"I can go the distance," said Herc.

"I can go the distance," said Herc.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Living Traditions Festival

Friday. May 21. 2010. Living Traditions. Salt Lake City.

Oh yeah, Festival Adventure Numero Uno!

I finally got ready for the day about an hour before I was due to pick up Eliza to go down to SLC for some rockin' good multi-cultural entertainment. Living Traditions takes place each year at Washington Square, which is around the city/county building, the one that looks like Hogwarts.

We got there and after finding parking a block away (oh Salt Lake, with your lack of good parking), trudged optimistically past the beautiful architectural marvel that is the Salt Lake City Library. It looks like the coliseum, and I wish I took a picture of it. First thing we did was head for the Japanese Calligraphy booth. This nice, albeit quiet older man showed us what he could do and then we headed for the north stage, where I really wanted to watch the Scottish country folk dancers. Being of somewhat distant Scottish heritage myself, I was very interested to watch. Though some of the dancing was boring, the little boy they brought out in the last part sure was cute. He never really turned around. See the sword dancers! That is cool. I still remember that from Anna's wedding last year.

There was so much food! So many varieties. So, in between dodging under trees to wait out sporadic thundershowers, we sampled foods from different parts of the world. I fell in love with Scottish shortbread and will not rest until I get a good recipe for it. I also had a Vietnamese spring roll, and samosas from the Pakistani booth. Eliza and I fell in love with these things. They are basically mashed potatoes, veggies, and spices wrapped up in egg roll dough and fried like one. You dip them in sweet chili and it is like heaven on earth. They are the triangular things on the left.

There was a plethora of food tents. The rain stopped no one for long.

It took me forever to figure this out but the guy in the orange is a monk! This was the second time in two days that I ran into a monk--although the Thursday monk was Catholic and he surprised me by breaking out into profanity in the middle of a monastery gift shop. Believe me when I say you have not tried to stifle laughter as hard as I did when suddenly, out of the stillness, I heard the sweet old guy break into frustrated exclamations of, "Oh my ----! What the ------ is this? These are all mixed up. Things like this just make me want to kill." As a good Catholic friend of mine explained, they are still human. I know, I know, but it doesn't change the fact that it was so startling it was hilarious.

I broke down and purchased a Utah Scottish Association water bottle, filled with Ribena, a blackcurrent juice popular in the UK. It is also known for its high concentration of vitamin C. Basically, it tastes like cranberries, only sweeter. Note on the food: the prices were relatively cheap for festival food.

I wish I had pictures of other crafts and souvenirs, but Eliza and I spent most of our time touring the food tents and hiding under tree branches, hoping not to get struck by lightning. There were a ton of crafts. I had a delightful conversation with a man who grows bonsai trees, and there was a German-born lady who teaches classes on decorating European Easter eggs, aka Pysanki. I remember making those at a camp when I was 14.

So all in all, this festival was worth it. I got drenched and a little cold, but absolutely worth it. Don't get me started on the ride home, because that was terrible. Even so, I had a great time.

First picture came from http://www.slcgov.com/arts/livingtraditions/media.html. All the rest are by me.

The Difference of Working in a "Grown Up" Job

I have been working since I was 15, when I got a job at the local golf course making Snowies for stingy golfers and the occasional local kids who would wander in looking to spend their allowance on a treat. And since then, I have had many jobs, ranging from concessions worker to survey telephone agent. I don't count being a reporter for the student paper as much of a job, considering that I get paid next to nothing to do it and I basically am freelance there since I can write whenever I feel like it.

This year, my job is something new. Though I must explain that the census job is going to end soon anyway, since we've all been doing our jobs too well and are way ahead of schedule. But I digress. This summer, I got my first "Grown up" person job, where instead of the employer looking for ways to cut your hours to the minimum in order to make more profits and still retain efficiency the manager looks all concerned at you and says, "Are you sure you want to come in an hour late on Sundays? You will be cut back to only 39 hours instead of reaching 40."

It's like they actually care!

And when I go up to the same manager a couple weeks later and say I won't be able to come in 5 days a week anymore but would still like to come in two-- and sometimes less than that-- he is cool with it and doesn't threaten to fire me because I cannot work as much as I was originally hired on for. He just says he will talk to the general manager about it tomorrow and will let me know, but everything looks pretty optimistic. Granted, I do not know what happened when he talked to her since today was my day off. (When I said "tomorrow" I meant today since that conversation took place yesterday. Hope this isn't confusing you). However, I am pretty optimistic about it all. If I don't get to stay on, I will live because I have two other jobs starting next week, anyhow.

In teenage minimum wage jobs, they treat the employees like robots. I have always been a firm believer that those jobs do not pay enough for all the crap employers pull. I have had jobs where the manager is virtually nonexistent and the employees know more about how it really is that the person who is supposedly in charge and who most likely gets paid more. And yet, the employees are the ones who get reprimanded, set with tasks that are nearly impossible to complete in time, and have to put up with all the customers coming through who do not even look at their faces and see that yes it is a human being serving them today.

Dang, I just remembered that I left my half-finished Italian ice in the freezer at work, and I won't be back until Saturday afternoon. Now it's going to taste like the freezer. Well that was a waste of cash.

But back to complaining about teenage jobs...

So employers use them because they know they can get away with it. These are just kids who are replaceable and have not enough experience in the workforce to know their rights or have the power to enforce such rights, which are small.

And then I get to a job finally where I am treated with respect, where being late is not considered a capital crime, where they work with me on my hours, and the wage is much higher than ever before.

