Sunday, June 27, 2010

Forgive me readers, for I have sinned. It has been over a week since my last blog post. Sorry and stuff.

I have been writing my butt off, just not here! I kind of decided to skip getting a regular job for now in favor of doing freelance writing work online. So far so good, but I find it kind of addicting. It's fun to get paid for the amount of work I do instead of the number of hours for a change. It makes me tireless! Gimmie moneys! And boy do I need some money. SO many bills to catch up on! I have been sending Ashlee money to mail the stuff I had to leave at her place when nothing else would fit in my car... she's sent $85 worth of stuff so far, and says she has like $140 more. YIKES. Maybe I really SHOULD have just duct taped the cats to the top of the car to save space?

I have allowed myself a little bit of indulgant shopping, too. It has been so long since I've been able to afford anything other than rent and (sometimes) food, so I've been a little bad about buying a couple of things I don't really NEED, with money that should be going to paying bills, but a girl has to have a little fun, right? Plus, myself I can get something from my Amazon wishlist soon is WAY more motivating for work than telling myself I can pay my old electric company what I still owe them.

Which brings us to:

Mah Shoez: Beholdz thems!

I became kind of obsessed with these Converse that The Edge wears in my current favorite documentary, It Might Get Loud. A little research turned up that he designed them for Converse as part of the 1Hund(Red) campaign, where 100 celebrities designed shoes to raise $ for AIDS in Africa. The design is made up of the points (or edges...hehe) of the Converse star. I kind of love them, hardcore.

They only sold them for a limited time, and there's pretty much nowhere to buy them now. On a whim, I checked eBay. There was ONE pair. They were in my size. They're on their way to my house, wheeee! I've been planning to buy a snazzy new pair of Converse for AGES, and these cost me about what I'd spend on a regular pair, and have the added benefit of being designed by a sexy, sexy guitarist. I will pretty much spend the first week after I get them walking around giggling over the fact that I'm wearing Edge's shoes. Hi, I am 12 years old.

Enjoy this delightful video, which features a gratuitous shot of my shoes about 10 seconds in:

SHOES, yay! Now if only I could afford those Ann Demeulemeester Fall 2008 triple-lace boots...

Saturday, June 19, 2010

I am amused, are u amused 2?

I can't believe I am admitting to this, but this is how I amused myself this morning in between writing articles for my snazzy online writing gig:

Mrs The EdgeFashion Trends & Styles - Polyvore

Mrs The Edge by CrystalW07 featuring Converse shoes

I have a ginormous Edge crush, and thanks to my obsessive yammering lately, Katie has taken to calling me Mrs. The Edge. I keep asking her to get me this shirt and bedazzle on an "s":

Lets face it, the boy has gotten WAY hotter with age.

The "Everlasting Love" text on my Polyvore collection is because I found this video on YouTube, watched it 82375982375 times, and decided that Katie and I should become famous so that she can be the Bono to my Edge.

Bono seems to be recovering from his back surgery. he's been spotted out and about recently.

I love Bono and all, but he has nothing on Edge for sexyness! Let's just say I know who to call when I'm ready to move back to FL.

PS-I promise this title is the only time I will ever use "u" in my blog.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Stuff I Totally Need Saturday #2

Stuff I Want Totally Need Saturday #2: Anthropologie

Who doesn't love Anthropologie? Bloggin about Anthropologie love is almost a cliche. I mean there are entire blogs devoted to it, like this one and this one and this one.

My picks:

Tiny Tucks Tunic, $78
I so want to wear this with really comfy jeans!

Time Gone By Dress, $128

This one is for afternoon tea at the Garden View Lounge with Katie. Of course, I'd probably spill tea on it, then...

Rising Vapor Dress, $98

I want to wear this dress on this ruffly bedsheet from Urban Outfitters!

Cedar chest blouse, $98

I am kinda obsessed with the unfinished hem of the bottom layer on this!! And the placement of the seams would be soooo flattering!

I have been on a search for a new swimsuit for YEARS, and I think I might be in love:

Accomodating Maillot- $188

I can't see EVER paying almost $200 for a swimsuit, but... we wants the precious! Plus, you can wear it different ways!

AND it looks like it would totally hold my boobs up, which is my #1 requirement.

Fractional jacket, $88
Heart this so much! The little ruffle, the asymetry, and the way it nips in at the waist!

