Friday, July 31, 2009

It's official

I raised $2000. I feel awesome.
I feel amazing since I have so many generous, gracious people in my life. I am so blessed to have the friends/family that I do. I am at a loss for words.
I mean, I didn't actually have to do any of the group fundraising. They have some pretty interesting events, set up, but I wasn't forced to sponge off of my friends more, since they all willingly, supported me and this cause. I feel excellent.
I am doing a fundraiser, on Saturday, to help one of my teammates. We are pouring beer at a Harley Davidson event in Lakewood. It should be interesting.
The Goddess has to raise $4300 which is double my amount. I am donating my tips, from our group fundraiser to her. Also, if you were planning on donating to my cause/effort, I will be giving those funds to her to help her meet her goal.
Gadget also needs some assistance and so I donated an item to a Silent Auction event that I am not going to attend, but the item should bring in some serious cash. My friend, Jennifer, works at the Colorado Athletic Clubs and she gave me a month membership to their facilities as an item. I am hoping that it enables Gadget some financial relief. It is stressful to train and know that you must raise a set amount of money or you are responsible for it.
I believe that giving back to the community aids us all. It feels great to give back.
With the way things currently are in the world, I know that I am fortunate in my life. I have shelter. I have travel plans. I have an amazing support system, so apparent in this running venture.
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.....

Thursday, July 30, 2009


Lately, my ipod has had a mind of its own.
Seriously, I keep hearing U2, Silversun Pickups and since Monday, Duran Duran. Maybe it is time to revisit the late 80's early 90's of my life. I don't know. It just makes me wonder.
Music inspires me and will continue to do so. I listen the Black Eyed Peas, while running and at work, to motivate the brewers. I know that Gabe loves hip hop. At his wedding, last year, they played a lot of hip hop and rap. I was surprised that his wife was such a fan, too. I remember looking over on the dance floor and it was me, a few other ladies, and Dave's wife, Lisa, who is a proper lady. She went to Harvard--enough said. I thought it was funny that she was grooving to Baby Got Back. Whenever I hear that particular song, I remember Hailey's wedding and how we danced to it in 2002. Oh, memories of weddings, dances and friends.
I play Mana' or Juanes to keep the kitchen happy and annoy the day manager. She is from another generation and grew up in Texas. I think that should explain everything and how she views mexican americans.
And, I like the music. I love Juanes and although I do not know what I am singing too, I still do it. I love it. It reminds me of traveling, being alone and walking in Argentina.
The memories of music and what certain songs or time periods inspire. Duran Duran reminds me of the end of college. I had a friend that enjoyed them and I remember being at a 4th of July party, listening to Rio--another pleasant memory. Or, how much Brian detested Duran Duran since his mom played it when he was a child.
It's funny how music is inspirational and associated with time periods or people. I love it and it can make or break my day. For instance, Jimmy plays terrible music while working. It's like he has no idea how awful it is. It's the new pop--crap, that we are forced to listen to on the radio. Tiffany likes the acoustic channel which inspires thoughts of suicide--REALLY, AWFUL MUSIC. There are definitely cycles that are terrible on that station.
I know that my music appeals to me, not everyone, but at least I am passionate in my defense of it.
Anyways, enjoy the day. It is cool here, 50 degrees. I have a track work out later and than a cocktail hour with Pocketsize. I am stoked. This week has been a little melancholy with memories of my past. Music has helped....


I went running, yesterday, and contemplated life.
Although, I am not super crafty or creative, I thought about how I would tackle this project.
My old neighbors, who I miss dearly, gave me a few blank frames. I decided I would update my Vision Board for the summer, using the frame and magazines, publications, etc., that I have in my house. I considered doing a mosaic or something to that effect, but I don't think I have enough time to do it. It would require some purchases at Home Depot and I get claustrophobic thinking about that store.
The Vision Board will be great.
Lately, I have been attracting-Running, for obvious reasons; Travel, because I am me and it feeds my soul; food, always present in my life; photographers, haven't figured this one out yet, but I have a new neighbor that is a photographer, and I have recently reconnected with 4 people who are around the STates. I suppose when and if I am in Atlanta, Indiana, Phoenix, or Kansas City, again, I will look these individuals up and view their work. I see some of these places in my future. Truly, I want to check out the Westside Local in Kansas City, Missouri. I have a connection to the 3 owners since I worked at Free STate with them, and Lonnie was my landlord in Phoenix.
Anyways, this board will be of my present and near future. That seems to be how it works for me.
Utilize your items and be creative.
Have a great day. The weather is ideal for a sleeping day. I will venture out later, for a run and then I am meeting Pocketsize for drinks later.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Change the World Wednesday....

I am not creative, never have been. I am more of a thinker.
Regarding previous challenges, I enjoyed the physical challenges of not using my car. I suppose I was a little creative with that. I wanted to create as many opportunities to walk, bike, bus that week. Maybe one day, I will try for a month.
And, I support giving back to the community, as often as possible. I carted 4 bags to Goodwill and probably could have taken more. It is difficult to part with some things, though.
Nevertheless, this week is about art and creativity. Create a craft or object from recycled or reuseable items. Again, this should be interesting for me. I took home mec in high school. I liked the cooking aspect, but I am pretty sure that I failed the sewing or conceptualization part of it.
I can do it. I support this and hope to create an interesting craft. I feel it will make me feel like a kid again. I wish my niece, Mackenzie, were here with me since I think she could jazz it up. Or, at least help me.
So, this week, try it and either write about it, yourself, or let me know how it goes. I am curious to see what others come up with in comparison to mine.
I will have to give it some thought, consider what items I have available and then allow it to happen. I think tomorrow is a good day to tackle this challenge and project.
For more inspiration or direction, check out--
Be well and be green, in some aspect, today!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Mental challenges to greatness or simplicity, I suppose.....

