Seventh grade going on eighth grade

Welcome to the 100-percent true blog of Summer Saunders. Haters, keep out! Friends, read on.

Illustration By Elwood Smith

June 4, 2004
YESSSS! School is out! No more homework, no more vocabulary lists to memorize and no more lame Jeremy Trackton trying to snap my bra every time I pass him on the bus. Mom says he only does that because he likes me. Yeah, right! Maybe things were different last millennium when my mom was in junior high, but all Jeremy’s behavior tells me is that he’s a dork. But who cares? Seventh grade is officially over, and summer vacation is here! I’m going to stay up as late as I want and sleep in as long as I want and do whatever I want. This is going to be the best summer ever! The summer of Summer! Ha ha! :)

June 8, 2004
I am so bored. There’s nothing on TV. I finished my book. (I read Girl Goddess #9 by Francesca Lia Block for, like, the fifth time. She’s the best writer on the planet. Well, her and J.K. Rowling, of course.) I’m going outside to get a tan. Cheryl’s 13th birthday party at Waterworld is coming up, and I don’t want my pale skin to blind anyone.

June 9, 2004
Argh! I fell asleep in the sun. Now I’m lobster red on my front side and totally white on the back. I slept on my back all night, and whenever I rolled over, my sunburn woke me up. Mom gave me some aloe vera, but it still hurts. I hope this doesn’t mean I’ll get skin cancer when I’m 50. I’ll be hiding in my room until I peel. :P

June 24, 2004
I talked to Cheryl for three hours on the phone today. She’s bored at her house, too, but at least she has a pool. She’s trying to get her older brother to drive us to Laguna Skates this weekend. We know better than to ask my mom. If you ask my mom to drive you anywhere, you get a lecture on gas prices and how hard she works and how, back in her day, kids made their own fun at home. It’s way easier to ask Cheryl’s brother, Dave. Hopefully, he’ll say yes, because I am really, really bored.

P.S. When I’m a parent, I’m definitely going to drive my kids everywhere they want to go.

June 25, 2004
Yahoo! I actually left the neighborhood! :) Dave drove us to Laguna Skates tonight. They have black-light skating every Friday until 11 p.m. (But our moms only let us stay until 10 p.m. I’m so sure! What’s going to happen to us after 10 p.m.? Someone’s going to fall asleep on their skates and roll over us?) Dave made us sit in the back seat on the way there, so he could wave at girls. Like he has a chance!

Once we got there, he spent the whole night talking to the girl with crispy bangs and tight jeans who works at the snack bar. Cheryl and I bought glow sticks to wear around our necks, because they look so cool in the black light. I wore a white T-shirt that seemed like it was glowing. Cheryl won Red Light, Green Light and we got Air Heads as a prize, which I am eating right now while typing. “White Mystery” is my favorite flavor!

These boys from another school asked us to skate during the couples skate. It was weird, because you have to hold hands so the DJ knows you’re a couple and doesn’t kick you off the rink. But it’s hard to hold hands and skate the same speed and think of something to talk about. Afterward, we just said, “Bye!” really quick, and then we had to go home so our parents wouldn’t be mad.

July 3, 2004
Note to self: Never complain to your dad about having nothing to do. I had to spend the whole day helping him do yardwork. At least my back and front sides are tanned evenly now. :) Tomorrow my whole family is going to see the Fourth of July fireworks at Del Campo High School in Carmichael!

July 15, 2004
Bored. So … bored. I don’t know why they give us kids all this time off now, when we’re too young to have jobs and money and we can’t drive, so we can’t go anywhere. I can’t wait until I’m an adult, so I can do whatever I want.

Cheryl’s parents signed her up for Summer Horse Camp through the YMCA. They get to ride on trails and even go to Yosemite National Park for a camping trip. I don’t know how she does it. I’ve been scared of horses ever since I fell off the saddle at a pony ride when I was 6.

Cheryl’s brother is going to YMCA’s “Camp Dirt”—which is where teens spend a week learning to ride dirt-bike motorcycles and camping at Folsom Lake. Cheryl says Dave also signed up for teen weight-training classes at the Central Family YMCA downtown. I guess he wants to grow some muscles to impress the snack-bar girl. Ha! Good luck!

The author gets in touch with her inner child at Paradise Island.

