Sunday, December 30, 2007

Some Filler While We Are Otherwise Engaged

Samantha is always happy to see me, but I am a distant second to Uncle Sergio.

Monday, December 24, 2007

At the Airport: Family Edition

And if we don't talk to you before, Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Poodle Point of View: SOS

Shh...I am writing this while Blondie and the Bearded One are in the other room. This is very important. I need your help, NOW! You can't let them know you are coming to my aid. Be advised, they are highly unstable people with twisted personalities. I have questioned their incompetence in the past and my likelihood of survival among them, but the game has suddenly changed. TORTURE!

They recently quit feeding me extra meals throughout the day, as though I can live on my regular portion of dog food. I am starving all the time and they are using this against me. Around the time they quit feeding me they brought home a torture bag. Blondie puts treats in the back, knowing I will do anything for food right now, and then she locks me in for minutes at a time. Locks me in! For minutes! I understand from listening endlessly to the Bearded One that this is against the law.

Now, I wouldn't ask for help if that was all that was going on. I am asking because of today's events. It was awful....I don't even think I can talk about it. They took me out of the house and allowed two other strange people to violate my body with various probes. I heard words like "thermometer, vaccination, and health certificate." I don't know what that means, but I can tell you it is NOT good. Especially the one that was rammed up my....well...use your imagination. They also dropped some sort of poison in my ears. I thought I was a gonner then and fought for my life. Alas, I am no match for the vulgar human form. Please help me. They are currently preparing to shave and trim my hair. I can only imagine this is meant to break my spirit once and for all. I don't have much time.... Oh look, a treat in the bag!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Our Love/Hate Relationship with School and Portland

Finals. Done!
Swap teaching. Done!

All that stands between us and Arkansas are two and a half days, one veterinary appointment, and a lot of laundry.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

I've Got Nothing

High school freshmen are great. At least the ones for which I am responsible. I really like teaching them about Diminishing Marginal Utility in terms of coffee shops and ice cream sundaes. I also like that they will spend ten minutes teaching me about Mormonism or Islam because it is how they were raised and they know better than me. Everyone is learning! The freshmen that I have no responsibility for but that I do observe are great for giggles.
Me: This is a picture of a rubber tree plant.
Them: Whoa, really? If you run into it will you bounce off?*
So, yeah, I'm loving high school.

Sergio took his first final of this semester today. He may or may not have done well. It is hard to tell because he has been playing online games since he got home and speaking in monosyllables. This is normal post-final behavior.

*Sergio asked if this student was joking. Nope.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Somewhere Out There a Sasquatch Weeps

As many of you seem to have noticed, we recently had a storm that some have referred to as a Pacific Hurricane. I don't really know how accurate that is, but the coast towns suffered considerably. For us, it was no more than a rainstorm. Until this week Oregon was home to the largest Giant Sitka Spruce in the nation when it snapped in half during the high winds of the storm. It had been damaged in a storm last year, requiring the park service to eliminate tourist visits for fear that all or parts of it would fall. Sergio and I happened across this tree on one of our first trips to the coast. We just saw a sign and pulled off the road. The tree was a pleasant surprise. It would have been a wee sapling around the Crusades. This date is pretty impressive, but the thing that just baffles me is that this tree managed to live out it's entire life naturally. In a state where half the drive to the coast is clear-cut land, it seems amazing that someone at some time didn't cash in on the giant. It also says something for the park service for not cutting it down when it became dangerous, but instead letting it do it's own thing and just keeping the people away. It will be missed. If you want to know more about the tree you can follow the web address above.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Taking Years Off of Our Lives One Meal at a Time

They say you shouldn't blog about what you had for lunch. People don't care, they say. In fact, I am almost certain there is a blogging book titled something along those lines. But I think you'll care what we ate for ALL of our meals yesterday.

Breakfast: 1/4 of a pecan pie

Lunch: Homemade chili dogs with a side of Frito pie.

Dinner: Homemade Mac and Cheese filled with ham AND bacon.

In hindsight, the frito pie might have been overkill. The bacon was absolutely necessary, though.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Very Poor Post

Anybody out there? I would totally understand if you had given up on us ever posting again. It is a bad time for extracurricular writing in this household. Work Samples, Teaching Plans, Final Papers, and Finals abound. I am also working in a high school that is quite far away until Christmas break, and I have to work contract hours, so I keep falling asleep on the couch at 8:30. I wish I were joking. I haven't really taught yet, though I was in charge today. It was enough time to figure out that the dream teaching job definitely involves seniors. They are over the angst and they get jokes. It was fun going over the Pope Urban II speech with them today, and letting the conversation turn to the poor speaking skills of our current president. In reality, my time at the high school will be with freshmen, but now I know where I will be aiming eventually.
On to other news...we have tickets to come home for Christmas. So super excited. However, we paid to bring the dog on the plane as a carry-on. If the airline determines he is too big, we have no backup plan. We need all of your positive thoughts that Eliot will make it on the plane. Visualize, people! It also wouldn't hurt to visualize nice weather with no out of the ordinary ice anywhere. Thanks for your help.
We took Sergio parents to eat Pho over the holiday. They asked to go back two days later. Told you it was good.
Anyone else watching Campaign 2008 on CSPAN2? All the democrats are stating their cases with no interruptions. So much better than debates.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving, Ya'll!

