Thank you for your interest in the Customer Service Representative I position with the City of Oxnard and your participation in the written examination.  Although you passed the examination, you did not pass high enough to move forward in the recruitment process.

I honestly thought I had done better than this. I was confident I had aced the dumb test at least. I mean, there were 100 candidates vying for 3-6 positions so I didn't think I'd be hired but I thought I'd at least qualify for an interview. Color me stunned. I guess I'm comforted that I can at least say last week I was not in the best frame of mind. I'd been running back and forth to see my dying Gran, taking Casey to the doctor and basically suffering from PMS. Oh well. An insider sent me this note:
I don't think they are offering these position to anyone after all.  Several people got lay-off notices a few weeks back and I believe they are looking at placing these individuals in these vacant spots. 

In Gran news, the other night she was taken from bed, put in a wheel chair and joined the others in the common room to listen to hymns. Mom and I were shocked she'd had such an upswing considering the last time we saw her she couldn't even keep her eyes open. Apparently it is not uncommon to go through these hills and valleys when one is nearing the end. She has not eaten at all in two weeks save for soup broth. She has had the occasional sip of liquid but nothing substantial. Yesterday, she told Mom and Bub she wanted lunch and a beer and though she didn't eat, she did partake in some near beer. She's not had a bowel movement in two weeks despite a suppository so I think an enema is next. Her blood pressure and heart rate are high to overcompensate for her body failing. It won't be long now but who knows how soon.
UPDATE: Mom and Bub went up to see her this morning and she didn't move a muscle. Her eyes are closed and her breathing is very shallow. Death is a confusing process.

And finally, in knock-me-over-with-a-feather news, yesterday it was announced that my employer has decided to make the company ESOP (Employee Stock Ownership Plan). I, along with 13 other coworkers, am now an owner of my company. Considering there are so few of us and we are such a profitable company, this is like striking the lottery. I won't see anything until I retire but boy am I glad to know I will be well taken care of. I think my dad is smiling down on this decision 100%. So I guess I'll be okay with being poor now knowing it will all turn out pretty well in the end.


A 405 Kind of Weekend Pics

 On Friday, Casey graduated from Pre-K. I'm a proud mama.
 Christa in party mode
 Figuring out bouncy houses are actually fun
 The birthday girl (pic courtesy of BFF's ma)
 Saturday night pre-storm rainbow
 And the other side
 Friday night cousins
 Saturday morning cousins: different day, same ottoman
 Weird rainbow cloud on the way to LAX to pick up Bubbo
 The Savage
Weight Lifting. God help me.


Gay Day Haiku Friday

Confederate flags 
Are coming down country wide
And now there is this
Good job, Supreme Court
Allowing the gays to wed
Equality rules
I wept tears of joy
Progress affects the future
Hopeful for my kids


In The City

Three months ago, almost to the day, I applied for two positions at the City of Oxnard. I used to work there before I came to my current job to work for my dad's company. Sometimes I regret leaving just because there is a stability to working for the City that I won't have here. Anyway, I saw a position and applied for it sort of half-assed because I wasn't stoked at how things were going here at my current job. Since then, though, my coworker left and my position has changed and I am feeling a little better about things. One position invited me for a test a couple weeks ago but I didn't go. When a second invitation for another test came along, I decided to take it for the experience of it all.
It's been over a decade since I last did the job hunt thing so I thought I'd go through it just so I'm not rusty. This morning I arrived to take the test wearing what I would wear to the office, just some black slacks and a nicer shirt with some flats. There were people there that were essentially wearing pajamas, piercings and bra straps and tattoos exposed for the world to see! Frankly that may make me sound practically Puritanical but I can't imagine not giving a shit even if it was for a Scantron test! There were about a hundred people - including the brother of one of my closest girlfriends - there and I saw maybe a dozen that actually looked like they tried to put their best foot forward as far as presentation goes.
We were given two hours to take an eighty question multiple choice test that focused on how to perform customer service and clerical duties. I'm an old pro as far as all that is concerned so I had no trouble at all. There were fifteen Spanish words and we were asked to provide the antonym. I felt pretty confident on all but maybe one word. I think I have the leg up on the competition for being somewhat bilingual and intelligent. I managed to breeze through the test in less than thirty minutes and at no point did I question any of my answers.
All those people were vying for three official positions and perhaps three more that were to open up somewhere down the line. It's at the dump and you have to be available to work between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. so I assume the schedule shifts. Working on some Saturdays and holidays is required.  I'm pretty confident I had the 70% passing rate they were looking for. It would be a pay cut for me but I like the idea of selling myself and having the option of turning the job down should I actually make it to the interview and/or hiring process. I'm not exactly certain this is a position I'm even interested in but it would be nice to be on an eligibility list or for someone to think I'm a good candidate for something more fitting.
When the job was described it reminded me of the perks of my current job so I have some Zen now:
  • No holidays
  • No weekends
  • 8-5 every day
  • Flexibility to do all the things moms need to do
  • Good vacation
  • Retirement contributions
  • Less than ten minutes from my house
  • More money
  • End of the year bonus
  • No dress code
  • Very little actual supervision
  • Nice Christmas parties and Christmas gifts
  • I've literally known all my coworkers since I was a little girl
  • This is my dad's company
  • A fairly great salary in this area
Really the only real cons I have are:
  • My crazy micromanager boss who also happens to be a genuinely nice guy but doesn't seem to think I know how to do my job even though I have been doing it for nine years.
  • Sometimes feeling unequal distribution of work amongst my peers.
  • Office chair ass
  • No other women here 
  • Fear that our small company's time is limited despite being really successful.
It's an interesting time. I like it. I can't wait to see where this goes...



