Peanuts and Crackerjacks

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God, I love baseball.

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So do they.

Edit: We won!

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The Fluid Nature of Grief

Sometimes I think there’s a sixth stage of grief, right there after acceptance.  It’s happens when something catches you out of the blue and taps you in the back of the head — not particularly painful, but it causes you to take notice.  That happened to me today.

Let me back up.  Brandi and I were very best friends all through grade school and middle school.  We were inseparable, so much so that on one memorable occasion, we passed a particulary nasty case of head lice back and forth.  She was the first person who ever painted my toenails (we had this foolish idea that my mom, who had a no-nail-polish rule for quite some time, wouldn’t figure it out — she did).  We even broght the house down with our marvelous and nuanced performances as playing cards in a very, very gliterry local production of Alice in Wonderland.

We drifted, eventually, as adolescents do, and didn’t reconnect until adulthood.  I went away (a whole 90 miles) to college, and she went to beauty school and started cutting my mom’s hair (come to think about it, she may have been partially responsible for Brandi’s career choice, because she’d been a hairdresser before I was born, and cut and permed Brandi’s hair when we were younger).  Brandi was a gifted hairdresser, and embraced what she called her “natural electric pearl highlights” (stray silver hairs, which I seem to have inherited from her).  And she loved my mom — she had a tortured relationship with her own mother and I think she appreciated the relative stability my mother tried to give her.

She died (I originally wrote “passed away” but scratched it because “passed away” sounds too peaceful) on December 30, 2007 as a result of complications from an acute asthma attack.  She was 29 years old.

Anyway, I was reminded of her today, when I turned on the TV and found the movie Beetlejuice.  When we were in fourth or fifth grade, Brandi’s stepdad brought home a satellite dish and a projection TV (both of them enormous — it was the ’80’s, after all!).  We quite happily spent that entire summer indoors, watching over and over again Beetlejuice, Dirty Dancing, Hairspray (the original with Ricki Lake), and Spaceballs.  I can’t watch any of these movies today without thinking of her.  A couple of years ago, it would have been painful, but now it’s more of a warm fuzzy.

So, Brandi-Beth, wherever you are, I watched Beetlejuice for you.  And I’m rockin’ some sparkly purple toenails, too!  I know you’d approve.

Loyalty Has a Price

I am an idiot.

I can’t shake this feeling that I’ve shot myself in the foot.  Today (OK, technically yesterday, since we’ve passed midnight and all), I turned down a job with potential for growth — a job in an uber-casual workplace with no customer facetime.

I had originally interviewed for this job on a whim a couple of months ago, back when I thought the solution to my student loan crunch (aka: “The State of Kentucky helps themselves to 15% of my take-home pay because they don’t believe me when I tell them that I need every penny I get to, you know, live”) was to take on a part-time job.  I knew it was not a great idea when I did it, because I currently work in a 24/7 business, and being in management means I’m on call for pretty much all of them.  To complicate matters even more, there’s only two of us right now who are trained to work each shift, which means I never know when I might be called in to work when someone calls in sick.  Then, to further muddy the waters, I picked up some part-time administrative/sales work at one of our other properties, which may or may not be temporary.  Well, I kind of forgot about it since I didn’t hear anything after the interview, but the nice people called me today to offer me a position, and I cringed when I told them I had to turn it down. 

On one hand, not only do I love my job, but I also just passed the five-year mark in a family-owned business and have been promised the general-managership of it when we build our new property.  On the other hand, I was promised this position over two years ago, back when we believed we would be breaking ground on this new property in a few short months (yeah, the lodging industry has not bounced back, no matter what the gu’mmint tries to tell you). 

On one hand, I’m paid reasonably well for what I do (24-hour on-call-ness aside) and am very high up on the food chain (though that’s really been the result of longevity more than ambition — I’m not really that ambitious).  On the other hand, how long should I wait for a promotion I’m about 72% won’t even happen, especially considering that there’s no “up” left for me here, and I gave up my raise this year so that some of my desk staff could have it instead?  

On one hand, we’re heading into our busy season already short-handed and I don’t have it in me to leave my coworkers, many of whom I regard as family, in the lurch.  On the other hand, there is never a good time for a long-term employee to depart, and don’t I owe it to myself to find the best employment situation I can?  I guess what it comes down to is that while I truly believe my loyalty is appreciated at my current location, I’m pretty sure that, in the end, it will remain mostly unrewarded.

AAARRRGGGHHH!!!

Well, anyway, it’s done and now that I’ve gotten it out of my system through a disjointed and probably not-very-grammatically-correct paragraph, I’m going to put it behind me.

But I’m pretty sure it’ll bite me in the ass later, when I least expect it.