Friday, July 31, 2009

Guess what guess what guess what guess what!!!!!

The last time I was on the internet, I got a phone call while I was updating my blog. Unfortunately, being in the library at the time, I couldn't answer the call. After I finished using the internet, I went outside and returned the call, which was to a lady named Alice. She wanted to know if I was still interested in working at the SeaLife Center and if I could be down within the hour for orientation. YAY!!!

So I have a job now, finally! I'm so excited! So far, everyone I've met who works there seems totally nutty. The Chief of Security, who helped me get my badge, is a nutty policeman... or maybe retired policeman. Anyway, he's the kind of guy who throws insults left and right, but manages to do it without making everyone hate him because of the sparkle in his eye. Then there's Steve, who is my boss's boss, I guess? He's an Australian with a long gray ponytail and a constant smile on his face. Bonnie, the receptionist, often talks about books and funny or interesting things she's read. Alice, the lady who gave me the orientations, seems a little scatter-brained, but totally cool. She says if she could have any job in the world, she would like to mow lawns for a living, because she loves to mow the lawn.

Safety orientation was funny. It was a Powerpoint slideshow I had to flip through on the computer while answering multiple choice questions on a quiz. Some of the questions were things like, "Who knows the most about the evacuation plan? a) Your supervisor. b) Chief of Security. c) The 8.5" x 11" piece of paper posted around the building. d) The little Microsoft Office paperclip guy," and "The top two rungs of a ladder are: a) The greatest temptation of the devil since the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden. b) NOT STEPS. c) Great places to put little red and white stickers that nobody ever reads." There were pictures of unicorns all throughout the presentation, used as bullet points and stuff... and there were slides that told about symbols that would tell you stuff, and then there would be a picture of a unicorn and it would say, "the symbol doesn't look like this." The final question said, "Final question. Very heavily weighted!! How many unicorns were in this slideshow? a) Ten. b) Eleven. c) Twelve. d) None; I don't believe in unicorns."

Basically, I'm pleased. I start work tomorrow morning... at six. Nice and early. Eek!

I also have my laptop working now, which is exciting, because it means I can use my own computer instead of having to wait in line at the library and only have thirty minutes. This can be good news or bad news for you, depending on whether you read my blog because you enjoy it or because you feel obligated to, because it basically means I have more time to write longer posts.

Oh yeah. I did kind of a silly thing. I went to Stylin' Stitches, where Beth's aunt works, because my first year at the resort, Beth got me a t-shirt with a lint monkey embroidered on it, which she and her aunt had designed. (I'm still not clear on who exactly designed it, actually.) So I went back, brought the t-shirt, showed it to Beth's aunt, and asked if she could make the design again for a hat or something. Cheryl (the aunt) flipped out. She works at the bank too, and I know her, mainly because she always calls the PIN number (for my debit card) a "super secret squirrel code," and how can you forget something like that? But she never realized I was the Lint Monkey she made the shirt for, so she was really excited. "Oh wow! That's so cool! I designed that! I remember that! Oh wow! YOU'RE the one Beth had me make this for? Oh, that's so cool! I never knew! Oh wow! It's so nice to meet you! Well, I mean, I've met you... but... but... oh wow!"

Anyway, the design was too big to put on a hat (sad day!), but while I was looking through stuff at the store, my eyes fell on a messenger bag big enough to serve as a school backpack and spunky enough that I wouldn't feel like a sissy-girl carrying it around. So I went over to look at it and found another, smaller but otherwise pretty much identical, which could serve as an everyday bag: it was just big enough to hold a book in addition to wallet and cell phone and other stuff, and it looked pretty cool. So Lint Monkey finally got what could potentially be called a purse. Well, I don't actually have it yet, because it's getting the lint monkey put on it. I shouldn't have blown the money, I guess, but girls are supposed to spend a ton of money on purses and shoes and makeup and stuff like that, right? Isn't that some kind of law? Besides, nobody else can make the lint monkey, and what if I never come back to Seward after I leave next month? Wouldn't that be tragic? I don't know. I didn't really feel particularly guilty about it, even though I'm a little short on money right now. Well, not right now, per se, but I will be after I pay tuition.

I guess I'm babbling a bit. Sorry, I haven't been able to babble in writing for the last two weeks. Give me a break! :P Actually, I haven't been able to babble much at all. I'm used to having quiet time for reading or playing the computer or talking on the phone or whatever I want to do, but in a small house with five people and a dog, I hardly have any quiet time at all. The kids think I'm the most fun toy in the world, and it's like pulling teeth to convince them to let me leave most days. I like playing with them, but I wish I had a place to go hide when I want to be left alone.

