Thursday, December 07, 2006

I Promised Myself to Write 10 Things Tonight - So I Did

1. Last night, I went to go see "Stranger Than Fiction," and even with Will Ferrel in it, I liked it. Not side splitting laugher, but a cute movie with a fun plot and interesting turns of events. It was very much like reading a good book, but having the book read to you. I liked the narration, which drove the plot line. Emma Thompson was great, Dustin Hoffman brilliant as usual, and Will Ferrel was not annoying.

2. End of the year is coming and so we are forced to examine our budgets at work. After a little examination, Steve and I determined that we still had $250 to spend and since we have to spend it by the 10th, we went shopping. Normally we stock up on toys and food, but this trip to Target was one to get some prizes for contests (movies) and pick up some sort of holiday gift for the team. We ended up picking up winter mugs, tons of hot chocolate, tea, candy canes, about 10 types of chocolate, and some mint. Good winter presents. Once back at work, Steve and I put the gifts together.

3. To go with the mugs and to get ahead of the holiday frenzy, I got home from work and started making Christmas cards. I have 55 cards stamped and ready with pre-cut pieces. Now I just have to adhere all the pieces together. That's a project for another night. Too much bending over small pieces and I'm tired of it. But! I'm ahead of the holiday game. Sort of.

4. The other night I wrote about my mom's reaction to the pictures of Andriy. There was barely any reaction. Well, the next day (and today) she has been emailing me links and news she found online (she's into Google now - who knew?). The funny thing is she's not sending me anything I haven't found myself already ('cause being obsessive includes Google). But she managed to find the stories online about the previous men who held his job. I've been weary about posting the crazy stories I found about his job, but what the hey! So, here's the deal. It's not a safe job. Prestigious? Yes. Safe? No. There seems to be a history of men taking bribes and maybe one of those men was disliked and "riddled with bullets" on the front steps of his home because a group of people didn't want him to ever advance in politics. Yeah. This fact does not put me at ease. This is yet another reason why he should move to America.

5. When Andriy stayed at our home, we had another man visiting. He was older and, dare I say it, creepy. Not older as in elder, but just older than Andriy and I were. He was probably 32. Well, each time a group arrives through this program to the US, there is always a fear that the interns will defect. In this particular group, the leaders were actually thinking it would be Andriy they needed to worry about because of his political ties and if the election going on back home turned sour, it wouldn't be safe for him to return home. No one expected the guy learning about the Boy Scouts to defect. As we took Andriy to the hospital, he went to the airport but didn't return to Ukraine. Instead, he went to New Jersey and then disappeared. We figure he changed his name (we joke and call him Bob Smith). The really bad, sad part? He was married and left his wife and daughter in Ukraine. I'm sure he was sending them money, but the daughter was also very ill (Chernoybl effects). It was an odd turn of events. Not relevant, just something I remember.

6. I got an award today at work. It is for the performance of my team in 2nd quarter. It came with a $25 gift card. If I save up enough of these cards, I may treat myself. I know what I want, but that dollar amount seems to be too high for the time being.

7. It got really cold here. Yesterday wasn't too bad at 35 F, just above freezing. But drives home from work are at about 11 F (or less) and I wish it would warm up and snow. That's the problem here. We get really cold, but it gets so cold that the snow passes us by.

8. I have a new banker who joined my team at the beginning of the month. Nice guy - is performing pretty well too. I think he's going to fit in well in our team. But he did something I didn't expect yesterday. He left me a note (explaining something going on), but then signed it with "Love," drew a heart, and put XOXO under his name. It doesn't bother me, just seemed like an ending you'd use on a note to your boss.

9. Thursday night is karaoke night. Again. Finally. I've missed going on Thursdays. It will be nice to have that relief again.

10. Thursday will also be a hectic day for me. My team has two meetings tomorrow (our team is split into meetings because of the hours and instead of one meeting each month, Steve and I lead the same meeting twice in the same day). So I have a meeting from 3-5 and one from 7-9. Plus, I have a scheduled coaching session with my boss from 5-7. That's 6 straight hours of scheduled activities. Not entirely sure when I'll take lunch. Oh well. The meetings should be fairly easy. We want to celebrate a good year so Steve and I are planning on talking for about a 1/2 hour about performance and the results of some contests and then the team will watch a movie. That is if we can get a room with a DVD player. The evening meeting will be no problem, but the 3-5 one might be hard to find a room.