Saturday, July 31, 2010

Scuba diving Saturday

I did not intend to dance until 3:45 and then go scuba diving at noon. Completely unintentional, but delightful nonetheless.
Last night, Shar, Simon, Erik and I dined at Cafe Matisse. Wine flowed, conversations continued and coffee was served. They mentioned having one more drink and I believed it would be a chill night since we had planned a scuba dive for Saturday morning. We all recognized the ramifications of hungover diving and were not about to try it out.
However, one drink turned into two, into three, into more water since I am so hot from dancing. Finally, we left the packed bar and tried to catch up with Erik, our ride, back to Shar's house.
He had a minor scrape and leave while coming to get us. He laughed it off and herded us back to Sharleen's house. He said that he would meet us in the a.m. for our scuba trip.
I think I woke up at 9. Not all interested in starting my day, I checked the internet and then laid back down. Shar had not stirred and I had no plans on waking her up to talk to me. I read some of my book and rested.
At 10:30ish, Shar began to make coffee. We knew that we needed to call Erik to arrange a ride to the dive site. He surprised us by calling and saying that he would be there within 10 minutes. Since we were in the Bahamas, I took that to mean, we had 25 minutes. We did not.
He arrived and made us omelets at his home, coffee and packed a mid-afternoon snack between dives.
Upon arriving to Stuart's Cove, I realized that they were a by the book scuba outfitter. I would have to produce my certification card or be in the system to be able to join the group. I would not be my way into this dive.
Thankfully, the lady found me and I paid the rate. I was led to believe that I would get a local rate if my friend set up the dive. Somehow, that was lost in the translation and realistically, I was just happy to be able to go diving. Not thrilled to pay $130 for a two tank dive, but happy to have the opportunity to dive in the Bahamas. I got over the cost.
The boat was a mix of experienced and new divers. Simon and Erik wanted to do an advanced dive and so they were persuading Shar and I to embellish our experience. I have went diving before and would have been interested in an advanced dive had I been diving in the last year. My last dive adventure was in 2007 while in Fiji. I knew that I was rusty and that I would not be able to bullshit my way around the equipment.
Anyways, initially, the staff is all pomp and circumstance. We will have you sign the clip board, we are professional, yada-yada....It was fine since I felt confident in their services.
We made our first descent in the water. There was a plane wreck that was our focal point. Lovely, calm, beautiful water. I enjoyed the dive and realized that I had not been sucking in the air as I typically do. Instead, I had calmed down and truly enjoyed the scuba experience.
Between dives, we snacked on hummus and crackers. Everything was kosher on the level times and then we were told to get back in the water. We were in a tighter schedule with the cruise ships and they said we would have plenty of time to enjoy the second dive.
I didn't bring a watch. I was only concerned with my air situation. We saw a lobster, lion fish, jelly fish, reef shark and the reef, itself, was stunning. The dive continued and my air supply seemed to go on forever. I followed my dive partner, Erik, and relied on him to keep track of time. Like I said, my only focus was the air situation and not running into coral.
Erik surfaced and came back down. He pointed in a direction and bolted that way. I followed but knew that I still had ample air to utilize. I wasn't concerned about the time since I thought we had plenty of it.
We arrive back at the boat and didn't perform much of a safety stop and I didn't recheck into the boat as had been the case prior to the second dive. Apparently, we were 15 minutes late, holding them up, from the cruise ships and so the staff wasn't too happy with us. And, the safety precautions flew out the door.
Truly, it was not my intention to hold everyone up. The ride back to the dock was quick and bittersweet, almost. We were rushed in so that the cruise ship could be attended too, but, because of the hurried state of affairs, gratuities were not addressed or acknowledged. Normally, I would have tipped because it is a service and because they should be thanked for their professionalism. Today, the ride back was severe and abrupt. Boot camp style. Unpleasant.
Ironically, I met a woman traveling from Evergreen while on the day trip. She was on the cruise ship, begrudgingly, and thankful for the delay. Her story is as follows....5 of her friends wanted to do a girls' trip on a cruise. By day 2, she was over it and wanting to get away from the "suburban" housewives. I loved her and thought she was hilarious. I even reintroduced myself and told her that she and her husband should stop into the Bull sometime. Evergreen isn't far away. I suppose it reminded me of my own girls' trip to Phoenix. Not in the same way, but, with similar intentions of reconnecting with friends from my past. Somehow, we have managed, again, to drift apart. I speak to one of them on a regular basis and know we could pick up from our last conversation. I do not begrudge any of my girlfriends. It is just timing, priorities and being in completely different places in life.
Diving was excellent in spite of the rush back to shore. And, I met an interesting woman who lives near me. She mentioned that she always meets people from Colorado while traveling. I think that is true....we do like to travel and there are more certified divers in Colorado, per capita, than any other state in the U.S. Ironic since we are landlocked.

Friday, July 30, 2010

me vs. the sun....I am losing....

Day 4 in the Bahamas. Day one, I managed to not burn.
Since then, I have fought a losing battle. It is fine. I am a fair skinned person. I do not tan easily; nor, have I ever. I can admit it.
I am disappointed that the sunblock 85--yes, 85--is not holding up. Somehow, I have managed since Wednesday morning, to continually burn. At this point, I wear a tank top to cover the already damaged exposed portion of my back. We went snorkeling today at Nirvana. I lathered up (severely) and went snorkeling. We sat in a bar and I could feel the hotness on my shoulders and neck. We returned to Shar's house to shower and I looked over the damage.
As expected, I burned the exposed areas. More redness on the neck and shoulders. I cannot win.
I love it, though. This is the first time in my life that I have snorkeled, been a beach bum, scuba dived in consecutive days. I cannot complain since it truly is glorious. Each beach seems to be better than the last, if that is at all possible.
Tonight, we are heading to Cafe Matisse for dinner and drinks. A highly recommended restaurant and atmosphere. Bring on the foodie adventure.
Again, I am distracted and hopefully, will sit down, soon, to relate my travels in the Bahamas. Thankfully, I am outside of the tourist perspective and lavishing in the local feel.
Until later...

