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Wienermobile

This post will make you laugh, and it will make you cry.

My deep feelings about the Wienermobile are plenty. Let me share them with you now.

I never knew such a thing as the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile existed, until one night on the 11 o’clock news I saw it as the final 30 second special interest feature they always do before cutting away to the Tonight Show. As a devoted follower of all things weird and pop culture, I instantly fell in love.

I sent away to Oscar Mayer for an information pack about the Wienermobile. In those pre-Internet days, that is just how we did things. The packet was a folder full of stuff, containing an 8×10 glossy of the Wienermobile, along with historical facts, and of course a catalog of fine Oscar Mayer products for purchase.

First Wienermobile info packet from Oscar Mayer

First Wienermobile info packet from Oscar Mayer

Being a good little consumer, I totally ordered a Wienermobile shirt (it was one of my favorites for years), a Wienermobile Hot Wheel, and several wiener whistles, that I then continued to hand out to people who were important to me for years to come. (If you knew me in person, you would understand. Or at least you would smile to my face and laugh behind my back about it. That IS the polite thing to do, afterall*.)

Wiener Whistle

Wiener Whistle

I was instantly interested in how I could maybe one day get to drive the Wienermobile.  Unfortunately, it was a college internship thing.  At this time, I was only senior in high school.  So, I hung the picture on my bedroom wall and wore my shirt weekly.  (Can you guess that I was not popular in high school?  I was Sue Heck, from The Middle.  I was so oblivious, I didn’t even realize how unpopular I was.  Except I had glasses instead of braces.)  At this time, I may have also came up with my dream of Jennifer’s Wiener Hut.

Sue Heck from The Middle standing in front of a giant hot dog.  It is like this picture was MADE for this post!

Sue Heck from The Middle standing in front of a giant hot dog. It is like this picture was MADE for this post!

When I started college and majored in Communications, taking classes in Radio and TV Broadcasting, and minored in English-Writing, I thought that maybe those would be skills Oscar Mayer might find useful.  I thought that maybe if I had a Wienermobile internship for a summer, that then I could parlay that into an actual job at Oscar Mayer.  Wisconsin is not that different from Michigan.  Weather or culturally.  I could probably handle living there.  I like cows and cheese.

When I was a junior in college, I inquired again in writing to Oscar Mayer about how to become a hotdogger (what they call the people who drive the dog). They sent me another information packet (not quite as awesome as the one from 3 years before).  Incidentally, that was the 60th anniversary of the Wienermobile.  They informed me that the internship was only for graduating seniors.  So, I would still have to wait.

Second Wienermobile info packet from Oscar Mayer

Second Wienermobile info packet from Oscar Mayer (Yes, I DO save everything)

With either the first or second mailing, they had sent me a cassette tape with all the different versions of the Oscar Mayer weiner song on it.  Traditional, march, bossa nova, you name it, it was on there.  I even used the music (and some of my other memorabilia) to make a commercial for my TV Production class.

[My apologies to the college students who are displayed within. I am withholding their names to avoid any further embarrassment.]

The Wienermobile came to Toledo.  I was brave and drove down all by myself to go see it at the Lucas County Fairgrounds.  I took many pictures.  They wouldn’t let anyone go inside of it 😦

The Oscar Mayer Wienermobile at Ned Skeldon Stadium

The Oscar Mayer Wienermobile at Ned Skeldon Stadium

As I got closer to graduation, I wandered into the Career Center at the college once or twice.  It was useless.  Usually no one offered any help in there.  Once the adviser guy did talk to me, and admitted that they did not get many job postings for positions in the Communications area.  (Gee, thanks.  Glad I spent 4 years worth of money here so that you could tell me that now!)

On one of these trips in, I saw it…

The sign to apply for the Wienermobile Hotdogger interships that year!  The year of my impending graduation!

The bulletin that Adrian College posted (Note the incorrect spelling of Mayer!)

