Actually, please… don’t call me Marko.
I know I owe nobody nothin’, but whenever I feel as if I haven’t spent much time blogging here, I like to at least say why.
So, the majority of that “why” is my new job at the LEGO Store in the Mission Viejo mall. The grand opening was this past Friday, and I was there all weekend, but we’d been setting up the store for over a week before the opening. Man.. a week. That’s impressive :). Averaging 13 or so pallets of deliveries (plus extra through UPS and other drop-offs) each day, our crew brought the entire store from bare-bones and empty (they were finishing electrical work our first day there) to stocked and open.
Speaking of crew, I have been extremely impressed by just what a great group of folks I’m working with. From nice, fantastic managers to fun, hard-working co-workers… it’s been an absolutely wonderful environment to work in. I think there’s something kinda special about opening our own store, too – it’s ours, WE made it… and the camaraderie that was built through that process has already made that store feel like a second home.
Plus, then there’s the job itself (and a certain OTHER thing that’s taken my time, lately)… 🙂
(A keep reading?? Man, haven’t done one of THOSE in a while :). More on that further down.)
I absolutely love working at the LEGO Store. It’s… I love it. I’m happy to have an income again (I hugged my first paycheck), but that it comes from what is pretty much the perfect job… it just makes all the difference in the world. As I told a friend this afternoon (while writing this post), I’m so thankful for this. It really struck me, though, on the first day of our grand opening.
I had a great time being completely exhausted at the end of each workday during the setup, but this past Friday was my first day working there with our doors open. I wasn’t actually in the store, but spent my full shift out at the Spongebob build area. The what? In honor of the grand opening, we had a LEGO master builder come out and construct an 8 foot replica of Spongebob Squarepants. Of course, it wasn’t about just watching some guy put bricks into a statue – kids got to help us build it. I was kneeling at one of the construction tables, with an adorable little girl as she worked on one of the pieces, and it hit me… I was working with kids again. I knew I would be, of course, but actually doing it just warmed my heart. As sappy as it is, this job is kinda turning my life around again… by making me happy and giving me money, yes, but by getting me to work directly with kids again – something I wasn’t sure I could bring myself to do, yet.
I smiled pretty hard that day :).
There have already been a mountain of memories and experiences, in just this short time (4 hours of tearing down Spongebob last night, having a massive chunk fall off of ‘bob and nail me in the face, a 3-4 year old kid coming into the store and being SO overwhelmingly amazed by all of the various sets that he was yelling at the top of his lungs.. and getting to laugh along with his mom every time he saw a new one, etc.), and it’s been very exhausting work, but I’ve been having fun, too.
I’ve actually paid to see a movie in a regular theater (and a dollar movie, too), I’ve been randomly hanging out with friends (the once-elusive Korkie, the McCrory’s, Brian), and it’s been great to have financial freedom in some of those things, too. I’ve probably gone out and about more in the last week and a half than I have in whole months prior.
It’s been lovely :).
Of course, when I am at home, I’ve been working as much as I can on a new redesign for the site. It’s actually finished, more or less, save for a couple of minor detail elements and other-browser testing. I’m very happy with it, and creating it went very smoothly. I’m actually running a WordPress plugin that allows me to view a different theme when I’m signed in, so I’ve been able to check it out live on the site just as it’ll appear for all of you when I finalize it – and it’s been much quicker to load than this current version you’re seeing. I’ve been very adamant about that in the design… pretty much no images in the design (all CSS/HTML), if fun features slowed down the site I nixed them (but Random Beauty is safe, don’t worry), and it’s been a nice treat to actually visit my own site :).
So, that’s what’s going on for me. Now that the store is set up, hours at work have reduced until we hit the holidays, so I’m not working again until Sunday. Until then, I’ll be finishing up (probably/hopefully) my new design, watching some great movies, resting my poor ol’ body, and maybe even writing.
I hope your week’s been even half as splendid as mine :).