Tuesday, March 30, 2010

My (un)love affair with squirrels.....

Today, while running, I contemplated my bizarre dream last night and what squirrels represent, if anything, in the animal totem?
I know this sounds strange, but I know that spiders represent creativity. I found this out by getting bit by one. This incident led to many visits to the western doctor after months of trying to self-medicate. Sometimes going to the Dr. is necessary.
I digress.
That is a completely separate story. I will return to squirrels. I want to believe that at a young age, I knew they were rodents with tails. Basically, I find them to be dirty, overpopulating the metro area and a hazard on the street.
Yes, I have run one over. While riding my bike. Traumatized. Thankfully, it didn't die, but I did almost fall off of the bike. I am super aware of squirrels while cycling.
I think they became more visible in my life over the last 4 years. What do they signify? Are they important enough to function in the animal totem?
I work with this nice lady that wears a squirrel necklace. I do not understand how some people find them cute. My dad walks on the weekends and always brings peanuts for squirrels. I love my dad and believe him to be an intelligent man. I do not understand why he feels it necessary to feed these animals.
Last October, he and his wife visited me in Denver. My old rental (the Slumlord's house) had several little visitors. I could not get rid of the squirrel factor. I think it is because I lived in a rental and my neighbors were renters that refused to take out the trash. I know that sounds somewhat naive, but seriously, on several occasions, I would take their trash since I got tired of seeing it and dealing with the squirrels.
Megan, my downstairs neighbor told me that there had been hippies renting the next door house who, although were super friendly/cool, never took the trash out. Megan illustrated her issues with the squirrels by demonstrating one gnawing on a piece of leftover pizza. Those were the days...
So, my dad visits, knows that I abhor squirrels and planned on feeding my friends until he saw how aggressive they were. One squirrel ate a hole in my screen so that it would have free access to my interior. Again, they are pesty little creatures.
On another occasion, my sister was visiting me in Denver. I was driving north on Clarkson, which is a one way street in the metro area, tree-lined and heading into Capital Hill. This woman runs out in front of my car and screams---WATCH OUT FOR THE SQUIRREL...Michaela almost had a heart attack. She yelled out my car and told the woman to F*&K OFF. Michaela was so mad. She kept saying---it was just a squirrel and you almost wrecked your car because of that nut case.
I wanted to show you my love affair with the squirrel before talking about my dream. I woke up this morning and remembered most of it. I was at work and one of my ex boyfriends was in there. He wasn't sitting at the bar, which was typically where enjoyed his adult beverages. I spilled salad dressing on his keys and he said--I am with her, now, and thought you should know. He was dating this woman that is completely not his type. She is an airhead and he is super witty/sardonic/sarcastic to a fault. I walked away from him, but it wasn't with sadness or anger. I just walked away from him.
Then, I end up at his house with Sara Jo and the Goddess. Lindsay had wrecked her car and we entered his house because we were there. I haven't figured out why locations flipped, but they did.
He came in, told me I was welcome to come over whenever I wanted, but since there were so many cars in front of his house, he thought I was being inappropriate.
I found crayon drawings that his kids drew for him and then there was a stack for me, too. It had my last name on them. It was weird.
I walked outside, confused, and got attacked my a squirrel.
I wake up.
Are you kidding? What does that mean?
I tell Sara the dream and the squirrel factor. She, too, is not a fan of squirrels. Before I went for my run, I ran into Sara and her friend, Chris. I mentioned the squirrel dream and he goes--oh, I wanted to put a granola bar in Sara's window for the squirrel. I said, NO...they are awful. I told him about the one that ate through my screen. I think I have him convinced to let them fend for themselves.
Mid-way through my run and I encounter, a squirrel. I ran past it, confident that I wouldn't be attacked, but the thought did cross my mind. Very bizarre.

Breaking up....

I caught a clip of the Today Show, this morning, while waiting for Sara Jo to come over and drink coffee with me. I texted her last night and invited her over for coffee. I thought it would be a nice way to catch up on our day. I spent most of Sunday with her, but I enjoy Sara's company. I wanted to know how her Monday went.
On the clip, there was a segment about break-ups. Specifically, breaking up with your girlfriends, not boyfriends. I mean, haven't you felt distance between some of you and your closest friends?
Geograhy, interests, and toxic friendships are just a few ways that friendships can be challenged, leading to a break-up. I, for one, never did the formal break-up with one of my friends, but I haven't spoken to her since my birthday weekend in Napa either.
I met her in college. We worked at the same job and had similar interests. I introduced her to my family and likewise. She would hang out with my friends and I always believed everyone saw how fantastic she was since we were friends. I overlooked her laziness at basic etiquette and lack of paying since I believed it all was a wash. We were friends and we enjoyed drinking wine and dining on the Plaza.
After college I moved to Phoenix and she was supposed to come with me. I am grateful, everyday, that this did not happen. We would have been terrible roommates and I would have continued to clean up her messes. I knew that financially, we had different takes on how to pursue paying bills, for example. I would have been miserable had she moved in with me in Phoenix.
Instead, she went to Iowa with her boyfriend. We stayed in touch despite the geographic distance. I would see her while in Kansas. She would invite herself to stay at my sister's house, too. Initially, I believed that Michaela was okay with it, but one night, she told me that my friend was no longer welcome as an overnight guest.
I couldn't understand why until Michaela said--you are my sister and always welcome in our home. Your friend feels entitled to stay here and never says thank you.
I understood that and so I broke it to her that next time, she and her boyfriend would have to find alternate places to stay if visiting me in Lawrence.
Years pass and still we remained friends, but there was strain. She visited me and Brian in Denver, once, and we got in a huge fight. She said that I was exactly like my mom, which is sacrilege in my world. I waited for her to call me, but she didn't. I contacted her, hoping to repair our friendship. I felt it was worthy of saving at that point.
When I went to Napa, I invited her to come along, as well. She lived in the city and it would be convenient for her to join us in Napa. Everyone else paid me for the car and the hotel.
She never did.
From our history, complicated as it was, I came to the realization that it was no longer worthy of a save. We had changed, grown up some, and I could no longer justify why we were friends.
People came out of the wood work with complaints about her once I opened up about discontinuing the relationship. Of course, it was difficult, but I was tired of always being the bigger person, always apologizing when we fought and paying for the majority of our meetings. It became toxic. It overwhelmed me. It became too much work.
So, yes, I think break-ups are justified amongst friends. Do you? Have you experienced a friendship that dwindled when interests changed? In all honesty, I have a few others that are on life support. I realize that in order for friendship to work, it requires two people to do it. One cannot only be cultivating it. And you should not be involved in a friendship due to obligation. I don't want you to call me because you feel like you have to. That isn't friendship. I sense that I have a few of those, too.
I am grateful for the friends I have in my life. Each friendship is unique. I am blessed in that department and figure if my friends were all like me, that would suck, since I would never be forced to look at other people's perspectives or beliefs. It is never easy, but sometimes, you must choose to divorce youself from people that bring you down.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Dinner at Fruition, followed by wine at Table 6....

