Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Give Me My Monitor!!

Heavens to Betsy.

Many, many months ago, it was announced that we were going to have somewhat of a technology overhaul at work. All this really meant was that we were getting new computers and/or monitors. Seeing as I got a new computer fairly recently all I've been expecting was a new monitor which was very exciting to me since my current one is pretty ghetto.

So I've been waiting kind of patiently for my amazing new monitor, but today was the last straw!

In the past couple of days, it's been obvious that they've been really making the rounds with the new computer stuff, so I was beginning to get hopeful that it might happen soon. However, it's been nothing but disappointment as they've just passed over me.

Then, this morning I was walking out of my office and I see a new monitor in the EMPTY CUBE down the hall. EMPTY CUBE! Are you kidding me? So just minutes ago, I see one of our IT guys hooking up the new computer in the EMPTY CUBE and I asked him, "Is this EMPTY CUBE getting a new monitor before me?" He said yes, and then acted surprised that I hadn't gotten one yet and told me "it's coming." Whatever. Then I asked him if I could move into the EMPTY CUBE while I wait for a new monitor in my real cube and he just laughed awkwardly. It wasn't a joke.

Crazy Man

Part of our last day in NYC was spent exploring Central Park. There were a few main sites we wanted to visit in the park, one of them being Strawberry Fields, a memorial to John Lennon.

They had this fancy little spot on the ground where people left roses for John. It was actually quite lovely.

Surprisingly, we hadn't run into very many crazy people in New York. Things had been relatively normal. Until we started hanging around this memorial.

This pot-bellied fellow seemingly came out of nowhere and started babbling on about how the sun was shining directly down on the "Imagine" thing on the ground. It had been raining for most of the morning and this was the first appearance the sun had made in awhile. He was very excited that it was shining straight down on Imagine, as if it wasn't shining everywhere else too. Then he broke out into Dear Prudence. Then he started just quoting lyrics from Imagine.

I wasn't too shocked at this point. I mean, a little crazy talk and some random singing happens at basically all my family's gatherings. I can deal with that. But when he exclaimed that this spot was the center of the universe, we got a little freaked out. I think Marc's face in this picture says it all:

Yes, that's pot-bellied crazy man behind him.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


Holy Crap. Bat. Bathroom. Terror!

Friday night at approximately 2 a.m., I encountered a BAT in my bathroom. It was in the cabinet next to the toilet. The doors to the cabinet where slightly open, and I heard some commotion inside, so I peeked in and saw a small black figure struggling. I completely flipped out and ran out of the bathroom and into my bedroom. I just stood behind the door in my bedroom for a few seconds while I calmed down. The bathroom is right next to my room and I can see in a little bit from my room, so I cracked the door open and peeked out just in time to see a BAT flying out of the bathroom. HOLY CRAP!

I kept thinking of the Office episode where they have a bat in the Office and I could just hear Dwight yelling, "BAAAAAT." Hilarious.

Anyway, for the next few minutes, I periodically opened my door a crack to peek out and then closed it. Every time I looked out, I could see or hear some flapping. Then finally I heard it flapping around directly above my door and I vowed to stay in my room forever.

Meanwhile, I was really disturbed that I had left the light in the bathroom on, along with some other things unfinished, and I felt that I needed to alert my roommate to the situation. I cracked my door and yelled for her a couple times and then called her cell phone which turned out to be in the living room. No luck.

Then I called my mom. She was half asleep and didn't have a whole lot to say. Her main advice was to just go to bed. I asked her if it was ok that I left everything on in the bathroom and she said yes. I'm pretty sure she just wanted to go back to bed.

I decided my only option was to write a note to explain the situation to my roommate and slide it underneath my door. It would be directly in front of the bathroom so when she got up in the morning she'd see it. Brilliant plan, I thought. The note went something like this:

Dear Grace,

The light in the bathroom is on because there was a BAT in the cabinet next the toilet and I had to run to my room for cover. BEWARE!! Also, sorry I didn't flush the toilet, I had to get out quick.

So I slipped it under the door and tried to go to sleep. My dreams where overtaken with bats, but I think I got a little sleep.

In the morning, I heard Grace walking around the living room. While I was laying in bed wondering if she got my note or not, I heard her walk out the front door. CRAP! ALONE WITH THE BAT! I took some comfort in the fact that she seemed to just be out for a jog and would be back shortly.

Seeing as she had been going about her business all morning with no running or screaming, I figured the bat was safely tucked away somewhere. I poked my head out the bedroom door and looked up since I'd heard it fly up there. Sure enough, it was there, perched right above my door. I freaked out again and hid in my room where I started looking up bat info on the internet. That turned out to be a terrible idea when I started reading about rabies and toxic poo.

Grace finally got back and I cracked my door open and asked her if she got my note. She said yes and that it was all clear and then she went on to completely ignore me. All clear? Did she think I just made up this bat stuff?? I finally had to emerge from my room and run to the kitchen where I explained to her that it was not "all clear" and showed her the bat was sleeping above my door.

After freaking out for a little while, we decided to call our friend Brian who lives down the street. We figured he might enjoy removing a bat from our apartment. Alas, he was out somewhere, but he did suggest calling Animal Control. Oh yeah ... Animal Control.

So we called Naperville Animal Control and they came out in like 15 minutes and removed the bat. It was great. Then I cleaned out the cabinet in the bathroom and found the hole it came through.

