Monday, November 15, 2010

Downtown Deb

So, you may have noticed that my post yesterday was a little crabby. I was in a really bad mood when I wrote it, and Carrie even mentioned it to me today. Yeah, yeah. Whatever. I was in a bad mood. That mood carried over a little into today, and oh was I grumpy on my drive into downtown Phoenix due to a summons for jury duty. You can see my shadow behind the little white car here, and see all that backed up traffic going west on I-10? That's where I was heading. (Note there's hardly any traffic going east bound in the morning. Afternoons are just the opposite.)

There was an accident on the freeway so traffic was at a stand still. I decided to take an exit and travel on surface streets which was a good idea, but still put me at the parking garage at 8:35 - and I was supposed to check in at 8:00! It was amazing how many other people were trailing behind me - I wasn't the only one with jury duty who was running late. The mood of everyone around me seemed the same. Grumpy. Irritated to be inconvenienced with a summons for jury duty. How dare our democracy demand our time to keep the judicial system fair. I'm missing work. I had to drive in traffic. I need more coffee.

And then something happened. We boarded the shuttle that would transport us from the parking garage where we had begrudgingly parked our cars, to the Maricopa Superior Court Building where we were potential jurors. The bus driver introduced himself as Walt, greeted each of us with a smile and acted like this was the greatest day ever.

On the short trip from the garage to the courthouse, Walt helped to shift my mood. He gave instructions over the microphone on where he would pick us up at the end of the day, and had everyone on the bus laughing and smiling as we unloaded at the steps of the court building. "Have a great day! I'll be back to pick you up later!" he chimed. Then I kind of got grumpy again. Hmph! Great day? Sitting and waiting for our name to be called? Ugh.

You'll notice by the photos I am posting that I subconsciously was really enjoying the architecture. The beautiful morning, and that gorgeous Arizona sky. Anyway, back to the grumpy part...

Inside the jury assembly room was a woman about my age on a microphone giving instructions about what would be happening throughout the day. She would call our names, we'd line up, if we went to the bathroom be sure to check the sheet to see if our name was called while we were gone, etc., etc., etc. But you know what? She was funny too. You know she gives that same speech over and over again, day after day, but she was present and positive and humorous. Standing up there with a new crowd to laugh at the same jokes that probably make her co-workers cringe, she was happy {and if she wasn't she was really good at faking it!}.

Because I was in a rush this morning, I skipped my morning walk. So when we broke for lunch I hit the sidewalks and enjoyed the beautiful day. I had seen my favorite deli a few blocks down so I headed straight for it. On my way, four different homeless people asked for money. I had a granola bar with me and gave it to the first woman who asked me - she was so happy. The others I had to say no to, which really made me sad. :o\ Especially since I knew I was headed to have myself a very delicious sandwich at Duck and Decanter.

By this time, I'm feeling pretty happy. I went over one block and walked a different route back to the courthouse. And lo and behold. There was a bronze naked man standing on the corner. Had to have a picture of him. I laughed to myself thinking how Carrie would be mortified if she were with me. Or about the look on her face when she sees him on my blog. He's fairly well cut, don't you think? ;o)

I loved seeing the old buildings among the new and modern structures.

Business people bustled past me as if I was in their way, stopping to take photos of the buildings they pass by every day. It had been so long since I'd been in the downtown area, I'd forgotten how beautiful it was. I suppose at one time I took this for granted myself.
Back in the jury assembly room, my group was released early and we headed back to find Walt for our ride back to the parking garage. He was still jolly and seemed so very happy to be driving that shuttle bus, greeting each of us as we got on, bidding us adieu as we departed.

I found my car which was a relief! Even though Walt dropped us off at a particular location, I had to walk around the garage and go back to the staircase I recognized so that I'd be sure to find my car. {This is a little issue for me!}
As I headed west on Washington Street I could see the state capitol building up ahead. What would a trip downtown and all those photos be without some of the capitol building? I wasn't in a hurry for anything, and actually wanted to kill some time, so I parked across the street from the capitol and had a nice stroll around the grounds.

Arizona is known as "The Copper State" for all of the copper that has been mined here over many years. The dome of this building is covered with copper, and topped with an angel. The copper dome is in need of some polishing, as it wasn't nearly as shiny as I remember it being before.

This next photo surprised me for a couple of reasons. 1) I hate pigeons. I think they are rats with wings. But when I saw them playing in this fresh puddle of water I had to get a shot of them. Then 2) when I uploaded the photo and saw the cool reflection of the capitol building in the water I was really happy. {And I'm not sure why the pigeons look blue in this photo as they are actually an ugly color of gray.}
I'm so glad I went the extra mile and stopped at the capitol building.

I took a few self-portraits which I find very embarrassing to do in public, and Carrie was over earlier and encouraged me to post this one.

