Sunday, May 31, 2009

shin splints

shin splints...completely awful.
I think I was overzealous. I was invincible for 120 minutes. I was ecstatic and felt amazing.
Funny, how a little it of time changes everything.
Five miles--complete joy. I could do no wrong.
Yoga, more stretching, relaxing, good form.
Eventually, hurt calves, irritability, regression--thinking about not running.
Work. More work. Standing up, wishing to be laying down, icing shins and jacked up on alleve or advil.
Instead, hanging out with Megan, overiced wine and dreaming of travel. Sundays are a blessing.
I reflect on my life and how complete it is. I have good support, excellent friends and fantastic wine. I am blessed.
Feeling, actually knowing, that I should be more reflective.
I know, tomorrow it will be.
Running will return to my regiment. I sense that it isn't full-on shin splints.
I feel it is an indicator of what whill become if I am not present in the moment. I know that I need to fuel the body, feed the soul and be well to all

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Motivation for running or accountability for when I want to stop

Friday nights, now in my world, equate to an early night. The last 3 Fridays, I have seen my aunt, had pizza from Edgewater Inn and been in bed by 11 pm. Last night, I hit Bryn up for a massage. My hips have been jamming and I wanted her to work on my legs.
She is a goddess when it comes to massage. When I say massage, it isn't one of those relaxing swedish things. She works. I felt like I was being tortured for part of it, but knew that I was benefitting, tremendously. She suggested a few stretches, we ate Edgewater Inn Pizza and I returned home.
I caught the middle of the Nuggets beating and felt bad for the city of Denver. Everyone wins when their franchise team is in the playoffs. People go out to watch the game and an energy is produced. Last night, the energy was terrible since they didn't really show up for the game.
I digress. I was in bed and attempted to not sleep on my side. Since the spider bite debacle, I tend to sleep on my right side. (I couldn't sleep on my back since I couldn't put pressure on the open wound.) My aunt felt that I was creating more stress for the hip and said--if you must sleep on your side, sleep on the left side. Otherwise, sleep on your back! I woke up, several times, on my right side. I would self-correct and wake up again, on the right side.
This morning, I got out of bed and considered blowing off the training. I know if I attend the session, I will get a $75 credit to my fundraising goal--$2000. It is important for me to go--I am accountable, right?
So, I arrived. The goal today is 50 minutes of running. My running friend, Lindsay, had a prior engagment and so I decided to run with my ipod. I started out in the back of the group, but felt uncomfortable. I want to challenge myself. I knew if my pace was too slow, I would walk.
I started out following the lead group. It was composed of 4 guys and 4 women. Slowly, I made my way forward and at the half way point, I was ready to stop running, but knew that I should push on. This one lady, that I decided to follow and I met up at the Gatorade station. 1.8 miles to the finish, we ran together. I knew this since they pointed out where the stations were set up.
All in all, we ran 5 miles. It felt great and I was so happy that I found the one lady to run with. Otherwise, I definitely would have stopped. The Black Eyed Peas were becoming redundant and my mind was screaming--STOP, IT IS just began. You have months to go.
Instead, I have now, for the first time ever, run 5 miles in one stretch. I returned to the group and this woman goes--you are a run runner, right? I said, no, but I could see it happening. I am beginning to understand why people love to run.
Side note, I am 5% to my fundraising goal...thank you to everyone for your support, financial or otherwise.
My fundraising page is
I appreciate it and again, any fundraising suggestions are welcome.
Be well...

Friday, May 29, 2009

Dining at Elway's...twice, in one day....

Yesterday was a great day.
I worked the day shift and it was lousy. I think I had 5 tables. I called Jimmy and told him I felt like having a glass of wine for lunch. We went to Elway's and enjoyed the afternoon. My friend, Wendy, was bartending and so we had a lovely conversation. I think Wendy and I are going to try to meet up for the City Park music series on Sunday nights. I have heard wonderful things about it, but never been able to go.
We shared a wedge salad--always great--and a blackened mahi sandwich. She brought the fish out and immediately, we knew it was not fresh. It had that funky, fishy smell and so lunch wasn't that great.
I returned to work and wasn't really feeling it. I mean, it was a beautiful day and I wanted to be elsewhere, preferably on a patio, with a glass of wine. I suffered through it. We were not busy and we did not need six servers to be working. I convinced my co-workers that I should be done first and so I headed back to Elway's for more.
At this point, it was 8:30 and so I drank a glass of Rapture Cabernet and we ordered soup. Jimmy had chicken corn chowder and I tried the cream of asparagus with goat cheese and walnuts. The soups were delicious. We were surrounded by cougars and entertained, briefly. I mean, I can only watch so much of this particular pick-up scene. Plus, they have a singer, nightly, and this lady is loud. Her family came to support her and so we watched another aspect of the singles scene in Elway's.
I am side friendly...I love eating as many different dishes as possible. Instead of ordering an entree, we ordered the mac and cheese and crab friend rice. We watched as fish and shrimp were both ordered around us, and commented each time that the seafood, in general, had that fishy smell. I should have known the crab fried rice would not be an exception.
It was undercooked, salty and smelled like fish. We realized that we were 0-2 on the main parts of the meal, but I love Rapture wine and I will go back and try the fish again. People have off days, you know?
Today, work is present and later, I will visit my aunt. I am hoping that she will work on my legs. Running has been great, but I am trying to be proactive with my health...a little massage never hurt anyone, right?

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Happy Birthday, Melody...

