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Charlie's Strange and Happy World
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Missed the Annual Toy Drive 

I can't even SAY how much I resent having to stay home on the day of our Toy Drive at work! We partner with KPTV Channel 12/FOX and Les Schwab Tires and have our office building (which is downtown in an easy place to pull into with a car), which is decorated by Hollywood Lights. We end up with fake snow (very cool!) and light effects on the side of our building and so on. Plus we bring over the Clown Prince float -- which is a colorful giant throne parade float. People come to sing, play instruments and help greet people donating toys. Plus obviously we have a bunch of TV coverage, both for hours in the morning, then again for hours in the evening.

Last year I not only helped greet, but I got to sing on TV. But, of course, I couldn't have sung this year! So annoying!!!

Our Queen was there, and so was one of the princesses. And naturally Angel, who is our mascot Clown Prince was there. Plus several other members of our Clown Corps. And Frank (our current President) spoke. I saw Marilyn on TV three different times, which was really cool!

Poor Rich was getting sick today, and ended up having to go home early. (He manages our interactions with the media.) Not surprised he's sick -- this bug is just making the rounds!

As for my day, I did very little. I tried to stay down, mostly -- and I slept a ton again. Why can't I shake this damn bug?

I did spend some time messing around with Wattpad today. I'm excited to start using it. I really, really, really want to start WRITING on a regular basis!

The Toy Drive was very successful -- and I was glad to see it on TV, at least.

I am really trying NOT to talk much, or get cold at all. The only time I stepped outside was to get the mail, staying on the porch, and out of the rain. As much as I would have loved to have Starbucks, I didn't even consider it...

Mac and cheese with green beans for dinner -- very yummy!

Marilyn had to be at work REALLY EARLY and got home REALLY late, poor thing! That's always true on Toy Drive day...

That's it for today.

December 11, 2014 (Thursday) 12:39 pm (UTC)
What a good thing the toy drives are!

How did it happen that you are a volunteer and M. is paid? You work like a regular employee, or more than one. Couldn't they make you a paid employee?

None of my business, so no need to answer if you don't want to. Just curious on my part.
December 11, 2014 (Thursday) 08:56 pm (UTC)
Don't worry. I've been asked this question many, many times -- especially since 2007. Yes, my job is usually more than full time. (We estimate 60-90 hours during the season.)

I used to have my own job(s), and only did festival volunteer work part time. But in 2007 (our Centennial year), we laid off several people in August (after the festival). As we were preparing to do that, we knew we'd need both an IT Manager and a Webmaster on staff. That's when I first officially became a staff member. Prior to that, I was alwas a non-staff volunteer. The festival has slews of volunteers, by the way, and couldn't function without them.

There was never a question that I'd be paid. The festival needed to save the money. I would lose my Oregon Health Plan health insurance coverage if I took even a part time job. Marilyn and I have always lived together. She makes a good living -- enough for both of us. So we can get by on one salary. (Her idea.)

We both believe in volunteerism. If she weren't supporting me, I couldn't do this work. So in many ways it's Marilyn who makes the sacrifice. I love working! I actually hated it earlier this year when I gave up the website! Good thing: With Danielle gone, I'm in charge of it again.

It's wonderful to be able to use skills that I have that aren't certified. I probaly couldn't get a job anywhere else as an IT Manager, because it requires certifications I don't have. These are really expensive to get, by the way. You need several for most IT jobs, and each one can run $3,000 to $5,000 each!

Aside from those titles, I also do a lot of the training of NEW personnel and existing staff. I'm a born teacher (Mom wanted me to be one, but I fought it, silly me!), so that works for all of us. And I always used to assist Marilyn each year, so I have strong Events skills, too. I'm considered part of the Events Team, in spite of the IT stuff. I really love the Communications work!

Did you see the videos from when I won my International Volunteer of the Year award? It might give you more insight, if you didn't. I can share links if you're interested. I hope I don't sound like a goon bringing it up. All of that was back in 2012...

Never feel you can't ask me anything. I'm truly an open book. I over-share terribly, and I think I'm too old now to change that! There's nothing too personal.

I have a dream life. Marilyn and I used to worry we'd be expected to marry and have kids and lead traditional lives. Instead, we have two houses, have pretty much all we could want, have wonderful jobs that make an international impact, and are never boring. You know how many people hate their jobs? We LOVE ours!

Yeah, we work long, long hours. We work very hard. We have tons of responsibilty. We have to do unpleasant things, like laying people off. But it's still amazing being where we are.

And we love living and working in Portland, an amazing, special city!

Okay, I'l stop now! Sorry, I got carried away...
December 12, 2014 (Friday) 12:47 pm (UTC)
What a wonderful and refreshing answer! I am glad I asked. I would love to see the video of your awards.

I don't think I was friends then, so I did not see them.

Is the festival a non profit? Sounds like it might be.

The reason I am in Florida (thanks to our best friends) was he was executive director of "The International Conference of Police Chaplains") and wanted me to work for them. I quit my job in Tucson, AZ, we sold our house, and moved here for a job for less money, lol. It was a 501C3 non profit. We still see our friends, but they live outside Atlanta now, (he is pretty ill right now) and we are all retired. Funny how things dictate our lives, Huh?

I too am pretty much an open book. Just a slightly nerdy, retired old lady with a couple of Greyhounds and a great hubby. Lucky for me, since my first husband was not so wonderful, and I was single a long time. I actually like being single, so I can understand why you and M love your life!!

Edited at 2014-12-12 12:50 pm (UTC)
November 15, 2016 (Tuesday) 06:18 am (UTC)
Just re-reading this two years later. Hahaha. Funny, huh? But I often go back to older blog entries...

By the way, Cathy is my legal name, but I don't use it. I always think about it, though, when you comment to my blog. (grin)

Loved hearing your story!!! I can't believe I never replied to this comment, Kathy.

And glad you have a happy life, of course.

December 11, 2014 (Thursday) 02:26 pm (UTC)
Well so sorry that I did not get to see Marilyn on television, I even watched the late channel 12 news to see if they would air it again but no such luck. I did have Candy go over to her store and get 5 copies of the Columbian paper with Dots obit in it. The girls had used a very old picture of her when she was a 100 pounds heavier so too bad they did not have a more recent one, but so it goes. Anyway Bruce, Eugene, Georgine and Bob and I got copies so that was nice. Bob and Michael are having their annual Christmas party on the 20th so will go to that. No Dot there this year. Her daughters are having a garage sale at her house for three days trying to see all of the dishes and different stuff. I hope they will make some money, then on Monday they let the house go. Candy put blue lights up on our railing and they look pretty. Hope you feel better soon.
December 12, 2014 (Friday) 01:04 am (UTC)
Sorry this bug has been sticking around so long!
I hope it is over soon!