Thursday, June 30, 2005
Things I Should Write A Book About
- 1 Contractor (basically a glorified temp)
- 1 Jewish guy (who is not afraid to sing "Look on the Bright Side of Life" at the slightest provocation)
- 1 Grandmother (who could have retired about 5 years ago, but took a promotion and a move to Michigan instead)
- 1 corporate Intern (me)
- 1 Single mother (who we lovingly refer to as the "normal one")
- 1 Pack Rat (whose garage sale is bi-annual if that tells you how much junk she can collect in a year)
- 1 Gossip Columnist (or at least she should be. I don't know how she does it but she knows everything)
- 1 Stay-In-School (a stay-in-school is a kid that both works and goes to school)
- And last but not least, 1 Canadian (he's actually the only Canadian citizen in our building. Apparently, each federal center has a Canadian rep. And Bob is ours)
Today, it was the Contractor, the Grandmother, myself (the Intern), the Pack Rat, and the Stay-In-School, and they were discussing the side-effects of having one ear lower than the other. The Pack Rat thought one of the side-effects was craziness since she once knew someone who had one ear lower than the other and she was crazy. The conversation pretty much was downhill from there.
It was in the middle of this discussion, I thought to myself, I should definitely be writing a book about these people. It could be like "Tuesdays with Morrie" for the non-philosopher. I think I'll name it "Lunches with the Crazies". :) Then I thought that all the things that happen around me that are really hilarious and that I should be writing down before I forget them. So, I think I may compile a list of things that books should be written about. Maybe I'll just quit my job and become a "Book Concept Consultant". I bet that would be pretty marketable. Whadaya say? $75-$100/hour? Yup, I think I should. So many ideas, so little time to write.
Wednesday, June 29, 2005
Rose Colored Glasses
Happily, these nifty shades are a transparent brown, and the actual "glass" matches the frames. So, when looking through these brown glasses, everything has a pinkish hue.
I wore them to the DRMS Employee Appreciation Day Picnic, and took a little teasing for wearing the exact same pair of sunglasses that so-and-so wore 20 years ago. During the banter, they were taken off my face and tried on by various co-workers, one of whom declared them to be like looking through rose colored glasses.
I've pondered this, and they are quite a bit like looking through rose colored glasses. I have to admit this newly discovered characteristic has been coming in pretty handy. I realize that this is in all probability my last summer in Michigan (pending transfer and all), and what better way, I ask you, to see one last Michigan summer than through rose colored glasses?
Tuesday, June 28, 2005
However, Wally and Donna have made this event the apex of every year and now there aren't as many of Donna's siblings, as there are of their children and their children's children. Indeed, this casual get-together has grown to something of an event and even boasts a theme song which is audaciously resonated every year.
Such a party as this certainly needed a name to match the sensation of its experience. Its title needed to be something that spoke of the remarkable enjoyment and yet might identify the key players. So, with the Griswold Family Vacation still fresh in her memory, my aunt Helen suggested innocently that it be dubbed Wally World. And Wally World it has been to this day.
You may wonder with what excitement Wally World is planned, and what activities have been supposed appropriate for a not insignificantly sized group of Waibels. The festivities begin after lunch on the Fourth and include (but are not exclusively) swimming, beach volleyball, jumping (on the trampoline), golfing, riding (on the four wheeler), wiffleballing, heckling, dinner, fireworking, singing, biking, swimming, volleyballing, trampolining, snacking, basketballing, four wheeling, singing, swimming, sleep. Breakfast, trampolining, swinging, beach. Boating, skiing, tubing, lunch, swimming, tanning, swimming, wake-boarding, boating, tanning, snacking, boating, tubing, home.
It is no small accomplishment to make it through these two days of uninterrupted outdoor activity without so much as a sore muscle, or burnt nose, but it is my intention to do so. So, on Monday afternoon, I with 50-something of my fellow Waibels (or married to Waibels) will be going to Grand Rapids for Wally World XXII.
*I promised an explanation. So, you got it.
Monday, June 27, 2005
On the way to work, I decided to see how far my car can go with the gas light on. I'm actually curious, because usually I'm so paranoid, I fill it up the second I see the light pop on, but I want to know how many miles I can actually squeeze out of it. I'm up to 32.8 miles right now. Obviously, I'm in an adventurous mood today, so maybe now would be a good time to make many important decisions. Here's a few of the problems I intend to face today:
- Should I take Friday off (I've already got next Monday and Tuesday off)?