Our meal turned out really good this year, so here are our bragging pictures.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Our Day in Court

Yesterday I was a witness in a court case. Then later I was a juror in a different one. It was a long day. Confused? Ok, so they were mock trials for one of Sergio's classes. There were actually three altogether, one on Friday night and two on Saturday. I was tired, but Sergio was really exhausted, having done all three and switching between plaintiff and defense each time. And I have to say, the defense had an almost impossible case. Not only that, but after each "trial" two to three judges (real local judges and lawyers) would tell each team of lawyers exactly what they did wrong, and then allow the jury (a bunch of people who knew next to nothing about the law) to do the same. Brutal.

I was the witness the defense was trying to pin the crime on, rather than their client. I was the person to actually run over and kill the 12 year old child. Cheerful, huh? It turns out I was also a convicted felon and had two DUI's. I was given a deposition and no other information. This means that when I took the stand I didn't even know what kind of car I had been driving. If the deposition didn't say it, then I didn't know. We were also told that we could make small things up to fill in gaps, but we couldn't just pull stuff out of our butts, as it were, if it could affect the case. I did really well, I think, right up until the defense lawyers got...creative. Here is an actual exchange that took place.
Lawyer: "Ms. Dalton, your cell phone bill proves you were on your cell phone at the time of the accident. Is that right?"
Me: "It would appear so."
Lawyer: Ms. Dalton, do you have a hands-free phone set?
Prosecutors furiously nodding heads in the background, defense team shaking heads ominously.
Me: "Um...well...I don't really know about that."
Laywer: "Is that a yes Ms. Dalton."
Me: "No"
Lawyer: "Ms. Dalton, were you driving a manual or an automatic the day of the accident?"
Me: "Um, I really don't know that."
Lawyer, leaning in and whispering: "Just make something up."
Entire courtroom bursts into laughter.
Prosecutor: "Objecti..."
Judge: "Sustained!"

It was kind of fun to really see the process, and play around in the city courthouse. I think Sergio is really happy that it is all over. Not just the trials, but that whole class and his B paper, which is required for graduation. Beteen this and the FST's at the police department, law school has been a learning experience for us both on so many levels.

By the way, this is our 200th post.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Perseverance = Pointy Hat

I have been pretending to knit for about three years now. Until today I had made about seven mediocre scarves and three failed hats. The first one I decreased wrong, the second inverted on my round needles, and the third I gave up on thinking I had done something wrong. I hadn't. Anyway, I finally powered through and came up with the hat you see below. I call it Sergio's Big Bird Hat. It is pointy, sloppy, too small AND too big, and will probably fall apart in just a few days. But, darn it, it's a hat and you can't take that away from me.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Non Sequitur

What I wrote today in class instead of an answer to the teacher's question: I really like this pen. books books books. Dawn Nichole Dawn Nichole. abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz

We might be going to a Very Stinky Cheese Party on Saturday. It is what it sounds like.

Sergio would like SOMEONE to make him tea.

Widdershins means counterclockwise.

Sergio thinks bacon wrapped pork chops cooked in bacon fat sounds good. This is not kosher.

Most of my 7th grade boys can and will sing every word to a Hannah Montana song.

People arrested for DUI's always say they only had two drinks.

When we feed Eliot jalapenos he sounds like he has asthma.

The tv show Pushing Daisies makes me happy.

It costs $1.25 to wash clothes and $1.00 to dry them, totally screwing up a $10 roll of quarters.

Sergio just licked me in the face and now we have to divorce.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

I'm Like an Onion, Donkey, I Have Layers

The ads are gone for now. We have to completely figure out that feature before we put it up here. We'll let you know if we ever get it going correctly.

In the are a few pictures of the beginning of a great (and cheap) meal.

Yes, that is a stick of melted butter. All really great things begin that way.

If you want to make this, then follow this link (,,FOOD_9936_36151,00.html) and make this recipe. Except omit the wine and replace it with a Guinness. We also let it cook for hours, and use white cheddar for the cheese. Good stuff.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

An Important Public Service Announcement

You guys should be seeing an advertisement to the right of the page now. We put this on the blog to see if we could make a tiny amount of extra cash. In order to do that, people have to click on it. However, we do not know what the ads will be and we do not personally endorse these products or services in any way.

Gold Stars for Me

Further evidence that I inadvertently began Kindergarten instead of a grad program.

Today I played with glitter, glue, beads, sugar skeleton heads, and brightly colored frosting all in the name of literacy. We were celebrating The Day of the Dead and it was a lot of fun, but still.

Last week we were asked to creatively present our day shadowing a 7th grader. Some people danced, some did powerpoint, and others made shadow boxes. I resorted to the tried and true haiku on construction paper. Wanna see?

7th Grade in Haiku

Her Homeroom is math.
Failure, Agony – not hers.
Absolute Values!

Social Studies, Yay!
Abraham’s polygamy,
Foundation for faiths.

