Friday, May 30, 2014

accountability and frustration with getting a coffee

I met Melody for dinner last night to celebrate her birthday.  Squash blossoms with boursin cheese, lobster salad, scallops and a said of mashed potatoes.  Delicioso!  I felt spoiled by the greatness of the food.
I mentioned that I had taken my car to her referral and that although they did get me in quickly for an appointment, they let me drive off the lot not having reattached all of my hoses.  I knew, immediately, that something was wrong with my car.  Sure, can I fix it myself?  No, but, from driving the Volvo for 9 years, I do recognize when something is off.
I hesitated to return to that particular shop as I feared they would jack it up more.  Instead, I drove around for a week and waited until I could get into the Volvo dealership.  I made an appointment and had them go over my car to see what needed to be done in a timely manner.  I forgot to mention that my current landlord used to be a Volvo mechanic.  He looked Veronica over before my appointment and saw the unattached hoses.  My car returned to functional. I still wanted my car looked over.  So, in the last week, I have spent $200 for a failed oil change.  Had the original guys just done the oil change, perhaps, I wouldn't have had to spend that amount of money to ensure that my car was, in fact, driveable.
Melody felt bad and asked me if I had told the referral guys that.  I had not.  She mentioned doing it for me.  At first, I said, sure, let them know.  Then, I realized that it would be better coming from me and in the medium of a letter.  I don't want to call them.  But, I do want them to know that, potentially, I could have gotten stranded somewhere based on their negligence.  I do understand they were trying to check my car over (thinking of future business, I would presume).  However, they did not put it back together and it could have created more issues for me.  I will write a note later today. Not hate mail or super negative but they should know what occurred on their watch.  I take things more seriously with a letter too.  If I wanted to do it half-assed, I would call or my favorite--yelp about it.
In other areas of frustration, I wanted a breakfast burrito after my yoga class. Probably not the healthiest option but I wanted it.  I knew of a market where not only could I get a decent breakfast burrito, but a cup of coffee, too.  Specifically, an americano.  I found a burrito and joined the long line of people waiting for coffee or smoothies.  One by one, people were serviced.  15 minutes later I got my turn to ask for an americano.  I kept thinking--why don't they start an order and take another order?  Surely, not everyone is in line for a smoothie?!?!  I texted an ex-colleague of mine and made some comment about it being a universal standard of one company to have the coffee take forever.  I don't get it.  And, no, it is not the Santa Fe way.  I think they call it manana time but in this case, I have experienced long lines of employees refusing to multi-task in multiple citites and states.  It is laziness.  I was too lazy to head to a drive thru and get my day started quicker.
Happy Friday.  Make it a great one. I have dinner plans with Glen and Patty, again. I am excited to check out another fine establishment in SF~

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

more of my Monday

I thought about driving to the library (a little over a mile away) and then I thought better of it.  I mean, I can walk a mile to return library books.  Why risk driving that short of a distance to have my car stall out or something?  I arranged to see the Volvo guy tomorrow, early, and I still had the chance to have my landlord look at the car, too.
So, I walked to the library, got new books and returned home.  At that point, I had a little over an hour before yoga.  I could take a bus and walk the remainder of the way.  I headed out with my new library book, yoga mat and sunglasses.  In hindsight, I should have applied more sunblock.  I burned my shoulders and neck.
Yoga was fine.  Class packed and the music was good.  This instructor used to dance and so I think she understands the relevance of music in the yoga studio.  Afterwards, I stopped by the local bank, had some enchiladas and a pedicure.  I needed to have my feet feel pretty.  It had been a couple weeks since my pedicure in Denver and my feet looked like a train wreck.  I thought about trying to get a pedicure yesterday but the car thing stopped me.
Enchiladas were delicious and of course, I was wearing my yoga attire.  I don't really care though.  I went to a local spot that is frequented by locals and tourists alike.  I stopped in after one and so I knew that the lunch hour would be on the decline.  I have been trying to act like a tourist on my days off.  That includes having a margarita or glass of wine.
I walked to the nearest bus stop and waited.  It was hot and I didn't want to stand in the sun without shade.  I kept walking and found another bus stop and jumped on.  I like that the fares are cheap and that bus was clean.  I made it home, showered and considered taking a siesta.  My landlord had offered to look at my car and so I wanted to take him up on it. I did, however, want to delay when we would be doing it.  The sun had worn me out.  I didn't want to ask him to help me out though this evening.  I really thought it was kind of him to even consider.
He looked at my car and noted, immediately, that the oil change guys had not connected everything back to its original place.  He made a few adjustments and my car sounded normal.  I knew that something was off.  I will go to my appointment tomorrow morning and have them check out some of the hoses and establish a rapport with my new shop.  I know that I will not be returning to the oil shop guys.  They suck!  They were more concerned about future business than the current state of my car. I took her in for an oil change.  I drove off of the lot and knew that something was wrong. My car was not running well, at all.  Sure I could have taken her back to have this reattach my hoses, belts, what have you, but I was fearful that they would mess more things up.  I have no faith in their ability to fix or maintain my car.  And, I have almost always, exclusively, taken Veronica to Volvo specific mechanics.  I should stick with what I know.
I will make dinner, drink some wine and read some of my new books.  It's summer and natural to embrace the world of books.  I remember all of the summertime reading programs when I was a kid.

