Saturday, June 30, 2007

vacation highlights (part one- arizona)

according to blogger, this is my 600th post. i should probably check to make sure unfinished drafts aren't included in the count, but i'm not really that picky, so i suppose we'll just have to go ahead and consider the count official. (had i kept up my original one-a-day pace, i would've it the milestone a while back, but somewhere along the line i decided to spend a little less time on the computer and a little more time in the "real" world.)

no pressure to make this a decent post or anything, of course.

vacation highlight number one: adventuring in arizona

since i'd spent a ridiculous amount on tickets to see the police in arizona (and have since spent an even more ridiculous amount to see them in atlanta in november), SO and i flew out to phoenix to make a weekend of it. on sunday the 17th, our friends (and constant adventure guides) scott and karen took us hiking at west clear creek in central arizona. it was my first hike with crawdads, as well as my most injury-filled hike to date. (you should see the bruise on my knee- at one point, i seriously wondered where my kneecap had gone. (for details, scroll down a couple of posts. however, you need go no further for visual aids....))

the descent into the canyon- pretty steep, but i managed not to injure myself just yet.

one of about 35 stream crossings along the hike

the view just about mid-hike. (no real injuries yet, though i think i'd unintentionally landed in the creek at least twice.)

fun fact: crayfish/crawdads/whatever you call these crustaceans swim backwards. (i didn't know!)

fortunately, everyone in our party survived.

vacation highlight number two: doing my part to end ignorance

while in arizona, i decided to buck tradition and make my haircuts a semi-annual (instead of annual) affair. SO and i wound up with a day to bum around and run errands (not enough time to drive to petrified forest or saguaro national park and make it back to phoenix before the police concert), so we headed off to the nearest mall in search of a reasonably-priced haircut, preferably by a stylist who didn't have really bizarre ideas of their own, like "let's take off all but three inches".

what an experience, i must say.

there were two employees present at the salon i chose. we were informed that there would be a shift change in half an hour, and while the first stylist wandered off to ask the second stylist if she'd cut my hair, i wondered if they'd actually ask me to wait until the shift change to get my trim.

apparently, the first stylist had someplace to be right after her shift ended or something, because the second girl came back to the front desk and said, "well, i guess i can do it for you."

gee- how big of you, in seeing as how cutting hair is theoretically what you do for a living, and tips are usually involved. (i tend to go for relatively chap haircuts- i don't like spending more than $30 before tip- and then i usually tip about 30% if the stylist does a good job.)

during the 45 minutes it took to wash and cut my hair, i was given several opportunities to enlighten my twentysomething (if that) stylist:

~"what is "top 40" music?"

~(when told the reason for my visit- the police concert):
"that's that old band, right?"

~(when told where i was heading the next day):
"national park"
(minute passes, during which i think the conversation has officially ended)
"and where is that, exactly?"
thinking: "it's two states away. you sure don't get out much, do you?"
but instead, i say, "it's up in northwest wyoming"

(yes, you should admire my self-control.)

vacation highlight number three: reunited (and it feels so good)

while supporting my favorite local independent bookstore, which i'd initially wandered into to purchase multiple (6? 7?) copies of laurie notaro's latest book to have signed during her visit while i'd be in the middle of wyoming, i found a long-lost book, near and dear to my heart. when i was younger (think 20 years or so ago), i checked how to eat like a child by delia ephron on a regular basis.

i was doing my usual "this'll only take a minute and by a minute, i mean it'll be about an hour and a half" browsing thing, and lo and behold, they had not one, but two copies of the book that introduced me to my favorite expression of distaste ("vomitrotious").

i was so excited about this discovery that i actually squeaked....then i grabbed both copies and ran......(to the checkout, of course.)

vacation highlight number four: enjoying a ridiculously-priced concert*

despite the not-quite-sober ladies sitting directly behind us who would not shut up about how great the band was, how they were playing their favorite song (i guess they were all favorites, since that part of the conversation stretched across several songs), how much they loved sting, what a great concert it was blah blah blah for the entire first three songs,

despite the near-brawl going on across the aisle (i still have no clue what all that was about, aside from an "asshole" and a "dickhead"),

and despite the guy next to me (not SO, of course), who "woo-hoo"ed at weird times, supported stuart copeland on air-drums, sang every third word (but he did it with feeling, dammit!), and constantly invaded my airspace with his weird, wide-armed clapping style,

i really enjoyed the sold-out police concert.

(so much so, in fact, that i blew over twice as much on tickets for their atlanta show in november)

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