Sometimes, websites are inaccurate.
Sara Jo and I wanted to go to Table 6, last night, for dinner. I contacted Erik since he is an avid fan of that restaurant. Our beer is on tap at the restaurant and I knew that Erik dined there frequently. He texted me later, saying--Table 6 is awesome.
Ironically, I decided to check out the restaurant, on-line, after I was unable to talk to Erik. I noticed that although they were open for Sunday brunch, Sunday dinner was no longer an option for us. It was listed as closed on Sunday.
I mentioned that to Erik.
Immediately, he responded with--Table 6 is open 7 nights a week.
Since it is near my house, Sara Jo and I decided to walk by it and determine if we wanted to dine there or Fruition. At this point, I knew that I preferred Fruition, but figured, why not at least see if it is open and consider dining there.
We walked down to Table 6 and realized that Erik was right. They were open for supper. We looked at the menu, but I wasn't too intrigued by their offerings. Like I said, I had already committed to Fruition.
We enter Fruition and of course, they are full. I love Fruition and always manage to snag a table, without the reservation, but there is no bar area to sit or dine at while waiting for a table. Fruition is a small, intimate restaurant. That is the only drawback to dining there. I wish they had a bar to utilize. They do not have any extra space. But, nevertheless, the food is stellar.
The hostess seated us and said--I know you have dined with us, before, but is this your first visit, was directed to Sara. I asked her how she knew I had dined there before and she said--I recognize you.
Probably. I never have reservations when I eat there. I think that trend will continue unless it is restaurant week.
Anyways, our waiter was prompt and knowledgeable. We shared the beet salad, seared tuna and seabass. The starters were fantastic. The beet salad had marcona almonds and was fantastic. The seared tuna was scrumptious.
I enjoyed the seabass. I did. The appetizers were better, though. We almost tried the monkfish. It is wrapped in proscuitto--I might return for that at a later date. I asked our server which dish he preferred and he explained what monkfish was. When he walked away, I was annoyed since I know what monkfish is. I wanted to know which dish he felt was better. Sara wanted the seabass and so we went that direction.
After dinner, we had coffee and bread pudding. Sara Jo had rented Up in the Air and so our plan was to return to our house and watch that with more wine. I had stocked up earlier in the day. I continue to build a collection and then devastate it with friends. One day, I will utilize my wine rack.
We walked by Table 6. I looked in and there was Erik. We saunter in and share a glass of wine with him and the owner. I had met Aaron, on a few occasions, but believe he will remember me this time. He suggested restaurants in NYC and we talked about marathons. He just completed the Napa Marathon which was a few weeks ago.
Anyways, it was funny to run into Erik at Table 6. He told me that he and Aaron realized that yes, the website was misinforming people about their Sunday hours. Aaron corrected the website.
I felt weird not dining there, since I had asked Erik about it and then we ran into him. However, it just wasn't my night to dine at Table 6. I think I needed to be in the mood it. I had my sights set on Fruition. I have had several successful meals there and yes, last night, was another success.
We started the movie and my day caught up with me. Before it ended, I fell asleep. But my day was long and I had drank ample red wine. Darn those days off!!!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Productive day off

I lied.
I knew that in no way would I be spending my day off in the mall. I couldn't do it. And, I knew it.
Instead, I woke up, drank hot tea as opposed to coffee for necessary diuretic precautions, ran with the Goddess and greeted the day. I wore shorts and she had on pants. We saw many runners at Cheesman Park but they had thinned out as we approached City Park. I wish I had more experience running around that park, but I know that I rarely run around City Park. It is near my house and a lovely run, but I prefer heading south to Wash Park or staying urban on the sidewalks. I really like running in the city. I enjoy parks, but find myself gravitating towards the urban dwellings. I figure as long as my knees are healthy--why not?
It was the ideal day to go for a long run. It heated up and mid-run, I was wishing that I had worn a t-shirt only.
We ran an hour and 45 minutes. I felt great, for the most part, and enjoyed our brief walking stints. Towards the end, I took advantage of the hill factor and justified why I was walking, instead of trudging up the hill. I know. It was lazy, but I still did something, right? I wanted to cancel the run, last night, while sitting at the Bull with my friend, Kat. I was tempted to stay and have another cucumber press.
After the run, the Goddess and I met Sara Jo for brunch. I was on the fence with where to go. Normally, I am unavailabe to partake in brunch. I knew that we would not dine at the Bull since I wanted a clean break from work.
I asked my facebook friends and most people's response was Lucille's. I enjoy Lucille's but their bloody's are not all that. Plus, weekends are difficult. They are super busy and almost always on a wait.
Others recommended Snooze or Racines. Again, not too terribly adventurous or intrigued by either place. I threw out Jonesy's and it seemed like a fit for all of us.
We arrived and were seated immediately. The crowd was younger, hip vibe and interesting menu. They offered pitchers of mimosas and infused vodka bloody mary's. The Goddess and I wanted a mary and it was delicious. They use dill which is awesome and Sara opted for a mimosa.
Our waitress was okay. Not upsell friendly or tentative. Nice. She was pleasant but I would have drank more mimosas, definitely more water, had she been available. I ate the basque eggs. Right when we were seated, that item, held my interest. It was corn tortillas topped with garlic cloves, poached eggs, white beans and arugula. I tried to choose something else, but my attention was captivated by the eggs. Sara and Lindsay ate bacon and eggs, with breakfast potatoes, and an omelet, respectively.
Overall, definitely a pass. The exception would be the service, but she was busy and I can overlook that. When she presented us with the bill, it was without the pitcher of mimosas. Believing in karma and trying to be honest, I inquired about it. Her response, I was excited to sell a pitcher. As you can see...not very aware of her surroundings.
Jonesy's was fantastic and I will definitely return for more food adventures. Tonight, Sara and I are dining in the metro area to celebrate her birthday. Option friendly and perfect night to walk to and from dinner.

Saturday, March 27, 2010


I love the new kicks...they are fantastic. I feel like a new woman--seriously. A new pair of shoes is heavenly. They make a huge difference when it comes to any activity in life. I mean, of course, I will only, religiously, wear the new yellow Saucony's, only, for running. I will never tarnish them by wearing them to work. One hour, at work, is like 300 miles of wear and tear. I spill beer, wing sauce, not to mention--the floors, themselves, can be filthy. No, I will not wear the yellow shoes to work.
I showed the shoes to the Goddess. I tried to avoid mud puddles or splashes of water, but it can be difficult no matter how hard I try to keep them looking new and beautiful. While running with her, I realized that my last 3 pairs of shoes purchased have all been running oriented. I know that I need casual shoes to accessorize my continued college sense of style. I am lacksadaisical when it comes to clothing. Rarely, do I go shopping. I do not like it. Malls are normally claustrophic, in general. While in a clothing store, the sales people are annoyingly helpful with--have you heard about this special? Would you like to apply for an Angels card? Are you sure? Oh, you are paying cash? Hmmmmm, are you sure you don't want to save 10% by applying for our credit card?
It goes on and on and on...I could continue, but I won't.
Bottom line, I need new shoes. Not running shoes, but practical going out in a skirt type of shoe. Cute, comfortable and user friendly. I tried wedges, last year, per Pocketsize's suggestion, but only imagined falling down. I couldn't master the shoe. It was a brief flirtation.
I bought platform heels, that day, and they are cute and I feel confident wearing them. However, I can only stand a few hours in them. My feet hurt if I attempt to wear them longer.
I have sandals that I enjoy wearing, but I want to update my selection.
I wish I enjoyed wearing heels, but I don't. I need some casual pair to wear with shorts and skirts. That is my hope.
Realistically, I need shoes and they must be good quality. I remember the days of buying cheap shoes. They break, hurt my feet and ultimately create more problems than the cost is worth.
I think tomorrow might be the day of shopping. I have a few days off since Sara Jo and I are not going to Santa Fe. I might brave the mall for casual attire. Actually, I will probably find my next travel destination instead of shoe or clothing shopping. I need to be real with myself. I prefer traveling to shopping any day of the week. I might have to reconsider shoes in a later post. Be well and enjoy the sunshine!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