Monday's events....

Yesterday I attended yoga, did laundry, drove to pick up some wine for this couple I was meeting for dinner.  While attempting that errand, my car started to sound funny.  Since I got the oil change, last Tuesday, my car has not been driving right.  I am no mechanic but I do know my car.  This shop handed me a laundry list of things that I could fix which I chose to ignore--air filter, wiper blades, a new windshield and others.  I think in their attempt to earn more of my business, they jacked something up in my car.  My car is an automatic but it seems to hesitate to shift into the next gear.  Transmission fluid or something in that arena.  I contacted the local Volvo dealership and had a name of a mechanic that seems reputable.  In addition to that route, I contacted a guy in ABQ that had been referred by my guys in Phoenix.  Then, I talked to my landlady--plumbing issues--and in the process of talking with her, found out, that her husband had been a volvo mechanic.  WTH?  She suggested that I talk to him before taking my car to anyone.  She said that when I drove up, her husband, commented on my car.  Out of respect.  I felt validated.
I have not yet spoke to Matteus.  That will be a focal point of today.
I walked to dinner.  I considered taking the bus but it was out of service due to the holiday.  I enjoy walking and so it wasn't an inconvenience.  I met Glen and Patty for dinner at a lovely restaurant.  We drank a bottle of Pinot Noir, ate duck fat fries, local lamb chops and a vegetarian napoleon.  We drank brunello and a sauternes as well.  Wonderful food, wine and conversation.  There was an artist with us as well, Yenny.  She was funny and added a comedic element to our night.  She talked of being single, artwork, current dating strategies and her family.  When I told them why I had chosen to walk to dinner (car related issues) she goes, oh, you have an Italian Volvo?  That is a car.
I am hoping to get my car squared today and see some friends.  I think I will pick up a shift this week.  I do have another dinner date with Glen and Patty on Friday.  It's nice to enjoy interesting conversation and food.  They have great taste in places that they want to dine at, as well.  I have a few days off, this week, and had considered a road trip.  That is until they decided to make a mandatory meeting on Friday.  Sort of jacked up any thought of roadtripping it to Phoenix for yoga, friends and wine.  I know there will be other opportunities to road trip and soon.
I could get a much needed pedicure too.  I found a place in Denver that was nice.  Although my nails were smeared two days later.  I should have taken the polish off, immediately.  Instead I stare at my toes during yoga, daily, and think that I should get a pedicure.  I need to go to the library, too.  Car is the first task, then fun.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Work, staples and memories

More rain and a hope that I would be able to get out of working last night.  I had agreed to help them out by working on the side patio.  My boss wanted me to cocktail and help with some of the overflow.  The downpour offered me the opportunity to not work.
I tried to call in but, of course, since it is me, it didn't work.  There are some people who frequently are able to get out of working.  I am thankful for working and know that I benefit from it.  Money that I am not spending on dining out myself.  There is always that.
Next week, I have a few days off in a row but there is a meeting that I am supposed to attend.  Otherwise, I would head to Phoenix.  I am ready for a visit.  And, I would like to see my friends and attend a few yoga classes.  I so miss the yoga community in Phoenix.
Today, I am skipping yoga.  I am enjoying my job but I don't eat while there.  There is never an opportunity to eat unless I sneak in a protein bar.  Inconveniently, last night, I forgot my protein bar.  I worked from 4-11:30 and had a couple glasses of wine.  I am starving when I get home to find smoked almonds and tomatoes.  I had forgotten to restock my chip addiction.  Typically, I live on chips, salsa, avocados, coffee and wine.  Of course, I have a few other staples.  I just haven't taken the time to adequately stock my fridge.  Maybe I could do that on my next day off.  I am going to have to stock my fridge and protein bars.
I found an awesome little thrift shop, finally.  I was starting to mini-freak out as I now have a like of shopping.  Thrift store specifically.  I have never been a big shopper.  I spend my hard earned cash on travel, wine and food.  Not necessarily in that order.  As of late, I think food and dining are equal and travel is lagging behind.  I will remedy that in the next few months.  There is a wine festival in ABQ, upcoming, a half marathon in Napa and a family reunion in August.  I am undecided on that one.  Spend a weekend in Iowa with many people that I have not seen in 20+ years or go somewhere else. Maybe Oregon to meet my new nephew or Seattle to see Jean.  I found some photos from our summer in Mexico--98.  She hasn't aged at all and still remains one of the funnest people to spend time with.  I swear, we go into a restaurant that we know no one and within fifteen minutes we know everyone.  She is the ultimate extrovert and fun.
Last year, she visited me in Phoenix.  It was brief since Shari and I had been in Denver celebrating Brian's life while Jean and her friend, Kevin, spent time in Phoenix.  We met for a hike and drinks.  Glorious day.
I should consider upcoming travel as it keeps me grounded and in the present.  The opportunity to explore other cities inspires me beyond words.
So there is that desire to travel.  Wine will remain a staple and now that I am in Santa Fe, there are oodles of restaurants to check out.  I have sampled several on previous visits but there are still a plethora of options.  I must start cracking.
Happy Sunday!

