Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Year in Review

2013 was about change.  Kind of a boring year, for me, reflection wise, and perhaps, that is due to the fact that I am still transitioning.  Figuring out my next journey.
I kicked off 2013 with a 30 day yoga challenge.  The first five days were rough.  The thought of doing another side plank terrified me.
Then, I wanted to do yoga.  Couldn't wait to get to another flow class.  I rearranged my work schedule to accommodate this crazy desire to complete the challenge.  Everything said and done, I completed 40 consecutive days and only stopped because my schedule wouldn't allow for it.  I was super bummed on that Saturday that I missed the class.
Shari and I had considered traveling to Tibet, Bali, or Chile to celebrate the 7 year anniversary of Brian's death.  After much thought, we chose Denver.  Why we didn't think about that, initially, still stuns me.  It made the most sense.  Brian was a chef and we wanted to honor his life in the most organic way.  Traveling to Tibet or Bali would meet the spiritual requirements but the food factor, zest for life, a couple of other things (wine) seriously lacked.  Denver was the most obvious choice and it did not disappoint.
 First, dinner at Solera with many of my friends--Goddess, Steve, Pocketsize, Goose.  Of course the anniversary fell on Denver's restaurant week which is always a nightmare for me to find a place to dine and order off of the menu.  I like the idea of restaurant week, I do, I just find it challenging to enjoy a quality experience being rushed in/out to accommodate everyone else that wants to dine at that particular spot to take advantage of the value oriented dining.  I choose to avoid it as much as I can.
 I digress.  Two of my friends/family.  These two ladies are keepers and my running partners at an upcoming half marathon in Napa in July.  Cheers to the Goddess & Sara Jo.
Shari and I had a lovely meal at Solera (as noted) and spent the anniversary dinner at Frasca.  Divine.  Never disappoints.  I felt fortunate to spend time at both places and Brian and I had eaten at both places.  It was nice to recreate a foodie experience with Shari.  I will go more into the food thing at another posting.
Anyways, so, 2013, started with yoga, celebrating Brian's death, running (a little) and trying to transition more into wine.  My boss, G, took me to Paso Robles for a beer fest.  Since we were in central coast wine country, he asked me, when I would be heading that direction to do wine?  Funny how he completely saw that coming, even if I didn't.
I spent a couple weekends in Paso with Sara Jo/Agnese, G, and then Shari.  It was lovely.  Each time I found a new reason to enjoy it.  Sara and I ran a half marathon in Santa Barbara. I hadn't been training and so the run sucked but it was a wonderful experience.  
Prior to that trip, I spent a few days in Denver and managed to attend Opening Day.  My first one.  I had had tickets in the past but never managed to actually make it to the game.  The festivities always thrilled me.
Beer Festival in May with G was pretty freaking awesome, too. We went wine tasting (obviously), checked out Pismo, ate mexican food and in general, had a good time.  
We returned to Phoenix and it was summer.  No more leaving the windows open it was hot.  I couldn't believe how much it had changed.  At any rate, I spent June in Phoenix and planned an adventure to Oregon in July.  It was lovely to see my sisters, visit Bend for the first time and take a much needed break from the heat.  At that point, I was thinking I was ready for a change. I wanted to get more into wine and an opportunity presented itself. 
I took a wine buying job in September. Thankfully, i had a trip to Paso Robles with Shari already planned out before I took it.  I had bought tickets to Santa Fe Wine & Chile, too.  I believed that I would complete those trips without incident.  I took the job and since then, my travel has decreased.  
Yoga remains a constant and the desire to travel remains.  I took a solo trip to Santa Fe in November and it was glorious.  Much needed.
Now, I enter 2014 with hope.  Hope that I made the right decision to pursue wine.  I am ready for the next venture.  I know this.  
2013 brought transition, change, and some adventure.  I felt my heart beat again and no, I do not say that lightly.  Yoga continues to inspire, motivate, change.  I am happy with the present and embrace tomorrow as a new day.  Happy 2014 to all.  Celebrate, enjoy & taste life, always~

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

reason for car side assistance

Car Insurance...health insurance...both things that are necessary even if, at times, they seem ridiculous.  Many times, I have scoffed at my car insurance.  No lie.  I have wondered what, exactly, this service provides.
My car is an antique.  I love Veronica.  She is solid, a tank, my savior.  Men stop me, repeatedly, in admiration of my volvo.  Regardless of the condition...they recognize the rarity of the model.  It is a wonderful car.
So, today, I drive to the west valley after spending the beginning of the day with friends in the northeast valley.  We toast life, drink bubbles and bid adieu.  I head west and when I arrive with a a few bottles of wine to accommodate everyone, I break my key in the door.  WTF?
Seriously...Crap!  F^&K!!!  I am f#*ked.  What is the best option?  My one friend suggests a lock smith.  I know that I will be taken advantage of as it is xmas and so I hope to avoid that option.  My other friend mentions that I can stay with her and her boyfriend.  I think of what is in my car--glasses, ipod, contact solution and I am sad. I have everything that I would need to stay at her house but no way to access any of those items.  F^&K!!!!
I mull it over and realize that I must be an adult.  Staying at my friends' house is not an option.  Yes, a temporary solution but not a result. I would be stranded, somewhere, relying on public transport or an acquaintance to get me from point a to b.
I call my road side assistance and am told that the guy will agree to making a key for $800.
Wow, really?  You think that is agreeable?  I was taken aback and horrified that someone would suggest it.  Perhaps you weren't interested in work today.
I get it...it's a holiday, christmas (for F*^Ksake)  However, it's not like I planned to have a key malfunction.  Thankfully, they found another kind person willing to make me a key.  Awesome end to a shitty day.  Cleanse will be 2014, trip to Denver (january),  freedom.  I believe in my decisions and support the upcoming choices.  Cheers!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Three year lessons...

I met a tarot reader in Melbourne, Australia.  I was hesitant to meet her.  There was a massage therapist, reflexologist, multiple vendors and tarot readers.  I approached the area, worrisome.  There was an old guy (out), lady with McDonald's (obviously, not a viable option) and one other lady.  Wearing turquoise, kind eyes, no fast food bags.
She read my cards in 2008 and told me that I would be on a different path in three years. I would want something new.  Ironically, in 2011, I did venture out of Denver (as she predicted) and stayed within the comfort of my chosen profession.  She said a few other things that did not resonate at that point. I felt that, for the most part, she was spot on.  I took from that reading what was necessary for my life.
Three years later, and again, I question my choices.  What would happen if I wanted to open my own place?  What is the limitation?  Hesitation?  Freak out point?  I guess I am now considering what is stopping me from truly taking a risk, this risk.  Of course, it would limit my travel options which always scares me.  However, I am almost convinced that it is something that I would like to do.
I went to a new place in Phoenix the other night. I know the chef and bar manager.  The space was fantastic...well lit, great vibe, fun.  Food, okay.  Not great.  One of the dishes was super salty and some sand to accompany the scallops.  A bit much considering.  We ordered a sammie that seemed unreal.  Sausage octopus and it severely lacked.  Dripping in mayo, bland bread and some protein...I wasn't in love the concoction.  Yes, I did manage to be constructive about the disaster.  Octopus sausage still appetizing.  The chopped salad was the most balanced, fresh and inspiring dish.  Hearts of palm, parsley, onion, pine nuts were a few of the core ingredients.  I did enjoy the salad.  I will return as it has only been open for a month.  I believe it will work out the kinks and be a destination for foodies in Phoenix.
I have been meaning to get to the post office before work and I have not been successful.  Gifts this year will be arriving late.  This new schedule is making me a little crazy.  My days off, I act, like I still have a ton of flexibility.  For example, I went to yoga, had some wine, met a friend for happy hour and then retired to my house.  There was no real push to be anywhere but where I wanted to be.  Now, that I have a set schedule, I am concerned with maximizing my free time.  So, no, I didn't make it to the post office today and I will not make it until next week or after.
There are other things that I want to consider but I am running out of time before my day starts.  Til then, I dream of travel, a new city and yoga.  Cheers!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

yoga, vision boards and other ways to "reset"....