Upon Arrival

I am in paradise. Really. Absolutely adore the Bahamas.
I am envious of my friend since she chose to relocate here. The best part is that I can return to visit if I so choose. Hopeful, I will remain. I have 4 days to prove myself, unworthy. I do not intend to do this.
I feel that I am overwhelmed by my thoughts on this vacation. I want a day, to myself, to compose my thoughts, my direction in life, what I am trying to find. I feel distracted by the beach, by my book and by my desire to see experience life here. Sharleen lives in Nassau, a block from a private beach. I arrived Tuesday, and within 25 minutes of my arrival, I was on the beach with 4 of her friends. They brought a bucket of local beer, some jungle juice, and an umbrella. Heavenly.
It canceled out the wait in customs while I stood, surrounded by other tourists hoping to enter the country legally. I saw several young couples, older couples celebrating their anniversaries and families. The families seemed the most of place since traveling to the Bahamas, to me, is like vacationing in Las Vegas. It is an adult destination. Hotels are not cheap. There are no hostels and everything costs. Traveling as a family would not be cost efficient.
I suppose I am bitter since I watched this couple behind me try to manage their two boys. The only thing that came out of their mouth's during the wait, was Don't!, Stop! Quit! Leave your brother alone....No, do not sit on the planter....can't you read what the sign says? Stop!
Over and over until I was at the front of the line. At that point, I quit listening and visualized the beach, a beer, and the sand.
Not disappointed at all....beautiful, stunning and all within a block of my friend's rental.
Sharleen and I met while traveling in Chile. We bonded over the bed bug run hostel, Hostel de Sammy in Santiago and became friends.
I will update more later and expand on my thoughts of Nassau, Sharleen and my experience here.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


Currently, in the Bahamas and absolutely love it.
Seven days in not enough.
Arrived at 3:30 and at beach within 25 minutes....amazing. Reminded me of Fiji--the water, the temperature, the tranquility.
Might be updating. Might not.
Too much joy, right now, to decide what is the right course of action.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Destination unknown

Each year, I try to celebrate the end of September out of Denver. Sometimes, it happens that I am unable to leave--friend's wedding--but for the most part, the last few years, I have been able to escape to celebrate elsewhere.
This year, I am having some difficulty in deciding where to go. I want to leave for two or three days. I figure I will work on the 25th of September after my long run. I think I will be doing a 20+ miler then since my training will have advanced. I plan on working Saturday night, Sunday morning and leaving the city Sunday night.
My options are as follows--
1. Drive to Santa Fe...why? Because I adore it there. I can get some body work done from Melody, enjoy a few spectacular meals and enjoy the beauty of New Mexico. The Wine & Chile Festival is at the end of September, too. I haven't attended that particular festival and have always wanted to.
2. Fly to destination unknown...Portland to see siblings. I would love to see my sisters and niece and nephews. However, two days is not enough time. The flight to Portland is not long, but the drive south to Eugene is cumbersome and tacks on to the travel time. Plus, it is inconvenient for my sisters to pick me up. Oh, did I mention that weekdays are not the best time to visit them? I might as well plan on a hotel if I venture to the northwest to see them during the week.
3. L.A. Yes, I enjoy the sprawl. Nor really. But, they do have fantastic restaurants. I could make it work. Flight not bad and foodie friendly.
4. Las Vegas. Ideal in many respects. Food factor satisfied, central location of the strip, hotels, a pool, etc. The only downside is that I will be there at the end of the year. This motivates me to not consider this too much. There has to be a better fit at the end of September.
5. New York. I would definitely need more than two days.

Where would you go? What do you suggest?
Truly, if I could narrow down the focal point of my trip, I think I could decide on where to go. Should I choose a chef/and or restaurant and center my trip around that? Chicago would be an option at that point. Flight simple, beautiful city, food friendly.
Do I want to seek out peace and body work?
Road trip?
Fly in, fly out?
Decisions, decisions. I need to decide, make arrangements and get excited about another trip. I am ready. Any suggestions are welcome and appreciated.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Long run

Long runs on Saturdays are amazing.
I do not enjoy getting up, at 5, to tackle the necessary run, but afterwards, I feel awesome. There seems to be endless opportunity to the day.
This morning my training plan kindly suggested 10 miles. I am on the fence with which level to focus on. Therefore, I could run a straight ten miles or run a goal pace 10 miles.
I stretched, a ton, and then headed to Englewood. When I arrived, the coach was already addressing the focal point of today's run--offering support, encouragement, remedies to experiencing a bad day of running. Yes, I have had a bad run. He offered simple ways to counteract the downer running days while we stretched as a group.
Eventually, we broke into pace groups and began the run. I didn't really recognize many people in my group and so I settled into the front. There were two guys leading the way and I was right behind them. A mile in, one of the guys decided to hang back for the rest of the group. He seemed unaware of etiquette. He halted right in front of me. And, no, I wasn't on his ass. I dislike feeling claustrophobic in any activity. Specifially running, since any freak movement can create an accident or injury. I did not approve of how the guy decided to stop.
Anyways, I ended up running with this guy, Chris. He is training for the Denver 1/2 and is a runner. He talked, a lot, and pushed the pace forward. I tried to hang back to conserve energy, but he kept going despite his talk of me pushing him. He had planned on running 13 miles and I only needed ten miles. At the 5 mile marker, I was solo.
For all of about, 30 seconds. There were three women in the process of heading back to the start and so I jumped in with them. They were in a different pace group and I feel confident that I could run in that group without feeling inadequate or inferior. I liked the women and one of them was the coach's wife, Julie. She seemed to know everyone and remembered random details of people we encountered on the way back to the start. I liked that she seemed interested in their lives, too. It wasn't just about the running.
Afterwards, I stretched, showered and decided to get a pedicure. Brilliant decision since the girl definitely earned her tip on the leg massage alone. I feel so much better after the pedicure and my toes look nice, too. Just in time to go to a beach.
Yes, I feel productive. I enjoy the early runs for how prepared I am to tackle the rest of my Saturday. I hope you enjoy yours!

