January 25, 2010

Another One on Our Side!

Back in the day, when I lived in Congo, I told Carl the Pilot that I had just recently become a naturalized American citizen. He immediately said "Yes! Another one on our side!" while pumping his arm in victory, with a large grin on his face.

I looked at him quizzically, and he explained that he was always excited to hear that good people became American. I laughed at this explanation, envisioning him as a captain in the Second World War, proud to find more recruits for the war, or perhaps a high-school team captain who gets to choose his teammates and picks the best of the bunch first.

Anyways, every time someone tells me they just got naturalized, I say "Yes! Another one on our side!"

My colleague's Albanian dad just passed the test (minutes ago), and of course, I sent her some congratulations, along with my usual motto.

For her though, it must be particularly special, as she and her siblings have been raising each other alone in the United States for more than 10 years, while her parents worked in Albania to provide them with a better future.

January 14, 2010

One Where I am Evil

Another one of colleagues tells good stories about her dreams:

Ok, been wanting to tell you about my insane dream, but you been soo beezee :) (it’s a good thing)

Had a dream we were here at work, and I was telling you how dry my hair was because of the stupid organic gel ive been using (from whole foods), and then you were like, ok let me take a look, so you take out scissors and cut my hair!!!

I was yelling, and started running away, and was cursing, and you were completely indifferent, as in whatever, I did you a favor. Then for some reason we were on the 3rd floor at [office location] and there was a festival, and an old school mate I had a crush on (gorgeous large African American male) came up to me while you and I were talking about the whole hair situation, put his derrière in my face, and started dancing.

The end

A common element of these two stories is that they both finish with "The end". And they are both crazy of course.

January 13, 2010

Herb, the Albino Frog

A colleague of mine sent me this story, about her cherished family pet. She was reminded of it when we were discussing the frozen geekos in Florida that literally fall from trees and go into hibernation.

A welcome respite from work, especially in the midst of the terrible news from Haiti's earthquake... I added a few paragraph breaks, for ease of reading, but otherwise, the story remains untouched:

This is pretty amazing and it is interesting how reptiles can survive so much!
That reminds me of a funny story (something about getting older makes me want to tell more stories, so listen up youngins :). We had a big fat albino frog named Herb for years. I planned to get rid of the aquarium because it was so much trouble once all the fish and the frog died.
Well, the fish died and Herb lived on for years and years. We thought, “Is this frog going to live forever?” Then, one day, I guess when he had enough of being alone, he jumped out of the tank and hopped off, I guess looking for love or wanting to commit suicide…. Our dog Rudy went chasing after him and we thought he probably ate him for snack.
We didn’t see a trace of him for days. Then Rudy guided us to a corner one evening and there was Herb stiff as a board covered with dog hair. Rudy was a good dog. I guess he preferred to play with Herb rather than eat him.
John took Herb to the sink to rinse him off and was going to give him a proper burial in the background. However, once the water covered him, he started to stir and then he woke up! John cleaned him off and put him back in the tank where he lived another 2 years!
Finally, one day we came home and there was little Herb floating in the tank with his little arms up in the air……He finally died of old age and I finally got to put up that damn aquarium.
End of story……

January 11, 2010

Hold Please – Putting You Through to the Eighties

Why is it that every time customer service puts me on hold, like I am right now, the background music is some cheesy mix of elevator Jazz, and “sexy” saxophone that is very reminiscent of eighties soap operas?

Seriously, who chooses the music? Arrrrgh!

Homelessness and Nestlessness in Winter

As I'm walking home from a cheerful evening of crabs legs and after-dinner drinks, I grab a bus, and then a metro home, walking in the unusually frigid winter air.

I see five homeless people, bundled in swatling mutlicolored covers, trying to sleep by the metro's escalators, where the artificial heat of the Mcpherson Square station cuts the sharpness of the cold a bit.

Oddly, there is a family of ducks, male with brilliant green plumage against his dark feathers, and three duller females, also catching some Zs on the concrete sidewalk, slightly apart from the slumbering humans, as if wary of them, but trying to benefit from the heat as well.

January 04, 2010

Meat Thermometer and Blistering Cold in D.C.

It's currently unusually cold here in D.C. (about 28 degrees Fahrenheit, but feels like 20), and has been going on for a few days. I've developed an angry rash on my upper legs, from the bitter wind carving cracks in the upper layers of my dermis. When complaining about how painful the cold was, my colleague said "wait, is it as painful as being in a refugee camp in Darfur?"

Wow, thanks for putting that into perspective.