The bulletin that Adrian College posted (Note the incorrect spelling of Mayer!)

But F**K!  The deadline was just a few days away!

I had to type up a resume and cover letter and get it in the mail, pronto.  I am sure whatever I had for a resume at the time was pathetic, so I am sure I had to spend some time in the computer lab to revise it.  The computer lab that was always busy, because many students did not yet have their own desktop computers.  (Laptop?  What is a laptop?  A cell phone?  Only guys on Wall Street have those.  A smart phone?  Does not compute.)  I went to the post office and mailed it off priority 2-day mail, which I had never used before, because I wanted it to make it there by the deadline.

Then I worried and fretted that I had not made the deadline.  I never heard back from them.  Not even a rejection letter.  By the time summer came and they would have been starting their Wieneriffic journey, I knew I was not worthy of the wiener 😦  I would have missed my then boyfriend, now husband if they had chosen me.  But I think he would have understood.  And followed me to Wisconsin.

For years, I was bitter about not getting the internship.  I still am.  In July of 2011, I was laid off from my job of 12 years.  A year and a half later, I was still looking for a new job.  I had gotten pretty desperate by then, so I was applying to somewhat crazy jobs anyway.  Then I stumbled across the Hotdogger job.  Again!  But this time, it was not tied to anything about college.  There were no restrictions, so I applied again!

I knew I wouldn’t get it.  And I knew it was crazy, since I had a husband and small child at home who I really couldn’t leave to travel.  But I had to apply.  Again.

So I could feel rejected.  Again.

I always knew someday I would write a blog post about the Wienermobile.

But what spurred me to do it now?

THIS!

It is for only 8 hours, and there are other restrictions (click here for more info).

I HAVE ANOTHER SHOT!  And because I am a powerful manifester, I will continue to get shots until IT IS MINE!

You think my confidence is cocky?  I have a $2000 6 foot tall plush giraffe that I got for free in my house to prove that I CAN make my dreams come true.  That only took me 20 years.  And it only took me 20 years to get a dog.  Hmmm…and to get a Red Wings hockey jersey…

I see a pattern here.

This bodes well for me and the wiener.  And for getting a book published sometime soon.

NEVER GIVE UP ON YOUR DREAMS!

RELISH THEM! (hehehehehe)

Once again I am coming down to the wire, though.  If you want to enter as well, just tweet #tweet2lease by 2/7/14.  But please don’t, because I want to win.

But if you do, and you do win, please swing by my house for a ride.  That is all I really want…to have a ride in the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile.

…and the Goodyear Blimp.  Obviously not at the same time though.

* “afterall” is one word in the funnygurl2 dictionary.

What I Learned This Week – 10/13/13

Yes, sir.

Yes, sir.

What I learned this week was how the PROs and CONs of my job really add up.

I had been out of work for almost 2 years. My husband had found a job, but it didn’t work out. He left like, literally, the same week I got offered this retail customer service job. I had no idea what he would find next or what I would do about childcare for M. I literally took the job and worked as many hours as I could the first week, because I really didn’t know if I would be able to keep it beyond that. (I, of course, never told my boss that.)

And since she was short-staffed, I kept working a lot of hours. My husband went through two more jobs before settling on the one he has now. Since he has been there, he has worked on two different shifts. Luckily, to her enormous credit, my mom stepped up to take up most of the babysitting duties required. But I can’t help but feel as though the novelty of seeing her grandson more often has worn off. She is a 69 year old woman who uses a cane trying to keep up with an almost 3 year old.

I have had this job almost six months now. And I am still very uncertain about if I will be there next week, next month, or next year. I am a planner, so I am always PLANNING to be there. But if something happened to my car or my mom, those plans could change in an instant. They are beyond my control (for the most part).

Since I first applied to the job posting (and never expected to get a call for an interview, let alone the job), I have had the same positives and negatives bouncing around in my head. I finally put them into writing to see how they stacked up.

