Archive for office life

got my boxes!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on Tuesday 24 July 2007 by amanda

last night i finally got the boxes from the devil company, DHL.  and only 5 days late.  Dora from CEU and I drove to find the place.  I thought the office closed at 6 PM, so we left just after 5.  we got a little lost, and then we were looking for #99 on this unpronouncable Hungarian road.  we look and look and look…and nothing.  finally she calls DHL, and it turns out there are 2 #99’s on this road!  so we drive further and finally find the office, which closes at 7, thank god, because we got there at about 5:58.  the boxes showed up a couple of minutes after us and the lovely man who brought them helped us load them into Dora’s car.  i jokingly asked Dora if she thought that the DHL guy would think it was weird if i hugged him.  she looked at me strangely and told me, yes, she thought it would be weird.  🙂  on the way back to Kerepesi, we took a different route, taking us through scenic industrial sections of Budapest, past the prison and a large cemetary, lots of places that we can have headstones made, and then, to top it all, on our way back, we got passed by not 1 , but 2 DHL semi-trucks.  oh, i was upset, and had to take a picture 🙂

let me take a moment to emphasize that i am not crazy (i think) but that NOT having 2 boxes that you absolutely must have for an international conference because they are stuck in customs and nobody is cooperating with you to help GET your boxes is traumatic and stressful.  so there.  caroline, i use DHL all the time, and usually, i love them.  but now i hate them.  or maybe i hate  hungarian customs or hungarian DHL.  not sure yet.  for now though, i’m off to find some therapeutic chocolate, ice cream, or both.


high fives

Posted in baby, family with tags , on Tuesday 26 June 2007 by amanda

great story (for me at least) – today at work we had a false fire alarm and as we were waiting for our infinitely slow elevators to come back up, i was talking to a friend from work.  i told him i’m pregnant during the course of the conversation, and what was his reaction?  yes, he high-fived me.  i can only laugh 🙂

my job

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on Tuesday 24 April 2007 by amanda

i’d like to take a few minutes to talk about my job.  i would like to do this, because in some quarters i work at a pretty controvertial place, and for a pretty controvertial person.  i work for george soros, at his foundation in midtown new york.  i work in the scholarships department, which means that i administer money to students to go to college.  i bring this up because a lot of people don’t like george soros.  he sees no problems with making billions off the markets and then giving away hundreds of millions each year to people and organizations around the world.  he also does a lot of personal funding on the political side.  OSI’s not involved with any of his donations or political stuff, because we’re a tax-exempt organization and have lobbying restrictions.  trust me, the government (particularly this administration) is watching us pretty closely. 

i’m posting two different ways in which we’ve been publicized lately, one by bill o’reilly *his craziness* and one in Forbes magazine.  personally, i think the work we do is pretty good.  but that’s just me.

 Here’s Bill.  (it’s about a 10 minute clip but totally worth watching, especially for the flow chart).

And here’s the Forbes article:
On The Cover/Top Stories

Burma‘s Billionaires
David Serchuk 04.23.07

George Soros spends $2 million a year trying to pave the way for democracy in
Burma. It’s a tricky operation. Naturally, the head of his Burma Project is banned in
Burma, where ruthless military dictatorships have ruled for decades. And Soros

is unwelcome in neighboring Thailand, home to 2 million refugees who have fled
Burma. What’s more,
Thailand won’t recognize these people as refugees, making them that much harder to help.

Continue reading

organic chicken versus chemical chicken

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on Friday 2 March 2007 by amanda

yesterday i was working with a guy in my office on a project, and we got to talking. he’s an environmentalist and an all-around interesting guy – fun to talk to. we start talking about organic food products. i observed that in many parts of the world, organic food is all people eat because small farms are still used and not the large corporate producers that use so many chemicals, steroids and other hormones and antibiotics that we find in our fruit, vegetable and meat products here in the US on a regular basis. dan observed that he thinks that the use of the word organic is kind of ridiculous. it makes him think back to university days chemistry class – organic is carbon-based and non-organic (inorganic) is not carbon-based. it’s a fascinating use for the term. i’ve done some minimal hunting for the origin of the usage in this way but so far have not come up with anything.

anyway, this led us to conclude that it really is kind of ridiculous to “specially label” something that is in a more “natural” (largely unaltered by human genetic, hormonal or chemical intervention) state than something that has been deliberately modified or treated. therefore, we should drop organic as a term and simply call all food that is treated “chemical” i like the sound of it. i think that it would do wonders for the “organic” market.

back at work and headaches

Posted in Life in general with tags , on Thursday 8 February 2007 by amanda

actually being in the office is overrated.  i’m back and mostly overwhelmed at the amount of mail sitting on my desk.  while i was gone, my students efficiently sent me most of the reports due at the end of january, which means i have to go through them all now.  headache.  also i have a regular headache, which i think is being caused by me being dehydrated.  ouch. 

ola came and took me out for lunch today which was awesome.  my therapy for being back in the US seems to be thai food.  twice in three days and no sign of stopping.  i’m okay with this. 

new york is cold.  this sucks.  not that i’m actually a fan of global warming, but cold weather sucks.  this is influencing my possible decision to move someplace warmer, but still on a high elevation for when greenland and the ice caps melt.  i’m planning ahead.  oh yes.

i put my trip pictures online, so they can be viewed at the right.  if you click on a picture it’ll take you to the main page where all like…113 of them are. 

travel and stuff

Posted in Bosnia & Herzegovina with tags , , on Saturday 13 January 2007 by amanda

tomorrow morning i’m heading out on my third international trip in four months. this is, i believe, a record, even counting my time in belfast. it doesn’t cease to be exciting for me, and a little bit scary. i have a brand-new challenge this trip. i will be traveling directly from thailand to mongolia in the middle of january. this means that i have to pack for a very warm climate, and also one of the coldest on earth on the same trip. i’ve spent 3 hours this morning working on my packing and i think i’m getting it figured out. my answer?


i’m asking martha, my boss, to bring home a bag for me when we’re done in thailand, and i’ll just continue on with my stuff for the colder climate. i’m also packing a backpack and leaving my big suitcase at shona’s office in chiang mai while i run around the country for a week for work. i’ll be gone total for about three and a half weeks, with about a week in thailand, then on to mongolia (just ulaanbaatar), a day in moscow, belgrade, sarajevo, zagreb and finally home. this is my second trip that i’m literally going around the world. last year i did something similar but didn’t go to thailand.

i am a little nervous because this is the longest that i’ve ever travelled for work in one go…but that’s it for today. off tomorrow and hopefully more once i hit chiang mai on tuesday.

Worst Album Covers EVER

Posted in Life in general with tags , , on Friday 10 November 2006 by amanda

so today kimberly, an office-mate, sent me this worst album covers EVER, which made me laugh pretty hard.  had to share with the millions of adoring fans that read this thing.

my dad’s comment was “…molester mustaches and fashion mavens galore!!!”