Friday, March 31, 2006

Friday chill

Me tonight = Going to Babies-R-Us to buy my best friend Jo, and her husband Mark, a baby gift for the child that she is laboring over as I write. (Poor Jojo). Unfortunately, I belabored over what to get them for about two hours, as there were few options left on their registry, and I just enjoy playing around with baby clothes. I don't know why I tend to obsess over gifts for infants or toddlers (or children, like my niece at Christmas) but for some reason I read into everything I try to pick out. I also wanted to be clever and creative with a "gift theme."

In the end, I scrapped their registry and struck off on my own (dangerous maneuver, I know), and I came up with a great idea (I think, anyway)...

This is a hint on the overall theme:

And no, it's not about gay amphibians...
See what "Brokeback" has done?

All right, it's obvious I have absolutely nothing of interest to write about this evening. For cripe's sake, I just Googled the words "frog toad together." This is what I am doing on a Friday night? Someone please help me. I have about 30 books sitting on my floor about the Middle East, just waiting to be read, and I am Googling an Alfred Lobel picture book.

I feel even more pathetic because after my foray into Babies-R (backwards R)-Us, I stopped by my friend Greg's house this evening to pick up a few books he's lending me for one of my final papers (in Islamic Law), and he has a veritable library in his apartment with hundreds of books at his fingertips on the Middle East, and he's actually read them all.

What, you may ask, do I have on my bookshelves (aside from about 20 framed pictures, knick knacks, candles, and a plant that take up at least three full shelves of space?)... hmmm. let's see... "Harry Potter," "Fast Food Nation," "Alive," "A Million Little Pieces" (by fake writer James Frey, that big fraud), "Tucson's Mexican Restaurants," and "The New York Bartender's Guide."

Hey, I never said I was an intellectual...

Perhaps I should think of
adding this book to my paltry
library as well?

I might be a good student, but my weakness is pop culture. In fact, instead of researching tonight, I rented the movie "Junebug" (which is very good by the way). To be honest, I also don't really like non-fiction (a rather serious problem in graduate school). I am a fiction person all the way. I just get so bored with the lack of creativity in non-fiction.

OMG, what am I doing in this profession? These are the thoughts that scare me silly sometimes.

But honestly, given a choice between these two...

Isn't Harry the obvious winner?!?

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Isabella Again and Lowriders

My day started early this morning, when my niece (who is now apparently obsessed with the telephone, according to my brother) called me... again. If you've ever tried to talk to a four-year old at 7:00am after working on an Islamic Law presentation until 1:30am the night before, you will know the difficulty one faces in attempting to be cheerful and kind. However, being the loving and wonderful aunt that I am, I tried to keep the conversation going to the best of my ability...

Me: So... are you going to school today?

Isabella: No, Kit, my school is locked. (Apparently it's spring break for her pre-school)

Me: Oh, so what are you going to do?

Isabella: Kit, I'm going to watch Dora the Explorer. There's a party for Boots...

Long awkward gap in "conversation" while I try to figure out who the hell Boots is and what party she's talking about.

Me: (feigning recognition) Oh, yeah, Boots. Cool...

Isabella: (Silence... I fear she's on to my ruse).

Me: (Waiting for Isabella to talk).

Isabella: (Waiting for me to talk).

Me: (Closing my eyes and wishing I were asleep again).

Isabella: Kit, I'm four.

Me: Great! (Dreaming of sleep, wondering how parents do this every day)...

The conversation went on, but I don't think we got much beyond Boots (who, BTW, is Dora's monkey friend), Cabbage Patch dolls (again), and something about making strawberry cupcakes for someone's birthday. My brother said Isabella has become so phone obsessed that she called around 10 relatives yesterday "to chat" and used up all the batteries on both of their cordless phones!

This is Boots the Monkey.
Clearly more entertaining than me at 7:00am.

After I hung up the phone, I couldn't fall back to sleep so I lounged around a bit drinking coffee and reading. I mean, really, this is the life of a full-time student.

Around 10:30, I headed out to economics class. As I sat on my bicycle at the intersection of Park and Speedway en route to campus, I feasted my eyes upon a highly decorated Mexican lowrider pick-up truck stopped at the intersection across the way. The Mexican driver, seemingly amused by the interest he was attracting from pedestrians and other cars at the light, decided to put on a small show for all of us lucky enough to be gawking at him.