It has been a week and a half now since Gran was in the ER. I have been to see her four times since she has been on hospice and there doesn't seem to be much of a change. We are all trying to prepare for her death but that in and of itself is a very stressful feeling to have for more than a couple of days especially because she can live anywhere from a few days to a few months and no one really knows. She has not eaten solid foods or had a BM in a week now. She takes a couple sips of Ensure a day but other than that, she is bedridden. She sometimes cries out in pain or mumbles in weepy incoherence but mostly she just lies there with her eyes closed and tells us how tired she is.
My mother is handling her mother's death a lot like she handled the death of my father, very business-like with a faux strength. I finally had to intervene a bit and remind her that despite the last several hard years of Gran becoming her "burden" she is still her mother and this is a time for grieving and connecting, not a time for making plans and arrangements. I convinced her to ask my uncle to come from Germany to help during these trying times seeing as there is only so much support my brother and I can offer considering he and I both work full-time, have our own spouses and have children to tend to. She conceded and admitted that she could use the moral support and didn't mean to stretch us so thing.

Here's what the rest of the foreseeable future looks like and when I think about it I kind of start wigging out:
Tonight: Husband on call, dinner at my brother's.
Tomorrow: I go for a test for a new position. Husband goes to the VA in the valley to be assessed for further benefits. Husband on call.
Friday: Casey's pre-K graduation, my filling
Saturday: Sasha's bday party, Husband on call from 7p - 7a.
Sunday: Husband on call from 7a - 7p (yes that is 24 straight hours), me picking up Uncle from LAX. Was supposed to see some out of town friends for brunch but I think that's not happening now.
Monday: Husband on call again and I know this is when my period comes because now is the time for PMS, the time for PMS is now.
Friday: No work but I have both kids and no husband.
Saturday: 4th of July which is actually going to be super nice and fun (god-willing) but it's still a "thing."
Monday: No work but I have Christa. Was planning a visit to BFF & Co.
Tuesday: No work but I have both kids and have to take Casey to the ENT (and that means surgery or more tests or evaluations will follow shortly thereafter)
Wednesday: Paying the piper for having that many days off work
Saturday: Uncle leaves and neighborhood-wide yard sale participation because we're going to have to get rid of the things Gran had in her apartment (assuming she passes).

I mean, this is in addition to just living, being a mom, working at my job. You know... regular stuff. Then on top of it I assume Gran will die and things will need to be done in accordance with all of that. This has me taking Xanax, losing my patience, not sleeping, no focus at work, hurt feelings, lots of crying... I'm trying to distract myself with 20-year high school reunion planning but I think that distraction may be a hidden stress cloaked in party planning? I just don't know any more. I was thanked for meddling but called a meddler nonetheless. Sometimes I just wish I could have a real vacation. Somewhere quiet, near a body of water, with no driving involved and just play time with my children and their dad. Is that so much to ask?

MORAL OF THAT STORY: "The Scooby-Doo gang were meddlers, too, and they always saved the day." - My ever so supportive Husband. (Sadly, I am going to have to quit the rolling with Scooby and company real dang soon if it means I am losing my shit all the time.)


