Today marks the end of my first week working for Walmart. I’ve been working long hours and have been to exhausted to remember to update here. My days off seem to be rather random, I had today off but I didn’t post here until just now because I was busy finishing up a short story for an anthology with a deadline at midnight.
Turns out being a “stockman” doesn’t mean being the one who keeps the shelves stocked with merchandize (which I what I thought I signed up for), stockman are the ones who organize the carts in the parking lot. At first I was a little upset I didn’t get the job I wanted, but it turned out to be a pleasant surprise. Its a nice physical job and affords a lot more freedom than the one I thought I was going to get. Much easier too.
I begin work at Walmart tomorrow. My substitute teacher aide job isn’t a reliable source of income, so I’ve been looking for something more consistent for almost as long as I’ve had it. Having an irregular job is better than being unemployed, but most things are.
I was actually shocked how easily Walmart hired me. My local branch had a recruiting drive, I showed up for an interview, they asked if I’d be ok with a stocking job, I said yes and that was all. I’m in dire need of experience because many prospective employers assume that lack of paid experience = not worth an interview. All other retail places turned me down, as did jobs I actually wanted like library ones.
Now I can grow my bank account and get some quality experience for later applications.
This last weekend I went to Poulsbo for their annual Viking Festival. Poulsbo was founded by Norwegian loggers who were drawn to the Puget Sound for its logging, fishing, shipping, and shipbuilding industries. Since 1968 they have held the Viking Festival to celebrate both Norwegian Constitution Day and their more distant Norse past.
The parade was good, fairly standard as far as small town parades go but with lots of cool costumes. However the star attraction of the festival are the reenactors who dress up in authentic dark age attire and set up living exhibits. Here are some pictures from the event:
Here is the initial pruning I did on one of my trees, it’s a blue star juniper. Next month I’ll be able to put training wire on the branches, but for know I just need to keep the tree watered and fed. I managed to start a cutting on one of the branches I removed, hopefully I will be able to start on impressive pedigree.
My Toastmasters meeting was yesterday and I got started on a new manual, once I finish this one I will earn the Advanced Communicator title and award. Last week was the concluding speech for my previous manual, and the consensus was that it was my best speech yet. That’s a tough act to follow. I just finished the Story Teller manual, now I’m on the Entertaining Speaker manual.
The first assignment in it (the one I did yesterday) was simply to give an “entertaining speech,” hands down the vaguest project I’ve yet completed. I thought all speeches were supposed to be entertaining. Anyway I wrote up the speech, and even though I forgot my notes I did just fine without them and was able to to improvise quite a bit. My improvisations brought a lot of laughter. Overall it was a success and club members thought it was my best delivered speech yet, though the content wasn’t as good as last week’s.
Every new year it takes a while for the year to break in. All of January is spent correcting what year I wrote. However for me it seems each year moves by more rapid than the last. When I was younger years seemed like an eternity, and that’s how it is for most people. Yesterday was the two year anniversary of me getting my Bachelor’s, yet the five years it took to get it seems to have went by faster than the two years since. I suppose that sounds contradictory, perhaps it is. When I was a student every day was filled with events, most memorable. Now I really only have events no more than two or three times a week. Usually just once. Hopefully that will change soon.
Recently I visited my alma mater and had a conversation with a friend who will be graduating this coming weekend. We caught up, then he talked about his plans for life after graduation. I told him how surreal it is to attend events as an alumni. Every time I do I recognize less and less faces.
However I have never been to any events specifically for alumni, although they do send me invitations in the mail every other month or so. Often those events are in California or elsewhere, and I can’t afford to buy a plane ticket just to attend. Even when they are in state they tend to be way too expensive. The annual black tie gala starts at $500 dollars a person. Several of my more affluent classmates have already went, but me and the friend I visited with both will not be able to go for many years. Both of us agreed that when we do, we will have to flaunt our success to the other attendees. I’ve decided I will wear a top hat, and possibly other things such as white gloves, tails, and maybe even a cane.
So far my life can be divided into several discernible chapters. Some of them have a predictable beginning and end, others transfer rather abruptly. My teen years were mediocre. I was involved in Boy Scouts and youth group, those were my primary social outlets because I was homeschooled. When I was 17 my mom said “I signed you up for Running Start, you begin classes in September!” and with that a new chapter was abruptly announced. That was 17 years ago, now I am in a transitional chapter that I hope will end as soon as possible.
Here in Washington we have several majestic forests. One thing that makes our forests particularly striking is how the trees are usually covered in sleeves of vibrant moss. Some of the moss species are like wool or carpet, others resemble shaggy fur like that of a mountain goat. Often it is something of a cross.
I think living surrounded by so many beautiful trees may have been part of what inspired me to get into bonsai. Microcosms have always intrigued me, and good bonsai are just that. Yes they are kept artificially small and they are artificially shaped and groomed, but they mimic their (often literal) siblings in nature. I’d love to one day do a bonsai of Washington species with sleeves of moss growing on the branches and trunk. However I’m not sure if that is possible, since bonsai are much more sensitive than free growing trees. Certain mosses are often used as lawn on top of the soil, there is even special bonsai moss spray for that.
I don’t own the picture below, it was taken from a fair use website