lady_kishiria: (Urge to kill)
The original plan was for the San Diego team to go up to Los Al on Saturday, spend the night in the on-post billeting, do the APFT (pt test), then go back to San Diego. I would just leave on Sunday from Los Alamitos, or stay Sunday night in Los Al and drive home Monday.

Well, that got changed the Thursday before. Now the APFT was going to be Saturday morning, which meant that after staying the night in SD on my own dime (because there was no money in the government coffer to pay for it), I got up at 0430, drove to Los Al, took the PT test and failed my run by 40 seconds. Incidentally, the run was a full five hours (and a 90 minute drive) after getting up. So I'm flagged and cannot be promoted until I pass both another APFT and BMI.

I stayed Saturday night and had been told there would be a full house in the billeting. There wasn't. I ended up having my own room. At least that was a nice surprise.

Sunday night I was one of maybe six people in the whole building. It was unnerving although I knew I was probably perfectly safe. I had crazy dreams and woke up convinced I was in a film directed by Salvador Dali.

My drive was okay, although severely slowed down by heavy rain in California. It stopped by the time I reached the mountain pass before Ocotillo, and I made good time into Arizona. Once home, Steve made a homemade pizza baked on one of the cast iron pans he's restored, and we watched wrestling.

Now I'm sitting here unemployed and I know I need to start making profiles on yet more job sites. It'll happen. I just need some time to breathe.
lady_kishiria: (astrology)
We are officially in Dry Summer, and Wet Summer should be arriving this week. It is currently 110 F under a blazing sun. I went out to water my potatoes and that is it. I'm not going anywhere. The temperature will start to go down as the rainy season begins, and I hope my potatoes thrive and don't get moldy.

I've been fairly busy at work, which is a good thing. I've been negligent of my exercise out of a dread of going outside at noon to walk to the gym. This isn't really justified because noon is NOT the day's high temperature. I did go to a torturous workout with my personal trainer on Thursday; my arms still won't bend all the way.

The biggest news is that Bucky got neutered yesterday. He is a little dim intellectually and his hips bend outward strangely when he lies on his tummy. These are both effects of his being quite inbred, and they stop propogating with him. He has little crescent shaped incisions on both sides of his scrotum. He's not worrying at them, so all seems well. Pet DoctoRx on Oracle Road charges $47 for a cat neuter, $59 for a spay. We're going to go back to our usual vet, but they wanted $450 for a neuter and we said no.

Holidays

Jan. 2nd, 2015 11:46 am
lady_kishiria: (astrology)
This year, we did put up a tree (Ivan sent it to the floor a couple of times, but most ornaments survived) and some decorations. Jul dinner was small, but tasty, and it was fun to have a pecan pie made with nuts from our own tree.

On Christmas Day we drove up to Phoenix to have dinner with Steve's nephew and niece and their families. Our holidays felt like actual holidays, and that was something that hadn't been the case in a couple of years.

I was gestating a cold New Year's Eve, so for the first time in my adult life I didn't try to stay up till midnight. I spent the next day in my sweatpants and hoodie, taking it easy and napping. I'm at work today, but almost no one else is and the courtrooms are dark. I brought my Kindle.

It froze last night, and will for the next two. After more than a decade of rarely-changing weather in San Diego, we have seasons here in Arizona. Yes, it makes a difference!

Now, back to decreasing my fatness.
lady_kishiria: (Food)
Yesterday (Saturday), Steve said, "Why don't we go have brunch at La Cocina?" La Cocina is a restaurant downtown in a small complex of old buildings. There is a stage in the center courtyard and the other buildings are art stores.

So we went, and the place looked like our Saloon had grown up. Same kind of garage-like setting, with peeled wooden posts and all. Steve ordered chilaquiles and I ordered turkey pozole. I love pozole, a soup made with hominy corn and usually pork, so turkey sounded great.

