Saturday, November 26, 2005

Wait a minute...!

I just checked my last post to make sure it worked properly and noticed the date: November 26th. When the hell did that happen?!?! Christ, I'm going to back in Canada before I know it... 0_0

In an unrelated note, i was called over to the PEI section of the restaurant Thursday and there was a guest that just NEEDED TO KNOW how long the Confederation Bridge is. Swoop in Islander Jen to save the day!! :)

I heart PEI - I really do ^_^

I am TIRED, as per usual.

And lazy. Gah.

It's about 11.40 and I'm still bumming around in my pjs trying to decide what to do today. I have to go into work to get costumes but other than that I am freeeeee. Well, free to the restricted world of public transportation.

In bad news, my hearing aid is on the fritz and doesn't work. At all. Hmm. So sometimes when children talk to me I just smile and nod. It *seems* to work and I'm hoping I haven't somehow insulted some of them!

Happy two-days-late American Thanksgiving! Disney held a thanksgiving-dessert party for all the internationals and college program students on Tuesday evening. I was working too late and missed out on the pie, but got a couple of good squares, some cookies and delicious hot chocolate. On Thursday the restaurant where I work was doing a thanksgiving dinner for the (paying) guests. We got to eat the leftovers and they were sooooo good. Honestly, I think we are the number two restaurant in WDW (and apparently no. 3 or 4 in Florida?) for a very, very, VERY good reason. On Thursday night we went to PI. Honestly, there were soooo many people out! I figured it might be a bit slower due to the holiday but the bus we took there and home was absolutely packed.

On Friday morning I set my alarm somewhat early (8.30 - which is early when you went to bed at about 3.30!) and went to take in the "Black Friday" sales at the outlets across the street. Some stores had good sales, some had NO sales - including the store at which I really wanted to do some shopping! Between my shopping excursion, ($80, but that's not too bad as I bought a pair of boots since mine have needed to be replaced for, well, a bloody YEAR,) groceries ($50) and last night's entertainment ($15) I feel like I completely blew my paycheque. This week I made $180ish post-rent thus now have $35 remaining. Wow. Am I in service yet? I think I'll like the tips...

Last night I went to see Rent with a fellow food and wine alumni. The movie was mostly good, but I fell asleep anyway. At the cinema. I also fell asleep during Harry Potter last week. The movie was AMAZING, but seeing a show at 12.01am after five hours of sleep the night before and working all day pretty much did me in. And I think I only dozed off for a few minutes. I hope.

Anyway, I am off. I need to do something. I kind of feel like I wasted yesterday and wasn't too productive (although my new boots are quite a feet ;))

So today will be a Disney day as I know no one else off today (crap - why I miss Monday - Friday, 9-5) and do not have a car. I thought of going to downtown Orlando, but have the "must get costume" thing floating over my head. Ah well, maybe next week...


Wednesday, November 16, 2005

oh me me.

Lets summarise what's been going on here lately.

Last week my parents were here! It was good fun and very nice to have them here. On the Saturday they arrived I took them to the Hoop-dee-do review dinner show for some entertainment and "fine" dining. There was salad, bread, baked beans, ribs, fried chicken, corn (mmmmm), and strawberry shortcake for dessert. The show was cheesy and quite funny and I would definitely recommend it! The following day I did not see them as I had a long day of work. On Monday I took them into Epcot before I started work and they spend the day poking about there until I joined them when my shift was over. We wandered around the Food and Wine Festival some and went to the Magic Kingdom to watch the fireworks. I was rather tired as I had felt the need to stay out until 2.00ish the night before and then had to be up at 7.45. Later, I left my parents and went to PI for a night out. Cue another late night followed by another earlish morning as my parents had hired a car for a couple of days! On Tuesday we, among other things, drove to a VERY small down called Mount Dora. It was cute and filled with antique shops and a large everglade-esque lake. I also got bit by an ant, but luckily not very badly. Those little buggers leave quite the scars and itchiness (just ask my dad!).

On Wednesday we drove east to a wildlife refuge and Cape Canaveral area. It was quite pretty and I saw flying/jumping fish! It quite reminded me of Super Mario Bros.

