Monday, March 30, 2009 year of reconnecting with people from Kansas...

2009 began with a trip to Phoenix. I had 5 days with friends that legitimately I speak to. I talk to Hailey, frequently, more now, but we have known each other as adults. I have written Jill, Marideth and e-mailed Marcee. It wasn't a surprise encounter--we took 6 months to plan this vacation.
Next, I met Ames and Scheppman for pizza in Denver. I love playing tour guide and I enjoyed their visit. Of course, it became extended once Jeremy tore his ACL. We checked out the Falling Rock and Elway's--two of my favorite places in Denver.
I saw Jill, Jeremy's sister while in San Francisco and again, had a fantastic meal, wine and conversation.
I met Jenny Minard for happy hour which happens once every 6 months in Denver and again, was a pleasant conversation. She had given blood and so it was brief, but nice, as always.
I saw Kevin VanEmburgh in KC and enjoyed his restaurant. I felt fortunate in being able to dine there since he is a successful restaurant owner. I hope to return someday.
Paula Commerford has been stateside for 3 months. I followed her travels via facebook and knew she was in Denver. I contacted her and mentioned that we should meet. On Saturday, she came to the Bull and Bush and we spoke for a bit. I was working and she had other friends in town to see her. Today, she met me at Elway's and we had a lovely time.
We didn't actually engage in the whole high school crap until an hour into the conversation. We have a lot in common, though. We both have traveled and I think that made it a nice commonality to engage as opposed to--why don't you have kids? why aren't you married? Are you divorced? etc...It seemed more real.
I believe that I will travel stateside this year and embrace my past. It seems to be the way this year.
I have a great life and I am fortunate to have people in my life that choose to be present in it. I am complicated, but can be great, too. I understand that I am more honest now, but why not be. I believe in the present moment--do you?

Friday, March 27, 2009

March Madness

I have lived in Denver since 2001. I remember my first winter and thinking, why did I move here? But, then there was the sun and how many days of sunshine that actually happen in Denver. I could overlook snow, for the most part.
March 2003 sucked. I was working for Whirled Peas and we were headed to Vail for the Ski Classic. I drove to my aunt's house in Wheat Ridge and waited for Brian to pick me up. Bryn kept saying--don't go, you aren't going to make it. Brias was determined to get to Vail. So, we met up with Jennifer and Big Mike at the Morrison exit. We were planning on driving Brian's volvo sedan up and Mike was driving a box truck, filled with food.
Brian hit a bump in the parking lot and his tire chains got stuck in the brake line. We reloaded Jennifer's volvo wagon and headed west. Brian was driving and intent on getting to Vail. We made it to Georgetown and they turned us around. They advised us to return to Idaho Springs since there was Red Cross Shelters set up.
Brian believed we would be able to wait it out and that 1-70 would reopen. So, we pulled into a truck stop at Dumont, spent the night in the car and 2 days later, we were able to get back on 1-70. It was awful. The entire state was shut down. We hung out with truckers and watched the U.S. go to war. Everything was surreal.
Denver in March always brings snow. I shouldn't be surprised, instead I should embrace it.
Today, the sun is shining and life is returning to normal.
Missouri won last night and so I am still in the tournament and heading to the finals....

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Blizzard 2009

I woke up and it was snowing, somewhat.
I was determined to go to the 9:30 yoga class and so I bundled up, but hadn't really looked at how much snow was blowing. Yoga isn't far and it is so worth it. The class was full, not to capacity and we focused on chest openers today. I popped my sternum midway through the class and felt amazing. I also was able to work out some of my stress on my rhomboids due to Tricia's flow of class. I felt great.
A few hours later, and it was ridiculous. I wanted to get some food and so I walked to Safeway. I do not drive in this crap unless I absolutely have to. Even then, I despise it.
I walked about 13 blocks and saw how traffic wasn't moving on my street or Speer Blvd. I felt so fortunate to be living where I am living. Truly, I could have walked to the Walgreen's, but they don't have onions. So, I trudged to 6th Avenue and felt so accomplished on my return. If I wanted wine, I only need to walk 3 blocks which also makes my location ideal. I won't have cabin fever is what I am trying to say.
Later, a co-worker texted me to see if I could work for her because she didn't want to drive. I don't either. Plus, I want to watch basketball. Although, the Purdue game is terrible and I don't think it is likely to get much better. I am anxiously awaiting the Mizzou/Memphis game. I think it will be an uptempo down to the wire game. The spread is 4.5. I feel good about that as long as it remains close. I think Mizzou will show up, too. I am still in the money and heading to a beach soon...