I think I've heard the Hawaiian Christmas song 20 times in the last six days...I am over it.  It's one of those things that annoy me while working.
I have ample time to reflect, consider, analyze while working it seems.  I get bored and then I obsess over decisions I have made to get to this point.  I obsess or try to zone out into music.  That is challenging as in the spirit of the holidays, most places are playing christmas music.  For me, it becomes a bit much and I ready to return to more current music selections.
Speaking of music, I am going to check out a new yoga studio today.  I know the instructor from attending other classes she teaches and also practicing alongside her at times too.  She has a great flow and great selection of music.  Previously, I purchased a 50 class package at my normal studio.  I like the vibe of the place, the owner is kind and every instructor is welcoming/approachable.  The only downside is the class selection.  They offer classes that are a mix of bikram/flow.  I am a "flow" girl and they do not offer enough of those classes.  There is a noon class offered daily which I would attend regularly.  That is, until, I took the real job.  Now, I am lucky to attend my preferred class once a week.
I have the opportunity to attend one of their other studios and check out that vibe.  I know there are more flow classes available at that location.  The downside of that studio is that it is north of where I live and I don't want to grow attached to driving more.
When I lived in Denver, I drove four-six miles, round trip, on a daily basis.  It is crazy that I put at least 1200 miles on my car monthly.  What happened to the days of simplicity? I could walk to and from work.  I do miss that aspect of living in Denver greatly.
In the spirit of the new year, I opted to revise my current vision board.  My last one was focused on running, health and getting fit.  After randomly choosing photos/words that inspire me now, I saw an emerging theme.  Still centered on being healthy and living a healthy lifestyle, I am drawn to locations.  I am inspired by wine country (a few photos of wine glasses, Paso Robles), chiles (Santa Fe), rocky mountains (I do love Denver).  In addition, yoga and being happy.  I guess that is what I am identifying with, most, as I conclude 2013.  I choose to be happy in every aspect of my life.  Even if that means I am disappointing my dad as he would prefer that I live in a more stable environment.
I know this is a lesson and one that I wanted.  I must see where it leads and how to make sense of it.  The vision board soothed me.  My ideals have not altered while pursuing stability.  I still yearn for more travel and wonder how to make it happen.
I view every day as an opportunity to grow, adapt and find my calling.  Maybe it will happen today.  A special happy birthday to my little sister, Jasmin.  Finally entering the 30's and still so much available for her to discover.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Tuesday randomness

I am trying to convince myself that I am excited to go to work today.  I'm not.  Shocking, I know, and honest.  I would love to spend the day reading or lazy.  Not thinking about either job or obsessing about things that are out of my control.
Work is necessary and so I will greet the day shortly.  I've had dreams of stocking endless cases of wine and kissing co-workers.  Cute co-workers, age appropriate, but still, a co-worker which is a huge no-no.  Not that I haven't foolishly ventured down that path in my past.
This, to me, that I am thinking entirely too much about work and not enough on happiness or what makes me happy.  Today is a new day and opportunity to enjoy it. I must look at this job as what it can be or mean to me.  Possibility of something new and how to make it better from that perspective. I am meeting a bunch of people in the industry and that is fun and exciting.  I know that there are doors opening because of my decision. It's the waiting that is challenging and forcing me to reconsider what I really want.  I suppose if it was easy, I wouldn't want it either.
My landlord will be remodeling his home 2014 and so I will be looking for a new space to call home.  I got that news last night at dinner.  He did say he would give me ample notice which is nice.  I was a little surprised at the news still.  Perhaps another sign of change for me.
Until then, I will dream of future travel.

Saturday, December 14, 2013


I have a few days off next month (thankfully--I think I would have really gone crazy if I had not managed this)...it gives me something to look forward to.  I seem to really need that these days.  I suppose I make it sound worse to justify why I want to escape the current reality.  I know that I am fortunate to have this chance to seek a more stable industry.  I am meeting many many people that offer new opportunities for growth, education and travel (of course).  I am capitalizing on a connection made, recently, in July.  Cannot wait to run a half marathon and then wine taste in Napa.  Sure, it will be hot in July.  It won't be as bad as Phoenix and I am very aware of that fact.  July is brutal in the Valley.
Originally my plan was to go to Santa Fe with my friend Lisa.  She was going to work the market while I took a much needed break from the Valley.  I asked off from my job and was about to purchase plane tickets when she had to cancel.  I was sad since I really could use a trip and I adore Santa Fe. It wouldn't be that much of an expense for me since she would get the car and I would figure out accommodations. It was a quick trip, though.  She wanted to go for the day.  I (honestly) wanted three days.
At that point, I looked at my options.  Go to Santa Fe, solo.  I could fly to Albuquerque, rent a car & drive to Santa Fe, see my friend, Melody, and maybe Jenn from high school.  It would be great, rejuvenating and lovely.  I always have a great time in the land of enchantment.  The last few trips have been memorable.  I would have to return to Ojo Caliente, too.  There is always a chance of crappy weather and so as much as I wanted to go to Santa Fe, solo, I felt there might be a better fit elsewhere.
I could stay in Phoenix and head north to Sedona.  Day trip somewhere and enjoy the beauty of Arizona.  I suggested that to a friend and had hoped to make that happen.  There are many activities to enjoy in Phoenix and surrounding areas. It would be nice to see it through the eyes of a visitor and I am more than willing to be a tour guide.
However, I have been thinking a lot about Denver lately.  I looked at flights and they are more than reasonable.  It seems that I should head that direction for a few days to reset my priorities.  I am going to have to arrange a session at Izba.  It is a must do activity, for me, when in Denver.  Moreover, I miss my friends and the city itself.  Even it it snows, I can manage a visit to Denver.
I get conflicted with what is best compared to what is right for me.  Sure, stability is something that I should work towards.  I just don't know if it is a good fit for me. I thrive on flexibility and freedom.  I hear stories of people up and relocating to other countries and it sounds like true bliss.  I don't want to be handcuffed to anything.
I know that I will be doing something with those few days off.  Then, there is Vegas in February and maybe a trip to Santa Fe in March of April.  Opening Day in Denver is always excellent. I am so confused and inspired by the possibility of it all at the same time.  I am working towards a life full of travel.  In the meantime, I will enjoy my surroundings, yoga, cultivating relationships and life as it is for now.  Cheers!

Friday, December 13, 2013

Books that have inspired me

Every morning, I wake up, grab my lap top and check e-mail, daily blessings and facebook.  Today one of my friends from high school posted ten books that had inspired her.  I have not been able to stop thinking about books that have inspired me.  So, here goes--
The Year of Magical Thinking.
The Alchemist
Geek Love
Revolt of the Cockroach People
Love in the Time of Cholera
The Cold Six Thousand
May we Be Forgiven?
A Year in Provence
Life and Death of Charlie St Cloud
The Stand
I reflect over my choices and see themes that have inspired me at different phases in my life.  My friend, Sarah, from college always read and would lend or buy me books.  She turned me onto Geek Love, Love in the Time of Cholera, A Year in Provence.  Also, a few books that I just considered.  Choke, Fight Club, a few other books by Chuck Palahniuk.  Sarah always knew how to find a great read.
The Stand, I stumbled upon, while working at a gift shop in high school.  My boss, Carol, is a kind woman.  She taught me how to approach customers without appearing aggressive.  She and her husband owned a collectible store that my mom worked at when we first moved to Salina.  Later, Michaela, my sister, worked for Carol and then me.  It was a great job.  I could do homework while being open at the shop and I read a lot.  I think I have always been drawn to Denver from that book.  Who knows?
I read Revolt of the Cockroach People in college.  I thought I would attend law school when I was a little kid.  I think I came up with that notion when I was 7 years old.  My parents were supportive of my decision and firm that if and when I attended law school, I would be paying for it.  That is not what stopped me from pursuing that idea.  It just didn't feel right when I attended college.  I loved history and ended up in the latin american studies section of the department.  My advisor was a kind, patient man.  He taught us to learn in many mediums--film, lecture, music.  I read Revolt of the Cockroach people while attending one of his classes.
Another academic and friend, Cotten, suggested that I read James Ellroy.  I have never been disappointed in any of his books.  Black Dahlia, White Jazz, L.A. Confidential.  The one that stays with me is The Cold Six Thousand.  Every few years, I reread it, from start to finish.  I never get bored with the story.  I actually almost checked it out, again, a couple weeks ago.  Instead, I picked up May We Be Forgiven?  I had started that book, this past summer, while visiting my sisters in Oregon.  It captivates and is at times, laugh out loud, hysterical.  I had to finish it once I found it at the library.
I found The Alchemist while traveling on my around the world adventure.  My friend, Amber, loaned it to me in New Zealand.  It's funny how when you need something, truly need it, you receive.  I randomly encountered Amber in Christchurch at a hostel.  We shared a room and she spoke of a great park to run in in Christchurch.  A week later, we ran into each other in Wellington.  Now, she is relocating to Denver after several years in Chicago.  She teaches yoga and is highly respected in her field.  I keep meeting people that know her or have taken her class.  At that point, in my journey, I needed the Alchemist.  It was perfect.
The Life and Death of Charlie St Cloud was in a hostel in Costa Rica.  I found it near Manual Antonio where Shari met me to celebrate the 28th of February.  I found it and was wrecked, emotionally, as it rang true to me at that time.  Especially as Shari was traveling me and we were both trying to identify how to heal ourselves from the greatest loss I have ever felt.
The Year of Magical Thinking, still, brings some sort of peace to my life.  I have sent it to others in similar situations to help them breathe as it did me.  Loss is part of our lives and how one chooses to deal with differs greatly.  For me, I had to lose myself in travel to refind what living could be.  I am still learning that path.  Not as intense, but, still a part of my life.
I think today is going to be about reflection, inspiration and power.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Hair cut and other random encounters....

