This is what my life has become.

SoccerDad- “Hey, I think the printer’s f&$%ed up….”


This is me trying to put my log back together. Normally, it stacks neatly right off the printer. We may or may not have loaded the paper in the wrong direction. So concluded my first job. I felt like a rock star. I am mastering my craft! I am far from mastery.

You may have noticed the beanie I am sporting in this photo. Edwin (the Canadian) calls it a “touk”. “That’s not a real word, you hoser. Take off!” I replied. Hoser¬†is Canadian for some sort of insult. Take off is Canadian for¬†eff off, or get out of town! Anyway, I am rocking hats fairly regularly now. I also enjoy headbands. My hair is finally long enough to wear the sweet beaded flower one ūüôā¬†

More reasons to love my co workers: Yesterday, while processing¬†and finalizing my job (called “playback”), Albert came in to the playback room, still in his onsey, covered in grease and dirt, holding a cup covered with a glove. “Hey guys, look at this tarantula!” I took a photo, but apparently also deleted it off my phone ūüė¶ Everyone in our group loves looking at cool bugs, and will not let anyone else miss out on seeing critters. It’s almost an unspoken code. This sometimes means pausing work to look at a scorpion on the side walk. It means going “critter hunting” after work in the area around the apartments, where armadillos have been spotted. It also means forgoing your duties to run in and show your buddies a tarantula. No one kills spiders or bugs, they just guide them outside. These are my kind of people.

This post’s quotes section requires a header. All the following quotes were said in public, in family oriented establishments. I feel it is necessary to also apologize to my mother for the¬†vulgarity in¬†the quotes. But I laughed my bottom off. After¬†alerting the co workers of the children in the area.¬†

“I hate riding¬†on bumpy roads now because I can feel my ass jiggle.”

“There’s such a mix of smells going on in here. I feel like vomiting. There’s Albert’s dip. This stuff smells like mothballs. And we smell like booze and fart.”

“Oh no! Someone took a shit in the washing machine again!”

We went to an antique store today. I would not normally post pictures of people like this. However, a store employee requested a photo of this guy and posted it on the store’s Facebook. This guy is an open holer.

Caving in to peer pressure, he eventually bought these.

I would now like to test out writing about more technical stuff. Please feel free to provide feedback regarding your interest level. I will spare you too many explanations and get to the punchline.

To properly log a job, we have to input tool serial numbers into the software. Certain tools have calibration coefficients which must be loaded off a giant server. If you do not put in the correct serial numbers, or pull the wrong calibration coefficients, the software is EXTREMELY fussy and the tool will not read data correctly, causing massive delays. This can and did cause HOURS of delay for Okankwo’s¬†job. Edwin read the wrong number off a tool and we spent quite a bit of time trying to figure out what was wrong with the tool. Luckily, we were still able to go home at the end of the day and it did not get anyone out of schedule. After discovering the mistake, Edwin confessed his unintentional sabotage of the job. I laughed hysterically and could not look at Edwin for a while without busting up about it. Okankwo¬†was less amused. Everyone teases Edwin about it. He is a good sport and even participates in the jokes. Okankwo¬†was complaining that calling home to Chad is very expensive. Okankwo¬†then went in to playback. While I was doing my job, Tommy, Edwin and I were discussing ways Okankwo could communicate home.

Edwin:”I suggested he write a post card.”

Tommy:”Yeah, and he shook his head and said. ‘mail is too sloooow.’ Okankwo is not a fan of the mail system.”

Edwin:”But you know how to really get Okankow’s goat?”

Tommy and me: ” How?”

Edwin: “Give him the wrong serial numbers!”

Inside jokes

[Links to come. I’m blogging from my phone!]

We just finished day one of our job site. I was operator and the wench. I’ve been at the training center for 17 hours. These hours are dwarfed by some of my co workers. It was raining and freezing all day. I just wiped dirt off my seemingly clean face.

Some inside ish jokes:

Whenever someone finishes anything (quiz, logging, eating, etc.) It is now customary to dance around chanting “who can top that shit, who can top that shit” in the fashion of aziz ansari in this:

On meal times, “the meal is not over when I’m full! The meal is over when I hate myself!” See this Louis CK video.

