Monday, February 23, 2009

the week in review

Wow, Slumdog Millionaire rocked the Oscars and it should have. It was an amazing film. I absolutely adored it and went before it became a must-see. Remember, I was on the wagon for a month and so I saw many movies. I think I spent more money on popcorn than I would have on wine:)
I think that Sean Penn deserved to win for male actor. Of course, I enjoyed The Wrestler and it was similar to Rourke's career. Maybe he will be in more movies, now.
I am heading to Napa this Thursday. Shari and I are celebrating Brian's life. I cannot wait to meet her in Napa and eat awesome food and drink red wine, but I am sad about the occasion.
I know that I am in a better place, than previous years, but I can still feel the raw pain of the loss of Brian. I can still remember calling Michaela and leaving a terrible message on her voice mail because I couldn't reach her. I remember calling my friend, Sara Jo, and canceling our Wednesday night dinner. She called me to confirm that she too, was busy and told me that I sounded weird in my message. I go--I cannot go tonight because Brian died. She said--what? And, then, I will see you later. I know that I was in shock and that I shocked her. About 30 minutes later, she arrived at my house and said--I am sorry for what I said and of course, I wanted to be here for you. And, she was. She moved in with me and made my life so much easier. I didn't have to be alone that first year. I don't know if she knows how much I appreciated her for being there for me. She saw all of the darkness.
This week will be, food and wine. Of course, I need to work, too, but it will be a blur. I need to plan my restaurants and so I am off for now.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

another ipod bites the dust or so I think

I went to charge my ipod today and my computer wouldn't respond. Eventually, I get a message saying--this ipod is potentially corrupted and should be reset to factory settings. It also suggested replugging it in and trying again. No message and I cannot turn it off.
Funny how a year ago, my ipod was stolen from a fellow traveler from the UK. I was devastated. I made it through that crisis, returned to the States and bought a new one. Now, I am stuck. I don't want to buy a new one and I am not motivated to head to the Apple Store in Cherry Creek. I know that I will have to, eventually.
I am going to Napa and will need the ipod for the plane ride. I am excited to go to California and see Shari. I don't know where are eating outside of Bouchon and Gary Danko. My boss, Dave, raved about the place. I love California and all of the adventures that I have had there.
This year has been great. I am definitely in a better place. I feel peace around the anniversary, instead of guilt. I have friends that recently lost a brother-in-law. The man keeps confiding in me about his sister-in-law and doesn't understand how she continues to fall apart.
It isn't a simple, overnight process. I still have days where I cry and don't know why it happened. All I can say to him is--be patient and love her. Listen, don't judge and don't expect her to not express what she is going through. Everyone is different and each experience with grief is unique. I was lucky to have such a wonderful support system. I am thankful for Brian's parents in my life. They are amazing.
Well, next weekend I will be basking in wine country. Until then, the wagon moves on.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

yoga in the am

I have been going to yoga frequently since I signed up for an auto renew membership. I had resisted for over a year due to stubborness. Then, I realized that I was somewhat stagnant in my practice. Dropping into a class is $17 for an advanced class whereas the level one classese are $8. But, if you settle for the $8 class, you have two options daily, but some of the teachers lack. I became bored and would mentally check out of the class about 10 minutes in. Yoga became monotonous.
Last month (new year, on the wagon--Harmony) decided to give the membership a try. I enjoy it and can go almost anytime during the day. I have went to several 6 am classes and a few 8:30 pm classes. I think I prefer the early morning classes. It is an excellent way to begin the day and it keeps me in line. I do not enjoy going to yoga if I am hungover. It is an awful feeling.
Life is great and I have much to be thankful for, inspite of the cabbie confessions and dinner at Elway's. Although, at yoga, there is always the chance that some person (moron) will get too close to me. I despise being crowded. It freaks me out and I have moved a few times to get away from certain people and their bad energy.
So, enjoy the sunshine and your day. Denver is beautiful today. I am heading to coffee.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Cabbie confessions

Last Thursday, I went to dinner with Jimmy, Cesar, GQ, Tiffany, Dave and Lisa. Dave drove us to 12 and we had a wonderful meal. I always enjoy dining with this group of people because we share and try most of the menu. I benefit from the experience in numerous ways.
We finished and Dave returned us to the Bull--which is normal and is where I tend to get into trouble. I continue to enjoy my night, etc., and then I hear how funny I am the next day. Thursday, I wasn't too bad, but I knew that I was cabbing it home.
At last call, we called a cab and got in. Jimmy lives 6 blocks from me and so we cab it together, frequently. Our lady informs us that she needs to get gas and we were okay with it. I wasn't thrilled, but whatever, she was providing me a way home, safely.
She heads the wrong direction and drives south to Holly/Evans. We are captive in the back seat and so we wait while she pumps gas. When she gets back in the cab, she turns the meter on. I call her on it and she goes--oh? She waited until we got to Colorado Blvd., but we were still considerable south of where we started. I was furious and so I watched the meter go, go, go and when we stopped in front of Jimmy's house, I paid her, but short of what it said. I wasn't going to pay for the excursion since why should I? I told Jimmy that I didn't want her to know where I lived and so I crashed at his place to be safe.
I guess it goes to show--how easily some people take advantage of drunk people. Isn't karma involved though?