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Happy Birthday Sara Jo...

Sara is 30 today.
I am so happy for her.
I feel better. I went to work and dealt with random b.s. Some people are always in a bad place. I don't understand it.
I called Hailey as well and she put the smile back on my face. We reminisced about our trip to Phoenix, high school, college and her boys. She has two boys and they are crack-ups. She is teaching Andrew how to potty train and her husband decided to show Andrew how to urinate like a boy--standing up. So, there are some splash issues and he also let him pee on a tree which is always fun to control. I guess she caught him peeing off their backyard mat since Daddy let me on the tree. Gotta love the innocence of children.
So, I guess I do have something to still smile about. And, I think I will be celebrating with Sara and Ace later.
Not to mention, I am dreaming of Seattle, wineries and the Pike Place Market.

aches, pains and some pure moments....

My heart hurts.
I remember this feeling, this ache, after Brian passed.
I woke up, several times last night, and my hands were on my chest, trying to seek safety in my heart, I guess. It was bizarre, but it was as if I was trying to find a connection to pureness or good. I don't know.
I went to yoga and so I feel centered somewhat. I want to be happy in life and feel positive about people, about the universe and about myself. I know things happen and that there is never a script as to when someone's time is up. It doesn't make it any easier though.
My friend that passed seemed happy in life. He was a physically beautiful man and took great pride in his appearance. I guess underneath it all, he had demons or darkness to contend with.
I had another friend who I was closer to that killed himself a few years ago. When I heard the news, I was shocked, devastated. He was a great man, but very dark in his personal life. He died violently and made sure that he wasn't alone. In some ways, I think he was hoping to be saved but wasn't.
I'll always reflect fondly on him, though. He introduced me to the band, Morphine. He had a love of wine and art. He visited me in Denver, once, and we had a nice night out. I was living with Vegas, Dave and Paul at the time. I think my dad was traumatized by my living arrangements. Funny what you remember from loss.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Reaching out...

There are people in my life that I can count on.
I find myself turning to certain people when I am sad, happy or indifferent.
I just found out that one of Brian's old co-workers passed away last weekend. I think to myself--what else is going to happen? I wasn't close to him, but we did spend a weekend in Vail together and we worked together. I remember him driving us up to Vail and getting car sick. It was terrible and I was thoroughly annoyed.
I know that we weren't extremely close, but I feel overwhelmed again. I feel like I got the wind knocked out of me.
I corresponded with my friend, Troy. He and I communicate and are bonded through loss. I know that he doesn't judge me or question my frame of mind. There aren't many people like that in my life who can talk to me about loss or that life is short. It is.
I tried to reach out to someone that isn't ready for it. It was a quick response for me. It wasn't intentional, but life is short. I am reminded of this everyday. Everyday, people die. I know this and I know how harsh and unfeeling that just sounded. I guess I am annoyed that people continue to think that when I retire, I will live my life to the fullest. Why aren't you doing that today?
Things happen that you cannot control. I guess I need an island for enjoying my moments and living the life I choose to lead.


Today was a great day.
I worked earlier and received a random text from my friend, Jean. We were in Spanish class together at KU and eventually, spent two months in Guadalajara, Mexico, together. It was a summer of dogs, tortillas and learning spanish.
Anyways, I called Jean this evening and decided to look into flights to Seattle. Super cheap and I am now heading there in April. I have the travel bug, again. I thought of driving to Santa Fe, going to Vegas or perhaps eastbound, but Seattle won out.
I am superstoked. We can go wine tasting and they have a cabin near Portland. I think I will tell Michaela and Jade but doubt they will be able to meet up with us since it is early in the week. I travel best on off days, though. It is easier to maneuver airports and of course, I don't have to worry about covering my shifts. I can enjoy.
Last time I saw Jean, we headed to Bainbridge Island, Pike's Place Market and her house. Her and her husband have continued to be gracious hosts to me. Her son, Jack, is pretty cool, too. I remember when he was a baby in Minneapolis and still such a joy to be around.
I wanted a new adventure and I got it. I cannot wait!

