Monday, September 29, 2014

birthday dinner

Melody's boyfriend picked me up and dropped us off at a lovely french place. I had made the necessary reservations for a seven o'clock seating.  I thought that would give me ample time to decompress from wine and chile if need be.  I didn't know what form I would be.  Given the previous day, I wanted to avoid another night like that.  In my space between the festival and meeting Melody for dinner, I walked around the plaza.  I drank another americano and saw an artist friend of mine.  She sets up a booth every weekend.  I dropped by, briefly.  I saw her make a sale and chose to not interrupt that sale.
I met Lisa and her people for a quick drink.  I enjoyed spending time with them at the festival and wanted to let her know how thankful I was to attend.  The least I could do was meet them for a drink before I met Melody for dinner.  I had invited Lisa to join us but since she was hosting people, she couldn't break away. I think they were dining at a tapas place.
We started with a glass of bubbly and a cheese plate.  Marcona almonds, dijon mustard, crisps and four different cheeses.  Blue, triple cream, taleggio and manchego.  Delicious. Next, we tried the grilled octopus with a chick pea puree.  I don't think Melody was sold on the idea of the octopus but I was stubborn.  It was fantastic.
I chose a bottle of cote du Rhone and our feast continued.  I felt like a chinon but Melody preferred something lighter.  I compromised.
We had a golden beet and asparagus salad.  Another treat that I was glad we chose.  We concluded with the steak au poivre.  By far, the most disappointing part of the meal.  The fries were fantastic.  The steak was a poor cut.  Both of us had the unfortunate experience of biting into the piece and spitting it out.  Classy, right?  It was unavoidable however.  The steak was not good.
We walked over to a hotel bar and had a few additional glasses of wine.  I like extending my celebrations as much as I can.  Thankfully, Clayton picked us up and dropped me off without incident.  We considered meeting for a morning yoga class.  I knew that I would want to go to work off the excessive eating of the previous days.  I made it to class.  Melody overslept.
I had another day off to continue celebrating. I headed to Ojo to soak and it was one of the best decisions I have made.  Excellent way to rejuvenate, refresh, relax.  I think I might be doing a cleanse to equalize.  Well, that and I want to look good in my bikini once I make it to the Bahamas.  My idea of a birthday present to myself this year.  Last weekend was excessive and fun.  I am glad that I had the opportunity to celebrate in style with friends.
Now, I must return to the real world of work.  Til later, cheers!

birthday weekend

I remember celebrating my birthday in 2005.  Scuba diving in Cozumel and one night in Playa del Carmen.  I insisted on staying at a swim up bar type of hotel.  I wanted the convenience.  Within ten minutes, I was annoyed with my decision.  I didn't factor in the other people that would be enticed by the inclusivity of the hotel.  Never having to leave the property as all needs were met.  I prefer venturing into the local scene, seeing color, eating flavors and listening to music.  Our hotel did not have what I wanted in that regard.
Yesterday, I took the bus downtown.  I wanted to purchase new earrings, a ring or a bracelet.  I was undecided.  I headed downtown and my friend, Lisa, called to see if I would want to attend the reserve tasting for wine.  YES!  Obviously I would enjoy attending a reserve tasting.  I could drink bubbles, napa cabs and chit chat with friends in the industry.
The tasting was great.  I had eaten a salad for lunch and inhaled wine.  Sometimes, I do this.  There was food available but I have issues where I think anything left out in the open for a certain amount of time is off limits to me.  Cheese breathes in room temperature and is not enticing to me.  Anyways, after the tasting we were going to have a drink before Lisa and her people went to dinner.  The place we wanted to go to for martinis (like I needed one at this point) was not open to the public. They had a private party so we headed to another joint.  We were seated, ordered drinks and when they came, they were awful.  Lisa was not impressed and so she goes--we're leaving.  These drinks are horrible.  We got up to leave and I threw $20 to the server.  I felt bad about the situation and I suppose, felt, I should pay it forward.  It wasn't her fault that the bartender did not know how to make a cosmopolitan.
We parted ways and I headed to my fall back place.  Of course, they were booked solid, too.  I made my way to another spot with a bar and ordered a salad and halibut.  Delicious.  I hired a taxi to drive me home and also stop by a market to purchase carrot cake.  I wanted carrot cake to celebrate Brian's birthday.  Yummo!
Saturday brought more opportunities to drink wine, chat with friends and eat food.  I drove up to the Opera and managed to find a parking spot prior to the lot closing.  The main event was from 1-4.  Plenty of time to drink wine.  Too much time, actually.  I ran into a co-worker and some of her friends and glommed on to them.  Our plan of attack was to go different directions and meet in the middle.  That way we could keep in contact and not get lost.  We managed to keep this maneuver, engaged, in two of the four tents.  Then, I needed another porta potty break and ran into other people that I knew.  I got tied up with that and lost my friends for the remainder of the event.
Which was in my best interest.  I had dinner plans with Melody and wanted to enjoy the meal.  I didn't want to be all boozy.  I slowed down my wine drinking since I was chit chatting with more people that I knew from work and friends that I had not seen in a couple weeks.  It was a great way to spend a Saturday.
Dinner was delightful.  I will elaborate more of that later. I have a touch of insomnia but should try to sleep.  Cheers!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Saturday night dinner

