Monday, September 29, 2014

The Resurrectionist: The Lost Work of Dr. Spencer Black

It's been awhile since I've had a chance to write about books. It feels nice, so let's get to it! Awhile back a Goodreads group I'm in was asked if we'd be interested in receiving a book from Quirk Books. Quirk is quickly (hehe) becoming one of my favorite publishing companies, everything with their name on it is always so fun and out there.

As a group we were asked to vote on which book from Quirk we'd like to read and discuss with each other, and the book that won was called The Resurrectionist: The Lost Work of Dr Spencer Black, by E.B. Hudspeth. When it came in the mail I was surprised by how great it looked (I already thought it would be good, but holding and seeing it sealed the deal), and couldn't wait to start. They also sent me a sweet poster with it! How nice.

The Resurrectionist: The Lost Work of Dr. Spencer Black
Snorlax approved. 

"Philadelphia. The late 1870s. A city of cobblestone sidewalks and horse-drawn carriages. Home to the famous anatomist and surgeon Dr. Spencer Black. The son of a “resurrectionist” (aka grave robber), Dr. Black studied at Philadelphia’s esteemed Academy of Medicine, where he develops an unconventional hypothesis: What if the world’s most celebrated mythological beasts—mermaids, minotaurs, and satyrs— were in fact the evolutionary ancestors of humankind?

The Resurrectionist offers two extraordinary books in one. The first is a fictional biography of Dr. Spencer Black, from his humble beginnings to the mysterious disappearance at the end of his life. The second book is Black’s magnum opus: The Codex Extinct Animalia, a Gray’s Anatomy for mythological beasts—dragons, centaurs, Pegasus, Cerberus—all rendered in meticulously detailed black-and-white anatomical illustrations. You need only look at these images to realize they are the work of a madman. The Resurrectionist tells his story."

I found the most interesting part to be the progression of Dr. Black as a student, to an esteemed doctor, and eventually into a madman. I don't think the synopsis describes it accurately enough - after he studies at the Philadelphia Academy of Medicine, he's known around the world for his work on human deformities, and people traveled from all over to see him. People thought he would become the greatest doctor of ALL TIME (ALL TIME! Sorry Kanye West joke.) He slowly starts to tire of this work and progresses onto another idea, which is to prove that mythical beasts really existed in another time.

The biography also includes letters to and from Dr. Black, which puts an interesting perspective on things. He wants to share his discoveries with the rest of the world, but one by one (and then all at once) he loses all support and his reputation as an esteemed doctor. Even when he's lost all his funding from the Academy of Medicine, he presses on.

The Resurrectionist: The Lost Work of Dr. Spencer Black
Mermaids! This is also the image used on the poster they sent me. 

When simple research is no longer enough, things start to get really weird. Since none of his colleagues believe him, he decides to take matters into his own hands by recreating the creatures himself. Because if you can sew wings and an extra head onto a beagle, that obviously means two headed flying beagles existed before, right?

I won't go into detail on this (you have to read it for yourself), but there was one particularly eerie part in the book - when he shows his first animal creation to his wife, two sons and brother. HEARTBREAKING. I don't know if many of you will get the reference, but if you've watched or read the series Fullmetal Alchemist, it was very reminiscent of episode 4/chapter 5 with Shou and Nina Tucker. I wish I'd been warned so I could have been mentally prepared (and maybe have a few drinks first).

I can only accurately convey my emotions through gifs.

The biography only fills about 1/3 of the book. The rest contains his magnum opus: The Codex Extinct Animalia. It's a book he wrote with his detailed anatomical illustrations of all the creatures he claimed to be real. The illustrations while again, unsettling, are gorgeous in their own way. While Dr. Black was still in school, he worked part time as a science illustrator. They're all so intricate and well thought out that it made me wonder if the real author was in the same field (he's not, but wouldn't that be fun?)