I guess I'll stop babbling now. If you actually read all of this, I'm impressed. You can have a gold star! Toodles!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

and painting

Well, the Breeze Inn doesn't have any housekeeping positions open, but they do have a dishwashing position. Only problem is that it's only three days a week, which is just enough that I wouldn't be able to get a normal full-time, five-day-a-week job in addition, and few enough that I would NEED another full-time job in addition. I'm going in for an interview at three... not sure if I want to take the job or not, though.

So yeah. We painted the Packs' house yesterday in preparation for Cindy's dad and brother coming to visit. We were up till one. Took the doors off their hinges and painted them. Unscrewed the hinges and everything. Rob said a lot of funny words because he kept putting the wrong hinges on, or putting the door handles on the wrong way. But of course, anytime there was screwing to be done, I couldn't resist making jokes that the kids didn't quite get. Kamryn didn't know why it was so funny when I gave her a nice long screw, or why her dad thought it was weird that I preferred the shorter ones. But honestly, the shorter ones are much quicker to do, plus they're handier.

So, um, yeah...

Jake bit Kamryn in the face today. He looked hurt when I told him "Bad dog!" for the first time. I swear, dogs have such expressive faces it's insane. He didn't mean to hurt her, I think. He was just overexcited. But now Kamryn has tooth marks right under her eye. I think it's funny how she just shrugs it off, but then Noah accidentally bumps into a cabinet and decides to shriek for attention. Well, kids will be kids, I guess.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Chicken crap

I smell like chicken crap right now. And chicken corpse. Not like yummy cooked chicken, either, but like the chicken that died in a hidden corner in the chicken pen and got buried under three inches of chicken crap before we found it today when Rob and I shoveled out all the poo that a hundred chickens can make in one small coop. Too many chickens in one place = chickens eating each other alive. I helped Rob set up this massive canopy tent type of thing for the meat chickens and we moved them from the coop to the tent. But for one thing, they didn't want to be picked up, so I got beaten up by poopy chicken wings, and for another thing, they were all bloody because seriously, they've been pecking holes in each other. Ten dead chickens in the last three days, and roughly half of the chickens we moved had their backsides pecked apart, with bloody, infected, oozing sores in their ugly butts big enough to stick a tennis ball in. But now the meat chickens are in a separate place from the bigger, meaner laying hens (and the evil rooster), so they should be better. And we cleaned out most of the crap from the floor of the chicken coop and put down fresh cedar shavings, so it's now possible to walk in to get eggs without your gag reflex kicking in. But I still smell gross and have poo all over my clothing. Cindy's going nuts cleaning the house so I couldn't get in for a shower and a change of clothing, so here I am at the library, making everyone around me cringe around from my stench. Mwahaha.

I had fun helping Rob build the tent, because I actually looked at the directions, so I got to correct him a few times and feel all clever. Strut strut strut.

My interview at the Sea Life Center went all right. But they had a stack of applications about an inch thick, which I guess deflated me a little. They did promise to get back to me as soon as possible, at least.

I sent in another application today... to be a housekeeper at another of the hotels in town. I don't really want to be a housekeeper anymore, but I guess beggars can't be choosers, and it's only for a month. Still better than being a cashier. I halfway want to just go to Virginia and see if I can be a farmhand for a month or something. Get to see my sister before she leaves for Disney World. Maybe even celebrate my birthday for once. But I guess that's just silly.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Talisman

I went to Anchorage with Rye to go see Brian yesterday. We watched some movies and went to play the board game Talisman with Brian's friend Mike. (There are WAY too many Mikes this summer!) It was pretty much the geekiest board game ever. Kind of like a weird cross between Dungeons and Dragons and Candy Land or something.

Brian's first character died to a level one goblin, despite the fact that he was a pretty strong character. I teased him and then took my merchant over and killed the goblin and took all of the stuff off Brian's character's body. He picked a new character and on his next turn, he moved the Grim Reaper over to my character, killing my merchant.

So Rye's character came to the square and found two dead characters, a dead goblin, and a ton of items and gold. He looted it and got my character's magic carpet, which let him move to any square in the region he wanted if he rolled a six. I picked a new character, and Rye thought it would be funny to chase my new level one gypsy all around the zone, attacking me every turn. I was one turn away from successfully escaping the zone when he killed my second character. Jerk.

My third character was a wizard, which wasn't half as cool as my gypsy. I had a ton of skill points, but only two strength. Sissy. So I decided to go in the dungeon, which, with all three of my characters, I had so far only gone one square inside before I lost a fight and had to turn tail and run away. So I stepped in the dungeon, won the first fight this time (yay!), and then on my next turn, I rolled a number that would have landed me on a level 8 dragon had I gone farther into the dungeon... So I had to turn tail and run out again. Dangit!

