Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Damn those Twins...

I was excited to watch the pre-playoff game tonight. I had high hopes for the Twins and was expecting an exciting game.
Instead, they lost. It wasn't an exciting game and now I am rooting for the Rays and the Dodgers. I like the idea of the Phillies, but want to support the national league west. And, I suppose, at heart, I have always enjoyed the Dodgers.
I love the playoffs. I used to go the Castle Marne, each year, with Brian and listen to the world series on the old school radio. We would enjoy each other's company by lavishing in the outdoor hot tubs, eating shrimp cocktail and of course, drinking red wine. It was our tradition and I might do it this year by myself. I was looking for a gift for Brian this year and I believe that is the way to go. I went a few years ago and it was exactly like I remembered...romantic, nostalgic, perfect.
Las Vegas will be a nice mini-vacation. I need that, too. I am still searching for my next destination and role/purpose in life. I am closer to having an idea about it since I have had ample time to ponder while Chichi has been in Oregon. I like the solitude, but miss her and Ricky.
The playoffs begin tomorrow. Enjoy!

Birthday dinner

L'Atelier was awesome.
We opted to do the 8 course tasting menu. Dave was right, the food was amazing and the wine list was user-friendly. We stared with beef tartare. The portions were huge and I love capers and so I tried some of the beef. Next, they served a lobster raviolis which was fantastic. We tried a green salad, escargot with a potato foam, followed by ribeye with more mashed potatoes and asparagus. We had sorbet, a hazelnut torte--for me--and finished with two cheeses. The wine was great, too. We started with champagne and Dave chose Craggy Range from New Zealand. I toured the winery on my trip and the wine was fantastic, again. We drank the Sophia.
I chose Cosentino, The Poet, for the second wine. It needed to open up a little, but it was also a beautiful wine. I had a lovely evening.
Last year, we ate at the Palm for my dinner and I confided in them about my around the world trip. Last night, Tiffany asked me if I had any grand announcements and I replied with--not yet.
Who knows what the future holds?

Monday, September 29, 2008


A new year. A new opportunity.
I am glad that I returned to Denver, but since March I have regressed to pre-trip last year. I enjoy my job, but do not like the drama of it or the politics. I know you would think that there would only be drama at the bar job, but it has both. I enjoy the flexibility of my life, but feel there is more out there for me to achieve or address in life.
I walked downtown the other day and it reminded me of how free/liberated I felt when I was traveling. I didn't have any set place to be. I could ponder life, relationships, books, anything. It was amazing. And, I met interesting people and had multiple possibilities to extend my traveling or return to certain countries to explore more. I felt free.
Now, there is always somewhere that I have to be. I feel more accountable in the States, though. I make mistakes and I try to fix them or learn from them. It is all about adaptation.
Tonight, I am having dinner with Cesar, Dave, Jimmy and Tiffany. We are going to a restaurant in Boulder to celebrate my birthday. Last year, we went to the Palm and I told them my news of traveling. I have no grand announcement this year, but I do enjoy dining with this group of people. It is exactly the way I would want to celebrate my birthday.
The wedding was beautiful and I enjoyed attending. I drank too much red wine which seems to go hand in hand with my etiquette when it comes to weddings. The reception was at the same place we had Brian's celebration of life. That was difficult and made more so when some people kept bringing it up. I was sad and overwhelmed by the irony of the venue plus the fact that it was my birthday. I should have been elsewhere, celebrating on my own. I wanted to be there, though and I don't regret it. I just wish that I had been able to do something more on my own.

Friday, September 26, 2008


I love Izba Spa.
Everytime I go there, I feel blissful and don't want to leave. My therapist beat me up and was a little chatty, but I feel fantastic.
Now, I am off downtown to enjoy the city life. It has been a wonderful golden birthday in my opinion. I hope to eat crab cakes at Oceannaire later. I have heard great things about that restaurant.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

September 26

Tomorrow is Brian's golden birthday.
I should be out of town. Really. I understand that now. I opted to stay because of Gabe's wedding and to do something different this year.
I think that I have had difficult customers--two prior sessions--prime rib fat and $1.59 lady--to keep me focused on something outside of grief. It's like, keep it focused, don't lose it. I don't know how to not, though.
Last night this lady that I worked with suggested that I go see a therapist. She believes that I would benefit from it and said that she felt that I am as upset as I was two and a half years ago. There is no statute of limitations on grief. I don't know if it goes away or when it does. Especially anniversaries, holidays, birthdays. I feel that if I weren't upset, there would be something wrong with me.
I feel writing and traveling both have helped me heal. Writing to me, has been therapeutic and beneficial. When I was traveling, I had a creative outlet. Now, I complain about customers and feel negative and in a rut. It doesn't have to be like this and I know it. I don't want to be either.
I go through periods of time where I question my purpose in life. I think everyone does. Right now, I am trying to decide my next destination and or direction in life. I am fortunate to have the life I do. I know that. I was blessed to cross paths with Brian and to love him. Thank you for listening to my rants of reality and grief. I don't know how else to breathe.
I will be celebrating tomorrow with a luxorious massage, coffee first, followed by a night at a downtown hotel. I look forward to toasting Brian's golden year. Cheers to you!