Finally a day off.  I don't know how much I love working six nights a week.  Two jobs helps keep it fresh but the six nights thing, well, it's wearing on me.  I need to change it up and work a day or something.  I enjoy having more options to my night off then just once a week.
Tonight, I have dinner plans with a customer of mine.  A nice older gentleman.  Well read, traveled and enjoys a good conversation.  I considered it a friendly gesture on his part.  I didn't even think of it as a date as he is considerably older than I am.  Perhaps a little naive on my part but I want to see the best in people.
I skipped yoga as is customary on Saturdays.  Not many classes offered and the instructor is my least favorite.  I don't think I can force myself into another one of his classes.  I have tried and then the music makes me crazy.  The class becomes more about how long I can make myself stay and be bored instead of relaxing and finding the zen zone.  I checked out a matinee which I have not done in years.  Great option to spend a Saturday afternoon.  I saw a cute flick about saying goodbye.  I liked all of the actors and it was well written.
Afterwards, I wanted a beer and a sandwich.  My options were limited by the time.  The matinee ended at 2.  Most restaurants in Santa Fe are closed from 2-5ish.  I didn't relish the idea of driving downtown and parking to dine at a hotel bar.  Instead, I drove over to a new local restaurant that is similar to where I work.  Casual dining, good food, fair priced and decent beer selection. One of the girls that works there is an acquaintance.  Her husband and I work together at my primary job.  I felt confident in confiding in Ashley about my upcoming dinner.  She suggested fabricating people to meet after the dinner or setting an alarm on my phone that would go off at which point, I could answer my phone and make up an excuse to leave or if I felt okay with how things were proceeding, I could ignore the alarm and continue.  I liked how she thought.  She gave me a few options to end the dinner without being rude or presumptuous.
I told a few of my friends of my evening plans and they were quick to point out that he probably thought it was a date.  I was like, no, that would be so wrong.  He is like my one friend, asked if he was wealthy.  My response, well, he has a house here and one in Hawaii.  I don't know, I guess.  She roared at that.  Of course, he thinks it is a date...he's a man, right?
I was still on board for dinner and insisted on meeting him at the prearranged restaurant.  I told him that I had friends in town to meet after our dinner.  I guess I wanted an out and a painless one at that.
Dinner was great and he was kind.  We sat outside and enjoyed patio dinning.  I started with a watercress salad and concluded with scallops.  He had gazpacho and the halibut.  I was interested in the halibut but the lavendar pudding that accompanied it did not inspire me.  I opted for the scallops instead.
We discussed books, movies, travel, how he met his wife and an array of other topics.  He is well traveled and loves japanese art.  He will head to Paris this week to attend a viewing of said art.  I think that is incredible.  Honestly, it was a nice meal and I don't think I had anything to worry about.  Or maybe I made it clear that I was only wanting a nice dining companion by my action.  I am thankful that it wasn't awkward and that yes, he is a gracious man.
He spoke of his late wife and it was obvious that the shared a great love.  He lost her to cancer a few years ago.  It made me think of my dad and what he went through when his wife passed.  The want for companionship, someone to dine with, walk with, travel.  It was a nice evening.
We finished the night with coffee and truffles.  Nice conclusion to the dinner.  You cannot go wrong with chocolate.  However, had the restaurant offered carrot cake as one of their dessert choices, I would have insisted that we try it.  They didn't.
My intention was to have a night cap at a hotel bar that I seem to linger in.  I drove over and noticed that their ballroom was full of people dancing.  I pulled in to the valet only to discover that the lot was full and only for registered guests at that point.  Sad as I was out of options.  I headed home but there are not many places to go on my side of town.  Sure, I could have went into my other job for a night cap but I didn't love that option.  I didn't want to talk about work or that I was unable to work for someone due to my dinner plans.  So, I retired for the night with a glass of wine at my house.  Safe and comfortable way to end a Saturday night.  If only I had managed a soak at Ojo.  That would have been an ideal addition to my day off.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Upcoming travel and visions of how to spend the next milestone bday

