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.





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.





Laser light show

8 06 2008

We attended the light show last night at Stone Mountain Park for the Last Big Group Thing with Ash. As I am going to Vancouver tomorrow, I will not see her again before she moves. Here is a clip from the show. It was very hot and humid and the picnic was great, with hoagies and chips and everything you can possibly imagine. Tons of leftovers to nurse. Seriously, if only it didn’t feel like 105 degrees outside (and heavy humidity) everything would be perfect.





‘Evidence’ that spring is here

12 04 2008

pollenicooooleBefore I go into the pros and cons of spring’s arrival, I’d like to address an important issue. A recent comment on this blog suggested that my Peeps clip resembles footage that would typically be garnered from camera hidden in a flower stamen for potential criminal evidence in the Court of Law. This reminded me of that poor Zebra they found recently off I-75. (“They” being the overseers who control the Matrix and thus our thoughts.) The police kept using the word “evidence,” so the new caretakers were calling the Zebra “Evidence.” Anyway, can you imagine what you would say if you found a zebra on the side of the road? I guess you’d say, “I just found a zebra on the side of the road!”

In other animal news, it’s spring and that means spring-loving animals are out and about. Most “spring-loving animals” either have lots and lots of legs or the capability to fly. The giant bees are back to their typical antics and I’d like them to buzz off. They tend to not see the big picture window in my living room and thus fly straight into it, making a loud “smack” every so often. Another fun-filled feature of spring is the large amount of pollen scattered everywhere. But, thankfully, besides casting gloom and doom over the city, delightful spring showers are washing all the pollen away. This of course means that you never know when it’s going to rain. Tornadoes are still a vague possibility and I don’t know how well my apartment would stand up if one came through the north side. But it also helps the drought, so hey.

In other news, I’m finding that “Robot Chicken” is great to have on when you’re doing housework because the skits are so short that you don’t have to worry about missing too much. It’s also a good way to put some cheer, joy and offensive humor into your day. Cheerio!





Car fire!

9 04 2008

Car fire!I shot some pics of a car fire out by the Wal-Mart Supercenter at 51st Avenue and Indian School Road when I was out with the fam in West Phoenix last week. It was a pretty random thing. I feel like I’ve been taking a lot of pictures, what with the recent tornado incident back here in the ATL. Yeah, that tornado was an amazing feat of natural havoc.





Pumpkin spice and everything nice

18 10 2007

I like to go to Starbuck’s every now and then, and I’m not even talking about the one roughly 50 feet from my Place of Employment. I would rather go to a locally owned coffee house (that serves quality coffee), but it’s tough to find indie businesses in my corner of the OTP without a bit of travel. Anyways so the last two times I went to the particular ‘Bucks that I always go to, I have been the “every 50th customer.” This means I am eligible for TWO entries in the October drawing to win $1,000. I’m gonna give it a shot, you know? I figure this isn’t going to happen every day.

And by the way, I’m kicking myself for repeatedly ordering the Pumpkin Spice Latte, which cost me more than purchasing an actual pumpkin. It’s not unpleasant, but it bears resemblance to neither pumpkins nor spice. It is a fine and enjoyable latte, however. It’s a different story when tasting pumpkin beer, however. That stuff doesn’t sit well with me. The last time I tried some I thought it tasted vaguely like, um, “upchuck,” and I didn’t make it beyond a few sips. I’m tempted to give it another shot, but of course, that’s what I always say about the Pumpkin Spice Latte. My picks at Starbucks are straight-up cappuccino, the cinnamon dolce latte and the chai latte. Even then I have to be careful to just drink a little at a time and spread it out over a few hours to avoid getting an uncomfortable stomach-irritating caffeine rush, and you know, to make it last. I’ve tried non-dairy and that helps a lot, but the soy milk doesn’t touch real milk. If I want something a little lighter I’ll go for a green tea lemonade, lightly sweetened. Delish.

[/whining]

So… beyond that, I endorse Stephen Colbert for president. To be quite honest, he’s the only candidate I have any sort of affection or affinity for.

I should also recap my recent journey to Stone Mountain Park for the pumpkin festival (featuring pumpkins that are probably NOT picked directly from a local patch, but I can pretend, right?). It was good times, and it was a lot easier to get there than I expected. Admission to the park itself is free (although attractions are not) so it’s a nice place to go and chill. I’m definitely going to go back and try out ALL the rides if I possibly can. I love the little touristy village inside the park. It reminds me of a Cracker Barrel on a massive scale. (And Stone Mountain Village itself has a charming little Main Street). What kind of weirds me out is the carving on the side, which is of course the main attraction of the whole thing. It’s a monument to the Old South, and you see a lot of, I dunno, characters going to see it. Then there was the kid who asked me if I was “from around here” and the lack of transit in the direct vicinity of the park. For these and other reasons, what I’m getting at here is that I sense that the crowd at this park is more representative of the population outside the city than the people inside it. If you catch my drift. And then there was a bunch of guys who drove by me and yelled “Hey!” to scare me. They laughed when I jumped. I don’t know, it was kind of a strange atmosphere over there peoplewise. Still, an enjoyable time, and I’ll definitely go back.

