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December 09, 2004: Anything but love

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I finished downloading all the files from World Bank today - a task which has taken me three days to complete. There were close to 600 of them, now all residing as lovely Excel files on our server. I'm not sure exactly when we will ever need to access a 44 year history of number of televisions owned per 1000 persons, or how much a 3 minute telephone call costs, or a running total of how many cell phones per 1000 people each country has accumulated (oh, and just in case you were wondering, Luxemburg has, on average more than 1 cell phone per person. I admit to being extremely curious as to why) in our business, but some of the data was pretty interesting to look at. Also some of it was a little scary. These people track everything. And I do mean everything.

One of my coworkers just recently bought a truck, so he and I loaded all the food donations (and counted out all the cash and change into an envelope) and we took it all to the Sacramento Food Bank to drop it off. It took a few false starts before we figured out where to go to drop it all off, and our total donation seemed like a pretty small pile on the big cart they wheeled out for us, especially when compared to the long line of people we saw inside, waiting patiently for their names to be called so they could be given bags of food. But the guy at the donation spot thanked us profusely and wished us happy holidays and when I got back to the office I reminded myself that there are only 6 people in my tiny little office, and that every great thing has to start small, and that even 230 pounds is better than no food at all. And then I ate a piece of chocolate and felt better, because chocolate is always good for what ails you.

After work I zipped off to the allergy clinic for my weekly shots, and then Richard and I met at Ben & Jerry's for dinner. I realize, especially after yesterday's entry about how we were going to be good and virtuous and forgo the Christmas cookie baking, that having dinner at an ice cream shop may seem a little insane, but there was a really good reason. You see, they’ve got this really cool promotion going on right now where if you buy a sundae you can get one of four gorgeous ceramic glazed bowls for only a few dollars more, and the instant I saw one of the bowls in real life I knew that I must have the full collection. They are holiday themed, but they are lovely pastel colors with snowflakes in the bottom, and words along the side – Peace, Love, Harmony, and Joy. Last week when we went stopped by for a scoop I bought the Harmony bowl. However, when I got home, I managed to accidentally knock the box off the kitchen counter and broke our Harmony into tiny little pieces. Earlier this week we went in and they had just brought out Love, so we split a sundae and got that one. And I figured if we just each got a sundae today then we'd only need one more bowl and we'd be all set, and also we had vegetable stew and fruit for lunch, and very low-point pumpkin spice cake for breakfast so ice cream for dinner was actually not so out of the realm of healthy eating possibilities for the day.

When we went in and ordered our sundaes he asked us which bowl we wanted and I told him we wanted anything but love, which was kind of amusing to say out loud, and I related the little story of our shattered harmony, and then for some obscure but much appreciated reason the guy behind the counter decided that the bowls should not be shattering into itty bitty pieces and so he gave us another Harmony for free. And then he gave us our sundaes and we ate our ice cream and he gave us the remaining two bowls, and now I have the whole set, plus I got to eat ice cream for dinner, and it all makes me very happy.

This has been a Holidailies entry.

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