I remember my thoughts about running---hate it, can't do it, loathe it, tired, can do it tomorrow.
This equated to failure. It was easy to never really give it a go, as Aussie's say, since I had failed with my thoughts.
Anybody can run. There are 80 year-olds that run marathons because they know they can and they do it. They decide that they want to be challenged in this physical sense and they accomplish the goal.
This morning, I met the Goddess for our loop run. I am fortunate that my training partners, meet me, during the week and keep me motivated. True, it is becoming easier to do it on my own, but I do enjoy the social aspect of running.
So, we started out and I brought my new fuel belt. I bought it yesterday and feel that I should run with it, prior to the 1/2 on August 8th. I know that it will be too distracting to run with it, for the first time, at the event.
Anyways, our conversations are always all over the map. Travel, food, jobs, men, friends, movies, etc. Towards the end, I told her that I was scared of the 1/2 marathon. I dream of getting caught up in the beginning of the race and unable to find my flow.
I know that I must create my own pace and not get wrapped up in the fast pace of others. I don't want to get stuck in the bottle neck of competitors, either, that are slower than I want to be. I fixate on finding the happy medium.
Lindsay told me that what we are doing is unique. That yes, there are several people that will be doing the 1/2 marathon, but in October, for the full, we will begin at a different time than the 1/2 marathoners and that it will be a smaller race since not many people challenge themselves in this way.
True, I know that anyone can run. It is a mental challenge. Today, I convinced myself, midway, through the work out, that I wasn't enjoying it. That I needed rest and shouldn't have eaten the popcorn at the theatre last night. Actually, that was true. Buttered popcorn for supper was not intelligent. My stomach did not like me this morning. The Hurt Locker was great, by the way. It reminded me that we are not affected by war the way other countries are and that yes, we have so many choices in the States. It is overwhelming. There is a scene, where the protagonist is asked to pick up cereal. He is confused as to where the aisle is located and than he just stands there, looking at all of the choices. Not in awe. I remember returning, myself, from 5 months where there were maybe 5 aisles in the store. Shopping in the States is overwhelming.
I digress.
But, the point is, your mind is so powerful and capable of accomplishing anything. I forget sometimes, when I want it to be okay that I am a slacker. I forget that I am committed to this goal and that I will do it. I am looking forward to the 1/2 and continuing the training for the Full. October is right around the corner.

Monday, July 27, 2009

what if's.........

I was contacted by someone from my past. I am still a little weirded out by it. Not in a bad way. He isn't a bad person, it's just that I haven't spoken to him in 7 or 8 years. We lost contact and our lives separated.
I guess it makes me think about What if? What if I had went to Greece in 2001. Where would I be now?
I don't think that I would have chosen Denver to be my home. I am sure of it. It was such a flukey decision. I found myself, homeless, in 2001. See, I was supposed to do a 6 month travel adventure in Europe. Everything was set up. I had my car and belongings at my sister's house in Kansas. I had set up a leave of absence with 4 Peaks, knowing that it was doubtful that I would return to Phoenix. I have fantastic friends that live there and I visit 2-3 times a year, but it isn't my home, nor will it ever be. Still, I wanted to leave on good terms with 4 Peaks and so I did it that way.
I was in Salina, of all places, when 9/11 hit. The universe completely threw a curve ball at me. I had no idea what to do, except, I knew that I wasn't staying in Salina. I entertained the idea of returning to Lawrence, working at Free State and going to Europe at a later date. I was in Lawrence, for 2 days, and knew that it wasn't a good idea. I knew too many people locals and would become an alcoholic since I couldn't go out without running into someone that I knew. Plus, there was the ex-factor, who had moved on, but still lingered in my mind.
I called my friend, Jan, and begged her to visit me in Kansas. She arrived, with a huge suit case and we drove to Denver for the GABF. Since then, Denver has been my home.
I met Brian in 2002. He changed my life.
I wonder where I would be had I went to Greece. It is just fantasy, since I know that I was supposed to meet him, in Denver, and have him in my life. That Europe Trip was supposed to be postponed. Funny how things work, sometimes.
So, yes, what if I had stayed in Kansas?
Again, nice to consider, but there is always a reason for why you make decisions or embrace change in life. If you could go back and change something, would you? Or, do you accept that you are exactly who and where you are supposed to be?

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Other People's Problems..

Sometimes, I get in a rut. You know...same o, same o, day in, day out. Run, work, eat, sleep, etc.
I turned on the radio the other day and listened to some Clear Choice Station. I am not a huge fan of the monopoly of radios, but sometimes, I listen to the dj's. There is this program called OPP--other people's problems. Sometimes, it is entertaining and other times, I get completely annoyed with the content. Thursday was one of those days.
This girl writes in to the station to ask if she is awful. Here is the scenario--
Dear such and such--
I have been dating my boyfriend for 3 years. I want to get married, but I don't think he will be asking me anytime soon. I want to give him a push in the right direction. I have a friend that decided to quit using birth control to force her boyfriend into marriage. They had two oops moments and are now married with a beautiful home. Since she did it, I think I can too. What do you think?
I was so angry, along with the dj's. They are men and so they had no respect for this betrayal and went on to say that most women do this. NO THEY DON'T. The ones that are desperate for a husband do, but any sane person would never equate this tactic onto happily ever after. It's not like you are buying a couch and give it back. Or a dog.
For real, who are these people that feel it is okay to play God with their lives and the lives of others? You cannot choose your parents and I feel bad for kids that have parents who view them as an after thought.
Having children should be a responsible decision. Yes, things happen that are not in your control, all of the time, but does it give you the right to play russian roulette with your relationship? Who is to say that this guy will do the right thing and stand by this child? I am still infuriated by this woman that wrote in to act so irresponsibly. There are many people that want kids, but have difficulty having them. Why are the morons the ones that have children so effortlessly?
I am still angry that this thought process continues. It gives a bad name to women who do really have an oops moment. I don't know anyone in their right mind who would make this decision so cavalierly. LIke choosing a new pair of shoes. It is ridiculous. I mean, kids are life changing and you cannot return them if you suck as a parent.
Enough. I am good.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

why I run...