Friday, May 23, 2014

Today, I woke up in time to attend the 7:45 yoga class.  Since it's Friday, it was my belief that my current favorite instructor would be changing the music selection up.  A few weeks ago, I mentioned that I would be heading to Denver and looking for a different studio from the one that I used to attend.  Mira recommended one that one of her fellow instructors taught at.  I asked Mira about the music and explained how I had relocated from Phoenix and that I missed the community there, mostly, because of the music selection and challenging flow sequences.  Moving to Santa Fe had been an adaptation.  As noted in previous posts, I have been frustrated with the scene here.  Some of the classes are challenging and good.  The music selection has rarely improved.  She agreed with me and said that there was this one instructor at the studio in Denver that played rap.  I was immediately in love.  I like the rhythm of rap music and appreciate when instructors construct their flow based on the music.
So, today, I arrived hopeful.  It was Friday and Mira had mentioned that she liked to play more upbeat music on Fridays.  There were several people in attendance and I wanted a great class.  We began in meditation and then she started the music.
Crap....more of that yoga induced put me to sleep music.  I liked the direction of her flow but the music was making me crazy.  I almost had to leave because my mind was overwhelmed with how bad it was.  Afterwards, I compliment her on the sequence and request that she change the music.  I couldn't help myself and I figure if I don't say anything she won't know.  I feel confident that I am not the only person that feels this way on that point, too.
I ran into my yoga instructor from yesterday.  They had the celebration at the restaurant and I work at.  Ironically, her brother had worked at the restaurant for 7 years and every customer that sits at the bar mentions him.  Mentions how great he was, how tall he is and how I don't look like him.  I guess that is something.  His sister taught the class I attended yesterday.  I wasn't in love with the class as she wanted me to have blocks, blankets and bolsters.  However, I did appreciate that she stretched my lower back, arm pits and triceps.  I still feel the burn of one of the postures.  And, I loved how she concluded the class.  With a quote from Abraham Lincoln and an apparent love of her father.  It was very meaningful and a reminder to live in the present for me. I approached her last night and told her that, too.
Today is my day off and I am conflicted about how to spend it. It looks like it might rain which would be good for the city.  I wanted to walk to Canyon Road or around the plaza.  I want to enjoy being outside.  I find myself being a little lazy.  I realize that my job is limiting my ability to eat dinner at a normal time.  There isn't an opportunity to eat before 11 pm.  I return home to no food since I haven't stocked my kitchen adequately.  I need to rectify this. I wake up, lethargic and lazy.
I want to feel like a tourist today in my new city.  I think that is how I will spend the day.....

Thursday, May 22, 2014

yoga thought of the day

Yoga continues to frustrate and annoy me.  I met an Ambassador the other night who leads running and other fitness oriented classes for a yoga based company.  She, however, does not lead yoga.  She understood my frustrations with the yoga scene in Santa Fe.  It's either vinyasa with terrible music.  They advertise that the music is upbeat, rock, folk or electronica.  Instead, I have heard chimes, yoga based music or completely lame music.  I know it is counterproductive in a yoga class to be so interested in the music.  It is about the zen experience and physicality of it.  However, for me, when the music is awful, my mind wanders into other places--work, boredom, why am I here, etc?  And then I get annoyed.  I do like a few of the instructors and I tolerate their music selection.  It's funny how this one instructor, in particular, loves half splits and temple.  We do those postures repeatedly in every class.  I am bored by his sequence, too. I have managed to find other classes to occupy my time.
Or, there is a studio that does not offer music with flow classes.  Instead they have level II, level  III, all levels, vinyasa are a few examples of available classes.  I have attended three classes with three different instructors and their yoga reminds me of being in my house doing a DVD.  It's boring and there are no chatarangas involved.  It's all--downward dog, walk feet forward, stand up and next move.  Triangle.  Oh, and I forgot.  They use props--two blankets, blocks, straps and other cushions.  I despise using props mostly because when the class is over, I want to leave.  I don't want to have to put the crap back.  It's annoying to use all of these props to "maybe" aid the class.  Today, I arrived late and the instructor advised me to pick up two blocks, two blankets, a bolster and a strap....what?  Why?
I asked her if I needed all of it. She goes, well, yes, I think you do.
I knew at that point it would be another lame class for me. I know there are people that appreciate this type of yoga.  I did stretch out my back, my legs, armpits.  I prefer a flow class with music, chatarangas and balancing postures.  Standing around or using props is not what I consider yoga.
The end of the class was more spiritual.  The instructor's father passed away 6 months ago.  They are having his memorial today and she closed with a quote.  It was wonderful and made me change my thought about her.  Perhaps I will try to attend another one of her classes.  I have a few additional passes to use in a 5 class pack.  Outside of that I will have to keep looking for the ideal spot for me or get certified.  Maybe then I would have more of an appreciation for the yoga featured here.  I miss the community in Phoenix.
Tomorrow I will hike.  I am ready to check out the outdoors here.  Everyday, I walk outside and am thankful to be here. It is gorgeous.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Boundaries and beliefs

