Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The 50-State Interview Series Visits The Land of Dry Heat (And Senses Of Humor): Arizona!

Please, no outside food or beverages allowed in The LG Report.

Today, just as Old Man Winter is blowing his bone-chilling winds and snow across much of the United States and Europe, The LG Report is kind enough to take you for a brief respite, down to the warmth of Arizona, home of Kate.  [Note: Illegal immigrants may prefer to not come along on this particular state interview.  We cannot guarantee your return amigos.]   

Kate is the author of the very funny "Hotdishing" blog, which can be accessed by clicking HERE.

This may be a hotdish, we're not sure.  Close enough.
A "hotdish," as LG learned recently from Wikipedia, is a type of casserole indigenous to Minnesota, which is where Kate grew up.  It's also popular in North and South Dakota [which are two different states for you snobby Easterners; it's not merely the State of Dakota with a north and south, like North Jersey and South Jersey.]  The "hotdish" casserole typically consists of a starch and one or more types of meat.  That's all you need to know, this isn't a cooking blog, get off our backs.

But you must admit, you're really getting your Learn On here at The LG Report today.       

On to Arizona....

The LG Report:  Kate, thanks for inviting us down here to The Grand Canyon State to visit with you for a while.  You have a very nice home.  We notice your cats have their own room.  We were expecting an adobe hut.        

Let's get started.   You've lived in Minnesota, Alaska, Pennsylvania and Arizona.  All four states end in an "a."  Is this some fetish related to your job as a college professor?  Does the letter "a" make you feel better?  Do you have plans to move to Alabama at any point?

Kate:  The short letter “a” is easy for me to pronounce, making it one of my favorites.  My students have written on “” that I am “not a great orator”, and that’s correct.  I try to avoid having to say words that end with a long “ohhh” because with my Norskie accent, it takes me five minutes to finish them.  Like Idahoooooo.  It’s hard enough to say my own last name and move forward in conversation.

A simulated Kate accepting a simulated apple.

The LG Report:  Speaking of which, how much do you charge a student to give him/her an "A?"   

Kate:  Actually—little known fact—I pay students to earn A’s.  Last semester I offered a lot of extra credit for the first person who could come to class with the definition of “interrobang”.  She was arrested during her research project and is now in jail.

The LG Report:  We also see from your blog that you've dated a man 22 years older than you.  We hesitate to call you a "grave robber," but we're sure that's what the audience is thinking (they all think exactly like LG.)   Are you in Arizona because of the plentiful supply of rich old guys who are just a hip-break-and-everything-else-goes-downhill away from leaving you their hard-earned Midwestern grain-and-feed fortunes?

Kate:  In fact, I’ve always been attracted to older men…I just didn’t expect to live long enough to enjoy the 60-80 year old range.  If it’s good enough for Calista Flockhart, it’s good enough for me.

The LG Report:  What's the best little-known tourist attraction in Arizona in your opinion?   

Tent City residents enjoy the dry heat while awaiting a beating.

Kate:  I would have to say our jail, Tent City, where the sheriff (Joe Arpaio) sends all the DUI offenders.  There’s a big neon sign that you can see flying into Phoenix that flashes “Tent City: Vacancy”.  They sell tickets and you can tour around in there, seeing everybody on the worst day of their lives.  It’s awesome, especially if you liked Gitmo too.


The LG Report:  The Grand Canyon.  What does that phrase evoke for you?  Or is it invoke?  Is there an English professor in the house?  

Kate:  I haven’t been to the Grand Canyon in years, not since 1993 when I went with another loser boyfriend who scolded me on the way back since our radio wasn’t working: “Do you ALWAYS have to sing Doris Day songs?”    Well excuuuuuse me… I just always wondered how much that doggy really was in the window, woof woof.  The Grand Canyon is totally overrated.  Buy a postcard and go to Sedona instead.

The LG Report:  Why did you leave Minnesota?  Did you commit a crime?  Are you running away from something?  If you committed a heinous crime that is still unsolved, feel free to confess here, LG will grant you exclusive LG Report immunity.   Wait until you see how valuable that is!  And P.S. feel free to make something up if you don't have anything interesting to confess.

Another woman dons her "Stay Away Men!" hat. 
Kate:  I left Minnesota for graduate school in Fairbanks, Alaska.  When my dad heard my plan, he sat me down at the kitchen table, stuck his nose in my face and said, “I just want you to know that the more education you get, the circle of men who are interested in you will become SMALLER and SMALLER.” That was fine with me because I’d already worked my way through all the eligible bachelors in Minnesota, and I was lighting out for the territory ahead, where hopefully there were a lot of really cute, sexy, super-nice and highly educated men.  HA HA HA.  That joke was definitely on me.

The LG Report:  Let's get back to Arizona, the "arid" zone that it is.  Have you ever had a conversation with someone from a cold-weather state without using the phrase "But it's a dry heat?" 

Kate:  Nobody understands that until they come here.  When I first moved to Phoenix in ’91, I went for a walk from my apartment to ASU and back: three miles without water in August.  I left weighing 125 pounds and weighed only 75 when I finally returned, I’d sweat so much…all eyes and ribs.  In fact, that experience made the news (“College Grad Student Wanders Off”) and is why we leave water out in the desert for illegal immigrants now.  Little known fact.

