Wednesday, January 17, 2007

First day at a new job

Well, I got the job at Stater Bros. and today was my first day. I am working in the service deli, as I said. Papa gave me a ride to work, where I was to report at 8 a.m., which isn't that bad except that for the last couple months I haven't been waking up till then.

I started out the day receiving my apron, name badge, and cravat (sort of like a tie) from the manager who hired me, Erika. Then I waited for the other person who was going to be trained to show up, after having gone to the bathroom to put my cravat and apron. Once the other person, a guy named Chris (who I think is the 6'7'' guy I met at my orientation), showed up, Erika took us up to a room and told us about safety stuff and some other things and had us sign off on that stuff. Then she took us to our departments. She left me in the service deli and went on with Chris to the bakery, which is located next to the service deli. I was then entrusted to the tutelage of Tami, the service deli manager, for the rest of the day. She gave me a second apron made of plastic to wear, and later while with her I got a visor from Erika.

The day was mainly spent following Tami around to learn stuff. Tami took me on a tour of all the back area. It's pretty cool and sort of like a secret passage. It goes from behind the service deli counter through the area behind the bakery into a big storage area with some freezers and the trash compactor and stuff that empties out onto the other side of the store.

The time went surprisingly fast, mainly cause there were a lot of customers. The oven-roasted turkey was particularly popular, probably cause it's healthy and on sale. I made a few mistakes -- accidentially not selling the roast beef and oven-roasted turkey for the sale price because I pressed the wrong button on the scale, and cutting too much roast beef for a guy who wanted a pound of thickly sliced roast beef. (I cut 1.96 lbs).

They asked me if I wanted to stay later (I think cause some guy called in sick) but after some thought, I said no, since I had developed a headache mid-morning that wasn't going away. So they let me go.

So the first day went ok. I work 7-4 tomorrow. Yeah, that's right -- I have to be at work at SEVEN A.M. Since I plan to walk, that means I have to get up at the crack of dawn basically, since it takes about an hour to walk there.

After getting off work and waiting for some manager so I could get my stuff out of the office (since I didn't have a lock I couldn't put my stuff in a locker in the breakroom) , I sat down somewhere to eat the lunch I'd brought (a sandwich and apple slices) and then headed home.

At least I'll be working a lot of hours tomorrow. 7-4 is 9 hours I think. Do I get overtime for that? No, probably not cause it would be technically 8 hours cause I will most definitely get a lunch break, which is an hour. I will have to figure out what to do with all that time, because I'm used to having half-hour lunch breaks, so I have trained myself to eat lunch in like 20 minutes. If I had the money I would get something from the deli. The chicken looks really good. The chicken includes quarter legs which are huge legs that look like the kind you see people brandishing in paintings of medieval scenes.

The breakroom is kinda nice. You approach it via a flight of stairs from the sales floor, and it's a big wide room with lockers down the hall and a couple big tables pushed together in the center with chairs. There is a microwave, a bulletin board with all the things businesses have to display in the breakroom, like OSHA laws, minimum wage info, and so on, possibly a small fridge (the microwave was sitting on something that I assumed was a fridge) and two very outdated-looking vending machines. I mean, they are like '70's-style. One of the people I met while up there on my break, Meg (who works in the bakery), said they don't get much use since people usually buy stuff for their break out in the store. At least this way I don't have to make sure to attach the receipt to stuff (something they require when you buy something, even a magazine). Plus the soda machine sells cans of soda for 50¢, a real bargain. The other machine is a coffee machine that charges I know not what. It probably doesn't get used much because you can get a cup of coffee at the store for 69¢, and plus there's a Starbucks next door. I don't care about the coffee though. I'm fine with 50¢ soda cans (or 80¢ if I go to the donut store on the other side of the shopping center), and if I want a bottle, they sell them there, and there's also a soda machine over by Big Lots.

I may not have much money for soda though. Mom says once I get my first paycheck I am going on a budget. Hopefully, though, I will have some spending money. With my first check, combined with a $25 check from my grandpa (from Christmas) that I still need to deposit, I am going to get a bus pass for February (it's too late to get one for January), a nice jacket I can wear when walking to or from work, and some other clothes item my mom told me to get that I forget now. I may buy a spare pair of black pants and a spare white shirt for work also.

