FtVF - Some Things Never Change.

By a very young age, I had the "What the efff?" look down pat. Observe:

"Clothes? We don't need no stinkin' clothes!" Or hairbrushes. Apparently I was too cool for a quick brush-through.

And years later, while visiting Jeremiah in CA, I was caught giving him this look:

Still like, "What.The.Eff.",  but hair is slightly more subdued. I was on a bridge way up high. Totally my defense. Slightly less smirk going on, too. Which is nice.
I only recently discovered while scrolling through some old pictures that I have the same face, about twenty-seven years apart.

I mean, I guess if it's not broken, why fix it?

Perhaps we can call this my signature look.


That's Gotta Be Worth at Least One Doubloon.

Who doesn't love a Goonies/Friends reference?

A conversation with a relative this weekend really got me thinking. She is replacing a gold crown (for a tooth, not the head. Bummer, I know, because I would LOVE to have a royal blood line coursing through my veins. Sadly? No.) for a tooth colored one. I was all, "You TOTALLY have to keep that gold crown!" The response was that it was only worth about five dollars. And then I explained that after the crown replacement the chauffeur (another relative) could take her to the bakery where she could get some cake.

Everyone knows that cake is good for you after you go to the dentist.

Plus, I explained, there is the added bonus of being able to buy the cake with the GOLD.

I can see it now. The cake lady (here's one of my favorite bakeries) would say "That will be five dollars and fifty-two cents".

Then there will be a pause as the gold crown is pulled out with a "Here's five, now let me find some change..."

OR -

Taking the gold into another store and pointing at the sign that says "Cash, Debit, and Credit accepted here" and asking them if they also accept gold crowns.

Because that would be hilarious and awesome all at once, right?

In my head, I picture these scenes vividly. Maybe not so much for you, Friends. But honestly? I laughed about this until I cried. And then I told Jeremiah, who was like, "You know, my dad switched out his crowns (again, for the teeth, not the head. Bummer.) and he got like fifty dollars." and I was all, "Jeremiah. You can get a shit-ton of cake for fifty dollars!"And then I laughed some more. And then I wanted some cake.

But that's just me.


Wakey Wakey, Part Two

I told Jeremiah that I was trapped. I think that freaked him out, but that was how I felt. I just needed to go somewhere. I was tired of being here in Phoenix. I needed to move.

So a few weeks ago, we started planning. Time-wise, Jeremiah would only be able to take a few days off. Plus, the dogs. And cats. We decided the dogs would come with us and the cats would stay home. It took forever, but we also decided (the morning of) that we would be heading towards Petrified Forest National Park. I'd wanted to go since I drove past it with my dad nearly six years ago. Plus, that way we could stop in Winslow, Arizona.

We woke up on Tuesday, packed a suitcase (plus books, maps, guides, gps, etc.), packed supplies for the dogs, and took off to the gas station. Holy crap, gas got expensive, didn't it?

Anyway, being that my car is still new to me, I wasn't keen on the idea of Jeremiah driving. So I drove. About ninety miles. Then we hit the hills/mountains and I was screaming and white-knuckling the steering wheel and my eyes were closed and Jeremiah was all, "Um, maybe it's time I drive. You know, for the safety of the four lives in this car." So I pulled over at a small gas station and he took over.

For the rest of the trip.

Be careful what you wish for, babe.

Anyway, here we go on our picture journey.

First, we decided that if the dogs were comfortable, we probably would be happier, too. So we packed the dog bed that they love. 
Atticus is wearing his harness. I LOVE this harness, as it is breathable and does not cause him to lose fur or get red, irritated skin.

Seeing snow in AZ is pretty much the highlight of any trip. I get way too excited.

 So this sign just ticks me off. I kept saying to Jeremiah, "Any minute now, we're going to see one of those beasts - an elk or moose or whatever that is!!!" and guess what, Friends? We never did. Not one. Except at one point I think I might have seen one. It shall now be infamously referred to as "The Elk Shrub". And stop laughing Jeremiah, it totally could have been an elk. You don't know.

