Thursday, July 31, 2008

Peace and serenity

I attended a yoga class this morning and the instructor wanted us to find peace within ourselves in that hour of class. She is experiencing a transitional phase in her life and wanted to share it with us as well as encourage us to go through a similar process.
A nice thought, but an hour doesn't really cut it. I am more peaceful due to sleep, vitamins, antibiotics and the knowledge that I have a full day ahead of me.
I was angry the other day about the lack of courtesy, but our dinner party was great. It was exactly how it was supposed to be. Chichi and I started with a beautiful red zinfandel and I prepped the vegetables and tended to the sashimi grade tuna. Rick came over, we fed him edamame and sliced tomatoes with garlic, basil and drizzled with balsamic vinegar. We opened a bottle of wine from Australia, Red Knot, and I told them that I had been to that winery. It was nostalgic for me and almost a tribute to my world wide adventure.
Next, I prepared the tuna. I seared it and only overcooked my piece to medium rare. I was more careful with theirs and it was a fantastic meal. I chose a sauvignon blanc from New Zealand for this course and it was awesome. We finished the meal with key lime pie and chocolate mousse that Rick brought for us from Whole Foods. I felt comfortable in the kitchen and wanting to do it again and soon. I was fortunate to be able to live with Brian for three years. I could have learned so much more from him, if I had paid attention. Instead, I was more interested in his creations and being catered to.
I hope to learn and make my own way in the kitchen. I do enjoy it, now!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Proper etiquette

My parents always made me write thank you cards for everything...invitations to sleepovers, gifts, notes--you name it, I had to write a proper thank you. The card also had to be more than 3 succinct sentences.
As an adult, I have carried this with me. I get frustrated when I send a gift to someone--wedding, birthday--and get no response since I enjoy giving thank you cards and of course, receiving them too.
Recently, I sent a card to Dave and Erik for the fantastic dinner I had with them at Il Mulino. It wasn't my birthday, but I was included in the celebration since I was in Las Vegas with Jimmy. I felt it was the right thing to do and an illustration of my respect for their palettes.
It always surprises me when someone that I feel has class, convinces me otherwise. I feel that if you are invited to coffee, lunch, dinner and have no interest in attending or have other plans, the best way is to be honest and say--sorry, I am unable to make it, but thank you for the invitation. Today, I was told--I'm not--when I inquired to a friend of mine if they were coming to our house for dinner. My roommate decided to throw an impromptu dinner and selected a few of her friends. Everyone was in, except for one person who apparently doesn't understand courtesy. The appropriate thing to do would have been to call her and say that he wasn't able to attend instead of responding with--I'm not.
It saddens me that with all of the technology--iphones, e-mail, text messaging--we have forgotten how to be appropriate.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Day off

Thank God it's Monday. I worked too much last week and could tell that my attention to detail was waning.
I woke up early, cleaned the house and watched as my roommate dealt with her hangover. Chichi and her friend, Rick Lacy, attended a local outdoor music fest at a bar north of downtown. For $10, you could have as much beer as you wanted, plus bbq. This is dangerous when you consider that both of them enjoy beer. I saw them, last night, on the tail end of the evening. I was entertained to say the least and grateful for my antibiotics.
Yoga was fantastic today and now I am off to grocery shop, restock wine (which has dwindled since I moved in with Chichi) and head to the Bull for a mandatory wine education class. It will be tons of fun considering that I am on the wagon right now.
I think Jimmy and I are heading to Elway's for dinner prior to the meeting. I want to engage one of my vices.
Enjoy your day and plan an adventure soon.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

The return of the DR...

Last Saturday, I was at work and felt a bump on my stomach. I knew what it was, but I was trying to convince myself otherwise...i went to the urgent care clinic on Thursday morning and saw the Dr. that I liked. He likes Eastern medicine, too, and doesn't make me feel like a nut for not always embracing Western medicine.
Anyways, he numbed the area, pressed on it, and $230 later, I was sent on my way. He suggested that next time I feel the bump to come in immediately for my lovely prescription of antibiotics. This time around, I am on them for 10 days...i love it! I cannot drink and again, I have to moderate my diet--no dairy, spicy, fried, caffeine or alcohol. Of course, I am drinking coffee and I do love mexican food and so the spicy stays. I need a vice of sorts.
In other is great. I have been able to pick up quite a few shifts on a regular basis. It keeps me focused, centered and with a travel plan available. I purchased tickets to go to Chicago at the end of August. I wanted a foodie destination and Chicago is the answer. I will stay for a few days and see the Map Room guys and possibly Mike Miller from Delilah's. I am excited to discover more about Chicago. I went a year ago in January and it was freezing. I went to a Bull's game and entertained myself around the city center. It was lovely, but too short.
I should be ready, healthwise, by the end of August. I am attacking this with Eastern, too. I have goldenseal, astragalus and some funky herbal blend of pills that I cannot pronounce. Hopefully, this works.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