It is my friend, Melody's birthday, today.
We celebrated a few weeks ago while I was in Santa Fe. Of course, I could celebrate, again, and would love to be able to do that with her.
Melody is a positive force in my life. She is a true friend and one that I met in a random occurence. I was staying at Territorial Inn in Santa Fe. My friend, Sara Jo, had backed out at the last minute, but being me and being stubborn, I decided to go by myself.
The hotel was nice and offered massage services. I set up an appointment and patiently awaited my hour of bliss. They spa called me to let me know that there had been a scheduling error and offered a half hour in their whirl pool to ease the pain. I accepted.
After the half hour of sitting under a skylight and soaking up heat, I was relaxed. I met my therapist with little interest of knowing her name. I'll be honest. I could barely say my name and when I did--I continued with, you know, harmony, like music. Her response was, I get that, too. I thought it was odd, but didn't pursue it further.
After the fantastic massage, I asked her name. I got it. I understood the whole comment she made from earlier.
Since I was by myself, I asked Melody is she wanted to have a drink with me. I think I prefaced it with, I know this might sound strange, but you seem nice and I feel like having a glass of wine...she declined due to a prior engagement.
Six months later, I returned to Santa Fe with Sara Jo. I contacted Melody for massages and we have been friends ever since.
She was one of the first people I called while on my road trip after Brian's passing. I wanted to spend a few days in Santa fe. I wanted a dining companion and so she met for Isoscyles wine, foie gras and food coma at Geronimo.
I am thankful for her presence in my life and grateful for her friendship. I hope she has a fantastic birthday today. She deserves it.
Be well and thank you for listening...

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Early morning thoughts.....

Tuesday morning=Rain. More rain, and a perfect day for running. Or, so I told myself when I began.
Honestly, I enjoyed the light down pour and how pure it felt outside. I dropped my phone (typical) and realized that I shouldn't be running with so many gadgets. Ipod--check. Phone--check. Keys--have to have...but probably not both the ipod and the phone. Next time, I will make adjustments so that I limit my distractions.
Yesterday, I reached out to someone that had lost a child. I didn't know Alecia well, in school, but I worked with her sister during college. I had heard about their loss. I felt awful, but didn't know if I should contact her or not. I mean, our losses are different. I had 3 1/2 wonderful years with Brian and we created a lifetime of memories. Alecia had 18 months were her daughter and I don't know what to say to ease some of her pain. How do you explain the loss of a child that young? How do you move beyond it? I mean, it isn't like hearing--you can have other children is soothing or true. It doesn't help. It's insensitive.
I think I am reaching out since I had unexpected people reach out to me. I relied on some of them, heavily, and to this day, I don't know if they are aware of how much it helped me to have someone listen, not judge, not tell me how I should feel or what I should be doing, but just listen. I want to be available to her and others if they need it. Listening, not judging or offering ways to get through it.
There is no right or wrong to grief, except that you must go through it. Running from it, just prolongs it, as I found out.
I was lucky. I didn't have to rely on pills or other substances. I had a wonderful support network, still do, and without them, I don't know where I would be today. All I know is that I am not broken, just different. I miss Brian, everyday, and the life I had with him. I do know that he is with me, and he is happy. He helps me find a way to live life, everyday, be it traveling, laughing or eating--I do a lot of that!
So, I will enjoy the rain--the pureness of it. I will reach out, again, to Alecia and continue to find my way. I hope that she is able to breathe and find peace. I remember the early nights, where I couldn't sleep. I was numb and functioned.
Loss is loss.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day

I read this post this morning and it made me think about previous Memorial Days. One in particular stood out for me, in my life with Brian.
I think we had been living together for 4 months. He agreed to work Memorial Day (this was normal--he always worked) and so of course, I volunteered my time, too.
I arrived at the Enterprise Center and began to help load the catering van. I was wearing t-shirt, shorts and sandals. I left in a hurry and so I wasn't appropriately clothed. I should have been wearing my work shoes, but it was Memorial Day and I wanted to wear sandals.
Anyways, it felt like we were running late and so we were rushing the packing job. I remember sliding off of the dock and crashing into the bumper of the van with my leg. I slammed my shin into the van and it ached, immediately. Again, tennis shoes would have been appropriate. I couldn't claim workman's comp, since I already had a claim from a previous accident where my toe nail broke off. It was awful and I didn't want to go through all of the red tape, again. Or, being accused of alcohol/drug related accidents. I thought I was overreacting or being a hypochondriac.
I worked the party. I worked through the pain. I wasn't happy about it, though. I remember being annoyed with Marc since he was cocktailing and annoyed with Nancy since she was in the way. She liked to talk and so it felt like only Brian and I were working.
The party was short and we were able to enjoy Memorial Day, too. We wanted to eat and so we tried to find an open restaurant. We ended up at Cucina Colore in Cherry Creek. It was glorious to not be working anymore. The restaurant was packed and the energy was suggesting a frantic pace. We ordered a bottle of wine and reflected on our apartment life, where the next trip would be and how in love we were...even if we didn't always say it. That was super early in our relationship and so we were tiptoeing around the inevitable.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Sunday night thoughts..........

Long day....and then some.
I went to Elway's to celebrate the day. My bartender friends were working.
I sat down, watched the end of the Magic/Cavs game, ordered a truffled beet salad (awesome) and talked to these two yahoos next to me.
This guy wanted to convince me that KU played Duke in the finals in 88.
Really? I remember the game differently.
I remember Manning playing OU in the final.
What do I know? I am only some girl that obviously doesn't appreciate the game.
Then, I watched this guy pick at his teeth. GROSS...HUGE PET PEEVE....get a toothpick or do it in private. I do not want to watch someone pick their teeth, EVER.
He asked for the check. I knew the right decison. $1.80 on $10.20? What the heck? Seriously? You want water, conversation, beverage? 10% is all you can manage?
I know a few of the servers, too. I talk to Jill about her haircut and Michelle about life. Michelle offers to sit down by me and next thing I know, the one guy that I had watched hit on random cougars is sidled next to us.
I want to get out of talking to him.
I am hoping that Michelle can do it.
She is too nice, though.
I seethe through the conversation, waiting for the break. I look for the intervention. This guy mentioned that he was adopted.
Patiently, I wait. Hoping, that I won't have to interject.
Nope, didn't work.
I mention that Brian was adopted and how fortunate I was to Tom and Shari in my life.
STILL, this guy doesn't get it. Finally, I say, you know, I just wanted hang out with Michelle--nice to talk to you, but we are done...
I feel like a hag. I feel exposed. I feel vulnerable.
Nothing effected this man. How is this possible?
Kai walked me to my car. I wanted to talk to someone while one answered. What does that say?


