Monday, January 30, 2012

Monday Memory

Sonoma.  One of my favorite places to visit.  Especially with these two ladies and Megan.  Megan took the photo; otherwise, she would be included in the Monday Memory. 
I adore this photo of me, Sara Jo and the Goddess.  It is a lovely memory.  We met in San Francisco, drove to Napa, ran the Healdsburg 1/2 Marathon and toured wine country the following days.  Delightful. 
I called Sara and mentioned how we needed another girls' weekend and she agreed.  After talking with her, I texted Lindsay and said--what is the plan this year?  She had her sights set on Chicago to run a race and go to a Cub's game.  I am all for both activities and only needed to secure the weekend we would be heading to Chicago.  It will happen and it will be in June.  Perfect. 
Chicago, here we come....well, in June, at least.  Til then, I am hopeful to visit them in Denver or host them in Phoenix.  Must find couch and asap. Maybe an air mattress could suffice?
Either way, enjoy the beginning of your week.  I have a yoga class calling, work (of course), wine tasting and an idea that I will be heading to the ocean at the end of the week. I would like to check out a few eateries that will be worthy for Shari and my visit at the end of February.  Plus, the ocean is always welcoming.  I thought about it and this woman I work with said, you should always take th opportunity to travel when it presents itself.  I definitely agree.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Jean's visit

Calm.  This is my fourth day of no coffee and surprisingly, hot tea, is a lovely replacement.  I feel lighter than when I wake with coffee if that makes sense.  And, I survived the full on caffeine headache which typically follows my departure from coffee.  I just wanted a break and I know that that first cup of coffee (when I return) will be inspired.  I can almost taste it.
I think I got on the hot tea train after spending five days with Jean--aka, poodle, while in Mexico.  She stopped drinking coffee three years ago and drinks tea instead.  I envied her decision while trying to craft my own coffee at Jonny's condo.  His french press broke.  Mental note to self, must bring new french press to Mexico or a coffee pot for my next visit unless I am able to sustain the hot tea morning wake up. 
Anyways, I feel awesome and am rested. I think I am actually caught up on sleep for once and I have went to yoga three consecutive days.  I love this trial period offered by the studio in Phoenix.  For twenty dollars, I have unlimited access to the studio for two weeks.  It's ideal.  This way, I can check out classes at different points of the day to see what works best for me.  I prefer the vinyasa flow series and see a noon class, regularly, in my future.  They offer a bikram with flow intertwined which means the class is an hour and twenty minutes.  I liked the class and hope to return but I like wrapping things up within an hour.  The additional twenty minutes just means more sweat and adds thirty minutes to my drive back to the east valley while covered in sweat. Yuck!
Side note, my brother-in-law, Jeremy, is performing his dissertation tonight.  I am sad that I will be unable to make it.  This piece of work will be extraordinary--I know it.  It's taken him awhile to complete the task, but I am sure that it is a true piece of art.  Inspired.  Beautiful. Accomplished.  He is a rock star~
I began this post today with the intention of writing about Jean's visit to Phoenix.  Need to return to that goal.
She arrived after sitting three hours on the tarmac at the Seattle airport.  Yes, she departed during the crazy snow storm last week.  Had her flight been Thursday she definitely would not have made it out.  However, she did make it and immediately, I drove her to one of my favorite spots in Phoenix.  We drank cocktails, ordered brussel sprouts and a beet salad and quickly returned to our normal flow of conversation.  I met Jean while in college and despite the fact we see each other, rarely, we have the ability to pick right up from the last time we saw each other.  She is a genuine friend and I am extremely grateful for her in my life.  I have seen her more often the last six years.  I flew out to Minnesapolis in 2006 and spent a few days with her and her family.  Then, there was a road trip in 2007, a wine trip in 2008, a girl's weekend in 2009 with Michaela and Shari, and now this year.  She sends the occasional christmas card and we always manage to talk during the year. 
We have a solid foundation of friendship is all I am saying and it is easy to hang out with her.  I called Jan and she agreed to meet up with us.  They met this past summer on a trip to Oregon that Jan accompanied me.   It was natural to invite Jan along. 
From the parlor, we headed to Tempe to enjoy the last of happy hour at another wine bar that I frequent.  We called Jan's husband, Tom, to see if he wanted to join us at the happy hour place. He didn't.  He wanted to dine at Los Dos which is closer to their house and not an option for us on Wednesday.  We had dinner plans with some of Jean's friends and I was trying to figure out the best way to get my car home and Jean to the restaurant on time.  Jan offered to follow me home, pick us up and join us for dinner.  Seemed like an easy fix. 
I forgot to mention that Jean's friend lives in the west valley and had asked Jean if she could stay at my place instead of drive home.  I would be all for that if I had a sofa.  I don't.  I couldn't envision the three of us in my queen bed and so I told Jean to let her friend know that I had a yoga mat if she wanted to spend the night.  Then, I felt guilty. I knew this woman was older than me and I didn't want to make her that uncomfortable on my floor so I decided I would sleep on the floor, begrudgingly.  I brought it up to Jean, again, that the sleeping arrangements would be as such.  I inquired--maybe her husband could pick her up or join us for dinner. Hoping that her husband would pick her up.  The prospect of the floor was not that inviting for me.
When everything was said and done, Kirk, joined us for dinner.  It worked out well and dinner was fantastic.  We enjoyed a few bottles of wine and reminisced how we all knew Jean and why we moved to Phoenix.  I think Sue was interested in hanging out with us after dinner but that drive home is long.  Since Jean and I were not ready to call it a night, we stopped at another tap room and had a beer.  This establishment is close to my house--very close--and Jean wanted to get a cab.  Incredulous but I wanted her to be happy and so we found a cab.  Immediately, we both noted how it reeked of vomit.  It was overwhelming.  We gagged while opening the window and sought fresh air.  The cabbie started incessantly spraying air freshener which made it all worse.  All, I could think was, why didn't we walk?  It's only five blocks.
The next morning we both laughed at our decision to take the cab.  That is how our mini adventure began. We managed to get pedicures, stop by my job to enjoy a bloody mary and then I drove us to Mexico.  From here, debauchery ensued.  I will reflect on the mexican adventure later....

