Thursday, June 29, 2006


It's summer time. And I am loving it.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Thoughts on my greed

I had thought my apartment was nice. Until I went and visited my co-worker's apartment. His is around 3 years old and is beautiful. I didn't even look at his apartment complex when I was apartment-hunting because I wasn't willing to pay over $700/mth for something I would never own. But visiting his apartment made me realize that not everyone has leaky roofs that cause holes in their ceiling:

Or has windows that are broken and require a log to keep them open:

Or has carpet coming up that must be duct taped down:

And to be honest. I got a little envious. I don't have a new apartment or new furniture. Pretty much everything I own except for my stereo, some of my clothes and my mattress has been owned by someone else at some point. And if I look at it that way, I get kind of bummed. That's my greedy side coming out.

But, God quickly showed me a different perspective on life. I have 7 rooms that I share with only one other person. I have a fireplace that isn't used to cook food - it's just for decoration. In fact I have 3 pieces of equipment in my kitchen that I can cook food in. I live within a 5 minute drive of 5 major grocery stores that are filled with food. I live in a town that pays people money just to cut grass. I have a walk-in closet to hang the many outfits of clothes that I own. I have machines that will do almost everything for me. I think that for the majority of American's these things are standard.

To most of the world, that sounds extravagant. And in the grand scheme of things - it probably is. I didn't see abject poverty when I went to India, but I did see an area of India where the standard of living is much lower than even the poverty stricken families of the US. My life isn't about survival. It's about comfort.

Do I need a new apartment? No.

Do I want a new apartment? Sometimes. It is then that I need to remember that to the rest of the world, I really am wealthy. I need to stop whining and do something with the resources I am given.

Sunday, June 18, 2006


Yesterday Ben and I went strawberry picking. Something that I hadn't done since I was a kid. My mom used to take us and we would pick pounds and pounds of strawberries. On the way home we would drive with the windows down and eat strawberries and throw the stems out the window until we felt sick. It was a lot of fun (the eating part, the picking part was only fun until I got bored) unless you sat in the back seat, where you would get peppered with strawberry stems that would be thrown out by the sibling in front of you and then blown back in the van straight into your face.

Strawberry picking was also our science lesson. I learned all about the parts of a strawberry plant and how they grow and what farmers do to help them grow.

Ben and I picked 8 lbs of strawberries yesterday in 45 min (that's a picture of them at the top!). This made me realize that getting strawberries at the store for $2.50/lb was a bargain, because it was hard work to pick them. I have a new respect for fruit pickers now. And I realize why my mom had so many kids...

Anyway, here are pictures from yesterday. They were taken with my cell phone, so they aren't the greatest quality but you get the point.

Doesn't Ben look like a giant?

This is what strawberries look like when they aren't in a container at the store.

Me with the berries.

Ben with our berries.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

All you can do is laugh... or stab yourself in the eye with your pen

It all started yesterday when Bryan brought the purchase order into my office.

"Purchasing says you need to check and see if [insert contractual clause] applies to this."

At this point it was 2:58 and I had a report due to my boss at 3:00 and I still had about a half hour worth of work to go. If I had gone through the training manual, I might have been able to answer his question, but the manual was boring and I had put off reading it.

"Um.... I can't check right now Bryan. I'll try and get back to you in an hour."

By 4:oo I had his answer, No.

Today purchasing called me to tell me that I had read the clause wrong and yes it did apply. They sent the PO back to Bryan so that I could fill out "The Paperwork".

I had no idea what paperwork they were referring to. I read through the training manual twice, through all of the process instructions listed on our intranet site, read all of the instructions on submitting a PO and I couldn't find a thing on The Paperwork that I needed. Finally I called the head of purchasing and asked her where I could find it.

She replied with, "Well, it was in that e-mail I sent you."

"The one you just sent me?"

"Oh heavens no. The e-mail I sent about a year ago."

I have no idea why I wouldn't have looked in my e-mail archives for the procedure. That's a perfectly logical place to look. Silly me.

I found the e-mail and followed all the instructions. I answered the questions on the PO and initialed them all.

I finally turned the PO into the purchasing assistant who looked at it and said, "Where's the form that goes with this?"

At this point, I had spent all afternoon dealing with this stupid PO and I lost it.

"There is no form. Not in an e-mail. Not on the server. The form doesn't exist. I followed the instructions in the e-mail. This process is so ambiguous. I have no idea what I am supposed to do."

She just stared at me for a second and said, "Well Beth made a form up. You don't have that?"

I just stared at her.

"How about I type a form up, and send it to you?"

"Thanks. That would be great."

"By the way, what clause is this that you have listed on here?"

"Those are my initials. The e-mail told me to put them on there."

And then I curled up under my desk and cried for the sheer absurdness of it all.

Friday, June 09, 2006

How to make the receptionist cry

Stephen, my officemate, has prank called a few people in our office pretending to be a customer asking about topics my co-workers aren't allowed to discuss. It's hilarious to listen to them talk around a subject.

Yesterday Stephen and I were slightly bored and I suggested that he prank call the receptionist and ask to speak with Mr. Lewis. Here's how the conversation went:

Receptionist: Hello, how can I help you?

Stephen (in an Indian/German accent): Hello. This is Samir. I need to speak with Mr. Lewis.

R: We don't have a Mr. Lewis here sir.

S: What?!?! I speak with him yesterday. Please connect me to Mr. Lewis.

R: Just a moment sir. [Puts Stephen on hold]

At this point Stephen hangs up and calls back.

R: Hello, how may I help you?

S: This is Samir. You hung up on me.

R: I am so sorry sir. It was an accident.

S: Is this how you treat your customers? This is no good. What is your name?

R: I really didn't mean to hang up on you sir.

S: Put me through to Mr. Lewis.

R: Hold please.

S: Hey! (without the accent) This is Stephen! Just pulling a prank.

[Awkward pause]

R: You made me cry!

And sure enough we did. The president's secretary came back and yelled at us for making the sweet girl cry.

And suddenly the joke wasn't so funny anymore.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

On Stereotypes

Yesterday Ben and I drove up to my Grandma's house to bring a bed back here. My mom and I were discussing what truck we could borrow and our conversation went something like this:

Andi: Ben and I can take the truck up there tonight.

Mom: You could sit in the middle next to him. How cute. Do you have a tube top?

Andi: I could knock out a tooth and bleach my hair too.

Mom: You should take the dog...

Andi: You're right. We would have to have a dog.

A couple minutes later I called my mom back because I realized something:

Andi: Oh wait. I have to drive cuz Ben can't drive a stick shift. He'll have to wear the tube top

Mom: [laughing hysterically] That's an image I didn't want to have...

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Well Hello There!

It's been a while. How are you all? These past few weeks have been crazy busy for me. Here are the highlights of what has happened:
  • My brother graduated from high school
  • I got the stomach flu and missed the graduation
  • I have a new roommate
  • My sister left for Mexico for the summer
  • My brother's open house went well
  • Went canoeing
  • Threw a great mystery dinner party with Tamara
And for a lack of something clever to say, here are pictures of some of those events:

The Suspects

Greg was an investor that was jealous the museum didn't recongnize his importance

Tamara was a crazy collector that wanted the museum's artifacts for her collection

I was a dealer in "imports and exports" and sold historical artifacts on the black market

Amy was a dealer in fine arts and history but she needed the big commission the article would bring

Ben was the crooked FBI agent investigating the case

Scott was a volunteer at the museum and was obssessed with the artifact

Thanks to everyone's investigative skills, Greg was locked away.

My brother is so big now! He's the one in black on the right.