Thursday, December 22, 2011

A Very Corporate Christmas

At a recent corporate holiday party, a rather bold co-worker dressed up in Trevor's elf outfit and lip-synced to an awful rendition of Oh Holy Night....

It was hilarious, entertaining, and refreshing....  Everyone was having a good chuckle... well mostly everyone.  We walked into this e-mail Monday morning:

Dear Colleagues,

An anonymous letter was received from an employee who expressed appreciation for our recent holiday party.  However, the letter also indicated that some of our employees were deeply offended by the ‘spoof’ of the song Oh Holy Night that was performed at the party. 

I was sadden to receive this letter as the intent of the party was to create an atmosphere where employees felt appreciated for their efforts and enjoyed the time they spent together.

After closer review of the lyrics of the song, I now understand why the well intended effort to add levity to the party was in fact misguided and inappropriate.  While the Employee Events Committee put forth months of effort on the many details planning the party, had we been more vigilant on this part of the event I’m sure we would have decided on a different song.

On behalf of the company, the Events Committee members and the performer of the skit, I extend my sincere regrets to those who were in any way offended or felt uncomfortable with it.
I hope all those adversely affected understand and forgive what was an unfortunate oversight.

Happy Holidays,

Your HR manager

Oh Christmas sensitivities....

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

A Business Baby in Cincinnasti

Cincinnati isn't as bad as I was expecting.  It's a little chilly.  It's a little quiet.  People look like east-coasters.  Drive like west-coaster  There's a lot of diversity.  Traffic's not too bad.  There's a lot of Bengals fans.  That's all I really have to say about that.  If I had to grade it, I'd give it a C+.

This trip has been a business as usual experience...awkward business fun...

It's awkward being on a business trip and eating breakfast in the hotel lobby by yourself.  It's even more awkward when the lonely, cane-toting, grey haired, disheveled old man in the back won't stop staring at you.  Even more awkward as you wait for your toast to toast and you see him coming towards you out the corner of your eye....Please don't talk to me... Then he taps you on the shoulder and says "I'm sorry but I just had to say good morning to you because you are a gorgeous young lady."  ...Nervous laughter, burnging face...hehe thanks, now please go away...silly old man..I turn to sit at a table and the waitress comes in to kindly remind me that this table is reserved and she'll seat me over to this sweet old man with the stare bear eyes.....awkward.

It's also awkward that as I wait in the break room with my business casual attire I'm thinking to myself I look like a goof. Then a sweet lady asks me what position I'm applying for?  Oh no I'm not applying for a job here, I'm here to train some of the lab techs...OH, Ok.. Are you just out of college?   No.

Another time I went up to a different lab door for a meeting... it's locked.... I phone in to the guy I'm supposed to meet with...He'll be right down to let me in.  He opens the door.... "Hello!  Heh, ya know on the phone you sound like you're 13, and now that I see you in look like you're 13!"

How does a girl get any damn respect in this business world?  What can I wear or do to make it a little more obvious to strangers that "I AM NOT A CHILD!"

I should probably wear high heels... Meh, forget it.  I don't care that much.

Over in Cincinnati, there isn't too much going on....

The Bengals lost...  The stores close early.. 

There's the Great American Insurance Building:

And there's a local Nutcracker play (sponsored by the Great American Insurance) and the ballerina's crown is mirrored after the top of the Great American Insurance Building:

I had to call in to a conference call while here.  Thats was a first.  Normally if I can't make it there in person, no one really notices me missing.  But little Julie's growing up and being responsible.  I called in with my co-worker from my cell phone.  We were driving on the way to the airport when we called but eventually we had to pull over in the car rental parking lot to kill some time.  Still on the call, this huge swarm of birds wouldn't stop flying around.  I put the phone on mute and started snapping photos.  Not sure if you can tell but there are millions of birds in Cincinnati:

There is also one of the largest Children's Hospital in the US, here in Cincinnati.  I used to think if I could be anything I would be a doctor.  And if I could be any kind of doctor I would be a pediatrician.    I am so glad I didn't follow my childhood goals... Working in a children's hospital is depressing...all these little quiet kids with Michael Jackson masks shouldn't be that still or that quiet... parents shouldn't look so worried.

