Archive for April, 2006

Cali to Phoenix via Texas and LA (the other one).

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Presh orders hand roasted coffee from Berkeley, CA. They usually send it out the day it is roasted. We get it a couple of days later. Usually.

This shipment is taking a weird detour. Berkeley to San Francisco to Cerritos to Phoenix (yah). Then it left Phoenix headed to El Paso then Mesquite then Shreveport back to Mesquite and finally back in the valley. Think it will stay here?

It’s Draft Day!

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There is no better punishment for evil bastard men of Troy than to be sent to the Cardinals. I have such mixed feelings about this. I guess I am hopping off the fence and finally buying my season tickets. This is the turning point, baby. You gotta believe!

Photo Credit

Water Safety Reminder – Watch kids around water.

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I spent my weekend with the Gilbert Fire Department and the recruits of Academy 06-01. The recruits along with the Gilbert Chamber of Commerce were handing out free sliding door alarms to families in the neighborhood. These are magnetic door alarms that stick to your sliding doors and loudly chirp when the door is opened. If you have kids inside and a pool outside this inexpensive alarm can notify you if the little ones sneak out. Please keep kids safe around water we have too many preventable drownings in the Valley. By the way, the 34 recruits are graduating tomorrow. Congratulations to them and safe wishes.

Reliable Day Care Service

This is a sign on the corner of 16th Street and Maryland in the Central Corridor of Phoenix.

Beer — check!
Wine — check!
Groceries — check!
Daycare? Yep — check!

How convenient!

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Now, they are NOT all housed in the same location. The Easy Mart is directly on the corner, the daycare, I believe it’s called “Lil’ Angles” is off the corner, kinda beside the mart. They only share a sign.

But, I still think it’s just about the funniest thing. I drive by it at least once a day and laugh out loud.

AND…this is a nice neighborhood. Houses on this street are about $400K for 1500 sq. ft. Now, people who can afford that wouldn’t send their kids to Beer Wine Daycare would they?

Enjoy the laugh!

Who I am not

Posts like Lloyd’s previous one get to me, which I guess is a good thing because they get me thinking, but…they remind me of being accused as a young child of being racist. You know, I don’t know any young children that are racist, but I’ve never forgotten being accused of it. One incident changed my entire life, and not in a good way either.

I think I was six, seven at the most. I’m white, which I’m saying because it is relevant to my story. I lived in Nebraska at the time, and had never seen a person who was any thing but white til some kids moved in next door to us. I ran next door, excited that they were putting a swing set up, and stopped short because I was fascinated. I wanted to play with them, but I guess I was too busy staring to get “Can I play?” out, because they yelled at me and their dad came out and scooped them up and yelled at me too. At a six or seven year old, who’d done nothing but stare curiously. I don’t even remember what they yelled, but it had to do with me thinking a bunch of stuff that hadn’t even crossed my mind and being someone I was not. I don’t think I ever did play with those kids, but I remember sometimes sneaking over and using their swing when they weren’t home. I hate that this happened, but it did teach me several lessons.

One of which carried over when I moved to Arizona at age 9. My idea of Arizona prior to moving here was that it would be nothing but sand dunes like the movies about Arabia. Once I got here and gave up on the idea of sand dunes, I switched to the idea of Westerns. You know, cowboys and indians. More crap. So I was a little nervous when I got to school and realized that over half of my classmates were people who lived on the Pima Indian Reservation. I’d remembered what happened the last time I so rudely stared at people that looked different from me, so instead I just avoided looking at or talking to them, until the day I was assigned to share desks with them. Then I tried to talk to them, but they avoided me. Maybe they’d never seen a girl with stringy hair and glasses from the midwest before. Maybe they’d heard about those cowboys who shot indians. Maybe they’d had personal experience with discrimination. In retrospect I think we were all just shy.

But again, when I was 18, I got another personal reminder of what people sometimes think. Someone asked me, in front of about 20 other people, “What do you think of when you see a black woman?”

“Nothing,” I said, while thinking to myself “what a stupid question, that’s like asking ‘what do you think of when you see a white woman?’ Why would I think anything in particular?”

I got screamed at. “NOTHING!? You mean black people are NOTHING to you?!”

“Uh, no, I meant I probably wouldn’t think anything in particular.”

Things deteriorated from there, and I left in tears.

Well, I guarantee you that this conversation flashes thru my head now when I see a black woman. Now I NOTICE, and I wonder, is this person going to yell at me too? Is that what that lady intended? Somehow I doubt it. It’s all about assumptions. I get angry too. And sad.

I wish that people would take me for me, not for their idea of me. And I imagine that’s what most people want too.

Maybe we ALL don’t give each other enough of the benefit of the doubt. THAT is what I have really learned.