New kicks

New kicks=SUCCESS
Gotta love Saucony's...or, for me, I absolutely love, love, love my Saucony's.
I drove to Runner's Roost, was immediately assisted with customer service and walked out 8 minutes later. My new Kicks are yellow. I love them.
I walked to Cherry Creek to test them out. I know. I broke a cardinal rule. Running shoes should only be utilized for running. But, in this case, I figure, the 1/2 Marathon that I am running is on April 18th. I need to bulk up my mileage prior to the race.
I learned that the hard way with the Marathon. I bought my previous pair of Saucony's a few weeks before my longest run ever. My new shoes were blue and beautiful. I thought I knew what I was doing, but in hindsight, I made a rookie mistake.
I went to D.C., ate a bunch of crap--rich food, wine, repeat--returned to Denver and ran 21 miles on Saturday the 26th. That day was, by far, my best run. I loved running that day. I had no ipod, no running partner, no inspiration other than the fact that I was enjoying myself. I wasn't worried about my feet or the lack of porta potties. I was running. I had a tendon issue prior to that run, but for whatever reason, that day was brilliant.
I had bloody mary's with the Goddess at Goosetown after the run. She brought the cupcakes since my birthday was the following day. I went to a Rockies game, that night. I walked downtown. I wanted to increase my overall mileage for the day. My legs hurt, but I overlooked it.
The following day, my foot ached. I could barely walk. I felt ridiculous. I knew it was the shoes. My feet were accustomed to the older shoes. They were comfortable, worn in and mine. The new shoes were too structured.
I decided that I needed to wear them in before another race. Hence, walking in the Saucony's today. It wasn't far and I chose to do it.
Later, I went running with the Goddess. It was amazing to go for a run, at dusk. I felt liberated. I embrace the aches/pains associated with running since there is such a rush to be doing it. We ran by my old house and it felt good to know that that whole situation was over and done with. I no longer had to worry about the Slumlord or the money that I was owed.
We are running on Sunday morning. It is another prep run prior to the 1/2 marathon. The Goddess's sister is also working with Team in Training to run a 1/2 Marathon. Her race is a week or two after our 1/2 in Ft. Collins. Her sister took on too much--I believe. She is preparing for her wedding, finishing student teaching and training for a 1/2 marathon. Something had to give and it's the running. Her heart isn't in it. I understand it but wish she would have backed out of this commitment since it is time consuming. It requires complete commitment financially as well as physically. It is not something to go into half-assed. The Goddess mentioned how different our training regimes were--between her sister and me. I signed up for Team in Training for a 1/2 Marathon, but decided to go for the full marathon. Her sister is trying to opt out of the half. But, I have fewer pressing issues to contend with.
I keep considering a day of the week dedicated to free unconscious, uncensored thoughts. I follow several blogs that have a grateful Thursday post. I figure, why not, have my own uncensored version of my life? I have a lot to lament or be grateful for. It is a work in progress.
Until next time....

Happy Birthday, Sara Jo

It's Sara's birthday today and a wonderful reason to celebrate. The sun is shining, snow is melting and I might celebrate with--you guessed it--carrot cake later. I am definitely picking some up for Sara and putting it in her apartment. I believe it will be nice to come home too.
Of course, she is working today.
I am still hopeful that we will be heading to Santa Fe on Sunday. The plans are up in the air, but I remain hopeful. I love Santa Fe an a little R & R is exactly how I would want to spend my birthday. I scheduled a run with the Goddess since our plans are flexible. I think we can always leave later on Sunday or early Monday morning. I am hopeful.
In other news, today is my day off. I am running errands, doing laundry and picking up new kicks. It is a much overdue purchase. I do not know why I have put it off, but today is the day, I will purchase new running shoes. Fairly certain they will be Saucony's since they are my shoe of choice. I have tried Asics and Brooks, but neither are as comfortable, for me, as a pair of Saucony's.
I wore my overnight gloves and today my hands feel moisturized. I think this will become a habit until the odd little dry skin patches go away, for good. Yes, wearing gloves aids in this process.
I am off to continue on with the day....

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The last few days of work and dry skin...

Work and dry skin has overtaken my life...I am working, a bunch, to finance my trip to NYC. Plus, I enjoy the outlet of work. I feel productive even if, it is only babysitting drunks, some nights.
For the most part, I am entertained by my co-workers, bar regulars and new random customers. I do have an interesting job.
On Sunday, the basketball games continued inspite of my lack of desire to continue watching. I suppose I am rooting for KSU and Baylor. I will continue to support the Big 12. My only hope is that the winner of the championship game is not UK or Syracuse. I am not a Calipari fan. And who knows, given his current record of leaving universities, it will probably be stripped from Kentucky a few years after he leaves. Syracuse beat KU in 2003...I am not a Carmelo Anthony fan, either.
I am uninterested in the tournament, in general, now. I am disappointed in KU's performance, but is done. They are out. I suppose there is always 2011.
I arrived at work and Melissa wasn't feeling well. She had been battling a cold for the last few days. I think she was over it! We had wine with Arne and Tim. I brought a french pinot and Tim treated us with cheese. Melissa opted out of the wine, due to her cold, and I was preoccupied with customers. Needless to say--I hope they enjoyed the bottle of wine that I brought. It was a quick wine tasting, for me.
About an hour into the shift, the Illinois fan sauntered into the bar. I asked him what he was drinking and noticed that he was humble as an individual. Without his entourage, he was an observer.
A few hours later, a friend on his, showed up and again, nothing was said about the day before. They wanted Maryland to upset Michigan State, as did I. I thought Maryland would prevail and so I made victory shots. In the brief amount of time it took to make the shot, Michigan State won the game. I still shared the shots. Ironically, I made Dirty Girl Scouts which are green. I like those shots inspite of the color allegiance to Michigan State.
Later, I cashed everyone out and the Illinois fan opened up about seeing me at the bar. He was afraid to order a drink because of his behavior on Saturday. He apologized for riling everyone up against KU. He mentioned that Tiffany had told him that if he continued to razz the KU team, I would never make him a drink. He walked in, saw me on Sunday, and thought--crap, there is the bartender that is going to spit in my drink....I told him that I wasn't the biggest fan of UNC and understood his frustrations at KU and Coach Self. We made up.
Afterwards, I went to Charli Sue's birthday party. She is two and it was fun. I knew that I wanted to be closer to my side of town. I met Steve and Pocketsize at Elway's--my home away from home.
It has been dry in Colorado. My right hand has two patches of chapped skin between my fore and middle finger. It is itchy, inconvenient and uncomfortable. I keep moisturizing, drinking water and having the same result--more dry skin. I am frustrated. I bought some gloves to wear, overnight, to keep the lotion in. I am at my wit's end. I don't know if there is some emotional attachment involved in this too. I cannot figure out why it happened or how I cannot get rid of it. I drink a ton of water.
The countdown to the 1/2 has begun. I am running more consistently and for longer. I am a little scared about my performance in the 1/2, but know that I can and will finish it. I am not afraid of that. I would feel more confident had I been more consistent with my running over the winter. And, it was a mild winter with few exceptions. We were blasted, last night, but today it is almost gone. Still, I unmotivated to run today. Lame, but I am taking a day off. I close tonight and could use a little R & R prior to the shift.
Enjoy your day. I am heading to Elway's to pick up a gift certificate and maybe a glass of wine...

Sunday, March 21, 2010

March woes....

Yesterday began in a positive manner---long run with the Goddess, no slipping while running, coffee and gratitude for said run and the opcoming basketball games.
I used to watch basketball with dad, as a kid. To this day, we still have conversations about--did you see that game? Or, better yet, that shot was amazing. I know my dad loves basketball as much as I do.
I went to KU. I am a basketball fan, legitimately.
I saw that Villanova was upset and wasn't too terribly surprised since they squeaked out a win on Thursday. I thought they should have lost that game. Whatever the reason when I saw the confirmed upset factor, I had a sense of foreboding.
I watched the first 1/2 at my house and was uneasy. I had to leave to go to work and if they lost the game, I really didn't want to be in that environment. Most of the customers know that I am a KU fan and so they comment during the game about everything. In addition to all of the comments, I am really unable to watch the game, at all. I have a job to do. I am working and so me, standing there gawking at the inevitable situation is not good for business.
Yesterday, as the time decreased and my hopes were dashed, there were a group of 6, sitting at the bar, who were Bill Self Haters. They hated KU and were gleeful about the upset factor. As much as I wanted to choke them since there was still time to be the KU team I knew they could be. I didn't want to go on the offensive with time left.
They continued to heckle the situation. Tiffany explained to them that I was a KU fan and maybe they could tone it down a little.
Their response--Bill Self abandoned us...yes, you are right...he did.
Just like Roy Williams departed for UNC. And no, I am a huge Roy Williams fan anymore.
However, they were only mad since their school hasn't done jackshit since the initial departure year. Bruce Weber is not Bill Self, nor Roy Williams. He fell into a job where his roster was scouted by Self and that year, they made it to the final game. He had fantastic players---Luther Head, Derron Williams and one other that I am not going to remember right now. Regardless, they are still angry over that move.
I was angry at Roy when he won his first national championship with UNC. He did it with another coaches team. But, last year, he took the title with his own scouting, determination and tenacity.
So, what I am trying to say....is that it was a really difficult game for me. I had to listen to these Bill Self haters while hoping we would prevail and win the game. When we didn't, I had to suffer the next 8 hours of listening to what a great upset it was....Yuck! I am over it and sad.
I will watch the tournament. It has been filled with unlikely teams advancing and kudos to them for having passion and the killer attack! We did not yesterday. We played entitled, fat, old.....

