Thursday, April 30, 2009

Most Likely to Succeed

In high school, during my senior year, I was awarded with it.
Looking back, I find it humorous. I mean, what is success and how can you judge it? For me, I feel extremely successful in my life. But, I am not normal. I do not judge my success by society's "typical" standards.
For instance, as a young girl, I didn't envision or plan my wedding day. Instead, I thought I would be an attorney. I didn't see myself with the picket fence, two kids and a two car garage. I thought I would be living in a loft in a city, working, financially set and on my way to an early retirement.
College started the transition. I waited on too many attorneys that were miserable human beings. I know that is a blanket, generalized, terrible statement, but I met several while attending KU. They all seemed so stressed out, incapable of simple joy and so I decided to pursue a degree in history. I graduated and again, felt restless with what I should be doing.
I dreamt of travel. I planned a trip to Greece and intended to backpack for 6 months. I packed my car and drove my nissan back to Lawrence, KS. My sister, Michaela, agreed to let me keep my car in front of her house while I was gone. I thought I would have an amazing experience and possibly remain abroad. 9/11 happened and altered my course.
The GABF was in Denver in 2001, over my birthday. I convinced my friend, Jan, from Phoenix, to visit me in Kansas and we drove to Denver. I ended up falling in love in my first year in Denver. I have been here since.
So, success to me is travel, food, wine, spending time with friends and family. I don't know if I will ever be conventional under society's guidelines. I don't know if marriage will ever be in my vocabularly and I do not apologize for that. Brian and I were married in every sense of the word. We didn't have the documentation to accompany it, though. We were happy and successfull in our lives.
His mom says success is happiness of the heart. I would agree with her. If your heart is happy, then that is all one can ask for. Lately, I have felt stirrings of happiness in my life.
Success, for me, is not about money, or how much you have, or what you own. I loved the movie, American Beauty. It ememplified how wrong materical ownership is.
I am happy. I do need to downsize and declutter. I feel travel in my blood.
What is success to you? Are you successful in your life?

Snarf's Sandwich shop

On Sunday, the bartender at Elway's asked if we had been to this incredible new sandwich place. He said that he was glad it was only 12" because he would have continued to eat the 18", 24" or 36" sandwich if it were available. He kept going on and on about this sandwich place and how awesome it was. He told us to have them make the sandwich as is, no substitutions. Eventually, he called for delivery and we saw the gigantic sandwich. Both of us were in awe of the size and how appetizing it looked.
Today, I went to yoga and afterwards, Jimmy and I decided to check out Snarf's. I convinced him to walk there, since I am trying to be "green" in life and I figured that it would be good for both of us.
We entered the location and it was packed. They offered custom sandwiches, salads, milk shakes and cookies. We tried the italian sandwich and turkey and swiss. They loaded it up with lettuce, tomato, onions, a thinly-sliced pickle, olive oil and a sandwich sauce. It was huge and a great sandwich. I preferred the turkey swiss combination and enjoyed the italian. Ky, the bartender at Elway's suggested the pastrami swiss or italian. They had vegetarian options, too--more than just a cheese grinder. They had an artichoke feta that looked intriguing and probably my choice for the next visit.
The interior looked like it belonged near a college campus. I suppose that makes sense since it started in Boulder. If you have time, check it out. It is located at 11th and Ogden and worth the visit.


Last Monday, I was in Mossy Rock, Washington with my friend, Jean. She informed me she had a plan for us while staying at the cabin. She had this burn pile and insisted that we burn it. She made us mojitos and brought out a mini flame and newspapers. We placed the paper around the fire and tried to light the paper. The torch was cheap and didn't work. Instead, we opted for matches and began again. Initially, it wouldn't take. I felt foolish that I couldn't even start a fire with matches. I knew that Jean really wanted to burn her pile and so we kept at it and eventually the fire started.
It was awesome and felt so freeing. I felt like doing a dance, in honor of the freedom it provided me. I let go of fear, of worry and of negativity. I embraced opportunity, possibilty and transition. It almost felt cathartic or if I had experienced an epiphany. Chanting would have been an interesting consideration in hind sight.
Burning was intoxicating. We were watchful since we didn't want to burn the house down. With the two of us, you never know. I have known Jean since 96 and we have done some foolish things together.
She had other piles ready, but the wood was wet/green. Jean has always enjoyed yard work and hopes to put in a garden for the summer. I wish that I had a green thumb, but I have not had much success with the whole grow a garden or keep plants alive thing. I do have a few from Brian's passing that have survived. My aunt had them, last year, while I was traveling and so we will see how long they survive in my care.
I have been on the edge of where my life will lead next. Traveling continues to entice me, food encourages me and wine educates me. I suppose I am looking for my next adventure and the burn pile ignited those desires of transition and change.
Until I find a new burn pile, I will reflect on how freeing the process in Mossy Rock was. Be well.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Music, identities and more random thoughts.......

I love it. I can hear a song and think of the first time I heard it or what it inspires in me. Right now, I am listening to a CD compiled by my friend, Castello. We haven't spoken in awhile and I am sad for that, but she does make one heck of a CD. She has always been able to do it, though. Unfortunately, she never provides the playlist and so some of the songs remain unknown.
Nevertheless, this is a random cd and right now, I am listening to a Mazzy Star song. Fade into Me, was my older sister, Michaela's, wedding song. I am transported back to 1997, in college, trying to find me. I was working at a restaurant and hoping to remain independent/self-sufficient. I had met a boy who lived in Miami and I was enamored with him. I visited him, once, and thought I would be relocating to Miami. Funny, how you really get to know someone on a weeklong visit.
Alternative music always takes me back to college--the freedom of choice, people and finding yourself. I was in such a hurry to get out of Kansas and out of my hometown that I think I missed most of high school. I was focused on saving money so that I could escape to a new place. I do not regret it. I am happy that I left Kansas and am now in Colorado.
Bob Marley and Dr. Hook were Brian. He would pick me up, in the early days, and always be listening to Bob Marley. It got to the point that I wanted to smash the cd, but then someone stole his stereo and so that took care of itself.
Now, when I hear Bob Marley, I smile and reflect on so many memories of my life with him. It can overwhelm me, at times, since there are so many and all of them are mine. I get sad, though, because I realize how I am missing out without him physically in my life. I know that he is here, but it is different.
I suppose cuban music and caribbean also remind me of him and of our trips. Somehow he knew that I loved latin music and he bought me a cd for my birthday the first year we spent together. Every year after that, I would purchase a cd for him and we would listen to it, while dreaming of our next adventure--be it Honduras, Costa Rica or Mexico.
I continue to read the books on Oprah's list and they all are dealing with searching for an identity or depressing to some extent. I feel that it is natural to question your identity as you continue to change/adapt/grow. Right now, I am a friend, an aunt, a sister, daughter, and probably a crack head to some. I mean, that in the sense that I am unconventional and loving it. I am free in my life and alone, too. But, I choose to be and make myself a priority. I think that it is why kids are not a factor, for me, right now. I know that some of my friends, with kids, cannot understand that or even support it. I have one friend in particular, who I know does not understand the importance of making yourself a priority. But, she'll learn in her own time, as she, too, is searching for her identity.
Enjoy the sunshine, the music and the search for who you are.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Continuing the food factor...........

