Kent: So, how old are you?
Em: 22.
Kent: Woah!! You're OLD !!!


Kent: It's uh... the uh... the guy who always ends up being the murderer...
Tyler: The butler!!!


Justus: See any crawdads?
Em: I think so! Right there!
Justus: That's a can...


Kent: Oh, man!
Justus: Drop a crawdad?
Kent: Ya, my biggest one.
Lisa: Lou???
Kent: Ya, sorry...
Terrible Tutor

(I can't sleep. And so you get lame stories by Em because she's campy, headachy and bored.)

Same student, another day. This time we were doing a new exercise. I would say a word, she'd delete the beginning sound and say the rest of the word. For example, I'd say "boy" and she'd delete the 'b' sound and say "oy." I'd say "big" and she'd say "ig." I just move down the provided list. The same list they've been using for years.


D'oh! Who was the genius who put gas on this exercise?? We're supposed to be helping them read not helping them to shock the other kids on the playground! What kind of tutor am I having this poor girl say the f-word and now the a-word? I'm gonna get fired...

Thursday, September 25, 2003


In a small reading group of about six kids, the students successfully read the list of nonsense words without a fit. The teacher was pleased and she showered them with praise by shouting, "Excellento! Excellento!" I was a bit embarassed for her. Not only because I knew that excellento meant excellent about as much as asking for a ride-o to the next town-o would get you tire marks on your back, but also because two of the students in that group were from Spanish-speaking homes. They just stared at her as if to expect to see her wearing a dunce cap or clown shoes. Disappointed that neither were present, they went on with their reading.

Wednesday, September 24, 2003


In the first grade today we had three meltdowns. All over a worksheet where they had to write four words. Man, pan, van and can. They didn't want to do the worksheet, they wanted to color. Who could blame them? I'd rather color, too. But even though both the writing and coloring sheets were on the desk, it was time for writing. Not coloring. One child sobbed, "This is stupid!" Another one cried, "But I don't even want to do this!" The third one refused to speak at all, ran out of the classroom and away from the school where a police officer later found him and brought him back.

I felt wretched. Although it wasn't my idea to give them the worksheet, I was the one that had to make sure they did it. I was the unlucky one that had to tell them to push aside their coloring for a minute to write man, pan, van and can. I wanted to let them color and, more than that, I wanted to sit there next to them and color a few bunnies of my own. Although I was a bit frustrated, I understood. I wanted to cry, too. Just like Max. I wanted to pull on my hair and scream, "But I don't even want to do this!" just like little Adam. And I wanted to run away just like James. But not because of the worksheet.

They guessed that James ran home. He lives near the school. I imagine he just wanted his mom. I thought, "Run. Run to your mom while you still can. While it's still okay to just sit on your mom's lap and cry." The office called and called his house but nobody answered. His mom wasn't home. It broke my heart to picture little James pounding on his front door, crying for his mom with nobody there to open the door and hug him. Not having a mom there during those crucial moments is hard. I imagined him sitting on his front step crying and maybe for the first time realizing how small he was in a big and busy world.

Without mom, the now scared six-year-old had no other choice but to put up the white flag and come back to school. The police found him as he was walking up and they plopped him with his tear-stained face in the front office while they continued to try to call his mom. They couldn't send him back to class. When a kid runs from school he has to go home for the rest of the day. (Which really doesn't make sense. It's like rewarding a kid who steals gum with a pack of gum. It's what they wanted in the first place.) It was hours before they got a hold of her.

I just wanted to hug him and tell him that I knew what it felt like to be alone and scared. I know what it feels like when you just want your mom. Even though I never really had one. That front porch can be a scary place. Sometimes life is rough and you just don't want to write man, pan, van and can. Whether you don't know how or are scared you'll mess up or because you think it's stupid, or you just don't want to... it's all the same. That worksheet stinks! So, give your mom a hug if you still can, show that school work who's boss and then have a great time coloring your bunnies! I have no time for porches! No time!
Unlimited Calls

My parents recently switched long distance providers. They now pay a reasonable monthly flat rate for unlimited calling time. I don't know what genius thought this up but if I ever find him I'm going to give him a piece of my mind. This is the third time my parents have called me this week!! Something needs to be done.

