Saturday, March 31, 2012

LIfe lessons

Woke up this morning and had no plans.  Considered yoga, but opted for a strength training video.  Thought about doing laundry and reconsidered.  That can wait til tomorrow. 
Thought about sleeping. That would have been awesome.  Settled for pedicure with wine option. 
Initially, thought, no drinking today.  I have been woozy which is annoyingly unsettling (to me).  However, it is my only day off and I do love a wine lunch.  Oh, and pedicure.  Absolutely adore that factor.  I know of a place, near work, which would enable me to stop into work and pick up my check.
Still, I hesitated.  Sleep sounded awesome.  I knew of a basketball that I had to watch (later) and so I could have taken a nice nap.  Yet, I wanted the pedicure.
I departed and headed towards the nail salon.  Of course, being Saturday, meant, it was busy.  I am semi-regular and so they got me in and made sure my needs were met.  I had a leisurely, delightful, experience while reading magazines.  Hour long delicious experience.
An article caught my eye.  Celebrities answering the question of what they would tell their younger selves.  Some said--wear sunblock, everyday.
Laugh.  Laugh, a lot. 
Don't be so concerned with what others think.
Tip.  Tip generously.  It will mean so much more to the person  you tip than to yoruself.  I loved that quote.
They questioned Joan Rivers, Fergie, and others.  Sort of resonated with me, I suppose.  What would I tell my younger self?
Wear sunblock in your 20's.  Quit being so sun obsessed.  Now, I swear by sunblock.  Drink a ton of water, get facials and try to be healthy.  I don't strive to have raisin like skin if you know what I am saying.
I would smile more.  Just last night, one of my bosses commented--wow, look at how much effort it took to smile.  I have always been this way.  I am a perfectionist at work and it's hard to let go of some of that control.  I wish I could just talk to customers and not worry about making other drinks.  I can't though.  I am non-stop movement.  I should stop though and smile more.  I have gotten better about talking to people and learning about their daily lives.
I would laugh and not be so serious.
Take risks with cycling and other sports that I am unacccustomed to performing.  Have you found yourself not attempting something in order to not appear foolish?  I have, for sure.  Maybe not a daily basis, but often.   On a side note, I did arrange a fitting on Wednesday.  Hopefully, I will be up and cycling in a week.
Mostly, I would live in the moment.  It took me a long time to understand that and how important it is.
I would have found facials/pedicures in my early 20's, too.  They are magnificent. 
I think, too, I would have learned to say thank you when complimented as well as thank you to others.  It is nice to hear when a job is done well.  I would have found joy in daily life.  There is a girl, I know, that everytime, I see her, she only has negative things to say.  I find myself going out of my way to avoid her. I feel sorry for her as I recognize others exhibiting similar avoidance strategies when dealing iwth her. 
Love, laugh, smile...Just be.  Be what you want to be.  Find your passion.  Pursue Joy and happiness. Doesn't that sound dreamy?
Basketball awaits.  Oh, and I did manage to enjoy a few glasses of wine, at lunch, without incident.  I think my vertigo is caused by stress, lack of sleep and dehydration.  Nice combo?!?

Friday, March 30, 2012

woes of cycling

Semi-productive day.  I walked up to a nearby bike shop hoping to be fitted for a road bike.  I honestly didn't factor in that they wouldn't offer that service at the location or that I would have to pay for that service.  I don't know why.  I am in the service industry.  I should completely have thought of that fact before walking into the location.  This shop charges $40 which I didn't know if was normal or excessive.  Instead of relying on my bike guy, I did a little research of shops in the area based on a customer's suggestions.  This guy is all pro-cycle and so he took the time to write down four shops that I should consider purchasing a bike from.  All of which are in Scottsdale.  Some of the shops are spendy based on their names--I think.
Anyways, I work in an area that is super bike friendly which is awesome and I want to start cycling more.  I have a mountain bike that needs work.  Jonny did a basic tune up and switched out my tubes.  I road about six blocks and the back tire is flat.  Since then, it has remained flat.  I love this bike for nostalgic reasons and will get it fixed.  I just want a road bike too.  I think if I want to do a tri-athlon, well, I need a road bike. 
I digress.  I checked out four shops in Scottsdale.  Almost all of those shops require a fee of $100 for a fitting.  Yea.  I think I will stay in Tempe.  I just want to get fitted and then decide if I can find a bike on Craig's List.  I don't want to have to buy a bike from the shop that I am fitted at if that makes sense.  I can live with a $40 fee and some suggestions, of course.  $100 seems a bit much in all honesty.  And, keep in mind, I want a bike to ride, recreationally, and to and from work.  I am not looking to sign up for an event tomorrow--cycling or otherwise.  However, I want more than a cruiser and I would like some direction.  My biggest issue is asking for help.  I wish someone could hand me the perfect bike and I could start riding.  I suppose we all have that desire to have something handed to us.  It's not about entitlement.  It's about taking the time to make it a priority instead of sticking to my daily routine.  I took the first step by walking to the shop and getting the guy's name that I would need to make an appointment with.  Fortunately, it is near my house and he will be available tomorrow.  I still might just have a bike by Monday.  We'll see~

