Tuesday, May 18

Too Happy

Here's a little confession.
I'm too happy to care about much of anything lately.
I'm fat and happy, living a charmed life.
I have a job I find challenging and interesting.
I have a husband who is a perfect match.
I have a puppy who loves to snort and cuddle.
I have two new cars and a new house.
I dance five days a week which keeps my mind calm and my body graceful.
Soon I will, once again, be caught up in the flow of life; the get more be more try more part of life.
But for now, don't bug me.
I'm too busy drinking in the goodness.

Wednesday, May 12

10 Things That Piss Me Off

  1. Pink tights every day in ballet
  2. Everyone driving the same speed, and the speed is LESS THAN 50
  3. Irrational reactions to a misunderstood situation
  4. Doubt
  5. Fear of looking old -- I shouldn't be afraid of looking old
  6. People who think hamburgers should cost $1
  7. Comments made by others in faux self-deprecation that are meant to belittle you
  8. People who say they "hate" TV; please join the social world
  9. Sunny skies but cold temperatures
  10. Dirty fingernails

Sunday, May 9

Somewhere Out There

Somewhere in this world I have another mother. And every once in a great while, I think of her.

Mother's Day is one of those days.

Adoption is one of the greatest things a human being can do. It can also go unappreciated. I know several adoptees who feel anger towards their birth family and irritation with their adoptive family, as if their adoptive family can do nothing right by them because they are not of blood relation. My mom (the one I call mom, the one I love, the only one I know) is as good as or better than most moms I know. She raised me so well; I'm not sure how she did it. Somehow she was able to give me a childhood filled with endless hours of imaginative play, as well as build my adult socialization skills, making it possible for me to enjoy being a kid and transform into a successful adult. She also instilled me with a strong sense of self. She let me dress myself even when I looked ridiculous. She was able to separate herself from me enough to let me become my own individual. We like different things and some things we both enjoy. She respected our differences and encouraged me to work hard at anything I pursued. She showed me that life is hard so you have to push back even more to succeed. And best of all, she showed me that love is not about blood, it's about love.

My other mother, the one who gave me birth, was able to give me a fantastic life by giving me away. I am forever thankful to her. I feel no connection to her; just an intense benevolence when I think about the happiness in my own life because of her sacrifice. She probably doesn't think of me often, and that's okay. I want her to be happy because in reality, I have lost nothing. I have simply lived another life. And I am happy.

Happy Mother's Day.

Saturday, May 8


I don't know how I survived the week.
In addition to tackling new projects at work --
Monday: Bought a new car.
Tuesday: Signed the lease for our new house.
Wednesday: Ballet -- last day in the "baby" class.
Thursday: Attend Advanced Class, then go to dinner with Caitlin and Cam.
Friday: Advanced class again, this time with pointe. Then dinner and Iron Man 2, followed by an after party that lasts until 5AM.

I was awake for 24 hours. I haven't done that for a very long time.
Now it's time to tackle the hated mountain of laundry.

Friday, May 7

Two Done

It happened today, my 2nd day in the advanced class.
After we put the barres away, she said, "We're going to do pointe today." She looked at me and said, "Johanna, let's give it a try."

So I did. Not 100% perfect. But I would say I succeeded in surprising myself and my teacher.
At the end of class, as I walked by Michelle to go home, she said, "Good job."
I really love myself for not being afraid to try.

Please cross off "become a ballerina again" from my list.

Thursday, May 6

Adventures of the Advanced Class

The Advanced class is described as: "The sixth year we have learned how to do everything on Pointe and have learned how to execute all of the steps. Classes are now four to five days per week (2 hour classes). This year we start to really learn how to perform and must remember lengthy combinations. We also learn to dance with pain if necessary."

I was very nervous. It always helps when you have a friend there, though, and I did. I had two: Kathryn (another returnee like me) and Brittany (a brand new dancer, only 2 years in). But I was still nervous. Brittany had already been to the class once; we were supposed to go together Tuesday, but I missed it because I had to sign the lease. So it was my first time in. As we're sitting on the floor stretching, Kathryn sees my nude fishnet tights and starts to laugh. She says, "You remember Michelle, right?"

Michelle. The toughest teacher you will ever have. She pushes you hard and isn't afraid to tell you exactly what you're doing wrong. In front of the whole class. In a loud and clear voice. For example: she walks in, sees me, and says, "Hi." But not with a smiley face at the end, with a question, like, why the fuck are you in my class. Then, when we're doing plies, she says, "Those are the only tights you could find?" And I blush and say, "My pink ones were dirty." (A lie. They weren't dirty, I just like to look different from everyone else.) Or what about this: I overhear her asking Brittany very pointedly, and loudly, "What are you going to do about pointe? Who's going to give you the beginning pointe lessons? Because I'm not." Michelle is slim on the compliments, but I like it because when she actually says "good" you know she isn't blowing smoke up your ass.

Considering I had to learn all the combinations on the spot, I didn't do too badly. We didn't do any pointe. When she asked me about my dancing experience, I said, "I've danced on pointe for about 4 years, but that was almost a decade ago." I'm not sure she believed me about the decade thing. I'm not sure what I'll do when that day comes. By the end of class I was sweating hard and my calves and feet were exhausted. But I felt accomplished. I felt challenged. I felt like I had something to work for, something I didn't feel in the other classes. Part of that, I'm sure, is because of Michelle. I am so excited to improve my dancing because I am in love with ballet. I think I enjoy it more now than I did before.

On my way out, Michelle asked me not to wear my tights again, "They should be pink."

Saturday, May 1

And One More Thing

Look at Reese Witherspoon's toes in this picture.
I got this pic from The Skinny Website.
Hey -- don't be a hater.
A little harmless celebrity/weight obsession is normal.