A few weeks ago, this guy, stopped me at my retail job. I thought the question would be related to beer or wine (hopefully)...instead it was this---Is all of your hair the same length?
I was taken aback.  Not at all what I was anticipating.  I almost stuttered my response.  Yessss, it is.  He hands me a business card and explains that he is looking for models to cut hair.
I have been considering having my hair cut and so it sort of worked into a manifestation.  Recently, I frequent a salon in Tempe that is great. However, I spend $65 for two inches to be cut off.  Yes, my girl styles my hair and she does a good job.  It just feels steep for two inches to be subtracted from my mane of hair.
I called the guy and set up an appointment.  During our brief exchange, he mentioned that he would not be cutting layers to my hair as he didn't know how to do that yet.  At that point, I realized that the hair cut would most likely be a trim. I wasn't prepared to have my hair jacked up and then spend more money to fix any mistake.
I arrived a few minutes early and checked in.  I thought that the appointment would start at 9:15 as arranged.  I sat there for 15 minutes and started to get anxious.  I was thinking of the rest of my day and what I had intended to do prior to work.  Finally, after I inquired about the stylist, he shows up with his instructor.  He asks me what I would like to have done and make suggestions.  His instructor agrees with the assessment and off we go.  She had recommended cutting bangs to further accentuate my face. I was like--no freaking way.  I know that I came across as low maintenance and even hesitant about going through with the treatment.  I was absorbed with time and thinking more of the cut as an obligation not something that I truly wanted.
In all fairness, he did a good job, was professional and kind.  His instructor checked each section before he proceeded and she taught him how to do layers on my hair.  It was getting later and his instructor was in high demand.  There were other apprentices that needed guidance and assurance that they were styling hair in the correct technique.
Due to this, she cut the other side of layers and finished up my hair.  He watched and noted that he had other clients coming in and that I was in a time crunch to leave.  I had mentioned that I had work soon and that I was hoping it could speed up.
I was disappointed that they didn't style my hair.  They let me leave after the cut was complete.  I get it to some degree.  I said, I like to shower and go, that I rarely, ever, blow dry my hair, that I was low maintenance.  But, the style is part of the experience and I was disappointed that I didn't get the full treatment.  Of course, I tipped and I pulled my hair back into a pony tail the minute I left.
I stopped by a market to pick up soup.  There wasn't anything that looked inspiring and so I chose a sandwich.  Being in a hurry and instead of taking a deep breath and noticing a few things...like I didn't need to return to Tempe to pick up my bag for work as it was already in my car.  Instead, I am rushing around and pick up a pre-made turkey sandwich.  I get home and realize that the sandwich has american cheese which I loathe and think, I should have relaxed and gotten my hair blown out/styled and shown up to work refreshed.
I change out a few displays, work on my biceps/triceps and approach customers.  The guys on my team are talking and I notice a guy that may or may not have been helped.  I ask him, have you been helped?
He looks at me and goes--no...I don't mean to stare, you are just so attractive.
What?  I know that I turned like 30 shades of red and I say--thank you, I guess, and walk away.  Later, I was paged to help me out of a talkative customer that kept following me around.  At first, I enjoyed the conversation.  Interesting guy, wanted to road trip to NYC and had a natural vibe.  Then, he just got weird and wouldn't stop.  I tried on a couple different occasions to make a clean break without offending him.  Somehow, he managed to continue the conversation until I was paged which was awesome.
I think there is a full moon or perhaps the 13th is already enchanting people.
I skipped yoga today as I want a flow class and that cannot happen today.  I work, early, and have happy hour plans with a friend from Denver.  It's dangerous to meet with her as we both miss the city, dearly, and talk about it.  We compare/contrast the differences between here and there and I always leave sad.
I am off to greet the day.  I am curious to see how this day will pan out....

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

current thoughts

I am arranging a trip in January.  Either staycation, here or head to Denver, San Diego or Santa Fe.  I am considering the staycation option as it will be a little warmer here than in Denver or Santa Fe.  I can drive up to Sedona or explore some other place in Arizona.  Mostly, I want a few days off from work to be free.  Two days off in a row where I can venture elsewhere.
I know that Las Vegas trip will happen in February.  I thought about working Thursday morning and then heading out to meet Shari.  I believed it would provide a way to not feel bad for asking off more time from work.  Then, I realized how foolish that would be.  I don't want to appease other people.  I want to enjoy my life and a large part of that happiness occurs when I am traveling.  I remember when I chose to try this new job.  Many friends remarked that the lack of travel would kill me.  They are right!
I am attempting to rectify that.  To balance options and make it work for me.  I am enjoying the new job--cultivating relationships, meeting more people in the industry and my arms are finally looking sculpted. I can do an adequate push up (another bonus of retail work).  I jest.
The main concern I have is the lack of travel.  I must find a way to make it work and continue to work in this industry. I know there is much more to learn and I am committed to doing it.
In the meantime, I will read, do yoga, travel (as much as I can) and blog.  A friend of mine suggested that I continue this the other night when I was venting my crazy of the current state.  I was expressing to him my unhappiness with not being able to travel and he told me that I should write.  I agree.  And, I will write about traveling and in that regard, I must do it. I cannot worry about money or work.  I feel these things will always be in my life.
Til then, I will contemplate peace, celebration and my next trip.  Staycation or trip elsewhere.  I am going to do it next month!  I know it is going to happen.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Happy Thursday thoughts

Today is a glorious day.  Mostly, as that is how I am choosing to greet it.  The last few days, I have been in a serious funk.  My body felt bloated (damn thanksgiving), I was stressed out due to work and my sleep suffered in addition to other areas of my life.
I woke up today and felt great.  I skipped yoga.  In my defense, I am unfamiliar with the teacher and the prospect of attending a bikram/flow class with crappy music just inspired me to stay home and watch Nashville, early, as opposed to tonight, when I am done with work.  I really enjoy that show--great character development, plot twists and then the music is great.  On a side note, I am listening to that station on pandora.
I miss my running partner, the Goddess.  I wish we could go for a run/catch up session.  Or, I wish I had someone in Phoenix that could become my running partner.  I had one, last year, but it felt shallow and forced.  Plus, I am pretty sure the guy was only running with me, hoping, that I would go out with him.  I thought that was incredibly lame.  His nickname was McFly (no, I never told him that).  Super nice guy but he reminded me of George McFly, the high school student.  I didn't him as anything but a running mate.
I will return to yoga tomorrow.  I have the option to go to another studio and catch more vinyasa flow classes which I prefer.  I know the bikram style is beneficial for a lot of people.  It is not for me.  I prefer balancing postures and change, every day.  I get bored when it is the same sequence daily.  It is stagnant.
I knew that I was a 5 according to numerology.  A nonconformist.  Some positive attributes and some that are risky.  But, it is me and it is so true to how I view my life.  I like the freedom/flexibility of how I choose to live.  Real job is challenging my ability to travel and sustain like I am used to.  I haven't completely decided to chuck it, but, I'm not 100% sold on the benefits of stability.  I am learning, a lot, which I appreciate and meeting more people in the industry that I want to be part of.  I know that I am on the right path and that challenges/obstacles are part of it.  It's all part of the learning process.  I am thankful that I have mini-trips in the works.  Gratitude for my employers and their patience with me.
I have an upcoming venture to New Mexico in January and then there is Las Vegas in February.  Shari and I need to lock down the dates so that I can ask off from work.  In July, I have a half marathon in Napa.  The accommodations are set and I know that I will manage (somehow) to make it Denver or Santa Fe another time in the Spring.  I know that I benefit, greatly, from these quick trips.  It's like a reset button that soothes me.
Well, I must fully embrace the day and head to work.  Cheers~

Saturday, November 30, 2013

breakfast with friends

I am still feeling the effects of Thanksgiving dinner.  It was delicious!  My friend's neighbors spoiled us with green chile corn casserole.  I believe that was my favorite dish of the meal.  Thankfully, the guy that made the left over plates made sure to add some of the corn casserole to mine.  He omitted the turkey.  I still think that is odd as that is the main dish of the meal.  However, I probably did not need more turkey.  I know that I didn't.
I met a dear friend for breakfast yesterday.  Hailey and I met in 4th grade.  Played softball together, were part of the Pepper squad, went to K.U. and eventually, I stood up in her wedding.  We have kept in contact over the years and I was very excited to hear about her trip to AZ for Thanksgiving.  I met her husband at KU and Brian and I spent a weekend with them in Dallas (where they reside) in 2003--I think.  Cory's parents retired and chose Arizona as their retirement home of choice.
Yesterday was the first time I met their three boys.  Adorable, polite and funny!  I had met the oldest when he was a baby.  In 2006, I took a road trip which included a couple of days in Dallas. Hailey and Cory let me stay at their house and we bonded over reunion memories and Brian.  Andrew was a few months old at that point.  I remember going out to dinner and he slept through the entire meal.
It was nice to see the dynamics of how the boys got along.  The youngest, Austin, sat by me at the breakfast and I was able to play with his trucks and color.  Kids and the color factor.  It is a nice distraction while waiting for food.
It was too quick of a breakfast as I had to go to work and they had plans to hike and spend time with their families.  Still, I valued them for making time to spend with me.  I find that it is always challenging to achieve everything I want to get done when visiting family, new cities, friends.
I plan on visiting them in Dallas or Austin 2014.  Austin is one city that I have not yet visited.  Although, I have always wanted to check it out.  Live music, food, trendy bars....who wouldn't want to visit?  I think it could happen next year.
Unless I have the opportunity to road trip it somewhere, this month, I think my travels for 2013 are concluded.  I might be doing a day trip to Sedona with my mini-me or there is always San Diego.  I still have fond memories of xmas a couple of years ago.  It could happen.  I know that I must stay here for the holiday but a road trip could be in order.  San Diego is close or perhaps, Santa Fe.  I only need to be open to the possibility of it to make it happen.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Day of Gratitude!

