this weekend i...
...went to a martini bar and tried to have fun with people I don't know.
...went to the ASU football game while depending on Dan and J-Dub to call me with updates on the Mizzou Homecoming game.
...did a lot of window shopping and found nothing I liked. Did some damage at Borders, however.
...caught up with old friends: Retka, Ben, Emili.
...watched games 1 & 2.
...cooked Sunday dinner.
...read Esquire while sitting on the grass next to a pond with the sun shining down on my back and bare arms.
...wrote some letters.
...ignored the flashing lights and dings coming from the mom-mobile's dashboard and drove on.

this week i will...
...pare down the stack of magazines next to my bed in need of being read.
...begin implementing change where it is needed at work.
...house/kid sit for my dad's boss (the dean of the school of architecture) while he hob-nobs with the ASU president and some bigwigs at a resort in Mexico.
...not post on this blog. If you want to know what's going on in my life, call or email.*
...not read your blog. If you want me to know what's going on in your life, call or email.*
...celebrate my dad's birthday. (synomous with eating cheesecake)

*I call this my blog strike. I've become too much of an obsessive blog checker. I hope by going on a blog strike, I will curb my need to check blogs multiple times a day.


the things you learn when family is visiting
Supposedly my great-great-great uncle was responsible for discovering seeds that produced cantaloupe with orange-colored flesh. Before Uncle Sammy found those seeds in Rocky Ford, Colo., aparently cataloupe was green inside and didn't taste as sweet. There are records of this discovery somewhere. The Amends: pioneer genetic engineers.


matchmaker, matchmaker...
Tonight Kate and Kate are meeting for dinner, all thanks to me. They'd better like each other.


because i'm a good person
I just made a listener contribution to our local NPR station.


My new haircut is super-short. It is also super-cute. I'm not super-sold on it yet, though.

religion and politics
In light of Fiscus's Oct. 13 blog post about the Catholic church's condemnation of Kerry voters, I found yesterday's sermon at church very interesting. The lesson was on the Genesis passage about Jacob, a.k.a. Israel, wrestling with God. Pastor Dave wove this story into politics and the role of the church during an election year. So often, faith is depicted as a cakewalk. Au contraire, he said; faith is not a black and white area, and neither is politics. He brought up the National Council of Churches' Christian Principles in an Election Year as a means to help Christians in making educated decisions on how to vote. Nowhere do the Principles endorse any specific candidate, nor do they mention any political parties. Instead, they call upon people to use their (God-given) intelligence when evaluating the candidates, rather than commanding parishoners to vote a certain way.

An overview of the principles:
+ War is contrary to the will of God...We look for political leaders who will make peace with justice a top priority and who will actively seek nonviolent solutions to conflict.
+ God calls us to live in communities shaped by peace and cooperation...We look for political leaders who will re-build our communities and bring an end to the cycles of violence and killing.
+ God created us for each other, and thus our secutity depends on the well being of our global neighbors. We look for political leaders for whom a foreign policy based on cooperation and global justice is an urgent concern.
+ ...We look for political leaders who yearn for economic justice and who will seek to reduce the growing disparity between rich and poor.
+ ...We look for political leaders who actively promote racial justice and equal opportunity for everyone.
+ ...We look for political leaders who recognize the earth's goodness, champion environmental justice, and uphold our responsibility to be stweards of god's creation.
+ ...We look for political leaders who will pursue fair immigration policies and speak out against xenophobia.
+ ...We look for political leaders who will support adequate, affordable and accessible health care for all.
+ ...We look for political leaders who seek a restorative, not retributive, approach to the criminal justive system and the individuals within it.
+ ...We look for political leaders who will advocate for equal educational opportunity and abundant funding for children's services.

the aunts are coming! the aunts are coming!
My dad's youngest sister, sisters-in-law and a cousin of his are arriving today. Our house is going to be a week-long hen party. I get the (quite comfy) couch.


