March 10, 2010

In The Ghetto?

Posted in Journal tagged , , at 12:05 am by Jenn

Some things just look odd.  You know, sheep feet on the sidewalk, aluminium foil on drying racks outside the hair salon and 4 black men on horseback in the median on Rt 202.

Really!  FOUR Black men on horseback.  I’ll admit that as soon as I saw them (well after the initial shock) I made a u turn (twice) to get these pictures.  Sorry they aren’t the best.  Since I went through all the trouble of the u turn, I should have just whipped out my camera too.  These were taken with my iPhone, which does a great job in a pinch and close-ups.

I couldn’t wait to get home to tell my dad.  His response.  “Oh yeah, there are a bunch of black cowboys around here.  There must be something going on at the equestrian center.” 

I must have been away a long time because in the PG County I grew up in (“da hood”) I never saw anyone riding horseback in the middle of the highway.  So, in response to Delia who commented on my aluminum foil post way back when.  See, I post pictures of crazy stuff that I see in the US too!


August 15, 2009


Posted in Journal tagged , , , at 4:28 pm by Jenn

This was my third week back at work and I’ve been having a great time.  I really love working for DaVita and it feels good to be back with a patient population and making a difference.

I try to provide not only patient education, but a little bit of laughter for the teammates and patients and this week proved to be a LOT of both.  I have 60 total patients at this clinic and 10 of them are Spanish speaking.  A few of them speak and understand English well enough that I am comfortable speaking to them in English but a majority of them really need to be spoken to in Spanish to ensure that the message is getting across to them – great practice for me before heading to Chile.

I had one patient who’s labs were really great and I just needed to give him his report, find out what meds he was taking and tell him to keep up the good work.  Here is how the conversation started –

Me:  Извините пожалуйста.  Mi nombre es Jennifer, soy nutriciónista.  Как дела?

Patient:  ¿De dónde es?

Me:  Los Estados Unidos, pero en octubre voy a vivir en Chile.

Patient:  Oh!

Now, that seems like a pretty good start to the conversation right?  Well, what I said to him was:

Me: Excuse me please (in Russian).  My name is Jennifer, I am a dietitian (In Spanish).  How are you (in Russian)?

What he asked me – Where are you from?

What I said – The United States, but in October I will live in Chile.

What he said – Oh.

After his comment I realized what I had done and then I started laughing, which made him think I was even crazier.  My Spanish isn’t good enough to tell him that I had been living in post soviet Europe for the past two years, so I just left it alone.  I went on to tell him in my best Spanish, that his labs were very good and to keep up the good work.  I got his meds and got the heck out of there….Chile, here I come?  Oh lord.

May 28, 2009

Only in America

Posted in Journal tagged , , , at 1:11 am by Jenn


I had to do a double take when I saw these on the shelf.  I really and truly thought my eyes were playing tricks on me. Sadly. they. weren’t.

March 22, 2009

Racist Ice Cream?

Posted in Journal tagged , , , , , at 12:07 pm by Jenn

One of the things I love most about Sundays is that it’s the day that I spend catching up on the blogs that I read.  I’m too busy doing nothing during the week, but Sunday things just seem to fall in to place.  A day in front of the computer, surfing, clicking, becoming enlightened and always entertained.

Today, while reading Jess’s blog I came across her post about the election and followed a link to a video of a woman who appears to be voting three times in what they are calling a fair election.  While I was waiting for the video to load I was taking a peak at the headlines on the page and this one caught my eye “Racist Ice Cream, Anyone?”….of course I had to click.  After reading the piece I just laughed to myself.  While some people in the US may not think this is a suitable or appropriate name for a product, it’s not being marketed in the US and trust me, there are products with crazier names floating around overseas….for instance the Just For Men bar that Jess talks about on her blog, or the Negro cookie pictured here


These products are common overseas and while the names may not fly in the US, they are accepted here.  Marketing is different, the world is different and if putting Obama’s name on ice cream will generate sales for those companies then they are going to do it.  I wonder if this piece would have been written if it were chocolate and strawberry ice cream or vanilla and pistachio?  Get over it people.  We have bigger worries in the world today.

March 9, 2009

Keep the change

Posted in Journal tagged , , , , at 3:52 pm by Jenn

Azerbaijan coins – qapik

A few days ago I went to the local market to get a few items for dinner that night and some groceries for the remainder of the week.  In my wallet I had the following bills – 100 azn, 20 azn, 5 azn and 2 x 1 azn (azn = manat).  I also had 40 qapik in my pocket and some miscellaneous loose change in the compartment of my wallet.

As the girl was ringing up my groceries I was hoping to myself that the total wouldn’t come to over 27 azn because I didn’t want to have to break the 100.  Once you do that it seems like it’s gone in no time.  The total came to 27.84.

