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.

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