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4/30/11
The game was a lot of fun last night. Except for the part where I went to take my camera out of my bag to take a picture of the faux-cactus with the ASG logo on it, and I dropped my camera. Very reminiscent of Philly, where I dropped my last camera. I think the next one will NOT be a Sony CyberShot, apparently I have no luck with keeping them functional.

The DirecTV guy came to set up the Whole Home DVR. It works, but it isn't compatible with hooking up the receiver up to the internet (for on demand movies) via a simple ethernet cable, so I have to have them come back again to bring some kind of connection kit. When I tried to get a customer service rep on the phone, they kept transferring me to a busy signal. Will try later. In the meantime, I can watch baseball in the bedroom now. And the guy set up the DirecTV remotes to work as universal remotes, so I don't have to juggle the TV remote and the cable remote when turning the power on and off.

My hair is back to a normal color.

4/29/11
The wedding was just lovely - I especially liked the trees inside Westminster Abbey. And of course, the singing of "God Save the Queen" to the actual queen. Who didn't sing - it would be odd to sing, "God Bless Me."

Today I am falling apart. I stopped at a nursery yesterday to look at baby cacti, and brushed against one that sent some spikes into my knee. I tweezed them out, but my knee is aching today. Of course one of my coworkers had to tell me that they're poisonous to freak me out. And I have this pain in my right eyeball. No bruising, no swelling, no changes in vision, just a weird pain. It must be a tumor.

Can't believe Rent opened fifteen years ago today.

Got my haircut, and had some highlights put in. I don't like them. Too uneven and too light, even after she put a "toner" on to darken the color. Will be coloring them out with my friend Nice 'n' Easy tonight after the game.

And I went to Lowe's to buy a thermometer for the patio, and walked around smelling all their flowers. I bought a pre-potted assortment of some kind of purple and blue and yellow flowers, and it looks pretty. I think I have to water it. I bought daffodils the other day and they're still alive.

Francisco is back from the DL. Please don't break anything else.

4/28/11
I slept weirdly last night, so I was up and about at 7am this morning. I decided to roadtrip around for the morning, and had a good time. I drove up to Wickenburg, an "old west" town, which was quaintly sweet. Then I drove further down rt 93 through the Joshua Tree scenic highway. I drove this stretch of highway when I drove from Vegas to Phoenix a few years ago - then I turned off onto more backroads to climb through the mountains to Prescott. It's pronounced "Press-Kit" and reminds me of Burlington, VT - it has a great walkable downtown with lots of shops and cafes. Since they're at a mile elevation, they get actual seasons, and about four inches of snow a year (which they say melts as soon as the sun comes out).

On the drive back, I got a call from work to ask if I wanted to come in and work on some end-of-month paperwork.

But before that - nap and seeing Memphis at the movies. They filmed the original Broadway cast. I have to say, I wasn't too impressed with the show at all. So I left at intermission and went to work for a few hours. And now it's 1am, and I'm having dinner and getting ready to watch the Royal Wedding.

4/27/11
Hallelujah for a few days off! After sleeping til 2pm, I went out to the Ford dealer here to get my oil changed, and found out that my maintanance plan covered today's service as well as my next 5,000 mile checkup. Then I stopped at the gas station for, well, gas, and a $5 carwash. For which I got to sit inside the car as it went through the brushes - that was awesome. So now my car is oiled up and shiny fresh.

4/26/11
I like doing the grocery shopping right after work because there are no lines at 7am.

I like working nights because there are no crowds at the pool in the afternoon, aka my "between naps" time.

And I like that Francisco Cervelli is rehab-ing his broken foot, and might be back with the Yankees next week.

4/25/11
Working those two overtime shifts knocked me out - and I still have two nights to go! I had planned to go grocery shopping today, but am instead just reheating some sausage and peppers and watching the Yankees game. I'll probably fall asleep for a quick nap before work tonight. I did manage to wake up enough to call Qwest/DirecTV about setting up the "whole home DVR" so I can have the TV in the bedroom hooked up, and they're going to come out on Saturday morning to do it.

4/23/11
So cool - there were hot air balloons flying around when I got out of work this morning. I looked online and apparently there are a few companies that do sunrise balloon trips. How awesome. I might have to check that out some day.