My favorite pair of shoes are covered in beer, wing sauce and the Bull & Bush. They are broken, truly, with little help of resuscitation. I love them, though.
I bought them at Foot Solutions almost 2 years ago. I wore them during my around the world trip. I savored them and made them my running shoes, when I was running. I returned to the States and they became work shoes. I am hard on my shoes. Actually, I am hard on my clothes, my ipod, my phone. I suppose, one would say, I am reckless.
Nevertheless, the Spiras, became work shoes and I purchased a newer pair of Spiras to become the running shoe, last August. Immediately, I knew the newer model wouldn't work, as running shoes, since the left shoe squeaks. I thought about taking them back, but had already played that card when my MBT sandals broke while abroad. Foot Solutions talked to the manufacturer and gave me a new pair of unbroken sandals. I did not want to appear like I was taking advantage of them and so I continued to suffer through the squeak.
I thought about running in these shoes, but I have had them for 9 months and felt that I should begin my training with a new pair of shoes. Hence, the Saucony's, which are amazing, by the way.
Back to the beginning, I love my work shoes, but they are hideous. Dogs love them. Tiffany's dog, Anna, who is old, guards my shoes when I take them off. She protects them from becoming her other dog's chew toy.
I know that I should throw them away or recycle them (if it is possible), but I find myself wanting to wear them. They are comfortable. I have completely worn them down. They no longer have springs to help shock absorb or any whiteness. Instead they are covered in grime and I am surprised, sometimes, when people actually let me in their car with them on. I know. They need to go, but I love them.
I try to wear the newer shoe to work, but it doesn't feel right. I know that I need to make the switch and realistically, I need to buy a new pair of sneakers to walk in. I am hoping to wear down the Suacony's from running, only.
Enjoy the day. It is storming here and amazing...

Saturday, May 23, 2009


Running, for me, has always been a chore. It isn't something that I have ever embraced. I can do it, begrudgingly, or that was the way it used to be.
Today is a new day. I woke up, met my group and ran 45 minutes. Initally, I was overwhelmed by the prospect of that amount of time. I don't think I have ever run more than 30 minutes in one setting.
I have always preferred sprinting. Training to sprint required few long distance runs. Typically, we would run a few miles and work on stamina, as opposed to endurance.
Now, I have to retrain myself on the perspective of running. I cannot sprint and use up my stamina. Instead, I must pace myself and the others around me. This morning, we began and I found myself wanting to keep up with the first group. My partner, Lindsey, and I kept a conversation going and maintained the pace of the first group. When they turned at the half way point, we opted to walk for a stretch. Lindsey completed the Fort Collins Marathon and so I know she is a capable runner. She did not make me feel inferior. Instead, she encouraged me to stop when I needed to and ran the pace that I set.
I feel fantastic and have a slight understanding of why people enjoy running. It will be a new adeventure for me and not the uphill battle that I had envisioned.
At the beginning of 2009, I met with a friend who is super organized about his life. He enjoys plotting his to-do list for the year, maps it out and follows it. He told me that he intended to run a few half-marathons and perhaps a full marathon. Leaving lunch, I considered running, too. I tried to begin a schedule, but it was cold, I was tired, I had to work, etc. I could always find excuses as to why I could not run.
A few weeks ago, I attended a Team in Training Meeting and signed up to raise money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. My goal is $2000. I will be running the Denver 1/2 Marathon in October. I feel from this point on, I will be talking, breathing, writing, loving, hating running. You'll probably hear about it, a lot. I sent out donation letters yesterday and so if I have your address, you probably are getting one. If I don't, I will e-mail and eventually, beg on the blog.
I feel it is an excellent cause and I can give back to the community. Plus, I want to run and this will give me accountability/responsibility/consequences.
Thank you for listening, and continuing to listen as I train for this half marathon. If you have any fundraising ideas, please let me know or if you would like to make a donation to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, on my behalf, please do. Here is my webpage: Or, send me an and I will send you my address and further details on how to send me a check.
I will update you on future fundraising events where I benefit and of course, the training. Fun times....Again, thank you for your support, encouragement and care.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Happy Birthday Jeremy Schropp...

If only.
If only I could transport myself to Eugene, OR. I could celebrate my brother-in-law's 33rd birthday, today. I think he is having a celebration at Steelhead Brewery, which I have been to, and liked. I could buy him a beer or meet him for sushi. I could see his dogs and reminisce about our family and times in Lawrence, Kansas. If only.
I would spend time with my new nephew, Emery. I saw him a week after he was born. I have heard him in the background while talking to Jade. I would see how he has grown and developed. When he was born, they thought he looked like me. I didn't see it then, maybe now.
I could see their new house, and spend time with Mackenzie and Easton. Perhaps, I would teach her how to write a thank you card. She hasn't mastered that art yet, and it is unfortunate. I remember writing my own thank you cards in my childlike scribbles/cursive when I was her age. My mom wouldn't have it any other way. I am grateful to that foresight now.
I would wind Easton up, since he is a young boy with boundless energy. He is constantly on-the-go and a pleasure to be around. If only.
I would see Michaela and hear all about her trip to Mexico. If only.
Instead, I will go to yoga in the afternoon. I will try to detoxify some of the stagnant toxins and eventually, see my aunt Bryn later for supper. I enjoy her company and we go through phases of seeing each other once a week, to once every two months. I do talk to her, frequently and so I am normally current on her life, as she is with mine.
Tomorrow, I will run and be grateful to love it or learn to love it, right?

Thursday, May 21, 2009

--The World is a book, and those who do not travel, read only one page--St. Augustine

I love this quote.
My friend, Andy, mentioned it today in an e-mail. He has been in Singapore for a week and so we correspond while he travels and vice versa. He sent me a photo of his co-workers and we normally discuss the food he encounters while traveling. He has been to Japan, a lot.
Today, he sent me the quote and I felt it was perfect and matched my mood.
I changed my status on facebook to pay tribute to the quote. A few people agreed that it was a good quote and one lady said--no. People who don't travel are broke:) I do not agree. You can make traveling a priority.
I suppose all of life is a trade-off. I choose to travel. I abhor shopping. Really, I shop for wine. I love going to Argonaut to choose the right bottle for whatever occasion. A friend of mine was visiting in February and I needed more wine. We drove to Argonaut and we wondered around the store. I think he was bored, but I felt like the kid in the candy store. I love perusing the aisles and seeing what is available. Finally, I chose a few bottles to entertain them with...I felt confident in my choices.
I do not shoe shop. I do not go shopping for clothes. I don't buy cars. I buy wine, food and trips. I completely agree with St. Augustine.
There is nothing wrong with shopping or having a family. It just isn't in the cards for me, right now. I love my niece and nephews. I enjoy visiting them. But, I like knowing that I can leave them, too. I still have the freedom to be me, with no strings attached to someone else.
I enjoy traveling, too much. I love seeing flight specials and deciding to go. It isn't a question of when, but where. My next trip is a road trip. Of course, I prefer flying, but sometimes, road trips are awesome. There is something liberating about getting in my car and going. I could drive for hours and be completely content.
I should utilize more of my trips and reflect on them. I forget that, at times...