Dreaming of future travel.  I see a trip to Denver and Phoenix in my near future.  Denver to visit friends, get my fix of restaurants that I miss and maybe yoga.  I am still undecided about how much I love the yoga community in Denver.  I did attend a studio for over a year that was adequate.  Ironically, one of my running partners referred to said studio as the Walmart of yoga studios.  She felt the quality was generic and that they were over franchised further decreasing their appeal.
At that time, I agreed.  However, given the opportunity to attend one of their studios, now, I would.  I am wanting more of a challenge than what I am receiving currently.
Phoenix brings yoga (YES!), hiking camelback, friends and a business opportunity of sorts.  I want to research it more and talk with my friends before committing.  It could be a great opportunity and I want to think about it more.  Ironically, when I think of some of the jobs I have had they have all stemmed from friendships made in Phoenix.  It is ironic as I really do not love, love, love Phoenix, at all.  Or in the way that I love Denver or even enjoy Santa Fe.  Santa Fe has its own charm and I am discovering things I truly enjoy.  Finally went hiking at Atalaya Mountain yesterday.  So close to me and a nice tranquil hike.  Sure, Santa Fe is small and that is an adjustment in itself.  Still, I feel confident in my decision to be here now.  Does it stop me from wanting to travel more and explore another city to, it doesn't.
I think this time of year always inspires me to reflect on where I am and where I would like to go.  I met some friends of mine in 2009 in Phoenix.  It was a mini-reunion of sorts and a nice weekend getaway.  It would be nice to do that again but I don't want to be the instigator or planner like I was last time.  And, in the next few years I will be heading to Vietnam/Cambodia/Thailand with my mini.  Milestone birthday year is motivating that trip.  Plus, I know Kristina is like-minded when it comes to travel.  We will be enjoying hostels, air bnb and other budget friendly travel sites.  I don't need  a resort to occupy my time when abroad.  Sure, I enjoy a swim up bar every now and then. (Super convenient) but prefer the more local driven trip.  Food is a factor and I want to check out a nice meal or two while traveling.
The other night, I met this woman who works on non profits for animals in Santa Fe.  We started a conversation and based on our conversation, I could tell we had similarities.  She expressed that her sister-in law hoarded material items in several storage units.  She lamented how foolish that was and how she planned on raiding those and donating the insides to the animal shelters when it was an option.  She mentioned that she had donated several pieces of jewelry, handbags and now shoes in an effort to raise money for this organization.  Clearly, she was passionate about animals.  We continued talking and she noted that she enjoyed spending money on experiences--food, travel--and I told her that I was the same way.  We figured out that we had the same birthday.  It was so funny!  She was the second customer I have had in three days that shares my birthday.  The first guy is in Rome and Europe to celebrate his 50th.  I told him of my upcoming adventure to the Bahamas to celebrate this year.  This woman told me she was going to take a photo of herself, post it and say--60 is the new 40.  I think, go for it.  Why not?  We all should celebrate, enjoy life and prosper.
My idea of prospering is exploring the world.  Is there a way to be financed for this?  Any suggestions?
Til later, I am off to work.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Birthdays past