 Friends, I know for a fact that I've posted pictures of the tall grass like this before. But it seriously is so cool and I just love it.

Jeremiah: This is one long straight-ass road. Emily: Yes it is! I am going to take another picture!

 And then we reached a point where it was flat, with orange ground and blue sky. It was kind of awesome.

 The scene in the backseat looked like this. How can you not MELT when you see that little face?

Way out in the middle of nowhere, we passed this building. I guessed prison, because what a perfect place for criminals. If you escape, you're screwed. There's nothing else out here. I guessed right. I always do.

 We reached Winslow, Arizona. We stopped and GPS'ed the exact corner of Jackson Browne. I am not at all ashamed to share that we totally touristed it up.

"Standing on the corner of Winslow, Arizona..."

I was all, "Let's stay there on the way back!"

 Okay. We passed this HUGE HUGE HUGE power plant. I think it was nuclear. I am not sure. I CAN tell you with certainty that I prayed for it not to explode the entire time it was in sight. It was way intimidating. I didn't care for it.

But I did love the tacky dinosaurs and made Jeremiah slow way down. The street next to this was named Bloody Bucket Street, which I am pretty sure is the most awesome street name EVER.

We could have stayed here, too. But we did not. I am glad. When we stopped for gas next door on the way home I saw drunks stumbling back from the bar. Not my scene.

This is my scene. And I have a DQ story for the next part of this picture trip.

 We are going to end here for today. Mostly because I am tired of explaining each picture. And a little because PNF is so cool it doesn't deserve to be with my pictures of tacky touristy stuff. Although I can't promise that some of that won't sneak into the next post.


I Found Them!!

Every year, I have a family member that gives me Easter treats that are shaped like an egg, sunny-side up. They are gummy treats. They are probably the best gummy candy EVER. I discovered that they are available at Harry & Davids, which was fantastic. I had big plans on how this year I was finally going to score some extras.

And then?

Harry & David went out of business. They aren't at the Scottsdale Mall anymore. And that was the only one in Arizona.

Sad all day. 

Then, while perusing my local World Market, I saw these:

I bought two bags on the spot. They lasted a week. They are a low-fat treat, so I am not too concerned. I hinted to Jeremiah that they would be the perfect stocking stuffer, birthday week treat, anniversary present, etc. and that he better get his ass back to the Market to get some more.

So if you are reading this, Jeremiah, consider THIS to be your friendly reminder.

For the rest of you - if you like gourmet, peach-flavored gummy treats, you best go buy some. Pronto.

What is YOUR favorite candy?


Old People Redeemed

I was driving to work this morning and Coldplay came on the stereo.

Oh, Friends. Let ME fix YOU.

I saw a documentary several years ago and I cried for about two days after I saw it. Totally a fantastic, heartwarming video. And it redeems the elderly. Puts them back into the place where I had them formally - on a pedestal. AND AND AND it includes some fantastic music - including Coldplay. They will Fix You.

Check it out. But if you don't cry, you might want to check your pulse. Or see if you can go out and buy a heart.


Holy Crap. Old People Swear.

I promised this, and I hate to break promises. More on our mini-vacation later, as time permits.

If you think that I am wonderful and innocent and perfect, stop reading right here because this will ruin your image of me.

No one? Okay. Let's get on with the story.

Setting: Self-Checkout at Lowe's. There is nothing around the self-checkout. No impulse purchases, nothing. Just four registers, two on each side.
Characters: Myself, Old Creeper, Jeremiah, On-Lookers.

I am checking out at the self-checkout closest to the exit. There is another one directly behind me. Jeremiah is checking out across from me. I am all alone. As I hit the "pay" button, I notice that a very tall and very scruffy old man is standing right there with me. He isn't buying anything. He isn't with the people checking out behind me. He is standing right there with me. To an on-looker, it would look as though we are together.  He was almost touching me. It made me super uncomfortable. Enough that I spoke up. And I NEVER speak up.