He reached toward what looked like a Raiders football helmet on his dashboard, but it was actually his well-hidden hydraulics control system.

After perusing several "lowrider" websites, I discovered
that Mexican "vatos" are quite fond of the Raiders...

This is a picture from a lowrider car show in California.

After flipping a couple of switches on top of the helmet (which seemed very "Austin Powers-esque" to me), his car started going bananas... front up, back down, back up, front down, right side up, hopping a few times, right side down, and hopping a few more times.

I'm going to admit something... it really looked like fun. I kind of wish my old Honda had hydraulics, and I could start freaking people out at traffic lights. I would also like an obnoxious horn that plays musical sounds.

His truck looked something like this:

Although not quite so tricked out.

Until next time... Adios Muchachos.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Cabbage Patch Quest

I think I've said this before, but my four-year old niece, Isabella, is the cutest child I know. OK, so I'm biased, but she's really very cute:

Beauty courtesy of her mother. Contorted faces courtesy of my family's genetics.

I'm mentioning her today because I received the most charming little message from her on my cell phone this morning while I was in class. It went something like this:

Isabella: Hi Kit...

No response (as she was talking to my voice mail)

Isabella (to my brother, Taylor, who must have been standing next to her):
She's not saying anything.

Taylor: Just talk into the phone. You're leaving her a message.

Isabella: It says I should press 5.

Taylor: You don't need to press 5, just talk.

Hi Kit. (long pause) I don't have a Cabbage Patch. Can I have your Cabbage Patch? Kit, I'm going to give your Cabbage Patch back. Bye.

Thankfully, my mother had already forewarned me that Isabella is interested in "borrowing" my old childhood Cabbage Patch doll for a while, or else I would have had no earthly idea what the child was saying to me. Now, before you get any weird ideas that I am still sleeping with my old Cabbage Patch kid (her name is Jacobina Jessalyn, by the way) or that I have her locked up in a curio case in my living room as a collector's item, I am happy to say that she is not in my possession at this time, nor have I played with her for at least two decades.

You see, this is where my mother comes in. My sentimental mother has a number of old keepsakes that she's held on to from my brother's and my childhoods... you know... pictures we've drawn or painted in school, clothing she made for us (my mother was quite the seamstress in her day), our favorite stuffed animals, and so on. My mom is still even holding on to my brother's and my old wooden high chair (in hopes that if I ever procreate, my child will have the same dining accessories as I did). Anyhow, one of the golden "save-me" items is my Cabbage Patch doll (which were the rage in 1983, I assure you, as I prayed for one every night for many months).

Jacobina looks just like this.
And yes, I'm giving her to Isabella until I want her back. You never know, that could be next week.

In order to find the image of the Cabbage Patch doll above (so you would have a visual of one of my fondest childhood toys), I had to conduct a Google image search. I discovered several choice images under "Cabbage Patch Kids."

Here is the first one:

The Donald Trump Cabbage Patch.
This is hideously scary.

But better yet, I just love this picture:

I don't know these people, but this quinessential 80s photo

is posted on some guy's personal website. It's of him and his
little brother. If this picture had been of me, I would have
banished it permanently and sworn my family to secrecy
forever, especially as a guy.

All of this Cabbage Patch nonsense got me thinking about their alter-egos, the Garbage Pail Kids.

Remember these?:

We all knew someone in high school who
had the unfortunate luck to look like this.

As I continued my websearch, I came across
a website devoted entirely to Garbage Pail Kids. You can even send out Garbage Pail Kids e-cards to your friends!!! Watch your in-boxes, people... I'm putting this link in my "favorites" folder.

I also came across this quiz and decided to take it:
What type of childhood toy from the 1980s are you?

Guess what I am?

You're Rubik's Cube!! You may think you're popular, but you're actually extremely annoying. Seriously.

Poof... the wind just let itself right out of my sails. Rubik's cube sucked, and so do I apparently.

On a final note, since I speaketh of the 80s tonight, I made a reference to Corky (from "Life Goes On," of course) in my Arabic class today, and the two undergraduates working in a group with me just stared at me blankly and didn't get my joke at all.

