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.