First Day On The Job and Chinatown


So, it's official.
Greenpeace is awesome.

I'm not kidding. They didn't brainwash me, I'm not going to stop shaving my legs or whatever, but seriously--I have never met such kind, honest and dedicated people before in my life. I sat through seven hours of training today and loved every minute of it. You couldn't ask for a more organized...well...organization, or one with better training, or one with better people. I went into work today being nervous that I could never be one of those people who stands on the sidewalks and asks for donations, and now I'm fully confident that this is something I can be successful at. Granted, I'll need a little practice, but I've got the right mentality and the right reasons for doing it.

I had no idea how ignorant I was about our environment until today. Greenpeace has accomplished so much good in its short 40-year lifespan. Not only that, but it makes a fraction of what other NGOs make. Did you know the average non-profit rakes in $300 million per year? Greenpeace makes $30 million. And they treat their employees extremely well, with paid vacations, full health insurance, dental, even vision. For the past six years, Exxon Mobil has called for the IRS to audit us. And every year, we pass with flying colors. In fact, no other organization has ever "scored" higher on an IRS audit than Greenpeace. And we do it every time we're audited.

I've definitely been thrown out of my element somewhat, too. I'd venture to say I'm the only registered Republican there, and definitely the only Mormon! Everybody takes smoke and coffee breaks (at least one every 90 minutes) and I've never heard the F-bomb dropped so casually before in my life. I'm trying to think of a nice way to ask my trainer, Tom, to maybe cut down the the F word a bit because man he says it a lot. It's just one of those words that makes me cringe! All other obscenities I can pretty much handle, but not that one.

I wish I could tell everybody everything I learned today. I seriously do. But that would make this the longest post ever :) Maybe I'll start by giving brief snippets of some of the campaigns Greenpeace is working on. Starting tomorrow! So get ready :)

That basically comprised my day today! Brock went in to work at 5:30 (which stinks, because I got home at 6:30 so we didn't really get to see each other at all). But we had a lot of fun together yesterday so I guess it's okay :)

We had a nice, easy Sunday morning, and headed off to church at 2:00. The thing is, our church is seven miles away and our only mode of transportation is our bikes, so we headed out an hour early. It "only" took us 45 minutes to get there, but it was so worth it. Our ward is awesome. It's tiny (only 90 people!) but the people were extremely welcoming. And talk about diverse, too! We heard testimonies from a Hawaiian, white people, black people, Chinese people, mentally disabled people, you name it. And they were some of the most powerful testimonies I've heard in a long time. They weren't stories. They weren't "thank-amonies". They were testimonies. I loved it. Even though the bike rides to and from church were long and hot, it felt good actually making an effort (a real effort) to get to church. It wasn't easy--but we did it. When your dedication is put to the test and you pass, it has a way of replenishing your faith. Not only in your religion, but in yourself.

The wonderful thing about the Church is that it's a lot like McDonalds: it's the same everywhere you go. The building generally looks the same, the chapel, you have the the same meetings, same lessons, even the same personalities. It was just so refreshing to walk into a place in Chicago that felt like home. Where we didn't feel like strangers. I love our Church :)

To top off our Sunday, we went on a short run during the evening. We ended up in Chinatown, which is only like a mile-and-a-half away from us. It was pretty small (definitely small compared to what we saw in San Francisco) but still fun! Chinatowns have an awesome vibe to them. It's like stepping into another world, if only for a minute. We also discovered our Chinese zodiac signs! I am a DRAGON!!

"Seemingly born under a lucky star, the dragon is the most vital and powerful of any in the Chinese zodiac, although with an infamous reputation for being a hothead - and possessing a sharp tongue! At any social gathering, you know a Dragon has entered the room as the air starts to tingle with the energy they exhude. Enthusiastic, and confident sometimes to the point of swaggering, Dragon people inspire confidence in others with their honesty and quick wit. Natural "movers and shakers", Dragons can sometimes be overbearing to lesser mortals who do not share the their natural self-perception as absolute rulers of all they survey. However, their great popularity stems from a soft and sensitive heart, which the Dragon only reveals to trusted friends and loved ones who delight in their tender concern. Not shy in the least about going after what they want, Dragons can be their own worst enemies - aggressive to the point of tyrannical, and may be heard running off at the mouth without thinking. However, after having made a foolhardy decision, Dragon people often recover quickly and admirably continue on to follow their hearts' desire with dauntless determination. Gifted with innate courage, tenacity and intelligence, those born under this sign are most often a shining success at whatever field they choose."

Funny sidenote: My mother is also a dragon. Hehe :) A pretty accurate description of myself (and my mother!), if I do say so myself!

And Brock is a BULL!

"Still waters run deep, as anyone who has observed an Ox will tell you. People born in the Year of the Ox are the supremely self-assured, and as a result are noted for inspiring confidence in others. Generally patient and thoughtful, they measure their words, and will speak clearly and concisely often when it matters most. Born to lead, Ox people can be quite stubborn — but also stubbornly loyal to those they love. However, when opposed, their fierce tempers are legendary. So always follow this very wise advice : never cross an Ox! Generally placid and easy-going on the outside, the Ox can be very dogmatic. There are no gray areas evident within their narrow scope of vision, and they often only see things as good or bad. Therefore, they are never easily persuaded by a clever argument. Possessing an excellent memory, the Ox can often recall verbatim a conversation weeks or months after it has occured.Their physical stamina combined with their mental alertness is a distinct advantage when it comes to completing any task at hand. In fact, Oxen can often be seen patiently working away ... long after everyone else has dropped from sheer exhaustion! Ox people are also generally good with their hands, and together with sterling leadership abilities are often successful as doctors or surgeons, construction managers, army generals or business leaders."

Also a very accurate description of my lovey! Another funny side-note: I always said I wanted to marry somebody just like my dad. Guess which sign my dad is :)

Oh, this is totally random, but we had the BEST VANILLA SHAKE EVER on Saturday night!! It was just at this little diner a few blocks away from us and let me tell you--it's a diner: you sit down on a barstool, a waitress writes your order down old-school-style on a piece of paper, you listen to the manager lean over the bar and tell you her life story as you wait for you order ("Honey let me tell you, my grandmother was the most amazing woman I ever known..."), and then you slurp up the most delicious vanilla shake of your entire life. The White Palace Grill...we'll definitely be going there again!!


  1. AnonymousJuly 07, 2009

    i'm glad you love your job so much! thats amazing!!! and my friends and i used just a plastic skateboard jump for the slip n' slide. its just one of those cheesy cheap ones you can find at walmart.


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