not always right

Last night, I experienced another never happened to me experience at work. My night started off mundane and normal. I had this table of 3 show up, with a child. It was a couple, her mom, and the granddaughter who was 18 months. Immediately, they asked me for bread. We do not serve bread when you sit down. We charge 50 cents per piece and so I ordered two pieces for their daughter. I watched as they dumped the sugars all over the table for the precious one and they asked for a shirley temple to start. I dumped a bunch of grenadine into the drink to dissuade any refills. I can be evil!
Anyways, they order three new york strips and an extra side of sour cream for one of the baked potatoes. I brought out the steaks and asked if they wanted dessert. They said no, only the check. I had the bar take off the mother's margarita since it was her birthday. Margaritas are $5 plus tax. Their tab was $98. The younger woman asked me what the side of charge was and I told her it was for their extra side of sour cream. They had 3 sides of sour cream for one potato and I charged them for one. Nevertheless, she was upset that I charged them for the sour cream and bread. She thanked me for the drink, but was furious that I charged them for items they ordered. She told me that it wasn't me, but that she wanted to speak to the manager about how ridicuous those charges were.
I had them call Erik but he was MIA. This pissed her off more and the husband had words with me because he said that I should have been more aware of the sour cream and that they loaded potato wasn't loaded enough and that they shouldn't have been charged $2.50 for it. They exaggerated that and again, got a free drink, but were mad about $1.59. They both were in my face at a point in the evening, with me having nothing to say outside of, that is our policy to charge for those items and yes, i will get the manager.
It would be like me purchasing a flight to Vegas, demanding an upgraded seat, but not paying for it. I mean, really, WHAT THE FUCK? What has happened to courtesy and not expecting everything for free? Some idiot at the bar responded with--the customer is always right. NO THEY ARE NOT!!! If you are unwilling to pay for the items you order, stay at home, cook for yourself and clean up your mess. I forgot to mention how dirty their table was after the tornado of their kid left. It was ridiculous how they let their child behave and she was only 18 months. As a sociey, with all of our technology, we have forgotten how to be polite, human and respectful. No, the customer is not always right. It is not right to yell at someone for items that you ordered.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

New weirdness--work-related

I worked tonight and it started off okay. I saw a 3 year old chew up chicken and spit it back on the plate. I know. It is a child. And outside of that, he is well behaved and cute.
Next, I saw this old regular who is crazy. Seriously, loca! She used to bartend at another lace that i won't mention. Anyways, when I saw her walk in and head to the bar, I was praising the lord knowing that she wouldn't be my problem. Obviously, I was short-sighted because 10 minutes later, she ended up at my table.
She has been frequenting the Bull for years and so she remembered that I had worked there for some time. She ordered the prime rib and when it came out, I was glad that she was pleased with the color. Normally, she orders it too done and than complains that it isn't pink in the middle. Tonight, I noticed her stuffing food or something into the booth seat. I thought it was odd and I couldn't see around her to see exactly what she was doing. I walked back by and she asked me if I had ordered the bigger portion for her and I replied, yes. She demanded a to-go box and began boxing up her items. I noticed that the salt and pepper shakers were missing off of a nearby table and that most of the mayonnaise packets were gone as well. I grabbed the remaining condiments and took them to the back to be restocked. I returned to the table and asked for my pen back. They departed and I found the fat from the prime rib stuffed into the booth seat. It was disturbing and quite honestly, I have never seen that done before. Apparently, she had tried to put the fat into our liquor books on the tables, but it didn't work and so instead, she placed the fat into the booth seat. I believe that it was her intention to suggest that she had been given a smaller cut of meat and charged for a larger one. I mean, she was creative--I will give her that. Dave said she was 86'd...about time. I have been dealing with that annoying chick for 5 years.
I am now home, waiting to watch the Shield. I love that show.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

feeling better finally...

