First of all, I am typing this on my netbook's insanely small keyboard, so any mistakes should be attributed to this. I don't really have anything to say, and I'm not really in a mood to write, but I wasn't doing anything this seemed like a reasonable pastime. Additionally, I love spellcheck. While once a pro speller, the Russian language and a pronounced lack of time to read for fun (thanks college!) have taken a huge toll on my comprehension of spelling rules. Not that English really has any.

Currently I am hanging out in Arizona simultaneously worrying about and trying to forget that my passport is in San Francisco allegedly being processed for a visa. There are also a massive number of details looming over my head regarding to my impending journey to Russia. Funny how this seems to be everyone's favorite conversation topic. For future notice: if you see me and think "Gee, Amanda looks like she wants to talk about how it's getting really close to time to leave, the whereabouts of her visa, all details regarding her living situation, or anything that might have any connection to paperwork" your intuition is probably misguided. The correct approach would be to stop, rethink, and start a conversation about something completely unoffensive and relaxed like kittens or the weather.

On a completely non-Russian-related matter, yesterday I got back from an epic AKA/Cottonwood adventure. Well...I suppose it wasn't quite "epic" since it didn't involve scaling volcanoes or something of that magnitude, but it was still pretty fun and a nice change from ultra-suburban Sahuarita.

On Wednesday I ventured 2 hours north to Tempe, AZ where Amanda #2 goes to school. Kim met us there, and I was pleased to note that despite not seeing each other for several months, our internal clocks are still perfectly aligned. Without coordinating our departure times we both managed to get to Amanda's dorm at exactly the same time and wound up across from each other at the 4-way stop next to the parking lot. Additionally, we had both decided to wear blue-green dresses that day (have I mentioned that this summer we both met Brians at our summer programs? Eerie). Amanda's intuitions were a little rusty and she showed up in shorts...we made her go back to her room and change. After everyone was appropriately dressed and Amanda's whiteboard calendar had been sufficiently altered, the 3 of us headed down to the local mall to do what girls do -- eat, try on fun dresses, and take pictures. I haven't decided yet if I regret that those all inevitably made it to facebook. At around 5:30 Amanda had to go do lame school stuff, so Kim and I drove up to Cottonwood. This drive (2 hours) probably would have been a whole lot more interesting had we been in the same car.

Cottonwood appears to still be Cottonwood. You folks who have lived there know what I'm talking about. The thing that seems to have changed the most is my dear (sarcasm) Mingus Union High School. They've done some remodeling, painted it a rather unbecoming reddish orange color, and encircled the whole thing with a fence. I'm glad that when I went there the security was markedly lax...especially since now you can't use the tennis courts or the track anymore thanks to that oh-so-secure 6 ft chain link fence that protects the property. The tennis courts were definitely the best part about the school (aside from a few students and teachers), and it used to be fun just to walk to the football stadium for heartfelt talks. I'm a big fan of empty football stadiums (or soccer or lacrosse or anything else involving bleachers and solitude).

On Thursday Kim had some things to attend to at the bank, so I took over her house and her computer for the morning/early afternoon (since these things always take longer than expected). After that we ate a particularly late lunch at...Murphy's Grill? I honestly can't remember what it's called. It's always interesting to eat there, because it will forever be associated in my mind with senior prom...and rotisserie chicken. Curiously enough it was completely abandoned at 4 pm. Not a popular lunch hour, I gather. Then we journeyed up to Jerome, which has always been a favorite of mine. We got there just in time to watch the door of the candy shop being closed, but we were not too late for ice cream (a fact that we took advantage of)! Second to abandoned football stadiums on my list of "good places for deep talks" is the picnic table looking out over the Verde Valley in Jerome's park. Nothing goes better with talks than ice cream, so Kim and I used our fortuitous location and food situation to talk for an hour or so about recent events, concerns, fears, hopes, philosophies, prophecies, and anything else that might come to mind. The return trip consisted of a jam session in Kim's car and the promise to find other bad pop music to sing to online when we got home.

On Friday we went to Sedona with Kim's mom. We spent a lot of time looking at fish at a plant nursery, I tamed a stone elk, and Kim and I discussed the merits of various hot tubs. Then we had another late lunch, and went to a once happening (but now mostly abandoned) strip mall. I did, however, find a shirt at the Gap outlet store there. Sedona is a very strange and very pretty place..that's about all that I can say about that.

Saturday I woke up late, watched some swimming, realized how late it was, and drove home.

Ok, I am officially out of things to write about.


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