Sunshine Cleaning

Yesterday, since I wanted a day on the wagon, Jimmy and I went to see Sunshine Cleaning. I remember seeing the previews and thinking that it looked interesting and I am an Alan Arkin fan. I loved him in Little Miss Sunshine.
We went to the Mayan, stocked up on G2 and m&m's at Walgreens and entered the theatre. We were at the 3:30 matinee and we were not alone. I have never seen the Mayan that busy especially on a Monday afternoon.
The movie started and I thought to myself--I have seen this part already, and that part, and that part. I was curious to what was left since they had shown most of the first half hour of the film in the previews.
It was boring. I kept throwing my hands up at the absurdity of it. I felt like it was a complete waste of my time. I enjoy going to movies, but feel taken if I want to sleep through it.
The movie lacked, had no clear focus or direction. It just was...terrible.
I think I should have went to see Taken. I do not enjoy the Pavilions though and so we went to the Mayan.

Monday, March 23, 2009

The latest Kansas connection

I closed on Saturday night.
About midnight a small bachelorette party showed up. I saw this one girl walk in and knew that she was from Salina. We both went to the same church and I remembered seeing her at CCD classes.
She walked out of the bathroom and up to the bar. I was like--where are you from? She goes--I saw you staring at me and I was like--yes, I thought you looked familiar. She went to Southesast of Saline and I asked her if she knew Jeremy Schropp since he went to school there. We b.s.'d a little and her friend ordered a round of shots. I decided to get one of them since we had the whole Kansas connection and all. I tell her friend the amount--$20.55. Her friend gives me $21 and I had her back the 45 cents. They say--thanks, and she takes her change. REALLY?
You've never been to a bar before? I think it is a midwest thing. I don't know. It astounded me and then I told the server to grat them since they were stupid. Plus, it was 10 girls and I thought it would be in her best interest to add a gratuity. They were drinking Lemon Drop martinis which are always fun to make.
I guess when Kelly dropped the check off, they were upset that she added a gratuity. Again, you've never been to a bar/restaurant before. Begrudgingly, they paid and left.
I was a bit surprised by the one girl. I definitely would have said thank you and good bye but not everyone has manners or class, I suppose.
Last night, we had dinner at Restaurant Kevin Taylor. We were celebrating Tiffany's birthday dinner and it was nice. One of my co-workers boyfriends is a chef there and so we were fed well and the menu was creative. I enjoyed myself, but wish the wine list had been better. It was lame and I really didn't like the pinot noir that we had.
Be well, enjoy your day and smile. I still am.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Road trip...dreaming of it...

Normally, in the spring, I head west.
I have the last three years.
The first one began in Dallas, continued to San Angelo, Phoenix, Sedona and eventually, Santa Fe.
The next one I opted for a rental car and headed to Seattle. I spent 3 days with Jean, Bob and Jack. I had a blast and fell in love with the city. I know that the rain would make me crazy, but Seattle is a vibrant city.
I spent 5 days with Jand and Michaela and tried to get them into trouble. Not trip out west is complete without a stopover in San Francisco and Napa. I should have spent more time there. I ate well, met awesome people and dreamed of relocation. Instead, I heade to Santa Barbara and hung out with my cousins. They were gracious hosts and fun to spend time with. I drove to Vegas and had a brief stopover with Carrie and Cedric and ended in Santa Fe.
Last year, I drove my volvo back to Denver, from Phoenix, and had another stop in Santa Fe.
So, I guess what I mean, when I say--road trip--it means, that I will be heading to Santa Fe. I love it there and it is beautiful in the spring. I love the restaurants and feeling like a local.
I have a great friend that lives there. I always enjoy seeing Melody. She makes me feel so positive about life, about living and about achieving greatness. She is an extremely positive person.
I am forever thinking of my next adventure. I had a nice time in Napa with Shari and a brief interlude in KC which also was lovely. I am ready for something new. Any suggestions?

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Comfort food and other issues...