Thursday, July 22, 2010


Ideal day for a run.
I took this photo, two years ago, while in Fiji. No, I am nowhere near a beach, but the beauty of the sky is the point of the visual illustration.
Wow--so blesed to be in Denver, today.
Thankfully, the Goddess and I are scheduled an afternoon run and so I can partake in the beauty of Colorado. And, I am loaning my travel pack, passport carrier, pack towel and lock to Lindsay for her trip to Italy. She leaves in two days and will visit Agnese for two weeks. I am so excited/jealous. I have never been to Italy, but it is in my sights--May 2011. I am making it happen. Plus, because of my friendship with Agnese, I have a gracious hostess that enjoys life, food and wine. I will have to find the Italian equivalent of onion rings since she sampled them multiple times here. There must be basic Italian fare that is terrible for you, but delightful and a guilty pleasure. Or, I will gorge myself on cheese, proscuitto and olive oil. Italy, 2011, it is going to happen.
Today is a peaceful day. Calm. Tranquil. Serene. A day to reflect on what you are thankful for. Too often we get caught up in the future. I know I say it, a lot, mind you, but it is imperative to enjoy the present moment. Yesterday, a friend of mine's high school friend, died, while showering. She had a seizure and she died. It is tragic, awful and affirms, again, the importance of saying what you are thankful for, loving your family/friends/spouse/partner/mate, telling people you love them and enjoying the present moment.
Today, my moment will be the outdoor run with the Goddess. Being grateful for her friendship and for the amazing July weather.
What are you thankful for today?

Hip tendonitis

New running associated injury that I am about to tackle---fun? Not so much.
Basically, I have to stretch, stretch, stretch some more and stretch after that. My right hip feels slightly out of place, only it is not.
Last Wednesday, I ran on a treadmill. I followed the work out with some quality time in the dry sauna and went into work. Immediately, I noticed discomfort near the top of my right hip. I couldn't adjust whatever was bothering me. I tried. I stretched, thoroughly, and then tried a few yoga poses to assist my need to pop whatever was out of place, back into place. The sleeping pigeon is an excellent hip opener.
Thursday, I took a salt bath, called Dr. Bryn and considered my options. I know a few chiropractors from friendship to bar customers. One of the latter was a definite no, since he is now practicing out of his car. Alcohol seems to be his only interest and I do not want to be worked on outside of where I work.
The other chiropractor/bar customer is a nice man, but I was unfamiliar with his location and how he works. I am sure he does a fine job, but I have a friend that I was more interested in seeking out.
Still, I waited. My hip was not out. I could walk, run, work with discomfort, but still able to function. I broke down, Friday, and made an appointment with my masseus. He is a runner and I believed he would be able to help me.
He did. He completely re-worked my attachments, my psoas, IT band, leg. It hurt. I hurt. I wanted to cry and so I talked throughout the massage to not focus on the pain associated with this injury.
I soaked, post work and attended a yoga class. I wanted to keep my leg stretched, open, if you will.
Work continued and by Tuesday, I knew that I would be making a phone call to the chiropractor. I knew that I had not popped it out of place, but I still was experiencing some discomfort.
I called my trusty friend and made an appointment for Wednesday afternoon.
I took another yoga class and soaked for the 3rd time in five days. I have been serious about my recovery.
Arriving at the appointment, I explained my dilemma to the Dr. He had me sit at the edge of the table, feet touching the ground, and lay back. He noticed that my leg, in the position, did not bend at a 90 degree angle, as it should and so he diagnosed me with hip tendonitis. He stretched the psoas and then adjusted me, somewhat, not too much, though.
From here on out, I get to stretch, the shit, out of my hips. I am continuining to train and stretch, more, than I ever have. The ironic part is that when I called Bryn to ask her about my injury, her first question was--have you been stretching? YES!!! I swear, that is all I do before/after a run now. I am thorough due to brief flirtations with plantar fascitis, hip flexor issues, soft tissue injury on top of left foot which forced me to cross train the final month of training cycle pre-marathon. I stretch. I have learned that I must to prevent injury. Somehow, I found a way to challenge myself in a new way during training.
Lovely and something that I will continue to deal with. Salt baths, yoga, stretching to ensure my tendonitis lessons.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Self induced Monday blues......

Work. Sleep. Work. Sleep. Run. Work. Work. Work.
Day off, finally. I thought about picking up Tuesday since I have a few upcoming trips; but, then, thought better about it. Why risk my attitude for a few extra dollars before a vacation?
And, I was there. My mood was not pleasant on Monday day. Granted, the wine induced/inhaled on Sunday was a large majority of that. Lack of good sleep, followed by a day shift, created an unplesant Harmony. I do not regret working Sunday night or enjoying the excellent red wine. Too much fun. I do regret not eating an appropriate amount of food before opting to drink red wine. I need to remember that lesson.
And, during Sunday night, I had a conversation with a few friends of mine that recently got married. I know the guy and I would consider him a genuine friend. Several times, we have had excellent conversations about travel, food, life, death.
His wife is unknown to me. In previous interactions, I was limited to the conversation at hand. I didn't know that she would make me feel like I had been run over by a mack truck with how much she could talk about irrelevant information. Wow, can she talk! and talk and talk, about nothing...I hope this is just a nervous state for her. I really hope they are happy with each other.
On Monday, I caught myself before I choked out any of my co-workers or customers. It wasn't easy since Monday is notorious for my need to quash the desire to choke a co-worker. This one talks non-stop, about nothing, and will follow you around to conclude a story. I like her. I do. However, there are days that I am unable to handle all of the talk. Monday was definitely one of those days.
I kept walking, aimlessly, to avoid known annoying offenders. Eventually, I was blessed with a few tables and I tried to keep my attitude in check. The first table was nice, retired, and into their conversation. The were not demanding or annoying. Then, I was seated two men that were waiting for two others. The two additional menus indicated the extra people, but they still felt it necessary to tell me of their late arrivals. I should have foreseen how unfriendly these guys were. Instead, I had to wait for their friends to feel the full effect. First, their last friend to arrive, plops his briefcase, down, at an adjacent table. Immediately, I pick it up and move it. We do seat all tables and I felt this man was incredibly rude for acting as if he were at home. Like I should let him put his shoes on the coffee table or something. They were suits, though. Translation--all business, financial talk, no smiling, no personality. Just business amongst themselves. No manners. I think I heard one thank you the length of their stay.
My final two tables were a younger couple and an older couple. The younger couple also was hungover and so they let me choose their meals and were pleasant in every way.
The older couple dines at he Bull, frequently. They are nice, but want to talk, too much, and so I tend to try to keep it professional. They enjoy a few drinks, order, eat and then leave. Several of my co-workers like them and came over to b.s./hug while I was waiting on them. Robin, the acting manager, asked me if we had bought them a drink. If not, she wanted one purchased on her behalf.
When I dropped the check, I mentioned that Robin had bought them a drink. They said thank you, and we began a conversation about etiquette, manners and accountability. After that, I decided I could like them, too. I will not be hugging on them, ever, but I will try to make more of a conversation, with them, on future visits. They had a lot to say about how their generation is different from what is happening now. He felt it was incredibly rude when people text while dining with others or wear hats inside. It was interesting and I agreed on several points. I do find it rude when people are on their phones in a restaurant. The hat thing, is purely, generational--I think. I mean, taking a hat off during the pledge or allegiance or singing of the national anthem, is necessary, but in a restaurant, it doesn't bother me.
So, I began Monday--my last working day, in a state of irritataion and concluded with the knowledge that I could smile and enjoy stories if I just stopped and enjoyed the moment. I needed to get out of my funk, post hangover, to enjoy the day.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Agnese's last night