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

yoga studio found

Most excellent experience.  I arrive early to communicate that I am intererested in attending the class and that it is my first time at the studio.  The instructor asks me if I have done yoga in the past.  My response, I moved from Denver.  She goes, oh, core power.
Yes, I was a member of core power and so we chit chatted their studio, a bit, and she told me that her daughter lived in Denver.  Ah, no wonder you are familiar with core power.  Anyways, she offers to set my mat up for me while I fill out some paperwork.  She asks if I want to be near the door for air flow and I am like--sure, I can handle this. 
The class was a mix of traditional bikram poses and the vinyasa flow.  She incorporated a few ending poses which confused me.  We were approaching the hour mark and I noticed a few people gathering their things and heading out.  I laid there and thought, I thought this class was an hour and twenty minutes....must have looked at the schedule wrong.  So, I get up, gather my things and head to the door.  April stops me and asks--are you okay?
I was and at that point, I realized that there was in fact, twenty additional minutes to contend with.  I opted to leave since I was hot and had profusely sweat through my yoga pants.  Next time, I am wearing shorts.  I was miserable with the amount of clothes I had on and was sweating through.  Yuck!
Regardless, I loved the class and thought April was lovely.  There was a mix of men and women, ages and level.  I felt comfortable and cannot wait to return.  Plus, they offer a two week trial period for $20.  That is awesome.
Side note...two days without coffee. I am happy to say that I feel great and am enjoying the green tea.  I am dependent on coffee, normally, I love it and I want to alter that habit.  Drinking tea is different.  There is the caffeine to satisfy my addiction and lessen the intensity of the withdrawal headache.  I just feel less full from drinking tea if that makes sense.  We'll see.
I must get ready for work and figure out my yoga class for tomorrow.  I am definitely going.  Enjoy your Wednesday!