Imagine life without any knowledge of Corky:

Until next time, I'm off to study Islamic Law.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Bachelorette Memories

Today was as equally boring as yesterday except that I came to a full realization of just how freaking busy I really need to be in order to get all of my school work done this week. Therefore, I sat glued to my cheap plastic IKEA chair for nearly five hours today practicing and recording on video my god awful Arabic poem. I am starting to think I have a learning disability with memorization. I really am just plain retarded at memorizing text. I know it in my head, but then I go to say it out loud on my video camera attached to my computer (a video is required for our teacher to grade us), and I do it OK for the first 20 lines, and then I start to psych myself out... thinking "Oh my god, I am almost finished... if I can just not mess up for the next 3 lines, I am finished with this horrible thing!" And what happens? Of course, I get all freaked out and freeze or screw up the last 3 lines and have to start from the beginning... again.

One highlight of my day is that one of my best friends, Kelley O'Connor, called me from Seattle during the midst of the aforementioned frustrations, and we chatted for almost two hours (when of course, I should not have been chatting at all). While I was talking to her, I started reminiscing about her bachelorette party last May and how much fun it was. As I don't have a huge amount of extra time this evening, I just thought I'd include some of the pictures from that girls weekend in Whistler, British Columbia...

Here was our ride for the weekend, Kelley and Sean's (her now-husband) Suburban, also known as "The Biscuit":

We gussied up the Biscuit with all sorts of classy slogans.
It's amazing how many horny drivers there are out there...

Here are the ladies with the Biscuit:

This photo was taken right before Kelley "plunged" into marriage... quite literally, as she decided to bungee jump that weekend. I seriously look like I'm balding in this picture. So not good!!!

I don't know many bachelorettes who want to bungee jump as one of their pre-wedding rituals, but Kelley decided against the spa (as my friend Jo and I voted for), and hit the bungee cord instead:

I think Kel was psyching herself up here.
I do that hand gesture when I dance to "Rock Lobster."

This is such a cool photo!

I personally would have been peeing myself... or more.

However, Kelley did not appear to have soiled herself.

Thank goodness.

That evening, we hit a sushi bar in the village...

You can see Jojo on the right (who is now one full week
past her due date to give birth... the poor thing... funny
how much things can change in just a year.)

This was not a good idea:

It was some sort of "bachelorette shot" the
bartender concocted for her, known to inside
circles as "the Vomit Inducer."

The party carried on down the street in Whistler:

Here is Kelley with the bridesmaids: Kimmie, Lisa, and me.

One nice thing about Kelley is that she's really shy...

Yeah, right.

Here's another vomit inducer, also known as "the lemon drop":

I love Jo's face in this picture... she's trying to appear
enthusiastic, but she's actually pretty horrified.

Here are some of the girls kicking it up on the dance floor
with an increasingly wild Kelley:

I believe Jo and I are the catty bitches in the background complaining
to each other about the cheese factor of this corny dance club,
and secretly wishing we were sipping wine at some upscale yuppie bar.

You know it had to happen:

The "vomit inducers" finally kicked in. The best part is that
this happened right outside the front doorway to the resort.

Unbelievably, Kelley kicked it back into gear 10 minutes later:

But by then, the rest of us lame birds decided to call it a night.
I don't look terribly enthused here, but maybe that is because
we were toasting with water. I think I just wanted my bed
right about at that point.

Speaking of, I want to go to bed soon (in real life)... so the photo memoir is now over. I must start writing my history response paper and hit the hay. Toodles!

Monday, March 27, 2006

Sloth vs. Eager Beaver, plus Lizzy's non-profit

I have had a thoroughly uninteresting day consisting of an Arabic test, a spin on the elliptical machine at the gym, a spinach salad for lunch, and then Arabic speaking club, which I am occasionally required to host as part of my fellowship.

As it turns out, only one other student attended... another fellowship guy who had to be there... and while he's quite friendly and I find him to be a nice guy, he has a tendency to be a bit of a know-it-all and is definitely an over-achiever who loves to spout on about his intellectual prowess and myriad travel experiences. He also came off as slightly smug when recounting his amazing ability to wake up at 5am every morning to start his day in the healthiest way possible (ie: going to the gym, bike riding, yoga, and doing schoolwork before the sun rises)... blah blah blah... as I still lay festering in bed at 7am.

