Thursday, July 21, 2011

the neighbors

Can I just take a moment and be petty? Thanks.

Our neighbors.  They didn't make a great first impression.  The first day we were here I noticed that everyone in their house from the 13 year old on up is a chain smoker.  (The 6 and 4 year olds may as well be with all those smokers around.)

The man of the house introduced himself as "John Doe, nice to meet you.  Just moving the wife out myself today, to an apartment. So are you on your own here as well?" Er, no... husband's around here somewhere, thank goodness.

The smoking doesn't affect me much (except when it wafts over to my clothesline, leaving everything with a fresh spring Marlboro scent):  it's the TAWLKING!  At all hours!  Out on the back patio, which is approximately 3 feet away from our house (gotta love the suburbs). 6:00 am?  Yes, they're back there enjoying the morning air (the husband and the wife both--maybe the apartment thing didn't work out after all). 11:30 pm?  Well, perfect time to toss back some beers and laugh LOUDLY and not put the children to bed.
We are blessed to hear every detail of their conversations--I now know exactly which middle manager at John's workplace is a ****head, information which is delivered in the worst nasal intonation possible.
 The beautiful part of it is that their dogs have no bedtime and no time inside the house.  They are free to bark 24/7.

Now I've been petty on the internet.  I'll have to post a lovely craft next time to make up for it.

Saturday, July 09, 2011

Arizona primer

We're heeeeere! In Arizona!

... we've actually been here for 7 weeks, so maybe it's too late for exclamation points and everything.

So an incomplete primer for you on living in the desert.  Bulleted for your enjoyment.

  • It is actually sunny 99% of the time. FOR REAL.  (Here I add the disclaimer and acknowledgement that, yes, I grew up here.  But haven't lived here for any real length of time since 1990.  So it's all so fresh and new!)  No gray skies yet!  I wake up every morning to a clear, crazy-blue sky.  It's so bright!  I greet the morning with optimism and verve!  And by 1:00 pm I'm a little sick of the sun.  It's 106* outside, the kids are on hour 2 of xbox, surrounded by the detritus of several trips to the kitchen --Otter Pop wrappers, spoons with traces of Nutella on them, abandoned bowls of Cool Whip (!)--and I'm googling "free indoor playgrounds NOT chuck e. cheese's."
  • Everyone's thirsty all the time.  I have never, NEVER, seen so many Circle K stores in my life.  Every .5 miles, no joke.  Not to mention the occasional QT store, which has Sonic-style ice AND fantastic chocolate flavoring to add to your Coke Zero.  They also sell hot mac n' cheese for the kiddies.  It's like a crack house.  dh once went back for FOUR refills in one day.  (We are aware that the man needs help.)  At first I wondered, "Why all the convenience stores?"  Why not just keep water in your car?"  The answer to that is that the water in your car is also 106*. 
  • We are thirsty and occasionally bored but trying so very hard to get along so we can do things like go see "Cats and Dogs 2: The Revenge of Kitty Galore" with contraband Walgreen's candy from Mom's purse.  Sometimes we need a reminder:

  • When "Kitty Galore" is over and chores are done and xbox time exhausted and I'm saving the pool for very last I might attempt something crazy like try to teach the boys some Chinese.  We don't have a whiteboard...

  • We also don't have any grass at all.  We miss our giant deck and grass in Michigan, not to mention a high of 85*.  Not to mention tons of friends and cousins.  
  • We do have lots of family not too far away (hallelujah!).  We got to see them all a few weeks ago and it was glorious! 
I think I've sort of abandoned the primer idea so no need for bullets.  There's just one more thing.  A lovely, wonderful book to recommend.  Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri.  I've read (and adored) her other books and this one is beautifully written like the others, full of detail and real emotion.