Photo By Larry Dalton

August 2, 2004
Too bored for words.

August 7, 2004
I had so much fun tonight! Dave drove Cheryl and me and the snack-bar girl (guess the weight lifting must have worked) to Paradise Island Amusement Park for a teen dance. Paradise Island is this huge place at Cal Expo with a mini-golf course, batting cages, video games and carnival rides. We got to stay out super late tonight, because the all-ages dances don’t start until 9 p.m. We rode the Scrambler, the Indy cars and the Tilt-A-Whirl. We wanted to ride the bumper boats, too, but we didn’t want to get soaked before the dance. Dave and the snack-bar girl hung out at the batting cages. She kept jumping up and down and clapping like a cheerleader every time he hit a ball. How could anyone get that ditzy over a boy? Especially Dave? :P

The dance was outside in this pavilion thing with these deejays called Majestic Vibes Entertainment. They played most of the stuff you hear on the radio, and it was really fun. Dave slow-danced with the snack-bar girl the entire night, even when there were fast songs on. Cheryl kept yelling, “Save room for Jesus, kids!” at them, and then we’d crack up laughing.

We also saw Jeremy “bra snapper” Trackton there, and for once he wasn’t acting lame. He walked up and said, “Hi, Summer!” like he wasn’t the same guy who tries to pants me during gym class. Normally, I would have called him a dork and left, but something about being around all these people who weren’t from our school made seeing someone who was from our school a nice thing, even if it was Jeremy. I even danced with him. Bizarre!

August 15, 2004
Cheryl’s birthday party was yesterday! We went to Waterworld with a bunch of people from school, plus her parents and Dave and Snack-Bar Girl. We went down Cannonball Falls, where you fall six feet into a pool at the end of the slide, and down the Great White slide, which was so fast all I could do was scream. (Except I had to stop because I got water in my mouth.) Then we rented some big inner tubes and went to the Breaker Beach Wave Pool. We went to the back, where the waves are biggest, but you can’t swim too far out, or the life guards start blowing their whistles and pointing at you, and it’s embarrassing.

Later, I slept over at Cheryl’s, and we listened to her new CDs and tried out the digital camera she got at her birthday party. Now I’m home, where nothing ever happens.

September 6, 2004
My whole family went to the California State Fair today. My feet hurt from walking so much, but I think I saw everything! There were huge cows and crazy, spinny rides and a hypnotist and a disco band with guys in afro wigs. I ate a whole onion blossom by myself, plus a snow cone and popcorn! Then I went on the Free Fall ride and almost lost all that food.

I wanted to stay until the fair closed. It seems like, once the fair’s gone, summer’s really over. I wanted to hang on to it as long as I could, but Mom made us go home early because I start school tomorrow. I can’t believe this summer’s over already! It was all so fun, and now I have to go back to junior high, where nothing ever happens.

If I’m lucky, Jeremy Trackton will have outgrown bra-snapping this year, since he seemed so normal at Paradise Island. But even if he stops, the vocabulary lists will still be waiting. Ugh. I’m bored just thinking about it.

Summer’s summery things to do

• Laguna Skates has black-light roller skating every Friday night from 8:30 p.m. until 11 p.m. at 9045 Bruceville Road in Elk Grove. Admission is $6.75 plus skate rental. Call (916) 691-1800 or visit for rink schedules and group rates.

• The city of Carmichael’s Fourth of July fireworks are held at Del Campo High School, 4925 Dewey Drive in Carmichael. Admission is free, and fireworks go off just after dark on July 4.

• Register for the YMCA’s teen summer camps and teen athletic classes at the Central Family YMCA, located at 2021 W Street. Call (916) 452-9622 or visit for more information.

• Paradise Island Amusement Park is open seven days a week from noon until 10 p.m. at Cal Expo’s Gate 9 on the corner of Arden Way and Ethan Way. Admission is free. All-ages dances are scheduled for May 30, June 12, July 3 and August 7 from 9 p.m. until 2 a.m. Dance admission is $15 and includes unlimited rides. Call (916) 922-4000 for more information.

• Waterworld USA is located at 1600 Exposition Boulevard in Cal Expo. Rates and hours vary. Discounts are available for parties of 15 or more. Call (916) 924-3747 for more information.