Tag Archives: Phoenix

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Hello cyberworld! Sorry for the absence… a lot has been happening over here which makes finding time to sit down and process life difficult. Excuses schmexcuses, I know.

The weather has taken a long time to cool off here in Phoenix, sadly, but we seem to be faring moderately well. Most days still get up to the 80s (boo!), but I suppose I can’t complain because many of you are hunkered down inside while your front yards look like what I imagine the Canadian tundra to be like. Well, perhaps that’s a bit of an exaggeration… but snow really freaks me out, guys. Last year at this time I was still living in Denver, CO, and I did not handle the snow too well. Correction: My 2010 Corolla did not handle the snow too well with me at the helm. Thank goodness I had an AZ license plate to half-justify my constant skidding and fish-tailing. I’m glad to be home this year, that’s for sure.

I’ve been taking a lot of time to reflect on 2012 lately and have started feeling very grateful for all the wonderful things that have come out of it. I still feel a lot like an aimless college grad, but the feeling of purposelessness and meaninglessness is slowly abating. I’d still like to go back to school – although I have no idea for what – and I’m trying to figure out what kind of person I’d like to be in the long run. But being home near my family, being with Blaise… these things are driving me steadily onward.

Blaise and I have begun the slow process of decorating our little place for the holidays. It’s nice how much a few bows and lights can really add to the atmosphere!

DecorA bit of garland around the mirror and some bows on the Rossin Ghibli bicycle

Tree!Our little tree! I’m still waiting to bring over my ornaments from my parents’ house, so she’s not finished yet, but this is certainly a grand start!

The arrival of the holiday season also means one more thing to me — Birthday Time!! This year is a particularly special birthday for me, as I will turn the big 2-4 on 12/12/12. (Get it? 24 on 12/12/12??!) My dear Blaise decided to do something special a little early for me this year, and I am feeling like one lucky lady. Those of you who know me know that in 2011 I undertook an Independent Project at UPS in order to analyze and study Sufjan Stevens‘ 2004 album, Seven Swans. It took me about 4 months to do the project, and 50 pages later, I had a pretty neat study put together. Unfortunately, despite my mega-fan-girl status, I had never seen him live. Until…

Suf TixBlaise surprised me with tickets to see their show down in Tucson! OH BOY!

We spent a day hauling around town, sampling some lovely cocktails at The Hub, Scott & Co, and Maynard’s Kitchen. We stayed at the Hotel Congress (which is simply amazing!), and sampled Blue Bottle coffee from Sparkroot.

Rex

Angel

and of course…

SufjanThe man of the hour was full of Christmas spirit and oh so much fun!

It’s strange to be home for Christmas for once, and not planning a full on pilgrimage back to my parents for the holidays. In a sense, I miss the excitement that comes with packing a suitcase and heading for warmer climes, but I’m truly enjoying being near family, setting up my own tree, and sampling plenty of Blaise’s eggnog by the fire. More Christmas updates to come, and of course, news about the upcoming birthday festivities!

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Hello, Phoenix!

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My pretty city. Feels like fall finally!

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Lately

The world as seen through my (and Blaise’s) iphones.

DBacks vs. Padres with my Dad. Nothing beats a beer with the Pops at the ballpark, yeah?

My pretty city

Playing with my Mom’s vintage hot rollers.

School lunch. (Our school is housed at a local church, and they make food for us everyday. It’s delicious.)

Post-work drinks with the boy at home.

Excellent label at the Super Mercado down the street.

Another excellent label, this one at Loi Nam.

Blaise found some dragonfruit at the Mercado, so obviously he had to mix it into a drink instantly.

They were pretty delicious.

Cookies baking

Air Force One with Harrison Ford (swoon!)

and

A girl trying to live The Good Life the best she knows how.

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A Grey Day

So it’s not really a grey day here, but it’s as close as you can get in Phoenix. Mostly, we have taupe days. Or beige days. Tan, languid, sanguine days. It gets dusty, a little blustery, and everything seems to be coated in a slight sepia haze. If Phoenix were one giant instagram photo, it would be in the “Sierra” filter. That’s hipster speak for “it is really gross outside.”

