Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Want To Pet My Snake?

My very first “real” job was when I was 15. I had been babysitting for years but I didn’t consider it a real job. I remember complaining to my mom because I just wanted to hurry up and get older so I could get a grown up job. My mom tried telling me to enjoy babysitting because, let’s face it, it’s not a difficult job. I got paid very well to sit in someone’s house for a few hours. Most of the time I would only have an hour or two before I had to put the kids to bed and then I could just watch TV and eat whatever I wanted. Yeah, really tough. That was another one of those instances where I should have listened to my mother.

My first job was in a mall in Illinois and I worked at a reptile zoo. (Yes, there was a reptile zoo in a mall.) I was hired to be a tour guide but I had to go through quite a bit of training before I could give tours alone. I observed other guides giving the tours and tried to memorize all of the information. The store had a few rare, albino reptiles along with a snake that was in the movie Anaconda. There was a giant crocodile, cobras and the “world’s largest snake.” This snake was actually in the Guinness Book of World Records (I think another snake has beat his title since then) and his name was Baby. He was HUGE.

While I learned the necessary skills to be a good tour guide, I also got to hold a 10-foot Albino Burmese Python at the entrance of the store. My duty was to draw people into the store and get them to take a tour. The snake's name was Bananas and I just adored him. I have always loved snakes and I loved holding him. I also had a blast messing with the people strolling through the mall. A lot of people thought I was holding a fake snake so they would innocently wander by and barely glance in my direction. Bananas would move and their reactions were priceless. It was funny to see who got scared and who didn’t. I once saw big, giant man run like a baby while his petite girlfriend came over to pet Bananas.

There was also a Navy base close to the mall so we would have quite a few guys come over at the end of the day. Many of them got very excited to see a girl holding a giant snake. (By the way Britney Spears, I totally beat you on that one.) One occasion that sticks out in my mind was when a group of Navy guys walked by and I said, “Do you guys want to pet the snake?” One of them grinned and said, “Do you want to pet MY snake?” Um, no. Gross. I was 15 and did not think that was funny at all. At 15, I still thought sex or anything relating to sex was totally nasty.
A couple of times I was told to hold a baby crocodile instead of Bananas. I loathed that crocodile. No one ever really taught me how to hold him and I was too young and dumb to open my mouth and ask for help. One of the times I was holding him, a group of loud kids walked by and it frightened the crocodile. He started flailing around and scratched the shit out of my arms. He then crapped all over me. The worst part was my manager wouldn’t let me go home to change so I had to walk around with croc poop on me the rest of my shift. I was never asked to hold the crocodile again.

I finally earned the right to be a tour guide and completely hated it. I loathed talking in front of a group of people every day and it became so boring to say the same things over and over. Plus I was still young and flighty so I quit after about five months to move on to bigger and better things (a hostess. Ha!). I still look back on that first job fondly and love to reminisce about the great times I had with my buddy Bananas.

Friday, June 18, 2010

The Father's Day Post


How can I begin to explain how much you mean to me? Are there really words to express how thankful I am to have you as my father? When you became a father, you were so young and I'm sure you were terrified. While Mom stayed home and grew into an amazing mother, you went to school all day and worked at night. I have heard stories of you trying to study while I screamed (colic sounds AWESOME). Didn't you miss a final because you slept in as a result of me being a giant ass? (Sorry about that by the way.)

Still, you persevered and graduated. You started working and you started at the bottom. Over the years, you were the perfect example of what hard work can get you in life. I remember you telling me how you should never call in sick to work unless you were really, really sick. You instilled a solid work ethic in me from a very early age.

I selfishly complained every time we moved and I never saw the sacrifice you made. You were also giving up everything to pick up and start over. But you were doing it so that you could provide for your family. You never thought about yourself, you only thought of us.

A year ago you lost your father. At the funeral, I was expecting to see a man in mourning. Yes, I saw some sadness, but I mostly saw something completely different. I saw a man being strong so he could hold his mother up. During a time where most people would be thinking of their own sadness, you were thinking of your mother and your family.

For the past few months, you have been working all day, rushing home to eat, and then going back out to visit your mother in the hospital. You have no free time and you are facing unimaginable stress. Have I heard you complain? Not once. Come to think of it, have I ever heard you complain about anything? No, I haven't.

Thank you for everything you gave up and everything you did for me and the rest of the family. Thank you for the hard work, sacrifice and unconditional love. I hope this helps you see how much you mean to me.

I love you so much, Dad! Happy Father's Day!

images via weheartit

Monday, June 7, 2010

I Can't Think of a Good Title Right Now

You know those people that say they never watch TV because they just don’t have time? Yeah, that is not me. I love TV. I look forward to settling down after a long day of work, cooking dinner, taking care of the dogs and cleaning to watch a good show and sip some hot tea. Since I seem to be having a huge blogging brain fart and can’t think of anything interesting or remotely witty to write about, I thought I would share some of my favorite TV programs.

The Hills – Yes, I watch The Hills. Shut up. I don’t know why I still watch it but I do. I think most of the time it makes me feel so grateful for my life (not that I’m not grateful every day). When I watch a scene with psycho Spencer, I just have to get up and give JJ a big kiss. Thanks for not being insane, honey.

So You Think You Can Dance – I never really got into American Idol but I adore SYTYCD, which is basically a dancing version of Idol. I danced when I was younger so I love watching talented dancers. This season just started and I can’t wait to see who makes it onto the show!

Psych – Does anyone else watch this show? It is one of the few shows my husband and I can watch together. It is funny and light and a great show to watch on the weekends. I definitely recommend it. Phych's seasons are on a different schedule so a new one should be starting soon!

Glee – Duh. This show rocks. However, to the writers of the show, can you please stop making jokes about conservatives? I don’t mind some shows like Family Guy because they pretty much make fun of everyone. But you have a ton of viewers that are conservative. Why are you making jokes about them? The jokes are not necessary and it’s just not smart on your part to make a large part of your viewers upset. STOP IT.

Say Yes to the Dress – Wedding dresses are awesome. An entire show about wedding dresses with a little drama added in? Yes please!

Law and Order: SVU – Love Stabler. Love Benson. The show totally freaks me out at times but I have never seen an episode that didn’t totally suck me in after about 30 seconds. Even if you aren’t planning on watching the episode, if you watch the first couple of minutes when the crime happens, you are screwed. You will not be able to stop watching.

Baby Story, Bringing Home Baby or any show with baby in the title – Baby Fever. I have it. No more explanation needed. I’m pretty sure these shows are not really helping with the baby fever. Whatever.

Flash Forward – I had to include this one because it rocked my face off. Unfortunately, it has been cancelled (damn you people that only watch reality show trash…oh wait, that’s me). It had a great plot, awesome characters and a ton of suspense and action. My husband and I totally got into this show. We have yet to watch the season (and series) finale but I know it will be amazing. I will definitely miss this show.

Please note that this list is not all inclusive. There may be others, such as Bridezillas, that I am too embarrassed to admit to watching.