Getting My Geek On!

June 15, 2011 at 12:37 pm | Posted in Around Boston, Office Humor | 12 Comments
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I have been called many things over the years, but never a geek.  And until this point in my life, I’ve been okay with that.  In fact (dare I say it?), I’ve even been happy about that.  But here I am, at 30 years old, trying desperately to become geekier.  Why, you ask?  My (now-not-so-new) gig, of course.

I'm gonna need one of these...

In my role as communications ninja, I need to be able to understand the people here.  People who will not be impressed with my obsession with klassy reality TV, or my war stories from wedding planning, or even my silly habit of blaming snarky comments on Tom Cruise.

Basically, I’m way out of my league.  Take, for example, a discussion of “captains.”  These folks can debate which “captain” is best with gusto.  I personally don’t know how you can compare cereal (“Crunch”) with Johnny Depp (“Sparrow”), because they’re both so yummy in very different ways!

But, of course, they mean Kirk v. Picard… Sigh.

So I’m turning to you, dear reader(s), to help me get my geek on!  I’ve been told I should watch Battlestar Galactica and both Star Treks, and even some Doctor Who (anyone have some DVDs I can borrow?).  But what else should I learn?  And is it possible to turn this average dork into a full-fledged geek?

~Sarah

The Pregnancy Inquisition, Part Deux

March 29, 2012 at 9:28 am | Posted in Married Life, Pregnancy Fun Time | 2 Comments
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In my last post regarding procreation pressure (like that alliteration?), I lamented the awkwardness of having my friends, colleagues and loved ones harass me about my reproductive status, and received some great tips and feedback from you, dear reader(s).  Well, today I’d like to expand upon this topic and bring every retail establishment that sells anything related to children into the mix.

Mind Your Own Bees wax

Mind your own... (Photo from Beyond The Hive)

Have you seen the story in the New York Times by Charles Duhigg about how Target knew a teenager was pregnant before her own father did?  It’s both fascinating and creepy, and, apparently, happening every day, much to my annoyance.  The gist of the article is that, based on just a smidge of demographic information and the things you buy, even things that don’t seem like obvious signs at first glance (fragrance-free lotion, cotton balls and hand sanitizer, for example, indicate you’re about to pop out a tiny human), retailers can virtually predict major life events like pregnancy.

Lucky for me (ha!), it seems I’ve found myself on the list of “probably preggers, so shamelessly market baby-related products to her” distribution list.  From emails (cough cough Target cough cough) to catalogs (Pottery Barn Kids, I’m talking to you!), coupons (Babies “R” Us, back off!) to advice (no, I don’t need to purchase X, Y or Z to prepare for my inevitable parental cluelessness), I’m being bombarded on a daily basis with baby-related information and savings (but at least it’s helping the post office stay afloat).

I’ll say it again: I’m NOT pregnant.  Yes, I’ve been happily married for over a year, am in my thirties and recently bought a home, but I am not “with child.”

I am, however, thinking about how this must feel to women experiencing fertility struggles.  These retailers don’t know what our reproductive status is – they don’t have a clue about whether we find these communications exciting or a difficult reminder of a very sensitive, very personal issue.  I understand the need to make money, to attract customers at this time in their lives; I even respect the power of the statistics nerd!  (Seriously, all hail the nerds of the world!)  But for goodness sake, please back off.  Or at least hide your intentions a little better so we can assume it’s just a coincidence that diapers are on sale… again…

I’ll procreate when I’m good and ready,
Sarah

Goodbye, Batphone!

January 31, 2012 at 12:03 pm | Posted in Misc., Office Humor | 4 Comments
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I work at a technology company and pride myself on my technological prowess (well, maybe “prowess” is too strong, but I’m savvy, at least!).  And yet, for years I have been carrying around an old, clunky cell phone in addition to my smartphone.  Witness:

I admit it looks really silly to have both a sleek, modern phone and a circa 2002 clunker.  But it was all because of my parents (also known as “Sarah’s Mo” and “RWFOTB”)!!

Well, that’s not exactly true… what is true is that the ancient cell phone was like the Batphone to me.  My folks were pretty much the only ones who called it, so it was like their exclusive way to reach me (not to mention a local number for them).  It was my tie to my younger years, my link to a simpler time when phones just rang – no games, no interwebs, no email, just good old-fashioned talking (and a small amount of texting). It is also the most reliable piece of technology I’ve ever owned.  After 10 years, it still works like a charm (and has better reception than my droid, just saying).