Me: Um, Sir? Would you mind backing up while I type in my personal information? I would like to point out that I wasn't rude at all.

I'm pretty sure that he was trying to embarrass me and make me feel even more uncomfortable. People are staring. Jeremiah is paying zero attention to me and/or Creeper, as he is talking with the Lowe's guy. Awesome. So Creeper refuses to leave, and the two men (Jer & Lowe's Guy) that could do anything about it are deep in conversation. I finish checking out and race over to Jeremiah, who is wearing shorts and a tee-shirt, all tattoos exposed except one. Guy walks away when he sees me go to Jeremiah. Just disappears. I think he thought I was alone. As we walk out and are getting into the car, I see the old guy. I roll down the window. 

Me: Sir? Have a nice day!
Creeper: F*CK YOU!
Me: Holy crap, Jeremiah. That old guy just gave me the finger, and I'm pretty sure he just told me -
Jeremiah: Yeah, he just said f*ck you.  
Me: Nice.

I can only say this. I did not swear at him. But I did show my general dislike in some way. Now to the finer/scarier parts of this.
  • I told a friend about this and she had a creeper, too, a few years ago. Her dad told her this, rather simply. Dad: So he could see you were uncomfortable?  Friend: Yes. Dad: And he continued to stand there? Friend: Yes. Dad: Then SOMETHING was not right about this guy.
  • And that is SO true. Who, seeing that they are making someone uncomfortable, would remain there, when they are straight out asked to give a little space? Only someone who was doing it purposefully.
  • Also, self-checkout lines start before the little registers. So if he were in line, he should have been standing back behind all four registers. He wasn't. And he wasn't buying anything.
  • Next, if someone had asked me to give them space, I would have felt awful and backed up immediately, apologizing.
  • If he didn't have bad intentions, why did he leave when he saw me with Jeremiah?

    So all I can say is this. In all seriousness. Ladies? Speak up for yourself. I was shocked that my friend had had a similar creepy experience. With a creepy older gentleman. I don't normally think of older people as creepy, but some really horrible people grow old without ending up in jail. I would have been terrified if Jeremiah wasn't right there.  I felt stupid asking him to back up, and he tried to make me feel worse by yelling at me, but if I hadn't said anything, no one else would have noticed that I was uncomfortable. And some on-lookers did. But no one said anything. So you really need to speak up for yourself. Make a scene if you need to. If Jeremiah hadn't been there, I would have gone immediately to the Lowe's guy.

    P.S. Old People Really Do Swear Bonus: One time years ago, back in Michigan, a tiny old guy in a fancy car called me a bitch at the gas station. I had been waiting in line for a pump and he swerved in, trying to cut me off and a few others. He didn't dig that I didn't back down. He hobbled over and said, "You, young lady, are a bitch." And I said, "You are a VERY mean old man." Then he walked away.

    Stay on your toes, Girls.


    Wakey Wakey It's Spring Breaky!

    So we were a bit sneaky.

    We took a very short vacation and we didn't tell anyone.

    Except my brother. Mostly because I was worried about the cats. So about an hour out of Phoenix, Jeremiah sent him an email alerting him of our travels and asking him to notify the authorities if he did not hear from us within the next few days. Also, he should find someone to feed the cats.

    So as a sneak peek, our mini-vacation included this:
    Atticus has adventure in his bones.
     And a lot of this:
    My new car. I LOVE my new car.


    A Long Time Coming. Or, How Mel Became Room Inspiration.

    About two trillion years ago, I decided that I wanted my studio (or whatever you want to call it) to be the next space that I tackled in the house.

    So I bought a huge comfy chair (that could easily fit two people) and the ottoman (that you could lie flat on for a nap, it's huge) at Salvation Army. It was a great brand and I got the chair/ottoman set (nearly new) fifty percent off the Salvation Army price. We loaded it onto and into Old Red and brought it home.

    That was last summer.