tuesday night

Night off.  Skipped the mandatory run and opted for a lovely bottle of wine to accompany a meal.  Inspired by wine and unmotivated to run. 
Really.  Truly.  Seriously.
I could have run; but felt, why do it?  I was not in the mood.  Instead, I visualized sauteed tomatoes, onions and garlic.  I had several containers of tomatoes for Jean's visit.  We had a few tomatoes the initial night but that was pretty much it.  Two containers of grape tomatoes remained unopened in the fridge.  I couldn't get past the image and eventually, I texted my running partner that I wanted a rain check.
He responded that he was fine with it and that, he, too, was hesitant to run.  I texted that I appreciated his understanding and left it at that.  Not that I wasn't interested in his reason for not wanting to run, but only wanting focus on my reason for postponing.
I drove home, stopped by my favorite little farmer's market and returned home.  Opened the remainder of a delicious cabernet from Sonoma and began prep work.  I cut onions, tomatoes and garlic.  I waited for the vegetables to cook down, meld and overwhelm me with flavor.  Delightful.  Amazing.  Absolutely loved Tuesday dinner. 
Afterwards, I sorted through the piles of paper that cover my kitchen table.  Bills, christmas cards, to-do lists, etc.  I walk past it, daily, and note that I must clear the table.  Finally, I tackled the table last night.  I sorted what was necessary/unnecessary and now have a beautiful table to utilize again. 
My dad is visiting in March and I woke up, this morning, with the realization that I must buy a couch and yesterday.  I will have to give him my room.  I love my yoga mat but it isn't that comfortable.  I  have six weeks to find a couch as well as get fitted for the lovely bridemaid dress.  Wedding in September requires fitting by March.  Not looking forward to that fun little appointment either. 
Things to do and lines to cross off the to-do list.  Happy Wednesday~
I am heading to a yoga studio and have the intention of making it a regular thing in my life.  I enjoy yoga and feel that I truly benefit from it.  When I first returned to Phoenix, I found an instructor I enjoyed but her approach to the class changed.  Initially she taught the flow series with some yin yoga involved.  Eventually, the class focus shifted to all yin yoga classes which I do not particularly enjoy.  I stopped going with the hope that I would locate another studio and quickly.  Five months ago....
Looking forward to the class.  Namaste!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Monday Memory

Cable car.  San Francisco.  Post Irish Coffees with Sara Jo and the Goddess.  The Goddess took the photo.  Miss both of those ladies.  I was talking to the poodle (Jean) about my life in Phoenix and how much I missed having multiple girlfriends in the same area.  I loved that about Denver.  There was Sara Jo, Goddess, Pocketsize, Jenn, Dr. Bryn, Tiffany, Brie, lil Mel, on and on and on.  I had lots of ladies to hang out with.  I still am figuring out Phoenix and there are a few girls I work with that I know I could enjoy a glass or two of wine with.  It's all about making it happen.
Til then, I have fond memories of my friends, of San Francisco, of wine (of course)....

Intro story to the last five days

Five days with Jean.  Too much fun.  Nonstop laughter and reminiscing.  Quick story.  There are too many to count from her five day trip.  However, this one stands out in my mind.
We were in Rocky Point with Jonny.  She asked me--what is your name for me...I mean, I know you have one for most people in your life...goddess, fisherman, barefoot runner, s.o., etc.
I looked at her and said--actually, I call you Jean.  You don't have a name.
She responded that she was surprised since most of my stories had nicknames for friends.  Still, I remained firm that--to me--she was Jean.
We head to Pelican Point with roadies and reflect on how beautiful the ocean is.  Lovely day and we did take in the moment.  Afterwards, Jonny drove us to JJ's for a quick cocktail.  This is a cornerstone of Rocky Point for sure and Jean needed to experience it.  Teddy and Donna showed up.  These are friends of Jonny's that I have met on several different occasions.  Good people and always entertaining. 

We continued the bar tour of Rocky Point by stopping into the Wrecked Bar.  Right about sunset and it was stunning.  A few other Zonies were enjoying the Rocky Point attractions.  Jean, being Jean, starts talking to this threesome--two women and one guy.  Curious about their lives, she inquired about their history.  We continue the back and forth banter.  Eventually, the guy looks at Jean and I and says--lookie is the poodle and the rock climber.  I look at her and say--omg, that is your nickname...poodle.  Fitting.  Curly, uncontrollable hair that absolutely works for her.  She is gorgeous.  I think the poodle reference is cute but don't know if the nickname sticks for me.  I am not a fan of poodles, noted, in previous posts while running with the Goddess. Somehow, it wasn't truly a long run Saturday until we saw a standard poodle at which point I would comment to Lindsay how much those dogs freak me out.  So, no, I don't think I can actually refer to Jean as poodle.  Good story and another memory in about twelve years of visits between she and I. 
Happy Monday!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Monday Memory (late)

Jean is visiting me in Phoenix.  Let the debauchery begin.  If only, Michaela would have made the trip, too.  Then, I would be fearful of what could happen the next few days with the two of them in tow.  This photo was taken while wine tasting in Woodinville, Washington.  I cannot remember the exact winery but I know it was in an industrial, more urban, type of environment.  It concluded our mini tour of wine tasting.  I remember being surprised that Michaela drank wine with us since the night before we all had a little too much.  Typically, she refuses to celebrate if hungover. 
Anyways, happy wednesday.  Lately, I have been reminded to enjoy the moment and stop trying to worry the future.  I am HAPPY now, in this moment.  Especially, today, where I am able to tour the valley with a dear friend.  Tonight might be interesting.  We are meeting one of Jean's friends that lives on the west side.  She asked Jean if she could stay at my house to avoid the drinking/driving factor which I completely understand.  However, I have a queen bed.  No sofa yet.  I think I might be sleeping on my yoga mat tonight to be accomodating to Jean's friend.  I want to strongly advise her to take a cab back to the west valley in all honesty.  My lifestyle tends to be frugal in the "things" department.  I prefer dining out and travel to purchasing things to spruce up my space.  Regardless, enjoy your wednesday and know that I intend to fully taste life today~ 