So I lost miserably... but it was a super fun game anyway. I have to admit, it was pretty much worth getting fired just for these Anchorage trips. They're the most fun I've had all summer, just about.

I've been kicked out to the camper while the Packs' relatives are in town, which is actually kind of nice. It's a little small and drafty and it smells a little odd, but I like it. I can't figure out exactly why I like it, but I do.

And apparently, Woodcutter Mike hasn't actually left on his fishing trip yet because of the weather. I ought to go over and finish bundling his wood and see if he has plans for going to Hope again before he leaves... whenever that'll happen.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Chickens are terrifying monsters, not cute little animals to write children's stories about

I will forever have nightmares about chickens. This morning there were two dead ones on the ground when I went in their coop to feed them. The dead ones were surrounded by other chickens that were eating its corpse. When I left the cage to fill up their water container, one chicken snuck out between my feet and tried to run off. Fortunately, she was too stupid to get very far, but as Jake (the dog) and I chased her down, I noticed she was carrying something in her mouth. She dropped it just before we finished chasing her back into her cage, and after I locked her in, I stooped down to look at it. It was the intestines of one of the dead chickens. I wanted to throw up. I hate chickens.

The Packs are on another fishing trip, so I'm watching the house for them again. On their last night before they left, Noah and Kamryn decided they wanted to sleep with me, so there were two kids, a dog, and a Lint Monkey all sleeping in one bed. We would have fit fine, except Noah decided to sleep sideways and spend all night kicking me, whining, and shoving me with his feet. If I couldn't tell by his breathing that he was really asleep, I would have thought he was doing it on purpose just to be a pest. (He does stuff like that a lot.) Then at about six in the morning, I woke up to Noah jumping up and down on my face, commanding me to wake up while the dog tried to play Tug of War with my forearm. After that, it's really nice having the run of the house. Plus, I get to use their internet, so I have more than twenty minutes to update my blog. Except not right now, because my laundry just finished, which means it's time to put it in the dryer and then go finish washing those windows for Rolf before he gets back from his fishing trip.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

A lead?

I probably need new work gloves, because there's a hole in mine so big that my finger goes through up to the top knuckle. But I have about two hours worth of firewood left to bundle before I'm done for the summer, so I thought there wasn't much point. But of course, yesterday I was chucking firewood in the back of the truck and a splinter sliced my finger wide open. Yeah, the next four or five pieces of firewood I chucked were pretty bloody. It didn't start to hurt until we stopped working, I guess because I was focusing on something else. I haven't been able to get all the dirt out of it, even with tweezers, so it's stinging pretty bad today. That's okay, though. It's been a while since I've hurt myself besides having generally sore muscles. As my friend Patrick used to say, "Pain lets you know you're alive!"

Right after I'd pretty much given up hope on the Sea Life Center, they called me and said they wanted to schedule a job interview for this Monday. All well and good, but they probably won't make a decision for a few days after that, won't hire me till even later, and I'll only get in about four weeks of work before I have to pack up and go north. Do I stay or do I go? I don't have anywhere to live in Fairbanks yet. I know two people who would be willing to room with me... both guys. I don't know if rooming with guys would be much different from having brothers, but even Woodcutter Mike says it's a bad idea. Well, he said he wouldn't like his daughter rooming with guys in college, I guess were his exact words. I'm sure even mentioning this will earn me lectures from Dad and Tony and a few other people about how guys are heathens and want to stick their wieners in anything that'll hold still long enough. (That's the lecture Woodcutter Mike gave me. Several times.)

Anyway, whether I have roommates or not, I still don't currently have a place to live. Or work. And I don't have any close friends up there. I feel like I'm having to make a decision like whether I want my arm or my leg amputated. Do I want to die by fire or drowning. Bad Option A or Bad Option B. Maybe I'm just pessimistic and bitter lately. Maybe I should work on that.

You know what I'm going to do? I'm going to take the afternoon off and go write a story. I haven't done that in a while. Sorry I won't be able to post it. At least not for a while. Toodles!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Stress

I'll have to try and remember not to use this library computer again if I have a choice. The mouse is pretty messed up.

The job I applied for at the Sealife Center looks like it's going to fall through. The heavy machinery guy says his wife doesn't want him hiring anyone, but especially not young girls. A friend of mine told me he's had "problems" with them in the past, which is a bit... well, yeah...

