Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Almost 5 Years

I was reflecting on my time at Burger King today as I only have 2 weeks left there for the summer before my trip to Vegas and return to school. November 1st, 2012 marks my 5 year anniversary as being an employee at Burger King. Hard to believe my start date was in 2007. Only the managers and 3 of the day employees have been there longer than Cesca and I, even though it hasn't been for 5 straight years. I think it says something that I spend 4-5 months there in total while in school.

Anyway, I was just reflecting on the last 5 years and how things had changed. Here are some differences from 2007 to now. 5 years at Burger King has brought these changes:

When I started, I was a junior in High School. I hadn't graduated yet. I was 16 years old.

I didn't have my license- I barely knew how to drive.

I hadn't even thought of Ithaca College as a possibility, nor did I know what I wanted to do or study.

I hadn't been away from home for longer than a week.

Cesca and I hadn't been apart for longer than a week.

The only other country I had ever been to was Canada, and that hardly counts.

I only spoke 1 language. My Spanish was still basic at this point. I hadn't even thought about Italian

I had only seen Phantom of the Opera live once

I had never kissed a boy

My boss had a 1 year old and 7 year old twin boys- her boys have now hit double digits (12 years old!) and her daughter passed the 5 year mark a year ago- this makes me feel old

2 current managers were team members with us

I'm sure I'll think of more

Friday, July 20, 2012

It’s not who I am underneath, but what I do that defines me

Those of you who have heard any references in  pop culture in the last few years will undoubtedly recognize this quote as probably the most famous line in the first Batman movie that Christopher Nolan directed, Batman Begins.

If you haven't been living under a rock for the last few weeks, you will know that the final installment of Nolan's trilogy, The Dark Knight Rises, came out at midnight yesterday. I, being a huge fan of the franchise, was of course there to see one of the first showings. Now, I've not read every batman comic book, but I know his general story. And I like Nolan's 'realistic' take on the series, and I was trying not to expect much from this movie- I expected some action and violence, some freaking Bane speeches and some raspy growls from Batman. I of course expected it to be awesome, but let me tell you, it was beyond amazing.

I'll keep my thoughts on it mostly spoiler free, and just let you know my general impressions.

The film takes place 8 years after the ending of The Dark Knight. Batman hasn't been seen since the death of Harvey Dent, aka Two Face, at the end of the last movie. I was hoping Two Face would make an appearance, because he was fantastic in the last movie, but I guess the realism of the series comes in where the villains don't keep reappearing because they can actually die.

The Joker, out of respect for the late Heath Ledger, is not mentioned in the film. Nolan wanted us to respect the real life tragedy of the death of an amazing star, and I applaud this decision. I am glad the Joker doesn't reappear in this film, as again, like Two Face, Batman's enemies are not invincible.

Neither is Batman himself. Having hung up his batcap and powered down his batcave, Bruce Wayne lives as a recluse in his expansive home, playing up the 'eccentric billionaire' side of his personality. We do see the toll that being the caped crusader has taken on him- he must walk with a cane and in a short hospital scene, we are quickly told that his body has taken a beating and that it won't handle tough physical activity that well.

Gotham has been in a period of calm after Dent's death allowed the passage of the Harvey Dent Law or something, so things are peaceful. Gotham has moved on from the chaos, but Bruce hasn't. He still just mopes around the house until the two enemies of the film surface and start to cause trouble.

Bale is and has been fantastic at playing both Bruce Wayne and Batman, even though his Batman voice is unintentionally hilarious sometimes. He's super easy on the eyes but his acting is also top notch. I can't imagine anyone else playing Batman, though in my heart Christian Bale will always be Howl to me. His scenes as actual 'Batman' are limited by the plot, but he plays the reclusive Wayne well through his journey back to protecting the streets of Gotham.

They are:
Catwoman- though the name is never used in the film, Anne Hathaway does an amazing job portraying a sly, conniving, intelligent thief that has gotten in too deep. She isn't cartoony. Christopher Nolan has a talent for including comic book sounding lines without making them sound hokey or stupid, and Selina Kyle. Though touted as a 'love interest' for Batman, it isn't overly so. They make sense as a pair though- they both operate outside of the law pursuing their morals. They are cut from the same cloth but have gone on different paths. I liked it, and Bale and Hathaway have great chemisty

Bane- Bane is most famous for his iconic 'break batman's back over his knee' scene, which Nolan thankfully but realistically includes. Bane is terrifying in the film because he seems unstoppable and Gotham's end seems inevitable- Batman gets his ass kicked a number of times in the film, showing that he too is not invincible and that he cannot remain the caped crusader forever. Bane's one issue is his speech. Tom Hardy chose a specific gypsy accent to portray the character, but with the crazy mouthpiece and vocal distortion, his lines really do sometimes need subtitles. In multiple viewings I may be able to catch more of his dialogue.

