Sunday, January 29, 2012

I had to get new sneakers for Freyja today, the old ones were too small.  I hadn't really noticed, which makes me feel like a rotten mother. 
I don't usually buy her shoes.  Rolf and she have a shoe purchasing ritual, where they ride the bus downtown together a couple times each year, to get new shoes at Nordstorm.  I can only imagine what the shoe lady must think of Rolf with his scruffy gray beard and the faded jeans he wears to the lab, with acid burns in them.

Freyja wanted to get running shoes, like her father's, so that is what we got. 

This is the first pair of shoes with ties, so we had to spend a little time practicing, but she learned in a snap.

I remember my grandfather teaching me to tie my shoes when I was four.  I was  on a trip to Idaho with my grandparents to see their mothers and I remember sitting in the spare living-room of my great-grandmother's house in Fruitland, with her Boston Bulldog darting around, carefully making the rabbit run around the hole, to tie my saddle shoes. 

Freyja thought it was funny, when I told her that when I was a child people didn't wear tennis shoes for everyday, the way they do now. 
I told her that I only had tennis shoes for gym, and they were called gymshoes.
I remember that it became quite commonplace to wear gym shoes all the time around the time I was in 6th grade, which coincided with a move from a small blue collar town, to a affluent suburb.  My mother had landed a big, real job, after being a student for a long time, our lives were changing quickly.
I felt like I had landed on a different planet.  A planet where people wore Nike tennis shoes all day and demanded to know where I shopped, which felt like the most bizarre and rude thing anyone could have asked me.  I was brought up to be discreet and to overlook things that might embarrass people, and it was as if the girls in my new school had been taught just the reverse; rudeness and cruelty reigned.

The spring I was in 7th grade my mother had done extremely well at her job as a stock broker, and she took me on a trip with her to New York and we did a lot of shopping, because my mother knew that it had been a long old year, as my grandmother would say, not having the right shoes, and not being a skilled shopper.
When I returned to my Jr. High from that trip, I saw those girls through a very different lens and I almost felt confident in my new shoes and my New York clothes. 

at the base of the statue of liberty 7th grade

Thursday, January 26, 2012

a new dog

We have a new dog. 

A small black mutt called Rose, that my mother brought for Freyja's birthday.

She is a sweet dog, but young and a little yappy.

I am not really that bothered by yappy, but most people are, so it makes me nervous.

I really didn't need another thing to make me nervous, but there you go, someone gives your child a dog, and you pretty much have to go with it.

snow day!

two dogs

You don't want to be the one that sent the puppy back, or at least I don't.

The thing is, that I don't really like dogs.

I like small white poodles and the occasional apricot or maybe a chocolate poodle.

Aesthetically I can appreciate a wire haired terrier or a  Airedale, but I don't want one in my kitchen.

This dog isn't so bad, she doesn't shed.

Shedding is a deal breaker for me.

I can't do hair, ever, for any reason, not even human.

I just can not abide having stray hair floating around.

So as far as the hair factor goes this dog is really pretty ok.

She is just not cute, to me.

My mother kept exclaiming "isn't she cute?!"

Well, no, she isn't really cute to me.

I have pretty static taste, I don't find all children cute and I don't find most dogs cute.

I might be impaired, my ability to sense cuteness might be all fouled up or something, but my idea of cute is just very narrow, and this dog doesn't land on the continuum.

She is sweet, and charming.

I will give her that much.

Freyja loves her already, which is the point.  So I guess I will learn to love her too.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Rest in peace

I turned 44 this week and I think it will be fine. 

I am vain about a lot of things, but my age isn't one of them.

I read of the death on another person I went to high school with, over the weekend. 
She makes the third in as many months.  

It wasn't anyone I knew well or was friendly with, or even thought highly of, but it feels strange to know that people of my relative age are dying, here and there, and that it will happen with greater regularity in the future.  Naturally I felt sad that someone with only about half their life lived had passed on, but the first thing I think of these days is the mother.

Oh, dear, her poor mother.

How on earth would you ever recover from losing your child?

That is what I think of, not the dead person, but rather, the mother.

In early December we got the news that Mark was ill.  That he would be ok, but that he was ill and he would require treatments and tests and waiting, and poking and that he might get sick again, and all I could think of is that it would be so much easier if I could just do this myself, because the worry and grief I felt was so overwhelming, that I would have preferred to just be sick.

Which is how I imagine a mother to a dead child feels, if only I could just do this for you... 


Thursday, January 5, 2012

I finally threw the towel in and quit my old yoga class, after faithfully attending twice a week for two years. 

For the past month I have been sampling classes at the Eastside community center, which is kind of far to travel; the facility is nice and new and makes up for the drive. 

I like the Monday night yoga a lot, and the Tuesday night yoga class is ok- the teacher has a weird voice, but no one is perfect, right?

This past Tuesday I arrived to find the studio crammed with athletic looking women (and one man) dressed in sneakers.

Not a good sign. 

It seems that the class had been changed to "belly fit" some kind of hybrid of belly dancing and pilates, which sounded sort of doable, so I decided to stay.

I didn't have sneakers, so I hid barefoot in the back with two other women from the yoga class.

The bellyfit class turned out to be heavy leaning toward the dance element and very light on pilates, which I am good at, it figures, right?

I don't dance.

I lack even the slightest bit of rhythm and have only enough coordination in my body to walk and chew gum at the same time, most of the time. 

I frequently run into walls, trip over cracks in the pavement and fall up stairs.

I am super flexible and very strong, that is why yoga is my friend. 

Dance on the other hand is like a cruel Jr. High girl, out to make me look like a fool and feel terrible about myself.

To add insult to injury, there were wall to ceiling mirrors, so my humiliation was on display for me and the whole class to enjoy. 

It was like a cross between Elaine dancing on Seinfeld and and exorcism.

Have I mentioned that I don't really know my right from left? 

Well I don't, I always have to look.  Long before I was married I wore a ring on my left hand so I would look less like a dumb-ass when occasions to know your left and right came up.

North and south? 

No problem!

I can give excellent directions and almost never get lost, I just need someone giving me directions in the car, to tap on the window, or gesticulate wildly so I know which way to turn.

Anyway, I made it through the class, and I may go back for another round tonight.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Mark and I had dinner out at Broder   on the 22nd, to take advantage of having my mom in town to provide childcare.
This was our second meal, we had breakfast there last summer.
Both times have been really lovely.
It happens to be in a cute little neighborhood right next to where I work.  I like cute, charming and quaint.  I was happy to be in a quiet place.
The space used to one of my favorite restaurants, which went out of business, so I was glad that something nice went in, instead of just another hipster bar, or pub. 

A cocktail with beet juice and caraway seed!

Smorgasbord, carrot soup, and more BEETS! 

pretty entrance

I'm a little tired, but that's ok, it's pretty dark and no one was very fancy or good looking.

Sparkly vintage dresses across the street.

Christmas 2011

Swedish Christmas dinner, "just like eating at Ikea, but better" says Maxwell.

On the way to grandmother's house!


New blazer, cords and an Edgar Allan Poe T-shirt- going for a certain look, if you know what I mean.