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!