Snow on the east coast? Anyone who wants to come visit, my door is always open. It's going to be 89 today. And sunny. The quick glimpse of snow on this week's roadtrip was invigorating, but thankfully, brief.
Neck/shoulder/arm is killing me today - I really think it's a pinched nerve. It was hurting so bad that depite Motrin, ice and a pain patch, I couldn't sleep. There's no way I could make it through the 12 hour shift, so I called out. And I hate calling out, because I really do love my job. I went across the street to see if the urgent care could prescribe Flexeril or something, but they had closed 15 minutes earlier. I'm going to see the clinic doc on Thursday, hopefully she can recommend something. I just can't get comfortable.
later on 10/28/11
Yay for the Cardinals - tho after last night's game, MLB should have just called the series a tie.
Two full days off with nothing to do? Roadtrip! The other night at work, my CNA and I spread out the map of Arizona so she could point out some Navajo sights to see. I threw a change of clothes in the bag and set out yesterday morning (at six in the morning) to go to the Petrified Forest National Park and Canyon de Chelly. Except for the part where it was 29 degrees and there was snow on the ground (in the higher elevations I had to drive through), it was a perfectly beautiful drive.
I was doing my usual kind of AZ roadtrip - that is, look at the map and see where the scenie routes are - and figured it wouldn't take *too* long to drive up to Kayenta, the town nearest Monument Valley. I scenic-ly drove there, swinging a bit out of the way to go to Four Corners, and discovered with delight that as opposed to most of the Navajo towns, this one had actual food places and a Hampton Inn. Love the Hampton Inn, with their free breakfast and free wifi (and free toothbrush, since I forgot mine as always). I picked up some Chinese food and settled in to watch game six of the World Series. Which ended up being the most exciting game ever - but by that point, I'd been driving and sightseeing for twelve hours, and I kept dozing off.
This morning I woke up (it was 26 degrees out) and went to Monument Valley - it was appropriate that Wagner was playing on the opera station, since it felt like something out of The Ring. Full of otherworldly spires and buttes and dirt roads and the like. The view from the visitor's center alone is worth the drive, and I kept wishing I knew how to ride a horse, because that would be the ideal way to see the sights. There's a 17-mile self-guided drive around the highlights (which is what I did), or you can take a guided Jeep tour through the park.
After ogling the sights, I drove two hours over to Page, on the northwest corner of Navajo land. Page is home to Antelope Canyon, one of the best known slot canyons in the state, probably in the world. There's a $6 entry fee to the park entrance, which is kind of useless, since the "park" consists of a ticket booth (you can't just mosey on over to the canyon, you must go by tour) and a portapotty. But you know what? It doesn't matter - because Upper Antelope Canyon is the most beautiful place I've been to in the state, and that's saying a lot. It's a jewel that you would never find on your own (after entering the park, you go by pickup over a three-mile bladder-jolting dirt road to the entrance), and for such a small place, it packs a pretty strong emotional response.
I drove straight back to Phoenix after that (with a quick stop at Horseshoe Bend, part of the Colorado Plateau where the river carved out a 270-degree bend in the rock). It was about four and a half hours from Page back to Phoenix, via Flagstaff - and I figured I put about 800 miles on the car in two days. I also passed the 25,000 mile mark on the Ford, it's doing great.
Only downside (and it shall pass) is that there was so much dust up there, my allergies kicked into high gear. I had to stop and buy Claritin and eye drops (I have so many bottles of eye drops, because I never have them when I need them). I'm still feeling the allergies, but like I said, they'll pass.
My plan for tonight was to watch Game Six, but guess what? It's raining in St. Louis! So the game has been postponed. Not only does the rain follow me, it follows my plans.
Took a spin out to the house site this morning after work, to bury Wally (the Green Monster) in the sewer trench. I feel calm and centered now - or maybe that's just "tired" that I'm feeling. I also walked through the house with the identical footprint and measured the walls etc, so I can start decorating in my head.