I began with Bouchon and I will probably finish with it. I absolutely love Bouchon, be it in Napa or Las Vegas. When I turned 30, I had an awesome meal with Pocketsize, Sara Jo, Michaela and Castello. We had been wine tasting all day and finished at Bouchon. It was awesome. Castello treated us to a bottle of champagne and I opted for a bottle of red. We shared roasted chicken, foie gras, pommes frites and salmon. The wine was amazing and I think that is the lasting impression. Napa, for the first time, overwhelmed me.
French Laundry is the best all-time experience that I have ever had as a diner. The service was fantastic, efficient, non-intrusive and lasted 4 hours. I had an amazing meal, great wine and loved every minute of the meal. I went with a friend of mine from Denver. She, too, is a food fanatic. Her boyfriend likes burritos. Need I say more?
Gary Danko, another star restaurant in San Francisco, is definitely in the top 5. Shari and I celebrated the 3rd anniversary of Brian's passing there. We sat at the bar and had an excellent meal. We began with champagne and continued with a bottle of Craggy Range Merlot. I had been to the winery in New Zealand, my boss, Dave, was there and so it seemed fitting. Dave recommended Gary Danko.
We began with the seafood risotto, continued with the foie gras and finished with the chocolate souffle. The bartender was accomodating and friendly. I liked how the restaurant ran the bar. Instead of allowing open seating, they had a hostess in charge of the bar rotation. She informed me that we would wait for an hour to an hour and a half and then have an available seat. She was accurate.
Aqua, in San Francisco, again. I was continuing the celebration of my 30th birthday and persuaded a friend to meet me there. We had the 3 course tasting menu and it was delicious. I would like to return to sample more of the food.
Tru, Chicago...amazing food, interesting dining mate. I went for my anniversary with Brian--it would have been our 6th. I wanted a meal to stand out and so I made reservations there. They didn't offer the full menu to people at the bar.
I prefer to dine at the bar, but it wasn't an option for me since I was dining solo. The first two courses of my 9 course tasting were solo. The host approached me and offered to bring me reading material. I inquired about the solo gentleman that was dining to my left. They asked if he would like to join me and so I had dinner with a 19-yr-old boy that was an intern in their kitchen. It was interesting and amazing. This guy, Sam, reminded me of Brian and I had a wonderful time. He was young, passionate and full of life. I envied his optimism.
I know that there are so many restaurants to profile and consider. I know that I have been fortunate to dine where I have and look forward to the next meal.
Be well.

Thinking of food and travel...

I was at Peet's Coffee Shop this morning and these two ladies began talking about restaurants. They said, Boulevard and then the Slanted Door and I knew they were talking about San Francisco. I haven't been to the Slanted Door, but have heard many wonderful things about it.
I have been to Boulevard and it was lovely. I went in October of 2006 and I remember enjoying myself.
Thinking of those women's comments about restaurants made me realize that I have been fortunate in my life. I have always enjoyed food, but once I started dating Brian, I had an entirely different preception of food. He had a fantastic palette and could recreate any meal that we had. We ate out a lot, and of course, he cooked for me often. I made salad or bread. I know, I am lame. I wish that I had paid more attention to him while he cooked for us. I would have learned so much. I am more confident in the kitchen now, though, because of him.
I think of food and feel fortunate to enjoy it so much. I spend money on food, travel and wine. I am definitely not a clothes/shoes horse. I figure that you should spend on what you enjoy and I have definitely enjoyed my fair share of fantastic restaurants.
On facebook, I compiled a top 25 list of meals. I would like to revise it and post some of it on here. I mean, really, food goes hand in hand with traveling in my book.
It will be long and I will have to break it up some. Last week, in Washington, I had two great mexican food experiences. Both places offered fresh guacamole and a wonderful tomatillo salsa. The Plaza Jalisco restaurant was family owned and they had 4 in the area. I knew that the family was from Guadalajara, Mexico, due to the name. My friend, Jean, and I lived in Guadalajara for 2 months, studying spanish. We were both familiar with their food and liked it.
I am heading to the Rockies game tonight and so the list will have to wait. I want to give it some thought and make it the best it can be. I have had some wonderful meals in the last 8 years--I know that for certain. I think my favorite all time experience was dining with Brian at Bouchon, in Las Vegas. We had 3 bottles of wine, foie gras, duck confit, frisee salad, roasted chicken and pommes frites. Afterwards, we walked to the MGM to catch La Bohemme and the following morning, I was so done with food and wine. I think I had a massive food coma. Unfortunately, our flight didn't leave until midnight and so we had ample time to curse the night before.
Until later...

Monday, April 27, 2009

Sleepy time

Cold weather inspires me to be lazy.
I want soup and a grilled cheese sandwich. I would prefer that it made and served to me. I feel unproductive in every sense of the word.
Today, I went to work and feel that I should head to yoga, but am unmotivated.
Sleep, sounds fantastic or finding something to watch on Hulu. It is definitely a wearing glasses kind of day.
Work was slow and now, I am enticed back under the comforter. I feel bad that it is the beginnning of the week and I know that I have a lot to do. I have many projects and I am enbracing the transitions in my life. Yoga is relaxing and necessary. I need to sort through my photos, develop my trip album/photos and read more. I am trying to plan the rest of my 2009 travel. I am considering a trip to Italy or Europe for a brief stint.
I have been library bound the last few weeks, but recognize that I am going to run out of books to read. If you have any suggestions/recommendations of a great book, please let me know.
I opted to utilize Oprah's book club list and have read many of her choices. I loved I Know This Much is True and While I was Gone. I read She's Come Undone, too, and so when I was walking through the library and saw Wally Lamb's current book--The Hour I First Believed, I knew that I would read it. I really enjoyed the book and ironically, picked it up the weekend before the Columbine Anniversary. His book deals with the aftermath of the shooting for a man and his wife that was in the library during the attacks. It is a fantastic read.
I read a book about domestic violence and there was nothing redeemable about the book. I was angry with the way it ended and frustrated that I had chosen it. This book, Black and Blue, was on her list, too. I wouldn't suggest it since it is sad/frustrating and not at all uplifting. I know that domestic violence happens and frequently, but there are solutions to getting out--shelters, relocations, family/friends. I lived by a shelter in Kansas. We knew them since my mom hated the fact that we shared a tree with them. Eventually, she cut down part of it, which intensified the dislike between houses.
Nevertheless, today is a lazy day. I will be resting/relaxing until I am back to my productive self, tomorrow. I am hoping for sun.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Friends in Low Places...