I found out today I have to go to a class to get my Food Handler's Card. There's one this Sunday, so I was told to go to that. The nice thing about this is that I get Sunday totally off because of it, which will be good after four days straight of work, three of which are full workdays (8 hours). The bad news is that the class is at 8am and lasts three hours, which means I'm going to have to miss church to go to it. I was thinking it was after church, but apparently not. Shoot.

Well that's basically everything. Bye for now.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Team Rocket origins, 2 job ops, fanlisting craze, I'm thirsty...

I have sort of liked Team Rocket since I first got into Poké fact Jessie (one of the members) was my favorite character at first. The cool thing is that more and more about their origins (how they met, etc) has been coming out over the years. One episode that really does that is "Training Daze," an episode of the Pokémon spin-off Pokémon Chronicles. I just watched it online via Toonami's online cartoon viewing spot, Toonami Jetstream. It's a great little ep which shows how Jessie couldn't keep a partner, and then when she got James as a partner things finally worked out.

You can watch the ep here:

Speaking of Toonami Jetstream, I don't know if I already mentioned this, but I've been getting into an anime called The Prince of Tennis. It was originally only available legally in the U.S. via Toonami Jetstream, but just before Christmas 2006 it made its debut on the Cartoon Network's Saturday night Toonami lineup. The show is basically about this 7th grade kid named Echizen Ryoma who is really good at tennis. That's the best I can figure out at this point. It's an interesting anime to bring to the U.S., since sports anime like Prince of Tennis, while very popular in Japan, don't usually get legally brought stateside. But I guess the Japanese animation companies have decided to take a chance on us and bring it over.

More than likely it has been brought over because of a trend. There has been a recent trend of success with shounen (young boy-targeted; animes like Outlaw Star that are targeted for teenage boys and older are called seinen) anime, like Naruto, Inuyasha and Fullmetal Alchemist, in the U.S. Hence the market is ripe for more shounen anime, and The Prince of Tennis, being shounen, fits the demand. Plus, since it is a sports anime, the likes of which haven't really been seen in the U.S. before (the Slam Dunk manga, which, like the title suggests, is about basketball, is the only other example I can think of), that makes things even better. To please both genders, Toonami paired The Prince of Tennis, which is sports and action (the kind of things boys like) with another shounen anime of the fantasy variety called MÄR in the same hour block.

I think the anime appeals to both boys and girls though because both boys and girls watch tennis, and tennis is a sport played by both men and women, unlike baseball or football. The action and great use of animation effects like slow-motion, use of greyscale frames, stills of characters with voice-overs of their thoughts, and the like are enough to attract someone of any gender, even if they can say, as Sakuno does in episode 1, "I don't know much about tennis, but I love it!" You could not even like tennis or know a thing about it and still like this show.

Now, in my case, I do like tennis and have had for a long time a basic idea of how the game works. Now, thanks to having done a speech about tennis, I know far more about types of shots, scoring, positions, and other tennis stuff than I really need to to understand the game from poring over about 8 books on tennis for research. Having knowledge of the game helps me appreciate The Prince of Tennis even more.

Personally, I think the animators make it relatively easy for even the tennis novice to understand the show; after all, although Japan has many good pro tennis players (mainly women) and even hosts its own pro tournament (the AIG Japan Open Tennis Championships, held in Tokyo), tennis is still a imported sport in Japan. It's not like sumo, for instance, which is distinctly Japanese.

Anyway, I have 2 job opportunities that have gone as far as the interview stage and beyond. I am just waiting for a drug test result on one, a job as a General Merchandise Clerk at Stater Bros., working in the Service Deli department. The other I had an interview for and am supposed to hear back from early this week. That's as an employee at Babies R Us.

I have gotten back into the craze of joining fanlistings, having joined enough to fill about 3 or so Microsoft Word pages just in the last 2-3 days! (I keep a list in a Word file of the fanlistings I've joined, so I know when it comes time to put the link button on my site what to link to, and also so I don't try to join one I've already joined). There are so many fanlistings listed at that it's almost overwhelming. Most of them are rather random, like the ones for the program Notepad, for breakfast, or for DVD commentaries. Some are really specific, being for certain characters from books, movies, or TV, or certain relationships (platonic and romantic) from the same. There are even ones for items, from Nausicaä's Mehve (flying contraption) from the movie Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind to the Ginzuishou (Silver Crystal) from Sailor Moon to Zakuro's Cross Whip from Tokyo Mew Mew.