Wednesday turned out to be rather drama-filled post 1.30am. Prior to that I had booked a flight to New York for December (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) and went to a friend's place for crepes and company. I got back to my apartment to find a lovely squad car outside my building. Turns out my housemate's iPod had been stolen. Long story short, I checked my locker and I was missing a goooooooood chunk of money. I usually lock my locker, but had forgotten to a few days earlier. Sigh. Although I realised I was missing stuff as well, I was terrified that I would find stolen stuff planted in my room. Maybe someone wanted me gone? But it was fine, and I didn't think anyone had any reason to dislike me but who knows....? Anyway, my flight to New York was only $145 (although I found a better one today for $110, boo) and I had about $100 stolen so I guess I can think of my flight as costing $245. Or something. Anyway, the whole ordeal made for a rather late night. The next morning I met my parents at the Animal Kingdom for a hop about in the parks before I started work. I was in a bit of a bad mood based on the previous night's events. However, I eventually cheered up and all was good. Friday and Saturday I worked, weeeeee.

My parents left on Sunday. As well, Sunday was the LAST DAY OF THE FOOD AND WINE FESTIVAL!!!!!!! We cheered when we got to drop the front flaps of the kiosk once Illuminations (the fireworks show) started up. I'm a bit sad though, I met a lot of great people that I would have NEVER have met had I been working in the restaurant or on popcorn. At the same time, I'm never pouring a cup of cheddar cheese soup again. EVER. Mwwwwwaaaaaaa. It wasn't as monumental as finishing my filing job, but I'm happy it's over. Don't get me wrong, I *would* do it again, but I don't know how many more weeks of it I could have taken.

I was off on Monday and went to Typhoon Lagoon with Erin! It was soooo much fun!! Typhoon Lagoon is one of Disney's waterparks and it has the best wave pool EVER. The waves are huuuge and I LOVE THEM. The waterslides are good too, but the wave pool is definitely tops in my book. Some of the lifeguards were also good. *ahem*

Monday night was another reallllly late night and for some AWFUL TERRIBLE BRUTAL reason I just could NOT manage to sleep in on Tuesday morning. I was tired and groggy all day and couldn't be bothered calling anyone despite it being my day off. I went to the mall across the way and spent too much time readings books in a store. My quest to buy footwear and jeans didn't go over so well.

Today was my first day in the restaurant! The uniform made me feel like a nun as the costume covers everything from the neck down save your hands. Weird, especially after wearing shortsleeves and shorts for two months outside. The restaurant is a completely different pace than being outside and seems much more proper. I do like the potential for longer guest contact though rather than a thirty-second meet and serve thing.

A few nights ago I set up a msn space for storing my pics as Yahoo has been pissing me off immensely. My msn space/photo album.

Anyway, I'm off. I've been ridiculously lazy tonight and have done NOTHING since getting home from work. Oh right, I tried setting up an account with an online long-distance provider and got ripped off. After paying $15 (pay-as-you-go long distance using the internet for outbound calls) the firewall/network wouldn't let me use it. So I'll have to give iNet a jingle and express my frustration with them. Boo. I figured that would be convenient as I LOST my last phone card (I believe the same day that I had my money stolen AND lost a necklace that I had bloody *&%$#* bought a mere FIVE FJOINOGIEGIOJOIE**###& MINUTES EARLIER.).

Christ I hate losing things. HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE. It makes me feel like a clueless knob.

A year ago today I was in Tampere, Finland. Six months ago I was in Switzerland. Now I'm in Florida! hee hee hee.... :)


And shout-out to Anne, as it's her birthday today. Happy birthday, Anne!!!

Friday, November 04, 2005

I started writing an email to someone a couple of nights ago in Word when the internet was fried. I ended up never sending it. So I figure I'll just edit and post it here. So this is late Tuesday night/ early Wednesday morning....

There are just too many fun things to do here! Last night I was supposed to go to the gym and whatnot but found myself at a dinner show, Arabian Nights. The show itself wasn’t very good, the food was fine, and the beer/wine/soda was all you can drink. I got a wee bit tipsy. Shocking, I know. The show usually costs $50.00 or so but the first Tuesday of every night there is an offer for WDW castmembers to go for eight freaking dollars! How cheap is that?!?! I didn’t even have to chip in the for the cab there or back because it is tradition that the folk in tipped positions, provided enough of them go, cover the cost of the cab because they make in one night what the untipped folk make in, well, a week. No lie. So I should be putting in the effort to learn my menu right now, but I find it very hard to bother putting in the effort. I guess I got pretty accustomed to the slacker way of life since university ended! But I’m going to learn my menu…. The dinero is quite enticing. However, I find I get bored of positions easily so I don’t want to get into serving too early on or else I’ll be sick of it by March!

Things here are quite good! I won some kind of award thingie at work for good customer service (the generic term, not the Disney terms of “Take 5 Moments” or “Making Magic”). Weeeee! I’m getting along well with my roomie and housemates and am starting to hang out with some more people.