Yesterday, I was cyberstalking blogs dealing with running.
Wow, there are so many out there. I think I looked at 5, but could have kept going. Some grabbed my immediate attention. Others were boring. I guess some might find my blog uninteresting, too. It is very subjective.
One person had written a post called--Why I got me thinking. Why do I run when I have never taken it up prior to this year. Sure, I ran, somewhat while I was traveling. Mostly to explore more of the cities and not feel guilty for all of the carrot cake I was eating.
And, I tried running when I lived in Phoenix. I found myself always convincing myself that I hated running. I would try for a few weeks and then determine that I was not a runner.
So, back to the premise. I think I will list my top 10 reasons for why I am currently a runner in Denver.
10) I signed up for a 1/2 marathon in May. I committed to raising $2000 in exchange for training.
9) I like my training partners and have decided to go for the full enchilada since they are all training for the full. Gadget inspires me to up my tempo or establish a tempo, immediately. The Goddess is super supportive and gracious with me. Jamie can do either up beat tempo or a casual pace. It is very effortless for her, but she, too, is supportive.
8) I like my running shoes, really like my running shoes--Saucony's rock!
7) I can eat more and not feel guilty. If I had a real job, I would be fat since I love eating cheese!
6) It enables loads of time to think about my life and how I can improve it. I am blessed to train with others, but I still have many days in the week where I am running solo.
5) I use my ipod, more, and soon will need to upgrade to more storage. This is essential for treadmill running. I am not a good indoor runner.
4) I want to find the cleanest port a potty in Denver...kidding. Although, I did find a nice one in Cheesman Park the other day. I enjoy exploring more of Denver and more in Boston when I am there in a month. Running really gets you involved in a community.
3) My love of peanut butter cookies, at St. Mark's coffee shop.
2) Because I can and I enjoy it! Surprise, I never thought I would admit that, but it's true. I like to run.
1) I have an amazing support system. Shari and her family raised 1/3 of what I needed to fundraise with a 3 day garage sale. Her nieces assisted with the sale and she met several people that had some story about leukemia and how it had affected their life. Her mother-in-law went out of her way to find items and there were others that made rhubarb jam to sell too. I am lucky. I am blessed to have them in my life as well as everyone else who believes in me and supports this venture. I feel that I can do the marathon and so I am.
Yes, I am scared and a little overwhelmed, but this is what is motivating me. Friends, family and the knowledge that I can do this.
I don't know if I will ever want to run, again, after this, but I think I might. For now, I will be searching for a clean potty break for Saturday's run and eventually, a water pack so that I don't dehydrate on my 1/2 marathon on August 8th. Oh yea, running is a theme for 2009...

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Change the World Wednesday....

The last challenge that I participated in was about walking. Really, it was about not using your car or riding in a car for a day. I loved the challenge and fully embraced it. I like walking places, though. I hate the rage that creeps up on me, when I am in my car. I don't mean for it to happen, but it does. Although, I am definitely not as bad as some of my friends. Yes, you know exactly who you are.
Anyways, back to the point. Today's challenge is about giving back to the community and reaping benefits of heart.
Think about all of your stuff. When I moved from Tempe to Denver, I packed my car, a Nissan Sentra. It was glorious to be that free. I had to have my photo albums, some clothes and framed art. I drove back with a friend, even, so I completely utilized my space and had room to share. Impressive, I know.
I met Brian and know I have stuff.
If and when I moved I will have to get a U-Haul or a storage pod. Anyways, this challenge is about giving some of your stuff to goodwill, a sheler or someone that needs it. For me, I will be heading to goodwill with a coffee grinder, several books, some clothes and a vase. I have clothes that I never wear. They take up space in my closet. Books are amazing, but they take up so much space and really how often do you reread a paperback novel? Typically, I buy paperbacks when I travel. Recently, I rediscovered the library and now use the $30 I save from stupid little expenditures in the airport for drinks later.
I am trying to downsize my life and so it is fitting to be challenged in this fashion.
So, if you have time, please think about what you don't use and think about heading to your local goodwill or shelter. Last week, my aunt, Bryn, dropped off a few boxes to a shop that shelters use, predominantly. I feel that it is a great challenge and hope others will be inspired, too. My heart feels a lightness!
Be well and enjoy.

the return of Capitol Grille...

Last night, I went to the Rockies game. I didn't stay long. I wasn't feeling it.
Instead, Jimmy and I headed to Capitol Grille for supper. I used to love that place and I used to frequent it, until I found Elway's. I'll be honest. I love the food at Elway's, it's closer to my house and I know the bartenders. This is a definite perk to dining out. When I walk into Elway's, I am acknowledged with a warm smile and an offering of a bar seat. If there isn't one available, they find one for me. It doesn't matter that I wear, I am treated as a guest.
Capitol Grille is a cab ride. Walking home drunk, through downtown, isn' pleasant or advisable. And, despite the fact that I frequented the bar, I always had to reintroduce myself to the bartenders which is annoying. I tip well, actually, I over tip, especially at places that I plan to frequent. I like the added perks of being known. I won't b.s. you.
And, for those of you that have dined with me, you know it's true. Tipping is essential!
Anyways, we went to there last night. Jimmy preferred Elway's but I talked him out of it. I wanted to give Capitol Grille another try.
We walked in and I knew both of the bartenders. They found us a seat and we ordered wine. The one guy, from Kansas, told me that he was sorry to hear of my recent loss. Wow, someone 3 years hadn't happened in that place. It was odd. I know that we had talked about Brian, on numerous occasions. To bring up, out of the blue, felt extremely random. Plus, this guy lives in the building it happened and I knew this, because he told me one night. DIfferent story, completely random, bizarre effect. In hindsight, I think he was trying to place me. Funny, how he limited his interaction with us after that.
The food was tasty. I do enjoy their bread and I love their lobster mac and cheese. The experience, outside of the initial comment, was lovely, but I wish their wine list was more dynamic and affordable. They have 8-10 wines by the glass that were okay. The bar, itself, is beautiful and I enjoy the atmosphere. I will return, but not as often as Elway's.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Royal Palms Resort