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

travel aspirations (somewhat)

Yesterday, a friend texted me to see if I would be interested in a girls' weekend getaway to celebrate her bachelorette party.  Confused about it since originally I had suggested something like that only to be met with--I want to do it before the wedding.  People are traveling to Denver and I think having it closer to the wedding would be preferable.  I am excited for her nuptials.  It's a lot of work though.  I had forgotten how much planning/preparation go into being part of the wedding party.  There is the engagement party, bridal shower, bachelorette party, rehearsal dinner, wedding itself, etc.  I already know that I will be unable to be present at each function.  If they have an engagment party I am probably out.  Work, being in Phoenix and other things take priority unfortunately.
I sort of forgot about the wedding.  I have been busy with work, running and dreaming of other places that I want to visit this year.  For example, I want to go to Italy.  I have a friend that lives in Venice and she has invited me countless times to make the trip.  Last year, I was busy with stateside travel and family/friends.  I put it off til it was too late to make it happen. 
This year, I intend to go.  It will require some planning and compromise from some of my co-workers but it will be great and I know that it will happen.  However, wanting to go to Italy and planning a girls' weekend for a bachelorette party cuts into my travel time.  Then, there is my dad's visit to Phoenix, Shari and my annual trip to celebrate Brian, my affair with Temecula/wine countries in Cali and half marathons that I want to run.  I would love to do it all but understand that something must give.  In this case, it's probably the girls' weekend.  I suppose I am being unfair about this because their wedding date is a week before my birthday.  It requires a weekend in Denver.  I love Denver but I sort of unvisioned spending this birthday in Napa.  That would be a stretch to pull that off after heading to Denver for 5+ days a week before it. 
I think I can make some of it work.  I did put it out there to the other attendees of the wedding to assess their thoughts regarding the bachelorette party.  Anything is possible with planning.  If they are interested in a girls' weekend before September, maybe, it will work.  I asked them to be honest about their interest, commitment and finances.  I don't know any of these girls and I want to make sure they are comfortable with a trip.  We'll see.
I do know that I will go to Italy.  Why wouldn't I?  Food, WINE, olive oil, history, my friend lives....I would be a fool to not go. 
I think I may have offended my friend when questioning the weekend trip.  It was not my intention to do so, but, right now her focus is the wedding and mine is not.  I understand her desire to talk about it, plan it, love it, etc, but I am just not there yet.  I need to find a balance and show her that I am happy to be part of her celebration and excited for her.  I am.  I just have other things that excite me, too.  I thrive on travel plans and could talk about that all day.  In that respect, I do understand her wedding planning and how it can be consuming. 
So, it remains undecided for the time being---the girls' weekend, that is.  Italy is a definite as well as Shari's trip, my dad's trip and my desire to return to Temecula.  Oh, and my sisters should visit, too.  Each of them.  I think Jasmin will be unable to since she just had a baby, but, Jade and Michaela could definitely make a trip to the Valley if they decided. Jade enjoyed Phoenix the first time out.  She still speaks fondly of a mexican joint that I frequent.
Anyways, more on this later.  I must start the day~

