Heat

 

H is for Heat

I live in the Valley of the Sun–aka Phoenix, Arizona. Heat is our first middle name. Our second middle name is Wonderful Winters.

Today was our second day in the high 90s. Mother Nature blew by the low 90s and gave us 97 degrees. A friendly reminder of what is ahead for us. Sweat and high electric bills.

Summer. Triple digits. Triple yuck.

At least I don’t have to shovel heat. I don’t slip and fall on it. It doesn’t take up room in parking lots when we get a lot of it or make ruts in the roads because it wasn’t plowed correctly.

The sun will soon be the enemy, relentless, mean, blinding. Already I can’t be directly in sunlight for too long, pasty white girl that I am.

We talk about heat, complain and joke about it. Endure it. Survive it. We wonder at the start of summer how hot it will get and for how long. We pray for days that are not hotter than average. I don’t think “average” has been recalculated for quite a few years because it’s almost always hotter than average. it’s rarely cooler or colder than average around here.

Here’s a post from a few years ago chock full of hot Arizona memes. https://tamunroe.com/2015/06/22/its-a-dry-heat/

Laugh. Enjoy. Shake your heads and ask “Why?”

If you live here, remember it’s not too early to put those oven mitts in your car.

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Arizona

Image

AtoZ2019A Welcome to day 1 of my Blogging A-Z 2019 event. This is the first year for me. Many posts will be short because I have other things to do. As, my Dear Readers, do you.

Among possible topics beginning with A, I considered: assholes (the jerky person, not the anatomical one), anger, angels, aardvarks,  and April (my birthday month!). I decided to go with Arizona, my state of residence to show off things here I haven’t experienced in the three other states I lived in: Pennsylvania, Maine, and Vermont.

Arizona has:

Prickly Plants

Pictured are a very small sample. Every plant around here wants to hurt you. You don’t even have to touch some of them.

Saguaro cactus (pronounce sa-waro. If you pronounce the G we’ll laugh at you.)
Prickly Pear
Teddy Bear Cholla. Pronounced choy-a. The name is a lie. Don’t hug it!

Glorious Skies a

at my house
Near Tucson
Near Prescott

Chino Banditos!

Meixcan/Chinese/Jamaican fusion served in a funky location–an older strip mall in Phoenix. They have a newer one too but I’ve never been there.

Fake Lakes

Lake Pleasant. Man-made lake with a super cheesy name.
Maricopa “Lake” in my town is more like a pond. Complete with turtle!

Big-ass margaritas!

At a place in Tucson. The name escapes me. 2 for 1 on certain nights! Great Mexican food, too.

This chocolate cake!

Chocolate sauerkraut cake. Yes, you read that correctly. From Haus Murphy, a German restaurant in Glendale.

So, some of my favorite Arizona things. Thanks for stopping by. Come back soon!

P.S. All of the photos except the chocolate sauerkraut cake are mine. And I’m not a great photographer, so…

Play Ball With Your Enemies or Baseball Rivalries I Have Known

A Facebook writer friend who lives in Israel posted that someone gave her an MLB something for her birthday and now she can watch the Dodgers. She used to live in Los Angeles.

That reminded me of the baseball rivalries of my life. I touch upon this topic in Another Place on the Planet.

   “I wonder,” I (Lily) said absently as we walked past Chase Field on Jefferson Street, “if the Diamondbacks open the season at home this year.”

     “You like baseball?” he (Charlie) asked with the first smile I’d seen in a while.

     “I do. I’ve been hoping to meet someone to go to games with.”

     “If I go to some games here with you, you’ll have to go to Dodgers games with me in L.A.,” he said.

    “Yikes!” I cried with mock—mostly—fear. “Going to L.A. to see the Dodgers? That might be a little more trauma than you’re worth.”

    “What do you have against the Dodgers?” he asked, his step lightening a little.

     “Everything. It’s a Phoenix thing. Like hating the Yankees is a Boston thing.”

     “A beautiful woman who loves baseball and understands its rivalries. I’m in heaven.” He kissed my cheek as we waited for the light to change. His mood seemed to lift a bit. Mine did.

Dbacks General Manager Kevin Towers. He probably never said this, but probably wanted too.

Dbacks General Manager Kevin Towers. He probably never said this, but probably wanted too. I know I’ve wanted to hit Puig in the face. At least.

I grew up in eastern Pennsylvania watching baseball with my Dad. The Phillies. Occasionally the Mets. I tried football but didn’t understand it very well. Baseball I could keep track of. A few season, I sent away for theyear book. Once when the star pitcher at the time, Steve Carlton, was having a bad season, I sent him a letter of encouragement and was awarded an autographed photo for my effort. I think I still have it. I also drew a poster of various players copied from photos in the yearbook. Guys in white and red uniforms on a blue background. Guess I was a baseball geek at the time.

