Thursday, February 25, 2010

Crates, Stickers and Post-Its, Oh My!

After five years in our downtown location, my company is moving tomorrow. I couldn't be happier if you gave me a year's supply of Starbucks or Qdoba. We're moving to a brand-spankin' new office complete with all new furnishings and much closer to my house. After visiting it earlier this week, I left with that "new office" smell consuming my nostrils. In keeping with the tradition of the most unique place in which I work, this move, although time consuming, has been made fun.

A week ago the commercial movers delivered the crates we're using to pack up for the move. Being very eco-friendly, the crates are re-usable and you can't swing a dead cat in our office without hitting a stack of those suckers. Along with the delivery we had a "moving meeting" last week. One of our employees said "Um, I know how to pack a box" which was overhead by the moving company representative who quickly said "This is about more than just packing a box." Some people need to lighten up and enjoy life. They issued all of us numbers to assign to our crate(s) so that when the boxes arrive they land at our correct location. I didn't even have to look at the list to know that my number was 13. The number 13 has always been my lucky number. The first new car I purchased rolled off the truck from the factory on Friday the 13th...I accepted a job on Friday the 13th almost 20 years ago that has been the connector to every job I've had since then. Thirteen has been very, very good to me.

Since everything at the new office will be, well, new, all of the current furniture and file cabinets, etc, are available for free to any employee that wants them. Everyone needed to affix a Post-It Note with their name on it on the said piece of furniture and as long as no one else slapped a Post-It on it with their name, the prize was yours to keep. If multiple Post-Its appeared, we would conduct a drawing to determine the winner. That occurred today complete with festive cake and brownies to celebrate the last hoop-la in the current location. The big prize was the refrigerator - the only catch was the winner has to clean it out. With about six months of science experiments going on in there, you had to really want that fridge. A contest like this wouldn't be complete without the expected pranks. I found the toilet in the bathroom tagged with a co-workers name. Priceless.

Our new office will be like moving from the ghetto to Manhattan! We not only get new furniture, but a new fridge, ice machine and two new microwaves. Each conference room will be equipped with flat-screen TVs mounted on the walls...just in time for March Madness. And thanks to our Sales team, a Wii Gaming system so we can have competitive fun when we need a break. The movers come at 4:30 tomorrow and will move all our belongings tomorrow night. Saturday we go into the office to set up to be ready for business as usual Monday morning. We'll take any office-warming gifts you'd like to send.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Table Topic - Jeopardy

A couple of weeks ago some friends of mine decided to try out to be a contestant on Jeopardy. I love that show even though I rarely ace all the questions. It's educational and informative and I just enjoy phrasing answers in the form of a question. When we were preparing for the show, the discussion ensued about what categories would you want to see pop up on the board if you were an actual contestant. I have quite a few that would spark confidence in my heart if Alex announced the titles and they lit up the board. Here are just a few...

The Bible, Old Testament, New Testament - I'm not a seminary graduate, but on a show like this, even the basics of biblical knowledge make you look like a genius.

The 80's - I'd be happy with 80's music, 80's movies, or simply a generic 80's category. The 80's were my decade. I graduated high school in the 80s and still love the music. And, movies like Top Gun, Footloose, Dirty Dancing, Ferris Bueller's Day Off are extremely quotable for me.

Movie Musicals - I simply adore movie musicals. The actors are engaging right along and then, poof!, they break in to song. Sometimes I wish I did that in everyday life. I know every line and every note of The Sound of Music. I never tire of watching a good movie musical. And, even the new ones, like Moulin Rouge and Mamma Mia, catch my fancy.

Technology - I'm a geek. Sometimes a closet one. But I've worked in technology for almost 20 years, so if there is trivia to be had, I should know it.

Now the question is to you....

"What Jeopardy topics would you want to see if you were an actual contestant on the show?"

Alex, I'll take "Table Topics" for $600....

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Love is...

I'm a hopeless romantic...wait, scratch that...I'm a hopeful romantic. I'm a sucker for a good love story, fictional or true...although the true ones are so much better. As Valentine's Day approaches you have sparkly-eyed couples who maximize their love by googling and gushing over each other, or you have those poor, bitter souls who think Valentine's Day should be banned, they wear black and look sour. (Hmm, this could be why you have no Valentine). I remain an anomaly. Although I'm single, I don't dread nor despise this Hallmark holiday (see: hopeful romantic) even though I won't get serenaded out my window or receive a dozen roses. Life is full of excitement and, as I wait for God to unfold my love story, hopefully one day before Jesus returns, I enjoy reading other romantic stories, of the true kind.

In the 70s there was a single panel cartoon, "Love is..." that featured a naked boy and girl (appropriately omitting certain anatomical parts) that featured a one-liner about what love is. Kim Casali was the cartoonist and her story has always fascinated me. Kim started these drawings as little sketches of encouragement to her future husband, Roberto, during their courtship. She saw it as a diary of sorts about her feelings for him. In 1970, she signed a contract with the Los Angeles Times where this cartoon was first featured, after a friend prompted her to submit them. Then in 1971 she married the love her life and the inspiration for her cartoons. They had two sons, then four years into their marriage, Roberto was diagnosed with cancer and died after being married only five years. Through artificial insemination, they had a third son in 1977. Kim passed away in 1997, yet her strip lives on as her son, Stefano, provides the art, yet still signs the cartoon simply "Kim."