Last week, I spent Tuesday in Phoenix with Jan and Tom.
They, being the kind folk that they are, always let me stay at their house. I have a room with a flat screen, actually. I enjoy their home and feel comfortable there.
However, it was Jan's birthday and she did my taxes. I wanted a way to thank her for being my friend and for her birthday. She isn't really a birthday person, though, at all.
Nevertheless, I utilized hotwire to find a hotel room. I wanted a pool, and I wanted a 4 or 5 star hotel. If you are going to do it, you might as well do it right, is how I think about it.
I had searched orbitz and expedia prior to selecting hotwire. I really wanted to stay at the Royal Palms Resort. A few years ago, I had drinks with Jan and Shari at the bar. Ironically, I knew the bartender since his ex-wife had been my masseuse when I lived in Phoenix. Small world.
I thought about booking a room at the Phoenician since it is a beautiful resort. I have stayed there on 3 different occasions and each time I love it. The view from the outdoor cocktail area is stunning. But, then, I thought, why not try something new?
I searched hotwire, purchased the room for $106 and surprise, surprise we were heading to the Royal Palms, exactly where I wanted to stay.
I enjoyed it. It is smaller than the Phoenician and more personable, I think. It is a beautiful resort, with a pool/hot tub open 24 hours a day.
The restaurant, T Cook's, was good. I wouldn't say fantastic, but the food was good. I guess I was unimpressed with the service. Our server was lame. I mentioned this the other day.
But, the resort, itself, was lovely. I would recommend it. Of course, we were fortunate to find such a great rate. The room was beautiful. It opened up to a courtyard, but we were able to maintain our privacy.
I love robes and they have slippers, too. The room had a shower and a separate large bath tub. Jan likes to bathe. I prefer the shower.
I believe that I prefer the Royal Palms to the Phoenician since it created an intimate feel to the resort. I wish the restaurant service was better, but I did enjoy the brussel sprout duck confit side. That was awesome and interesting.
Until later. I need to think about Postino, Cowboy Ciao and Z Tejas. Food continues to dominate my thoughts....

NYC half marathon....

So, I walked to Cherry Creek for coffee and to get a money order for my fundraising. My full marathon is October 18th in Denver. Fundraising is going well.
Along the way, I started thinking about my energy in life.
Obviously--food, travel, and running. I remembered that I needed to post something about an upcoming event in NYC. It combines two of my current attractions--travel and running. Oh, and fundraising, too.
On August 16th, there is a 1/2 marathon benefitting the Fresh Air organization. This 1/2 marathon benefits an organization that helps children in NY and other communities around the US. Mostly, they provide opportunities for disadvantaged youth to experience something outside of urban living.
Last year, this event raised $125,ooo which is pretty amazing in terms of single day events.
If I could make it, I would. I am embracing running and this new adventure in my life. Plus, I have never been to New York City and would love to go eat.
This is the second mention of it, in my life, too, in the last week. One of my high school friends vacationed there with his family last week. He posted photos on facebook and I was jealous of some of the places they ate.
I'll be honest....I am not a huge Bobby Flay fan. I think he is arrongant, but I have heard from several credible people that he can cook and that he is legitimate. Matt and his wife went to Mesa Grill in New York and said it was solid. In Las Vegas, there is a Mesa Grill in Caesar's I think. I have a sommelier friend that works at Bouchon--one of my all-time favorite restaurants, ever--and his wife is a chef in Mesa. Paul offered to help me out next time I was in Vegas with the food factor. I think I will look into Mesa next time I am in Vegas.
Anyways, if you have time, and an adventurous spirit, check out this website and consider competing in the 1/2 marathon. Or donate to this cause. If you are able to run, you will sigh up to raise $1000. I know that the time is limited, but spreading love/money around benefits you too. I believe, truly, that giving back to the community gives back to you 1000%.
I will be running on August 18th and so I am unable to go. I committed to the Georgetown-Idaho Springs 1/2 marathon about a month ago.
Again, check it not? Every year, my parents took us on vacation. I am so grateful to them for introducing travel to my life. I think back to my childhood and how awful it would have been to spend summers inside or stuck in Kansas.
This organization sets up a nice experience for children between the ages of 6-18 years of age. Thank you for listening and considering running of their behalf.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

slum landlord, sort of.....

