Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Snow in Tucson -- the actual last post of 2014

I thought when I wrote the last post, it was going to be the final one of 2014. Then, it started snowing at our house at about 11:00 p.m.

Snow in Tucson is a rare occurrence. Every 2-3 years in town and once a winter if it happens. It's worth adding one more blog entry for this year.

We live in an area that is kind of on the border of midtown and the east side of Tucson. There was snow forecasted for tonight but it sounded like it would be limited to the foothills and far south side with a few flurries at best.

As you'll see from the photos below, we are getting more than flurries -- and the house we now live in is near Grant and Swan.

This really is the last post of 2014.... and it's going out in a white, icy bang.

Snow falling and accumulating
in our backyard at the Hampton house.

Snow steadily falling
in the backyard... and sticking.

Another backyard photo.

Anthony's vehicle

The Ken Carr car

Just cold enough to snow
in our backyard!

Last day of 2014

Since I'm no better than the rest of the world, I thought I'd take a moment to reflect on 2014 (everyone else does it) since it's the last day of the year.

When the year started, I thought that 2014 was going to be epic in some way. I had this vision that I'd somehow end up with a windfall of money (that's what us poor people do every year, you know), or travel to an exotic place, or become famous for something. I've been reminded as the end of the year came that my skills for predicting things suck.

If I had to describe this year in one word it would be: Difficult.

At work, we had a total staff turnover on the show. Even though it created more work for me, it did make the working conditions better. A new set of people has given me the opportunity to be far more effective at my job than I ever have.

The later part of the year was the toughest. Anthony had rotator cuff surgery, and we wrestled with the decision to move from the apartment to a house... ultimately deciding to do it. The move itself was weeks of hard work and labor, we went way over budget, and finally turned the keys in for the apartment two days ago. I wasn't sure at times we were going to get it done.

I do feel like I accomplished a couple of things I wanted to this year. I've spent a lot of time shooting photos and writing in this blog. I've done the best job of any year in 2014 documenting my experiences. I've nearly doubled the page views this year so somebody has been looking at the crap I write. I really enjoy this project because it's solely my own and I feel every second I spend on it is rewarding. I'm not really talented at this (or anything, for that matter), so the only way that I can get any better at it is investing the time. I was able to accomplish that in 2014.

I also didn't miss a day of work this year. Not many people can say they've had perfect attendance. The show hosts gave me crap on the air a few days ago for not taking a vacation. I haven't needed one anyway.

Even though 2014 wasn't a very spectacular year (by my standards), I'm grateful I didn't get sick or am not dead. It's the little things.

The last photos I'm posting for this year are a collection of products I found during various trips to the grocery store which I thought that Anthony might be interested in (I pretended he'd be interested in, he was actually quite annoyed that I chased him around with them in my hand.... which made it way more fun for me). It turns out that he wasn't excited about Vagi-Care, hemorrhoid relief, women's vitamins, or a pregnancy test this year. I'm still in a state of disbelief.

Cheers to the end of another year.

Hey Anthony,
do you need itch and irritation relief?

Hey Anthony, do you need
predictable overnight relief?

Hey Anthony, do you need fast pain relief
with soothing aloe?

Hey Anthony, do you need
a soft, easy to use bottle?

Yoohoo, oh Anthony,
this promotes free urinary flow
and a healthy sex life.

Hey Anthony, could you use some
support for your metabolism?

Hey Anthony, I found these
Poison Ivy Relief Pads for you.

Hey Anthony, I found something
that will help you determine
if you're ovulating.

Hey Anthony, are you too old
for gas relief?

Hey top of Anthony's head,
I found something to help you feel fresh.

Hey Anthony, I found you a product
to improve your health... back there.

Hey Anthony, I know I asked you on a previous
trip to the store, but are you sure you don't
need an enema?

Hey Anthony, are you late?

Hey Anthony, are you interested
in having a fresh clean feeling
when we get home from the store?

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

A moon of Uranus

My favorite planet is Uranus. I don't pronounce it in the actual correct way -- I say "your anus". In case you're wondering, the technically correct way to say it is "you're-uh-nuss".

I always keep an eye out for Uranus. My observant nature caught a graphic on last Friday's (12/26) edition of "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire". Since I work at a TV station, I have a TV in my office. And, it's one of the shows we air on KGUN 9 -- at 3:00 p.m. each weekday.

One of the answers to a question on the show was "A moon of Uranus". I got very excited, because I thought it would be awesome if it turned out that was the correct answer. I didn't know the answer, so I was kept in suspense and thanks to a +1 from the audience, the contestant got the right answer and it turned out to be "a moon of Uranus".

No matter what the question is, the answer should always be Uranus.

A moon of Uranus
is obviously the right answer.
Because the other answers
don't have Uranus.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Goodbye apartment 43

Four years of calling Ridgepointe home is officially over. I turned in the keys to the apartment on my way home from work today.

I'm not very sentimental, but I think I'll look back fondly at the experience. It was cozy and comfortable, the first place that Anthony and I lived in together, and if the Hampton house wasn't a combination of 1/3 cheaper and twice the size, we'd still be living there.

I won't lie, I'll miss it. But, I never have anything interesting or worthwhile to experience if I don't take the occasional leap of faith to try something new. Moving to a new place always has some sort of adventure associated.

I did a little searching of my photo database, and discovered that the first photo I shot at Ridgepointe was the brand new Keurig coffee maker that Anthony decided to purchase in December 2010. It's an ironic photo, because Anthony's birthday present last month was for a new Keurig to replace that one for the house. He took what is now the old Keurig to work with him and they make coffee with it at the school. Check out the photo below.

