Thursday, November 30, 2006

Quote of the Week

"When a thing has been said, and said well, have no scruple. Take it and copy it."
Anatole France

Now back to our regularly scheduled programming.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

One Day Left in November

I just finished watching the Grey's Anatomy episode from last week online. I missed it because we were out having a real life while Sergio's parents were in town. Whoever thought of free shows online was brilliant.
This made Sergio and I laugh a little today.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Where's Sergio, he too has a red and white hat.

By now everyone who knows us knows that we have no idea where we will end up, I mean end up living. Will we be in Portland, OR or Fayetteville, AR, will we be in Morgantown, WV or Asheville, NC, who knows. But if you click here you might find out where you would be happiest.

Guess What!

It is snowing. And has been all day.

(No sticking though)

Sunday, November 26, 2006


4 Nicknames I have had:
Lady, Pie, Doodle, and Garth

4 Ice creams I love:
Phish Food, Pistachio, Hazelnut, Strawberry

4 Books I have read at least 4 times:
Jane Eyre, Pride and Prejudice, The Little House on the Prairie Series, Me Talk Pretty One Day

4 Movies I have watched at least 14 times;
Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, The Wedding Singer, National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, The Sound of Music

4 Cities I have lived in for more than 4 years:
Benton, AR, Snellville, GA, LaFayette, GA, and Fayetteville, AR

4 Cities I have lived in for less than 4 years:
Williamsburg, VA, Collierville, TN, Little Rock, AR, and Portland, OR

Only four days left in this silly challenge that was meant to inspire more creative writing, and instead has produced some of the most boring stuff on the internet. I truly apologize for the past months content. In four days we will go back to only putting things up two or three times a week, I promise.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

A Gorge-eous Day

Here are some pictures from today at Multnomah Falls. We took Sergio's parents into the gorge to look around today. We did the coast yesterday. I would also like to report that the sun came out today and stayed out and it is still not raining. Frankly, I don't know what to do with myself.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Gobble Gobble Gurkey

Our Thanksgiving gift to you, a little classic Adam Sandler.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006


What I made on Thanksgiving Eve. Sergio is in charge tomorrow, but I did this with a little help from his mom. She was brave and put them in the oven for me because I was fairly certain that if I tried we would end up with a lot of pie filling on the bottom of the oven and none in the crust. These are my first pies ever. I also threw in some pictures of what I think most kitchens look like about now.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Let's all go to the lobby

Good movies according to us in no particular order:

The Royal Tennenbaums
Garden State
The Wedding Singer
Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
When Harry Met Sally
Mystery Alaska
The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill and Came Down a Mountain
Legends of the Fall (just Sergio)
Last of the Mohicans
The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou
Saved (love this)
Forrest Gump
Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (just me)
Monty Python and the Holy Grail
Ghostbusters 1 and 2
Groundhog Day
The Shawshank Redemption

This would have been easier if we had done the few movies we don't like. Anyone want to tell us their favorite movies? I might add more as I think of them.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Reading Homework

Sorry about this cheat of a post, but Sergio had the computer all night working on a memo. It sounds so innocent but it seemed to stress him out pretty well. That or the fact that the computer kept freezing. I think Thanksgiving vacation will be good for him. Anyway, here are some links from four blogs that one or both of us check out regularly.

This is a good one for anyone. It is nothing but links to other interesting things. I should mention that every blog I am putting up here are some of the royalty of blogging. They all have figured out a way to make a living doing what I am doing here, but better.

This blog is the one that got me addicted to reading them in the first place. She was the woman that was first fired for her blog, and is super well-known. I would love to be able to write as freely and comically about things as her. Maybe not my bodily functions and body parts, but I respect that she can. Be warned, sometimes graphic.

This is the person that started the posting every day challenge. I just thought I should point out where this idea came from.

And if there is one I most jealous of for making a life out of her blog, it is her. She started a food blog to practice her English and now gets great food sent to her, has a cookbook, and travels just to eat. No fair.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Minimalist by Necessity

Retha and Eugenio (Sergio's parents) will be here on Tuesday and we are pretty excited to have people finally come see where we live. We realized that we never showed anyone what our apartment is like. It is a pretty basic place, but I took a few pictures for you anyway. Mostly I want to show off how clean we can make things when we try. Except the bedroom, which has laundry. No picture of that.

I know you were all dying to see our toilet.