And starting next week, I will be going back to the no-good, immature, less respected work environment of teenage slave labor. Double time.

Don't get me wrong, I loved these two jobs, and that is why I consent to go back. Plus I actually enjoy working in the food service industry much more than sitting at a computer all night, ruining my eyes on a computer screen and getting carpal tunnel from holding my hand on a mouse going click, click, click, click... eight hours straight. It's just going to be hard to go back. I am used to being treated as a robot, so that is not the problem. I know my supervisors love me--otherwise they wouldn't have asked me back. No, I am just not excited to be back because I will be with certain people who are still in high school mode, or actually still in high school.

Let me tell you, my all of three readers, that I am very happy to have gotten out of that. My first year of college, I did not mature much. However, I grew up. That is the cool thing about moving out on your own; you are forced into situations where you have to deal with every single thing about a person who you think you know, but in the end decide you didn't. You will have to make decisions based on whether you hate or love certain traits, and believe me when I say that you do NOT know someone until you have had to live with them.

Luckily for me, though our apartment had some challenges this year (everyone does, by the way) it ended relatively well, relatively speaking. If our situation is one of the success stories of living with others people, then I can guarantee there are twice as many failures.

So, to all my adventurous compatriates who just graduated and will soon be stepping into life, good luck. And grow up fast. The real world does not wait for you to catch up.

And ugh, dangit. Despite all my furious blogging at four in the morning (Gwen Stefani, anyone?) I still have to go to work in 30 hours. Unless it rains. Should I hope? But if it does, I will make less money to live on next fall. Dangit. Being a grown up sucks sometimes.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

My Summer Resolution!

This summer I want to do something different.
Have you ever noticed how there are always a ton of festivals and things to go to every Summer? Well I have made it my goal to go to as many as I possibly can! Provided, of course, that I manage to get Saturdays off at my other job. Which I am confident I can do. Hopefully.
Anyhow, I am going to blog about those adventures, so stay tuned!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Life Is A Steam Engine (and yes that metaphor is copyrighted)

So. This week has been eventful and yet uneventful. Ever since I got a job (my first official "full-time" job), things have just moved so fast. I can only assume that is because I wake up around mid morning, move around the house lazily, run an errand, get ready, and go to work. Then I come home and crash. And do it all again. And again. And again. Getting used to this whole "work is my life" thing again is harder than I thought it would. I am traditionally a workaholic every summer, and a student the rest of the year. This year, I learned to appreciate how great it is to kick back and relax at every precious spare moment since those spare moments get fewer and fewer as I get older.

Have you ever noticed how time passes by faster the older you get? Aging is like a steam train; it starts out huffing and puffing with the big wheels creaking out of the station as it gradually picks up speed until soon you are zipping around the mountain side and all the lovely trees and clouds and rocks and things that you used to enjoy staring at outside your window are a complete blur and you find all there is left to enjoy is the memory of enjoying it. That's how I feel about aging.

Crap. I just realized I have two library books overdue: "Sideways Stories from Wayside School" and "Wayside School Gets A Little Stranger." Yes. These are children books. I enjoy reading them. The only thing is now I feel a bit bad about having these books overdue. Trust me when I say that I am used to overdue books. Somehow I just cannot seem to get stuff back to the library on time for the life of me. I even write notes and put reminders on my phone, but to no avail. That library would be out of business were it not for me.

-Where was I? Oh. Right.

I feel especially bad about these ones being overdue because what if some little child wants to read a Wayside book and can't get it now because of me?

Man. Do I feel crummy.

Oh well. Life goes on. Guess the little tyke has to find something else to read.

Oh and NEWS! I am so excited to welcome Stalker #3! Kathy, Welcome Aboard. Now, where is your blog?

Oh and I guess it's nice to cite your sources. The train picture is copyright 2005 by Nathan D. Holmes at Drgw.net, and the Wayside picture comes from Fantasticfiction.co.uk. I'm a journalism major, and also had to cite a ton of sources for my English research paper last semester, so citing sources is kind of my thing.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

New Job!

That's right, folks. I have another job. I am now a census office clerk. I can't say much, cause then I'd have to kill you (JK), but it is pretty much not exciting. It is, however, more exciting than working as a telephone survey agent at Western Wats. I get to move around and I am not doing the same thing endlessly for eight hours- though some of it does drag on forever.

I found out last night at training what happens to all you lazy folks who neglected to send in your census forms on time- it's why I have a job, actually. They have to send what is called an Enumerator (or Field Agent, which I know sounds sorta like a spy!) to your house to collect the information. C'mon, people. It is NOT THAT HARD. Just tell them your name, birthdate, and phone number and they can be on their merry way. The people I work with were telling me that some people get so hostile that the enumerators have started wishing they could carry a gun while on the job. And over what? Some simple information that supposedly GIVES your community money back in the long run! And believe me, it costs YOUR tax dollars to send someone out there and process and ship all those extra forms.

I guess I shouldn't be too mad. After all, if so many people weren't so lazy, I wouldn't have a job right now. So ha. There's the irony in that.

How are you all? Are you having a good day? I am pleased to see that I now have two stalkers- I mean followers. And Anna, I am proud to announce that my template is different now. Is it not exciting?

I just know you are all waiting eagerly to see what will happen next in my sometimes exciting life! Stay tuned?

Monday, May 10, 2010

Hey, it's a blog!

I just created this on a lark because tonight I discovered a good portion of my cousins have a blog. So I jumped on the bandwagon and thought, what the heck! Don't be disappointed if nothing comes of it, though, because so far I've found blogs to be quite creepy.