Saturday, April 29, 2006

Don’t Want No Scrub

Vehicular Creepiness. It’s a disease. A very serious disease. And I am a magnet for people who have it.

I was 20 when I made my very first solo drive from Provo to Renton. I was mid-Idaho. I had already had to make a very long detour when I missed a 100-car pile up by just minutes due to a sand storm and was barely recovering on a new stretch of highway when I “met” him. He was old. And driving a semi truck. With red, orange and yellow flames painted on the front. He drove up to my right side and paced me for a while. When I finally noticed that the semi wasn’t passing me, I looked up into the cab and saw the wrinkled man suffering from Vehicular Creepitus. He licked his lips at me, pointed to me then himself then at an upcoming exit. I ignored him and drove faster. He sped up too and I looked up at him, shocked that he was able to get his truck to catch up with me and saw him repeat the gross gestures. I looked down at my speedometer, realizing with horror that I was stuck in the middle of nowhere with a creepy man in a semi and I was already pushing 95. I decided to let him pass me. Not a good choice looking back at it now but that’s what I did. I pretty abruptly slowed down to the speed limit and watched as he kept on. But then he slowed down too. And wouldn’t let me pass. I’d change lanes and he’d change in front of me over and over. All the exits we came to led to farmland with no homes or stores in sight. I was going to die in Idaho.

But then I looked up and saw hope. One of those “How’s My Driving?” stickers was plastered on the back of his truck, just above his pornographic wheel covers. And I had just recently gotten a cell phone. So I pulled it out and, seeing two small bars of reception, dialed the number.

“Hi. This is Dora from Such and Such Trucking. How may I help you?”
“Um. My name is Emily and I’m Northbound on 1-15 in Idaho and one of your truckers is trying to kill me.”
“I’m sorry to hear that. What do you mean by trying to kill you?”
“I mean he gestured for me to get off at the next exit and when I shook my head no and sped off, he sped up behind me going 95 MPH and gestured some more and was swerving a bit. And then I slowed down and then he did too and now he won’t let me pass him. He’s driving right down the middle of both lanes. I’m in the middle of nowhere! I’m going to die in Idaho! I don’t want to die in Idaho!”
“I’m sorry, ma’am. Can you see the number on his license plate?”
“Yes. It’s (insert Satan’s license plate here).”
“Yes, I can see him on my screen. I’ll call him and give him a warning.”
“A warning?”
“He’ll leave me alone?”
“I would think so.”
“OK. But if there’s a 20 year-old female driving a Toyota Tercel reported missing you know who did it and I’ll haunt you until you tell the police what you know.”
“Alright, ma’am. I’ll keep that in mind.”

I hung up, took a deep breath, swerved to the left, sped past the truck going 90MPH, got ahead of him and shot forward going as fast as my car would go. I didn’t slow down until my car started to shake (I was going 115MPH) and the truck could no longer be seen in my rearview mirror.

There have been other encounters like this as well. The nasty leather-faced mustache man that made grotesque gestures with his tongue amongst other body parts at the stop light and then followed me half-way home. The jeep full of guys on the freeway that mooned me and then gestured for me to pull over. The other older guy that paced my car through the city one night, doing disgusting things then pointing at me and himself. I’m a complete magnet for this crap.

And then the other night. Lisa asked for a ride home from school. I was on State Street and a white truck pulled up next to me at a stoplight. It had those stupid fake bullet holes on the side and a gross giant window sticker of a woman with a bleeding gash in her face. In my peripheral vision I could see hands waving frantically. Maybe I knew the freak. So I looked over and this very large man in his very large truck had very large and wrong intentions. I looked away and became very focused on my radio and cell phone. He paced me for seven more blocks before finally turning left and leaving me with the chills.

It’s interesting because I’m not the kind of girl that guys often flirt with. Creepy guys or not. They just usually leave me alone. But when I’m behind the wheel of my old ’95 Tercel, suddenly I’m every creepy, trashy man’s dream.

Maybe I need a new car.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

I'm Not Arguing That With You! I know he can get the job. But Can He Do The Job?

I had my final interview yesterday for my internship. I got my huge portfolio back with my grade. And I did well. I got a rave review. And the glowing report is going in my permanent file. In fact it pretty much IS my permanent file. No matter where I apply and no matter how far in the future that applying might take place, that paper is going to follow me. And it's dripping with complimentary testimonials.

