Monday, November 27, 2006

Let It Snow!

I love the snow! Snow, snow, snow! It's so pretty. And although it's wet and cold and slippery, it possesses a power I can't help but love... the power to get me out of having to go to work. In the great Northwest we have lots of hills and our snow is of the wet variety which easily freezes into ice (and it's evil twin "black ice") which would be stupid to drive in. So lots of schools and places of business will close their doors for safety reasons. And what's safer than sitting in your own living room in your new Christmas Snoopy pajamas drinking hot chocolate and watching your favorite Christmas movies? Nothing, my friends. Nothing is safer than that. So tonight I pray for snow!

Friday, November 17, 2006

Ticket Please

We had an assembly today to celebrate the end of this year's fundraiser. A counselor got his head shaved. Another counselor got her hair dyed red. A teacher got his beard shaved. Another teacher gave away a shopping spree. The kids were excited about going. The ones that actually did the fundraiser got a ticket to sit in the best seats on the floor.

I've been working at this school since the beginning of the year. I yell at a hundred kids every day to make them stop running in the hall, or to reprimand them after they're caught screaming profanities or fighting. They usually look at me like I'm a freak and then continue whatever I told them to stop doing.

I guess it's because they think I'm just a random student like them that just happens to think I can tell them what to do. Because today before I entered the gym, the 8th grade ticket collector asked me if I had a ticket. At first I didn't know what to say and there was an awkward pause as he held out his hand waiting and I jumbled around in my pocket for my district ID badge before I finally said, "Wait, I don't need a ticket. I'm a teacher."

Don't worry. There were several other teachers around who heard the exchange and laughed so hard I thought I was going to have to call an ambulence. It's not like they needed another excuse to make fun of me. I'm already known as just "Baby" by a growing number of the staff. Hilarious.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Home Sick

I'm sick. And not just a little sick. I have a flu virus with the nausea inducing flare and energy of Richard Simmons. It knocked on my door briefly during 4th period Thursday afternoon. But I shrugged it off. A three-day weekend was nearing and I had plans. Big plans. Plans that didn't include going to work and will wrestling with middle school kids. So I went to Pounders with the girls and felt fine. Better than fine. The 4th period glich was almost completely forgotten as I drove home Thursday night singing and car dancing to Vanilla Ice (thanks to my new favorite radio station Movin' 92.5). The next morning I felt fine too. It was Friday. And I was home. I found The Megan Mullally Show and giggled through my first viewing. It ended and I thought about my next move. Would I go see "Stranger Than Fiction" and then go clothes shopping and then drive up to Renton? Or would I go clothes shopping, drive up to Renton and then go see "Stranger Than Fiction" and invite my sister? Decisions... decisions... aaagghhh!!! The pain! The misery! The feeling of millions of very tiny yet very fit (Richard Simmons again) flu viruses hearing the same war cry and biting down in unison. I wanted to die.

I writhed and cried (yes... real tears) as I had visions of popsicles and medicine. But I could barely crawl to the bathroom. There was no way I'd be able to make it to my car. I certainly wouldn't be able to make it to the store and back. Also, there was the whole raining and flooding situation thing going on outside. I called my parents. They pointed out the rain situation and said that if I was still sick tomorrow that they'd bring me medicine. I was still sick the next day.

They brought me medicine. I felt better.

I was still sick Sunday too.

And today I tried to go to work. Well, I did go to work. But I didn't last long. I was asked to go home before the real school day even started. Everyone I know that's had the flu this season says it lasts at least two weeks. I don't have two weeks. I'll be taking my Gatorade, popsicles and medicine to work with me tomorrow. I shouldn't be contagious any more. My fever broke on Saturday. I'll just have to rough it. Four more days until the weekend. Six and a half days until Thanksgiving Break. Almost there...

P.S. Strawberry Garorade tastes just like melted Strawberry Jello. I have mixed feelings about that. Grape's definitely my favorite.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Can I Get That To Go?

Go-Tarts... Are you freaking kidding me?? Aren't Pop-Tarts in nature already technically a "To Go" food? Did they really need to develop a "new" product to make them easier to eat in the car or office? This is really upsetting me. Can you imagine that board meeting? Discussing new product ideas... and some guy in the back raises his hand and says... "Sometimes I want to eat Pop-Tarts in the morning, because as we know it's the perfect breakfast food, but it's hard for me to eat them when I'm on the go if it's not in the traditional "breakfast bar" shape. I propose we make Pop-Tarts more friendly for busy people by making Go-Tarts!" And then everybody cheered. Because, like most people, they'd agree to anything in order to get out of a meeting.

Happy Halloween

Last night Lisa and I almost went to a costume party. I didn't mind missing the party so much. (We got lost somewhere in Redmond... I know... big shocker...) We still met a bunch of people at Red Robin for some good times. And everybody knows that getting dressed up is the best part anyway...

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Name the Event...

This is a picture taken sometime between April and August of 2005. I think. In the same roll, there are pictures of Julymas of that year and also pictures from when we dressed up to go to see Star Wars. But for the life of me I can't remember this picture. Do you remember?