We constantly review and QC each others work. When someone reminds you to do something, example: “don’t forget to input your ______ values”! It is customary to reply with “don’t forget to bring a towel!” [Link coming]

If someone is complaining about anything, it is customary to grumble, “nobody pays me in trident layers…” [Link coming]

My personal favorite, also inspired by aziz ansari, when returning to the classroom or truck from doing anything (going to the bathroom, getting coffee, walking around, etc), it is customary to provide the following disclaimer: “just to let you know, I was taking an important phone call. I was not just taking a sh!t” [link coming]

The post of mostly quotes

Many of these quotes I have been meaning to post for some time. Some of them have occurred recently.

SoccerDad: What?! Why don’t you believe me?

Tommy: “The only serious thing I’ve ever heard you say was ‘I’m about to fart…. and then you farted.’ ”

Okankwo: “F&$%ing sh!t!”

Jake: “You seem really distressed over there, Okankwo. Are you alright?”

“Where my Mitches¬†at?!” -SoccerDad

“This is the best word I’ve learned since I’ve been here.” -Okankwo

“Whomp, there it is” – my text message tone

“The last time I ate queso, I poured it all over myself and went to sleep.” -Big Shot Becker

“The last time I was in New Orleans, I woke up from my blackout standing in a trash can yelling at some guy to come at me.” -Big Shot Becker

“Who would put a soggy yamakha on a whale?” – Big Shot Becker, about my ‘Thank you BP, for killing us’ shirt.

We are about to start our first real job site. The past two “jobs” we’ve done have been more practicing. I’m not sure if that makes sense, since what is training, if not practice? Anyhow, it’s important and if I do well, there is a chance I will not suck at this job. If I do poorly, there is a greater chance that I might suck at this job.

I have reached a state where my hands are perpetually dirty. They are stained with oil and grease. I use specialty soap, and they are still not clean. I feel like a mechanic. Or perhaps when mechanics get dirty, they feel like oilfield workers.

I have a little bit of a rant: Here’s the part my dad (who probably doesn’t read this) and all my past roommates will really enjoy. I did not post of this event when it happened, but it happened again. I feel the reoccurrence¬†is worth posting about. One day, I come home from school, insert my key card into the door to my apartment (hotel key style). The light on the lock turns red. I try again. Same result. I walk to the front desk. “Hi there, my room key is not working in my door.” The man behind the desk looks at me concerned, “What room number?” “3108.” He looks at his computer monitor, “Oh, housekeeping could not clean your room today because of the mess. They will fine¬†you $100 if it is not cleaned the next time.” This situation infuriates me. I understand a service charge if I had made a mess which anyone had to clean up. I do not leave out dishes, trash or general gross stuff. The mess is just my clothes, shoes, and some paper. I always clean up enough to avoid this housekeeping fee, but it is so very unneccessary. The second time this happened, I asked the front desk man, “Can I pay housekeeping $100 to never¬†go into¬†my room again?” He was not amused. The way I see it, housekeeping cleaned one less room. I should not pay them to not clean anything. They should pay me for the reduced work load. I’m no stranger to renting. Don’t worry, housekeeping, it’ll be clean when I’m gone.


After wrapping up our second job and a quick debriefing on Saturday, we had Sunday and Monday off. This gave me a chance to reconnect with life outside of the Whataberger University. Conveniently, I was able to visit my grandfather in the hospital. He recently had back surgery. Coming out of his post surgery fog from last week, he seems to be doing well this weekend. For those of you who know my grandfather, these should be funny:

I walked into the room as an aide was helping put on his shoes in the morning.¬†The aide asks,¬†“Is this your grand-daughter?” Gido¬†replies, “Yes”. Aide, “Oh, are you the doctor?!” Me, “Hah, no. I’m the doctor’s sister.” Gido, “She is an engineer.”

Gido’s¬†nurse comes into his room in the morning to check on him. Gido, “Did you get promoted?!”

While in physical therapy practicing walking, one of the workers was trying to encourage my grandfather to take a couple more steps. From about 5 yards away, she calls out to him, “Mr. Khalifa!” Breaking his intense concentration, my grandfather looks up to see who is calling him. He sees the lady and smiles at her, “What’s up?”

