Thursday, August 25, 2011

Talking Shit

There has been a lot of dealing with shit in my life. Literally. Not figuratively.

My employment history is littered with experience cleaning restrooms. First it was working in the busiest day use state parks in Vermont & Michigan. The saying was guests left their brains at the gate when they entered. For the record, Vermont was cleaner. Take that Holland tourists!
Next came caring for animals, first as a zoo intern, then as a ranger at a drive through safari park. In the 2 years I spent cleaning up after animals I saw almost every type of excrement a land mammal could produce. I would consider tigers and hippopotamuses generally cleaner in their restroom habits than the general  human population. There are days I would really prefer to be knee deep in rhino shit again.
Having had over 20 roommates and driven cross country a couple times I was pretty familiar with the whole spectrum of conditions in which one can find a restroom in before I took my current job, and then I started cleaning schools. Oh my goodness. You people can not let your kids get away with this at home. And if you do, we are not friends.

What has me reminiscing on all the restrooms in my life is last night's foray into a building of educated professionals. These particular professionals were in the education business, the people who determine curricula and teaching methods and all that stuff. So you would think they would be capable of keeping their restrooms in better conditions than those of the public library. Not so. They were one instance of bodily fluid graffiti away from a homeless hangout. These are the people who are shaping your children eight hours a day. So cleaning tonight I thought why not go over the rules for proper restroom etiquette somewhere no one will see it? Maybe they can use this, and create a section in the health curriculum that features some of these tips. Heaven knows there are some schools in southwest Michigan that need some help. (E-mail me & I'll name names and you can avoid sending your kids to them.)

  1. You should never spit in a restroom. Never. You are indoors. We, as a society, do not spit indoors. This applies to snot rockets also. If you feel the need to expel fluid from your facial orifices, use a tissue and dispose of it in the proper receptacle.
  2. If you drop it pick it up. This applies to toilet paper, hairpins, trousers, paper towels. You don't scatter office paper throughout your neighbors' cubicles or leave a trail of candy wrappers down the street, nor should you discard the extra toilet paper on the floor in the stall. If you drop it grab a extra bit of paper, pick it up and dispose of it properly. Every second your cleaning person spends picking up toilet paper is a second they don't spend sanitizing the toilet seat. 
  3. If you need to instigate the use of a new roll of toilet paper, put the wrapper in the trash. Some way, some how put it in the trash. Not on the floor. Same for the cardboard tubes. And the little scraps of paper that start the roll. Rest the tube & wrapper on the dispenser while you pull of your pants, then take them out of the stall & dump them. No one will look at you funny. They actually be very impressed by your consideration for the people following you.
  4. Wash your hands. This should be obvious, but you will not believe the disparity between hand towel usage between men's rooms and women's rooms. There are reminders on almost every stall door, stuck to every mirror, and posted beside exits. Yet I watch you walk out without washing your hands all the time. 
  5. Don't turn on the tap full blast when you wash your hands. The water pressure is not what kills the germs, soap is. Oh, right. Use soap. Turn on the water with one hand while using the other to get soap. Push once to dispense, wait until the soap is finished flowing out, then move your hands to the sink, proceed to lather, rinse, turn off the water. Take a moment to reflect as your hands drip dry before reaching for the hand towel. Don't shake like a wet dog. Dry your hands, grab a extra towel & wipe the area around the basin & the tap. The person following you will thank you.
  6. Unless you are using the special stall because you have special needs, under no circumstance should you touch the stall wall, door, or divider between the urinals. You're not the first to touch it, nor will you be the last. Eww. I don't understand your need to brace yourself for the event, but if you do have that need, you should probably see a doctor. Along the same lines, it is not okay to wipe or spray anything on the walls. Please don't make me elaborate upon this. 
  7. Woman: Put the applicator back in the wrapper, then toss. Better yet, use O.B. The planet will thank you. Wrap IT in toilet paper, then toss. In the special box. Not on the floor. 
  8. Men: Stand closer & wait to finish before you start shaking. I've never been involved in potty training a male of the species, but I think this is something you were supposed to learn, like, before pre-school, alongside tying your shoes. You are so proud of your snow art but you can't control it in the restroom. WHY? Are you drunk &/or lazy at work? 
  9. Before you exit the stall look around. Have you contributed to the mess in any way that would not allow you to look the next person in the eye? Discretely grab some TP and take care of it. You're going to wash your hands so it is okay. 
These are just some simple starting points. They seem like no brainers but you know...