Weekend Pics

 Friday we were referred to an ENT specialist because those tonsils, and likely adnoids, have to go. Here we were killing time in the waiting room.
 Saturday was haircut day because he has to look sharp for graduation!
 We went to the Hueneme pier and stumbled upon a Farmers Market and played in the sand. The weather was warm and gorgeous all weekend.
 Christa in our sandbox looking like she's in paradise.
 A friend and I went scoping spots for an alleged 20-year reunion. We hit the new Topa Topa Brewery in Ventura. I wasn't impressed but I drank the beer nonetheless. Shocking.
 Sunday Morning Happy Faces
 Happy Fathers Day


Haiku Friday

A proud mom today
Casey's pre-K review was
Positively great
His teacher hugged me
Said I was such a neat mom
I was so flattered
He excels because
I participate and care
That's called "parenting."


All The Things

Monday: My 90-year old grandmother had to be taken to the ER. She was dizzy and nauseous and the people at the home "had never seen her like this." She was discharged at the end of the day after being treated for a potassium deficiency. I had a dentist appointment at 2:30 and found out I have cavities and fillings to replace. It seems as though Casey got Mama's teeth and that is not a good thing. What's another $300 when I'm already dropping a grand on him?

Tuesday: Casey has his dentist appointment at 8:45 so in order for me to take the day off to care for him, I had to come to work from 7-8:30 to play catchup from leaving early on Monday. Casey's sedation and the procedure went as planned. They were able to cap his back teeth and fill some cavities and remove the one loose tooth up front. He now has two teeth missing and it is the cutest thing ever. He's very happy about his "silver Iron Man teeth" and that's really all we can hope for.

The anesthesiologist told me that when she tried to put the tube through his nostril, she found an obstruction but said it was not adnoids. She agreed his tonsils are big and we are going on Friday to see the primary care physician about getting a referral to an ear nose and throat specialist.
At around 5pm, I got a call that my Gran was going to be put on hospice. Husband brought her some Advil at about 6pm and said she was in a wheel chair and very confused.

Wednesday: Today I went to see Gran. She was asleep when I arrived so I woke her up. She was very confused. She said she didn't know if she had gone to the bathroom or not so I asked if she'd like to go. At that time, a nurse came in and told me that yesterday she did not go to the restroom all day but did end up on the toilet last night and peed for five minutes straight. She timed it. She refused food all day yesterday. This morning she choked on her pills and had merely a sip of water. I asked her opinion of it and she said she felt Gran had given up. I agreed. So Gran did not end up using the bathroom after all. She thought I was her grandmother. She asked to go home. She asked why her mother had not come to help her. I tucked her into bed and she was shivering so I just stroked her hair and body until she fell asleep. I stayed there for about a half hour more and then left back to work. Hospice is coming at 3pm to make her comfortable. I assume when hospice comes, there isn't much hope. Gran's mind has been gone for some time now so really his is the best and we are all prepared for her to pass.

In the meantime, I have a dentist appointment coming up to get my work done, Casey has pre-K graduation, there is a test for the City of Oxnard that I was invited to take because a position is opening up. There is chatter that an announcement will be made by July in regards to the job I currently have so I'm on pins and needles about that and hopeful for a raise. Husband worked until 6 last night, went back on call from 11:30pm until 3 a.m. and had to be back today to work from 8:30 to 5:30. He's on call for the following two weekends, 12 hours each day plus a few other days of call during the week. It always seems to happen like this.
Today is the four-year anniversary of my Grandpa dying so I almost expect Gran to die tonight in some cosmic superstitious way because they shared a birthday. When Grandpa was dying, Husband and I were knee-deep in moving ourselves and our son into our house. When Daddy was dying, I was pregnant and Gran's apartment needed to be cleared out because she was being moved into the home. It seems like whenever things are overly busy, one of us drops dead. So these are the things we are going through over here. I hope for my Gran's sake that she "goes home to her mother" soon and effortlessly. As I sat with her, I told her to go if she needs to, just like I did the last time I saw her husband.


Busy Weekend Pics!

