Wednesday, March 28


Remember these questionnaire emails?
  1. What is your middle name? Rose
  2. How big is your bed? Full
  3. What are you listening to right now? 'Catching Fire' audiobook
  4. What was the last thing you ate? Raspberry Milano cookies
  5. Last person you hugged: Tom
  6. How is the weather right now? Sunny
  7. Who was the last person you talked to on the phone? My manager
  8. Favorite type of food: Asian
  9. Do you want children? I think I do ...
  10. Do you drink? Wine and vodka are my staples
  11. Hair color: Dark dark brown with artificial red tint
  12. Eye color: Boring dark brown
  13. Do you wear contacts/glasses? Glasses
  14. Favorite holiday: Christmas
  15. Favorite season: Summer
  16. Last movie you watched: Sliding Doors
  17. What book are you reading? 1Q84
  18. Piercings: One hole in each ear
  19. Favorite movie: Too many, move on
  20. Any pets? Marie Antoinette, the fabulous French bulldog
  21. Favorite flower: Don't have one
  22. Have you ever fired a gun? Yes; a gigantic shotgun
  23. Do you like to travel by plane? Definitely
  24. Right handed or left handed? Right
  25. If you could go any place right now, where would you go? Paris
  26. Do you have a tattoo? Nope and I never will
  27. What is the wallpaper on your cellphone? Fruit Loops
  28. Did you get enough sleep last night? No.
  29. First thing you thought about this morning: Hit snooze
  30. What do you have handy at your bedside? iPhone charger, lamp, glasses, book, water.
  31. Favorite song: Case of You
  32. First thing you'd save in a fire: The puppy
  33. Favorite color: Pink
  34. What do you always take with you? Lip gloss
  35. Color of your sheets: Aquamarine
  36. When is your birthday? April 19th
  37. What chocolate is your favorite? Dark
  38. Jeans or skirt? Skirts in summer, jeans in winter
  39. Shoe size: 6
  40. Do you have any strange fears? Open kitchen cabinets
  41. Have you ever broken a bone? No -- although my elbow has been pulled out of the socket
  42. Favorite TV show: Friends
  43. Favorite pizza topping: Green peppers and roasted red peppers
  44. What foods do you hate? Onions
  45. Do you smoke? NEVER
  46. Did you brush your teeth this morning? I did

Monday, March 19

How Beautiful It Is

Why I love my life;
full of moments of nothing,
followed by rest.

Wishing you the same.

Wednesday, March 7

Hump Day

To brighten up your Wednesday: a baby tapir.
I have loved tapirs since I was a little girl and read "Tilly the Tapir."
I have tried to find that book, all about a tapir who is so tired
(tapirs are generally nocturnal)
she doesn't manage to do anything.
But to no avail.
I think I may have the title wrong;
is it Tilly? Tully? Tabby?
The book was very old when I had it,
probably published in the 60s.
It smelled old and delicious, like paper and glue and ink.
The spine was broken.
I hope to find a copy of it for my own children.

I have plenty of time ...

Monday, March 5

From Beyond

I cried on my lunch break today.

I was eating a grapefruit, carefully extracting each segment and then sucking out as much juice and pulp as possible, and listening to a 'This American Life' podcast from a few years ago. The stories on this episode were about parents trying to impart wisdom on their children and how best to get that child to remember. The first story was about a young woman who's mother passed away from cancer. The mother knew she was going to die and she wondered how she could make her daughter remember her, how to make her know how much she loved her. So she decides to write her daughter letters, to be given by her husband on birthdays and her wedding day. These letters obviously were very emotional for the daughter. She feels love from her mother, she feels guilty that she has disappointed her mother for leaving the Mormon church, she feels inspired by the encouragement her mother writes.

In short, this could have been me and my mom.

And as the story came to an end I found myself crying over my grapefruit. Just recently, we had a scare that my mom's leukemia was taking a turn for the worse, and I ran through the mental preparations for death and funerals and life-after-mom. It's something I've done many many times. She's had leukemia for over half my life now. She was diagnosed when I was around twelve and intially they told her she had six to nine months to live. I don't remember how I felt then. Was I scared? Was I sad? Did I cry? I must have done all those things but they are so distant and I've felt those same things so many times, that those first feelings get lost in the wash. She's had many scares, many times when we were on the "last chance" and after living with that for seventeen years -- you start to wonder how many chances you have left. How many lunches you have together. How many phone calls remain. Looming death does strange things long term. You simultaneously hold your breath and move on. You take things for granted. You cherish stupid things. You wait.

But during all this waiting we've been doing, life has been happening. And I've grown into one of those cliched daughters that starts saying, "Mom really knew her shit." I realize now that every.single.thing my mom did for me or said to me, magically composed a Johanna over the years. My mother is one of those incredible people that loves so fiercely, it's completely encompassing. I have so many memories of her, vivid, vivid memories, that she will never die for me. And it's been a comfort to know that even when she passes on to whatever is after this, she was such a strong person that she left a massive imprint on my life, on my world. She is larger than life -- therefore, she is capable of surpassing death.

Love you, Mom.

Thursday, March 1

Just Dance


I've done the whole return-to-ballet thing. It was tough. Super hard on my body and even harder on my schedule. Now that I'm back in school, I don't have 5 nights a week to commit to 2 hour ballet classes ... and if you don't put in the time, you don't progress. Ballet is something you can't do half ass. If you try, you'll be so pissed off at how you can't do your splits, can't grand jete worth a damn, can't fouette, and your feet will hurt and hurt and hurt.

But modern jazz? That's something you can hop in and out of and really enjoy. Your old skills come back and you end the once-a-week hour-long class feeling like you had a fantastic time and actually danced ... (ballet can be a lot of technique, followed by more technique). Plus, my high school chum Becks is back in town for the year so she and I and our partner in crime, Hope, are abandoning our families on Wednesday nights in order to dance, dance, dance.

The other day (post finance class freak-out) I actually thought: what would I be doing if I hadn't stopped dancing? If I hadn't been sensible and chosen a "career"? Once upon a time, I think I was actually pretty damn good. And better at modern than I was at ballet, simply because my body wasn't made for ballet even though my heart was. I could be a teacher, dancing every day. I could be dancing every day with a company. But this is a dream. In reality, I probably couldn't have cut it. I get sick of artsy people. I need boring stability, if only to make my quirkiness seem more original. I like creative people in small doses ... except for myself, of course.

With that dream long gone, it makes me smile that I can still dip my toes in and revisit my old love.