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Letter To The Folks I Filled In For Tonight:

Dear Co-Workers, 
It would be really cute that you think this high school & that passing notes about the boring details of your white trashy lives is acceptable if you actually did the job you are being paid to do. Filling in for you is such a joy when the trash is overflowing in some areas and in other areas it is clearly evident a mop has not graced the floor in eons. Don't get me started on dusting and desk wipes. This factory is actually a pretty nice one as far as steel forming goes. The people are clean & pleasant, the facility well maintained, leaving me to believe the conditions are a result of you failing to give a shit.
Leaving the notes containing citations of how much you hate the factory you are working in would be precious if you didn't leave them in plain sight for the maintenance people to see. If I were a real bitch I would have left the papers you scribbled on on the contact's desk with a note, feigning having mistaken them for something a factory employee might have lost. But that would have taken time I did not have, as I spent too much time there as it was, having to change the mop water after nearly every room. 
Finally, please consider taking some G.E.D. classes as your spelling and grammar are atrocious. That means really bad. As though it isn't bad enough that you waste your time writing about your children calling their teachers bitches, your spelling might convey that the company you work for will hire any asshole off the street. Most of us are high school graduates and quite a few have even gone to college. Turns out there are standards, which is why they won't hire your felony toting boyfriend. (Which is really not something you should share with your co-workers.)
The Woman The Factory Workers Said Did A Better Job (Don't worry, they weren't the same ones that said you were outside smoking pot that one day I couldn't find you.)

Thursday, August 18, 2011

A Post All About Michael Buble

At some point during the night it got into my head that my drive back from Big Rapids would be infinitely better if I streamed a Pandora station featuring Michael Buble. Now that I've admitted to being soothed by the sweet crooning of those handsome lips you can go ahead and unfollow me on Twitter here: SlowSoul.

Now that is off my chest let us discuss the lightning strike that sent sparks into the sky (quite a distance) ahead of me as I was driving tonight. Throughout the hour long drive there was multiple lightning strikes. That looked like short lived FLAMES floating midair. But this one struck a tree? Then when I passed Exit 120 flames in the woods caught my eye. People, there was a chance I witnessed lightning causing a forest fire. Go back in the archives two years and you'll see there is a recurring theme starting After I called the emergency dispatch and reported the possibility of a fire resulting from a lightning strike at a specific location I had to change to the Pandora station featuring Eddie Vedder. (Have you heard Ukulele Songs? YOU SHOULD!) Eddie Vedder is so much more appropriate for forest fires. With the station changed my mind wandered to forest fires and shooting stars and men with beards. When I think of forest fires and men I think of Edward Abbey and Jack Kerouac in their respective fire towers. Then I become insanely jealous. And grateful. Then I start to miss Jeff. And Sheri. But mostly Jeff because it was his porch I spent my free evenings on when the fire cut off access to town. It was Jeff's fridge I kept my beer in. It was Jeff garage I shot pool in. All things a hermit living far from town would spend their nights doing.

 It was Jeff who lead me to the job that had me living 60 miles from town in a one room cabin with access to town cut off when I painted this:

Jeff rescued this painting from an tragic fate when I absentmindedly (surprise!) left it on the top of the car, where it was drying. The painting made it about a mile down the road before it blew off to be found by one of Jeff's crew mates, then it showed up at their morning safety meetings, and Jeff's brave soul claimed it and returned it to me to be completed.