Young girl, Alto, sings
“Joshua, Oh Joshua”
Soloist off-key.

EnseƱame, Dawn
Donde es el Ciudad
De Ensenada?

How long is this day?
Where is their nap? Where is mine?
Where is the bathroom?

What system is that?
It’s cardiovascular.
Science is Power!

Writing about games
They used to play, and still do.
One Page, single-spaced.

Graduate school is
Easier than middle school.
I have time for naps.

Go Cougars!

Make fun, but this is A-worthy work. You wish your school was like this, admit it.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Costumes and Torture and Halloween, Oh My!

All of the ways we have recently tortured our dog would be better expressed by Eliot himself, but he is not speaking to us or anyone else right now. Just hiding under the covers trying to keep himself warm. We had been putting off getting Eliot groomed at Petsmart like we normally do for various reasons, but it was getting desperate. We could vacuum in the morning and then come home to hundreds of clumps of black hair on the floor again. In case you don't know this, poodles are hypoallergenic and don't shed, so this was sign he really needed a trim. The hair also seemed to be bothering him, so finally on Sunday Sergio and I took action.
We spent the afternoon maneuvering all of Eliot's angles and elbows against his will while we used Sergio's face clippers and kitchen scissors to trim him up. Human face trimmers are tragically underpowered for this sort of job. We needed whatever it is they use for sheep, I think. It took nearly four hours. Let me say that again. Four hours. And I assure you it was no more fun for us than it was for him. We crawled off the bathroom floor holding our lower backs and aching knees and groaning. Quite frankly, he looks pretty good for such an ametuer job, and for the most part, he loves being sleek. He bounces around the house flinging out his long skinny legs just to prove he can. However, he also shivers uncontrollably and spends all night poking his cold nose under the covers until we let him under. I have worked to help him through this time by dressing him in one of my smallest shirts. It was still so big though that I had to tie it in a knot around his waist, prompting me to say he looked like a ten year old she-Prep from the late eighties, and Sergio to say upon seeing him, "oh no, he looks like a girl wearing her boyfriends sweatshirt."
When we came home from St. Louis we also found masculine Eliot wearing an size 2T Old Navy girls flowered hippy shirt (pictured above), thanks to the friends we had left him with. I suppose he has every right to be angry.
We leave you with an old picture of Count Eliot. I think his eyes express his disdain for being dressed up at all. How dare we insult him like that!
Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Second Annual Gourd Mutilation

All the credit for this cute little guy goes to Sergio. I didn't even clean it this year. I did light the candle. I guess that is something. And I put ready-bake cookies in the oven. I am a model wife.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Crampons is a Funny Word

Phew! I feel like we haven't sat down this month. The blog has suffered. We tried to post some silly movies to make up for it, but didn't even have the energy to find a way to fix them when we heard they didn't work for everyone. Apologies.

So what's new with us, you ask? Oh, you didn't ask? Too bad.

I taught on Friday. It was just ok. I was more like a substitute than the teacher. It didn't help that the subject was Islam and on the days my mentor taught I was taking notes thinking, "Wow, I didn't know that!" I have a feeling this will be my general state of mind for the next few years. I am also learning all the joys and terrors of a boxed curriculum. So far, mostly terrors. And if anyone knows how to work one of those machines that you stick a paper under and then it projects the negative on the wall, let me know. I spent ten minutes talking about and marking a piece of paper that the students were too polite to tell me was upside down and crooked. PowerPoint from here on out. Or maybe the trusty overhead machine.

It is raining again in Portland. We had a really lovely fall, and there have been plenty of sunny days, but the rain is settling in slowly. Our fireplace has come in handy many times already. We learned there is a limit on how many roasted marshmallows a person can consume before they either never want to look at another one, or their fingers become glued together. Whichever comes first. Another thing about food. A long time ago we mentioned that we tried Vietnamese Beef Noodle Soup. We made it sound all scary. I would like to report that we now eat Pho (the proper name) at least once a week. I wish that we could let you all try it and know the wonder that is Pho. It might be the world's most perfect food. Everyone come here and try it. Now!

And finally...this blog has become a total coming of age thing what with all the marriages and reminiscing. Well, two among us have reached a whole new level of adulthood. And before any of you get carried away, it is not Sergio and me. We are still stalling out here at base camp of Mt. Adult. Congratulations Iggy and Sara on the impending addition to your family. Rest easy knowing Uncle Sergio and Aunt Dawn are already compiling a list of all the things we are going to teach Iggy or Sara Jr. about life. Much of which we learned the hard way, alongside the two of you! Oh, and Sara, if you are interested I can direct you to lots of good midwife blogs that have both homebirth videos and recipes for placentas! Just let me know.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Can Anybody See...

the last two posts? There are supposed to be little movies in those posts, but I can only see them from our Mac. Is anybody else able to see them or open them?