I think, Thanksgiving, is my favorite holiday.  It gives me ample time to reflect for what I am grateful for in my life.  I love it.  It's about sharing food, experiences, life.  No obligatory gifts.  Just honest to goodness day of gratitude.
Of course, I wish I could be spending turkey day with my sisters.  I have yet to meet the newest addition to the family.  My dad is in Oregon and so I know it would be an ideal time to visit my sisters.  Darn the retail job!  Although, I somehow, managed to get today off.  My day began with a yoga class.  Initially, I had told my friends that I would skip that possibility as I think it is foolish to have studios open on a sacred holiday.  My friend, Christina, raved about how excited this instructor at this one studio was to teach on Thanksgiving.  I allow myself to be persuaded to to attend a class, knowing, that I had mixed feelings about it.  I should have stayed with my intuition.  My friend canceled due to too many glasses of wine last night.  I forgive her that as I, too, have skipped yoga, hiking, running dates due to having too much fun the previous night.
At any rate, I walk into the studio and note that it isn't too full.  There are two other studios that I frequent, regularly, and I knew that they would be stock full of healthy people trying to get their yoga fix for the day.  I understand that desire.  I just get claustrophobic when the classrooms are mat to mat.  They say it works.  It doesn't work for me.  I always think i will get sprayed with someone else's sweat or kicked in the face while doing the full moon balance.  It's uncomfortable and instead of leaving balanced/recentered, I leave angry, negative and annoyed.
So, the studio had promise.  I sat my mat down and meditated.  This classroom is hot and I let it overtake me.  The instructor entered the room and we started the breathing exercises.  At that point, I should have left.  I knew, immediately, it was a bikram style class based on the breath sequence.  I wanted a vinyasa flow class.  Especially if I was attending a class on a holiday.
I stayed and it went from bad to worse.  No music, lame postures and no chatarungas.  I absolutely should have avoided going to yoga today.  The sign of my friend skipping should have convinced me to go hike or choosing a different activity to greet the day.  My stubbornness prohibited me from leaving and I suffered through it.  The instructor made it worse by coming over and saying--what is your name again?  I just wanted to be left alone.  It was awful.
I am meeting friends later for thanksgiving.  For the time being, I am going to relax/reflect on my life.  It is wonderful--the people in it, the food I eat/encounter and of course, the travel.  I see a trip to Santa Fe in the works.  I want to return to Ojo Caliente, check out some other restaurants and meditate on my life.  I do enjoy the beauty of that city.  A true oasis for me.
Til then, I will enjoy the day.  I hope you enjoy yours, too.  Celebrate, Enjoy & Taste Life~

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

random customers and chanting

Work went pretty well today.  It wasn't that insane and I managed to order more wine to stock.  I suppose that is something.
I approached a guy about beer options and he seemed confident with his ability to choose.  Still, I continued to chit chat and he stops me to ask a question--is your hair all the same length?
I know that I blush as I was not expecting this question.  I say, yes, as it is true.  He continues with....well, I am new to a salon in Arcadia and and we are looking for models for different cuts.  I think I might do it.  I have been teetering with this decision for the last few months.  Since I returned to Tempe, I have been frequenting a salon.  I like my girl--she's quirky, eclectic, fun.  However, I am tired of spending $65 on 2 inches of my hair being cut.  That is my hesitation for going to her.  I know another stylist that frequents my bar gig.  He's a hoot!  He definitely makes me laugh and I want to believe that he knows what he is doing.  That I could trust him to not jack up my hair.  However, I have pause in that possibility, too.  I think this guy I met tonight might actually be a viable option.
There were other customers that I was able to chat up about wine.  I do like that aspect of my current job.  I began a conversation this one customer who happened to be from Denver.  Then, we were off.  I can talk about Denver for a long while.  I do adore that city and miss it terribly.  That is how I always feel when I meet someone who is currently living there.
Anyways, we continue to talk when a chanting disrupts us.  It was on the other side of the store.  All, I can make out, is that animals deserve to live.  There was a group of indeterminate people that were boycotting our butcher.  It was insane. So bizarre and it continued for a good 10 minutes.  My first thought was--can't they just kick them out?
Then, I reconsidered.  Giving any attention to this group gave them praise.  I thought we should turn the music up and continue on with customer service.  I don't know how they were politely asked to leave. I was thankful that the chanting stopped.  It was not a peaceful protest by any means.  I cannot even tell you where this group came from.  I hope they do not choose to return and pull this charade tomorrow.
My hiking date fell through for tomorrow morning.  I am bummed for many reasons.  Mostly since I am going to have to get up, earlier, and do laundry.  My land lord was doing his laundry, tonight, when I made it home.  Tomorrow will be an early day.
I think the hair cut might be a grand idea.  And, it's just hair, right?  If it is terrible, it will grow back.  I will wait through the holidays to marinate on the hair idea.

Monday, November 25, 2013


Don't I look happy?  Completely happy in spite of being out of place and under dressed.  Darn my friends that suggest an event is casual.  Casual to them and casual to me are two different things.  I am most at home sporting shorts and a top.  Preferably, a t-shirt.  Something running related, beer related, wine friendly...you get the picture.  I am most comfortable in shorts/t-shirt.
I continue to reflect on what is important (imperative) to make my life grand.  Travel (obviously), good food, friends.  In some ways, my new job choice is great--I refrain from overspending as I try to live within my means.  I am doing more with less.  However, moving forward, the travel thing is making me antsy.  I must do it.  I don't want to be handcuffed to a house, to a job, to a decision.  I flail between what is okay and what is absolutely making me crazy.  My new job is informative, exciting and different.  There are times, though, when I am extremely sensitive to my performance.  I am task oriented.  Capable and efficient to a fault.  Yet, when multiple tasks are vomited on me, I get distracted and irritated.  I just want to make it work.
I hope to travel for christmas.  Ideally, a flight to Denver would be fantastic.  I shopped flights, today, and it is still manageable.  Then, I think, if I take off time, then, how willing will my job be to accommodate my 2014 schedule?  Will they let me road trip to Santa Fe in January like I have decided I am doing?  Or, will they give me grief about Vegas in February?
I must be smart about my trips.  I intend to see this through.  There is yoga teacher training in March that inspires me.  I did skip my class this morning due to lack of sleep/motivation.  Tomorrow is a new day and I see myself in class.
I had a random dream last night....I sang the National Anthem at a sporting event.  I have no idea what motivated that dream.  I am not a a confident singer. Sure, I sing in my car, in the shower, to myself...but rarely, ever, in public.  It just isn't my thing.
I think of what it meant or where my life is heading.  There has been and continues to be a lesson in Phoenix.  I am staying true to this course while dreaming of more travel.  I know that the transition needs to occur unless I choose to open my own restaurant, yoga studio. bed and breakfast, etc....all interests of mine.  All travel related too.
I digress.  It's been a long day and tomorrow is a new day.  Yoga will refresh before retail therapy of others demands my attention.  It is going to be a great day!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

rain, again?

I wake up to continuing rain.  I love the rain, I do, on occasion.  For instance, while in Santa Fe, it was perfect to walk around the plaza in the rain.  It smelled clean.  Well, and I had someone to share the experience with.  It added to the ambiance of the trip.  My reset button trip.  The trip I had to have to sustain the next five weeks of holiday, retail and chaos.  I know myself and try to stay true to my needs.  The need for a trip to recenter, refocus, re-prioritize.  Santa Fe was the perfect place to accomplish the reset.  It has been and continues to be an oasis.
I returned to Phoenix and it was overcast.  Perfect.  I'll take it.  I'll take it for a few days.  I am over it now.  Why can't it rain during the summer when it is 120?  I am ready for the return of the sun.  I would like to hike and as it continues to rain, that is not an option.  Last year, I went hiking on Thanksgiving.  It seemed like a worthy option but my friend and I chose to head out too late.  We were surrounded the entire hike up Echo.  It wouldn't be that bad if people actually knew how to be courteous/display proper etiquette on the trail.  Instead, it was a cluster of people all trying to accomplish the same thing I wanted.  Make it to the top, quickly.  Breathe in the solitude of the beauty and begin the descent to reality.  Along the way, we were forced to stop as people opted to take a break in challenging places on the path.  One group, literally, made it impossible to climb without stepping on them.  They seemed the most unaware of how to hike amongst others.
This year, if it isn't raining and hiking is an option, I want to go early.  I want to avoid some of the parking issues and idiots on the trail.  I know it sounds harsh.  It is how I feel about it, though.  Hiking is recreational, sure, to a certain degree.  I only ask that the rules are followed of etiquette.  I don't care how long it takes to get up to the top as long as I am not stuck behind a group of people that refuse to yield to others.
I'll get off my soap box.  This all began with the rain.  I did enjoy it, initially.  Now I am ready for a change. My work schedule is limiting my ability to attend yoga.  Hence, the desire to hike.  At least I can get up early and enjoy the fresh air.
Enjoy your day as much as you can.  Here I am complaining about rain and I know that it snowed in Denver and Santa Fe.  I am thankful to not be dealing with that issue.  I do not miss driving in the snow.....