The Resurrectionist: The Lost Work of Dr. Spencer Black

My one and only wish for this book was that the biography was longer. It was only 66 pages, and even though Dr. Black's life and work was said to be shrouded in mystery, there was still much to be said. There were many gaps in the story and pieces that were said to be unknown, which I suppose is to add to the mystery, but I thought there were almost just too many gaps in the story to even bother writing about it. Either way, I'm glad they did, I just wish the story had a bit more meat to it. With that said, I still give this book 4 out of 5 stars. It would have been 5 if things were pieced together a bit more. I still plan to leave it out as a coffee table book through October, to see if I can get some interesting conversations going!

This was author E.B. Hudspeth's first book, and I'm interested in seeing what else he comes out with. You can visit him on his website (where he also has a blog), and on Facebook. I also want to thank Quirk Books and Goodreads, for making this reading pleasure and blog post possible!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

September Sampling

I get a lot of samples in the mail. A lot. Some of them I sign up for, some of them just show up randomly in my mail box (probably from things I forgot I signed up for). They're usually things like hair/face/body products, which aren't something I'm great at reviewing, but I figured I'd give it a shot anyway, since companies have been nice enough to send me their stuff <3 So here's a little roundup of things I've tried out this month (some are from last last month, but you get it).

Sinful Colors Professional nail polish in Verbena - I got this in a PINCHme box! I don't usually venture over to PINCHme - they release all their samples at the same time, so the site gets backed up and they run out of product quickly. To me it's usually not worth the trouble. However, I'd heard from a blogger friend that they were about to offer bottles of nail polish (my only beauty obsession), so I figured I'd give it a shot. Thanks to my ballin' internet plan, I was able to trudge through and reserved my bottle of Sinful Colors. I didn't know which color I picked, because I was trying to get mine before they ran out, but luckily I quite like it. It's a cool toned purple, which I photographed with a coat of glitter on top. Purple is one of my favorite colors! The formula is great, too. It's smooth and goes on evenly, and you usually only need 1 coat, yet it isn't all thick and goopy. I'm a fan.


Degree Women's MOTIONSENSE Deodorant - I received this from the #DOMORE campaign happening on Influenster. Influenster is a cool little site where you can earn full sized products to try out based on your level of social media influence. It's invite-only, so if you're looking for an invite let me know and I can send one over! While deodorant's not the most exciting thing to get in the mail I was happy to get this to try out, because a girl always needs some deodorant. It came at a good time, too, my current stick was almost out. I've tried regular 'ol Degree in the past (years ago) and thought it was alright, but nothing to write home about. I don't know what they did with their new Motionsense line, but it's pretty awesome. The claim is that "the more you move the more it protects." Well, I used it all weekend while running around like a chicken with its head cut off, and was surprised by how well it help up. A+ :)


Skintimate Mandarin Burst Shave Gel - Would you believe me if I said this was the first time I've used shaving cream? Slightly embarrassing but true. When I first started shaving, one Summer ages ago, I remember my mom telling me that a fancy cream to shave your legs was a waste of money (Maybe it is? I'm not sure.) So I would use soap, and then I upgraded and started using hair conditioner after I read the tip in Glamour or something. So yeah, I hadn't used anything like this before until I received this giant can of it in the mail. I won it in a drawing on Crowdtap, but by the time it showed up the review date had already passed, I was given a flag on my account and I felt like a huge asshole. I don't think I'll mess around with Crowdtap anymore...their layout is confusing to me (#DoYouEvenInternet?). So ANYWAY, I tried out the fancy shave gel and it was alright. Honestly, I don't think it's all that great. It's nice and all, but I wouldn't go out and buy my own. It smells good, though! They didn't lie - it smells like mandarins, hahah.


