13 September 2006

Paper weights

I thought paper weights were sort of goofy. You know at Christmas you see them in catalogs. Who's going to be excited about getting a big chunk of glass to sit around? I mean some of them are interesting to look at, but it's just something that sits there...until now.

Because we live and work in an environment with the windows wide open, I have come to appreciate heavy objects which can keep my papers from blowing all over the place. I never realized the practical applications paper weights could have. I suppose it comes from not having to live with the windows wide open in the office before now. On days the wind picks up, I'm scrambling for books and glasses and whatever to hold my stuff in place. Today I used a book, an actual paper weight, a pen made from silverware, a scotch tape dispenser, and a thick file folder.

I tend to work in stacks: these are done, these I'm working on, these need to go to a coworker, etc. Also at home I keep to-do things on the desk, like papers from ATMs that remind me to check the online banking. So I need lots of paperweights for summer. What an odd discovery, but please, no paperweights as gifts. I'll make do.

09 September 2006

A normal day

I realized I tend to post about the things I do that are dramatic, to me anyway. A whole lot more of life is "normal." I suppose I should add the caveat, normal but harder, or normal but stranger. We still do things that are tedious, like grocery shopping, but I can't read the labels as well as at home. I can't understand the fat grams and calories, since it's all in grams and mililiters. Sometimes the differences in food make a trip to the store interesting. Sometimes it just becomes a flat out challenge and you're thinking, I just wanted 3 things...

Like many of you I sit at a computer most of the day, only I'm in a "Christian" environment. Oddly, I recently remembered swearing to myself as a Christian high school attendee that I would never work in a Christian environment because of challenges I had with the administration back then. In the Christian work world or school administrative world, they can be completely unreasonable and smile and say God bless. It's an odd combo.

Another oddity to the work day I've noticed is that people often think - wow what you guys are doing is amazing. In reality there are many days where you're just moving things around on a computer screen wondering, "Does this have anything to do with the big picture? Is this why I came here?" Not to say that there aren't amazing moments of being part of something bigger than yourself, but there are a lot of slogging through work moments too.

We bring our lunch every day. It's a different lunch than at home because of ingredients, but it's mostly a sandwich and some fruit. Often, one of us walks to the store, not far, and buys "una barra de pan" literally a bar of bread and we use this for lunch. It goes stale by the next day, so this buying fresh bread happens frequently, sometimes we eat it stale.

Lately the afternoons in the office are unbearably hot and it's very hard to think. Especially when I've been trying to solve the same website problem for two work weeks. Yes, the same problem all day for two weeks. ahhhhh. Not done yet.

We walk home, right now, this is a hot sweaty bit of the day that you can't wait to get over. When it was nicer, it was a pleasant wind down. It's only 1/3 of a mile, so a very short walk.

When dinner occurs depends on what's going on and how hot it is. Sometimes we eat at a more Spanish time, either through accident or waiting for the heat to die down. I've been using a lot of recipes from magazines, for some reason this has made dinner easier to deal with - I know I have the ingredients and what I can do. In the states, I just threw things together, but it doesn't work as well here for some reason.

I usually try to take a walk or a bike ride in the evenings, try to get to the computer but don't always make it, try to read a little before bed. Having a new dog has complicated the walk schedule. I can't go as far with her. Her leash manners are lacking at the moment, but she needs the outlet of energy, so we go.

Just mix a bunch of Spanish into all these activities, except work, and there you have it. A normal day.