Thursday, November 21, 2013

random rainy day thoughts

Me, on my birthday...wow, do I look happy.  Purple is a good color.  Wine related, suit related--yea, it's a good color.
I am reflecting on my last couple of years.  I felt inspired to consider my life and what has happened since 2006.  Why did I think up this blog?  Travel.  Travel.  Food.  Wine.  Travel.  Travel.  More wine.  More food.  Friends.
I still do all of these things.  Why am I not sharing this?
I think I went through a phase where I felt extremely vulnerable.  Say 2011, I felt exposed.  I can admit that I did it to myself.  I over share, even, when in hindsight, I recognize, not extremely smart.  I choose to be honest, transparent, even.  I attempted to be less share friendly and it has shut down my inspiration.  I want to change this.
I am happy.  I am thriving.  Life is grand.  Travel is immense and I have been enjoying incredible food.  It has seemed, easier, to withhold the information.  To reflect, in my mind, as opposed to the possibility of the blog.  Does that make sense?
I plan on changing it.  What do they say--insanity is when you perform the same behavior and expect a different result?  I no longer have the expectation...I think I have feared using the blog for what it is intended to be.   A forum.  A way in which to communicate my thoughts, desires, wants, needs, craziness.  I have sacrificed my voice due to fear.  I no longer want to operate this way.  I want to be open.
So, my next trip will be detailed. I spent last weekend in Santa Fe. I met a friend for drinks and he was telling me of his own travel stories.  He went on and on (yes, he had good stories/information) and as I listened, I considered my own life. The people I have encountered on the way, the friends I have kept in contact with and the future--what it brings.  My friend from high school seemed surprise that I would want an "adult" job.  I agree with her.  I miss the freedom of my travel life.
So, how can I make that happen?  What can bring that dream to fruition?  I want to know.
For the time being, I will work hard, cultivate relationships and dream of travel.  Celebrate, enjoy and  taste life!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

mini trip

 I love traveling.  It is my reset button.  I am able to assess, reflect, determine my priorities.  Thankfully, my current employer understands that need for travel.  I suppose, the majority, of my employers have seen that desire of mine to be free.
I woke up, at 3:45, to drive to Santa Fe.  I chose to drive a new route which promised to decrease the trip by an hour.  I prefer this road, now, as it does, in fact cut the trip to something manageable.  I wasn't in love with driving in the dark along unfamiliar roads.  I had a lunch date in ABQ with a friend from Jr. High.  Thinking back, the first time I went to Santa Fe, was with Jennifer on a school trip.  I remember that trip fondly.  We visited Bandelier Monument National Park, went to the reservation in Taos and camped in Colorado.  It was my first "real" trip without family....ahh, the memories.
Jennifer and I had lunch at a local eatery.  I was tired from the drive.  Still, it was wonderful to see her and briefly catch up.  We did a half marathon in Las Vegas a few years ago.  I am fortunate to have friends in my life where we can pick up and go where we last left off.  Jennifer relocated to Albuquerque last year and is thriving.  Me, I prefer Santa Fe.
 I checked into my hotel.  It is all about who you meet along the journey.  While at the Wine & Chile Festival, I attended a tasting at the Governor's Mansion.  Lisa swore it would be casual.  I show up in my standard dress--shorts, top, purse draped across my chest.  I am that simple in terms of style.
I felt very underdressed and just went with it.  We mingled and Lisa pointed out some of the movers and shakers in Santa Fe.  Eventually, I found myself outside of the tent and met this guy who was a native of Santa Fe.  He went to D.U. which continued our conversation.  I can talk, forever, about my love for the city of Denver.  I asked David if he had heard of the Bull (my former job) and he goes--yea, I used to hang out there all the time when I was in college.  I was surprised since I didn't recognize him and so I was trying to figure out when college was for him.
Anyways, we had a conversation and that simple conversation led to a lovely room at a hotel in Santa Fe.  I took advantage of his offer of a great rate on my next trip to Santa Fe.
It came earlier than I envisioned.  However, I am going through some changes in my life.  A more stable, adult job, which is scary.  I love the flexibility/freedom associated with bartending.  I am able to keep that job on a minimal basis.  I like the new opportunity with the new position.  I will have insurance through my job which has never been part of the service industry package.  Paid time off, benefits--all new things to me.  But, with that, is a sacrifice.  The sacrifice of my come as I like lifestyle.
I felt it imperative that I take some time for me before greeting the holidays.
This is the view from my jr suite at the hotel.  Decadent and amazing.  I extended my stay to enjoy it a little longer.  Santa Fe rarely (really, never) disappoints me.  I always find new ways to fall in love with this city.  This go around, Melody and I went to Ojo Caliente.  I would definitely recommend it to anyone visiting Santa Fe.  More rustic than the Waves but equally delightful.  I loved it.  I was super relaxed after the soak day, too.
I was taken to a new restaurant that I cannot believe I have never stumbled upon myself.  I had a couple glasses of wine at the palace bar and yummy food.  I especially enjoyed the polenta fries.  My night concluded at Coyote which I have always been a fan of.  I met a sous chef, years ago, while sitting at the hotel bar--i think the San Francisco that time around.  Ben and I met over a discussion regarding the best calamari.  He claimed to make the best calamari while I am loyal to solera (always), in Denver.  At any rate, I ended up dining at coyote cafe in an effort to see if his claim was true.  I didn't have calamari.  The fare was exquisite and I try to sample the latest creations whenever I am in town.  Ben, whose last name I cannot remember, moved four or five years ago to Las Cruces.  I believe he ended up in the south, somewhere, as he originally was from Louisiana.
Yes, travel is my reset.  It lets me be me, come away inspired, new, refreshed and able to work.  It's always a balance for me to find the best possible position that can sustain my need for travel.  Will a stable job be enough to enable this?
I am not ready to answer it yet.  I want to give it a fair shake.  I am committed to it.  I just get frustrated while dealing with the necessary changes.  I can say that my dad was over the moon.  I finally would have a "real" job according to him.
Life is funny.  I prefer being happy to the success that many people seek--stability, money, material goods.  I am much happier on the road or dreaming of my next venture.  Of course, food/wine are staples in my dream book, too.  I don't know where I will end up but I feel a new trip being thought up.  I know Las Vegas is the future as well as a return to Napa.  I convinced a few of my friends that we must (mandatory) sign up for the half marathon in July.  I am a fan of destination races, specifically the ones where wine is involved.  I am grateful that my friends agreed.
Enjoy the day.  I am rejuvenated and looking forward to the experience of my current journey.

Monday, November 4, 2013


I gripe about etiquette, a lot.  It's because it's important to me to function in society.  It makes it so much easier when everyone follows suit.  Using turn signals.  Saying excuse me, thank you, please...simple things that we were all taught in our formulative years.
It is beyond frustrating to see the lack of respect for etiquette.  The snow birds have returned to AZ and so there is a plethora of slow drivers on the freeways.  People that do not drive frequently on freeways.  I try to not stress out about it.
Then, today, I went hiking and made sure to allow people to have the right away on their descent. I made eye contact and hoped they would acknowledge me with a thank you.  Rarely did it happen.  Moreoever, I did ensure that this guy that sounded like an elephant (heavy walker) could pass me safely.  I waited on the side for him to continue.  He did not even acknowledge it. Jackass!
Annoyed, I continued.  There is a bench to rest at the midway point.  I approached it and noted the elephant was resting.  I walked off to the side and drank some gatorade.  I waited for the heavy walker to start.  He didn't.  In my mind, I knew I would refuse to let him pass me as he had no class in the first encounter.
I made my way to the top and passed another guy that I had made sure to say excuse me too.  This new guy was inexperienced and had no clue as to how to be respectful to other hikers.  He was in the way and wouldn't step aside to allow someone to pass.
I just don't get it.  What happened to awareness?  Kindness?  Etiquette?  Why must I keep beating my head against a brick wall when it comes to this?  Should I just let it go?
Of course, I entertain that thought.  Then, I hear something, not associated with this particular thing but a reminder that I am right.  It all goes back to respect, commanding respect, being respectful.  I was told last night that I was a bitch...but don't take it the wrong way.
I didn't.  I knew, exactly, what this guy was trying to say.  When I say things are done at my bar gig, people listen.  Why? Because they know that I mean it.  I try to be honorable, respectful, genuine.
I guess I am on a soap box since I saw a lady sideswipe a car yesterday.  I heard the crash and watched as the woman got out of her vehicle to assess the damage.  She looked around and spotted me and another guy on a bike.  I couldn't help myself.  I had to say something.  I have been sideswiped and it sucks.
So, I tell the lady to leave a note.  I even suggest...if this were your car, how would you feel?
She agrees and I head to yoga.  I watch for the person that owns the car that was hit.  Ten minutes later they walk up to their car.  I rush out to see if the woman was honest with her note.  She was.  It sucks that I had the expectation that she would not be.
Next time you are out, driving, use your turn signals.  Why is this an issue?  Is it a problem that you indicate your next move as opposed to merging into an unassuming person?  Or, hiking, say, excuse me...It makes it so much kinder.  What happened to kindness, gratitude, respect?
I am done for the night.  I will enjoy my glass of wine.  My program.  The rest of my day off.  The possibility of a trip, improved etiquette, kindness.