Parking Ticket--this is why I do not drive is a waste.
Normally, I walk.
I take the bus.
I return in a cab or in a friend's car.
My intention, tonight, was to have a few beers, early, and return, safely to my house. I didn't count on not paying the meter. I had a prime spot, right in front of the Falling Rock. I added money. I was honest.
Yet, I got a ticket. I was 3 minutes over the limit. I watched the parking jeep pass me by. Honestly, that would be the worst possible job. I do not know anyone that likes a meter maid. After tonight, I want to find officer #46 and choke him. $25 is not a measley amount.
Especially, if you factor in the rest of my night.
Drinks, dinner, tip.....parking ticket....what a joke!
If I refuse to pay it, I run the risk of getting a boot on my car. Since I am unwilling to prolong the unnecessary pain, I will write a check tomorrow and never drive downtown again.
I only wanted to see Agnese before she returned to Italy. If only, it were that simple. I know that her schedule is full, tomorrow, and I was fortunate that she and Goddess were willing to meet me. We agreed on the Falling Rock.
Chips and Salsa (Lindsay's favorite food) and onion rings started the night. A few beers later, we chose, hot wings (for Agnese), french fries and fried mushrooms. I wanted Agnese to enjoy our American fare. The Falling Rock excels with their fries, mushrooms and salsa. I do so love the tomatillo salsa. I have heard their burgers are excellent. I will have to check it out.
And, we were able to have Steve's ear. Slow night. However, we did see some only downtown action....a woman staggers up to the main landing....according to her friends, she was heading towards the bathroom.
We were talking. Immersed in the conversation. We were not paying attention to anything but the conversation. She falls. A loud thump. Liquids released. EMT's deployed. Interesting night downtown.
I am sad that Agnese is leaving. Super bummed.
2011--May-Italian trip is in my sights. I am making it happen.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Neighborhood Gem

Yesterday, I met Jenn at Siena Wine Bar. Initially, I thought about meeting at La La's since it near my house. I can walk there. However, I do not love their wine list. I think it needs to be updated and adjusted. Prices seem off in some cases and the food, although a lot, isn't anything to write home about. It is standard. I don't even want to mention the service factor. I always leave feeling unsatisfied. My friend, Jenny, can attest to that point.
Nevertheless, I asked my boss, Dave, where he would go. He said, Siena. I was unfamiliar with it, but he went there on Monday night since it is near his house. Actually, he said, either Siena or Encore--also near his house. I looked at each website, texted Jenn, and told her to choose. She chose Siena.
Post nap, post run, I drove to Siena. Walking was an option, but due to the ridiculous heat, I considered the bus or my car. The bus, there, would have been fine. Clean, still light out and cheap. The ride back would have been more challenging. I mean, I would have to stick to the schedule, be outside/on time and ready to deal with any other person on the bus. In the past, I took the 15 to Solera and I vowed to not ride the bus, at night, again. Sure, the 10 is not the 15. The ridership on the 10 is not as colorful as the people on the 15--at any point in the day.
I drove.
Scattered, I made my way east. Somehow, I managed to turn onto a one way street going against traffic. Like I said, I was scattered. Thankfully, I was able to correct my mistake, without accident.
I arrived at Siena. They have a patio that isn't functioning yet. Inside, there is exposed brick, mustard walls, navy, and a red bathroom. We sat at a window table and started a 3 hour conversation.
Since they just opened, there were just a handful of customers. The bar seemed interesting and I did enjoy the decor. We shared a baked brie appetizer, mushroom tart and concluded with a cheese plate. I know, we went heavy on the dairy, but it accompanies wine extremely well.
Jenn stuck with a pinot grigio whereas I began with a white, moved on to a malbec, then a merlot, from Washington. The prices were reasonable and I intend to return to explore more of what they offer. I liked it. I can see myself dining there regularly. It is located at 12th and Madison. Check it is a gem of a place.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Day shift

