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5/31/13
Despite Dad and Ann being on NY time, and me being on "not quite recovered night shift time," we're managing to get a lot of fun stuff done! Dad asked what I needed for the house (for a housewarming gift), and since I couldn't think of anything really, we did a CostCo trip (he's a member) and I am now the proud recipient of 30 rolls of toilet paper and kitchen trash bags. And a giant bottle of soy sauce. Hey, I'm getting practical in my old age. He also treated me to an early birthday gift - a patio umbrella and stand from World Market. Dad and I did some construction in the yard and made cat-proof barriers for the bottom gaps in my gates. I'd been using the legs from my (unassembled) patio table to block the gaps, but we made the barriers out of some super strong cardboard. And then, of course, we were able to put the table together and put the umbrella in place.

We splurged on dinner at Durant's, a Phoenix steakhouse institution. The food was great, the decor was "early 50's bordello."

And then today was a lazy day. Pat, who grew up with Dad and used to work for him, moved with her husband Bill to Phoenix six months ago (her brother and mom are here, too) - and they're literally across the street from where I work! We met up with them for lunch and catching up this afternoon (got a late start today because I had to get my nails done, muy importante). And then we did the umbrella shopping and assembly before going to the Arizona Broadway Theatre to see Into the Woods. It was a good production with some very good singers, we really enjoyed it.

I am so thankful to both of my parents for raising me with a strong appreciation for the arts. I really am.

Tomorrow we're going to Sedona to do an off-road Jeep tour, which I've never done. And then back to Phoenix for dinner and pool time, and I'm staying at the same hotel tomorrow night, so I can drive them to the airport Sunday morning before I come home to sleep before working Sunday night.

5/29/13
The flight actually landed early - Dad said it was because of all the turbulence en route. But they made it safely and in one piece. They're staying at the same Hilton where I stayed before I moved, up on North Mountain. That was our first stop, to get checked in and find out where the closest pools are.

And then off to Scottsdale! Dinner at the Italian Grotto, owned by a Yankees fan from the Bronx. We ran into him after (delicious) dinner (I had the scallops oreganato), and he offered to buy us a round of drinks, but we were off to see Clive Cussler (and honestly, I think the owner had had a few drinks already). Clive did not disappoint - 81 years old and still looking good. He used a walker to come in to the bookstore, but hey, he's 81! His co-author, Graham Brown, is quite the good looking guy, I wish I had gotten a better picture. Google him.

And after the signing, we went for ice cream, which hit the spot. Then back to the hotel to drop off Dad and Ann, and then I drove home. Watched part of the Yankees game and fell asleep.

5/28/13
A week off, starting now! I'm off til Sunday, to enjoy my time with Dad and Ann. I'm off to nap for a few hours, then to the airport.

5/23/13
Clive Cussler is doing a book signing in Scottsdale on Tuesday - the day Dad and Ann get here! I know what we're doing that night.

I picked up a ticket for Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson at the Phoenix Theatre for next month. And since they're doing Rent, Les Mis, White Christmas, Ain't Misbehavin' and Pippin - plus Avenue Q in the black box theatre - I subscribed for next season.

5/22/13
Irene is (nearly) ready to paint the accent walls in her apartment, she's at the "picking colors" stage. So I went over to bring my unused painting supplies, and we wound up having a girly day in Phoenix. After going through some donated clothes (the best way to shop without spending money), we went to happy hour lunch at O.H.S.O. Brewery - bbq chicken pizza and orange blossom beer. And then we went to the Phoenix Art Museum (getting the most from that membership) to walk around. From there, we went downtown to the Phoenix Market Cafe, recently re-opened, and my friend Karen is a pastry chef there. She was working today so we totally said hi and enjoyed their patio. It's such a cozy place. And right next to the farmer's market, which was not really happening tonight. Maybe it's busier on Saturday mornings? And then, since my sneakers are falling apart, we went to the mall where I hit the Sketchers store. And the Body Shop (had a Groupon to spend). And Sephora. And the Yankee Candle store.