Birthday in Santa Fe

I spent a couple of days in Santa Fe....absolutely glorious.  I always want more time there.  Wine and Chile was awesome.  Finally, made the festival and it was fantastic.  My friend, Lisa, invited me to accompany her to the event.  I had just taken a new job and so it was uncertain if I would truly be able to travel to Santa Fe.  I was determined to make it work.  When they asked me if I had upcoming travel, I made sure, to mention my trip to the land of enchantment.
All of my friends told me that I should eat the loss of ticket and take the job.  I wanted the job.  I just wanted to go to Santa Fe more.  Thankfully, it all worked out.  I took the job and went to Santa Fe.  The time flew by.  I could have used a couple more days to hike, check out new restaurants, chill.  I am hoping to road trip it up there in a couple weeks.  I cannot help myself.  I thrive when I travel.  I am going to make it happen in spite of it being holidays, ideal weather for AZ, etc.  I want to take a trip.
I know that i have been lax, this year, with blogging.  I just have not felt inspired to share.  Or perhaps I wonder what the lesson is for me currently.  Until I figure it out, I refrain from sharing.  
I went hiking today.  Beautiful.  I craved a slice of pizza and a glass of wine.  Red to be specific.  I dreamed of that sensation the entire descent of the hike.  I couldn't figure out where to go.  I mean, few places offer slices and if they do, do they have wine?  My friend suggested a local spot that I knew had pies.  I drove up, subconsciously knowing, that it was a mistake.  I should have went with the place I knew, 100%, had what I was looking for.  I was looking for a new way to spend my day off.  I get in ruts or so it seems this year.  
The place I tried to go did not offer slices of pizza.  At this point, I could have recovered my car from valet and headed to the original normal place.  Instead, I defaulted to a popular wine spot.  Lazy.  I was hungry, tired and wanting food.  Mistake.  My sandwich was dry, lame, bland.  I definitely should have taken the extra time to drive to the pizza spot.  Instead I stayed and tried to make the best of it.  The wine was nice.
I think what a waste of a day off in terms of food.  However, I did make a lovely dinner and so it sort of redeemed the day.  Penne pasta with tomatoes, onions and garlic.  Delicious!  
I will make more of an effort to post.  I must make time to be creative and enjoy life.  I will have more photos of my upcoming venture to Santa Fe.  Car tags are current and a road trip sounds delightful....

Sunday, September 8, 2013


Wow!  It has been a long time since my last post.  I am beyond lame.
I remember having a fantastic venture in Oregon with my sisters.  Yoga in Bend was exceptional, beers with friends/family and just being in Oregon was inspirational.  I loved the weather.  I considered it as a possible relocation city.  I liked the idea of Eugene and seeing two of my sisters frequently.  Bend was more intriguing, though, truth be told.  It had a very inviting vibe.
I returned to the desert to encounter more of the summer's intensity.  There was a brief reprieve.  In this case, I was able to sleep in my bed for about two weeks before the insanity returned.  I have a small place but the a/c is inadequate.  It's more comfortable to sleep in my living room on a sleeping bag than in my bedroom.  I tried it.  I tried to make it work.  But, I would wake up, every hour, on the hour due to heat.  I found that if I moved my sleep space to the living room I could at least sleep.  It hasn't been wonderful.  It's been doable.  I've created other issues to deal with since I sleep on the floor.  Lack of circulation.  Apparently, I like to sleep with my arms under my pillow or crooked into awkward positions.  I wake up from my hand being "dead".  It is frustrating!
I ran a half marathon in Colorado.  The fourth time I've run this particular half.  It is a great course, well supported and beautiful.  I was fortunate to spend a couple of days with friends in addition to the race.  We checked out a few new spots in the city and I was sad when I had to return to the heat.  Four days in Denver was not enough to say the least.
I returned home and it seemed a little cooler.  For the first time since June I could sleep in my bed.  It felt amazing and I stopped having circulation issues.  I knew it was in my mind as the heat index spiked and I am, again, sleeping on the floor.  Two more months of heat.
It's been an interesting summer.  I thought it would be my last, here, as I always have the urge to travel, relocate, begin again.  I don't know how it will happen, it just does.  Then, I had an opportunity present itself in Phoenix.  I tweaked my resume and applied.  I remembered, thinking, I do know how to apply myself and I forgot how much I enjoy it.
For the foreseeable future, Phoenix is my home.  I am thankful to be here and excited about the new job.  It involves wine, travel and more wine.  Of course, I was interested in this job.
I will return to posting more.  Perhaps more about all of the delicious wine I encounter.  I think my travel will be in a holding pattern for a few months.  Commitment to work trumps my desire to run free.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Sisterly love

Last week, I was able to fly to Oregon and spend 6 days with two of my sisters.  It was fantastic!  It only would have been better had Jasmin been able to make an appearance.  Another time, I am sure that can be arranged.
I flew into Eugene, drove to Bend to meet Michaela and her husband.  I had never been to Bend and was awed by what that city had to offer.  Excellent breweries, yoga studios, coffee shops, funky vibe and the hiking was incredible.  Actually, Michaela found a spot that sounded awesome but really was us walking around a parking lot.  Long story and funny to look back on.  At the time, we were both sort of annoyed with the lack of trail.  Basically, the river trail went about a quarter mile before veering off and heading up to the interstate.  We backtracked and found another trail that also led to a parking lot.  Lame, for sure!  Next time, we'll have to research better.
The yoga factor in Bend was fantastic.  Somehow, I managed to find an incredible studio.  I dropped into a class for $12 which included a mat rental.  The instructor was great.  Completely different flow, music and I benefited from the experience.  I posted about it on my facebook account.  Later that afternoon, a friend of mine that I met in New Zealand made a comment.  Amber wanted to know who the instructor was.  I responded that her name was Cynthia.  Amber commented that Cynthia was one of the reasons she became a yoga instructor.  Can you say ironic?
I returned on Sunday to attend another one of Cynthia's classes and made a point to arrive early and talk to her about our mutual friend.
Michaela, Tim and I checked a few of the breweries in Bend, too.  Ten Barrel, Crux and Boneyard.  All had great beer and different things to offer. I felt fortunate to have been able to check out the beers, food and vibes of each place.
After the weekend in Bend, we returned to Eugene.  Michaela returned to work and I was able to tour the city, solo, and spend time with Jade and her family.  I took Mackenzie to lunch, one afternoon, too.  It was nice to spend time with my niece.  I considered taking her to pizza and salad.  I knew that the place I wanted to frequent had lame wine though.  Instead of that, we went to an upscale bar in downtown Eugene.  We tried an array of appetizers which was a new experience for her.  I am glad that I was able to share with her that.  Hopefully she'll look back on our lunch at the Davis and think fondly of it.  We sampled pancetta wrapped prawns, scotch eggs, roasted vegetables and hummos.
My Oregon trip was lovely.  I wish I had had more time to explore the city and see it with my sisters.  The weather was a wonderful change for me.  I could go running at 8, 9, or 10 am.  What a change from Phoenix.  I slept thru my alarm this morning.  I forced myself to go running at 7 am.  It was already 94.  Believe me, I was tempted to put it off one more day.  Yet, the half marathon is next Saturday.  I cannot afford to put it off one more day.
Vacation in Oregon was awesome.  No rain, lots of great conversations with my sisters and yoga was sublime.  Well, yoga in Bend.  The studio in Eugene severely lacked.  No mirrors in the studio and the instructor faces you.  The music was terrible.  I just could never not stopping thinking about how terrible the flow sequence was.  I bought a 3 day pack and so I was committed to it right out of the gate.  Next time, I will find a different studio instead of settling for the one right by Michaela's house.  I wanted to say how shitty the class was to the instructor but didn't feel that it would matter at all.
I feel rejuvenated from my vacay.  And, I loved Bend.  I hope to return soon and check out more of the city.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

sleep issues

In the past few days, I tweaked my right wrist.  Of course, I am right handed and so every movement I attempt to make is made with my right hand.  Signing my name, shaking a hand, lifting any item (I prefer my right hand).  So, in an effort to minimize use of my right hand, I began using my left hand to scoop ice and carry things.
Finally, I considered my options.  I could go to a doctor, chiropractor or masseuse.  Doctor seemed foolish.  It wasn't broken or purple.  I could feel the discomfort while twisting my wrist but still able to do pushups while in yoga. Yea, I still attended yoga while my wrist didn't want to work.  I know, I am lame. 
The chiropractor seemed like an option to have an x-ray.  That and my neck being cracked seemed fantastic.  Otherwise, I do not go to a chiro.
I reconsidered my options and felt the massage therapist was the way to go.  He could assess the extent of my injuries and suggest ways to strengthen my wrist.  And, who doesn't want a full body massage?  I called my place and was able to make an appointment for this evening.  My guy specializes in sports injury and only works nights.  Typically, he'll have an opening at 6 or 7 at night.  I don't like going that late as it breaks up my day. 
Still, tonight, I knew it was imperative that I figure out what is going on with my wrist.  He suggested buying a brace, keeping it straight and resting.  No yoga for a few days.  Seems to be my theme song of the summer.  First there was the gracilis injury and now this.  Can you say annoyed?
Then, people asked me how I sustained this injury.  Of course, the obvious choice was that I had been drinking.  I couldn't pinpoint when it occurred.  Then, I thought about my habits. It wasn't related to yoga.  I have been diligent about my practice as of late.  Not taking risks and pulling back so that I don't tweak my gracilis. Then, I think about my sleeping habits as of late.  
I live in a city that absorbs heat.  Concrete, buildings, constant sunshine.  I drive home, sometimes, at 2 a.m. and it is still 95 degrees.  My house has a one room a/c unit.  I have noticed that if I sleep in my bed in the room separated from the a/c, that I wake up every few hours from the heat.  I decided that I should make a bed on the floor under the a/c to have a better experience.  Due to that, I tweaked my wrist. I sleep on my arm/hand at times.  I know it sounds odd.  I just recognize that I do it.  Several times I have woken up and have experienced dead hand or arm due to no circulation because of how I sleep.  
So, because it's hot and my a/c lacks, I am forced to go get a massage to soothe my sore wrist. It is funny when you think about it.  I tweaked my wrist due to the heat because I sleep on my floor.  This situation will remain until October.  Gotta love summers in AZ>>....

