Thursday, August 04, 2005

Best Experience in Phoenix Yet

I went searching for the local rock climbing gym, and after several wrong turns and slow-driving-in-manner-of-stalker, I found it. Actually, I had to call their number and get directions. Because honestly, like everything in the Phoenix area (from what I’ve seen of it, anyway), everything is a strip mall and no fa├žade should be taken for granted. I mean, the rock climbing gym is hidden by the Quality Inn and completely lacks road-side signage (you like that eh? Yeah, it’s a term I learned from working in the advertising industry).

First I found a boxing gym and then I found the rock climbing gym. Turns out, I was actually looking for a boxing gym because I’d considered taking up boxing to get back in shape. That stint at the aforementioned advertising job gave me some stupid love-handles. Embarrassing. I mean it. When you finally graduate college and get a desk job, take my advice and change your eating habits. Otherwise, that 32 oz Coke you enjoy every morning (where some drink coffee, I drink Coke) will go straight to your hips and thighs. Sick. It’s just sick, that’s what it is.

I mention the rock climbing gym because it’s the most positive experience I’ve had since moving here. So far, the Phoenix area has been nothing but a bitch to me. I’m completely serious. I mean, some things have been good. The girl at Target yesterday was really sweet, and I was able (through the generosity of my mother), to buy the adorable bowls I wanted. But you can’t drive anywhere without it taking hours* because every block has a billion traffic lights and there’s absolutely no way to fortuitously hit every green light like I want to, sometimes you accidentally turn into the stupid mall parking lot because it has its own traffic lights, Barnes and Noble didn’t hire me (bastards. I suggest a boycott. Who’s with me?), and yesterday some jerk grunted at me as I was crossing the street and when I didn’t acknowledge him (I regretted not flipping him the bird, later. But maybe ignoring him was smart after all. Who knows.) laughed all evilly and I felt like the victim of a drive-by shooting.

But the rock climbing gym visit was a very positive experience. The people who worked there were all very nice and this chick named Jamie gave me four passes for $5 off climbing, just because we exchanged info about climbing stuff and chatted for a few minutes (and I bought a climbing magazine. But then she also gave me a bunch of copies of the past months for free, so it wasn’t just because I bought something, although I’m sure that helped). It was great. And the woman at the desk was also very nice. Seriously.

My best experience here so far. Hopefully Stoker and I can go back tomorrow to try out the facilities, tonight was just a visit to check it out. If we dig the gym, maybe we’ll get some long-term passes and I can skip the boxing stuff—that boxing gym was a little intimidating. Honestly. Big guys everywhere. AND big girls. Jumping rope with big biceps and stuff. And to be perfectly truthful, this isn’t Million Dollar Baby. My life, that is. If anything, it’s half-dollar baby. Stupid joke.

p.s. The cat came back. If you read Stoker’s blog, you know what I’m talking about. I think she likes me.

*Gross exaggeration.


linda said...

I am already boycotting B and N, ever since I ordered Shirley MacLaine's book about The Camino from them online, and someone in shipping decided to take it upon themselves to make a substitution in my order and send me the "Left Behind" books instead, so I could change my evil New Age crystal-gazing ways before it was too late.

(And I am totally not making this up!)

See, this is just one more reason for me to boycott them. Anyway, you don't want to work there; their cafe has the worst chai on the planet.

cheapsunglasses said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Aries327 said...

Linda -- I checked out that book by Shirley Maclaine. Did you get it? It sounds really interesting. I'd never even heard of this trail. So, are you saying someone from B&N purposely sent you the Left Behind books instead of the book you ordered?

Their cafes usually use Starbucks products. So are you saying Starbucks sucks? If you are, that's fine. I agree anyway.

Anyone else who reads the comments: Let's just get one thing straight. If you're out looking for people to visit your blog and you're leaving comments as lures, at least leave a comment that looks sincere.

And also, I reserve the right, since this is my blog, to delete the comments of anyone whose blog I don't like. This includes blogs that feature porn, lewd images, offensive language (I do have limits to what I think is appropriate to say), annoying writing and opinions, or if I deem your blog just lame/retarded in general.

I'll delete comments I don't like. I used to think that was dumb, that everyone's comment was important. But I decided no, everyone's comment is NOT important. There are some people whose comments suck and whose blogs I don't want to endorse. And I think blind-trolling (is that what it's called?) is an embarrassment. So don't do it on my blog.

If you like reading my blog, fantastic. Keep coming back. Leave a sincere comment if you want. I welcome it. I'll even visit your blog and keep visiting it if it's good and maybe even put a link to your blog on my page. But I'm pretty damn good at detecting sincerity. And if I think you're being obtuse and just leaving your address, I'll think you didn't even read my post and that's rude. I don't like unwarranted cruelty.

linda said...