Friday, October 20, 2006

It's The Great Praxis, Emmy Lou Who

I got my Praxis results back today. This is the test that another new special ed teacher told me that out of her graduating class (from WSU) of 200, only 2 of them passed it the first time. That's a 1% pass rate. Not good. When I went to take the test, on stand-by, the others there had all failed it once (or twice) and were there trying again.

I had a lot riding on this test, too. If I failed, I would most likely lose my job since a passing score is required to obtain a Washington State Teaching Certificate. Until I get that certificate, I'll be paid as a para-educator. As soon as I get it, I'll be paid retroactively up to my agreed upon salary. So to recap... failing grade = no job, poverty. Passing grade = money, job.

So you can imagine that I was shaking a little bit when I found a letter from ETS in my mailbox this afternoon. Inside was the document on the left. There is a possible 200 points and I got... 200 points. A perfect score! Looks like I'll be paying my rent, eating AND buying a new skirt!

Welcome home, money. Did you miss me?

Also, I watched "It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown" tonight. Jealous?

Furthermore, I watched "1 vs 100" tonight for the second time. I don't know if I can watch it anymore, though, because it makes me depressed. Because it shows how stupid Americans are and it makes me embarrassed that it's so flamboyantly displayed. They roped in poor Ken Jennings who has proven that the camera adds at least ten observable pounds to a person's boredom as well. Tonight, a man won thousands of dollars because he knew that Cindy Lou Who was the name of the child from "How the Grinch Stole Christmas." Or at least he could pick it out of an A, B, or C multiple-choice line-up. Genius.

It's The Great Praxis, Emmy Lou Who!

Monday, October 16, 2006

Three-Day Weekend

This past weekend was a 3-day weekend. It was a much needed break. I don't know what it is about 28 middle schoolers but spending time with them is like spending time under the flourescent bulbs in Joe Versus the Volcano. "Suck...(spit sucking sound), suck! Suck, suck, suck!" They drain the life, patience and will to live right out of me. And yet, somehow, I love it. I must really be in the right field if I can come home as tired and drained as I do and yet be excited to see my students again the next day. Vicious circle.
So the idea of getting a day off, an opportunity to sleep a full night in my comfy bed, not worry about the Mt. Rainier sized pile of paperwork on my desk and just read my book (I'm currently reading "The Memory Keeper's Daughter" by Kim Edwards) and see my friends and family... well... it made me rethink the whole committing myself to a mental hospital thing. Rethink but not dismiss entirely.
So, Thursday night I stayed home and watched "The Office" because it's been a giant beam of sunshine in my dreary Northwest job. So, I watched my shows. ("My Name Is Earl" was on that night too.) And I read my book. And I fell asleep without setting my alarm.
Friday morning I stayed in bed until almost 10am reading my book and just loving my bed. I slowly got ready for the day, cleaned my apartment and packed my things for a weekend in Renton. My mom and I spent almost the entire day shopping. I didn't get anything. Well, a package of white socks (which I really needed since flip-flop weather is coming to an end). I picked out a couch that I may or may not actually buy but that I really want. It's a black leather couch that's really cheap and would match my apartment perfectly (mostly because there's nothing in my apartment so there's really nothing that it could possibly clash with). It made me hopeful that soon I'll have a place to sit down at my place and would allow me to invite people over with more to offer than a spot of the carpet. My mom and I bought a Snoopy costume for Mitzi. She hated it. Oreo and Speckles weren't too fond of it either. But I loved it.
Friday night, I watched "Deal or No Deal" with the Faerbers enjoying the pleasant escape from... stuff. Then Saturday, I had a great time chatting with Julie on the sidelines as we watched Preston and then Shelby play in their soccer games. They were kind of precious. Later that night, I finally got to meet little Makenna and see Michelle and her family who I have totally missed. Makenna's even more beautiful in person. I know. It's hard to believe.
On Sunday, I went to my sister's house and we watched the Seahawks game (Did anybody else watch? We won in the last 60 seconds of the game!) and then a disc of season two of "The Office" while we ate lunch. It was pretty much the perfect 3-day weekend. I came back to work this morning relaxed and happy. That lasted for two periods. Halfway through third I was ready to have myself committed again...


Next weekend I'm going to Lopez. So maybe I'll make it through another week... maybe.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Salmon Days

Last weekend I went to Salmon Days in Issaquah. Little Shelby was in the parade for Girl Scouts. She was dressed as a Do-Si-Do cookie. Kind of precious. I also saw a ton of people I haven't seen in forever. It was kind of like being at a giant neighborhood BBQ. Happiness. I hadn't been to Salmon Days since the last time I was actually in the parade. I think I was a high school sophomore.

It's also kind of an interesting experience to grow up some place, move away and then come back because when you come back you suddenly realize that a lot of the things you took for granted as normal actually... aren't. For example, almost everything in the parade had to do with The Puget Sound, Recycling or (of course) Salmon. We are sea-life and environment obsessed. And I love it!