Yesterday was a rough day. I woke up, sounded like someone else because of the cold and kept coughing all day long. I worked, but it was trying.
I believe that I needed to sleep it off. Or, wake up when I was supposed to be working already. I felt clammy, hot and hacked all day long. This morning, I was late to work, broke a wine glass over the ice bin and then was overwhelmed by a headache mid-afternoon.
Then, I went to see Burn After Reading and I felt immediately better. It was a great flick and I am glad that I went to the theatre to see it. Jimmy liked it too.
We won a square of the Broncos game and so we are taking our winnings to Vegas next month to dine at Olives for lunch. It is a must do for me whenever I am in Las Vegas. Brian and I found it our first trip to Vegas and since then, it has been the one constant of all of my trips to Las Vegas. I love the flat bread and of course, the olive tapenade. Plus, it never hurts to befriend the bartender!
Tonight, I am full of Elway's and a peanut butter cookie from my favorite coffee shop in Denver--St. Mark's Coffee. Actually, I think the cookies are awesome and the coffee is okay. It is a funky, eclectic spot in Denver that is a gem of a place.
I decided to watch the end of the Emmy awards and it was moderately entertaining. Mad Men won for best dramatic series and I would agree. If you haven't seen this show, check it out. It is well-writen, acted and I like the content. Seriously, it makes up for all of the crap that is currently on tv--reality shows that are overwhelming. I mean, I think I saw a commercial for America's best pets. Why are we watching this? Shouldn't we be reading, hiking, dancing, challenging ourselves or something instead of watching reality tv? I keep hearing about Dancing With the Stars, but I don't think it is intriguing at all.
I am better and looking forward to next weekend. I cannot wait for Saturday!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Under the weather

I worked on Monday with this girl who was hacking everywhere. I don't think she ever understood that no one else was sick and that we didn't want to get sick. Not once did I see her cover her mouth or wash her hands.
Now, I have it. I feel so lucky!
I woke up at 4 am and moved to the couch. I watched Wings and part of Jag before I was able to fall back asleep. I ate garlic this morning and feel that no one will want to come near me since I reek of garlic. I have taken jade screen pills, wellness formula and the garlic. I need to purchase vitamin C pills and of course, Emergen C packets. I will be over this by next week.
I work tonight, tomorrow and Friday. I am gearing up for my trip to Las Vegas next month and Portland the following month. My sisters and I are meeting there to welcome the new addition to the family and celebrate my dad's 60th birthday. It should be interesting and full of memories. I am either staying with Jeremy, Michaela's ex, or if Jimmy comes too, we are getting a hotel. I should probably get one anyways to get a break from the family dynamics. Jade told me that only Tab, Jeremy and I were allowed to cook the dinner since she didn't trust Michaela and she is trying to alleviate some of the unnecessary stress that will occur because we are all there.
I have been reading a book called, Awakening the Buddha Within, and I see myself going to Nepal at some point in the near future. It is fascinating and I sense a spiritual path for me...whatever that means...

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Poor decisions...

Yesterday, I forced Jimmy to go and see Righteous Kill. I am a huge fan or Robert De Niro and Al Pacino. I watched Heat two weeks ago and I thought about the only scene between the two for days afterward. Now, Heat is a fantastic movie--well acted, great dialogue and interesting.
Not so much with Righteous Kill. I knew it immediately, but hoped I was wrong. I wasn't.
It was terrible and a waste of talent. I mean, John Leguizamo and Carla Gugino are also in it and they can act. There isn't anything redeemable about the movie, at all. Honestly, I almost got up and left--that is how awful the movie was. It is predictable, poor dialogue and boring. There is no character development and 50 cent plays himself--a thug. Wow, how interesting!
Afterwards, we had Rockies tickets, but didn't feel like going to the game. Instead, we went grocery shopping and I made dinner at my place. I have been trying to dine in more and utilize my kitchen. Of course, with Chichi gone, too, I am more likely to cook at home. If it is terrible, she won't know if she is in Oregon as opposed to being here. I like the solitary life.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Current Contemplations

I loved traveling.
Since I have been back, I am fully immersed in Denver.
I don't feel creative or motivated. What is wrong with me?
However, I did get my checkbook back and my social security card. It was like christmas yesterday, when I saw Steve and Pocketsize. I could have been more proactive in getting my stuff from their house, but it was great to open it and find a gift card to Victoria's Secret. Wow, an early present.
I feel boring in my life, right now, and know that soon I will be wanting to escape again. I need a hobby or at least something to distract me. Next week, will be interesting. I wish that I would have planned better because Santa Fe is calling me along with San Francisco.
In February, I am meeting with 6 of my friends from high school and I cannot wait. We had tried to do this a few years ago, but timing was off. I impressed to them how important it was to make this a priority and we are making it happen. Phoenix 2009.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Please only do in private