In addition, all of the Arabic students in the department have to memorize an Arabic poem for class this week. To my knowledge, most of us are in the beginning stages of looking at these literary pieces. However, he informed me that not only has he finished memorizing his poem, he SANG it on video as a song for the teacher to grade already. I guess it's not enough to just recite the damn thing.

Arabic Poetry Back-Up Band... maybe I should use them too?!?

With every passing high-energy success story of his (and there were many), I began to feel more and more like a half-witted three-toed sloth...

This was my mental vision during today's Arabic club:

Student #1 (that's me, on the left): I am such a slacker. Perhaps I should use this claw for something more than flipping channels on my remote control as I laze my days away?!? Poking out an eye might be a worthy alternative...
Student #2: Woo hoo!! School!!! I love it! I love it!

Speaking of achievers, I recently got an e-mail from my friend Lizzy McCartney, who was a good friend of mine and fellow Bedrock Billiards Ladies Club member in DC. She just got her Master's in Education from George Washington U. (congrats, Lizzy!), and now she's moving to New Orleans with her lawyer boyfriend to start a non-profit for hurricane relief efforts. She's well-versed in the world of non-profit fundraising, having been the director of a computer center for low-income children in SE DC for several years.

I'm including her e-mail so you can see what they're doing:


I have some exciting news...Zack and I are moving to New Orleans to start a nonprofit organization for residents in St. Bernard Parish. (Plans to move to SF are on hold.)

Here's a quick overview...My mom, Zack and I volunteered in St. Bernard Parish (just outside of New Orleans) during the month of February. We worked at Emergency Communities, a non-profit that provides food and community space. We were struck both by the devastation - 100% of the homes in the Parish were officially uninhabitable - and by the strength and resiliency of the people. The residents were kind, hopeful and open. They also survived hell - barely. After spending time there, we decided that we had to do something! And so was born The St. Bernard Project.

The St. Bernard Project is a grassroots, nonprofit organization that will provide direct support to families in St. Bernard Parish, Louisiana who were displaced and devastated by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Our mission is to break down barriers related to employment, housing, transportation and education and help families and the larger community rebuild. The St. Bernard Project includes the following programs: Adopt a Family Network, Tool Co-op, and Support SBP Schools Initiative.

The St. Bernard Project is a volunteer-led, community-based effort run by me, Zack, Marion (my mom), Matt, a volunteer we met while working in the Parish, and, hopefully, lots of other volunteers in the near future. An all-volunteer staff will significantly reduce our overhead and ensure that the maximum amount of donations goes directly to the community. Our collective experience in law, nonprofit management, education, health care, communications and construction give us the skills and know-how to effectively contribute to the rebuilding efforts. (Or so we hope.)

At this point, we are finding families in need (not too hard) and getting lists of things that will help them rebuild their lives. We will be calling on our friends and family to fund the families' needs which will be posted on our website. (The site should be up and running within two weeks.) At that point we will increase the amount of families we will serve and kick our fundraising into full gear.

In the meantime, if you would like to donate to our cause we are accepting cash donations and gift certificates (to Lowe's, Walmart (sorry), and Home Depot). All donations are tax deductible. Checks should be made out to The St. Bernard Project and sent to:

The St. Bernard Project
3809 Kanawha St. NW
Washington, DC 20015

Liz is the blonde chica in the middle.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Drinking and Taxes... a magical combination

Someone please remind me that nothing good can come out of staying out drinking until 3:30 in the morning. And certainly nothing good can come out of bicycle riding after numerous beers and two White Russians, although for some reason it seemed like the right thing to do last Friday night.

I have been in recovery mode for two days now, which seems to be a pretty clear signal to me that I am no longer the party star that I used to be. Gone are the days of slip and sliding down plastic sheets in nothing more than my underwear and a clown wig, gone are the days of "rent-a-jacuzzi" in which we fit 24 people into a 12 person tub as we guzzled Shaffer's beer, and gone are the days of chowing down obscene amounts of unhealthy food with friends after a night out at 2:30am.

I am most definitely not the girl in the middle anymore.

I just don't seem to be recovering the way I used to after such colorful nights out. I had a headache until 10pm last night! And even this morning, two days later, I woke up achey and feeling as though a truck hit me.

So what did I punish myself with soon after getting out of bed? My taxes!!!