I am still thinking of my birthday and some of the meals I have had, recently, while celebrating.  Last year was a wash.  Although, I loved attending wine and chile, my dining companion had ideas about where she wanted to go.  In the case of my birthday dinner, we had to go to a tapas place where one of the wineries she represents was hosting a wine dinner.  Of all places, in Santa Fe, this is not where I was hoping to dine.  I believe that this restaurant used to be good.  The ambiance is always fun.  Flamenco dancing, lively and open late.  It has continued to keep a loyal following in spite of the decline in food quality.  The meal was beyond lame in my opinion.  I struggled through the paella and kept my wine glass full.  My birthday weekend was fun but many of the dining choices were out of my hands. I was on someone else's trip and could suggest places but forced to compromise.
2012 was another one of the sacrificial years.   I had dreams of returning to Napa to celebrate my birthday and Brian's.  Brian would have been 30 that year and so his mom and I considered celebrating in style.  However, I had agreed to be in a wedding in September in Denver.  I couldn't spend five days in Denver and then take an additional four days off to celebrate my birthday in Napa a week later.  I celebrated in Denver instead and wished for a Napa trip.  Of course, Denver did not disappoint and I managed to visit my usual haunts in addition to my wedding party demands.  My friend had an extravagant wedding and I was treated to a few lovely dinners.
In 2011, Shari visited me in Phoenix.  She met the infamous Vegas.  It was so funny.  Initially, Jonny was demure, polite and respectful.  By the end of our evening together, he was back to normal.  Loud, obnoxious and spouting off stuff to get reactions from people.  He is one of my best friends.  Truly interested in my well being as a friend not a partner.  He treated us to dinner at the Salt Cellar and we finished the night at Casey's.  It was great and a wonderful way to celebrate.  Shari and I chose to get tattoos that trip too.
2010, Sara Jo and I headed to Manitou Springs.  I had been busy training for a marathon in Vegas and we had a half marathon to prepare for in October.  I chose to keep it local that year.  Sara and I hiked Matthew Winters Park before heading to Colorado Springs.  We stopped at the Broadmor for an afternoon cocktail and then checked into this cute little bed and breakfast in Manitou.  We bar hopped and had a lovely meal at a creperie for dinner.  Sara knows that I enjoy day drinking, great food and conversation.
This year should be fun.  I always try to go somewhere to celebrate.  Due to work and the festival, I will be in Santa Fe.  I might be able to day trip it somewhere, too.  And then, there is the Bahamas where the real celebration begins.  My gift to myself this year.  Cheers!

bringing the cupcakes

I am getting closer to my birthday and it makes me nostalgic.  Nostalgic for dinners, travel and wines shared with friends over the years.  Now, I choose a place that I want to dine and bring the cupcakes.  The Goddess coined that phrase. I was expressing to her my discomfort about choosing a restaurant that I wanted to dine at and not making my friends uncomfortable due to my expensive tastes.  Her solution--bring the cupcakes.  I could pay for the meal and not feel bad.  Remember when you celebrated your birthday at school and your mom would bring cupcakes to share with the class?  Same principle and created the same result.  Celebration and joy.
Years ago, when I turned 30, I celebrated in Napa. First time to visit that wine mecca and four of my friends joined me.  It was incredible.  Wine tasting, food exploring and meeting new friends.  I had arranged dinner at Bouchon and was determined to pay for the meal. I was so thankful that my friends joined me in another city to celebrate my birthday.  The least I could do was take care of the meal.  Not to mention, we had to have foie gras with the meal and a few other must haves to make me happy.  I don't mind spending money on food/wine/experience.  At that meal, I could sense my sister tensing up about my choices.  I love my sister and she chooses to spend money on different things.  Dining out is not something that rates high on her list.  For me, it's about the memory associated with the meal that makes it matter little what it costs.
This year, my friend, Melody, is joining me for dinner.  Ironically, my birthday falls on a huge wine related festival in Santa Fe.  I will be attending that, too.  I found a restaurant that I felt would be suitable for the meal.  A french bistro and I do like the chef.  Kind, gracious man and the food is fantastic.  I have not yet shared with Melody the location because I do not want to scare her off.  It will be an expensive meal but one that I am prepared to take care of.  I want to bring the cupcakes.  I hear stories of people that go to dinner with friends and everyone chips in to pay for the birthday person.  The other night, this happened to me.  I joined a group of ladies to celebrate an acquaintance of mine's birthday.  Two people left early and managed to pay for their respective meals.  However, they did not chip in for the shared appetizers.  So, my beer and entree, totaling $13 plus tax/tip, turned in to a $30 contribution to the tab.  Melody also contributed $30 to the tab and we both took a hit on it.  It happens and I understand that.  I just don't intend to do that to my friends on my birthday.  I will dine where I want and am prepared to take care of it.
I hope to visit some hot springs in the next few weeks, too.  It's been too long and I miss the rejuvenation factor.  I will be working,  a lot, in the course of the next two weeks.  I was able to secure my birthday off and the following day.  I will make the most of it.
Then, two weeks after my birthday, I will be heading to the Bahamas.  I cannot wait!  That will be fantastic!  Bahamas here I come....