Welcome, Autumn. My electric bill went from $135 last month to $88 this month. Yay!
I am so happy to discover that Old Navy didn't close their store nearby entirely, but simply moved down the block. I am not so happy to discover that where I once could walk in and pick up a pair of size six jeans without trying them on, I am now squeezing my butt into a size ten. I actually bought the khakis in a twelve - and will save the receipt in some farfetched hope that I will get off said butt and start exercising more.
I went out to Verrado to do the site inspection with Paul, and I got to walk through another almost-finished house that's the same model as mine. Looks great - and I can't wait to see how mine comes along! The property lines and house outline are all staked out, and tomorrow they dig for the sewer/plumbing. What I like about the community - and it reminds me of NYC in a way - is that all the electrical and cable etc. is buried underground, so there's no utility poles to get in the way. I really like that.
State fair! Awesome! If you can think of any single food item that can be placed on a stick and deep-fried, they had it. From pizza to watermelon to artichokes. They also had chocolate covered everything, including BACON, but at $6, I passed. My hips will thank me. They also had a "weird foods" stand, with kangaroo, rattlesnake and yes, maggots. On a bun. Dead, dried ones - the guy said they taste like sunflower seeds, but that didn't tempt me into trying it. Thursdays are "buy a wristband for $25 and go on unlimited rides," and some guy had bought an extra and sold it to me for $15. I must be getting old, I went on both Ferris Wheels (they had three, but I passed on the kiddie one), the flying swings, the "house of horrors" and the merry-go-round. And it was super fun going through the agricultural exhibits - it was sheep and poultry today. And lots of baby animals in the petting zoo. They also had all the farm exhibits - fruits, veggies, prize-winning pumpkins etc. And an art gallery of students' work and also some stunning photography exhibits. I totally had a blast.
I only wish I had organized my time better to see the performing pigs.
Well, given the options, I will halfheartedly root for the Cardinals to win the World Series.
Wrote the second check to the builder, and met briefly with the project manager, Paul, the man who will be building my house. I have the go-ahead to bury my stuffed animal (voodoo) version of Wally, the Green Monster, at the site, in order to curse the Red Sox for years to come. He said we have several options for the burial, the most appealing is to toss him into the trench where the sewer lines will go (as Paul said, "so every time you flush the toilet..."), or to actually encase him in the concrete slab. I'm thinking sewer. I go over again on Thursday morning to walk over the site with Paul, and then they'll start digging the underground bits on Friday. Super excited!
My neck and upper back are still achy (massage didn't help). I wonder if my insurance would cover a chiropractor. I've never been to one, but who knows, maybe one could realign my back for me.
Going on Tuesday to sign the rest of the papers and write another check for the house, and then we can start building. Super excited.
We had a blast today. Tesse and I toured my future homesite, admiring the empty lot and walking through the model homes again. So pretty. Had delicious sushi with Elizabeth, drove to Cave Creek and went to the Town Dump store (where I bought a rusted-iron quail sculpture and a six-foot tall wrought iron folding screen for my future home), and went to the outlet stores in Anthem.
At the outlets, we went to the Bose store and good lord, I want the Bose VideoWave system. It's truly stupendous - TV, sound, amazing quality, all in one. The pricetag is also stupendous (around $5300), but hopefully by the time I actually want to buy one and have saved the money, the price will drop. We ogled the demo and I think I may have drooled on the remote control.
So good to see Tesse and the clan!
later on 10/12/11
So good to see Tesse and the Fox gang. And oh, I am super full of burritos and nachos.
Since I had some time before heading out to meet them for dinner, I went to the mall in Scottsdale to go to the J. Jill store. Oh, J. Jill, why must you tempt me with your comfy casual wear and your "save 20% when you sign up for a credit card"? Several hundred dollars later (ok, three), I have some more comfy casual wear and a card that I will pay off tomorrow. When the saleswoman asked if I had shopped with them before, I mentioned that I had project-managed the website when it was built (back in the XCeed days), and that J. Jill, in their effort to thank our crew, erroneously gave us an 80% discount. Would that it'd happen again.