To leave you on a cheery note, baby Trevor was child once with simple, honest, accomplishable goals... and I'd say so far he's done pretty well:

He wins!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Merry Kidsmas

Most kids write letters to Santa, Mr. Claus, asking for things that they don't really need.  Nice, sweet, baby Trevor...he writes to the Mrs.  asking how she's doing, how's her day?  Hoping she's not too cold..  Does she celebrate Valentine's day?  What a little romancer...

As for Santa, if he could give Santa a present...he's give him a good elf for cooking:

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Life is a joke

I told Trevor I met a woman on the airplane who was a clinical psychologist at the University of Michigan.  Trevor asked me how I started talking to her.  I replied "Meh, we were just shooting the shit on line for the toilet..."    heh, sounds interesting....

A man named Bell invented the hard-shell taco and started a taco fast food chain named Taco Bell.  

In Australia they have a Mexcellent restaurant named Taco Bill.

Bill Bell played the tuba

Ya know those round bails of hay you sometimes see in the fields out in the country?
Did you hear how PETA's trying to ban them?
Yea, cause the animals can't get a square meal out of them!

(Delivery is everything)

So a dyslexic man walked into a bra...

How do you tell a smart cow from a dumb cow?
The smart cows are out standing in their field

What do you call a cow sitting down?
ground beef

Ya know why sheep aren't so musically talented?
Cause they only know one baa

Additionally, I bought these pants, and I love them:

Friday, December 9, 2011

The End of Oz

Australia is like the little bitter independent teenage sister of the UK, always trying to get out of her "angel child" sister's shadow.  Whatever the UK does, Australia does the opposite.  The UK ties their shiny white shoelaces nice and tight and Australia puts in black laces, shaves their heads and puts on a spiked collar...just because.

 The UK criminalizes prostitution.  Australia makes it legal.  The UK restricts gambling practices.  In Australia there is a casino or some sort of sports betting place on every block.  In the UK they play rugby on a rectangular field, the players can't pass backwards, and there is a limit on substitutions.  In Australia anything goes:  they use an oval field, players can pass the ball whenever they like, and would you be surprised that they have no limits on substitution?

But try as they might, they still have a very polite British accent when they come to their street signs:

"Consider vehicles following" ....that's nice

"Do not overtake"  ok

"Make Way"

"Way out"  = Exit

"Drink, drive, bloody idiot"

And even thought both Brits and Aussies speak "English,"  they really aren't always speaking the same language.  Here are some other Aussie to British translations:

Warning: take 'em with a grain of salt or a shot of tequila... I got them from a bookmark:

G'day mate____Pleased to meet your acquaintance

You little rippert_____Words of praise fail me

Fair dinkum____ Of course I'm telling the truth

Pull ya head in____ You may be correct in your assertion but shut up

Bloody oath!_______I'm in total agreement with you

Howya going?____ May I enquire about your welfare

Give it a go ya mug!____ Are you perhaps incapable of performing this act?

Your shout_____If you value your well-being you should buy the next drink

You Drongo_____ You rather dimwitted person

Rack off____ your presence is no longer required

Wanna cuppa?_____Would you care for some tea?

Go and tart yourself up____Please dress in your best clothes

The old man's shot through_____My husband's left town

Don't get your knickers in a knot_____Don't upset yourself

What's the latest goss? ____ Any juicy news?

Grouse lippy_____ What a nice shade of lipstick

And one of the best things about Australia... traveling as far away as you've ever been, and realizing thought facebook that you have friends just around the corner..

Get stuffed bitch_____Leave whenever you like

How ya goin' luv?____ I hope you are feeling well

Shut ya gob____  Tell someone who cares

Don't crap on _____ Aren't you exaggerating?

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Scandal on the Cliffs

On our way to see the 12 Apostles we stopped at the Gorge and Razorback lookout.  This is the site of a shipwreck dating back to the late 1800s.  In fact this whole section of coast was the site of at least 80 known shipwrecks around this time.  The jagged coastline mixed with shallow reefs and swift currents led to this area being nicknamed the "shipwreck coast."  The particular wreck that happened here was aboard the Loch Ard boat. 

site of the shipwreck

Lead by a young captain, the ship ran into a reef and has swung onto the rocks.  It was believed the ship completely sank within minutes killing the entire crew save for two survivors, an 18 year old deck hand named Tom and an 18 year old fancy passenger named Eva.  Eva's entire family died in the crash. 