Now I think there are bats everywhere. In fact, right now I'm eyeing a very suspicious looking hole in my ceiling at work. I think I need to plug that up.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Best Conversation Ever

This is why I love my mom:

Moe: i saw the perffect man at whole foods
Me: really??
Moe: well he was just some race i'm not sure what. he reminded me of the kid in the jungle book all grown up.
Me: ah
Moe: i couldn't stop staring at him
Me: was he waring a loin cloth
Moe: but i always loved that movie
Moe: that would have been better
Me: so grown up Mowgli is your ideal man?
Moe: yes
Me: good to know

She's weird.

For more New York trip stuff, Todd posted quotes from our trip which I think are completely hilarious, but probably aren't actually that funny if you weren't there. Also Marc's been posting daily accounts of the trip with pictures that are significantly better than mine. I'm even in some of them!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Adventures in Chinatown

Possibly my favorite part of the New York trip was the search for fabulous knock-off bags in Chinatown. I didn't necessarily go the with the intention of looking for a purse—we were really just going for dinner. But once I saw all the wonderful counterfeit products out on the sidewalk, I started to get the itch. Lucky for me, Kate also wanted to shop a bit, so off we went.

I'd never experienced the underground counterfeit world, so I really had no idea what the protocol was, but I was ready for an adventure!

The first couple of stores we went to weren't anything special—mostly just touristy junk. Then we ran into this little gem.

There was no way I could resist that, so we headed down the extremely shady stairwell and took a look inside. Unfortunately there wasn't as much pink as I'd hoped. The walls were pink and covered with an array of "designer" sunglasses and random ipod accessories. Kind of boring. Then the young Asian clerk asked if we wanted to see their selection of "Tiffany" jewelry. Finally, something interesting, but no purses.

Todd, Kate, and I continued on our journey while the others wandered a bit behind us. While we were passing one store, a young Asian man started waving us in. He looked very excited and we couldn't help but check it out. We were assuming he just wanted to show us something in the store until he made his way to the very back of the store, opened up a slightly hidden door in the back wall, and insisted we go in.

It was while I was passing through this door that I thought I might never see the outside world again. Nevertheless, I had to see what in the world was back there. So we traveled through a very small room, then through another door and into knock-off purse heaven.

I'm not really up on designer purses, so I was really just planning on going for a Coach purse. Classic. Sure enough, hanging on the wall were dozens of Coach purses. There was one I really loved but it was a little bigger than I like and it was $50 which is more than I wanted to spend on a fake Coach purse. So made our exit and set out to find more shady back rooms.

We stopped at a few more stores where Kate and Sara both found purses (not from the back room!) so I was starting to feel a little bad making everyone walk around more. Finally, we came to one more store that seemed to have a good selection of purses. I went in to look around a bit and finally they invited me to their back room. This one wasn't quite as big as the first one, but it had pretty much the perfect Coach purse for me; a very happy ending to our first day in New York.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

New York in A Nutshell

I went to New York last week and it was amazing!! I have some individual stories that I'll post later, but I wanted to start with a run down of our week. I went with two coworkers, Emily and Todd and his wife, Kate and a former coworker, Marc and his wife Sara. Marc grew up on Long Island and we stayed with his parents who still live there. They were wonderful and took good care of us.

Marc did an exceptional job of organizing the trip. I think he should do it professionally. There was a website involved where we could give each possible site a star rating. It worked very well, and I think we got to see just about everything we wanted.

We spent 3 days in New York City, broken up into lower Manhattan, upper Manhattan, and midtown Manhattan. On our first city day (lower Manhattan) we hopped onto the Staten Island Ferry where we passed by the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. It was kind of surreal actually seeing the Statue of Liberty in real life for the first time. Very cool!

Then we took a nice walking tour where we learned quite a bit of history. Our tour guide was a young fellow in grad school I believe. You could tell he wasn't completely confident, but he had a lot of good information and interesting history. Then there was the "sidekick," a small middle aged New York man who felt the need to interject his own knowledge throughout the tour. It was a little annoying and our poor tour guide was definitely annoyed. But at least it gave us something to laugh at.

We took a nice little stroll on the Brooklyn Bridge and then headed into Chinatown. Turns out Chinatown is amazing. We had quite an adventure looking for knock-off designer purses which I will write about in a separate blog post. It was great, that's all I can say.

On our second city day, we walked around through Central Park a bit, passed by some famous museums, and then headed to a Mets game. Central Park was fascinating to me ... it's basically a woods inside the city. It's pretty much brilliant.

Our third city day was my favorite. We started out in Times Square which is basically madness. We visited a fun M&M store and took a tour of NBC studios and Grand Central Terminal. We also went back to Central Park to see the rest of the sites there. Then the main event: Mary Poppins on Broadway! This was my first Broadway show ever and it was everything I could have wanted. They changed the story quite a bit from the movie which was a little disappointing, but as an overall production it was incredible.

We ended the day with a fun trip to the top of the Empire State Building.

The rest of our time was spent running around Long Island. We visited the Hamptons, Teddy Roosevelt's home and grave site, and a couple lighthouses. It was beautiful and relaxing.

We were also treated to a true-blue seafood dinner by Marc's parents. It was lots of fun, but I felt a little sad about eating my lobster which I named Buster. Poor guy. He was delicious.

I took way too many photos, but if you want to see them all they're here:
NYC Day 1
NYC Day 2
NYC Day 3 Part 1, Part 2
Long Island Part 1, Part 2