PROs
1. I like the job and the people.
2. Looks good on my resume.
3. I am building good references.
4. Extra $ for a new car.
5. Helps with my anxiety.
6. If my husband loses his job, one of us is still employed.
7. My boss is a nice boss.
8. My boss is flexible with scheduling.
9. Has helped me get closer to achieving a personal goal.

CONs
1. I am burdening my mom with babysitting.
2. Wear & tear on my car.
3. I spend more impulse shopping than I make.
4. M being shuffled around.
5. Doesn’t pay well for the schedule hassle.
6. Feel like family/house is suffering.

Well, there you have it. With a score of 9-6, the PROs have it. But that is quantity. Does quality count? And how would one ever begin to calculate that?

I implied to my boss this week that I would be open to less hours. Which stinks, because I already am a very part-time employee. But working less hours would only eliminate #4 from the PROs list and it would lesson most of the items on the CON list.

What does the future hold?

Who the hell knows.

Suck Up!

I have a confession to make. And I also have to admit that I am rather proud of it.

I am a big giant suck up.

Teacher’s pet.

My mom refers to me as a “brown noser”. (I hate that term.)

SUCK UP-d bag

I have always been his way. Through school, college, and even my first job.

I almost always make the impression to my superiors that I am 100% reliable and hardworking. And that is not a total lie. But it is probably more like 85%. Which, in my head, is still probably more of an effort than 50% of the other people in the world put forth. (If you are a reader of my blog, I am positive that you fall into the hardworking 50% category 😉

And there is a lot of hard work at the beginning to establish that reputation. You have to be reliable, dependable, dedicated. You have to go above and beyond when you see chances to. And I have this thing that when I work somewhere, especially if I work primarily by myself, I tend to think of the business as if it were my own.

SUCK UP-motivational

No. I don’t mean that I go out and order 500 reams of copier paper or do lunches on the company credit card. I have never had a position where I was important enough to have a company credit card.

I mean that I try to keep my desk/store clean and tidy. I respect the resources/equipment that are available to me. If I abuse them and they break, that just makes my job harder in the long run. I try to capitalize on any chance to fill in dull times with busy work.

Don’t get me wrong. I love my “sit-around-&-do-nothing” time as much as the next guy. In order to be a proper suck up, you must always complete your work promptly when there is actual work to be done. And the quicker you get it done, the sooner you can do nothing. I don’t ask for more work. Instead, I try and appear to be busy all the time. Looking busy when you are not can be work too.

So, I guess what it boils down to is, it is a lot of work to be a suck up.

But it can pay off. If there is a fun task or free stuff, sometimes being a suck up, you are the first person to pop into your superior’s heads. You get watched less. You get more freedom, because they believe you will not abuse it. And you can abuse it a little and usually no one notices. (Of course I don’t mean things like taking money. In an interview, I always list one of my faults as being “too honest”.) But I mean things like standing around talking a few minutes longer than I should. If you are on someone’s mental goody-goody list already, it does not seem as though it is as big of an issue.

I guess being a good worker somehow got ingrained in me. So even when I think that I am goofing off, other people probably don’t see it that way. I am very internally judgmental of my co-workers who are habitually late or slacking. They are not playing my game. They are not putting on a show.

Maybe sucking up works for me because I don’t just put on a show. I actually back it up with real work.

If I am such a wonderful worker, why did it take me so long to find a new job?

Maybe I interview badly.

Maybe it is that “too honest” thing.

Maybe no one believes it.

Or maybe only a person who was “too honest” would ever use that awful line.

SUCK UP-frye

What I Learned This Week – 4/28/13

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This week I learned that Crystal Bowersox is really nice. Last weekend I happened to be in Blissfield, Michigan (my hometown) for Railroad Days, and Crystal, whose hometown is Toledo, Ohio (very close proximity), happened to be dining at the same restaurant as my family. It was Lena’s Italian Restaurant. (Their pizza rocks. If you are ever in the neighborhood, check them out!)