When my sister, Michaela, started middle school, she met a boy named Marc. Immediately, they became friends and this continued the entire course of high school.
They were both 3 years older than me, but I grew up with Marc, too. My sister always let me tag-a-long to the tping adventures, ball games, socials, etc. I believe that I spent more time with her class than I did with my own.
All through high school, Michaela and Marc were friends. They had choir together, went to Carnegie Hall to sing for our school and the entire course of high school, were in numerous plays/musicals together.
After high school, Marc decided to go to the local university. He was a popular guy, always making people laugh and smile. When he left for college, I did not see him as often. His friendship with my sister declined and eventually, I would hear that he was doing such and such, but I rarely saw him or heard many updates from my sister.
16 years ago, today, he passed away. It was awful to hear over the school P.A. system that we had lost one of our own. Immediately, I thought of my sister and how this would affect her. She was in Texas, singing, and so she missed the service.
I missed it, too. I wanted to remember Marc, smiling, and not be sad.
I remember, at the Talent Show that year, he sang, Friends in Low Places, by Garth Brooks. I suppose that I will always associate that song with Marc.
I had forgotten the exact date of the anniversary, but I am facebook friends with his sister. (For this occasion, I am grateful to have that social network.)
I wrote to her and told her that I would be celebrating today and toasting Marc and his life. It is sad. It is tragic, but it is beautiful to remember our passed ones too.
Celebrate today, remember yesterday fondly, and look forward to the promise of tomorrow.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Zilla, Washington

Still reflecting on my Eastern Washington vacation.
Jean and I had apples and almonds, while in the car. She is such a giver, always prepared. But, apples were not enough. Going over White Pass made me nauseous, spin cycled my stomach and was an interesting trip--both directions. The way over was definitely worse.
Anyways, as we entered Yakima Valley, Jean kept talking about chips and salsa and mexican food in general. She kept saying, I think Sunnyside is predominantly mexican and so they must have authentic food. I mean, too, the non Tex-Mex-cheesy disaster that some people consider mexican food. I love chunky salsa, little grease, green chili, eggs--that is my kind of mexican food.
We exited in Zilla. We drove through the town without much luck. As we considered driving further, we both saw the place. It was next to a pink building and there was a Mexican food sign. We parked, entered and opted to eat in, as opposed to eating in the car. She ordered two tacos and I had a vegetarian burrito, without cheese. The salsa was awesome. I could have eaten it with a straw. Realistically, I could have sustained on salsa alone.
My burrito was smothered with an enchilada sauce. It was okay, but the guacamole was fresh and amazing. I was so happy that we found that little slice of heaven in Zilla. The day before in Olympia, we had guacamole which was out of a bag--no bueno!
I love mexican food. There are 3 places in Denver that I frequent regularly. I think I could eat it everyday. Actually, I basically eat guacamole everyday at the Bull. It is great for your skin and I love fresh guacamole.
I'm off to find more food to talk about. Have a wonderful day.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Why I need help, sometimes.........

I have 3 sisters. I am the second oldest. Growing up, I would watch Michaela do all of the firsts. I guess, what I am really referring to, is learning how to drive.
At that point, my parents were divorced and Michaela went to driver's ed. My mom owned a 1983 Volvo wagon and that would become Michaela's car. It was a manual and so frustrating to learn on. Plus, my mom was an impatient teacher. I didn't want to take driving lessons from my mom. After watching my sister learn how to drive, I opted to A) buy my own car and B) make sure it was an automatic. I am hindered, forever, for that decision.
However, my mom couldn't take my car away from me, unlike my sister.
I am a terrible manual driver. I have been taught a few times, but since it isn't consistent I am not a confident stick driver.
I learned to be independent/self-sufficient at an early age.
There are times, when I could use help, or more likely, I rely on a man to do it. For instance, changing out headlights, most car related stuff, electrical work--you know, stuff that guys like and do. On Wednesday, my friend's engine light went on. She pulled over and I unlatched the hood. While she and I wondered which oil to use, I checked the level and she called her husband. He didn't answer and so she stopped this random guy and asked for his assistance. He didn't want to mess up her BMW and so she wandered inside.
A few minutes later, she returned with a helpful twenty-something. His first question was--don't you have a manual? (I never read anything. I want to turn it on and have it work.) He told her it was probably the 30 oil and we added it to her car.
It made me realize how reliant both of us were/are on the men or in my case, lack of men in our lives. I should know how to change my oil. I had a roommate that dependently changed his own oil every 3 months. He offered to show me how to do it, several times, but I wasn't interested. Time is money, right? My time is important and I would prefer paying someone to get messy and change my oil.
Neither of us, Jean, nor I, considered looking for the car manual. Another thing that I hope to change in future issues with my car, my camera or my ipod. I should pay more attention to the resources that are available to me.