I know that I have been harping on etiquette for the last few months. I cannot help it. I feel that as a society we are letting go of core values of responsibility, accountability and yes, etiquette. I still write thank you notes and occasionally receive them. I am thrilled when it happens because it is rare these days.
I was at work this morning and decided to help out one of my co-workers. I approach this couple with their chips and salsa and watch as this woman is clipping her nails. SERIOUSLY...I was so grossed out! I kept hearing the click, click, click noise and wanted to return to the table to confiscate the clippers. Who does this? But, I have experienced this multiple times in the past year. While I was traveling at hostels, people felt okay about clipping nails in public, at an airport in Belize, on a plane to Las Vegas and today in Denver. I insist, if you see me, please put your clippers away! It is disgusting and should only be performed in the privacy of your home.
Also, if you have something stuck in your teeth, use a tooth pick. That is another unattractive habit that is surfacing more and more in public. I don't want to see it or touch your hand, your things after your entire hand has been in your mouth full of bacteria! What have we turned in to?

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Staying in Denver

This year, I am going to celebrate Brian's birthday in Denver. I decided to book a hotel room and become anonymous as opposed to driving to Santa Fe or flying to San Francisco. I needed more time or more of the weekend to go to either of those places and since I am working Sunday morning and going to a wedding on my birthday, I opted to stay in Denver. It should be interesting and there are fantastic restaurants in Denver, too.
The last few days have been uneventful. Work, reading, and writing thank you cards. People keep asking me where my next trip is and I know that I am ready to do something. Perhaps not for 5 months, again, but definitely, I feel the itch. I loved traveling and having the freedom to fully experience life. I think I would like to return to Africa to explore more of the continent. Or, I could spend a few months in Stellenbosch, drinking wine and learning Afrikaans. Of course, South America was intriguing as well. I need to give Chile more of a chance, and I studied Peru and Uruguay in college and would love to explore those countries. The bonus being that the dollar is liked in South America with the exception of Chile and Brazil.
I will figure it out eventually.

Monday, September 8, 2008

work and other distractions...

This week, I will be working, working, working.
I need to pick up a few more shifts and take care of myself. I am trying to decide if and where i will be celebrating my birthday this year. In October, I am heading to Las Vegas for a post-celebration, but September has always been my favorite month. Especially after I met Brian since our birthdays were a day apart. I loved planning our birthdays. This year, I am at a loss as to how to celebrate. I suppose that since I am going to a wedding on my birthday it limits my ability to go out of town.
Plus, where would I go? I love Napa, Santa Fe and Chicago. I was just there, but I could do another short stint in the city. I would like to go for a weekend--Saturday-Tuesday...maybe I will. I am indecisive right now.
I know that I will be in Oregon for Thanksgiving. My dad is turning 60 next February and we have decided to celebrate in November. Jade is having her 3rd child around the same time and so it will be a great opportunity to spend time with the family. I think I might spend a night or two in Portland and explore on my own. I love my sisters, but family time can be stressful. And I do enjoy Portland and would like to spend more time there.
On a side note...a few years ago, I approached my friends from high school about doing a girl's weekend. At that time, we were going through transitions--new babies, divorce and expectant mothers. It was poor timing and so the idea ended. I have been thinking about it as of late and so I repitched the idea to my friends and we intend to go to Phoenix for a weekend in February. I am excited about seeing them and showing them the city that I lived in. I cannot wait to reconnect and remember the friendships.
Until later...

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

After the party/Michaela's visit...

I am detoxing until my birthday.
I ate way too much incredible food the last week...from Chicago through Michaela's visit. Throw in some wine and this is a mandatory break from excess.
Yesterday was a fantastic day. The weather couldn't decide which way it wanted to turn. Thankfully, it didn't rain last night. My roommate was concerned that the rain would ruin our party. I told her that everything would be alright and it was. We probably had 40 people at our house and I believe that everyone enjoyed themselves. The only problem, at one point, was that the tap broke and so we were without beer for 45 minutes.
I have fantastic friends and they all brought wine. I felt very fortunate for the turn out and the conversations flowed. I missed a few people and was surprised that a few people who had told me they would attend, didn't make an appearance. Things happen and I believe that it turned out the way it was supposed to.
I made a few cheese trays, and although they definitely were not Brian's creations, they weren't bad. I was proud of them.
Last night reminded me of how much I enjoy entertaining and throwing a random mix of people together. Fortunately, I have good people in my life.