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.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Friday, May 12, 2006

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Oh The Places I've Gone

create your own personalized map of the USA

I haven't traveled much outside of the United States. And by that I mean that once I went to the Canadian border for "Hands Across America" with the Girl Scouts. We made stupid little crafts (shoelace keychains) to barter with little Canadian girls for their stupid little crafts (more shoelace keychains). This was somehow supposed to establish world peace...

Anyway... like I said... I haven't traveled much outside of the United States. WITHIN the United States, however, is another story. Sort of.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Dude, Where's My Car?

Remember that one time that I thought my car was stolen? And I called the police and reported it? And then I realized that the last time I had driven it was on Friday when I drove to work and then a co-worker drove me to Salt Lake for a convention which ended early so I called Kat and she drove me home? And so my car was still at work? And not stolen? And so I had to call the police back and report my car un-stolen?

Top ten places for auto theft
Source: National Insurance Crime Bureau

1. Modesto, Calif.
2. Las Vegas/Paradise, Nev.
3. Stockton, Calif.
4. Phoenix/Mesa/Scottsdale, Ariz.
5. Visalia/Porterville, Calif.
6. Seattle/Tacoma/Bellevue, Wash.
7. Sacramento/Arden-Arcade/Roseville, Calif.
8. San Diego/Carlsbad/San Marcos, Calif.
9. Fresno, Calif.
10. Yakima, Wash.

Please notice number six.

Good thing my car is worth less than the metal that's holding it together...

Monday, May 08, 2006

Little Bugs

One of my students told me I had "piojos." It's Spanish for lice. I didn't know that. But I figured it out. Without the Spanish to English dictionary.

It was weird because my head wasn't itchy and I hadn't noticed any moving parts but I do work in a school where lice would run rampant and the girl that told me I had piojos went on and on about how everybody in her family had it. And the other twelve-year-old in the room didn't seem so shocked about the whole thing either. Everybody has it.

So I panicked and ran to ShopKo to buy pesticide for my head. But couldn't find it so I had to ask the pharmacist where it was. And he yelled to the back, "We got lice! Where's the shampoo?" And then whispered a quick apology, "Sorry... I probably shouldn't have yelled that."

I bought the three step kit. Just so you know, you need $20 to get rid of head bugs.

I came home and started the long process. Step one: wash your hair with nasty smelling, oily shampoo. Step two: use special comb and gel-like oily stuff to rake out all of the dead bugs and eggs. It reminded me that I should have a few paper towels on hand to wipe the comb clean and collect the colony.

Except... nothing came out of my hair. Nothing at all. Well, a little piece of green fuzz from my towel came out once but no bugs. Not an egg. Nothing. No lice. Lice free.

No tengo piojos.

That's the last time I listen to a twelve-year-old giving me free health examinations...

Sunday, May 07, 2006


You might not think that the handle part of your razor is all that important.

You would be wrong.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

If You Only Make Left Turns...

... you end up right where you started!

Gosh, I hate that commercial. It's insulting. It actually makes me angry. I don't know if that's what Nissan intended (I think that's the company with that commercial... it's hard to tell when my eyes are tearing up with rage) but that's what they got.

But it does remind me of the Left/Right Game that my friends and I would play when we were in high school. The game was simple. We'd drive to a random spot in an unfamiliar area and then start taking every non-dead end turn alternating right and left. Then, every 10th turn we'd stop and take a picture or toilet paper or, if the place was too sketchy, we'd keep driving. We had a good time away from our homes, exploring new areas and scoping out new restaurants and parks. We took silly pictures, talked about our teenage lives and car-danced and sang along to the songs of the day.

But even five stupid teenagers knew we had to alternate right and left turns because if you only take left turns it makes for a very short evening.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

The Good, The Bad and Your Mother

The Good: Discount Tires was able to fix my tires. For free! Despite the front desk guys "Red Shirt" attitude, the cute whisper of a man wearing a "Black Shirt" took a small hammer-like thing and fixed my tires in no time. I love that guy.

The Bad: I don't have any money left. I'm poor. I guess there'll be no heavy Cinco De Mayo partying for me unless I can find a sponsor.

Your Mother: Well... MY mother... she hung up on me. Because she asked me if I was mad at her and I said no. Because I wasn't. But apparantly me saying, "No, mom. I'm not mad at you. Why would I be mad at you?" was heard as "Yes, mother. I'm very mad at you. Very mad. Mad, mad, mad."

Two Flat Tires and an In-House Suspension

That was my day yesterday. Watching a fifth grader act like a giant gerbil all afternoon. Interrupted by Stick It with my Ann-Marie and Katie (not the crazy one). Which I liked. And then walking out to discover that not one but TWO of my tires were flat. Jay to the rescue.

I'm sure today will be better. Except for the whole paying to get my car fixed part. Ew.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

TV Tuesday

I love TV Tuesday. Gilmore Girls. And then House. Between commercials I can flip to American Idol. It's beautiful. But tonight it hurt me. It cut me deep. Real deep.

I need a burrito.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Born in the USA

I was born in the USA. And so I had to go to work. Bummer. Also, almost half of my students were gone today. And I missed them. And I was kind of proud of them too. During my lunch break, I passed the park and saw some of them playing and BBQing with their families. I got jealous. I wanted to strike too. But I'm a teacher. So I'm sure there will be plenty of opportunities in the future. I just hope it's sunny that day. And I know somebody with a BBQ.