Dial Acne Control
- This is a new line from Dial that's specially made for, obviously, acne-prone skin. This new line includes a body wash and face wash, which comes in both liquid and bar form. I received the body wash and liquid face wash, courtesy of BzzAgent. I actually didn't even know it was coming, but as someone with annoying unresolved skin problems, I'm almost always open to try something new. Prior to this I didn't feel one way or the other about Dial; it was just another brand of soap. The bottles say they're "clinically proven to clear skin in 3 days." That's a pretty big claim, but I'll bite. I ended up liking these more than I thought. Most soaps targeted towards acne are too drying on my skin, so I was prepared to lotion up. These hardly dried me out at all (though I still used a moisturizer because that's what ya do). The scent is very clean, but isn't trying to pass off as some weird flowery scent or "ocean breeze~" which is nice. While I'm already well stocked on face wash at the moment (I'm currently using Paula's Choice and LOVE IT), I can see myself buying this in the future.


Ta-dah! So there's my month in product testing. For the most part I liked them all and would possibly purchase for myself in the future :)

Monday, September 22, 2014

Summertime Blues

Earlier this month my mom and I went to a blues concert :) I love listening to blues music. Not the sad, drippy type, but the kind where you can laugh about how crappy life can be sometimes, and get in a little dancing while you're at it.

Dennis Jones Band

The main reason I wanted to go was because I knew that Dennis Jones Band (FYI music plays when you enter their site) was playing there. I first heard them last Summer during the same blues festival, because it was being held at the theatre I worked at and I was working in the box office that night. Originally I had planned to leave after I made sure everyone got their tickets, but once I heard them play I knew I had to stay.

    

Anyway, that same band was going to be at there, so I knew I had to go. Unfortunately, I'd already been working at the theatre from 9am til evening, and I had to be at work again the next morning at 6am, so I was already tired and knew I would be the next day, too. No matter! I had to be there.

Hi mom!

There was also free wine all night, courtesy of SledgeHammer. Mmmmhm. Generally I'm not really a wine drinker, but when it's free drinks all night it's just silly to say no ;)



Saturday, September 20, 2014

Unlock Hope + Giveaway!

Back in August I wrote about one of my favorite organizations, Unlock Hope! The mission of Unlock Hope is to sell these beautiful key necklaces to support girls in Uganda, so they can receive a good education and in turn, a better life. So what's up with the key? In Uganda many children wear a key around their neck, which unlocks a box that holds all of their belongings. When you wear an Unlock Hope necklace you can think of all the girls in Africa who are wearing theirs, and be reminded of the difference you're making!

Unlock Hope Key Necklace

"This program goes beyond simply providing access to education. These children will be engaging in supplementary activities to give them the leadership skills and tools necessary to succeed in life. Additional activities and support include educational seminars, skill training, leadership development, sports, access to nutritious food and health care."

It's one of my favorite AND most popular posts to date, which had me over the moon because it meant others loved the cause just as much as I did! Today I'm super excited to be sharing about Unlock Hope again, this time with my new friend Megan from The Artistic Brunette! She contacted me, saying how much she loved the idea of Unlock hope and wanted to work together and host a giveaway for all our amazing readers! She also took these gorgeous pictures of the necklace we're giving away!

Unlock Hope Key Necklace

So, if you're interested in having your own beautiful Unlock Hope necklace, enter below!



UNLOCK HOPE GIVEAWAY


What's included in the giveaway?

  • One Unlock Hope Blue Necklace

The giveaway will run from SEPT 20, 2014 to OCT 4, 2014. Please enter the rafflecopter below and may the odds be in your favor.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
RULES OF THE GAME: No purchase necessary to enter this giveaway. This giveaway is open only in the USA for shipping purposes. Entrants must be of legal age of at least 18 years of age. The number of eligible entries received will determine your odds of winning. Giveaway will run from SEPT 20, 11:00AM PST, until OCT 4 at midnight PST. The total value of prizes is approximately USD 25. To enter, simply follow the Rafflecopter guidelines above. We reserve the right to obtain and publicize the winners name and likeness. Should the winner not respond within 48 hours to the email notifying him or her of winning, a new winner will be determined. By entering this giveaway, you are agreeing to the rules that have been stated. We are not liable for any negative effect this giveaway may have on participants or the winner. Void were prohibited by law.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Read Play Blog!


