Girlfriend in Tacoma

Mar. 3, 2009 at 9:08pm

the thing about the Bond Levy...

(I try not to get heated up, honestly...)

Here's what I think: the people who went to low-income, in-want-of-repairs schools never complain about voting yes on bond issues. They understand that education comes at a cost. They understand that a nasty-ass building doesn't inspire "oooh, I like school!" --And, in point of fact, nice schools have enough trouble inspiring school-happy thoughts. In general, kids don't necessarily want to be there. But old, poorly designed schools are repugnant, to kids, to teachers, etc. Their programs might be great, but there's something to be said for a nice environment. It's why we live in the northwest, for pete's sake.

Many of us remodeled kitchens, or decorated bedrooms, and we realized it doesn't come cheap. Why we expect that major repairs for far larger structures shouldn't cost *even more*, *exponentially more* is a bit... odd.

Many of us think, hell, I pay my taxes. Schools should get what they need from that! --well, if we look at the amount of our tax money that goes into the schools, and then look at the daily cost of operations... we might be in for a rude awakening.

Right now schools in Seattle are being closed and lawsuits are being tossed around. So we a few schools that fall apart on kids in 'em. Cost of lawsuit: lots. Fixing to begin with? smart. Closing schools? Imagine it's yours. It could happen, if your attendance goes low. Resources re-allocate, aince schools are paid per-capita, and boom, you're stuck bussing your North-Tacoma kid to a different school. Or, imagine your lovely North Tacoma school, in its brand-new, nicely heated state. class sizes average 19 kids, roughly. Imagine, then, a school nearby closes. Suddenly, you've got 10 extra kids per class in your school. Think that won't tax your kid's education?? And do you think that resulting lawsuits won't cost???


oh, yeah, I'm voting yep. Because it's not that much to pay for equality in education.

comments [3]

Feb. 21, 2009 at 1:03am

go see dance, support your local dancer...

(mlk and MOVE! 10 are wicked-cool)

The kid had dancer-hand-out-programs- duty, (although I think there was a miscommunication) and I had to deliver the sweetest baby to his costuming mama, and so the stars were all in alignment and I was on-hand to see MOVE! Ten tonight. Last night, really. ----REGARDLESS---

The MLK Ballet crew outdid themselves and brought an amazing show to the SOTA theatre (and will bring it again, today at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.) --Proceeds will help to bring dance to those who can't afford to bring it into their own lives. Dang, I wish the program had been around when I was a kid... but at least I have it, now...

Involved in the adult class as I was (am, just temporarily not, finances and babysitting costs and kid's needs and emo-ness at issue here) I knew all the dancers of The Company, and have seen the pieces performed, just not in costume, and in make-up. I watched the run-through before the show, and was stunned at how amazing Lisa Fruichantie's costuming was, and how effective the mourning sequences were emotionally (and me with much mourning experience, I'll tell you what, Joe-Bob) Shelby and Jordan stood out to me personally, with "The Couple" --whether or not you've ever been in a mourning/grieving situation, you can relate to the yearning, the pulling away, the pain, and the hollow ...strength that is relationships in times of strife. All the pieces performed-- and the music by Portland Cello Project (and Mozart --God love The Requiem) were stirring and stunning. And that was before the proper make-up (regrettably, we missed the second half, as The Kid became excessively annoying midway through the last performance pre-Intermission...) --at any rate, as for the rest of the show...

--There were the rose petals and hand-seats (reminded me of a kid I went to Kindergarten with, who had a house on Chamber's Creek, he had one of those hand-chairs in, like, 1976?) of Alloy Dance Project --but there was also the concept of labor and work mixed with strength and dynamic movement... The music was haunting and amazingly live-feeling (a portent of things to come?) with drums, guitar, and song; they all helped underscore the concept but in a way that was totally not high-concept; it felt accessible and looked beautiful.