Tuesday, September 23, 2003

"I'll Be Back in a Minute."

This is my new nonsense phrase. I first realized myself using it (and abusing it) at the beginning of this semester when I was helping apartment 68 move in. I spent a lot of time there during their first week. And by a lot of time I mean hardly any real time at all but lots of tiny one-minute drop-ins. I'd just get there and then I'd see somebody who was just moving in who I knew from last year, get all excited and yell, "Be back in a minute!" as I ran out the door to greet my friend. A very long time later I'd be back in their apartment. But not for long. Soon a new girl would be moving in that needed help and who I wanted to meet. "Be back in a minute!" But I wouldn't be. Because on my way back from helping this girl move in I'd see another girl I knew (or didn't know) and I'd end up chatting. And then there'd be somebody else. I get distracted easily. Finally, hours later, I'd make my way back into 68. It became a joke between us. Well, it became a joke between us if the word "joke" means them making fun of me for having no focus and no concept of time. But we play with it...
Lisa: When are you going to pay me for your haircut?
Me: In a minute...

But this dishonest phrase has leaked into my apartment life as well. Or maybe it's always been there and I just didn't notice. In any case, last night I had to deliver meeting notes I had typed up to the RS presidency. "I'll be back in a minute," I called, "Then we can watch our movie." My route was 63, 65, then 79. Before Camille was called I was much quicker at accomplishing this task. OK, that's a lie too. I always get stuck in 63. Admit it, those girls are fantastic! I have to restrain myself from setting up camp in their living room. Anyway, my point is, it's harder now for me to get over there and back to the small building when I have to go all the way to the third floor. Now I have to pass practically every girl apartment. How can I resist going inside just for a minute??

Last night, I couldn't resist apartment 77. I chatted with Eddie and Elizabeth. Can you blame me? They're wonderful! After quite a while the phone rang. A perfect distraction. Elizabeth got up to get it and I said to Eddie, "I should probably go. I always tell Kat that I'll be back in a minute and then I end up talking to somebody forever and I don't come home for hours." Elizabeth comes back in the room with the phone, "Em, it's for you. It's Kat."

"You said you'd be back in a minute!!!"

Saturday, September 20, 2003

As a Reading One-to-One tutor, there are several little "games" we have to make sure the students master. One of them is "blending." I give the student three sounds and they blend them together to make a word. If I made the sound for 'c' followed by the sound for 'a' followed by the sound for 't', the student would blend these sounds together and say, "cat." For low readers they often have to sound words out as they go and if they don't know how to blend these sounds together then they're really not reading as much as vocalizing random letter sounds. So blending is important.

I start the exercise with the 'f' column of words to be rehearsed. F-A-T. "Fat." Very good. F-I-B. "Fib." Excellent. F-A-K(e). "F*&k." Uh...

She swore. I just had her say the worst of all foul words. I look nervously around me to see if the other tutors had heard my student cuss. Uh... no, listen to the sounds I make very carefully. Try again. F-A-K(e). She thought hard. Good. Good. Then in a more confident voice, "F*&k." D'oh! A. A. This time I emphasize that 'a' real good even though I'm not supposed to. F-A-K(e). "Fake?" Yes! Great job!!!

We continue on with our lesson, exploring all sorts of different 'f' words. But according to the tutor's guide, I have to go back the word she missed earlier to see if she can do it this time. F-A-K(e). "F*&k. No, fake!"

Close enough. Moving on!!

Friday, September 19, 2003

My parents called on the 7th. Like all conversations with my mother I was reduced to a pile of twitching Em, weeping and banging my head on the floor. I wiggled and moaned and prayed for tornado or fire to make the pain go away. Instead I listened and appeased her with "uh-huhs" and "oh reallies" until finally (for the 5th time) she said, "Well, I think that's everything." And by "everything" she means everything!! I heard about her most current health condition, about the spading of our puppy, and a detailed list of everything that has gone on since I left... in 1999. So the words, "I think that's everything" was almost equivelant to a boy saying, "You're pretty and I brought you chocolate."