Jeff is also the standard to which I hold men I date, who I might date, who I might possibly be willing to consider living with.  (Disclaimer: To the best of my knowledge I have never been romantically involved with Jeff, or with anybody named Jeff.)  Jeff keeps a clean house, dresses snazzy, cooks really well, and smells good. My standards are pretty high. So someday when I'm an old spinster living on the woods you will know how it started.

P.S. August and September of 2009 I checked this sight a lot. Because I am a nerd. At the time I was living at Toketee, and there was a blaze to the west, along the North Umpqua Highway, and two to the south, the Boze & the Rainbow. I was also really nervous that if I had to evacuate Jenna would be out somewhere I couldn't find her and I would have to leave without her. That did not happen. But we did have to make the 2 hour trip to Medford to see a vet about having a bot-fly larva removed. (Do not open the last link if you have a weak stomach. Dude has a hairy back.)

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Good Stuff There Maynard

If I took drugs, or medications of any sort on a daily basis, which I don't, today would have been a day where they were working, working exceptionally well. If they did exist I would call my dealer/doctor and let him know: "Good Stuff There Maynard, can I get some more?"
Hello productivity.
It could be the pressure that I put on myself because I'll be 30 in less than a week, or it could be because I went on a date last Friday, and I felt like I didn't measure up.

  • I still live with my parents.
  • I have a degree, that I'm not using.
  • I'm not as fit as I would like to be.
  • I don't make a whole lot of money.
  • AND I don't produce in the studio at a rate I am satisfied with.
The list could go on, but those are the big things I would like to change in the next year, and I kick myself every time I miss an opportunity because I was too busy playing catch up.  Like this:

Landlord does not check email. PLEASE CALL!!! Cute loft apartment on acerage with a lake. 1 bedroom, 1 bathroom. Renter responsible for utilities. Please call ***-***-**** or ***-***-**** 435.00 per month

The apartment is in the picture below. It is in the far right part of the house shown with the patio

  • Location: Fennville
  • it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests
image 2image 3

Really, that's my price range here people. 

But truthfully I like living in the basement minus the ability to waltz around the house in the buff all the time, or not being able to blast the stereo as loud as I would like at 3AM. On second thought that is an attached rental, so it may not be so perfect after all. Gonna keep riding the free train a bit longer.

But, no really, I was productive. I spoke with admissions counselors at two schools today. Oh yes, that is the plan, more schooling. Because having dropped out of college three years ago wasn't enough. This time if I go, I'm committing to all 2 years of the program. Oh, you know it... huge commitment. 

It's crazy 2 years feels like an unfathomably long time, but considering I think of 6 months as a long term relationship and haven't held the same position at wherever I'm employed for more than 16 months in I can't remember how long ( I go up, I go down, I go sideways, but I am never content with the status quo) 2 years is a really long time, and the sooner I can blast through classes the better. The last 18 months I spent with my parents is the longest I've had the same address since I graduated high school.

But I'm going back to school. I can swing the costs, and it is time to *sigh* grow up. To get a 9 to fiver and join my friends in the world of responsible adults. 

Not only am I going back to school I'm also applying for a part time job, that could turn into a full time job, that would mean working  in my current degree field. Are you confused yet? 
I have a degree circa 2003. In zoology, zoo & aquarium science specifically with a specialization in ethics.
I went back for a second degree  in Studio Art from 2006-2008 then dropped that to go the autodictadic route.
Now I want to go back to school again for a job where I can actually draw some bank. I would graduate in 2014, at the decrepit old age of 32. 

But yes, I am now at a point where I am looking at working 2 jobs (and substitute teaching, maybe? So three jobs? Which, if the conditions are right, I'll be dropping my current job and possibly the substitute teaching) and going to school full time and I'll still be pressuring myself to increase my output of paintings and printing, and and and I just found a way to keep working with alternative photography processing. So if you want to come organize all this for me, or to yell at me to just keep going, let me know. 

I have a chance to breath again in 2014. I might as well plan on cancelling my gym membership in 2012.