It's funny how a situation represents so many different variables to different people.  Recently there was a situation that I found offensive as a woman.  The men that were involved found it funny as the guy that acted like a 13 yr-old, apparently, acts in this manner quite often.  They laughed out of wow, I can't believe he is doing this now.
He thought it would be funny to put a menu on the floor which would make this woman bend over to pick it up.  Of course, she is wearing a skirt and just the whole situation is gross and adolescent.  This other girl saw the situation unfold and she was angry. Instead of approaching management, she wanted to handle it directly.  I respect that she opted this route.  She gave this guy the opportunity to be accountable with his actions without involving management or the rest of the staff.  When approached about his behavior, he shut down.  His back stiffened and he became defensive.  He could not contemplate how his behavior was inappropriate or offensive.  He went home feeling that this girl was wrong.  He did not understand how it could be construed as harassment.  Since he didn't touch the woman or say anything, he thought it was an innocent joke.
Since then it's been discussed by others who worked that night as well as people that work with me.  Nobody wants to make a big deal out of it and the belief is that we all have played a part in creating this situation.  Men and women have both made inappropriate comments, suggestions, jokes.  Which is probably true.  That night, I repeated several jokes that I had been told from my party.  I waited on a wedding party of a gay partnership.  It was all men and one woman in attendance.  This group was celebratory, joyful and started telling super inappropriate jokes which I found funny.  I retold a few of them or tried too.  My timing is always off which mangles the punchline.
At any rate, I am new to the environment and oblivious in general.  I try to be professional and stay out of any of the drama.
In all honesty, the situation could be resolved with an apology.  The different meanings could be overlooked and everyone could move on with an apology, I know.  However, I don't know if this guy is adult enough to own up to his actions.  The emotion needs to be taken out of it before it is brought to management.  The girl that saw the behavior and called the guy out is still pretty fired up about the situation.  They argued over past indiscretions and some other things were brought up which were not the point.  The point is to address what happened on that one occasion and own up to it.  That way, I believe, we can move on.
I don't want to sit through a seminar on sexual harassment.  I worked at another establishment that had a situation that mandated a seminar every 6 months for a three year period to ensure that it would not happen again.  Those videos were outdated and horrible.
I think that if everyone could take a step back and address the one occurrence of jackass behavior it would improve.  Sometimes people say or do things without realizing how it is construed.  In this situation, I think the guy made a poor choice (something that he found funny) and didn't think about how it would effect others.
On a more basic level, I think of how sometimes, I see people's reactions to what I say (tone, inflection, transparent look) and realize that although I had meant to say it without emotion, my thoughts came screaming through based on how I looked while delivering the statement.  I am very transparent apparently.  Based on that, I have to retreat and explain that I did not intend for it to be taken so literally.  Sometimes I don't see the look of confusion on people's faces.  It happens where you don't know how people take innocent statements, or statements that seem innocent to you, until it is too late.  I feel the best remedy is to address right then and there.  I call it being a human being instead of cowardly writing an anonymous review on a website that will remain unnamed.  On a related topic, one of my friends that owns a restaurant mentioned starting a blog or website where servers/bartenders could blog about customers and how some are completely inappropriate and entitled they are.  Naming them, their habits, behaviors as this website allows reviews for restaurants.  I am all for it!  There are always two + sides to the story.  It is all about perspective, beliefs and truths.
Anyways, I am hopeful that an apology will occur and that the adolescent behavior will stop.  I don't think the guy was trying to be malicious.  I just think he is a child and naturally he thought it would be funny to do this joke in front of the guys.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

1111--some of the best of me....