But she forgot something. I don't know how it happened but she forgot something.

Almost a week later I get an email from my dad.

Hello Emily,
We forgot to mention to you that Jaime (Jonathan's girl friend) gave birth to a baby girl last Friday. Jamie
e-mailed me the following information:
this is jamie lester..
her name is Milanni Aloha Matautia
born at st joseph in tacoma
weight... 7 lbs
length.... 18 and 3/4 inches
when birth.. Sept. 5th @ 11:22 pm

My mom told me about her toenails and the two-for-one canned food sale at our local Safeway, but she failed to mention the birth of my first niece. The one thing that would have peaked my interest and she just left it out. My dad sent me pictures of her over email today. She's beautiful. So very beautiful.

Tuesday, September 16, 2003

Taking Notes

Apparantly there's still a lot I can learn on the playground. Yesterday I watched a first grade girl make at least ten boys (who were mostly older and all bigger than she was) run all over the playground at her command then run races. These boys didn't want to be running. But they did. Why? Because she was holding their tetherball hostage. "If you want to play, then you have to run to the swings and back. Now run to the tree and back. Now to the fence and back. Very good. Hmmm. If I'm going to decide who's going to play first then you have to race. The winner gets to play first. That wasn't very fast. Try again."

So what did I learn from this? If I want a boy to serve me, then I need to hold their sporting equipment hostage. "Want this football? I need chocolate. Go."

Monday, September 15, 2003

Tired. Oh so very tired. Need sleepy. Sleep...
Scaring Kat

Sometimes I scare Kat with no real effort at all. I can appear out of thin air right under her nose. Really. I can. Why? Because Kat's 5'11 and I'm 5'2... okay... 5'1 and, apparantly, I am far below her normal line of vision. If I'm not jumping around or making a lot of noise (which actuallly doesn't happen all that often) then she doesn't see me coming at all! This can be good fun...

Em was in a gray hoodie with the hood up (hey! I was cold!) and I quietly turned the corner to go into the bathroom where Kat was getting ready (sometimes I follow her around.) She didn't say anything to me. I recognized that she didn't know I was there. I hissed at her (I do that. It's true). She screamed and hit me. I laughed.

But it doesn't just happen with Kat. It's happened with Liz and with at least four other wardies over the summer. Most of the time I don't recognize that they can't see me and me startling them startles me all over again. It's a vicious cycle. But one I can get a kick out of every once in a while...

Friday, September 12, 2003

It's almost 1pm and guess where I am? Not at work! That's right. I went to lunch with Kat and right now I am not at work. It's nice. Really nice. But now... I gots to get stuff done!
My Day Off...

I just woke up about 15 minutes ago and let me tell you, it feels great! That's all.

Thursday, September 11, 2003

It's Thursday (for real this time) and I'm home from work already. It was an early out day and tomorrow just happens to be a no school day. Yay! Hurray! A three day weekend for me. Not you. Me. Me. Me. And I feel really good about it. Except for the fact that all of my friends will be in school or at work. That's a bummer. Too bad. Too bad. And yet... still happy! YAY!!!

Wednesday, September 10, 2003

A Kid at Heart... and Body

My three students had all finally been claimed by their parents and had left. I sighed a relieved sigh and opened the door to leave. "Hey!" There's a tap on my shoulder. "You need to wait for your parent to... oh... sorry." I had turned mid-sentence and the teacher realized her mistake. "Sorry." What do you do?

"Don't worry about it. It happens."

And then you leave. And so I did. And now I'm home. And eating. And happy.

Tuesday, September 09, 2003

Life's Little Accidents

Have you ever heard that it's best to be totally relaxed before a car accident? If you panic and tighten all your muscles and "brace yourself for the blow" then you're really just preparing yourself for worse injuries. An example of this would be an accident involving an intoxicated driver. The drunk guy walks away from the scene with a few minor lacerations screaming something about how he can't find his hat and the other guy's in ICU for weeks. Most likely, they both saw it coming, one just didn't care or realize the weight of the situation and therefore did not "prepare" himself for the accident.