After several weeks of procrastinating, I sat down at my computer and began tallying my W-2, 1099-INTs, and 1098-T into the ever delightful 1040 form. And what was in store for me? Hmmm... the tax program on-line said that I owed $3,800 in taxes this year! I did a triple take, realizing that I had obviously done something wrong, which led to another full hour's worth of going over and over the different forms I had to fill in to see where the error might have occurred. I quickly realized I did something wrong on my 1098-T, which is the tuition statement from U of A that shows my fellowship money. As if you care, I am pretty sure I have accidentally added my tuition costs into my taxable income, which gave me an incorrect total taxable income amount... but now I want to double check this with the finance people here at school before I can file the damn thing. F****K!!!!!! Why can't things just be easy sometimes?!? I would most definitely kill myself if I were an accountant.

This is what I looked like today around 11:00 am.

After that nightmarish debacle, I decided to procrastinate working on my homework a little more in order to watch the last half of the George Mason and UCONN basketball game, which had me so nervous that I couldn't even stand to watch the last several free throw foul shots and thus had to turn around squinching my eyes shut in dreadful anticipation of George Mason's demise. And yet somehow they came through and won by a point! A big sorry to Lindsey about UCONN's loss... but a bigger congrats to my mom, who got one of her Master's degrees from GMU!!

George Mason's biggest fan.

And speaking of my mom and education... guess who is almost finished with bartending school? My mother. Yes, my mom just can't get enough of learning, and apparently it's not enough to already have two master's degrees... now she has to know how to get people drunk too. Way to go, Mom!

Meems knows how to make a mean drink now...

And on that note, I must go delve into the mysterious world of Arabic poetry, as I attempt to memorize a poem for the "Language Fair" here next weekend. God help me...

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Mexican Radio

Tonight a guy in my department hosted a rather large shindig at his house, and it was a really good time, even if I smell like a giant hot dog right now as a result of sitting downwind from the grill for a couple of hours. (Sorry, no photos b/c my camera was hidden away in my purse in another room, and I forgot to pull it out...) However, I should warn readers that I am writing this after four beers and more than a few shisha pipe drags. Thus, I must issue the disclaimer that I am not accountable for any typ-os, misspellings, or general idiocy.

Since I am a little drunk, I am going to share a small secret... I listen to Mexican radio in my car when I am driving around Tucson. In fact, I listen to enough Mexican radio that I even have a favorite Mexican song now. It is called "Na na na" (very cerebral title) by the Kumbia Kings. Miguel told me that this band is led by Selena's brother (she is the Mexican singer that was shot down by a crazy fanclub member many years ago), and he gets guest artists to sing for different songs.

So guess who sings my favorite song, "Na na na"? A boy named Pee Wee. See, I told you this was embarrassing enough to be considered a secret. But the cat is out of the bag now... so I am going to give you the music video to watch so you can see for yourselves just how good this song is (although I admit that I have a history of liking the occasional lame song or two...). As you watch, please envision my audio pleasure as I drive around the desert town of Tucson in my grandma's former gold 1988 Honda Accord with brown velour interior... sunglasses on and wind whipping through my hair:

PS - I think I know why I like this song so much... doesn't it seem like a Mexican version of the New Edition song "Cool it Now"? ("Ronnie, Bobby, Ricky, and Mike -- I like the girl who cares who you like...") Of course, I loved that song too. I even lip synched it for a talent show with my friend Carrie Albee in junior high.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Butters, Bike Lock, Haircut, and Funding

There isn't much to report this evening except for a few odds & ends...

1. I have become addicted to watching South Park, particularly any episode involving the character Butters:

Oh my god, he is soooo cute. I love Butters!

2. My bike lock got jammed while I was working at the library yesterday. This is my own fault since I insisted on purchasing the cheapest possible u-lock at the bike store last summer. Mine was much cheaper looking than the one below:

My bike sat in two days worth of rain over Spring Break, and the lock totally rusted, but I didn't know it would completely jam and become inoperable. Luckily, the university provides a free lock cutting service (if your bike is on campus, which thankfully it was), so although I had to wait for more than half an hour for someone to come over, I did get help. I was expecting a guy to show up with bolt cutters, but instead I got a guy in a huge pick-up truck with a propane tank in the back and a very large blow torch attached. I almost made a joke about the welding scene in Flashdance, but the aging, bearded, cowboy-boot-wearing man assisting me didn't seem like the 80's dance movie type. Keeping my thoughts to myself, I watched as he literally burned my metal lock in half, while pedestrians gathered to watch the sparks fly. In retrospect, it was pretty cool... even if it cost me $30 to buy a new, better quality lock.