Then there was the BareFoot Collective piece, "Risk in Expectation," a dance-film mixed with live-dance featuring Katie Stricker. Striking is the best word I can use for the piece, with its black velvet and curly hair (on film) and fabulous bob (live) and emotional intensity and restraint with abandon; the contrasts with the piece on film to the same piece, live, were also striking, and it was a highlight for me.

Trouble was, the evening was filled with highlights. Project: PB TMOG was off to a rough start when live musicians set up and appeared to have amp issues; the piece itself was a semi-grueling seven movements (or do you call them pieces? I don't know, I'm not dance-sophisticate enough to know terms that well) --BUT it was filled with unexpected pleasures, like the live music that could have almost felt redundant if not for the heartfelt rendering of it; the guitar alternated between an atmospheric guitar-goes-weirdly-eerie-cello and soothing waltz-like strumming; the teeny but loud, simple keyboard chords and soothingly wailing voice underscored the feelings the dancers emoted and made me feel comforted while uncomfortable; it was like I was put in touch with feelings I'd been repressing and the bodies on-stage were putting it out there, within the womb of music, for me to accept...

The Kid proved to be my undoing, though, rather loudly asking "how much longer" and stating "I'm *thirsty!* and in general making me feel as though I was a distraction with my partnership; at intermission we said a quick goodbye and left.

I strongly urge anybody to see it today. I challenge anybody who questions the somewhat avant-garde nature of some of the pieces to ask themselves what they're afraid of. I hope everybody can someday open themselves up to dance.

it's super powerful shit, man.

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Feb. 19, 2009 at 5:06pm

firsts at forty...

(feeling out of the loop...)

so, here I am, mostly unemployed, and needing to find a way to pay my bills (and considering myself lucky that the Significant One takes on the lion's share of the financial burdens around here.)

I wasinformed there's a crossing guard gig opening at my kid's school. Sounds decent, my regularly-scheduled life can go on as planned with the exception of getting slightly earlier starts each day. Meh, I can handle that.

Trouble is, the online application process is, like, insane!

I was approached for the job by the school's office staff, but the job isn't posted. So that pulls up a red flag-sort-of warning when I go to submit app. And despite the fact that I have a Bachelors in Psychology with a minor in Ed, I lack relevant job experience (particularly of late... I nannied and worked in day care centers, but that was, like, the nineties.) --Once I began my foray into the wild world of journalism, I kinda' didn't have time to do kid-ish things in the school, which means that red flag number two comes up, and probably I won't be referred to a non-existent job.

Further, I have never *had* to do an online application. It's a frustratingly anonymous process, where you're given bubbles to classify yourself, and if you're more vapor-like than bubble-like, you don't have a chance to flesh out the essence of yourself. Even in a resume, I can illustrate how amazingly skilled I am in diverse directions, but it's not as though kids are my life, and have been my life over the last 30 years. But... dude. I can put myself bodily in between a car and a kid if need be, I'm a mom. And I can make angry eyes over my glasses, I can smile and be friendly, too, when necessary. I'm told I am quite good with kids.

And yet... Because of the "process" I may or may not be able to help out the school, and have them help me financially in the process. And I'm learning a weird little lesson in how much suckage there is in trying to find a job, especially in the here-and-now...

bah, anyway...

comments [11]

Feb. 16, 2009 at 4:47pm

be-e-est day, eh-ver!

(forty is an amazing number.)

I will admit to being depressed as the imminent four-zero loomed. I felt like the number marked the ultimate, "kiss your youth goodbye" moment.


Possibly, I did kiss youth goodbye. Definitely, I ushered in a Better Era.

The last forty years have been all about me finding my stride. When I first began running, I would either sprint or, exhausted, stop. As I became a better runner, I discovered that I could slow down and take in the sights, the smells, the ideas, the thoughts, and it all lasted longer and was more enjoyable... and even if I wasn't running a seven minute mile, I was experiencing Life. It's almost as if, now, in the first week of year forty, the concept of finding stride has struck me.