- Should I work over today?
- Should I start running again this week?
- Should I get a pair of bermudas for Wally World (I promise to explain what Wally World is later)?
- Should I leave the air-purifier in living room or move it upstairs?
- What kind of lotion should I buy to replenish my work supply?
- Should I get more chap-stick when I go to the Meijer tonight, or is two tubes enough?
- Should I get Chicken Salad or a deli sandwich in the caf at lunch today?
As you can plainly see, I have many life-altering decisions facing me this week. But I think I'm up for it.
Friday, June 24, 2005
Today is the day of our annual "Employee Appreciation Day". A day when we all get together, play lame carnival games, eat strawberry shortcake, and get several hours to blow off work while soaking up the sun. It's actually a great day for it, since last year, it was about 54 degrees, windy, and overcast.
So, this afternoon I will be out of the office (just in case you were wondering), soaking up the sun, eating as much strawberry shortcake as I can stand, and maybe getting forced into playing some lame games.
So, for anyone trying to get in touch with me: I'm trying to do my job here, people! Geesh!
;) Have a good weekend.
Definition Of A Fan
Thursday, June 23, 2005
A Normal Work Day
- This is my favorite kind of day. It hot, somewhat humid, hazy, and it's only June (last year we were still suffering from frost at this time).
- How the Pistons are going to kick pants tonight (in case you didn't notice or didn't read it, Dan Crawford will not be refereeing tonight).
- How nice of a summer evening it will be.
- How good San Diego will feel next March after a long, cold Michigan winter (I'm not 100% serious about going to California - btw - I'm more like 94% serious).
- How I don't want to go work-out tonight.
- How much I'm going to need to make myself a giant smoothie when I get home from work.
- What a beautiful day it is today....
ONS! GO PISTON! GO PISTONS! GO PISTONS! GO PISTONS! GO
Wednesday, June 22, 2005
FED Files - Volume V
In our sub-agency (DRMS), there are currently 7 interns. Two months ago there were 8 of us, but Melissa, the girl from Puerto Rico, quit to return to her previous employer. Out of the seven who are left there are 3 contracting interns (Dan, Aaron B, and Sarah), 2 Property Disposal interns (Casey and John), and 2 environmental interns (Lawrence and myself).
It has recently come to management's attention that Aaron B has lied and cheated on his time (which, from what I can tell, is the only reason a Federal employee can be fired). He skipped class last Monday to blow off the day with his girlfriend in Traverse City and didn't call in to inform anyone of his absence. He figured that the people in class would assume he was at his work-station, and that the people in the office would think he was in class, and that he would be safe for the day. Unfortunately for him, the instructor told him on Tuesday that he had already missed too much of the course and would have to have his boss reschedule it, and so his little scheme unraveled.
He now claims that his car was in "the shop" and that he informed the instructor that he would be unable to attend class in the morning, but a call to his mechanic and to the instructor would obviously clear up these obvious alibis.
Tomorrow, our "boss" (we all have three bosses) from Columbus, and her boss will be making the four hour drive to Michigan to have "a meeting" with Aaron B. Apparently you don't want your boss to make a special trip to Michigan for "a meeting", because "meetings" like this usually result with the offender (Aaron B) walking to his car on the arm in arm with a security guard.
Today, most likely, will be Aaron B's last lunch at the Battle Creek Federal Center, the last time he'll be able to work-out in the gym, and the last day he'll get to live off of tax-payer dollars. Aaron B - Fired.
Much like the monkeys jumping on the bed, there will soon be 6 of us interns here at DRMS. Who will be the next to fall off and "break his head"?
Which brings me to my transfer. I have to turn in a list of five places where I would willingly be transferred by December 1st for a move as early as March 1st. Has anyone signed themselves up for a transfer before? It seems like an easy decision, but I can assure you that it is not. I feel like I'm both the designer of my own fate, and at the same time... completely out-of-control. Thank goodness I have until December to choose. For kicks, I'll post some of my the places on my list.