Sunday, September 14, 2014

random encounters

Yesterday, I went to a coffee shop.  Hipster coffee shop that I do enjoy the vibe of it.  They play decent music and attract an eclectic mix of people.  I ordered my coffee and egg sandwich and looked around the room.  I wasn't interested in sitting outside or at their counter, so I asked this woman if I could join her. She was seated at a table for eight.  She agreed and indicated that she wanted me to sit near her.  I grabbed a water and returned to the table.
She was interesting.  I asked her her background.  I couldn't pick up her accent.  Slight lilt.  She was british but had lived in eastern Europe.  She told me about her upbringing and name while I waited for my coffee and breakfast.  While she was talking, she moved my water in front of her.  Next thing I know she is drinking from the glass.  I didn't say anything as I thought it was kinda funny.  My coffee was taking forever and so I stepped outside to text my mechanic that I was running late.  There is no reception within the coffee shop.  I didn't want my mechanic to wait around on his day off because I needed breakfast.  This guy offered to replace some hoses on my car outside of his job.  I really appreciated that.
I return and the lady concludes our breakfast.  She tells me it was a pleasure to meet me and offers me the remainder of her water.  She says that she doesn't have anything that would make me sick and so I can enjoy the water if I like....I'm thinking to myself--what?  Thank you for offering to return me my water that I poured.
It was funny that in the last week, I have had two conversations about my family tree.  We all have interesting backgrounds, stories, lives.  Rarely do we take the time to ask people.  The lady was eccentric and she did, take my water.  However, I could sense there was an even more interesting story to her life.  She lives in Santa Fe part time and the rest of the time in Hawaii.  That is another thing that keeps recurring in my life.  The amount of people that live in Hawaii part of the year.  One place that I have not visited.  I would like to, though.
I will be in the Bahamas in a month.  I am extremely excited.  Another passport stamp and opportunity to enjoy the beach.  In the meantime, I have thought about driving to Denver or Phoenix (yoga specific).  I like being able to go and not be held down or restricted by anything.  I thought I had an opportunity to go on Friday.  This guy I work with had mentioned picking up additional shifts.  It didn't happen which I am okay with.  My car was fixed and I think, next weekend, I will be doing the same thing.  I forgot to ask the guy if I should make an appointment to have an oil change at his work or just go to the specific jiffy lube that every town has.  I always take Veronica to a volvo specific mechanic for oil changes, too. I am going to have to ask my guy his thoughts on it.
Yoga will inspire, rejuvenate and create serenity.  Exactly what I am looking for today.  Cheers!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Yoga and dance