But it also made me feel foolish.  Why waste money on a second cell phone, especially one that’s so outdated it’s almost cool again (give it another 20 years and it’ll be a collector’s item; until then it will live in my basement)?  And why carry that thing around and look like I’m the kind of person who still calls it the “world wide web” or the “information superhighway” when I’m really a super hip technology geek?

The answer is clear: it’s time to say goodbye to my soon-to-be-vintage flip phone.  It has been decommissioned, made redundant and disconnected.  I am now a one phone gal.  And I imagine this is kind of what Bruce Wayne felt like when he finally hung up the Batsuit.

I feel ya, Batman!

It’s Like We Kissed

January 3, 2012 at 5:09 pm | Posted in Office Humor | 4 Comments
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Welcome to 2012, dear reader(s)!  Today hasn’t been an easy day for most of us.  I’m sure you all know what I mean: just getting out of bed took a herculean effort, and trying to get back into the swing of things at work?  Well, let’s just say it’s going to take a while.

I had high hopes for 2012, I really did.  This was gonna be my year!  The year when my house became a home, when my job became less “OMG!” and turned into more “FTW,” the year when I finally became a grown-up and stopped making ridiculous mistakes.

It’s January 3 and I’ve already disappointed myself by doing something dumb.  I was in a meeting in Dark Water Fowl’s legal eagle’s office this afternoon and took a sip of water.  From his water glass.  I didn’t realize what I was doing until I finished about half the cup!  And then it hit me, and I didn’t know what to do.

Try as I might, I could barely focus on the “Ts and Cs,” as lawyer-types refer to them, we were discussing.  Instead, I was trying to figure out what to do: admit that I had inadvertently hydrated myself on his water?  Or pretend I didn’t notice and everything was normal and fine and that I hadn’t just co-mingled cooties?  What would a grown-up do?!?!

I left the meeting without acknowledging my faux pas, and I left his half-drunk cup of water on his desk, complete with my Chapstick lip imprint.

When I returned to my desk, I told my colleagues what I had done, and they couldn’t help but tease me.  “It’s like you kissed!” cried one; “That was CLASSIC!” chortled the other.  I was mortified.  But I figured that grown-ups always admit their mistakes, so I had to march back into his office and fess up.

As I shared my little blunder, I noticed he was making a disgusted face.  Great, I thought, he’s totally grossed out!  He probably thinks I have some horrific communicable disease.

But I was wrong.

“You drank that?!” he exclaimed.  “That cup of water has been sitting on my desk since before Christmas!  That’s disgusting!”

Cheers, dear reader(s).

And Happy New Year!

Suspicious Packages – Don’t Trust Anyone!

December 8, 2011 at 1:20 pm | Posted in Around Boston, Office Humor | 2 Comments
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I’m sure you’re familiar with this experience: you head to your nearest post office or shipping facility to mail something, and they ask you if there’s anything liquid, perishable, hazardous, etc. in the box.  You, of course, answer no, and life proceeds as planned while your package of cookies/wine/explosive devices reaches its destination unmolested.  Or at least that’s how it’s supposed to happen!

Suspicious Mail

What's in YOUR package?

A few weeks ago my colleagues at Dark Water Fowl and I received a notification that a package we shipped across the pond (that’s England, y’all) had been held by the Fish and Wildlife Agency for further investigation.

As employees of a wicked nerdy software company, it took us a moment to figure out why the Fish and Wildlife Agency would have anything to do with our package.  We hadn’t sent anything inappropriate, illegal, or otherwise suspicious.  We deal in the world of software, not creatures! What was the hold up?

Glad you asked.  The box we sent to jolly old England contained a few hundred of Dark Water Fowl’s mascots: adorable little rubber duckies.  The packing slip said “rubber ducks” – hence the government intervention.  Those fellas are on their game!  (And maybe a little bored…)

Hide your children – plastic toys are migrating!

Is the Grass Always Greener?‏

March 16, 2011 at 8:55 am | Posted in Around Boston, Office Humor | 6 Comments
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A note to our dear reader(s): it might be best to cue up some sappy, grandiose background music before reading any further… might I suggest “My Heart Will Go On” by our French Canadian friend, Celine Dion? Or maybe a little Whitney Houston “I Will Always Love You” action? Trust me – the cheesier, the better. Here goes…

Is change going to do me good? Could variety be the spice of my life? Am I mad as a hatter or is there a method to my madness? And is there another idiomatic question I should be asking myself? I’m about to find out. After six years as a happy resident of MoCo Village, I’m venturing into the wider world and will soon begin a new job at a super cool, delightfully nerdy, cutting-edge software company. Woah!

I hope this image from jdwalt.com proves true!