This weekend illustrated, beautifully, that I am in a really-and-truly Wonderful World, whatever number you call me, and despite the fact that my regularly scheduled day job ended effective the Friday before the week of my B-Day. The Monday after that,The Man had pearls sent to me. Very nice pearls. And there's a symbolism there that I had to visit: difficulty, and time, beget beauty.

My sister came home Wednesday night. I say "home" though this part of the world hasn't been hers since the mid --late? --eighties; for her own reasons she's seen the rest of the world as a flight attendant and then as a housewife in England, and now Orlando. I was proud to show her the places, things, and people I love. Thursday as the kid was in school (and my actual birthday) we went to my Top Three Places I Love: Dwell, Mad Hat, and The Rosewood. Maureen impressed my sister with her knowledge-in-bare-feet sensibility (and the people in the airport loved searching her bags, assuming the green stuff in baggies wasn't to be placed in water and drunk) Barry gained my sister's love when he and his staff served us a yummy lunch and lovely wine, and then later, after my kid decided we weren't invited to her V-Day party despite offering treats, he offered us tastes of wine from a Washington winery whose offerings were truly lovely. Shelly earned our love-- and my sister's $50 overweight luggage fee-- with wonderful wonderful amazing trinkets for her to take home to house and kid sitters (and herself, along with the tea.)

Then Friday hit. My B-day party, with all things french thrown out as a thematic idea. I have to admit I left my own party before I was ready to ( a wee bit too much wine, a wee bit too little food through the course of the day meant an 11 pm pass-out --call it the rigors of old-age) --even still, lovely, lovely, wonderful, lovely, and --dare I say it again -- LOVELY friends came, even bearing gifts, flowers, well-wishes, and good times.

I realized, with the gift certs from friends (angela j and cassio-- y'all are awesome), and the letterpress-hunk-o'-love from the Chickadee, and the wine, and the ART!!!!!, that I am blessed with people in my life who *get* me. I wanted a house full of chat, laughter, food and wine, and I was not disappointed (most especially thanks to Kris, big kisses) --and it was extra fun to see my sister finally talk about her youth and background as a Tacoman, after a good hunk o' time away... fun, fun, fun times.

And then Saturday, my mom and aunt hung with us... And the kid and her auntie, and her grandma and great auntie, and I, all enjoyed Mamma Mia --fer sure, Pierce's voice had challenges. Fer sure, I wanted to be the busty, blond, thoroughly edible, beautiful-voiced bride-to be. Fer sure, it wasn't, like, the intellectual be-all and end-all of the cinematic universe. BUT my mom, my kid, my aunt, my sister, and I... we all watched, laughed, sang, and even cried. It was a family moment completely 180 degrees away from our last get-together, when we sprinkled my step-uncle on Mt Rainier.

There was joy, youth, and life, even as teh last somber occasion celebrated the same... but from a different direction...

but I realized... forty isn't the end of an era, it's the end of a chapter. I liked the last chapter, and there might have been passages I took for granted. I have memories of those passages, so it's like a book I can go back and revisit. I can revisit those chapters with loved ones from my past, like my sister and mom and aunt, or I can explain and re-tell those chapters to my kid and my man and the stories --and my past life-- can gain a new vitality.

But mostly, I feel warm and fuzzy that I have gained forty years of love, and life, and experience. I have a world-view that enables me to appreciate riches like Tiffany's and Mont Blanc pens and Pouy-something-lovely-white-wine and triple creme and French Cinema, and that I can listen to Abba in a two-thousand-and-nine context while remembering melting our borrowed library version of the "Arrival" LP in the back seat of a summer-hot car even as our mom dressed in polyester flared-leg jumpsuits and platforms... I can appreciate all this in a much-more-dear way because I know my kid is going to remember her mom and auntie laughing, crazy and giddy, singing Abba and The Sound of Music at the tops of our lungs as we remembered being her age...