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Tuesday thoughts

Work.  Wine Taste ( a little).  Running.  Yes, in that order.  I managed to enjoy a day shift, taste a few samples of wine and go running.  The wine factor and running were subpar.  One of the reps canceled and offered to meet me tomorrow.  I declined.  I work tomorrow night in the closing sense and have arranged to be available on Tuesdays for that purpose.  Twice, this particular rep, has offered to meet me Wednesday and twice, I have declined.  I don't want to get in the habit of meeting on Wednesday.  I am the Tuesday gal.
Running went okay.  My running partner showed up later than anticipated.  I was considering postponing due to being annoyed when I decided to just roll with it.  He called me, a few times, to question the path I wanted to do.  He was unfamiliar with the area and wanted to make sure that it was safe.  All, I could think of, was--we are running to Scottsdale.  How unsafe is that?  There are probably more vagrants in Tempe near the Town Lake.  But, what do I know?  I like running on trails.
Still, the pace was good, for me, and then, I missed my ipod.  Next time I run with this guy, I am bringing it.  I know he starts strong, slows down and then sprints the last 50 yds.  I prefer running consistent throughout.
Afterwards, I took off.  I know that he wanted to hang out and talk but I was hot and wanting to shower.  All I could think was why am I not closer to my house (shower)?  Or, if you had beside me instead of behind me, we could have discussed everything you want to talk about now postrun.  I took off because I didn't care.  Sounds terrible and honestly, I do appreciate this guy for meeting me to run.  Yet, he could push himself to keep up instead of talking himself into a lackluster performance. 
A friend is in town but after meeting him for lunch tomorrow, I know, tonight is lowkey.  Ironically, I believe, Jonny found me my next home.  I wish that I loved, loved, loved my rental property.  I don't.  My landlord is like all other landlords....lame.  She does things on her own terms.  The lease is set up to her benefit and I pay rent in a timely manner.  I call her to fix issues and am forced to wait 4-7 days.  I know what would happen if I waited a week to pay rent.  According to the lease, I would owe an additonal $350.  Seriously.  I want to wait though as a point since she always makes me wait to fix issues in rental and after living here since September I recognize that every issue I have confronted was one in which she knew about and opted to not fix prior to my moving in.  That is the definite rub.  The fact that she knew that the stove wasn't working or that the sink wouldn't shut off or that the blinds wouldn't open and decided to not change any of it.  I am annoyed. 
Tomorrow, I plan on running and enjoying life.  BTW...the Goddess is Aunt.  Welcome to the world Brooks Matthew--you are celebrated and loved.  After hours of waiting, you finally arrived.  It is exciting!
I hope your Tuesday went well.  As much as I sound negative (running partner, landlord), I am blisshful and grateful for my surroundings.  Wine, too.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Monday Memory

Do you have fond memories of your childhood?  I do.
I remember playing with the neighborhood kids all summer long.  Nothing else mattered.  We would spend all day long outside since that was typical.  Chores done and from there we were free.  No responsibility or having to be home under parental consent. 
I spent a few weeks ago in California and mostly went to see the ocean.  Compelled to go, I contacted a friend and mentioned my want.  He concurred and promptly drove me to the beach.  He mentioned the sea creatures and how if you touched them they would close up.  Funny.  Such a kid.  I swear.  He was completely at ease playing with the sea anenomes. 
Today, I skipped work to hang out with my friend, Jonny.  He was visiting and I took that opportunity to enjoy a day off.  We met at a lovely lunch spot for wine and considered the day.  National championship, drinks, food (where), etc....Early part of day was lovely.  Nice lunch, conversation and then we meandered with the evening.  He had a date but didn't know how committed he was to it.  I visualized my exit.  Still, I sat thru a few beers and random converation.  At one point, i excused myself and headed outside.  I was ready to conclude my night.
Now, I am thankful for Monday, a day off and wine.  Grateful for being/feeling like a kid too.  How innocent that point of life is.  Blissful, uncomplicated and free...I do remember being a kid.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

