Friday, November 23, 2012

Forrest and I drove north to Flagstaff.

On the road.

The trip is much nicer when someone else is in the car. We arrived at Evan and Philip's house and headed immediately to Burrito Fiesta for supper. I enjoyed the vegetarian burrito, enchilada style.

We went to the post office to see whether Evan had mail.

Playing post office.

At the Zane Grey bar the waitress told us that hipster PBR was on sale. I had a gin and tonic instead.

Forrest had a beer.

The next day, we went on a hike. But we stopped at Safeway first in an unsuccessful attempt to find a copy of the New York Times, which had an article on the Mission Gardens near my house.

Thanksgiving turkeys.

We drove to Wupatki and started walking toward O'Leary Lookout. 

Scenic scenes.

The types of conifers change as you go from the 6,900 elevation to the 8,900 elevation.

Pine cone.

Mountain goat Forrest was ahead of us. I was getting more and more tired and hungry. Evan and I had a granola bar. Finally I sat on a rock and told Evan I needed to rest and begged him to continue on.

I am so tired.

After a while, I plodded along, taking tiny steps and occasionally stopping to catch my breath. Forrest later told me that Evan was watching from up above to make sure I was alright.

Eventually I neared the fire lookout. The last stretch used World War II-era portable aircraft runway strips for the driveway.

I lay down for a while to rest.

Evan was excited to see me at the top.

8,916 ft.

You could see forever, but my camera really doesn't pick up all the details.

To the northeast, I think.

Forrest said it was an awesome hike. I was glad I made it to the top.

Forrest on top.

Evan also had a good time, maybe we will have to do this some more.


I took artistic photos.

Reflection of the fire lookout.

We headed back and I have to say, it felt like forever before we got back to the car.

My crew.

After we arrived home, I made Thanksgiving dinner. Macaroni and cheese, garlic mashed potatoes, vegetarian stuffing, and orange-cranberry-walnut dressing. Later, Forrest and Evan made a chocolate pudding pie.


I woke up and went and sat on the couch until Forrest woke up. He was sleep talking about cats.

Sleepy head.

We went to C. & L. Ranch Store and I bought presents for Milo and Nathan. Our attempts at other shopping failed- I was surprised how many stores in Flagstaff were closed.

At 11:00 Forrest and I climbed into the trusty Ford Focus and headed south. We talked and talked and we arrived in Tucson early, so we went to BK's for lunch. Then I dropped him off at the airport and said goodbyes. Maybe someday soon he and Travis will be here permanently.

Monday, November 19, 2012

So I am a racist. Because I am "white." Not because of any attitude towards people of other skin tones or ethnic background. Solely because of my northern European ancestry.

Backing up for a moment. An acquaintance, a former blogger, who was a friend on Facebook posted a photograph of two men lynching a University of Arizona mascot. The knot work of the noose was very detailed. These young men are in a crowd and have smiles on their faces. They too are apparently "white."

During our recent Presidential election, there were several instances in which people hung effigies of Obama or empty chairs from nooses. Everyone agreed these were in poor taste and probably racist. The United States has a long history of lynching ethnic minorities. I left a comment expressing my opinion of the photograph, using the word "disgusting." I note that if you examine photographs of the University of Arizona football team, you will notice that many are African American. I wondered how them team members would feel seeing the lynched effigy.

He really didn't like this. I learned then that I was a racist oppressor. He said, "Yes, we brown people object to your culturally imperialist notion that everything needs to be interperted through the lens of the Civil War and black-white relations. Stop oppressing me." Some other stuff was said, all of which was nasty. Some of which was revised when he realized that it was so nasty.

Well you know what, that's when I unfriended him. Despite what he thinks, I am not a racist. I judge people based upon  their actions and words, not on whatever tone their skin is or where in the word their ancestors came from. Telling me I am racist because of my skin color, who is the racist? I don't need Facebook "friends" like that.

Forrest arrived safely at the airport and we returned to my abode, where my mother was excited to see him. We then left her behind and drove to Rosa's for lunch.

Forrest has a beef taco and green chili.

His sunglasses were deceased so we went to a nearby Walgreens and tried on glasses.


I made him try on an Elton John-ish pair, as I am required by law.

Elton Forrest. 

We stopped at Starbucks so he could purchase a coffee beverage and then drove through the desert to the trail to Wasson Peak.

Sonoran Desert.

Once back in 2007 we hiked this trail, and I kept inventing memories of particular places. We never, however, went all the way to the top, which reaches 4,672 ft above sea level.

Getting ready to go.

The lower portion of the trail is flat, winding through the cactus-filled desert. Off in the distance are some peaks and Forrest helpfully pointed out that we were heading that way. I wondered to myself, "What is the Atheist God's world did I get myself into?"

Wasson Peak is actually behind the giant rock.

It was in the mid-70s and I removed my shirt as it was getting all sweaty. My Amish hat kept the balding portion of my anatomy from reddening.

See, not so bad!