(To me, in arabic, at 8:57. Physical therapy begins at 9.)”Listen, I’m tired. They do physical therapy twice a day here. Once in the¬† morning and once after lunch. I don’t need to go twice a day. I want to sleep now.”¬† I told my uncle about this conversation a few minutes later. My uncle says to me “He’s playing you. He says that every morning. He figured you wouldn’t know any better.”

My cousins and I like to get my grandfather t shirts¬†from our respective colleges. (I need to get him a Whataberger shirt soon.) I’m sure he doesn’t keep track of what he wears and when, but it’s always nice when he is sporting his Sun Devil gear when I’m around. Aide, “I see you have Arizona State on today.” She looks up to see¬†a matching sweatshirt which I am wearing. “Oh, yesterday¬†he had on¬†Georgia¬†State…” Me, “Yeah, that’s my cousin’s.” My uncle chimes in, “But he’s an Aggie at heart.”¬†

It was important to get out of the work scene for a couple of days and realize that meanwhile, life is still happening. Being around my family was extremely comforting. To an equal degree, seeing ailmented people suffering alone in the hospital was extremely discomforting. I felt this reality check came in perfect timing. Perhaps this phase in life, young adulthood, brings about mentalities of total independence and invincibility. Truth is, life is fragile.  Stroke, paralysis, or general degeneration lurk not far from the path. Take care of yourselves. Take care of your families. Soap box adjourned. (I love you, Mom!)

Good news: Today I did not fall asleep in class. I am starting to not only watch, but count what I eat. Turns out, I eat a lot. Especially at the Whataberger¬†University cafeteria. October 25th resolution: eat less at the stupid cafeteria. Just because it’s free, does not mean I have to eat everything I see. It’s like eating at a Chinese Buffet (like the one we went to next to Bosa’s on my birthday last year) every day for lunch. If you have been to a Chinese Buffet with me, or love them as much as I do, this statement should be downright sickening. Those days are behind me now. New leaf.

Other news: I caved. I have Android. Play me on Hangin with friends or words with friends: lelashmawy

Random news: As I was driving back to Tulsa from Tyler, a motorcyclist passed me on a crappy¬†Oklahoma highway.¬†I was speeding, so he must have been flyying.¬†In front of me, the young man started to stand up.He then popped the bike up and rode down the highway on one wheel. “Why?” I pondered to myself. Then I passed two uniformed men smiling and pointing at the motorcyclist. They were¬†sitting in a County¬†Sheriff car.¬† “I guess anything goes in The Sooner State” I thought. I let my¬†foot rest heavier on the accelerator. ¬†


The post of many pictures.

Greetings Readers,

I have a lot to say. Let me begin by saying it is 1:58am and I just returned home from the training center. I feel like vomiting. I had too much caffeine. How much is too much caffeine, Laila? After two cans of Coke and a third of a cup of coffee, I feel absolutely nauseated and battling a raging headache. No more caffeine for me. 

I had a dream last night that I was visiting Dallas for the evening. Upon leaving a business establishment with my sister, we wandered around an ally and found a baby Husky sitting on a park bench. He was cute and fluffy and very small. He had no collar and looked like he wanted a home. I decided to take him only after a waitress came outside and told us we should take him. The pressing thought in my mind was “How will I keep this dog in my parents house over night?…. My mother will not be pleased that I have adopted a dog when I have no steady time commitment to it. She will be even less pleased that he is staying in her home.” My plan of action was to pretend the baby husky was a rabbit so he would gain acceptance in my parents house, then take him back to Oklahoma with me. When I woke up the next day (woke up in the dream). The dog was gone. I have spent much of the day today (real life, not dream) thinking about this dog. I named him Charles.¬† He¬†is my dream dog. This picture does not do him justice:

Charles, the puppy of my dreams
Now, let’s talk about addiction for a moment. The Cased Hole Canibals¬†seem to be suffering a communal addiction. We are all enablers and co-dependants. Here is a photo taken of my work space at 10:am:

My spit cup

The whole class spits sunflower seeds ALL DAY LONG. Looking around the room, everyone has their own spit cup or box or bag.