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Saturday morning runs and conversations

I remember why I enjoyed running on Saturday mornings, all last summer. You get it out of the way, feel refreshed and energized.
Not lying.
Initially, the Goddess and I planned on running Friday at noon. They predicted a winter storm, but we were confident that we could run through it. She texted me Friday morning and inquired about our run date or if we should postpone it.
Realistically, we could have went. It would have been miserable. The snow was heavy, slushy and consistent. I was tired and unmotivated to meet her, anyways. I closed Thursday night and knew that I would be closing the next two nights.
We opted to go, early, Saturday morning.
She wanted to go at 8:00 a.m., but I knew that I would be unable to get out of bed by then. I was closing and there was a possibility that I would be up until 3:30 a.m. The idea of being up and ready for a run by 8, was not realistic or anything that I was looking forward to.
We settled for 9:15ish.
At 8:45, my alarm went off. I laid in bed and willed the time to stop.
At 9:05, I got up, dressed, contacts in, and stretched. I had the feeling that she might be late and so I took my time.
At 9:35, she called me to let me know that she had arrived. I thought of all of those additional minutes I could have rested in bed. I was sad, but I got over it. Really, I enjoy our runs and knew that I absolutely needed to run today. I could not put it off until tomorrow. I must run.
She brought me Yaktrax. Yea. They were awesome! They made a huge difference on our urban run. Instead of hoping/praying that we wouldn't slip and fall, I felt protected the entire time. Believe me, running in the winter can be treacherous. Both of us have fell while running. Plus, I contort to avoid the injury and tweak a completely separate area. Yes, it is challenging. YakTrax enabled a smooth run.
Our conversation was all over place--relationships, upcoming trips, friends, running, eating disorders.
Recently, I discovered that one of my friends has an issue with food. She feels food is necessary, but doesn't enjoy it. It seems so foreign to me; since, I absolutely plans trips around meals. I dream of foie gras or guacamole.
Without food, I wilt. I did go through a stretch of time, while grieving, that I didn't eat. I wasn't hungry. I existed. One day, I woke up and realized how stupid I was being since my whole relationship with Brian surrounded our mutual love of food.
Yesterday, I heard a segment on O.P.P--Other People's Problems--on the national radio station. This guy had written in that he was concerned about his wife for health reasons. She ate moderately well and worked out, but was unable to lose weight.
He continues with---well, my job is all about appearances...one of my co-workers saw my wife at a buffet, going to town on anything and everything. I realized that she is a "secret" eater. What do I do? I want her to lose the 30 lbs.
Initially, he sounded compassionate. He finished like a jerk, though. I think eating disorders are about control. It isn't about wanting to be fat or super skinny. It is a disease. One which I do not understand since I abhor vomiting, ever; and again, I love food! I cannot imagine not eating to restrict my weight. And once I knew my friend had issues with food, I found myself watching her eat or move stuff around on her plate. It is frustrating as an outsider. I am certain that it must be devastating as the significant other or individual that battles this specific problem.
Back to running--it was great and I am grateful that the Goddess insisted we go. Otherwise, I would be getting up, now, and berating myself for being lazy.
Enjoy your day!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Correspondence via mail....

Every day, I look forward to picking up my mail. Rarely, these days, do I receive letters, but boy do I love them.
I enjoy writing them, too. Occasionally, I will sit down and write 4-6 to people that I am unable to see on a regular basis. Lately, I have been writing a friend of Shari's that has prostate cancer and 5 months to live. I send money, a note and hope that they enjoy their last moments, memories and together time. Shari contacted me and 49 other people and labeled it, Campaign for Hope. I loved it. And, I support it. I believe that everyone should live in the present moment. You never how your life can change in an instant.
That reminds me, I need to send my letter tomorrow. I never say how I know about them or Shari. I just write about my life and travels. I did mention Brian. I figure if they are curious about me, they will connect the dots because of Shari.
Today, was an exceptional day. March Madness. Villanova should have lost. KU plays at 7:30. Mid-afternoon nap, followed by, a lovely letter from one of my girlfriends from middle school.
It was an honest to god letter. Not an invitation to some random event that I am unable to go to, but a heart felt letter. Thank you, Jennifer, you made my day. I will be responding soon too. I am sure that I can conjure up something to talk about regarding New York. Actually, I am certain I can talk food in a letter.
My reader said that I have a story in my head and that I should turn up the volume on it. I should release it in a constructive way; hence, the blog. Funny, I feel that I still censor myself so much that it comes across as constricted or mundane, even. I feel that it is bubbling, though. I am almost there.
I did unwrap some of the bubble wrap that has surrounded me the last 4 years. I am focusing on being kind to myself and opening up possibility in my life for a relationship. I have had timing issues in the past few months that cannot be avoided. Priorities are priorities--distance, children or lack of, finances, and my insisting on being me. I can be pretty selfish. I think I was told that it was always either my way or the highway. That sums it up, fairly. It is difficult to let go of some of that control or protection around my heart. I am a work in progres.
But, back to the afternoon's success. The letter was a lovely surprise. It made me smile and think fondly of my childhood. Plus, I spent Jennifer's 30th birthday with her, in Denver. I treated her to Solera--a must do in Denver, and the Falling Rock.
I am off to work. I must finance my trip to NYC....

New York restaurants

New York--here I come.
One month, in fact, is when I will be exploring that city. There are so many food options. Already, I feel overwhelmed. I want to make the most of my 3 days and have the best possible food experience.
This morning, my friend from Maine, sent me an article about Tom Colicchio's new place, Colicchio & Sons. They have a tasting menu and it appears to be a great space. I went to Craft, in Las Vegas, while there a few years ago. I felt it was fine, but I am not a huge steak fan. I was hoping for more side options or appetizers. I believe Steve liked his steak. Pocketsize and I shared the scallops. I was a little disappointed in the experience, but chalked it up to my lack of steak preference. I still believe in Tom Colicchio. Top Chef has redeemed itself.
And, I have eaten at Craftwich---lovely sandwich shop that he owns. The sandwich place is located in the MGM. If you are in Vegas and in the mood for a filling amazing sandwich--check it out!
From this, I think Colicchio & Sons is a must.
Remembering Top Chef has inpsired another restaurant. I want to find Harold's place. He was the original Top Chef from Season 1. I am going to research that option.
Plus, I have an acquaintance that is the pastry chef at Daniel. Mark is a friend of a friend of mine. He agreed to do the fundraiser for the Foundation that I had chaired. I met him, briefly, since I was stressed out about the event, emotional because of the day, and freaked out about my speech that I had to give. I was terrified of public speaking. I think I had a perpetual headache for a solid week. Yoga helped, but realistically, I was a mess.
I met him, like I said, briefly, but later, my co-worker went to NYC and ate at Daniel. They met Mark and he was user friendly and helpful. I forced them on him. I wanted them to have a new experience while in NY and they loved Daniel.
Momofuku sounds intriguing, too. I need to figure out the policy on reservations. I want to dine at the bar, not at a table, solo. I prefer sitting at the bar, most times, anyways. I think the service is better. My glass is full and most bartenders are knowledgable about other restaurants, drinks, places to go.
I know there are a plethora of restaurants to check out and that I want to be flexible about it. I know things change and I know there are restaurants that I am unfamiliar with, for now.
If you any recommendations, I am open to them. I want to enjoy my time there. I might have a spa connection, too. Last night, the boisterous friend of Jenn's gave me his e-mail and said he would look into that option for me. Of course, this was prior to the perfume girl descending on us and distracting him.
I have a month to plan, discover, explore. I cannot wait to go there!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