Problem is, their kitchen is not in the restaurant. It's about 30 feet away around the courtyard. Steve's chilaquiles were okay, but his black beans were very meh. My pozole was close to flavourless. Because of the distance, and the fact that the servers have to carry the dishes outside, both dishes were lukewarm at best by the time they reached the table.

We then went over to the Air Force base to use the commissary. We shouldn't have bothered. Milk was a good dollar more than at Fry's or Walmart. Ground beef was the only thing not sold out. The frozen things we buy are cheaper in the civilian stores. So that was disappointing food as well.

Finally, Bob and Julie, the home-schooling homesteaders, sold us one of their chickens. I sliced up one of the grapefruits that came off our tree in the back yard (this place is wonderful and I love it) to stuff in the cavity, then roasted it with butter and thyme.

The chicken was being delicious. Steve and I were pulling off bits of cooked meat and the legs as we waited for the rest of the body to cool. Steve started carving. All was well until, deep in the breast, we found that the meat was...green. We put the chicken in the fridge and texted Bob and Julie about what we found.

It turns out that this is something that happens to chickens whose breasts are too big. When they are active, as Bob's and Julie's are, the inner part of the pectoral muscles don't get enough oxygen and necrotize. It's safe to eat (though not palatable), but it was a problem they knew might happen although odds were against it. They were happy that Steve and I were the ones to find the weird meat, because we, at least, are cool about such things. They brought us another chicken and a dozen eggs.

However, Steve had had the butcher at Fry's cut up a rib roast into steaks that ended up being three meals. It was absolutely delicious; when it comes to barbecuing meat, Steve is the absolute master. Today I took the last of it and put it at the bottom of a cheese and egg pie with Jarlsberg cheese. That rib roast served us well indeed.

I voted

Oct. 13th, 2014 06:40 pm
lady_kishiria: (Lady Liberty)
Straight Democrat ticket. I wish I could have voted a mixed one, but the Republicans were endorsed by Sheriff Joe Arpaio which means an automatic no-go. I'm not thrilled with Ann Kirkpatrick as Representative, but Andy Tobin is going to be way worse, even if he didn't have the Arpaio disease. On the other hand, I like what I've seen of gubernatorial candidate Fred Duval, and didn't hold my nose as I filled in the balloon beside his name.

We'll see how it goes.
lady_kishiria: (Arizona)
I live in an area referred to as Red Rock. It's not incorporated. South of us is Marana proper. The fancypants Pulte community of McMansions is on the west side of I-10 and the Anarchist Village where we live is on the east side.

Marilyn Bedoya is a woman who resides in the vicinity and she's a caterer. She has also been organizing food truck round-ups that have been taking place every other month or so in the community park in the Pulte Homes community.

The Pulte Homes HOA has evil plans indeed. Evil, evil, evil. They want to incorporate Red Rock and make it a town. Steve immediately called them out in the community web page for wanting to establish fiefdoms and wield petty tyranny. They hotly denied this, said that incorporation was inevitable and whined that he was personally attacking them. Which he was, but the emperor is naked here, you know?

The next post declared that the food truck roundups have been banned from the community park, by order of the HOA. People are devastated.

I messaged Marilyn and suggested moving the whole thing to the east side. The idea is under consideration. I know a few other foodie households who will be beside themselves to have the food truck roundup closer!

All the HOA/incorporation people go to the same church, Red Rock Community Church. I'm going to check it out this weekend, just to see what the dynamic is. This is a sacrifice for me, because I'll be postponing the trip to the KJV 1611-only fundamentalist church, and I've been wanting to go there sooooo badly.
lady_kishiria: (Kishiria)
...Bad restaurant meals.

There's this place called Lucky Chinese and Sushi in Casa Grande that has good reviews on Yelp. Since Steve and I were up there, we gave it a shot.

The salad, with lots of nice toasted sesame seeds on it, was promising. I ordered a spicy tuna roll which came with a ketchup-based spicy sauce on top. A drop would have been sufficient, but they applied it heavily on top of the tuna belly.