I'm back again with this months Read Play Blog topic! This month we were asked to talk about our favorite gaming platform; and as always we'll also share a gaming recommendation and what we're currently playing. Let's get to it!

What is your preferred gaming platform?

Within the last 4 years I've mostly converted over to PC gaming. I also have an Xbox, which I still use sometimes (mostly to play Dynasty Warriors and Viva Pinata), but when Andrew introduced to me PC gaming I realized how much more I liked using a mouse and keyboard than a gaming controller. I also think some games are a lot more playable (for me, anyway) on PC than their console companions. For example, everyone knows that the Saints Row series is my absolute favorite. My first experience playing it was when Andrew bought me Saint Row: The Third on PC. I asked him why he didn't get it on Xbox (we share the PC, but he's hardly on the Xbox), and he said "just trust me on this one." I started playing, and it became a favorite within the day. Then, a few months ago there was a free copy of the same game being offered on Xbox Gold. I grabbed it, obviously, figuring it couldn't be that different. I started playing and had to rage quit after the opening mission. I guess I just suck at shooting things with a controller.

Another important factor is that you get the best deals on PC games. If you're a PC gamer that's not on Steam then I don't know what you're doing with your life. There's also Humble Bundle, where they offer bundles of PC games (usually indie games) for a pay-what-you-want price, and some of the money also goes to different charities! I think people are less likely to try and only pay $1 when they know some of it is going towards a good cause, hahah. The best bundle I ever bought from them was last year, when they offered Dead Space, Dead Space 3, Mirror's Edge, Crysis 2: Maximum Edition, Medal of Honor and Burnout Paradise: The Ultimate Box all together at pay-what-you-want price - BUT if you matched or payed more than the average price others were paying (which at the time I bought it was about $3.50) then you also received Battlefront 3 and The Sims 3 along with the started pack. Some of those games I don't care for, so I gave my brother the codes for some. But still, all that for $3,50?! Humble Bundle is the best.

My Recommendation: LIMBO



LIMBO is a puzzle-platform game, with one of the coolest and eeriest art styles I've ever seen. Some parts looked so creepy, I was scared to move forward! I don't play many scary games, but for some reason this one was drawing me in. 

Source

You play as young boy (we don't know his name or back story), who wakes up in a forest in the "edge of hell." According to the game description he's looking for his sister, but the game doesn't really make that clear as there's no words or talking. The whole story is kind of a mystery, and while intriguing, I do wish it had more of a story line. That's pretty much the only downside of this game.

Currently Playing: LEGO Lord of the Rings



I've played most of the LEGO games, but so far this one has been my favorite! I particularly enjoy playing as the different hobbits. I suck at being Legolas because I have bad aim, hahah.

Source

Fun fun :) What are you currently playing?

Friday, September 12, 2014

My Fall Bucket List (a list that doesn't feature Pumpkin Spice Lattes)

I made no effort in hiding that I hate the Summer. Hot, sticky, kids out of school, people bugging you to swim...nope. There are some Summer things I tend to hold on to (I still don't like wearing pants and I'm almost always in sandals), but as for the actual season, I'm over it. While it's still on the warm side over here, Fall is on its way and I'm so, so happy about it. Oh, and the title? I don't like Pumpkin Spice Lattes, sorry. I don't like pumpkin anything, really. Anyway, here's a little list of things I like about Fall, plus some things I'll be up to this season!

Accurate.