My coworker Brian, who I walk with some mornings after work, said that they open the mall by work at 6am for walkers! So this morning we did the mall walk (which is where I eyed the Sketchers store). Not bad, and we actually made better time doing laps indoors than outside. I kind of prefer the outdoor trail for changes in elevation and much better scenery, but the mall is air-conditioned.

5/19/13
Some days it's been nice and hot, and some days it's been cool enough to open the windows and sleep out on the patio (especially in the mornings). With the curtains closed and the ceiling fan on, my patio is super comfy for napping.

5/14/13
Yes, welcome to Arizona, car. Here's your new windshield.

5/11/13
In all the running around, I completely forgot to do my laundry. So here I am at 2am, taking my scrubs out of the dryer and folding them.

5/10/13
I didn't want to get out of bed, everything was aching. But - at 1pm - I made it!

I took advantage of National Public Gardens Day (and the associated free admission to gardens nationwide) and went to the Desert Botanical Garden. Always a delight. This time I remembered my umbrella, as it was 95 degrees out. I walked through the wildflowers and the agave gardens, and saw the butterfly exhibit (which was included in the "free" part). And then I went to the Art Museum (again, free with my membership) in the hopes that their restaurant would be open for late lunch. I just missed it. So I wandered around a bit, and then went up the street to Windsor for lunch-and-cocktail.

From there? Baseball! The DBacks beat the Phillies (so alas, there was no chance to boo Jonathan Papelbon, now with the Phils). This puts both of my teams in first place in their divisions, not that that means anything with the interleague play and the "extra" wild card.

Time to lounge on the patio and watch tonight's Yankees game (which I taped). I have the windows open and the AC off for now, but since we're supposed to hit 100 again on Monday, I think I'll be reversing that any minute now.

Oh and my windshield is officially an Arizona resident. The few little dings from flying rocks didn't bother me too much, but now there's a giant crack across the driver's side of the front windshield. I called Geico - I didn't have windshield coverage on my policy, so I added it in. It won't cover this time, but from now on - zero deductible. That's OK tho, since it's only $250 to replace it. And the glass company said they can come here to do it, or I can bring the car in to their shop (which is right next to the Ford place, which is right next to work). I'm going to bring it in Monday morning after work, so I can get it replaced without having to wait around at home when I should be sleeping.

5/9/13
Tattoo session number two went well - about two hours before I cried uncle. The colors are stunning, and he's blending the new floral work nicely with the existing stuff. Next appointment is for next week, and we'll either keep working on the back, or start sketching in the arm, we'll see how we feel.

Three weeks and Dad and Ann are here! Can't wait to see them and show off the house.

I had a night where I just wanted to curl up under the covers and listen to rain on the roof and thunder, but alas, it's not monsoon season. Not that I miss the constant rain (you'd think I grew up in a rain forest the way I remember the past few years in NJ), but a little thunderstorm would be nice every now and then.

5/8/13
Walking after work is a great idea, it sure beats the treadmill, and I feel like I'm getting a better workout. We managed six miles today (after working up to it) and our goal is eight for next week. I haven't hit the gym in the past two weeks tho, I need to get there to work on my arms and upper body.

The outdoor curtains that I ordered for the patio (and the tension rods for them) came, I got them up yesterday, and they look great. It really makes the patio into another room, and they block the sun fairly well, so I'm not blinded out there in the mornings. The cats are still loving the great outdoors.

Zo (Lorenzo), my tattoo guy, is super. He freehand-sketched an outline for filling in my back/arm tattoo, and we started it last week. Going tomorrow for the second session.

5/7/13
Happy birthday Jen Larkin!

5/3/13
My friend Peter came out from LA for a few days, to enjoy the sunny 100-degree weather. We had fantastic dim sum at this hole-in-the-wall place, and it was so good, definitely on the list to go back to. Also went to Taliesin West and Cosanti (us both being architecture geeks).

Went to the tattoo place in Goodyear to talk with one of the artists about adding to my floral armpiece. Going back at 4pm to start outline work.

And my Yankee Stadium seats have arrived! Now I can continue saving to get the yard landscaped so they can have a place of honor.

-catherine

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