Friday, October 31, 2008

Texas??? Not me...

"Are you from Texas?" one of my staff asked me this afternoon. Hmmm...not sure where that one came from. It definitely isn't my accent. I grew up in New England and never managed to acquire the local accent. I've never lived in TX, just visited relatives and the MS office, so I REALLY didn't have a Texas accent. So what could it be?

Ah, the armadillo earrings. I bought them because they remind me of a fun trip with good friends...

After a summer at camp, two friends and I headed to Virginia for a trip that would include 2 days of job interviews/apartment hunting for me and lots of camping the other days. The initial day with an interview and apartment hunting proved to be quite boring. We looked around, I asked all the questions, and my friends just tagged along. That was completely out of character for them. Before we headed out on the second day of apartment hunting, I set out the guidelines. Both of them were to act as though they were the ones searching for an apartment, exploring, asking questions, and making observations.

Kelly took this challenge seriously. She'd heard the questions and typical answers frequently enough to ask them herself, but it was always with a twist. An innocent question about the pet policy (pets under 10# permitted) led to a follow-up question for me: "Jean, how much does your armadillo weigh?" Kelly also determined that the tub capacity was adequate for my tie-dying hobby, while Mandy inspected the closet over the stairwell and established that it offered a satisfactory spot for someone who wanted to assume the thinking position, lying down with her legs extended up the wall. I think she was the one measuring rooms for my loom and attempting thunder-thigh ballet upstairs to make sure sound didn't carry (or maybe that was me). We weren't convinced that my imaginary, 6'6" boyfriend Bart would clear the light fixture in the dining room and unfortunately, he wouldn't be allowed to come visit on his Harley.

The poor woman showing us around seemed a bit flustered, but I'd like to think she caught on to the joke and from time to time tells the story of these crazy women who came one day to look for an apartment...

Monday, October 27, 2008

First Day on the Job...

It felt a bit like field service orientation with Mercy Ships as I started my first day at BIDMC. I couldn't help but be struck by the similarities between Mercy Ships' objective of caring for the poor and the heritage of Beth Israel Deaconess to serve those who had had no access to health care, whether due to discrimination or poverty. The next similarity came when Paul Levy, CEO/President, spoke of being culturally sensitive. Later there was talk of using translators to promote effective communication. Not so different after all!

On the other hand, my commute was longer today that it was on the ship. It took me 25 minutes to walk to work instead of 2.5 to go down a flight of stairs and the length of deck 3. I'm still getting a stair workout since it my office is on the 6th floor. I do have a HUGE porthole...I mean my new office. Dinner means having to actually cook (or heat up leftovers) instead of climbing from deck 3 to deck 5. That's proving to be more of a challenge than I expected. I've gotten lazy!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Michigan State 35 vs. Michigan 21

Favorite memories of a football Saturday in East Lansing: walking along the Red Cedar, leaves crunching underfoot, aroma of woodsmoke drifting through the air, and the music from the Spartan marching band carrying across campus. I know that today's game was at the Big House in Ann Arbor instead of East Lansing, but that made today's victory even sweeter. Way to go, State! Now that I'm stateside again, I hope to be able to get to a game in the next year or two. It's good to see MSU hanging in there and winning in the second half of the season as well as the first.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Autumn in New England

It's always fun to be home this time of year. On Thursday after settling on an apartment in Brookline, MA, I took a break from planning for my move this coming week. Filled the car with gas and emptied the memory card, loaded lenses and filters into my lumbar pack, and headed to the mountains. I was too lazy to plan a hike, so I just drove along scenic routes and took photos. After the drizzle stopped and the clouds cleared, it was a gorgeous, warm autumn day.

Today we went to Maine to visit Bryan's family. I had a great time playing with Patrick and Libby. We spent substantial time playing hide & seek outdoors since the weather was gorgeous. When it was Patrick's turn to hide, I was surprised to discover that Libby could count to 13 (tho' she then jumped to 16 and 19...). I've included a few photos of them hiding behind a tree, Libby counting, Patrick sliding, and a couple from my trip to the mountains.