Despite the home improvement swing I’m in, I’m starting to feel staid. I’m ready for school to begin. However, I still have so much lesson planning to do! I’m a little nervous. I do have a great book to work through – Art in Story – that seems promising. I also have a cute little book for teaching the elements of art to young students that I’ll use for my ECE classes. So much to do, so little motivation – and yet so much anticipation and excitement.

There’s a potluck for faculty next Tuesday, and I think I’ll make these guys to take with me.

They’re actually pretty simple, and a lot of fun to make. Grab a Ritz cracker and spread some goat cheese (or some equally delicious, spreadable cheese – even cream cheese would work!) on it. Quarter a cherry tomato, and arrange two of the quarters like the little wings. I tend to deviate from the above picture, when I also quarter a black olive (the above uses a whole olive) and use one of the curved ends as the head. I use a toothpick to drill two little holes into the olive, and fit in small (less than 1″) clippings of chives therein. Then I use a little bit of black icing for the dots. If you are truly ambitious, you can use a smooth pesto paste for the dots, but I find that that the icing adds a bit of unexpected sweetness (but not too much!).

I feel it’s a good potluck item for an art teacher to bring. Just creative and cute enough! I imagine a lot of people will bring potato salads or cakes or cupcakes (yawn!). Potlucks require strategy… people want yummy, filling things that are easy to grab with their hands. For example, as much as I love pie, it’s just not good for potlucks! Far too messy!

So I suppose the moral of the story is that I am, in fact, excited for school to start. Even if I have to take baby steps – like preparing tasty ladybugs for the faculty potluck – it will be nice to return to routine-world. Ha! Just you wait, world, it will be a few short weeks before I will truly miss my free-wheeling summer lifestyle!

For now, I shall blog away at Lux, sipping on a hand crafted cocktail made by newly-minted bartender, Titus, and reading SPIN magazine’s latest issue. Boy that Bethany Cosentino is some piece of work! Cocktails in the late afternoon, you ask? Well, what else am I supposed to do on a grey day?

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Back Again

It was so good to be away for a time. San Francisco was lovely – more lovely than I could have asked for. The people were delightful, the food and drinks were delicious. It was hard to come back in many ways, and a large part of me wishes we could have stayed. However, I realize now more than even how important it is to belong to where you are from, to appreciate and love it, to engage with it on a profound level.

I am a Phoenician and always have been. No matter what sorts of efforts I have made to get away from this place, it always draws me back. Whether it is the beautiful winters, the beautiful people, or the sheer feeling of being “home,” this is a place I will never escape. And at this point, I may be okay with that.

Here’s a few photos from our little vacation.


On the beach in Santa Barbara, on the way up to San Francisco. We had to stop to fix Blaise’s iPhone, so we made a little detour. Mai Tai’s looking over the harbor were never so good!


On our first morning in San Francisco, we wandered off to one of Blaise’s most recommended bakeries – Tartine. We waited in line for at least 20 minutes before hauling off our goods to Dolores Park. We had (arguably) the best fruit tart in the world – white raspberries, blackberries, sweet cream, tucked in a delicious flaky crust. We also grabbed a roll stuffed with gruyere cheese and chives. Mm-mmm!

How dapper. We spent far too much money hamming it up on Bar Agricole. Delicious drinks, however.


The Fidel and Che was a delicious little cocktail I snagged from a swanky little place near the MOMA downtown called Local Edition.


And just as soon as our cocktails were finished, we hopped on the cable car line and zipped up to North Beach!


A few days later, we returned to North Beach and I went to the coolest little record store – 101 Music. I almost bought a nice little record layer, but thought the better of it and ended up leaving it there. Sigh!


A little detour through the beach next to Golden Gate Park. This boy is the best!


North Beach.


We stayed in LA on our last night before we returned to Phoenix. We enjoyed prowling about like rock stars in the Redbury Hotel in West Hollywood.


The view from the balcony of our Redbury Suite on the last morning before we returned. It’s hard to think that this was really only a week ago!

I think a lot of the difficulty being back has to do with the fact that I’m rather fallow at the moment. No work, no big projects. But I suppose I can’t complain too much… I have been doing a lot of things around the house. New furniture, cleaning, re-arranging, organizing… it all must be done!

All I know is that I’m a lucky girl, to be honest. I have a great life here. A great family, a great boyfriend, a great… existence. I have so much to be thankful for, and as far as I can tell, things will only be getting better from here on out!

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