I can't know for sure that the substitution was on purpose, but given that everything else in my order was correct, and the packing slip was actually stuck in the Left Behind book with the Shirley MacLaine title highlighted, it seemed purposeful.

Eventually B&N sorted it out and I did read the Shirley MacLaine book. On the whole it was pretty good; I really liked the details of the trip, and hearing the lore about the Camino pilgrimage. I think she's a pretty entertaining writer, so I'm usually willing to go along with her on her Atlantean digressions.

I started out the first few chapters thinking, "This Camino pilgrimage thing is just too cool, I'll have to do this someday," yet ended the book thinking, "That's way too much hardship for me -- I don't even like to go places with sub-standard chai, let alone sleeping in a haystack..."

In answer to your other question, I think that Starbucks only semi-sucks. I love their coffee, but hate their chai.

liz said...

who would have guessed that you're a climber?

actually I think moving to a new place opens you up to new things that you would have never considered before. Like joining a boxing gym. Or deciding that everyone's comments are not important, or relevent.

My brother, his wife and their new baby relocated to Boston (from LA) six weeks ago and their moving truck STILL has not arrived. So count your blessings, at least you have your things.

Matthew said...

Trying to move about Houston is a pain, also. We are way behind where we should be in terms of public transit, and the city is totally not pedestrian friendly. Here is a cool website:

In Houston, there is an overabundance of roadside signage; the billboards and the strip shopping centers are rather unsightly.

Rock climbing sounds like a good activity to provide some exercise and some variety.

Notyetfamousartist said...

I thought the half-dollar baby joke was funny! you made a joke! hehehehe
I used to love rock climbing in the facility when I was in high school. It's very good for you, it's fun, and relaxing.
I'm sorry that you're having a hard time there. I would have chucked something and that stupid man walking across the street. Or called him a "pig fucker". I dont know why I find that's such an offensive thing to say to someone, but I really can and do say it to jerkoffs like that. They never expect it either, it's great.
How hot is it there? Hotter than here, I imagine.

Greg said...

You have quickly discovered one of the most annoying things about the area - everything looks the same, and the signs are no help. The signs on the side of the road could be for the entire strip mall, and those suckers are big, so you could go in one end and find what you're looking for at the other end. Sheesh.

At least you found something fun to do.

Aries327 said...

Linda -- Well, I guess it WAS on purpose. Some do-gooder out to convert the world. Embarrassing. The Shirley MacLaine book sounds really interesting. Maybe I'll get it someday.

To tide me over (is that the expression? Tide me over?) until I can get the other book you mentioned, I got Elizabeth Peter's first book in the Amelia Peabody series: Crocodile on the Sandbank. Have you read anything by her? She's excellent. The first few books anyway, after a while Amelia turns into a caricature of herself, in the same way Al Pacino did after the second Godfather film (to steal an expression from my friend Matt).

Liz -- Maybe the truck was abducted. That totally sucks. I think you're right about reinventing yourself when you move to a new place. This is the biggest move I've done. Before that it was just college moves. Still not sure about the boxing thing, though.

Matthew -- Thanks for your comments, and for visiting. I've never been to Houston, but it's one of the biggest cities in the U.S. I'm not into big cities. Perhaps that's why this area and myself don't get along well. I love smaller cities. Like Logan. They have their shortcomings, of course, but they're manageable in a way that I can deal with.

Pedestrian friendly is the way to go, I think. Stoker and I tried to go for a walk one evening and the whole time I felt like we were about to get mugged. I hated it. The Salt Lake City mayor (curse him) has made major strides towards making the city pedestrian-friendly (great work, even though I disagree with all his other work).

Dual Identities -- After the moment passed, I realized I could have said something completely unexpected to those jerks and surprised them with my fierceness. But then they might have turned around and beat me or raped me (doesn't it suck that a woman even has to fear that? It enrages me).

As for temperatures in Mesa, it's usually in the 100s. Like during the day, 104 average thus far. Supposedly things will get better after August and through the winter. But then, I'll miss the seasonal changes of Utah. I'm sorry I'm such a baby. I understand the necessity of change and the power of leaving a place you love, then going back. I just sort imagined that I could be completely off-stage for this part of the journey. That I could leave, and then go back, not having to deal with the part where I'm gone and the struggle to survive. Ah well, life ...

Greg -- You might have warned me. Just joking. But you're right about entering the strip mall because of a sign and not finding the shop for a few more minutes. It might get better, you never know. I might end up loving the Phoenix area. I'm keeping my hopes up (I just don't write about them).