recent occurrences

Happy Friday.  Woke up and felt a little woozy.  Hoping that it is related to my sleep schedule as of late and not something more serious.  For example, I went to yoga on Wednesday.  I placed my mat in the spot that I prefer and decided to lay down and stretch.  I almost passed out.  I felt vertigo--I think.  It was so unsettling that I left the class and rushed home.  I showered and again, almost passed out, when I flipped my hair back.  I laid down to hopefully find equilibrium and a few hours later felt more normal. 
Until today, that is.  I woke up and felt woozy again.  I am skipping yoga as I don't want to repeat that sequence of drive there, sign in, and rush out.  I think a run is more welcome for Friday.  Yoga can wait til tomorrow.  Either going to the studio or helping a friend begin his practice.  We'll see.
Life is grand.  Full of possibility and travel, too.  My dad visited me last week which was excellent.  We went to a few spring training games and he met some of my friends while dining out around the valley.  I enjoyed being able to show him my idea of Phoenix.  Of course, I wish we had incorporated hiking, a day trip and maybe some resort stay.  This summer I must befriend someone with a pool.  I cannot have a repeat of last summer.  Being miserable due to the intense heat and without relief.  Yes a pool will be a huge improvement to dealing with the brutal summer. 
Tiffany and Dan were down as well.  They arranged to go to several spring training games while in Arizona and met up with my dad and I on Thursday night. We barhopped.  It was awesome.  The only glitch was a surly bartender at one of my favorite restaurants.  I chose this place for dessert.  We walked in and the bartender told us to sit at a table.  His mistake.  Tiffany generously tipped the server to let the bartender know what a jackass he had been.  Dessert was fine.  We tried a few of their offerings and I wasn't wowed by any of them.  Still, I adore their fare and will return soon.  If the tattooed bartender is working; well, I will opt for a table.  Yes, he left that lasting an impression.
I have decided to take a mini-break from wine, too.  I think my sleep will improve if I detox for a few days.  Being woozy is not what I consider fun or inviting. 
Tomorrow there is an epic basketball game to watch.  Thankfully, I am not working and so I can focuse completely on the game.  And, yes, I will more than likely be watching the game at home.  Being out in a public place and wanting to watch the game, uninterrupted, is nearly impossible.  Last Friday, this little german lady started yapping at me.  Initially, we were up by six and so I felt, at ease.  Then, after her rant, I realized we were only up by one and I said--quit talking at me...i am trying to watch this game.  I know, not that classy, but honest nonetheless.
Regardless, I am in a good place and tomorrow should be a fantastic game.  Looking forward to spending the weekend in that way.  Hope you enjoy yours....

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Dreaming of.....

Gloomy day in Phoenix and I am dreaming of the beach.  A year ago, I was in Rocky Point, on this exact stretch of beach.  Enjoying a glorious walk of solitude.  Lovely.
I do like gloomy days.  I am inspired to run at any point of today.  However, I am dreaming of the beach and hope to plan an excursion soon.  San Diego, Mexico or elsewhere. 
Gotta happen soon.
My dad will be visiting me this week and I am ecstatic.  Spring training games, hiking and of course the food factor.  I look forward to treating my dad to a few incredible meals around the Valley.  I am still a little undecided as to where to take him to enjoy steak.  I miss an eatery in Denver that always provides true happiness/bliss when it comes to the factor of steak.
Also, Tiffany and Dan will be in town to spectate a few games, too.  I look forward to visiting with them and showing them my idea of a good time in Phoenix.  Work has been accomodating to my schedule changes as well.  I feel fortunate to be where I am at. 
Yes, I am dreaming of walking on a beach.  This gloomy, overcast weather motivates me to make more coffee and lounge.  Still, there is basketball to watch, laundry to do and of course, the upcoming afternoon run that is in my sights.  I have been a complete slacker in that arena.  If only, the goddess could join me on a run.
Nevertheless, enjoy your day and be inspired~