In preparation, I’m doing my darndest to “get” the new technology that will encompass my professional life. I’m trying to read about the history and intellectual property caveats of topics like open source software, and my goal is to be able to make geeky jokes that even the most pocket-protectored developer would be proud of.

It’s exciting and invigorating and scary and nerve-wracking. And it is just one of many changes Andrew and I are forcing ourselves into this year – marriage, moving this summer (no exact destination yet), Andrew’s new job (he started last week after five years at his last gig), etc. And if you’ve met us, you know how much we love shaking up our lives!

(If you haven’t met us, I will just spell it out for you: we don’t dig change. At all. I mean, it took us four years to shack up, six years to get hitched, and we will have to discuss the merits of getting a dog for about two years before we pull the trigger on that little adventure. Stability is our jam.)

But here I go, taking the plunge. Next week is my “swan song” at MoCo, and the week after I will begin my new adventure. Time to “get all my ducks in a row” and do this job FTW!

~Sarah

Good Morning, Sports Fans

July 14, 2010 at 7:39 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments
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I have a very firm morning routine: I wake up approximately 45 minutes before my alarm is set to engage (and yes, it is still dark out at that time – Oy!), toss and turn for the next 37 minutes, fall blissfully back asleep for eight minutes, and then curse my dreaded alarm for waking me so soon. I then try to ignore the incessant arguing on sports radio and force myself not to push the snooze button.

Take that, alarm clock!

Did you notice anything odd about my routine? Yup, the radio station. I bet you’re wondering why I set my alarm to sports radio. The truth is that the station used to be a delightful mix of today’s hits and yesterday’s favorites (with a healthy amount of PG-13 banter and Hollywood gossip thrown in for good measure). About a year ago the channel changed formats and became a sports station.

Now you may be wondering why I don’t simply switch the channel on the alarm. Well, for the life of me I can’t figure out how to do that! That’s right: this tech geekess has been bested by her old alarm clock radio. And frankly, I’m too darn lazy to use the goggle to search the interwebs for the answer. So it seems I will continue to wake up on the wrong side of the gridiron or the face-off or the outfield or whatever other sports-related topic the brash radio personalities are debating as they so rudely jar me out of my blissful slumber.

Is it naptime yet?

~Sarah

Unicorn Park

May 26, 2010 at 7:41 am | Posted in Around Boston, Office Humor | 4 Comments
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Nope, that isn’t the name of a six year old girl’s fantasy-inspired birthday party or a geeky renaissance faire location. Unicorn Park is an office building, visible from I-93, which I pass daily on my commute. And it makes me chuckle every time.  

I work with all sorts of fabulous creatures...

I mean, how seriously would you take me if I told you my office was in Unicorn Park? You’d probably either think I was having serious hallucinations or be tempted to ask me what it’s like working with mythical creatures… Sarah, how grouchy are the trolls before their morning coffee? Do fairies only work at night, or have they adapted their schedules to correspond to the Street’s hours of operation? Are elves really that resourceful and hard-working, or is that just a clever image they manufacture along with their cookies?  

In my role as a “citizen journalist” I did a little investigating into this peculiar building name and found… nothing.  I have no idea why someone named a place of business after a mythical horse-like creature with a single horn in the center of its forehead.  I mean, unicorns are symbolic of chastity and purity – and fantasy worlds.  What in the world does this have to do with business?  

Reader(s), what’s your explanation?  

~Sarah

Funny Donkey or Hip Hop Guy?

February 3, 2010 at 9:01 am | Posted in Misc. | 2 Comments
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Mike and I purchased new cell phones this weekend. And being the geek I am, I immediately donned my Snuggie and planted my arse on the couch to thoroughly customize and familiarize myself with my latest tech toy. And it was the customization bit that got me. Because the ring-tones are a sham. I call shenanigans.

Why? Because the ring-tones that come standard (read: free) with a new phone suck. There’s no other way around it. So unless you can stomach the obnoxious sounds that are standard issue, you have to fork over a couple Washingtons for a snippet of a tune you actually enjoy. 

Here are the options that came with my phone: 
(N.B.: WordPress.com charges a $60 fee for videos and, since that’s the EXACT amount of dough Google is withholding from us, and we’re poor, we can’t pay for this service.  SO… if you want to hear April’s fab new ringtones, listen to them here: http://factinisfactomelettes.blogspot.com/2010/02/funny-donkey-or-hip-hop-guy.html

Because I’m cheap (at least I’m honest), I chose “slowly.” But I might soon be shamed into actually buying a ring-tone like Mike immediately did.

~April

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