Archive for October, 2010

Pumpkin Carving 2010

October 29, 2010 By: erik Category: Partying, Photos, Timelapse, USA, Videos

Halloween SpiritsIt’s that time of year again, time for wool sweaters and pumpkin carving. Like the previous two years, my friend Andrés hooked us up with a lovely gourd specimen to carve. Nora had a lot of fun with the pumpkin this year. We invited over our four-year-old neighbor, Oscar (who happens to be Andrés’ nephew), to participate in the autumnal festivities. I did get Oscar to put his hand into the pumpkin and feel the slimy innards once, but after that he preferred to play with Nora’s toys, which were all new to him, and watch from afar. He brought over his own little pumpkin to carve too, so Marga got her first carving experience, which she thoroughly enjoyed.
(more…)

Visiting Colindres in October of 2010

October 25, 2010 By: erik Category: Family, Offspring, Photos, Spain, Travel

The following is a document written by my father, Paul Rasmussen, about his recent trip to visit us in October.

Anniversary Card from GrandmaWe arrived on-time at 1:30 in the afternoon after uneventful flights from Charlotte to Frankfurt, and from Frankfurt to Bilbao. The Bilbao airport is familiar to us now, and we quickly walked to the international flights’ baggage claim area. We knew it would take about ten more minutes before our bags would appear on the carousel, but Betsy and I were eager to see if Nora had come with Erik to pick us up. We knew from past trips that the Bilbao airport had a glassed viewing area where people waiting for passengers could look down upon the baggage claim areas, and, more importantly to us, arriving grandparents could look up and see if their little eighteen month old granddaughter really could stand and walk on her own now. It had been a little less than five months since we had last seen Nora. Back then, she couldn’t crawl. And . . There she was! Standing about 10 feet to the right of Erik, looking like a miniature girl in her lovely jumper and sweater. I waved like a maniac, but she kept control of her emotions.
(more…)

Weight Lifting

October 25, 2010 By: erik Category: Offspring, Photos, Videos

Working outAt the end of our Saturday Epic Mall Adventure last weekend we stopped by a sporting goods store because I wanted to buy a pair of 5 kg dumbbells to have near my desk to use during moments of computing downtime, like code compiles and YouTube videos. Nora, who had been wide-eyed during the whole hyperstimulating mall visit, picked up some 0.5 kg dumbbells and started lifting them herself. It was pretty cute…like she was training to kick some schoolyard butt. So I recorded a little video.

(more…)

Tags:

Thirsty Hairdresser

October 22, 2010 By: erik Category: Offspring, Videos

Thirsty Hairdresser (freeze frame)Sometimes it feels like I spend my entire time with my daughter telling her what not to do. Don’t touch that potted plant. Don’t open that drawer. Don’t empty the contents of Daddy’s wallet out onto the floor where you just spilt some yogurt. Etc, etc. So in retrospect, I can see how she might think it appropriate to boss everyone around and shout “No!” when you do certain things.
(more…)

Tags:

Chinese Capitalism in Spain

October 21, 2010 By: erik Category: Musings, Photos, Spain

Hiper Hong XinIn Spain, when you say, “Voy a los chinos” (“I’m going to the Chinese.”) you’re usually referring to a special kind of store, almost always owned and operated by Chinese immigrants, that contains a vast array of small, often plastic, supplies for everyday life, e.g. a bucket, some batteries, a broom, blank dvds, some tape, a bowl, a rubber ball, a shower curtain, a gift card, some plastic flowers, etc.

We’ve had two similar, Spanish owned, “cheap, but useful, shit” stores in town for the five years I’ve lived here, but we just got our first authentic Chinese store. They bought the whole ground floor of an apartment building and spent several months fixing it up, during which I overheard several, “Man, those Chinese are hard workers,” comments (is it racist if the stereotype is complimentary?). I took some photos of the outside of the store just before it opened a week ago, and I have since been inside to see what kind of selection they have. It’s unbelievable!
(more…)

Tags: ,

What to do when your child cries at night

October 19, 2010 By: erik Category: Musings, Parenting

Pissed OffOne of the most frustrating parts of parenting for me is the distinct lack of right answers to questions of how to raise a child. Not every issue is as straightforward as “Should I let my child crawl on the ledge of my 7th story window?” (Answer: Only if you’ve double-checked the harnesses.) Like life in general, most issues come down to a judgement call with good arguments in both directions. One issue about which I often feel completely clueless is that of what to do when my child cries in the middle of the night. It seems that there are two opposing strategies.
(more…)

Tags:

Scribbler

October 14, 2010 By: erik Category: Art, Offspring, Videos

Scribbler (freeze frame)When I took Nora to her 18-month doctor’s checkup, the doctor asked questions like, “Does she do X?”, “If you give her Y, does she do Z with it?”, etc. Beaming with paternal pride, I was able to answer yes to all of them…until he said, “If you give her a pencil and paper, will she draw?” I had to answer, “Probably, we’ve never really done that,” as I plummeted down the rabbit hole of “I’m a terrible parent” guilt.

When we got home, I gave her a pen and paper, and she scribbled away like a tormented artist. She seems to slightly favor her right hand, but she’ll scribble with her left as well.
(more…)

Tags: ,

Who Buys Your Birthday Lunch?

October 11, 2010 By: erik Category: Complaining, Musings, Partying, Reviews, Spain, USA

Thirty CandlesWhen you live abroad, most customs that don’t match your own seem odd at first. Some traditions are pretty clearly worse, but the people practicing them don’t know any better; most are just different, neither better nor worse; and some are hands down superior to the customs in your own country, and it’s your compatriots back home that don’t know any better. Today I’m going to talk about a Spanish custom that falls into the latter category, being pretty clearly preferable to the tradition in my home country. It’s about who buys lunch or drinks or dinner on your birthday.
(more…)

Tags: ,

Under the Bleachers

October 11, 2010 By: erik Category: Offspring, Videos

Under the bleachers (freeze frame)I remember, as a kid, playing amongst the veritable jungle of metal bars that make up the supports beneath bleachers. Near the park where I take Nora most often to play on the swings and slide, there is a bolera, an area set up for a bowling game specific to Cantabria, with some bleachers around it. Recently, Nora has discovered the fun that can be had climbing in and around the bars under the bleachers.
(more…)

BLTCH – Sandwich Party 5

October 09, 2010 By: erik Category: Food, Photos, Videos

BLTCH slicedThe time has come once again for the Sandwich Party, a sandwich blogging event. I participated in the first, second, and fourth sandwich parties. The third one was held the week my daughter was born, so I missed it. This time, I admit to preparing, photographing, eating, and digesting my sandwich before the party was even announced, because there is often less than a week’s notice from when The Sandwich Divas announce these things.

This time around, I’ve gone with a family favorite: The Beltch. My mother, the polite lady that she is, chooses to put the vowel after the L, making it a Bletch (as if that’s a polite sound!). As you might have guessed, it’s a variation on the famous BLT (bacon, lettuce, and tomato), but adding cheese (CH). For proper BELTCH construction, a fried egg should be added to achieve full letter representation, but circumstances did not allow for an egg in this production.
(more…)