day off

And, now I know, why they call it whole paycheck....omg...fell in love with the market in Chandler.  The location is a little too suburban (for me) and parking lot could be nightmarish, but today, I was pleasantly surprised.  No parking issues. 
I walk in and am in awe.  Clean, organized and oh, did I mention, the beer/wine bar?  Hello, blissful mecca.  I chose a wine, sat at a cabaret table and read a book.  I did make a notation regarding the wine I was drinking.  I have this awesome new wine book and am committed to using it.  Thank you, J & T!  I opened my cultural studies book and thought of my past.  How I knew the author and some of our mutual acquaintances/friends, even.  Cotten was a mentor of mine in college (still is to a certain degree).  I took his advice regarding classes to take while in college and travel as I have gotten older.  I legitimately respect his perspective.
He's published.  I bought a few copies and gifted one to an old of boss of mine.  I planned on giving it to both brothers, but think, the younger one annoyed me and so I kept his copy for myself.  I have traveled with the book and the other night mentioned it to Brandon.  I believe he would enjoy the book especially with his academic background.  I wanted to find it--a), and b) take a stab at it myself.  Ideal for the cabaret seating.  First, I sample the wine, though.  A zinfandel, from Healdsburg and high in alcohol.  That is what I tasted....a hot wine.  Nice. 
I texted a few people and contemplated my dinner plans.  I was in a market with endless possibilities.  I was interrupted to hear--aren't you Harmony?
Thought so....I looked over and looked over and looked again.  Nah, that isn't her.  But, you would responded.  How have you been?....
This has occurred a fair amount the last few days.  Running into people in Phoenix from a restaurant that worked at over ten years ago.  It is funny.  Roy was kind and we caught up briefly.  He returned to his beer and I resumed my affair with the hot wine.
I paid the tab and shopped.  Perused the wine supply and bought coteswold cheese instead.  Love that cheese.  I remembered I had excellent vegetables to utilize and rotini.  Wouldn't a sangiovese be delightful with homemade sauce?
I stopped at a wine store and checked out their supply.  Familiar with what they offered since I frequent it often and so I continued to their tasting room.  Filled with about 7 people--all drinking beer.  I asked the bartender for a wine list and a glass of water.  Somehow, he never fulfilled that task.  Busy texting and looking cool.  No, I am not being facetious.  This guy really texted the majority of my time in the bar.  No water either.
I finished my wine and asked for my tab.  I returned to the liquor store and chose a few wines.  I have a friend that is visiting in a few weeks and need to stock up.  From experience, I know.  Must be prepared with wine and some munchie type of foods.  Hummus, cheese, tomatoes, garlic, basil, olive oil.  All complement wine.  She is gluten free and so I must resist the urge to buy bread, flour tortillas or pasta.  Her visit will be about wine and vegetables.  I should probably detox until she arrives. Her visit will be exhausting.
Regardless, today was a great day.  It began with a 6 mile run, followed by coffee and a relaxing agenda.  Never again will I attempt to do laundry on Saturday either.  Outside of that misstep, glorious day. 
In other unrelated news...I sent a package (wine glasses and charms) to a friend that I recently visited.  Wine glasses because (I think, but do not have conclusive knowledge) I broke one.  It is the right thing to do.  I found some glasses and wine charms.  Coudn't resist the charms since they reminded me of sunflowers.  I wrapped the box and sent it west. 
He texted--did you send a package?
Nothing else.  No thank you, no comment on the wine charms or anything.  I didnt't think he opened it.  Then, I was curious and asked if he received the wine glasses.  Immediately, he responded---yes, that is why I texted you the other day about the package.
I asked if he liked wine charms....what?  what wine charms?
Didn't you read the card....what card?
At this point, I am confused.  I know that I put a card and wine charms in the box along with four wine glasses.  I tell him that the card explained the charms.  Perhaps he couldn't read the card was my thought.  It wouldn't be the first time.  Those of you on the receiving end of xmas cards, birthday, thank you....can attest to that.
Regardless, I don't hear anything for awhile.  Then, I get a text---I went dumpster diving and found your card/sunflower charms--thank you.
Too funny.  Life is grand.  Enjoy yousr~

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

wednesday woes

3:45 a.m.  Yes, insomnia, again.  I checked out my e-mail, daily blessing and found a video on-line.  Thirty minutes later I was able to go to sleep.  Needed it and slept in til my alarm went off.
7:45.  Awesome.  I opted to ignore it.  I wanted to sleep and I wasn't concerned that my landlord was coming over between 9-10.  I figured, I would shut my bedroom door and have her attend to the kitchen sink.  Yesterday I called her to relay an issue with it.  She agreed to stop by (maybe) yesterday.  Of course, that didn't work out.  Meanwhile, I dropped my phone in water and couldn't revive it for a few hours.  I rushed around hoping to contact my running date via e-mail and Brandon to confirm our potential meetups.  Brandon and I met for wine at Trix and Jeff and I ran a loop around the lake.  Thankfully, I had both of their e-mail accounts.  I met Jeff for the run and returned home to find that my phone was functioning.  Yea.  Super happy to not have to buy yet another phone. 
The run went well.  He increased his pace and agreed to sign up for a half marathon.  It's time and I told him so.  I said, quit saying, I will never run a half're right, you won't with that attitude.  However, 2012 is a new year and an excellent time to attempt a 1/2.  That is what I told him while running the loop.  I think we are committed to a weekly run. 
Returning home, I found that my landlord had called to let me know that she would be over between 9-10 this morning to check out the kitchen sink issue.  I have figured out that she is like most landlords--unwilling to fix a problem in a timely manner.  I wonder if I was late a few days with rent what my consequences would be.  Today, she called to say, I am sorry, but I have other issues to attend to.  I could stop by Saturday, no, Sunday.  You can just turn the valve off til I am able to look into it.  WTF?  Why am I paying you to not take my calls seriously?  Annoyed to say the least. 
In addition to the insomnia, I was congested.  Reminder, I need to take care of myself.  My immune system is weak (apparently).  I hate being sick. Instead of attending the wine tasting this afternoon, I postponed it for a week and scheduled a massage, tomorrow.  I think it will be an ideal way to rid myself of more toxins.  Also, I might be able to sleep tonight.  I remain hopeful and excited for upcoming massage.  It is going to be a wonderful day.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Insomnia (again)