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


My first tarot reading took place in Melbourne, Australia. Surely, I wrote about it since it was a memorable experience. I know that I e-mailed some friends, after it, since I was overwhelmed by what the reader said.
I enjoy readings. I have had a few since then, but none compare to the first time. I think due to the newness. I was aprehensive, but drawn to the area of readers. I scoped it out and decided to trust a woman with super blue eyes. She seemed the most honest, based on appearance. She didn't have any McDonald's in front of her, like this other reader.
I enjoy receiving readings from Bryn, and have, a few times. Typically, she spreads out her throw on the dining room table, I shuffle the cards and we go from there. Both times I have left feeling optimistic about the present and future.
My reader at the Bull I see more frequently. Catherine is entertaining, but I am always disctracted by work and the other customers. Plus, I believe in my privacy and it seems that once she begins reading for me, conversation stops and my life is on display.
Catherine reads differently than the others, too. I ask a question and she looks at my 3 cards and determines the outcome. She doesn't explain what the card means or how she applies her knowledge to the reading. I asked her about it once, and her reply was, I don't read cards like that.
I suppose whatever works and I do enjoy seeing her.
I think I am thinking about this today, since I have been pondering circumstances in my life and why I have encounters with some people. I would love to be positive all of the time, but I am not. I do have reinforcements from the interactions I have with people in my life. For instance, in August, I am heading to Maine to stay with a friend who recently lost her husband. I do not know her well. I know her sister and brother-in-law better, but I am excited to spend time with her and explore Maine. In reality, I don't know if our paths would have crossed without the commonality between us. I suppose I am open to the opportunity, too. I feel it is important to be available to possibilities that occur in life. I suppose, I am too open to travel, some would say.
I always meet chefs. I think that I will forever meet chefs because of Brian. I have experienced amazing meals because of this, too. I think of how different my life would be if I didn't take chances or have faith in mankind, sometimes.
So, I suppose what I am trying to say, is be open to possibility, smile and enjoy your day. Positive things happen to those who are open to them...

friends and expressing gratitude

Last night, Megan and I agreed to meet for wine. My neighbors are relocating to D.C. at the end of June. I am bummed since I like them. I enjoy spending time with her and Mark. They are intelligent, thoughtful and we always have great conversations. A few weeks ago, Mark made red curry and we drank wine and eventually, port. The next morning was difficult, but I think I still made it to yoga.
We thought about walking to Wash Park and drinking wine. As the day progressed and we considered the rain factor, we chose to sit on her stoop in the back yard. She made pasta and we drank wine. She gave me some note cards that they had picked up in Vietnam and organic soy milk. I am thankful for those moments of sharing lives, food and wine. I will miss them. I can only hope that their replacements are as generous with their time.
I wanted to post a thank you on facebook, but then I felt why not write a thank you note? I mean, it is more thoughtful and real in my book. Plus, facebook enables less verbal communication or something of a hard copy. You can delete the posts and it is a half-assed way of saying, thank you. I believe in written communication, too. I think I have expressed that ad nauseum, but feel it is worth mentioning again. There is an etiquette in thank you cards. I enjoy writing them and receiving them. My friend, Melody, sent me one yesterday and it made my day. I love getting good mail. It reaffirmed why I enjoy spending time with her and why I choose to send thank you cards. They are a positive, concrete way of cultivating friendships.
Enough. I am off of the soap box. And, I have to be productive today.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

positive thinking

I woke up today, with the intention of running.
I told myself, last night, that yes, I will get up at 5:15, stretch and run for a half hour.
The alarm went off. I hit the snooze button. I thought, I would sleep for 10-15 more minutes. At 6:05, I woke up and thought--crap, I missed my window. Well, I could go later, but I am meeting Megan for wine. And, I don't want to run when it is 90 degrees. Maybe I could go tomorrow.
I thought of several more excuses to prolong the inevitable.
Eventually, I got up and made myself go. I want to make changes. I want to be accountable for running. I don't want to put it off til tomorrow.
I went and it felt great. I think I could of continued, but once I reached my marker, my mind decided that I was done. It made me realize that I can do anything as long as I think I can do it. I have put off running, for years, because I have convinced myself that I hate it. I don't. I am just umotivated to do it.
In junior high, I ran track. I was a sprinter and didn't really like the longer runs. My coach, Mr. Bell, made us run the 400 meter to determine who would be competing in that event. Stupid me, I ran. I wanted to finish the race. I won. I was the first to cross the line. From that point on, I always had to run the 400 meter and I hated it. I hated the fact that I would race out and then tire, midway, knowing that I would have to finish and watch others pass me since they paced it better. I have always preferred the sprints.
They say to visualize running to make it happen. I don't know it if it will work for me, but I might try it. I am still trying to decide if I should run without an ipod or with it. I know that without the ipod, I could ponder life, food, the fact that I hate running. With the ipod, I can lose myself in music. I need more variety and rap for motivation--I think. I need suggestions and positive reinforcement.
All I can say, is that for today, I did what I set out today. The rest-work, yoga and wine---is all a bonus of a wonderful day.
Be well.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Fun times