4 Days in Review--with more to follow....

I flew into Seattle. I only saw the view from the airport. My friend, Jean, picked me up and we drove to Mossy Rock where she and her husband own a lake home. It was beautiful, peaceful and relaxing. Immediately, I understood the reason they purchased the lake home.
We stopped in Olympia and ate at the Oyster House, on the waterfront. Although beautiful, the food was not. We wanted seafood, but not something too heavy. I know, the clam chowder didn't fit the bill, but I was on water and so I opted to get a cup of New England clam chowder and Jean tried the Manhattan chowder. She has a gluten allergy (truthfully) and so I don't each much bread/breading/flour while with her. Eating sauteed calamari just isn't the same. I have done it though, for her, on a few occasions.
I could survive on chips and salsa and so we ordered that, too. Our server told us that the guacamole was made in house, but the salsa was store bought. We decided to get chips and a side of guacamole. It tasted like Costco's and the chowder was okay, but not terrific. I will say that the Bloody Mary's were on point.
We arrived at her home and it was stunning. We unloaded the car and she made us mojitios. It was sunny and she had a burn pile that she wanted to tackle. So, out we went, mojitos in hand, and tried to get the fire pit started. After a few tries, I got one side up and running. I enjoyed the burning and we b.s.'d out lives.
I met Jean in college and we have been friends since. We spent a summer in Mexico together, trying to learn spanish. When she lived in Minneapolis, I spent time with her and her family. I spent a few days with them before heading to Wisconsin to attend Brian's service. I have spent a lot of time with Jean over the years.
Still, until Tuesday, I had never met her twin sister, Jan. Finally, we met in Walla Walla. She was a riot and the two of them together, was a little overwhelming. They feed off of each other's energy and it was wonderful to spend time with both of them.
We had 5 wine tastings in Walla Walla. We started at Woodward, Le Cole, Cougar Crest, Waters and Va Piano. I wasn't that impressed with Woodward; although, the tasting room lady was helpful with dinner suggestions. I enjoyed Brandon at Le Cole and the wine, too. He was insightful and had fantastic recommendations for wine and food. Cougar Crest was good and name recognition is always somewhat nice. We got lost en route to Waters---we ended up in Oregon. It was the blonde leading the blonde for most of this trip! Waters was nice and the lady, Robbi, went to DU and so she was familiar with the Bull and Bush. Va Piano was a lovely surprise. We went to pick up wine for Jean's neighbor, met the owner and sat outside with him, as he opened up new bottles for us. It was an ideal way to end the day.
Of course, we needed food.
Everyone told us--you must go to Saffron. I made reservations and we went to Saffron. The atmosphere was engaging and we were seated at a wonderful table. I ordered a syrah, from Washington--of course, and we tried a few appetizers and shared a few entrees. Overall, I wasn't impressed. I poured most of our wine and although, the bread was great, I was the only one to enjoy it. The twins are both gluton free. The scallops were lame and uninspired. We did all agree that the braised cabbage was awesome. I ordered that and we all enjoyed that side dish.
Afterwards, we still wanted to continue our night, but Walla Walla shuts down except for the Vintage Cellars bar, which doesn't offer booze--only beer and wine, or our hotel bar, which we had already been to. We returned to the hotel bar and the girls ordered martinis and I stuck with wine. No visit to a bar would be complete without being hit on by an older man. I was seated by this 60+ cowboy. I was watching basketball and Jean began talking to him. It was done. I was forced to engage with this man that I had no interest in conversing with. I left since I was intoxicated and didn't want to talk to this man.
This is so long and so I am concluding it for now. While with Jean, I started to realize that I could be doing more with my life. I love my job and my ability to travel, but I could utilize more of the traveling and write about it. I have learned a lot about traveling and feel I should pass it on. For instance, how often have you went somewhere, wanted a local restaurant, and all you can find is Chili's. I know that Saffron was disappointing, but I would return and give it a second chance. It had a lovely atmosphere and the possibility for greatness. Plus, everyone has an offnight. I can forgive it. There were a few other restaurants mentioned and I wish we would have tried T Mararone's. The following day, we perused the menu and I think it would have been a better fit for us.
Until later, I need to reflect on our foray into the mexican market, the mexican food we tried and the wineries in Yakima Valley. Oh, and Jean severely undercooked our halibut on Monday--fun times........

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Heading to Seattle

Super stoked and ready to go.
My friend, Jean, and I will be heading to wine country and south to Portland. I cannot wait.
I had been thinking about a trip, considered a return to the East, and then called my friend in Seattle. I found these tickets that were cheap and decided to go for it. I mean, why not? Why not head to Seattle or somewhere else? I love traveling. I am much happier when I have the ability to soothe that itch.
I feel free and able to maneuver. I feel great.
Work has been interesting and educational. I am learning that I cannot fix everything. It is okay to relax, enjoy and be. I do not have to be perfect. People can wait.
I stopped by Elway's on my way home. I felt like a glass of wine and recognized, again, that I need a dining companion. Nevertheless, I opted to go alone and watch the evening unveil. Elway's is always entertaining. The bar was full of older diners. There was this group of women that I made sure I was not near. They seemed overwhelming and needy. As the night progressed, I knew that I had made a smart decision.
I sat alone, talked to the bartenders and servers. I noticed that not making eye contact was in my favor. I didn't want any unwelcome company. I wanted to enjoy my solitude, wine and the basketball game. Before I left, I asked Ky for a half glass of Rapture. He handed me a glass and right away I knew that it was corked. Somehow, I am lucky in this arena. I can find a corked glass that few others. He opened a new bottle and all was right in my world.
Now, I am watching Breaking Bad, dreaming of Seattle and trying to get ready to sleep. I am excited for my trip and so know that tonight will be somewhat restless.
Until later, enjoy the moon......

Friday, April 17, 2009

Different meanings for different people

A few days ago, one of my co-workers asked me if I had seen Slumdog Millionaire. I responded with an enthusiastic yes and she said, this one lady thought it was terrible and way too graphic/violent. Did you think it was violent?
I was surprised. I didn't take that image with me of that film. True, there were parts that were unsettling for me, brief parts. Keep in mind, I am squeamish and an empath. I feel so much more than is necessary when it comes to violence/pain. I remember seeing Monster, with Charlize Theron, and not thinking I could return to finish the movie once the tire iron was produced.
I digress, this woman also commented on the blow-up factor. There was one scene where fire was used to illustrate violence, but it wasn't a blow them up movie by any means. I thought it was funny how different our viewings were of such a fantastic film. I believe it deserved all of the accolades it received. The movie was thought provoking, colorful, interesting, well acted and a nice reflection of life in India. I loved it.
I remember seeing The English Patient, finally. I refused to go when all of the hoopla was going on. I didn't want to be disappointed in the film and so I went with no expectations. I loved it, all of it. It was romantic, beautiful, sexy and sad. I was enthralled by the romance between the two main characters. And, I enjoyed the comic relief of the romance between the nurse and the man who diffused bombs.
I remember hearing this woman discuss why she didn't like it. She was disgusted by the infidelity and hated the movie because of it. One aspect creaated such a strong dislike. Again, I thought how different two people can feel after seeing one movie.
When Brian died, I hated saying the word death or dying. It seemed final. I know that it was final. I knew that he couldn't reappear in my life unlike what Grey's Anatomy would like people to believe, but that is another tangent. I found myself not watching the show after it decided to go with this storyline. Actually, I was annoyed when they had the Izzie and George romance. People do not rebound that way. They do not decide that this tragic loss could be erased within a few months and now they are overwhelmed by this new love that they found with their best friend who happens to be married. It was a terrible way to move these characters along and really not true, at all, in how people deal with loss.
Anyways, I opted to use the word passed, when speaking of Brian. I couldn't say, died. I guess in my own way, I could make terms with what happened if I used the word passed, not died. I think I could believe that he was still with me if he had passed, not died.
I have a friend that lost her husband and so I sent her a card on her 6 month anniversary and she e-mailed me back and said, I prefer the term, death, not passed. Again, funny how words inspire different meanings for people. I suppose that it was makes the world go round and continue.
Enjoy your day, even if it is cold in your world as it currently is in mine...