Tonight I am going out for a friend’s birthday. Splurging on a $25.00 meal but it’s supposed to be amaaaaazing. It’s at a Disney resort called the Animal Kingdom Lodge. It’s African themed so it should be pretty interesting! I’ve been to the resort (Disney never calls accommodations hotels :P ) before and it’s pretty cool – there are giraffes and other animals wandering just outside the hotel! Disney sometimes skimps and does things on the cheap (a testimate to previous management that is no longer in the company) but they did quite go all out with this place.

I’m going to be the size of a small whale by the time I go home. I think one reason for the menu slacking and glutonous eating is that I feel like I’m constantly on holiday. Seriously, this is like a year-long holiday and it’s hard to get into the “real life” way of life that includes actually COOKING and being responsible. So come next week, I’m returning to my gym groove (which is hard when you sometimes spend twelve hours a day standing) and am going to actually start cooking and not eating cereal 400x a day. I’m basically telling you this to shame myself into “healthy living” practices.

One thing I LOVE about it here is learning about the different positions around the resort. Each month there is a schedule of people giving talks about their roles in the company. Some of them look pretty bland judging by the five-line description, but some look pretty interesting. There are also one- or two-hour sessions on various bits of history about the company, behind the scenes tours, and other stuff I gobble up as a fan. I want to explore Florida, but I will admit staying in Orlando on my days off is pretty appealing as there is soooo much to do here. I figure I’ll be sick of the Disney parks soon enough. Today is a shopping day as I haven’t really shopped since arriving here.

Hurricane Wilma hit Florida and some parts of Miami and Fort Lauderdale were without power for a good week. Lots of those folk came up to Disney World to kill some time which resulted in an extremely busy week for us. The hurricane didn’t affect me too much, it was just ridiculously windy and rainy for awhile. Then I hustled off to work for clean-up duty and got slack from a few guests because not everything was open. Umm, considering a HURRICANE had been in the park a mere two-hours earlier I thought we were doing pretty well restocking kiosks and putting all the stuff back together that we had stripped bare the night before. Honestly, SOOOOO much work goes into hurricane preparation. The storm itself probably lasted for only four-five hours, but the labour that goes into moving things indoors and then moving it all back outdoors is right mad. And besides some our Food and Wine Festival being closed, by supper time you would have never known that there had been a hurricane all morning and into the afternoon. Huge props to the custodial crew, they did an amazing job! In fact, they got the place spick and span and I hardly even noticed them. They were subtle!

One thing I love about working the food and wine festival is how many new people I got to meet! Many of the F&W castmembers are either American students on the college programme or older workers that pop out of retirement once in awhile for random work. Some are pretty interesting to talk to – they travel the continent in their RVs working or volunteering post “official” retirement. I think I would like to do that when I pass the half-century mark. Honestly, I’m going to have a hard time saying good-bye to some of the college students, especially some of the cooks that have been working in our kiosk. We have spent SO much time with them over the past weeks that, I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I’m going to be kind of sad when food and wine ends. I know I have some teary good-byes coming my way in the next month of so. =( I actually had my first tear-shed about someone leaving just this week. It makes me realize how fast this year is going to go and it really scares me. There are people that I mean to hang out with but never end of meeting up. I feel, “Hey, there’s lots of time!” but TWO MONTHS have almost passed already. Scary stuff!

This year I had THREE different costumes for Hallowe’en. First up was my super hero costume that I wore to Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Hallowe’en Party a few weeks ago. At a Hallowe’en party this weekend I dressed up as a campfire. Shockingly, no one else had the same costume as me. Last night for Hallowe’en we were supposed to go as pirates as part of the “Canadian Girls Drinking Team”. I obliged and splurged and entire $.75 on my costume. Three cheers for a yard of red and white striped fabric from Wal-Mart!

I’ve been practicing my French lately in an effort to get the “I speak French!” portion of my name tag. Basically it is a small attachment of the French flag onto my name badge. After I get the French flag I would like to work toward the Spanish flag but that’ll take a LOT of work on my part! Spanish is SUCH a fast language. Many of the F&W cooks are from Puerto Rico or speak Spanish and they talk so quickly that I find it hard to catch much of what they say. However, I’m going to try as I’m in a good environment to learn.

**** And that's when I stopped typing and started yaking on the phone or something.

Anyway, now to hang up wet laundry. We have a dryer here but I don't use it. I'm energy efficient! But I do need to buy a drying rack... The hangers kind of leave my clothes smelling like metal.