Ah, Sundays.
They are truly a blessing/joy in my life. I mean, who wouldn't want to go to work on Sunday morning instead of heading to a mimosa brunch with friends? In reality, they aren't that bad and I do see most of my friends on Sundays because I am working and they are drinking.
Yesterday, I decided to work a double. Yoga started my day and it was glorious. It was the best way to begin my day. I was centered, postive and capable of working a double. I arrived at the Bull with Etoile, a sparking wine made by Chandon. I discovered it on my 30th birthday celebration in Napa. My friend, Pocketsize, loves champagne and so that was the start of our wine adventure.
Every Sunday, a few regulars and Melissa and I toast Sunday with wine and cheese. It was my turn and so I brought the Etoile. Again, this affirmed why I enjoy Sundays.
Around 4 pm, I became annoyed with some of the regulars. They can be needy and I wanted reinforcements--coffee. I called Lil Ricky and asked him if he would bring me coffee. I left a message and prayed that he would.
As five pm approached, more people arrived. More elderly people that were there specifically, to watch the ragtime jazz show. Every Sunday, a band performs from 6-9pm. For most people who frequent the Bull, it is the 3 hours to find another place to entertain themselves or take a nap. The atmosphere changes and we are overwhelmed by the elderly. It is their "social" hour. My bosses disappear on Sundays.
Last night, Lil Rick called me at 5 to tell me that he had just got my message and would be late if I wanted him to get me coffee still. Funny, how he was already late since he was scheduled at 5. I didn't make an issue of it since I wanted coffee. He arrived at 5:21.
Regardless, the band started at 6. Dean and Dale arrived at 5:45 and wanted bar seats. People accomodated them. Of course, I must tend to them, their wants and needs while addressing the other paying customers and servers. Lil Rick disappears, a lot.
The band began and we were scrambling for glasses. I borrowed from the retail room until Dave brought some over. At the break, the band wants immediate service. They must have drinks. Dean and Dale always need something and of course, the servers need glasses. We are trying to accomodate everyone when Dean wants to know why it is so cold in the restaurant. He asks me where Dave is and wants immediate solutions. He tells us that people are leaving because it is too cold. Lil Rick, annoyed, calls Dave and then tries to fix the a.c., but first tells Dean that no one is cold except for a few people that are old. No response from Dean. Classic.
The band plays on. I start to wilt--less coffee, more work, and then the band stops. I figure that I will be done at 9. NOpe, Eric wants to eat, the band needs to be paid and then 35 people show up at 9:30 for food. The servers are overwhelmed by the rush and people are rude. This one table was upset that the server wouldn't take their drink order at the same time as the food order since she was thirsty. Our kitchen closes at 9:30 on Sundays and so she was trying to be helpful so that they would have food. This customer didn't understand that and was unwilling to consider that they wouldn't have gotten food had we not made an exception.
I love the chaotic feel of restaurants. If it isn't one thing, it is another...always. I slept well and am scheduled this afternoon and evening. I need travel money and I do enjoy the insanity of restaurants and people's needs. Until later....I will have to write about my issues with food, people and personal space.

Saturday, May 16, 2009


May is all about graduation. I attended my cousin Beau's graduation from high school in 2005 and that was the last official ceremony.
This year, I am congatulating Shari and my friend, Jessica. Shari finished massage school yesterday and I am super proud of her. Or, maybe, I am just looking forward to getting a massage from her, now that she is a trained professional. Kidding. I am happy for her and know that this brought peace and discovery to her life. It also expanded her social network, introduced her to more homeopathic healing and reinforced NIA. I think it occupied more of her travel time than she liked, but now she has a way of extending travel through trade. I hope that she will visit me soon and I can drive her to Santa Fe. I want her to experience Mauka Restaurant and possibly get a massage from Melody. I wonder if I arrange it, will I get some discount from either of them? Insert another bout of jest.
My friend, Jessica, and I met at the Saucy Noodle. I enjoy take-out and typically, on Friday nights, I would have a glass of wine while waiting for my take-out. I befriended Jessica and Jamie. Eventually, I worked there on a temporary fill-in basis and we became co-workers. It was brief.
We also bonded over yoga and recently she completed her hot yoga teacher training. Today, she is celebrating her accomplishments. Of course, I have to work, but I would like to stop by and support her. Also, I find it interesting that we celebrate high school graduation with more gifts and affirmation than at the collegiate level. I remember banking from my high school party and at my college graduation it was more about well wishing--why is that? Why don't we shower graduates with gifts instead of just drinking their beer?
Enjoy your day as I am planning on doing mine. I woke up early and had a fantastic morning.

Friday, May 15, 2009


Friday=Funday for most.
For me, Friday equals work, yoga, oil change and hoping to find screens on my windows. Nope, didn't happen. Well, yoga, work and oil change happened. And, of course, I needed some overdrive relay installed, too. It always seems like there is more to my car than just your typical oil change. I try to be good and do the maintenance, on time, and so it can be frustrating when there are additional costs that I don't understand. I should have paid more attention to the men that have tried to educate me about cars.
Last summer, Chichi and I endured the heat, the bugs and the openness of our duplex because we had just moved in and didn't want to burden the landlord. Plus he travels, a lot, and wasn't in Denver often.
This year, I e-mailed him and politely asked if he would be able to install screens since I didn't want to have wasps in my place, again. He called me and said it was doable. He measured the windows on Wednesday and told me that he would be able to put the screens in yesterday or today.
I returned from a dayshift at the Bull and saw that one screen was installed. I was excited until I got closer and realized that it was too small. Bugs can still venture into my space. I opened my door and saw that he had stopped with the one screen that is too small. I don't know if he made more measurements or what his plans are. I believe he has good intentions, but feel that I won't have working screens until mid-next week. It isn't a huge priority, but screens would be nice. I pay rent on time and feel that I am not being unreasonable about this. My landlord is a flake. I remember when we did a walk-through and he didn't have the keys to the unit. I should have known then that this would be normal in our relationship.
Friday will continue and I will still be avoiding the funday aspect. Oh, being good can be so boring...

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Props for Mauka...