So once again, Elizabeth and I are pushing back our plan to hit IKEA. I still can't believe she hasn't been there! But her daughter isn't feeling great, we both have a ton of errands to do, and we're going to get sushi for lunch tomorrow. Kickass.
The Fox clan is in town! I'm going to meet up with Tesse et al for dinner tonight at Ticoz downtown (the menu looks great), and tomorrow and Friday we'll hopefully get some time to just hang out and chill. She called right as I was putting the taco casserole in the oven - that'll keep in the freezer.
I was hoping to get some baseball watching in before dinner, but hey, it's raining in Detroit.
Stepped on the scale at the doctor's this morning and nearly passed out. Not in a good way, either. I also had my labs drawn, it'll be super fun to see what my cholesterol is.
I prepared for this epic doubleheader day by going to the spa at noon to get a deep tissue massage. Ahhh, so much better now. And my upper back and shoulders feel so much looser now. I had to tell her masseuse to let up a little on the pressure at times - she was really digging in. But it felt so good to relax and be pampered a bit. It's a gorgeous day, but a little cold (75, right) - I have the windows open and the cats are vegging out on the patio.
There is a tiny nick in my windshield. I thought it was maybe a bug, but when I got out of the car and ran my hand across the spot, it didn't go away. No idea how it got there, a rock must've attacked the window.
It was an exciting DBacks/Brewers game, except for the bottom of the 10th, where the Brewers won and knocked the DBacks out of the postseason. So now both of my teams are out, and I guess I'll root for the Phillies.
Or the Cardinals. I'll root for the Cardinals.
Well - I guess I'll root for the National League now, since the Yankees played horrible baseball tonight.
later on 10/5/11
I would have liked Phantom better if they had taped a live, fully-staged production instead of a "concert" rendition. The backdrop projections drove me nuts. But the casting was first rate, and the score with a full orchestra was phenomenal. I wonder why - at the end, when the creative team et al came out - that everyone except Michael Crawford sang. Ramin Karimloo (who sang Enjolras in the Les Mis concert) was terrific as the Phantom, and how cool to see Colm Wilkinson, Anthony Warlow and John Owen-Jones (and how not cool to see Peter Joback, who sings in a very whiny manner). Overall, thumbs up (tho I liked the Les Mis concert better.
But seriously? No chandelier drop?
Came home and watched the DBacks game - they beat the Brewers. So tomorrow is ALDS game five, and Friday is game five for both NLDS series. The Rays have been pitifully eliminated already.
I hate to admit it, but the 66 degree weather this morning felt good. There was even dew on my car window that needed to be wiped away. It did not feel so good when I broke off a fingernail while getting a case of water out of the car. OW. Will get it fixed on Thursday.
Picked up tickets for the NLCS (if the DBacks make it) - Tesse and her parents are coming out next week (whee!) and we're hoping that a) they make it and b) do not get home field advantage, so we can go to the game. I have a ticket for the division series game tonight, but when I bought it, I had forgotten that I have a ticket for the HD movie presentation of Phantom - so I'll be taping the game and going to the movie.
I am all signed off on the design center stuff for the house! Went by this morning for the final review and the signing of 300 pages. Now the designer sends the pages to the builder, and the builder will call me to review the final price and accept my next check. And then I'll meet with the building supervisor and we can get started. So exciting.
Woke up this evening to find out that both my teams are still in the Postseason!
It was a long weekend at work. To celebrate getting through it, I bought a shrimp ring with cocktail sauce, and it will be my dinner. Uncle Charlie would surely approve (he and I go through shrimp like mad).
My Yankees keychain is mysteriously missing from my keyring. Can't find it anywhere. I fear this is an omen.
Still boggling over the fact that a Friday night Yankees playoff game got rained out.
The DBacks lost to the Brewers in game one of the NLDS today, and then I went back to bed - going to work in a few minutes. I'll have to catch up on the rest of the scores tomorrow.
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