Herman is a very funny guy. He is experienced and a great teacher. He is helping us with our latest job running production¬†logging tools. He has an interesting sense of humor. He likes to call whoever is the “Wench”, Mitch. When Herman worked in the field, he had a crew with a winchman¬†named Mitch and an operator named Janice. Therefore, he¬†often gives examples or makes up scenarios¬†or just straight up¬†calls us Mitch or Janice.¬†¬†
¬†“The first time Mitch messes up, you hit him on the head. It is okay, because he has hard hat. The next time Mitch messes up, you take his hard hat from his head and hit him with it. Mitch will not mess up again.”
Herman- “Now, if Janice cuts her finger off in the tension device, what will be the first thing you will do?”
Tommy-“Apply pressure and put the finger on ice…”
Herman-“You must first catch her because if she cut her finger off, she will be running around and screaming.”
Herman-“Now if she lost her finger on top of the well, her finger will fall in the well, and she will ride in the ambulance without her finger because we do not have fishing equipment for fingers.”
^^I’m not sure how funny that is written in this format. This conversation took place in our safety meeting before beginning a job. Usually, safety meetings are about much broader topics such as what the purpose of the log is and what tools we will be using. Or, what are blanket safety rules to which you must adhere (like wearing steel toe boots and hard hats, and not smoking near gasoline).
Here are some photos of our job!
Rig up, log down

Tommy-“Are we allowed to take pictures down here?”

Jake-“As long as this doesn’t show up on the ‘New Haliburton Training Center’ web page, you’re fine.”
This is a photo of the logging truck. Behind it is the well. On the back of the truck is a large drum with cable on it. The cable comes out of the truck and through a couple of pulley type things, which hoist it into the air and into the hole. Tah-Dah! Here is a view of what Mitch looks at all day:

Mitch’s eye view
Please do not share with Haliburton. Thanks.
This sign accompanies not only every toilet, but also several walls not in a rest room. Enjoy, and stay hydrated!!

Thanks, Whataberger.

SoccerDad-“Why is Okankwo always on his own f&$%ing schedule?? I’ll go find him this time, but I’m going to assign one of you to keep track of him!”
OpenHoler-“Okay, this may be offensive…”
Me-“Go for it.”
OpenHoler-“Are those raccoon eyes, or just your make up?”
Me-“Hahahha, just makeup. It smears easy late in the day.”
OpenHoler-“Oh okay, good. I was thinking ‘wow, Laila is REALLY tired.¬†‘”
It’s been pretty cold lately. We work outside. The coldest temperature Okankwo¬†has ever experienced in his life is roughly 50F. (We had the Canadian make the conversion from C.) The heaviest gear Okankwo¬†has is a light windbreaker¬†and thin jeans. Okankwo¬†is freezing. While he does not complain about the cold, if you stand close enough, you can hear him making shivering noises. His teeth don’t even clink together. He just whimpers. We are taking him shopping for some winter gear. Hopefully we can find him some sweatshirts with stars and stripes to serve a dual purpose and commemorate his time in the states. Also, once we get inside after being outside, Okankwo usually gains enough feeling to exclaim, “F&$%ING SH!T!!! it is cold out there, ya!”


Hold up!

Recently, we have been learning about production logging tools. These are tools used to measure flows, temperatures, pressures…etc that is coming out of a well. We have stopped calling oil and gas oil and gas, but rather now just say “money”. Example: “How much money is in the reservoir?” Answer? BILLIONS. Our instructor has been a Colombian man named “Herman”. Herman was Jake’s instructor when Jake was in his first technical school years ago. Herman worked in the field for 19 years. This is an outrageous amount of time. Most field engineers work in the field for 3-5 years. If you work for 7 years in the field, that is considered too long. Herman uses the phrase “the whole enchilada” and means it. He paused class yesterday to explain to us what an enchilada was.

Herman: “And what were you estudying?”

Albert: “Aerospace engineering.”

Herman: “Aerospace?! You’re going the wrong direction, my friend. It is tougher down there, though.”

The technologies and tools used in the oil field are compared with those launched into space. Interesting fact: detectors developed and built by Whataberger¬†are on the Hubble space telescope. One of the concepts used in calculating flows in pipes is called “hold up”. This basically describes that different fluids and gasses move at different velocities¬†within a pipe. You have to know how much of what you have in a cross sectional area to compute the flow coming to surface. If you have any background in fluids, this should make sense. If not, don’t worry. I only bring this up because every time the instructor says “hold up” we start silently singing to ourselves.¬†You can tell who is inspired, because they immediately¬†shrug their shoulders and start dancing subtly. At one point, everyone who is singing looks at each other and says “Heeeey….. smoke weed everyday.”

