Archive for December, 2005

Mom, what’s girls gone wild?

Is NOT the question you want to hear from your 12 year old son. Although I guess it’s better than “oooo Mom, there’s girls gone wild!”. Ahem.

Anyway, I wasn’t very awake this morning when he asked that, so my response was “I don’t know, where’d you see that?”. He told me “on that bus” and I just figured there was a bumper sticker or something on a passing bus. But no, later today I saw that there’s a huge ole charter bus with that name painted all over it sitting on the corner of Mill & Southern. I assume they’re in town for the block party or something. If so, the block party’s gotten a little wilder than I remember it.

Setting Fire to the New Year

You know what should be done each New Year’s? There should be a huge public bonfire on the lawn of the White House where people can symbolically burn things in which they’re disappointed, or of which they’re ashamed, or from which they’d like to abstain, whatever the case may be, from the past year. And there could be a huge workshop with lots of work tables and Elmer’s glue and glitter and felt squares and smelly markers so people could create these symbolic representations of these things. And a panoramic photographer would be hired to record everyone, each holding their creation, prior to tossing it into the fire.

It would be a huge bonding experience. And a chance to air grievances. And people would laugh because some people are less creative than others and would have really funny symbolic representations, but not on purpose, which would make them even more hilarious. And people could throw their Bill O’Reillys or Howard Sterns or chocolate ice creams or carbohydrates or impatience or alcoholism into the flames and cheer together as the flames rise higher to swallow up all of the frustration and pain and disgust from the year so everyone can start over. And maybe somebody would get a little angry because they don’t like the idea of human beings being burned in effigy, but they’d get over it when someone else points out their symbolic representation of impatience in the form of a parent striking a child isn’t pleasant to look at either.

People like to bond over destruction and salvation, it seems. And most everyone likes fire. What better way to ring in the new year than with a massive bonfire ignited by a unified feeling of dumping the bad and starting over with good?

Burn ban lifted

I hadn’t heard anything on the news recently about burn bans, and I’m hoping to use my backyard firepit during my New Year’s Eve party tomorrow night, so I just checked out the Maricopa County Department of Air Quality website to get the latest advisory. You can also call 602-506-6400 for updates. The ban has apparently been lifted for the holiday weekend. So burn away!

Who’s the Valley Ho?

Following up on Gayle’s post from a couple weeks ago, my friend Carole and I finally made it over to the recently re-opened Hotel Valley Ho for drinks earlier this week.

I’m personally a big fan of mid-century modern architecture and design, so I was pretty excited to check out the new Ho. They’ve done a really fantastic job of updating the resort – there is a nice mix of preserved original architecture and new modern touches. Walking through the front door, you enter into a living room area with couches and a fireplace. There is also a small outdoor patio off to the side that has a firepit. Continuing through the lobby takes you to the bar and restaurant Cafe ZuZu. There is ample seating in the bar area, along with a large area for indoor and outdoor dining. We settled in for a few cocktails – I had the Bourbon Mac Daddy (actually, I had a few…) which was fantastic. Carole had the Moscow Mule, which was almost like a lemonade and vodka. All of the drinks are served with a blue plastic Valley Ho swizzle stick, which got us talking about how swizzle sticks are a lost art. There was era appropriate music playing in the background. If it weren’t for the trendy, urban crowd, or the flat screen TVs, you would really almost think you had been transported back in time!

We weren’t able to get a peek at any of the rooms. But two levels of hotel rooms wrap around an interior courtyard with all of the hotel room doors opening to the courtyard. On the opposite side of the building, there are floor to ceiling glass windows that overlook views of surrounding Scottsdale. The courtyard has a large pool and adjoining patio for Cafe ZuZu. There are well manicured gardens lining the pathways.

The owners of the Hotel Valley Ho have done a really great job of restoring it to its former glory. It will certainly once again become a Scottsdale hot spot for jetsetters and hipsters, baby!

Back in Phoenix

I’m home from vacation earlier than planned. I’m glad to be at home for once. I missed the high speed internet. Anyway, I should be posting more often than before. Yay!