Like me, Kim confessed to being a romantic. And she quoted her philosophy as being "If you've got love, you've got life, if you can love, you can live." What a beautiful love story that continues on...and here are some examples of her professions...

"Love is...knowing you are right for each other"
"Love is...seeing everything through rose-colored glasses"
"Love is...that first hesitant step"
"Love is...sharing the same dream"
"Love is...soul mates"

As much as that story and those proclamations of what love is make me all mushy inside and I never tire of reading, there is a Greater Love that surpasses them all....the love of God. Even that statement is redundant as God is Love. If I could draw a cartoon about God's Love for me, here are just a few of the ways I'd describe it...

"Love is...faithful, You never leave me"
"Love is...compassionate and gracious, no matter how many times I mess up"
"Love is...being protected, in the Palm of Your Hand and in the Shadow of Your Wing"
"Love is...Your knowing long before each step I take that I will take them, and You are there"
"Love big that You gave Your Son to die for me because You want me to be with You forever."

Now that's a love worth more than a box of chocolates or a bouquet of flowers. May my heart be so in love with God that my Valentine must find Him to capture me.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Musings for the Week - Babies, Bacon and Books

1. On Friday my fellow OPC sister from another mister, Beth, gave birth to her fourth child...Kaylee Ruth. I prefer to call her Kaylee Ruth Rose, but I digress... I went to the hospital that night so I could lay my eyes on the precious baby girl I've been praying for since I found out she was pregnant in August. She is beautiful. And has a gorgeous head of hair. Mom and Daughter are doing great and coming home today. We'll see how the youngest, Brock, adjusts to not being the baby of the house anymore. The oldest, Kelsey, is so in love with her baby sister it is simply precious. I treated her to Qdoba on Saturday as a celebratory big sister moment. I love this family, because they are, well, just like family. As Beth will say when she misses out on the latest events in my life "I thought we were family!?!" Yes, Beth, we are, and I am so blessed.

2. Last Tuesday night I took the online test to qualify as a contestant for Jeopardy. I grew up watching that show with my parents and all of us trying to see who was the smartest. Mom usually won. I've always dreamed about going on the show but figured I'd be the one in the hole at final Jeopardy and be escorted off stage. But when a friend of mine told me about the online test, I couldn't resist. You answer 50 questions, 15 second time limit for each. Easy, right? The test started off great! The first question was about classic literature and was a slam quoted a line that made it clear the answer was The Scarlett Letter. I immediately thought I had this in the bag. Then the next question hit and I realized I wasn't as sharp as I thought. I would guess I answered one-third of the questions correctly. My friends, Chad and Amy, also took the test and felt they did about the same. I do know the last question I aced...the Super Hero persona of Tony Stark....duh, Ironman. It pays to adore Robert Downey, Jr. We don't know the results of our tests and were told that if we qualified, we'd be contacted about attending one of the auditions later in the year. I'm not holding my breath I'll qualify, but I can quickly pack my bags if I do.

3. One of my co-workers had a birthday last week and her employee brought in a large assortment of donuts from Nord's Bakery. There was one very intriguing type of donut...a Bacon Donut. Yes, you read that right. It's a Long John donut with maple icing on top, and one strip of cooked bacon adorning the top of the donut. I didn't indulge in the delicacy, but many of my brave co-workers did. You may think it sounds icky, but if you've ever dipped your bacon in the maple syrup when eating your pancakes or waffles, I hear it is no different. I am never surprised at the food options that are splattered all over Louisville.

4. My next book club meeting is this Thursday. Our first book for this year is The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. It was a daunting assignment for me to read a 600-page book in 30 days. I knew from the starting gate I needed to stay focused so I didn't fall too behind. I love to read, but my love for reading is often overshadowed by this little thing called work and other responsibilities. Unfortunately I don't have the luxury of having a whole day to do nothing but read, although that vision sounds glorious. I'm happy to report that I'm less than 100 pages away and will easily finish before our meeting.

5. My Inside Sales team has been branded with a new name - Matrick - a combo of Matt and Patrick. It's like the Brangelina (I guess that's going to end soon) of our world. A challenge has been thrown down that they earn $400K in revenue by June 30 and our VP of Technology will shave his beard. Troy has had this beard since November 1987, which is almost as long as these boys have been alive. To up the ante, our President will shave his moustache if they earn $450K and I'm trying to convince our VP of Sales, Ken, who we affectionately call Batman because of his resemblance to Val Kilmer, to shave his head if they hit $500K. My goal for them before this gauntlet was laid was to earn $500K by June 30. I hope I hear the buzz of a shaver on the face or head of our fearless leaders.