Friday, June 29, 2007

The Good, the Bad, and the Awful

So, this post was going to be about books I've read recently, but I'm changing it because these new stories are just CRYING for a post. As I've revealed before, I'm a complete news junkie, checking FoxNews and CNN and Slate several times a day, and it's always fascinating. I love the sheer variety of all that goes on in this world, first of all, and it's also interesting to see what the mainstream media decides to focus on. Here are 3 things I've read in just the last 10 minutes:

1. The Good. I actually found this article last, because the other 2 caught my eye and then I had to find a good article (to match my great post title). There is rather a dearth of positive articles in ready sight this evening, so a rat will have to do. Pixar is putting out another good, funny, non-dirty movie for families to enjoy. I really like this studio on behalf of parents and any future offspring that I might have. I want to see this, even though I don't have kids- Pixar has always made the price of a movie ticket worth it before.

2. The Bad. Mitt Romney, presidential candidate, apparently has some 'splaining to do, after a story he told to an interviewer about how he strapped the family dog to the roof of the car for a 12-hour trip, back in 1983. To make things worse, he was telling this story as an example of how he's great in a crisis, because the dog got diarhhea and Gov. Romney was apparently Johnny-on-the-spot washing it off the car. Animal-rights activists are now howling mad (pun intended). How could he possibly have thought that was a good anecdote to share?!? That makes another reason that I hope he doesn't win the Republican nomination (I hope this guy does).

3. The Awful. As if the Israeli-Palestinian conflict didn't have enough to keep it going, Palestinian TV has been showing a kid's show, featuring a very Mickey-Mouse lookalike rodent named Farfour, which teaches little Palestinians why the Israelis are so very bad and why it's the best goal in life to hurt them. This predictably raised a worldwide outcry, so the TV station has decided to pull the show. However, they didn't just pull it; they killed off Farfour by a supposed Israeli! Yes, that's right, kids, your favorite friendly Palestinian mouse was just beaten to death, on camera, by an Israeli. Now how do you feel about those evil people? This just makes me really sad, because it will just put up another obstacle to getting future generations to cooperate together.

I wonder what tomorrow will bring. Any news items you've found particularly note-worthy lately?

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Top 5 Eats in Phoenix

So here is the meme that Veronica passed over to me. (Aside- HH and I were wondering how to pronounce the word 'meme'. Anyone know? He thinks it's 'meh-meh', and I think it's 'meem'). Guidelines:
1. List the person who tagged you.
2. State your location.
3. Top 5 favorite local restaurants
4. Tag 5 more people.

1. Veronica!
2. Phoenix, Arizona (north Phoenix... this city is becoming more and more like LA, in which suburbs that can loosely be referred to as 'Phoenix' are getting really spread out. If someone recommends a restaurant in, say, Chandler, that's an hour's drive away. So I specify- north Phoenix).
3. My favorite places (I include major chains in this because a) Veronica did, and b) because the branch is local, even if it isn't exclusive to Phoenix :-)
1. Macaroni Grill. Not just because of the good entrees (I love Italian!), but because of that fabulous bread they give you before the meal.
2. Monti's Steakhouse. Another place that gives excellent bread before the meal, plus great steaks, and it's over 100 years old!
3. Manuel's Mexican food. I really love their Hawaiian tacos. Great guacamole!
4. Pick Up Stix. Not even close to real Chinese food, but great tasting, and they have excellent little cream cheese wontons. I'm bummed they discontinued the Honey Chicken though. :-(
5. Wildflower Bread Co. A salad-sandwich-pasta place that has a big variety of items to try. I wish they had more locations. I love their butternut squash ravioli!

4. People I tag: Stacy, Staci, Beth, Brad, and Candace. :-)

Hm. On reflecting upon this list, I note that all my Top 5 choices are fairly expensive and fairly fattening. Sigh. Ah well....

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Huzzah for summer!

Ah, summer... when students are not at school, when teachers can read a book or dip in a pool, when it gets hot enough in Phoenix to fry an egg on the sidewalk.... fun times! In fact, I've been having such a good time that I've neglected to post anything for some time. :-( Sorry about that, loyal readers! Thank Veronica for nudging me out of my stupor. (I'll be posting my answers to the meme she tagged me with shortly). First, however, since my last post was about our imminent departure to Disneyland, I'll start with that. I've been choking down reluctant spoonfuls of crow ever since we returned (feathers taste so awful!) because I did, in fact, have a splendid time at the Magic Kingdom. I've even been admitting that to people who ask about it. Does this erase my years of aversion to Disneyland? Not quite... I still have a few bones to pick with the philosophy of "Your Dreams will Come True" being fed to little kids. And I still don't like pink or the Small World ride. But I feel a little less reluctance to going there than I did before. :-)
Part of this, of course, comes from going with great company. Not only was HH along, but my dear sister in law Stacy, her roommates Liz and Vangie, the irrepressable Josh, and of course Candace and Nathanael. Candace and I have been to Disneyland together 3 times now: 1) in college, with someone who shares a first name with a famous duck. Good times! 2) after college, when I was newly dating HH (24 hours or so newly) and C & N got engaged. Hard to beat a trip where your good friend gets happily engaged! 3) This recent time, as married couples. Excellent times! I suppose it will be time to add #4 when we each have ourselves some offspring. :-) Plus, on this trip, my baby brother and my former student Kristy also came by. Fabulous times!
The other part of enjoying Disneyland, for me, is the nostalgia. I love nostalgia. It's one of the few things I enjoy about getting older... more stuff to be nostalgic about. So one of the highlights of our trip was something that I loved as a little kid- the Electric Light Parade. I was sad when it was discontinued in the 90s, and thrilled that it was put back in the California Adventure park. Watching that, with the funky music, the spinning snails, the caterpillar and his hookah, was such fun! HH even got me a mint-chip ice cream cone to make the experience even better. :-) Other nostalgic highlights were the Tiki Room (another favorite when I was a kid) and getting to ride the monorail. Stuff like that makes me realize why I will take my kid to Disneyland someday (though not as often as the aforementioned Veronica :-) - because there is a certain special-ness to Disneyland (where else do you get to ride a monorail?) and because then they can have their own nostalgia-fest someday. It's a bit strange, thinking that I'll be able to shape my children's experiences in their childhood, and thus indirectly control what they someday feel nostalgic about. I'm going to try my best to give them a kick-butt childhood! :-) And a part of that will definitely include the Haunted Mansion, Matterhorn, and Tiki Room.
S0, the crow eaten, the humble pie consumed, and the rental car returned to its roost: I did enjoy our trip to Disneyland!