Saturday, September 30, 2006

We've Got Spirit! Yes We Do!

Friday was Spirit Day. And I got all dressed up in my school colors of green and gold. I'm definitely a cool teacher.

After my hectic day (we were on assembly schedule which works just fine for most teachers unless you're me and teach all different grades at all different periods which left me with three different classes in my room which made me cram almost twenty 6th, 7th and 8th graders into a half-classroom made for seven) I went out for "drinks with the girls." This was fantastic. I got to hang out with some of my new friends at the school and eat a very delicious cheeseburger. My drink was a Coke. And that was good too. Very cold.

I like cold beverages.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Pajama Day

This is Spirit Week. And today was Pajama Day. So I wore my pajamas. The red and black ones with Scotty Dogs. And a pink bow on the shirt. Because it was the most ridiculous. And I wanted to make my students laugh. But at the end of the day the joke was on me. Because I forgot I had a district meeting right after work. And I forgot to bring a change of clothes. And then I was almost out of gas and had to stop at Costco to get gas (and treats for my students) in my Scotty Dog pajamas.

Tomorrow's Twin Day.

I don't want to talk about it.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Open House

So tonight was our middle school's Open House. Only five (out of 27) of my parents came. One almost broke into tears with concern over her son. One was completely irrate because she felt I wasn't doing enough (remember that school barely started) even though I don't even teach her daughter. One diagnosed ME as ADHD.

"So, your son is actually making good progress. I've been..."
"You have ADHD."
"You have ADHD."
"Haha... well, maybe. I hate to sit still! Hahaha."
"No, really. You have ADHD."
"You talk fast and I've been watching you. Your feet are always moving and when you talk you move your hands."
"Well, I'm kind of nervous which is why me feet are fidgity. And my little brother is Deaf so I sign a lot and now I have the annoying habit of moving my hands when I talk. But I can sit still if I will myself to and I have excellent focus... so..."
"You have ADHD."
"Sigh... Ok."

That was the first time I went to an informal IEP meeting and walked away with as the diagnosee.

Side Note: I was at work by 7am and didn't leave until 9:30pm. I got yelled at by my partner teacher/mentor twice for things that were out of my immediate control. My alarm didn't go off when it was supposed to. My car didn't start up right away when I left work tonight. I hate my life.

Monday, September 04, 2006

The Humidity. It's Killing Me.

Last night I was so ridiculously hot. I was wearing shorts and a tank top and had giant fan blowing on me and I was still sweating. I couldn't remember being this hot during this whole Utah summer. Why would I be more hot in Tacoma? My mom called last night to complain about the heat. "Are you hot? I'm hot! It's this darn humidity!" Aha! I had forgotten about that darn humidity!

Even this morning... it's only 55 degrees. But the humidity is at 86%. At the same time, in Provo it's 63 degrees but the humidity is only at 45%.

I think I'd rather have B.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Sweet Sweet Furniture

I got a bed today! Hurray!! I also got my piano. I can't even tell you how happy this makes me. This place is finally starting to look less like a storage unit and more like an apartment.

I also got a job! Yippee! I'll be working in a middle school teaching special education to sixth through eighth graders. They'll all be bigger than me but I think I'll survive. I have the withering mom look down. I'll have to go to work on Monday to set up but I've had the whole summer off so I really can't complain.

It's time to use that beautiful bouquet of freshly sharpened pencils.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

It Sucks and It Cuts

I got in a car accident today. I was at the tail end of a three-car pile-up. It was just the icing on the cake, really. Yesterday was my grandma's birthday. The first one of those since she passed away three months ago. We went to the cemetary with flowers. She doesn't even have a headstone yet. More than that, I don't have my WA teaching license yet. There was a bit of a hold-up and it turns out that I took the wrong test. I may not be certified until December. I hope I get to keep my job. My student loan payments are a bit more than I expected. I still haven't gotten paid for working last month because I gave them the wrong apartment number by mistake. I'm living off of my parents' mercy. I have no couch and no bed.

My life. It sucks and it cuts.

Turn it off, man! Turn it off! You're sucking my will to live!

Thursday, August 24, 2006

For Rent

Somebody typed in "carnival rides for rent, glendale, az" into Google and found... me. It made me laugh out loud. You know... LOL. Or is that "lots of love" in IM lingo? I don't care. Maybe I'll use it to describe your mom who is a "load of lard." LOL! YMIF!

But I digress. From what topic I don't know. But if there was a clear topic established then there would certainly be digression. Which is a word I just made up, I think. Because when I went to, digression was not a listed form of the word. Huh. But I digress.

My point is... Mr. Ride Renter will find no luck finding what he needs.

My life is certainly a carnival ride... but it's not for rent.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Increased Speed Ahead

This is a sign I saw much too often on my road trip from Provo, UT to Renton, WA. I saw most often in Oregon whose speed was already a national low at 65MPH. It took us forever to get through. Would it have killed them to place an "Increased Speed Ahead" sign on some parts of the highway to make up for lost time?