hey there, boss-man
Today is Boss's Day. The note I wrote on the office card to my editor: "You're the best boss I've ever had in all my post-college jobs."
hit me
Tonight I'm going out to one of the local casinos with a girl I've met once, her friend and her friend's co-workers. We will see a show, maybe hit the slots and after a couple rounds of drinks, I will have friends.

because i miss those "i'm mike mincer and i want to be your jeweler" ads
I've been listening to BXR via their Web site live audio stream. It's great to hear Simon Rose's British accent and funny to hear them trying so hard to plug "The District." Also, when the Tigers don't play on national TV, I can catch the play-by-play. They've been starting every hour with a Bob Dylan tune in honor of his return to Columbia. It brings me back to the Dylan concert Tuttle, Kate and I went to freshman year. I bought a poster there that read: "Bob Dylan - live!" Since when is a concert not live?

I was not keen on the new U2 song until I saw the iPod commercial. Now I'm counting on my fingers in Spanish just like Bono.


Tonight I'm going to the opening night of Ballet Arizona's performance of "La Sylphide" for...you guessed it...FREE.


from the peanut gallery
Setting: eating dinner while watching tonight's debate.
BUSH: ...I pray for my daughters everyday...
MY DAD: "Please, God, don't let them embarrass me today."
BUSH: ...When I pray, my mind goes calm...
MY DAD: Because there isn't anything there to begin with. A blank mind is a calm mind.

those dirty ex-patriots
I got the following email a week or so ago from someone I know very well (no one you know, unless through one of those freakish small-world experiences). I wasn't going to post it publicly, but it really bothered me. It hurts because the comments de-value the efforts of a friend of mine to recruit American citizens living overseas to register to vote. I cherish my right to vote and the right of all Americans to play an active role in our government and for someone, someone I admire, to truly believe that another American is less-worthy to vote really angers me.

Heads up!! It is a MUST that we go out to vote and we get others out to vote! We must pray, we must do our part.......part of our freedom as Americans...........to keep our freedom as Americans! To keep the values which we hold as Biblical principals. Finally, we have a President willing to stand up for them.............are we willing to stand up for him? Or them? [...] Let us take action TODAY and each day before the election! They have record numbers of out-of-country absentee ballots...here's a question for you......do you want people not even living here in our country, nor getting news which even depicts America in a positive light much less a President who stands for something, electing our President?? I for one do not.* They have a right to vote if they are citizens but so do we and so we should! Complacency needs to be replaced with action by those willing to stand together and defend. Send an email. Drive an elderly to the polls. Let's DO something together! May God Bless and have mercy on America.

*Emphasis added


rockin' robin?
A bird up in the rafters pooped on Norah Jones's piano during last night's concert. It pooped on the beautiful grand piano four times.


today i...
...got up at 5:30.
...spilled coffee all over my desk. My workspace now smells like French vanilla.
...designed seven different versions of a cover.
...yelled at the printer when it wouldn't perform its prescribed duty...then realized I hadn't turned it on.
...solved a crossword puzzle during lunch.
...will eat at In n' Out for dinner.
...will go to the Norah Jones concert with Ally.


everyone a critic
I hearted I [heart] Huckabees. I think I was the only one in the audience. Despite the laughs and the couple of bursts of applause during the movie, every comment I heard as I left the theater was negative. "Well that sucked." "There was nothing funny about that but the bits of slapstick humor." "It was kinda like The Big Labowski but without the depth." "Maybe I'm just an old woman, but when it started out with that long slew of curse words, I was turned off immediately." Me? I'd see it again. Sure, the plot had some gaps, and I didn't really get Naomi Watts' character, overall though, your humble movie critic gives her approval. But maybe that's just because I love Dustin Hoffman's voice and Jude Law's face.

the zinger
If I were composing the questions for tomorrow night's debate, there is one that I would definitely not leave off the list. Invoking the question Reagan posed to the American public in 1980, I would ask our two presidential candidates:

Is America safer than it was four years ago? Is the world safer than it was four years ago?