Why would any sushi chef do something so disrespectful to a piece of tuna belly?????

Steve's sushi selection was meh. We won't be back. Fortunately, Sachiko Sushi downtown is excellent. Steve pronounced it "adequate" compared to the masterful sushi in L.A. But that's L.A.

Today I'm making a simple beef stew, cooked in our cast iron Dutch oven.

Unrelated, I've set myself a discipline. Since I have a month or more until my background check with the Department of Justice, I've decided to be in the gym by 10 each morning. Now to stay honest.

Oh, right. I haven't mentioned it here, but I am to start a one-year contract with the U.S. Attorney's Office here in Tucson pending a background check. It is the exact same process as I went through for my U.S. Army security clearance. However, DOJ and DOD don't talk to each other, it seems. So now I wait. I'm on Unemployment since I got laid off from the job in Coronado, so life is survivable still. I have lots of books to read while waiting, but I really am looking forward to getting back to work.
lady_kishiria: (Maple Leaf Flag)
There's a "The Keg" in Oro Valley, about half an hour from our house!

Given that we went to Texas Roadhouse, a popular US chain, three times and it sucked, I'm glad to know The Keg is there for our steakhouse needs.

One thing that attracted us to the greater Tucson area is that there are some very good restaurants. Bear in mind that our closest convenience store is 20 minutes away, so ten minutes further for decent food is just fine. We discovered Vero Amore, a very nice Italian place, in the same vicinity.

Arizona Mexican food is quite different from California Mexican. Calimex is seafood-heavy and Arimex (is that a word?) is into beef. Air-dried beef (carne seca) is the Tucson national dish.

Steve is making beef ribs tonight.
lady_kishiria: (Mjollnir (Thor's Hammer))
Last weekend was drill and the two weekends before that were trips to Arizona. Here comes Pagan Pride on Saturday, for which I'm setting up the booth early in the A.M. I'm also giving a lecture and would like to hear [livejournal.com profile] ebenbrooks when he performs and our friend Dreya when she lectures on Women in the Celtic Tradition.

Weekend after next, we have a wedding in the kindred, and I'm supplying ten rotisseried chickens from Pancho Villa and I've been asked to play harp.

Fortunately, I do have Sundays off. The last weekend in September is Viking Fest, but Steve won't be here which removes 75% of the fun, so I may have a quiet weekend here in S.D.

I sproinged my back, which led to the interesting experience of using a chiropractor. I just wanted my back adjusted. I am not interested in getting spinal adjustments for the purpose of eliminating my allergies because the human body doesn't work that way, really it doesn't. I found the experience useful enough that I want to keep going, but not once a week! That bites into my already scarce free time AND my yoga budget--and yoga means a lot to me. Steve suggested me doing the DDP Yoga, but going to the studio and the spiritual woo is part of the experience that I enjoy.

I've crossed off all the things I needed to accomplish at home today, so after the dishwasher finishes, I'm off to shower and keep reading "Hero With A Thousand Faces" which I'm enjoying a lot. I've also got SO MUCH piled up in my Kindle.
lady_kishiria: (Arizona)
Steve sounded morose last Friday, and I knew it was going to be one of those weekends where all I did was watch movies and Xena episodes on Netflix while wondering if 9:30 was too early to go to bed. So I decided to drive out to the hacienda.

It really isn't a bad trip. I had a hard time seeing after the sun went down as I was driving, but a new glasses prescription should help with that immensely. I left work, stopped at the condo to feed the cats and make sure their drinking fountain was full, then jumped in the truck and headed out. I left at around 1640, and got in at 2200, almost on the nose, and I did take breaks. On the way, I saw lightning, which was very exciting for me since it's a pretty rare occurrence in San Diego.