This morning, I show up, at work, and the new girl is supposed to train with the girl that I am working for. Crap---why did I pick up this shift?
I loathe training. It is boring, trivial and a necessary evil when beginning a new job. I mean, you aren't learning how to already know that. Mostly, it is designed to teach you the computer system and food identification.
It seems simple, but is chaotic, especially, at lunch. For example, most diners at lunch are on a set schedule. They are in a hurry. They want to be greeted, order, eat, and then leave. They want to achieve this in an hour and if they must wait, they are testy about it.
Training, to me, increases the amount of time that people are going to be waiting around. I suggested that Mel--the all day girl--train the new girl. And it was her last training shift. For us, this means, that you shadow them. They do everything for the table. You oversee it. You answer questions and translate the computer if necessary. It is the best training shift to be put on. It feels like a holiday from some of the regulars that are seated in your section since you have someone else to wait on them, while reaping the rewards.
We were not that busy, but I was super irritated with my co-workers and my customers. I am of the belief that if you empty the pitcher, you should refill it. Lately, the last two days, I have worked with lazy, unaccountable people. It is not fun to feel like you are playing catch up during a shift. I despise finding a wait station without water pitchers or ice. It is easy to keep up if everyone helps.
My first table was fine---single guy, knew what he wanted, kind and generous.
Then, I was seated three older gentleman. I told them the specials and walked away. I had a few tables in the back section and was splitting up my time, between sections.
I watched Mel continue to greet and take orders at her tables. I was confused since she was supposed to be training. I even commented on it to the bartender. It just seemed like such a waste of time to have the new girl follow Mel around on her last training shift. Sure, I appreciated her running my food, but she is going to be on her own on Thursday. And, I know, that I can be super impatient with questions that people should know, from training.
So, back to my table of 3 men. This one guy goes--what is the one sandwich with turkey.
Yes, he has a menu in front of him. He is capable of reading, I assume.
I point out the brewhouse turkey sandwich. First question--is it real turkey?
What? Of course it is...we serve a deli style sandwich.
Well, you need to check and make sure that it isn't processed. If it is processed, I will send it back.
I tell him that it isn't processed, but if he is so concerned about the turkey, than maybe he should order something else.
I knew that it was bitchy, but I was annoyed with him at this point. I just wanted them to order so that I would be able to walk away from the table.
Then, there were the sides...we have five options for no charge. They are listed on the menu. Somehow, he was unable to find them. I ramble them off.
He stops me to repeat them.
Slowly, and yes, I was exaggerating due to annoyance, I repeated the sides.
Finally, I was able to walk away and am fairly certain that I muttered something about the guy being an idiot.
I refill their beverages and manage to acquire more tables. I have three women that were seated in my section. Got up to be moved to a different location. I watched them move to the front section, the back section and then back to the original table. I knew they would be annoying.
Well, they ordered beer and so I forgave them for the unnecessary tour of the restaurant. They wanted separate checks and so I obliged. I wasn't busy and they were drinking.
The three men ask for their check and they surprised me with their generosity. They told me that I had been kind. Wow, their definition of kind does not match up to mine. I know that I was short and standoffish with them.
Ironically, they compensated me for the service.
The beer drinking, separate check women, completely screwed me over. This is why servers do not like to split checks. It is a waste of time and how difficult is it to calculate what you owe when you know what you ordered?
These women, who each had two adult beverages tipped me ten percent. After saying that they would take care of is that being generous? They were so thankful that I would split the check and told me that they would return. Please don't! 10% is insulting and completely rude. I might have deserved a bad tip from the three guys for my attitude, but even they respected the prompt, efficient service.
My mood became more hostile and unfriendly. I wanted to choke the women. My level of irritation was spiking and I knew that I needed to leave. Vacation is around the corner and I think that also increases my irritation. I am ready. I want it to be NOW!!! I am dreaming of a beach, a pina colada, and diving. I can make it til the Bahamas--I swear!
Of course, I have been hard on my body, lately---multiple nights out with friends, too much wine, and not enough sleep. I missed my morning run because of said habits and must go this evening. It is freaking hot and so a run in the afternoon is unlikely.
Yes, had I went running this morning, I think my mood wouldn't have been so negative. I felt ready to blow up after the subpar tip. I just don't understand how people can justify that--being cheap--and expect extras from servers?
Than, I remind myself, that I am blessed. I am fortunate to have a job, to be healthy, to travel, to have support and to have the opportunity to meet more people. And, I am going to Las Vegas in December to run the Marathon. Yes, it is official. I signed up for the Rock and Roll Marathon on Saturday. Yes, I am blessed!
Tonight, I plan on running, meeting my friend, Jen, for wine----when will I learn to not schedule back to back nights out with friends? Someday. Running....must do...

Saturday, July 10, 2010


Car in wrong parking spot--again.
Last night, I arrived home, to find that my spot had been occupied by a vehicle that I do not own.
It was 11:00 p.m. I had some anxiety about my early morning run and so the last thing that I wanted to do, was deal with finding the moron that had parked in my space.
Running on adrenaline, I charged up the stairs to the second landing of my house and knocked on the door of the person, who I believed, had parked in my spot.
See, on Tuesday, I had an altercation with said person and noticed that the same car that had offended me, then, had reappeared, on Friday night.
I knocked on the door and the girl answered. My first question was--did you park in my parking space?
No. I don't have a car.
Well, do you happen to know whose car it is? I mean, I saw the same vehicle in your spot on Tuesday night when your friend parked in my spot.
No. I don't know whose car it is. But, you can park in my spot. (I didn't think to ask, why do you have a spot, if you do not have a car?)
I said, that, no, I didn't want to make a habit of parking in her spot. From my perspective, doing that, would establish a bad habit of me trying to find a space at 3 am, instead of parking, in my designated spot.
I apologized for the late hour and returned to my house. I wrote a note, placed it on the windshield of the car and went to bed.
I tried, too, I did. However, I was amped up from anger and frustrated that I was unable to calm down.
I kept imagining, oversleeping. Thus, missing my long run.
Somehow, I was able to sleep.
I woke up. 5 a.m.
Stretched, urinated, stretched some more, and then headed to my car. I knew that the person would not have moved the car. I had some anxiety that I was stirring up a hornet's nest. I looked at the car. A Toyota Corolla with a ton of bumper stickers. Considering that, I knew it was a girl's car and that I could take her. Meaning, I stood behind my decision to ask her to move her car.
I pay for that spot. I deserve that spot. I shouldn't have to ask someone to move their car when I get home. I own that spot.
The run was in Arvada and quite lovely. I mentioned my situation to a couple of people that I was running with and they all recommended the same thing---tow the car.
I knew that it must be a neighbor and so I didn't want to make matters worse.
Returning home, hopeful for a free spot, I was dismayed when her car was still in my spot. I bumped into the "neighborhood watch" in my building and discussed the situation with them.
Of course, they knew whose car it was and had already called the girl to move her vehicle. I explained that Hazel, upstairs neighbor, told me that I could park in her spot.
The two guys told me that Hazel did not own a spot. Only I, and them, had a reserved spot behind the house. Surprise. But, then again, we are the only ones that pay a percentage of the utilities. Whereas, it is included in the other tenant's rent. Yes, I do not support this practice. But, the parking space is mine due to that.
Hours later. Yes, hours later, the offender finally moves her car. Thankful, I am ready to let bygones be bygones. And, if ever, she parks in my spot, again, I will tow her car.
She claims that she didn't know that it was an unavailable spot. Really? I have lived here for 8 months and always park in that spot.
She apologized. She said that she forgot that she parked in my spot until the neighborhood watch called her....LAME AND A COMPLETE LOAD OF B.S....I am glad that tonight, when I came home, I did not have to fight to get my spot. It was open and available (as it should be) to me.
Enjoy your night!

