26 July 2009
24 July 2009
An email telling me I didn't get the data mining job. Bummer, but hey, at least I got other employment And plus she paid me way more (per hour) for the painting than I would have received with a pick axe and a shovel... The last peculiar thing about the whole job was when I requested a radio while I painted, and she said to me, "Last Christmas XXX corp. gave all the employees these really nice radios. You know it's great working at XXX!" I didn't know if that was made to infuriate me or rub it in my face that my crayon diploma wasn't colored in nicely, but regardless I thought it was a pretty funny comment. I hold no hard feelings, I don't believe she meant any harm in her comment, and her tip at the end of the day made the whole thing worth it. Oh yea, my painting skills improved this time around. My learning curve was great, and therefore I learned great.
19 July 2009
Lucky for me, my great-uncle is a Senator with a townhouse in Rosslyn, a region of Virginia. In my three day voyage I went to Virginia, Maryland, and D.C. The locals call that area DMV, which I usually associate with the Department of Motor Vehicles, a far more abhorrent acronym that should only be used in times of winter- when ear muffs are readily available.
16 July 2009
What I learned through painting was that I am the world's worst painter. I don't mean I'm bad at artwork; I am referring to using a roller to slather liquid color on flat wall, that maybe a three year old elephant could do with reasonable success. I can hardly do it, and after I do it it looks more like a zebra jigsaw puzzle than a colored wall. There were spots of paint on the trim, the door, and on the wood floor caused by droplets on the underside of my drip canvas that smeared when I pulled the cloth, and went unnoticed until the completion of the room. On day two my paintbrush was not dry from the previous afternoon, so with every stroke watery paint dripped down my unsuspecting arm and into my shirt, finally collecting in my navel, like a little paint can. My painting safari was bookended nicely; it began when I opened the wrong paint can and painted a long corner using the trim paint, before I stepped back and thought to myself "Strange color for a room;" and it ended when I fell over against the wet wall, instantly turning my PJs into paint clothes and simultaneously gelling and dying my hair, after going two days without any paint on me (except my bellybutton). If you'd like me to paint your house, I would be happy to do it, but don't expect any more quality work than if an amoeba did it with its flagella stuck to its side.
Weeding went a little less stressful for me. I was hired to weed for none other than Mitt Romney, and he came out to have a little swim while I was enjoying his lushious garden and trying to decide if a particular growth was a weed, or his grandson dressed as a weed. When in doubt, pull it out- right? We chatted about, well, weeds. What else do you discuss with your former governor when you are in his garden with a giant fir tree in your hand that you mistook for a venomous vine? I put in seven hours of deracinating over two days, and made a pretty significant impact on the flowerbox over that lengthy time period. I got to know my mp3 player very well, and performed the calculation $12 * 7 hours in every possible decomposition that can be conceived in an arboretum.
That evening I babysat, although there was no squatting on infants by me. I cooked buttered pasta, cleaned up a buttered pasta and milk mixture off the ground, changed two diapers, and put three kids to bed. I was tempted to paint the kids' room, but all I could find was lead paint and everyone knows that stuff is u-g-l-y. There was no apprentice at this particular job, but I did learn that kids should be mostly potty trained at 6 years, and that two year olds like buttery, milky mixtures. All of my Summer jobs have been remarkable chances at growth, and I have been making the absolute most of them. With life, you just need to enjoy what you got, because you won't got it for long.
10 July 2009
06 July 2009
We arrived in Piraeus, the Athenian port, and after a 45 minutes subway excusrion we popped above ground like gophers and headed for Mikhael Voda Street. When we arrived at the Aphrodite Hostel it was a paradise more to our liking. The Hostel was perfect in every way: an English speaking receptionist, a hand-crank elevator, computers with internet, a bar offering free shots for all newcomers, a private room with bunkbeds, inspirational notes written under the bunkbeds, not so inspirational notes written under the bunkbeds, showers with lights in them, air conditioning, and a balcony! For the first time in four nights I looked forward to going to bed. The bunkbeads were incredible sturdy; we know because we practiced our syncronized flips off of them. We have two great doubles routines going. Not only were the Hostel and rooms great, but we found a gyro stand and a bakery within incredible propinquity to Hostel Aphrodite; we promptly declared the gyro stand homebase.
Arriving at the bar later that night, we were greeted by a cheerful bartender who asked us if we were ready for our shots. We wished she was referring to malaria vaccinations, which we would have welcomed with open arms (pun intended), but alas, she was offering us alcohol, and a very small bit of alcohol at that. We had a committee meeting and the Temptation Reduction Chairwoman, who had done such a magnificent job on Mykonos, prouldy told the bartender that none of us were interested in picking up booze in Athens. Instead, she offered us orange juice. I think my OJ had pulp in it, but it's hard to tell when there's only room for one piece of peel in your shot glass. Was it there by accident? Was it pulp?
03 July 2009
02 July 2009
01 July 2009
- 1 Cup Orange Drink (Not fresh squeezed) (They explicitly stated this)
- 2 Pieces of Bread
- 1 Croissant
- 2 Butter Packets
- 1 Jam Packet
- 1 Hard Boiled Egg
The food rations were meager, but at least we had sensational thoughts of lunch at our patio cafe across the way. Day II in Mykonos included renting scooters to travel the island. The oversized and underdressed rental spokesman had just won the World's Strongest Man contest, and was celebrating by watching cartoons in his hut.* The hut barely fit him and yet was still more spacious than our sleeping quarters. He asked me to take the scooter out for a ride to test my two-wheel competency (and because I didn't want to be turned into orange juice, this time fresh squeezed). Having never ridden one before I didn't know the seat from the kickstand or the windshield from the brake. I only passed because he was distracted by Tom and Jerry. We rented two scooters and set about immediatley up the raw countryside with Paradise to our backs and felicitous shores on the horizon. Driving in any foreign commonwealth can be unsettling, but doing so with half the amount of wheels is just downright pant-wettingly unnerving. Navigating a rotary or a three way stop when you don't know how to turn off your blinkers, drive your vehicle, or see through your helmet sun visor really puts some hair on your chest. Unless you're a girl, in which case it...umm...puts length to your toenails?
The sights of the island outweighed the mental damage, however. We beach hopped the breadth of Mykonos in the morning searching for a beach more suited to our toggery tastes. Because of its piddling size Mykonos has several coves that reform Mediterranean gusts into freshening breezes. They harbour sunshine and provide tender sand that melts between your painted toes. (My toes are not painted, but I do associate painted toes with Summer.) While practically still on the beach, we dined on mellow sandwiches and savory crepes; my preference being a tomato, feta, and olive submarine drizzled with olive oil and topped with Greek spices. We felt like Greek gods/goddesses, as should be evident in the reclining photograph below.
Not only did we visit the beaches of Mykonos, but we also saw the major cities, Hora and Ano Vera, the latter being inland despite its coastal views on three sides. They were both thriving metropolises consisting of a rental scooter hut, a gyro stand, and a smoke shop. We saw an ancient ruin and looked death in the eye at every left turn. We admired the coasts, goats, airplane runway, white buildings with blue accents, and each other's company. Our conversations were pleasant and the sun regally effulgent. The old port in Hora was friendly and seemed to gaze at us methodically, just as we mirrored its views. Scooting around a graceful Grecian archipelago was indeed blissful.
*I actually don't know if he had entered any WSM contest, but he was strong enough to bend the Parthenon in half and he was in fact watching cartoons.