Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Playin' in Shaq's backyard

When we last left our heroic travelers.... it was about a week ago, I'm sorry about that. There hasn't been any internet on the back half of this trip. But for recollection purposes, it's the next day...

After arriving at 4am in Tucson, to a surprisingly not angry Aunt Buffy, we slept the rest of the morning. I had plans to go see the Architecture program at Arizona State and Jason was just going to be dropped off somewhere in Phoenix then hit the trail.

That was the plan.
But plans change.

Plans change alot!

By the time we awoke it was well after lunch time. A cup of coffee to perk each of us up a bit, and then a sandwich as we just enjoyed not being in the car. Arriving in the darkness of night, especially with out street lights, we could see more that the cast of my high beams. Walking into the kitchen though, my breath was taken away by the amazing view of the desert from Buffy's kitchen window.

I was quickly falling in love in with desert habitation.

I doubt if I did take work in Tucson that I would believing out here near the Catalinas, but I'd be able to camp and hike in them when I wanted to!

There is this southern culture reality that I am used to, and while it really annoys me to have to play by somebody else’s rules, it's what I know. Upon being offered something you turn it down. This could be a free lunch or an offer to help with yard. If they offer it again, you are to turn it down again. This shows modesty and humility with out appearing like a moocher on the offeree side and the offerer is allowed to appear generous and supportive. Should the haggle-like interaction reach the third lap of offerings, only then is it permitted to accept the offer. Perhaps like the Oriental code of Honor, only in the South it's a Code of Humbleness, you it's working if you conscience kicks in.

In the case of this offering, it was open hunting season on Aunt Buffy's Pantry and Beer Fridge! She looked at me funny when we refused even a cracker. According to the code of humility as mentioned above, if you break it by taking the offered item too soon, you are sentence to being the subject of closed door gossip, verbal tar and feathering, and forever labeled as a moocher! In Aunt Buffy's house, she just thought I was crazy for not being hungry. Any even we did make a sandwich, we announced the news to her like a babysitter might announce that she broke the urn your relatives ashes were in: very carefully and made it seem like a huge mistake. She just laughed and then made fun of us.

That was the realization moment: I'm not in Kansas anymore! From Arizona and up the western seaboard, I was going to experience things, people, and cultures, places, and climates I wasn't used to. I knew it was coming, but I guess I thought the shock was going to hold off until L.A.

After being made fun of, we prepped the car for the trip to Phoenix. This was just a side trip to see my friend from early college days, Shawni. She's from Scottsdale, and moved back after becoming bored with her job in Montgomery. She's even convinced Jane, a mutual friend that is closer to her than me, to pack up and head for the desert. But Scottsdale was the destination in mind after an afternoon scouting out the university at Tempe.

Unfortunately, we didn't make it time.

There was a small version of bumper cars on Ina Rd. The Pima County Sheriff, Paramedics and the Fire Dept all made an appearance. It delayed our Phoenix arrival by a few hours and put everyone in a bad mood. No body was hurt, there was barely any damage, and nothing was even noticeable on my car, that is unless you decide to do yoga on the front bumper.

I think the comment of the year award goes to Jason on this one. I had borrowed the copy of Jack Johnson's new CD from Justin's desk and had it playing in the car when the poo hit the fan! Everything in the car went flying around, we both freaked out and to my recollection there were alot of explicative deleted utterances. After the (wo)man in blue settled everything, we replaced everything in the car and hit the road again, Jason says "We'll at least Mr. Johnson was able to keep his cool." ... I just gave me a blank stare that read "Don't talk to me."

It was silent trip to Phoenix. Except for Mr. Johnson, who kept his cool the whole way. He performed his set list three times without interruption.

I had been singing the praises of Tucson that morning and Aunt Buffy thought it was strange, I called her after this quickly became aware that the awe inspiring power of the desert beauty had worn away due to a traffic incident. The real world was coming at me fast, and the fairy-land vision that trip was inspired on, was quickly tarnishing with rust and mildew.

Reaching Phoenix around dinner time, we met Shawni at her place. Jason's departure was delayed a bit, but he didn't mind because it meant another day without pedaling. We went to this Steakhouse called the Saddle Ranch. It the Arizona Roadhouse version of Coyote Ugly, a biker bar and steakhouse with cute girls wearing uniforms that put Hooter's girls to shame! It was a bit distracting when I want to enjoy my meal, but you didn't hear me complain that night. With the day I had just had, I was happy to kick back and enjoy a juicy steak.

We spent a good bit of the evening hanging out at Shawni's apartment, she kicked up dance music and, if you know Jason at all, you know he won't turn down a chance to tear a rug. He even did the fish and fisherman dance when she pulled out her latest purchase, a child's Barbie themed fishing pole that has LED blinking lights when you push the reel release button. She danced around the room with it for a bit, buying into Jason's expertly crafted fish dance, before she made a shocking revelation. I know she had been in Alabama too long once she told me this... she actually bought an Arizona fishing license so she could fish with it! It's a case of rednecks with money!

I'm sure you noticed barely any pictures here as the day was an exhausting one, that I was glad was over. But definitely catch them next on the next day, they should be exciting.

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