August 15, 2013


Tanya Svoboda is the woman behind Mom O Matic - probably the blog I visited most frequently and regularly when I first got going. There was something about the depth of sensitivity behind even her funniest posts that spoke to me. She's eerily perceptive. 

When she put her blog on the shelf in early 2011, Tanya reached out to me by email and we had long conversations. It was important to me to put time and energy into building on this connection. Tanya maneuvers in online conversation beautifully, expertly navigating through delicate terrain and reading the lay of the land as she does so. She can tell exactly what I mean and how I feel not only by what I say, but what I do not say. We opened our hearts to each other.

Friendship ensued.

We finally met in The Realzies in Chicago. Tanya came to pick me up at the Sheraton and we stared at each other like "I can't believe you're standing right in front of me."

Off we went over to Greek Isles restaurant in Greek Town. It was great to finally catch up on our lives in person. And of course, toonswag!

The plan was to have "saganaki". I've had many adventures in my life including living in a cave in Greece, but I've never had this flaming cheese Tanya was dribbling about (third baby on the way, heads up). On the approach to your table, the waitroid would apparently set the dish of cheese alight, and shout, "OPAAAA!!" super loudly.

We were deep in conversation when it happened.

Now I know that in reality it was this:

But because I'm an animator for whom life exists in frames per second, I saw this:

Tanya says they 'extinguish' the cheesy flames with the juice of a lemon.


Mom O Matic is on the shelf while Tanya's been exploring other creative outlets. She launched a sweet jewelry business called Gracie Mack using vintage glass beads.

I wonder if she'll ever go back to her blog... I guess for all your sakes I hope she eventually does, cuz you're missing out. But I do get my dose of Tanya either way.

When it comes to cheese, we are trailblazers.