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Happy Thursday~

Happy Thursday!  Early morning, for sure.  I closed last night and had previously arranged to have my car serviced, first thing, this morning.  Sort of a murphy's law type of situation.  I told myself that the appointment would be fine since I would have ample sleep.  Funny how I was busy til 2.  I think I went to bed at 3 and was up by 5:45 to ensure that I would make it to the said appointment. 
Still, it is a beautiful day and now this task is almost completed.  Next focus, yoga, or some sort of physical activity.  Work beckons later.  Until then I will spend the day in whatever fashion I choose.  All because I got the oil change out of the way. 
Oil change seems simple enough.  But, I take it to my mechanics (whom I adore).  I would love them more if they were closer to my house instead of a hike away.  I feel fortunate to have found them.  I keep hoping to thank my neighbor for the suggestion.  One day, I saw a volvo parked in a driveway of one of my neighbors.  I accosted him with questions about where he had his car serviced and he was kind enough to accomodate.  Not only that, he gave me a business card and his information to use him as a reference when I called to set up the initial appointment.  This man was a true gem.  Really.  He is just never home when I walk by.
Anyways, paid for oil change and drove home.  I had about 45 minutes before yoga would start.  Instead of waiting for the noon class, I decided to check out another style class.  It is an hour and twenty minutes long.  I have went one other time. I remembered that this class definitely fills up and so I questioned whether or not I should go.  I opted to try it out.  I arrived and noted the amount of shoes scattered outside of the classroom.  I headed into the studio and almost walked into one of my bar customers.  Actually, it's the guy that referred this place to me.  We awkwardly said hello and went to our respective mats.  I thought Mike only went to the class on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.  Likewise, I think he was surprised to see me in a different association.  Typically, fully clothed.  Right, I wear jeans, daily, now.  Not to mention the amount of sweat we both knew we would be emitting.  Hot yoga tends to do that.
I did enjoy the class.  It is a blend of flow and held poses.  The instructor's style was soothing and tough.  She had a nice, calm voice, and led the transitions well.  Sme of her music was lame but I can overlook that.  I really did benefit from this class.  Afterwards, I ran into Mike outside of the studio and again, at the local market. We exchanged pleasantries, initially, and then later I inquired into whether or not he was a runner.  I would love to find another running partner.  Unfortunately, he no longer runs.  He does hike.  I can work with that.
Back to yoga, I think it might be the new mid-week class for me.  Plus, I still have an entire afternoon to nap if need be unlike my typical yoga class.  I would be done by 1, need to shower, return home, hopefully crash for thirty minutes and be ready for work.  However, it is March Madness.  I will be watching basketball instead of napping.
Lovely day.  I feel inspired to be healthy and fully enjoy life.  Happy Thursday!!!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Saturday, March 10, 2012

More of San Diego

I should back track, a little, regarding Shari's visit.  She flew into Phoenix and we spent the first night checking out one of my local favorite eateries.  Her flight was delayed.  Darn weather/mechanical difficulties.  I picked her up and drove her to Phoenix.  I dine at this eatery, often, with Jan and Tom.  They are sort of set in what they prefer ordering here--spinach salad and pepperoni pizza.  Both of these items are great, but, I wanted to try something outside of their box.  Shari and I tried the octopus, brussel sprouts and salsiccia pizza.  Awesome.  I loved every item and the pizza was outstanding. 
Sunday morning, I drove us San Diego.  Not too bad of a drive and we stopped in Alpine to check out a beer and nachos.  Cute, inviting spot, filled with locals and a great vibe.  We sampled bbq nachos before concluding the drive. 
We stayed at a hotel in Mission Beach.  I did enjoy the location as we were close to Pacific Beach an area that I was semi-familiar with.  Plus, there were several restaurants that I wanted to check out in Pacific Beach.  First night we ate Italian. Delicious.  Monday morning, we tackled the mandatory walking section of our tour.  Each year, we always find ourselves in a walkabout tour of whatever city we are celebrating Brian's anniversary in.  I think the longest walkabout was probably in Seattle or the most challenging in Costa Rica.  Lots of hills, humidity and it was freaking hot while visiting Manual Antonio.
Anyways, we started the walking venture with a coffee in hand.  Overcast morning and the ocean was lovely.  My plan was to walk around Ocean Beach before heading into the Hillcrest Area to dine at Hash House a Go Go.  Well, that plan was sort of kiboshed when we reached the point where we would be crossing a freeway.  Cabbed it to the restaurant and considered the rest of our day.  Breakfast was delicious.  We shared a scramble with salmon and cream cheese. 
From here, we walked to the Gaslamp District, checked out Balboa Park and stopped to enjoy a glass of wine in a cigar shop.  Not the ideal place, in all honesty, but I liked the bar area and it seemed somewhat fittting for the day.  Overcast, bluesy and dark.  I wanted to dine in Little Italy and chose a place that was highly recommended.  As noted, food was delightful, but the music sucked.  I would return to the restaurant to sample more fare.  Maybe next trip to San Diego.
That night, we ate at the hotel.  Lame, I know, but the weather had not improved.  Rain, wind, felt monsoon like and I was unmotivated to walk outside.  We shared chips and salsa and a quesadilla at the hotel.  It was fine and ensured that we both woke up early to walk the Ocean Beach Peir.  It was 2/28, after all, and we had a lot planned for the day.