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

If You're Going Through Hell, Keep Going--Winston Churchill

I found this card, yesterday, at Whole Foods and it jumped out at me. I walked to the store with the intention of finding a quotable card for a friend of mine. I love written communication and I have a friend that could use a little pick me up. Initially, I thought I would find something a little more inspirational or kind, but this makes sense and it gets the point across quickly.
Right now, times are tough for a lot of people. I see it, daily, the worn faces, the sad looks, the belief that all is wrong in the world. It's funny, I walk downtown and it is a complete difference from walking to Cherry Creek.
Downtown Denver is filled with vagrants, workers, tourists and has an eclectic energy while touring it. I choose to be green in 2009 and so I spend a lot of time, walking the city. I can blend in, easily, because I act like I know where I am going at all times. Mostly, I get looked at since I am a speed walker. I would never be accused of being a Chilean--they stroll at all times. Nevertheless, walking downtown is always entertaining.
Cherry Creek is elitist and most people walking around Cherry Creek are dressed as such. Me, I don't care. I want to be comfortable and there are times when I have worn my neon green hoodie. Actually, it's Brian's hoodie and it is filthy. It has stains from his biking in it, and wine stains from my drinking red wine and spilling all over it. I keep it because it was Brian's and it makes me feel close to him.
I enjoy watching people as I walk through Cherry Creek. There is an air of superiority in Cherry Creek that is definitely not found in downtown. There are soccer moms, cougars, silver foxes, bankers and people that feel they have a purpose. It's almost like a fashion show.
Downtown is gritty, real, and has signs of positive pockets, but right now, with the economy the way it is, it is overrun with people that are down on their luck. Bus stops are full of people loitering, lingering, trolling for change. It's depressing, fascinating and genuine. It's funny what a smile will do for most people.
So, this card is appropriate--If you are Going Through Hell, Keep Going--not only to my friend, but to everyone. We all have journeys that we are on, be it negative or positive, we all must continue to learn the lesson.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

To cut or not...

I need a hair cut. I know it.
I had a guy in Denver who is brilliant and creative with color, but he doesn't listen to my needs. Instead, he envisions what I should be sporting, creates it and yes, it looks awesome for the two days that I don't wash it. Then, it goes back to being pulled back since I am a low maintenance type of girl. I am super unmotivated to style my hair or spend more time in the bathroom trying to fix it.
I did explain it to him. Still, twice, he did exactly what he wanted.
I found a girl in Tempe and I loved her. I enjoy flying to Phoenix, spending time with friends, eating at Los Dos Molinos, chambord margaritas at Z Tejas and yes, a hair cut. I liked my girl and she did a good color job, too. One time, she complained to me about what her tips were and I felt it was inappropriate since I flew down there to see her and tipped well. I felt uncomfortable as she was finishing my hair and so I quit going to her, too.
I saw Jan's stylist last year and was happy, but I feel that I should be realistic and find someone in Denver. I tried to do the walk in thing, but the older lady styled my hair like a 60's debutante. I left, fuming and trying to pull my hair flat.
I am low maintenance and feel secure with what works for me. I have moderately curly hair and do not like it enhanced. I don't like it made big either.
I guess I am confronting the hair cut need as it equates to my life. When Brian passed, I chopped my hair off, colored it and wanted to make a change. I wanted to feel different in my life or I felt that I had to.
As the years have passed, I am reaching the length of hair that I once had. I feel that I should cut it because I should, but then I feel that I shouldn't because I am beginning to feel better about myself. I don't feel as guilty as being attracted to someone. Perhaps, I feel ready to date or not since I am on the fence with the hair issue.
I do know that I like my color. When it is darkened, I look like my sisters. I think I prefer the recessive gene look that I have always had.
I don't know. I know that I don't have to know everything right now. I am okay with the present and also about lingering in this moment. Eventually, everything will work out, the planets will realign and I will get a hair cut.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Spring means more cleaning, more sunshine and more outside alone time with the ipod...

Spring is here and I absolutely love it.
I love the sun. I love being outdoors and yes, I love my ipod. Although, as of late, it has showed signs of being difficult or implying that I will be purchasing my 5th one this year. Seriously, I have an ipod addiction. I cannot believe that I survived so long with just a walkman. Fun times...and all because Pocketsize told me it was time to join this century.
2009 has been about stateside travel, reconnection and reprioritizing what is important in my life. I realize that I enjoy writing and am trying to embrace this aspect of my life.
For the most part, I am honest with the blog, too honest at times, but then I know I censor some of my posts, too, for fear of what people will think. I guess I know some friends and family read this and I do not want to think that I am a complete crackhead---yes, they probably already do--but I don't want it affirmed by this blog.
I want this place in my life to represent possibility and growth. I believe in traveling and although this was set up as a way to communicate with friends/family it became more when I returned to the States.
In its own way, it became a trifle mundane too. I want to get beyond that and reflect on what is important in my life. Traveling, food, wine, friendships...I keep harping on my sister, Michaela, to embrace the women in her life. Friends are important and I know that I have survived many crises because of my friends. I have created a family that I chose and it feels right.
I love my sisters and enjoy the relationships that I have with them. But, I enjoy more too. Michaela is busy with work and figuring out her priorities. Yes, she makes time for me, but I feel that I reach out to her more often. Jade has a newborn and two other kids that take up most of her time. She listens to my rants and laughs about the episodes from my life, but again, she is busy with life. Jasmin is a wild card since she is still trying to figure out her place in the world. Plus, she is in Kansas and I think most people know my thoughts on that:)
Yes, I feel that I have an extended family from choice and I feel fortunate everyday for them. I know that even in my darkest moments, I was never truly alone. There was always someone there that was willing to listen to me in my time of need. I suppose I need to pay that forward...any takers, let me know...I am well in my life. I look forward to expanding my networks and my place in the universe.
I am trying to figure out how to travel, get paid for it, dine as an elitist and only drink red wine. 2009 continues however it may and I feel it is a year of discovery and finding more for myself.
Be well and enjoy the sunshine. I have....

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Cadbury Eggs

I like Easter. I love peanut butter it, love it, love it. I am not a fan of peeps or cadbury eggs. Brian loved them though. He loved the rich, decadent chocolate and the ooze that was created with one bite.
Every year, he would surprise me with a 3 pack of the candy, knowing that I had no interest in eating the eggs. It was a huge production, the unveiling of this gift, knowing that I would sigh and refuse to share them with him. Of course, he bought peanut butter m&m's or a toberlone bar and so we both were happy.
Easter wasn't that big of a day for us. I think, probably since we both worked. There was always a catered event for him and Sundays have been part of my regiment since I began at the Bull. For awhile, I was able to enjoy being a "real" person. You know, the ones that are able to go to Sunday Brunch and drink a mimosa or two. I think that lasted 3 weeks and then I would get pulled back into working Sundays.
Nevertheless, we would celebrate together, but it wasn't like our birthdays which were month long celebrations. I miss him and I miss the Cadbury Eggs. Normally, I buy them in his honor, but this year, Easter arrived too quickly and now it seems false to buy them, today. I have had a huge urge for chocolate. I think I will be heading to St. Mark's coffee shop in the next few days to satisfy my sweet tooth.
Happy Easter. Enjoy your night and the return of everything that makes you happy. I have a friend that gave up Dr. Pepper for lent. Me, I only give up things when I want to and so no, I did not respect lent this year. I was on the wagon the entire month of January and so I think there are worse things to not follow, right?