What I really miss is Young’s Farm in Dewey, Arizona, which used to have the most awesome pumpkin festivals featuring pumpkins grown right on the farm (if I understand correctly). I know I went at least once with my roommate at the time, and I’m glad. That place was totally awesome, but sadly, the owners had to sell it out for some reason or another, and now they can build a subdivision there for heat-weary Phoenician escapees. And by the way…

A CHALLENGE TO THOSE LOOKING AT THIS
Finally, I’m calling on all my readerses (I assume there’s at least a handful of you out there) to search for the term “adult balloon animals.” I’m currently the No. 5 result when you search for those words in Google, and the goal should be to become the No. 1 source of complete non-information on adult balloon animals. Together we can work together to make this happen.





Don’t Tase me, sis!

21 09 2007

Pardon the bad joke. Look, I don’t have an opinion about *that* and I’m trying to remain impartial.

But anyways… according to my alma mater’s newspaper, for which I used to work, Taser International is coming out with a much more stylish, feminine kind of Taser. This is “shocking” news. Heh. Maybe they’ll offer custom skins and stick-on bling too, and BlueTooth compatibility.

Factoid: Taser International is based in Scottsdale, Arizona. It’s interesting. Say what you will, but with GoDaddy and Cold Stone Creamery alone, the ‘Dale is making some attempt to rock the Kokopelli-adorned free world.

As an aside, what is up with leaving your BlueTooth cell phone earpiece cemented to the ear for hours, even when one is not on the phone? I see this a lot and I think it borders a little on the ridiculous.





Come on people

4 08 2007

Easy on the inappropriate Harry Potter searches, will ya?  Look, I don’t want to sound creepy, but I like to look at the stats for this blog and find out what’s bringing people here. A lot of it is to find out the dirt on Harry Potter. You ain’t gonna find it here, folks.

Anyway. I updated my family blog. I forgot to add in there a tiny highlight of today, for family members reading:  After visiting the post office again (read below) I snuck out for dinner at the Fanous (or Fanoos) Persian restaurant. Man, that place is awesome. I didn’t take an photos since I didn’t want them to think I was a restaurant reviewer or something. My plate of food was beautifully arranged and tasty too. I can’t recommend this place enough.

It’s a Persian “tea house,” which translates roughly to “Hookah! Hookah!” in English. Still, the food is the main reason people go there. It’s a lot like the Darvish tea house, but with (I dare say) lower prices and better food. I ordered a chicken kabob with iced tea and hot tea for a total of $18, including tip. It sounds like a lot but consider this: The price also included a nice appetizer selection including crisp pita pieces, Shirazi salad (cucumber, tomato and onion in a salted lemon sauce), mustokhiar (sp — yoghurt sauce with pieces of cucumber and mint), and a dip that I believe is called borani-e bademjan (zesty seasoned eggplant drizzled with yoghurt). The kabob came with basmati rice and a grilled tomato. In short, I loved it. I couldn’t finish it and I didn’t want to take leftovers with me. Which means it probably won’t last. Heck, I like this place way better than Darvish, and it’s got a pretty nice location in a strip mall on Roswell Road. But it seemed like it didn’t have the same kind of popularity that Darvish has, and it didn’t have as thick of a crowd as the other restaurants in the strip mall. Still there were definitely people there and I know from the research that was done that it has some loyal fans. All in all, the Persian Tea House model is quite different than the quieter, more intimate and more low-key kinds of Persian food you will find in the Phoenix area. It’s more aimed at the younger crowd, which I think is something that would be good to have in Tempe, AZ. If you come to visit me, family, I will take you there.

Yeah, so I had to go to the post office again to see if they would give me my mail. I guess the postman got sick of stuffing my mail in there; I let it go for too long and it was the finally last straw. Now, he isn’t delivering to my box anymore. He left a note saying it was at the USPS postal store, but I went there this evening (after the Gosh-awful heat/humidity combo settled down) and they told me I should just call at 8:30 a.m. to find out what happened to my mail. They think he might have taken it to the warehouse down the street. I’m thinking they probably threw it away or lost it. The best I can hope for is to convince him to deliver my mail again, if I promise pretty please with a cherry on top that I’ll check it more regularly. This is so stupid!