Monday, July 8, 2013

Finding positive thoughts

Yea, it's hot.  I live in Phoenix.  It's not like I didn't know what I was signing up for...every year, in May, it slowly increases, the temperature, that is.  One day, you wake up, and it's 110.  Yuck!  Not going to lie.  It sucks and what sucks more is knowing that there is no reprieve until November.  That's right.  November.
So, you sweat and dream of other places.  I arrange travel and attempt to spend some time outside without wilting.  The majority of intelligent people head to San Diego, the mountains or home if you are a snow bird for the intense months of the summer.
I feel like I have been caught up in the complain arena the last weekend.  How can I not be?  I am surrounded by people that are complaining about the heat, the fact that it's slow in the service industry, etc.  I try to stay positive but sometimes succumb to the b.s.
Then, I read a post on social media about a girl I used to babysit for.  She's suffering from a rare disease where lesions attack the brain and organs.  I read it and think--what the heck am I complaining about the heat for?  Or listening to the negative crap people are spouting off over?  This girl is truly suffering.  She has something to complain about.  Yet, she's still smiling, fighting and hopeful.  I should take a lesson from her.
On that note, I am going to stop focusing on stupid stuff.  I am definitely going to yoga today and then I am paying it forward.  I intend to send a note to Chantel and her family and also find other ways to give back to the community and be positive.
The heat is not going to change.  I might as well embrace it and make the most out of it.  I do have a wonderful life.  If I choose to let people affect me with their manipulations, obligation, guilt, what have you, then it is my fault for not changing my perspective.  I don't have to buy into their b.s.  I can choose to be positive and see the best in them.  Their strengths and maybe inspire them to stop being so negative or gleeful when trying to stick it to someone.
Today is a new day and I am making it a great one.  Yoga, wine, followed by a much needed massage. In the off times, I will write notes and spread the sunshine of Monday.  Cheers!

Saturday, July 6, 2013

4th of july

4th of July, Arizona style, means spending the day in a pool, drinking margaritas & aperol spritzers, and eating brats.  My friend, Lisa, celebrated her birthday, early, by having me and some other friends over.  Her friend, Mark, wanted to make a seafood extravaganza--scallops, seabass and ahi poke.  I was excited til Lisa put the kibosh on it.  She wanted hot dogs and brats and as she was the birthday girl hosting us, we had brats.  They did make green chile mac and cheese which was scrumptious.  And, the brats were ideal for the pool celebration.
Before I went to her house, I wanted to attend yoga.  I had a quandry.  Attend a 9:15 class which I knew was busy or go to a different studio at 10:15 and hope that it wouldn't be too busy.  The first studio offered three classes on Thursday.  A 5:30, 9:15 or noon.  Obviously, the 5:30 was out.  I worked until 1ish and then took Scout on a walkabout.  It felt appropriate since it wasn't broiling outside.  The noon class which I normally attend was out as the instructor teaches a super basic flow class.  I have learned, from experience, that I do not enjoy his class.  I get bored, annoyed and pissy.  The mid-morning class was definitely an option.  However, earlier in the week, I went to one of this instructor's classes.  Typically, it is full of energy and awesome music.  On Tuesday, when I went, I didn't love, love, love it.  It was okay and I didn't know that I wanted to go to the class, knowing it would be crazy busy and leave feeling just okay about the sequence.
The latter studio offers spin, too.  I was hoping that the majority of people would be hitting the spin class.  They had one yoga and two spin classes to choose from.  I liked the time of the yoga class and thought, why not check out this studio?
I arrived fifteen minutes early and barely found a parking spot.  I entered the room and secured a spot and tried to relax.  The class was full and there were more people pouring in.  The instructor guided us into smaller spaces and I began having a mini panic attack.  There was still five minutes before class began.  He found spots for 10 additional people and then chose to let the front know that the class was full to capacity.  The music was excellent and I did feel incredible after attending the class.  The flow could have been more challenging.  Due to the number of people in the class, our movements were limited.  Still, I felt confident that I had made the right decision for me.  I knew that I would have been unsatisfied attending the packed class at the other studio.  Plus, it offers a mix of bikram/flow and it is the same sequence every day.  I get bored doing the same flow.
I left and studio without showering.  I knew that Lisa would let me use her shower or there was a dive pool that I could rinse off in.  I picked up sunflowers and bubbly and headed to her house.  Her house was festive and they were happy to see me as I had the margarita mix in my car.
The day was glorious.  Lots of pool time & margaritas.  Eventually, I left to check on Scout.  I didn't want him without water or food.  I ensured his happiness and retired for the night.
All, in all, a wonderful way to celebrate 4th of July.  Great food, drinks and friends.  I hope yours was stellar, too.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Three weeks to Oregon

In three weeks, I will be spending time with two of my sisters.  I am so excited.  I don;t know if we will frequent this restaurant.  It is charming and I liked the vibe.  However, I want to check out some of the newer places Eugene has to offer.  And, there is always the homemade yum bowl.  Love the yum sauce and I am fairly certain Michaela will have some stocked at her house for my visit.
I can meet Oakley (the new puppy), go running and get a much needed break from Dante's Inferno.  Also, there is Jadey (pregnant) and her kids.  It's been a year since I have spent time with Mack, Easton or Emery.  Hopefully the moon will be incredible for Emery and me to enjoy.  He loves the luna or he used to.
I have five days to visit and I am hopeful that we can (or I will) head to Bend.  I have visited Oregon numerous times and managed never to head that direction.  I've spent time on the coast, in Ashland/Medford  visiting my favorite wine maker and of course, Portland.  Portland is a great city.
Whatever we do, I am sure it will be great.  I miss my sisters more than they know.  I do love traveling and sometimes get caught up in places that I want to see and neglect the family factor.  I just wish, at times, they would consider visiting me in AZ or meeting me elsewhere.
This year, I will go to them.  I am still considering a trip to OZ to see my other sister, her beauty, Emma, and my mom and dad.  You never know with me...I could get impulsive and book tickets to Kansas and show up without notice.
Or, Jasmin has a scholarship to a school in Scottsdale.  Sixteen days of classes and so I am hoping that I will see her in the fall.  She definitely should attend the school and further her career.
In other news....I had set my alarm to wake me at 5 so that I could go running.  Apparently, I slept through it and woke up at 7.  The return to running will have to begin tomorrow.  It's going to happen.  The new shoes are begging to be used.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