Great news, right?

I'm not so sure.

Because I just realized that maybe those future employers will now have these wild expectations. I'm the kind of kid that prefers to go in with low expectations and then leave people pleasantly surprised. It's a much more negative experience when somebody expects something great and then realizes they got... well... me.

I know I can get the job. But can I do the job?

We'll see.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

I'm Awake.

Notice what time this was posted because I just barely woke up. Granted, I didn't go to bed until a little after 2am. But still... I slept for nine and half hours. That's a lot of sleep.

And I liked it.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

A Different Look

I dyed my hair. It's dark brown. Closer to my original hair color. But according to this quiz, I made the wrong decision...

Your Hair Should Be Orange

Expressive, deep, and one of a kind.
You pull off "weird" well - hardly anyone notices.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Guys Like Girls With Skills

My sister and I emailed each other every couple of minutes yesterday. I was concerned about the fact that her new heart medication was making her drowsy and asked how she was getting to work...

Judy: David and I drive in to work together everyday, so he is always driving.
It is nice that we can carpool He thinks I am a horrible driver anyway. :)

Em: Haha! My friends think I'm a terrible driver, too. It must be
genetic. Let's just hope we're never as bad as mom. :)

Judy: Funny you say that, because I think that I drive fine. I do make a
conscious effort to drive carefully and EVERYONE says I am a sucky driver.
Maybe it is genetic.

Em: Same here. I never see a problem with how I drive. It's not like I
get tickets or get in lots of accidents or anything. And yet my
friends always say my driving scares them. Hmmmm. I have a T-shirt
of a little girl with pigtails who can barely see over the steering
wheel and says "I can't drive" in bubble letters above her. My
friends laugh really hard when I wear it.

Judy: HMMM, well isn't that interesting. I wonder why that is. I guess we are
not alone. :)

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Drive Carefully

On opening day this is the picture I found worthy of forcing my brother to hang out the window of our parents' giant blue van to photograph. It's also the picture that I don't regret even after the window got stuck in the down position and resulted in a very long, very cold and very wet ride back to Renton.

It was worth it. Right?

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Pillow to Parking Lot

I woke up this morning on my own. My bedroom was filled with light and I lazily looked at my cell phone/alarm clock.


I blinked a couple of times and looked again.


It couldn't be! I had set my alarm for 6:20am. I was supposed to be at the University Mall Parking Lot at 7:30am. I jumped out of bed, pulled on some clothes from my floor, brushed my teeth, grabbed my make-up bag, conference bag and slipped on my shoes as I ran out the door.

I drove as quickly as I dared and pulled into my parking space at... 7:36am.

NINE MINUTES from pillow to parking lot. Nine.

I brushed my hair as the last carpooler came into view. And then we were off. My make-up was done before we hit the freeway and 45 minutes later I was in the Salt Palace in Salt Lake City listening to some boring presentation about ELL, DIBELS and IEPs.

Nine minutes! I'm speedy. Really speedy.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Sports Fans

I don't know when it happened. But it happened. My family is a family of sports fans. If it could happen to us, it could happen to anyone. If you would have told me when I was ten that one day I'd be sitting at my sister's house with my whole family watching the Mariner's game, I would have laughed.

Even back then I liked the Mariners. I went to a few games every now and then if my friend's family was going and happened to have an extra ticket but I wasn't obsessed. I was a softball player. I liked watching the strategies I learned being played out by the pros. But I wasn't the kind of kid that knew all of the players' names, positions and stats. I just liked to watch every now and again.

My sister and I didn't take much interest in the Sonics or the Seahawks either. We were girls. More interested in manipulating our parents into buying us new shoes. And my dad was never into it either. We tried sometimes to get him interested. Especially around Christmas or his birthday when it came time to buy him a gift. It would make shopping so much easier if he would just have an obsession with football like the other girls' dads. Their shopping gets done so quickly. But our dad was more into weather statistics, almanacs and encyclopedias. And we learned to love that.

We were a famiy without sport. And it seemed to work for us. But then something happened.

1) My brother turned 12 and he suddenly decided that he loved the Mariners. With a fiery passion. He MUST watch every game, own every bit of merchandise and express support for him team by attending at least ten games a season. And he wasn't about to do it alone. Somebody had to watch with him. Sometimes he even held my dad down and forced him to watch with him.

