Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Let This Blest Assurance Control.......

Does anyone know where the title of this blog comes from?

It's part of the second verse of the greatest hymn ever written, "It Is Well With My Soul." The verse says, "though Satan should buffet, though trials should come, let this blest assurance control, that Christ has regarded my helpless estate and hath shed his own blood for my soul." It's truly my favorite hymn of all time.

Sarah and I have a game we play....mostly in the car, but has made an appearance in other random locations: the grocer, while washing dishes, while playing with Celie. It's basically Name That Tune, just our style. You see, I am an aficionado of all things "church music." I know more hymns than most people and I know the most obscure verses. Sarah...........not so much. While Sarah was raised in church, she never paid attention to the words of the songs. She only listened to the melodies as she was an outstanding young trumpeteer and as anyone with a musical background knows, trumpets, 99% of the time, carry the melody.

So, I'll start singing an old hymn (mostly because I know she's not going to know the next phrase) and then stop and she's supposed to pick up where I left off. For example, I'll sing:

"Guide me O thou great Jehovah......" and Sarah will hum some combination of the words, Jesus, Cross and Died for me. This is completely incorrect mind you. Everyone knows it's "Pilgrim though this barren land." Sometimes, once I tell her the phrase, I'll make her sing it again so I can sing the harmony part(s).

Then it's Sarah's turn. She'll dig up some song from the 80's that I have never heard before, which is most of them. Sarah had a much older brother who was always "rockin' out" so she knows tons and tons of songs - I do not, as I spent most of my childhood listening to Bill Gaither, The Cathedrals, or the Chipmunks. If you don't know who Bill Gaither or The Cathedrals are, they are legendary southern gospel artists. I do not like southern gospel music at all at present.

I almost never get the songs right that she tests me with. It's a fun and silly game. Somehow it makes me feel superior knowing that I know all these church hymns. I'm not sure how I feel superior because I think I'm the only one in the world who is impressed by it.

I encourage each of you to start playing your own version of Name That Tune. It's fun, it's easy, it's cheap. It can also provide countless hours of fun for the whole family.

Ok, name it: "The moon shines full at his command......"

Sing on people, sing on!

Monday, August 11, 2008

The Office

Merriam-Webster's 5th definition of an office is: the directing headquarters of an enterprise or organization OR the place in which a professional person conducts business.

I consider myself a professional person. I do conduct business in my office. However, no where in this definition do I read "monitor of all things restroom". Let me give you a little breakdown....

My office sits directly in the middle of the men's and women's restrooms, but on the opposite wall. Meaning, I see who is going into the restrooms. My office door is right in front of the water fountain which is located in between the two restrooms. Needless to say, there's a lot of traffic.....and a lot of the traffic is "backed-up" (if you know what I'm sayin'). Everyday I watch as people go in and out, in and out, in and out of the restrooms. We have some VERY systematic restroom users.

Another fact you may find incredibly interesting is the restrooms are completely tiled. Top to bottom, walls and all. Now, if you a singer, this is a wonderful room. However, if you are a noisy restroom go'er, this may come as a bit of a nuisance.

With that said, I have four people here who really need to know this simple, yet important fact of our tiled restroom design.

Offender #1 - female. Takes SEVERAL restroom breaks per day. My guess would truly have to be 6-8. That's a lot of potty breaks people! There's no such thing as a short break either. She's in there a good ten minutes. Noise violation - 6.

Offender #2 - male. Takes two very critical restroom breaks per day. One at 9:00 am and another around 2:00. Visits are shorter for the work he's doing. Noise violation - 9.

Offender #3 - male. Takes three very lengthy restroom breaks per day. He should actually be offender #1 because if you happen to be in the restroom with him, he carries on a conversation with you. He watches for shoes so he knows who is in there, or he just asks random open-ended questions. Now, I am personally not a restroom communicator. However, he crosses the line as it doesn't matter what he's doing (which is mostly #2), he's going to talk with you. Even among the noises. Noise violation - 8.

Offender #4 - male. Takes one VERY VERY VERY significant restroom break. Oh my, oh my.....he's going for the kill. You better clear the decks if you're in there with him cause it doesn't matter. Remember Hiroshima? Same thing. Noise violation - 10

Now, judge me all you want for writing about this, but you don't have to sit across from it for eight hours a day. I've sat in this same office for going on five years and I have learned certain people's schedules. There's a part of me that hates this office due to all the poop noises I have to hear and all the foot traffic because I'm only one door down from the lobby, but then there's a part of me that loves it. Mostly because I was lucky enough to get brand new carpet and freshly painted walls and nice modular office furniture. If you've seen my office before, you know how much of a luxury this truly is. The "executive" wing of my offices is covered with horrible horrible dark "wood" paneling and gray carpet - mmmmmm.

I really love it when I have a vendor in my office or another guest visiting and one of my offenders makes their way to the restroom. I immediately change the subject and am like..."um, maybe we should go to lunch or something." and they reply, "but Matthew, it's only 10:00 am". And then it happens.....Mt. Vesuvius erupts. It's so embarrassing. What am I supposed to say...."oh sorry about all the poop noises you're hearing."???? I don't think so.

So...I think I'm moving offices. I'm hoping to secure the one that's upstairs and the ONLY office in the building with a window. Yes, the ceilings are low. Yes, the carpet is dingy. Yes, I would be all alone. Yes, I'd have to walk about 24 steps every time I made a move......

But I'd be away from the poop noises.......

Laxative anyone?