Italian fare

Homemade burrata with proscuitto wrapped crostini over heirloom tomatoes. Fig jam and honey accompany this delightful dish.  I found this eatery while searching for spots in Pacific Beach in early February.  I wanted to check it out but they didn't offer bar seating.  Instead, I went to a tapas place and had a subpar meal and lackluster wine service.  Nevertheless, Shari and I found this neighborhood gem and started the night with this appetizer.

After the burrata, we considered trying meatballs or trying an entree.  The server guided us to the grilled vegetable tray.  Perfect for following the cheese course.  I forgot to mention that when we sat down they brought us bread and olive oil. The olive oil was delicious and I had to stop myself for inhaling the bread course.

This is how happy, I was, after the meal.  The only drawback of the night was our table.  We asked to be moved and the hostess informed us that all of the other tables were spoken for.  Funny, we sat there, ordered food and watched as the tables remained unseated. 

Illustration of the best sandwich ever.  Shari and I stumbled into this eatery in Little Italy on a rainy Monday.  We enjoyed a glass of wine and this combination--bread, truffle oil, & egg over asparagus.  Truly delightful.  Only hiccup here was the obnoxious 50's music and the unwilling manager who chose to keep playing it.  It was really that horrible.  Instead of staying for another glass of wine and possible other appetizer we returned to Mission Beach.  Downpour rain while sitting in the hot tub and smuggling wine into the pool area.  Something about no glassware in the pool.  Of course, we actually got busted on that point.

Shari looks happy.  First night in San Diego after lovely meal. 

Friday, March 9, 2012

San Diego, briefly

I cannot believe that I have managed to postpone updating the San Diego adventure.  Work took over--I suppose.
Quickly, the food factor was amazing.  There were several highlights of that arena while dining in San Diego.  Twice we tried Italian fare.  Delicious.  Ironically, both establishments presented a few pet peeves to shine through.  The first place was in Pacific Beach.  Small, intimate and without bar seating.  I knew this from a previous visit where I was unable to check out the eatery due to that fact.  And, my dining companion was sick.  I do not enjoy sitting at a table, solo.  So, I checked out a tapas place instead. 
Regardless, Shari and I approached the restaurant and asked for a table for two.  The hostess seated us right by the kitchen and adjacent to the bathroom.  Plus, it was a slender table and neither us of wanted to remain seated there.  Shari asked the server if we could be relocated and the hostess said, no.  The other tables were reserved.
We were annoyed but we stayed and had an incredible meal.  Let me just comment on the fact that the other tables were never seated.  The hostess just did not want to accomodate us.
The other obvious pet peeve was addressed at another italian eatery.  Newer, in Little Italy, and we found it while checking out the Gaslamp District.  Upon walking in we opted to choose a booth in the main dining area.  Chose a wine to complement two appetizers.  While choosing the food, I noticed the music.  50's music was playing.  It seemed out of place for the vibe of the restaurant.  Initially, I suffered through it.  Then, I started to loathe the music.  I asked the server who was in charge of the music and she told me the manager.
Twenty minutes later, I asked to see the menu again.  I was interested in another dish and possibly another glass of wine.  I mentioned that to the server and that I would love it if the music could be changed.  I had had enough of the be bop a lula.
The manager came by the table and said--sorry, girls....this is sort of my thing.
WOW!  I couldn't believe it.
The server came by and asked us what we would like to order.  I asked for the check and told her what the manager had said.  We paid and I went to the bathroom before heading back to Mission Beach.  While in the bathroom, they changed the music.  However, it was too long and I was over it.  The princple of the situation deemed that we leave.  I was shocked that they wouldn't change the music and I wasn't unreasonable with asking or demanding that they change it to what I wanted to listen to.  That wasn't the case.  I just wanted something besides 50's music.  All that inspired was a shake or burger.  It did not inspire wine imbibing.
Of course, there was more incredible fare, wine and the beach.  I think that was my favorite thing of the entire adventure.  We walked around Ocean Beach.  Very inviting and peaceful.  I wish we had had more time to reflect there.  Magnificent.