2) My dad finally decided that he might as well just sit there since Wayne was too big to give him much hope that he'd let it go. And he learned to love the game too. He learned all the seasonal stats. He was a Mariners fan.

3) My grandma moved in. Apparantly she'd been harboring a secret love for the Mariners because she insisted on the game being on and if she ever found out that there was a game on and she didn't get to see it she became unbearably crankly.

4) My mom doesn't like to be left out. So she did what she had to do to be included. She bought Mariners T-shirts, key chains, hats and blankets. She puts them all on for game day and tries to outcheer everybody else.

5) My sister dated and married a huge sports fan. David is majorly obsessed with the Mariners, Seahawks, Sonics, our hockey team and other local teams I've never heard of. He loves it. And my sister loves him. And now she loves the sports.

6) I went to college and decided I had to buy a Sports Pass to be cool. So I learned all of the rules for football. And then every email I got from my brother was about the Mariners and so I had to learn about the Mariners to be cool. And then their disease spread to the Sonics and Seahawks and I had to learn about and watch them to be cool.

And so our family is a family of sports fans. And we spent the whole evening yesterday watching the Mariners beat the Angels. We cheered, compared known stats and personal opinion about each player and tried to decide how the season would go. I have to admit that it was really nice. There we all were, spending hours of time together in a small room and there was no yelling or bloodshed or tears. We should have gotten into sports a long time ago.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Opening Day

I went to the Mariner's game today with my brother. It included...

* Parking 1.3 miles away from the stadium in order to park for free in a shady alley by the train tracks
* A #3 meal at Jack in the Box
* Noseblead seats at Safeco (next to a Japanese family of four (visiting from Japan for vacation) that chanted, cheered, clapped and video taped every moment that involved Ichiro Suzuki or Kenji Johjima who happen to be our only two Japanese players AND our only two good players)
* Half a bag of Starburst jellybeans
* A chocolate chip Dipp bar
* Garlic fries
* New digital camera experimentation
* Yet more Starburst jellybeans
* A disappointing loss in the 9th inning
* Another 1.3 mile walk back to the van
* With a short stop in at Krispy Kreme for a donut and a Coke
* Convincing my brother during traffic to hang out the window and take a picture of an amusing sign
* Consequently having the window get stuck in the down position on my brother's side (making a very chilly ride home since it was raining and we had a ways to go on the freeway)
* Stopping at Krispy Kreme again on the way home because my brother let it slip to my dad that we had gone there and we would be shunned if we showed up without a few extras

But believe it or not, all of these things added together equalled fun. Opening day was a good day.

Sunday, April 02, 2006


After walking out of Safeway together I noticed that 24 Hour Fitness had moved into the store next door.
Me: Hey mom, when did 24 move in?
Mom: Oh, just a few weeks ago. That's the gym your brother wants to join once he gets here.
Me: Huh. I used to be a member of 24. I liked it. At least I'm sure I would have if I ever actually went.
Mom: I'm hoping that he'll get up in the morning and go instead of sleeping in until 1pm every day.
Me: That would be good.
Mom: Maybe I can wake him up early and bug him until he goes to the gym.
Me: Maybe.
Mom: We should go ask them what time they open.
Me: (blank stare)
Mom: Because if they're open before 8 then we should go sign him up right now and I can get him up early. Wanna go over with me and ask when they open?
Me: Mom... it's called 24 Hour Fitness.
Mom: I know. It's that gym right there. (she points to the gym)
Me: Yes, so they're open 24 hours a day. It's not just a clever name.
Mom: Well how was I supposed to know why it was called 24 Hour Fitness?!
Me: I dunno, Mom. Life is hard.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

The Tacoma Aroma

Tacoma is located about 40 minutes south of my parents' house in Renton. And it's about 15 minutes north of Lakewood. Tacoma used to get a lot of flack for it's ominous odor. The old paper mill filled the air with death. We called it the Tacoma Aroma. And it was bad. But now the paper mill has closed its doors (I believe there were villagers with pitchforks involved) and the old cereal mill closed too. And a few other gross mills. So the odor has lifted and left in its place a shimmer of hope that smells nothing of death. And I'm going to live there. If I have my way I'll be living right off the pier near the museum. My very own place. I signed a contract with Clover Park School District which is located in Lakewood. I feel okay about it. A new job. A new apartment. A new city. And it smells nothing of death.