Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Ahh, Home Sweet Home

Another week has come and gone and I don’t think I have missed Chicago or home so much as I did in the last 36 hours. On Sunday night, around 8 or 9, the temperature skyrocketed to about 70 degrees. I went outside to get something from my room and noticed what had been a cool night turned into a balmy and windy evening. So I opened the window in my room and basked in the warmth, as my room has not been that warm since October, I think. I woke up for work Monday morning and while it was a bit cooler than the night before, it still seemed like decent enough a day. I enjoyed my walk to work and checked out the destruction/construction of the park near my house to see what progress they had made. I arrived at work to find the office was still locked and waited with Aygun and Ziya for Arzu to let us in and everyone was in good spirits. This continued throughout the day despite the change in weather or maybe in spite of it. By 11:00 it was cold, windy and rainy. Just plain nasty. By 3:00 it was snowing and the flakes were absolutely huge. At least golf ball size… but flat, mostly, because they’re snow flakes. But they were huge! You know? It was still windy and cold, but thanks to the snow, it didn’t seem so nasty. We all went outside for a few minutes to try and catch some of the snow and take a small break from work. By the time I was heading home at 6, it was raining again and the roads and sidewalks were a nice mixture of slush and ice. By 7:00 it was calm and cool again. Good stuff.

To give a bit of an idea on what my office life is like I thought I would share a story. Everyone in my office is roughly my age, maybe a little older except for Aygun, who is 23. That being said, we occasionally like to let loose and joke around the office. Everyone gets their work done on time, so don’t worry about that. Well, a while back I got a package from Mom and Dad that had a couple baseballs among other items in it. To make me feel like home, I kept a baseball at my desk and we occasionally lob it to each other or I’ll throw it to myself while studying. Ziya, probably the most random person I have ever met, really likes to play a game with the baseball that is a weird and sometimes violent hybrid of catch. Instead of gently tossing the ball to each other in the office, he insists we hit it to each other using the palms of our hands. The first one to let the ball hit the floor loses. Ideally, the ball is hit to you with a little bit of air under it so it’s not coming in a line drive right at your face or lower to a more dangerous and painful destination. Also, you want a chance to hit it back so you don’t lose. This sounds simple and risk free, but those who know me should know better. Thankfully and unbelievably, the near incident wasn’t of my doing.

Ashley walked into my office in the middle of one of our games and was coaxed into playing by Ziya. So there we were, all three of us (Arzu and Aygun sat off to the side in what is usually a smart decision) in my little office with two computers and four desks, hitting a baseball at each other with the palms of our hands. Ashley, being the newbie that he was, hit the ball back to Ziya a little lower than ideal and also to Ziya’s offhand. Instead of letting the ball drop to the floor and accept defeat, Ziya attempted to make a big play and took an awkward swing at the ball with his left. I was already laughing as he swung his body trying to get into position and almost fell over when he connected with the ball and sent it on a straight line drive across the room. All the air was sucked out of the room as everyone realized that the ball was heading straight towards one of the two computer monitors. I started laughing again as soon as the baseball passed cleanly over the monitor and picked off a little calendar that was sitting on top of it. Both items sailed about 5 feet to the wall where they both slammed to a rest. Ashley proclaimed Ziya the winner and he took his victory lap accordingly. Needless to say, some of the more fragile items from Arzu’s desk were removed that day and put safely in her home. Also needless to say, this game has not been played again. Now we just talk and joke around for fun, which I must admit, takes some of the excitement and anticipation out of the day, but I suppose it’s for the best.

For those of you who are wondering how the game tournament is going, here’s a brief update. Ashley has broken out to a commanding lead in Monopoly and we are almost dead even in Rummikub. I have a one point lead in that. Risk hasn’t been played in a while, but I’m pretty sure I have a couple games lead in that as well. As far as Yahtzee goes, I have a solid points and games lead. We have started playing Sorry! (The sweet game of revenge… or is it the game of sweet revenge… either works, I guess) and I have been purely dominating. Same with Connect 4. I think Ashley has actually given up in Connect 4 and may be reaching his breaking point in Sorry!. I do realize that by typing this I risk putting a huge jinx on myself, so we’ll have to see how that plays out. A funny tidbit about Connect 4 and Sorry!. While Ashley has yet to beat me in a limited number of games of Connect 4, my 13 year old host brother Ulvi has beaten me 3 times already. Granted, we’ve played many more games than Ashley and I have. As for Sorry!, Ulvi also has a better success rate so far.

As for work, things are picking up. I am developing some short training courses for the people in my office. I have completed one based on teaching typing skills instead of the tried and true hunt and peck method. I just finished this today and we will work on it as time allows. I am also working on Customer Service, Project Management and Internet Research training. I hope that some of these will be successful enough that we might be able to do them for larger audiences at the local business center. The conversation clubs are still taking shape and we expect to be starting those within the next few weeks. The other bigger project that I have been waiting to hear back on is getting some legs as well. Our initial proposal was not accepted in it’s original state, but we had a meeting yesterday to discuss revisions and adjustments and I re-submitted the proposal today. This is the same proposal for tourism brochures/booklets for the region. So now it is back to the waiting game to see what other feedback we get. I don’t have any pictures to share this week, unfortunately. If I take any or find any that I deem noteworthy I will put them up here. That should do it for now. Take care, stay classy and BEAR DOWN!


Anonymous John said...

Pitchers and catchers report in 13 days....

6:01 AM  
Anonymous Erin said...

bad news Bears. i'm still sad. and freezing. today my car said it was -10 outside, and the news said -27 wind chill. definitely gave me a case of the mondays. miss you :) hope you're having a good week

8:25 PM  

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