random day off and indecisiveness of yoga

I thought about spending my day off inside and watching Arrested Development or some other show that I can get lost in.  Instead, I attended yoga from a new instructor.  Awesome.  He is a little spiritual and has complete command of his class.  I twisted into new poses and got worked.  He wasn't overly sensual like this one guy is.  You know what i am talking about right?  The overly confident, swaggering guy that is teaching yoga to hook up with some of the women that attend his class.  I swear, this one instructor personifies that stereotype of men who teach yoga.  I attend his class for the music factor.  It's always upbeat and challenging.  Sometimes, though, I get irritated with his vibe.  I want to practice yoga not watch flirtations between him and some of the soccer moms.
I arranged a massage.  I had purchased a groupon or living social something or other.  A two hour massage that would be welcome in my world.  Of course, they are booked til the 15th of July due to their offering on groupon.  The girl informed me that I would be with Michaela on the 15th.  Made me chuckle as my sister's name is Michaela.
Afterwards, I grabbed my wine book and headed to a cool new lunch spot that I recently found.  They offer this delicious chopped salad that is more pepper friendly than cheese or meat.  Plus, the space is cool.  Great ambiance, okay wine list and great deals, daily.  I read my book and relaxed.  It was wonderful.  Initially, I considered (as noted above) to stay inside and enjoy a marathon day of watching tv on my laptop.  Translation--no wine.  I had a full weekend of seeing friends and could use a day off.  Then, I thought, life is short and it is my day off.  Why not enjoy a glass of wine?  Plus, I did attend yoga and made room for new impurities to find housing in my temple.
Lunch was glorious.  Fantastic salad, a couple glasses of wine and my wine book to inspire me to travel to Languedoc, France.  Last year, my trip to Paris, was too short.  A day trip from Geneva.  Not nearly enough time to enjoy the streetside cafes or consider touring the country.  Bordeaux, Burgundy, the Loire, or south France.  I barely had enough time to see the city.  It rained which kept me indoors as I had no umbrella.  Lame, but true.
There is another noon class that I could attend today.  I like the girl's music and her flow is challenging.   But, I would have to purchase another package and I don't know that I want to commit to 25 classes to make it worthwhile at this studio.  I have mixed feelings about the studio.  It has a trendy vibe that I don't love, love, love and there is only one shower.  I am enjoying the new flow and music selections.  Not once have I been disappointed with a class there based on music alone.  That factor limits my desire to check out other studios in the area.  What if I purchase a package and the music sucks?  Then, I am stuck going to a class that I hate due purely to the music.  I know that yoga is about breathing, spirituality and the physical poses.  I know that I am supposed to not focus on the music and instead focus on the breath.  I cannot zone out, in the poses, without music however.  I personally enjoy the beat of the music to match my flow too.  I prefer instructors with dance backgrounds.  They seem to choose their flow based on their music selection.  It works well for them and me.
I have many classes left on my package from my normal studio.  The instructor today is kind and her music is fine.  Her flow lacks as this is not her focus.  She was trained in a different style and so he vinyasa flow is lackluster.  Still, it's either attend her class or buy more classes at the other studio.  I don't want to skip yoga today which is another option.  I haven't managed to lace up my kicks yet and so I want to go to yoga.
I opt for the kindness factor. I suppose I will be purchasing another package soon.  The one guy teaches there and his class was awesome.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Upcoming travel

In a month, I will be in Oregon.  Color me excited.  A break from the heat and being able to see two of my sisters.  Yay!
My younger sister, Jasmin, is visiting her best friend in Arizona at the end of June which means I have the opportunity to see all of my sisters within a month.  I am stoked!  Typically, seeing them, means traveling to a family function of sorts.  Last year, we all met in Oregon for Michaela's wedding.  This year, there are milestone birthdays in August and a new nephew to greet.
Unfortunately, the August trip is not in the cards for me.  Thankfully, with social media and technology, I will be able to see photos of the celebration.  And, I can return at a later date.  I love visiting Oregon.  Amazing wine, beer, landscape and my sisters.  I hope to check out Bend, this time, as well.  Tons of great food and beer.  I have a friend that I could visit.  He owns a brewery and I would love to see it.  It's more of a tap room from what I understand.  Sounds like he is growing it in a smart way.  I saw him at the beer fest in Paso Robles last month and so I know his ipa's are legit.
A day trip would be lovely in the meantime.  Maybe head up north to Sedona, wine taste in Cottonwood or head west to San Diego.  I adore that city.  The past few Mondays, I have been spending time in Phoenix.  On the light rail, baseball game and a resort.  All fun but all super hot.  I couldn't wait to find the nearest a/c or pool the resort day.  Of course, each day involved wine and/or cocktails which led to dehydration issues. Last night, for the first time in a while, I became woozy when I went into the front bar.  I made a fake gatorade (club soda, limes, salt) and tried to rehydrate with electrolytes.  I refuse to have a repeat of the face plant at the laundromat. Anytime I feel moderately dehydrated, I take a break and inhale water.
Wine samples had been left for me. I don't know when they were opened and I opted to skip sampling last night.  I wanted a pure night of sleep.  I can wine taste later and hope that the wines were opened yesterday and not Monday.  I'm sure it will be fine.  My rep was kind in leaving the samples for me in the first place.  Ironically, he is off to Oregon for a conference.  I am jealous.
I purchased tickets to Denver for the half marathon in August.  I have new kicks.  What is stopping me from getting up and putting two feet on the ground?  I know that it is time to embrace running.  Otherwise another half marathon will be a brutal disaster.  My mantra when running is WWLD? What would Lindsay Do?  I know she won't be upset if I want to stop and take a break while on the course.  However, that is not to say that she signed up for walking the course.  I must be ready to run 13.1 miles.
Tomorrow is a new day.  Or, I will start training on Monday.  Maybe take an early morning run and then day trip.  Take some time for me and explore AZ while attempting to avoid the heat factor.  Vegas was in town on Monday and we had lunch together.  He drove instead of us riding bikes.  I had no idea that his a/c wasn't functioning in his car.  Let's just say that I was grateful it was a short trip.  I don't think I could take a four hour drive back to Rocky Point without air conditioning.
About to head to yoga. Yesterday was a stretch due to the music factor but my gracilis feels good.  I am heading to a different studio today.  I know the music is awesome and that is what I am wanting.  Namaste!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013


I returned to yoga as it was making me crazy to not be able to work out.  I could not help it.  I'm stubborn and I told myself that I would back off any pose that felt uncomfortable.  I went six days without yoga and chose today to return.  I like the instructor that teaches on Wednesdays and so I knew the class would be awesome.
What I didn't take into account was the music selection.  Over the last few months this teacher has felt a sense of traditional music.  Translation--the music sucks.  Right away, I knew that I had made a mistake.  I couldn't zone out as the music was terrible.  Then, I thought about injuring my gracilis further due to being annoyed with the music.  Forty-five minutes later and finally she played something upbeat and current.  I managed to stay the entire hour without incident and I daydreamed about travel, music and running.  I bought new shoes yesterday.  Thought it might inspire me actually to get up and go.  It is a must get up early type of activity.  I think it 87 by 8:30 a.m. typically.  I have a half to train for that is in 7 weeks.  I plan on completing that race, too.
After today's crappy music selection, I think I will rely on the outdoor run factor as opposed to yoga.  I have more opportunity to heal the gracilis and thrive outdoors.  I am a morning person.  Always have been.  As long as I have 6 hours of sleep, I am great.  Tonight, I am just going to have to come home, shower, and be prepared to get up by 6 to enjoy the outdoors.
I want a break from yoga as, lately, it has been challenging to get into.  The nagging gracilis and lousy music selection of some of the instructors is taking its toll on me.
I finally purchased tickets to Denver for August.  Now just need to figure out accommodations.  I'm hoping to stay with the Goddess before the half marathon.  It was my first half, ever, and I ran the race with her.  Seems right to be returning to run the race and with Lindsay.  As such, the training plan needs to occur.  I cannot have another event like the half in May.  Brutal to run and sore, sore, sore...after.  Maybe I can reestablish some sort of routine with my AZ running partner.  Or, find a new running partner.  There is a guy from work that is gung ho on running.  He is doing an ultra race next month.  I think I would need to work into running with him.
So, tomorrow, either run or hit an early yoga class at the other studio that I frequent.  I don't love, love, love the exterior vibe of that place.  It feels like a trendy place.  I'm not a huge fan of that.  Although, I have enjoyed some of the music selection.  Moreover, the flow is new and different.  I am able to zone out somewhat while attending the classes.
Anyways, about to leave for work.  Must hydrate....

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

happy hour

Tuesday is all about schedules, wine tasting and organizing.  I skipped yoga to rest my gracilis (lame, I know, but necessary).  I went in to work early and took stock of the available spirits and wine.  I met a few reps and left early.  There was nothing more for me to do.  I met with the reps that came in and communicated with the others that had not.  I knew that it was okay to head out early.
Lil Tina (mini me) met me at a wine bar.  Initially, we talked about relationships, career aspirations, and travel.  We each took bathroom breaks and enjoyed the wine.  After my third break to the bathroom I encountered two chicks at the sink.  I remember checking out the odd shirt and walking into the far stall.  Immediately, I turned around.
"Gross", I commented.
The girls stopped and said, "what?"
I go,"someone threw up in this stall."
I walk into the other stall and they continue talking.  After a couple of minutes, I realize that that was the girl that threw up (all over the stall).  At first, I feel bad for my response.  Then, I think, wait a minute...I'm not the dipshit that threw up in the women's bathroom and left it for other people to see.
I wash my hands and am careful to avoid any contact with vomit.  I watched her put soap in her hair in an attempt to camoflauge the puke.  I ask the chick if she needs a bar towel and if she wants me to tell the bartender about her accident.
Her response, yes.
I walk out of the bathroom and tell the guy.  I tell him that I am disgusted by the fact that she vomited and made no effort to clean it up.  I mean, wtf?  It's 6 o'clock and you vomit all over some random bathroom stall.  As I am talking to the bartender she walks out and makes no indication of what she did.
A female manager goes in to clean it up. Before she does, she approaches the table and asks the offender if she had thrown up in the bathroom.
Point blank, the girl says no.  Again, I ask, wtf?  It was ridiculous.  I couldn't believe that this chick had the audacity to throw up, not clean it up and then, lie about it.  Who does that?
Outside of that craziness, we encountered three guys who were dreaming of tacos and very expressive about it.  We declined drinks from them and made our way to Tricks.  Mandatory dessert and now, relaxation.  Yes, today was awesome minus the morons that have no couth or the guys that were vulgar.  Happy Tuesday, regardless~