St. Patty's Day

Tonight, I met my friend, Jenn, at Elway's.
I arrived, early--typical, and waited for her. She had texted saying that she had friends that were coming.
My immediate response was--I am so much better one on one. I don't know how great this is going to be....but, then, I opted to let it be. I didn't obsess about it. I ordered my wine and waited.
She arrived.
Wearing red. I was full out green. For heaven sake, I was celebrating an Irish holiday.
She wanted to rebel.
I understood it and so it wasn't an issue.
We patiently talked waiting for her friends.
This guy shows up and he is bald, fit, loud. His laugh reminded me of Life of Pi---the hyena or jackal. He was boisterous! I was uncomfortable to listen to their "stories"----many stories. I listened in and continued to drink my Rapture.
Eventually, his chick shows up. Decandent, black dress, envoloped in perfume. Conversation with us was over. Enamored or eclipsed by her scent. No, I do not remember her name. Irony?
We ordered food.
We people watched.
A gorgeous man sauntered in--goatee, fit, dark. I saw him and was intrigued.
Later, Jenn caught me staring and said--let's send him shots....I knew, this isn't my thing and was not interested.
She insisted.
10 minutes later and we are doing an orange julius shot with a random guy. First, he is friendly, happy; then, he is like....well, my girlfriend flies in tomorrow night...
Granted, I did quiz him about basketball since he said he worked for ESPN. He had no clear choice for the tournament or even like for basketball.
I don't know.
He invited us over to have a drink with him and his buddies.
We declined.
I left.
I knew that I was driving. I knew that buying some random guy wasn't my thing either. I did try to lead with that. She didn't listen.
Overall, St. Patty's Day was a success. Coffee, work, a minor run and wine at Elway's. I have a great life.
I hope you enjoyed yours, too.
On a side note...I booked my trip to NYC...so excited.
I looked at the dates and realized that my 1/2 marathon was a month away. I need to quit slacking and start running. Tomorrow is a new day..

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Tuesday mornng

Good morning.
Again, I woke up, at 4:30. I do not know why or how, or who I am synchronizing with, but the last two days, I have woke up at 4ish. I wake up, look at my ancient alarm clock that I dug out for Daylight Savings and ponder the 4 am wake up.
Eventually, I am able to return to sleep.
Actually, at 5:30, I got a text from a girlfriend of mine. She and I are meeting for wine later and she was confirming the time. After her text, I thought, maybe I am not supposed to go back to sleep. I did.
I wasn't mad, at her, either. She is going through a break-up and so I think her sleep is nonexistent. I know she is adjusting to her situation. I might suggest delaying early morning texts til at least, 7 am. That is being generous--I think. Most people, with typical jobs--9 to 5--are up, by 7 am. Me, my schedule varies. When I close, 7 am is 4 hours from when I am able to unwind and sleep. Texting, that early, interrupts my sleep cycle and makes me grumpy. Yes, 7 am is generous.
I am working another random day shift. I am excited since I want to go to New York. Tickets are reasonable and the city continues to call me. Working today enables the dream to become a reality.
I am thankful for the dayshift; but, I really need to clean my house, do laundry, run errands, fix my headlight. Yes, I know that my headlight is about to go out. The handy dandy Volvo lets me know what is going to happen. Veronica is a great car. Yes, she now has a name.
A few years ago, the one headlight went out and I bought a pair of replacement bulbs since it indicated in the manual that both lights would go out, in a few months of each other. A few years, is more like it. Anyways, last time, I had help from a friend. This time, I might try to tackle it myself. I do have the manual.
I am grateful for the work, but, it is so beautiful outside, getting errands done seems more attractive. I know, that because of Daylight Savings, I will have a few hours of sunshine.
Enjoy your day!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Sitting pretty

A friend of mine celebrated a birthday, today, the Ides of March.
In all honesty, I would have preferred crashing on my couch. Instead, I knew that I must attend her celebration.
Initially, she said---dinner, Monday night.
I agreed.
I made dinne plans with Sara Jo on Sunday night.
When I heard from Tiffany and she said--Sunday night, dinner. I knew that I couldn't alter my plans. I had a dinner date with Sara Jo and it was sticking.
Today, I woke, early--crazy early--and was unable to sleep past 4 a.m.
Three hours later, I fell asleep.
Frantically, at 8:45, I showered, made coffee and waited to greet the day.
I worked.
I made $$$.
I waited on plenty of drunks.
I called Tiffany to see where dinner was for the 15th. She texted back and said Jax.
There is a super cute guy that works at Jax. I was excited. I could enjoy the eye candy while eating mussels.
Or, so I thought.
I walked downtown and met them at Venice.
It was Jimmy, Tiffany, Mark, An, some random, Trevor--little Rick's brother, and Erik. They were eating and I was intereste in a glass of wine.
We paid the tab and agreed to meet at Pronto. Departing/separating, we arrived with one less. Jimmy disappeared. Fairly normal.
At Pronto, my wine tasted like cinnamon. I did not like it; nor, would I suggest it to others.
We went to the Hyatt on the 27th floor and drank chimays. Afterwards, we walked to Appaloosa for a night cap. At this point, we had dwindled to three.
I like An, I do. However, there are normal etiquette rules that she does not follow. Tonight, she was user friendly with her dress, lack of crossing legs and friendly to all. Me--I kept thinking--cross your ankles--at least. Anything is better than the show you are giving.
The lesson, here, is always be etiquette appropriate. If you think others aren't aware, you are foolish. Conscious or not, be aware of your surroundings. And, no, I am not a saint! I have done foolish things myself. Cognizantly, I am aware of my clothing for the most part. Crossed legs--always, if not, jeans.
Drinks with Tiffany extended into the three of us. They can sleep. For me, it is business as usual.
Enjoy your day!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Random Dreams and Egyptian cotton sheets....

Recently, I bought Egyptian cotton sheets. I love them and now sleep in my bed, every night. Prior to this, I preferred sleeping on my purple couch. I felt safe, had the lap top nearby, or t.v. to soothe me to sleep. I had a roommate for 2 months and it worked, since, I slept on the couch and gave her my room. It was not an issue. She felt weird, sleeping in my room, but I forced her to feel comfortable since this is what I wanted. I wanted to sleep on the couch.
I bought the sheets, washed them twice, and have been sleeping like a baby lately. I closed, last night, and came home to unwind. I deleted a bunch of random old e-mails and think I went into my room at 3 a.m. The bed was inviting and soon I was absorbed with dreams.
I woke up this morning, and remembered one of them. What do you think it means?

I woke up, in my bed, and vomited on my pillow...not a lot, and it wasn't due to being hungover, just the need to rid myself of something.
I cleaned it up, by, taking the pillow case off and tending to that. Like I said, it was a small amount and only affected the pillow.
Then, I am transported to a friend's house, with the pillow, and he is explaining to me how to watch his kid. He is abrupt with me, and doesn't notice the soiled pillow case or my state of being. Instead, he focuses on the upcoming basketball on t.v., his kid, and a much needed hair cut for him.
I am confused, in the dream, why he hasn't noticed my sheets or how I appear. He is more focused on himself.
What do you think? Are dreams representations of your present and or future? I believe this is my present and I need to rid myself of something in order to move forward from it.
I am still thinking about the dream. I am thankful that it was only a dream and not the reality of me having to clean my awesome sheets up. Not only do I despise vomit, I loathe cleaning it up. Yuck!