4/22/11
It's a good thing the next paycheck will rock, because this one barely covered my bills (I took three unpaid days off last pay period). But it did cover them, and I am nowhere near broke. Next paycheck goes to Visa.

Worked last night (seems like everytime I work, someone ends up going 911 to the ER), then slept til 1pm, went in the pool for a bit, chatted with some neighbors about the amount of abandoned/feral cats around (they're in favor of dumping them out in the desert, I'm in favor of turning my apartment into a cat sanctuary), made fried chicken fingers with BBQ sauce for lunch, and now I'm going to go doze on the couch and take a nap before work tonight. When hopefully everyone will be 100% healthy and not in need of emergency transport to the ER.

Tho it's nice having the firemen come. I told my CNA her priorities were to get the crash cart, and find my lipstick in my jacket pocket.

later on 4/21/11
Gonna work an overtime shift tomorrow night, too. My Visa bill will love me, come next paycheck.

4/21/11
I went back to Target last night (dangerous place, that Target) and bought a sturdier shelf for my new TV (it had been sitting on an IKEA box), it looks so much better now. And sturdier. Then I went to the mall in search of summer wardrobe things, and came home with a new bathing suit and a silky paisley-print sundress.

Watched The King's Speech in stunning Blu-Ray Hi-Def last night - what a difference the big screen makes! No squinting!

Off to get my nails done, go to the every-other-week supervisor meeting at work, then pool, then nap, then an overtime shift tonight.

4/20/11
Have decided to spend my days off wearing bathing suit and/or skimpy sundresses.

4/19/11
Uneventful night at work, capped off by picking up an overtime shift for later this week. Went out and lounged in the pool with my Kindle, went to Target to get the DVD of The King's Speech (my first Blu-Ray DVD!), which I'll watch tomorrow or Friday. And now I'm making a batch of sausage and peppers, since it isn't too hot out, and I can have the windows open (to share the aroma with all of my neighbors).

Small world - Dad's friend Jeff from school lives in Peoria somewhere (Dad's finding out), and his sister Pat, who worked for Dad for many years, is moving out here. If she brings snow, I will hurt her. How cool!

later on 4/18/11
Well, two years after we thought Sheeba was dying, and she made a miraculous recovery at the vet, she took a big downturn in her health. Mom just emailed me to let me know she passed away today. I'll miss you, Sheeba, and so will the traveling AZ cats.

4/18/11
A happy Passover to you all, may there be matzoh-a-plenty.

One of my coworkers, Margarita, is helping me improve my Spanish. I talk, ask her for words I don't know, and she corrects my grammar. Today I told her about Dad and Ann's visit (past tense) and Mom's upcoming visit (en la proxima mes), and how I don't think owning a gun makes you safer. She told me about some lovely places in Mexico to buy a condo (seriously). I'm learning like crazy.

4/17/11
I slept like a baby last night, what with the food coma and everything.

This morning I dropped Dad and Ann off at the airport, and now I'm going back to bed so I can be awake for my 7p-7a shift tonight. Back to work!

4/16/11
Ahh, brunch at Local Breeze (outside on the patio, under the ceiling fans), lounging in the pool (it's a balmy 93 today), and then off to Best Buy (so Dad could get the new Harry Potter DVD and I could buy my new 46" TV). The new TV is stunningly huge. I will not have to squint at the screen anymore. I'm going to call DirecTV this week and see about getting a second receiver so I can put the smaller TV in the bedroom. After all, if I'm going to hibernate in the 110-degree weather this summer, I may as well do it in style).

Dinner at Wright's at the Biltmore - they won me over with the Frog's Leap wine and the peanut butter souffle dessert. When we were driving up the "Biltmore Estates" drive to the hotel, we passed a gigantic wedding reception going on. When I pulled up to the valet parking, the valet asked if I was going to the wedding. I said, "No, but the reception we passed looked fabulous." He then explained that it was Alice Cooper's daughter getting married, and with my tattoos, I looked like a guest.

4/15/11
And home again - today was a long day of driving. We left Flagstaff (where it was freezing) and drove up to the Grand Canyon. Dad and I did the helicopter tour over the canyon, which was just amazing. Totally enjoyed it. And then we all went to the IMAX movie, which I hadn't seen before. Boy, they had some super photography. And it makes me want to go hanggliding over the canyon. Wow.