Saturday, April 11, 2009


Today, I woke up and realized how much I really didn't want to go to work.
I spoke to my older sister and she was sorting through photos from her life. She was sad, nostalgic and all I wanted to do, was fly to Oregon to see her. I wish that I could be more available to her, right now. I try to call her and e-mail, frequently, but it isn't the same as an in-person visit.
As much as I am in my head about randomeness, sometimes I forget that other people experience the same listlessness that I have. They just don't talk about it, whereas I can be obsessive about it. I had a wonderful conversation with someone earlier in the week and realize that I am not alone. I do not need to move to an island, just yet.
I read this amazing post the other day and it has stayed with me. I even read it to Michaela while we were on the phone. This woman wrote a letter to her husband and it was beautiful.
I am still thinking about her honesty and understanding that is what love should be. It bothers me to see so many people settle, just to settle, as opposed to being alone. I have a friend that is beautiful, intelligent, capable and is involved with a selfish man. I hadn't seen him in awhile and last night he stopped into the bar. I asked him where his lady was--and he was like--I don't know, I thought she was still working. Really? You cannot even be considerate enough to know what she is doing or even imply that you care. He wanted to be aloof in front of everyone, but they live together and obviously have feelings for each other. But, I don't think it is enough. I think you should be passionate about that person--like you don't know where they you stop and they begin. You just are.
Settling is not an option. Why trade off your personal happiness for having someone in your life?
I have to return to work and so I will continue this randomness later...

Thursday, April 9, 2009


More coffee--so far, that is what I have attracted.
Oh, and watching road rage along Speer Blvd. I don't blame the motorists since I saw 4 cops on a mile stretch of that road. Plus, there is road construction on the other side and so I felt fortunate to be walking, coffee in hand, listening to my ipod. Everyone should slow down and enjoy, instead of racing/speeding/slamming on their brakes. Driving is not attractive to me, right now
I haven't driven since Sunday. I am trying to hold true to the idea of being green this year. Small changes are powerful, too. Plus, why not? I think more. I contemplate. I make sense when I am walking. I think of all of these things I could discuss on my blog and then I sit down to do it and I am blank. Perhaps, later, I will have more inspiration.
Last night it was nice to catch up with my cousin. He has had an interesting life and I enjoyed hearing him tell me about his family. I can sense that he is a great dad and committed to being there. Who could ask for more?
I saw on yahoo that kids do not always create happiness in relationships or so a survey found. Really? Big surprise. I think as I have contemplated the kid factor in my life, that it is normal to not always be happy with kids. But, at least you always have something to occupy your time.
Me, I go in spurts where I am truly bored and wish that I had a dining companion or someone that I could always count on to listen to me and my endless rants. I do enjoy my life. It's awesome. There is a lot of freedom with it, but I don't have many ties to being in Denver or the States for that matter. I guess I like the idea of that freedom and want to continue to have that availability in my life. I have many friends with kids and some friends without. There really is no right or wrong. Each relationship is different and I believe that is why some relationships prosper without children and some grow with children.
I am on the fence with it. I don't know how I feel, truly, about being a mom. It is too soon for me in my life. I like being selfish and being able to travel here or there and get up at 2 pm since I can. I like the idea that I am only responsible for myself.
I suppose I will continue to attract a life of travel, solitude to a certain extent and food, of course. Be well...

Coffee....must have....

I met my cousin, Wil, last night at the Falling Rock. It was great, fantastic actually, to catch up. The last time I saw him was in 1997 at a 4th of July celebration. I remember I was drinking Coors Lite (yes, these were pre-21, pre-taste days). Jade drove us up and wanted to talk about getting pregnant. I tried to talk her out of it, like everyone had tried, but a few months, she called me and was pregnant.
Nevertheless, seeing Wil was nice and I always enjoy the Falling Rock. My friend, Fush, was working and his girlfriend is from Iowa. Ironically, she grew up 5 miles from where I spent every summer as a child. She knew a few of my cousins and again, it is a small world.
Wil left and I opted to stay and talk to Steve. Pocketsize's birthday is this month and I wanted to go to Super Diamond with them, but am having difficulty getting my shift covered. I feel bad since I wanted to celebrate with her. I suppose another night it will happen.
I decided to make a phone call and it turned into an hour long conversation. Lately, I have been good about not calling people, texting or blogging while buzzed. Sometimes it works in my favor and other times, not so much. Hence, why I have been making an effort to limit my buzzed conversations.
Today, I need massive amounts of coffee. I missed yoga and so today is definitely a lazy day. I work tomorrow and so I think I will rest up and relax. I don't know. It is beautiful outside and I am flowing the Like Attracts Like vibe. What will I attract today?

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Like Attracts Like....

Bored, waiting to meet my cousin, I decided to check out flights to Boston. Last week, I found tickets for just over $200 and this week, they are about one hundred dollars more. It isn't that much and I am going to Boston, but haven't purchased the tickets, yet.
I decided to look on facebook, but feel that lately, it has been supernarcisstic for me. I want to enrich my life, not better it by seeing how different I am from people from my high school. I am still put out, by the one girl that wrote me a lengthy response with no interest in my life whatsoever. Or, the girl that asked if I were still in Salina. I guess, I feel that I am considerate and at least cyberstalk what you are doing, not assume that there have been no changes in your life.
With more time to kill, I opted to cyber stalk blogs. I haven't done much of that, but the one I found, Life in the Second Half, was great and her post today was reflecting a lot of my current thougts as of late.
Like attracts like.
The news is negative and not informative. I keep hearing the Jack Johnson song, The News, and it is a theme in my life right now. I quit being interested in the news when Brian died. They, the press and the tv, wanted a story about what happened. They called me, they waited for me at my apartment, talked to the managers and of course, went to Brian's job. It turned me off. Why would I want to comment on losing Brian and have it posted all over? There I was--crying, always crying and in shock. What a fantastic story....and then, it seemed that the news had become desensitized. Instead of saying---there was a death, it's this person was killed. He died. He was murdered. There are no thoughts of the living. Only in how many papers will sell.
But, that is my story...look at how there is nothing positive in print. We sell fear. We sell negativity. We sell death.
There is so much more to life and I really have been contemplating that lately. Maybe it is all of the yoga, being the moment that I have been listening to. I believe in possibility and now, I know that I am not the only one out there with alternative beliefs. This lady has a ton of followers and almost all of them felt the same way about the news and about negativity.
So, I will continue to blog my life, my interaction with food, travel and friends. I know I began this as a way to connect with friends/family while traveling, but it morphed into more. I stay connected to my international friends and it is an outlet for me to discover my life after Brian's passing. I feel honest with it.
Have a wonderful evening and focus on the positive. Remember, Like attracts like. I think of some of the people I have met and know it is true. I needed them for something and they appeared--ie--Ilona from Australia on the bus, Brian, always Brian entering my life and showing me how to love, and Melody in Santa Fe--her name alone is positive and it is fun to hang out with her and tell people our names...she always makes me feel positive about life, the universe and people.
Be well.