I think this is Sergio's favorite room in the house, the bikes mostly. Yes, the red one is mine.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Finite Creativity

It seems that eighteen days is my limit on finding useless things to post about. I have gone through our pictures, read comics, watched Youtube, and read over all my favorite daily blogs looking for something I could rip off, but still have come up with nothing. I wish we had something to show you about Portland, but at this point we have gotten pretty settled in and our weekends are as likely to be spent watching Rocky marathons on the couch as they are hiking up rocky hills. In fact this weekend we are just cleaning the house before Sergio's parents come for Thanksgiving, and tomorrow we are shopping for said holiday. I will definitely tell you how cooking our first thanksgiving meal for others goes. Some other topics I am thinking of boring everyone with to finish out the month are, how much we like The Amazing Race, essential pantry items according to us, as many posts as I can get out of the holiday, maybe a list of our favorite movies, and how expensive Mexican food is here. You just can't wait, can you?

Friday, November 17, 2006

Nothing to Report

I am so glad it is the weekend! I have nothing else to say. Here is a picture of Eliot instead.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Quote Thursday

I would feel more optimistic about a bright future for man if he spent less time proving that he can outwit Nature and more time tasting her sweetness and respecting her seniority.

-William Westmoreland, Essays

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

We Finally Learned to Link

We thought we would share some things we have enjoyed on the internet lately.

This is a song about the woodpecker in Arkansas. The link will take you to the NPR site and you should click on the Sufjan Stevens song, The Lord God Bird. He is attempting to do a song about all fifty states.

Here is a Michael Moore article. I know some of you won't want to read it, as he can be divisive, but I enjoyed it.

And the guy in this game reminds Sergio of his Uncle Terry. Just check it out. With the sound on is even funnier.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Good Morning, this is Dawn, How May I Help You?

Tomorrow I start a new job doing something somewhere. I don't actually know what the job involves and I can't say where it is on the internet. Rule #1 of blogging is never talk about work, and we will follow that here. I CAN say that this will be my first non-admin job since graduating college, and for that I am truly thankful. I just don't have it in me to assist capable adults. If you are using a copier and it runs out of paper, I have total confidence that you can find the paper tray without my input. At least try. Even if you fail, the effort would have been enough.
I didn't really talk about job hunting here, because, quite frankly, it was embarrassing. I guess I will go ahead and admit now that I went on eight interviews and temped at seven different places in the meantime. After that many interviews I learned that I hate the term "corporate culture." Terms like these make me feel like I am being repeatedly poked in the eyes. "Tell me Dawn, in what sort of corporate culture do you see yourself working?" Um, a pleasant one? That isn't the right answer. In fact, I think I might have lost most of the interviews at this point, because when asked an inane question my ears turn red and I say something inane in return. Some other questions I can't seem to answer include, "Where do you see yourself in five years? " Not at your reception desk, that's for sure! Or, "What can you bring to this position?" My twenty years of experience answering telephones, I learned to take messages when I was five! Or, "What is your greatest weakness?" Interviews, obviously.
I did my best to prepare for these questions, but the better I got at answering them the cheesier I felt and the redder my ears became. I also discovered a disturbing habit of tugging at my shirt when I was lying about job goals or personal attributes. Why yes sir, I would love to work here for ten years with no hope of a promotion. Tug.
Ok, enough unloading of my job frustrations. I have work!

Monday, November 13, 2006

Middle East Musings

This is an email my friend Louisa sent me. If you don't know of Louisa, she is my British friend who (this is putting it in very vague terms) works in Israel promoting human rights issues for various international groups. She has a much more interesting life than the two of us and we thought her perspective on this issue would be a great thing to spread around. Enjoy!

For a long time now I have wanted to write an e mail to all of you with my thoughts about what has been going on here over the past couple of months. It is only now, with enough distance and time to reflect that I am able to talk about the Lebanon conflict, for example, and the recent killings in Beit Hanoun(,,1942963,00.html ) in the Gaza Strip I think will require a similar period to digest. I’d like to preface the e mail I am about to write by telling you all that this won’t be a particularly eloquent political analysis and since I don’t really know where to begin, it may be that it turns into my thoughts in a random order (well…some things never change do they!). It’s also only half of what I’m thinking – feedback appreciated and I can tell you all more.

