Friday, April 26, 2013


Today was my last day working at the toy store.

I start the new gig this weekend.

I had been searching for a new job for about six months now, although the search got considerably more active within the last two months. There is a lot about my old job that I loved but I could no longer ignore the complete lack of opportunity for upward mobility. When you take ten years off to be a stay at home mom, any career goals you have will take the hit, and I don't have time to waste staying in one place, spinning my wheels. I have places to go people. There are many steps between Toy Store Worker and Secretary of State. Shit, I have a lot of work to do.

There are other reasons too, but really they aren't important. If I had stayed and voiced my feelings and thoughts, it wouldn't have mattered or helped. Jay and I have been discussing this for months and he made a great point when he more or less said, "All of these things you have issues with, there's nothing you can do about them. They aren't going to stop and people aren't going to change, so at this point, it's a YOU problem and the best thing to do is to just remove YOURSELF from the equation."

Which is what I'm doing.

I'm really, really excited about the new job. I had interviews with four different people before being hired so just the fact that I got the job at all makes me feel pretty great about myself. I would have thought that somewhere between interviews one and four I'd have said or done something to take myself out of contention, but I didn't! I managed to not fuck up four times in a row! The company offers a lot of room for professional growth plus I think that it's just a good fit for me. I'm at the point in my life where I want a career, not just a job.

Onward and Upward!


A few recently snapped photos.......

Cinnamon pine cones (Christmas year round, bitches!), a birdhouse made by the girl in her after school gardening club (topped by a bird made for me long ago by Hester, and a lovely blue jar found while antiquing with Visty. (I've written about the vase before, made by Catherine Reece.)

A Carter/Mondale poster purchased for Jay at the aforementioned antique shop. Jay's a huge Carter fan.

Lucy playing with Julius. Julius is all boy and tons of fun. He's no Isabelle of course, but he's sweet and fun. He's furry family.

Ants! I bought this ant farm mainly for the girl but the entire family has become smitten with it. Who knew that watching ants at work would be so relaxing? (This photo was taken two days ago. Numerous tunnels have been dug since then. Ants are busy, yo.)

I've been trying to do that more, bringing my camera with me when I go places, or even just remembering to grab it at home before a moment is lost. Life has been happening fast lately and I feel as if, even though I'm an active participant, I'm still missing something. I need to be better at documenting it all.

A few favorite things I don't have pictures of:

* Drinks last night with co-workers. Ladies who, after tomorrow, will be ex co-workers. As displeased as I've been lately with my work situation, these two gals have kept me sane. I'm excited about my new job, but I will so miss seeing these two on a regular basis.

*John Hodgman! Jay and I went and saw him last month. So fun. We really need to do stuff like that more often. As much as I scoff about the cost, I never regret a Date Night.

*Salt and Straw.  Odd flavored ice cream. (Pad Thai Iced Tea? Delicious!)

*Kornblatts Deli. The best bagels in town and a Seinfeldian menu. I must go back for the "Big Salad."

Monday, April 22, 2013

Monday, April 22

When I mention to people that I have a blog, or more specifically blog friends, they get this strange look on their faces and I immediately know what they're thinking. They have an image of me at a computer chatting with a bunch of boring people who can't get friends in real life. This couldn't be further from the truth. My blog friends are all smart, funny women with jobs or interesting hobbies and skills. They are strong women who focus mindfully on the good times and never stop fighting through the bad times. I've been lucky enough to have a relationship with a lot of these women outside of the internet, either meeting them in person or communicating via letters, phone calls, or packages, and would love to be able to one day say that I've met all my blog friends. They are people I've chosen, and more importantly who have chosen me, because over the course of time it's been clear that in some way we connect.

This weekend one of my blog friends passed away. Late last year she found out she was sick and her doctors only gave her three months to live. She fought hard and lasted six.

Even though she hadn't blogged in over a year, we were able to stay in touch through the magic that is Facebook. I'm struggling with how to deal with this loss. Obviously I'm not grieving in the same way her family is, but I'm still feeling her absence and dealing with the sadness that goes with it.

Five years ago, when we first "met", I immediately connected with her because she was funny, brave, independent, and totally honest about who she was. She was the type of person I hoped to be.

Everyday I still strive to be that person. Now I have to try even harder, because there is one less awesome person like that on the planet. I have big shoes to fill.

Rest in Peace my Ducky friend. You will be missed.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

An Open Letter to Old Navy

Dear Old Navy:

After having been lucky enough to avoid you for the last few years, I've recently found myself darkening your doorstep twice in one month. Once to shop for inexpensive black clothes for a job I'll be starting soon, and the second time was to find a dress for my daughter. Both times I found what I was looking for. Sort of. I mean, I really didn't. I settled. Every time I walk through your doors I think, "I'm not going to find the exact thing I want here, yet I will still probably buy something." Maybe you can make that your new motto: Old Navy. You'll leave disappointed, but not empty handed! Feel free to use that in a commercial with Jennifer Love Hewitt.