No answers yet, for now. This better get fixed soon so I don’t miss getting my birth certificate from Iowa. Anyway the USPS visit seemed like a good excuse to get the Persian food while I was out, and to get a little minor grocery shopping done at Whole Foods. (There’s a Kroger too.)

I’m also tired of dodging crappy traffic and seeing people give each other the finger for stupid reasons. On the plus side, there are fewer of those road-rage shootings in the ATL than the PHX. I suppose I’ll take middle fingers versus guns. I’m also tired of lousy intersections and broken “walk signal” buttons. I swear people break them on purpose. Also, I’m tired of the lack of sidewalks on some streets. Con(des)truction on the sidewalk leading to one of my favorite OTP shopping centers has made a trip there far more hazardous than it should be. I’ve actually stopped going there altogether since there are other plazas with the same stores that are less dangerous. And closer, too.

ALSO: Bus routes here are sometimes complicated, which is why I rarely ride the bus. I’ve only done it a few times and it’s sucky. It’s often easy to get somewhere, but hard to get back because you don’t have the option of taking multiple buses at some destinations. The stops are spaced apart from each other and the drivers won’t stop at the stops for the other route to pick you up. Frankly I think it’s pretty lame that two bus drivers drove right past me at stops because I wasn’t at the exact stop they were looking for.

And by the way, just a thought about dealing with people in general (and not to single out bus drivers, if that’s what you’re thinking — this is a generic comment): I’m tired of lousy customer service. There are way too many people out there who are making it obvious they hate their jobs. Look, I know you hate your job. Frankly, I would hate to have your job too. (Is that cruel to say?) I might even hate my life altogether. But for Pete’s sake, and we love Pete, let’s not show the world how miserable we are. Instead, let’s try to find some pleasure in life. I’m not saying sing the “happy happy joy joy” song all the time. But I firmly believe that if you can sap some tiny bit of joy from your miserable, slug-like existence, you may find your existence isn’t so miserable anymore. If that makes sense.

OH and ATTENTION ALL BURGLARS AND TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA MENU INSERTION FREAKS AND POSTAL POSTFOLKS: I be goin’ to Phoenix next week. Flight is next Friday.

Oh, and I just killed a flying cockroach in my living room! Just now. Go me. They love the crappy humid weather we have right now. I think since it has (had) been a drier, cooler summer than last, roaches haven’t been much of an issue. Now that it’s hotter and humider again, I think I’m going to see more of these fellas. Still, probably not as many as last summer.

That is all folks… time to go back to living. And sleeping. Over and out.





Running commentary

29 07 2007

Some commentary on life as of late.

  1. Finished Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. It was a good read. The ending was satisfying. I just felt the pacing was off (much too slow to start) and the ending could have been better conceived and executed. Still, a pretty darn good read and a decent way to finish. I think adapting this book to film will be a fairly easy process if they cut out all the flotsam for the beginning and maybe play up the ending a little more. I’m really excited to see the 6th and 7th books adapted for the big screen. They’ll make excellent movies. The 6th book, by the way, is awesome. So at this point, I’ve read the 1st, 6th and 7th books and seen all the movies thus far. If I decide to backtrack on the reading, I might just skip (or skim) the second and go straight to the third.
  2. This has not been a good weekend for air travel. Check the news.
  3. I’m beginning to rethink the romanticism I sometimes feel about the college years. Those were pretty savage times. Did it have to be that way? I don’t think so. Knowing what I know now, there are different approaches I could have taken. But to what end? Maybe those occasionally fruitless or painful experiences were essential. In fact, they are essential. And the funny thing is, the journalism landscape now is totally different than it was when I was just starting out. It’s a lot more me-friendly now. Maybe ridiculously so. ALSO: The West has a different attitude from the South and from the East. The people I went to college with are almost a world away from the people I currently work with. People out here, whether from the area or from somewhere else, are just a lot more chill. Relaxed. No hurry. No rush. No pretense (relatively speaking). Be that good or bad, I’m not sure. But this attitude is less prevalent in Arizona, which picks up on the fast-paced nature of Los Angeles, although to a lesser degree. Image is of greater importance in Arizona. People are more sarcastic. Sometimes bitter, in fact. I don’t know why, but I know I had to tone it down a little when I moved here so that I fit in a little better. Somehow the traditionalism of the South cuts down on a lot of things: women wearing clothing that is too revealing, use of bad words, use of sarcasm, etc. But you know… for the most part, it’s that same sun-belt mentality of sunshine and possibility. That I like.
  4. Went out, bought a vacuum and two area rugs, and then took them to Starbucks with me. And then I carried both these items on the train.