a little bit more about me

My name is Beth and I accidentally have found myself living in Arizona but I'm originally from Tennessee. My education is in history and anthropology, which means that I know a little about a lot of things and can hold my own at a cocktail party in mixed company. I work in museums, doing all sorts of things ranging from researching and writing exhibits to cataloguing absolute wickety wak. I love comedy, baking, photography, my daughter, dogs, and above all else, napping.*

* 2013 edit: Oh yeah, and my new son too.

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    Entries in Tempe (5)

    Wednesday
    Oct012014

    Tempe bike enthusiasts: just stick to your URL, please

    When I'm in a hurry, I usually tell people who aren't familiar with the Phoenix area that I live in Phoenix because it's just easier and faster than explaining that I live in the Phoenix metropolitan area but good GOD NO I do not live in Phoenix, UGH!

    Phoenix serves as adequate shorthand for a ton of satellite cities that all merge together in one giant sprawlopolis. But if I have time and/or am not lazy, I'll actually take the time to explain that I live just outside Phoenix in Tempe. It's an important distinction.

    Phoenix is enormous. It's more than 500 square miles big. Its growth has been made possible through nearly unchecked annexation of land since World War II and 20th century car-centered geography. Low-density housing developments seep farther and farther out from any urban center, leaving gaping holes in between - with all the residual effects. Basically, it might be the world's least sustainable city.

    Tempe, on the other hand, is much more compact. It is constrained on all sides by other cities, and so it leaned towards infill development and higher population density rather than sprawl. Something about it just feels more like a community than a giant city. It also just feels much more sustainably-minded than Phoenix. We have a solar water treatment plant, one of the city's golf courses is about to become a farm, and one of the big reasons we love living here instead of our giant sprawling neighbor is you can walk or bike just about anywhere you need to go yearround most of the whenever it is below 100 (so maybe 3 months a year). Now it's not just us that recognize the 165+ miles of bikeways- we just got named the 17th most bike friendly city in the US. We have this whole awesome bicycling community group here who's

    Oh Jesus their acronym is TBAG.

    I will now shut up about how hip my city is.

    Monday
    Sep292014

    unfiltered thoughts: an ethical dilemma

    The new French bistro down the street from my work is soooooooooo good. But, as it has just opened and my building is a bit off the beaten path, I find myself faced with an ethical dilemma. Do I:

    1. Tell everyone that it is a delightful little hidden gem and you should absolutely go there at every opportunity, running the risk that it will become as popular as it deserves to be, at the expense of me never having their cozy warm atmosphere all to myself again?
    2.  - OR -

    3. Tell no one to help to keep it hidden as long as possible so that should they fold I will not have to go on as extreme a diet as I would have had they stayed open long-term?

    As much as I enjoy having it to myself, enjoying the peace and quiet as I sip my smooth, perfectly roasted coffee and sample their flaky, buttery croissants and delicate macarons, I am going to choose #1. If you are in my neck of the woods, you really must go to Delice.

     

    Monday
    Sep222014

    introducing my high carb diet

    My work just got infinitely better.

    There is a new French bistro.

    Adjacent. To. My. Building.

    I could go ahead and post my "before" picture here. The "after" will be 35 lbs heavier.

    Saturday
    Sep062014

    Unfiltered thoughts: what the...?

    Tempe is full of weird ass signs. Here's one.

    Monday
    Apr232012

    Shaking My Fist Skyward

    So after this weekend of 105+, I take back pretty much everything I've ever said about "So what it's hot! It's hot everywhere because it's summer. Just adjust accordingly!" Fate, you cruel bitch. I surrender.

    I attempted to entertain Baby but she got bored (as did I). Here was our itinerary Saturday:

    Our afternoon walk around the hood? Too hot, so that's out. How about playing with your bear? Bored already? Here's your lamb! Ok, let's read a book...or 8. Still no good? Let's listen to music while you crawl around...what's that noise? Oh Jesus. She's trying to eat a diaper. Luckily it's a clean one. Wanna go swing in your...oh, no. it's too hot out there and your swing is in the sun. You wanna go to...um....hmmm...the mall, I guess? What do you mean people watching doesn't entertain you longer than 30 minutes? Sigh. Let's go...um...well....home, I guess.

    Remember your bear? Oh, right. You're bored with him. Well, try it for awhile while I google playgrounds. Oh, City of Tempe, why is your website so anti-informational?! I can see that you have playgrounds but no info about any of them - do they have baby swings or just big kid equipment? Are they shaded?  Let's just go drive around and see.

    Hmmm. No luck but at least you're down for a nap. Jesus. I'm starving. I could really go for a burrito. Hey! There's a burrito place on the other end of Kiwanis Park. OMG! It has a drive thru! "Phone pickup orders only?!" Fine. I will pull over, look up your website & phone in my order from 5' away. Oh, c'mon people. Your menu is a PDF that won't open on my phone - time for a redesign, seeing as it's 2012, guys. Forget it. 

    And that was just Saturday. I googled Saturday night looking for activities in preparation for Sunday. There are indoor playgrounds...at $9 a head and nowhere near me, so that's out. The children's museum online reviews say it's a madhouse on weekends and toddlers beware.

    Sunday, I decided to take her swimming. City of Tempe - WTF? The only pool you have open before May is the wave pool, and @ $7, kinda steep for a public pool. At least it's indoors. But the waves are bigger than I envisioned - way too 'scary' for her, when she's scared of the pool in the first place. Looking online, there is only other public pool open this weekend. Too bad it's practically in Queen Creek, but hey, we got no other ideas, why not? After a 25 minute drive, it's a 20 minute line to get in. Once we got in, it's a f*ckin free for all. Parents not watching their kids who were practically running over Baby and definitely splashing her in the face. Thanks, little Assholes. We left after 15 minutes of 'fun.'

    So, yeah. I surrender. I have no idea wtf to do w/ her this summer. From what I read online, you get the same sort of Lord of the Flies experience at baby splashpads, other pools, & indoor playgrounds. Baby storytime at the public library? Tuesday afternoons in Tempe, Tuesday mornings in Mesa, Tuesday mornings in Chandler, Tuesday mornings in Scottsdale (are we seeing a pattern?) Did you know that more than 73% of moms are working moms? Cuz apparently public libraries don't. (I realize that work isn't always M-F but, c'mon). 

    I give up. This summer is going to be like Groundhog day.