Thursday, July 8, 2010


You ahould should.
You should?
Why not?
Why...because you work tomorrow...that is nothing. You should come dancing....take a siesta and be done with it.
Really, you should come.
The Goddess's Italian friend, Agnese, said all of these things.
I held firm with the belief that yes, i must work. I must be responsible. I must be capable. The reality, for me, sucks.
We went running--4 miles--at High line Canal. Short. Pleasant. Worked.
Afterwards, we met at Solera and tried calamari, cheese, bread, salad and macaroni and cheese. My friend, Maghan, free poured the wine and everything was lovely. Our conversation flowed and we discussed many topics.
Perspectives of life.
More opportunity to travel.
Loss of innocence.
Everything under the sun.
Olive oil.
It was joyful to discover that Agnese enjoyed travel. She mentioned that in the States, we worked too hard. That Italtians just wanted enough to make it through the month.
This is true. We do work too hard, expect too much, intend to achieve too much before our time. Why must we obsess? Why cannot we enjoy?
Dining with Agnese was a lovely platform for international dining. I hope to meet them, on Sunday, for more opportunity to converse. Seriously, I respect the European way of life. Enjoy!!!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


People are impatient...for the most part.
Believe me, I know, that I can be. In my car, I have the ability to experience some major road rage. For instance, people that have not figured out how to use their turn signals make me crazy. How difficult is it to indicate your next action? Or, turn it off when you have turned? This, too, bothers me.
Or, lately, I seem to drive behind people that take 5 minutes to turn. They s-l-o-w-l-y merge into the right hand lane. They just can't get over. It takes effort, for them, and for me, to not hit them since all I want to do is get around them and their slow ass moving car. Yes, I can be impatient.
At lunch, there is a rush to be acknowledged, served and pushed out the door. I am enjoying the World Cup, I am. I feel that we are seeing new people in the restaurant since we have wonderful tv's to watch the games on. These diners are impatient, though.
This afternoon, the game began at 12:30. At 12:05, most of the people were wanting to know if their tv could be changed. My co-worker, Jeff, who is from Boston, told this one table for 4 guys that-yea, the game would be on that specific tv, in 25 minutes when it started.
Apparently, that was unclear to them.
I round the corner, intent to drop drinks off at my outdoor table and take an order from my indoor table. This guy, stops me--excuse me, ma'm--not too thrilled with that choice of words, either.
Since he isn't in my section and he wasn't choking, I told him that I would be back. I was annoyed since he was screwing up my train of thought and execution of tables. I can be anal, too.
So, I approach my people and then return to the interloper. He goes--excuse me, can you have this tv changed to the soccer game?
Incredulous?!?!?! You really need the game on 20 minutes before it begins. Not to mention, you already asked your server to take care of it. Maybe this guy didn't understand that we have no control over the tv's. The one remote, is located, behind the bar. It is the only thing that will change the channel. It is how our system works. I cannot nod my head and have the channel changed, magically.
From that point, every time, I walked by the table the guy seemed to be giving me a dirty look. Really? If you were my table---sure, I would be all over it...but, you aren't. And, I cannot speed up when the soccer game starts.
Peace. Serenity. Rockies game.
I focused on that and made it through the shift. Plus, Spain was victorious! Great game.
I went to Target to check out their sheet selection. Unimpressed, I settled on a new sports bra since they were on sale and some other household necessities. And, I still love this weather. Overcast, cool and pleasant. I am heading to the Rockies game. I hope you enjoy your night, too!

Change of plans

Monday, Sara Jo and I went for our first, ever, outdoor run together. Since I signed her up for the Healdsburg Half, I felt, I should be the one to encourage running together.
Sara Jo has a full schedule. Typically, we go to the gym and enjoy running on side by side treadmills. Ipods blasting and you know---it is a treadmill. The workout is completely different than being outside. We do not talk to each other. Instead the focus is on the music, the tv, or the other athletes in the area. Yes, it can be distracting/entertaining. Afterwards, we sit in the dry sauna and relish in that feeling. I love the gym, alone, for that amenity.
Running outside is new to Sara as she is a novice runner. She ran the Colfax Relay, with me and 3 other girls, and liked it. Liked it enough to be excited about the Healdsburg 1/2. I gave her my training plan from Team in Training which sets up a schedule in order to be successful at completing a Half Marathon. She has the tools, the passion and the convenience, like me, of living near several parks. It is only doing it, now.
Our run went smooth and we agreed to make Monday, our outdoor run, together. I am thankful that I have two planned runs, a week. I do the group on Saturday and now, a smaller run, with Sara. It will prolong my Monday drinking lunch, too. I suppose I could arrange post run wine dates. I will have to look into that.
After Monday's run, we committed to a gym session, this morning. I think Sara is ready to begin the training.
This morning, I woke up and was disappointed to not find my contact. It's gone, and this solidifies my need to make an appointment with my eye doctor. Somehow, I keep procrastinating the necessary evil of the dentist. Yes, my eyes are important to me. Teeth, too; but, there is less pain associated with the eye doctor.
Nevertheless, I had coffee, checked my e-mail, packed my gym bag and was about to begin the ritual of stretching when I noticed I had missed two text messages. One from Sara Jo and the other from the Goddess.
Quick note on that...Lindsay is hosting Italian kids for the next two weeks. I have a friend that works at the zoo and so I mentioned that I might be able to get Lindsay complimentary passes to the Denver Zoo. Her text message was regarding her happiness that she is getting 6 passes to the zoo. I am glad that I have good friends.
Sara Jo needed to cancel the gym. She slept terribly and did not feel up to the gym.
In a way, I was bummed; but ultimately, I prefer outdoor running and today is a beautiful day. According to my friend, Meghan Smith, via facebook---It is fall in Colorado. I love it!--Me, too. It ensures a mid-morning run that is enjoyable and not heat sensitive.
I can always go to the gym on another morning. But, how many mornings in July, can I enjoy the weather in this way? Few, I would imagine. Change of plans led to successful, more enjoyable running experience.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