I began this blog as a way to stay in contact with my friends and family while traveling in 2007-08.  It was a trip that made sense to me only.  I think the majority of my friends supported me and were concerned about where my head was.
I wanted to heal and if I died, i was okay with it.  Grief is a terrible thing that one must go through.  Thinking you can outrun or avoid it is a mistake.  It catches up and overtakes.  My trip represented a time of healing and time of me not caring about what the outcome would bring.  I felt ready to embrace the next life.  I had sustained a tragic loss and wanted to meet him.  So, I left my job and traveled for 5 1/2 months.  I ate carrot cake, daily (yum) and then couldn't figure out why I had a little sugar belly.  Obviously, my dessert fixation created that.
At any rate, I have posted since my trip around the world and reach 1111.  It is an important number.  One that I meditate too when I catch it on the clock.  I thought I would express some of the best of my life in this post.
 Fiji.  Absolutely gorgeous.  I was visiting Wayaleilei.  I snapped this photo at the beginning of my journey.  I had no idea of what I was doing or where I was going.  I just knew that I was free.  Free to heal, meet people and see the world.
#9--Yea, of course, I had to go to Penfold's.  I fell in love with the 389, Shiraz/Cab  blend, Grange and forced many other people in my life to drink this juice, too.  Never disappointed.  While in Adelaide, Australia, I managed to arrange a wine tour that included me making my own blend of 389--grenache, shiraz, mouvedre.  They gave my my combo after I tested out three different blends.  It was a glorious day.
#8--Simon's town, South Africa.  Love this photo. It still inspires me.  I snapped it on an overcast day. Shari, my friend, chose to blow it up and as I ran my first full marathon, I was greeted with this image.  Yes, I was inspired.  I hope, one day, to return.
#7--Race for the Cure with my dad and my step mom.  Denver, 2010.  Two weeks before my first marathon. I remember this fondly as my dad and Dori visited me in Denver.  We dined at Elway's and they let me pay. They didn't scoff at my decision and they loved their steak.  My dad has always questioned my career choices.  Well, that was true until we dined at Ruth Chris Steakhouse one year and I paid the tab.  I think he got it then.
#6--First time in NYC.  Adored the city and managed to have an incredible meal at Daniel.  Phenomenal meal at Daniel.  I met him and took a tour of the restaurant.  Drank a bottle of Ridge Zinfandel and returned to my hotel.  Delicious.  I spent a few additional days in the city. Checked out Stacks, Bar Bouloud, Colicchio's place (where I sat across from Flay and he chose the same pizza that I did--I felt so honored) and had dinner with Manraj from Denver.  NYC was a great venture. friend, Jan.  I met her in 99.  When I went on my healing venture, she and her hubby met me in L.A. to see me off.  Veronica, my car that I adore, stayed at their home while I galivanted on the southern hemisphere.  I returned had dinner at Los Dos Molinos (delicious. crazy hot mexican food in Phoenix) and returned to Denver.  A few years later, I convinced Jan to visit me in Denver.  We went hiking, to Manitou Springs and the Botannic Gardens.  Jan is a true friend that has supported many of my whims.  Recently she moved me to Santa Fe for example.
 #4--Venice--trip to see Agnese.  I met her while she was visiting the Goddess in Denver.  I chose to go to Europe (sounds awful, right).  Her parents live an hour south of Venice and so we took the train into the city and spent the day there.  We frequented pubs and enjoyed the city.  Gorgeous.
 #3--My sister's wedding in Oregon.  I found this gem of a pic--two of my nieces and my two sisters.  I love it.  We all met in Oregon to celebrate Michaela's nuptials.  Emma joined the family and Mackenzie blossomed into a young lady.  I felt fortunate to celebrate with these quality ladies.
 #2--Paso Robles.  View from Bianchi Winery.  Sara Jo and I did a half marathon, last year, in Santa Barbara.  We had a few days in wine country and took full advantage of it.  I considered moving to Paso.  I loved it there.
 #1--Shari and I in Belize at Habanero's.  We were celebrating the 5 year anniversary of Brian's death.  Scuba diving, chocolate, delicious food.  I was embarking on a life change, too. It was a fantastic time in my life.  I felt very supported by friend and family.
 Bonus Photo#1--how could I not include my 30th birthday in Napa?  My sister, Michaela, Sarah from college, Pocketsize and Sara Jo celebrated with me. I felt honored to have these ladies with me.  We wine tasted at Chandon, Goosecross, Pina and Merryvale. Dined at Bouchon and then the Denver girls left me.  I stayed for a few additional days in Napa and explored wine country with a great friend of mine, Jarred.  He now co-owns a winery and is a winermaker for Renner wines.  He is a great guy.
Bonus Photo #2--Brian and I in Playa del Carmen.  Brian was my life.  We were celebrating our birthdays in Cozumel in 2005 and had an additional day in Playa.
Bonus Photo #3--why not include another one of Brian.  He changed my life for the better.  This was us in 2004--i think.  Commons Park, Denver, after a Rockies game.  Our first date was at a Rockies game.  I will always cherish our time together.
Thank you for taking the time to view the best of me.  There are more food related awesomeness, trips, friends, wine, but these are the ones that truly stand out.  I apologize if I have overlooked anyone.  I have had an amazing journey with this blog, with my friends and with food experiences.  I believe it will continue and I am ready to be more creative/open with my postings.
Cheers to 1111!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Kindness of others