On Thursday, I attended a yoga class.  I wanted to celebrate life and remember 9/11 in a positive way.  I wanted to remember kindness, graciousness and doing unto others.
I knew that the instructor would have soothing music as she is the only one in Santa Fe that seems to identify the connection between yoga and music.  It is an art and it does require good music.  I was not disappointed.  Emily started off with honoring the day and how we all have the ability to share our energy.  The class began with a montage of New York songs.  Billy Joel started us off on the journey.  I found myself emotional listening to the words while being instructed in the flow.  It was incredible and exactly the way I wanted to honor the day.  Each song increased the celebration of the day.  I am thankful that I opted to have lunch on Tuesday and skip Emily's class instead of Thursday. Originally, I had lunch plans on Thursday.  I managed to dine with Teo on Tuesday instead.
On Friday, I attended another yoga class.  The noon class and was hopeful that the instructor would play fitting music for the noon hour.  She didn't.  I just can no longer go to these classes and be bored out of my mind.  It isn't helpful or recommended.  Seriously, I am going to jack up my practice by injuring myself out of boredom.
I have made suggestions to individual instructors and made comments in the anonymous comment box. Neither seem to help.  Not once has it been mentioned that perhaps the music selection could improve by an instructor.  Or, that the floors have been cleaned after a class.  It's gross that there is sweat on the hardwood floors and it's not mopped up between classes.  I am done.  There is no point to making suggestions or attending the studio.  After my friend opens her own place in a few months, they are no longer offering her 7:30 class.  I figure I can finish out my pass and then seriously consider other options.  There are other instructors that offer individual classes in other buildings.  Or, my friend is opening her spin/yoga studio in November.  I have high hopes of what that will mean.  She tells me that it will be hot power vinyasa which is what I want to practice.  I so miss Phoenix and the yoga community.  If I was able to, I would fly back to attend a class or two on a monthly basis. I am not against making this happen.  I just might. It would be a way to build up miles, see friends and get my yoga fix.
Anyways, yoga was freeing and beautiful on Thursday.  The music was amazing and I felt at peace.  Namaste

Monday, September 8, 2014

Yoga, food and thought provoking books....

I thought I would attend the 7:30 yoga class and then reconsidered.  Last Friday, I left early, as the music was terrible.  I couldn't handle it.  I hope that since my friend is subbing the noon class that she will step up the rhythm of her music selection.  I wish she would increase the tempo in all of her classes.  Especially the early morning class.  I wake up, have coffee and want my mind bent.  I have no interest in soothing music.  I want rhythm!
I remain hopeful that she will step it up.  I think some of these instructors have odd notions of what to bring to the class depending on the time of day.  Some of the music selection is a snooze fest or more restorative which would seem more applicable at the end of the day.  Not the beginning.  I have a difficult time when the music is lame.  My mind wanders and then I think I will injure myself due to boredom.  Eventually, I leave the class to save myself from boredom and injury.  I have made suggestions in their suggestion box and nothing has improved.  They don't use their mirrors, clean their floors (ever from what I have experienced) and the music remains mediocre at best.  There is one instructor that has good music and she changes it up on a daily basis.  The majority of the instructors, though, play terrible music.  I have one more month pass to complete before seeking out other studios.  I think I am done, for real, this time.  I cannot make myself go to a studio that does not try to improve the quality of the experience by updating the playlist or cleaning the studio.  I'm done.
I had a few bar guests last night interested in my current reading selection.  They seemed to have similar likes in book taste and food.  They were visiting from D.C. and spoke highly of the food scene there as well as in Denver.  All it did was inspire me to travel more.  I need to figure out a way to make it happen.  I enjoy talking about food destinations with bar guests.
This couple also had an interesting take on the Kevin book.  The conversation began as I was telling another gentleman about my current fiction read.  I am re-reading She's Come Undone.  I mentioned that I have read a few of the author's other books and describing the content of them.  This other couple overhears my conversation and agrees that they, too, enjoy the author.  They, specifically, enjoyed the book about the high school massacre as did I.  They asked if I had read we need to talk about Kevin and I was honest about how it made me think for a month about the content.  How this kid had everything--a good home, support, no needs and still acted out in an uncontrollable rage where who was at fault for the behavior?
This couple tells me that they have two friends where the friends have adult children that are acting out.  Adult children in their late 30's who are behaving in a way that would suggest they were raised by wolves.  These people expressed how that was not the case, at all.  Their friends were good people, good providers and at a loss for what motivated their kids to act out in such a way to provoke the authorities.  Is there an explanation?
We do have choices.  We are all capable of making good and bad decisions. It's the accountability that has taken a back seat to the responsibility of the choice.  Being accountable is being overlooked for the why of the choice.  Was it environment?  Nurturing?
Does it matter?  I don't know that it does.  If you make a poor choice, you should be accountable for it.  It shouldn't be about your upbringing, your financial status, your environment.  You made the decision--own it.  Good or bad.  Deal with the consequences.
It is interesting and I am thankful for the thought provoking books that I seem to be drawn to as of late.  It has inspired a few great conversations recently.  I hope this trend continues.  Until later, cheers~