I am lucky, in ways I can't ever articulate. I hope someday, as a 40 year old, my kid can *get* me, too...

comments [3]

Jan. 15, 2009 at 7:42pm

back on the grid?

(wow. it's been a while!)

Yesterday a friend of mine asked me how I've been; she'd not seen me around and commented that I've been off the grid.

Even though I feel gridlocked in many ways, I pretty much have been a quieter, more stressed out, less happy version of myself lately.

Just recently, though, I feel like I'm coming out of hibernation slowly, and as I went for a gorgeously heavy-breathing, nearly-puking, hilly-hellish run today, I wondered how long it'd been since I felt the pavement under my feet like that and breathed in freedom. It's been too long.

The Man came home briefly for the holidays, and idyllic as it was to have whole-family time, it was a surreal time... I felt like I was in a movie, and the film would end at a specific time. It did, I spent a lonely New Year's Eve with the kid (who fell asleep conveniently at 11:58., arrrrrrgh!) and then proceeded to sink into my depressed place, the same place I went to when he first left.

But it's getting better.

Things I loved when I was hibernating, Tacoma things like Dwell and Terra Organics and (not quite Tacoma but delivered to my door and local) Smith Brothers and the Rosewood and MLK Ballet's adult class and post-class drinkie-poos are still constants. Mad Hat Tea is a new favorite thing ever AND a constant. A new and improved (holy moley, it's gorgeous!) Morgan Family YMCA will become a constant, though the training will continue at the downtown Y.

But good things are to come. To my happy list, I can add, "think about spring. plant flowers, plant vegetables." --I have a bazillion biodegradable egg cartons to plant in, whee. I have ideas for a makeshift greenhouse. I have a man coming home for keeps in the spring. By the time I have for-real sproutlings in my egg cartons, things may get back to normal.

Until then-- you'll see me around, oh yes. Virtually and fer-real.

I'm back.

comments [9]

Nov. 20, 2008 at 9:39pm

...the Hell?


Looks like Sandpiper Gallery is **NOT** closed!!!!!,******--forget about what I said they were....!! I was a discombobulated idiot, and mistook the Barker sign for them... ****** 

Of course, I still feel sad/guilty that a business is closing...but optimistic that at least one gallery is surviving, thankyouverymuch!


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Nov. 5, 2008 at 12:15pm

smells like...hope?

(change is in the Tacoma aroma...)

It's like there's been an infusion of Prozac in the air around the kid's school, in the YMCA, and all around the neighborhood.  Are people really walking with a spring in their step?  Are they really smiling more readily?  Or am I just noticing these things more because I'm smiling as I walk with a spring in my step?

Yesterday at the polls, I noticed a couple of lines that had people buzzing-- happily, even-- with conversations like they were having during the caucuses.  Hope, change, record turn-out... those seemed to be the buzzwords.  In the evening, as the kid and I went to her ballet recital, there was an electrified buzz to the air.  A girl, 8? 7?, talked happily about how Obama was ahead with electrical votes.  Two moms and I, previously not particulary chatty with one-another, happily repeated the news back and forth of the early returns going our way.

I wandered up to a private party at the Varsity Grill and noted a primarily middle-aged appearing crowd (err, people my-age-ish, thirties and above) --prdominantly white, and I heard sounds like you'd hear at a horse race, go go GO!!!! --all rooting on Obama. 

Is it just me?  Or is conversation and go-between flowing more freely past color barriers all around; has yesterday's big political moment really unified us (or, at least, the Blue among us?)  --It has me musing.

An interesting moment happened last night as I waited for some kids to be picked up.  We were a diverse bunch --African American, home-schooled, Latino/a, white -- and mostly all under 10 years old.  A political conversation started up.  (ya think?)  And one girl admitted her mom was for Obama, her dad was for McCain.  The others in the group, all of them, were aghast.  McCain?  Why??  --As if the girl had control over her dad's opinions.  She responded, well, he thinks McCain has more experience.  And the girls started to pooh-pooh such a ludicrous idea.  I had to stand up for the girl, because I remember how it felt to be a HIllary supporter in the time of the Primaries.  I asked the girls, if you could choose a teacher, would you choose the young one with the fun ideas, or the older one with all the experience?  And they all went for young and fun.  I said, well, those are your value judgments and others value another set of things.  It's okay to have different ideas, that's what makes the country stronger.

