This week I programmed the Mesa Police department’s number into my cell. Its official, calling the police and reporting “incidents” is my new favorite. I was constantly calling Campus Security (they are more hardcore than the sound—they have guns) and the Rexburg Police during college, and now I have graduated to monitoring an entire city. Thus far, I have called in to report the following:
- A dead dog on the sidewalk bleeding out of its pooper—unsanitary and unsightly
- That I was unfairly “flashed” along with everyone else passing through the green light by a malfunctioning intersection camera that would have mailed all of us ticket—so unjust
- A car driving down the interstate at 11:00 at night without working tail lights—stupid
- Junk in the middle of the road (bumpers, tires)—an accident waiting to happen
Maybe it’s my need to brownnose to authority, or my overwhelming desire to make Mesa a safer place, but all I know is that I love calling in with a report and getting asked my name and phone number in case they need more information. (They haven’t yet, but the prospect is exciting.) I’m sure someday my contribution will be recognized and I’ll win the Nobel Prize for making the most police calls by one person ever. Let it be known: I plan to save the world one phone call at a time.
24? When did this happen? Twenty-three had a nice ring to it but now I'm not sure I have a certain age to look forward to anymore. "I'm one hundred" sounds pretty impressive, but honestly... who want's to live to be a hundred?
Regardless, I had a pretty good 24th birthday.
For starters, Chris made breakfast. Hurrah! He didn't quite make it to the dishes afterwards, but I have a whole year to work on him. We'll try again once I hit 25. Following breakfast, I took a most refreshing shower, put on my new striped shirt, styled my fresh haircut and headed to the Phoenix Science Center.
It was the Body World exhibit's last week in Phoenix, so Chris and I were all over it. I'm sure most of you are familiar with the exhibit, but if not, it displays preserved (via plasticization) bodies of humans who wanted to donate their bodies to science. It sounds kind of horrific, but the exhibit is really informative, interesting, artistic, and only sometimes a little creepy. Photography was strictly prohibited, so here are some professional photos of the exhibit.
The Science Center also has an I-Max screen, so following Body Worlds, Chris and I went to a 3D movie on Tahiti. Honestly, it was probably the best 45 minutes of my day. There are so many 3D movies anymore, and they cost a fortune but only provide a mildly dimensional experience. Our Tahiti film was anything but. I was there. I was swimming with the tropical fishes and reaching out to touch the rough coral. I had fire being whipped around myhead by some insanely buff islander in a grass skirt, and then decided to take up surfing with the worlds 9 time surf champ. Hooray for eight dollar 3D and I-Max tickets at the Science Center. I dig you.
Chris must have been feeling generous because he let me choose where to eat my birthday dinner (he would have chosen buffalo wings or steak no doubt), but I chose the Parlor in Phoenix. It is a fun, funky place that used to be an old hair parlor and has since been converted to a restaurant. It has a really retro vibe and great food.
The barstools are old haircutting chairs to keep true to The Parlor's roots.
I love the people wallpaper. I pity the soul who had to draw the original.
This is part of the restaurant's retro design--a floor-to-ceiling window that runs the length of the building. On the outer side of the window is a wall made of these molded concrete blocks.
My best birthday gift would be my one year anniversary (the day after my birthday).
We finished up the night with strawberry daiquiris courtesy of Dan and Jenn. I should have made a toast to old age.
What is the beauty of quitting your job? Not having to ration any sick or vacation days, and thus being able to guiltlessly blow them in one sweep your last month.
As a result of this blessed connivence, Chris and I booked tickets to Wyoming with our favorite card-paying neighbors Dan & Jen (we spend our time preparing for retirement by playing Canasta and eating dessert). The plan was to show Dan & Jen all the beauties and adventures Wyoming had to offer in five days, and I think we pretty much covered it.
Prior to leaving, we prepared two lists. The first was a "To Do" list and the second was a "To Eat" list (my family has a miraculous ability to make food taste so good). We did a very good job at covering nearly everything on both lists.