I have now been living and working in the occupied Palestinian territory for 2 ½ years all together. I’d say that I came here with the notion that Israel was somewhat justified in taking steps to thwart ‘terrorism’ no-doubt fuelled by news stories from home which I now see don’t paint the correct picture of what is going on over here. I went from being pro-Israeli to being vehemently pro-Palestinian, when you are here, you just can’t help it – constant checkpoints, army incursions, building of the wall, targeted assassinations and systematic discrimination of the Palestinian people makes you very hard-line. Then the Lebanon war happened and I felt that the response by Western Governments made me ashamed to be British for the first time in my life. Then I went home for two weeks to recharge and now, well now I’m just sad and that’s all.

I feel like I should go through these stages, explaining events that have shaped my beliefs and altered me into someone altogether less idealistic, and a little bit more jaded than myself 2 ½ years ago.

(This was a paragraph that explains exactly what Louisa does, but we thought it best to leave all work related things off the internet)

And so, I took over the job just as thing were looking good – the structure was reformed so that all meetings were joint PA and Donor Government meetings which would allow for policy dialogue – lets build a viable - Palestinian state! And then, Hamas happened. Honestly, I can hardly say I can blame people for voting Hamas – they are transparent and at least they say what they mean!! The banners in Ramallah before the elections read ‘The US and Israel want Fatah…who do you want’ that says it all really – and our job became a nightmare as no one could sit with the government, meetings became donor only and coordination slowed to a minimum..increadibly frustrating.

Now donors can work at a director-general level down in PA ministries but there is hardly a PA left. Aid bypassed the government and turned into emergency provision mostly..lets forget about a Palestinian state..lets just keep people at a minimum poverty level so that they don’t complain too much. All sorts of technical mechanisms were employed (which I won’t bore you with) to get money to the people (a seemingly good intention) without addressing the roots of the problems and without looking to the real cause of the degradation in the Palestinian territory…Israel and the Israeli response to ‘terrorism’(whether justified or not)(and you definitely need to work with the Palestinians to stop it from happening…did we learn nothing from Northern Ireland at all?). The donors flocked to communicate with the Presidents Office, that nice Western friendly Mr. Abbas without thinking about the capacity of that office. The PA is hideous to work with anyway..infighting and in some cases, downright incompetence I can tell you (I should know – I work with them every day!) but if all donors are going to work with one office, there needs to be more than 4 people there you can work with!

So that’s the situation now..the PA about to collapse and at least 350 Palestinians have been killed in the past 5 months..we are waiting to see what will happen next.

And so to Lebanon…no one argues the right of self defence but if that defence means dropping cluster bombs on civilian areas when you know you have three days left to go in a conflict (they are still killing people by the way) and targeting 4 unarmed UN peacekeepers, then sod defence. The Western Governments can have three more days to finish it off….bloody hell..who ever gave a country free reign to pound another country? A good friend of mine was the one you may have heard of in the news, o n the phone to the Israelis the whole day telling them they had unarmed UN peacekeepers in a base that had been there for years..and then, while another of the UNTSO soldiers I was talking to the other day was on the phone to the peacekeepers… the radio went silent…and yet again, the Israelis apologised, yet another mistake from the army that is supposed to be the best in the World.

So you see, now I’m just sad..and writing ranting e mails to all of you at home because I know now that none of us working over here can really do anything to help! We work as hard as we can to keep it all going and we try to maintain the universal standards of dignity and respect for the human person that makes us want to do this crazy job! But I ask you..why not one state? One state for two people…

So there you go---that’s how I’m feeling now about the politics and to make life much more interesting the hedonistic ex-pat life continues, I’m off to the US Marine Ball isn’t that bad after all!

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Running Out of Ideas

I meant to take some nice pictures of the autumn color a week or so ago, but I never got around to it and then the rain pretty much took everything out. There were lots of nice colors here, but there are so many evergreens that it was really spread out. I like the reds and oranges the best, but here are a few pictures of the yellow in the back of our patio.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Friday, November 10, 2006

Did You Know How Much it Rains in Portland?

Posting everyday takes a lot of pressure off what we say and I realized today that we haven't really talked about ourselves, what we have been up to, or what is going on in Portland lately. So what have we ignored?
It started raining here last week. Raining in that way that you always hear about it raining in Portland. At least that is what we thought. It turns out that we are getting record rain and areas are flooding and there are mudslides near the coast and at least two people have died by rapidly rising water, if not three. I think we have gotten 18 inches since last wednesday. That is half of what Portland normally gets all year.
There was also a small earthquake here earlier this week. We didn't feel it even though it was nearby. We were so pleased that we were leaving tornado country, but there is just a little bit more happening here than we expected. If a tsunami hits I am going to feel pretty silly.
Sergio still seems to like school, which is nice. I am temping in an HR department where I get to run background checks on people. It is kind of fun and more than a little disturbing.
I found out today that Tanya Harding is from here and we could still run across her skating at the rinks around town.
I guess that is about it.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Quote of the Week