The family was on voyage from England to visit their disgraceful little brother, Michael.  While in England, Michael had found an innovative way to creep on naked ladies...He would climb into the ceiling of his apartment and crawl around until he found the neighbor's bathroom and drill a peephole in to get his spy on.  Well, one day on one of his secret expeditions the ceiling fell through.  He was apprehended and subsequently shipped off to Australia will all the rest of the disgraceful Brits.  Causing heartache to his family once, he again was the reason that his family was on that boat in the first place, and the reason his entire family except his one sister is dead...

While in her night gown Eva managed to pull herself from the water and climb onto a rock.  She screamed for help until Tom heard her and rescued her to a cave on the beach. 

the cave

They spent the night in the cave and in the morning, Tom climbed up the cliffs and walked 4-5 miles to the nearest town to get help. 
the brush Tom walked through for help

They came back and rescued Eva.  Afterwards Tom proposed to Eva and she accepted and they lived happily ever after....

Just kidding.  Tom did indeed propose to Eva because chatty gossip and rumors spread like wildfire about what the two unmarried teenagers may or may not have done while in that cave overnight.  Social norms of the times deemed it disgraceful for a woman to spend a night with an unmarried man whatever the circumstances.  Tom, being the new town hero and an all-around good guy, meant to relieve Eva of that reputation.  He asked her to marry her.  She said no...and went back to England.

lady bugs!

wonder how Tom scaled the cliffs?

A little further down the coastline from Tom and Eva's cave is another cliff structure called the London bridge:
This bridge was once connected to the mainland until fairly recently when the middle of it fell into the sea.  At the time it fell in, hikers were walking out on it.  Five of them went out walking, and only 3 returned safely.  The other two didn't fall in, but they were now stranded on the newly formed island.  Luckily their friends made it out safe and called  the authorities the nearest town.  The police dispatched a helicopter to rescue the couple.  In the small town of Port Campbell, news of the drama spread fast and reporters swarmed the cliffs in order to interview and get a picture of the stranded couple.....  The couple however, refused to have their photos taken and did not want to give their real names. 

As it turns out the stranded couple were married, but just not to each other.... Rough way to get caught, bet they weren't expecting that one

Monday, December 5, 2011

12 Hours to The 12 Apostles

On our one Australian day off, my co-worker and I booked a bus tour along The Great Ocean Road just south and west of Melbourne.  The trip lasted a little over 12 hours.  We started with a break for tea in Torquay (pronounced something like (Taw-kee), the home of many Australian surfers.  Today the water wasn't too ripe for surfing...

In Torquay there was a surf festival sale going on where I found and fell in love with this lady's trailer and clothes (check out their facebook page).  Before I even saw what she was selling she came up to me, complimented my outfit and told me I belong here....:

I would have to agree with her

my dream home

I belong in here

 Then we were back on the tour bus headed to Bells Beach, the setting of the 1991 surfer flick, Point Break...
Richard the tour guide, author of many jokes

Bells Beach:

sleepy much?  it was an early day

At the start of the GREAT OCEAN ROAD:

The Great Ocean Road Memorial Arch:
 The Great Ocean Road was built after the first World War.  It is considered a memorial to the WWI veterans and as such it is the largest memorial to WWI veterans.  It also employed WWI veterans to build the memeroial and provided menaingful jobs to the soldiers returning from war.

The road was modeled after California's Pacific Coastal Highway... I think you should be able to see the similarities...

Jimmy, what kind of bird is this?  hard to tell because of the blurr

 Little campgrounds and beach side towns speckle the coastline...

 Stopped for some shots:

the tour group

The sun finally came out for a bit:


This house recently sold for about $4.5 million... It's neat but a little small and I would have to imagine would have some expensive insurance. .. the thing looks like it would easily tip over!
house on a stilt

Then we stopped at a little town called Apollo Bay for lunch
 Apollo Bay

After lunch we headed further down the coast eventually reaching what is know as the Twelve Apostles, these fantastic cliff islands carved out of the coastline.  There are actually only 7 or 8 apostles and a couple of them have since washed away, but whoever came up with the name thought that 12 Apostles seemed much more appealing than 7 or 8.

I was here

cool buds!

wildlife caterpillar!!

Port Campbell beach

It was a chilly, windy day...

 The cemetery....located in the dead center of town...
 ...everyone is dying to get in  (That would be a tour bus driver, Richard, original)