Insomnia.  Awesome.  This seems to be the way I wake up lately.  Thinking, reflecting, unable to stop analyzing (something, whatever) and so I go on-line to fully wake up and embrace the new day.  Foolish.  I could definitely use a few more hours of sleep.  Jan told me when this happens I should try eating a handful of almonds to reset my blood sugar.  Maybe tomorrow night.  It could happen.
Tonight, I have a running date planned.  My partner, Jeff, is friendly and accomodating.  He drives down from Cave Creek to run a lake loop with me.  For me, it would be way too far to only run a loop.  He is new to running and just wanting to establish a routine.  I hope to motivate him to sign up for a half instead of continuing to believe that he will never be able to do one.  I thought like that once, too, and now have completed eight half marathons.  I know it is up to him to decide that he wants to complete a half marathon.  I am here to help him build a running foundation. 
I work, today, and think about all of the necessary tasks that we should be doing on a daily basis.  Deep cleaning wise.  Thankfully, we have the bar mat removal set up already.  Justin and I both agreed to have that task managed.  We talk about other chores but neither of us have mandated that it happen.  I keep waiting for him to do it and I think he believes the same.  Ultimately, I will end up figuring out a cleaning schedule due to annoyance of it not being done.  I like a clean work area and recognize that although I believe it's common sense to clean the cooler out, under the bar mats, etc., not everyone else feels the same way.  It's easier to think that someone else is doing that task.  Guilty, here, too.  Until today.  I will start the cleaning schedule to stop being lazy.
After work and the mandatory running date, I arranged to meet up with an old friend of mine.  Brandon and I go way back to the my earlier stint in the valley.  We met since he lived across the street from the bar I worked at.  According to him, I was his favorite bartender and we struck up a quick friendship.  From knowing him, I have cultivated a few lifetime friends--Carrie and Cedric in Las Vegas to note a few.  Brandon is extremely busy and rarely do our schedules align.  He has teaching, work and an active social life.  Let's just say he can be nonstop drama if he chooses.  In the recent past, we have attempted a meet up drink/wine and it's never occurred due to constantly changing schedules.  However, I am determined, tonight, to make it work.  He lives a half mile from me and there are several establishments within walking distance that will provide drinks.  I am leaning towards an outdoor bar with an extensive wine list.  As Brandon noted, it would be a nice nod to our past.  I agree.
I think of my next month.  I have a friend visiting me and a half marathon to complete.  Jean is returning to Phoenix to see me.  It's ironic.  The reconnect with Brandon and Jean's visit both are things that I had in my life while living here the first go around.  Actually, Phoenix is the only place that Jean has visited me at.  Otherwise, it's always been me going to her.  Seattle is not a bad place to visit...just saying.
I would love to return to San Diego to explore Temecula if at all possible.  Or, I could postpone that venture til Shari and my annual trip at the end of February.  We are still undecided on how to celebrate Brians' anniversary.  It will be six years.  I cannot believe it.  Last year, we went diving in Belize and at the seven year mark, we plan on a spiritual trip.  We considered Sri Lanka but I think we both agree that a warmer climate is enticing. 
The six year anniversary will be be lovely and low key.  San Diego is close, Sedona is a destination that has eluded us in the past or we could drive to Santa Fe.  Either way, we will begin the celebration in the southwest.  Phoenix could work, too.  Staycation.
I want my dad to visit and need to arrange that, too.  He should be returning to Missouri today and have time to look at his schedule. 
Healthwise, outside of running, I hope to work on my upper body strength.  Until I seriously research a gym membership, I have a strength training video that seems to work.  Then there's yoga.  I want to find a studio that will welcome me.  In Denver, I frequented the--McDonald's of yoga studios--acccording to an acquaintance of mine and after some consideration agreed with her.  They didn't cap class size which annoyed me after awhile.  I tired of having to arrive 30 minutes early to find a space for my mat.  This company continues to grow which is awesome for them but I ended my membership.  I want to find a studio here that has a great flow series and is in the east valley.  When I first returned, I found a studio in east mesa that I liked.  The instructor, Vanessa, was approachable and open to suggestions.  I loved that about her, still do, but they changed the concept to a yin style class.  I am uninterested in holding a pose for five+ minutes and so that studio no longer was an option.  I figure that I will stumble into the ideal studio and soon.  There must be a groupon or living social deal that specializes in this need of mine.
Well, now that it's six, I might as well make coffee.  If I experience insomnia, again, I will find almonds....