I may create a fanlisting for the Sailor Moon live-action show Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon, since there doesn't seem to be one though there are many Sailor Moon senshi-related fanlistings that include the senshi's PGSM incarnations under their subjects, and fanlistings for some of the actors of PGSM (I joined the ones for Kitagawa Keiko, Komatsu Ayaka, and Chieco Kawabe, who play Rei/Sailor Mars, Minako/Sailor Venus, and Osaka Naru respectively). The only problem is that fanlistings are tough to keep up, and I've got two sites, a blog, and a video hosting account to attend to. Plus making one requires at least one page with a form, the script for which (JavaScript I think) is not exactly easy to do.

I'm thirsty and jittery from sitting so much at the computer. I'm going to go for a walk. More later.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Job stuff, website updates not going so well, podcasts, boredom, etc.

I actually got going on some job stuff today, writing several cover letters for newspaper ads and filling out one of the two applications I decided to keep. (I threw out Submarina and Domino's because the first is a sub sandwich place, which I've already done bad at -- getting fired from Subway after 3 days -- and the other is only hiring drivers right now). I've not been in much of a good mood though, after having a discussion with Mom (well, not really a discussion so much) about my overweight condition hurting my chances of getting a job. Uh, hello, I've had three jobs since my senior year of high school and I was overweight all that time too. She mentioned that when my dad came up to me when I was going to Wal-Mart the other day to get my cell phone (since he was changing out our phones) that I was barely moving. I said this was because my feet hurt a lot, which is true. My mom thought it was because of my weight though. She brought up (once again) the fact that I lost so much weight when I was walking to school during the time after I'd lost my bus pass until I got a job at Wendy's. I should mention that this walk took TWO AND A HALF HOURS each way and required that I wake up at the crack of dawn to get to school on time for my 8am class.

Ok so I am overweight by about 40-50 pounds. Yes, I am at risk for cancer and diabetes from family history. Heck, maybe Tay-Sachs too given my Eastern European Jewish history on my dad's side, coupled with cystic fibrosis from the other Caucasian relatives and the chance of passing on to one of my kids whatever this weird social disease I have (still not sure if it's Asperger's). But I do not think that will prevent me from getting a job. Yeah, employers can be discriminatory if they want to. But if they can't discriminate you if you're a woman, a homosexual, of a race other than white, disabled, over age 40, or a wealth of other things, and can't automatically deny you employment if you say on your application that you've committed a felony, you'd think they can't discriminate against you because you're overweight, right?

Granted, I probably should exercise more and stuff. I know it may better my chances of getting a job since this world is so appearance-conscious as to prefer thin people over heavy people. But that shouldn't stop me. It's the inside that really counts. A guy applying to be an accountant might be the best qualified candidate around and get hired, but then slack off at work or be a crook and get the company into major debt or tax fraud or something (kinda like the Enron scandal).

In other news, updates on my personal website, Silvanmare, aren't going well. I tried to make a new drop-down menu for the side menu, but when I typed in the code (which involves unordered lists and CSS) it didn't show up right. I am thinking of trying a different method. The new site will have "mini-sites" on various subjects. Although maybe I will limit the amount of them, cause I went a bit crazy on making mini-sites -- making 35 in all.

Sorry there was a bit of time delay...I went on a site called Into the Pensieve to find some Harry Potter video clips (I discovered when making my "Dance to Me" video that that site is a great place to find those) and ended up creating a My Pensieve account. You get a blog and the ability to add content from the site to your "media gallery" and control over what kind of news appears on your page (called your "pensieve"), which you control by checking what "subscriptions" you want, etc. Sorta like MySpace I guess, but not. (I'm still resisting the urge to get on the Myspace bandwagon).

Anyway about the site...I'm going to continue playing with the drop-down thing, and see if my HTML books have anything about them.

As for the podcasts part of the subject line, I'm still into MuggleCast, and I decided to give PotterCast -- another Harry Potter podcast for the site The Leaky Cauldron -- another chance and I actually like it.

I found three travel podcasts on a site called Podcast Alley (which I heard about from MuggleCast, since they're always telling you to vote for them there) and got eps. One is the podcast for Rick Steves, who does a travel show on PBS. Hard to hear (I couldn't hear it over the water when doing dishes last night) but good. Another is one on Athens that I haven't listened to yet. The last one was called Josh in Japan and promised to be interesting, but episode 1 was just the guy griping about how much Western fast food there is in Japan and about how he hates seafood and swearing quite a bit. So I decided not to listen to that one anymore.

