Tuesday, July 31, 2007


Well, we're here. We have officially moved to San Diego, after fourteen years in Arizona. I had some very good experiences in Arizona - earned my Ph.D., met good people, ate great food, had a wonderful job, reveled in Flagstaff. But in all that time, I never considered myself to be an Arizonan. Born and raised in California, I've always considered myself a Californian. My time in Arizona had a "Californian living abroad" sort of vibe. But now I'm back, even though it's only Southern California (says the Northern California girl). Now I'll be able to argue both national and state politics with the family. Speaking of which, I leave the state for awhile, and people voted in Arnold Schwarzenegger as governor. I'll never forgive them!

Monday, July 30, 2007

West Coast Offense

The battle to move to the West Coast is ongoing. The move isn't going as smoothly as we'd hoped, but it's going. I guess most moves go this way... it's just been a long time since I'd made the attempt, and the game-plan has been disrupted.

I can think of few people who brought more high points to my youth than Bill Walsh. I remember "The Catch" and beating the Cowboys in the playoffs. I remember the defeat of the Dolphins (ha ha ha!) in the Super Bowl. I remember almost missing dinner in the dorms while watching the last of his Super Bowl victories in 1989. His influence on the NFL was immense, from the West Coast Offense to the advocation of the recruitment of minority coaches. He'll be missed.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Things I WILL miss about Phoenix - #4 & #5

Greg and I, as well as friends Bob and Laura, went to see Rush in concert last night. Rush is always a wonderful band to see live - incredibly tight, fun performance. Before the concert, we all met up at Four Peaks. Even though I'm not a beer drinker, this brew pub is one of the best places on the planet, in my opinion. Great food, great atmosphere, friendly folks - the vibe is always so comfortable and festive. I've been to many brew pubs in many places, and apparently there are many to explore in San Diego, but Four Peaks will be difficult to replace.

Another haunt that I will miss and will find hard to replace is Carlsbad Tavern. It was where we celebrated my Ph.D. with family, the first restaurant we went to after 9/11, the place where I get to watch Aaron eat habanero burgers. We went there last week, and I ordered a plate of blue corn enchiladas with black beans and rice... a plate of Southwestern love.

I think you can guess my dining choices on any return trips to the Phoenix area. ;)

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Things I WILL miss about Phoenix - #3

Today we crossed the desert without incident and ended up in San Diego, where tomorrow we'll pick up the keys to our new apartment in preparation for the big move this weekend. I still can't believe the move is upon us. The summer is going by so fast!

As much as I look forward to living near the sea, I will miss our Tempe neighborhood. We have a great apartment (at least when it's clean). I can walk (but not during June-August) to the bank, gym, Starbucks, my massage therapist, and Whole Foods. We're in a little blue island in a sea of red. I have a seven minute commute to work. However, it does seem like we're leaving at the right time. The Whole Foods will be moving a few miles away. A Super WalMart will be moving in about a mile away (over the dead bodies of many of the residents, I'm sure). And many of our baristas have left in the past few months - Katie, to do humanitarian work in Africa, and Ricky, of the perfect hot chocolate, to devote more time to school. Things are changing, and our departure will be part of that change.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Don't Bother Me, I'm Reading.

We went to get ice cream tonight and enjoyed it while walking around a strip mall with a good independent bookstore. We decided to peek in at the Harry Potter festivities. With over three hours to go and before the official start of the party, the place was already a zoo. Muggles, witches, and wizards will wandering about. As many, if not more, adults than kids were in costume, including a brilliant Mad Eye Moody.

Finally ended up in line with over 500 other people at a different bookstore. Mostly adults, with a significant number being women with their long-suffering men in tow. (Thanks, dude!) Many were making purchases in addition to HP, including one man ahead of me buying an anthology that Greg is in. Yay! And now, after a two-hour odyssey in which I met former students and colleagues, I am home with my book. Time to read! Sleep is for the weak!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

A Solemn Vow

I will clean my new office more often than my old office. I will not let several semesters' worth of recycling pile up. I will be better about tidying up and organizing my paperwork. I will shred old student papers in a timely fashion. This, I vow.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Things I WILL miss about Phoenix - #2

I've been having problems with my neck since Spring 2003. It's much better than it used to be, in large part because I've been seeing a wonderful massage therapist once every few months. Oh, how I shall miss her! For example, last night she was so worried about the state of my neck that the hour-long massage turned into two hours, and I'm SO much better. Just a sweet, kind woman, incredibly attuned... I wish I could pack her up and take her to San Diego with me. If any of you are ever in the Phoenix area and want a great therapeutic massage, let me know and I'll give you her contact information. I know that I have one more scheduled before I leave, and I'll keep her number for the next time I'm in town.


I'm at one of my offices, sorting through old student papers. I can recycle everything but pages marked with names & grades...those I have to set aside to shred. Thus, this process takes awhile, but it's fun to come across old students. I remember most of them fondly, can even see where they sat in class, hear their voices... I found this comment on an end-of-semester exercise:

Have you always been this entertaining of a teacher or has the witty sarcasm and amazing energy come to you with time?

Oh, that's a keeper. :)

Sunday, July 15, 2007


I'm not sure what day it is anymore. Between the epic road-trip and the quick trips to San Diego and not having to be at work, I feel disconnected from time. Perhaps that explains how I ended up with two, if not three, meetings tomorrow...at three different locations! At least they're all in Arizona... I'm not that confused yet. Trust me, the heat reminds me where I am. :)

The dotted lines have been signed on all the new job-related paperwork and on the new lease, so this move will be happening in two weeks. Wow. I can't let that date slip away like all the other days. Well, I also have to keep July 21 in mind, too - Harry Potter! Better get packing, so I have that day to read!

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Things I WILL Miss About Phoenix - #1

When it's almost 110 degrees again, it's easy to come up with things I won't miss about Phoenix - the relentless heat, the feeling of being trapped inside one's domicile for about 3 months out of the year, the increasing urban sprawl... However, as the move to San Diego grows ever closer, I can also think of many things I will miss about this area. For example, I will miss Harkins Theatres, a family-owned movie house chain that's been in operation since 1933. From seeing the Fugitive during our first week in town to camping out for Episode I to seeing Transformers just today on a truly large screen with a great sound system (to perfectly complement such a fun summer movie), Harkins has been an important part of our lives here. Dan Harkins, a true movie geek who makes sure all the important indie films and documentaries get into his theaters, has expanded the chain to outside of Arizona recently, with a few in the Riverside area of California and I wish him well. If he ever decides to move into the San Diego area, we'll spend our movie dollars there gladly.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Definitely Summer

The beginning of the week was quite productive, with finding an apartment in San Diego and dealing with some of the paperwork for the new job. Hopefully the rest of the week will see packing and cleaning and more progress towards the move. But before dealing with that, we had a lovely Fourth of July - banana walnut pancakes, Live Free or Die Hard, buffalo burgers courtesy of Greg, and a hot fudge sundae. Just a glorious summer day. That is, after Greg made me drink water and supplied me with cold compresses because it was 116 degrees today! In all our years here, I never acclimated to the summers, and don't dare say "at least it's a dry heat" to me. San Diego is sounding better and better. ;)