Saturday, November 25, 2006

Thanksgiving

One of the reasons we chose to come to Oregon was to live closer to one of my friends that live here. Of course, being is school we were so busy that we had only visited once before. So we decided to get together for Thanksgiving, and after a five hour drive we arrived with L.'s brother in tow.
I've been friends with him since 7th grade so we go way back. His whole family, who I have also known for years, were driving down from Washington to also be there. What would Thanksgiving be without family. I always think of my family as crazy, L.'s family are all weird, but my friend G.'s family, takes the cake. Out of the 6 of them the thinnest one is about 20 lbs over weight. This means they were all getting on my back for being to skinny. Now G.'s mom is and always has been self conscious about her picture being taken, as in no one was supposed to. Her thinking is they can take pictures of her once she has lost the weight she wants to. Now with 9 adults and 6 kids there is little chance of her not ending up in some pictures for a crowded house. With my hobby of photography I have always taken a lot of pictures, and for the last few years we have got together it has always been a goal of mine to take as many pictures of her as possible. My feeling is that pictures spark memories, and without them her grandkids won't remember her as much because she was self conscious about how she looked. So the fun begins.
There has also been a feud between G.'s wife and G.'s mother since the day G. got married. So we got both of them vying to play us all off each other. I have given up on that many years ago. So basically it was the good old home family Thanksgiving.
Once of my other hobbies was is to cook and we got assigned bringing desert- my favorite. I got to try out new things. (I created for the first time pumpkin cobbler, and pumpkin fritters, with the old standbys of persimmon pudding, cherry cheesecake, and an improved pecan pie cheesecake.) All are going into my recipe book. After dinner all of G.'s sisters and mother pulled out their newspapers and started planning which stores, and tracking their paths for the next days sales.
G.'s family are all big game players so we brought canasta to play while there. I am a firm believer in playing my best, and I am good at this game, but all three of them started playing against me and when I was still winning it seemed like less of a game since more and more bitterness got into the game. I think there was more competitiveness then fun at the table, so we played other games the rest of the time we were there.
At the age of 26 L.'s brother finally got his drivers license. So after Thanksgiving on our way to dropping him off back home we let him drive. This was truly a weird experience. As we were driving there was a freak snow storm so he got hist first snow driving experience.

Friday, November 17, 2006

1st/last UO football game

So we decided that with how much this town has an unreal obsession to college football that we should see at least one game to see what all the fuss is about. Students get free tickets but you have to be in line when they give them out or they are gone. The games for this season kept ticking by because we would be busy every day they were handing them out. Finally I realized that the last home game was coming up so really it was our last chance. I set the alarm to wake up at 5 so we would be the first ones in line. As it turns out, we were second... and no one else showed up behind us for 2 hours. I ended up being late for class anyway since they opened the ticket office late.
L.'s brother was coming to visit for Thanksgiving so we got him a ticket too for $20. I knew they spent a lot of money on football and I was curious what some of my tuition was going for. Holy crap, the stadium is huge! I can not believe how much big, new, and expensive everything was. I ticks me off that so much money from education is going into this. I know, "opiate of the masses" and all the other rubbish excuses for why sports are so popular.
L.'s brother T. and I went early and got front row seats in the student section, right at the Oregon goal line. The day of the game was freezing, literally. Freezing fog is really cold and even at noon they still had the stadium lights on it was so thick. L. came late because she had to take her teaching test. Luckily she showed up with our big wool blanket for us to huddle under.
The game itself was pretty dismal. I mean I'm not a big football fan but Oregon only scored one touchdown. I did get to see the pinnacle of fanaticism with people throwing trash at the opposing side flag runner for every touchdown that Arizona scored. We all got to make comments of who was dancing more slutty the cheer or dance squads and wave our little free "spirit" banners to get into the spirit of the game though. Over all I am glad I went and it was nice to walk home to try to warm up.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Voting

In Oregon voting day is not really seen as a big deal. Everything is done by mail in votes so its more of a deadline. With no polling places or voting booths I am sure that the state is saving lots of money. With all the problems and corruption going on with electronic voting its weird to be so removed from that. Apparently with 100% mail in ballots Oregon has some of the lowest error rates and corruption reports, I gotta say I prefer it. (Yes I am fully aware with the abstracted layer something could be rigged but at least there is a paper trail.) It is also easier for me to convince L. to vote since there are no lines to worry about.
Probably the funniest political posters we saw were ones for a proposition that said "protect teenage girls". I mean how much closer can you get to "Won't someone think of the children".

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Halloween

The weekend before Halloween we celebrated Halloween by going to a corn maze on Friday and a a party the next day. I had never lived in a rural area so the idea of getting lost in field of corn seemed like something new to me. A lot of people said it was good so we decided to go. It was on about 60 acres and I didn't know corn could get so tall (I was afraid that I would be able to look over it all but this stuff was 10-14 feet tall). We went at night and the fog descended to just above the corn so it was pretty easy to get lost (especially since we forgot to bring a flashlight and the fog made it pretty dark.) There were markers with clues but L. and I had fun just wondering around aimlessly. The main thing learned was to always be between the groups of people so that the "creatures" would not jump out at you. I really enjoyed it and hope to go to more.
One of L.'s teachers threw a Halloween part so we had fun going to that. We had found foam hairdo wigs so we went as Anime characters. I ended up looking like someone from street fighter and L. looked like over the top Japanese school girl. We ended up taking some of her drunk friends home that didn't remember anything the next day and nearly ended up throwing up in our car.
In a rare turn of consequences on Halloween both L. and I did not have any homework due the next day. So instead of handing out candy to ungrateful kids all night we decided to take a break and leave town.
We decided to see the fall colors at the Japanese gardens in Portland. We got a large rebate from Staples from buying a color laser printer that we had to use so L. got a new digital camera. What better way to test it out. When there we decided we should take a good picture there to use as the Christmas picture along with our cards. It was a nice change of pace and pretty relaxing just to wander around. It was very beautiful too and made L. happy that we were moving somewhere with seasons and fall colors particularly.
When the Japanese gardens closed it was still pretty early and neither of us wanted to go home so instead we went to the mall. They were having trick-or-treat to all the different stores. It took away any guilt we had of not celebrating Halloween with all the little kids dressed up begging for candy from all the stores.