Woodcutter Mike is leaving town Thursday (gone till September), and Rolf hired me to scrub some windows down (box windows that are waiting to be installed, but are in pretty bad shape right now) by Friday. I'm planning an Anchorage trip to play a game with Rye and Brian on Saturday, and after that, I may just head up to Fairbanks, I guess. Unless I find something else.

So as if that's not enough to stress over, Peter's mad at me... again. Not really sure why he's so upset this time. Meh.

I've begun rereading the Book of Lost Things, by John Connolly. It's one of the best books I've ever read. It's not terribly funny (in fact, most of it is pretty sad), but it's an amazing book anyway. It's very well written, and it has a lot of messages and intertwining themes and stuff.... If you have the time to read it, I would recommend the book to pretty much anyone.

I guess that's about all. I should probably go start bundling wood so Mike has something to sell before he leaves for his fishing trip.

Monday, July 20, 2009

I'm alive!

Okay, here's a quick update before the library computer logs me off: I'm living with Kamryn's family for now. Spent sixteen hours working for Woodcutter Mike yesterday, but on Thursday, he's leaving on a fishing trip until September, so I'm basically done with that job for the summer. I applied at the marine museum and to a guy who's clearing some land and needs help managing brush fires and using heavy machinery. I'm having trouble getting internet on my computer, and I don't have anything I could call "my own space." Noah tried to play with my mag light today and lost the bulb in the gravel somewhere. (Thank Torvanos for Cindy's sharp eyes. She managed to find it and there's no permanent harm done.) I can't decide whether to try and take both jobs or whether I should just see how many hours Rolf will give me clearing brush and stuff. But Rolf's leaving for a few days anyway. He said he would see if his wife wants me to clean their house really well or something while he's gone.

Basically, I'm playing by ear a lot lately. Right now, I'm at the library babysitting the kids. Spent a lot of the afternoon helping Cindy shovel chicken poo and move the swingset and trampoline. My arms are getting pretty strong.

The kids look like they're about ready to go, so I should skidaddle. Toodles!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

oh great...

I just got fired. For no reason other than that the boss up and decided he doesn't like me. He said I have an "attitude problem." I was in a bad mood one day and really wanted to work with Steven, and he wouldn't let me, and he wouldn't tell me why, so I got annoyed and left the room. As near as I can tell, that's pretty much the main reason he's firing me. But I don't even know.

But now I've lost my housing. So I need to go pack my stuff. I may not have internet for a little while. Just thought I'd update while I have a chance.

Toodles....

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Birthdays

Today was Woodcutter Mike's birthday. I finished up bundling the last bit of firewood on the fourth of July, and now Mike's heading off for a fishing trip for a week or so, and I actually have free time once again.

...Now what?

I have to say, on the one hand, it was rough working fourteen hours a day seven days a week. But on the other hand, I made a lot of money and had a lot of fun and really enjoyed keeping busy. I think Woodcutter Mike's the coolest boss I've ever had. I'm seriously going to miss him. And sadly, apparently the state parks aren't going to buy the 10,000 or so bundles of firewood they said they would because of the economy. So there goes a lot of the profit. At about four bucks a bundle, that's a lot of dollars lost. But people still like cordwood, so I guess there will still be stuff to do. After the fishing trip. But for the next week or so, I'll have more time than I know what to do with!

Well anyway, Mike called and invited me over for his birthday dinner. His accountant, Tom, was there too. I spent a lot of the time playing with Mike's English Setter, Fisher, and his daughter, Olivia. Moms and dads are so funny. Ask Mike how old his kid is and he says, "about a year and a half, I think." Ask his wife, Beth, and she says, "eighteen months," and you know she could probably tell you how old she is to the day without even thinking about it.

Dinner was amazing, and there was even chocolate ice cream cake with whipped cream and chocolate syrup for dessert! I juggled Olivia's plastic farm animals for her and tickled her. But she apparently didn't like me tickling her, because she screamed and ran to hide behind her dad. So Mike picked her up and carried her over to me, and I took Olivia's hand and showed her how to smack me in the face. Boy, she just loved that!

Then Mike and I went downstairs and played Guitar Hero World Tour, which was basically awesome! He's got this MASSIVE television with surround-sound 1000-watt speakers and a Playstation 3.... Yeah, it was cool. Then Mike took his real guitar out and we goofed around on that a little. Sadly, neither of us is particularly good at guitar. Mike had never heard the Do Re Mi song, but he liked Puff the Magic Dragon so much that he made me sing it for Olivia (who ran downstairs naked about twenty minutes after we turned off Guitar Hero). I either tuned Mike's guitar too high or I just haven't sung in so long that my voice doesn't like those high notes. Actually, that's not true. I didn't have much trouble singing the high notes; I just think it sounds weird hearing my voice go high. Normally, my voice is low enough to support the apparently-popular public theory that I'm a young man. I usually sing alto, and I can even pull off tenor most of the time.