Monday, January 2, 2012

Monday Memory

Granted, this was last Monday, but what a sight.  Pure bliss.  I love the ocean and it was a beautiful day.  I should have taken photos of my breakfast burrito or fish taco that accompanied my San Diego adventure.  Well, maybe not.  They were good, but I believe, there are others that are phenomenal.  You know, the ones that you cannot stop talking about. 
For example, I lived in Guadalajara, Mexico, for a few months while in college.  Spanish language requirement and all.  Monday-Friday, we walked by a fish taco stand, admired the guy's fitness and mocked his teeth.  I know, immature, especially, after seven months of commenting that his teeth were jacked up, we realized that he knew english and had heard every time we talked about his teeth.  Humbled, we decided to finally try his fish tacos.  They were amazing and then we kicked ourselves for not trying them earlier in the summer.  He offered fish, calamari and shrimp tacos.  I bet Jean still remembers how fantastic the baja tacos were.  That is what I am determined to find in San Diego during my next visit.  Since it is close to Phoenix and I want to check out Temecula too, I see, a visit in the near future. 
Regardless, Happy Monday and enjoy~
I couldn't resist revisiting how glorious last Monday was.  Stunning day.  I wish that I was there now instead of heading into work later today.  I love my cellar job but miss having only one day off a week.  On my day off, I do laundry, run errands, and ultimately, find a wine bar.  Shocking, right?  I miss the days of having two days off in a row.  Travel easily happened.  Last night, I made pasta with vegetables and tossed it with a tomato sauce.  I want to use my  kitchen more and stop dining out unnecessarily.  Moreover, I want to utilize in season vegetables.  The new year motivates me to alter some of my habits and work on my weaknesses.  Last year, my sister, Jade, told me--pick up some meat for dinner.  I remarked, that isn't really in my wheel house.  I like cooking but what I am comfortable with.  Coming from her, she has three kids and it's normal to have a protein, starch and vegetables whereas I could live on guacamole, salsa and chips.  I convinced her that if I were in charge of dinner, well, then I would make what I was comfortable with.  I did not pick up any protein that evening.
Sangiovese accompanied my pasta last night.  Lovely.  I made some reference to it on facebook and my friend, Agnese, told me I should visit Italy if I enjoyed the sangiovese.  I concur.  I hope to visit her this year.  Italy is a place that I have dreamed of going.  Food, wine, olive oil, etc....history, museums and wine, again.  I feel it is time to set my sights on it and make it a priority. 
Until them, enjoy your day and I will enjoy remembering last Monday.

Sunday, January 1, 2012


It's here.  Happy 2012!  Beautiful morning, coffee and made myself breakfast.  Scrambled eggs with jalapenos, onions, zucchini and peppers.  Yummy.  Yes, this is going to be a spectacular year. 
Last night, I worked and although it was not as busy as I had hoped it would be, it was still pleasant and I toasted the new year with sam adams.  My boss thought it would be different to have a beer toast instead of the traditional champagne.  I agreed.  We are a beer bar. 
I drove home and the minute I entered Tempe, there were police everywhere.  The block party was part of the increased feel of police and it was a holiday.  I arrived safely at my house and reflected on the last year before going to bed.  As previously noted, 2011 was about personal growth, adaptation and compassion.  I feel I greatly benefitted and am now ready for something different.  I feel fantastic about the possibilities of 2012. 
There is running (always and with the Goddess), wine inspired weekends/trips and a friend is getting married in September.  Somehow, I agreed to be her maid of honor.  I am out of practice in that regard and lately, been reminded how "earthy" I am.  Translation--not that girlie or equipped for the shopping for dresses aspect of the wedding.  I can plan a fantastic dinner but the whole let's go gab and shop is out of my realm of expertise.  I think I have been referred to as "granola" lately, too.  Whatever.
I am excited for their nuptials but they fall a week before my birthday and I had hoped to celebrate in Napa as Brian would have been 30 this year and that seems like the ideal place to toast his birthday./  Shari and I discussed a potential celebratory spot before I remembered I had other commitments.  Still, I might be able to do both.  Just need to make it work with the job.
I must reflect later on this.  Works calls....