I am out-of-shape, compared to Forrest, who is half mountain goat. Many of the self portraits I took along the trail looked exactly like this:

Will I have a heart attack now, or in the next ten minutes?

We passed around the enormous rock outcrop and then saw Wasson Peak, named after a 19th century surveyor, John Wasson. I told Forrest to mountain goat walk ahead of me.

He is scampering here.

As I tromped up towards the summit, he looked like Jesus.

Forrest Christ.

We hung out for a while at the top. I could check my emails and do other internet activities, which seemed rather wrong.

We took many pictures.

The sun was starting to set as we headed down, my tennis shoes slipping eight times on the gravel-covered path. I retained my balance and did not fall onto my behind.

Cotton candy clouds.

The overall trail is 7.8 miles and my legs felt awkward afterward, but this morning they feel alright.


At home I made tostadas and we looked at photos and it was overall an enjoyable day.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Saturday morning and clothes are in the washing machine. Mummy is stumbling around, she hasn't made her coffee yet. The sound of the hot water spattering on the coffee filter produces a Pavlovian reaction- she totters immediately towards the bathroom.

Forrest is coming to town tomorrow. On Wednesday we go up to Flagstaff and he and Evan will play music while I cook Thanksgiving foodstuffs. I asked my mother if she was alright to have a delayed Thanksgiving and she said yes, it isn't one of our favorite holidays anyways. Buddy has some toys to play with and for an old dog he acts like a puppy at times. He is so excited to see me in the morning and when I come home from work. Too bad he makes me itch so badly.

Hugs and sloppy kisses.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

I'm still smiling every time I think about the election. I'll admit I was kind of worried, but at the same time I was feeling very confident, thanks to Nate Silver's level-headed statistical analyses of the polls. So on Tuesday night I opened a bottle of red wine left over from the All Souls Procession and started sipping a glass. I turned the telly on to PBS and I will state that they managed to make the election dull. So dull.

2012 ballot

 Around nine o'clock or so they called Iowa and then all that was needed was Ohio. I was getting tipsy. When Ohio was called I ran to the telly and watched the glum faces of the Romney folks and the elated faces of Obama's people in Chicago. Okay, I'll admit to sobbing in relief when I heard Obama was re-elected. More wine. Marriage equality in Maryland and Maine. By the next day it was obvious that the amendment failed in Minnesota and equality was achieved in Washington. Maggie Gallagher and Brian Brown are failures. Their lives are fucking wasted. All those years and what will they have achieved? Fucking nothing. And with Obama getting the next one or two Supremes, fuck yeah! Reading the bleating of the Republican talking heads is remarkable. They still don't get it. Maggie Gallagher thinks the Republicans should be even more anti-gay. Tell that to my mother, who voted straight Democratic for the first time in her life. So yes, I am still smiling four days later.

Tuesday, November 06, 2012


Monday, November 05, 2012

Evan came down from Flagstaff and we made cookies for All Souls Day.

Anatomically correct.

I set up an altar in the dining room, pictures of a friend and family, heirlooms, some pottery.


I made a quiche, macaroni and cheese, potato salad, onion sour cream dip, and Evan made hummous. He helped me make a cemetery cake, with toy soldiers interred in each grave.

Cemetery cake.

The guests arrived. Buddy was very charming, visiting with everyone.

Jane and Buddy.

Erik and Robert arrived from Arkansas, Geoffrey from Phoenix. Some of us applied our makeup and put our costumes on.

Mary, Homer, Evan, and Erik.

At 5 PM, we left the house and walked downtown. Some people wandered off, and a handful of us ended up in front of the new courthouse, standing upon one of the few portions of the National Cemetery that was not excavated a few years ago.

Richard, Evan, Erik, and Michael.

I asked Erik if they had anything like this in Arkansas. He said no.


The procession walked by. The costumes were awesome. Unfortunately, my camera was not cooperating.


A few bands came by. It was crazy how many people were there this year- they were guessing that it was going to be 30,000.

129 days 'til St. Patrick's Day.

We skipped the finale, too many folks and I was worn out from a long day. In the bathroom I scrubbed the makeup off in the shower.

I am worn out.

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Out of the corner of my eye I see movement and I turned to my office window and there was a bobcat walking down the dirt driveway south of the office. I called out to Patti and Sarah and we watched it out the window until it walked into some bushes.
Bobcat strolling.

I went outside and climbed over the fence and saw that it was hunkered down next to a small tree, hiding in the grass. I climbed back over the fence and convinced Jenny and Stephanie to follow me. "Come on Jenny, you can climb over the fence!" I've known Jenny since 1988, when we were in grad school at ASU together.

Watching us.

I'll have to ask Stephanie if that was the first time she got to see a bobcat in the wild. This one was big, a different one than I have seen before, which limps.

At home tonight I am rearranging the house for All Soul's Day and company and getting horribly dusty. Tomorrow I am taking Buddy on a test drive in my car to see how he reacts. Sometime soon he is going to go get fixed and shots.

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