Okankwo deserves his own section here of quotes. I must first explain that he just learned English, and we have not done a good job teaching him a variety of words. Or perhaps, he has just fully grasped one word. As a result, a day with Okankwo goes something like this:

Herman, “What is wrong with this log?”….Okankwo,”F&$%.”

We walk out of class. Okankwo shakes his head, “F&$%”

We are sitting in the logging truck running tools in and out of the hole. Okankwo is the engineer. “F&$%!”

We are taking a test. Okankwo grabs is head with both hands, “F&$%!”

We are eating lunch. Rice keeps falling off Okankwo’s fork, “Jesus f&$%ing Christ!”

We are back at the apartments. We are getting off the bus to go home. Okankwo, “F&$%!”

SoccerDad nods his head in agreement. “It’s such a universal word. I understand, Okankwo, F&$% as well.”

Lazy Forever, Brad Neely, and Thumper

This week was awesome. We had Saturday (today) off. I went running and then rock climbing with my co worker. This co worker is awesome. She is the only other girl in my class. She went to college and is close with some people my father used to coach. It is a small small world. This co worker can be seen in the photo of the balloon hats in October 5th ‘s post. Let’s call her Beatrice. Beatrice and I had a great day.

A:”DTI- Depth Tension Interface.”

B:“Whats ‘in her face’?”

The other day we saw this commercial:¬† We showed it to Jake in class. We shared a laugh. ¬† I don’t think my personal commentary can be contained in a single post. If you think this is funny/ridiculous/awesome, you may contact me for further discussion.

I have finally discovered why SoccerDad is so funny. He sounds like this guy:

We discovered a mirror in our minivan. It allows the driver to supervise all the passengers. SoccerDad uses it to flip us all off as we drive down the hill.


Also, there is a character who lurks down the hill. For weeks, we have driven by this truck.


I apologize that the picture is so small and crappy. All these pictures I take with my little cell phone. Anyhow. This is a huge Chevy Avalanche truck. It is bright yellow. The license plate says THUMPN. It is lifted and for all purposes “souped up”. After some time, we sighted the mysterious owner of this truck. It is a rather masculine Norwegian woman. She has broad shoulders and looks like she does not “acquire feces” from anyone. Also, she looks like she could and frequently does “wallop a lady” up. We call her Thumper. Thumper works in well services down the hill. We joke that one day in the future, Beatrice and I will become a Thumper.

My thoughts….

I think one of my co workers was on death row… or I just dreamed that after watching the Green Mile. Either way, I now fear for my life.

“This is a Dutch company. The E is silent in ‘PPE‘”

Today in class we are learning about oil. This includes the different types of oil, their specifications, composition, viscosity, and how all these things affect oil’s market name and value. It’s pretty interesting stuff. Also, a barrel of oil is 42 gallons. I did not know this until a few hours ago. Good news! I do not suck at my job. I received my graded practical yesterday, and I scored well above the average. This is a tremendous feat, as I have scored waaaaay below the average on all my exams.

During class, we were discussing oil companies. Some produce oil, some refine it, and some are gas stations. Really huge companies do everything. There is a chain of gas station/truck stops in Oklahoma called “Kum & Go”. We are unsure where their gas actually comes from. Jake is from Oklahoma, he was explaining “When I was in highschool and that place was built, we all thought it was sooooo funny.” As he is saying this, the entire class is giggling like a bunch of twelve year olds. Now, the Kum & Go sells key chains, hats, and t shirts. It’s a poor man’s bucees….

Let’s talk about petroleum for a moment. Some oil reservoirs contain H2S, hydrogen sulfide gas, which is very deadly in even small quantities. The detectors worn when working in fields known to have H2S detect it to the single parts per million. Everyone in the field wears a detector. All the detectors are linked, sort of like a smoke alarm system in your house. When one starts to sound, they all go off, and an evacuation is necessary. Jake was telling us a story about these detectors: “One time, one of the operators thought it would be funny to fart into the detector.” At this moment, Jake moves his arm to position his hand under his bottom. He is leaning against a table in the front of the room. “So he holds it and farts into it. And it set off all the alarms.”