Thursday, April 30, 2009

Talking to Glasgow, Scotland

In Mexico we met Richard from Scotland. He came to Guaymas (like us) to teach English. And Richard and I wound up teaching at the same school.We lived within 20 feet from his casita to our apt and we became fast friends. The whole teaching experience in Guaymas was a nightmare (yeah, it REALLY was) and it was nice to have someone close with whom I could debrief after every day of school.

Richard returned to Scotland (after attempting to successfully teach at yet another Guaymas bilingual school that was just as bad as the initial school.) This morning we used Windows Messenger to talk live with Richard. We wanted to use our Web Cam, but couldn’t figure it out (we got error messages), but if anyone has info on how we can make it work, PLEASE COMMENT!

Best wishes to Richard who is headed to Budapest to expound on his Ph.D., share and gain knowledge!

p.s. Be sure to read my earlier post from this morning below!

New Blog from Salem, Oregon!

Hehehehe…just in case you missed this pic from my recent post...
This is a pic of Ron and Betty, our friends and landlords, who graciously accepted us as tenants – sight unseen, no jobs, no income – when I responded (from Mexico) to Betty’s Craigslist ad for a furnished studio apt in Salem. The ad said “cat maybe,” and I wrote and told Betty all about Sitka (our German shepherd)...that began the email exchange that ended with Betty and Ron offering us the apt while we were still in Mexico!

We got here in late January and we’ve been lucky to get to know Ron and Betty, as well as their family and friends. They are both very creative and they keep busy in their “twilight years” with their online business. Betty has taken an interest in blogging and just this week she launched Growing Old Together which I have added to my blogroll. Betty loves to write and she has a lot of witty wisdom to share with us. Hell, I might even learn something from reading her blog! Check it out.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Northern Lights Theater Pub

Last night we got out and went to the movies. Salem has a really neat movie theater called Northern Lights Theater Pub. The movies are fairly new and admission is just $3.00! Plus, you can eat the regular movie fare, order light meals and dessert (which are delivered to you at your table in the theater) and even have a beer or glass of wine.

We saw The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (with Brad Pitt) and even though it was a “fantasy” type of movie, it was very moving. We both liked it.

I had a chicken teriyaki wrap, Mike had a steak burrito and we both had apple pie with vanilla ice cream and caramel sauce. It was so neat how they delivered the entrées first and the desserts later. I bought glasses of wine in the lobby and brought them to our table.

Another thing we noticed is that very few people got up during the 3 hour long movie. And when they did they were very courteous, ducking below the movie and moving quickly. The servers graciously did the same.

We’ll be going back. It was a great evening!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Saturday in the Willamette Valley

It was a warm and sunny morning in Salem yesterday when Betty and I headed over to Salem Hospital for the Open House Tour of the new tower that opens next month. We saw emergency rooms, an open-heart surgery room, video x-ray and all kinds of state-of-the-art equipment. It was very impressive!Lobby is more like a hotel lobbyBig, expen$ive imaging machine

And one thing that really caught my eye was the Room Service Menu. I looked through it and wanted to stop and order lunch! It made me think about when Mike was in the Mexico City hospital and the staff went next door to get him take-out for his meals or they heated something up in a microwave...ROOM SERVICE!!! (And look at how thick the menu it is - they even offer rice milk!)

The other draw for our visit was Betty’s son, Tim, who works in Media Services at the hospital. His morning was busy, and here we caught him diligently working on getting a monitor up and running for the Tour. Nice job, Tim!

After the hospital Tour we went home to get Ron (Mike wasn’t feeling well and he stayed home, but he's much better this morning) and together we headed north to Woodburn for the Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival. The Wooden Shoe Farm has about 40 acres of bulbs and for the festival there are activities for kids, crafts booths, pony rides and even Mexican food! The pictures speak for themselves.Yep, that's Ron and Betty
After the Festival we went south to Mt. Angel and had lunch at the Glockenspiel Restaurant, a charming Bavarian restaurant with servers in dirndls, lederhosen and knee-high socks. I had an open faced sandwich with asparagus, Swiss cheese and Black Forest ham – in fact they had a whole fresh sheet with asparagus specials!

The restaurant is named for the Rathaus-Glockenspiel of Munich and at certain times throughout the day the Glockenspiel (see the 2nd and 3rd floor openings) opens with chimes and wooden, moving characters re-enact stories. Sure enough right before 4:00 yesterday people were gathering in the streets of Mt. Angel for the “show.” We watched along with everyone before heading home to Salem.
What a great day. Thank you Betty and Ron!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter in Salem, Oregon

Look what we found outside on the steps down to our home this morning…it’s an Easter basket from our wonderful friends (and landlords), Betty and Ron! It is full of goodies and I am still finding malted milk eggs in the grass. How lucky are we to have these new friends?!