Thursday, March 11, 2010


I received my check, yesterday, that validated my endeavor.
I wasn't wrong.
I pursued the validity of it. I did the right thing.
For me, it took additional months to right the wrong that had been done to me. I know, in my heart, that the slumlord will think twice about returning a deposit, late.
I tried to warn the girls about the Slumlord. They didn't listen.
They broke their lease. Had I had their situation, I would done the same thing. However, I would have taken photos of the plumbing debacle. I would have documented the way I left the place since they broke the lease.
When I spoke to them, earlier in the week, they wanted to be done with the entire situation. They said, we don't care about the heat or plumbing--we just want to move beyond this.
I believe that is what most slumlords count on. They count on the difficulty involved with pursuing justice. It does cost money to sue someone and then the constant remembering the bad while trying to move beyond it. Moreover, there is never a simple solution. It is timely and slow moving.
For me, it is over. I no longer have to deal with this slumlord. He settled my claim and now, I can move forward, knowing that the court system can work.
Knowing that personal connections do work. I do appreciate the scotch drinking lawyers. Without them, I would have accepted the piddly deposit, knowing that I could pursue it, but unmotivated to make it right. I, too, wanted it to be done. At one point, my lawyer said--you can take him to small claims court or I can sue him. However, if you do not win, you are responsible for my fees. How would you like to proceed?
I knew, in that instant, that I wanted to sue him. I didn't want to handle it in small claims court. I wanted the Slumlord to know that I was serious about his negligence. I didn't want to let him off of the hook.
I am validated. I am grateful for scotch drinking lawyers and friends that supported me in this endeavor.
Oh, and Hailey--I did red wine!!!

Remembering March 11th

Two years ago, I returned from my southern hemisphere adventure. Five months of pure bliss that started in October and ended on March 11, 2008
I started in Fiji and concluded the sabbatical, with a week in Belize. I was super lazy, in Belize. I spent 4 days in Belize City, which is a terrible city. But, I had spider issues, and knew I needed to prepare for whatever opportunity greeted me in the States. I was decompressing and trying to ready myself for the return to civilization.
Last year, I celebrated in Denver. I do not remember how. I should go through my log of posts and determine what I did. I am sure that it was something. I always celebrate important dates in my life. I believe in celebrating!
Today, I am reintroducing yoga into my life. I took a hiatus from that practice in my life and realize that I am suffering from it. Running is wonderful and there are days when I truly enjoy it. But, my quads are tight, forever tight, and I need to incorporate more stretching into my life to combat that. I am tired of receiving massages where I tense up, when the therapist tries to work on my legs. Lately, there is a spot, mid-thigh, back of leg, that is extremely tense and uncomfortable. Yoga hopefully will aid me in the recovery.
KU plays this morning. Enough said about that celebration.
I am meeting my reader and her friends for happy hour, tonight, which is always interesting. They are an intelligent group of women, representative of different ages, connections and occupations. The location is not set, but I am interested in how the evening will progress.
In other celebratory news...Megan, my old neighbor who lives in D.C., just signed up to do the Healdsburg Half Marathon with Sara Jo and I in October. Very excited to run with Megan and go wine tasting. I have great friends and know that Sara Jo and Megan will be fine. I think Michaela might meet us, too. Wine tasting is always a huge attraction.
Last night, Sara Jo and I drank red wine and contemplated life. I explained to her that service was in my life, more so, this year, than any other year. I want to either go to Vietnam or another country and do service work. I need to research it, more, and make it happen. I am thinking July.
Celebrate today. I am.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


The saga with the Slumlord continues.
Today, my lawyer called me to update me on the current status of my case.
According to him, the Slumlord hired a lawyer to address the lawsuit. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this area of my life, basically, it can be summed up as such--the Slumlord (yes, 100%, deserves to be labled in this manner) was late returning my deposit to me, by a full week.
In Colorado, as a landlord, you have up to 60 days to return partial deposit back with explanation of charges. Anything outside of 60 days becomes a non-issue. The full deposit must be returned.
My guy, the Slumlord, ignored me for a full 60 days. Actually, on December 28, he e-mailed me to request my current mailing address.
When I received the check and saw what he had charged me for and remembered that it was late--negligent on his part--I complained to some attorney's that frequent the Bull. They cut me off and said--bring us the paperwork, check, deposit envelope and we will handle it from there.
I believe, as did they, that the Slumlord would settle instead of going to court. I had forgotten what a jackass, he is, though. I thought the threat of court would motivate him to pay me.
Nope. He thought I was threatening him.
So, my lawyer sent a lawyer explaining that we were going to court and that I was seeking 3x the original deposit amount.
He was served and I believe had until the 15th of this month, to respond.
Today, he did.
His lawyer wanted to know why we felt we could get that amount. My lawyer explained that the Slumlord was at fault, and rarely, did the court find for the owner in these circumstance.
His lawyer wanted to know what they could do to make this go away?
In exchange for the full deposit and my attorney's fees being paid, I agreed to drop it. I am not a greedy person, nor do I really want to go to court. I feel it can be avoided.
In all honesty, I wanted the Slumlord to be accountable for his actions. He should pay for negligence and his dishonesty. He is a miserable owner and his house is about to fall apart. I feel bad for future tenants because he truly does not care about the functionality of his house.
I know, for a fact, that the girls that moved into the bottom unit just broke their lease due to other invasive issues. They didn't have heat for the entire winter. The plumbling backed up, again, and he refused to fix either problem. He is the definition of Slumlord.
Ironically, he continues to get great tenants. It must be the location.
I feel validated and right to have pursued this if not only for me, but for future people. Perhaps, he will realize the timely importance of returning the deposit.

Rambling travels and future travels.....

All, in all, everything about Seattle was spectacular. I enjoyed watching Michaela get carded and enjoy herself. Typically, if she overdoes it, one night, the rest of the trip, she is a hermit and will not continue to drink wine. She cannot. Her body shuts down. Or, she will not allow herself to try to have one glass of wine.
This time, she rallied and I believe had a lovely time.
Jean is a friend for life. I have known her since 96' and although, we do not see each other for years at a time, we still have a wonderful friendship. There are always stories to tell after out adventures, together. Lately, the focus has been on a certain activity I did, while on a busride back from Barra de Navidad. It was a 5 hour bus and I suffered the entire trip. They drank beer and mocked me, while I was oblivious to their joy. Let's just leave it, at that. I had a repeat performance on White Pass, last year. Jean and I spent a day and a half in Walla Walla, WA. She drove over White Pass from her house in Mossy Rock and I had another miserable time.
Spending time with Shari is always an adventure. There is always a walking segment--filled with conversation, memories and random experiences. Costa Rica sticks out in my mind as the most challenging walk. It was hot, humid and I was having spider bite issues. The lesson from that experience was-go the the Western Doctor, instead of trying to self-medicate or tend to the problem yourself.
I wanted to reflect on Seattle and continue on with my travel musings for 2010. At the end of March, Sara Jo and I will road trip it to Santa Fe. Last year she had a milestone birthday and celebrated in town. For my 30th, I flew to Napa and went wine tasting with her, Michaela, Pocketsize and a friend from college--also named Sarah. I believe in celebrating birthdays, every year, in a large fashion. Since Sara Jo was unable to travel, last year, we are going to Santa Fe. It is one of my favorite spots in the U.S., and conveniently, only a five hour drive from Denver. I need to find a hotel, but for the most part, it is a done deal.
We will see Melody, eat at the Chocolate Maven, hike, drink margaritas and enjoy the city. Post Santa Fe, I want to go to New York. I have not purchased tickets, yet; but, I will and soon. It has always been a dream of mine to explore that city.
I am off to the gym. My free pass is about to expire and I need to utilize the final days.....

Monday, March 8, 2010

Day 4....