One's initial reaction might be, "But hey! Four years ago was pre-Sept. 11." Sure, but Sept. 11 was very much in the works. Enough news outlets have agreed that America's "approval rating" soaring immediately after 9-11 but has sunk lower than a shit-filled sink hole since our nation - our president - led this preemptive war against Iraq. Disapproval leads to contempt, which leads to outrage, which leads to violence and further insurgency and further wars. We have angered countries who were once our allies and have ignored other areas of the world that are breeding grounds for nuclear weapons and terrorism (ahem North Korea and Iran).

If this question were posed to Kerry and Bush tomorrow, it would be a lose-lose situation for our president. If he were to answer "no," he would have to admit that his actions and policies have not made our country a safer place to live than it was in 2000. If he were to answer "yes," he would in essence negate his entire campaign of fear.

I pose the question to you, dear readers. Is America safer? You have thirty seconds.

side note
Ally comes tomorrow to spend her fall break in our new house, which she has yet to see.


land of the free
Two months of living in the Phoenix metro area and I have:
+ Attended the Phoenix Symphony, for FREE
+ Seen the Arizona Ballet, for FREE
+ Attended two First Friday art gallery openings, for FREE
+ Cheered the Diamondbacks to victory from awesome 15th row seats, for FREE

And tonight, I'm going to see a FREE screaning of I [heart] Huckabees before it hits (most) theaters. I feel guilty about missing the debate, but I'll just hurry home to catch the commentary.

I [heart] Phoenix.

Yesterday I signed up to volunteer for the Phoenix Film Festival in April.


quote of the weekend
It came during the MU football game against Colorado when Mizzou was robbed of a TD because Coffey was called for offensive pass interference (a load of crap, really):

ABC announcer: "There's a flag on the play. Well, [in all seriousness] it's either against the defense or the offense."

Slick. My take: the flag should have been against the referee for all the bad calls during the game.

just like cruising the east campus parties but with art on the walls instead of belushi posters
Erin and her roommate Jen came up from Tucson for First Friday this weekend. The city of Phoenix hosts a city-wide self-guided tour of small art gallery openings on the first Friday of every month (hence the name, First Fridays). Amature artists invite a city of strangers into their warehouses and homes where they've tacked up their photographs, paintings, sculptures and multi-media works. Most of it is tacky or crappy, but sometimes you find a gem. For example, the studio photography that was in the same gallery of porcelain sculptures of spoons-and-bowls-turned-into-testes-with-teeth. Most of the "galleries" were really houses, cleared of their occupants' furniture and adorned with pictures on the bright orange or turquoise walls. One house had photographs that were almost exclusively of people on the London Underground. You can find all sorts making the rounds. The night begins with the "cultured" crowd, sipping their wine and talking about trips to the Sedona Jazz Festival the weekend before. Parents come with their 7-year-olds in tow. Middle schoolers, happy to be out on their own on a Friday night in the city act like the brats they are, stopping traffic and giving each other wedgies. Later, the counter-culture comes out, bringing with them their brown-bagged 40s and nose piercings. There is a lot of political activity, especially by the Green Party, and street performers share their poetry/turntable skills/one-man-band acts while the crowds mill amongst them, blocking the streets. It is a fabulous way to spend a Friday night.

Pictures are here.

"i've got some extra beds at the homeless shelter..."
We hit up Mill Avenue in our jeans and flip flops after the gallery tour was winding down. I'd forgotten how gussied-up girls tend to get before going out to the bars; Erin, Jen and I were deffinitely under-dressed for the crowd we were in. We still managed to get hit on a couple of times (because we are just that hot). One (not the only, mind you) of our "prospects" was a homeless man we got to talking to. Doug asked us our names and then confided that "You can learn a lot from a person by their name." "Really?" I asked, interested to hear what his take on names would be. "Yes. For example, Doug, backwards is god, with a u." Fantastic, buddy.