I returned to Denver and headed straight to Elway's.
I owed Tiffany dinner and it was a prebirthday gift for her.
We walked in and there was GQ and Brian. The mood was mellow and the evening was great. We talked to Alan and Brian until they decided they were starving. I knew that I was the minute I got off of the plane. But, I didn't want to be rude and we talked until I knew that I wanted to eat.
The brussel sprout hash was awesome. We tried the crab cake, mac n cheese and of course, au gratin potatoes. I needed some comfort food and Elway's does it best.
I developed some photos today since I need to return Flat Stanley to Easton. I went to Walgreen's and placed my order. The machine was malfunctioning and so the clerk told me that she would call me to let me know if my order processed or not. I opted to head to Argonaut to purchase wine for our Sunday ritual. For the last month, Tim, Joyce, Arne, Melissa and myself have been pairing wine with food on Sunday morning. They have all been extremely generous and so I offered to pick something up to reciprocate. I found a bottle of a Shiraz/Voignier blend from Australia that was calling to me. We shall see how it pairs with the cheese they bring. I wasn't too inspired to be creative. Instead, I opted for nostalgia.
I returned to Walgreen's and the girl mentioned that yes my order processed, but the machine decided to print out 250 pictures. Basically, it quadrupled my order and so she was only going to charge me for the orginal order, but she wanted to make sure that those were the pictures that I wanted. Random and I benefitted since I was planning to make a few extra copies for Shari of our trip to California.
I am off to yoga. Be well...

taking things for granted

I know that death made me honest.
I am not afraid to say what I mean or truly think about what I am saying if I mean it. Life is short and you never know what is going to happen.
Last week, one of my co-workers was in Boston, visiting his friends and family. While back there, he reconnected with a buddy and had made plans to see this guy again. He got the call that his friend died in a freak work-related accident. I felt bad for them and it reminded me of how fortunate I was to always tell Brian I loved him every day. There is no doubt in my mind that he knew how much he meant to me when he passed. We always waited up for each other and saw each other out in the mornings. I am so thankful for that ritual.
Last weekend, there was another loss in the Thompson family. Tom's stepson, Aaron, lived in Hawaii and was surfing. There was an accident and again, I am reminded of how precious moments are and saying what you mean. My heart goes out to them in this time of loss, reflection and dealing with the aftermath of life's curveballs.
Shari called me to tell me what had happened. Before she did, she inquired about my mini trip to visit friends. She was supportive of my decision to travel and then she told me about Aaron. I thought of how considerate she was being since she of course made sure that I was well before including me in the heart ache. She e-mailed me today to apologize for bringing me down. She didn't. All I could see was how considerate she was being on my feelings instead of immediately telling me of their loss.
Life is short. Things happen that cannot be controlled or explained. Be happy, be honest and tell the people you love that you do. Regret is a terrible thing to have due to fear.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Nail painting

I like pedicures. I think they are great.
I wanted to get one while in Phoenix, but we didn't have time. Instead, I filled our trip with restaurants, hiking and the Botannical Gardens. Next time, I am finding a place to get a pedicure.
For the last 6 weeks, I have had remnants of my last pedicure on my big toes. I was too lazy to do anything about it and instead, faithfully went to yoga, daily, and would see how stupid it looked in the mirror. I was still wasn't motivated to do anything about it until Friday. I bought some remover and opted to paint my nails.
Immediately, I remembered why i don't paint my nails. I suck at it. I am terrible at girly things. I was too much of a tomboy, growing up, to pay attention to how to apply this to your face or nails for instance.
Last night, people noticed right away that I had painted my nails. It was bizarre and then they commented on they felt they had to.
I had dream about it, I guess. I dreamt that I was in Hailey's wedding (which I was and it was in St. Louis). In the dream, they got married in Phoenix. I think it happened in Phoenix since Michaela is there and I visited a month ago.
Anyways, I overslept, almost missed my flight and then they wouldn't let me on it because I wasn't at the boarding gate. I begged my way on and arrived in Phoenix with Angie Cobb's mom. I don't know, it was bizarre and continued to be. We made our way to the hotel and it was full of people from high school. I remember thinking, I wonder who is working since everyone is here. I knew Hailey would be happy that I made it on time, but then I remembered I didn't pack the dress. I was having issues with anxiety and then I woke up.
At Hailey's wedding in St. Louis, I had dress issues which were my fault completely. I didn't have the dress altered. It was too big and I should have had it fitted correctly, instead of thinking people could look down my dress in the pictures.
I guess it goes to show that when it comes to things that come naturally to most women, I suck at them. I am spoiled by my job and lifestyle. I wear shorts everyday and don't have to look accomplished in my attire or lack of makeup. One day, I'll get it. Until then, I will continue to spin cycle my dreams...

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Why some people suck...

