The view over the lake

28 12 2008

Here’s what it looks like as you’re going over the lake. It’s truly a sight to see. The sunset was magnificent. You can also take a look at a video view of the city that I got.

Upside-down tree

28 12 2008

Upside-down tree

Originally uploaded by N-Sai

Talk about OTT holidays. That’s OVER THE TOP for you whippersnappers. You see, there is a home in north-ish Phoenix that regularly hosts a massive indoor holiday lights display. I decided to visit this year and found it amazing. We tried to go during the day but it was frankly scary as hell, so we left and came back at night.

The owner came out wearing a full-on elf suit and the lights were totally up and shining, so we decided to go in. It appears that the place normally has an Egyptian theme (complete with life-sized sarcophogi), but during the season of sharing, the whole place is done up like Santa’s workshop. So… enjoy. (Here’s all the “decorations” tag pics)

My first PHX light-rail ride

28 12 2008

Crowd reflected on train

Originally uploaded by N-Sai

Man, I am floored about the implications of today. We’ve been waiting so long for this to happen. Finally. Saturday, December 27, was the first day the general public could board the light rail trains running through Phoenix!

I’m just waiting for things to settle down a bit so that I can ride without too many hassles. Going to have to visit in February or so just to check in and enjoy a much-quieter situation with the transit. I couldn’t really enjoy all the festivities with all the people.

We boarded at the Montebello/Christown/Spectrum stop and the wait was about 3 hours for us. The news reports of 1.5 hours seriously underestimated the wait time. The photo shown here is a picture of the train at the station with the crowd reflected in the window. Lots of people!

The ride was good and smooth and I think everyone is really jazzed. I can’t wait to see what happens.

Peach-faced lovebird sighting

26 12 2008

Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays!

Ah, so pretty!!! Those red-and-green birds at the bottom came just for the holidays and I couldn’t be more joyful about it.

They are big in the Phoenix area for some reason. I hear you can find them in London, too. They’re a kind of parrot. I have seen them before, but they really seemed to appear at just the right time and I thought a commemorative photo would be appropos.

UPDATE: Peach-faced lovebirds

Originally uploaded by N-Sai

On the holiday itself: We had a pretty special day I guess… had a wonderful Christmas dinner at Chompies (which is technically a Jewish deli). Lots of people eat Christmas dinner there because it is so awesome. I had potato pancakes and a couscous salad. There are great bagels and fun pastries. I do enjoy that very much. It did rain a bit and there were heavy crowds at the Cine Capri theater when we went to see the Benjamin Buttons movie with Brad Pitt. I still can’t remember the full name of it. I think “The Curious Case of Benjamin Buttons.” It’s based on an F. Scott Fitzgerald concept. I really like this story, although the premise was hard for me to swallow at first. The construction could have been better but it’s so nice. Like a Fried Green Tomatoes with a touch of magic and a hint of Forrest Gump to taste.

It was a little strange to see the South in a movie and walk out again and see the desert. And then we went to Cafe Pino nearby and I snickered about potential other names for this establishment. And now I’m back.

Ballin’ it up

26 12 2008
Find out how much TRAFFIC I am getting.

Find out how much TRAFFIC I am getting.

Ho ho ho, merry Christmas. Exciting news from Well, sort of.

I got written up in a French blog as one of “les stars de Twitter” on a French blog. My guess is, based on the text, he is saying that I have a high page rank according to Google despite having only a few followers. I’m not sure, but he might be saying that Twitter is helping my page rank. So yeah, I’m not entirely sure what that means, but it sure is cool!

In other exciting news, I spotted a huge traffic spike on my page on November 27 and couldn’t figure out what the deal was… and then I looked again and realized that everyone is looking for a certain Thanksgiving picture showing a certain Sesame Street bird on a certain dinner table… so yeah, it was pretty crazy to see that my page was a source for that and that there was so much interest in it.

So keep helping me up that page rank! Yeah!

Christmas in the desert

22 12 2008
Poetry found here

Poetry found here

I’m going to talk about Christmas in the desert here:

No snow, just dirt
Tumbleweed Santa Clauses
and encircling the Saguaro with a skirt
Hanging lights off the agave

Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays!

Luminaries on the walk just for me
Enjoy your prickly pear jam
While it’s 70 degrees
No snow in wintertime,
Just a little less heat and a whole lotta sunshine

Why wish for a white Christmas
When the sun blinds your eyes
As you walk around in shirtsleeves
Admiring the glare of the rays on the desert floor

Laughing at Auntie Edna in St. Paul
Still trying to get Uncle Bob to shovel some more.
This is the good life, you know;
Desert Christmas is the way to go

The palm trees covered in icicle lights are a bit much,
But at least you can ride your bicycle in broad daylight;
One you go desert you’ll never go back again,
Forget the romantic ideal of a white-blanketed wonderland.

Looking back on 2008

22 12 2008

Too high

Originally uploaded by N-Sai

The Year that Was was certainly an interesting one. Submitted for evidence:

* Snow in January
* Bought my new MacBook, which was my first-ever Apple purchase
* Major tornado sweeps us up during our Pi Day party, March 14
* My 25th birthday
* Travel to Vancouver in June, where I met my grandmother and aunt for the first time ever
* Rainn Wilson, you know, Dwight Schrute, in the newsroom in the middle of July
* Went to San Diego in August and gawked at seals. We stayed at a beachside hotel, which was fun. It would be the first of two trips to California this year (and in a couple of months).
* Moved twice, first to a cockroach-infested studio on the lowest floor of a high-rise (I’m told that’s been fixed, but it’s by the trash chute) and then to a lovely but expensive place a few blocks away.
* Got my first credit card and went through a bunch of snafus with my utilities and lost a lot of money, but I’m earning it back.
* In October, I visited New York for the presidential debate at Hofstra University and then went to the JMMF reunion in Beverly Hills, where we ran into Kato. That Kato.
* Learned to edit videos in Final Cut and got promoted at work, which was cool.
* In November, I voted in a historic election and got a peachy sticker
* In December, I traveled to Arizona twice and did numerous “year in reviews” including this one and one for work.

Whew! Busy!

Rail on Camelback Road

22 12 2008

Rail on Camelback Road

Originally uploaded by N-Sai

This is what it is like to drive by the light rail, as during the last trip to Phoenix we visited and ended up going alongside it during its brief appearance on Camelback Road (roughly between 19th Ave. and 7th St. if my memory serves me correctly). We were just coming back from the Tokyo Express at 12th St. and C-back. I loves me some Tokyo.

Horse-drawn carriage in a blur

22 12 2008


Originally uploaded by N-Sai

Took this pic during a recent visit to town. We stopped by Mill Avenue in Tempe, Arizona, and watched their cute little parade. Now I’m back in town and wondering how the whole light rail thing is going to go. We’ll have to see. Can’t wait to try it out on Saturday.