Wednesday, September 30, 2009

A Sad Commentary on Friendship

There is a park just north of downtown. It's about a 20 minute walk from my office. I go there on my lunch break to spend 10 minutes swinging on the swings. It's a great break from the kookiness of work and it really helps to clear my mind.

On today's walk I noticed this:A bunch of empty flagpoles. Huh.

I read the plaque on the pedestal next to the flagpoles:
It reads, "Flags of Friendship. These flags are flown to symbolize the ties of friendship"....


Tuesday, September 29, 2009

I Hate Cats

I hate cats.

Ok, not all cats. Not very many cats actually. For instance, I like my kitty and I like your cats, too. The cats I hate are the now-almost-grown-up litter of feral cats that are everywhere in my neighborhood.

Before I finish my rant about cats, let me rant about my neighborhood. My neighborhood is slowly going downhill. For eight years, it has been a pretty good place to live. Yeah, we've always been right on the edge of the ghetto, but once you're actually in my neighborhood you never really noticed. About a year ago, the prostitutes crossed over the major street and started walking on my side of the street. Downward slide. Then the light rail construction brought about the demolition of all the corner houses along the major street, bringing my house one closer to the ghetto and making it now visible from the major street. Downward slide. For a while there was a security guard posted on our neighborhood access road to prevent squatters from occupying the empty to-be-demolished homes. Then they put the light rail on hold for X number of years, which leaves us with a bunch of vacant lots. Nice. Downward slide. Next, the foreclosures started leaving many of the houses empty. It really is a downhill slide.

What really sucks is that we had the opportunity for the light rail to really help our neighborhood. As part of the light rail construction, the city proposed turning all the streets that weren't deemed to be thoroughfares into cul-de-sacs, ending right before the major street where the light rail will be built. This would have kept the ghetto from doing its current rapid encroachment right up to my front door. But the people in my neighborhood voted this down. Well, they didn't vote it up, at any rate. We needed a 70% approval rate for it to pass. I doubt 70% of the people even voted. Anyway, we won't be getting cul-de-sacs. We will be getting a berm and some "landscaping" to replace all these eyesore vacant lots...whenever the budget crisis allows for the continuation of light rail construction. Or never, in that case.

Ok, back to the cats. In addition to the prostitutes and the empty lots and empty houses, another new addition to my neighborhood are feral cats. For the past eight years, we had a few mature, most likely owned cats out and about. We'd see them occasionally on our walks. But now there are about a bazillion (I'm still working on the census numbers so I'm estimating that number) adolescent cats everywhere. This makes walking the dogs very annoying. If the dogs see a cat (which is every time we go out), they go crazy and remain on HIGH ALERT for the rest of the walk. It's gotten to the point that the dogs go on HIGH ALERT as soon as the leashes come out. Immediately noses hit the pavement looking for the first cat trail. Forget about running the dogs. They cannot maintain a straight line while in HIGH ALERT. No way!! They might miss a cat!!!!

Whenever we see a cat, I immediately put the dogs into a sit/stay to give the cat a chance to get away and to, optimistically, give the dogs a minute to calm down. And though they do stay, they are quivering and crying the whole time. How do you train a dog not to quiver and cry??

Walking/running the dogs has long been an exercise to calm the dogs and, more importantly, to calm my over-active crazy brain. Now walking the dogs makes me even crazier than I was before. I hate cats!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Can I Have Your Attention, Please?

Why, yes...yes you can! All you have to do is bring out some cheese and sausage and you'll have the undivided attention of every canine in the house! This may be the last you see of little Chico...because he has been adopted! HURRAY! Adopted by my roommate's sister, that is! HOORAY! Another good home found for another good dog. I am quite happy! And this means that you may be actually be seeing Chico again, because now when Chris volunteers to dogsit Bruiser (read that as when Chris brings Bruiser home for ME to dogsit), I'll get both Bruiser and Chico. HOORAY!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

10th Anniversary Wedding Party

Saturday, September 12 was my 10th Wedding Anniversary. Pat and I had some misunderstandings about how it was to be celebrated. Initially Pat wanted to rent a venue and throw a huge catered gala. I felt this was more expense than I really wanted to go to. Then I suggested a baseball game because Pat has become a fan this summer. No more was said, so I thought this was the plan. I was wrong. On Tuesday before the date, Pat wanted to know how I was coming with the party plans. Huh? I was doing a lot of event work! 12 events in two weeks, to be exact. But I hadn't been planning a party for our anniversary.

So, with very little advance notice, I threw together a "Wedding Party" and invited lots of people. Pat and I had already planned to wear our wedding clothes for our annual anniversary pictures so I thought it would be fun if everyone got to wear wedding clothes to the party.