I love my rental property. It is in the metro area. It is close to Wahlgreen's, two indie movie theatres, numerous eateries, gas stations and grocery stores. I know that I am fortunate when everyone else is snowed in and I can walk to the Safeway.
I overlook many things because I can justify why I put up with it. For example, the stairs leading up to my place are treacherous. I remember looking at them when we were shown the place. I thought they might collapse when we walked up them. Now, I am just used to it. I know they are somewhat sturdy and I can overlook this aspect of my safety since I like the space. I have a parking space in back and so life is good.
The art fest blows every year and I know I complained about that earlier. Still, location, location, location. Again, I can overlook the inconveniece created by this 3 day event.
I cannot overlook negligence though.
I have new neighbors, downstairs. They moved in a week ago. I met them so that I could tell them that the trash went out on Tuesday and that I wouldn't be around to do it. Our interaction was brief, but I met the girls.
I returned from Phoenix ( still need to update you on that) and worked open to close on Friday. Yesterday afternoon, at 3:30, they knock on my door and ask if I will not use the toilet since it has been backing up into their bath tub for the last 24 hours. YUCK!!!!
They contacted our landlord to ask for his help/assistance/insight/anything. He had yet to call them back.
They called 4 different times with no response.
Finally, they called the plumber and contacted me. Obviously, I would have not used my bathroom, any water, had I known there was this issue. Apparently, they cleaned up sewage 4 different times since it was seeping from the base of the toilet and into the bath tub.
I know this is not the first time this has happened. This is #3 since I moved in in June 2008. The roots are growing into the pipes for those of you that assume it is filled with feminine products. I only mention this since the plumber made sure to ask this...jackass! I am not a complete moron, you know.
Anyways, I found out today that my landlord was upset that they contacted the plumber. He said that I guess I should have listened to my voice mail. That is annoying. You want me to mow the yard, but you cannot fix the sewage issue. Or, when my heater wasn't working in December and again, please pick up around the yard. Why don't you care about my comfort levels, too? In my old place, we had a similar issue with the plumbing and immediately PJ ( my landlord) took care of it. He was embaressed that we were put out and aggressive with finding a solution.
Yes, I love the location.
Yes, I like my parking space and I like the eclecticness of the space. I don't like feeling insecure when there are problems. Lack of heat and sewage issues definitely qualify as serious issues. What to do?

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Brief update to Phoenix adventure

Arizona has been exciting, minus the heat factor. I had forgotten how terrible July was. There is no break in the heat. All day, everyday, it is 115+ degrees without breeze. This year it is humid, too. I feel like a cross between the midwest and the desert, producing an unlivable place to be.
Actually, it isn't that bad. It's just different and of course, air conditioning is used 24/7. I am outside, early, and then we shuttle from a/c to a/c to house. I do not know how people do it.
My beautician has 4 kids. I asked how they were enjoying the summer and she said--they aren't. They are stuck inside and bored. I would really despise growing up here. Summers for me, were all about being outside with the rest of the neighborhood kids. My mom made us to ample chores, but we always were able to spend the majority of the day outside. We lived for summer.
Nowadays, it must be awful.
Yesterday was Jan's birthday and so we made dinner at their house. She isn't much of a birthday person. I think I annoyed her, by telling everyone that it was her birthday. At T Cook's, in the Royal Palms, the waiter brought her a shot to celebrate her birthday. I felt that it was strange since we weren't doing shots and instead of buying her dessert, they gave her a washington apple shot. It was made incorrectly and then they gave her an Amstel Light. Ironically, she had been drinking Stella Artois all night and so that seemed odd, too. But, we went with it and that was the beginning of her birthday.
I will comment more on this later. I am needing to purchase post cards and pack. Fun times....

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Long travel day

I arrived at DIA at 11:20.
I checked into my flight, via the self serve kiosk, since I wouldn't be checking bags. Security was a breeze. I went to my gate, hoping to secure a closer seat on my flight. I hadn't really noticed, that instead of departing at 1:35, we were scheduled to leave at 2:20. I didn't receive any notification, from Frontier, noting the time change and so I was surprised. Still, I could handle it and I wasn't too annoyed.
I went to the Chophouse, ordered a beer and a sandwich, and realized that I knew the guy sitting next to me from the College Inn. He is one of the bartenders and so I was entertained. The sandwich was good, but the beer was way overpriced. It was $7.25 for a 20 oz beer. Realistically, I would have preferred the 14 oz beer, but I guess the bartender chose to pour me that beer. I was annoyed that the beer was that much. I mean, really...$7.25 for that beer. If it were a Chimay, yep, I would pay for it. This beer wasn't that amazing.
I digress.
I returned to the gate, and attempted to talk way into a closer seat. It was a full flight and the departure had been pushed back, again. There was a missing part for the radio and the posted departure was now 3:45. This did annoy me! I could have had another beer--wouldn't have--but 2 hours, sitting in the airport, for no reason was beginning to wear on me. Plus, there was this couple next to me and this guy could not sit still. He kept playing with his luggage and I wanted to go and kick him in the shins since it was so distracting.
We got on the plane at 3 pm. Things were looking up. I called Jan to let her know that I would be arriving sooner than I had anticipated.
We boarded the plane and sat. I had a middle seat in the 2nd to last row. I despise the back of the plane since it brings back memories of my first flight where I got sick. Anyways, we sat. We sat some more. At 3:45, the pilot tells us that there is good news and bad news--we will be departing soon, but there are 15 planes ahead of us, and so we would have to taxi for some time.
I was about at my breaking point. I mean, it had been delayed, the one guy wore down my nerves and now, we were forced to sit there and wait.
Finally, we were off. They rewarded our patience with free tv. I watched 3 episodes of Everybody loves Raymond. I calmed down and then arrived in Phoenix. Crossing into the airport took some time, but wow, was it hot! 116 with humidity. Unbelievable.
I had chambord margaritas at Z Tejas and we had dinner at Cowboy Ciao. I will write more about that later, but right now, I need to conclude this.
I went running at 5 am. It was hot, already, crazy freaking hot. I love Phoenix. There really is no break in the weather here. I did enjoy the lack of altitude. I will miss that part, at least.
More later, be well and be positive....

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Happy Anniversary....

I forgot.
It's Steve and Sarah's first wedding anniversary.
They are in Vegas, celebrating.
I called Steve, yesterday, and told him that I would post something on my blog.
I wish that I were celebrating with you. I'll crash your 2nd anniversary. Hopefully, you will have found Mark by then. Mark was an awesome mixologist that worked at Nob Hill in the MGM. Several nights, he amazed us with his concoctions, anectedotes and kindness. I miss him, but I suppose he has found another great place for us to frequent.
Last year, I was drinking champagne, and enjoying their happiness and my friends. Cheers!!!

Heading to Phoenix....