boredom leads to missing items of importance

This evening, I worked. I had arranged to not close. I wasn't feeling it. I convinced one of my co-workers to do that duty.
Of course, it wasn't busy and so we were standing around, trying to fight off boredom by recounting our weekends. Jeff went to Blues Traveler on Sunday. He mentioned that although the concert was great, he froze and felt that was unpleasant. Jena had a baby shower for her cousin. Hummel met his neighbors and said he enjoyed spending part of the weekend with them. Eventually, it was just Dave and I, and so I told him about the magnet that I had received earlier today. Shari sent me a magnet and it made my day. It is a person holding a six pack in one hand and a bottle of wine, in the other. The caption reads--some call you an enabler...I call you friend.
True and relative to how I view myself. Yes, I am enable friendly.
Dave laughed and I continued to tell him my current thoughts about life, love/relationships, and Brian. I told him that maybe I still wasn't ready to move forward since I seemed to be attracting people that were unavailable to me or vice versa to some degree. Maybe I am not ready.
I teared up and walked away.
Five minutes later, I realized that my right contact was missing. I returned to the area that I had been standing and tried to locate it. I could not find it.
At this point, I had two tables on the verge of leaving. I went into the bathroom, hoping to find my contact. But, alas, no dice.
I kept putting my right hand in front of my right left eye, hoping that my contact would be back in place. I asked my co-workers if they had contact solution. I knew that Erik had contacts, but he wears hard contacts and so our solutions do not match up.
Before I got too freaked out about my situation, I decided to drive home, retrieve my glasses, and return back to work. I told Jeff since he was closing and headed out. I have lost contacts, before, and so I knew that I had some time before an oncoming headache overwhelmed me and my senses. I needed to be able to see, clearly, and not only with one eye. If I did not fix the problem, my drive home would both suck and be frightful. Driving blind is not recommended.
Thankfully, there was little traffic and I was able to get in and out of my house, unscathed.
I returned to work and waited on four additional tables. Lame night, for sure.
I small talked with customers and made the most of my situation. I had sympathy from customers regarding my lost contact.
At 9 pm, I drove home. I was glad that I would be able to rest/relax, at home. As I pulled into the alley, I saw that someone had parked in my space. In spite of the large sign saying that it is private parking and that we do tow. I park behind the three cars and swear. I am so annoyed that someone parked in my spot. I tried to find out who had parked in my spot. My downstairs neighbor seems to be knowledgable about most things in the house. I banged on his door and waited for a response. Nada. Of course, the one time I need him. I swear, that guy doesn't work and he is always at home.
I ponder what to do. I am lost in thought when this guy comes running out and says--sorry, someone was in Hazel's spot....I only parked there for a few minutes.
I wanted him to move and so I left it at that. However, he did back into the space. I know he was there more than a few minutes and I don't care if someone is in Hazel's space--do not park in mine!
I still haven't found the contact. Perhaps, in the morning, it will have rolled forward.

Monday, July 5, 2010

4th of July

Day off. Lovely.
Yesterday, I worked. Annoyed that we were open, but willing to work, I struggled through it. Actually, the day wasn't too awful. My friends from Elway's stopped in and since it was an atypical Sunday, I was able to b.s. and enjoy the day. I wasn't overwhelmed with server tickets or regulars. For the most part, everyone knew that we were closing at 3. Everyone, that is, except Dave.
Days where we are closing early or in some ways different, a "manager" shows up. Ironically, I had been waiting, all week, for them to indicate that we were closing on the 4th at 3 p.m. and closing all day Monday. I mentioned it to them. I waited. I waited. I waited. No sort of indication that we were closing at 3, on Sunday.
Yesterday, at 3, I saw Dave and say--so, this is it, right?
He goes--well, the kitchen is done. I figure we should be done by 3:30.
All day, people call and I tell them that we are closing at 3. A couple comes in and I tell them, that I would get them a drink, but that we were finished. I had called, last call, fifteen minutes prior to that.
They don't say anything and I do not think any different.
Eventually, I find out that a sign had been posted that we were staying open until 4:30 that day. WTF?!?! Really....
Dave disappears and Tiffany shows up. At this point, I have employees and a few friends of mine in the bar. Tiffany says she will lock up after the last customer leaves.
All, in all, it wasn't bad. I made money. I was able to talk to my friends/customers and I left at 5:30. I left with a roadie--I know--it was bad. Halfway home, I dumped it out.
The weather was glorious and I kept envisioning an evening run. I knew that if I finished the mimosa roadie, I would not.
I called Kat and arranged to meet her at 7ish. I checked my e-mail, threw on my work-out gear, stretched and headed outside. The weather had been overcast and amazing. No visor (security blanket) necessary.
I walk outside. Of course, it is raining. I evaluate the pro's and con's of going. I return, inside, grab the visor and go running. It was awesome. Especially after Saturday's long run. It felt so natural to be foot in front of another....I absolutely adored it.
Yes, 4th of July was a good day. Not exactly the way I planned it, but definitely enjoyable. I hope you enjoyed yours.