Raspberry Beret

More music randomness...a few years ago, I don't remember exactly when, my sisters--Jade and Michaela--were intoxicated and decided to call me and leave a voice message. They sang, Raspberry Beret, the chorus, that is. I don't think they know why they chose that song, but they thought it was funny.
I downloaded it the other day, along with a few other Prince songs. I guess I am remembering my youth and where I came from. Music is such a powerful tool for memory, nostalgia and growth. I definitely get in moods where all I want to listen to is Norah Jones. I think that is because Brian took me to that concert for my birthday. He surprised me and it was a wonderful night at Red Rocks. I always think of him when I hear one of her songs. I think about, "Come Away with Me" and wish that I could just go, explore, travel, wander and be okay.
I got more photos developed from Napa. I love it there and I love black and white photos. My battery died and so I felt fortunate to get the photos that I did. I was concerned that the entire roll of film would be crap.
Yes, I still use a 35 mm camera at times. I like the surprise factor. My digital camera makes it too easy for me to delete parts of my life that I don't agree with in that moment. I remember seeing some of Hailey's photos of me on facebook. Initially, I was annoyed since I could see how checked out I was during a few of the photos. Or, that I had a weird look on my face. Later, I realized that I did like the pictures. They weren't perfect and they were genuinely of me, in my random moments. Not everything can be deleted to make it right or acceptable.
I am off for another walkabout.


Summer means more walking around Denver, which equates to more ipod use.
It has already begun.
I have a playlist that I created which shows the last 19 songs that I have played. I find, lately, that they are the same songs, ad nauseum. I listen to them, purely, because I like the song, not because it is suggestive of my mood or emotional state.
I mean, if it did--Good Enough, by Sarah McLachlan would have powerful implications. I listen to Zero 7 which is an interesting techno mix, Silversun Pickups since I saw them in KC and Scott Weiland. I have always been a Stone Temple Pilots fan and so his latest cd is on my ipod, for now. Actually it isn't that bad. I like a few of the songs--Killing Me Sweetly and She Sold Her System.
I found a cd, recently, by Johnny Lang and this one song sticks out--Breakin' Me--again, not reflective of my life. Purely, I enjoy the song. Plus, I added Tesla to the mix and replay, Love Song. It is an interesting blend of songs, but they motivate me to keep moving forward, I suppose.
At yoga, I realize I listen the instructor's playlists, too. This one girl who loses focus at the end of her classes, always plays R & B and rap. I don't know, for whatever reason, I enjoy her choices of music.
Tara always plays Madonna and some inspirational music to begin. Tricia loves reggae, Bob Marley and Beyonce--which I am not a huge fan of. It turns my stomach, but I must endure it during the core section of class. I don't mind any of this really. It is the playlists that include chimes, or running waters that do not inspire me or stillness in my body. Instead, I find my mind wandering, wandering, wandering.
Always thinking, reflecting and analyzing. Wow, I know my life is exciting...

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Dinner companion--need to find one...

I love going out to dinner. It's fun, I love food and of course, I am a huge fan of red wine. Tonight, I was supposed to meet my cousin, Wil. He called and we rescheduled since he was tired, tonight. He lives in Omaha and was a little off of the sleep factor.
Anyways, I thought I would be drinking wine or if not, chimay.
I considered making dinner and opening wine for myself. It is hard to not enjoy a glass of red wine while cooking. It was a normal practice during my life with Brian.
So, as I sat on the fence with it all, I realized that I don't have anyone to go to dinner with. My girlfriends need notice. I mean, they have husbands, boyfriends, early morning teaching jobs, etc.
The men, I know are married, in a relationship or crazy--refer to my last dinner at Elway's. I wish I had a male friend, companion, that I could dine with. No strings, no sexual tension, just dinner, conversation and red wine or beer. I miss that about my life.
Of course, I could go to Elway's by myself and get swept away by a silver fox or overwhelmed by the cougars. I dine alone in other cities and I always have a great time. For whatever reason, I don't enjoy it in Denver. Perhaps, I know that I will run into someone I know and be by myself. Truly, I do not understand it, but I know that I do not often. Maybe I will. I wish that I had a dinner partner, someone that enjoyed food as much as I do and didn't freak out about the cost of a nice meal. I guess I will wait until I head to Seattle....


I tried to watch the MSU/UNC game. I watched the line-ups, congratulating the coaches and re-tip and within a few minutes, I sensed it wouldn't be a close game. Wow, UNC really wanted to make a statement and they did.
I watched 24. I thought about watching Rescue Me marathon, but there is always today for that. Instead, I watched my old standby on Mondays and yes, they show is back to great form. A few seasons ago, I couldn't believe I was still a fan. I am glad that I stuck with it.
Lately, I have seen a lot of people that are down on their luck. I know that the economy isn't perfection, but life continues with or without you. I figure that it is best to be positive and keep moving forward. It makes me sad to see so much negativity and grief. There are ample resources and again, it is best to live in the present and in the moment.
Yesterday, my yoga instructor pointed out how often we, in our lives, are rushing to get to the next goal, objective, meeting. She suggested slowing down and enjoying the moment and I agree with her. I tried it out, yesterday, while waitressing. Granted, probably not the best venue to explain to someone that you are enjoying the moment during their busy lunch. However, just that small adjustment made a difference on my day and how I got through it.
Today is a new day and it is beautiful outside. Again, this is why I moved to Colorado. I am meeting with my cousin, Wil, tonight and looking forward to it. Last time I saw him was in 97, in Iowa at 4th of July. We do correspond via e-mail/facebook and so it shouldn't be too awkward and of course, I get updates from my dad about him and his family. Unfortunately, he is really south of where I like to go. I am hoping to figure out a good spot that will quench my wine taste and provide a good beer selection for him.
Get outside and enjoy the day.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Thinking/processing out loud...