This is the photo I received that was autographed by Carlton. It would take all day to find the actual photo. longer if I don't have it any more

This is the photo I received that was autographed by Carlton. It would take all day to find the actual photo. longer if I don’t have it any more

2506_philadelphia_phillies-jersey-1973

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When we moved to Maine in 1975 for my dad’s midlife crisis (there really is something to be said about getting a sports car your family won’t fit in as opposed to forcing them all to move to another state and subculture, dads) we became Red Sox fans and I learned about rivalries in baseball. That the Red Sox Nation (although it wasn’t called that at the time because TV was harder back then) detested anything to do with the New York Yankees. That’s just how it is. If you’re a Yankees fan in New England you had better be tough. We all know how much fun it is to hate a rival, even though we know if our location was New York, we’d hate the Boston Red Sox.

i love to hate the yankees

don't be a dick

 

 

 

 

 

In Maine and I met and fell in love with my native New England husband and appreciated the Red Sox even more. (He was actually scouted by several major league teams in high school, but a book-adapted-into-a-movie worthy car accident ended his baseball career when he was a senior.) We even got to a few games at venerated Fenway in Boston.(I saw the Yaz hit one of his last homeruns.)

fenway-park

He quickly adopted the Phillies when we move to Pennsylvania. The Phillies rivalry with the Braves was in full swing, made worse by the fact the Braves almost always tromped the Phightin’ Phils.

After 20 years, we ended up in the Phoenix area with the Diamondbacks and marveled at how easy it is to get to games in downtown Phoenix at Chase Field as opposed to the nightmare of Philadelphia.

The Dbacks have only been around since the late 1990s and the state of Arizona still has Dodger holdover fans from when there wasn’t a major league team here. Plus the thug element sides with the Dodgers because they’re a bunch of thugs anyway. This was perfectly illustrated when, after winning pennant in a postseason game, the LA thugs desecrated the pool at Chase Field by jumping the outfield fence and rollicking in it, cleats and all. Every Dback fan there ever was was supremely insulted by that deliberate action of disrespect, as was the intention.

Lord, help me forgive.

Lord, help me forgive.

But sometimes, you have to put the rivalries aside. Our lovely daughter fell in love with a Yankees fan (and a New York Giants fan which is hard to ignore when you grew up in Eagles territory.) This was something we had to work through. She was with us (albeit in my belly) when we witnessed Yaz and his homerun at Fenway. But we decided to love him anyway, for the sake of our daughter. As far as we can tell, being a New York fan is his only fault. But he grew up there, so you can’t blame him too much. If he grew up in New England and was a Yankees fan, that would be a completely different story. We might have had to disown our daughter.

Not really. We’re not hardcore. It’s just fun. When you finally realize it’s only a game and your life won’t change one iota if your team wins or loses, even the World Series. (I’m talking about you, 1986 Red Sox) you can let go of the red-hot-gut-churning-soul-consuming anger of being defeated by the entity you hate more than ever hated anything in the history of your existence (and oh, how we know that agony, given the histories of these teams) and move on and live a normal life.

A Poem A Day #5 85…90…95

85…90…95…

The snowbirds are roasting on the golfcourses

Featherless turkeys in the Sonoran sun

As cactus bloom from the precipitation

Of winter that wasn’t snow

With temperatures not 20 below.

 

The year rounders are waiting impatiently

Put upon hosts of unwelcome guests to

Pack their slow ass American gas guzzlers

And head back to Michigan

Wisconsin Minnesota Montana

And get the hell off our roads

And out of our spots in the parking lots

And our seats in the restaurants.

 

Bye-bye. See you never.

Sigh. Make that October

A Poem a Day #4 In the Wee Hours of Easter Morn

In the wee hours of Easter morn

The Moravian Trumpet Choir roved the town

Playing the horn

The trombone

The tuba

Christ the Lord is Risen Today Aaaa-aa-lay-lu-u-ya.

As welcome as the hyacinths and crocuses

And tulips and daffodils in my garden.

The desert has none of that.

Only the sun and the blue sky,

Almost as sure as

My risen savior.

How Arizona Votes

Please excuse the formatting. WordPress and I have not reached a complete understanding of each other.

For most of my voting life, which was in Pennsylvania, I used the lever machine. I’d walk into a booth, pull a lever to close a curtain to keep your voting secret. Then, on a large ballot board, I’s press levers associated with the votes I wished to cast. My last presidential election there in 2004, voting in some places had elevated to computers. I used that once.

So, I was kind of floored when I walked into my Arizona polling place for the first time (not this year) and saw this:

Arizona voting booth-there’s a felt tipped pen in a well in the front to use

And a ballot that looks like this:

AZ ballot, side 2

Draw a line to complete the arrow to cast your vote.

And casting a vote by drawing a line to connect pieces of an arrow like this:

Voting

I think I actually laughed out loud.

I insert my completed ballot into a scanner:

Ballot goes into a scanner to be counted.

And I’m done. And I wonder for the millionth time if I’m living on another planet