Friday, July 2, 2010

More touristy stuff

Lovely, isn't it?
We drove through the Garden of the Gods. Our intention was to walk around, some; and then, head to Pike's Peak. All of this would have been an ideal plan, had we began at 8:oo a.m. instead of 10.
The Garden was right next to Manitou--super convenient. I was intoxicated by its beauty and could have stayed longer. I will return to explore more.
Next, I drove to Pike's Peak. We had considered the cog rail option. However, we needed more time and an appointment. We had neither. And, I was told that the rail option was long and tedious. I didn't want to bore Jan. I wanted her to want to come back. For whatever reason, I felt, that viewing Pike's Peak would be reserved for another day.
As we entered the park, I saw a sign saying---be prepared for 28 degrees at the summit and a two hour round trip for this adventure. At this point, it was 11:45 and being in my car did not seem that fantastic. I told Jan that I would do it, if she wanted.
I left it at that.
I knew, knowing her, that she would want to turn around and head back to Denver.
I was right.
Before leaving, we used the porta potty since they did not offer a bathroom. Jan has an I-phone and so we located a mexican restaurant in the Springs. Did I mention that Jan loves mexican food more than I do? We have always agreed on that food choice. We found some little hole in the wall. Too greasy, but still enjoyable. I had a burrito with rice and shared chips and salsa. I cannot remember the name. Somehow, it just wouldn't stick.
Her phone gave us many options. I remember one was close to us; but, sounded too cheesy. Ironically, we drove by it. I remember thinking it was too loud/colorful. I commented that I was happy that we chose to go elsewhere.
Sated, we headed north to Denver. I had arranged to go running with the Goddess that afternoon. Hot, but determined to stay true to my plans, I left Jan napping and ran with Lindsay for an hour and a half. So grateful for Lindsay....seriously, I needed some sort of physical activity to balance all of the mexican food and cocktails. I am in training and need to stay true to that.
Post run, I convinced Jan to take a bus to downtown...more on that later. Until then, enjoy the Garden of the Gods photos. I loved it there.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Avenue Bed and Breakfast

Originally, I wanted to go to Aspen. Really, I did. It still eludes me. One day. I will be successful at checking out.
It is a ways away. I do not have air conditioning in my car. Jan is from Phoenix and used to having a/c, available, at all times. Plus, the drive there would be fine, but the return trip would have seemed like forever. I tried to sell her on my retirement city--Santa Fe--but she was having no part of it. Five hours in the car seemed unrealistic to go there. Aspen also seemed too far.
Knowing this, I suggested Manitou Springs. I felt an hour would be do-able and I had heard that Manitou was an eclectic mountain town. That sounded more my speed. Yes, I love food and thinking of myself as a foodie. Aspen will be lovely, one day, but it is a glamorous town. Celebrities own homes and frequent the restaurants. Jan and I, together, enable drinking, not decorum, if you know what I mean.
We looked at bed and breakfasts in the area. Several were booked and then, I found, the Avenue Bed and Breakfast.
There was an opening. We tried to call and left a message. And, on-line, we made a request. After our dinner, at Fruition, we returned to my house, and I checked my e-mail. A response had been made regarding our room. It was available and they wanted us to stay.
After the lovely time at the Broadmoor, I drove to the Avenue B & B. There was some parking, on the street, along with construction. Not a fan of construction, but I dealt with it. We parked behind the building which seemed easier to access the hotel. The inn was homey and I liked Gwynn, right away. She showed us to our room and reminded us, twice, that there would be fresh cookies available in a few hours. I knew that this was the place. Fresh cookies? How could we not be fans?
Our room, the Osage, was $130 a night and located on the 3rd floor. The bed was comfy and large. We had a large closet and there were multiple windows in the room. The place reminded me of a house that my mom would love. I remember commenting on that to Jan.
The only drawback of the Osage Room was the bathroom. There wasn't a real separation from the room. A curtain worked as a divider. But, it wasn't enough and I was uncomfortable with the arrangement. Not to mention that it was too small to maneuver. The shower/toilet was tiny. Really, that part sucked.
I know that most of the other rooms had adequate bathrooms. But, we booked late and that was all that was available.
I liked the space and I enjoyed talking with Gwynn. She and her husband took over the space 18 months ago. Before that, she was a professional wall paper installer. Burnt out on the job, she decided to begin, again. They bought a B & B and renovated it.
A joy. A pleasure to talk with. A gem.
We woke up, early, since Jan never sleeps and I walked down and got us coffee. At 8:30, promptly, breakfast was served--a fruit cup, muffin, and stuffed french toast. Rich, decandent and filling. Happy, but would have preferred a breakfast burrito.
Jan and I spoke with the other guests and planned out our day. I could have lounged another day at the Avenue Bed and Breakfast. Truly lovely and a definite return spot. If you are entertaining a thought of a visit to Manitou Springs, check it out. They have an outdoor hot tub, too. Yes, I did check that out! Awesome.


I remember, one day, this couple told me that I should work at the Broadmoor. They told me that I would be a wonderful fit due to my "impeccable" service. Probably, that is what I wanted to hear. I always want to think that I am perfect. I don't know that many at the Bull would call me impeccable.
Nevertheless, I have always been interested in the Broadmoor. My friends, Steve and Sarah, spend Thanksgiving there, normally. They rave about the place.
To me, it is in the Springs--the devil city. It is a fast food, religious--the headquarters of Focus on the Family, mountie fanatic place. I drive through the Springs. I would never consider it a vacation. It is an hour from Denver and an hour closer to Santa Fe. I go there often.
However, I was surprised. I enjoyed the zoo. We toured it and opted to have an afternoon drink at the Broadmoor. The zoo, is conveniently located, directly behind the Broadmoor.
I had my car parked. It was funny. I pulled up in Veronica and parked behind multiple Lincoln's and bmw's. I tipped the valet and we headed inside. Immediately, I am surrounded by elegance. It reminded me of the Phoenician--a little. We headed up to their outdoor bar. Amazingly beautiful. I loved it. I regretted that we didn't pay the $270/night to stay there. Instead, we had made arrangements to stay in Manitou Springs.
Our waitress was lovely---knowledgeable, well traveled and entertaining. Jan and I had a few drinks. I loved the Broadmoor and now understand why others seek it out. I would return but when the rate is more reasonable. An hour south and did not feel like the Springs. Really. I felt it was a complete separate entity.