Feeding my peacock obsession with dinnerware:

Peacock dinner plate $20

Peacock dessert plate, $14
I think this one is my favorite, because it is less obviously "HI I AM A BIRD!"

Peacock Bowl, $16

Bird song sheets, $148

I can just imagine these being all cool and crips, they feel like summer! Although again, no way am I spending that much on sheets. I'm used to like.. $8 from Target.

Cirrus bedding

I would never get out of bed. I think the sheets + comforter + pillows is kind of overkill, but I'd love just the comforter!

I didn't know how much I needed a giraffe head on my wall till I saw this!

Friday, June 04, 2010

Stuff I Totally Need Saturday #1

Stuff I Want Totally Need Saturday

I spend WAY too much time shopping online, so I thought I'd try out a weekly feature of stuff I find online that I love. Let me know if you like this or not, so I know how long to continue it!

The idea was inspired by my constant squeeing while I was browsing Urban Outfitters today.

Silence and Noise top, $38

I'm so in love with this top! The white is all floaty and summery, but I'd probably be more likely to wear the black. Plus the zipper is fun!

I am obsessed with maps. Thus, I NEED THIS. It's 8 ft tall, 13 ft wide, so it has the whole world, not just the North/South America pictured. Sadly, it's $140.

Rising Sun Chandeliers, $18

These look so similar to my old favorite pair of earrings that I used to wear all the time till I lost one!

Key Bracelet, $15

Um, hello, it's a key! It's a bracelet! I need it!

Kimchi Blue Lace Cami - $42
I wish this came in a color other than nude, but I still love it!

Collegiate striped arm tee, $28

I could pretend I am Rory Gilmore!

Animal Friends Spoon Mug Set, $24

It's a cat cup! With a little spoon! LOVE!

And last but not least...

Darth Vader Alarm Clock, $42

Apparently you get a choice of waking up to the radio, or a choice of Vader voices. What I want to know is... to snooze, do you whack Vader upside the head??

Captcha WIN!

Best captcha in a long time!
I have a whole new theory involving all of the recent celebrity deaths and the impending zombie apocalypse, by the way.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Workin' For a Mouse, Part 2

When I left off in my last post, I had just found out I would be working attractions in Tomorrowland. (This was December 2007, by the way, I forgot to mention we are going WAY back for this story!)

I have to admit I was kind of disappointed, as that has never been my favorite land. I had to stop for a while to think about what attractions are even IN Tomorrowland, but finally figured that hey, it's Disney, I'll take it! It wasn't until weeks later, after Traditions, during my first MK orientation that I found out I'd be working at the Tomorrowland Speedway. If you are an obsessive planner type, as I know a lot of us are, the NOT KNOWING can freak you out! As a Disney newbie, you have to be pretty willing to take the hand that is dealt to you, and run with it!

Tomorrowland Speedway, originally uploaded by tripodjw.

My Tomorrowland shirt, that I only wore for the two days of Tomorrowland orientation, next to my Speedway costume.

Tomorrowland Speedway is a gig I would have NEVER in a zillion years picked for myself, and that is exactly why I ended up liking it. I know NOTHING about cars, so learning how to get those things to START in the morning, and what to do when they stalled was a WHOLE other world. My breakroom was in a garage, for goodness sake! I walked around with a rag in my pocket, and came home every night smelling like exhaust fumes. (In case you are wondering, you become totally immune to the smell pretty quickly!)

Parts of working Speedway were FUN. The very best part would be working nights, putting the cars away as the park closed and Wishes was going off overhead. I remember thinking "Hee! I get paid to drive go-karts and watch fireworks!" Despite some hard parts (Learning how to take a car that isn't running well off the track takes some time before you can do it with ANY kind of confidence!), it is a fairly simple job. The majority of my day was spent walking back and forth between three cars, checking seat belts, and telling people "no bumping!" Swap that out with some time spent working as greeter, or grouper (a love it or hate it spot!) or out on the "bridge", a spot where you can see most of the track and watch for any problems, and you pretty much have the day. And for the most part, it really isn't rocket science. It was a nice break to have a job that didn't involve counting money, where you didn't really have to do much but show up. Sure, it was possible to make mistakes, but for the most part, I could happily point to rows for people to park in with a smile, and let my mind be a million miles away. In general, it went by FAST, because you were doing something different every 30 min or so.

