Tuesday, May 30, 2006

How to decide where to sleep:

1. If there are two beds (i.e. hotel room) sleep in the one that is farthest from the bathroom. Also avoid beds that are near yucky wallpaper.

2. Find the side that is furthest from the wall. This is somehow psychologically better.

3. If you can't sleep, resort to switching to the other side of the bed. It will help.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Every day it is looking less likely that I will be moving out of this apartment at the end of June. There just isn't anything comparable in my price range, which is frustrating. Housing in the bay area sucks. You'd think that I'd be able to find a 1 bedroom apartment for less than the $1,100 a month I'll have to pay here if I stay...

I just need to buy a house. It would totally solve all my problems.

Monday, May 22, 2006

After almost two years of stepping on something sharp in the carpet right by the kitchen, I FINALLY decided to figure out what was going on. Nails! Four nail heads that were not hammered down all the way, just sitting there in my carpet at the transition from the linoleum.

I don't know what took me so long!

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Even though my credit card bills mostly reflect the fact that I've bought a LOT of college credits and also have automatic payments to a few of my utilities... man! The total that has gone onto that card in the last year and a half is kind of horrible. At least I get 1% back. Let's not talk about how much that adds up to.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Oh my gosh, Caboodles!

I have two of those damn things. One is full of (I think) doll clothes, and I'm pretty sure the other one has the unused feminine hygeine products that we got at the yearly talks in 5th and 6th grade. I'll have to check on that next time I go home... Uh, and maybe throw those away.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Weird Things

1. Asian girl kneeling in the gutter down the street from Steve's house while a man takes pictures of her with a nice camera. She gets up and they kiss.

2. Old man in (Sikh?) turban asking me what I am carrying as I headed toward my apartment this afternoon. "You're a cheater? Oh, teacher. What do you teach? What can you teach me? English? No, I teach English all over the world. Math? I have a PHD in math. Science? I know that. Art? Oh, I am not so good in art. Come to my apartment if you would like another student and you may teach me art." Hmmmmm..... Old man, I like you and the wacky matching workout outfits you wear as you excersize in your turban but... uh... I'm not coming over.

Friday, May 12, 2006

I tried to pull the top inch of a piece of collage artwork away from the page of my moon journal sample it was glued to, but uhhh... I ended up having to slowly tear the entire thing out in teensy shreds. The backing paper got a little damaged too, and it has a nicely handdrawn border and notes. I think it will be okay, but MAN! I try to do a little remodeling, and now i have to completely remake a page. I should post some pictures...

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

You know, teachers at my old high school had to sign something that said that they wouldn't watch rated R movies. I could never be that conservative. I wonder if they still do that..... Some of my old friends work there now.

Monday, May 08, 2006

I want the war to end just so the people in that house I drive by every day will take down their annoying signs...

Saturday, May 06, 2006

I just got back from the funeral/ giant gathering of family. Friday was very hard for me. Every time I saw a picture of my aunt or saw another family member, I'd cry. I cried through the whole service too. There were so many people there... somewhere between 1,500 and 2,000. They completely filled the church- people were sitting in the entry hall area and standing around the sides. There was a group in another side room watching on tv screen, and then even more people on the patio who could just hear through speakers. No one had an idea that that many people would come. There was only food for about 400.

The hardest part was watching a picture slideshow of my aunt, and also listening to my aunt's friend tell about her last day. She did so many kind and special things that day, and had told some people that she was going to "take a walk with Jesus" that afternoon. (Her final hike.) Right before she collapsed, her friend asked her if she was okay. She said, "No, I'm not." and then "Help!" and died. That was so hard to hear. She died wearing hiking boots and a backpack, which is, I'm sure, exactly what she would have wanted.

Many of her students, current and former, came. At one point in the service they all stood up... Another teacher at her school had the kids write sentences about my aunt, which she arranged into a poem. It was sweet and funny. Another teacher (also the friend who was with her when she died.) put together pieces of my aunt's goodbye letters to her 5th graders over the years to give them advice on life. Let her say goodbye to them.