3. I got my hair cut tonight with a new guy, a very effeminate "Jim." My economics professor has the greatest haircut, and she gave me the name of her stylist. The true fabulousness of this information? He works at Cost Cutters (equivalent to the Hair Cuttery). Yet, I got a better hair cut tonight than I have had in years... and the price? $12.95. Yes, $12.95!! And to think I haven't paid under $40.00 for a haircut in more than five years. I'm very psyched about this.

4. Finally, more good news... I got funded here again next year!!! And my stipend goes up $500 as well! I got ranked 2nd out of 29 applicants so needless to say, I'm pretty happy (and surprised) about that. Also, not to toot my own horn, but remember my griping about writing my horrible economics mid-term paper? I ended up getting a 95%. I was even more shocked about that one, seeing that I was arguing against myself for more than half of the paper and was still trying to understand modernist theories as I was writing about them. But alas, I did succeed in pulling some more wool over some more eyes...

And now, I must go read and attempt to do a bit of school work.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Another Chinese menu...

I'm finding this Chinese translation thing so funny that I am including another link to an equally funny menu...

Truly hilarious Chinese menu

For those of you who have ever lived overseas (especially in non-European countries), I know you have seen some really messed up English translations on menus. When I lived in Turkey, I had two very memorable experiences with food translations...

1. While dining in Istanbul with my friends Rich & Paul (two very funny British men), we discovered this printed in our menus at a local eating establishment: Women's Thigh Meal Balls. Of course, the two guys had to order it, and it turned out to be some sort of lamb meat balls, but we had a few good laughs over it for the rest of the weekend there.

2. My other humorous restaurant story occurred in the small village where I used to live, called Incirlik, when the following exchange took place --

Me: I'd like the filet mignon, please.
Waiter: Chicken or beef?
Me: I'm sorry, did you say "chicken"?
Waiter: Yes, chicken or beef?
Me: Ummmm, beef...
(BTW, I ended up with some sort of Salisbury steak)

OK, these stories are mildly amusing, but this morning, my friend Stephanie (who used to live with me in Turkey, and who recounted to me her own tale of once seeing the item "caesarean beef" on a menu in Turkey) e-mailed me
a link to this Chinese menu with the world's worst translations into English that could ever be possible. You absolutely must (really, I insist) check out this web site for some solid amusement.

Take Me Out to the Ballgame

I just got back from taking Miguel to the airport, and I have an hour to kill before my next class. I could be reading in preparation for class, but instead I'm going to share a couple of yesterday's moments with you all.

We had a great last day together here in Tucson... I had a morning class, during which Miguel wandered around campus and went to a photography exhibit, and then we shared some pizza at our favorite place here in town, Magpie's Pizza. Afterwards, we completely scoured my filthy car (Miguel is definitely Felix Unger, while I star in the role of Walter Matthau's character, Oscar) and then took a drive to check out the east side of Tucson (not much there but brown cactus).

Then, we took a walk in Reid Park and stumbled upon the Colorado Rockies in the midst of spring training. I thought it was some beer belly softball league until I got closer and realized we were looking at actual athletes. Of course, I don't have a clue who any baseball players are, and here we were standing right next to the Major League's 2002 Rookie of the Year (Jason Jennings, for any of you who do know baseball)... I actually had to ask a guy collecting autographs, "so, who is the most famous player that we can see here?" And I had never heard of him even after he told me... c'est la vie!

We found out there was a game that evening against the San Diego Padres so we bought tickets. Miguel is more of a soccer, football, and basketball guy so he didn't know many players either, but we thought it would make a fun last night to our vacation. We got seats right behind home plate, only five rows back. The only player whose name I recognized was Mike Piazza, who used to play for the Mets apparently, and Miguel reminded me that he had been in a "Pert Plus" commercial, which helped me place who he was...

Anyone remember this? ---

Now that's a fine lookin' mullet.

Here is a photo we took of how he's looking now... BTW, he's
lost the porn mustache for the 21st century (he's the catcher):

OK, so it's a little blurry, but you get an idea of how close
we were to players we didn't even know to get excited about.