Friday, October 12, 2007

Neurotic Nancy, At Your Service

Lately, in my classes (the ones where I learn, not the ones where I teach) I have taken on a certain role. My role is SPOKESPERSON FOR SHY PEOPLE. Specifically, all of the shy children of the world. All of them.
I wish I could say that there is some grand reason that I have taken on this role, but the reason is really quite simple. I am very quiet. At least in class I am, for those of you who were at the recent wedding and might think I am loud. Wine is loud. Dawn is not generally loud.
Anyway, to get back to the point. I am entirely uncomfortable with this role. It typically plays out that we do a group activity (for example, pretending to be presidential candidates and debating) where I don't see the need to contribute to the conversation as there are at least 15 other people that are more than happy to speak. Then when it is over they all look at me with pleading eyes as though they just know that I have something really spectacular to add. They do this because they are very kind people who only want to make sure I am included. I look at all of their caring faces and begging eyes and my ears get red and I begin sweating, just down my spine, and they look at me and my ears and sweaty spine and they say, "well, can you at least tell us how we can connect with students like you?"
I answer reluctantly, usually with something like, "If you are going to be doing group discussion, why not give them time to prepare a statement and let them run it by you first," or "start with small groups so they have some feedback on their ideas already." My classmates nod their heads like I have just said something really clever. They take notes. Notes! The truth is, I don't know what to tell them. I was mortified when teachers gave me extra attention in school. I know that I am telling these people things that would absolutely have made no difference to 13 year old Dawn, and therefore probably won't work for any other shy pre-teen.
If I have learned anything from this experience, it is how odd my teachers must have found me. My classmates certainly do.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

St. Louis Black and Blues

We spent the weekend in St. Louis to celebrate our friends marriage. We took 103 pictures. I managed to narrow that number down some, but if you want to look at about 65 pictures, then please click on the flickr box to the right and go to the Friends box. There you will see lots of good pictures, a few bad pictures, and many pictures with me gripping various glasses of wine as though they are the last source of sustenance on earth. Thankfully, Sergio never managed to get any pictures of me devouring the cupcakes that made up the wedding cake. All four and half of them. Let's just say my time with the cupcakes was decidedly un-ladylike.

My luggage didn't quite make the flight to St. Louis with me, so the first couple of days required a lot of borrowing and creative shopping at Target. Sergio and I played a pretty terrible game of golf on Friday and got sunburned just in time for the wedding festivities to begin. Our friend Helen managed to rip her toenail off (shudder) while hanging out at the hotel. Despite these things it was still a really great weekend. That's a sign of a good party.

Congratulations Jared and Sarah!

Monday, October 01, 2007

He Wasn't Drunk and We Brought Home a Darling 4 ounce DVD

What he SHOULD have said: Let's go get the DVD Knocked Up.

What he DID say: Let's go get Knocked Up.

What I heard: Let's go get you knocked up.

What I said: You're drunk!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Things That Have Made Me Feel Old Recently

12 year olds don't use the W when saying the name of the current President. Why? Because they are only vaguely aware there is another guy with the same name. Why? Because they were born in the Clinton era.

Realizing this is the last year we can ask 7th graders to journal about 9/11 as next year the kids would have been four years old at the time and probably won't have any firsthand memories.

12 year olds seem to love 70's music. It is music so old it is "even older than their parent's music!"

Tuesday, September 25, 2007


Superbad ♣♣♣½

Catch and Release ♣½

Reno 911 ♣♣¾

Blazing Saddles ♣♣♣¾

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Probably a Sign that it is Time for Sergio to Come Home

I am watching Stephen King's The Stand. It is like eight hours long and I have seen it before and I wasn't all that thrilled about it then. I also worked out for well over an hour today just because. Yup, I'm bored.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Unrelated Topics

I kind of want to talk about how the student teaching is going here on the blog, but I don't think that would be wise. One day I will need a job and wouldn't want anything incriminating here. Not that it is going badly or anything, but the only way to talk about it in an interesting manner would require some amount of privacy violation. Oh well. Overall I haven't done much of anything except watch. What have I learned? 12 year olds are the most intimidating people on Earth. Intimidation is like an art form to them, or a complicated dance.
One, Two, Snide Comment and Whisper to Friend, Five, Six, Giggle and Point.

Eliot got attacked at the dog park today. It was that sort of slow-motion awful moment where all sound drops away and all you can hear is your poor little dog screaming like a small child as he runs around in terror and your husband yelling to nobody in particular, "Heeey, Whaaat the heeellll (cuz its slow motion). First some large dog went after him and then nearly every other dog in the park decided it looked like fun and ran after them both biting Eliot's back legs. It probably looked comical from far away, 30 dogs chasing a panicked yelping poodle while 30 humans chased the dogs in circles. But it wasn't really. Afterward Eliot hung limp in my arms while little girls swarmed him to see if he was ok. I knew he was in shock when he let them touch him. Other than emotional damage he seems fine except for a scratched eye. To add even more insult to the event, he had to have a bath when he got home which he probably thought was punishment. On the bright side, I got to see Sergio in full Lawyer Mode, which is always fun.

Has anyone seen the South Park episode where Cartman gets trained by the Dog Whisperer? I haven't laughed that hard in a long time.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

This One is Big...

but I've seen bigger.

