Saturday, March 29, 2008

Mojo Farmers-Desert Sun Charity Event

The Mojo Farmers, in their quest to provide a musical education and inspire a new generation, volunteered their time and talent at the Desert Sun Child Development Center's Casino Night Fundraiser. Throughout the evening, the Mojo's provided the crowd with plenty of great tunes to enhance the atmosphere. Darin is really fitting in well with the band, even though he was thrown into the song "Still" which I don't think he had heard before, but still played beautifully.

The evening was built around a silent auction and live auction, with plenty of donations from local businesses and talent to help raise funds for the school. There were also blackjack tables, roulette, and craps.

Plenty of fun was had by all, and the school enjoyed a successful fundraising night!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Easter Sunday

Easter is a great day for my family and I. We always go hiking. Some years at the arboretum, other years at the Riparian preserve at the Greenfield Library. My parents, my sister Danielle, my sister Meghan and her family and I hiked around the Preserve. It was a peaceful day, a perfect Sunday.

And just for good measure, my god daughter Samantha, in her Star Wars onesie.. . .

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Renaissance Festival-Huzzah!!!

One of my favorite times of year is Spring, and with Spring comes the Renaissance Festival. I haven't been in a few years, and neither has Becky, so we loaded up the girls in the Honda and headed to the Faire. Elizabeth was thrilled to go and wear her Fiona dress from Shrek 3.

We watched the glass blowing, which is always amazing to me that they start with a bit of hot sand, and at the end is a perfect goblet. In this case, the goblet turned out to be not so perfect when the goblet broke off from the stem at the very end. Such a lot of hard work, with nothing to show at the end. The artisans were Andres & Chapman Glassblowing - Blown Glass Art & Glassblowing Demonstrations.

Elizabeth and I rode on the giant swan swing. I got some priceless pictures of her; she wasn't quite sure if she was enjoying the ride or not. It's the perfect mixture of pleasure and terror.

The finale was the Birds of Prey show, which is one of my favorites. I love seeing all the different kinds of birds. I got a few lovely pictures of the African White Vulture. Her name is Ed.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

A Surprise Party!!!

As noted in a previous post, I completed the work towards my Master's Degree at the end of February. On Saturday, my friend Allen and I went golfing at Papago Public Golf Course. It was a gorgeous day for golf, 70 degrees, and I played well, considering I haven't played for 10 months or so. But back to the point. Allen hasn't been over for a while, so we were going to have a few friends over for dinner, but Becky texted me to say that the Alvars had plans, and it would just be us, and she had to run out to the store, so she wanted to make sure I had my key. So Allen and I get back to our house, I open the door, and there are about 15 people in the living room yelling "Surprise" I most certainly was!!!

It took a few minutes to even register what the surprise was for, take in the fact that there were people at my house, and the fact that I was standing there after walking 9 holes of golf so all sweaty, with my hair a mess while there was a party going on for me!!! It was a great party, a great surprise, and just goes to show how great my friends are!!

We capped off the evening by going to the Big Bang piano bar, as my sister Danielle just turned 21, then watching the Mojo Farmers play at the Loft in Tempe. It was a good show, and the second show with the new drummer Darin Lugar, who has so far been an awesome addition to the band.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

A Day Out with the Girls

For Christmas this year I bought my honorary nieces a day out with their favorite "Aunt." I gave them each a gift card to Chick-fil-a, a movie ticket, and a Barnes and Noble gift certificate. The girls are 9, 6 and 5, and we had a blast. Of course, I think the parents that I borrowed the girls from were more excited about having the days to themselves. I'm glad I brought the 9 year old, because she hung out with me the entire day, while the 6 year old and 5 year old entertained each other.

We only had minor conflict. There were some accusations of cheating during a footrace, but it was only because the 5 year old is much shorter than the 6 year old. I had to explain that being taller is not "cheating." They sorted it out, and we enjoyed the movie "The Spiderwick Chronicles". Both girls shared my chair for the entire movie as it was quite scary.

At the bookstore we scouted around for books. Princesses and Berenstein Bears were the big winners. And at the end the youngest girl said "It was nice going on a date with you." Awwww. It's nice to have created memories like this for the girls, and for me.

Friday, March 7, 2008

A Mojo Sendoff

On Friday the Mojo Farmers played at the Last Exit, which was fitting as it was the drummer, Tim Olson's, last show. Tim has been playing with the band since its inception, but has decided to pursue other interests. The show included previous members of the band as a reunion to celebrate Tim's contribution, and to wish him luck on his way.

Tim has been a big part of the band for many years, and I wish him luck on his future endeavors. Thanks for the memories and the music Tim!!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Mexico City

I studied in Mexico for 6 weeks one summer in college, so whenever I get a chance to go back, I jump at it. This trip is a work trip (I love this part of my job!!), and I'm traveling with Chase. So far we have had a very good trip (please refer to her blog for the beginning) and I have had plenty of opportunities to practice my rather rusty Spanish. To me, Mexico is a place that tears at my soul. There is so much history; the land is rich in culture, in people, in different environments and terrains, but it has more than its fair share of adversity, with corruption, pollution, and poverty always right in the way. But there is a beauty and strength here that is undeniable.

However, a 3 day business trip isn't much of a chance to explore the richer sides of Mexico, so here are a few pictures from the 5 block radius around my hotel, the Camino Real Santa Fe. This area is a business district, with plenty of high-rise office buildings, including the Ford Tower, Jose Cuervo Corporate offices, and many other corporations, both foreign and domestic.

And, something that has absolutely nothing to do with Mexican history or culture, a Starbucks cup from the local shop. (there are two within walking distance of my hotel). It is nice to know that almost wherever I travel, I can always be comforted with something from home, namely a non-fat no-whip, venti cafe mocha. . .

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Roadrunners Hockey Game!!

Ahh, hockey. It is fast becoming one of my favorite sports to watch. I went to a Roadrunners game at US Airways arena. The Roadrunners are a farm team for our NHL team, the Phoenix Coyotes.

The game was excellent. The Roadrunners piled on the goals, and it was a high action game. Unfortunately, not many fights today, which is one of the high points of any hockey game.