House cleaning

Midway through the work week and we opted to clean our house today. Chichi is a great roommate. Seriously, she is conscientious, clean and a great listener. Plus, today, I realized that she enjoys vacuuming which is fantastic.
When I was a child, every Saturday, we would wake up to our weekly chores. My mom was a stickler when it came to a clean house. Every day, I had to sweep the kitchen multiple times, clean it and make sure that she was happy with it.
On Saturdays, we performed the deep cleaning--Michaela dusted the entire house (my mom had a bunch of knick knacks which is why I think I am simplistic with my decor)--I vacuumed, cleaned the kitchen and Jade took out the trash. I don't know that Jasmin ever had chores since she was the baby, but I know that every week it was the same--chores first, homework next and then being tossed outside to run amok. Kids these days have so many distractions with ipods, cell phones, computers, play station and we had atari and the outdoors.
Subconsciously, I think I am more productive, in terms of cleaning, on Saturdays. It feels right and I definitely wake up, charged to make the house sparkle. We still need to clean the carpets from the previous tenants and their two dalmations. It smells like wet dog at certain points in the day. We will take care of that prior to our party...I promise.
The other day, I received a letter from Robin and it was great. I now know what Wyatt looks like. He is precious and I know that I need to send a note to thank her for updating me on what Steffany and her son are doing. I am a fan of written corespondence for those of you who don't know that!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Summer is here

July brought the heat...yuck!
The last few nights, I feel like I am showering in my sleep. I woke up this morning and was drenched and uncomfortable. We don't have a/c here and so it feels like grin and bear it. I am not a fan of this style of sleep. I like to be cold and wrapped up in blankets.
I had a few glasses of wine last night after my shift at the Saucy Noodle. It was a long one and I knew that most of my wine at my casa would go to waste if I opened it. I tend to open a bottle, have a glass or two and then cork it and never finish it in time. Plus, my stock of wine is dwindling and so I need to be more selective in what I open.
The next few days I will be living at the Bull and Bush. I picked up several shifts to finance my Telluride adventure. I haven't planned much for that or for the house warming party. Chichi and I agreed to have it in August and we are determining the best time to accomodate the most people. I am trying to arrange for beer from the Bull and meeting some resistance. Last time, Kenny, the old assistant brewer, brought a full keg to my house, hooked it up, and took it back to the Bull at the end of the party. I think we drank maybe a 1/4 of the keg and so I understand not receiving a full keg. However, it would be nice to offer more than a growler.
Enjoy your sleep...may it be filled with cold!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

still recovering

Well, not too much.
Las Vegas was awesome. I am not ready to work. I know that I need to now, but I have no motivation to wait tables or actually do much of anything. I could use a few more days of sleep or relaxation.
Plus, my laundry is overflowing. Instead of productivity yesterday, I analyzed the trip and went to my aunt's house for Edgewater Pizza. I decided to take a few days off of the no cheese diet and enjoy a white pizza from there. It was great and nice to spend some time with Bryn. Plus, I showed her my photos and she was able to put faces with names of my friends. This is always a bonus when trying to figure out who is who.
The next few days will be filled with work, stress and prosperity. That is nice. I need to finance my trip to Telluride and figure out our housewarming party. I know it doesn't seem like much of a house warming since we have lived here 6 weeks already. I want to do it and need to figure out a good time for everyone to be able to attend. August is filled with birthdays and trips for some of my friends. Hopefully, by the end of the week it will be in the works.
Until later, enjoy the day.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Congratulations Mr and Mrs Black...

