29 March 2010

6 Month Anniversary

Ka-POW!! I did a 5k in 48 minutes with change. Now that is the way to celebrate my sixth month anniversary post-surgery. I'm still not at 100%, but I've been told I need to be patient, it will probably be about a year before I get there. I'm not sure I am that patient, but it's not like I really have a choice.

Thursday, April 1st, marked my last physical therapy appointment. It was sad, I even got a little choked up saying good-bye. Although it was quite fitting that my last workout and time to harass and tease Damon and Jarret was on April Fool's Day. The whole crew at North Lake Physical Therapy are fantastic. They have been patient and kind when I cried with every move, could barely walk at a 1.5 mph pace while wearing a huge back brace. Once I started feeling better (and got off the drugs), I started getting a bit sassy, no longer burst into tears and P.T. become fun. Damon has been really good at challenging and pushing me. He started me on a great program, Core Performance. But now it is up to me to keep moving forward and getting buff. *sniff*sniff*

20 March 2010

Daylight savings is an extortionist

It has been a hard week, whether I can really attribute it to the time change I don't know. But I have been rather snarky this week, hitting Jon with every snide remark and low blow that came to mind. He provides plenty of fodder, usually I'm better at holding my tongue - not this week.

Jon: You have been really grumpy since you can't eat anything.
Jenn: It's the lack of sleep
Jon: You don't have to agree so quickly!

Jon: I gotta tell you, my self-esteem is down here this week (placing his hand around middle of his shin). And if we had a therapist on staff we would be in their office right now. I would be crying and you would be in soooo much trouble!

We had three interviews for a new admin this week. As we were prepping for the interviews, looking over the standard questions, Jon decided on creating his own that he thought would be the most important:
-How do you work with people you don't like, such as Jennifer Streger?

I think we are heading down a slippery slope of sarcasm.

14 March 2010

Conversation with Damon

I laughed at myself the other day talking with my physical therapist, Damon.

Damon: "So how is the knee doing?"
Jenn: "Actually, really good. Except the left one, it's pretty sore, but that's because I fell on the sidewalk and landed on it Tuesday evening."
Damon: "Yeah, that could make it hurt. You shouldn't do that."

a little later

Damon: "That's a nasty bruise on your arm, how did you get that?"
Jenn: "I was talking to someone getting off the elevator as I was getting on and the doors closed on me, got me in the arm."
Damon: "Watch out for those elevators, they're vicious."

and yet later

Damon: "What was that??" (referring to a loud popping noise)
Jenn: "Oh, my shoulder. I feel down my stairs once and landed on it. It's never been the same since. Occasionally it just has to pop."
Damon shares a story about his back that used to pop but hasn't since he has started this new program that he is starting me on.
Damon: "Remind me, how did you injure your back?"
Jenn: "Playing soccer in 9th grade, I ran into a mole or gopher hole and fractured the vertebrae."

When I do balance and flexibility activities I do really well. But apparently in everyday life, I'm a total klutz.

Hopefully the deep purple bruise I accidentally inflicted on myself yesterday, in a very stupid way, will be faded enough by this week's appointment so that I don't have to explain that one as well.

10 March 2010

Oh, Jo(h)nny Boy...

Jon, my work partner. Yes, that's him to the left. The first part of "Joniffer." He keeps me entertained, hopefully he can entertain you as well. Here's a sampling of our life from the past few weeks.

[Previously, I've chided Jon to recycle his soda cans. One day I gave him 'a look' as he got up and was about to throw away a can or juice bottle into the garbage.]
Grabbing his can, "I'm not leaving my DNA around for you! I don't trust you."
"I'm gonna take your DNA and clone you to make my own Jon army. Maybe you'll get your work done that way."

We were talking about movies one afternoon. Jon was talking about Inglorious Bastards, a movie that he owns, and that I should watch it. I quietly said, "Maybe someone should let me borrow it, if they really want me to see it." There was no answer from Jon, he kept staring at his computer. After a minute or two I couldn't help but ask, "Did you hear me?" "Yes, I made a mental note." "Oh, okay, it's just that you didn't respond." "Geez! I'm going to start getting in trouble like I do at home. (Doing one of his voices to mimic Melissa) "Are you listening to me?"" He has yet to loan me the movie, must not have been a very good mental note.

I made the comment to Michele about Jon, "He's a total smart alec." To which he very quickly responded with a little snippityness in his voice, "I think you're just projecting!"

me: "Jon, is AK Alaska or Arkansas?"
Jon: "I'm so manly that when I her AK, I think AK-47!"

Jon decided to play Houdini for a good part of today. He just disappeared for chunks of time. One of those chunks was just before 10 am, our coffee run time of the day. It wasn't really a mystery where he was, I could hear him and Sarah G. talking in her office. We haven't been going as regularly since I've changed my diet to exclude all foods I'm allergic to, which rules out everything but black coffee or tea. Limited options. But today I was totally jonesing for coffee and decided I'd cheat a little (which means a little half & half in my drip coffee). I waited for Jon, and waited, then waited some more. I thought about just going on my own (oh, the horror!) I thought about IMing Sarah to prompt them to wrap it up, it's not like their conversation was work related - and I needed my coffee. Instead I kept working until he came back to our office. As he walked through the door, Jon said "Do you want to go to Starbucks today?" "Um, YEeeAH! I've been waiting for you. I almost went without you." "Pffa! You wouldn't remember how to get there without me!"

Some fun Jon quotes:
"Why don't you complain like I do? You should try it, it's fun!"
"I've decided my peak time is Tuesday, a lot gets done on that day."
"I wasn't even potty trained by then!" ("then" being age 11)

04 March 2010

Kooky Kind of Family

The last few weeks have been somewhat dull in Joniffer land. I guess we've actually been working. I was thinking the other day how the 3rd floor is a kooky kind of family. So I thought I'd introduce you to some of the other characters that I work with that also brighten up my day. Where to start?