    For about six months I was stuck deciding on a color. Then, over winter break, I decided on blue.

    But I couldn't choose a blue. None of them looked right. And I bought probably six different samples:
    This is not even all the blues. More blue crimes were committed after this photo.
     I seriously hated them all. Plus, Jeremiah had gotten me two prints - one as a graduation present and one for Christmas. And I didn't like the way either of them looked in my room against those blue samples. So I decided that blue was out.

    And then Mel walked in the room. In case you have forgotten, Mel looks like this:
    I swear, she poses. This is her thoughtful pose.
    Anyway, I was like, brown. Hmmm...and then I remembered how much I love the brown room at my parents' house. And I was like, brown...some more.

    So I found one sample, just as a trysies.
    I was sold. I didn't even need to try any other browns. This one was PERFECT. It was a darker brown with some greyish/purple-y tones.

     After one coat I was loving it, but I was also frightened. I did NOT want to have to do ten coats of paint, and with the horrible textured walls that exist throughout the Southwest, I thought there was a good possibility of ten coats coming true. All those raised bumps make it really difficult to get the low-lying spots.

    After two coats, however, I was good. I will need to do some light touch-ups in some extra-textured areas, but other than that, all is golden.

    And I love it. It's not a large room, and I know some people are into the whole "Small rooms + Dark colors = No" but I don't think it makes it feel any smaller. The high arched ceilings probably help with that.  Also, the room gets constant light, from sunrise to sunset. So it never feels cave-like.

    I went back and forth on whether or not to paint the ceiling and trim white. You might remember that EVERYTHING in the house is a horrible creamy color. Everything. Even door hinges, vents, and outlet covers. Finally I sucked it up and Jeremiah painted the ceiling my go-to white (Delicate White, Olympic Paint) and I tackled the trim. It looks SO much better. I'm glad we did it. It makes the brown pop and feels clean and fresh in the room.

    I am also happy because the cats love coming in and sitting in the window and watching/scaring the pigeons. Now that the room is finished, they can actually do that again. Plus, we rigged little doggy gates so the cats can have free range upstairs but the dogs can't. Which is good.
    What can I ruin in this empty room? The blinds, meow.
    Since the pictures were taken, we've cleaned all the carpet in the house with a rented carpet cleaner and then transferred most items into their respective rooms. Two of the rooms (my studio & one guest room) look quite messy right now. So no more pictures for a bit.

    I can tell you, however, that I already have spent numerous evenings sitting in my cozy chair with a cat or dog, covering myself with a handmade quilt from a dear friend (Sara!) and read. Oh, how I love it.

    Oh, and for the rest of the colors, I'm thinking of more creams, tans, whites, and browns. Like Mel in Siberia.  I might switch out some accent colors seasonally. Not like Mel.

    What's still to come in the studio?

    • Curtains/blinds
    • shelving (I already know what shelving I am getting. For free. Under the cover of darkness. Shh...)
    • Art (Already have it all. Just waiting for the shelving so I know where the art will go.)
    • Bookshelves. Oh, I love the bookshelves. They need to be sanded, primed, and painted. We got them from Borders when they went out of business. 
    • A rug (already have it, taking it to the laundromat to clean it in one of their large washers).
    That's what's up in our house. I'm hoping that as we wait for the studio to come together, I can get Jeremiah to help finish painting the walls along the stairs.

    Anyone else doing any painting? Anyone else take their inspiration from their cat?

    P.S. This weekend Jeremiah and I volunteered for Odyssey of the Mind. It was a really fun time and it was great to see students challenging themselves and getting excited about doing it. I didn't see Jeremiah all day, but afterward he said he had a great time and would judge again next year. You don't have to be in education to assist/judge/coach, so check it out! Or get your child involved! Next year, because you've missed this year.  So sad for you.


    So This Is Where I Break My Promise.

    I know that you are all waiting, anxious with anticipation over my driving lesson. And FtVF tomorrow.

    Except unless there is a miracle in the next few hours, none of that will happen.