Ever get that feeling that you should be preparing yourself for an "accident" in your life? Get tensed up? I do. And there usually is one, especially if my mom's driving. They're never huge accidents. Just mailboxes and signs usually. Yet, I'm the one that sees it coming and understands that it's going to hurt. I'm the one freaking out and there she is screaming about her freaking hat and turning around to sign to my brother.

But then, the worst of it is, while I'm struggling with a missing limb, I have to be the one to get out of the car and help her unlatch her seat belt and calm her down and convince her that the nail she broke in the accident will grow back.

Yes, none of that made sense. My only point is that somebody should take away that woman's license! Think of the children!!

Friday, September 05, 2003

I have placed myself on "Visitor's Probation" for the duration of one week starting today. Why? Because I'm a dork. One big fat dork. I'm more than a little bit campy, it's true. But I can't even fully blame my lack of sleep for my embarassing behavior. No, no. I know where the source is. It's me. And it's buried deep. It's been worse than usual lately, just in time for "getting to know you week" with all the new people moving in. And who do they meet? Captain Psycho with her babbled speech, delayed reactions and bad hair. I have had to actually run from an apartment... or two... okay three... to escape an embarassing situation I created for myself. And I'm pretty sure my "hey, do you know that one girl?" description code will be the "short, spastic one that runs into things." So my appearances will be limited to a) official ward activities, b) offical ward meetings and c)... uh... I guess there's just the two. See you in a week!

Thursday, September 04, 2003

While observing a 3rd day class during their interactive reading time, I did well holding back the laughter at their comments. Until near the end of the lesson when the teacher was reading some of her top pics from yesterday's journal writing.

She read a piece called "Bugs, Bugs, Bugs" written by one of the students sitting on the carpet.

"Slugs are slimey. Grasshoppers are brown or green and they hop. Lady bugs make the best pets ever. I know from experience. I don't like mosquitos. I'd kill one of it was the last thing I did. Unfortunately, it won't be."

"Unless he gets the West Niles Virus!" shouted a student from the back.

I couldn't help it. I snorted with laughter. The kid was funny. 10 points for using the West Niles Virus in a joke. 10 more points for being quick on your feet. Well done. My hat goes off to the sarcastic 3rd grader in the back.
I love my Ann-Marie. I love her because she's kind and thoughtful and pretty and generous. I love her laugh, her smile, her stories and her willingness and ability to include others. I love the way she makes other people happy without even really trying and how I also can't help but be happy when I'm around her. Yes, Ann-Marie is a find indeed and I'm so glad she's my friend. That's all.

Wednesday, September 03, 2003

I just typed up a huge long blog about my "flake day." The day that even the ol' "smile-and-nod" trick couldn't save me from. But Blogger lost it. It's gone. And now the world will never know about the day that my stupidity was flashed in big neon lights for the whole school to see. It's hard. I know. You don't even care do you?

Tuesday, September 02, 2003

My Chat With Benjamin

Benjamin is dragged to the back of the classroom by the teacher and placed next to me with strict instruction to, "Just sit there! Just sit there next to Miss Hansen and don't move! Do you hear me? Don't move!" Ben had been up to his old tricks again... wandering around the classroom, leaving the classroom without permission, hiding in the closet, laying on the floor and interrupting the class discussion with, "This is boring! I'm way too smart for this!"

So Ben was sent to sit next to me as Mrs. Ord led the rest of the class to their very first P.E. class. Ben tries to get up.

"Uh, I don't think so Buddy." (I call all the kids Buddy. "All y'all look the same!")
"So, what's up, man?" (Another way of avoiding the fact that I forget his name.)
"Sometimes I just want to kick Mrs. Ord."
"That's not okay. We don't kick teachers. We don't even talk about kicking teachers. That's not cool. She's here to help you learn."
"But I already know everything. She's not teaching me anything."
"Oh, is that so?"
"Yes. I'm an excellent reader and I already know all of my times tables."
"Ya, that's all I do at home too. I just read. I'm way better at reading than all of these kids."
"Huh." (He's in the orange reading group. The lowest.) "How about your writing? Are you good at writing?"
"Ya, really good. I'm better than my 14 year old sister."
"Really." (I've seen him write. All his letters are backwards. I have to sit next to him or else he gets frustrated and just stops.)
"Ya. I'm way too smart for this class. I want to be in the second grade."
"You will be."
"Yep. Right after you finish the first grade."
"Grr! I'm too smart for the first grade and nobody believes me!"

