I’m Obviously Just Not Cool Enough

There’s a pizzeria here that has been widely acclaimed as the best pizza in the US. (That’s not the start of a joke. It’s for real). It’s right next door to where I work, so every afternoon I get to watch people line up, starting around 2 p.m. for their 5 p.m. nightly opening. So after having to watch others eat there for a couple of months, I finally got to eat there myself.

Since they don’t take reservations, you get in line, at 5 p.m. make your way to the front of the line behind everyone else, give your name, and you & your party wait for three hours waiting for a table. They own a little bar next door, so you can go hang out in there. But after not having eaten since 11 a.m., and then drinking 3 beers, you could have fed me microwaved elementary-school cafeteria pizza and I would’ve thought it was the shit.

Par-tay!

Today we’re having a party at our place. In a previous life, that would have been a good thing. But the adult me dreads the party. Now the word party invokes exhaustion. Between the planning, cooking, and pre- and post-party house cleanings, I could care less about whether these people have a good time. What I care about is that they all leave so I can go to sleep. Tomorrow I’d like to get up at the normal time and resume my life in the morning without the aid of Advil.

I still love throwing a good party, but I think that a change is in order. From here on out, parties shall be limited to brunch and barbecue based events. Looking for an all-night rager? Find a 25-year old or head to the bars, because closing time here is at 7 PM.

little-sip-cocktail

Why Do Today…

Better Half: “You could wrap the Christmas gifts.”

Me: “Yeah, but we still haven’t gotten all of them yet.”

Better Half: “So?”

Me: “So I want to wait til they all come before I wrap them”

Better Half: “But that’s like saying that we shouldn’t do any dishes now because we’ll have more dirty dishes again.”

Me: “Exactly. I’m glad you understand this concept.”

0.16 MPH

One of the sucky things about moving from a small town to a major metropolitan area is the traffic. Having just moved here a couple of months ago, I still don’t know my way around very well, so I’ve only figured out a couple of different routes between work and home. I had to close the museum today, so I didn’t get out until about 5:30. In normal traffic, it takes me no less than an hour to get home. But today’s the day before Thanksgiving and Arizona’s major airport lies between my work and my house. It took me 3 hours to get home tonight. That is not a misprint. Three FUCKING hours to go the 18 miles from my work to my front door. Sigh. I miss my small town life.

The Case of the Disappearing Goldwater Files

Barry Goldwater was Arizona’s golden boy. Ever the politician, he created a lifelong legacy by founding Arizona State University’s Arizona Historical Foundation, an organization dedicated to collect, preserve, and make available historical documents that address Arizona and Southwestern subjects.

barry-goldwater-portrait

So it’s a little ironic that the Arizona Historical Foundation has now closed off access to Goldwater’s own papers. Goldwater donated a large sum of money and his political and personal papers to the foundation in 1959, with no stipulations on access to his own files. Most recently, a journalist accessed Goldwater’s files to research an article in a local newspaper. His article highlighted Goldie’s personal unsavory conduct and received such ire from Goldie’s granddaughter C.C., a board member of the foundation, that she succeeded in having his papers sealed.

The Goldwater collection has seen alot of action since it was donated to the foundation. Researchers, academics, journalists, and the just plain curious have sifted through his papers for decades. Some of the resulting articles have aired Goldie’s political dirty laundry, like his opposition to the 1964 Civil Rights Act or his steadfast support of McCarthy to the very end. Writers have pointed out how conservatives from all spectra of the right (old right, new right, and rabid right) alike stood by him. (And those categories pretty much take care of enfranchised Arizonans.) His politics were what made him Arizona’s golden boy, though. C.C. Goldwater had to draw the line at her grandfather’s personal dirty laundry.

From here on out, I guess if you want to know about Goldwater, the man, you’ll have to rely on C.C.’s own recent production, the HBO hagiography, “Mr. Conservative.”

Bite the Ballot

This year’s midterm elections in Arizona meant endless ads for any of the 95 offices and issues up for grabs. The ballot covered every position from governor to state mine inspector and included no fewer than 19 special interest initiatives. Arizona ballot initiatives provide an opportunity for regular citizens to participate in the democratic process . . . and it shows. The idea is so poorly conceived that it requires voters to vote yes or no on each issue, even opposing ones. So, yes, I’d like to ban smoking in restaurants. And yes, I’d like to allow smoking in restaurants. They are always (intentionally?) poorly worded, disenfranchising even the informed. But they do achieve their purpose. They allow all the regular multimillion dollar sleazeballs lobbies to participate equally in spreading rampant racism and homophobia (and generally corrupting the electoral process). I should have known this was a sign of things to come.

I received the early mail-in ballot only to discover a process even dumber than the proposition system itself. In order to select your candidate, you connect a broken arrow by drawing the line between the two points.

mail-in-ballot-picture

Cause they wanted to simplify the procedures, I guess. People had gotten too confused by circling the candidate of their choice or filling in bubbles. A side note: While the accompanying instructions clearly stated “Complete the ballot using no. 2 pencil or pen only. DO NOT USE RED INK,” the last page of the ballot itself read, “Use ink only.”

Swollen Summer

What’s it like living in the Arizona desert? Well, the first thing is the heat. Saying it’s hot is a bit like saying Bill Gates has money. True, but not nearly descriptive enough. The cliché is that it’s a dry heat. Yeah. So dry that water gets sucked out of the ground, leaving dissolved minerals known as caliche, an impenetrable layer, behind.

And so hot it’s like living on the surface of the sun. The first time I came to Phoenix was for a baseball game and it was 118°. Another time I burned my hand on my seat belt after getting in my car to leave the store. And the empty plastic Starbucks cup I left in my car’s cup holder? Melted.

But it’s not just the heat. It’s also the intensity of the sun. It’s sunny 295 days each year. I like to joke that people who don’t wear sunscreen every single day are turning themselves into human jerky. Or pleather.

It also makes it hard for me to tell what time of year it is. Flowers strained by the Death Star just bloomed a week or so ago. There’s no leaves crunching under my feet, and the morning’s “chill” simply means I gotta close my sunroof once in a while. It feels like an endless summer since I moved here, like someone forgot to tell Phoenix that it’s actually fall.