When I was looking for black clothing I found a cute pair of pants but then flipped over the price tag and saw that it read $34.50. HA. I literally laughed out loud in the store, and in my head I thought, "Yeah, that is not gonna be happening." If I'm going to overpay at a store, it's not going to be at Old Navy. I will go somewhere else and pay $30 MORE to NOT be wearing Old Navy pants. Here's the thing, I will never, ever, EVER, pay more than $24.50 for anything at your store, and if your sales rack is any indication, neither will anyone else on the planet. So, just stop. STOP. No one thinks they are getting style or quality at Old Navy, so just be the dollar store you know you are. That being said, I have another new motto for you! Can't afford to dress for the job you want? Forced to dress for the job you have? Old Navy has you covered.

Moving on..........

Your visual merchandising. Or lack of it. I would love, love, love to be a fly on the wall during a meeting of your visual merchandisers. I imagine it would go something like this:

Clueless Corporate Old Navy Person #1: Yeah, um, we're about to send out the new merchandising plans to all the stores. What important info should we pass on this season?

Clueless Corporate Old Navy Person #2:  Well, once they've dressed all the creepy mannequins, just tell them to open up boxes and start throwing clothes, completely un-ironed of course...

Clueless Corporate Old Navy Person #1: OF COURSE!!!

Clueless Corporate Old Navy Person #2: the direction of the walls. Hopefully it will land on the rack, but if not, whatever. Just remind the employees to not step on them as they are walking around actively avoiding customers.

Clueless Corporate Old Navy Person #1: Sounds like a plan! Work done!  Wanna go shopping?

Clueless Corporate Old Navy Person #2: Not at Old Navy.

Clueless Corporate Old Navy Person #1: Dude, of course not.

Once I've resolved to buy whatever inferior product I've been halfheartedly carrying around, I make my way to the checkout section of the store, which inevitably, is being manned by one completely ineffectual person. During the twenty minute wait in line, I'm forced to look at all the junky toys and video games that now litter your checkout lanes. Why, Old Navy? WHY!?!? Have you never been shopping with children? I've already lived through the hellish experience of shopping in your store with a child and I'm seeing the light at the end of the tunnel when I hear, "MOM!!! They have Kirby's Epic Yarn! Will you get it for me? Mom?! Mom!? MOM!? MOOOOOOOOMMMMMMM!"

I'm on to you Old Navy. I know you think that it's a good idea to have these add-ons near the register where my resolve is weakened. I've been in your store for eons, I'm tired and sad and clearly my life isn't going well (because I'm in Old Navy.) You think that I'm going to buy this overpriced shit just to shut my kid up. I'm not. Her whining doesn't bother me. I don't even hear it anymore. You're wasting valuable merchandising real estate on these items that I'm absolutely not going to purchase. The only thing you're really doing is giving me yet another reason to not return.

In conclusion, I do think that Old Navy could be a decent store, but it's gonna take a lot of work and I don't know if you have the energy for it. It might be easier to just to die, in which case, no one would blame you. For my part, I will assist in your suicide by no longer shopping at your store.

Feel free to contact me if you want to use the clever mottos I came up with. Contact me for information on where to send payments. Please note though, I don't accept Old Navy gift cards.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Parent/Child Dance

Tonight was the parent/child dance at Lucy's school.

Earlier in the week when I had a day off, I spent a large portion of it looking for a dress, one "with sequins that looked like a disco ball." I found one at Nordstrom but it was $45.  Eh. I carried it around for a bit before coming to my senses. After about six stores I braved Old Navy. (Seriously, it was bravery. I should win a medal.) I found this striped number with the pink tassels and, knowing it wasn't even remotely what Lucy requested, I bought it anyway.

When Lucy came home from school she saw the dress and proclaimed, "It will be perfect for the dance!!!!"

I've been doing this parenting thing for a while now so at this point I knew better than to point out that this particular dress didn't shimmer like a disco ball. I smiled and said, "Good! I'm glad you like it."

Jay and Lucy were at the dance for about an hour and a half before coming home. Apparently all of Lucy's favorite songs had been played so there was no reason to stay.

(As a side note, Jay told me that while Lucy was rocking the hula hoop, he danced all by himself to Dancing Queen. Because he's awesome.)

Monday, April 15, 2013


"Take care now--that last risk you took had hidden costs."

How did the horoscope on the Yahoo! homepage know that I recently got a $260 ticket from a traffic camera for not coming to a complete stop before making a right turn on red?

It's been a stressful couple of months:

There was the above mentioned ticket, which made me weep for days. Not just because of the cost, but because I've now ruined the perfect driving record I've had for nearly two decades.

I was sick for about three weeks, the sickest I've been in my adult life. When I finally broke down and went to the doctor I had a sinus infection, bronchitis, and a little bit of pneumonia thrown in for fun.

I've been job hunting, which, even under the best of circumstances, is never fun. But when you're doing it while being sick, it's even worse. On the day that I got my ticket, I was on my way to a job interview, had just finished working all day with my least favorite co-worker, and I had a fever of 102.6. Still the traffic camera took no pity on me.

What the heck?! Did the month of March not get the memo that this was to be The Year of Tammie?

But.....the ticket will get paid, I'm healthy again, and the job thing has worked out (more on that in a future post), so now that March is over I'll forgive it for dumping on me in such an unfriendly manner.

Let The Year of Tammie resume.