Oregon slugs should be declared one of the wonders of the world, in my opinion.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Holiday Hijinks

This is going to be a very haphazard post. I have been trying to find time to write about our Labor Day weekend since it was over, but there just hasn't been any time. I wanted to do something more than just recite our activities in a boring monotone kind of way, but it isn't going to happen. Sergio is still going to school and working when he isn't in school and doing homework when he isn't in school or working. I began my internship with 7th graders this week, along with school. When I am not doing those things I am driving Sergio around to all of his places. We call it quality time together.

So, the weekend. Finally on Sunday we were both healthy enough to leave the house for more than a couple of minutes at a time, but not having expected to ever be healthy ever again, we had no labor day plans. So around noon we decided to go to the Portland Zoo. When we got there we realized you NEVER go to the zoo on a holiday weekend. We had to park in emergency holiday zoo parking and were supposed to catch a shuttle. However, the line for the shuttle was alarming and we walked to the zoo, making it long before we would have gotten transportation. Then we waited in another line to get tickets. It was kind of like that all day. However, it was lovely. The zoo is small and nice and has some neat things. It was warm by Portland standards, but still cool enough that all of the animals were out. One of the better groups of animals were the bats, which I had never seen so closely. Kind of creepy, yet very cute. We were told there were six babies somewhere in the group but we never saw them. We did see a bit of bat baby-making, though. The other highlight of the trip was when I wanted Sergio to lean in and see the naked mole rats a little closer. To accomplish this I smacked what I thought was Sergio on what I thought was the leg without turning around. It turned out to be a strange guy and his strange rear. He and his girlfriend did not see the humor in this event.

And on Monday we went hiking along the Clackamas River. We usually come home from a hike with mishap stories. I have to say, though, this was the perfect hike in every way. 7.2 miles is the perfect distance. It ended at a secluded waterfall. It never went up or down for too long. We just had the best time. We played by the river a few times, watched kayakers, and ate lunch next to the secluded waterfall. At the end Sergio decided he should jump off of some rocks into the very cold river. So he did. Then he decided I would think it was fun. I stood on the small rock ledge and I stepped off...and back on. I was cheered on by a sweet couple near us who probably would have liked me to just get on with it so that could get back to their romantic moment. I moved to a shorter rocky ledge. 15 minutes later after several false starts, I gave up. A few minutes later, I moved to the shortest rocky ledge, just a couple of feet high. Sergio counted to three and I did nothing. He counted to three again and I did nothing. The third time, at the encouragement from the nearby (probably frustrated) girls, I jumped. I am glad I did, though hiking another two miles in wet clothes, shoes, and socks? Not out brightest idea.

Please click on the flickr picture box to the right of the screen to see the Clackamas river pics. I can't load them right now. They are under Everything Else.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Do Not Fill in the Blanks, Please

I hesitated to post this picture the other day in the big group of other pictures, because I specifically wanted to talk about this one. I also meant to ask our friends for a copy of a similar picture from Reeanna's wedding that does not include me, Seth, Courtney, or (Trainer) Matt, but does include (Cajun) Matt, Bryson, Kelly, and Iggy. I never got around to asking for this picture, so we are going to go with our imaginations. Don't worry about it if you don't know the faces to match these names. It isn't important for our purposes here. These pictures are known as the "Pomfret Pictures" and if you put them both together, you have a pretty good chunk of the group from freshmen year in Pomfret dorm. Even if we weren't all close friends at the time, we were all there and we all hung out.

The thing that keeps bringing me back to these pictures again and again is the photographic proof that we are all adults. Or at least well on our way. Those people beside us in the pictures, a lot of them are married, some of them are planning for kids already, and most of them have jobs that make my eyes glaze over because the titles are three paragraphs long yet I still can't figure out what it is they actually DO at work. They have titled jobs! It still floors me.

But that isn't the most amazing thing about these gatherings. The most incredible thing is that we are all there at all. Why? Well, here are some samples of conversations we had recently,
"Do you remember when _________ used to ________ a ________ of ________ every weekend?"
"Do you remember that time when _______ got ________ and had to go the hospital for ________ because he ________ his _______?
"Do you remember when _______ had to pull _______ from ________ ________ after he _________?
"Do you remember that time _______ got so ______ she lost her _______ at the _______ _______? ***
"Remember how ______ always _______ when she ________?

I think these are referred to as the good old days.

Seriously though, we were all pretty good kids. The fact is, we were just kids who went through a fun and formative time together. I hope that in seven more years I look back at this picture and realize how we were all still babies in this picture as I compare it to all of our friends who still get together for something a football game or dinner.

***Upon rereading this sentence I see that it could look more incriminating than it is. The answer is "she lost her shoe's"

Thursday, August 30, 2007

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.

Sergio is nearly healthy and FOOTBALL HAS BEGUN!!!

I woke up sick today and football has begun.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

At Death's Door

Sergio is still sick and the only words he finds necessary to speak through his sore throat are, "I think I'm dyin'. Lady, I'm dying, seriously." To be fair, he is actually sick enough that I drove him halfway to school today before turning around and driving him home, plopped him on the couch and then left to get a haircut so he couldn't continue to tell me how sick he is.

No, I am not really that hardhearted. I just needed a haircut as it was getting particularly mushroomy.