I love food.
I love dining out. I love being waited on. Mostly, I just love food. I always have and thankfully, I have had several wonderful experiences with food.
On Monday, I arrived in Santa Fe with high hopes of finding a new restaurant. I had eaten at the Shed, Los Mayos, La Boca, Pascual's for breakfast, Paul's (while it was open), Il Piatto, Geronimo, The Compound, Del Charro's, O Eating House and Coyote Cafe--several times. My friend, Ben, was the sous chef and so I had awesome meals there for a time. I have eaten at Geronimo, multiple times too and have always been happy with the outcome.
This time, though, I wanted to try something new. Melody met me at the Pink Adobe. We had a glass of white wine and shared the dip sampler--guacamole, salsa and cheese dip. The cheese dip was lame, but I enjoyed the salsa and guacamole. We sat outside and enjoyed the ambiance. I wasn't inspired by the menu and so we considered other options.
I asked our server where she would dine, as I tend to do. I like having the local's perspective, especially if they enjoy food, like I do. Sometimes it works in my favor and other times, I hear--you should go to Chili's--Yuck!
Anyways, our server mentioned Mauka and continued with--it is awesome, but not open on Monday. She recommended trying 315 Wine Bar or La Casa Sena. We tried the wine bar and it was nice, but the service lacked. Granted, we sat at the bar and there wasn't a true bartender. However, the guy said we could sit there and so we did. I ordered a bottle of wine, which he opened, and then, he never refilled our glasses. I can serve, myself, I don't mind, but I don't want to pay someone if they are unattentive.
Regardless, the meal was nice. We started with basil wrapped shrimp, continued with tuna and finished with pots de creme--lovely.
Tuesday, we decided to meet for dinner at Mauka. I found the location on Agua Fria, scouted out the parking situation and called her. There isn't much parking, but the Sanbusco is next to it, and there is ample parking there. I arrived and saw that there weren't many diners. I saw an open bar and asked the server if we could sit there. The best part of the bar was that you could see the chef preparing food.
I ordered a bottle of wine and we bagan with grilled calamari. I think the grilling sold me since I haven't had grilled calamari. He paired it with grapefruit, purple cabbage and avocado. I was in heaven.
We shared a hawaiian fish, opa-might be mispelled--and pork belly. I loved the pork belly. It was amazing. Edamame, asparagus and blue foot mushrooms accompanied the pork. I loved it. The fish was nice.
The chef, Joel, was engaging and friendly. Mauka has been opened for a year and it is doing mostly word of mouth advertising. If anyone that reads this is going to Santa Fe, please go there. It is amazing and worth it. The best seat in the house, is by the kitchen, watching the chef in action.
We finished with oatmeal stout coffee ice cream and a french press. It was the nicest way to conclude the evening.
True, it was Tuesday, Santa Fe was slow, but I enjoyed being able to hear all about Mauka--his vision, their hope and of course, sampling the food.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Land of Enchantment

I understand why New Mexico is considered that. The landscape is barren, beautiful, and mystical. I drove to Santa Fe on Monday and wish I would have been able to stay longer.
I spent a few nights at a new hotel, near the plaza. I chose Hotwire as the engine to pick my hotel room. I knew that I wanted to be near the plaza, with parking and preferably--a pool. I love the Inn of the Governors, but that wasn't the place. They have a heated, fenced in pool, with parking and an awesome continental breakfast. Typically, I don't consider this a bonus of my stay. I mean, really, how many times have you settled for day-old muffins, fruit and picked over toast? At the Inn, they have fresh green chile, eggs, bacon, potatoes, fruit, oatmeal, etc. I think the one item I love the most, is the green chile. That is all I would need. And, they offer free internet for guests. Their concierge is knowledgable and friendly.
I have stayed at the Hotel St. Francis numerous times, too. They have parking, a nice internet connection and a lovely bar. I wish they had a pool or a hot tub or something with water, but they don't. It is a reasonable hotel, clean and I love the robes. I am a sucker for robes and slippers at hotels. I like the location and enjoy my stays, there, normally.
This time, I stayed at Garretts Desert Inn. They offer parking--$8 per day, charge for internet-$6 for 15 minutes, and their clerks were friendly. However, this one guy had no clue about local restaurants. Finally, I asked him where he was from since I was irritated with his lack of knowledge regarding the food factor in Santa Fe. Of course, he was a native, but I think he preferred staying indoors. He seemed like he enjoyed Dungeons and Dragons, if you know what I mean. The room was clean and the shower rocked. I don't know if I would stay there again. I did enjoy the pool, but I didn't feel that safe. It is close to the Pink Adobe and a few wine bars. All in all, it was satisfactory, but I think I would have preferred the Inn of the Governors.
MOre later...I am tired.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day to all of women that influence my life--my mom for helping me find my voice, my perspective, my inability to deal with manipulation or guilt. Jade--my sister, who now has 3 children and is finding the best path for her and her family. I think in the last year, she has found happiness within herself. Bryn--for always giving me her perspective, even if it doesn't align with mine. She is a positive force in my life and she is there for me when I need her. Mostly, she is Dr. Bryn since I always seek her advice when I have some unknown medical issue. Shari since she inspires me to live life, dream, remember and explore. Brian was so much like Shari. The more time I spend with her, the more I realize how much Brian was like her. She likes to go where the signs say not to, just as Brian liked to cross customs with items that were prohibited. I don't lie well, and so he wouldn't tell me since my face would illustrate attention to us. Dori, my stepmom, who makes my dad extremely happy and keeps him healthy. I worry sometimes, that he doesn't exercise enough, but I know that Dori keeps him on the straight and narrow. Carol, my old boss in high school, who always supported me and my dreams. She knew that I wouldn't stay in Kansas and didn't make me feel bad for wanting to travel the world. I hope to see her next month and catch up. Carol has always been influential in my life.
I am sure that there are more mothers that I should thank. I also would like to thank those women for retaining their own identities. As I get older, I realize how difficult it would be to be me, if I had children. I still make myself a priority, as do these women, and I applaud them for it. I think I am on this tangent from all of the Oprah books where the women are trying to find themselves through loss, separation or abuse.
Nevertheless, Happy Mother's Day and enjoy! I am off to work.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Ice cream for dinner