I'm in Washington! I'm sleeping at my parents' house tonight and then moving into my new apartment tomorrow morning. More exciting news tomorrow. Must sleep...

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Prom Queen

Did you know I love you? Because I do. I love you. I love you.I love you.I love you.

I love you.

Thank you Kat, Nama, Lisa, Ann-Marie, Liz, Chris, Michael, Heather, Camille, Matt, Teju, Nicole, David, Brandi, Lincoln, Lewis, Natalie, Hailey, Shnook, Jay, Matt, Bryce, Chad, Corey, Erika, Duard, Jon, Ellyn, Joe, Jes, Ruth, Jen, Jena, Eddie and Andy!

I love you.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Back to the Pond

I had some fish. Four of them, actually. One small one and three even smaller ones. I got them out of a pond in the park a few months ago. I was really going after some tadpoles because I wanted to watch them grow into frogs. But they were too fast for me. So I just took the few fish that landed themselves in my net, put them in my little tank and took them home. I fed them well and watched them swim. But I never named them.

I'm moving soon and decided it was best to set them free. So last night around midnight Lisa and I drove to the park and Lisa emptied the fish back into the pond they came from.

Not an exciting story. But a story still the same.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Too Old To Hear The Ring

It turns out that teenagers can now download ringtones that only people under twenty can year. I went to the website where they sell these rings and it turns out that my hearing ends at the same point as most the people my age. The 17.7kHz tone was just a whisper. I am too old to hear these teen rings. Now, if only there was a way to make their voices go into the same range then going to places like the mall and a public pool would suddenly be bearable again for the rest of us.

Also, these tones seem to irritate teens. Businesses have actually installed speakers that send out a constant stream of high-end kHz to keep teens from loitering in front of their shops without disturbing their adult customers. Maybe there's a way to win back the mall and public pools after all! They should sell small speakers that play these tones that a person can wear in order to create a teenager-free ten yard moving radius around the wearer. I'm sitting on a gold mine!

Monday, July 31, 2006

You've Got Mail

I got this card in the mail today from my friend, Sarah, who is currently suffering her way through a Tucson summer. The picture was on the front and inside were the words printed in the second picture. It made me giggle. A lot. I kind of choked a little bit. Happy...

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Hello New Friend

This is my new friend. She has "MacBook Pro" written on her(?) but I don't think that's her real name. But I don't know what to name her yet. Yes, I just decided that it's definitely a her. So there. And I love her. She's shiny and new and she has an installed camera and DVD burner. She makes pretty sounds and her screen lets me see lots of pretty things at once. Pretty, pretty, pretty. Tell me what you think I should name her. I'm open to middle names as well...

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Bye Bye Mama

I just dropped my mom off at the airport. Her week-long stay has come to a close. And do you know what? It was quite delightful. Of course, she made me a bit crazy from time to time but overall it was a wonderful visit. She was very kind, very helpful and very generous. We got all of my things packed and ready for the move in the first couple of days. She took me shopping for food and a computer. She complimented me and smiled a lot.

Yesterday, I took her to Salt Lake City and showed her Temple Square again. We even went on a carriage ride tour of the city. She seemed so relaxed and happy. I was glad to see her like that. Maybe moving up to Washington will work out great after all. Maybe.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Dark Doors

When I was six or seven. Maybe eight or nine. (Before eighteen it's all a little blurry...)

When I was a child, my sister was chasing me around the house. She was teasing me and hitting me so I went to tell my mom who was already in bed down the hall. The hallway was painted white with dark wood doors. The hallway was dark and so was my parents' bedroom but I knew right where to turn. I ran as fast as I could, not bothering to slow down for the turn into the bedroom and WHAM! I ran right into my parents' bedroom door. They had decided to close their door that night (probably to drown out the noise of my sister and I screaming in the living room) and I couldn't tell the difference between a shut dark-colored door and an open passageway between two dark rooms.

And just tonight, as I tiptoed past my slumbering mother in my dark bedroom I decided to shut myself in the bathroom before turning on the light to be sure not to wake her. But I once again failed at telling the difference between a shut dark-colored door and an open passageway between two dark rooms because it happened again. I ran into the door.

Lucky for me, I was walking this time. Lucky for my mom, she could sleep through a dump truck running into a nitroglycerine plant.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Bonding Over Softball

Here's a conversation between my mother and I just moments ago while watching the world cup softball game between the USA and Japan.

Mom: Hey, didn't you use to play softball?
Em: It was just my life for thirteen years...
Mom: Yeah, I thought that was you. I, uh, remember going to all of those games...
Em: Sure, there was that one you went to when I played T-ball and it was our turn to bring treats so you showed up with Twix and Capri Sun.
Mom: So you remember!