1. No more 90+ temperatures.

2. Wearing my favorite hat, knit with love by my mommy!

3. Hot drinks are always better in the Fall (whether it's coffee, hot chocolate, or a hot toddy...yum).

4. Colorful indian corn and funny shaped squash that you aren't actually going to do anything with.

Indian corn
Source


5. Different soups, everywhere!

6. Amazing Race is starts on September 26th!!!

7. ...and Gilmore Girls is coming to Netflix in October!!! (I'll stop talking about TV now)

8. Debuting my Aquaman costume.

9. Corn mazes!

Source

10. Buying all the Halloween candy on clearance.

11. I look better in Fall colors ;)

12  The theatre I work at is doing Rocky Horrow Picture Show in October! I've never seen a live performance of it before, but what better way to experience it than actually being involved in putting it together?

Rocky Horror Show
Source
13. The smell of things baking.

14. Thanksgiving!

15. Walking in the crisp, Fall air. Walks in the Summer? Not happening.

What are you looking forward to in the Fall?

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Geeky Confessions

Recently one of my favorite blogs, Gamerwife, wrote a post about her geeky confessions and invited everyone else to join in! We all have some, and I have plenty. I could go on about this for days, but today I'm limiting it to only a few, and I tried to make them pretty diverse in their types of geekiness. With that said...

Doctor Who

I don't get the Doctor Who hype. I REALLY tried to like Doctor Who. Everyone else (or so it feels like) is watching it, and I like being able to discuss shows with people. I watched two seasons (the ninth and tenth doctor), but I just couldn't get into it. I only reason I made it through two seasons was because my friends told me the next one was better...and it was, a little bit. Not enough for me to stick around, though. I normally like BBC shows, too!

Harry Potter

I didn't finish all the Harry Potter books. This one I actually feel kind of bad about :( I read the first four as they were released, and then just sort of...stopped. I was still pretty young when they were coming out, so I'm wondering if I couldn't get into the later books as they darker? I don't know. I do plan the read them all eventually, but I'm not in a big hurry.

Halo

I think Halo is boring (along with Call of Duty and Battlefield). As much as I love games, Halo is kind of the worst. It's only a personal opinion, obviously, but I find them all repetitive and lacking depth. They also give me a headache, but I don't judge them on that part because I'm just a special snowflake. I get very irrationally judgmental when someone says, "I love playing video games!" and when I ask them what they play, they can only list Halo (or Call of Duty, or Battlefield). I'm kind of a jerk about it, but for the most part I can keep my thoughts to myself, hahah. Last year when I interviewed at Gamestop, the manager asked me if I liked first person shooter games, because "Guys always come in wanting them, and they like it when girls like them too." So I lied and said I liked them. I know, I know - but I really wanted the job, ok? (I got the job, if you're wondering, unfortunately it wasn't as great as I'd hoped.)

Superman overpowered

I think Superman is overpowered, making him uninteresting. Or, you could flip it around and say that his enemies are lame and underpowered. His weaknesses are also hard to exploit. Either way, I respect Superman for being the OG hero and paving the way for all the amazing comics we have today; he just isn't very interesting to me.

What are your geeky confessions? I won't judge!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

What I did (and didn't) do this Summer

Back in June, I wrote a list of twenty things I planned to do this Summer. As usual, I don't always get around to doing all the things I plan to. Here's a quick recap of what was on my list.


...and here's what actually happened:

1. I only went to one fair this Summer. When I wrote this list I clearly forgot how much it sucks to walk on asphalt in the heat. The one I went to was worth it though, because I got deep friend Oreos.

The best,

2. I did a pretty good job of avoiding pants.

3. I didn't make popsicles. I don't know why, I even have popsicle molds! I am the worst.

4. I didn't make rainbow shorts, either. However I did look for tie-dye kits, and they were a little more expensive than I hoped :(

5. So obviously I didn't wear them anywhere.

6. I made s'mores over a fire a grand total of one time.

7. This one happened! It was a small party, but we had a good time.

We sat at BJ's until midnight so she could order her first drink.

8. I didn't go on any "hey let's pack a lunch and go to that one place for a picnic!" picnics, but I did make a point to eat outside more, if that counts? Sure it does.

