02 April 2010

These are a few of my favorite things...

I have to admit, I was getting worried about myself. Worried about myself and my lacking work ethic. My last job, if you remember, was at the Picture People where I spent my days taking adorable pictures of adorable children.

And I hated it.

I hated my job. But it didn't make any sense because I loved photography! And kids! And having a paycheck! Logic states that I should have been in minimum wage HEAVEN. Yet in practice, putting those three favorite things together, caused all logic to be thrown out the window, and I very much wanted to take a blunt object to the eye rather than go to work. It didn't matter if it was a pathetic 4 hour shift, I would dread every moment leading up to the time I had to go into work, and then I would count down every individual second until the shift was over. Basically, time was measure in increments of Dread.

Before that job, I worked at the YMCA nursery. I hated that too. And all I ever did was play Wii with children who made my heart sing and burst into a million tiny pieces with their hugs and adorableness and edible fat cheeks and everything. Before that, I worked at a Coldstone Creamery, which - come on now - is working with ice cream! ICE CREAM! Best thing in the WORLD! And there were waffle cones, and toppings, and so many tubs of buttercream frosting for the ice cream cakes, that I gained a pound every time I opened one up. All I'm saying is, I worked with the things that basically fill up my top ten list of Favorite Things Ever, and yet when I put them in the context of a Job, throwing myself on a bed of hot coals was suddenly beginning to sound like a better idea than - ugh - going to work. Again. Blegh. So naturally, I was coming to the inevitable conclusion over these past few years that I was just a lazy, lazy person and never wanted to do a single thing that involved me getting off my fat butt and leaving the house. Oh, I was so very disappointed in myself. *sniffle*

But - and here is where I cue a heavenly choir full of harmonic AhhhAHHHhhhaaahhhs - here I am at Disney, and I've taken to it like something else other than a duck to water, only because that is such a cliche, but I cannot for the life of me think of anything witty or fresh to put in it's place (Picasso to painting weird-ass pictures? Hitler to mass-murder? Fat women to hot dogs? Something like that...). If I had to work more than 15 hours a week at my previous job, I might as well be listening to someone run their nails down a chalkboard for 15 hours, it was that kind of torture. Now I work as many as 60 hours a week on Everest, and I love it (there are some crappy things about the job, but overall, it's pretty awesome). My body kind of hates me for loving it, because my legs feel like they weigh about a 100 lbs each somewhere around hour 50, but I genuinely don't mind the work. Guests give me a headache, and some positions can only be of Satan's devising; but I love the people I work with, I love most of the rest of the positions, and I love Disney. And finally, I have found something where putting my favorite things together does not bizarrely turn them into a massive vortex of Suck.

23 March 2010

As exhausting as the real Everest, I'm sure.

Do you have any idea what a glorious thing it is to sit down? Not just to sit down, but to sit down for ridiculously long periods of time while your feet bear not a single pound of the rest of your body? Oh my gosh, today and yesterday have me spoiled - this whole "having two days off for once in my Disney life" is something I could certainly get used to. While my schedule varies slightly, I tend to be scheduled something like 8 days in a row with only 1 day off, and these past two days were the first pair of days off I'd had in over a month, excluding that one week where I spent my two days off hiding in my closet sobbing to myself, packing, loading my car in 15 trips up and down 3 flights of stairs, unloading the car in 10, and then unpacking because my first roommates were horrible, horrible people. And I hope they're reading this right now. YOU WERE HORRIBLE PEOPLE, GOT THAT? How can I say this with such confidence in my own innocence in the situation? I can because people who steal from Wal-Mart and restaurants and make statements about truly "wanting to kill someone just once in [your] lifetime" tend to not fall on the correct side of morality. Also, because moral people don't partake in pettiness or act like high school drama queens and make others hide and cry in that aforementioned closet.

So, yeah, that's kind of why I haven't been around these here blog parts lately. A LOT has been happening. Between moving (which is honestly a blog in itself, and maybe I'll write about it one day), working 55 hours this past week, having a full course load, and practicing my clarinet, I've not had time to do anything else other than be really, really exhausted.