4 days in Vegas kills me...I will be recovering for awhile. The wedding was awesome, I saw Zumanity after I acted like Jimmy and I were married for a time share deal, ate at Bouchon, Olives, Sea Blue, Il Mulino and the Mandalay Bay Buffet. My, my, my...can I feel the effects of overindulgence!
Pocketsize was beautiful and the ceremony, itself, was 7 minutes long. You can view it on-line on the MGM website for those of you that are interested. It is under 7/12/08--Black wedding. It was lovely and great to see them tie the knot.
I updated some photos since I felt like sharing. I love black and white photos and should have been more annoying with the camera. I abstained.
Dinner at Il Mulino last night was awesome. We dined for four hours, drank fantastic wine and then I went dancing at the new club at Treasure Island with Erik and his sommelier friend, Houston. It was fun and I wanted to utilize my dance dress. I now own 4 dresses which is 4 more than I normally have. I need more opportunities to wear them.
On Saturday night, we ate at Sea Blue which is a Michael Mina restaurant in the MGM. We thought that the food at the reception was going to be minimal and so we went to dinner. We were wrong, but dinner was still fantastic. I shared the paella with Mike Carroll and insisted that everyone at the table try the lobster corndogs which were fantastic. We drank a bottle of wine from 1976 which was awesome. I felt special to be drinking that particular bottle. The overall wedding reception was great. People were nice, fun and it felt right. I am so glad that I was included in Steve and Sarah's special day.
Again, I need to recover...enjoy the photos!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Good people

I have been extremely fortunate in my life to come across fantastic people. As I have traveled or worked, I try to maintain friendships and always recommend a few places to travelers since I believe in the product or service and know that they will have a great experience.
For example, in Lawrence, Kansas, Free State Brewery is awesome--the food, the beer and the staff. Actually, I would even say that it is the best run restaurant that I have ever worked in. I always recommend it to people who are driving through Kansas even if Lawrence is not on their route. I mean, the campus is gorgeous and Free State is worth a visit.
In Tempe, Arizona, there is 4 Peaks. I worked there for about 2 years and since I go to Phoenix frequently, I have been able to maintain friendships and a dependence on that particular brew pub. 4 Peaks has grown up a lot. Now they have a hostess and there is typically 2 bartenders on at all times and at least 2 managers present. My friends, Jan and Tom, love it there and so I know if I am in Phoenix I am guaranteed at least 3 visits there on my 4 day trip!
Last week, my friend, Briselda, went to Phoenix to visit her friends and so I told her to go to 4 Peaks and ask for Crusty or Red-haired Steve. I saw her last night and she said that she had a great time at 4 Peaks and that she had timidly asked for Crusty since she didn't know the reference of his nickname. Steve, as always, was a gracious, wonderful example of the good people that are in my life and that 4 Peaks tends to employ. I was glad that B had met him and was able to tell him hello from me.
I guess I am saying that it is worth the extra effort to get to know someone or at least appear pleasant when you are traveling or trying to meet new people. You never know where the friendship/connection could lead. Earlier this summer, I was hoping to make it down to Rocky Point, Mexico, with a bunch of my friends from Phoenix to visit Jonny Vegas. Unfortunately, it didn't happen, but next time I will definitely make it a priority!
I am heading off to Vegas today and won't return until Monday. Yes, Monday. I decided to extend the trip since it is Jimmy's birthday and I want to go to Il Mulino with Dave and Erik since they know the sommelier and supposedly the wine they have chosen is phenomenal! I am ready...

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

the neighbors next door...

I love my new place. I have a parking space. I love the location and the price is right. However, my neighbors next door suck. They have an unneutered male cat that always tries to jump through our window. They are 21 and renovating the house next door. They throw house parties, but the worst thing they do is leave their trash out.
I feel like I live next door to the Radley's from To Kill a Mockingbird. For the last 6 weeks, I have looked out my door to this pile up of shit. They have beer bottles, lattice fence work, cat box and since we don't have a fence to separate us from their house, it is overflowing into our yard. I mentioned it to the landlord and he said that he would look into who owned the home since he wasn't too thrilled about it, either.
Well, last night I decided to haul their bins into the alley. This morning, they were dumped, but it did little to the effects of the beer/litter/lattice pile up. This evening, Chichi and I opted to sneak the trash into the dumpster across the alley. Lacy was here too and he actually helped! We were both amazed since most of those Cherry Creek boys are notoriously unable to manage physical labor.
I scrubbed my hands with soap and bleach to cut down the risk of another staph infection. Also, we are determined to tell the younguns to pick up after themselves at their next house party. I don't mind the noise, but the trash is awful!
I purchased another dress for this weekend, in case I need it and got a pedicure. I worked and was productive and positive all day. I cannot wait for Vegas!!!