- Fort Meade, Maryland (half an hour north of Washington DC)
- San Diego, California (at the Naval base, not Pendleton)
- Tuscon, Arizona
- Scott AFB, Illinois (about 20 minutes outside of St. Louis)
- Great Lakes, Illinois (half an hour north of Chicago)
- Selfridge AFB, Michigan (half an hour north of Detroit)
- Columbus, Ohio
Not necessarily in that order.
So, it is likely that tomorrow it will be farewell to Aaron B, and next year it is likely that it will be hello to California!
Monday, June 20, 2005
You Must Be An INTP
Ironically, I actually am an INTP. And since I love all personality stuff, and think it's really interesting, I want to know what everyone else is. If you don't know, you can take a test. I chose this particular test mostly because I am and INTP and believe that precision is everything. There are tests that claim to be able to do it in 4 questions, but obviously an INTP would be skeptical about that.
So, here's the deal. Please leave your MBI personality type, if you think it's accurate, and maybe a little something about it. Each personality type also has names (which change depending on whose profile you read) like "advisor" or "enigma". If you find a profile that you think is particularly fitting, feel free to leave the link. It's like group therapy. I'll go first....
Hi, my name is Julie, I'm an INTP (aka the "Architect" and "Contrast"). I'm:
- Intensely curious
- Precise to a fault
- Oblivious to surroundings
- Same type as Abraham Lincoln
Your turn. :)
Disclaimer: As discussed with Dan, I really don't think you can squeeze people into boxes, but if you could, these are generally considered to be the best known boxes to squeeze people into :) .
Feel Free To Comment
Hope to hear from you all soon.
Thursday, June 16, 2005
Sorry, I don't really have much of anything to write right now (not that that's stopped me before). I'm still feeling under the weather, and although all my blood tests came out pretty good, my WBC was slightly elevated (like I am either just catching something or just getting over something). So, if I don't post for a few days, I'm sleeping it off. In the meantime, enjoy some Get Fuzzy (this is like when you get put on hold on the phone and you get to sit and listen to elevator music for 5 days).
Wednesday, June 15, 2005
Mark: Julie, did you know that someone actually got fired for his blog? He was writing stuff in it about Google, and he worked for them and they fired him. So, what's your blog address? I couldn't get it to work. Is there any caps in it?
Julie: No. Who told you about my blog?
Mark: Joe did.
Joe: Whoops, is your blog private?
Dan: What are you guys talking about?
Joe: Julie's blog.
Dan: What's a blog?
Mark: An online journal.
Dan: You have an online journal?? What do you journal about?
Julie: Well..... I don't actually journal. It's more like....
Joe: Do you write incriminating stuff about DRMS?
Julie: I don't know if incriminating is the correct word.
Mark: You don't journal on your online journal? Do you have a theme?
Julie: Not really....
So then it dawned on me that most people who have blogs have things like "a life", or "themes". I don't really understand this. Is this "theme" like a theme party? Can you only participate, for example, if wear 80's cloths? Or devote yourself to some random group?.....................
So, then it should be an "online journal", right? A place where friends a thousand miles away can bore themselves to tears over the details of my life, right?....................
So, what is this space on the internet?.............................
Nonsensical remarks? Random observations? Absurd government employee stories? Fabulous jokes? Arbitrary bouts of nostalgia? Long, pointless stories? Endless surveys?....
Yes. All this and so much more.
So, the next time Dan asks me what a blog is I think I'll say something to the effect of, "Everything and nothing. All at the same time." (How's that for vague and yet startlingly true?)
Tuesday, June 14, 2005
I Is A Math Major
Q: What did the Zero say to the Eight?
A: Nice Belt.
Isn't that hilarious??
Monday, June 13, 2005
What I Learned In Class Today
Airplane: 200,000 spare parts flying in close formation.
The "Patriot missile" was created after we asked Germany if we could use small nuclear devises to shoot down Russian planes. The Germans thought that was inappropriate.
Sleeping in class quickly becomes an acceptable way to spend the afternoon, if you slide into conversation that you should be getting your blood work (to determine if you have Mono) back soon.
The opposite of a "light bulb" (you know, the kind that cartoon characters have over their heads when they realize something) is a "mud ball".
They say you learn something every day. Imagine how successful a day is when you learn four things. :)
Friday, June 10, 2005
A Favorite Of A Favorite
Currently in Federal Center, people are sporting some pretty nifty bermudas and Hawaiian shirts. (It pretty much can't stay like this all summer.)
