April 17th, 2008



Last time I was here with my team in Lebanon I never made it to Margarita's, the bar that everybody likes to go to. I remember I asked if they were going one night, and I was told sternly, "We go out every night." I was too tuckered out that first week of employment though, so I didn't make it.

Last night I finally made it out. We had our big team dinner, then afterward I joined a whole bunch of the guys at Margarita's. When a few of them saw me walk in, they called me "brave". I looked around at my team, tall Europeans and boisterous Americans, all men, and wondered briefly if they were right.

Then they proceeded to explain to me that the tradition is for the new person to drink a pyramid, which consists of ten margiritas stacked in a pyramid formation. Everyone has done it, they said, so I simply had to participate.

They the said I was small so they'd be willing to let me drink just a short pyramid, only six margaritas.

Naturally I didn't believe a word of it, and told them they were full of crap. But it was entertaining, as they kept getting other guys to chime in with the story. It was good because I felt included and welcomed in the conversation. The waiter came by with a tray full of margaritas, and the guys handed them around.

Some time later after a few conversations, I found myself talking to the main perpetrator again. He asked me how I was doing with my pyramid. "Finished it!," I told him, with a snapping motion of my hand.

"You've only had one drink, haven't you?"

"Well, it was somewhat pyramid-shaped," I protested. "An upside-down pyramid...."

I was handed a second margarita, and I managed to nurse a fair amount of it before the night was through. I started telling the guys that I was on my second pyramid. Nobody believed me, but given that I didn't believe them either, it all worked out.

It turned out to be a very fun evening, and I still managed to get back to my hotel room before midnight and (although not completely sober) not particularly intoxicated. Even after two pyramids!


Ha! Just heard a great line on the television (ER). This girl is on the phone with the cable company, and she is trying to get her cable tv fixed. She says something like, "Three weeks?! Can't I just leave a key under the mat? Yes I'm serious. Look, I'm a doctor. I'm single. Project Runway is all I have."


My hotel offers free passes to a very snooty gym nearby. It, like my office, is walking distance. The weather has been incredible this week, so it's been nice being able to walk to and from my hotel, the office, the co-op for lunch, and the gym.

I went to the gym on tuesday and was delighted to discover they have a climbing wall! They had harnesses and shoes to borrow, and a guy to belay people, all included with my free pass. Nobody else was climbing, so I did several climbs before running ten minutes on the treadmill. I lucked out too, because the wall is only open on mondays and tuesdays, so I'm glad I went when I did.

This evening I went to the gym again, and ran for a whole twenty minutes! They I even did some weight training, which I never have the opportunity to do, so that was pretty cool. Sadly my left knee is not really a fan of the jogging thing I've been doing. I am hoping that it will feel better if I can manage to train more regularly. That said, I love managing to get exercise and use my body! It makes me feel good, mentally and physically -- even if it involves sore muscles and joints.

After the gym, I walked back to my hotel, ordered some carryout, and returned to my room. It's the first evening I've had to myself since I got here on sunday. I like socializing with my team and getting to know them better. I know team and face time will make the whole project more effective (always easier to work with people than voices), but all this people-time can be draining, especially after a long and draining day. The week has been exhausting -- these colos are soooo grueling. Just one more day though.

Tomorrow I'm heading to Manchester airport after work. I'm going there earlier than anticipated, so I'll take a stab at flying (standby) home tomorrow. My flight is actually scheduled for saturday morning though, so there's a strong likelihood that's when I'll really be getting home.