As for me, I value prosperity with social responsibility.  I value action based on progressive thought, rather than inaction based on status quo.  I value resources like our environment and our youth.  I feel like, for once, a candidate has a similar set of values, and has the ability to galvanize a record number of Americans into political action and even political passion-- could you even have used the two P words together in a sentence 20 years ago?  Not since nineties-Clinton, did we hear and see the youth voice the way we did yesterday; even then, I don't remember hearing so many people talking about registering, or hearing of so many first-time voters.  --Even, as I stood in line, people *excited* about voting.

And today?  People excited about the outcome.  People hopeful about the future, despite the bleak economic situation we're in.  People feeling that change, and hope, are in the air.

I don't doubt that the country and its incoming leader has huge hurdles in the coming years.  But for once, it seems like the times, they are a'changin'... for the better.

comments [1]

Oct. 17, 2008 at 11:11am

yeah, no, not dead.

(tired, though)

Goodness I've gone quiet.  All around, really.  Blogging, socializing, exercising, etcetera-ing... just not a lot happening. That's not entirely accurate, plenty has been happening, just quietly.  

I've mostly finished a romantic schlock manuscript, began selling the betty bags at my friend's fabulous shop Orange (formerly Junior Bizarre) and have been working the standard twenty-four hour a day multi-job dealio that is parenting, having a day job, keeping a house from crumbling or attracting rodents (except for the one legit rodent who is, remarkably, alive and not devoured by hounds) --as well as hanging out with good friends on occasion, digging on ballet and weight training, (but not so much with the running since I seem to be working up a fine case of plantar fasciitis) and prepping for holiday festivities (made the kid a cow girl dress for her school's sock hop and the party we're throwing at the house.)

So, yeah.  been busy, I guess.  Last night I had a corrective emotional social experience, not that things were damaged from a prior experience or anything, but I've been feeling lackluster at some of the last functions I've attended. The Fulcrum Gallery was super-duper cool fun, I met some great artists and spent time with work friends and even bought a swell id card certifying me as a bona-fide tacoma girlfriend; then we moseyed on to Dez Flershinger's show at embellish.  We'd just missed motopony, but it was cool to chat briefly with Linda, Bennet, DB, and Angie.  Next we offed to Sanford and Sons, passing by Orange and seeing my happy little satchel in the window.  We learned the Lark is closing for monthly shows after their Nov show, which is sad because I love the energy of the place.  

In the Lark, a friend told us that Vicci Martinez was playing, no cover, at Masa.  My friends hadn't seen the space yet, so we were off.  I've not seen Vicci with her whole band yet (sad to admit that the last time I saw her was an accoustic singer songwriter thing at the Maritime Fest a lot of years ago)  --omg, she's good.  Not a usual live music lover, I was nonetheless in love with the pipes on that girl, and the whole everything (great chips, yummy dip sampler, a good house red) made me warm & fuzzy inside.

Today, I'm tired after a night out, and I have not a whole lot of plans.  work-type-stuff needs to happen, I'm meeting up with a friend for an afternoon Rosewood, then getting the kid and doing a whole lot of mellowness.  Maybe I'll make a leek and potato or butternut squash soup (my eggplant experiments have turned out yummy) and we can carve pumpkins and watch kid-scary movies, or something.

Sometimes, I just love autumn...

comments [2]

Sep. 14, 2008 at 3:54pm

on kids, bikes, and cars... who's right?

(golly, I feel grumpy.)

So I took the kid to her school playground today. Goal: I'll jog, she'll ride her bike.  And all's well with that until two boys come along, large-ish corn-fed boys who want to race their bikes around the track.