The Evite:

"What a lovely bridesmaid's dress! And you can definitely wear it again!!" And it's true! You can wear it again! You can wear it to Jill & Pat's 10th Anniversary Wedding Party! Saturday is our 10th Anniversary and we'd love it if you would come help celebrate the occasion. But this time around you are all invited to be a member of our wedding party. Every single one of you...Bridesmaids and Groomsmen!

Dress Code:

- a bridesmaid dress that has been sitting in your closet waiting for the chance to wear it again (Nicole and Christy - it would be cool if you could dig out your dress from my wedding!) If you don't have one hanging in your closet, then be a good sport and borrow one, make one or visit Goodwill!
- A tux, a suit, preferably with a bow tie or something you'd wear as the groomsman in Pat's wedding.
- Obviously, I'll be wearing my wedding dress!
- Busting out the old zoot suit!
No anniversary gifts are allowed. Save the environment and skip the cards, too. No bridal party gifts will be given either, so if you were thinking about attending just to get your pair of jammies or your cuff links, forget about it. Also, we won't be buying your dinner, because we are cheap assholes. But we really hope you are able to come join our wedding party!!

And with only 4 days notice, we got 30 people to say yes!

We started out at Heritage Square taking our usual anniversary pictures:
Then our friends started to arrive for the group Wedding Pictures.

Three of Pat's original groomsmen, Steven (the best man), NFBF and Josh (Sean was sick and Brian was out of town):
Two of my original bridesmaids, Nicole and Christy (Anne, Amy and Laura all live out of state):
Christy was so excited because ten years later, her dress was too big for her!
Nicole was not as happy, because ten years later, her size 0 dress would not zip up anymore. But it looked pretty sexy as a backless number!
Both girls have babies as the cause. Christy had just given birth two weeks prior to my wedding so she's a lot smaller now that she's stopped having babies. Nicole just gave birth a year ago and the pregnancy expanded her rib cage. What good sports they are to keep and bring out their dresses!!

Pat's family (Pat's mom is also wearing the same dress from the wedding!):

Pat and I with all of our new bridesmaids in their beautiful bridesmaid dresses:

This pictures cracks me up:
Pat with all his new groomsmen in their varying degrees of groomsmen attire:

The entire wedding party:

After taking pictures we headed over to our "reception" at Local Breeze, where we accumulated a few more bridesmaids. Aimee in one of her sage green bridesmaid dresses:
The book club bridesmaids (Kiri let us down with the pretty sundress, when she had promised an atrocious floral velvet bridesmaid dress):

And more groomsmen. Here is Brent in his red, velvet smoking jacket. This boy certainly knows how to Wedding Party:

All of these people were present at our wedding ten years ago!!
And just as a reminder...pimpin' ain't easy...though these boys make it look like it is!

The dinner was yummy, the waiter (a drag queen named Aimee D'Manda Justice, though not in drag so was answering to Zach) was hilarious, the company was great. We had a bunch of tables together on the patio. There were other diners on the patio and I'm sure they thought we were having a real wedding reception. I wonder if they felt bad for music, no dancing, no private venue. :)

And here is something you don't see every day:

Monday, September 14, 2009

White Trash Birthday Bash

The second day of our Austin trip we had the White Trash Birthday Bash. I love a dress-up party! With the help of my favorite pet boy, Jamie (who will now and forever be referred to only as FPB) and my co-worker Laura, I put together this great outfit. Billy Ray Cyrus t-shirt. Jeans shorts, ripped in the ass. Tramp stamp of a bull......and later on when I got cold, the ugliest, white-trashiest shirt I've ever seen...complete with blood from a bar fight on the front and chew tobacco globbing up at the bottom of the front pockets. Ew.

Our glamour queen Sarah pulls off white trash unexpectedly well:

A group of white trash girls:
With white trash attitudes:Miller High Life, baby!

One of the guests came with the requisite white trash hair - the mullet. The wig got passed around for everyone to try. Here I am showing everyone that I can rock the mullet...

and sadly received the following (serious!) comments on the below picture. "Jill, I've never seen you look so good. This is the best picture of you." and "Wow, that hair color really suits you." and "I'm sorry to say this, but that hair really suits you." I'm not joking when I say these comments were serious. :( Do I really need to streak my hair silver and cut it into a mullet to be pretty? God, help me.

I've been saving the best part for last. The White Trash Montage of Kiri... ENJOY:

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Lili's 40th Bday Surprise

I'm almost caught up on my blogging! Yay!

Last weekend, I went to Austin with Kiri and Sarah for Lili's 40th birthday. This was a surprise visit orchestrated by her sisters. They invited two other friends (one from DC and one from Dallas) as well. When we arrived, Lili's sister Claire picked us up at the airport and housed us until it was time for the big surprise. Poor Lili thought her 40th birthday weekend was going to be a thrilling dinner and a movie on Saturday and a way-cool family outing to a trashy restaurant called Catfish Farm on Sunday. Ha! She sorely underestimates her family and friends!