Monday, July 7, 2008

happy 4th of july

Happy Independence Day!
I spent mine working, yes working, at the Bull. None of us were too happy about it either. We felt slighted since it has never been an issue in the past. We are closed. However, this year, they decided that since it was on a Friday we should be open. Other restaurants felt the same way--Ruth Chris Steakhouse, Elway's a few others. It didn't boost business for us to open that night. The day wasn't too awful, but the night was horrendous. I hosted for a few hours and then took off for steak and crab fried rice at Elway's. Elway's is on my way home and I was famished!
I hope that you were able to enjoy the fireworks, patriotism or lack of, and each other. I had a nice weekend, overall, financially it was a success. I needed it for Vegas this weekend...

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

July, the start of a new month

Eat, sleep,,sleep,, lots of fun. I need a new hobby or more friends to hang out with.
I went to the bank today to cash a check from our land lord. When we moved in, the previous tenants did a surface cleaning, but that was it. We spoke to the landlord about it and he agreed to compensate us for the cleaning that we did. Of course, I am happy that we were compensated since it was a huge pain in the ass to clean the base boards, the shower and doors. Personally, I believe that the landlord should have had it professionally cleaned before we moved in. It would have got us off on the right foot.
I went to the bank to cash the check and it was busy and so I had to wait in line. There was a woman behind me with a child and another adult. The child was probably six, maybe seven, and the woman was bashing her ex-husband. It was so distasteful and despite the ipod I had blasting, I could still hear her bitch about her alimony and the fact that her ex's current wife always sent a check from her personal account. I had to bite my tongue to not point out how inconsiderate she was being to her child. I mean, kids hear everything and it is unfair to complain about the other parent to the child or in front of the child. She even told her son to not tell daddy that she had a boyfriend since she was planning on cashing the alimony checks until she was 62. It was awful and I was thankful that my parents did not bash each other in front of me when they divorced.
I am arranging a gift for the wedding and I walked all the way to the destination only to find out that they were closed. I was bummed, but I guess I have another walk in my future. I am off to the library now to find some books for my hosting shift at the Bull on the 4th. We are open, but I don't think we will be busy and so I want to be prepared!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

the driving range...

I sure have been productive on my days off...yesterday, I went to City Park and hit a bucket of golf balls. Jimmy, my golf mentor, was supportive as ever and patient. I like the 8 iron and the 5 was more challenging. I realized that when I don't think about it, I have a nice shot. I think golf is my new hobby.
We went to Cheelo's for breakfast and then I washed my car. It was so dirty and had ample bird shit on the wind shield. I cannot believe that I let it go so long. I went to the bank, deposited my rent check and then headed to yoga. I have been a sloth in that regard lately. I think I missed a complete month due to the spider bite/staph infection bs. I am recovered now and so I need to make more of an effort to complete the classes and prepare for the teacher training in the fall.
Last night, I went to the ball game with Jimmy, Milky and Mikey Carroll. I took the bull tickets from Erik and invited his friends to join me since I was able to get the 2 additional tickets from Sharkey. The game started out well, we were winning and it was a packed stadium which was surprising considering we were playing the Padres. The game did not end well and so we relocated to the Falling Rock before heading to Mezcal to celebrate Briselda's birthday. We went there and had a shot of tequila, which I rarely ever do shots for the simple reason of I don't like them. It was her birthday and so I obliged.
Overall, it was a great day and now I am waiting for my land lord to come over and assess the damages created by his previous tenants. I am hoping that he will clean the carpets too, to get rid of the dalmation smell.
I hope you all have a wonderful, prodcutive day. The last few days have been about reconnecting with people from my past. Michaela's first boyfriend, Don, e-mailed me and a girl I met in Adelaide, Australia, invited me to her 70's party since she just moved to Boulder. The world gets smaller...I welcome that and hope to reconnect with more people.