Monday, August 24, 2009

Looking for a home

Here's what's going on:

Stefan FINALLY found decent bread in the USA. It was really depressing him to not have "his" bread. The lack of hearty bread depresses ALL Germans in the USA: within one minute of meeting among native Germans, they start talking about it. Stefan did with a busload of Germans at a South Dakota rest stop/visitor's center.

This week, we're finally really looking for a place to rent long-term. After viewing several small towns between Portland and Salem, we've settled on Canby. I hope that, the next time I post, it's with pictures of our new home.

It was a hard choice, because the firefighter training guy in Silverton, which is near Salem, is one of the nicest guys ever and the way he talked about the volunteers in Silverton made me want to be a volunteer firefighter.

We finally found the real downtown Hillsboro, as opposed to where we live now amid all the high-end chain stores, and we liked it very much, particularly the local farmers' market in downtown.

My renters insurance company sent a letter, an email and voice mail demanding to know what other breed Albi is mixed with in addition to German Shepard. How in the FREAK am I supposed to know that? I was thinking of just randomly listing a huge range of dog breeds, or sending a photo of her and saying, "You tell me." Yes, I could have one of those genetic tests done -- and that's discrimination, IMO, to require those of us with mixed breeds to pay for such a test.

Albi LOVES going everywhere with us. We'll leave her in the room here only if she absolutely cannot come with us. As so many restaurants have patios that allow dogs, so many stores have places where one of us can stand outside with her while the other goes in, and even the UPS store where our mailbox is allows dogs inside (and has dog treats on the counter), she pretty goes everywhere with us. I think she wants to try to visit each of the Portland metro area's dog parks. That will take a while...

The downside of Albi with us all the time is that we can't take in a movie at a theater, and I'm DIEING to go to the movies. I don't want to leave her here alone at the hotel at night, because I'm afraid she'll bark and disturb the other guests. She's usually quiet, but every now and again, a kid will go screaming down the hall, and that sets her off. For the record, it also sets me off.

Do people really ride bicycles more in Portland than elsewhere? Because it hasn't seemed like that much more than Louisville. There are a LOT more bike lanes everywhere than any where else in the USA I've seen, true. But otherwise, this is a very car-oriented culture.

Finally saw the Portland riverfront. And... we weren't at all impressed. We met a guy walking an adorable puppy, and he recommended we lunch at Voleur, and we were VERY impressed: Stefan had the buffalo burger (he's developing quite a taste for buffalo meat) and I had a Caesar salad with three delicious shrimp on the side. It was all The Yummy).

I'm back to blogging on my professional blog regularly now, if you're interested.

Random thoughts:

Between the USA Network's NCIS marathon, and the Travel Channel showing back-to-back episodes of Anthony Bourdain No Reservations, I could sit on this couch at the Extended Stay Deluxe in Hillsboro, Oregon and never move. Bourdain's show was shown in Germany -- dubbed, ofcourse -- so I was already a fan. As for NCIS: why can't I work for Jethro Gibbs (Mark Harmon) on NCIS? He's the *perfect* boss. I *love* bosses like him. He doesn't put up with BS, rewards results and ignores fluff and fluffy people. If only more UN staff were like him...

A friend wrote to say that, when he was at university, he was having a chat with a professor in the professor's office, and a call came in. He spoke to whomever it was, and then got off the phone. He
had this incredulous look on his face and told me someone from the athletic department had "requested" he give a star football player a passing grade...even though the guy had only been to class less than half a dozen times, hadn't worked with his assigned tutor, and blew the final!
And that's why I could probably never be a teacher. Because what I would have said on the phone in reply to such a request would have... not been diplomatic.

My favorite comment of the week, from, specifically: 6 Bullshit Facts About Psychology That Everyone Believes:
If you can't remember ever doing something dumb and embarrassing because you were feeling lonely and rejected, well, either you're very young, or you were just too drunk at the time to retain the memory.
One of the best things I've read in a long time: "Signed, John Hughes" - long time penpal of the 80's director shares just what a wonderful guy he could be and why he got out of Hollywood:
Tonight, when I heard the news that John had died, I cried. I cried hard. (And I'm crying again.) I cried for a man who loved his friends, who loved his family, who loved to write and for a man who took the time to make a little girl believe that, if she had something to say, someone would listen.
Everytime I see this Intel commercial, I laugh out loud.

What do I think of the whole Pitino thing? Or the whole Calipari thing? Email me and I'll tell ya.

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