To bus, or not. That is sometimes a question.

I took the bus downtown last Sunday. It was pouring rain outside, but I had promised my friend, Lisa, that I would come to visit her at a Mano, that cute little shoe store. As I walked a block to the closest stop, a van came by and splashed me with water from behind, from head to toe. The umbrella helped a bit, but I had water down the back of my jeans. My shoes got the worst of it, I think. It really made me (almost) feel like crying in an “are you kidding me?” way, and it got (no) better from there.

As I waited at the bus stop, I took down my umbrella. Within seconds, a car came by and water splashed up on my face.  Gross, I know.  And, no, I did not have my mouth open (a friend asked afterward).

The bus arrived, and I gladly boarded. Take that, rain and you fast cars that like to splash pedestrians. The bus was crowded but there was a free seat near the front. I decided to grab it, causing a woman with short-ish blond hair to slide over to the seat closest to the window. I soon regretted this decision, as she was talk-shouting with a man seated diagonally from us. He had two small children with him, was sporting a sort of bowl hair cut and wearing a wedding ring.

No matter the latter, the woman seated next to me continued to scream-shout at him, asking questions about the kids (Is he Indian? No, Chinese.)  and sharing details about a recent trip to Mexico. “I got high once or twice,” she shouted to the entire bus. “And my friends gave me some stuff to take back with me,” she announced, proudly. She then went on to describe how the police boarded a bus she was on while coming back to the States, so she bolted to the bathroom and flushed the drugs down the toilet.

At one point, she softly scolded the kid for not answering his dad’s question. It made me think that perhaps they knew each other prior to the bus ride. The guy then asked the woman, “Does that mean I’m a bad father?” (It was, incidentally, Father’s Day.) Oh, no, the woman said. Kids just have so much on their minds, and their minds are always wandering, and they’re not always paying attention to what you ask. She complimented the man’s son on his brown corduroys and shoes. She then stood up, turned around to show the label (which I never heard of) to the man and kid, and started talking about her designer jeans. Her movement caused me to shift over a bit because it’s not like there is really room for modeling on a bus.  I remember her mentioning designer jeans twice because, of course, I’m sure the kid cared about that.

Just your basic Sunday conversation on the bus, ya know.

The man and his kids got off the bus at the second stop downtown (Westlake/Nordstrom), and the woman immediately got up and moved a few rows back. The sudden departure made me realize she had no idea, really, who those people were.  She started talking with someone immediately, describing how she was on her was to Chinatown (AKA the International District). Her friends were there, she said, and it sounded like there were more drug connections there. “I got high already this morning,” she said triumphantly.   As annoyed as I was to have ended up next to her on the bus, it also made me pretty thankful to not have an addiction like hers. It would be a pretty sad existence to be searching for that drug connection every day, and showing my unknown designer jeans-clad butt to strangers on the bus.

Dreaming of shoes …

I saw these fabulous shoes today


Silver & chocolate suede shoes
Dreamy shoes, from A mano in Seattle.


at A mano, a great little store in downtown Seattle. My friend, Lisa, works there. I could walk out of there with several pairs of shoes … the distressed white cowboy boots, gray suede sandals or these lovelies … in silver and chocolate suede. Cute stockings and tights, too … including some high high knee socks from Japan.

The description of these shoes alone might make you melt and they’re perfectly beautiful, and expensive.  A girl can dream.  Sigh.

Of flash mobs, and friends



ABBA flash mob - Seattle
See that girl, watch that scene, digging the dancing queen Credit: The Seattle Times


Piper made me do it. I saw the “ABBA flash mob” post on Facebook and was mildly curious, but I would not have done this without Piper.

She called me a night or two before the rehearsal and said in her Piper way, “Mary G., you have to do this with me.” She said that she needed to do this, that her life was very full right now with a new baby, Noa, and also 2-year-old Demri. She said something about the need to do something fun and how she felt overwhelmed with life. My reaction? I told her that I thought she was too cool to do a flash mob.  “What?” she said. “I’m a big dork.” So, I was reminded of why we are friends and get along well.

So, dorks that we are, we met for the first rehearsal. Piper almost immediately was taken with Bobby, the choreographer, in the same way that I was initially struck by him. He’s funny and a great teacher and a fabulous dancer. Goofy, yet a little cerebral … and the making it fun part helps when you’re a volunteer dancer who is not really a dancer but who likes things like “Glee” and ABBA.

I met Taichi, or Tai, at the rehearsal, too. I recognized him from the Glee flash mob. Jessica and I had run into him (not literally) at Top Pot doughnuts … after the Westlake performance but on our way to Seattle Center. He had a few friends who were also flash mobbing, and he told me that he’s leaving Seattle soon to go to school in Georgia, so he’s taking advantage of all things Seattle (like the flash mob).

The first practice went well, though I could only stay for half of it (one hour). I found myself more annoyed with the somewhat strange people who show up for these gigs than Piper was. She was very amused by it all and enthusiastic. She’s a good dancer and she also found her theatrical self in the performance. You can see her in the picture above to the right of Bobby and in between the “00” in the 100 years of Swedish.

We missed the 2nd practice, but both of us rehearsed with the video over the weekend. We then hit Monday’s night final rehearsal at Century Ballroom. Piper brought Wayne, a neighbor from Orcas, who was curious about the whole flash mob thing. I thought he was going to dance with us but as soon as he saw the dance, he took a seat and decided to spectate at this one. I ended up hanging w/ the group until close to 9 p.m. (after a 6 o’clock start), since we did a site visit over to the Swedish Medical Center campus (where we performed Tuesday).

I can’t decide how flash mobs make me feel, exactly. They are definitely fun and make me happy.  I have always loved ABBA, dating back to one of the first 45s I purchased in 8th grade (“does your mother know”), … so it’s not the fun that I’m pondering.

Flash mobs in some way make me feel a little bit in the middle, and OK … shy. I’m not cool enough to be an “A” team member, though if I decided to be forceful, I could be (as was evident w/ this flash mob), yet I’m cooler than most of the people who are way into it, and ask questions that really aren’t necessary, but they’re just so into it that they can’t help themselves. OK, now I’m bordering on being a mean girl, but hopefully some of you are following this thread.

One of the things I realized through this flash mob experience, though, was that maybe I don’t know some of my friends as well as I thought that I did. It was really a minor revelation to hear Piper admit she is a dork and we are now tied forever to the historic flash mob, the Swedish anniversary, and some things ABBA. I’m glad that her dad got to see her, too. He looked so proud and happy after the dance, and that was sweet to see.