I work 9 days in a row starting tomorrow (or today, rather), with only one day off, and at first I didn't mind all these consecutive days because I really do enjoy my job. But I gotta tell you, I got so much done in these two days and I feel so FAN-FREAKING-TASTIC right now...it's just something I realized I could really use on a regular basis. I did laundry! I got my oil changed! I wrote not one but TWO papers! I went to Universal! I practiced my clarinet for five hours! I completed my magnum opus! I sang a song of six pence! I cured cancer! I built Rome in a day! And most importantly did a LOT of sitting on my butt while not moving a single muscle other than the ones required to aimlessly navigate my way across these here interwebs. Ta dahhh! I feel refreshed, relaxed, and ready to start the next 9 day work week, but I truly wish I had another two days off waiting for me at the end of it all. You know, like a little two day holiday to celebrate the end of the work week, Yeah, right there at the week's end. They could even call it that: a week end! But English is big on compound words, so it would probably be spelled something like "weekend." Now there's a novel concept. I don't think it's so much to ask either, is it? Maybe if it was something 99% of the rest of America also got, it wouldn't be so insane a request.

Oh wait...

Anyway, I have more to talk about but I really needing to be heading to bed. 11 hour day tomorrow. Gotta get ready to do more of this:


27 February 2010

So you no longer have to use your imagination

So, here's where I live:

The top floor on the right half of the building is my apartment, and my bedroom is the very far right window behind the palm tree. I'm in building 12. Please come stalk me.

Here's what my costume looks like:
Except it's less blurry in real life. I was in a hurry to get the photo taken, so this is the best I got for now. I prefer it over my Splash costume, although it's still not something in which I see myself getting hit on by guys. It hides my boobs and turns my entire body into one giant trunk in which I suddenly have junk.

Speaking of which, someone explain to me how Disney sizes work. My shirts are XS, my jacket is XXS, and my shorts and pants are size 14. FOURTEEN! I don't get the XS at all because I'm not THAT small - not with the poochy stomach I got from my mom's side and not with my chest region where I tend to be a C cup (well, my left boob is a C, and my right boob is a B and three-quarters. It's my Harry Potter boob.) However, I'm not a 14 either. But that's the only size pants I could get to fit around the smallest part of my waist, except I have enough room for another whole person in the legs. For whatever reason, these inexplicable sizing issues seem to only affect girls. Guys have no problem with Disney clothes fitting oddly other than needing to go up one size.

Anyway, here's what my side of the room looks like (barring the ghastly pink crap on the right. You all know how I feel about pink):

My prize possessions? My Epcot blanket, my Tomorrowland poster, and - my newest addition - my Splash Mountain canvas:

The photo doesn't do it justice, and while I was originally planning on getting another attractions poster like my Tomorrowland one, once I saw this, I just HAD. TO. HAVE. IT. So what if it's from the Disneyland version (one-across seating is a dead giveaway), it's muh Laughin' Place. I nearly got it in a poster as well, but to frame it would have cost a small fortune (my Tomorrowland frame was my main Christmas present this year), so I decided to pay a bit more and get a canvas which doesn't need a frame at all. Obviously I went with a smaller size this time. Since it was a canvas, it still cost me twice as much as my poster did by itself, but to get the canvas in the largest size would have cost me twice as much as what I paid for this medium sized canvas. Follow that? No? How about 2(Poster) = 1(Medium Canvas) = 1/2 (Large Canvas)? Okay, the poster was $30, the canvas was $60, and the larger canvas would have cost me somewhere around $120. I tried to be all modest and private about the cost, but I don't think I was explaining it well. ANYWAY. These prices were actually 50% with my Cast Member discount, which is the only reason I was able to ever afford these in the first place. I'm po'.

And in the future when I have my 16 babies, I'm gonna use the Tomorrowland poster in the boys' room and the Splash Mountain canvas in the girls' room and decorate them to match their respective themes. Always thinking ahead, I am. And always thinking with my uterus.