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Two Years Gone Yet Still A Pain In My Side

On July 26, 2004 I had my first experience with a kidney stone. The timing was bad because I didn't yet have health insurance. That didn't kick in until almost a month later. Which means my ER visit and my CT scan bill fell completely on me. It was expensive. Very expensive. So, as suggested by my bishop, I wrote a letter to the hospital explaining my situation. They wrote me back saying that they reduced my bill and would only require me to pay $20 a month until it was all paid off. They didn't tell me how much they reduced the bill by but the amount they said I owed was significantly less than the original number and I was grateful.

I paid the $20/month for almost a year until I got a raise and had enough money to pay the rest off in April of 2005. I was free.

But then yesterday I got a call from some lady saying I owed $350 for ER expenses. I was confused but I paid it. And today I called the hospital to ask if the agency that called me was legit and to have them look at my account. The hospital lady said that their computer said my balance was paid in full back in April of 2005 but that she would transfer me over to the ER wing. The ER wing lady said she knew nothing about the $350. She said she was sure the agency was legit, though, because doctors bill seperately and it's quite common for this to happen.

"Doctor? What doctor?"
"The ER doctor. You have to pay for his services."
"Right. But I got a bill for the ER."
"Yes. For medicine and shots and stuff... not for the doctor. They charge seperately, depending on who serves you."
"Are you serious?"
"Yes. I also see here that you never paid your ER bill."
"Yes, you owe $700."
"For what?"
"For your ER visit."
"But I thought you said that the money I gave the agency yesterday paid for that."
"No, that was for the doctor. You never paid for the shots and stuff either."
"Sure I did. I wrote a letter to the hospital and I paid $20 a month for almost a year and then I paid off the remaining balance."
"Oh, I see what you're saying. No, that was just for your CT scan. Your ER bill was never included in that."
"Are you serious?"
"Yes. We don't really communicate with that part of the hospital."
"So, I got three seperate bills and even though my letter included them all, only one section of the hospital responded and that lump sum only included the CT scan?"
"Well, I never saw any other bills."
"They were returned."
"I moved. But not until late August."
"That's right."
"So the ER and the doctor didn't bill me until over a month later?"
"Probably several months later."
"And so instead of calling me, the doctor waited two years and then sent my balance to an agency and the ER just hoped I would call one day wanting to pay?"
"I suppose so."
"Alright. How much do I owe you again?"
"$700. But you can pay in installments if you'd like."
"That would be nice. Divide it by four and I'll pay it off in four months."
"Thanks. I feel like an idiot."
"Don't. It happens more than you know."

And that's how a kidney stone that was passed in 2004 just cost me over $1,000 in 2006.

One Time I Rocked So Hard I Killed A Man

My mom flies in tonight. I have to leave in just four hours to pick her up. And I'm going to have to work hard to hide my rock and roll lifestyle. Because she doesn't know...

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Crayola Accumulation

I've started the packing process. I'm slowly going through all of my storage boxes. There's the keep pile. The donate pile. The throw-away pile. And then, once I saw the trend, I created the Crayola marker pile. Because every box or bag I opened contained at least one box of Crayola markers.

As of this afternoon, I'm up to eighteen boxes. Eighteen! What could one girl possibly need with eighteen boxes of Crayola markers? I don't know. I really don't. I'm not even sure how this came to be a reality.

Apparantly I'm the type of person that would rather buy a new one of something than look for the one I know I have.

This would also explain why I have seven copies of the same book. Four bottles of the same lotion. Six bottles of Excedrin. Seven tubes of glow-in-the-dark bracelets. And fifteen boxes of sparklers.

There are going to be some pretty happy kids at the D.I. next weekend.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

So Long Dear Friend

So it turns out that the Superman Arctic Blast Slurpee is dead. And contrary to the opinion of these guys, I loved it. More than you'll ever know.

It was blue love. It was happiness. It was delicious. And now it's gone.

A moment of silence, please...

Friday, July 14, 2006

A Flippy By Any Other Name...

I got a new phone. It's called Motorola V360. But I think it needs a new name. I'm considering Flippy. But I don't know it well enough yet to say for sure.

There is something I do know about it. It's ridiculously hard to use. My previous phones have had pretty much just two functions. 1) dial and answer calls. 2) receive and send text messages.

I was content with this but my phone grew old and started dropping calls (which got mysteriously worse after it got wet at 3:30 in the morning on the 4th of July when the sprinklers came on in the front yard I was "sleeping" in off of the Provo parade route). So I had to get a new one.

On my new phone, I wanted to be able to assign rings to specific people so that I could know who was calling before I... you know... read the caller ID.

So I had to get a Motorola. And this was the cheapest phone with that function. And it also happens to have a digital camera, a video camera and an MP3 player. It also has a thick manual to "help" a person use it but really it's just 100 pages of terms and conditions and then a diagram with arrows pointing to keys on the phone with labels like "Smart key" and "Send key."

But after only a day and a half of cussing and pushing random buttons I think I've finally learned to appreciate it's devilish charm and harness it's power. I can now assign ring tones. Dial by just saying a name. Take a picture. Record a short video. And send a text message. And one day, one fine day, I'll be able to use that MP3 player. Watch out!

