He's home!

We picked up Tre today at around 10:00. At first I think he was a mix of both excited and sad - he kept looking in the back window, saying goodbye to his foster parents. (Who by the way are super awesome.) We stopped by Nick's work so folks there could meet him and then brought him home. He didn't mind the ride home at all, and even slept a little in the car.

Yay, new home!

He met the Kiki first. Their meeting was brief and mostly a blur, but it went well.

Tre met Molly outside and they romped around with the Frisbee for awhile. Well, Molly romped with the Frisbee - Tre just pretty much chased after and around her.

In this picture the frisbee kind of looks like a giant tongue. Flapflap!

Tre says "Hey Nick, the grass is getting pretty tall out here. Hint, hint."

After quite a bit of running and exploring the new yard, Tre was ready to go back inside.

We went back inside and showed Tre his new kennel and doggie bed and the rest of the house.

We also decided on his new name. Cooper!

That was our morning, and now here we are. Cooper is sitting next to me on the couch, chewing on a rawhide and farting. Molly is lying on the doggie bed, also chewing on her rawhide but a bit less gassy - such a lady.

Welcome home, Cooper!

Getting another beastie...

Tomorrow we're going to pick up this handsome fellow.

Right now his name is Tre, but we might be giving him a new name...

Tre only has three legs. His leg was broken so badly when he was rescued that they had to amputate it just below the hip. He's getting along fine though and he can do anything normal puppies do like hop up stairs, run amuck, chase cats...


Even though Nick has been doing most (well... all) of the adoption work, the whole process is still bringing up much thought and feeling for me. Mela was my first dog ever and going through this process brings back memories of bringing her home and getting used to having a puppy around. She was full of life and energy, as good huskies should be. :)

It was a learning process for the Kiki too... but we both did okay.

Mela and the Kiki were BFF, until Molly joined the fuzzy family. Then everybody was BFFs.

We had to put Mela to sleep in 2006. It was one of the hardest decisions I've ever had to make. Even though Nick wanted to adopt again right away I've been hesitant to bring another dog into the house. Not just because of how hard it was to loose Mela, but I've just been giving myself a little time.

Molly and the Kiki have become even closer and they both have very cuddly, chill personalities. It will be interesting to see how adding another puppy to the household will mix things up.

Tomorrow we'll become a family of five again. Wish us luck!

Are you Jewish?

On Saturday night Nick and I went to The Cabooze to see our friend Erik play. I saw an artist-friend there and as I went to great her and give her a hug, somebody-it-seemed-I-should-have-recognized-but-didn't-recognize also greeted me, gave me a hug, and almost immediately proceeded to ask me what nationality I was. "Are you Jewish?" He said. "We weren't sure what nationality you were, and I thought you looked Jewish."

("Why?" I thought to myself? "Because I have a big nose? We'll that makes sense. All Jews have big noses, right? Of course! If I have a big nose, I must be Jewish." But that's not what I said.)

He had, in fact, used my nose as a measure for guessing my heritage. Interesting. I proceeded to tell him a little bit about my mixed ancestry, the condensed/bar version.  (For here, I can be a little bit more detailed.)


I have a big nose, yes. See? You can see my profile pretty well here, in this picture of me and Nick.

However even though I'm part Jewish, my nose isn't. My nose is my father's (thanks Dad!) and he's Sri Lankan, born in Sri Lanka. Let's see if I have a picture of my dad...

Perfect- here's me, my mom, and my dad at the cabin last fall. See the similarities? Of course in general, but also the nose in particular. My dad's nose is slightly more crooked than mine because he's been punched in the nose before... I think he used to box, just like Who's the Boss.

Sometimes people wonder about our last name (Schumacher) as it is not typically Sri Lankan. "So, you're Sri Lankan?" somebody might think. "Then what's with your name, and your nose?" Well, my family is Dutch-Burgher Sri Lankan. Our Sri Lankan roots go back to Deutschland, hence our German last name. My father came to this country in the 60's, where he met my mother and years later, had my sister, then me.

My mother is Polish. Her story is a little bit different.My Grandfather Chaim was born in Poland. He was raised in Poland along with his many brothers and sisters.On September 1, 1939 he fled to Russia (the Ukraine, to be specific.) It was there that he met my Grandmother, and they stayed in Russia throughout the war. Most of my Grandfather's brothers and sisters died in the war. At this point, I'm not sure how many (if any) are alive... but as I learn more about my family this is one of the areas I'm researching more. After the war my Grandfather and Grandmother returned to Poland, where they had my Uncle George and my mother. In the 1960's they moved the entire family to the states, and began a new life here. My father met my mother's brother, then he met my mother, my grandfather passed away, my uncle and grandmother returned to Denmark, my mother stayed here and the rest is history.