Happy Easter everyone!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Pearl Jam Ten and Ten remix 2009 - Eddie Vedder is da man!

If you don’t know the music, you may not appreciate the info in this post. But I do, so here I go…(hey, I’m from Seattle…grunge is in my blood…besides I sat next to Mr. Vedder once at a Seattle Mariners baseball game – remember Chackie???)

Wiki says, “While Ten deals with dark subject matter, it has almost been universally considered to be a high water-mark of the early 1990s alternative rock sound, with Vedder's unusually deep and strong (and later much imitated) voice alternating between solidity and vibrato against the unrestrained, guitar-heavy, pure rock sound that harkened back to Led Zeppelin and other rock bands of the 1970s. Ten's musical style, influenced by classic rock, combined an 'expansive harmonic vocabulary' with an anthemic sound. Stephen Thomas Erlewine of Allmusic stated that the songs on the album fused ‘the riff-heavy stadium rock of the '70s with the grit and anger of '80s post-punk, without ever neglecting hooks and choruses.’”

"On March 24, 2009, Ten was reissued in four editions (Legacy, Deluxe, Vinyl, and Super Deluxe). The extras on the four editions range from a remastering and remix of the entire album by producer Brendan O'Brien, six bonus tracks ("Brother", "Just a Girl", "Breath and a Scream", "State of Love and Trust", "2,000 Mile Blues", and "Evil Little Goat"), re-designed packaging, a DVD of the band's 1992 appearance on MTV Unplugged (I happen to have a copy of the MTV Unplugged show on videotape and I really do watch it now and then – all the way from Seattle to Mexico City to Guaymas - how perfect to have it now on DVD!!!), vinyl versions of the album, an LP of its September 20, 1992 concert at Magnuson Park in Seattle (also known as Drop in the Park) (I WAS AT THAT SHOW AND IT WAS F _ _ _ _ _ G UNDESCRIBABLE, SO MUCH ENERGY - Hell, Eddie tossed the microphone cord over the scaffolding, climbed up the scaffolding, and slid down the cord to the stage while singing!!! - You're not going to see that at a Madonna show!), a replica of the original Mamasan demo cassette, and a replica of Vedder's composition notebook containing personal notes and mementos. It is the first reissue in a planned re-release of Pearl Jam's entire catalogue that will lead up to the band's 20th anniversary in 2011.”

Today I picked up my special order from Brian at Harvest Music in Salem. That’s all I can say about my favorite band, PEARL JAM!!! Okay, back to the music...

p.s. Harvest Music is on Commercial Street in Salem and Brian has lots of vinyl, CDs, posters and other goodies for sale. He also has a crazy machine that corrects blemishes on CDs. Don’t give your $$ to a corporate music $tore, give it to Brian!
p.p.s.s. We also picked up the Dylan/Cash Sessions (from sometime in the ancient 60s) at Harvest Music - good stuff. Thanks Brian!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Stimulus Package and Unemployment Insurance

For 6 years I was a Litigation Paralegal, laid off from Cingular Wireless in May 2006. While I searched for a job, and before I decided to become a Real Estate Salesperson, I collected unemployment insurance. When the benefits were exhausted I studied for the real estate license exam and went to work for Coldwell Banker Bain.

Everyone who has been reading our blog knows what happened after that…teaching English in Mexico and now job searching in Salem. It had not occurred to me to check on an extension for my old unemployment insurance claim. But our landlord’s daughter suggested I check into it. So I did. And today I spoke with a rep from the Unemployment Office in Washington.

She could not confirm if I am eligible for benefits, but she said she was reopening my claim and that I should begin by documenting my job search this week and file my online claim on Sunday. What a surprise! So if anyone else is in a similar situation, you might want to check in with your Unemployment Office. Finally, the stimulus package may be hitting home…

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Road Trip on Oregon Coast

We woke up to warm weather and sunshine today and decided to drive to the Oregon Coast and see the Pacific Ocean! I hadn’t been to the Oregon Coast in many years and I was surprised that it was only about 1.5 hours from Salem to Lincoln City. We went a bit further – to Newport – turned around and came home. The drive from Newport to Salem was 2 hours.

I can’t believe I didn’t take any pictures of Sitka. But she was naughty today…barking at everyone and dragging me on the beach. Bad girl!

Here are some pics…(double clicking on any of them will enlarge the pic!)Lincoln CityFlying KitesFamily at the BeachGuy Sleeping on the BeachLittle Kid in a Red HatSeagulls at the BeachFurther Down the CoastYaquina Head Lighthouse in the Waaaaayyy DistanceBridge in NewportBridge & Marina in NewportTime to Go Back to Salem