When not hormonally empowered, I play well with others, or at least keep my grievances to myself.  Not so, today.  As boys race behind me, they holler, "get out of the way, we're coming through!" --I'm in my little track lane, keeping to it, and as they pass me super close, I scream, "don't you know pedestrians have the right of way??" and the one kid's all, "is she talking to *us*?" --incredulous-like.

As they come back around, and as I'm getting my kid (who was respectful and polite to even the smallest of pedestrians as she pedaled) I snap at the kid, "yeah I was talking to you.  If you're in a car, pedestrians have right of way.  On a mountain, the downhill skier has right of way.  If you can't control your bike, don't freaking ride it on a track, where, yeah, PEDESTRIANS HAVE RIGHT OF WAY!"

Thinking about that on my way home, I fumed.  Why should I be teaching little shitwits rules of the road as they're about to cream me?  Where are their parents to teach them? (same little idiots also did a couple of rude maneuvers around my kid, as she rode, so my rage had built from a few different experiences.)  --Even still, am I right?  SHould I have run into the grass to allow them free-range?  (oh, wait, they didn't give me directions, ie "on your left" so how the hell was I to know which way to scatter?)

Meanwhile, as a biker, I will often ride 5 mile drive and be irritated as I ride up behind pedestrians, three abreast, with a dog or two on retract-o-leash.  "Coming behind on your left" is generally met with angry, confused looks as they skooch ever so slightly to their left, right into my path.


Or as a biker, how many times have I been nearly pushed off the road by an angry motorist, protected by his big fat SUV?   Then again, as a motorist, how many times have I been irritated by bikes *in the middle of the road* going their own sweet, leisurely pace?  (not, mind you, in intersections, but, like, up hills... one guy, last week, traversed his uphill on his mountain bike, on the residential road in front of my house, as I attempted to pick up my kid from school...)  --And then, there're people who commute by skateboard, coasting down hills in a similar, sideways back and forth manner, and I'll wait impatiently until they realize, CAR! --and move out of the way (generally glaring at me) ....???  WHat's up with that?  Were these people borne of the same entitlement theory that has the kids in my neighborhood playing street-luge, skate-park, and basketball *in the middle of the street* glaring as I drive by?

So here's the last of my rant, my granny-saying moment:  When I was a kid, we did the whole "car back!" thing, and moved the fuck out of the way, quickly.  As a biker, I try to hug the shoulder much as I can (sewage grates notwithstanding) and as a biker or runner, I try to use a polite system of calling left, and passing left so that I, the faster vehicle, am in the way of traffic, should any appear.  Am I wrong to assume similar road etiquette from others?  Whatever happened to good old fashioned road manners, like a smile and a wave even as you pass the bikers and other alternative-mode-of-transpo users???

*rant over.  we now leave you to your regular programming.*

comments [12]

Sep. 9, 2008 at 4:01pm

The mayhem begins...

(scheduling insanity.)

Yes, it's only one kid, and yes, I'm already overwhelmed.  And yes, it's only the first day of her official fall schedule of events starting.

Even still, between that thing called a day job, that other thing called trying to get healthy again (ie, lose the weight I've picked up over the summer) and that other thing called getting the kid to school, to the doctor's, to the dentist's, etc, etc...  Well, I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed.  And here I was, waiting impatiently for this schedule stuff to start... Soon there'll be MLK Ballet, YMCA swimming and gymnastics, and (hopefully) piano. 

I'm not sure if we'll keep all the events, I'm sure there'll be tweaking (I don't want that over scheduled life, and yet, she's choosing the activities, and has chosen this number of things...)

At any rate, I'm sure it'll all work out fine, and we'll settle into a groove...

(but in the meantime I'm tired)

comments [3]


musing her way through arts, culture, dining, shopping, exercising, and parenting, all while wearing a pungent, truffle-like aroma.

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