I can't believe neither Dad nor Ann had ever been to the canyon before - or to this part of the country. We spent a few hours at the canyon, driving around and stopping at the scenic overlooks to take lots of pictures. Drove back to Flagstaff for dinner, and made it back to Peoria with a half-hour to spare before the new frozen yogurt place closed. Yum. The cashier said their official opening is May 4th, when they'll be giving away fromm yogurt. I will be there.

And I am so beat from driving. Bedtime.

4/14/11
I'm so glad I paid off the Visa bill last week, since Sedona and Flagstaff bring out the shopper in me. I picked up some holiday gifts, and some (many) things for me. The folks who should be buying souvenirs are just kind of browsing, while I do all the actual shopping.

Beautiful weather today (really? go on.) for the drive up to Flagstaff, via Sedona. Could not ask for better weather for the awe-inspiring beauty in this state. I didn't realize, however, that the hotel in Flagstaff had an indoor pool, or I would have brought my bathing suit. No, I did not go buy a new one. It's also going to be 27 degrees in the morning, which makes me thankful that I *did* bring my sweatshirt, long pants, and working heater in the car.

4/13/11
So I splurged and upgraded our upper deck tix for the DBacks/Cardinals game, and scored us some sweet tix in the lower level, six rows behind home plate. SUPER seats! Albert Pujols was *this* close. It was really a terrific night for baseball. The Cards ended up winning 15-5, slightly lopsided, but the weather was perfect. And I got to use my nurse-y skills when Ann twisted her ankle after the game (rest, ice, chocola...compression, elevation), and tomorrow is mostly a driving day, so she should be OK.

Before the game, we drove over to Scottsdale to ogle the mansions and do some browsing in the galleries - there's a museum of television above one of the galleries, and they had a leg lamp! I want it - and then to Glendale to get lunch at a German beer garden-type place and do some browsing in the antique stores. Oh and the cat-centric store in Scottsdale had a six-foot tall cactus-shaped cat climbing tree thing. So tempting, but Pippin is too fat to get to the top of it, so I passed. So then we drove around downtown Phoenix before the game for a bit, just to look around.

Ballpark food - tried Macayo's mini chicken chimis, they were a bit too spicy. Ate some of Dad's kettle corn, which was delicious.

4/12/11
What a nice day! Lesson of the day, however - if you leave your iPod on the plane (ahem), someone from the family will have to go back through security and back to the gate to get it. Apart from that, it was a nice day! We're aiming to have some pretty spectacular weather, too, for Dad and Ann's visit.

So after the airport and getting them checked into the hotel, we grabbed some sandwiches at the Corner Bakery Cafe to eat on my patio. Pippin, as always, was delighted at the possibility of food dropping on the floor, and Mimi did her usual "hide behind something big until the strangers leave" thing. Since the wildflowers are in bloom, we went over to the Desert Botanical Garden - which for some reason had free admission today! No problem with that. We walked all over admiring the flowers and the cacti (I love the weird looking ones), and then went next door to Papago Park to look at the Hole in the Rock.

Since it was still light out, we drove a little farther east and walked down Mill Avenue in Tempe before heading back to Peoria. Dinner at Famous Dave's BBQ (oh my goodness, their brisket melted in my mouth, so so good). I have leftovers for midnight snacking.

My plan was to come home and watch the Yankees/Orioles game, but apparently it was rained out.

4/11/11
Yay - off for the next week, and Dad and Ann are coming tomorrow. Going to do some tootling around Phoenix, and go up to the Grand Canyon, too. I can't wait! Gotta finish cleaning and get ready to show off my new digs.

4/9/11
It didn't rain last night, but today is cold (seriously, 45) and rainy. It's supposed to be like this all day - but never fear, it'll be back to the upper 80's on Monday.

later on 4/8/11
So the home opener was actually a lot of fun. I did wear my DBacks jersey (love the red color), and had random people take my picture all over the ballpark. Some of them came out good. The DBacks massacred the Reds, led by the pitching gem of Ian Kennedy. Former Yankee Ian Kennedy. I got there early enough to walk around the stadium a few times, to get a feel for the concessions - lots of food choices, and they have a few Cold Stone Creamery outposts, for those hot summer nights.