No trip would be complete without a walking segment. While in Costa Rica, we walked to the beach in Manual Antonio. The sun, humidity and winding hills made for a challenging walk. We cabbed it back to the hotel.
San Francisco, well, is full of hills. We walked from the Tenderloin to the Buena Vista--a famous restaurant, located at the end of the trolley line, for its irish coffees. We took a cab to Golden Gate Bridge, walked halfway across it, toasted life and cabbed it back to the hotel. Yes, it was a full day of walking. I think Shari bought a pair of shoes to combat the blisters.
We tackled the walk factor in Seattle on Monday.
Shari took the AmTrak from Minneapolis to Seattle. Upon arriving, they went to the Space Needle, had lunch, and familiarized themselves with the city. They did an underground tour and dined at some fantastic restaurants.
We began with breakfast at Lola. It is a Tom Douglas restaurant. He is well known chef in Seattle and owns a few other establishments. We had to try the "big breakfast". It consists of yams, grilled octopus, cilantro, yogurt and a sunny side up egg. Sounded intriguing and we enjoyed it. We shared that and lox and bread. The waiter was extremely knowledgeable. He suggested other restaurants for us to check out and knew his menu inside and out.
From breakfast, we returned to the hotel and asked the concierge about the way to Ballard. He said, it is a 15 minute cab ride.
We insisted that we were walking.
He gave us a map and said--no one walks to the Locks.
We began this adventure and stopped at a Peet's coffee shop for a bathroom break and more caffeine to fuel the journey. As we walked through Ballard, we saw cute boutiques, shops and restaurants. We made it to the Locks and chose to walk back to the more populated area. We decided to stop for an appetizer at an inconvenient time. I believe we stopped at the Ale House at 2:30. I wanted to check out Hattie's Hat, but it wasn't open yet.
The Ale House was fine. We shared hummus and chips and salsa. I can always be satisfied with chips and salsa.
In true fashion, we thought we could take the bus back to the downtown area. First, we walked by the water and somehow ended up taking the Ballard Bridge instead of the Freemont Bridge. We followed a sign leading to downtown, or so I thought. We saw a bus stop and a sign that said--WELCOME TO MAGNOLIA.
I have no idea where we went wrong, but I knew, that we had definitely made a mistake.
We called a cab and waited, patiently, to be returned to downtown Seattle. Our cabbie, Carl, was super friendly and pointed out landmarks and other pertinent history to Seattle. He told us that we had seen the best part of Seattle and was surprised that we walked to the Locks. His response---no one does that...
For dinner, I wanted to go to Poppy. I had heard a lot about it and really wanted to dine there. Plus, they had a walnut carrot cake--the selling point. I have been on a carrot cake kick.
I called to confirm the cross road of the restuarant. I despise when people call the Bull and act surprised when I answer. Instead of asking a logical question, typicaly, I get---are you open?
No, moron, I just stand here and answer the phone, for fun, is what I would like to say. However, I don't, and since I feel this way about answering the phone, I try to be prepared with a normal question when the person answers the phone.
No answer.
Of course, they weren't open on Monday.
We ate at Restaurant Zoe. It was close to our hotel and offered several dishes we were interested in. The bartender was pleasant and we had dessert at Dahlia's Lounge--a Tom Douglas place.
Seattle pleased us with adventure, wine and food. Truly, it was the ideal place to celebrate the 4 year anniversary.
Next year, we are going scuba diving. We just need to choose the destination. The qualifications are--it must be abroad and preferably, somewhere, that I have not been. Any suggestions?

Continuing the Seattle adventure

Coffee. Book read. I spoke to several friends and family members and then Jean got up and made us breakfast. I did watch a little NBA action with Jack. I think he accepted me, finally, at that point.
We drove into Seattle to meet Shari at the Westin. The Westin is conveniently located a few blocks from a light rail station. Instead of taking the shuttle back to the airport, on Tuesday morning, I took the light rail for $2.50. Talk about efficient, clean and convenient. I would recommend to anyone heading to Seattle to consider this option when heading into the city. Do not take a cab or shuttle. The light rail is a lovely option.
We walked to Pike Place Market and it was filled with locals and tourists, alike. They are renovating some of the market and so we perused, quickly, and made our way back to the street. The U.S./Canadian Hockey game concluded as we sat at a waterfront bar. Shari enjoyed a glass of wine and Jean and I drank bloody mary's. I think she was on a mission to get one of those.
We did a wine tasting at a place in the Post Alley. Most of their offerings were Washington Wines and they had small plates to accompany the selections. There was a dog, on the premises, which was annoying. The lap dog was not trained well. It begged, at our table, until his owner, went back into the kitchen to make fare for other customers.
Jean showed us a vegan/gluten free bakery, a cheese shop where they make cheese on the premises and a coffee shop. I was in heaven. I liked the flow of the shops and knew that Shari and I would have breakfast, in this corner, on Tuesday morning.
Jean left. She had domestic issues to contend with--groceries and dinner with the family.
Shari and I walked back down to the pier and made our toast to Brian. Being the 4th year anniversary, we decided, this year, would be about joy. We toasted Brian, his life and released some of his ashes. I opened the bottle of wine from Matthews Winery--it was a blend of cabernet, merlot, petit verdot and malbec--I think.
There were a few other people near us. For the most part, we were able to drink the wine and talk about Brian, openly and freely, with no distractions.
Until, two police cars pull up, on the pier. I am a huge fraidy cat and so, immediately, I cork the wine and put it in my bag. I keep imagining how this must look. The two of us, drinking wine, on the pier. I keep thinking we are going to be arrested.
Shari, like Brian--so much like Brian, has no fear. She continues to look back, almost daring the police, to approach us. I kept thinking--her husband will never let her travel with me, again.
We weren't arrested.
We returned to the Westin and I sat on the couch and spilled the uncorked wine, all over my shorts and the pillows. Lovely and probably karma for my freaking out about the police on the pier.
I showered. We chose How to Cook a Wolf for our dinner. We sat at the bar and ate a hamachi crudo salad, pasta with pork and cauliflower, and a nice dessert. The coffee was delicious. I wanted carrot cake, but they did not have it.
The anniversary, this year, was peaceful. I am thankful, to Shari, for meeting me in Seattle. It was everything it was supposed to be.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Day Two

Day Two of the Seattle adventure with coffee, a light walk to retrieve Jack--their son, and a trip to the middle school gymnasium for Saturday morning basketball. I had not been to an elementary, middle or high school game, since I was in high school. I am fairly certain about that.
It was extremely entertaining. Jack's team were slight, compared to the mixed 5th-6th grade team that they were up against. They struggled to stop the lay ups and I believe the final score was 36-15. They were scrappy, though, and the coaches rotated the players in, every five minutes of the game.
Four years ago, I spent a weekend with Jean, Bob, and Jack. At that point, he was engaging and interested in me and his mom. This time around, as 10 year old, he had little interest in me or my sister. At his game and afterwards, he ignored us. Still, he is a cute kid and I enjoy seeing him.
We headed up to Woodinville to wine taste. There are 40 tasting rooms in an area about 40 minutes from Seattle. I was in heaven. I love wine tasting. I was a little disappointed with the rates, to wine taste; and, of course, some of the wineries were sub par. Overall, I loved Matthews, Efeste and Novelty Hill was fine. I liked how most of wineries offered crackers or cheese in addition to the wine. Michaela was our designated driver through this. Although, I made her sample a wine from Matthews and one from Efeste.
Later, we returned to their house and made dinner arrangements. We ate at Brunello, an Italian restaurant, in Snoqualmie Hill--I think. It was family friendly, but they also had a room roped off, for reservations. We snagged that table and it was ideal. I mean, we were separated from the chaos of the main dining room. We were able to have a meaningful meal. Again, the conversation flowed, food was lovely and the wine continued to impress.
Michaela had met Jean and Bob when they were living in Lawrence. We reminisced the international dinners we used to make, friends/acquaintances we had and just being younger. Day Two was a success.
We returned to their house and opened more wine. Again, I was the first to bed. Haven't quite figured that out. Michaela and Jean were up til 3.
The next morning, I know Michaela was hating life since she had to get up at 7 and drive home. Me, I finished my book, and greeted the 28th with coffee.