I start to talk to him about his family, why he always hides in the closet and how being smart also includes being nice to people and obeying your teacher when his eyes glaze over and he starts to get up. I grab his arm and lead him back down to his chair...

"Where were you going?"
"I just want to go in the closet."
"Because I just want to read my books by myself."
"You just stopped listening to me and started moving towards the closet. Do you do that a lot? Do you get distracted easily?"
"Ya. But then if I try I can start listening again."
"Ya. I just do what I want. I'm too smart for this. I should be in a private school."

Benjamin is a special boy. What would make him think he's the smartest first grader ever? I mean, everybody knows that I'm the smartest first grader ever! Obviously! Kids these days!

Friday, August 29, 2003

I spent thirty minutes today after work looking for two first-graders. Samuel and Spencer. These two six-year-olds each left their homes with their backpacks, got on the bus to go to school, but instead of going to school when they arrived, they ditched out, ran into the adjoining park and hid in the dumpster.

At lunch time they decided it would be a good idea to walk across the park to the school, into the front office and ask the secretary there if they could have some matches to start a fire to "keep warm." Good plan guys.

They were, of course, denied and the boys ran back out to their dumpster in the park. (But honestly, why in the heck didn't the secretary bring the trash covered youngsters to the principal right then? "Oh, isn't that cute? These filthy six-year-olds want matches. No, no matches for you. Run along now you little darlings!")

Back in their dumpsters, they heard the kids on the playground out for afternoon recess. Poking their heads out for a view of the fun, they were spotted by a few soccer players. "Teacher! Teacher! There are some kids in the dumpter!" Sketchy... better check this one out...

The teacher runs out there, fishes the stinky kids out of the trash and drags their nasty behinds back to school grounds. The boys say, "We don't have to go to school. We're not in school right now." Then it was to the recess bench for a good talking to. "What were you thinking hanging out in the trash? You just sit here and think about what you did!" They sat there for 15 minutes and then she sent them into the school to get cleaned up and then told them to report to their teachers thinking they had been in school all day but had made a short recess trip to the dumpster. While the boys were "cleaning up" the recess teacher went to visit their teachers who informed her that they hadn't been to school at all that day. Hmmm... where did those little devils go?

Not in the bathroom cleaning up. That's for sure.

Not on the playground.


They were gone. Again. Thirty minutes later, 8 teachers are out looking along with Spencer and Samuel's parents, the moms are in tears, the teachers inside instructed to check every nook and cranny (six-year-olds are small). We get a phone call from Sam's mom. She found them on the street. She had picked up Sam but Spencer had refused to get in the car and was walking home. Busted.

And the game was over.

They're SIX! Man, when I was six I was too afraid to leave my front yard... but I was also afraid of blue jays, E.T. and Pine Sol. So there it is...

Sunday, August 24, 2003

Question: If two out of four of your "best friend squad" from your youth are now married, and they're both younger than you, does that mean that you have to grow up too?

Question: If you get more compliments on our appearance and smell on days that you don't shower than on days that you do shower, does that mean that hygeine is over rated and showering and brushing your hair should not be done regularly, even if it's a holiday or the day of your best friend's wedding?

Question: Is it normal to jump away from the flowers as if they were infested by some rare and incurable disease instead of rush towards them like all the others as if they were an answer to prayers when it's time for the traditional "throw the bouquet" thingy at weddings?

Question: How many times can you say, "Gee, I dunno my exact plans. Hopefully I'll be getting into grad school this year. No, I'm not dating anybody and yes I realize I'm 22 and several of my younger friends are married." before you get to the center of the tootsie pop and your head and last hint of dignity explodes?