I didn't have a lot of time, since I planned to be back in SD by 1800 on Sunday. Steve and I bought a few things for the house, which for us usually means Home Depot. We met Karl and Dawn for lunch at a marvelous barbecue place called Mr. K's, where I had the turkey. After that the lot of us went over to Sportsman's Warehouse because Karl had had one of his bows repaired and he needed to pick it up.

Since this seemed to be the weekend for spontaneity, I bought a bow and some arrows myself. A child's bow with a 25-lb draw is $30. Since I'm the size of a modern 10-year old, it's almost a longbow on me. We went over to Karl's back yard where he gave me an archery lesson and showed off his compound bow, which is what you need if you want to seriously hunt. With an hour of instruction I was hitting the target in the "heart", and I need/want to experiment with how far I can send an arrow and with how much force. My bow is okay for small game if I decide to hunt for some, and apparently it's more powerful than anything Native Americans would have used for hunting or warfare.

Steve suggested we buy our own target and put it into the carport (it has a back wall) beside the saloon so I can practice my archery whenever.

I drove home at 10:30 the next morning and hit some rather nasty rain in the valleys in western Arizona/eastern California. I got to the German restaurant Kaiserhof at a little after 1700 and gave out some neat mugs I'd bought for my kindred on the way back.

The cats were fine, and I didn't get yelled at by them as much as I thought I would be.

The mountain in my userpic is Picacho Peak. I can see it from my side yard.
lady_kishiria: (astrology)
I've had a whole week to start adjusting to Arizona. I was called on Tuesday to tell me I was needed at administrative separation boards starting Thursday, which meant 3 days back at Los Alamitos. Great...they went okay, but I was still pretty resentful. I stayed at the billeting, which was very quiet and comfortable and the boards went easily enough.

From there I drove home to help Steve pack up the truck and trailer and drive out to Arizona. This trip went far less painfully than we feared. Even at a sedate pace we made it to the hacienda by 2300, getting to bed at a decent hour.

I leave on Sunday morning. So far this trip:

I painted my study dark green. Steve had done two and a half walls before the paint sprayer gave up the ghost, and said it was up to me to finish. So I have. I need to touch up the white paint now and get a pseudo Persian rug. I have film to put over the windows which will make them looked like a stained glass window of flowers. With my dark brown bookshelves and rolltop desk, it should make a good Victorian adventurer's den.

Steve had a job interview, and is going to a second interview. While we were downtown, we drove to Davis-Montham Air Force Base to check out the BX. We didn't get to the commissary. In the lobby of the BX was a woman selling Celtic-themed tiles of various sizes, and it many of them were pagan. I got two tiles for us; one with a mjollnir and one with the golden boar Gullinbursti on it. I got a third with a Bridget's cross on it for our kittysitter, Dreya.

We had a wonderful July 4th with the neighbours. Bob and Julie provided the tri-tip, Jake and Sarah brought beer, Marilyn brought a German potato salad. Steve and I had corn and fireworks. We cooked up a great feast, after which Dawn made ice cream using a non-dairy creamer in the flavour "Sweet Cream". The ice cream worked out marvellously. She made it in chocolate and strawberry, with the strawberry coming out almost more like a sherbet.

I've given the saloon a good cleaning and need to get acrylic paints to touch up the Arizona flag painted on the front of the bar. We had to retire the flags flying over the saloon; they were in horrible shape. Replacements have been ordered.

Tomorrow Steve suggested us going to a pistol match, so I'm going to ask him if we can have breakfast out beforehand. There are a lot of good restaurants in the Tucson area; we won't lack for those!

It's monsoon season, which means it's only in the 80s right now, and feels cool after 113 degrees.
lady_kishiria: (astrology)
This past Memorial Day weekend, we spent four days at the new house in Arizona. We drove up late Thursday night and dropped into bed. This was easy, because we'd left one there, with the covers on.