I love Seattle. Truly, it is an amazing city. There are several bars, restaurants and wineries to tempt people to visit. The restaurant scene is fantastic. I wish we had as many options in Denver.
I flew in to Seattle and believed that I would be taking a shuttle to downtown. Michaela was going to meet Jean and I downtown for drinks. I had tried to coordinate with them, but didn't have much success. I knew I had a ride to and from the airport, in Denver, but Seattle was a crap shoot.
My flight was on-time and when I landed, I checked my phone to see where Michaela was. She had called and texted me to say--DO NOT TAKE THE SHUTTLE..i AM PICKING YOU UP.
I have no idea how this happened, but I was happy to oblige. A shuttle is do-able, but I do not prefer this type of transportation. There are multiple stops to completely utilize the gas--which I understand, but it is not the most efficient way to travel.
Nevertheless, I met Michaela outside of the terminal. We hugged and I called Jean to ask how to get to where she was. Michaela has GPS and so I figured we would be able to make it to the city with few problems.
Of course, we were talking and not really paying attention to the annoying voice that would command--in .5 miles, turn left.
REPEAT--in .5 miles, turn left.
After hearing this for awhile, I tuned it out.
We ended up, in the city, but going the wrong way. We figured it out, thankfully, but I knew that I needed to familiarize myself with the area. I would not be able to rely only on GPS.
We agreed to meet Jean at Olive 8. Her brother, Mark, was also meeting us. I have known Jean since 96. She has a twin sister and 4 other older siblings. Until last year, I had not met one of them. Last year, I met her twin, which was a riot, and this time, I met Mark.
It's funny how you cannot disguise mannerisms between family members. They look alike, sound alike and have similar reactions. I laughed since I knew Michaela and I were doing the same thing. Only Michaela and I have been accused of having different parents before. I think you can tell we are sisters due to our laugh, our facial expressions and mannerisms.
Anyways, we met at Olive 8 for cocktails. I had a white wine sangria with St. Germain liquer. I think they thought the atmosphere would be better. We had one drink there and headed to Barolo. Ironically, Barolo was 2 blocks from my hotel.
We dined on tuna carpaccio, mussels and cheese. The conversation freely flowed and ended too soon. Mark had family obligations and we knew that we needed to get closer to Jean's neighborhood.
We needed wine. We stopped at her community wine shop to peruse the selection. They were offering a $10 tasting for Chapellet wine out of Napa. They convinced us that it was ten dollars due to the reserve cabernet.
It would have been worth the ten bucks had they been more generous with the samples. Seriously, I thought I was back in Argentina tasting minute amounts of malbec. I was frustrated with the situation and the wine was mediocre. Plus, the guy that was representing the tasting was more interested in doing a cross word puzzle than selling us on the wine. We were the last custommers and so I kept thinking---why doesn't he drain the bottle? Moron!
We drove to Jean's house and met Bob for dinner. Bob is very straightforward, honest, and an introvert. Jean is all over the place. Super entertaining and troublesome at times. They balance each other well.
At dinner, we ordered a bottle of wine and the waitress wanted to see Michaela's i.d. We all died laughing. Here are the photos from dinner the first night.
Afterwards, we returned to their house to drink more wine. I swear, it never ends. Although, somehow, I managed to be the first one to bed. Noramlly, I want to keep the conversation going.
More to follow....

Friday, March 5, 2010


Waking up, today, I felt extremely refreshed and ready to welcome the day. I e-mailed, showered and got ready for my massage at Izba.
Izba is a Russian Spa in Denver. They offer a variety of services and specialize in the banya treatment. Basically, it is a 15 minute dry sauna session where they take oak leaves and beat your back, douse you with honey and dump a bucket of water on you. From this, you rinse off an enjoy an hour massage. The Banya Session in fantastic and a wonderful way to detox.
I walked there. I wanted to make the most of my day. A little overcast, but a steady 45 degrees.
I arrived with minutes to spare. My male therapist walked me into my room, explained that I needed to begin in the dry sauna and that he would return momentarily. I had had this guy on an earlier visit and I thought I remembered that he liked to joke. I didn't feel funny. I wanted to relax and not talk during the experience.
I laid down and waited.
It was hot, but not stifling. The therapist came in, checked the heat, applied some peppermint essential oil to the room and left.
For 15 minutes, I laid there, and endured moderate heat. In addition to the light massage, I listened to his lame attempts to make jokes. He commented on the fact that he liked to joke and laugh. I remained mute. I didn't want to encourage this.
Afterwards, I showered and he began the massage. I knew I was tight, but did not realize that the entire massage would be trying. He worked on my back, the back of my legs, my feet and then I flipped over to have my front addressed.
He knew that I had sustained some injury from running and so he tried to work on my IT Band through my stomach. It hurt and it was uncomfortable. I was covered and didn't feel exposed in that way...I just do not enjoy having my stomach worked on. I laughed. Then, I started tearing up.
Immediately, he felt terrible for making me cry. I think crying can be good and realistically, I consider the last few weeks and know that I have not been that emotional regarding the time of year. I needed the release even if it made the joking therapist uncomfortable.
He finished the massage with the comment--wow--what a difference in your legs...actually, you entire right side is constricted.
I showered and sat in their foyer. After each service, they provide hot tea and orange slices for clients. I reflected on the experience and was thankful that I made time for it.
I am relaxed, somewhat sad, but joyful in my life. I hope to have 12 massages at Izba this year. I feel it is important to have body maintenance and feel that with each session, my right side will be less restricted. I called my aunt to ask why my right side would be so jacked up, emotionally. She said that the left side of the body is more involved with past emotions and the right is more present. I suppose it it right on, with my current state of affairs.
Nevertheless, I am thankful for the massage. Enjoy your day!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

In an effort to be kind to myself.........

In an effort to be kind to myself--I bought flowers today. Purple, lovely and very beautiful.
Two weeks ago, I bought flowers from the local Whole Foods, made dinner and drank wine. Those flowers survived until today.
I have concluded that I should always have flowers in my house in 2010. And, Whole Foods will keep me stocked.
Anyways, last Thursday, in an effort to avoid erupting verbally on someone, I painted my room. I started the process of it. I painted three walls and then stopped so that I could meet the Goddess, for drinks. Her birthday won.
The following day, I flew to Seattle--which, believe me, I know, I need to blog about--and returned Tuesday evening.
I closed, last night, and worked today. I suppose, I am trying to explain why I didn't finish painting or blogging, until this evening.
I had a small amount of paint left. It was in a 5 gallon bucket in my box that once held my Egyptian Cotton Sheets.
I taped the wall, prepared my chair with newspaper, and had a large cloth covering my floor. I started painting and realized that I did not have much to work with. By far, the 4th floor lacks paint and is sketchy; but, it is painted and that is what I am focusing on.
Afterwards, in an effort to clean up and rearrange my space, I put my bed back together. I had washed the sheets. I made the bed. I plugged the t.v. in my room. I situated the dresser.
I rinsed the paint brush and roller. I cut my new flowers. I threw the five gallon bucket out into the garbage. It was mostly empty and as I contemplated te lack of trash, I realized that I had left my Overstock.com receipt in the box that held the 5 gallon bucket of paint. It had my name, my address and I couldn't remember if it had any other pertinent information. For sure, I knew it had my name/address.
I returned to the garbage bin.
I considered the depth of the empty bin and returned to my house. I thought I could top the bucket with trash from my house, but I couldn't, since I had been out of town and had recyclables only.
I went to the bin, for the second time, and put my limited trash on it. I returned to my house.
I contemplated the entire identity theft thing. I had to go back outside to get that darn receipt. I walked out. I jumped up on the side of the trash receptacle, grabbed the bucket and lifted the box out. I found the receipt. SCORE. I had to do it.
Then, I realized how comical the entire situation was. I knew if someone had been watching me, they would have thought--what a moron! But, I had to have that receipt.
I am being kind to myself, my needs and desires. Tomorrow, I will get a massage at Izba--LOVELY! Over the next few days, I will blog about my experience in Seattle.
Be well.