Adrian & Blissfield Railroad, Railroad Days, Blissfield, MI

Adrian & Blissfield Railroad, Railroad Days, Blissfield, MI

RAILROAD DAYS, you might ask? I know it sounds dorky, but if you are interested in trains, then it is not. I was raised by a mother that when she rode me around on the back of her bike, we would stop for the train and wave at the engineer. When we were riding around in the car out in the country, she would race to the tracks for the train.

NO, SHE WOULDN’T TRY TO CROSS THE TRACKS IN FRONT OF IT!

She would race up to the crossing, and then we would stop and watch the train go buy.

I do similar things for my 2 year old son, M, who is very interested in Thomas, and can identify most of the major parts of a steam engine.

Anyway, Miss Bowersox was eating with her family, including her son, who seemed very interested in my son. My family and her family chatted and she was nice enough to give me an autograph. I TOTALLY wanted to get a picture with her, especially since I had my brand new higher megapixel camera with me. But I was too chicken.  (Check out my new page of Celebrities I have met, called When Stars Align.)

It was totally awesome that she was there, because, well, no one famous EVER comes to Blissfield. I think the last time was when Little Texas stopped at the Blissfield McDonald’s in the mid 90’s.

Crystal Bowersox Autograph, 4/20/13

Crystal Bowersox Autograph, 4/20/13

I also learned this week that I am employable. I HAVE A JOB! It is only part-time, only pays half of what I used to make at my previous job, has no benefits, and is a further commute (by like 3 minutes). But, it is also only part-time, so maybe if my husband gets a full time job, I can still fit this job around his. And I don’t have to clean any bathrooms. And the button-down uniform shirt actually fits me better than my own button-down shirt I wear for interviews-go figure.

PARKER UPDATE: The Vet says he had good healing tissue, and she is no longer going to check his progress every week. We are putting prescription cream and aloe (alternating days) on his wound right now. After two times sewing up the wound (and it coming back apart both times), she is just going to let it grow back together on its own. Which means there is a big hole in his doggy armpit still, which I try not to look at. If we put a T-shirt on him, he can roam around the house (supervised) without his cone collar on.

Q.  What do you call a Pointer wearing a cone collar and a major injury?

A. Still a flight risk!

What I Learned This Week – 3/24/13

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This week I learned that my husband starts a new job–yaaaa!  It is a factory job and he really did not enjoy the one he had before.  So, here is to hoping he can get a little enjoyment out of it while making money to pay the bills.

Personally, I learned that employers want you to have giant windows of availability. I happened to get an interview last week for a place that I submitted an application to in December. At that time, I told them I could work any of the 18hrs that the store is open. This was true for the past 3 months since then. Of course, 6 hours after they call me for an interview, my husband gets the call about his job. Which, it turns out, he won’t find out what shift he will be on until Wednesday. At my interview, it turns out I need to be available to work 10am-10pm Monday through Sunday to be hired. We left it at “I would get back to him” if my husband’s schedule turns out favorable. That might be a great schedule if I had like a 12 year old who could take care of themselves. Not so great for the mother of a two-year old who most likely could not afford daycare on that salary.

Today (which should really go on next week’s post–deal with it) I learned that actor Billy Burke, Charlie Swan from the Twilight movies and currently starring on NBC’s Revolution, sings. As in, records songs and videos and stuff. Heh, who knew? Check him out here: www.billyburke.net/

And finally, cleaning up leftovers from like two weeks ago, here are further duct tape projects I made after the tote bag, before becoming distracted by a much larger creative project.

Domo Wallet, made from duct tape, outside

Domo Wallet, made from duct tape, outside

Domo Wallet, made from duct tape, 3 pocket interior

Domo Wallet, made from duct tape, 3 pocket interior

Domo drum, made from duct tape and a toddler snack can

Domo drum, made from duct tape and a toddler snack can

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