Of course, with any job, there are also downsides. Spending the entire day outside in Florida, on a car track that amplifies the heat BIGTIME, inhaling fumes, and walking around all day is EXHAUSTING. I remember nights when I would barely make it up the stairs to my apartment, and JUST get inside the door before laying down right there on the living room floor, unable to go any farther for a good 10 minutes or so. Also, the hours were CRAZY. I was starting in mid December, just before the crazy rush of the holidays, when park hours are CRAZY. Because Magic Kingdom has such LONG hours that time of year, you may very well work 6am-3pm one day, and 6pm-3am the next day. I do recall that over Christmas Eve and Christmas, I worked a total of 31 hours in two days. WHEW! The weird schedule was hard to get used to, since I'd spent the past 6 years working 3-11pm for the most part. The crazyness of the schedule also makes any kind of plans REALLY hard to make! Schedules come out on Tuesday nights for the following week, so if I want to plan something for more than a week from now, it would be almost impossible since I wouldn't know if I was working AM or PM or in the middle of the day. Obviously seniority gets you better choice of hours, but being a new hire, you never know what you might get!

Do know, though, that if you are going to be working outside, you are going to get funny, funny tan lines. I think most attractions people can spot their own kind, even if they have never met them, by the tan lines. Back when I took bellydance classes, we once temporarily worked out of a studio that had carpeted floors. After a particularly spinny kind of class, we joked that we would all be able to identify each other, even at 90 years old, by our matching rugburns on our feet. It's that kind of thing. So picture this: at the Speedway, you wear a shirt with short sleeves and a v-neck, shorts (when it is hot) that go to about your knees, and steel-toed boots. It is Florida. The pavement is magnifying the sun. You end up looking REALLY FUNNY naked.

My grandmother was Irish, and you can generally tell by my freckles and reddish hair (Although that is mostly from the bottle.) I have NEVER been able to tan- I burn, and then it fades away and leaves more freckles. I have always assumed that the only way I would ever be tan is if one day, my freckles all just merged into one big one, leaving me a medium brown color.

Would you like to know what I looked like shortly after starting work at the Speedway?

This was from the first few weeks when I still wore pants instead of shorts, so my arms were MUCH darker...

Yeeeah. I never even knew SPF 90 EXISTED before this, but now I was slathering myself in it daily, and STILL looked like this. And this was from working in DECEMBER and JANUARY.

I only ended up working at the Speedway for about two months, since I switched to font desk as soon as a position became available mid February. I was SO thankful for the timing, because I had actually just gotten sick from the heat for the first time a few days before I found out about my transfer. Let me point that out... I got sick from the heat... in FEBRUARY. There is NO WAY I ever would have survived out there in July. Or anytime when it rains a lot, because let me tell you how much fun it is to work at an outdoor attraction that DOES NOT close just because it starts raining. I remember one day that I got so annoyed with my squishy socks that I peeled them off, grabbed rags from the garage, and stuck THOSE in my shoes instead of socks, because hey, at least they were dry.

I really think that I might enjoy working attractions again, as long as it was an INDOOR one, or even one with very limited outside time. Working in the parks is fun, it isn't a very stressful gig, and the time goes quickly. I would probably especially enjoy if I was cross-trained at several different attractions, so I wouldn't be doing the same thing every day, since I like variety.

I actually caught a conversation on the radio last month about Speedway, where one person was arguing that it was a total waste of space and should be torn out to make way for something cooler, and the other was talking about how much kids loved it, since they get to drive. I can tell you I have been, and still kinda am, on BOTH sides of that debate. Before I ever worked there, I thought the Speedway was the biggest waste of space EVER. I mean, it takes up a pretty good chunk of the Magic Kingdom. You could easily fit at LEAST two new attractions in that spot if you did remove it.

Speedway track on the left, Space Mountain on the right. Yay for Mapquest!

Although they were just starting to introduce hybrid cars just before I left, the basic technology of the ride is pretty old. Even though we drove the cars on a daily basis, most of us couldn't make it around the track without bumping the guide rail a dozen times. The basic layout makes it hard to steer, and definitly NOT a smooth ride, even with a good driver, so imagine when you stick your 6-year old behind the wheel. So yeah, there are a LOT of negatives. But in the time I did work there, I also got to see it through kids eyes. I was amazed at opening how many kids wanted to run there first thing in the morning, before anything else. How many kids wanted to do it OVER AND OVER again, despite long waits. How much most of them enjoyed it.

