Friday, April 15, 2005

Chiliwack is larger than you'd expect.

I have decided that I have another story worth telling.

Last Sunday, Heather, Shelley, and I, after partaking in a truly EPIC feast of the Thai variety (hosted and prepared with help by my new family, the Dickersons), were talking about how to spend the rest of the afternoon. Suddenly, someone (I think Shelley) said, "we could go to Canada..." So that's what we did. We left at about 6:00 pm from Seattle and, having decided to go somewhere less conventional than Vancouver, drove up to the border at Sumas/Abbotsford- we got there at around 7:30 or 8. On that crossing, the patrol on duty was slightly suspicious of our motives, but let us pass unhindered.

Upon crossing the border, we decided to drive the extra 20 minutes to Chiliwack: we found the name exotic and enticing, and expected the town itself to live up to the standards it had set by adopting this title. We were not disappointed. The restaurant we ate at (masquerading as a sports pub) was actually a culinary Mecca, specializing in such delicacies as Yorkshire pudding. To boot (as they might say up there), we dined in an amazing outdoor patio by a gas firepit.

After finding and touring a Canadian store, which, counter to its appearances, assured us that it was not simply a Fred Meyer with slightly raised vowel pronunciation, we prepared to cross the border (at around 10:00) to return Stateside. At this crossing, however, the guards were less easygoing and were incredulous at our claims that we had traveled all the way from Seattle just for dinner on a Sunday night. We proceeded inside, at their urging, and waited while they searched our car and made us fill out customs forms. We were too happy and tired to care, however...

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Please pass the bureaucracy? Or have someone do it...

Here is an anecdote from my new place of occupation.

The other day, I was sitting at my desk in the Health Sciences building, working, and the phone rang. I answered it "Classroom services," as I was accustomed to do.
"Hi," said the voice on the other end. "We're having a blood drive over here in the lobby, and we can't really see what we're doing. Could you turn on the rest of the fluorescent lights for us?"
"I'll see what I can do," I answered. I asked my co-worker Joe if I could go down and do that for them.
"No," he said, "I think the Physical Plant handles lights."
"So should I call them?" I asked.
"Yeah... You could probably do that."
Then I called the Physical Plant. "Physical plant," the lady said.
"Hi, this is Joel in classroom services," I began, "and I'm calling regarding a request I've just received to turn on the rest of the lights in the Health Sciences lobby for a blood drive they're having. They can't really see what they're doing."
"The lobby? Man! I put in a work order a week ago to have those turned on."
"Oh... Right..."
"They're on break now, so they won't be able to turn on the lights until 10:00..."
"I guess that will be fine," I said, and promptly hung up the phone in amazement at the mass amounts of eerie glowing crimson tape suddenly spilling out from the phone and inundating my desk.