I went to 6 am yoga and began my day of thinking.
I walked to and from work and contemplated life, books, friendships, relationships, death, etc., the entire time.
My way to work, it was 30 degree and I was wearing shorts. I knew that it would warm up and be a beautiful day. It was. It reminded me of why I moved to Colorado. I love days like today.
On Saturday, my cousin, Jessi, brought me gifts...a book and a cd. I felt so blessed and fortunate to have her and her husband in my life. Not only do they visit me at the Bull, but they are considerate, too. And, she always has something interesting to say.
I hope to begin her book, soon. I finished, While I was Gone, this morning and have started, Drowning Ruth. I love reading and I go in waves. When I traveled, I was a nonstop reader. Even if they were terrible, I suffered through them. I bought a few, while traveling, but for the most part, I traded out at hostels. I find myself leaving books at hotels/bed and breakfasts to enable other travelers the opportunity to read. I guess it feels like a good deed to me.
Last night, I went to Elway's with Jimmy. I wanted a glass (or 3) of wine and a nice meal. He was still intoxicated, I think, from the day before. Nevertheless, everything was fine. He was a little annoying with his comments/hands friendly, but I have known him for some time and he knows that I am not interested in him outside of friendship or so I thought.
Last night, he got mad at me since I didn't want to continue to drink. I enjoy yoga and wanted to go to my 6 am class. So, he calls a cab and his idea is to chauffer me to my house and then take that cab back to the Bull which is foolish. I told him that I would take a different cab and he agreed. I don't know what happened, but suddenly, he threw down some money and took off. I think he was upset after the realization again, that I do not have feelings for him. Let me back up, he had mentioned earlier in the conversation that maybe he should be mean to me and maybe that way I would respond to him. It is absolutely ridiculous and offensive. I mean, I thought I had made it abundantly clear that we would only ever be friends. I do not understand why men and women cannot be friends. Why must there always be some level of attraction?
Further, why do some women get so involved with men that they lose sight of themselves and their identities? I have heard of a few instances, recently, where women throw themselves into these relationships, cut off their friends and then when everything goes to shit, they are alone. I feel that women need other women, not the bitchy-I-am-better-than-you-kind, but the genuine, I am here for you ladies. I know that I have survived many times because of my friends.
I am overanalyzing today. I was accused of not being a Virgo recently. Maybe not a full one, since I am a cusp kid, but I am always thinking. I know that it was said to push some buttons....well, enjoy the game. I hope it is a close one; otherwise, I will begin a marathon of Rescue glad the new season is tomorrow.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Being Green....

I wanted to be green in every sense of the word for 2009.
It's been a slow start. The winter has been mild and yes, I walk everywhere, but I have been guilty of using plastic bags and not recycling everything I could. Also, I could walk more, bike or take the bus to work.
Today, I began with yoga and then opted to walk to Vitamin Cottage. It is a hike and it was glorious. I stopped by the library, dropped some mail off (yes, I still believe in written communication) and eventually, went to Vitamin Cottage.
I picked up some necessities and peanut butter pretzels--yummy--and when I went to the check-out there was a notice saying they were no longer providing check-out bags, beginning March of 09. It was pretty cool and I was glad that I had brought my backpack along; otherwise, it would have been an awkward walk home.
I think it is great our options are being limited in terms of screwing up the environment. I have 3 re-useable bags and of course, the back pack. I do not shop once a week. Rather, I am a when I need something--shop-type-person. I could be more efficient with it, but am fortunate to live by several different supermarkets and so it isn't inconvenient to shop in this fashion.
Plus, it keeps me off of the computer or watching tv. I have had a nice week of reflection, reading and writing. I am trying to embrace my creative side along with being more green in life.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Future fantasies

I am decluttering my life.
I fantasize about traveling. I was asked yesterday how I can travel so often. This girl assumed that I was a super saver, but in reality, it is a priority for me. I don't buy clothes. I don't buy shoes, makeup, furniture...I am simple in that regard. I do buy film, photos, and music for my ipod. Oh, I buy those, too. I am on #4.
I had an awesome day of walking and being green. Right now, I could use a cookie from St. Mark's Coffee Shop, but I don't know how motivated I am to drive over there. They are my favorite, though.
I went to the library and found some memoirs on solo travel and broke down and got books from Oprah's book club. I need inspiration. I want to read, but I despise wasting my time on a boring book. My aunt lent me 4 books and none of them were awe-inspiring. I trudged through them and now I am hoping that Oprah's list will be fantastic. I had read some of her choices. I enjoyed The Corrections, She's Come Undone, I Know This Much is True, A Million Little Pieces and Love in the Time of Cholera to name a few.
I am trying to read, challenge myself or enjoy the outside as opposed to cyberstalking on facebook. I have realized that a lot of people are on there all of the time, filling out random, mundane, stupid tests about themselves or others. I have also discovered that for a lot of people, they just want to talk about how great they are. They don't really look at other people's profiles. For example, this girl that I knew years ago, asked me if I was still in Salina. Funny, I know that I am listed as a Denver network and if you just look at some of the photos it is apparent that I am not in Kansas nor have I been for years. It is annoying.
I feel that I could definitely spend my time in a more constructive fashion.
I have had some great reconnections because of it. I acknowledge that aspect. I believe though, for some, it is narcisstic. My advice to them, is look outside of yourself and see the rest of the world!
Alright, I think I am searching for a cookie. I give in.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Dinner at Fruition with Sara Jo

Sara Jo and I finally got together to celebrate her birthday.
I tried to meet them at Gov's Park last week, but got out of work late and figured that I had missed them.
I met her at her house and we cracked a bottle of 2003 Elyse Cabernet. It was lovely and I had picked it up on my road trip 2007. I was saving it for a special occasion and felt that Sara's 30th was ideal.
After our bottle of wine, we walked to Fruition. I hadn't been there since May and have always enjoyed my meals there. We walked in and it was packed. The hostess seated us by the window which was awesome. There was one other available table but neither of us wanted it. It was the worst table of the entire restaurant in my opinion and honestly, I was surprised that we didn't get it. Several times, we have been given a crappy table because we are women. I digress.
I ordered a bottle of Lodi Zinfandel and we told our server that we wanted to relax. I think he took it literally, because that was the worst service I had ever experienced there. He was aloof, didn't pour the wine and was absent most of the meal.
Nevertheless, we ordered the lump crab and a pear and fig salad to begin. The server that brought it to us I recognized. I have dined at Fruition with Alan Black and everyone knows him. It was funny because, at that time, he had just broken up with his girlfriend and all of her friends work at Fruition. I was the "trashy" new girlfriend or so everyone assumed. For 45 minutes I was tolerated. Finally, Alan told them that I was his friend and it was my going away dinner since I was doing an around the world trip. Everyone was much kinder after that.
So, this guy, Aaron, remembered me after I mentioned that he had waited on me before. He goes--yes, you were the girl with Alan and you were taking a trip, right? He was pleasant.
We shared the scallops and had dessert. It was a lovely evening despite the poor service. It happens and I think our server was new.
I love dining with Sara Jo except that I never want it to end. I want to keep talking, reminiscing and drinking wine. Thankfully, this morning, I did make it to 6 am yoga. I am so proud.