Vacation #7...feeling awesome about my travel in 2009.
I was invited to the Bahamas, too. My friend, Sharleen, will be there for a year. I think.
She has been in the UK for the last 10 months...what a life. I met her in Santiago, Chile. We were both at this American run hostel that was infested with bed bugs. I liked the hostel, outside of that. The owner was a jerk, but it did feel a little like home. I was surrounded by Americans.
I was in a funk, that month, and so it was exactly what I needed. He had invested in a big screen tv with 100's of movies. It was February and I felt like doing nothing. Making a decision to leave Santiago did not seem possible. I didn't even drink Chilean wine!
Nevertheless, Sharleen and I traveled to Valporaiso and spent a few days there, before I returned to Santiago and she continued up the coast. We talked about meeting in the States in 2008 or 2009.
She contacted me and told me that instead of taking the Greyhound Bus into the United States, she was heading to the United Kingdom for a job. She has traveled extensively in Europe. I am envious of her ability to just go.
Well, she is returning to Canada, next month, and then heading to the Bahamas for a year. She told me that I should plan a trip to visit her there. I think I will. Why not?
I am heading to the valley, tomorrow and looking forward to it. I have spoken to friends to confirm drinks, coffee and potential runs.
I miss my friends in Phoenix.
I miss the chambord margaritas, found at Z Tejas.
And, somehow, I always am in Phoenix for the All Star Game. Rituals are good.
Enjoy your night and be well...

Friday, July 10, 2009

Judge your success by what you had to give up in order to get it--Dalai Lama

This is fitting for the news I received.
Shari, Brian's mom, my friend, and sometimes I don't know how to refer to her, since she is amazing and a presence in my life. Not only because of Brian, but because of her essence and awesomeness.
She supports me and my endeavors. If she doesn't agree with them, she doesn't let on. She lets me, be me. Thankfully, we travel well together. Each year, we celebrate the anniversary of Brian's passing, in style, like he would want us to do.
Saying that, I told her about my marathon training.
Instead of just writing me a check, she thought about how she could contribute, too. She decided to donate her services. She did chair massage and hosted a garage sale. Shari is now a certified massage therapist. She graduated in May.
I believe that 1/4 of my fundraising got raised by her and her efforts. She said that she met several people that told her stories of loved ones that had Leukemia or Lymphoma. I think anytime you give back to the community, you get back 1000% from the experience. I wish that I were there to meet these people as well.
Her nieces, Hannah and Kellen, also helped with the garage sale. They are young girls that I enjoy. They are my pen pals and a pleasure to be around. They aren't normal kids. They are polite, friendly and responsible. They sold some of their items to help raise money, too. They learned about the importance of presentation and assisted in keeping track of the money too.
So, while I am out training, learning how to adequately run, they are aiding my fundraising efforts. I am so fortunate to have them in my life.
And, I agree with her and with this quote. This way, she too, is successful and she wanted to do it. She is coming out in October to see me cross the finish line. I cannot wait! I owe her a huge hug and a steak dinner in Santa Fe, or Elway's....
It is funny how success is viewed. We give accolades to people that succeed in business, but fail in every other aspect of life. What is success? I think the Dalai Lama had it right.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Why walking/biking/rollerblading is good, still....

I want to continue to consider the benefits of not driving my car.
Parking, specifically parallel parking...I hate it. I try to avoid it at all costs. I know how to do it. I just don't like it.
Walking, biking, rollerblading allows me the freedom to not have to park at all. Several times, I have went to Cherry Creek, for coffee at Peet's, and not been able to find a spot, near the coffee shop. I enjoy walking and so it isn't about the walk to the shop, more about the stress related to locating a spot at all and one that I will not have to parallel park to access it.
Further, if you park in Cherry Creek or downtown, you must feed a meter. The parking attendants in Denver, are nazi's. They watch for people that do not pay the meter. I swear.
I went to the post office in Cherry Creek. I was on my way to work and so I ran in to find no one there. I thought it was a sign. Lately, the post office reminds me of the DMV. You know, there is one person working, two people talking and a line out the door.
Anyways, I sent my package off. I was in there for 3-5 minutues, maximum, and when I walked outside, there was the parking attendant, issuing me a ticket. I yelled--SERIOUSLY. He looked up and continued with what he was doing. He said, well, I printed it off, sorry. He hadn't, but it is revenue for the city and for that, I paid it. Actually, I don't want to get a boot on my car and so I paid it.
I wanted to kick him in the shins. I really despise parking attendants. I would loathe that job. I mean, really, who smiles when they see you giving them a ticket? No one.
So, here is yet another benefit of not parking, no tickets, and when you think about DUI's. I frequent Elway's in Cherry Creek and typically walk home. They have ample parking, but I do not want to be tempted to think that after 2 glasses of wine, that I am okay to drive. Elway's is comfortable, convenient and easily accesible to me and my friends.
Have you thought of why driving trumps walking? I know that walking requires more time, but I prefer it and believe you can do it, for one day. More well...

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Change the World Wednesdays...

