Saturday, September 30, 2006

Why Sergio Cooks the Food and I Wash the Dishes

I got the urge to make something sweet a few weekends ago and after some deliberation settled on cinammon rolls. Not because I have made them before and know them to be good, but because I don't like chocolate very much and Sergio doesn't really like fruit desserts, so this was the middle ground. It was a really sudden decision and I had to get to the store quickly if I wanted have them finished at a decent hour. This was a recipe that called for homemade bread dough. This is really the only difficult part of cinammon rolls. Otherwise you just mix butter, cinammon, and sugar and roll it up into a log. Simple enough.

I rushed to get through the recipe and missed some very important things. First, I completely missed a half cup of water for the dough and didn't realize until long after Sergio muscled the substance into something semi dough-like. Then I realized that I had only two tablespoons of butter where it called for a cup and a half. Rather than go find a store open at ten, we stretched those two tablespoons through filling, frosting, and pan greasing.

Despite the setbacks we baked those sad little rolls anyway. They were...ok. A little heavy maybe. When they were warm they weren't too bad at all, but the next morning they resembled stones. I have to give Sergio credit. I managed two or three before giving up with a tired jaw, but he worked through four or five. How sweet. Lesson: Pillsbury is better than this mess, but aren't they kind of pretty?

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

In the Sky! It's a Bird, a Plane, No, It's a Tumor!

Partly in honor of Sergio's birthday and partly just because we wanted to, we drove to Astoria on Saturday by way of Seaside. These are places that are exactly as quaint as the names suggest. In fact we spent a good portion of our time in Astoria trying to decide if the sweet small town in Kindergarten Cop was the same place we were exploring. As luck would have it, Kindergarten Cop was on tv the next morning, and it most definitely is the exact town. Only the elementary school in the movie is really a community college. The more you know. Sergio and I have found that some of the best trips happen when we don't really plan them. Maybe it is the lack of expectations to be met. This was one of those days. First we stopped in Seaside and hung out on the beach looking for whole sand dollars and trying to trick Eliot in the water. The weather was gorgeous this time, though the water was still pretty cold. We played for a while before deciding to head into Astoria before we got too sandy to be in public. Astoria is more of a fishing village built on this big hill that makes driving a little scary. We drove around looking at houses before we found the Astoria Column which is a windy road that ends at the very top of Astoria and has a big tower you can climb up to check out the incredible view. But the best part was that you can buy these little wooden gliders to throw off the top of the tower. How fun is that! We walked the 164 winding stairs to the top and threw all five little planes off and watched them swirl to the ground. Except for the one Sergio threw that turned around and came crashing into strangers standing next to us. We got a free throw. Theoretically we could have done this over and over if we wanted to climb down and collect our planes and climb back up. Realistically, small children stood at the bottom of the tower and stole all of our planes. Later, while standing in a Safeway parking lot, I heard an odd barking noise and asked someone what it was. Seals. They hang out on a nearby dock. We took off to see these guys. Are any of you aware of how active these things are? And territorial. We watched for a long time and saw some severe fights over the sunny spots on the docks. We also got rather close to some and antagonized them with Eliot, who didn't seem to have a clue that these things were animals. They noticed him though. At least they did when I set him on the dock a few feet away from them to see if they would react. Then we went back to Seaside and played in the surf for a while. We found these horrible tiny creatures that swarm when the waves recede. There was some screaming. Like little girls. And not just by me. Sea life is creepy. We also tried digging for clams...didn't find any. And that was pretty much the whole day. Now settle in because we have lots and lots of

Monday, September 25, 2006

Dad, Happy Day of Birth!

There really isn't another good way to title a birthday post is there?

Anyway, have a good one. Skip work and play golf instead.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Happy Birthday, Sergio!

They grow up so fast! Here are a few pictures. Hopefully we will do something fun for his birthday and there will be more to report. Until then.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Campaigning? I Don't Even Like People.

Sergio and I took a trip way outside of our comfort level today. For Sergio it was the act of joining up with something, and for me it was talking to strangers. We went up the road with the Lewis and Clark Law School Democrats and canvassed an area for a local political candidate. This means that we went door to door handing out fliers and taking down any information the prospective voters were willing to give.
Now, I never even participated in school fundraisers as a kid. I was the person that took home the sheet with wrapping paper and lip balm choices and asked my parents to just buy $50 dollars worth, or better yet, just donate $50 bucks to the cause. I was not about to go door to door selling things. The very idea of knocking on strangers (or friends) doors sent me into a minor nervous breakdown that included crying and hiding in my closet. About the same reaction I had to calling strangers on the phone.
Sergio never participated in fundraisers either, and if it comes right down to it, he would usually rather spend his weekends climbing up slippery hills or swimming in cold streams or something. Joining up with a group of strangers to do anything is really not on Sergio’s list of fun things to do. As evidenced by the number of pub crawls, potlucks, and costume parties from which we have already politely excused ourselves.
We went though, because after bitterly complaining about our political situation for years, we felt that it was time to take real action.
I was in a cold sweat when we arrived at the party headquarters and got our instructions and pamphlets. We had a script, newspaper articles, and information for each person whose door we would knock on. The system is pretty good now; we only knocked on doors of democrats, those with no party affiliation, and republicans over 65. I guess that is in the hope that if a republican is angry that we show up they can’t do much about it. It also means that we bothered a few angry 82 year olds who no longer care if they are polite to other people. We marked them as hostile and moved on.
In the end, it really wasn’t that bad. In fact, Sergio may have found his calling as a door-to-door salesman. He seemed to be able to get almost anyone into a conversation, get what information he needed, and get his point across about the candidate. And me? Well, I was happiest when the people weren’t home and I could leave a flier in the door.