I was on facebook this morning and decided to chat with one of my friends from high school.
It all starts out innocently--the nicities/pleasantries--and then she tells me that someone broke into her apartment the other day and took her stereo, computer, tv, phone, play station and an electronic keyboard among other things. Thankfully, she wasn't there, but it sounded like someone knew what was in her apartment. She tells me that yes, she thinks it is one of her neighbors. People suck! I mean, how do you justify taking/violating someone like that? Plus, she had to explain to her kids what happened and they now realize how vulnerable they are. I feel awful for them.
I remember how angry I was when that guy took my ipod. I knew that he did, too. I had no proof, but inherently, I knew that that jackass stole my ipod and knifed my bag. I know they are just things, but it still was so frustrating that I couldn't protect myself. I was humbled by it.
I guess it is good to step back and gain perspective. Lately, in yoga, they begin with a lesson or intention to focus on. The other day, Tricia, began with how everyone is in such a hurry to get places. We focus on the end result, not the journey in getting there. She challenged us to enjoy the journey, not just the end result. I think it overhaps into my life right now. I am focusing on the end result of my yoga practice and hurrying through the process as opposed to experiencing the changes in my physical body and mental/emotional body. I dream of places to travel, make that happen and than I want it immediately. I need to enjoy the present.
I would love to return to South Africa. I am listening to Freshly Ground and so that is probably a lot of why I am thinking of South Africa. I love to check out Morocco, Egypt or Greece. I have always dreamed of being on a beach in Greece. One day it will be my reality.

Friday, March 13, 2009

American Beauty...

I found my DVD of American Beauty. I have been wanting to watch this for awhile now. I had a recent conversation with a friend about how much I love this movie. I don't think he likes it as much as I do, but I think he appreciates the cinematography.
I loved it so much that I saw it 5 times at the movie theatre. The first time I went was on my birthday in 99. I had just moved to Tempe and didn't really know many people. I was fascinated by this movie and so two of my co-workers from Steamer's went with me. I enjoyed it and drove home on Scottsdale Road wishing that the football stadium was elsewhere. The Cardinals had a game and I was stuck in traffic. Desperate for a break, I searched for a bar to go to. Unfortunately, on that stretch of Scottsdale Road, there were only strip clubs. Not an option for me.
I went with my friend, Brandon, and cried. I noticed things that I had missed the first time. I went with my friends, Vegas and Pete. They enjoyed it, but not like me. I went with Ken, too, I think and eventually, on Michaela's visit to Phoenix, we went to see it, too. Funny, Michaela is in Phoenix right now at Spring Training. I think it is ironic, seeing that she isn't much of a sports fan or of the city of Phoenix. She didn't like it too much when I lived there. Perhaps, I showed her too much of the local color.
I bought the DVD for Brian in 2005. I bought Fight Club, Reservoir Dogs, Mystic River and Suicide Kings, too. I was never much for Christmas, but Brian loved it. I prefer my birthday and lavish people on theirs. I bought the movies that I knew I wanted! Nice, I know, but now I have them and I will always appreciate that memory.
Tonight is a chill night. I am organizing photos, letters and my room. I clutter everything until I have to make a new pile. It is time to tackle my mess. Until later, I will be cleaning and enjoying the rest of this flick.

Issues with yoga...

The last two days of yoga have been terrible.
I overslept yesterday (my fault--completely) and worked during the afternoon. I knew they offered an evening heated class at 5:30. There was a new instructor and so I had high hopes of an awesome class.
I am spoiled in the a.m. classes. There are two instructors that I see regularly and they are great. I benefit from their classes and drag myself out of bed to start my day on a positive note.
The class was full and we began in meditation. Typically, we begin every class this way and start to focus on breathing. We were in meditation for 10 minutes which is too long. Everything from that point on was terrible. I mentally checked out of the class. I left the class early from frustration. I had no motivation to see it through the end.
I think it is weird that I have seen the instructor in several of the a.m. classes. She practices regularly, but had no idea of how to create her own class flow. I will not attend another one of her classes.
This morning, there was a substitute, but I have taken 5 of this girl's classes and so I wasn't too concerned about whether I would like it or not. I need to mention, that the heat has been screwed up which also messes with the flow/energy of the class. I think that was a factor for me today. I wasn't prepared to do some of the postures so early in the class because I wasn't adequately warmed up. I am frustrated because I feel that it was a waste of time. I could have been sleeping!
I am glad that I continue to go to yoga. I hope that my practice returns to the beneficial level next week. I rely on yoga to begin my day.
Last night, I drank with my neighbor, Megan. I knocked on her door and we started talking about life, Obama and current events. I knew that I had this lovely bottle of Prisoner in my house. I felt like toasting life. I had abstained the night before because I wanted to make it to yoga on time. Last night, I decided to risk it and it was great. I enjoyed learning more about her and the wine, of course.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