Funny, I was thinking about how local, energy efficient, and green that I am trying to be in my life.
I walked to Cherry Creek for Peet's coffee and to stop by the bank. I knew that it was the Farmer's Market and as I considered going, I decided to skip yoga. That is another story. I digress.
Anyways, I perused the market. They have flowers, fresh veggies, fruits, pastas, soap, etc. I enjoy browsing and deciding what I will purchase. Today, I bought some delicious palisade peaches and blue berries that look amazing. I thought about buying swiss chard or kale and dreamed of wonderful meal. I am a realist and know that I will not fully utilize these meals and so I settled for the fruit, knowing that I will eat it and love it.
Anyways, today is Change the World Wednesdays on the Reduce Footprints I follow the blog and enjoy their suggestions.
This week, they challenge everyone to take a day, one full day, of not using your car or riding in a car. Try walking, biking, rollerblading, public transport. I felt relief. I do this all of the time.
I continued to read and it said--if you already rely on your feet, not your car, then write about it or discuss other forms of public transport, health benefits, etc. Check out their blog and try this on, yourself. Why not? What do you have to lose?
Yes, it's hot.
But, the one day of not driving, does make a difference. It enables less road rage, more money in your pocket for a soda--if you want--or a beer, if you are me!
Also, consider the health benefits. Instead of buying a new piece of furniture, I mean, gym equipment that will go under your bed or in the closet, add some movement to your life. Walk to the grocery store, as opposed to driving. Treat to yourself to ice cream, after you have walked there. Turn off the tv, walk to the library or to a baseball game.
Think about it. Talk about it. Do it. Let me know how or why it does or doesn't work. Or, check out their
My life is flexible. I know. My commute is not an hour, in a car, but if it were, I believe I would want to try this challenge out. I think a lot when I walk. I am able to stop and enjoy, not be pissed off at the idiots that make my drive difficult.
I will reflect this later. I am off to the library to get some books. Yes, I am walking! I actually enjoy knowing that I haven't driven my car in a few days or a week. I did yesterday so that I could see my aunt. Next time, I will ask her to come to my place and we can walk to Sweet Action for ice cream or to Wash Park, just because.
Be well.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Reinforcements and considerations....

I was looking at other people's blogs yesterday and found exactly what I needed.
I doubt myself, sometimes. Actually, I think I doubt my intentions or what I would like to see happen.
I know that it works. I wanted to travel around the world. I did.
I wanted to reintroduce yoga to my life...I have.
I am running, etc.
Yet, there are some things, that I doubt.
I have to remind myself, that I don't need definite answers right now. I need to focus on what brings me joy and happiness.
Currently, that is coffee and running. Oh, and always the prospect of travel.
Yesterday, two different bloggers had similar reinforcement posts about living life to the fullest and about intentions.
I feel that I gravitate towards certain people in life. I know that blogwise, I do. I am interested in people that seem to be on similar paths or have gratitude in their lives, I suppose.
Being Gemel, is a great blog to look into. She has interesting posts, photos and an life. I could do without all of the posts of her cat, with photos, but it is important to her and that is great. It isn't my reason for following her blog, though. She commented on how people fear life and are not truly living. I went to work and saw my boss. He had a stroke, last October, and initially showed some signs of recovery.
Since then, he has dwindled. He looks gray. He doesn't talk. There is no joy is his life. He is a twin, something that I do not comprehend. It is as if, he is wanting all decisions to be made by his brother. He cannot communicate, nor does he try.
But, there are signs of spark in him. He isn't fully ready to go, but he isn't trying much to change his circumstance, either. He has resigned himself to life. I think he is scared, too.
It's sad. He is only 71 and there is more for him to discover in life. He should be traveling and enjoying himself. He had a companion, but she moved to Tacoma. Ironically, his stroke was the day before her departure.
All I know, is that I don't want to live like that.
The other blogger, with inspiration yesterday, is Life in the 2nd Half. I truly enjoy her blog and she has a ton of followers and people that constantly, daily, coment on her posts. She reminded me to be clear in my intentions.
Again, this reinforced exactly what I needed to hear. I am on the right path. There is joy in my life and I am living the way that I want to. Doubts are natural, but should not be focused on or even considered. My life is great. I am happy.
So, think about what you are thinking about or giving power to. Do you enjoy it? Do you want to change your course? Sometimes, I find myself repeating the same action/reaction sequence. Funny, how the result stays the same....

Monday, July 6, 2009

4th of July

Holiday weekend concluded.
Work, drinking with friends, fireworks, more work and then play, again.
It was eventful and fun.
I realized that of all of the holidays, I do enjoy 4th of July. What can you not like about it, though? Summer heat, fireworks, bbq's, beer and friends/family. It isn't a day about feeling obligated to buy a gift or receive a gift that you don't like. It isn't about family obligation (Thanksgiving). It isn't about Hallmark cards or flowers. It's about pure enjoyment and loving this country.
I spent a 4th of July in Mexico. It was great. We were on the beach, south of Puerto Vallarta. A group of us--I think 8--went to the beach instead of going to Mexico City. I have never doubted this decision. During this time, Americans were being targeted and nothing screams American like a tour bus, filled with only Americans.
We went to the beach and had a fantastic time. There were other Americans there, but it wasn't overwhelming. Mostly, everyone was in a festive mood, because they were on the beach and enjoying life. It was a small beach town. We walked by merchants who were selling jewelry, sunglasses and sarongs. It was peaceful.
I had promised, myself, to quit drinking at 7 pm since I knew the early morning bus ride would be awful. I had had a bad experience on another beach excursion, but since it was a holiday, I was up most of the night. The return to Guadalajara was awful. I swore that I would never drink again.
We found this bar playing Eric Clapton, drank Pacifico and danced.
I talked to my friend, Jean, about it on Saturday. I told her that I felt like a margarita from our 4th of July in Mexico. She knew exactly what I was saying. The days when simple seemed hard.
So, yes, I do enjoy 4th of July. I hope you enjoyed yours, too.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

4th of July

Happy 4th of July.
Celebrate. Enjoy and be safe.
I don't have plans.
I went running with my group, but didn't feel it, at all, this morning. It was humid and it makes a huge difference in the running world, for me. I felt like I was running through sludge. I was irritable and affected by the elements. Yuck!
It is over and I feel better. I did it and now I can relax.
I think I will head up to the Arts Festival for a bit and coffee. I am ready for an excellent cup of Peet's coffee. I am dreaming of it. I can taste it. I can smell it. I am in heaven. Coffee is a must.
In other news...I signed up for the Georgetown Idaho Springs Half Marathon. Team in Training sent me an e-mail about it. The 1/2 marathon is in a month. I feel it will be a good trial run of long distance for me. I suppose it will be a great indicator of if I can handle the full or if I should stick with the 1/2. After today's outing, I think I can barely do a 10k. It was pathetic. I just wasn't into it, today. We ran 8 miles. I am pretty sure and the Goddess and Jamie were supportive of my stops and talked me through it. I still haven't named Jamie, but it is coming. She is so calm and laid back while running, too.
My friends have plans of drinking and debauchery. Of course I enjoy this, but I am working, early, tomorrow morning and want to be able to enjoy some time off. I might sleep the day away....