    I'm attending a conference and finishing stuff for the guest teacher, making copies, and working on plans for my return after spring break. Plus I am doing a week's worth of standardized testing, grading six class sets of writing tests, and whole bunches of other stuff. Oh, yeah. Report cards. How could I forget those?

    So what I am saying is, sadly, my career has taken over my life. As has the neighbor's dog. Holy crap, the baying.

    No blog for a bits.

    Miss me, love me, come back and visit.



    It's a Little Like Hell. Minus the Good Company. And No S'Mores. Because There are S'Mores in Hell, Right? Right??

    Guess who has a hound dog? Our new neighbors! 

     It is SWELL. 

    OC Choppers shirt? Fine. 

    Cans of Miller Lite? Fine (although I am speaking solely for myself). 

    A dog that stays outside ALL DAY AND NIGHT (I am not even kidding. We were up until about one on Saturday, listening to the dog.) and BAYS NONSTOP? Unforgivable.  

    I dream of inviting myself into their rental house, standing there, listening to their dog and saying to them  "Ohhhhhhhhh, so you CAN hear that in here. Okay. I thought maybe you couldn't."

    But I am guessing that sarcasm might be wasted on them. And sarcasm is a terrible thing to waste on idiots.

    You see, Friends, I don't get how someone can listen to that and not be bothered by it. Or not be bothered or worried that their neighbors might be annoyed. Because we have two of the naughtiest, most annoying little barkers that ever did exist. And we are extremely careful to keep outdoor annoyances at a minimum. Meaning, we don't leave our dogs outside unattended. Barking nonstop. Houses here are really crammed together. Your neighbors hear everything. It's something to think about. Or maybe not. Maybe that's just us.

    Jeremiah and I are wondering if this is karmic retribution. He can't think of anything too horrible that he's done. I can think of some things, but I am pretty sure that inner-city teaching is the ultimate good karma coupon. If not, I may have to rethink some things.

    And by the way...



    p.s. And while we're on the subject of neighbors & being a curmudgeon, I would also like to point out that our neighbors are apparently hearing impaired. I have never in my life heard people speak so loudly. The house is a single level and it isn't that large. There is NO NEED to yell. They either all have ear infections or they have all been watching the tv a bit too loudly. Let's bring it down a notch, mmmmkay? 

    p.p.s. And I totally have to tell you about how an old guy swore at me at Lowe's yesterday. As in, he dropped the f-bomb. And I really didn't deserve it. Promise.


    FtVF - Not Funny, Jeremiah.

    Several years ago, before I started this here blog, we were moving into our new house. At one point, either I borrowed Jeremiah's camera to take some pictures, or he borrowed mine. Regardless, I loaded pictures from a camera to my computer.

    And I saw this:
    I thought it would be cool to have a ghost for a boyfriend. It isn't. He can't lift any of the heavy stuff. 

    This picture scared the poo out of me. Not literally. But I really hate it when people are all, "I literally fell apart." No, you didn't.

    Anyway. I digress. The picture freaked me out and I was all, "Ohmygod, I see dead people!" I got goosebumps and I was sure that that was the reason why I was so uncomfortable in the house those first few nights - because my boyfriend was haunting me from beyond the grave. And just when I was starting to get used to having a ghost for a boyfriend, Jeremiah came up behind me. "Oh, you found my pictures? I was trying something (insert Charlie Brown's teacher's voice here) with the camera! Cool, huh?"

    No, Jeremiah. Not cool. Because then I had to call everyone back and tell them that I had a regular boring old LIVING boyfriend. So lame.

    P.S. The house is actually and truly haunted. I still get uncomfortable. I still feel weird drafts in undraftable (made that up) places in certain rooms. The dogs still bark at the walls. Spike will jump at the same place on the wall in the closet, day after day. Occasionally in the mornings all four animals will stare intently into the dark hallway, which scares the poo out of me.

    Figuratively speaking.

    Happy Friday, Friends!