Today was a great day.
I started with yoga which is always a plus in my book. Of course, it always seems too early, but I appreciate it when I am finished.
Afterwards, I reflected on my around the world trip. Mostly, I remembered how peaceful I was when I returned to the States. I had forgotten what road rage was. I am sure that I annoyed all of the drivers in Phoenix. I had no sense of urgency and I think I abstained from talking on my phone while driving. I couldn't do both at once. I still shouldn't, but I do sometimes.
I was peaceful and calm. Tranquility engulfed me.
I want to say that 6 weeks after I returned, I was back to what I would call normal. I knew road rage and what convenience was. In other countries, I went with the flow. If they didn't have my name brand of peanut butter, I ate theirs because they had peanut butter. There weren't many options and I got used to the simplicity of it all. I enjoyed it.
I walked downtown and that also reminded me of my trip. I walked everywhere when I traveled. I loved my ipod and how much I listened to Marvin Gaye. I relied on public transportaton and not once, did I consider hiring a car.
I wanted to toast my trip, tonight, but also want to continue my yoga practice. I opted to make dinner, write and listen to Freshly Ground. I enjoy cooking, but it is difficult to cook for one. I want to do it, though, since I have fantastic knives and kitchenware.
I wish that I had spent more time watching Brian instead of plying us with wine. He always prepared our meals. I made salad or bread or a combination of both. He could take the most random items and create a fantastic, memorable meal. I struggle with that.
I feel more confident in the kitchen now. I enjoy preparing food and entertaining. I wish that some of my friends/family were closer. I suppose a dinner party or something to that effect is in order.
Enjoy your night as I enjoyed my day.

March 11th, 2009

I returned to the States last year on March 11th. I left Belize City and arrived in Houston at 11 am. I remember feeling excitement, peace and a touch of anxiety.
I had been gone for 5 months and it seemed unreal to be reentering the U.S.
The lines weren't too long and they were thorough in customs, but I am a citizen and so I didn't experience grief about my trip or why I was entering in Houston.
I remember phoning my friends from a pay phone. I still remember how excited I was to hear Jan's voice. I had a 4 hour layover and then I would arrive in Phoenix. I knew that we would go to Los Dos Molinos and I couldn't wait to eat mexican. I missed it. I dreamed about guacamole and salsa.
I watched Who Wants to be a Millionaire in some random bar in the airport. I chatted up a cop who taught leadership seminars while we drank beer. I felt out of place and calm.
We did make it to Los Dos Molinos and 4 Peaks, too. I spent a week with Jan and Tom, encroaching on their life. Tax season is the worst time to visit Jan. I saw friends and got my affairs in order. I drove to Santa Fe, and spent 3 days with Melody and Clayton. I was trying to extend my trip. I wasn't ready to return to Denver.
A year later...I still have the travel bug (of course), I am relatively calm, happy and transitioning in my life. I had no idea what I would be doing when I returned. I wanted to keep going, but knew that I would benefit from being here. I have.
I have continued to travel and see friends and family.
I have regressed, somewhat, but dream of transition and change. Today, I hope to toast my trip, remember and believe in another adventure. Enjoy your day and toast life!