I worked on Sunday from 9:30-4:30.  There was no way to attend a yoga class and after the physical work out of moving patio furniture around and retrieving chairs from the upstairs, well, I felt like I had a work out.  Maybe not of the spiritual kind but I definitely got worked.
It was sort of cold and my section was outside.  The overflow.  The guy that I was partnered up with was also somewhat new to the restaurant.  Between the two of us,  we had five tables.  It was a long day.  At the end, I was annoyed to listen to the other servers talk about how lucrative a day it had been for them.  I headed to one of my spots to decompress and chat with one of the bartenders.  I wanted to enjoy my Sunday, too.
I ended up talking to this couple that was visiting from Pittsburgh.  They had spent the weekend in Santa fe.  We discussed restaurants, day trips and other things to do in the city.  I think we talked for an hour before they headed out to another restaurant.  The guy was a sports fan and he wanted to catch the hockey game.  The hotel bar had limited channels.  I remembered that from previous stays myself.  At any rate, the couple bought me a glass of wine.  Talk about the kindness of strangers.  It improved my day for sure. After missing yoga and working for the majority of my day, it was nice to be treated.
I finished up my glass of wine and wedge salad and headed home to make dinner.  I do enjoy the restaurant that I work for.  The only downside is that there is no way to eat while on the shift.  Last night was another reminder that I need to carry protein bars with me or eat at 11:00 at night. I try to avoid this occurrence if at all possible.
Last night, I bartended and it made up for the Sunday shift.  The bar was full and the servers seemed happy with my speed of service.  I chatted up this couple from Florida.  Each year, they spend the month of May in Santa Fe and have developed a restaurant they plan to frequent on a weekly basis.  Monday nights are my restaurant for instance.  So the last two weeks, they have dined with me while drinking Belle Glos pinot noir.  They are kind and have traveled quite a bit.  Last night, they bonded with another couple from Florida and two ladies from Connecticut.  The vibe was friendly and eventually they remained while the others either paid their tab or went to table service.  They started up another conversation with a foursome in the entertainment industry while I observed.
Of course, they included me in their upcoming Monday night plans.  We are closed on Memorial Day and so they seemed intent on inviting me to dine with them that night as I would not be working.  I think I might join them.  One of my co-workers thought it was pretty funny and implied that I would be dessert.  (I highly doubt that is their objective.  Truly, they seem harmless and that they just want to chat and learn about other people).
Last Monday, when I met this couple, they shared some of their wine with me, too.  This is a definite perk of this job.  Everyone is generous when it comes to bottle service.
It's snowing today.  I cannot believe it.  I thought I would be able to avoid that til next fall.  I guess it is a way to greet the city.  I will do laundry, yoga and then work.  I did manage to get a library card yesterday.  Highlight of my Monday.  It felt good to commit to being here.
Happy Tuesday!  Make it a great one.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

yoga styles

I know that I discuss yoga a bunch.  I didn't realize how spoiled I was by the yoga community in Phoenix until I relocated.  Santa Fe has a few instructors that I enjoy aspects of their classes.  Some have moderately challenging flow classes that I have come to like.  The music is terrible and that has not improved or changed.  The other day, on Tuesday, the girl played Fantastic Voyage.  I approached her afterwards and thanked her for including that song and told her that I preferred practicing to rap/r&b as it is all about the beat.  Yoga is like dance and an upbeat tempo aids in the process.  Or, at least, it does for me.
I spent a few days in Denver and thought I would check out a new studio.  I was a client of a power based studio for a few years while living there.  They offer bikram and vinyasa classes.  I enjoyed frequenting the studio and as a visitor to Denver, I would have returned to the studio if they offered a more approachable rate.  $20 to drop into a yoga class is too much.  I know that a sumit's studio is opening in Littleton and I considered stopping by to see their progress.  I believe they hope to open in early June.  I like the ladies that own that studio and looked forward to seeing them.  I wish it had been open.  I would have felt at home in that studio, I know.
Instead, I went to a different studio based on a recommendation from a girl in Santa Fe.  She said that she practiced with a few instructors from the studio and that they played awesome music.  To drop in was $15 and I was excited.
I should have went to the noon class with the instructor she mentioned.  However, I opted to attend the 9:15 class and roll the dice.  The music was terrible.  For me, my mind wanders about what I would rather be doing.  The flow was lame and I did sweat as the room was heated.  I just didn't feel that I benefited from the class.  My mind wandered and I kept envisioning jacking up my hamstring because I was bored and getting pissy from the crappy vinyasa flow.
I suppose the lesson is that I was extremely fortunate to practice yoga in Phoenix.  There are several studios that offer the yoga that I like.  Challenging, changing flows with music that I prefer.  I left feeling refreshed and that I did take time to focus on me and my health.
I remain hopeful that I will find a niche in Santa Fe to practice.  This one guy that seems to think he is a yogi god is not.  I have tried several of his classes.  The music is consistently bad--think cellos, chimes or slow.  We do a ton of half splits in each class and he likes to practice on other people's mats which is sacrilege to me.  I don't want to touch anyone else's mat, sweat or space.  Each class, this guy, is like--turn to the right and low lunge.  I cringe as I know there will be someone in my space and I tense up to avoid this.  Luckily there are other instructors, classes and studios.  I can avoid attending his half split based class.
Since I am closer to Denver, I will be visiting more often.  I miss my friends.  I managed to see quite a few of them the last few days.  We checked out a new restaurant and it was delicious. I drove around the city, trying to avoid the massive amounts of road construction and pot holes.  Cherry Creek is a complete mess and only slated to get worse.  I don't know what those businesses will do over the summer.  It is difficult to find parking and maneuver in and out of all of the construction.
I am off to work and might catch a restorative class later today.  I could use it!