Here are some statements from some of the more interesting people we came across today.

“I don’t have an email address and I don’t always have a phone number.”
“I’ll be glad when the election is over and you people leave me alone.”
“Huh, what, huh, bye” (over an intercom)
“We’re deaf, I don’t understand.”
“I never tell anyone who I’m voting for, but I can tell you I always vote straight democrat.”

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

You Sure Are Pretty Mister

I rode the #1 bus to and from downtown again today. While there I was asked by a young man with little control over his eyeballs for a couple of bucks for a beer, but I only had bus fare. On the way home the bus driver was a shy redheaded transvestite with chin stubble, and the lady that sat next to me wore rubber surgical gloves and mumbled to herself. And that is about all I have to report on my end.

Sergio is off right now meeting his mentor that the law school assigned him. All I really know at this point is that they own the same pants and will be playing golf in a few weeks. I think that sounds like plenty to forge a successful mentor/mentee relationship.

Aren't we thrilling?

Sunday, September 10, 2006

It's a Mountain, You Moraine!

This is Mt. Hood. We hiked a trail called Cooper Spur yesterday, which goes part of the way up Mt. Hood and ends at a glacier. If you want to climb the rest of Mt. Hood you have to tie in to each other and go out on the glacier with crampons and ice axes. Maybe someday in the future. As it was, Cooper Spur pretty much killed us. The trail is very rocky and sandy, so that every step sinks or slips right out from under you. It also goes up in altitude to the very end. Sometimes we just went straight up the ravine and other times we went on long switchbacks that were meant to make the altitude easier to take, but were mentally challenging. You would think you were getting to the end and then it would turn you around and send you back across the side of the mountain. Our guidebook leaves a little to be desired and we took a couple of wrong turns making an eight mile hike a ten mile one. We were exhausted at the end, and our poor dog added another item to his list of grievances against us. He started out very excited but soon started laying down every time he thought we might be resting, and then he started favoring his paws. First his back foot and then later his front foot. We finally realized that Eliot was cramping. His feet were pulling up against his body and he would just cry and roll on his back. I didn't even know that could happen. He had been given plenty of water, so at that point we started feeding him oranges and dried fruit and nuts, and we carried him for the last half mile.
Despite all of that, it was still the most incredible hike we have ever done. Sergio heard the glacier crack once, which sounded like faraway thunder, and I was able to add a couple of classics to my bad hiking photos collection.

If you look on the left side of the picture you will see the ravine we hiked along for awhile. The valley is the moraine left behind from other glaciers. There is a great creek at the bottom.

The rocks were really loose, so this was probably dangerous. You didn't want to hike below each other here because large rocks would just tumble down the hill.

This is Eliot glacier.

It was about 60 degrees most of the day, then the sun went behind the mountain and it dropped into the high forties.

Eliot sneaking in a rest.

This is the view backwards from the mountain. We eventually got above those clouds and found two mountains in the distance we hadn't been able to see below the clouds.

I told you there were some good ones to add to the collection. My shirt is on my head because the wind hurts my ears. There is an even better picture that we can't download right now.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Single White Goth Girl Seeks Menonite Man

I have been living the life of a housewife lately, which has its ups and downs. Ups: Sleeping late and watching Gilmore Girls reruns everyday at eleven. Downs: Boredom, no money, pitiful posts. In the meantime, I am having fun with the new scanner. I think I will do this weekly until we have more to talk about. This week's theme? Pictures of Sergio and Dawn (and friends) as wee college freshmen. Enjoy!

This is how Sergio looked when I met him.

This is how I looked when he met me.

And just for fun, our friends in a more innocent time. The man in the brown sweater is Iggy. So now you know what the bad bowler looks like if you didn't already.

This is Sergio and Ryan's dorm room. Nice and cozy. And for good measure, another picture of Ryan...Iggy.

Saturday, September 02, 2006


You may have noticed that we haven't posted in almost a week. There are a few reasons for that. One, Sergio started school full-time and I fear that I may never see him during the week again. Two, he takes the computer with him when he goes. Three, I have done nothing in the meantime. In fact, I have started catching myself having long conversations with the dog, which is slightly worrying. Hopefully a job will come up soon enough, but that isn't really what I wanted to post about. I just wanted to let you know we are here, still exploring when Sergio isn't at the law library or closed in his office, and settling in well.
As for today, we are just watching a little football and texting our friends who are having the first big tailgating party of the year. Woo Pig Sooie!