We went to a barbecue over the weekend. That makes three vegetarian couples we owe return dinners to now. All of our best meals are meat related. Any ideas? Sergio played croquet, Eliot sniffed a cats butt for the first time and got a claw in the face, and I dominated a conversation. Good times were had by all.

We also went on a long bike ride, if anyone was curious about the results of the poll. As it turns out it is far quicker to get to the bookstore by bike on back roads than it is in the car on the highway. Also, I cannot bike up the final hill to the house. All of Sergio's sick whining still doesn't compare to my hill-climbing whining. Not even close.

Sergio started class yesterday but had to miss today because of phlegm. Not a great start.

I start hanging out in a 7th grade classroom next week. Eventually I will teach said class full-time. I choose not to think about that right now.

It was 39 degrees in parts of Eastern Oregon yesterday morning. I hope that weather miraculously makes it to Arkansas to give you guys a break. I hear it has been terrible.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Swollen Tonsils of Doom

This happens to Sergio a few times a year. Eliot works to comfort the invalid.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Picture Pages, Picture Pages

Does anybody else remember that? That little show that came on Nickelodeon during Pinwheel?
"Picture Pages, Picture Pages,
Time to get your Picture Pages,
Time to get your crayons and your pencils..."
"You can play with Picture Pages,
FIll your day with Picture Pages,
'Till Bill Cosby does another Picture Page with you!"
Speaking of trippy things I watched in the eighties, Sergio and I watched an entire Bob Ross episode a few days ago. You know the show, "happy little trees." That was one of my favorite things when I was a kid. The show still has the power to send me into a panic. "Don't put a tree THERE! You'll ruin the painting....Oooooh, I see what your doing...Oh, God, what are you DOING? Ooohhh, a pond."

So, now that I have gone way out in left field, the point is that a few weeks ago we went to Arkansas and I never talked about it here. This post is a few pictures I have stolen from friends and family members. I intended to steal and post even more, but Facebook is really tight with the photos. The trip was fun, but really quick. I took so long to post about it that I no longer remember what I was going to say. Arkansas is hot. So very hot.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

If You Need a Laugh

Click here

A Nice Thing About Oregon...

are the marionberries that start growing in August. We noticed this last year when we moved here, but other than popping a few in our mouths on walks we never really took advantage of them. Marionberries are like giant blackberries and if you come here around this time of year you will find people picking them along the roads at every turn. They grow like weeds as far as we can tell. I think it is one of the main reasons the homeless population seems to double around Portland for these couple of months. We picked a big bunch along the road the other day and having nowhere to put them we used Sergio's windbreaker to get them home. By the time we got back to the house he had a lovely bright purple stain through the jacket, his shorts, his boxers, and a stain on his leg that didn't wash off for awhile. Yesterday we took a mason jar. In four days we have made this marionberry crumble twice. I love free dessert!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007


We changed up a few things on the blog. Just because I am bored, I think. We added a list of books we are reading, and if you click on them they take you to the amazon website. So you probably don't want to click on them. I meant to make the book covers show up, but I didn't quite get that to happen. Oh well. We also added a poll. Not because we have anything to ask really, but because we thought it would be fun. You don't have to sign in, or leave a comment, or anything difficult like that. Just click in a circle and push vote. Easy stuff. Enjoy!

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Drunk and Disorderly

Sergio asked me early last week if I would be willing to drive him and a few of his co-workers to Salem so that they could undergo a wet lab. In case you don't know, a wet lab is when you volunteer to get drunk and take breathalizers and Field Sobriety Tests (FST's) at the State Police headquarters. Now, the image I conjured in my head of this event was utterly boring, but since I am out of school for a couple of weeks I had nothing better to do. On the way to Salem we all discussed what we thought it would be like. Though the images varied slightly, the general idea was about the same. A windowless boardroom, shots of alcohol provided by stern police officers to be followed by a series of tests. My part would be even worse as I was expected to hang around watching this for four hours while sober. Fun!

When all eight of us arrived (two drivers, six DA clerks), we found an impressive police academy. We were taken on a tour at first by a jovial guy who showed us the driving course, the dorms, and all of the real-life scenario buildings. Among these buildings were hospitals, schools, houses, and a main street. On the main street was a stocked grocery store, and a full bar that had pool, cards, and casino games. This is where they took us to spend the next few hours. It was already shaping up to be different than we expected, but when we walked into the bar and they set out about 10 different liquor options, followed by any mixer we could think of, I knew it was going to be a good day. They ran the group (minus us drivers) through some questions and medical tests in order to determine how many drinks it would take to get each person to 0.1 blood alcohol level. Sergio learned not only that he needed 7 drinks in two hours in order to reach the 0.1 goal, but that he has really incredible blood pressure. The smallest person was supposed to have 3. The drinks started flowing. Sergio had rum and cokes, others had margaritas, gin and tonics, you name it. Each hour they took breathalizers to determine how they were doing. The girls got cut off, but Sergio and one other guy were given doubles. By this time there was an audience of friendly cops yelling, "drink faster, boys" and various other encouragement. While we waited they provided games and food.