Monday, May 5, 2014

A gorgeous Santa Fe sunset.  Captured in 2011.  I hope to catch one similar to this soon.  I have been working at the key moment and unable to catch a stellar sunset.  I am sure that I will see one soon.
Last night was great.  I arrived to find that we were locked out until the manager arrived.  I am always early.  I don't know how to be late.  A few other people are of the same nature.
I set up the bar and the GM appears.  I thought--crap!  I thought he was not working today and so I could wear these socks that are not completely black.  I did not like the idea of getting busted on a clothing technicality.  He asked me for a coin margarita.  I made two margaritas while he watched me.  I was nervous and the drinks were not fantastic.  He told me to use Herradura as that is what they use in their coin margaritas.  I chalk it up to him being there on a night that I was not anticipating his presence.  I do not feel bad.  I know that the rest of the night I earned the server's and customer's respect.  That is what I was hoping to do.
And, I did.  It felt great to see them recognize that I am worthy of this position.  Training sucks.  I despise it and it was challenging at this restaurant as the majority of the servers have been there for 5+ years.  I still need to learn more of their computer system.  I know that.  But, in terms of providing service to them and the customers, well, I have that down.  They just assumed that I did not how to bartend and/or serve.  Lame!
I work tonight and tomorrow night.  I have a few days off towards the end of the week.  I am seriously considering a trip to Denver to collect my wine cabinet and see friends.  I don't know what my schedule will be in a few months and so I figure, why not?  I reached out to a few of my friends to see what they thought about my impulsive trip.  I am still waiting to hear their thoughts.
If nothing else, I will explore Santa Fe and its surrounding areas.  I could still use that soak at Ojo.  Or, go hiking, biking or day tripping.  I drove through Madrid which was cute.  I did not have time to stop.  I rushed back to Santa Fe to attend a yoga class. It was the first class that I have sweat in, legitimately, but still not that challenging.  The instructor has an odd sequence and does way too many half splits for me.  There are no warrior poses and he likes to do the chair position and then have you flail your arms to the ground.  It's dumb and it makes me cranky.  I opted to attend a different class today and it was great.  Better sequence and nice gal that teaches. I wishes she had different music but perhaps that will come.
I am thankful for today and looking forward to discovering more of the secrets of S.F.  Cheers!

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Days off

I found another pair of black slacks and a french blue shirt in ABQ.  Thankfully.  I was starting to freak out about not having options.  I do not want to have to wash, press, iron my shirt on a daily basis.  Now, I have options.  I can rotate the shirts.
I found a few other summer type of shirts, too.  We ran out of time to check out consignment shops.  Jennifer had success in her wants.  I could have taken more time to discover suitable clothes.  Then, I reached my limit on the whole retail experience.  We stopped into this one shop that targeted teens and twenty somethings. I didn't feel out of place.  I just had reached my limit on shopping.  I saw a few things that were cute.  I just was no longer in the right frame of mind to shop.  We stopped by a brewery to enjoy a few beers before we headed back to Sandia Park for the night.
Their house is charming and suited them well.  They have four dogs and one cat.  I felt, at ease, immediately, in their house.  The drive way was scary but I managed to not hit anything on the way up or down.  Steep, gravel and scary.
I returned to Santa Fe and have a a few things that I would like to get done today.  Yoga, ironing and then work.  My first real shift where I will not be following anyone around.  I am excited.  Training sucks. There is no other way to look at it.  It sucks to train and it sucks to train someone else.  Patience is tested on both sides.  I understand that it is best to just listen and stay out of the way of the person you are training with.  This all sounds great, in theory, but sometimes you have to identify how it could be done better.  It's almost impossible to not put in your two cents worth of experience.  And, in most cases, the establishment assumes the worst about you.  They think they will have to show you everything which sometimes is the case.  Being seasoned, though, that is rarely the case.  I need to learn the computer system and eat more of the food.  Tonight will be the first night that I can show off some of my skills and decrease any unease they have with me as a bartender.  Sure, some of the burning orange rinds is not in my wheelhouse.  I am all about the service aspect of it.  The efficiency of anticipating your need without you asking for anything.  I could improve on some of the mixology steps, for sure.  I can b.s. sports, entertainment, wine, food, travel.  Creating the epic drink of perfection is not really my forte.
I absolutely enjoyed my time in ABQ with Jenn and Travis.  It felt nice to relax and be with someone that I have known since we were 13.  I hope to see them again and soon. I think I will stop back down with some of the extra wine glasses that I have carted around with me from place to place.  She had one glass that they use as a wine glass and I have a plethora of glassware.  I considered dropping them off at good will but now believe I have found the perfect home for them.
Off to yoga and work later.  Happy Sunday!!!

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Days off, organizing and moving forward....