Let me just say there is action, adventure, fear and more twists and turns than I expected. It's a great film, and at 2 hours and 45 minutes is the longest of the series, but the pacing is so well done that I didn't even notice the length. I was glued the entire time.

Nolan brings the series to a wonderfully satisfying ending with the film, tying up loose ends without overkilling the message of the film. It feels real and intense and keeps you on the edge of your seat, but the action is interspersed with poignant, emotional scenes showing the toll that being Batman has taken on many people's lives.. The film has the same dark and gritty tones as the preview installments, but it never is overdone. Nothing felt like a waste in the film and I would definitely say it's the best film I have seen all year. It wasn't flawless, but it was pretty close.

And in other news, my heart goes out to the victims of the shooting in Aurora, Colorado. What a terrible tragedy that has marred what was just supposed to be a fun night out for many people. My thoughts are with the victims and their friends and families.

Friday, July 13, 2012

1 Month Til Vegas

I am super excited that in 1 month, I will be packed and ready to go to Vegas. I can't wait because it's a big trip for my friends and I, plus I'm obviously going to see Phantom, the Las Vegas Spectacular before it closes. EXCITED!!! We're also staying at Circus Circus, which has an amusement park inside. On our list of  things to visit:

The roller coaster at New York, New York, Caesar's Palace, The "Eiffel Tower," the gondola ride at the Venetian (where Phantom plays!) and lots of casinos. Oooooh yeah, so excited. Also, apparently there is one bar where you get free drinks if you have a tattoo- 3/4 of us have one, so we will definitely be hitting that up.

I also can't wait to be done with BK because it's just one thing after another. An inspector is supposed to be coming soon, which means Smoothie King became Chicken King which has now become Cleaning King. For the past week I've had to scrub, degrease and polish everything from the walls to the freezers to the garbage cans (inside and out. UGH). Because my arm is apparently like 40 years older than the rest of my body, my wrist through my shoulder have been perpetually in pain for the last week since all I've done is scrub. I've also not stayed my assigned shift in the last few days. I've either been called in early, stayed late or in fact done both. Aaaaah the life of a minimum wage worker. At least I'll be able to afford food next semester!

In other news, my body has now succumbed to my lactose intolerance to the point where I gave in to taking lactose pills before anything more than a piece of cheese. It's quite annoying because sometimes (like tonight) I forget them at work, or I don't take 2 pills when I should, or I run out, but if I want to enjoy dessert I usually need them. Annoyingly lame, but I'm not ready to give up on my beloved diary products yet.

Well, my 4 hour turned 7.5 hour shift was quite busy today, so Cesca and I are treating ourselves to a nice glass of vino, or vinho (pronounced veen-yoo in portuguese). Tomorrow is Day 4 of working late night at BK, and I can't say I'll be upset when it's all over. Hope everyone is staying cool and having fun! Can't wait to see my IC friends soon! It's been so long!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Chicken King and Other Things

If you missed the commercials this weekend, you missed what could possibly be the worst promotion in the history of Burger King. This past weekend, original chicken sandwiches went on sale for $1.04 instead of their usual like $4. This proved to be a nightmare for us workers, and Cesca and I ended up doubling our hours this weekend because we had to stay so much extra time to help out.

What the hell do you need 20 freaking chicken sandwiches for??? It seems to me that Karma doesn't exist at Burger King. The last 3 shifts I have have almost doubled, meaning I was at Burger King about 200% more time than I want to be there. But you'd think that doing a nice thing for people, karma might reward me for helping out my fellow BK-ers. Nope. The last 3 shifts have been hell and awful. It's days like those that make me fear what might happen if I don't find a job after college- that I'll be stuck at Burger King for ages with no hope of a better life. I know that's extreme, but sometimes it feels like you're never going to get out. But what I always keep in mind on bad days is that eventually my shift will end and I will get to go home and be happy and relaxed again...

Or I will go to the movies and see awesome things like Brave- it was really great, Merida has awesome curly hair and the main conflict in the movie was a great surprise (the trailers don't tell you what the main problem is- you might be like Cesca and figure it out moments before it happens!)  Loved it. Also might have found a Halloween costume for this year.

I also saw Magic Mike last night, which was basically just a 'let's look at hot guys' movie. Which, after a weekend of hell at Burger King, was most welcome. Until it tried to have a plotline. No no no. The one they chose was stupid- my friends and I thought of like 5 better ideas on the way home. But the scenes were Channing Tatum and Alex Pettyfer were shirtless were definitely worth the cost of a movie ticket. Mmm.

Not much planned for the 4th. I'm working (again) and Ted, Cesca and I might see a movie after I get out- We're thinking Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter or Ted. Not sure. Dad might join us too!  Cesca and I have also started replaying Final Fantasy 8 so our friend Ronnie can see the awesomeness that was pre-PS3 Final Fantasy. I'm a dork, I know.

Hope everyone has a great holiday!