Currently I'm finishing my fifth 20 oz. bottle of water (I'm in the water club).
Currently I am bored (almost to tears).
When I was in school days like today were spent gazing out the window (a pastime that perpetually showed up on my report card). When I was in college days like today were spent skipping classes, and frying by the pool. When I worked at HoneyBaked days like this were spent hiding in the back with the door closed and locked so I couldn't get back in (without going to the front).
But currently? Currently, on a day like today, I am sitting in a little blue cubicle, the blinds are closed (for my fellow cubies), my desk is completely organized (each stack is paper-clipped and in order), and I have absolutely nothing left to do.
So, what will I do with my final hour and a half of working hours? Daydreaming is pretty high up on my priority list, I'll probably wind up discussing the bad call on Ben Wallace (during the Pistons game last night) for the 6th time, and maybe I'll wander down to the library. Only on Fridays do we get to be so unproductive (actually I was super productive this morning - hence the no work right now).
So currently, it's a hot, humid Friday in Michigan. A day that brings all new meaning to the phrase "Lazy Hazy Summer Days". Ahhhhhh.....
Thursday, June 09, 2005
Etymology - Meaning the Study of the History of Words
The origin of the word "Salary"
"It goes back to a Latin word that originally denoted an 'allowance given to Roman soldiers for buying salt' (salt being in former times a valued commodity, over which wars were fought, rather than taken for granted as it is today). This was salarium, a derivative of sal 'salt.' It soon broadened out to mean 'fixed periodic payment for work done,' and passed in this sense via Old French salaire and then Anglo-Norman salarie into English."
The origin of the phrase "Bakers' Dozen"
"A baker's dozen is thirteen. The term arose becaues a law was passed in England in 1266 specifying exactly how much a loaf of bread should weigh, and it imposed a heavy penalty for underweight loaves. Bakers took to giving their customers an extra, or thirteenth, loaf so that they would be assured of meeting the weight minimum imposed by law. The term baker's dozen came about in the 16th century."
The "Whole Nine Yards"
"There are two possible origins of the phrase the whole nine yards. One comes from the fact that rotating cement-mixer trucks had a capacity of nine yards (I assume nine cubic yards in volume), and when the mixer emptied its load, it had discharged the whole nine yards and had completed its job. Another theory is that the phrase originated due to the fact that the construction of prisons at one time included an outside wall and then, nine yards outside of that, a fence. If a prisoner attempting to escape made it over the wall, across those nine yards, and over the fence, he was said to have gone the whole nine yards.
Tim Powell writes that his military friends explained that "the whole nine yards referred to the ammunition cassions carried during World War II to supply the .50 calibre machine gun. A small case carried three yards of ammunition, whereas a full case carried nine yards of connected rounds. Obviously, a full case was three times as heavy, and harder to carry over a lot of ground. When preparing to go on a mission, men were often heard to ask, when told to shoulder their ammo, `Do we have to carry the whole nine yards?'"
Here's a good one. "Tom Foolery"
"This phrase's origin is quite surprising. The general public was allowed into mental hospitals or asylums in the Middle Ages in order to be amused by the actions of the residents there. Interestingly, one such asylum was called Bedlam, a corruption of Bethlehem, its real name. The audience's favorite "performers" were often nicknamed Tom Fool, and that popular nickname came to be applied to the antics of the asylum residents, and then its meaning was softened to mean `silly behavior' in general."
I love this kind of stuff (I told you I found a winner :) ). Hope you guys enjoyed it too!
*All quotes can be found at Take Our Word For It
Tuesday, June 07, 2005
- Rabbi Harold Kushner
Monday, June 06, 2005
The Honest to Goodness Truth
I'm officially exhausted and burnt out. Can I go back to High School now? Last night, I was unpacking my bag, from going over to Detroit for the weekend, and was putting stuff on the counter when my texture cream kept falling over; I kept picking it up and setting it upright again. It was like a bad clown routine. I was so tired that I had to blink to focus.
Usually, in the mornings I wake up briefly when the sun comes up, and roll over; or if it's really bad, I'll turn my face into my pillow. Well, this morning I woke up to my blaring alarm clock and my face already in my pillow, and a big, huge crease all the way down my face. I hit my alarm clock for literally an hour and was 30 minutes later than usual (we have flex-time, so I can't technically be late) which means I have to stay later than usual....