Thursday, July 06, 2006

My Celebrity Cousins

This is the photo on my BYU ID. It's the photo I submitted to MyHeritage. The computer scans your photo and then tells you which celebrities you look like and to what degree you look like them. They provide you with five women and five men that most look like you. And these were my results...

Justin Timberlake – 72%
Rachel McAdams – 71%
Emma Watson – 71%
Gary Sinise – 66%
Nicole Kidman – 64%
Mischa Barton – 62%
Chris Noth – 62%
Leonardo DiCaprio – 61%
Eva Longoria – 60%
Dennis Quaid – 60%

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Pre-Visit Jitters

My mom is coming. She'll be here for a full week. Maybe more. I wasn't really listening to the details. The initial shock that she was coming at all put me in a stupor for the rest of the conversation. The point is, she's coming.

My dad, sister and I discussed this option while I was home last month. I reminded them that she would need to get out of the house a lot and that she needed to be kept busy for a while to help her move on after grandma's passing. "Maybe she could even come down early and help me pack before making the drive back up to Seattle," I said without considering the consequences. And they all too eagerly jumped on the bandwagon and pushed me on top of the mom grenade.

I will, of course, have to be entirely packed before she gets here because although my mother is a wonderful packer (I've never seen anybody cram so much into a trunk before... except for Lisa), she's also a pack rat. Way more than me. She can't handle throwing anything away. And I have lots to throw away. Most of these things are things she gave me. If I throw them away before she gets here, chances are she won't notice anything's missing. I really can't imagine her saying, "Hey! Where's that pink, purple and orange stuffed bug/alien/bear(?) thing I gave you three years ago?" However, if she sees it and then sees me throw it in the discard pile she's sure to demand to know why I hate her so much that I'd throw away such a thoughtful give that she picked out for me. And that's just too much pressure.

However, I do think that having my mom visit me will be a good thing. She's never really taken an interest in what I do or where I live and I'm kind of excited to introduce her to my friends and show her what I've been doing with my life. "I think we're going to be okay here. There's a thin candy shell. Hmmm... surprised you didn't know that."

Tuesday, July 04, 2006


This afternoon I watched the launch of the Discover. It was the first launch I'd seen since January 28, 1986. I was five and I don't think I really realized how much it shook me up until today when the countdown started and then fire and smoke filled the screen. I sat clenched, unable to breath until the announcer said they were safely into orbit. It was pretty awesome to watch and I was a tiny bit jealous of the adventure the astronauts were beginning. But not so jealous that I'd be willing to risk my life to take their place.

But as I listened to the pre-launch ramble by the NASA guys and the CNN people I got more and more disgusted with the whole thing. I mean, they're spending billions of dollars on this project and risking lives with each launch. And for what? A cure for cancer? A possible solution to our fuel problem? No. They're doing all of this so we can eventually, years and years down the line, land on Mars. You see, we have to finish this space station so that human beings can learn to live in that sort of atmosphere for several years. And once we're able to accomplish that then we might be able to send some willing citizens to Mars. I'm sure they'll bring a car.

I'm not saying it wouldn't be cool. It would definitely be cool. But why is it so important that we go to Mars? How is it going to improve life for us? What did we get out of going to the Moon besides some carefully selected rocks and a few cool pictures? I mean, we've never gone back. It obviously didn't help mankind along enough to warrant another visit. So is going to Mars really worth the money and labor? I don't know. Maybe I'm missing the big picture or perhaps there's a greater good that I didn't see between the lines.

I don't get it. But it sure did look cool.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006


I'm currently driving around a black 2006 Toyota Rav 4. My car's in the shop (you remember my little parking lot incident) and the other guy's insurance is also covering a rental for me while my little car is under the knife.

I waited for over an hour for Enterprise to drive three blocks to pick me up from the shop. And the guy felt bad. So he did something for me. With a sly smile, he said, "Insurances only cover little, compact cars but since I kept you waiting I'll upgrade you to a Rav 4 for free!"

I smiled, nodded and offered a weak thanks. Because I had no idea what he meant by "Rav 4". Then he realized that the car wasn't ready yet so he kept me waiting for another fifteen minutes.

He felt bad for making me wait again and so he gave me a quarter tank of gas for free and pointed to the Rav 4. It was beautful. And large. Very, very large. "Wow, thanks buddy. A free gas guzzler that will allow a single girl like me to fit four kids, all of their friends and enough camping gear, sporting equipment, beach stuff and snacks to last the entire summer."

"You're welcome!"

But it really is pretty. I'm more than a little bit in love. I'm searching my brain for more errands to run just so I'll have another excuse to take my new, temporary friend for a drive.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

It's Electric

Liz was nice enough to drive me to the airport. We were about to pull out onto the road when Liz asked what that buzzing sound was. It was coming from my suitcase. I thought that maybe it was my laptop. I didn't bother going through my suitcase to turn my computer off because I figured that battery would die before we got to the airport.