Friday, July 3, 2009

Holidays, golden years and reflections of these....

Oh, holiday weekends.
I do like them, but it isn't about the days off from work. I can create those, without pay. I don't need a holiday to dictate a day or two off from work.
I want to go to yoga, today. There is a noon class, taught by a popular instructor. I haven't had the pleasure of taking her class, yet; but, I know that it is normally filled to capacity.
It's a holiday weekend. I know it will be full.
Similar to Memorial Day, it will have 90+ people. I think of all of the people that are camping, enjoying the Cherry Creek Arts Festival, and their day off. I know that this class will still be maximized and I feel that I am not going to yoga. I believe that Core Power should limit class size in cases such as these. Yoga is physical, but I enjoy spiritual aspect as well. When the class is full, I worry about being kicked in the face and cannot handle all of the odors created from all of the sweaty people. I know. I am sweating too. However, a full class does not enable any meditation or relaxation. I think they should offer two classes, at the same time, if the class size is too big.
So, I will indulge, myself, in another day of rest. Another day to consider the marathon factor.
Actually, I am certain that I am doing the full marathon. My coach contacted me and told me that he felt that I could do it, if I wanted to. He said, that many others have always confronted this question in training. He felt that it is a mental battle and that I need to optimize the endurance factor and quit thinking like a sprinter. He said, that I needed to go slow since it is 26.2 miles. THe only difference in our training between full and half, was that the full marathoners had an extra hour and a half added to one of the Saturday runs. He said to let him know what I would like to do and supported me in either decision.
I have talked to others about this extensively. I know 26.2 miles is long and I will be wrecked for days, afterwards. Shari and I had talked about going to Santa Fe after the marathon. I don't know how advisable that will be to stay in a car for 5 hour and stiffen up. I haven't decided. I love Santa Fe and that alone is motivation to go.
Brian would have been 26 this year. It is his golden year. His mom got a tattoo on her chest that Brian had. I talk about getting a tattoo, but I haven't yet. I will...more reflection on that, later. Nevertheless, I was trying to rationalize why I wanted to do the marathon as opposed to the 1/2 marathon. My purpose is to celebrate his golden year. Training, living life and challenging myself. Initially, I had told Shari that I would celebrate by travel.
In a way, this doesn't count. I always travel and I love it. I need to do more. Or, I want to do more. And, I enjoy running and so the Denver 1/2 just became the Denver Full with other marathons to follow, possibly. We will see...Enjoy your holiday. Celebrate with ice cream, beer or fire works...

Thursday, July 2, 2009

On the fence........

I run with three girls, regularly.
I know that I have mentioned them all. I still haven't found a name for Jamie, yet. We don't run together, as often, and so I haven't coined one for her. I will, though. I suppose, she could be the run-runner, since she alway goes. She might show up late, but she always cruises by me. She is dedicated to it.
I have been on the fence with how far I want to take this training.
Initially, I thought, a half was the way to go. I have friends that have completed several 1/2 marathons and they speak highly of them. My friend, Margo, is always racing/challenging herself. She is someone that I know understands how fantastic running can be.
I have been running, consistently, for 6 weeks now. Or, I am in week 6. I have tossed the idea of completing the full marathon to a few people. Most people have been supportive, but they are quick to point out---It is 26.2 miles...have you done 13?
I know this is a legitimate point. No, I haven't.
Last night, this completely random guy said--anything after 13 is should do it! Why not? You are young and if you feel that you can, you should....Of course, I liked him.
I e-mailed one of the coaches to see what he thought. He's seen me run. He's coached, a lot of people and I was curious to see if he would dissuade me.
He e-mailed me back, 24 hours later--no less, and said that yes, he knew who I was and felt that I could do it, if I wanted to. He said that the only altering point in the training would be on the long runs and that I would need to incorporate that mental attitude of endurance, not sprinting.
I am still on the fence, but the more I think about it, the more I know that I can do it. Yes, it will be challenging and yes, my body will ache, but why not? I keep talking about living for the day and so this is an excellent opportunity to do just that! Greg, my coach, told me to let him know what my decision would be.
I think I will sleep on it. TOday, is a much deserved day of rest. I ran with the GOddess, earlier, and know that a nap is in my future....

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

One clear channel

Actually, I think I have 10 channels that are clear--spanish, religious and cartoons. I believed I would have NBC, seeing that I am right down the street, similar to ABC, but no. I only have CBS, which is fine. I can watch CSI and the Young and the Restless...what a tribute to my life, right? All for paying the internet.
I did watch Hulu last night and saw Arrested Development. Whatever happened to that show? It was brilliant, so quirky and bizarre. I think I saw the finale, last night. I don't know. I just laughed.
I will appreciate any book suggestions or books to borrow for those of you in the metro area. I found, Three Cups, that my cousin, Jessie, lent me months ago. I am such a slacker. She impressed to me the importance of reading The Time Traveler's Wife, which I did. As a result of that endeavor, Three Cups, got buried under my pile of clutter that continues to grow. I try to tidy up, but always, have random addresses, letters, mail, assrorted clutter, everywhere. I need to downsize of simplify this aspect of my life!
Yes, I need books. I embrace reading this summer.
I am not a Janet Evanovich fan. I found this out on my last venture to the library. Please make suggestions or bring me books, if you are near me:)
I need to soak up something besides the sun, this summer. Be well....