Finally it was time to enter the enclosed main street through the door. At this point we learned that the other driver and I would be going in as "placebos." We were all given gum, told to say, "I've had two beers, sir/ma'am" and sent into the room. This is where about thirty trainees from all departments rotated in groups of four around the room and put us through three FST's. First, Follow the Pen (with your eyes not your head), which took forever and as they learned proper technique, had to be repeated often. Second, Walk and Turn. Stand with your left foot on an imaginary line, touch your right heel to your left toe on the line and stand with your hands at your sides while I explain the directions. Do you understand these instructions? Good, now take nine heel to toe steps while looking at your toes, counting out loud, turn and take nine steps back. Do not raise your arms. Do you understand these directions? Begin. Third, One Leg Stand. Keep your hands at your sides, raise either foot six inches off the ground, point your toe, look at your foot, and count one thousand one, one thousand two until I say stop. Do you understand these instructions? Good.

I will skip any details of the actual eight times we each went through this process, except to say that about two groups into the tests the instructors came over to me and did the Follow the Pen, and then again later. I knew something must be up. Anyway, and hour and a half later, it was over and they brought us into the room with the thirty cops, where they had our results as the trainees had determined them on the board. We each went through the drinks we had and then our blood alcohol levels before and after. Sergio had gone in at a 0.9 and came out at a 0.6. Out of the eight groups he was determined impaired and "arrested" twice. Some of the others were arrested each time. I had one coke, 0.0 going in, and 0.0 coming out. I was arrested THREE times. I was then pulled up in front of the whole room to show them how to properly administer Follow the Pen because I have a catch in my left eye and a drop in my right. If the test is done incorrectly I am considered drunk (but the stumbling didn't help either). The eye test is supposed to be the foolproof test. Not only that, but during the test one of the instructors told the trainees that he would check me in a real-life scenario for smoking pot because my pupils are so large.

The lessons of this experience:
1. Sergio is deemed more fit to drive above the legal limit than I am anytime.
2. Wet labs are a great way to spend an afternoon and everyone should do it.
3. FST's are a terrible way to determine drunkenness
4. Cops can be fun

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Belly Laugh

I got this picture off of my cousins Pixagogo account. My camera batteries died before I ever even got to Arkansas and I have no pics of my own. Nephew David and Cousin Kamryn.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Movie Reviews

Bourne Ultimatum ♣♣♣♣

Harry Potter and the Order of the Pheonix ♣♣½

Arrested Development Season One ♣♣¾

Monday, August 13, 2007

Classic Marriage Moment

Conversation following the first few bites of last nights dinner. This was the second time we have had Irish Onion Soup.

Sergio: I really think I improved this recipe since the last time I made it.


Sergio: Don't you think so?

Me: I made it last time.

Sergio: No you didn't.

Me: Yes I did...(followed by angry stare)

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Poodles Point of View #2

In light of recent events, I have come to the startling realization that I need psychiatric help. As I mentioned the last time I spoke to you guys, my people aren't the greatest. I was convinced there for awhile that they wanted to hurry along my death a bit, what with scary hikes, freezing water, and other such tortures. I didn't realize until just this week though the psychological games they are playing on me. Let me give you some details.
Despite my continuous efforts to tell them that I don't care for other people they decided to leave me with complete strangers for five whole days. I don't know how they got "please leave me with possible lunatics" from my constant barking at strangers and hiding under the bed when someone knocks on the door. Those actions clearly mean "I would rather live under the bed in my own feces with no food until you come home, thank you very much!" Anyway, the geniuses totally misread me and left me with a new girl and guy for awhile.
Let me just say, my eyes have been opened. I had no idea life could be SO GOOD! These people treated me like a king. Long runs in the morning, trips to the park every day. Every day! That is decidedly more than the couple of times a month Blondie and the Guy (he has taken to shaving lately) manage to arrange themselves enough for a trip to a real park. These new people gave me treats every time I did something cute which, let's face it, was just about all the time. They had a fenced yard where I could play, and no strange noises coming from the walls at all hours of the day. It was incredible. They even arranged their schedules so that I was never left alone for more than a couple of hours at a time. Sometimes The Guy and Blondie leave me right after my "strictly business" morning walk and don't return for....well....for a while. I don't have the clearest sense of time, but it seems like a long while when they go.
And then one day they came back. Blondie came in all smiley, clearly expecting me to fawn all over her. Well, I was going to show her. I didn't go to her right away, and then I was quite aloof in the car. However, my resolve began to break rather quickly. When The Guy took a nap that afternoon, I slept right next to him on the couch. I am so ashamed. Then I slept practically nose to nose with Blondie all night. I realize in hindsight that I was afraid she would leave if I moved. Something is clearly wrong with me. These people neglect me, abandon me at will, and play sick head games with me that result in my undying devotion. Somebody help me! I need the number of a good mental professional. I feel like a Lifetime tv character that keeps letting the abusive husband back into her life even though she knows better. Just call me Rhonda JoBeth. No matter what, I stand by my man...and Blondie.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

At the Airport Again

Looks like Dawn isn't really a morning person

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Thursday, August 02, 2007

At the Airport

I am at the airport. It is far too early in the morning to come up with anything more exciting to say. Oh, vending machine cokes are $1.75 and nothing else is open except coffee places. Who wants coffee in the morning? On the other hand, the free wireless is nice. I brought my computer so I could finish up my homowork, but I think for now I will catch up with the internet. Here's hoping for no delays!