With our lists in hand, we loaded into the butt of the plane. Us mere coach passengers shouldn't have to be seen or heard by those in first class.
We had to get a photo with the pinto bean horse... naturally. They are native to the Billings, Montana airport.
Welcome to Wyoming. Fortunately that's not my hometown, but it's not far-off. And once there, we enjoyed the following...
Activity #1: Exploring.
We drove to the top of Eagle Rock, a cliff that overlooks Dad's farm land. It offers a fantastic view and was the perfect place to take Dan & Jen first.
It's popular for teenagers to declare their fleeting love by defacing Eagle Rock.
Following Eagle Rock we drove into Lovell--the pokiest town on the map--and ate at the greasy but delicious Switchback Grill.
Meet the owner. Hanging on the wall near the soda fountain are newspaper articles featuring his heroic acts with titles like: “Restaurant Owner is a ‘Lifesaver’” and “Local Man Fixes Car and Delivers Baby”. His good deeds range from dislodging a Lifesaver from a toddler’s throat to delivering a woman’s baby on the side of the road and then using her pantyhose to fix her car. For being such a do-gooder he is awfully grumpy.
The décor is priceless. I’m pretty sure they used halved potatoes to “sponge paint” the walls. The rope lighting and cowboy wreath add a nice touch.
Activity #2: Making Spudnuts.
We went to Wyoming with a 4,000 calorie-a-day minimum, and I think that Grandma's homemade spudnuts (a.k.a. donughts for you city folk) put us well over our goal.
To the oil...
To the tummy.
Dan was the one who added homemade donuts on the "To Eat" list, so this was his special treat from Grandma. However, after a HUGE dinner, none of us had much room in our tummies. Grandma gave Dan an extremely hard time over the fact that he couldn't stuff down a third. Her words exactly, "Well.... I have never heard of anyone stopping at two." And then she slyly tried to steal his plate and add another when he wasn't looking. It didn't work.
After spudnuts everybody's happy.
Activity #3: Snowmobiling.
Amazingly that after just a 2 hour drive from warm, sunny Powell we found ourselves up to our hips in 3' snow.
We snow machined to the top of this VERY high hill. The snow was so white and untouched it was really disorienting, but you can tell how high up we are by the puny trees in the background.
Poor Chris after we got stuck for the billionth time. By the time we got home we were exhausted from shoveling our machines out, start pulling our engines, and yanking each other out of the waist-deep snow.
Activity #4: Eventful Evenings
Spying on the baby coonies (the ones we raised last year). We also saw deer, ducks, cranes, and pelicans.
Eating most delicious dinners.
Wearing dorky eye-ware to Thor--3D of course!
Activity #5: Archery.
Activity #6: Horseback riding.
Meet Carl Jones—ex rodeo star 1978 (check out the belt) and the last living cowboy. You have never seen a more weathered pair of hands than the two Carl has. He also has quite an impressive vocabulary. Apparently curse words are essential to telling a good story (which he has no shortage of).
My mom recruited Carl to take us horseback riding but he opted to stay with my mom and talked her ear clean off for a good two hours while we rode. He is full of stories, and how could he not be? Seeing that he is last living cowboy and all.
Mama--Carls' favorite. I guess she's pretty likable. :)
Activity #7: Shotgun shooting.
The object is to test each others speed, steady hand, and aim by shooting clay pigeons (bright orange clay disks) that get launched into the air.
Dad showing Dan & Jen the ropes and a lesson on basic gun safety (don't point it at anyone).
The gun had a hard kick (incase you can't tell). I felt like I was getting punched in the shoulder by The Rock, and we all had sufficient bruises had we wanted to stick to that story. Notice the shell in midair--nice shot Jen.
Activity #8: Billings Temple.
Chris and I had the opportunity to visit the temple where we were married nearly a year ago. One down.... an eternity to go. Dun, dun, dun, dun.