I’m in Carefree, Arizona. Yes, that is the real name. I wouldn’t make something like that up.
I’ve been here since Sunday for a meeting enjoying the hot…really hot…really, really hot weather. I think it was 105 today and people were saying how great it was that it had cooled off. Yeah, right.
I arrived during one of those weird desert rain and windstorms that come on quick and leave just as fast. Unfortunately the little blue whatever car I was driving (that I didn’t steal this time) was being blown across the highway by the horrible wind. And the lightening was all God-is-smiting-us freaky. Really wicked. I just wish I hadn’t been driving in it all.
Today the meeting ended at noon, but my plane to Minnesota didn’t leave until 6:14 PM. This left me quite a bit of time to
get into trouble explore my surroundings. So I got out the ol’ cameraphone and began snapping a few pics. So begins my Where In The World Is Liana Clark? travelogue.
Oh yeah, speaking of the phone, let me digress for a moment. Yesterday my little Moto Razr was possessed by what I believe to be a demon. The 4 demon. The consequence of possession by said demon seemed to be an incessant desire to dial the number 4. I opened the phone and 4s started appearing on the display as the demon dialed his/her favorite number. Occasionally a 3 would show up as well as a rare #. Then the volume indicator would switch between level 4 and 5, and finally the display would return to the 4s. Nothing could stop this demon. When I got a phone call, the demon insisted on entering 4s (along with the accompanying keypad tone) while I tried to say hello. It was maddening.
Finally after calling Cingular, they said they would send me a new phone. Though I begged to be allowed to swap the phone for a new one at a local Cingular dealer, the answer was a resounding no. I must wait the two business days for a nonpossessed phone.
This morning, however, I opened the phone and found that the demon had left the premises. My normal wallpaper stared back at me without disappearing in the frenzy of 4s. I closed the phone and reopened it. Still wallpaper and no 4s. I did this a few more times. The wallpaper seemed to say, what the heck is going on with you? Stop closing and opening the phone. I’m getting confused. But despite the wallpaper’s confusion, the 4 demon had departed, and my Moto is behaving like a normal little Razr.
Was the 4 demon trying to give me a message? Did a whole mess of 4s, with occasional 3s and #s, mean something significant? Hmmm. I guess I should be glad that there wasn’t a 6 demon. Seeing a whole bunch of 6s traveling across my screen might just wig me out something bad.
Now back to the travelogue.
Note the gigantic boulders. Clever name, no?
But don’t let the pretty fool you. There were reptiles. Lots of reptiles. I don’t like reptiles.
My boss came upon a bullsnake as he was being driven in the resort golf cart to his casita. The guy driving him was like, it’s no big deal. But to my boss, a snake is a big deal. Then upon hearing about said snake, it became a big deal to me. I envisioned snakes jumping out at me from every bit of brush. (Yes, I do realize that snakes do not have legs and thus cannot jump, but you get my drift.) And then at lunch when I was told about the scorpion problem (you must shake out your shoes before putting them on, in case a scorpion has nestled within for a little nap) I was absolutely done with Carefree, the desert and Arizona in general.
Yet since I had to wait until 6 PM for my flight, I opted to find some snake and scorpion-free places to hang out today. I tried to get a facial and cellulite treatment (not that I have cellulite, mind you) at the ritzy Golden Door Spa within the resort, but was told that there were no facial appointments available and I couldn’t have the cellulite treatment (for the cellulite that I don’t have) because I recently had surgery. I tried to understand this surgery-cellulite treatment connection but remained confused. There was something about electrical current, surgical scars and my safety. Whatever. I was out of luck.
So I went to el Padregal (or something like that) to indulge in my favorite pastime: shopping. It was a cute place
that was nearly empty. I bought a few goodies and a gift for my admin. After getting fruit and yogurt (aren’t I good despite my horrific post-surgical weight gain?) from The Bakery Cafe, I found a little gallery. I was walking around trying to figure out why there were so many pieces depicting skeletons (was Halloween upon us already?) when I came upon this print:
If you are anything like me, you are now saying to yourself, what the hell is going on in this picture? Well, not only did I say this to myself, I said it aloud to the gallery salesperson. And yes, there was, in fact, a reasonable explanation of this picture. It has to do with a style of art popular in some Latin countries that depicts someone having a spiritual intervention by God, Jesus or another holy figure. You see, the guy in the bed was visited by Saint something or other with her handkerchief that has the image of Jesus. He is so moved by the saint, the handkerchief or both that he gives up his tequila and his gun and vows to live a straight life. The skeleton (aka Death) is there to remind him of the alternative to his vow. See, that all makes sense! Why didn’t I see this explanation right away?