 Friday after work was backyard fun time. Christa didn't want to be interrupted at her tool bench so she turned and angrily said "Shis!" which is her word for cheese.
 Then these two goofballs looked adorable.
 Saturday morning she wanted to wear all the tutus.
 Here BFF is holding her new beep, Josie, but I held her too and it was bliss.
We didn't have a swimsuit for Christa.
 After baby meeting we headed to a hotel in Torrance and swam in a super cold and overcrowded pool. After that we had dinner and Casey hugged me to keep from selfies.
 Sunday morning cuddle puddle at the hotel!
 The most important picture ever taken.
 This is a leafy sea dragon or some such at the amazing Aquarium of the Pacific. I recommend you go. It was really fun and we spent hours there. AAA gives a good discount on tickets.
 She couldn't hang.
 Here Husband is cruising the PCH with Casey.
 9 years I've known this guy and this is the first time we have ever met face to face. Rad! Thanks, Blogger. Forging friendships for real.
 Queen Mary
 Lighthouse selfie with my love.
 Siblings. Ugh. Love them too much.
Casey couldn't hang either...
So he missed the Daisy Dukes.


RIP Godmother Haiku Friday

A card and a check
Throughout my entire childhood
Special occasions
Alzheimer's stopped her
But I continued to write
Mother's Day, Christmas
Godmother Anna
Though I have never met her
I still mourn the loss


This Is The End

Husband and I finished Daredevil and we were not ready to jump into another series quite yet so we decided to order This Is The End from Time Warner to give the old Netflix a break. When this movie came out in 2013, roughly the equivalent of 100 years ago, my brother insisted we watch it because it was so funny. Considering the cast has been in many of my favorite movies of the past, I'm surprised we didn't get around to watching it until now. Now that I have seen it, however, I can say that I'm not exactly impressed with the time or $2.99 I will never get back.
The movie starts off well enough with Jay Baruchel visiting Seth Rogen, both Canadian natives whose friendship has changed thanks to Hollywood fame. Seth wants to bring Jay to a party at James Franco's house despite Jay's hesitation to mingle with the celebrity element there. The party itself is ripe with cameos and some hilarity that gave me high hopes for the rest of the film. However, once most of them are wiped out thanks to the arrival of the biblical end of times, the whole thing kind of just loses speed and goes off into directions unexpected. I simply wasn't expecting there to be actual demons and exorcisms involved in this movie or for it to fork off into such religious territory but boy did it. I guess what I'm saying is, unless you want to utter the words "what the hell are we watching?" multiple times over the course of nearly two hours, this one may not be for you.

MORAL OF THAT STORY: Don't take movie recommendations from stoners unless you are currently a stoner yourself.


Some Summertime Yumminess

For my niece's birthday party, my sister-in-law asked me to bring a fruit salad. Because I didn't want to just bring a bowl of diced fruit, I decided to add a little extra. My fruit salad consisted of bananas, peaches, grapes, blueberries, raspberries, mandarin orange slices and strawberries. The fruit was perfectly ripe and delicious and had I not eaten all the tacos, I'd have eaten all the fruit. True story. So to spice up this already amazing fruit salad, I decided to make a concoction my mom had made a few times before. It basically tastes like super-whipped Orange Julius and is perfect for dipping fruit.
Note: The cornstarch is kind of weird but after only about a minute of boiling and stirring it started to get thick. I used a whisk to break it up a little bit but I say keep over the heat for five minutes tops.
I texted this shot to BFF before I made it because it reminded me of Tommy Boy when he has a mini fridge in his new office and he talks about all the stuff he can put in it and his dad says "Anything you want to keep cold." It makes me laugh every time.
Here's the final product! If you want to just slice that fruit up so it's a more dip-friendly size, it's a little easier than what I tried to do because that Cool Whip gets pretty thick. I thought adding a dollop to the top of a scoop of fruit would work out better. I mean, either way, it's delicious. But yeah. It's a dip, not a dressing.


Weekend Pics

 Saturday morning artwork
 Husband didn't believe Casey was scared of heights so he put him in a tree. I think Casey's face confirms he is indeed afraid of heights.
 "Take a picture with your sissy" never really works out.
 Daddy & Toots at the Cross
 Mommy & Capood, same place
 View of the beautiful day we spent mostly outdoors. Picnic included.
 Friday Sunday Pancake Breakfast
 Farmers Market means balloon swords and face painting. That's Batman, by the way, not a black butterfly. We talked to Casey about the lady doing the face painting and he said "Hers was SO OLD." And he was right. She had to be 90. God bless her overcharging old ass. $10 for that? Please.
 Pre-party! I actually got Christa to wear sandals!!!
 Niecey Lici is 4!
End of the party water balloon fight. Topless Casey with an inquisitive Christa looking on. I really dig these weekend recaps. Makes me see I have a great time most times. 
My kids are super fun.