9. I'm actually too embarrassed to talk about this one.

10. I still haven't seen a drive in movie :(

11. I bought kettle corn at the farmers market! I didn't buy fruit though :( It was really expensive compared to grocery store fruit, which bums me out because I'd love to support independent growers more, but I can't really afford to.

12. At least I can't fail to get a year older on my actual date of birth. Yay! I had a really nice, laid back birthday. I wrote about the day here.

Birthday sourdough turtle from Boudin!

13. I did work a lot of shows at the theatre, which was a big part of why I didn't do so many things on this list. Since June, I started and completed a run of Peter Pan, Romeo & Juliet, The Who's Tommy, and right now I'm currently stage managing the musical Bonnie and Clyde. I also worked at a jazz festival that was being held at the theatre.


14. I didn't spend ANY money during the Steam Summer Adventure Sale! I was tempted a few times, but I stood my ground. The one thing I REALLY had on my mind was the Saints Row IV Season Pass, but Andrew surprised me and got it for me!

15. I didn't make a rum melon. I did buy a watermelon, though...and ate it, sans rum.

16. I had a couple Mocha Cookie Crumbles, but not too many. All dat sugar.

17. I did wear more sundresses! I only acquired one new one, but I mixed and matched my old dresses to make some new looks.

18. I swam at night! The water was so perfect.

19. I made quite a few headbands, and then I posted a tutorial so you could too!

Andrew thinks I look funny, but what does he know.

20. I've done an AWESOME job of cursing Summer as I counted down until Fall...which still isn't here yet. Sigh.

SIXTEEN MORE DAYS!

Friday, September 5, 2014

Earrings for Every Mood

I always love a good pair of fun stud earrings. Don't get me wrong, dangling earrings are cool too (oooh, elegant), but I hate feeling them moving around and brushing against my skin...(#SpecialSnowflake). So studs it is! Over the years I've collected a pretty fun selection of earrings. One of my favorite pairs just have a simple blue LEGO stud on them, and another pair has a golden wedge of cheese (people get a good laugh from those). I've said it a million times on this blog before, I don't like things that take themselves too seriously. Why should my jewelry be any different? Mix it up, have some fun, and let it express who you really are.

Recently I had the pleasure of being introduced to Savanna, who runs an Etsy shop called Sunshine and Curls. She makes and sells - you guessed it - earrings! What I love about her collection is that they're all really fun, and there's a pair for all sorts of interests and moods. Are you a Harry Potter or Doctor Who fan? Or maybe you recently read The Fault in Our Stars? She also has a few different pairs based on Tumblr memes!


Savanna was nice enough to send me a pair of her earrings, and I've been wearing them constantly ever since they arrived! I picked out her "Ugh" set. I thought they were the most fitting for my personality, hahah! While the word is often associated with something bad happening (and is part of my hourly daily vocabulary), I find it hilarious that these make it a little more lighthearted.

Another reason I like stud earrings so much is because they look best when you have your hair pulled up! Almost every day I leave the house with my hair down, because I like the way it looks down, but within an hour I end up pulling it into a ponytail or bun because long hair is annoying. Oops. So at least my little stud earrings always compliment that look ;)

Here's a couple more of my favorites from her shop. The burgers because, well...burgers are delicious (I also had one for dinner tonight, yum). You might need to click/enlarge the second pair to tell, but they're of Michael Scott, from The Office! Still one of my favorite shows.

Hamburger
(source)
Michael Scott
(source)

What kind of earrings do you wear? Let me know in the comments, and don't forget to check out Sunshine and Curls on Etsy and Instagram, and tell her that Natalie says hi!



Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Woo! I'm a Pura Vida Bracelet rep!

Good mooooorning! I received some fun little news recently. Back in July, shortly after publishing this blog post about Pura Vida, I got an email asking me to apply for their rep program! It was free, so I figured what's the harm? I sent my application and hadn't heard back, so thought it got lost/I didn't qualify or something. Well, a week ago I received my welcome kit in the mail!