Now let me add here that behind me in line is a very upset man.  Upset that I would not let him with his basket of groceries get in front of me in line.  It wasn’t like he had one item…he had roughly the same amount that I did and he was just going to have to wait, I was in line first.  As I opened up my purse to get the money, I could hear his foot start tapping, so I proceed to move slower.

I put the bills down on the counter, 27 manat, I reached in to my pocket and pulled out the 40 qapik, then I opened my wallet and started to dig through the paper and misc items to find the remaining change….I found 4 x 10 qapik bringing the total to 27.80 out of the 27.84 showing on the cashier’s screen.  I stood there looking at her and she said…”more money”, I did not want to give her the 100…so I continued to dig, and the man continued to tap his foot, faster now.

That’s when I saw the piece of gum…the same piece of gum that the same cashier had given me just the day before when she did not have enough coins to make the proper change when I paid for my groceries.  It was only 6 qapik, and this had become common practice at this market.  If they don’t have enough change they give you one or two pieces of gum…usually one.  One time I did get a packet of Nescaf instant coffee when they owed me 25 qapik. 

So, me deciding to prove a point, takes out the piece of gum and hands it to her.  She looks confused and then blushes…understanding what the gesture means, but says to me anyway…”I need money”.  So I dig further and find 2 x 3 qapik at the bottom of my wallet, bring the total paid to 27.86 for my 27.84 bill.  She keys in the money tendered, pulls off the receipt and instead of the 2 qapik change she owed me, she hands me A PIECE OF GUM!  

Typical.  LOL. 

Now, to make the story even more classic, you have to bag your own groceries, so I’m still in “Joe Toe Tappers” way, holding up his day.  He reached past me and grabbed a bag, saying something under his breath…I’m sure it wasn’t have a nice day.   

Next time I go back I’m considering paying in ALL CHANGE.  That should be fun.  Please let “Joe Toe Tapper” be in line behind me that day.

February 4, 2009

Random thoughts from my day

Posted in Journal tagged , , , , at 8:13 pm by Jenn

I have a lot of nothing to say today, but some of it is kind of interesting and all of it is a way of me procrastinating to keep from reading the six journal articles that I have to read on High Fructose Corn Syrup.

First, my day started with a big let down.  Le-a, may be an urban legend.  Thanks to Cat who commented my post from yesterday for bringing that to my attention.  I actually am relieved that there may not be a Le-a out there somewhere…regardless of whether she’s out there or not, urban legend or not it’s still funny as hell.

Second. I’ve run in to a bit of a snafoo with my sweater.  Not really a snafoo, but a “hmm, what should I do”.  I’ve tried to call my mom for two days and she isn’t answering at home.  I can never remember what her days off are…mom if you are reading this (or Heather) call me!  PLEASE!  LOL.

Third.  Since I am not knitting on my sweater that means I need to be working on something and I bought this yummy fiber from Copperpot Woolies on Etsy….hmm, nothing says procrastination like handspinning.  I think I’ll join the February Challenge for the Spindlers group on Ravelry…yeah, that’s what I’ll do.  This months theme – Mardi Gras.  Here’s the fiber


and my inspiration, mardi gras beads


basically all I need to do is turn this in to yarn by the end of the month.  FUN!

Fourth.  Another good time taker upper is home cooking.  Chicken soup sounded good.  Uh oh, no celery…I’ll walk to all the markets within a safe walking distance and search for celery.  Yeah, that’s what I did.  I didn’t find celery, but I found leeks.  That worked.  The soup was yummy and in my continued effort to procrastinate I made it cream of chicken with rice.

Fifth.  I took my camera on my walk.  I usually take my camera.  I didn’t take a picture of the Lada loaded with apples and oranges.  I should have.  I didn’t take a picture of the live fish swimming in the dishpan.  I should have.  I passed up this next opportunity and then thought better of it, turned around, went back and took a picture.  What is it a picture of?


Why yes, that is an animal hoof.  What kind of animal you ask?  Well, I don’t know because the rest of the animal is no where to be found….there’s just this part, my guess is that it used to be a sheep. Now this part is just laying there.  In my walking path.  One more reason I don’t walk my dog outside of the apartment grounds.

I take my camera with me to document things such as this so that when I get comments on my blog like this one from Mammadov I can just shake my head. “It is simply crazy to hear such words about your capital city… What the hell you were doing in Baku?”.  This comment was to my post of May 20th titled First Impressions.  You can read my comment to Mammadov there.  And just in case Mammadov is reading this post, this city is crazy, and lamb legs on the side walk are crazy…so there!

Sixth.  American Idol is coming on so I’ve got to get going!  LOL.  Actually I have read two six articles today.  There’s only so much High Fructose Corn Syrup info I can handle in a day.

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