(If I don't scare the guys away with my costume, my uterus talk certainly will)

21 February 2010

Enjoying the Sabbath as it was meant to be enjoyed

I survived my 11 days of work, and honestly, it wasn't the job itself that I disliked about the 11 consecutive days in a row. I mean, it's rare that you'll ever hear me say that I have to, UGH, go work at the goddamn Happiest Friggin Place on Earth - OH WOE IS ME. No, the work - as far as work goes - is relatively enjoyable. I prefer working at Disney to any other job I've ever had, crappy pay included. It's just that my body was revolting by that last day. Not that I was participating in any sort of hard labor by any stretch of the imagination, but standing still for hours on end can be incredibly tiring, and don't you look at me like that - IT'S TRUE. Okay? GOSH. Plus, walking up and down the platform half the day asking each person to lift up on their lap bars, only for me to have to bend down and lift it for them when they either 1) decide "lift up" means "push down," 2) raise their hands in the air because that's what they've been trained to do at their local Six Flags, or 3) stare at me like I just spoke to them in Swahili is more wearying than you could imagine. And do I really need to mention (again) the miles and miles of distance between the parking lot and the mountain? Or the 17 flights of stairs I climb at night? Of course, I'm not sore or on the verge of collapse or anything dramatic like that, but oh my sweet, sweet Lord - being indoors, sitting down, staring at the wall, and exerting not a single ounce effort save for that which it takes to move the spoonful (oh who am I kidding?) fingerful of peanut butter from the jar to my mouth for hours on end is a special kind of bliss that I will never, ever take for granted again.


On my first day of training (which was ages and ages ago, it feels like), it somehow came up that I played clarinet, at which point my trainer invited me to audition for the Cast Member orchestra. I toyed with the idea, but didn't take it too seriously at first because 1) my clarinet was back in NC, 2) I didn't know where to practice down here and 3) having poorly balanced music, school, and sanity many a time in the past (have I really not mentioned the times I purposely attempted to break my hands?), I wasn't sure if I'd be able to add a full-time job on top of that, although my trainer assured me that it's a relatively low-key, though formal and dedicated, ensemble. But then one of my managers - who is a singer in the ensemble - got wind (haha, wind. Didn't notice that until the read-through) of my clarinetation skillz as well and also encouraged me to try out, and at this point I should mention that I'm trying my best to network while I'm down here and thus be as impressive and outgoing as possible to all my superiors. My trainer then mentioned practice-room-type facilities behind Animal Kingdom Costuming, which is pretty durn convenient considering the fact that - hey! - that's where I work! CRAZY! And it just so happened that I sort of knew this woman who was coming down to Disney this weekend from Raleigh who was more than willing to bring down my clarinet to me rather than make my mom ship it which would have cost only slightly less than Obama's stimulus package given the weight of the case and all my music. Also, the music the orchestra is playing this year is all Disney music (as opposed to last year when it was hits from the 60s and 70s, and I prefer to leave that stuff to the good folks over at Retroactive - I'm looking at you, Trevor), which means they could easily call this year's program The Only Music on Natalie's iPod.

So based on all that information I threw at you in that last paragraph, I determined that I was definitely being led to do this audition. I was able to ask that aforementioned kind lady (who I met only the one time when she was a customer of mine at my previous job) to bring my clarinet down, which she did just yesterday, and I was able to practice behind DAK's wardrobe last night.

And quite honestly, it felt good.

Now I have just over a month to make up for the fact that I've probably only played my clarinet about 7 hours in the past, oh....5 years or so.

