The cheerleaders have arrived. And ye shall know them by their tumbling runs.
Highlights from the summer job thus far:
Walking to work.
Walking home in the sun.
Clogging the toilet…on day two.
Getting a 20% discount on the baby shower gifts that I’m buying for at least five of my friends in the next five months.
Being alone in the store and trying on the Ergo baby carriers, just in case I have to fit someone else.
Using a drill to put together not one, not two, but three tricycles. I should be a pro by the time I have to put them together for my own kids…which will be many, many years from now.
Meeting Elijah, a beautiful four-year-old from Alaska with cerebral palsy and his very brave, very kind mother.
Learning that every baby in France has a Sophie giraffe.
Helping Sabrina buy a pair of Keens just like her brother’s.
Becoming an El Diablo regular.
Getting paid to play all day.
I’m in my apartment right now, at 10:30am, still in my bathrobe. I’m watching The View (sorry, guilty pleasure), and the only thing I can hear right now, aside from Whoopie talking about washing fruit and salmonella, is the clicking of my keyboard.
Everyone is gone.
I wish I could say that I’m truly alone, but I’m not. Before we’d even finished moving students out we had a summer conference group from Houston, TX, take over the 5th floor. I’ve been lending all my Ethernet cords to their chaperons, and yesterday one of the girls got lost and couldn’t find the cafeteria and started to cry just a little bit. Don’t worry, I took care of her. By which I mean I walked her down the hill to Gwinn, not that I stuck her on a city bus and told her to get off after 17 stops.
We also have housekeeping and summer conference workers crawling all over the building. Every now and again I hear them rustling around in the rooms above my apartment. At least, I hope it’s them. If not, then those Houston kids have just taken over Ashton. Or another conference group has come in without my knowledge. Here is a sampling of a few of my favorite summer conference goers through the years:
- Lutheran youth group – tore down the curtains in the lobby and generally destoryed several parts of campus
- Cheerleaders – like to do tumbling runs down the hallways
- Band camp – maybe symphonic band, because more than anything I hear violins and flutes
- Drum circle – just what you’re thinking
So I have that to look forward to for the rest of the summer. Really it’s not bad, because being alone in a 400+ person residence hall feels a little too thrasher movie, like some guy in a gnarly mask is going to start lurking in my guest room. It’s more comforting to know that I have the Lutherans and cheerleaders to protect me.
I’ve never had a dog. I’ve always wanted one. I consider myself a dog person…although that might be in part because I’m definitely not a cat person. But really, being a single female and living by myself in a big city has made me realize how lonely life can be. And heaven knows that as long as I have something to talk to, I’m a whole lot happier. Talking back really isn’t necessary.
Anyway, I’m currently dog-sitting for Joel while he’s on a “business trip” in “Las Vegas”, which apparently involves “seeing shows” and “eating at buffets”. Nikki is an 85-pound half-retriever/half-great pyrenees. She’s a little older, and mostly well behaved. She’s also very attention-hungry, so it’s not uncommon for her to lay a paw or head on someones lap until they commence petting. Once she followed us into the kitchen and laid prostrate on the ground, belly up, legs in the air, until one of us scratched her belly. As another example, I’m currently sitting cross-legged on my couch, computer on my lap, and she’s laying on the floor at my feet, except she’s lifted her head to my knee, and her nose is peeking around my screen. She just wants to be loved, and hey, don’t we all?
Rewind to 7:30 this morning, noting that my typical wake-up time is about 8:30 or 9:00. I’m startled out of bed my a commotion outside my door, and it takes a good 30 seconds for me to remember that Nikki is in my house and probably needs to use the facilities. I take her outside, give her some food, and go back to bed. I didn’t have anything to do until 11:00, so I’d decided to sleep in, but at 9:00 she started panicking again. I go into the living room and a student is standing outside my door in the semi-rain, and she needs a form signed. Fine, but I never would have known she was there were it not for my living security system.
I had to leave her alone for a good part of the day, which I felt slightly guilty for, until I remembered that Joel leaves her alone for good portions of most days. I did put the bark collar on, because I figured that screaming students celebrating the end of finals week probably wouldn’t be soothing, and there was no reason to get them to be frightened by the beast in my apartment. Joel said to be sure not to let her on the couch or the bed or else she’d claim them as her own, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen her on his couch, so it was rather amusing to see her stretched out like a furry princess, head on my pillow, like she’d been laying there all day. As soon as she heard my key in the lock she looked up, hopped down, and pretended like nothing ever happened. Tricky, isn’t she? Suddenly all the hair on my couch this morning made sense, because I’m fairly certain she slept on the thing. Joel, I’m willing to bet she does the same thing on your couch, but she hears your car in the driveway and gets and extra heads up.
For now I’m still a dog person, and I’ll admit that it’s been wonderful to come home to a living being. And who doesn’t love to give love to someone (or something) who wants it? Plus, I think I have enough dog hair scattered through my apartment to knit a real nice sweater.
Last week Joel and I were walking around Queen Anne Avenue, and we stopped at this place called Urban Kids Play to look for a baby shower gift for my uber-trendy friends Colin and Shiho. It’s a toy store, but they carry things like naturally-dyed all-wood cars and organic onesies. Ooh, and baby vans. Anyway, Colin and Shiho are very cool, much cooler than me, so this seemed like an appropriate place to shop for their unborn child.
Well, I didn’t find anything, but Joel spotted this Physics kit that was half-off, so he bought it for his nephew. The lady who had been helping me look through the store rang us up, and as we were standing there we had the following conversation.
Me: “You know, Joel, I should really work at a store like this this summer,” (reference to an ongoing conversation about what I needed to do this summer to keep myself busy/not poor, which may have included Joel’s recommendation that I be a NASCAR driver?)
Lady Behind Counter: “We’re hiring.”
Me: “Oh, that’s nice.”
Joel: (after a pause) “Paula, they’re hiring. Maybe you should work here.”
Me: “Oh.” (turn to LBC to work my bumbling magic) “Well, I work at SPU and I have two months off, and I really just need to do something to keep me busy, but I’ll be gone for about 3 weeks in July.”
LBC: “Oh, it doesn’t matter. We need all the help we can get. Do you have a resume? When can you start?”
Turns out LBC was actually the owner of the store. She runs it with her husband, and they were desperate for summer help because they have several SPU students that work for them during the school year but weren’t going to be back until school starts in September.
So having never worked retail, and knowing nothing about childrens’ toys other than the fact that I generally enjoy playing with them, I’ve landed a summer job and a very cute, very cool toy store. Thus continues my string of dumb luck when it comes to employment. I can’t get the jobs that I apply for, but for some reason I get handed the ones I don’t generally deserve. Someone up above must know better than I do what I need.