Saturday, September 27, 2008

Best of Tucson 2008

For all you die-hard fans (I make up) who have been wondering (in my mind) what happened to the Tucson Weekly's Best of Tucson Category "Best Local Blog", I have an answer for you.

I wrote the editor and he explained that the voting was so low they just scrapped the category. (Tucson Weekly's Blog got six votes and Tucson Querido got five.) Considering the category got scrapped, Tucson Querido didn't even get an honorable mention.

So, if you want Frida to have her moment in the lime light, remember this for next year: a legitimate on-line vote has to be submitted on a ballot that has 20 categories filled out, a name, a mailing address and an e-mail addy or a phone number.

Hall of Frames




I've been to the Hall of Frames on Grant and Swan twice and I'd like to give a shout out to Jeffrey - not only because he has spiders tattooed on his arm and stars tattooed on his face - but more importantly because he has solid aesthetic judgment when it comes to custom framing.

So today we went to Hall of Frames with the "guest book" drawing from my sister for our wedding, and a Migliorisi painting I've had since I was a child: two pretty important pieces.

Jeffrey wanted to check out the Migliori's matting right away, so when he got it out of the frame we realized it had two sides, and the wrong side had been exposed all these years. It was like going on Antiques Roadshow. The original side is so much better.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Splashdown for dogs at YMCA pool - Sept. 27

Splashdown for dogs at YMCA pool was today, Saturday, Sept. 27
8:00-3:00 at Lighthouse/City YMCA, 2900 N. Columbus Blvd. It was $5 per dogs (humans got in free, dogs only in the pool).

It was mass chaos; wet dogs running amok; I had flashbacks to traumatic swimming lessons from when I was a kid; but generally it was fun. Frida mostly hated it, I think, but that didn't keep her from being photogenic. Check out the Tucson Citizen Slideshow.

It was fun just to watch the dogs. All shapes, sizes and attitudes about getting into the water. There was another chihuahua who was a much better swimmer than Frida, but it's not a competition, right? OMG, our dog is such a child stand-in. Andrew said I need to get knocked-up just so that we can do this stuff with a kid and it won't seem so neurotic and Dog Show-esque.

A special thanks to the lifeguards and to Francisco Medina for the cool pix.

The Writer's Studio Tucson: Afternoon for Writers - Sept. 27

Once I did an intro writing course at the Writer's Studio that was kinda fun. (To read an awesome piece of herp fiction that came out of the course, click here.) Below is a blurb about their upcoming season for interested parties.

THE WRITERS STUDIO, founded more than 20 years ago in New York City by 2008 Pulitzer Prize winner in Poetry, Philip Schultz, is now in its fourth year in Tucson. AN AFTERNOON FOR WRITERS will be held on Saturday, September 27th at 1:30 – 4:30 PM. to kick off the fall season. The afternoon will include a talk and Q&A with Jerry Simmons on “The Business of Publishing.” The talk will be followed by a free introductory class and a Fiction and Poetry reading (a $5 suggested donation to cover costs.) Please contact Eleanor Kedney at eleanor[at]writerstudio[dot]com or call 520-743-8214 to register. Space is limited. Level I classes start 9/24 and 10/4. Level II begins on 9/25.

Mount Lemmon Getaway

From our bedroom window.

From the top of the ski lift.

A phone with a dial tone. How quaint.

The new visitor center.


The Cookie Cabin.

The bedroom in the morning.

We were given a truly thoughtful wedding present, a gift certificate to a cabin on Mount Lemmon. We hadn't used it yet, and I didn't want it to expire, so last weekend we went to the The Mt. Lemmon Getaway.

In tiny Summerhaven, about 1/2 a mile from The Mt. Lemmon Cafe, is a cabin of two units, an upper and a lower. We stayed in the lower. (The exhibitionist lesbians stayed in the upper).

Now I dunno what you think when you think cabin, but I would call the place a sort of shabby house, with cabiny touches. Even so, those touches made the place special, specifically the Franklin fireplace and the magnificent deck. Imagine the setting: cool mountain air, a rushing crick, sunny days, piney solitude (Thanks for the term, Keith)...

With the The Mt. Lemmon Cafe, The Cookie Cabin, and the Iron Door Restaurant all within walking distance, we were able to get away with another one of our trademark "hasty road trips". (It's not that we didn't plan, it's just that we didn't execute all the plans, such as going to the supermarket.) We didn't pack hardly any food but the gamble paid off. We got the last pizza of the day from The Cookie Cabin, took it home and made a fire. Andrew watched Dirty Jobs while I read Gayatri Spivak. Que romantico, eh?

The cabin is on Turkey Run Road, which ends in a riparian corridor of Upper Sabino Canyon closed for restoration. The road becomes a hiking trail which, if followed stubbornly for an hour - like Andrew, Frida and I did - goes all the way to the top of the Ski Valley Ski Lift. I appreciated the trail and the workout, but I wouldn't call the trail a hiker's delight or anything because it was too rowdy (with all the ski lift riders: in this case, a slew of horny teenagers) to warrant the ass-kicking incline for as long as we did it. (Recommendation: trusty standby Aspen Trail never disappoints).

After we hiked from the cabin to the top of the ski lift, we walked all the way down the road to the Mt. Lemmon Cafe where I had a Reuben and Andrew had a cheeseburger. They were super busy but it was so satisfying.

Two of our friends and their dog/child came to play with us and our dog/child. We went to dinner at the Iron Door. It was sorta lame, except for the hummingbird feeders. Just stick your head out by one of the feeders on the porch and they will whiz past your face so boldly I dare you to stand still. But do it. Seeing a hummingbird hovering inches from your nose in mid flight is celestial. After that we went back to the cabin, hung out on the porch and ate fudge from the Mount Lemmon General Store and Gift Shop. Try the peanut butter chocolate fudge. So good...

We took turns trying to build a fire that initially would not start because of wet wood, but finally ended up so huge and hot that we opened the doors and windows just to cool off. I thought we were going to burn the cabin down. It was fun.

The lower unit has a kitchenette, a full bath, a fairly comfy bed, a sofa sleeper, a TV and a propane grill but you have to take your own towels and bedding, wash your own dishes and pack your own trash. If you're squeamish about bugs, this is not the place for you. It smells funny in the bathroom. It's $125.00 per night and there's a two night minimum. But as far as getaways go, Mount Lemmon is the most radically different environment you can get to in one hour from central Tucson. It's cool, quiet, verdant, secluded and beautiful while central Tucson is hot, noisy, dusty, congested and beautiful. It's a great retreat.