Speaking of music, that is the NUMBER ONE THING I miss about Splash Mountain - the background music. And not just that music specifically, I'm talking about ANY background music AT ALL. There isn't a single position on Everest that has music within earshot, and I can't tell you how many times I've caught myself singing "Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah" while working at any of the consoles out of shear desperation. One of my favorite memories of Splash was working in the station with my fellow piece of Splash-Trash, Dan, who would belt out all the lyrics to the music playing around us in his soothing bass voice. And when he wasn't around, I'd hum along to the tunes myself. I even have all the tracks from the attraction, the queue, and the entire Frontierland area, and each time I hear any of them, I'm immediately transported straight back to my "Laughin' Place." Music really is a core part of my being, and while I truly do enjoy my new mountain, I miss the music like I miss pizza each second that I'm not eating pizza. And pizza's like oxygen to me, so you know: music = pizza = oxyen. It's like that.

So yeah, I gotta befriend an Imagineer and composer and quick. Gotta get them on putting together some pentatonic BGM.

12 February 2010

Tickle me any other color. Please.

I hate pink. Mostly. It's fine in moderation, and it's fine for my super-comfy pajama pants that I'm currently wearing, but that's about it. My previous cell phone was pink, but not by choice - it was a gift, and so I lived with it, because if there's one thing I hate more than pink it's spending money. But I felt so ashamed every single time I whipped that phone out because hello! Pink phone! Call me Tiffany, stick me in a sorority house, and watch me put out for a baseball player named Chet because THAT'S the kind of person who uses a pink phone. Gross. And I'm sure you can imagine how utterly fantastic I find it that every last thing my roommate owns is pink - her bedding, her towels, almost all her clothes, her lamp, her purse, her shoes, her fan! Even her hair straightener is pink! (UPDATE: She got a new laptop. Guess what color it is! Black! Wait, no, I lied. It's PINK. Bet you didn't see that one coming, did you?) Yep, we're kindred spirits, her and I. But whatever, this isn't about her. It's about a hoodie. A pink hoodie.

This pink hoodie to be precise:

Adorable, yes? But it's pink. PINK! Incredibly pink! Those stupid hearts didn't help either. But that Mickey owl, the tree, the leaves - the rest of it was so cute that I became painfully torn. To buy or not to buy? That was the question. And after three weeks of agonizing over it (and I mean AGONIZING. I had it in my hand ready to purchase on 5 different occasions throughout my time here, only for me to hesitantly change my mind the last minute) I finally bought it yesterday, the last day of our Cast Member 50% discount.

I love it.

And I hate myself for it.


As I somewhat hinted earlier in the post, my three year old pink (pink! blegh!) razr cell phone was finally dying on me (upside down screens, sometimes blank screens altogether, sometimes it would all go blue), so I had to suck it up and buy myself a new one. Nothing fancy like an iPhone, Blackberry, iWatermelon, or whatever other popular phones are out these days. I still don't even have a phone that can do something as basic as check my e-mail! It's like I'm perpetually stuck in 2005 or something, which is practically the dark ages in tech-time. My texts are all written on papyrus scrolls. But really, my current cell phone plan has me paying something like $15 a month, and between being cheap and the fact that I use my laptop for the internet often enough as it is, I wasn't about to invest in a higher bill for something I already do hours on end for free (kinda - internet is included in the utilities). The only new nifty feature it comes with is a QWERTY keyboard which I keep forgetting is even there. I can't tell you how many times I've struggled with text messages because this phone uses T9 for its usual number pad texting verses the iTAPEN that my previous phone used, and apparently they don't work quite the same way, and while I've only had unlimited texting for about a month, it's amazing how difficult 4 week old habits are to break and then relearn, only - WAIT! That's right! I don't need a psychic number pad to guess what I'm trying to spell anymore! I HAVE A KEYBOARD! Unfortunately, it's something I don't realize until I'm already about 20 minutes into a 5-word text and I only have about three letters left to type to finish off what I'm sure is a very important thought that can only be communicated through the power of thumbs rather than the sound of my voice through something as prosaic as a lame phone call.

But yeah, for being pretty quick to take on all things techy, I use cell phones like a grandma.

By the way, my new phone is red. Totally different from pink. A bit more badass. And since my car and my water bottle are both red, it also makes me a bit more Power Ranger.