Monday, March 9, 2009

out of context

Last night, I worked. Cesar has been in Peru for a month and so I have worked a few of his shifts.
This guy sat down and I knew that I knew him. I couldn't place how, but I knew that I had met him before. He continued to drink Tullamore Dew and buy shots for people around him. He handed me his credit card and that was when I placed it. His name was Storm.
I met a Storm in 2002. Brian's roommate, Chad, was going to open a restaurant for him. We frequented the Pour House Pub a few times, even after Chad decided to move to Keystone. Storm was always gracious with both of us.
Eventually, I worked up the courage to ask if he was the owner of Pour House Pub. He looked at me and said--yes, and I have 5 bars in Boston. I am opening another bar in Denver, though.
I said--oh, so you know Chad Howard? Yes. Then, you knew Brian.
I suppose that is when the recognition occurred.
He said--yea, that was a fucking tragedy.
Yes, it was...he was my boyfriend. He looked at me and said--I am sorry that I didn't recognize you and the bar that I am opening here is the one that I would have wanted Brian to run for me.
Out of context and overwhelmed. The others at the bar didn't really know what to say. They all just looked down and absorbed the conversation that was going on around them.
I continued with...the anniversary of his passing was last weekend and he goes--I know. I remember.
I forget that I wasn't the only one affected by Brian's passing. I forget that time remained still for others, too.
I think these occasions occur for a reason. I have had several of them where I meet someone that knew Brian, but didn't necessarily know us together. We didn't frequent the Bull and Bush or any other bar truly. We did enjoy the Falling Rock, but it wasn't a daily thing. We were happy alone, sometimes in our own world.
I am continuing the celebration of life. I hope you do as well.

Friday, March 6, 2009

importance of stretching your hips...

I have been attending yoga, fairly regularly since 2009 began. I think it started with my month of sobriety. I needed to fill my time with more than movies and coffee.
I signed up for a membership and forced myself to go more than once/twice a week since if I go 5 times, it's about $5 a class. I can afford that. What I cannot afford is $30 a class. I am motivated to say the least!
There are postures that I abhor. For instance, the camel. I really despise it and know that although it is an excellent heart opener, I do not enjoy it. I dread it. Most times, they skip it and focus on the bridge instead. I am not a fan of this posture, either, but have found that I can substitute the wheel and all is good.
So, recently, they have been talking about the importance of your hips. I have realized how tight mine are and always appreciate when we spend more time in class opening them up before beginning the flow. I benefit when they spend more time stetching them.
Yesterday, Miranda's class, kicked my ass. Eventually, we worked into a half moon and when I stood up, I was overwhelmed by a surge of energy and emotion. They say that everyone holds a lot of emotional baggage in the hips and the heart. I just had never experienced that feeling before. I thought I might fall over! I didn't.
Today, I still feel fantastic. I missed her class which sucks, but I will try to attend a beginner class to work on my postures.
I am enjoying the sun still...

motorcycle rides

Beautiful weather continues.
Well, it is supposed to rain/snow tomorrow, but still be 40 degrees. I think that I am okay with that. Next week it will return to sunny skies and memories of summer. I absolutely love it.
I dream of being on the back of a motorcycle, the wind trashing my hair, but enjoying the ride. I remember going back to Salina, one time, with my friend, David. My car (ford tempo--long story) had died in my parking lot months before and so I relied on David to get me to Salina. He showed up at my apartment at 11:30 at night. I had my doubts about this trip actually happening. It had rained, a lot, and so I would have understood had he not shown up, or so I say now. At the time, I wasn't nearly as understanding.
Nevertheless, the next morning we rode back to Manhattan on all of the back roads since he had only one helmet. I remember showing up at his brother's place and looking like someone had dragged me in. I was covered with dust, bug guts and my hair was huge. I couldn't get my hand through it, but I had a blast. Thankfully, his brother lent him his car and we drove the rest of the way in a vehicle.
There is something about a motorcycle ride that makes me dream of summer, possibility and travel. Or maybe, I always dream of travel, possibility and sunshine. I think it is more the latter.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