Question: How old is "too old to buy everything your parents say?" And can you still believe the nice things they say?

Question: How do you hug and say I love you to your best friend on her wedding day without crying?

Wednesday, August 20, 2003

In only nine days I will have traveled over 2,169 miles and covered seven states. Good times. Let me tell you! I have fallen in love with Carma all over again (especially Campy Car Carma). "Wait, this song is about drugs!" "Can you tell the difference if I use my fourth finger?" I had a good laugh over driving in a Southeast bound vehicle with "Fresno Bound" written on the side, at funny facial expressions and my own stupid remarks.

"Are you doing okay on this long drive?"
"Ya! Great!"
"You're not bored?"
"How's that?"
"I'm easily amused."
"Oh. By what? Is Carma that amusing?"
"Ya. Sure. And I amuse myself the rest of the time."
"Huh... okay."

I also fell in love with the Martino family, Texas, Micah (again), road trash talk and car sing-alongs. In short, Carma really is "The Carmanator!" It's true. Trust me. You should see her with a Rubik's Cube...


Tuesday, August 12, 2003

Waiting for the Correlation Meeting to begin...

Guy: What's that in your hair? It looks cool.
Me: Thanks. It's just gold hair gel-like color stuff. Just for kicks I guess.
Guy: Cool. (He touches it.)
Me: Thanks.
Guy: Uh... you have kind of a chunk here.
Me: Ya, they used to be all chunks last ni... uh... I mean... I wash my hair.
Guy: Oh...
Me: Hey! At least I brushed it! Man... I hate having to admit when I don't shower. Church is early!

And Church is early. I used to have a personal rule that I would not attend Church unless I was showered, well groomed and well dressed. But I had to change that rule last year when Church started at 8:30am because, quite frankly, that rule would have caused me to go inactive. And we can't have that. No, no. So please excuse the left over sparkles or hair color chunks from Saturday night. And also, tell me I look pretty. And smell nice. And also, buy me pretty things. And some chocolate wouldn't hurt. That's all...

Monday, August 11, 2003

I went to the gym today and "ran" for 40 minutes. For me, that was a marathon of sorts.

And now I'm back and I remember that my favorite McDonald's employee brought me back a fridge full of my favorite McDonald's treat last night. Mmmm.

Guess it's back to the gym.

I feel good about it. Ya. Strong...

Saturday, August 09, 2003

Last night I got a text message on my cell phone around 11:30 from my sister.

And what did it say?

"I love you."

That's all.

I went back three times to make sure that was who it was really from. And each time it said "Jude." It was definitely from my sister. But it was so random. And something she never says to me. Was it a mistake? Maybe she meant to send it to her fiance. Or one of her friends. But maybe she did intentionally send it to me. Wow. I sent her a text message back.

"I love you, too."

The most precious moment my sister and I have had in a long time.

I really hope it was for me. I meant what I said.


Friday, August 08, 2003

I think I must have only two facial expressions. I don't know what they are. All I know is that sad, mad, disappointed, tired and sick all must have the same expression because they all get the same responses.

"Are you mad?"
"No. Tired." (But really disappointed.)
"Tired and sad?"
"Just tired."

Sure. I lied. (Kind of. I really was tired.) But if they all have the same expression, does it really matter? Do I really have to go into why I'm disappointed when I can just write it off as being tired? And does this mean that when I'm tired there are people thinking, "Man, what's she so mad about?" Or "I wonder what happened to make her so sad?"

And if I only have one facial expression for all of those then happy, excited, grateful, etc must all have the same expression as well. Maybe if my facial expressions were more clearly defined I wouldn't have to worry about people thinking I'm mad when I'm just disappointed or have to explain that I'm not sad and still not be believed.

Is there a way to get more facial expressions? Or maybe I can just go down to one. That way nobody will know how I'm feeling. Ever. And I can say whatever I want (or nothing at all) about how I'm feeling and they can't dispute it. Except then maybe people would think I just don't feel at all. That wouldn't be okay. Man, I guess I need more facial expressions.

"I feel............ cold."