Pura Vida Bracelet rep

Inside there were some promotional goodies, like stickers and postcards, along with five Pura Vida bracelets! Yay! The card in the middle has my discount code, which you can use on ALL your Pura Vida purchases to receive 10% off! It doesn't expire and you can use it as many times as you want! Just enter ALLAS10 at checkout :)

If you don't know what Pura Vida is/does, basically they are a bracelet company where each bracelet purchased goes towards different charities, and to providing full time jobs to artisans in Costa Rica. What's not to like? Read my Buy for Good: Pura Vida Bracelets post or check them out at their website for more information!

Pura Vida Bracelets

Do you have any Pura Vida bracelets yet? I'm wearing two of mine right now! I like to mix and match them with whatever I'm wearing each day :)

Monday, September 1, 2014

It's Labor Day! Let's Talk About Our First Jobs.

Hey friends! I hope you've been having an awesome, extra long weekend. I was thinking with Labor Day and all that, it'd be fun to reflect on my first "real" job, as in bi-weekly paychecks and not getting paid under the table.

My first job was at a store called Ross: Dress for Less. If you haven't heard of it, it's a discount store like TJ Maxx and Marshalls, but it's cheaper and is known for always being a mess and having grumpy workers. People who shop there often complain about it.

This is a Ross store. Blue is their color.

Check out this review I just found on Yelp, published two months ago: "I love Ross!! I love coming here and taking my sweet time looking at every little thing they have, I know it's not super clean but what do you expect really. I could spend hours here. The only complain I have is the person attending the fitting rooms, they could at least smile!! Or not give you the stink face when you tell them something didn't work out and now they have to put it away, I HATE THAT! I mean common, your working customer service, if they hate it enough to not smile then work elsewhere."
Also a Ross store...and also from Yelp.

So now you know what Ross is like. WITH THAT SAID, working at Ross wasn't the worst thing to happen to me, and I consider myself lucky that they hired me at all. I started working there when I was nineteen, and I stayed for about two years. I'd been trying to get a real job as soon as I turned eighteen, but no one wanted to hire someone that only had "theatre stagehand" on their resume. I had a hard time just getting called for interviews - prior to Ross, the only place that interviewed me was Bath and Body Works, and obviously I didn't get that job. My interview at Ross lasted about five minutes, and we just stood in the front of the store and one of the managers asked me a few questions. When they called and offered me the job, I was having lunch with Andrew (who wasn't my boyfriend yet, I was still trying to decide if he was an ass), during our 1 hour break in between classes.

When I received "the call."

Later that day I went to Walmart with my mom, and she graciously bought me three blue shirts and one pair of black pants. My first shift was later that week, where I was paid to sit and watch introduction videos and take quizzes which deemed me "certified" for different things around the store. On my following shift, I started doing what I'd end up spending most of my time at Ross doing: picking up other peoples messes. As I said before, customers often complained that the store was a mess, but I'm not sure if they ever stop to think about who creates these messes. Sure, we were often understaffed, but if people weren't making such a mess in the first place it wouldn't be that big a deal. Oh well.

Eventually I started doing more than just picking things off the floor. Sometimes I'd work in the fitting room, which was the easiest job but got kind of boring. Sometimes I'd go in at 6:00am and unload the new shipments, which I really liked (aside from having to wake up at 5:00am). After strongly trying to avoid it for months, I also had to work on the cash register. Fortunately I wasn't on register too much, because I think they noticed how bad I was at it. They thought I was pretty good at everything else though, so it's alright. One time I was even employee of the month!

Sorry, I had a really bad camera phone back then. 

Finally, I shopped there a lot. I had a 20% discount, and when everything in the store was already discounted, it was hard not to shop all the time. I've always liked purses, so that was a big weakness. My favorite purchase was also the very first thing I bought with my discount - a purple and black Betsey Johnson cross-body purse. I still use it today! I also bought my backpack that I lug to rehearsals there; it's green with hedgehogs :)

So that was my first job. What was yours?!