So yeah. Tons of fun. I got Mike a big box of Kit Kat bars for his birthday. As I left, he thanked me for them and said I was the only one who got him a present. Then his wife said, "No she's not! There's presents for you inside, goofball! You just haven't been home to open them all day!" Mike's response was, "Really? Wow, I must not have looked hard enough for them this year. Usually they're hidden on the top shelf of the closet."

So yeah. It was tons of fun. :D I ran into the Packs at Safeway today, too. Kamryn's birthday is on the 10th, and apparently she asked her mom if she could invite a friend over, and I was the friend. Awww, cute! What do I get a little girl for her seventh birthday? I don't think her parents would like it if I got her a giant box of candy bars like I got Mike.

Oh well. I've got time to think about it.

In other news, it's been SO OBSCENELY HOT here lately! It got up to 86 today, with 47% humidity. I'm pretty sure that's a record for Seward. Definitely the hottest it's been since I've been up here. Rye says it's probably so hot because of all the forest fires up north. There's a lot of ash in the air, he says, which is heating this place up like a furnace. That would also explain why it's been so hazy. And I'm sure all the fireworks and campfires didn't exactly help.

This evening was pretty cool-looking. There was definitely a reddish tint to the light outside. Rye says it's the ash. I was thinking maybe it was the sunset. I don't know. It looked pretty cool, anyway.

I was wandering around the docks the other day, looking at all the pretty boats and entertaining a daydream about owning one someday when I'm rich. There was this beautiful shiny blue one named Thorr, in particular, that I was drooling over. Suddenly I saw a "for sale" sign on it, and, being curious to see just how much a boat would cost, I went to look. I didn't figure it would be TOO much more than a car. Not more than twice a decent car's price, anyway. But no. The price tag said two hundred and fifty THOUSAND dollars! Yeah, let's just crumple up that dream and throw it out the window. Sheesh.

Anywho, that is all. Time to go to bed. And try to sleep. Despite the fact that it's like ninety degrees in my room, even with the window open and the fan on as high as it can go. I wish it would get cold and rainy again.

Toodles!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Street performer!

I worked until ten pm on the third and fourth of July. I was feeling pretty dead tired when I got off work on the third, and had plans to go to the woodyard and bundle firewood starting at 7:30 in the morning, so I had wonderful plans of going right to sleep after getting off work. But about ten minutes before I got off, my friend Tyler, who works at the front desk, suggested I go downtown, stand on a street corner, and juggle and eat fire before and after the fireworks to see if people would put money in my hat. I'm not going to lie, I was tempted to say no because I was tired, but then I thought, "Seriously, Lint Monkey, what better opportunity? And what is there to lose? A few hours of sleep and a little bit of pride, tops."

Oh, yeah, and the risk of getting arrested. Rye and Chris both said the city would come and make me stop because they would require me to get a license. Terrace said I would get arrested for playing with fire. Someone else (I don't remember who) said I would get arrested just because cops are jerks. Tyler, who drove everyone downtown and stayed with me rather than go bar-hopping with the other young adults from the resort, also was nervous about getting arrested. But I decided to do it anyway, because I seriously couldn't imagine getting anything worse than a warning and a request to stop.

So I found a nice alcove in front of a closed restaurant halfway between two bars and began playing around. A lot of people stopped to watch, many asked if they could play too. Several asked if they could have their pictures taken with me. One particularly drunk girl grabbed a torch and said, "Watch! I can do it too!" Blew out the fire and then stuck the torch in her mouth. "See??? I'm SO cool!"

I didn't have any set routine or music or patter or anything, but most of the passersby were too drunk to really care, and I was having fun. After about half an hour, I heard someone say, "Hey, is that allowed?" I looked up, and there were two policemen standing there watching. I wasn't too worried, though, because they were watching in interest, not irritation. Their response was, "Heh. Cool."

I threw my arms up and cheered. "You mean I'm not in trouble?"

"Huh? Oh. Yeah. Don't set any buildings on fire, kay?" and they walked off.

The passersby loved me. "Mommy, Mommy, look at the man eating fire!" "Hey, that guy's eating fire!" "Wow, he's cool! Hey, let's go watch that dude over there! I think he's going to swallow that fire!" (Okay, I did more fire-eating than juggling. It was too dark to see the balls well after the fireworks show at midnight.)

I spent about an hour and a half goofing off and having fun, and made almost forty dollars in tips. It was pretty much the coolest thing ever!

So now I'm officially a professional street performer, yeah? :D