Lili's boyfriend, Chris, was responsible for getting her to the Roaring Fork under the guise of some friends inviting them at the last minute for drinks. Lili likes to be in charge so we were worried Chris might have some problems getting her to agree to the change in plans.

Anxiously waiting for Lili to show up:
(Sarah, Kiri, Andrea, Megan, Paula, Me)

I thought her sisters were going to explode from the excitement. They were so nervous! But nothing to worry about. Chris did his job and got Lili to the bar. She walked in, saw us, looked confused for a second and then just stopped. Still. Dirty look at Chris. And the next hour was spent with her trying to figure out the logistics of how we pulled this off! :)

The whole gang:
(Andrea, Claire, Megan, Paula, Kiri, Lili, Me, Sarah)

After Roaring Fork, we headed out to a bar/ampitheater place called Nutty Brown to see Bob Schneider in concert. He's an Austin thing, but he's known nationwide. He dated Sandra Bullock for a while, but only because neither Lili nor Sarah went home with him after his last show at the Rhythm Room in Phoenix. Not that he actually asked of course, but the looks he was giving them (um...I mean 'the crowd') implied the invitation.

At Nutty Brown's:

I could totally be a Kriens sister, don't you think??
Hurray for Lili!
Bob Schneider:
He was good. I liked him. I'll probably even get the new CD he's releasing at the end of this month. You should, too.

Sarah and Megan dancing:
Stayed tuned for Day 2 of the Austin trip - The White Trash Birthday Bash!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Give Me a Moose!

"Give me a Moose!"

Another party for us party people. The occasion: Steven's birthday coupled with Pat's championship hockey game. And yes...this took place a couple weeks ago.

First we went to some German place to eat German food cuz Steven likes his wursts, the ol' Oomp-pa-pa of the polka music and being surrounded by friends. The wursts and the friends were good but the Oomp-pa-pa gave me a headache. Way too loud for my old age. And no matter what decibel, the chicken dance should only be heard once a year at most, right? Twice a night is definitely too much!

The dinner had to be modified a bit to accommodate Pat and Bill's game, but with the slight variation on time, Steven got 100% turnout.

Steven and his lovely bride, Elaine:
Best friend Pat and me:
The Fabig's (sans the Fa-Little's):
Rounding out Travel Troupe with the NFBF and his lovely bride:Bill and Michelle:And the Alexander clan:
And after dinner, we ALL went to watch Mooseknuckle win the championship! Pat's hockey team wins every game. Weeks before the end of the season they were notified that they were being kicked out of the C League for the following season because they were just too good. So, obviously, the championship game was in the bag, right?

And with crazy loud fans like these:
there was no way they could lose. I have to say that my NFBF is the best cheer leader ever. He started all our chants and our cheers. We yelled and screamed along with him. We teased the players in the penalty boxes ("Hey friend. Would you like a skittle?").
We were having a blast. But Mooseknuckle just couldn't score. We fell behind. NFBF got us all aboard the Come Back Express (whoot! whoot!) but the train never did make it to the destination. Derailed. Mooseknuckle lost. Boo.

And they still have to move up a division next season! :)

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Resolutions Suck

If you recall, just a few short weeks ago, I resolved to become a more timely blogger. And also to win the lottery. I have been successful at neither of these things.

But I have added another post about our Denver trip here.

I guess this is as good a time as any to put in a blog post about our most recent boating outing. I'd put it in chronological order if I had any recollection of which weekend this was. Maybe resolutions don't suck, maybe I just suck at resolutions!

Alternate Blog Title: Wakeboarding!

It is surprisingly difficult to find people who want to go to the lake with us. You'd think that people would want to escape the heat for a bit and cool off at the lake. However, it seems that most people are too busy to spend a day away. Or maybe people don't really like me enough to commit to being out on the lake with no means of getting away from me. Or, in one friend's case, minor surgery occurs the Friday before every lake trip. Whatever the reason, it seems that Pat and I have not been boating much this summer due to lack on interest of our friends. But one weekend, I talked Christy into going with us. Maybe her agreement was based on the bribe that I'd let her bring one of her kids.

Miranda was a fabulous flag girl while I wakeboarded.

And Miranda was a very good sport while trying to learn to wakeboard. She did everything I told her to do and she was very persistent in trying again and again. She eventually made it up a few times. Yay, Miranda.
Christy was hesitant to try it because she was afraid she wouldn't get up. Yeah, right. Christy can do everything. Up on the first try:
We stopped for a little while to play on this "beach". This is as beachy as it gets in Arizona.
Me and Pat and our old, old boat:
We ended up cutting the day short because the sky all of a sudden looked like this:

As we were leaving the lake, we could see the huge amounts of rain falling over Bartlett and past Fountain Hills. And in Phoenix? Sunny and clear. Weird.