Personally, I could have cared less about who was winning or losing. I found myself enraptured with "the program" that I purchased for $2.00. It had the players' weights, heights, birthplaces, and ages. I amused myself by making Miguel guess each player's vital statistics. He was not as amused as me, finally telling me to quit it so he could just enjoy the game.

So then I diverted my attention to people watching. Sitting two rows in front of us was the manager of the "Desert Diamond" casino, who threw out the opening pitch. He had this super high maintenance blonde wife, who Miguel and I suspected that he met when she was working as a "cocktail server."

Here they are:

He was like a bride at a wedding in his starring role...
and she was wearing fur, although you can't see it here.

And what do you think the love child of Carrot Top and Frankie Muniz might look like?

Carrot Top + Malcolm in the Middle =

It really was uncanny.

We left in the 8th inning when it was clear that the Rockies were going to win the game, plus our legs had become so cold in the freezing night temperature that we had to dethaw the icicles that had formed in order to stand up.

What better way to get warm? Duhh... outdoor dining at
a local Mexican food stand without heat lamps!

However, I strongly recommend against eating Mexican
hot dogs smothered in beans for a farewell romantic evening...
for a number of rather obvious reasons.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Photo update of Arizona travels

Miguel has left me alone for a couple of hours to get some homework done, and now it's been almost two hours and I haven't done sh*t. I'm the worst procrastinator ever. He's over at the Frog & Firkin (a local bar) watching the U of A basketball game so I don't feel toooo guilty b/c I know that he needed his sports dose for the week... but still, I really do need to do some homework sooon!

I just uploaded some photos from our week so I will show a couple of highlights, and then I must go. It's been a crazy busy travel week, and we took 287 photos... here are a few of the best:

Sunday, March 12 -- Tubac, AZ

Here I am chilling at the Tubac Country Club. We actually
spent our day with the other minions in the shopping area
and presidio at Tubac, but then we hob-nobbed for about ten
minutes while wandering the grounds of the golf course and elite
club there... I'm trying to look rich and famous here.

Monday, March 13 -- Phoenix, AZ

Here I am with my mom's cousins... Ardy (on the left) and
Joanne. I look like a giant amongst the lilliputians here! You
can see I get my height from my dad's side of the family.

Tuesday, March 14 -- Sedona, AZ

Here we are at the end of the 3-mile "Broken Arrow" trail
overlooking a magnificent vista in Sedona.

Dinner that night --

For a lack of better options (everyone in Sedona apparently
eats before 8pm), we dined at the "Red Planet Diner," which
is decorated as though aliens are invading. Here I am on
the verge of being abducted by the UFO above me...

Random photo --

Speaking of UFOs, I took this photo on the highway outside
of Tucson the other day. Doesn't this cloud look like a spaceship?!?

Wednesday, March 14 -- The Grand Canyon

Here I am at the end of our nine-mile hike along the entire
western rim... my legs felt like elastic by this point!

Ahhh... we finally finished --

We're celebrating the end of our hike with a cup of hot
cocoa at Hermit's Rest...

And then --

We replenished our lost calories (and more) by enjoying
sugar-dipped marinated beef at Rod's Steakhouse on Route
66 in Williams, AZ. Mmmm, that was soooo tasty...

Thursday, March 15 -- Williams, AZ

Posing in front of our really cool hotel... the
Red Garter in Williams, a former brothel and
saloon in the 19th and early 20th centuries.

Later that day...

Totally geeking out in Jerome, AZ -- a former
mining boomtown and now a ghost town. I love
this kind of stuff. (ummm, obviously...)


My ghost town obsessiveness totally embarrassed poor

Saturday, March 18 -- Willcox, AZ

In addition to ghost towns, I also looovvve trains. Here

I am posing with a statue of cowboy singer Rex Allen
while a freight train goes by. I am indeed a closet geek.

Then we went here...

This is Chiricahua National Monument, which was the
Apache's old stomping grounds. It's acres of rock spires
and definitely worth the desolate drive out to see it!

We ended the day in Tombstone --

I'm posing on the stage at the Bird Cage Theatre, which
was Tombstone's baudiest bar. The geek in me was unleashed
yet again... Miguel had to drag me out of the museum at the
end of the day.

More later... Miguel is back from the game now!