Monday, February 16, 2009

Michaela's sister

Sorta funny story.
So, I spent more time with two of my friends from high school. One of them, like I mentioned, I knew. I saw him at Jade's graduation from nursing school and at my reunion. He knows my brother-in-law and so our paths have crossed. Or, I suppose we are familiar we each other.
The other guy, I didn't know in high school. He is two years older than me and we frequented different social circles. I did see him at my reunion and I did know who he was. I asked him the other night, if he knew who I was in high school and he goes--sure, you were Michaela's sister. Nice.
I suppose many people knew me like that in Salina. Michaela was the homecoming queen and I just wanted to run as fast as I could from Salina. It still makes me laugh. He did mention, of course, that he had a crush on her when we were in school. My question to him was--who didn't?
And now, when she comes to visit me, she is Harmony's sister which is great...I suppose.
The last few days have been interesting in terms of etiquette. I had three completely different, yet equally frustrating situations. I think my favorite happened at Elway's. I was dining with Jeremy and Aron and Elway's was packed. When we approached the bar, I found one bar seat and told Jeremy to sit down since he had torn his ACL and needed to sit down. There was a solo guy on the corner and it was obvious that he would be a quick diner. This older gentleman approached me and told me that I should sit down. He insisted. I told him that it was nice and I appreciated especially since my friend tore his ACL and I wanted him to be able to sit down.
A little bit later, this other guy comes up to me and tells me that I am rude for sitting down in his friend's chair. I couldn't believe it and I tried to explain to him that his friend had insisted that I sit down. He told me that Jeremy should offer me his seat. I told him to sit down and continued to defend myself and basically tell the guy that he wasn't involved.
I couldn't believe the audacity of this guy. I mean, it wasn't even his chair and why did he care?
Eventually, he apologized and I told him no worries. Seriously, what is going on with people?

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

happy 60th birthday, dad...

My dad turned 60 today.
We sent him a collage and a DVD for the occasion. It was actually one of the proudest things in my life. I think we had 225 photos and it was 23 minutes long. I wish that I were there to celebrate with him!
I met up with a few of my friends from high school tonight. It was funny since although we are all from the same place, we have scattered and truly were not close during our 4 year stint in school.
When I arrived, one of the guys actually introduced himself which was funny. Of course, I knew who he was...I just didn't frequent the same social circles that he did. I told him that he should stop in and see me at the Bull since he lives in Denver.
The other two live in Kansas City. One of them is associated with me on a few different levels. I played softball with his sister for a few years. His sister and I both went to KU and so we would see each other occasionally. He knows my ex brother in law from baseball and he was involved with one of my good friends from junior high. I guess you could say--we go back aways...
The other guy is someone that I probably should have been introduced to. We had mutual friends, but he was a few years older and I remember his name being tossed around, but I don't honestly remember ever talking to him. Instead, I remember seeing him at my reunion and dancing with him at the Groove.
It was nice to see them and do a mini-tour of Denver's night life. I am glad that I made it a priority to see them and catch up and embrace the past.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

home again, home again....

My trip to Phoenix was excellent. I saw old friends and older friends.
I didn't really know what to expect.
I flew in Thursday afternoon and spent a lovely day with Jan. Eventually, we met up with Tom at Los Dos Molinos, but most of our day was spent catching up and drinking wine. I always know that when I am with them, there will always be a plethora of alcohol.
I set up Jan's facebook account and met their new dog, Jax. She is an adorable puppy and super soft. I enjoyed spending time with their new dogs.
The next morning, Jan dropped me off at the airport and I waited for Hailey to arrive. She flew out of Dallas and the others were coming from Kansas City. They arrived around the same time and so all met up and went to Postino. Postino which is in Scottsdale is one of my favorite places to visit while in Phoenix. It has a nice variety of wine and great food. We sat there for quite some time and then headed to check in to the hotel.
Our hotel was between Scottsdale and Tempe. It was an ideal location, but a snow bird's resort. I know that we were the youngest guests. I think it put a lot of their husbands at ease, knowing that we weren't out trolling for men or picking them up at the hotel.
We, too, ate at Los Dos Molinos. I enjoyed the second go around too. I love the salsa and margaritas.
The next morning, we hiked Piestywa Peak. Marcee really wanted to hike. I used to hike it when I lived in Tempe. I think I implied that it was a moderate hike. I know that they enjoyed it and it was a collective sense of accomplishment. We did some shopping in Scottsdale, had drinks at the Phoenician, at sunset, and went to dinner at Pizzeria Bianco. We had an excessively long wait, but it was worth it. I think that I enjoyed my talk with Marideth the most during our wait/dinner.
Sunday was nice. We went up to Taliesen West and checked out Frank Lloyd Wright's area of Phoenix. Next, we stopped by the Botannical Gardens and were impressed by a blown glass exhibit. It was actually quite amazing and I know that Jill liked this aspect of the weekend.
We dined at 4 Peaks which is another Phoenix staple for me and then we went into downtown Tempe. They shopped and I headed to Z Tejas for margaritas with Kat. I wanted to spend some time with her and I didn't feel like shopping.
We had dinner at RA and Cafe Boa.
The next morning they all departed before me. I wish that I had had breakfast with them, but I was tired and couldn't quite do it.
I am lucky to have the people in my life that are in it. I haven't seen Marcee since our reunion and even then, it was brief. I saw Marideth a year and a half ago for lunch. I was in the area and so I made it a poIint to try and see her. I talk to Jill on the phone. I haven't seen her since the reunion, but I knew how to contact her and her, me. I probably have spent the most time with Hailey since school/college. I had a lovely time with them and hope that they feel the same way.
Life is great and I am happy.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