For the record, my family immigrated to America. They were so afraid of potential persecution and backlash during two wars that they stopped speaking their native language or spoke it only in secret. (I’ve since learned it again.) They were afraid of being rounded up along with the people who were or looked Japanese. They worked as farmers and maids. I’ve cleaned houses and office buildings, cleaned food off stranger’s plates, and swept the floors of a restaurant. I’ve worked for less than minimum wage. I’ve been taken advantage of by someone who knew the laws better than me. I’ve ridden buses in the early morning hours, standing in the cold and sweating in the heat. I’ve even worked illegally in a foreign country for months, although it was certainly not intentional. (Totally a paperwork mixup.) I’ve been told by people that the chances of me ever working legally in the E.U. are small. I vote in every election. I CAN indeed pass the citizenship test. I know my representatives and the names of my kid’s teachers. I don’t fudge on my taxes or intentionally break the law. (But yes, I have sped, although I try not to.) I try to help the less fortunate. I don’t believe that war is the way.

And my family has been here for approximately 146 years.

We’re all of us a little defensive sometimes. I’m just doing it publicly.

Please vote in all future elections, and continue to vote if you already do.

How do you earn your citizenship?

If you are not registered to vote or did not vote in the last election should your citizenship be revoked? Or should you be granted amnesty?

If you are not able to pass the citizenship tests should your citizenship be revoked? Or should you be granted amnesty?

If you have ever broken a law, sped, littered, fudged a little on your taxes should your citizenship be revoked? Or should you be granted amnesty?

If you do not know who represents you, or who teaches your kids, or the names of the thirteen colonies should your citizenship be revoked? Or should you be granted amnesty?

If you have never put on a uniform, sworn an oath, or helped the less fortunate should your citizenship be revoked? Or should you be granted amnesty?

At the very least click here.

Phricking Phoenix Phoodies

I am sitting in a restaurant watching the guy at the next table ruin his food by adding ketchup. He is insulting the chef, insulting cultural traditions, and digusting me with this act of vandalism. My partner tells me to chill. That he is just making it his own. He probably likes it that way. I sigh. This is why I cannot get good Japanese or Mexican in this town. Because of small minded phoodies with immature tastes.

I am resigned to the fact that if I want good mexican food there are a number of folks who will gladly show me to the border. And even more who will volunteer to drive me there, though most would probably point me to a Chipotle. I am resigned to the fact that most sushi places serve rancid fish that should be covered in ketchup.

This is not a rant against fusion but against phusion. I have been to some amazing fusion restaurants, Ciao Mein comes to mind – italian/chinese. I like creative chefs who mix avacado, fish roe, and eel. But these chefs respect their food. They understand its unique flavors and celebrate them.

Food, like language and culture, is difficult. It is challenging. Really amazing food can be a difficult read. There is a complexity and depth that may be subtle. There can be a dissonance at first, but try it. Open yourself up to it.

I like westerns and frites. Sorry, hamburgers and french fries. Sorry, freedom fries. I like them with ketchup. Yeah, Heinz 57. But, I also like tonkotsu ramen, mole negro oaxaqueño, and daan taat. Okay, I hated uni when I first tried and still hate it. But I have never tried to make it my bitch.

What do you think of these ideas about Papago Park?

I read this article on Azcentral today, and my initial reaction was mixed, to say the least. It talks about changing Papago Park to include a retail center, narrower roads (Could they get any narrower? Have those people actually been to the park?), adding a trolley & monorail, and upgrading one of the golf courses. It sounds like they’re trying to Disney-ize it or something. It’s nature, people. Rocks, climbing, picnics in the desert that’s right in the middle of the city, visits to the zoo & botanical gardens, and ok, yes, there is a lake there too. I cringe at the idea of a retail center, monorail, and trolley to spoil what’s left of nature there. Why not save millions of dollars and just focus on more trash cleanup, especially around the lake? Personally I think that the “grand vision” is already there. Take a look at some of the gorgeous, uniquely shaped red rocks.

An unexpected garden oasis

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My girlfriend and I went to W*l-m*rt at Alma School & Main street tonight for a few miscellaneous things. We don’t usually frequent W*l-m*rt, especially that location, but we’re glad we did. Their garden center is HUGE and the variety was pretty amazing. We walked out with 7 items. Two 6’+ tall grape vines (one white, one red), several flowering bushes (bottlebrush, firecracker, etc), and a couple of succulents. Given the size of the plants the prices were very good, the grape vines were half price! The most shocking thing (besides the size and prices)? They had various exotic fruit trees including Mango, Papaya, two varieties of Asian Pear and Passionfruit!!.

And because it’s so cool I have to drop this link (it’s a robotic lawn sprinkler system that I’m going to install in lieu of digging trenches and messing with all those valves and PVC pipe).

Smells like teen spirit

I was just driving home from work and on the 143 South I ended up behind this kid in a busted up yellow Ford Focus. The kid was wearing so much cologne that I could smell it 50 feet behind him @ 60mph. I’m being completely serious, I even switched lanes to try and figure it out, sure enough, when I was beside him I couldn’t smell it. Maybe he never had a father figure to tell him to “dab” it on, or he spilled the bottle in his car. Either way, it was quite annoying. I personally think we should do away with cologne and perfume, it’s a bit “yesterday” if you ask me. WIth all the scented bodywashes and deodorant sprays like Axe you get a nice fresh clean smell without inducing anyone’s allergies @ the office.

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