I wanted chocolate.
I looked for a cookie or m&m's, but didn't feel inspired. As I walked through the grocery store, I found myself walking through the frozen foods aisle. I considered walking on, but felt rooted in the spot. I haven't bought ice cream since Brian passed. I was shocked at the assortment and sad that they no longer carry Starbuck's mocha chip or mud pie. I loved those and that is really what I wanted.
I bought peanut butter chocolate and it was heavenly. I thought about having a salad for supper, but then realized I just wanted the ice cream.
I felt like a little kid. My dad was a Schwann's man and so we had ice cream in our freezer, daily. Sometimes we had an amazing assortment of flavors. Other times, just vanilla bean in the tin.
Brian loved ice cream, too, and I sort of lost my desire for it when he passed. It didn't feel right to eat it without him. I know how that sounds, but coping/explaining/making sense of what happened created a new reality for me---one where I didn't eat ice cream. I would on anniversaries or birthdays, but sparingly, and it never felt the same.
Last night, it tasted amazing and I remembered how much I enjoyed it. I think, probably, that going to the store while I was hungry was foolish. I could have eaten a cookie and felt great. Oh well, the ice cream last night was fantastic and a rarity.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Houston's and other wine stops

Houston's was okay. I arrived and the bar was 3 deep. We opted to return and went to North. It, too, was packed and had a negative vibe. We were en route to Elway's, but went into 2nd Home instead.
We sat at a lounge chair and had a glass of wine. The bar was packed and so we settled for table service. The by the glass wine list wasn't large and we both had a glass of Silver Palm cabernet. The waiter returned and offered us the $4 happy hour wine. I didn't understand that since we had asked for a specific glass of wine and if I wanted the $4 glass, I would have told him. That was the last we saw of our server. I have been to 2nd home 4 times and never been impressed with the service. Each time, I vow to never return since I don't like the service and the food is okay. It is upscale comfort food, reasonable priced, but not fantastic. I won't be going again this summer.
Next, we headed to Houston's. It still had a nice crowd, but we found a few bar stools available. Initally, I was seated by a solo older guy and so I had my back to him. Still, he tried to make conversation with us and with the other two girls on his left side. I wasn't about to get involved with this guy. I was out with Tiffany and not trying to get picked up.
She had a glass of cabernet franc and I had a glass of Jester, from South Australia. The bartender poured an awesome glass of wine and we looked at the menu. They had limited appetizers and nothing jumped out at me. I think they offer cheese toast and spinach/artichoke dip. Neither appealed to me and so we finished our wine and ended up at Elway's. Elway's is almost always busy and we found bar seats and eventually ordered the crab cake, au gratin potatoes and corn. I don't know how we thought of that particular combination, but it was nice. We each drank the Rapture cabernet-my favorite-and then I did a fun dip shot with the bartenders. We ran into some of my co-workers and watched little Ricky sing Sweet Caroline. At this point, there weren't many people forced to suffer to this rendition. He is tone deaf.
All in all, the evening was lovely. I enjoyed talking with Tiffany and the wine, of course. I wish that the menu was more enticing at Houston's, but I did like the wine list. I can see it on my rotation of places to go in Denver. Plus, it is walking distance for me. I enjoy that.
Have a great night as I hope to. Peanut butter cookies are calling me...

Thursday, May 7, 2009


Happy Thursday. It is a beautiful day.
I am working this afternoon and then Tiffany and I are going to check out Houston's. They opened one in Denver and I have heard that it is a beautiful bar and had a fantastic wine list. The food is overpriced--according to Dave and Erik. I am not surprised, though, since I have been to a Houston's in Kansas City and the original one in Phoenix. Neither one impressed too much. Actually, the service at the one in Phoenix was atrocious. I remember being annoyed with the entire experience. I think we were heading to a beer dinner at McCormick and Schmick's and wanted a cocktail before we went. This was in 2001 when I was still at 4 Peaks.
Mostly, I am interested in the wine list and the food will be a small, necessary detail. We are going with one of the servers from Cherry Creek Grill. Yes, it is the same company. Chris, our friend, has some points that he wants to use and we want to check out the scene. A few weeks ago, Tiffany convinced Chris to bring us dip duo and the macho salad on a Saturday night. I was ecstatic since I love the macho salad.
Afterwards, Jimmy told me that Chris had offered to bring food in on a Thursday. While they were negotiating what sounded good, Tiffany swooped in and told Chris to bring food in on a Saturday. I laughed. I mean, I wasn't even there during the negotiation and I completely benefitted from the conversation. I do know Chris and it is fitting that he fed Tiffany and me.
Tonight should be interesting and I have been looking forward to it. I figure that we will end up at Elway's, too, or Tiffany will want to end up at the Bull. I am walking and so I will be forced to either walk from Cherry Creek or cab it back from the Bull. I think that will prevent me from being enticed into going to the Bull. It always sounds like a great idea, but it ends badly. I feel that I should avoid it tonight. It is too comfortable and Tiffany and I tend to want someone to open a new bottle of wine that continues to empty. The next day I am in need of Alleve or G2, in a bad way.
Enjoy your day, the sunshine and life.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Peanut Butter returns to its rightful place as a staple in my kitchen...

Last year, at this time, I was seeing an acupunctist, regularly. Two, actually.
One guy works out of my yoga studio and I saw him, first, due to the convenience factor. I was dealing with my garden variety staph infection that I had stubbornly avoided for 5 months. Let's just say that it wasn't fun at any point.
I felt that acupuncture would be a good avenue to pursue and it was, but I needed western medicine to fully expunge the infection from my system. Still, I went to the acupuncturist as a way to counter balance some of the effects of the antibiotics. It seemed right to me and I guess I was trying to do what I felt was best for me and my body. Nevertheless, my first guy told me that I should avoid alcohol, caffeine, spicy food, dairy and peanut butter. Basically, everything that I wanted to eat. I had been able to eat peanut butter while I traveled, but it was always some native brand and never as good as Skippy. I had no name in South Africa as well as Black Cat. I always had peanut butter while I traveled. It made me feel like home and I like it.
So, hearing that I wasn't supposed to eat it since it inflamed the problem, made me sad, but I knew that I needed to consider what he was saying. I went to another acupuncturist who is older and knows more chinese medicine and he repeated, verbatim, what the first guy had said. Actually, JP expanded my list of don't eats to include orange juice. I couldn't understand that one, but it creates damp heat in the body or more clogging of your chi. For me, I was trying to find my equilibrium and so I stopped drinking oj and eating peanut butter. Both were crazy if they thought I was going to give up mexican food when I hadn't eaten it in 5 months! I moderated and created meals without cheese or additional spice.
Wow, that was long. I went to the store today and bought peanut butter. I miss it and I decided to be moderate with it. I mean, you cannot completely withhold something that you are used to--it's stupid and really, I crave it then. This way, I can appreciate it and savor how fantastic it tastes. Plus, I haven't been to the acupuncturist since August. I support acupuncture and recommend my guys, but I still want my "bad" foods in my diet. I can live with it!