I bought a few items to make my place feel more like home.  A lamp to help with the lighting in the kitchen/bedroom and a bathroom organizer.  I return home and delay putting the bathroom organizer together.  I wanted to be lazy and couldn't decide if I would drive out to Ojo to soak in the springs or take a bath now that I have a bathroom stopper.  I chose the latter.
I opened the bathroom organizer box  and pieces were missing.  No instructions either.  Should have been a huge red sign that this was not the right organizer for me.  I returned to Target and changed out the organizers.  I returned home and started to put it together.  I was determined to get my place in order.  The finished product is okay but not what I had envisioned.  I will take it apart and hopefully find the perfect item while visiting Jenn in ABQ.  Hot springs can wait until another weekend.
I stopped by a few consignment places to see if I could find a bedside table or wine cabinet.  I saw one at Target that seemed likely.  It was on sale, thru today.  I held off and chose to consider my options.  I could order on-line or look at a few other options that I would have in town.  In addition, garage sales, consignment shops or drive to Denver and pick up the one that I already own.  Duh....that would be the most viable option.
When I left Denver in 2011, I left my plants with Sara Jo (where they have thrived) and a few other items with Bryn.  My wine cabinet has been in her house and used as a storage unit for the last few years.  I could drive up to Denver, see some friends and collect my wine cabinet.  That would be the best option.  Now, I just need to make it happen.
I am thankful that I wanted to start over again.  It is always exciting, fun, and new.  I have a few friends that I have met while visiting Santa Fe and I wanted to see them right when I arrived.  It was important, I thought, and I tried to force it. Finally, I realized, I want to take time for me.  I had a raging headache on Thursday and a hamstring tweak.  I think that due to both of those annoyances, my body was trying to tell me to enjoy being where I am now.  I made a lot of decisions that I haven't stopped to ease into.  I was go, go, going and I needed to stop and enjoy.  I do have time to see my friends, explore Santa Fe and find my niche.
Of course, I miss Phoenix.  Yoga.  I miss having options in terms of studios and instructors.  I miss hiking Camelback and my friends.  I do not miss having to drive everywhere.  Not going to lie.  I am loving that aspect of being here.  And the green chile factor.  I am determined to make my own at some point soon.  I can run and must start as there is a half marathon in July that I have signed up for. I have the accommodations squared and think I have some tastings arranged.  But, I am going to run it and not feel sore from lack of training.  Last year's half marathon was terrible since I had not been diligent in that regard.
I am heading to yoga and hopeful that it will be a stellar class.  Afterwards, I have some friends in town that I might meet or I might head straight to ABQ.  I am going to meet up with Jennifer and Travis and thrift store shop, hang out and spend time with friendly faces.  I think that is why I was so adamant on seeing the people I knew in Santa fe.  I want to feel comfortable and I have established friendships that I wanted to see, immediately, as a way to celebrate my start in Santa Fe.  And, I will.  There is so much time to make this happen.
Enjoy your weekend.  I intend to.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Creating a niche

Two days off...I am stoked!  I mean, I packed up Friday, moved Saturday, and began work on Monday.  I thought--why not?  Hit the ground running...sounded like a legit plan until I was experiencing it.
My move to Santa Fe was a whirlwind.  From start to finish.  It was go, go, go and then keep going.  Tonight, I can decompress and enjoy.  I do not work until Sunday and I am thankful for the much needed break.  I scheduled a massage to work on my hamstrings after my morning yoga session.  Afterwards, I have a few options.  I could head south to ABQ to see Jenn and Travis, shop for a french blue shirt and spend time there.  Or, go northwest to Abiquiqu, Ojo Caliente and spend time in Santa Fe. I sorta kinda choose that adventure as I need to find my niche here.  I am super thankful for the next few nights off. I need it!
My day shift was an improvement to the previous night.  This restaurant reminds me so much of Fifi's.  Lovely wine list, established clientele of professionals, and the food that is consistently amazing.  The passion is illustrated in the care that is taken to create the dishes.  The uniform, although not black slacks and white blouse, has that similar need associated with it.  The need to be pressed/cleaned on a daily basis with black shoes and socks.  Yes, I feel that I have been transported back to the late 90's for sure.
I worked with a few people that I had met over the last few days.  I arrived at 10:30, thinking, we opened at 11.  Instead it opens at noon.  During the lunch shift, there is not a bartender (another reminder of my time at Fifi's.  This is where I learned how to make a manhattan, martini, old fashioned.  Basically, where I honed some skills to bartend).  My trainer let me take a few tables and I had mentioned to the day manager that I wanted to work more on the computer.  That that was where I would have difficulty moving forward.  She told the guy to let me ring everything in.  So, the tables that I started, I rang in.  The tables that he chose to take, he would ring in and say--here is how you ring this is.  This in an ineffective way to help someone develop computer skills.  I can watch all day but until I do it, I'm not really going to remember how to do it.
Still, he was nice and helpful.  He didn't treat me like I was an idiot.  Progress, I suppose.
And, my bow tying skills are improving.  I will soon be a master of that skill, too.  Well, I am off to check out some yoga and begin my day.  I made dinner last night instead of meeting up with a friend.  I had a headache and didn't feel like being social.  Sure, I want to celebrate my start to Santa Fe, but it doesn't have to happen this minute.  There will be more time to celebrate, discover and explore of this city.