I was happy here.
I am happy.
I needed today to be just like it was.
November Attitude of Gratitude:
{Did you notice I forgot to post gratitude in my last post? I'm telling ya', I was grumpy.}
* I'm so very grateful that I have a safe and cozy home and plenty of food to eat.
* I am grateful for people like Walt the Bus Driver, and the Courthouse Microphone Lady who are not boring government employees and really helped ease the process of jury duty. Their attitudes were an inspiration to me today.
* I am grateful to live in a country where - if we are in trouble, we are judged by a jury of our peers.
* I am grateful that I am healthy and capable of supporting myself and my family.
* I am grateful that I live in Arizona where weather is beautiful in November and walking outside is so fab!
* I am grateful for a special blog friend who surprised me today with Royal Mail {thanks, Rhona!}.


Carrie Rosalind said...

Oh. My. Goodness! I can NOT believe you posted that pic.

Seriously though, I LOVE this post. And your gratitudes are my favorite so far this month. :)

Kristi Jean said...

This post makes me miss Phoenix SO So So much!!!!! Beautiful blog :)

Amy said...

There is nothing like a bronzed bloke to put a smile on your face! ;-)

Deb, thanks for this fabulous post - it has put a smile on my face as I was here feeling like a Miss Grumpy myself!

scrappyjacky said...

Definately a post to put a smile on your face....beautiful buildings,cheery people,bronze nakedness and a lovely lady.

helena said...

What a beautiful city, love the copper against the amazing blue sky. Yeah for all those people who do their routine jobs with a smile, day after day, they really do make a difference.

Ruth said...

This is a terrific post, Deb! I had no idea that Pheonix was so beautiful and it's such a treat to view gorgeous blue skies in November. I think you're very brave re the self-portraits when you're outside ~ I love the one of you eating lunch!

Rhona said...

I'm so glad your mail arrived safely :)
I so enjoyed reading this post and getting to see your walk around Phoenix. I love seeing new places because I never know what to expect.
Well done on the self portraits - what camera were you using? If I tried to hold out my SLR and take a photo I don't know what I'd get, lol!!

Sian said...

This is such a great post! I started off thinking "well, jury service, she has every right to be a bit crabby" and then you turned the whole thing right round with your thoughtful writing and beautiful photographs. It must have taken a bit of time putting this all together - but it was well worth it!

traci said...

oh the weather looks so lovely there. it would put a smile on my face. even in the midst of jury duty. i have never been called. i think i need to knock on some wood. have a great day.

Deb said...

:o) Thanks, everyone for your sweet comments.

@ Rhona ~ I used my Sony Cyber-shot (point-and-shoot) for these photos. I love that little camera!

@ Carrie ~ Look out, girlfriend, you're gonna' be just like me one day... xo

Anonymous said...

Fabulous post, Deb. I loved every word of it, and got a good chuckle when I got to your commentary on the statue. I think taking your camera on a photo walk was a brilliant way to improve the day as well. You got some great shots!

M.L. @ The House of Whimsy said...

What a wonderful Post, Carrie!!! These buildings were beautiful to view!!! I love old architecture too! Did you ever see the Hallmark Christmas movie 'Silver Bells'? It has to do with beautiful old buildings (in New York, I think).
I was so sorry to read of your dear friend, Carrie. I hope you're doing alright. He sounded like a wonderful person.
Take good care,
Mary Lou

Margaret said...

And there was a bronze naked guy! How much better can you get than that?

Stephanie @ La Dolce Vita said...

Great post! I love how you turned it all around and made it a positive day. I Love love LOVE your gratitude posts, and I really love that you're not embarrassed to take a self portrait in public. (pretty darn impressed on the photography too deb!)

Maria Ontiveros said...

Love naked public statues! LOL!
The last time I had jury duty, I was very impressed with how well the system "handled" us to make it as painless as possible.
Great self portrait!

Clair said...

Nothing beats the infectiousness of someone who enjoys their life and loves their work. I'm so glad that your day improved x

Rachel B said...

Beautiful post deb and gorgeous pictures too :)

Cheryl said...

Wow Deb thanks for your post it has rally put a smile on my face. It looks like such a beautiful place and it looks so quiet and calm love the pics x

debs14 said...

Fantastic post Deb, lovely to see how a grotty day turned into a good one! Isn't it amazing how someone's good mood can be contagious? I'm pleased that the jury service day turned out good in the end. Fab photos, am very impressed that you did a one handed self portrait of you eating dinner, I have enough trouble with straightforward ones!
Thanks for sharing your part of Arizona with us!

Mom said...

Oh, I almost missed this post! Thanks for the heads up! Love the pictures and story line and downtown Phoenix. Remember the saying? A smile is a frown turned upside-down? I think you did just that, DD! xo

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