International Acclaim (and 5 shots of espresso)

In the interest of me sounding fancy, allow me to state I had a conference call at 6 am this morning with Iraq. In the interest of full disclosure, allow me to state I was quite grumpy about it and tried (unsuccessfully) to get it pushed back to at least 7. As life would have it, I got here on time and Iraq instant messaged me to request we start the meeting a little later, as they were tied up in another call at the time. Of course.

So I started the morning #winning by a) forgetting to take my medicine at home, b) leaving my lunch on the counter at my apartment, and c) ordering a venti (large) Americano at Starbucks with an extra shot of espresso. For anyone keeping count, that's 5 shots of espresso in one beverage. Definitely more than anyone needs and definitely less than I wanted to consume.

(Unrelated: I also listened to an episode of the (now defunct) Grantland Food News podcast this morning wherein Juliet and Jacoby discuss the potential merits of caffeinated peanut butter, and I WANT SOME.)

When we finally got connected on the call, no one introduced themselves, leaving me to wonder to whom each voice belonged, and I started my spiel about audits and such. A booming voice interrupted, "Have you started your holiday baking yet?"

.... WHAT? Who was that?! How does he know that?! AM I BEING WATCHED?

Keep in mind, this call was with Iraq. Yes, that Iraq.

Iraq: Not close to home.
Me: Umm.. I'm glad my reputation precedes me... (looks over shoulder.. makes sure no one is watching) I made brownies and cookies this week-- How did you know?
Him: I had some of those mocha cupcakes you made last Christmas. They were real good..

Keep in mind I still didn't even know who was speaking! I smiled and nodded (as if he could see me via the phone) and carried on with our meeting.. And a few minutes later a memory surfaced of a guy who used to work in our office that I always chatted with at the water cooler. He took on a Supply Chain position in Iraq last year/early this year.. But, shamefully, I must admit I would not have recalled his name had he not been listed on the conference call attendees. 

However -- how cool is that that my baked goods have reached international status?? If our visas ever come through for me to go to Iraq as planned, I'll have to bake and take something to them.

#hartzogswag