I left in the seventh inning (it was cold, like, 60 degrees) and went out for a chimichanga at the local Mexican place. I was going to eat at the ballpark, but the lines were crazy long.

4/8/11
Now I know it was a sign of respect or whatever, but I think having the trumpet player play "Taps" at the Red Sox home opener was a sign of things to come for the team. Too bad Phil Hughes had to stink it up for the Yankees.

Tonight is the DBacks home opener - for which I have a ticket - and guess what? The forecast is for cool and windy with a 40% chance of showers. I bring the rain.

I did my somewhat-Spring Cleaning, in preparation for next week's company. Vacuumed, Swiffered, dusted, sneezed, and wiped down the counters. Whew.

later on 4/7/11
Totally enjoyed Lost in Yonkers downtown at the Herberger Theatre tonight. Judy Kaye was fantastic, and it's a beautiful theatre to boot. A perfect night to do some walking around downtown, too.

And yes, my face faded back to normal after about an hour this morning.

4/7/11
When I was at the spa the other night, I bought the almond exfoliating masque that she used on my face. And while I didn't have any reaction to it at the spa, when I got out of the shower, my entire face was red like a sunburn. I slathered a thick layer of lotion on, and hopefully it'll fade soon! I have a meeting at work in four hours (plus am about to go get my nails done).

On the plus side, my skin is nice and soft.

4/6/11
I asked my Navajo CNA to teach me how to do a rain dance, just for kicks, and she said it doesn't work for white people. I told her she was being racist, that I could make it rain by just showing up at Yankee Stadium.

I managed to slice my ankle open while shaving my legs, thus creating a Sweeney Todd moment in the bathroom. Appropriate that "My Friends" from the original cast recording was playing on the radio as I drove home from work this morning.

I did my shopping errands today. Went to Bed Bath and Beyond to get a broom for the patio (so maybe Pippin won't have as much crap to roll around in), to Target for their super trail mix, which I snack on at work, and to Fry's for groceries. The Yankees game was rained out, so I'm watching the Red Sox lose, which is almost as fulfilling. And I made an appointment to get a pedicure and have my nail tips put back on. Still no Koreans out here.

4/5/11
One week til Dad and Ann are out to visit! I'm looking forward to it so much. I told the staffing guy at work when I started that there were some days I'd need off, and so I took off Monday, Tuesday and Saturday next week. Sometime this week I need to vacuum and dust.

I got my Diamondbacks tix in the mail, the ones I'd exchanged, so now I'm all set for the season. The home opener is Friday.

4/4/11
There's apparently some kind of cactus that only blooms once or twice a year, and the flowers only last for 24 hours before dying. A family member of one of our residents brought in one of the blooms over the weekend - what a sturdy looking flower, which did indeed die by the next morning. All that work for nothing!

I subscribed to MLB Extra Innings on DirectTV. Now I can predict rain in the Bronx from afar. There's some discussion that YES and DirectTV may part ways over billing, but I have faith they'll work it out. And since I have the DVR, I can record the games to watch when I'm awake. And a 4pm start time for most games in this part of the country means I can watch most games live. OK, I'm happy now. I have something to do in the 110-degree summer weather, besides lounge poolside.

The tree outside my patio (not the palm tree, the one I can't identify) is putting out a lot of pollen, which blows all over the patio. Luckily, it hasn't bothered me, but when Pippin goes outside, she rolls around on the concrete and the rug, and comes back inside covered in pollen and dust. She is one big fat rolling ball of allergens.

4/1/11
So the Yankees start off the year on the right note, with a win. Works for me.

I spent some quality time in the pool with my Kindle, before it got really hot out. I have all the blinds closed in the apartment to keep it cool (except for the patio one, which is cracked open, because as soon as I opened the patio door to go hang up my towel and bathing suit, Pippin dashed out onto the patio to soak in the sun).

I topped off my day by hitting the spa (and found out that massage and facial services were 50% off for some reason) - so relaxed I want to melt, and not from the heat.

For those of you keeping score at home, it hit 100 degrees at 2.55pm today. I did turn on the AC to cool off the apartment while I was at the spa.

-catherine

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