Sunday, February 26, 2012

After spending most of Saturday in a unwashed stupor, I pulled myself together to go look at yet another house for my mom.  This one has a lot of promise, but it about five miles away from my house, which is a bummer.  I had imagined the kids being able to walk home from school to her new place, because it looks like I will be working longer hours in the near future, and childcare is a bear. 

I woke up this morning with a pretty significant cold, which could explain why I have been a crying mess for a couple of days.  I would like to spend the day sleeping and feeling sorry for myself, but I don't see that in the cards.  I somehow failed to arrange a playdate for Freyja, so she will no doubt requires a lot of entertaining from me.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

I woke up at six to reread a document I have been worrying over for days.
It's good, it's persuasive and well written, but I can't seem to stop thinking about it.
Work has been felt like a yolk on my neck for months and this week in particular I've been no good at letting things go.
I'm skipping an important training on diversity, today and being a little bit selfish.
Perhaps that's why I had an inner drive to take one more look, just to rationalize not working on the weekend- much.
My yoga work has been about self love, not  moxie or bravado. Stop being tough and feel what you feel.
Learning to love who you are where you are, which is tricky.
Much like that legal document, I tend to want to pick things apart endlessly and have a do over.
I had coffee with a friend this week and we talked about love, death and motivation and whether people are essentially the same, or if they change.
We talked about growing up in a certain type of  upper middle class, suburban landscape and how that informs personalities and types.
Does the container produce the product?
I still feel raw from my experiences there.  He works on himself, I work on myself, I have no idea if the work in progress ever ends.
His thesis was that the boys we grew up with were largely self centered and superficial and emotionally shut down because they were a product of their environment.  My thesis is that you chose love, sensitivity and compassion. You actively chose to be a kind person, it isn't innate or consequential.  You decide who you are going to be.
"you weren't that type." I said.
"I could have been."  he said
"but you weren't."
He is a writer and sees things from a writerly point of view.
He is the witness.
I take it all very personally and want to smash things up, and cry and pound my fists, but it isn't in my character to be destructive. I was brought up to be polite at all costs.
I told him I thought he was letting people off too easily.  I could tell he thought I was too harsh.  We agree to disagree without saying so, and walked out into a pretty, clear night.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

The new dog likes to chew things up.

I hadn't had to deal with that issue for a long time, not since I first got Teddy Braun in 1988, so it keeps taking me by surprised when I find shards of pencil, or a decapitated stuffed pig lying around.

We are in the dreariest portion of Oregon winter, the part when it doesn't snow and ice, but is it just long drenching cycles of gray damp, dark mornings, and drizzle, not really warm enough for a parka, but not shirt sleeve weather either.

The dog is not pleased to go out into that scene alone in the mornings, when I need her to pee self sufficiently, she wants companionship, so that adds an extra wrinkle to my morning.

I've purchased pink Hello Kitty rain boots for Freyja, as an enticement to walk to dog, but it's pretty hit and miss so far.

When my children were younger, I dressed in darkness, creeping down the stairs in silence to bathe quickly, which  allowed them to sleep a bit later.

Rolf would walk Maxwell to school for me, and I would take the sleeping baby or toddler to work with me in pajamas, dressing her in my office.  In those days I opened the school by myself, in the winter darkness, hoping no homeless people were sleeping in the playground tree-house. 

These days I have to have them up and ready and in the car for carpooling to different schools,  so I turn on all the lights and walk the dog, careful to give the cat a wide berth; the new dog has not yet made peace with the old cat.

It is all very stressful, and requires care and timing.

I frequently marvel at the mechanical way I do this routine five days a week.  It never changes, but it almost always feels remarkable to me that such a simple life is so cluttered and complicated.  Not smooth at all.

The past few nights have been broken up into segments punctuated by  vivid dreams.

A friend told me it was the new moon phase that was waking me up.

I wish it would stop.

Sleep is hard enough to come by.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

It's been busy around here, again a week passed and I feel like I have nothing to show for it.
Perhaps a little clean laundry, but that hardly counts.

I've read a few good books and one clunker, chicklit piece of fluff.
The devil all the time   by Donald Ray Pollock was so intense it gave me nightmares.
The characters are brutal and brutalized and I get shivers just thinking of the story.  Well written but not for the weak stomached.
The Outlaw Album oddly enough was right along the same lines, a collection of stories, some riveting some just so, so.
If you are like me and you like to get into people's heads and see what makes them tick, and are fascinated by  dysfunction, then these are good choices.

Town House by Tish Cohen, was the fluffy one.  The writing is painfully contrived, but the idea of the story is ok.  I kept reading, hoping the phoniness of the author would wear off.

My cat has developed the habit of chewing the spines of hardbound books, which is disturbing.  Most of my nice cookbooks now bear the marks of her wrath.  I have no idea how to make her stop. I wonder if it has something to do with the presence of the new dog?  She did it a little all along, but has taken it to a whole new level recently, wiping out Martha Stewart and Laurel's Kitchen almost completely.  She spared Julia Child, only because Julia is in paperback.

We started watching an absurd, comic series called Delocated    which made me laugh out loud.

So lots of links here and not much substance.  That is what I seem to have time for.

Freyja is calling me from the bath, needing something that is out of reach, no doubt.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

did I post this last year or the one before?
Thinking of my dear friend that died in 1985, but lives in my heart.

I loved you

more than all the sleep and Goodwill bins in the world 


Thank you.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Java Jive

We drink a fair amount of coffee around here and have burned through a number of coffee makers over the year.  Recently we've had two die in a row, after lasting about six weeks, which makes me think that things are just not made as well as they used to be. 
It is not possible to purchase and American made coffee maker, I've tried.  You can take your pick between really cheap American brands like Mr Coffee and Black and Decker, or the fancier European brands like Krups but they are all made in China and I haven't found one that lasts more than a year yet.

I am not staunchly opposed to buying yet another cheap coffee machine and have gone back to what I used to do in my 20's, which is make espresso in a stainless steel pot, the kind you boil on the stovetop. 

The coffee tends toward unevenness in strength, but at least I know the pot will work every time.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

My mother is moving back to town.

I am her house shopping assistant.

Her husband wants to be urban.

My mother hates urban, and has demanded a hippie free dwelling.

No hippies, no homeless, which pretty much eliminates most of Portland.

My husband told her,

In Portland you will either live with actual homeless people, or hipsters that look homeless.  

She would like to move back to the suburban house I grew up in, but her husband won't go for it.  He says he can stay in California for that.

It has been a bit stressful.

I was sent to look at a "townhome" yesterday.

I laughed out loud and offended the real estate lady. 

The real estate lady thought that I wasn't fancy enough for the townhome, I could tell.

I cannot imagine my mother in this place in a million years.

I told the real estate lady, 

My mother will not get marmoleum & cork.  She will think it looks dirty and old fashioned. 

I suspect there are a lot more viewings in my immediate future. 

On Friday evening I went out to coffee with an old friend.  His father had passed away and he was in town for the funeral.  

He is the second  friend of mine to lose his father in four weeks.  

It was  the second dessert and coffee I had, had out in a month. 

I told him about the house hunting, and the hippies, and the moving thing.  About my grandfather's frailty and my mother's recent illness and hospitalization.

He told me about his mother's decline and his father's decline and death.  

It was a very strange conversation, but I was happy to have it, to offer my hand and what little comfort I had in me.  There is something deeply humanizing about a common experience, I suppose.