So, that's longer-than-the-bar-version-but-still-condensed-version of my family history... triggered in part by Saturday's interaction.

I'm not easily offended, in fact I've got a pretty dark sense of humor and will laugh at a lot of things normal people might not. So it isn't that this interaction offended me in any way... However, the interaction as a whole seemed funny to me, and not funny ha-ha.

My "jewishness" is a strange experience for me. When I was younger, I always just considered myself Polish/Sri-Lankan - American, because those were the countries where my parents were born, and America is where my parents became citizens, where I was born. It wasn't until I began investigating my heritage that I learned about the Russian/Ukraine, Dutch-Burgher and Jewish components of my ancestry.

If somebody asks me how it is that I'm Sri Lankan even though my last name is Schumacher I assume they're curious and will happily explain to them the intricacies of my unique heritage, of which I'm quite proud. However, if somebody asks me if I'm Jewish and it seems like they are only guessing that because I have a big nose I'll may just assume they're ignorant.

Occasionally when somebody does find out I'm Jewish, they'll ask about my history. "Oh wow, did any of your relatives die in the concentration camps?" It reminds me kind of when people ask about my family in Sri Lanka - When they find out I still have family there, they ask if any of them died in the Tsunami... As though it legitimizes my heritage to be tied emotionally to the tragedies of a particular people. It isn't that I don't want to talk about these things - I think we should talk about them, understand them, heal and learn from them. But the conversation itself can at times seem absurd. "Did you see that movie? Oh, I totally saw it too, it was great!"  "Did your relative die of some type of tragedy? Mine too, high five."

Then again, we connect with people all sorts of different ways. I suppose tragedy has a different way of bonding people, at least more than liking the same shoes. I guess one thing is just a bit more transparent than the other.


I woke up early today, proofed my paper for class one last time and printed out a final copy. Nick woke up early too, so he could vote before work. As I was getting ready to leave,  Nick offered to give me a ride to work so could go and wait in line together before voting. Nick put my bike in his car and I printed out our voter guides from http://theballot.org/.

We got to the polls before 8:30, and the lines were surprisingly shorter than they were in the primaries (then again, I did my primary voting in the evening.) As we got out of the car I couldn't stop beaming.


As I walked through the door to East Side Neighborhood services I have to admit I teared up just a little. The first East Side Neighborhood services building opened in 1915 to serve immigrant, refugee and low income individuals and families. Our neighborhood has always been diverse, and the new building is another amazing resource for the community.  My mother came to this country from Poland and my Father came from Sri Lanka... and I couldn't help but think about them and their path to America years before they met, years before I was born...

I was a bit wary after reading the news and was pleasantly surprised after I arrived. East Side Neighborhood services was extremely well organized. The volunteers were efficient, friendly and helpful. I don't think I stopped smiling the whole time I was there.

I saw a young Somali couple and the husband translating the volunteer's instructions for her so she could understand where to go and what to do.

I saw a kid's voting booth set up and a bunch of little kids, excited to cast their "vote" too.

I saw a bunch of wonderful volunteers that gave up their day to help people like me have a chance to vote.

I sat down at a table and filled out my ballot. As the volunteers collected unused pens, they respectfully did so without looking at what we were doing. I was so excited I wanted to take a picture of my ballot, but didn't think that would be appropriate as I had chosen to sit at one of the open, non-private tables. Nick finished before I did and waited for me outside. I wrapped up my ballot in the privacy-folder and walked over to the machine. After waiting in another small line, I submitted my votes.  Voter #547 for the day.

I Voted!

Taking a picture of myself with my new phone is tricky... but the point comes across.


Ae Volunteer Recognition Event - Oktoberfest

Altered Esthetics held our first Volunteer Recognition Event - Oktoberfest Style! My mom, Noelle and I cooked over 30 lbs of mashed potatoes, 70 awesome bratwurst and played polka music throughout the night. It was a blast! Having my parents in town was awesome, our awesome volunteers were there, I got to wear my lederhosen, it really just doesn't get any better than that you know? Liz, Curatorial Superstar and Toneski, Board Secretary Extraordinaire.

Toneski and Liz

Tony and Mindy - having a "really good time!!!"

<br /> Noelle and Natalie

Noelle, our Board Treasurer and Natalie, one of our volunteers who is super awesome (and might I add - the ONLY OTHER PERSON besides myself that dressed for the event!)

Tony and Mindy

Nick and Jamie. Awwwww

Jamie and Nick

More Oktoberfest Pictures here