Sunday, August 29, 2010

Conversations Head While Tubing

One of the new experiences I've had in Texas is the art of tubing.  About 30-45 minutes outside of Austin there are several places to "go tube", and yesterday I went with a few friends for the first time.  What I experienced was a mixture between an extremely relaxing ride in a inflated tractor tire tube, and the biggest frat party I've been to since freshman year of college.

The professional tuber is in a fraternity or sorority.  They tube with a large group of their tanned, string bikini wearing sorority friends.  They bring a small, floating cooler for water but a LARGE industrial sized cooler for Bud Lite cans.  Only Budlite.  Only cans.  The girls, since they're much classier, sip out of pre-mixed margaritas or wine coolers - because you know, that has a lot more style.  What's also imperative for sorority tubing style, is decorating your beer cooler with your greek letters and fun sayings like "What happens on the river stays on the river."  

I did enjoy my tubing experience, minus the annoying "tube rash" on my arms today from rubbing against the rubber tube.  These were the highlights brought to you by Delta Kappa Alpha Omega OBitchy. 

The river is mostly calm, but there are small periods of rapids.  The key to these rapids (as we soon learned) is to pay attention to the fraternity boons in front of you.  When they start screaming and flipping over, you should probably take notice and not go that way.  Once you discover that, it becomes a fun game of "Watch the girls mess up their hair and scream" which I enjoyed quite a bit.

There's also the fact that the river is a collegiate mating ground.  Not in a literal sense, but in the game of the chase.  At any given point you'll see a brave young frat boy paddling madly upstream against the current to go see the princess of his dreams, guzzling an electric blue margarita out of a longneck glass bottle.  The stimulating conversation seems to go something like this:

AKA: "Are there fish in this river?"
TKE: "Not many.  Mostly turtles."
- gulps beer and glances backwards at his frat buddies, who are tossing a helpless turtle they picked off a log back and forth over the groups of tubes -
AKA:  "Omg, snapping turtles!"
- squeals and chugs more margarita from a bottle -

Then of course, after the frat "fraternizing" if you will, we reach the end of the river and to the eventual breakup of collegiate love.  I witnessed one girl, sobbing over what I believe was a broken flip flop - her boyfriend all the while moaning why she had to be so emotional. 

Good question, probably that mixes with the wine coolers and the river muck. 

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

What I'm Reading - August

Had a job interview today.  Hope it goes really well, because for previously mentioned reasons (and more to come), I can't stay where I am much longer.  However, I'm really broke so it's not like I have much of an option as far as not working.  Not sure where all this money is going, but I think it has something to do with all these miscellaneous wedding expenses, shopping around for horse trainers, and life in general.  Sigh, the things we do to stay up these days.  Maybe I'll go off the grid.

What I am doing that is quite cheap entertainment though, is getting back into reading.  I was always a big reader, and hell I'm partially a literature major so it's not like I'm shy from the great american (or european or world) novel.  Somewhere during all that reading though, it often became a chore.  I love young adult novels, but in my last few years of college that was the only literature class I really enjoyed.  There got to be a point where I'd rather write a novel than read one, and that's just bad juju.

However, it's been years since I've been out of college and there's no excuse for me not to read regularly.  I'm starting a "Less Toddlers & Tiaras, More Books" mind bootcamp (Teen Mom doesn't count though, that's quality television about the modern american family).  It's nearly the end of August, and I've failed short of my completing two books a month goal... that's just pitiful.

Initially, I picked out one "trashy" book to read and one "literary" book to read.  The "literary book", The Art of Racing in the Rain spontaneously combusted in the 105+ degree Texas heat in my car.  I didn't realize books melted... but after finding a pile of papers in random order I think it's safe to say that I will not be completing that book anytime soon.  My other "trashy" pick, Kitchen Confidential brought on by my mild infatuation with Anthony Bourdain, is about 75% completed.

Instead of replacing the fallen "Racing" with another book of equal literary value, I found this gem at CVS and begged the fiance to get it for me.

It's about prehistoric giant man-eating sharks... in an aquarium.  The brain reels in delight.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Morning Mayhem of the Corporate World

I'm doing something I never do, because I think it's dumb.  I never bitch about my job on a blog, ever.  You write it on the internet, and it will come back to you.  It doesn't matter if you publish your blog with your full name or a super-cool-pseudo alias like mine (hah!), it will return.  However, I'm past the point of caring and if I got fired tomorrow it would be a relief - this stuff needs to be shared with unknowing public.

Every morning at work we have a huddle.  This huddle is at a precise time every day.  Not a normal meeting time like 8:30, 9:45, 9:15 etc... but an odd number.  Every day, just to be cool and "alternative" (this place where I am oh-so-hoping to get out of is just so alternative) we have this huddle at 9:17am. 

On my first day, I figured "huddle" was just a colloquial term for company briefing, and that made sense to me.  Little did I know that at 9:16 someone would run through the office yelling "LET'S HUDDLE!" and music would start playing.  This wasn't as bad as what followed next - the group clap.  Readers, every day at 10:13am I have to clap in unison with my entire office... to music. 

Let it be said for the record that I am not "a clapper", so this is somewhat difficult to do every morning before I'm really awake.

What follows after the music stops is first the sharing of good news.  Employees may raise their hand to share good news which ranges from "Sales were great yesterday" to "My mom made me cookies this weekend and it was awesome."  After each good news, the huddle leader will determine how many claps the good news deserved.  From what I can tell, below is a range of clapping awesomeness.

After the sharing of good news, then we move onto the themes of the day.  I won't go into specific details about these themes, but each day deals with a different department of the company and there is cheesy alliteration involved. 

Following the daily themes, we have critical issues - where employees share any problems they have with the company or work place.  Only brave souls go here, and frankly I would need something along the lines of a dissertation compared to a 30 second shout out even if I wanted to fry my ass publicly in front of the CEO.

The finale of this morning event is where we "bring it in", and by we I mean an employee who's one of the tallest/biggest men I ever seen.  NFL linebackers would be jealous.  My first day, I got stepped on by this man who stampeded his way to the center of the huddle to "bring it in".  Now, as soon as I hear the word we're going to 'bring it in for' of the day (usually something inspiring like energy, momentum, or "rocketship") I jump out to the side of the group so my flip flop feet don't get stomped on.  Once "it's in" there's lots of intense group clapping until we repeat the word of the day.

Pray for me.

Here's hoping tomorrow is a rocketship kind of day.