wineries and more random thoughts

Shari and I both wanted to go to Rutherford Hill. Brian enjoyed the wine and I believe that I had 4 bottles of merlot at one point. I have depleted my stock with Brian, Bryn, Sara Jo and I think another one with Bryn.
Anyways, we drove up to Rutherford Hill and it was a beautiful winery. There was one couple in the tasting room. We decided to share a tasting that would allow us 3 premium reserve wines and three typical. I really enjoyed the petit verdot that they offered and wish that we would have been able to try the malbec, but it had sold out. I mentioned to the guy that I was industry, but had left my busines cards in Denver since I rushed to the airport. He was older, by the book and unwilling to give a generous pour or comp the tasting. It was nice and he suggested checking out either Milat or Raymond. His son was the manager at Raymond and I had another connection to Raymond via a bar customer that I had met earlier in the week. Mary Ella is a traveling nurse and she came into the Bull with another one of my recent regulars, Emiliy. Mary Ella told me to go to Raymond and meet her friend, Emily, that was native to Napa. I felt that since two people had mentioned Raymond, we should go.
It was great. The girls were kind and had heavy hands. Emily likes karoake and we discovered that her friend, Mary Ela, was her back up singer and all in all it was entertaining. They recommended August Briggs, Sequoia Grove and Girard. We decided to check out Sequoia Grove and again, had a wonderful tasting experience. Janie was our lady and she intrigued with stories of drunken debauchery. I think my job is entertaining, but I suppose they see it all, too. She said that numerous times bachelorette parties got out of hand with women saying--you must see mine, first. I don't know about you but I have never felt it appropriate to show my boobs ever in public.
We finished at Girard since it was open until 6 pm and we could walk to it from our bed and breakfast. I enjoyed it and we arrived late and so it was a quick tasting. Saturday morning, I was tempted to check out Cosentino or St. Clement, but I was still so full from Bouchon that I didn't think I needed anything outside of coffee.
I knew there was a Peet's in Napa proper and so we pitstopped there before crossing the Bay Bridge. I must say it was great to be driving a mustang through wine country, but somewhat intimidating in the city. I drove down Lombard and this guy stopped us to offer to be our guide. I think we would gotten kicked out of the car pretty fast and so we declined the offer. I am just not used to driving up hill all of the time. I cannot imagine having a manual car in San Francisco. I applaud anyone who does.
Also, quick side note...thank you, just desserts, for your kind comments. I appreciated them and hope to check out your blog, too.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

food delights

Loving the weather in Denver--it is 70 degrees--awesome.
I should be outside and I have been. Right now, I thought I would take the time to update my blog. I had a wonderful weekend in California with Shari. Of course, it centered on food, wine and Brian. I felt his presence with us the entire time.
We started in Kuleto's and ended at a restaurant on Pier 39 for clam chowder. I was fortunate to meet up with two of my friends while we visited and see more of the city.
I know that I enjoyed Bouchon the most. I love the atmosphere and have never been disappointed in my meals there. I had my first meal with Brian in Las Vegas in 2006.
We had 3 bottles of wine, foie gras, duck confit, chicken, bread, fries, frisee salad and possibly dessert. I remember feeling a food coma the next day and swearing that I would never do that again.
Well, on Friday night, I made Shari have a similar experience. We began with beignets and a beet salad. I think the theme of our trip was beets since we had more than one beet salad and I believe that Shari is now an avid fan. The next course was fish, chorizo and braised cabbage. I think I could have just eaten the braised cabbage--it was awesome. We finished with pork, pumpkin, spinach and fries. We dined for 3 hours and seriously, it is definitely one of my top 5 meals. (I need to update my top 25 eventually.)
Gary Danko was amazing as well. We arrived and told the hostess that we wanted to dine at the bar. She told me that it would be an hour-hour and 15 minutes before we would be able to dine. She was in charge of the bar diners and kept us in line. An hour after we entered, we were seated. They offered a chef's tasting menu or a custom coursed meal. We chose a 3 course and began with a shrimp risotto. It melted in my mouth and we selected a bottle of Craggy Range Merlot. Ironically, my boss, Dave, is in New Zealand right now and his friend, TJ, owns Craggy Range Winery. I visited there on my around the world trip last year and so it felt right on a few levels to drink that wine.
We tried foie gras next and it was delicious. We should have stopped, but instead continued with a salmon course and tried a chocolate souffle as dessert. It had enticed us from the start, but it lacked for me.
The next morning, we were lazy and Shari watched the KU/MU game with me. I couldn't help but ask her to watch it with me. I think that is a tradition, too.
I will talk more of my weekend later. I have yet to discuss the wineries or the car.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Celebrating in Style

San Francisco is definitely a foodie mecca. I don't know that I am going to need to eat anytime soon.
We started on Thursday at Kuleto's and ate radicchio wrapped in pancetta and grilled. It was amazing. Later, we met up with my friend, Jill, who took us to another restaurant and we ate sea urchin. It was fun and quite lovely. We also had drinks at an art gallery where they were jamming to guitar hero which was entertaining and super loud.
From there, I haven't stopped eating. I think I was trying to celebrate in the way that Brian lived life. We have had an amazing time and I am so fortunate to have Shari and Tom in my life. I know that I wouldn't be able to get through the hard days without them there too.
I will reflect more of my trip later. I purchased time to use the internet and I am running out of it.
Be well and enjoy life. Of course, today it is raining...