Monday, July 30, 2007

Beginners Insomnia

It is now 1:01 AM. I am sitting in bed with the computer and numerous books and papers beside me. They are the materials I am supposed to incorporate into a tiny two page paper having to do with the first World War, Eugenics, the KKK, and various other organizations and movements. I have found a great many ways to avoid writing the paper. First of all, I took a two hour nap this afternoon, which explains why I am not the least bit tired now. Then I spent a good portion of my night looking at Facebook pictures of Reeanna and Ashley's wedding (they look so happy!) and feeling pretty bummed that I wasn't there and instead am stuck here avoiding the first of three papers I have to finish (and begin, for that matter) before wednesday. There were also other procrastination tactics used, like extra walks for the dog, eating ice cream while standing at the freezer, and doing homework unrelated to papers. You know it is bad when you are using homework to avoid homework. Now I am writing this inane post. Sorry about that.

In other news...Sergio had to sit on the runway in Denver for over two hours on his way to Little Rock. Let's all keep our fingers crossed that this doesn't happen on my trip. I don't have a lot of time and would rather not waste it trapped in a grounded plane.
I have been sleeping with the hall light on while he is gone. Because deep down I am still six and things live in the closet and under the bed and for whatever reason I want to see these things in full light whenever they do make their move. If I remember correctly, as a child I thought there were crocodiles under the bed waiting to nibble my toes, and my brother had a creepy Grim Reaper in the closet experience that was chilling enough to have become family legend.
We are doing peer teaching on Tuesday. I think I would rather have the bed-dwelling crocs nibble my toes, really.
Eliot is going to stay with a classmate of mine and his family. Since I arranged this I have been watching Eliot from an outsiders perspective. I am trying to figure out the most tactful and least embarrassing way to tell them that he will sleep under the covers and in between them in bed, and that he will chew up all of their dirty socks and underthings if they don't keep them away from him. Any suggestions?
It is now 1:30 AM. I guess I am out of ways to avoid this paper.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Our Attempt at Unwanted Advice

We have two sets of friends getting married over the next two weekends. Sergio and I tried to come up with some hard-earned advice on marriage, however, we didn't manage anything more than two bathrooms in one home makes life better. This is not really useful to our friends, who probably have two or even more bathrooms in their homes.

So, have fun at the wedding, eat something, and if anything goes wrong just let it go. Even if your calla lilies arrive as daisies, or your beef appears as pork, the unity candle refuses to light, or your best man passes out, at the end of the day you will still be married and heading for an exotic vacation. That is the point, after all.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Harry Birthday

There was a time not that long ago when I was a fairly normal, well-rounded person. Then about two years ago, I asked for the boxed set of Harry Potter books for Christmas, and my parents obliged. I was still pretty normal when the sixth book came out. I wasn't one of those "crazy" fans that had to run and get the book right away, in fact, I waited until that one was not only in paperback, but also on sale. However, that all changed with the appearance of the seventh, and final, Harry Potter book. I knew that if I waited, someone would let slip the fate of the main characters. I couldn't have that. I didn't preorder it or anything, but I went and got it Saturday afternoon and finished it late last night. I had to finish it as quickly as possible because it couldn't get in the way of school, but truthfully, I just really had to know. When I emerged from the HP daze I realized that I had not acknowledged my nephews first birthday. I could not feel lower.

I am told that he has six teeth, began walking (like an orangutan), can say several words, and can take off EKG wires from his chest with his feet. That is quite a lot to accomplish in one year. Phenomenal really, when I consider how much I usually manage in one year, which is maybe 15 loads of laundry and washing the car once. Maybe.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Trying to Bore You to Tears

I don't know if we aren't posting much because we are so busy or because we are so boring. Either way, there just isn't that much to say right now. I think we are both counting down the days until we get to come back home. I am trying to contain my jealousy that Sergio gets to leave a few days before I do. Darn being back in school! So, anyway, here is what we have been up to over the last week or so.

I turned 25 on Sunday. I had to work. We did manage to see the new Harry Potter movie and have a jalapeno filled calzone in honor of the day though. My license expired on my birthday and I had to take two trips to the DMV to get legal again. I can now report that only three and half years after we got married I managed to get Barron on my license. Procrastinate? Me?

We were invited to dinner by one of Sergio's classmates/coworkers. This marked the first couple to couple dinner we have been on with people we haven't known since our college days. I was a bit nervous, but it was totally relaxed and fun. They made us vegetarian burritos and we met their two kids and apricot mini poodle named Socrates.

We are trying to figure out the best way for Sergio to get to work and back. On a bad day on the bus the commute can take two hours. The car isn't that much better.

One of the reasons we chose to move here was the free membership to a little gym across the street. It turns out they have a ping pong table. For today at least, I am the ping pong champion.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

The Definition of Pleasant Day

Currently 100 degrees, no AC, sitting in a puddle of my own sweat while the dog drips drool off of his tongue onto my foot because he can't stop panting.