Prince Party

Last night, Erin and I went to Kate’s Prince-themed birthday party at Flicker Bar. I honestly can’t think of a better way to celebrate life– your own, Prince’s, or just generally– than dancing with Purple Rain projected on loop and a steady stream of glittery cocktails. This might be the only Prince party in history to serve southern biscuits and mac n cheese. It was perfect. The Kate/Klon crew are new friends who I don’t actually know well but everyone was very kind, fun and funny. Also, Carey came by late to witness my drunken clownishness. Erin hit the dance floor, sober as a priest, and didn’t stop start-to-finish. I danced too but terribly and after four cocktails (plus spilling a drink on my co-worker’s wife…). It was a near-perfect night. We stopped by Go Bar on the way home, capping the night off with ODB and a final Prince jam.

Arizona Road Trip Leftovers

Bits and bobs from our trip that didn’t quite “fit” anywhere else. 
Woohoo! It’s officially vacation time and we’re in the air!

Landing for our first desert sunset. In real life, the colors looked neon and electric.

We terror drove through the mountains in the darkneess. It was icy and, at one point, there was a boulder in the road. In the best circumstances, I’m a bad driver so I was driving white-knuckled about 20mph here. We arrived in Flagstaff super late and almost immediately crashed at our AirBnB.

It was a really cool AirBnB though! Decked out in ’60s/’70s decor and surrounded by snowy mountains. Sorry we only got to see it for a few minutes the next morning when we left early.

Loooong day of checking out Bedrock, walking the rim path of the Grand Canyon and swinging through Twin Arrows and Two Guns.

Another desert sunset. I couldn’t get enough!

Our cute AirBnB camper in Phoenix was in the back of an artist collective with studios, shops, a gallery, and a zine distro. Bonus tour guide: Abby the dog!

Nami was sooo delicious. I think this was a sort of vegetarian McGriddle but I really went nuts over their apple fritters. Yummmmm.

The trees in Phoenix bear some interesting fruit.

Met up with Ted and Susan at Ocotillo. I already posted about that but it was wonderful catching up with them. And this restaurant is lovely. The most beautiful salad I’ve ever eaten.

Dean: Another selfie? Me: Yep!

The Phoenix Art Museum has an incredible collection of contemporary art but our favorite, hands down, was Yayoi Kusama’s “You Who Are Getting Obliterated in the Dancing Swarm of Fireflies.” It was like stepping into a living fairy tale and we went through three times.

An abandoned high school designed to look like our solar system. A fitting sight to drive by before flying home. Arizona’s beautiful landscape– from Flagstaff’s mountains and forests, to the Canyon, to the desert and Phoenix, was very beautiful and alien to us.

Saguaro Wonderland

Right before flying home, Dean ‘n’ I fit in a quick hike through the McDowell Sonoran Conservancy in Scottsdale. It was a quiet, early morning. We saw a couple other people but, mostly, it was just the two of us and the saguaros. My friend, Richelle, shared these fun facts: Saguaros grow about a foot a decade their first 50 years, don’t produce arms until they’re about 100, and reach their full height when they’re around 200 years old. So cool! I have some insane looking notes from stories the mister and I cooked up about these cool, cartoon-y cacti. 

Photo opt with care!

Prickly embrace

Phoenicians and Athenians

Ted and I met as Seattlites working for Fantagraphics; we reunited as a Phoenician and an Athenian. I really miss hanging out with my old co-workers, especially the red house basement crew. Catching up with Ted and meeting Susan was the best! We loved hearing about their life out there. Here’s hoping me ‘n’ Dean can take a longer trip so we can go camping with them in the near-ish future!
Neat Nature facts learned from our Phoenician friends:
1. Scorpions glow under black light.
2. Roadrunners are real and they’re apparently viscious predators. Ted and Susan told us some birds come to his yard for the fruit; some birds come for the smaller birds!
3. Javelina roam the Phoenix area and root through trash like raccoons. You can smell them before seeing them.

When Dean and I first met (almost ten years ago now!), we talked about going to Australia and Japan and all over the globe. We’d still like to see those places but these days, we’re more into visiting friends and family. Our free time is limited and staying in touch feels more important. Luckily, the people we care about live in really cool areas! Visually, the southwest might be my favorite chunk of America. :)

Don Parks’ Yard of Awesome

Me: “Are we lost?”
drives around the corner
Dean: “I thiiiink we’re in the right place.”
This was our first stop in Phoenix and we saw the top of the Muffler Man before we saw his properties. We didn’t get to meet Don Parks but he is my Dream Neighbor. Just from the street, we were delighted by how much was jam-packed into two yards!

Twin Arrows and Two Guns

Two Guns had been “saved” on my Roadside Attractions app for a minute but I was totally sold on checking it out after seeing a post on the Dainty Squid blog. Friends had recommended Seligman and Holbrook too but we just couldn’t fit it all in this trip. Next time, Arizona! Until then, we’re happy to have seen a couple cool Route 66 relics.
Twin Arrows AZ
Twin Arrows AZ
Twin Arrows AZ
Two Guns AZ
Two Guns AZ
Two Guns AZ
Two Guns AZ
Two Guns AZ“Dean” by the pool!