When it came time to check my luggage in to the professional "chuck your bag in the hole" guys, it was still buzzing. I thought the security guys would have a problem with it. They didn't. The battery would definitely be dead before I got to Seattle.

When I got my luggage off the luggage merry-go-round, it was still buzzing. I knew for sure that it wasn't my computer because my computer wouldn't live that long. I was curious. But not enough to open my bag. Surely, by the time I got to my parents' house whatever was buzzing would be dead.

But when I got there, it was still buzzing. I opened my suitcase and found a note from the airline saying that they had searched my bag. Yeah, that's fine. But would it have been such a hassle for them to TURN OFF MY ELECTRIC TOOTHBRUSH while they were in there?

The Energizer Bunny was still going but he was ticked.

Sunday, June 04, 2006


I made the rounds yesterday (meaning the 3rd because it was the 4th that I started writing this blog but then couldn't finish it because I realized I read my itinerary wrong and was about to miss my plane and then when I got back to UT my internet was out until just this evening), stopping by to see some friends I hadn't gotten to see much since this week was mostly about my grandma. Even most of yesterday was spent with my family. We went to see a movie and then drove to Burien to eat at Huckleberry Square which is a restaurant my grandma used to take us to all the time. (And then we got a flat tire and had to find somebody who would put a spare on...which was also flat... and then had to drive to the shop to get it fixed.)

We didn't pull into the driveway until mid-afternoon and then I went out to see Gina and Julie and Jennifer. In that order. My last stop was at Jennifer's and we ending up talking until around 2am. When I pulled into my parents' driveway the living room light was on and I could see my dad pacing.

Where have you been?
Visiting. I saw Gina. And then I went to dinner with Julie and Lance. And then I went to Jennifer's.
I tried to call you. Why didn't you pick up?
My cell phone doesn't work in the valley. You know that.
You should have called!
I'm sorry, dad. I really am. I'm not used to checking in with anybody. But you knew I had a key and that I stay out late sometimes and that I'm TWENTY-FIVE!
I know.. I know... but I worry. Also, I did something you're not going to like...
No, dad. You didn't!
You called people?!
At this hour?
The Powells... I woke Mike up. And the Faerbers. Julie said to call her in the morning. And the Smarts. Adam seemed really worried.
I'm sorry! I worry. You remember what it was like when Judy came home for the summer. I didn't get any sleep.Even though I know you're grown and that you probably do the same stuff when you're away at college I can't help but worry when you're supposed to be HERE!
Sorry, dad. I really am. It was selfish and thoughless of me not to call. But, you're not going to wig out like this when I move to Tacoma are you?
No. It's far enough away that I won't worry like this.

My point: My dad is a really, really, really nice man. He used to do this on an almost weekly basis when I was in high school. I would get yelled at by half the ward on Sunday for not letting my dad know where I was and forcing him to call them in the middle of the night looking for me. I swear I left a note...

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Red Lipstick

Today was my grandma's funeral. It was actually quite beautiful. I gave my first eulogy which also went pretty well. I was able to keep it together until the very end. I enjoyed talking about my grandma. I'm proud to be her granddaughter.One thing about my grandma was that she always wore red lipstick. Always. Even if she was just running to the grocery store, she couldn't leave the house without putting it on. My grandma loved the color red. Maybe it had something to do with the fact that her name is Ruby. Or maybe it's just the color that best matches her personality since she was very lively, outgoing and charismatic. There are four tubes of lipstick on my grandma's dresser. Rare Ruby. Regency Red. Berry Berry Moist. And Red. Today I borrowed Rare Ruby to wear her trademark during the ceremony. I don't think I pulled it off as well as she did but I gave it my best. My grandmother was beautiful. Here are some pictures of her...

as a beautiful baby...
as a high school grad...
with my Grandpa Wayne...
and the grandma I remember...

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

I'm Not Even In Here

I cracked in the first 48 hours and resorted to some old tricks. Mainly hiding in the bathroom, random bedrooms between the wall and the bed and behind storage boxes in the garage ("Just looking for my old books!"). Not much slows down my mother, though. Even the ol' bathroom trick doesn't cut it since she doesn't hesitate to walk in even if you're on the toilet or in the shower. I relearned to lock the door. Now she knocks and knocks and knocks. Rattles the handle. Knocks some more. "Emily? Are you in there?"
"Emily, I know that one! What're you doing in there?"
"I'm quilting mom... I'll be out in a second!"

I just need some time. And some space. And maybe some sleeping pills. And money. And an invisibility cloak. And maybe the ability to fly or at least levitate above eye level. And probably a certified therapist.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Keepin' It Real in Renton

Wow. Ugh. and Mercy! Please! is all I can say at the moment. As soon as I can put the past two days in words I'll pass them on. For now, the muscle relaxants with codeine my sister gave me (that she bought in Canada) are looking pretty good.