Only downside was that when we entered the place, the tobacco stink was outrageous. Also, the AC was only blowing outside air. At night that isn't *too* bad since the temperature is in the 80s, but it got old real quick once the sun rose. However, our neighbours Bob and Julie swung over with their coffee and chatted with us on the front porch. After that it was 0800 or so, so Steve and I went into town (25 minutes away), to get some breakfast and pick up some groceries, tools and cleaning supplies.

The A/C guy came by and it turned out that someone had turned off our breakers. We locked the breaker box, which is outside, so that should eliminate the problem. We gave him a beer at the saloon and chatted some more with him.

Since Steve had bought a barbecue grill last time, he cooked up some steaks. Jake and Bob came over and we watched the sunset, with beer. Bob brought over a dozen eggs from their hens and a jar of Julie's chocolate mocha sauce. The eggs were gorgeous; brown, beige and green shells. They tasted good too; we ate them for breakfast for the next two days.

With the A/C on, the tobacco stink was greatly minimized, but still there. We spent the next couple of days steam-cleaning the carpet and scrubbing walls and the ceiling fans. The carpeting is good quality and in good shape so we really, really don't want to have to tear it up and replace it.

I was somewhat afraid of isolation, but it appears that there's more community in the village than in the city. I do know my neighbour's names here, but I don't want to have to listen to Angry Mike screaming obscenities at whatever sports event he's watching, or every conversation going on in the alley, particularly after 11 at night.

The desert is full of life, even in the daytime. There are ground squirrels, lizards, hares, rabbits, and all kinds of birds. I hear there are cardinals, but I haven't seen any yet. I was happy to get home to the cats and internet connection and my comfy sofa, so I'm looking forward to having them all out there.
lady_kishiria: (wreath)
The previous baktun (Mayan long count calendar) is over. A new one has begun. I've heard that the omens are good for this 2013, but that's largely up to us. So endeth the lesson.

Steve and I went back to Tucson for the long weekend. It was quite cold, which I enjoyed, of course. We got in Saturday night and went out for mesquite-grilled MEAT at a place called Lil' Abner's. It's in an old ranch building from the mid 19th century and the pit is located outside.

On Sunday, Dawn had to work so Karl, Steve and I went shooting in the morning then into Tucscon. We visited the Presidio for a bit, then heard drumming so we crossed the street to see what was up. A restaurant had twho Aztec dancers in very familiar costumes getting ready to do a performance. The one who was speaking was mixing up Mayan and Aztec and putting in mumbo jumbo about being barefoot in order to be in touch with Mother Earth, so we left. I found out from the lady in an arts and crafts store that the performers lived in Tijuana, so the reason they looked so familiar is because I've seen them in Tijuana many times!

After that we stopped by the shrine of El Tiradito. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/El_Tiradito I'd read about this shrine in books by James S. Griffith, who specializes in southern Arizona folklore, so I was very pleased to see it. In addition to the usual saint candles, there were a number of Louisiana voodoo offerings in the form of featureless dolls made of blue satin. After that, we swung by a botanica because it has a Santa Muerte mural, and Karl wanted a picture of himself with it. Karl is an old friend of Steve's from when they were both in high school, and they reconnected because of FaceBook about a year ago. We were astonished to discover that he was now an Asatru with a devotion to Santa Muerte!

We proceeded to St. Xavier del Bac, which is a mission church that has been in continual use since it was built. This is not the case with most, if any, California missions. It's also much more ornamented than any mission church I've seen here, and looks more Mexican than any church I've seen in the U.S. There's a tradition, also written about by Mr. Griffith, that an unfaithful spouse cannot lift the head of the statue of St. Xavier. The statue lies prone with its head on a pillow. I lifted its head but Steve seemed unimpressed.

St Xavier

Yesterday (New Year's Eve), Dawn had the day off so the four of us drove to Tombstone. It's always odd for me to go to a place that is that legendary because it's hard to believe it's real. But it is, and I'll resume the story tomorrow.

April 2017

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