Rude people suck

So I’m not going to write about them. Instead, here are two nice things that strangers did for me today. One was at the airport this morning. I’d dropped someone off, and the car I was driving was kind of boxed in. Some random guy came out and directed me so I could get out of loading zone without having to inch back and forth 40 times first. The other was at the place I’ve been doing a little temp work at. I’d gone down to the basement to get something from the snack machine, and a lady came by who was going upstairs and asked me if I’d like her to hold the elevator. I told her no, since the snack machine’s temperamental about accepting dollar bills, so instead she went up and sent the elevator right back down for me. This is a nice thing, because although there are 4 elevators in the building, only one of them actually goes to the basement. So there you have it, two nice things instead of a rant.

Pencil, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways:

You know what my favorite gift this year was? Two giant packs of 100 multicolored pencils, each with my real name and blog alias on them. My friend in Boston is renown for giving amazing gifts and this year I got the pencils, sharpener and two monogrammed canvas pencil cases and it was pretty much my favorite package.

In fourth grade, I couldn’t wait to get to drop the pencil for the pen. If you got an “E” in handwriting, you were allowed to use pen (sparingly) for various projects. I worked so damn hard to get that “E” because I hated the pencil. Pencils were boring and nobody cared about fancy smelly erasers by that point. Pens, especially erasable pens, were what made you cool. When I got in trouble for talking in class and had to write my name on the board, I tried really hard even then to make my cursive look neat, just in case it counted toward my “E” in handwriting.

I don’t think I got to use the pen much in 4th grade, but I got to use it in 5th grade for sure, the grade when everyone got to use pen to practice for junior high where we heard you had to use pen. When you’re under pressure to use a pen and use it well, it freaks you out when you’re a kid. Will I hold it too long on the paper, lost deep in thought, making a giant bleeding splotch? Will I misspell a word and have a big ugly line crossed through it and will it count against me? What if I forget all my pencils, even my colored map pencils required for US History, and all I have to write with is a pen and I’m in pre-algebra and I make a mistake and have to turn in my worksheet and it’s all messed up? So many things to think about, on top of wondering if you’ll still be cool if you don’t buy that Hot Pocket and bag of Spirals because your mom forgot to give you cash so you have to bring your lunch of a ham sandwich and Ecto Cooler Hi-C punch with Slimer from Ghostbusters on the front.

Pencils never let you down. Pencils are forgiving. You can chew on them and they won’t explode in your mouth. Pencils remind me of yellow school buses. They’re the one constant you can always count on not to change with the times. Mechanical pencils are like Diet Coke with Splenda. They’re okay for a few people that want to feel fancy, but the classic will always be around. If you lose your earring back, pencils lend you an eraser to replace it. I love pencils so much. At work, we covet pencils because for some reason, nobody has them and they’re never ordered from the office supply store even though you can get, like, 10,000 pencils for one dollar and 89 cents.

I sort of want to start a pencil collection. If anyone has any old pencils, let me know because I’m probably going to hot glue a bazillion of them onto a giant canvas for my living room wall to express my love and support for pencils.

ASU wins, Rutgers and BOB loses…

BOB, err, Chase Field does not convert into a very good football stadium. The sideline ran down the left field wall with a short set of bleachers installed in short right. I guess there were not too many options. I would have sent the field down the right side and sold seats in the pool, but that is just me. Still they squeezed 45K into the seats. New Jersey was well represented (You from Jersey? What exit?). The defenses did not show up (I hope you took the over – 62) but a fun time was had by all. Next year, we get a proper stadium. Go Devils!


Me three hours ago: Boise, Idaho – 39 degrees (feels like 34 degrees), raining

Me now: Phoenix, Arizona – 65 degrees (feels like 65 degrees), partly cloudy, beautiful sunset as my plane was landing

I’m so glad to be home!

Hope everyone is having a good holiday week.

Nice to be Back

I traveled in a pretty sickly state this weekend. Flew on a plane across the country with a massive head cold. The kind of traveling where your head feels about to implode and you contstantly think it’s 5 seconds until blood starts leaking out your ears. 21 month old twins screamed behind me and kicked my chair. Nyquil knocked me out for a while, until I started dreaming about golden minotaurs chasing people over a mountainside and trampling them.

The end destination was nice, despite the massive head cold. A menorah was lit. Lots of chocolate was consumed. Saw some national monuments. Held a new baby. Got near diarrhea from discussing wedding plans.

It’s nice to be back here.

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