Afterwards my cousin Tommy gave all of her former students monarch butterflies to release. The girl in the picture is in her class this year... Everyone wanted to talk to us. People I've never met coming to tell me how much I looked like my aunt, or to tell me that I'd be a wonderful teacher just like her.

This weekend was hard. So hard. My brother and I left a little earlier than we planned today, because we didn't feel up to being around while the family played a dvd recording from the women's retreat camp my aunt was at when she died. It was of all the women in her group sharing memories of her in the hours after her death. There was also an area set up at the funeral for people to record things.

Another tough one was going by her classroom today. I wanted to talk to her so bad...

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

I was fine all day today, until I went to my aunt's school webpage. She wrote a letter to her students three days before she died, and in it she talks about how last week she celebrated her 3rd year of health since her colon cancer diagnosis.

And then I saw a letter from the principal about my aunt's death.

I don't know how I will ever be able to deal with this. I know she is dead, but I still cannot imagine anything without her.

I think about the particular way she talked. I wonder what will happen to the house. Without the hours of gardening my aunt put in, her beautiful garden will be overtaken with weeds in a few weeks.

My uncle consented to an autopsy, which I am grateful for. Originally, it wasn't going to happen, and it would have been even more awful for me and my family to not know what happened. I want to know. I don't want to go on telling people that she was healthy and collapsed while hiking. It doesn't make sense.

I fly out for the funeral on Friday morning.

(My aunt who died is the second on the left in that picture. That is a photo of the four sisters that I took in December.)

Monday, May 01, 2006

I don't really know what to say. This all keeps tumbling through my head and once every hour or so I burst into tears.

I went to my parent's house for a friend's wedding- I was the maid of honor- and while I was at the rehearsal my aunt died out in the woods. She was 53. She was, as far as I know, perfectly healthy. She was hiking with friends and suddenly collapsed...

I cried all night after I got home and my parents told me what happened. I woke up, I put hemmoroid cream on my eyes to try and reduce the swelling, and then I spent 7 hours smiling for photos and feeling like I was going to throw up or cry.

It was horrible. I don't understand why she had to die. She was young! healthy! She had taken the place of my grandparents and opened her home so that the four sisters and their families could still all be together. I don't think that the worst of this will hit me until I see my mom with two sisters instead of three.

That side of my family has always been especially close, and I can not picture how things will be without my aunt. She was my favorite relative, something that I first really thought about only a week ago. I was going to call her this week to talk about my students, and about how our moon journals were going. (I got all my moon journals things from her.) Now I suppose I don't need to return the box of moon journals things that I have in the back of my car. I have a book of hers that I never read and never remembered to give back. I have a note pinned to my message board reminding me to call aunt barb and get some recipies from her. There is an email in my inbox from her that says "hello darling -aunt barby." Why did she email me that? I can't remember.

I wish I had gone to be with my family on Easter. I didn't because of the wedding. I had to go to southern california two weekends in a row, and doing the drive for Easter seemed like too much. I wish so much that I had been there.

I talk about her with my students all the time. I always say things about how my Aunt who teaches 5th grade does this or that, and half of the things in my classroom I owe to her. What do I say? My aunt who "taught" 5th grade?

This morning I tried to tell my students that I had had a hard weekend, but I almost cried when I told them that I had a "Garfunkel day." Garfunkel is a little paper man that folds up to illustrate how "folded up" and sad we feel when bad things happen. I stole the idea for him from my aunt too. I will never be as lovely, patient, and wonderful as she was with her students. They loved her so much. I don't know how those little kids are going to get through the rest of the year without her. I imagine there are grief counselors all over her school today.

The only good thing about this is that she died outside, doing what she loved. I still have the Christmas card from my aunt and uncle sitting out. There is a picture of them sitting on the edge of a cliff, and my aunt writes about how much she loved to hike. Every time I think about her dying out in the hills, I cry.