I especially remember a family that had a son with special needs. It's pretty much impossible for me to guess how old he was, but I would say maybe 10? I could be really, really off, though. They came through our wheelchair line, and as his parents were helping him transfer out of the chair and into the car, his mom told me that it was their last morning, and this was the one thing he really wanted to do again. After seeing how much work it was for them to get him in and out of the chair, and how EXCITED he was at the end of his ride, I offered the parents to let him just stay on and keep going around as much as he wanted, which they totally jumped at. It made filling the cars for my line a little more complicated, but it really wasn't that big of a deal. I think he ended up riding 4 times, before finally calling it quits. When he was finally ready to stop, I had one of the souvenier drivers licenses we handed out sometimes ready for him, which made him REALLY excited. He couldn't really talk, but made very happy "Eee!! EEE!!" noises, and showed everyone around him.

So yeah, sometimes I look at that big chunk of land with the outdated cars and think of all the really cool rides that could go there. But sometimes I think of times like that, and I'm not sure I'm ready to let them take it away just yet.

Workin' for a Mouse, Part 1

I was posting somewhere else about the process of getting hired to work for this guy:

and it got LONG, really fast, so I thought I'd post about it here instead.

On the last day of my October 2007 vacation, I was hanging out at the Polynesian Resort and decided ya know what? I'm just going to go for it, so I walked out to the taxis and asked one to take me to casting. (Hint- DO NOT DO THIS! It was a $20 taxi ride from the Polynesian to casting! You can take a bus to Downtown Disney marketplace, and casting is RIGHT ACROSS THE STREET!)

I am pretty sure that nowadays, you have to apply online before they will even see you at casting, but back in my day, you could just wander in all willy-nilly off the street, which is exactly what I did. I am not totally sure how it works now, but back in the day, there was a line to check in if you had an appointment, and one if you didn't, which is the one I hopped in. I waited probably about 10-15 min in line before I got to the front, where I talked to someone that I think I just had to give basic info to, and was given an application to fill out. While you are sitting around, they have videos about various lines of business playing on the TVs in the lobby. After you turn in your paperwork, you are taken to watch a video about the company in general, which I seem to remember feeling totally dorky for crying at. Then I waited around about half an hour, and was eventually called in for an interview.

Did I mention that I came over here pretty much straight from Animal Kingdom? You know how you look after a morning at Animal Kingdom? This is not the level of awesomeness that one should probably have going into a job interview, so I seem to recall throwing into the conversation that I had come over straight from the theme park, to explain my WDW t-shirt and flip-flops approach to interview attire, although everyone else there was pertty casual, too, so I didn't feel that out of place.

I really wish I remembered more details about the interview process for you guys, but it wasn't all that different from your basic job interview. After I talked to the first person about possible jobs (front desk, photopass, not sure what else I mentioned), they set me up to see another person for a front desk interview, so it was back to the lobby to hang around for about 15 more minutes.

I met with interviewer #2, and they explained to me about some different roles that fall under "Front Desk", like actual front desk cashier, concierge, and runner dispatch, and asked about my interest level in each. They asked me some questions that I can only guess were to gague my potential concierge awesomeness. One I remember was "If I wanted to go somewhere for a nice steak dinner tonight, where would you send me?" Basically I think they just wanted to know what level of Disney knowledge they were working with. They gave me the option to list specific resorts I wanted to work at, or just be open to the first available. I had actually thought a lot in the past about which resorts would be the most fun to work at, but I ended up leaving it open to interview for any that became available, with a preference for certain ones. Let me tell you now, in retrospect, that I am SO GLAD I did this!

We have to skip around in the timeline here for this to make sense. I told them when I interviewed that I didn't live here yet, but was planning to move in December. After my front desk interview, they told me to call about 2 weeks before I was ready to officially move, and they would let me know what was open. I did, and as luck would have it, there were NO front desk spots open at the time! I asked the person on the phone where they could stick me until something opened up, and I was given a choice of quick service foods, or attractions.
If I remember right, QS starting pay is about 25 cents more per hour than attractions, but attractions just sounded more fun, so I went with that, and found out I would be working in Tomorrowland!

Part 2 to follow!