King Arthur: I am your king.
Woman: Well I didn't vote for you.
King Arthur: You don't vote for kings.
Woman: Well how'd you become king then?
King Arthur: The Lady of the Lake, her arm clad in the purest shimmering samite held aloft Excalibur from the bosom of the water, signifying by divine providence that I, Arthur, was to carry Excalibur. THAT is why I am your king.
Dennis: Listen, strange women lyin' in ponds distributin' swords is no basis for a system of government. Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony.

Monty Python and the Holy Grail

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Harold Ford, you complete me.

Harold Ford didn't win last night but that's a shame because even though the man is a little conservative for us, he's passionate and he wants to help. Watch and listen to his concession speech and just see if he doesn't inspire you. Sergio

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Does This Mean I am Lazy?

I really don't want to post anything today, but I have to since I set an arbitrary goal for myself to put something here everyday for a month. How many more days to go? So to give myself a break, I am just going to put up the answers to the quiz.

Say Anything
Nancy Pelosi

Sorry this isn't more exciting but we both had long days and would just rather get to the lying on the couch and watching tv part of our day. Until tomorrow and the election results!

Monday, November 06, 2006

He Insists on Torturing Me

He has been teasing me for months that he was going to shave down to nothing but a mustache and he wasn't kidding. He couldn't be satisfied with just any little mustache either, he had to leave it long on the sides like a late 70's Burt Reynolds. Who does he remind you of?

I did miss the dimple, though.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

I don't want to sell anything, buy anything, or process anything as a career. I don't want to sell anything bought or…

What is Arkansas ranked in the BCS poll now?
Where is the only public diamond mine in the US?
Pop Culture
In what 80’s classic movie did John Cusack stand outside Ione Skye’s house with a radio blaring?
Current Events
If on November 7th Democrats gain a majority in the House of Representatives, who will become Speaker of the House?
During whose Presidency did the “Saturday Night Massacre” occur?

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Pretty Please with a Cherry On Top

A friend of mine emailed me the other day commenting that she doesn't bother voting anymore. She is not the first person to say this to me. In fact, I can probably think of as many people around me who don't vote as I can of those who do. And I have to ask, why? How is not voting going to help anything?
I wanted to write something convincing and eloquent on the right and duty of an American to vote, but each time I tried it sounded either extremely hokey, or so unpatriotic that my parents might have disowned me. I couldn't find a happy balance at all.
So all that I am going to say is, vote. Many of you that read this do not share my political sensibilities, many more than I would like to think about, but it is still more important to me that everyone use the one tool they have to guide and limit the powers of our government.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Sergio makes this soup so he can dice stuff

This is a meal we eat at least once a week. It is the easiest chicken noodle soup recipe I have ever seen. It isn't one of those slow simmering/all day affairs. Though we aren't Rachael Ray fans, I think she would be proud of us anyway. I should note that it can be a noodle soup, but we also make it with hominy sometimes instead. Both are very good.

Dice carrots, celery, onion, and one seeded and veined jalepeno. Sorry, I don't have measurements. You can't ruin it. Sweat until soft in butter or olive oil or both. Add diced chicken breast and brown. Add chicken broth, equal amount of water, and a chicken bouillion (I suppose you could do all broth). At this point you add either a can of hominy or La Moderna noodles (the brand is important) and let them simmer together. Salt and pepper to taste. If you choose the noodles be aware that they will suck up all the broth eventually.

Serve with limes and cilantro. Without these two ingredients the soup is pretty regular. We eat all the soups we can with these two things in them. I suppose you could try a little lemon and parsley if you want a more traditional soup.

This one is hominy, I guess.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Quote of the Week

In an attempt to actually do this posting everyday thing, I have brought back the quotes. I don't really know why they disappeared in the first place.

"The fact that man knows right from wrong proves his intellectual superiority to other creatures; but the fact that he can do wrong proves his moral inferiority to any creature that cannot." Mark Twain

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Happy 21st Nikki!

We can't believe that you are finally 21, mostly because it means that we aren't anymore. We only have two pictures of you, so I took the liberty of saving the second one from your myspace account. Hope you don't mind.

We wish we could be there to witness all the fun of our youngest friend hitting the legal drinking age. Have fun!

I hate that we missed the halloween party too. Looks like it was fun.