Recent dreams

I have dreamed a lot lately.
Or, I am remembering more of them and dreaming the same amount. I have dreamed of seeing Brian, hummingbirds, bites and high school friends. It is a bizarre combination.
I understand why I dream of Brian. I normally enjoy the dreams of him. It makes me feel connected to him and I wake up feeling loved. The last one was difficult, since I dreamt that he was alive and didn't want to tell me. I woke up, forgot, and remembered later in the day. I tried to explain the significance of it and all I could think is that he wants me to move forward, be happy and didn't tell me that he was alive because he didn't want to interrupt that.
The hummingbird was an interesting dream, too. All I remember was that I was outside and a beautiful hummingbird was following me. I was intrigued by it, and then it ended.
Of course, the bite returned in my dreams. I envisioned that I was covered in bites. Well, my butt was. It freaked me out enough to actually wake up. I had 10-15 bites on one side, but they weren't open or active. They were ready to erupt, evolve and create pain in my life. I suppose if I try to explain that one, I am on the verge of a transition and scared of it. I remember thinking (in my dream) that no, I didn't want to go to the doctor! And, why does this happen to me? Maybe I am just afraid of the doctor...who knows?
Last night, I dreamed of moving in to a rental house in northeast Denver. My housemates would be one of my co-workers, Vera, and a friend of mine from high schools, Jenny. It seemed odd, then, as it does now, since I would never imagine spending time with both of them at the same time. Anyways, the house was cute and and had 3 bathrooms or so the landlord said. When we moved in, we could only find two bathrooms and then somehow I was considering sleeping outside since it was cooler. But, we were in northeast Denver and it was a rough area in my dream. I remember considering the logistics of proximity to things, too. I contemplated riding my bike downtown or to work since it was too far to walk. I realized that I had sacrificed a lot to be accomodating to them.
Also, I had auditioned for a part in a play and got it. My old drama teacher was in charge and the high school was in Phoenix. I was definitely blending places from my past. I woke up and thought it was 9 am. Of course, it was only 6--lovely.
I wonder what tonight will bring. Until then, if you have any ideas about my combination of dreams, please let me know.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Happier now......

Sun is shining--absolutely, love Bob Marley. He is another artist whose music reminds me of Brian. I have many memories associated with Marley's music.
Lately, in yoga, all of the teachers seem to be on a reggae kick and so it is reinforced daily.
I took a break for a few days to reconnect with priorities in my life. Plus, work can be exhausting and I can be negative after a few shifts at the bull. The customers always provide entertainment, but my co-workers are trying/annoying--especially on Sunday mornings. It is an ongoing cycle of negativity to each other and customers as well as complaining about the lack of side work or consideration for each other. Last Sunday, the shifts changed and the p.m. shift had to clean up multiple tables, linens and ketchups. Basically, they walked into a messy restaurant. The a.m. servers were smoking/celebrating and so before I left, I approached them and kindly asked them to clean up the ketchups, linens and tidy the place up. I left. I asked because it was the right thing to do. I felt if I asked them instead of the awaiting ambush, maybe, they were react in a better fashion. I left.
An argument erupted between the two staffs and for the past two days, I have heard about it, ad nauseum. I do not understand why it is so difficult to be considerate of each other. I feel that you should leave the area in a better form than how you found it. Plus, in the long run, everything runs more smoothly if it is clean and the items are in the place they belong. Every Sunday, there are problems. I wish my co-workers would grow up and be considerate of each other.
So, yes, I was negative on Sunday.
Then, I watched Party Down, or something like that, on Starz. It is a comedy about the catering industy in Los Angeles. I cracked up and enjoyed how they protrayed the service industry. It is a great show. Or, it was on Sunday. I needed to decompress and not think.
Today is a beautiful day and one day closer to my road trip to Santa Fe. Lovely! I am stoked. Yoga has been refreshing and challenging. For a few days, i was doubting its purpose in my life. I have faith it the benefits and feel more positive when I practice on a regular basis.
Be well....

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Sleepy Saturday

Another gloomy day. What happened to the sun?
I miss it. I miss the motivation and idea of living life it inspires in me.
Days like today, are nice, sometimes, but more than two at a time are devastating. I feel my bed sucking me into a movie, or perhaps a book. Either way, I am not going outside. I am not staying true to being green. I am reverting back to the bad habits. I am complacent and able to sleep at any time interval. I drink coffee late at night and then wonder why I have some difficulty sleeping.
Today is a new day. I am going to try to go about it differently. Yoga is a must. I have to go. I must leave the comforter! Lately, I have been attending classes, but I feel a disconnect from them. I think I know the routine and I am uninspired. Some of the instructors challenge me, everyday, while others are boring and I mentally check out about 15 minutes into the class. I am going today, though, and it is going to be great.
I have some other projects I looked into volunteer work, abroad, and travel within the States. I spoke to my friend, Pocketsize, last night and she commented that she felt that I had the travel itch again. Ironically, I was searching for destinations prior to our call. I want to make it happen, I just don't know the best way to do it. Five months, last time, was amazing, but I want to go longer and be productive. I would like to either volunteer--most of it--or work, too. I would like a local experience, not just one of a traveler. Last time, I stayed predominantly at hostels, which made me feel like a local, to some degree. I had the option of staying at hotels and bed and breakfasts, too, and so I had the opportunity to feel like a luxury traveler. I missed feeling productive--work, and so I volunteered with the hare krishnas. I love their food and I did prep work in a kitchen in Perth, Australia. Of course, they hoped I would want to go on a weekend retreat, passing out information in addition to the food, but I wasn't interested. I enjoyed the camaraderie of the kitchen work, but I wanted to spend my time on the beach, not behind a table.
I suppose overcast days inspire me to dream of future opportunities. I am happy with that prospect and will have to remember that, next time, I am sad that the sun is missing.