As for boredom, well, with lots of time and nothing to do, life has been boring. I did manage to do some new videos over winter break so far to try to rebuild my video collection after the YouTube fiasco. I also created an alternate e-mail account with Hotmail so that hopefully I can get back on YouTube. Not that Putfile isn't bad but it's not as nice as YouTube and plus I have friends at YouTube. The only good thing about losing my YouTube account is losing the abstinence video. I'm not saying I regret making the video, but I got sick of all the flaming comments I got on it from people who prefer safe sex to abstinence. I just stopped answering the comments after a while.

As for new videos, what did I do? Well I have a Yumi-Ulrich-William love triangle video (called "Somebody to Love: Ulrich or William?") to Anne Hathaway's rendition of Queen's "Somebody to Love." I have an Outlaw Star video (called "A Space Free-for-all") done to the song "Rodéo" from the Code Lyoko Subdigitals album that I mentioned before. I have a Sailor Saturn video called "Soldier of Destruction" set to a song by Saturn's voice actress.

I gotta go. More later.

Edit: The song sung by Saturn's voice actress, Minaguchi Yuko, is called "A DIEU." The other videos are a Code Lyoko-PGSM battle vid (called, "Hit Me With Your Best Shot," set to Pat Benatar's song of that name) and yesterday I did one about Usagi's struggle with the power from the Silver Crystal and the destructive desires of Princess Sailor Moon called "Addicted" (set to the song "Addicted" by Kelly Clarkson, which I got from the Kelly Clarkson CD my dad got for Christmas, which I borrowed).

Today I went and returned the socks and the shirt to Wal-Mart and got two pairs of trouser socks and a new hat (a denim baseball cap) as well as some foot spray and shampoo and conditioner. I also got several applications for places in that area.

That's basically all I've done today. As for other videos, I think I'll do a Harry Potter video. I had done one but I lost it in losing my account.

That's all I really have to say. Bye.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Post-New Year blues with some good parts

Christmas and New Year's have come and gone. Christmas was all right. I got mostly clothes from my parents, which I knew I was getting cause I went with to buy them. I also got some underwear, which I knew I was getting, plus a 6-pack of glass-bottled Coke. My brother got me a new GameCube (which is great cause my other one has having problem) with one controller, and four 12-pack boxes of soda cans, a Life Savers Sweet Storybook, and I think some other stuff. My parents gave my brother and I a Scrubbing Bubbles Automatic Shower Cleaner with a couple refill bottles. I got a little box of candy and a $25 Wal-Mart gift card from my aunt and a $25 check from my grandpa.

New Year's was uneventful. I spent New Year's Eve day applying for a couple jobs online, and using the computer mostly, getting some video files to make a Sailor Moon video. I also downloaded the New Year's show for MuggleCast, a Harry Potter podcast I've recently gotten into, which I listened to late on New Year's Eve night so I could stay awake late enough to watch the ball drop on Dick Clark's Rockin' Eve. Fortunately the podcast ended at 11:52 (probably cause it was almost 2 hours long, but also cause I paused it a lot), so after that I watched the program till the ball dropped. Then I went upstairs, wished my parents Happy New Year and took a shower and went to bed.

Today Mum wanted me to get out of the house and not just sit around. So I walked to Wal-Mart to use my gift card. Unfortunately, I wore one of my new pairs of shoes which I hadn't broken into yet, so walking was a rather painful experience.

I got two packs of socks, a plastic box to store the CD's that don't have cases, a nice cotton shirt, and the book The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. My mom said I should've gotten nicer socks to wear with new clothes and that the shirt could be worn under a blouse, which means it's not nice enough to just wear by itself. So I am going to return the shirt and the socks and get nicer stuff, if I can. I'm keeping the box and the book.

The 2-year agreement on our cell phones ended today so my dad changed out our phones. We got Motorola W315 phones. Here's what one looks like:

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

My brother pointed out it doesn't have a camera like our old phones did, which means my dad can't take pictures of our dogs all the time like he usually did. I like the phone though, even without the camera. Since it's Motorola, it'll be easier to get custom ringtones.

Speaking of Motorola, I saw a really funny Chinese Motorola commercial on this show called Funniest Commercials of the Year 2006. Here's a link where you can see it:

I'm pretty tired so I'm going to end here.