Strange. What do you think is going on there? The second toe is crazy long and then the fourth toe is non-existent or shorter than the pinky toe. Maybe the toes are moving because she's walking, or maybe her shoes are uncomfortable. God that looks weird. Like a deformed foot.

Not Old

I'm not old, but I am the oldest person in my ballet class.
The girls range from ages 13 to 18.
I have only one classmate who is of drinking age.
I always tell myself that age is nothing,
but every once in a while I start to feel silly and out of place.
Then I remember what I felt like at that age:
Silly and out of place.

See? Age is nothing.

On to the Next Task ...

Buying a new car.

Let me tell you a story. Tom and I bought the '95 Saturn in 2003 for $3500. And then again when we came home from China for $1500. Now it is dying. The process has been slow but not painful. We've put very very little money into this car over the past 7 years. Over the last year its manifested a series of strange problems: the check engine light came on, then off. It stalled as Tom came off the freeway last fall. It stalled earlier this winter in the same place. I thought it was Tom's driving. So I banned him from driving it and then replaced the fuel filter, thinking maybe that was the problem -- an easy $50 fix. I've been babying it ever since.

But last week it started taking longer and longer to start. Time for another $60 fix -- a new battery. Today, however, as I was driving home, it did to me what I thought would only happen to Tom: it died on the side of the road. I thought I felt it shudder as I decelerated, and then as I went to turn I could tell the power steering wasn't working. And neither was the car. I was able to use my momentum and get it into a 7-Eleven parking lot. I waited a couple minutes, started it up, and drove it home.

I figure that I have, at most, one more week to drive this car. Let the search begin.

Here are the two cars I'm seriously considering:
The Toyota Yaris
Really cool interior
Awesome gas mileage
Super cute and little but with BIG storage capacity
Obviously I wouldn't get red. I would get white or black.

Or perhaps this:
The Ford Fiesta
Yes, it's back in style and back in the U.S.
More horsepower than the Yaris (we all know how I like to speed)
Also has awesome gas mileage.
Push-to-Start engine (NO KEY!)
And remote keyless entry (not sure if this is available with the Yaris)

Both are small five doors. I like the five doors because it makes room for most anything when the back seats are folded flat. I'll admit, I am leaning towards the Yaris. The price difference is practically nil between the two, but Toyota is offering 0% interest for qualified buyers, which would probably be me because I have fantastico credit and they will probably want to give it since their brand has suffered such a hit. Also, from the pics, I like the lighting and layout in the Yaris a bit better. I'm not a fan of red dashboard lighting (which the Fiesta has). It makes me an angry driver -- which I tend to be anyway. I know that Toyota seems to be a reliable brand but you can never decide until you drive it. What if it's really loud or shaky at high speeds? I know that the Fiesta is getting really good reviews. I'll have to see how loud the blinker is. Tom and I test drove a Focus before we were married and the blinker was insanely loud.

I'm going to try using the Costco Auto Program because I hate hassling with car salesmen. I will say, though, that Tom and I have a good dynamic. He's the nice guy and I'm the bitch. It throws off the salesman, disarming him with charm and then hitting him hard with an immovable price I want to pay. But if we use Costco's authorized dealer we get a certain amount off the MSRP and don't have to deal with all the bullshit. 

At least I found a place to live.

A Win

Victory is mine! So, maybe people don't find the perfect apartment after their first trip out -- but I did it on my second try. I haven't really written about the actual getting of the apartment, even though I've known since Friday, because I've been waiting for Tom to see the place. That's right; he trusts me enough to agree to live somewhere I've chosen without even seeing it. BUT. I didn't want to go on and on about how excited I was if he ended up hating it -- a slim chance, but you never know.

We went by this afternoon whilst the landlady was cleaning and preparing to paint. As we turned onto the little one-way street we'll soon call home, Tom was a little nervous. After all, there is a semi-scary apartment building at the entrance to the street. But once you start down the road, you can see that it is lined with miniature houses like ours. I'll admit, even though I tried to prepare him for the small size of the place, he was still surprised. However, he loved the location (don't we all?) and the renovations she's made to the place are dandy. When I went to see the property the first time the tenants still had stuff in there and it was hard for me to be really nosy and grasp the space; I like to stare at a room and visualize how my furniture will look. So this time I had a good long hard look. Also, with this return visit, I've had time to assess what we have at the current apartment so I can really picture what should go where. I turned on the water. Great flow. The bathroom and kitchen are fantastic. Especially the kitchen, very open and in the center of the house. The washing machine is only a couple years old. I'm going to get a big fluffy rug for the downstairs laundry area -- to make it more cozy and less dreary.

We'll be moving in during the last week in May. This is the part that I hate: the moving. I'm hoping that we will be able to make small trips with stuff in our cars on our way to work and then make one BIG move with the furniture. And then comes the cleaning. Cleaning the old place and cleaning up all the random crap that accumulates when you live anywhere longer than 2 weeks. Maybe it will give me a chance to sort through all our mail. Nah, I'll probably just bag it up and complain about it. The only good thing about moving is that you are forced to see what items you've forgotten you had. The items you haven't seen or used since the last time you moved. I'm going to stop talking about it because it's depressing me.

And who wants to be dragged down by the drudgery of moving when they should be thinking about new furniture for the house? I only need two things: a kitchen table and a futon ... and the futon is sort of negotiable. We just would like a crash space for people in the second bedroom if they need it. We sort of want a new tv -- especially in light of the fact that our current one (thanks Tash) may not even fit in our new living room. There is a black bar-height table with two saddle style stools (which I love) for $50 that I am seriously considering. It will go well with our bar stools. They're white, but I think black and white will be cute.

I am so thrilled that everything worked out. We're signing the lease on Tuesday.