Thursday, May 25, 2006

Not My Fault

State Farm called today to tell me that they will be covering the
damages on my car. Hurray! Damages to my vehicle came to $1,018.94.
Now the only problem is this... They're mailing me the check and
estimate to bring to the car-fixer guys today which means it'll be
here by Monday at the earliest. And I'll already be in Seattle. And
I won't be back until the 4th and the very next day I start work at
summer school. Guess I'll be hoofing it for a few days. I suppose it
is only eleven and a half blocks. If only there were a 7-11 on the

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

I Love Being a Teacher

Today was a beautiful day to be a teacher. Our weekly team meeting turned into breakfast at Mimi's. When we finally made our way back to work I played Soduko for a few hours until the real fun began. Our all-school water fight. We had the big kids in one field and the little kids in the other. Teachers lined the roof armed with buckets of water, water balloons and hoses. Hundreds of kids ran around crazy in their swimming suits and water guns. And I was out there with my new water gun that holds almost three liters of water, running around crazy with my swimming suit on. I'm eight. At one point, the fire department came. I thought somebody might have been hurt but instead of firemen running to help, they ran to their fire hose, hooked it up and sprayed the student body. We played for over an hour before it was time to go home. This is a picture of me post-water fight. I have some other pictures of the kids running wild but I figured it probably wasn't a good idea to post pictures of children that aren't mine without parental consent. Probably. But let me tell you... it was beautiful summer chaos. Ah... I love being a teacher!

Sunday, May 21, 2006


My grandma's name is Ruby. She has one child, my mother, and three grandchildren.

When I was a kid, my grandma lived in Burien, WA in a small two-bedroom house next to the freeway. It was the same house that my mom was raised in. While in that house, my grandma watched three of her own children die and then her husband when my mother was only in the 3rd grade.

My grandma was a fighter. She worked long hours at Boeing to support herself and my mother. She loved to talk about her years there and would explain her job and what an honor it was to have that job as a woman at that time. My grandma was a survivor of The Depression which we were reminded of each time we found a roll or sugar packets from restaurants in her purse. She would tell us stories and sing us songs from that time and I was always impressed with her. In her 60's, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Back then survival rates were low but my grandma wasn't the kind of girl to let it get her down. She lost a breast but she thought of it as an opportunity at a new start. She quit smoking and did her best to eat healthy and live each day with a better outlook.

My grandma was full of energy and charm. She loved to go dancing. There were several clubs she frequented when she was younger and she never seemed to be lacking for a date. Even in her 70's and 80's men would call on my grandmother. I remember a couple of years ago, I went to the Senior Citizen Center with my grandma. She went there every Tuesday and Thursday to "shoot the bull with the guys." When we walked into the cafe, there was a round table with five old men and every single one of them lit up when my grandma walked in. They beckoned her over, bought her coffee and then hung on every word she said. My grandma went from room to room and from group of people to group of people. Everybody knew my grandma and everybody was delighted to see her. And my grandma treated each of them as if they were the only important person in her life. As her granddaughter, I knew just what that felt like.

As a kid, about once a month I would get a turn spending the night at grandma's. She would only take us one at a time and only after we were potty trained. As a grandma, she wouldn't change diapers or break up sibling fights. But that was alright with me. Going to grandma's was a special time because of that. It was just her and me. She'd play cards with me and we'd do word searches together. She taught me all kinds of card games and tricks. Sometimes we'd just sit and watch television together and eat ice cream. We'd wake up and she would make me toast. Perfect toast with butter and the best strawberry jam I'd ever had. Strawberry jam that we'd made together the previous spring. She would take me to the mall and we'd walk around looking at everything. Then we'd go to lunch with some of her friends, usually at Huckleberry Finn downtown. She'd brag about me. And I would bask in her approval and love. She would look at me, pull up my chin so I would look her in the eye and she'd smile and say, "Too bad there's no market for kids."

I loved her stories she'd tell about what she was like when she was a kid. She told me all about how I'm just like her and that often the things I did reminded her of herself. I love the way she smells. She always had a quick wit. She was always thinking. She was brilliant at Wheel of Fortune, could have won millions on Jeopardy. She was always reading something. A newspaper was by her recliner. Books piled high on her nightstand. My grandma read two or three books a week until she lost her eye sight. She would tell me that everything I'd ever want to know is in books.

My grandma died early this morning. I'm going to miss all of these things about her but as I told her yesterday, I'm so glad that she's my grandma and I'm thankful for all the things she taught me. I love her. I always will.

See you later, alligator... In a while, crocodile...

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

My Baby Got a Boo Boo

My lunch was extended by an hour today.

Because I had to chat with a police officer and exchange insurance information.

Because some kid, my neighbor, backed into me in the parking lot.

Now my car looks like this... sad.

Not that my car was all that attractive to begin with but I can't say I appreciate the new addition to my dent and scratch collection.

But the car accident was just number two of three tragic events today.

Number one was a sad phone call home.

Number two we just went over.

And then after I came home from work and was hungry and depressed and just wanted a sandwich... I was out of bread... strike three.

I was out.

So I bought the Hampton from Gandolfo's, stuffed it in my mini backpack and ate it in the theater while watching Ice Age 2.

I feel better now.