The LG Report:  Have you ever eaten a cactus, whole or in part?

New Yorkers see a cactus hailing a cab in Arizona.
Kate:  I did once, but didn’t mean to.  I was mountain biking through South Mountain Park and bit it on a downhill.  The cactus ate me.  I also tried to pet a cactus once…a domestic neighborhood breed.  I recommend against that because even though they look soft, they’re not.  They’re covered with little tiny sharp bits of trouble.  Golden rule: stay away from the cactuses down here.  And the men (I’m just sayin’).

The LG Report:  You've revealed on your blog that you have two cats.  How many cats do you think are required before one could be called "that crazy old cat lady in the neighborhood?"    

Kate:  You can definitely have too many cats.  Phoenix cat hoarders are often featured on national TV shows.  I think anyone would agree that I could never be considered a crazy cat lady because I don’t have enough patience for that.  My two cats are soldiers who stay inside and do as I say, or else:  No soup for you.

The LG Report:  Kate, we've come to the part of our interview that many people like the best (LG does anyway, screw what everyone else thinks....)  It's time to kill off Geo in Arizona.  If Geo were to come visit you, how would you do him in?  Choose from among:

1.    Lure him to the edge of the Grand Canyon with the promise that he'll be able to see clear to China at the bottom of the hole and then violently push him in (whilst shooting an Uzi at his falling body just to make sure);
2.    Give him an Arizona Iced Tea laced with cyanide;
3.    Lure him to the Arizona-Mexico border then shoot him in the back while yelling "I got one, I got one, El Geo was trying to sneak in!";  or
4.    Take him to the desert for what you claim to be a photo spread for the AARP Magazine and then push him hard up against a poison-tipped cactus and leave him there to suffer a slow, painful death which you will dutifully photograph for The LG Report.

Really made in Arizona?  We couldn't be bothered to check. 

Kate:  I think The LG Report brings too much of itself and its personality to this question.  The question seems, shall we say, “loaded”.  If you literally want to kill off somebody in Arizona, just take her to Mexico and tell her to walk back.  If you want to break her heart and make her suffer a slow painful death, well gosh—there are so many colorful ways to do so.  I happen to love AARP, but it’s hard to explain to my parents why so many of the men on the cover have such bright, wide-open eyes.  Key word here people: injectibles.  You don’t need surgery.

The LG Report:  What is the single best thing about living in Arizona (other than easy access via the internet to The LG Report)?

Kate:  My job.  I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for my job.

The LG Report:  Have you ever unintentionally broken someone's hip while jostling them in the early bird line down at the Denny's?   We know you're not old, but plenty of the Arizonians are, right?  Isn't John McCain considered on the young side in your state?

Kate:  The strangest thing that has ever happened between me and an old person happened when I was a Girl Scout and she was a resident in a nursing home in Bemidji, Minnesota.  All eight years of me was escorting Ida back up to her room when the elevator door closed on her arm, peeling back 90 years of Ida’s forearm skin.  She didn’t bleed, which in retrospect seems strange.  She just pushed the skin, accordion-like, back down her forearm, and invited me in.  We ate sugar cookies and looked at photo albums.

The LG Report:  Why does Phoenix have a pro hockey team?  Is that to placate displaced Minnesotans like you?  Have you ever been to a game?

Kate:  I love hockey!  Let it be known.  I like live hockey best when I’m tucked into the nook of a good man’s arm, or hockey on the TV sitting on my couch, tucked into the nook of a good man’s arm.  Many long years ago, Bemidji (my hometown in Minnesota) used to host hockey camp for boys across the state.  Don’t think my best friend and I weren’t down there at the chain-link fence come dusk, looking for the adventurous ones to jump bail and come with us down to the amusement park.

The LG Report:  Do you think you'll ever move back to the United States?

Kate:  Many people feel that since Arizona does not ever change its clock time (never springing forward or falling back), that we are an alien state.  I’m here to tell you: you’re right!  People who do not understand border difficulties, language barriers, German Shepherds, and thirst need not apply.

The LG Report:  OK, let's wrap it up with this one.  Please tell the 732,383 and 1/2 daily readers of The LG Report why they should read your very entertaining and well-written blog, Hotdishing?

Kate:  I pray every night, “God, this is the best I could do today.”  I pray every morning, “God, please help me do better than yesterday.  I know I can.”  My readers know that I’m not kidding when it comes to the real stuff.  I’m definitely doing the best I can.

Thanks again Kate for inviting us into the dry heat, it's been a true pleasure.  Best of luck with Hotdishing in Arizona, we hear it's a dry hotdish.  And thanks to everyone for clicking in, we hope to see you (and all of your friends, so send 'em a link!) back here again soon...     


  1. What a great concept, these state-by-state interviews. I was not previously familiar with Kate's, so I am off to read it now!

  2. Another fun interview. But I disagree with her about the Grand was breathtaking! Sedona was beautiful, but the Grand!

  3. Well, I must say-I was expecting a good recipe for tuna, noodle and Cheez Whiz casserole (or maybe weiner winks and Velveeta), but I was sorely disappointed. HotDishing indeed!


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