To whomever moves in there, I hope you enjoy the long trips back and forth from the parking lot to the apartment, the neighbors who play the bass on their stereos too loud to sleep, the hotties who walk around in the summer in their swimsuits, the nice neighbors you'll live adjacent to, and the light posts that always fall down. You'll especially appreciate the stunning sunsets from the bedroom balcony.

Goodbye apartment 43, I'll miss you.

Anthony's first Keurig when we
moved into Ridgepointe --
December 17, 2010

Anthony's Keurig 2.0
at the Hampton house --
December 29, 2014

The last sunset photo
from Ridgepointe Apartments
looking west from the bedroom
balcony - December 29, 2014

I'll miss the green grass
and endless stream of workers doing stuff
at Ridgepointe.

Last photo of the kitchen
at Ridgepointe.
I spent a ton of hours cleaning
this -- I hope I get some
deposit back.

Goodbye apartment 43.
I'll miss you.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

All that is left is turning in the keys

Two months and three days later, it's hard to believe it's almost over... moving from the apartment at Ridgepointe.

I spent Christmas Eve evening, Friday evening and part of Saturday finishing up the cleaning. Today I repaired a piece of Formica on the kitchen counter and replaced a burned out lightbulb. That was the last of the tasks.

A huge thank you to my friend and co-worker Alex, who volunteered a morning about a month ago to move the large items and returned one last time on Friday to help me move the bed that we were originally going to get rid of, but decided to use it in our guest room at the Hampton house.

I also have to throw a shout out to Anthony. Despite our occasional disagreements about how this move should be handled, and constant shoulder pain while he was waiting for his rotator cuff repair surgery date, he did the best he could under the circumstances. Because of his physical limitations, he couldn't lift much of anything heavy so that job was mostly mine, but he dug deep.

We took one last walk through the apartment together this afternoon before heading to Walmart Neighborhood Market at Grant and Alvernon for our weekly grocery shopping excursion. We spent the last four years together in that apartment, and said goodbye to the bathrooms where thousands of poops and showers occurred, the bedroom where I took hundreds of naps, and the kitchen where I microwaved many craptastic dinners after work.

I plan on turning in the keys tomorrow on my way home from the station. It'll be a bittersweet moment, and many times over the last two months I wasn't sure the day would ever come.

Goodbye bathroom vanity I used at Ridgepointe.
I cut my hair a couple hundred times
over this sink.

Goodbye toilet and shower I used at Ridgepointe.
I pooped and showered in you
thousands of times.

Goodbye fireplace at Ridgepointe.
I never used you because
I didn't have any wood.

Brisk tea at the Grant and Alvernon Walmart Market.
Whoever did the graphic design on
this bottle must get the really good drugs.

Cocoa Puffs with Stars.
"Orbiting Earth for a short time only".
I saw the movie "Gravity"
and now understand what hit
Sandra Bullock while in space.

Enoz Old Fashioned Moth Balls.
I wonder what the new fashioned
moth balls look like.

Sneaky photo of Anthony #1:
The chip aisle can be a vast
lonely space.

Sneaky photo of Anthony #2:
Properly dressed for the frozen food aisle.
It's not delivery, it's DiGiorno.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

First Christmas in the Hampton house

We may not be settled into the house we're moving into on Hampton (it's the house I've been referring to that we're renting near Grant and Swan, but from now on, I'm referring to it as the "Hampton House" since it's on Hampton, and it will help you follow along with my stories), but it's Christmas so we hosted some of Anthony's family today.

Hopefully they didn't look in every room. There are still boxes that need to be unpacked and plenty of stuff yet to put away.

We had Christmas dinner with them first at Golden Corral on 22nd and Columbus. I haven't eaten at a Golden Corral in about 30 years so I really didn't know what to expect. It was stupidly busy in there, and it's not exactly intimate dining, but I didn't want Anthony to cook dinner at our house considering that he had rotator cuff surgery two days ago. So, when the option to eat out was presented, I voted yes.

They have a ridiculous amount of food choices. That is a good thing with seven people in our group. I was excited that they had ham, mashed potatoes and gravy, and they had some delicious banana pudding, too. I have simple tastes, you know.

After dinner, everyone came over to our place and we chatted, decorated a few cookies, and there were some presents exchanged between members of his family.

It was fun having a few guests, and I'll be happier about having more once we get the rest of the house dialed in.

Merry Christmas!

On our way to dinner...
not much traffic at Grant and Swan.

It's a Christmas miracle....
Anthony wanted to drive!

Circle K was open at Grant and Columbus
and Anthony needed to buy a couple of things.
It's not easy finding places open on Christmas.

Anthony double fisting
a bunch of soda on his
way back to the car.

That guy could win an ugly shirt contest
with that thing he's wearing.

Anthony spent half of the drive to Golden Corral
cussing at this woman in front of us
because she was driving 5 mph
below the speed limit.

The line at Golden Corral was long.
Heh heh I said long.

My plate of food at Golden Corral.
That roll was ridiculously good.

Paul, Mike, and Anthony

JoAnn, Joe, and Lisa

We are going to drive home from
Golden Corral, but first,
we're taking a selfie.

Gas is getting cheeeeeap!
This was at the Circle K at
Speedway and Swan.

Decorating cookies in our kitchen

Good decorating is an art.
Even bad decorating is an art.

Anthony works with a round cookie....

...and he turns his cookie into a guido.

Anthony's dad looks like the Unabomber.

Lucky is scared of the Unabomber.

Joe creates a swirly maze design.

The decorated cookies

Anthony and our guests in our Great Room

Anthony receives calendars.
His family knows him well!