Tonight's agenda? Running, grocery shopping, Piston's game (which I might be tempted to skip but my roommate wants to watch it as well and we don't have cable so we'll actually have to go somewhere: a friends, Champs, but somewhere other than 3 feet from my bedroom). Just thinking about it makes me tired. I need a vacation, but I just got back from vacation....
I have been picking my nails for nearly an hour now. Whoops, just bit one off. Doggone.
What does it mean when you're 24 and you're exhausted? I don't think it means much of anything except that I need to get some sleep.... I'm so tired.
And the weather is so beautiful. I want to be outside, sleeping on a beach somewhere, not cooped up in blue cube in Battle Creek....
Henceforth I plan on being charming and optimistic on my blog. However, I'm neither charming nor optimistic today. Thanks for reading.
Friday, June 03, 2005
- Monday: I took (no exaggeration) 3 naps
- Tuesday: I needed three naps. I managed to crawl home at about nine and was on my way to bed when a good High School friend of mine called to catch me up on all the "news" he's accumulated
- Wednesday: I finally did the first productive thing all week - I got groceries. And then laid on the couch until falling asleep very early
- Thursday: Piston's game (major ugh)
"I need to take this afternoon off." So, I came into work (on time I might add), and filled out a leave slip for this afternoon, so now I will go and de-ugh myself. Have a good weekend.
Commentary On Last Night's Pistons Game
- All my life I have been working under the untrue assumption that refs were supposed to be unbiased. After last night's game, I see the deficiency in this assessment.
- The Pistons are a much better team than Miami. Miami should not be walloping them like they are.
- The faster the Pistons get back to Detroit, the better.
- Too bad about Dawayne Wade. *hehe* Now that was a foul. (That came out more snidely than I meant it to. Oh, and for the normal world who doesn't watch Pistons basketball, Rasheed Wallace [Pistons] slammed Duwayne Wade [Heat] and managed to injure him.)
- Saturday night is comin' up on us. Let's, at the very least, regain our dignity.
PS. Do any of you remember the 1989 Piston "Bad Boys"? Or are you too young?.... And not from Michigan?....
Thursday, June 02, 2005
Things I Wonder About
- If you multi-task three things at once, is your stress tripled? I wonder this because I'm a multi-tasking addict. Point in case, this morning, I found myself driving, talking on my cell phone, eating breakfast, and playing with my radio station all at the same time. Now, was I four times as stressed out as I would have been if I were just driving? Hmmmm.... I should find a study on that....
- There are people who actually capture stray cats, and go to get them neutered. Is it just me or is this seriously disturbing (I heard about it on NPR while I was finishing my breakfast and driving to work)?
- If you live on the east coast (Eastern Time Zone) and you move to the west coast (Mountain Time), would you get to live the three extra hours that gained when moving out there?
- What happened to the Brat Pack?? Besides Demi Moore, they have all one-by-one slipped into oblivion. (For those of you who don't remember or are too young to remember, the Brat Pack is Emilio Estevez, Anthony Michael Hall, Rob Lowe, Andrew McCarthy, Demi Moore, Judd Nelson, Molly Ringwald, and Ally Sheedy.)
- Speaking of the 80's, when, why, and how did leg-warmers and gaudy metallic purses come back into style?
- Who was the original Christian Singer/Band? At what point did someone say, "Huh, everyone else is making albums; since I'm a Christian, why don't I make a Christian Album?" (I've been wondering this for a long time.)
Just in case you were concerned, I do not lose sleep over these questions...
Wednesday, June 01, 2005
From: Margo Waibel
Date: Wed, 01 Jun 2005 09:15:30 -0500
To: Maura Frauhiger, Phil Stettner, Maureen Stettner, Graig Stettner, Carol Waibel
Subject: Moment of silence
I think it'd be appropriate if you all had a moment of silence for our cat Felix who survived a gunshot.
The incident occurred around 8:00 pm EST (or is it Central time or is it Daylight Savings time???) on Monday, May 30.
Felix has a clean, circular wound on his side where the bullet entered. The exit wound is on his chest.
The local cat EMTs are unclear as to how Felix survived this atrocity.
Felix is recovering at 11133 Birky Drive.
Cat treats are accepted at any time.