Posts Tagged With: Disney

School

I am officially a stay at home mom these days. At least for the next year or so. How am I managing that on our pared-down lifestyle? I’m going to school.

I have been thinking about babies and careers for a long time now, and when it all came out in the wash, it came out English teacher. Not only are the benefits great and the hours conducive to kids, but I really couldn’t think of a better way to spend my days than surrounded by books and writing. I’m hoping my enthusiasm will be infectious.

I got my fieldwork assignment, though, and I panicked. Because somehow in the middle of all this, I forgot how much I loathed high school. Like, I hated it so much that I graduated in three years just so I wouldn’t have to be there anymore, only allowed because I threatened to drop out. And now I was going back? Voluntarily?

Careers and I have always been uncertain bedfellows. I have worked the longest at Disney costuming, and it took me years to realize it wasn’t going to work. I could put up with bad pay, lack of advancement opportunities, and the horrible commute. What tipped me over was the hours – 12 hour days, midnight parade rehearsals, never a break. In short, no room for children.

I remember feeling, on my last day, not exactly sad, but nostalgic. I looked back through the white steel gates to take it in one last time, the yellow swoop of the Team Disney building, the boxy windows of the Eat Ticket, the gray concrete parade building, where I worked, beyond. I watched dozens of people in different uniforms scan their passes and go though the gates. ‘you’ll never be a part of anything if this scale again,’ I told myself, not unhappy with the prospect but still lingering. Eventually I turned and drove home.

My first week returning to high school just ended. And it was ALMOST just as I had thought it would be, with one major difference. It was like attending your very favorite class in high school all day long. The kids were smart little assess. I enjoyed myself.

As supervisory teacher was showing me around the campus, the quad full of trees and planters, the tan cinder block buildings tucked under the mountains and the blue California sky, I found myself returning to that last day at Disney.

And I realized… I might be embarking on something of that epic scope again. I’m looking forward to the rest of it.

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Oh, Amazon…

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So it turns out that not only is Amazon blocking Hachette (http://online.wsj.com/articles/amazon-hachette-e-book-pricing-battle-continues-1407708761), but they’re trying the same shit with Warner Brothers (http://mashable.com/2014/06/10/hachette-warner-bros-amazon-lego/) and Disney (http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/08/09/amazon-takes-the-muppets-off-the-shelf/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_php=true&_type=blogs&smid=tw-nytimesbits&_r=2&). Umm, I don’t know how you expect this to end guys, but I predict that it won’t go well. In addition, Amazon has sent out a letter to all their self-published KDP writers asking them to write to the CEO of Hachette and complain (http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/08/09/orwell-is-amazons-latest-target-in-battle-against-hachette/). Another really bad idea, I would imagine; even if they had gotten their literary references correct. Amazon is now putting people like me (who just want to read a damn book, or sell a damn book) in the middle of this thing. It’s like running to mommy when the big kid tries to take your lunch money, except that Amazon is supposed to be the mommy in this situation. 

I am shaking my head over here. Also, I’m angry.

Frankly, I don’t care how I get my stuff as long as I get it. I liked the fact that Amazon is easy to use and all in one place; I can click a single button and the thing I’ve ordered arrives. However, all my stuff is no longer in the same place or will arrive reliably. Shannon Hale is with Hachette. Amanda Palmer is with Hachette. JK Rowling and Stephen Colbert are with Hachette. I LOVE the Muppets.  I really don’t like getting dicked around because two giant corporations can’t get it together and make an agreement. I don’t think that Hachette is blameless, but I do think they’ve played the PR game better. And really, for me, the whole thing is about access. I don’t care how Amazon and Hachette resolve this thing, I just want to be able to read what I want to read. I also don’t mind paying a little more for that privilege.

So basically, this post is to say that I’m done. Amazon obviously can’t give me the customer experience I need. I love that Kindle app on my phone, but did you know that Kobo also has a reading app? I downloaded it last night and I already love it. Their prices are not that different from Amazon, and I was able to preorder both Shannon Hale’s “A Wonderlandiful World” and Amanda Palmer’s “The Art of Asking” with the click of a single button. It loads faster than the Kindle app, too, and they give me fancy badges for reading stuff! There is also a little green bookmark that goes into your page when you sign out. Next, I’m going to try Powell’s (http://www.powells.com/) or Vroman’s (http://www.vromansbookstore.com/) for all my physical book ordering needs. There is also the fabulous Barnes and Noble, for the large and established factor.  I’m not going without stuff to prove a point I don’t care about, Amazon.  Maybe if you had gotten that George Orwell quote right… (Okay, not even then).

In the mean time, I wish both Amazon and Hachette luck in figuring this whole thing out. Now excuse me while I go enrich Wil Wheaton’s stock in popcorn by buying a huge bowl for myself. I’ve figured out a way to get my books like I want them and I no longer have a stake in the game. Now the travesty can unfold for my amusement.

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With Bonus Miscellany

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Things I learned this week:

I’m not the one losing sleep at nights, but there is something about the small red tongue and dainty fingernails of an infant (wearing a gigantic bow) that makes it seem like sleeplessness would be worth it.  Especially when she is in the crook of your elbow and opens her big blue eyes to look at you.

The ukulele is infectious.  Both my aunt and a friend of mine bought one and are learning to play it. Evidently, the infection only spreads to other females.  We’re trying to convert my mother.

You know those employees you were told you really shouldn’t trust?  Yeah, you really shouldn’t trust them.

It is not editing five chapters a week that is hard.  It is making yourself sit down to write anything at all that is the real struggle.

Bonus miscellany – How can you tell you work at Disney? My boss just sent me an e-mail in which one of the lines was: “Damn chipmunks!  Always causing trouble.”

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Menagerie

Sometimes working at Disney is awesome.  Evidence is below.

Me this morning: So Zachary said we really need to keep the monkeys.  But what he didn’t realize was that there were a whole bunch of monkeys that aren’t show quality and need to be destroyed.

Overheard several weeks ago:  I don’t know, you’d better have them leave the lights on.  We’re going to need to shave the rabbits, and we can’t shave rabbits in the dark.  

Overheard a few days before the last:  Yeah, Lincoln is leaking again, so we’ll have to have an audio animatronics person change his diaper.

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On My Disney Desk

Sitting on my desk right now is:

 

A delicious lemon poppy seed muffin.

An empty bottle of water

A flashlight marked “Global Documentation” for safety, if an emergency happens and the lights go out.

A computer tower

A computer monitor

A keyboard, wrist rest, and mouse

A mouse pad printed with the magic carpet from Aladdin, a Musical Spectacular. It’s a mini version of the costume they use for the show.

The longest stapler known to man.  A whole sheet of paper can fit in the back of it.

A tower of circular fabric swatches.  Some are a purple gabardine for the Mayor of Toontown.  Some are a gold silk, for tuxedo tails and top hat.

Two tambourine jingles for the Mardi Gras Male hats.

A bag of circle swatches containing fabrics for Cymbal Dancer.

A bag of circle swatches containing fabrics for Christmas Elf

Documentation, including pretty pictures, for Cymbal Dancer

Documentation, including pretty pictures, for Christmas Elf

Three empty black report folders – eventually will contain documentation.

A large, black telephone with too many buttons

A pair of brown tights, and a pair of brown knee highs.

Meeting notes from last week’s meeting with Florida Costuming

A lint roller.

 

You must admit that this is impressive, given that my desk is four feet by two, and I can barely tuck my legs underneath.  🙂

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