Kristi was my work partner before Jon. She's still part of the team, just in a different role. Last week she came to our office to ask a question of Jon, I had tuned them out until I heard Kristi mention how much she likes Skittles and could eat them until she is sick - and has. Jon said, "You can puke up a rainbow of colors." "Magically delicious!" was Kristi's response. Ew! Yet, even after hearing this, I bought a huge bag of Skittles for my candy dish on my desk later that week. I've been seeing a lot more of Kristi, the Skittles have been disappearing quickly too.

Speaking of Kristi, a huge Johnny Depp and Tim Burton fan, she is very excited for the release of Alice in Wonderland. Did I say she is a huge fan? I meant gianormous. Her computer desktop has been a revolving show of pictures from Alice. One caught my eye the other day when I was in her office and we started talking about the movie. Kristi mentioned that she is re-reading the book so she knows the real story, 'but Tim Burton usually sticks really close to the original story, he'll do a good job with it.' It took all my strength to not double over laughing. Do you not see the humor? Oh, well, read this post from "Stuff White People Like" and then re-read her comments. Are you laughing now?

Jon and I had some good laughs over the "Stuff White People Like." Although some of it was embarrassed laughter as we recognized ourselves. Banksy? Yeah, Jon is a fan. Vespa scooters? One of my fantasy vehicles. Jon felt his cool factor go back up a notch when he read that white people actually hate tattoos of dead people. Check out Jon's left arm, he has made a full commitment to tattoos of dead people. I don't like sushi or Barak Obama and have never seen "Mad Men" or "Arrested Development" - that is my redemption. But Moleskins... I do have one, it's my appointment book. I didn't chose it just because it was a Moleskin, but it did lend to its appeal. It really was the best choice and met my space-allotted-for-each-day criteria. But what is Sarah G.'s excuse for her multiples of mini-Moleskins?

If the stuff white people like is a barometer - Sarah G. is ghostly white! She's vegan, likes hummus, grocery co-ops, listens to NPR, supports Teach For America - a non-profit, etc., etc., etc. Sarah G. (yes, I have to use last name initial to distinguish her as I work with five, yes, count them - five - Sarah's) has the office right behind Jon and I. There is a transom window in the common wall so we put messages to each other on the window occasionally. And, unfortunately, Sarah directs the scornful gaze of the ceramic nun and the haughty disdain of Sir Cat in our direction. These lovely works of art, purchased at the Goodwill, were gifts from Jon and his wife, to Sarah. They creep me out. They unnerve Sarah as well, which is why they look down into our office. Monday Sarah used her lunch break to do some grocery shopping at Trader Joe's. I was sitting in the lunchroom actually eating lunch when Sarah came back. She stuffed her bags into the fridge, then put a mango and a single package of fruit leather on the table in front of me. A random gift from her, to me. And in case you are wondering, it's a chocolate dipped peppermint stick and a couple cashews in the vessel the nun is holding. Random!

The media team is a special collection of guys. Kyle and Matt are the audio geeks. They were filming or doing some project down in the office of our CEO who is just down the hall from Jon and I, so they were passing by our office window frequently. Kyle doesn't say much, maybe that comes from listening to audio clips all day. In fact he doesn't show much expression at all. But last week I saw Kyle laugh and chuckle to himself, not once but twice and both times at me! You need to know that my desk is up against the window so that I look out at everyone, and everyone looks in at me. One of the incidents he walked by the office and chuckled at the faces I was making as I tried to make the numbers in my database reconcile. He laughed, actually laughed! Another piece of background information you need to know is that our office tends to collect bad smells, really, really bad smells. And, NO! It's not from the occupants. It was one of those times when the stench was more than anyone should have to endure, so I stuck my knuckles up into my nostrils in an attempt to block the smell. Kyle walked by and guessing by his sympathetic chuckle, I must have looked pretty ridiculous.

And then there is Matt... well, he's Matt. Most people don't like him or are put-off by him, but not me. From the start I always assumed his snarky comments were just for show and effect, and so I laughed at him. Guess that put me on his good side because he's always been 'nice' to me. In January 2008 I was walking from the lunchroom back to the lab, when Matt comes up beside me and asks, "Do you like cheese?" Cautiously I answer, "Yeah." "Great! Here you go, your own block of fine Chavarti cheese food." And Matt hands me a triangle of shrink wrapped Hickory Farms processed cheese food. Nasty. It's not even real food. I put it at my workstation and there it sat, past its expiration date. I left that June to go to Israel, not sure if I would return, I passed the cheese to Paul and left it in his keeping. My first day back at the office as a regular employee I stopped by to say hello to the contractors in the lab, Alan being the only one I still knew, and he was now the keeper of the cheese. Alan offered it back to me but I was generous enough to let him keep it. Later that day I came back to my desk to find the Chavarti proudly sitting there. Matt made sure that I got it back. He has since added to my collection with a block of Sharp n' Smooth processed cheese food. Lucky me! The other day he was standing in the doorway chatting and he spilled some tea on my (short 2-drawer) file cabinet, he sat down and wiggled back and forth wiping it up with his bum. Goofy guy.

Jeff is not technically part of the media team but does a lot with the media team. He is an odd mix. He loves karaoke, plays in a band, is quite cynical, and a master of the fondue. He sat in our office whining one afternoon about how he is so busy with the FACE committee and the media team that he doesn't have time to actually do his official job. He mentioned how much time the FACE committee was taking, which he wasn't expecting, and Jon asked why he participates. Jeff's answer: "I get joy from other people's joy." Said with mock sincerity. You might need to know Jeff to get the funny in that comment.