Wednesday, July 05, 2006

The Outer Edge of Nowhere

Since I’ve moved out to Arizona, I’ve been lucky enough to be visited by a few of my friends who are either playing shows or on their way into L.A. from other parts of the country, or who have simply come to spend a few days hanging out with me. A quick look at the road map would indicate that Phoenix should be just off Interstate 10 as one blows through, heading east to Tucson or west to L.A. But I’m actually quite a ways off the beaten path. Once, when I invited Dinah Cancer and the other members of 45 Grave to stay overnight after their show in Scottsdale, I gave her directions to my house. A short while later, she called me from her cell phone, asking “how far out do you actually live?” I instructed her to keep heading north past the malls and the houses. It was silent for a moment and then she asked, “You want me to drive into the darkness?”

There’s a long stretch of open desert that separates the neighborhood where I live from the developed area to the south. When my husband and I first moved out here, that barren stretch of two lanes running through the desert really bothered me, but after living here for over 6 months now, I have learned to appreciate the unspoiled beauty of the desert.

When Terry Graham and Allison Anders stopped by to visit, the first thing Terry said to me when he got out of his car was “You told me you lived out in the middle of lied; you live on the outer edge of nowhere.”

Still life on the outer edge of nowhere has its rewards.

A couple of days ago, I snapped this photo of the sunset in the desert area that surrounds my house. I only wish I’d been able to take a picture of last night's lightning display. There’s nothing like watching spectacular lightning storms roll across the open desert. They put any fireworks show to shame.

I grew up in L.A. and I was never inclined to go camping or head to the beach. Instead, I preferred the nightclubs and lights of the city. I was proud to call myself a city girl. What happened to me? Out here in the desert, I've discovered a part of myself that's in tune with nature. It's exciting to realize that there are still aspects of myself yet to be discovered at age 47. Just don't ask me to go hiking.


Matt "Max" Van said...

Oh, how I miss Arizona when I read stuff like this.
While I won't ask you to hike, sometime, you may just want to see some parts of the sonoran desert that aren't accessible by car.
If only I could've found a better paying job in AZ, I'd be there, still. I, too, am not a 'nature" person. I'm a South El Monte boy. I don't like Forests, or Air I cannot see. But, the Sonoran Desert? Forever a part of me will be out basking in the sun on some decaying granite, like a mutant Gila monster, waiting until I can come back. I ain't in tune with Nature, but I like the sound of wind through rocks. It's like some invisible ocean where I got shipwrecked. I might be "rescued" now, but I still miss that patch of sand. Dammit. I'm still in Maryland? Ye Gads!

Warrior Knitter said...

A couple of the comments your friends made would be good blog names

"You want me to drive into the darkness?"


"The Outer Edge of Nowhere"

Thanks for the laugh!

Anonymous said...

Violence Girl becomes Nature Girl?

Dinah Cancer apprehensive about driving into the dark?

Darby's rolling over in his grave right about now.

Tommy Himself said...

Looks beautiful. Wish I was there.

Queens, NY

Debbie Schow said...


Just saw your site for the first time and it is wonderful!

I have yet to read much of it and am going through the archives and photos like a long lost high school yearbook, from some non-existent school that was actually educational in a real and exciting sense.

In case the name doesn't ring a bell, I was a photographer back in the L.A.,pal o'the Beat-Nik, worked for Kim Fowley, CA blonde and not dumb, wrote, pondered life, got beat up at the Sex Pistols show by S.F. drag queens, rescued by Claude and Philly, made a not so quick getaway to London and Dublin and unfortunetly lost touch with pretty much everyone from that time.

Your site is so welcome.
So glad that you are writing, and have archived so much and took the time and considerable effort to scan, an upload and document. Thank you for that. Its just cool to see around in cyber-ly.

The desert is enchanting, and your description of your new home does it proud. I used to live in Joshua Tree/29 Palms CA so have awe and empathy for the flash floods and solitude, but rue the heat.

Debbie Schow
Olympia, Washington, USA

darkside777 said...

it has been OVER an month and no new blog....there must be something you can write about...

i miss your blogs alot.

hope all is well...


Arkansas Hoosier said...

Wow! Great picture!

I can actually hear the silence of the desert coming from the picture.

By the way, would you, my dear Alice, give me some names of bands and songs that will give me a great introduction and sampling of punk, that will make me like punk?

You see, I missed the punk thing.

Last week, I spent $800 going to two Tom Waits shows. That's my style, my speed, my favorite artist in the world.

The show at the Cleveland House of Blues was so awesome, I felt privileged. I felt like my aunt erma would have felt had Elvis sucked her toes.

But seriously, I'd love to have a sampling of punk to check out. I can listen to clips at and then take it from there.

Again, nice pic. And my god, you're only three years younger than me. I just missed the punk thing and don't know why.