space issues

I went to yoga yesterday. I arrived early so that I could choose my own space. I like being on the sides so that I won't become stuck between two people. I have noticed that since it is the beginning of the year, there is an increase in yoga students. As a result, many times, I have uncomfortable by the lack of space in class.
Yesterday, like I said, I arrived early. There were probably 6 people in the class. This girl, puts her mat almost on mine. I kinda laugh, thinking--really, you have to set up right here. She looks at me and continues to settle. I think about it and realize how it is going to drive me crazy to have her next to me the entire class. So, I moved.
I have thought about doing that several times. I didn't feel bad about what I did. I just wonder why you would feel it is okay to encroach on someone else's space. Yoga, to me, is about the spiritual aspect in addition to the mental. I abhor when people invade my space.

Monday, February 2, 2009

25 world renowned needs while traveling

First of need a desire to travel. And then, I suppose a destination to go to or multiple destinations. I think everyone should travel. I support it and I wish I could do it more often.
I remember reading guide books with suggestions on what to bring. I think that you should make it work for you. I did.
I started out with 8 books that I was lugging around. Traveling gives you a lot of time to occupy. I embraced the thinking aspect, but also needed to be stimulated in terms of books. I refused to buy books since they were ridiculously expensive. I would trade out with fellow travelers or rummage through the hostel's collection. Sometimes, there were only German books or books that were in terrible condition or that I had no desire to read. I would still try to read them, though.
I am off point here. I guess my 25 of what you need or what you will encounter should begin now.
1. Money. Everyone needs it at some point and it is nice to have cash as opposed to just cards.
2. Travlers checks but not heavily invested in them. It can be difficult to find a good exchange rate in today's world, relying on these alone.
3. Debit/credit card--a must.
4. Bandaids. You would be surprised at how many you will go through if you are traveling for an extended amount of time. I traded in my nicks on my hands for scrapes on my feet. The beach is lovely, but not injury proof.
5. Books, not guidebooks. You can always consult the internet or other travelers for information/maps/etc. Books are a must though. I carried up to 6 while traveling. I didn't bring guide books outside of Fiji and Australia. I mooched off of others for pertinent info. I had to have my fiction, though.
6. Journal. You will write a lot.
7. Camera--very, very obvious reasons for wanting this.
8. charger for camera if digital. I considered a normal camera but what do you do with the film?
9. Trainers--or tennis shoes. I walked everywhere and engaged in running. It was time consuming and necessary.
10. first aid kit--I should have invested in a better one. I saw many with everything and it makes sense. You want to protect yourself and have what is comfortable from home.
11. Alleve, emergen-C, lotion.
13. Hats or just one.
14. Combination locks which are more for your well-being or state of mind. My locks did not prevent the theft of my ipod or money, however.
15. IPOD. IPOD. IPOD. I love mine. I wanted it on all flights/bus rides.
16. Travel pillow for flying, bus rides, etc.
17. Rain coat
18. a photo of your life from home or something that will bring you happiness when sad and lonely.
19. a pair of pants. I didn't bring them and if you know me, this is understandable. I am a freak about wearing shorts, year round. I think I own two pairs of jeans and that is all. However, if I engage in another world wide tour, I am bringing pants.
20. a nice skirt or dress. It is nice to go to nice places in comfortable clothes.
21. travel towel that you will always use.
22. day pack for smaller items that you cannot lose and will always want to have with you.
23. detergent. I washed a lot of my clothes instead of paying someone else to do them.
24. bathing suits, plural. I almost wrecked mine in the mud baths in Fiji--first part of my trip.
25. an open mind and sense of adventure. Being okay with letting things be and not trying to force them into what you know. I had the worst curry of my life in Fiji while watching a Britney Spears A & E special. It was awful and full of bones. Plus, I was the only American in the joint. Why must I watch this crap?
Being positive helps. There are many things that I encountered that I could not control. I met some amazing people and felt truly free in life.
I could edit, reedit and make it better or just post it. I could expand it too. I think you should carry plastic bags and your passport of course that should be #1 on my list.