The Grandest Canyon

Me ‘n’ Dean saw the south rim of the Grand Canyon after it’d been hit with a few days of snowfall. Neither of us had seen it before and my heart swelled up when we got to the ledge and looked out. The snow was dusted along the top layer like powdered sugar and the vastness made me feel like I was staring into eternity.grand canyon
grand canyon
grand canyon
grand canyon
grand canyon
grand canyon
grand canyon
grand canyonTiny snow couple. <3
grand canyonI don’t know when we’ll make it back but we will. We’d love to hike either down into the canyon or down to Havasupai Falls on a warmer day. :)

Arizona’s Land of the Lost: Bedrock City

I first heard about Flintstone’s Bedrock City a little over a year ago after reading an article that it was for sale. Believe me, if I had $2 million, I would buy this place and straight-up live there. You enter the park through a gift shop/diner (which, among other things, sells 5¢ coffee??) and, after wresting open a somewhat sticky door and navigating a small courtyard littered with broken beaks, find yourself in a bygone Oz from the ’70s. I may or may not have gasped out loud. Behold the glorious cement rainbow of my dreams!
Flintstones Bedrock City

“Hello? Hanna-Barbera? Yeah, I just wanted to call and thank you for inspiring heaven-on-earth.”Flintstones Bedrock City

Flintstones Bedrock City

***Dream Home***Flintstones Bedrock City

Flintstones Bedrock City

Flintstones Bedrock City

Betty Rubble has a great eye for interior design!Flintstones Bedrock City

Broken BeaksFlintstones Bedrock City

How hard would it be to knock down the shed in our backyard and build this in its place…Flintstones Bedrock City

Pretty sure this ride has been down for awhileFlintstones Bedrock City

You can barely see Dean sneaking into the beauty shop side. We’re all about unisex facilities over here. ;)Flintstones Bedrock City

Flintstones Bedrock City

Flintstones Bedrock City

That crow! Top of his class.Flintstones Bedrock City

Flintstones Bedrock City

Flintstones Bedrock City

Flintstones Bedrock City

Flintstones Bedrock City

Not pictured: my arms through the jail bars, like I’m Ol’ Dirty Blocks in the “Gravel Pit”Flintstones Bedrock City

Good lord, this guy is terrifying though. Do NOT get arrested in this town. Flintstones Bedrock City

I don’t like snakes… unless they’re giant, spiky and psychedelic. (Wish this was in our backyard too!)Flintstones Bedrock City
Ach, Bedrock City. I hope you last forever!

TMI: Body Woes

For the past 10 months, my health has been kinda funny. Tick bites that have been openly weeping since last spring/summer, random hive breakouts, abnormal lady stuff, migraines, a small chunk of sunken skin… My regular BANP (Badass Nurse Practitioner) has been cool, as have the dermatologist, allergist, ER doc, and urgent care doc. Quite a few inconclusive tests, antibiotics, and steroids in there! There was a 10-day stretch over the summer where I blew up in hives forehead-to-toes and Dean said it looked like I’d swam through lasagna. He took me to the ER where I fainted after bullishly refusing an IV. Other than that, I’ve never really felt debilitated by any of this. Mostly, it’s just been a constant bummer. I’m sleeping more than I used to (which admittedly was zero sleep) and I feel like I’m falling behind in… everything.

I wanted to document this and I also wanted to give myself a pep talk. I hate sleeping but I’m still able-bodied; I have health insurance through mah man (pricey but worth it!); great healthcare providers; supportive friends; The World’s Greatest Husband. I’m thankful for all the unexpected support too: a gal I went to high school with messaged me on Facebook with information on charity assistance for hospital bills; my library lady gave me epi-pens when I couldn’t afford them. These kindnessess mean so much and I’m lucky to have a bunch of resources. And maybe my body needs the insane amount of rest?? Who knows. I’m eating healthier and taking on more fun, casual projects with friends. I’m reminding myself that most unpleasant things do not last. Last week, the BANP punched a tiny hole in my thigh, stitched it up and joked, “Maybe this’ll solve everything!” Hawhaw, I broke out in hives later that night but ya gotta stay hopeful! Also last week, a friend told me she’d endured five years of awful hives that inexplicably stopped one day. Crazy! Life is a gross mystery but considering all the serious shit other people deal with, I can totally persevere through this.

Dean and I are off on our desert road trip soon. We’re scaling our plans down a little (namely, less hiking) but this will still be amazing. Can’t wait to see my friend Ted for the first time in years and explore beautiful Arizona!

Inauguration Weekend

♥︎Resist: Thank you Desert Island, Françoise Mouly, the artists, and the cool people/places that distrubted this. Jessica was able to get a copy at Avid Bookshop before they were all snapped up and reading it brightened a bleak day. Mooost of the comics are by women; all are choice.
♥︎Athens Day of Resistance: Good vibes, great signs, spirits lifted!
♥︎The Buddy System vs They Live: Proceeds benefited the Magnolia Fund for local abortion access. Heck yes!
♥︎The Women’s Marches have been the largest demonstration in US history and I believe there’ll be a lot of follow-through. Even introvert weirdos like myself can call/write senators.

Before moving to Georgia, I didn’t have a single conservative friend. Now I have a few– and they’re great people– but it’s a painful and confusing thing to disagree with someone so deeply. Just a few years ago, I was voting for Kshama Sawant in a city that recycled food scraps and went all out for Pride; now it’s like, damn– most of this country is wack. Haha! Living in the south makes me appreciate the support and compassion in this town all the more. I love you, Athens!