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Sunday ramblings and books

In an attempt to keep the spiders at bay, I have been sweeping, daily, to take down the cobwebs and mopping with lemon scented pinesol and vinegar.  Both products are supposed to irritate spiders.
I dusted my mantel and knocked over my corkboard.  Awesome.  1/3 of the corks flew across my floor.  I guess I will be rearranging my board that was compiled by drinking wine with Brian.  '
And Sara Jo and Sam.  It is something that I have carted with me from place to place since 2006.  A piece of my personal history that will always remain with me.  I thought, that I should have continued that practice.  I have drank wine with some pretty incredible people in my life.  I will want to have these memories with me wherever I end up.  I think I will make an effort to continue this practice.  Hope to start in a few weeks when I have lunch with a friend.  I did have some wine with Melody yesterday.  We chose the Petite Petit one of Shari's favorite wines.  I should have grabbed that cork before I left.  Melody and I had happy hour, some wine and a sunset walk around their arroyo.  It was a lovely way to spend a day off.  I had had plans to dine at a french bistro with another friend of mine.  Teo had to cancel due to unforeseen work.  I was bummed but in all honesty the day worked out the way it was supposed to.  I bought a new pair of kicks (to inspire a return to running), got a massage and spent the remainder of the day with Melody and her boyfriend.  It was great.
I do work tonight and I am excited to be sporting the tie.  I will rest until then.  Maybe take a movie or finish my current book.  I decided to reread a classic and it has kept me enthralled. I was on a psychological thriller type of read the last month.  Must be honest, Gone Girl, was enticing.  I wanted to read other books along that realm.  A few of them were way too dark and I am ready to return to great dialogue and great story lines.  As such, I found my way back to a female protagonist with an engrossing storyline.  I hope to finish this book and move on to mystery.
Until I am inspired by a new author.  I like to read a book that makes me think, consider, analyze its content.  Recently, I read, we need to talk about Kevin and that stayed with me for weeks.  Sociopaths--how do they come about?  Nature/nurture.  This book was challenging to read as it didn't really answer the question of fault.  I felt bad for the parents of the kid that crossbowed his school.  It was written in a way to illustrate the upbringing of the kid, the challenges of the parents in how they parented this kid and the result of living in the community after the kid went postal.  There was nothing uplifting about this book.  It really made me think about how to  move on after something like this happens.
The question of blame remains and overtakes everything associated with the tragedy.  We all want to blame someone, something, some malfunction in an attempt to explain.  I remember a friend of mine's loss.  Her daughter died in an unfortunate negligence of a day care provider.  It was awful and my friends chose to prosecute the daycare provider.  They won their case and the woman was convicted.  I think it brought them some peace knowing this woman would no longer be a daycare provider.  However, it didn't make them feel any better about their loss.  I guess I think about that when I think of my own loss.  It was an accident and I had no one to blame which helped me move through it.  Knowing that there was peace for Brian.  I couldn't blame anyone for what happened.  I wasn't distracted by anger as I couldn't find a justification as to why it happened.  I think that made me be able to breathe quicker than trying to explain the why.  There is no explanation.
I think, sometimes, that this is the case.  That book, there was no clean explanation as to why this kid chose to kill his classmates.  His mom could blame herself and let the community blame her, too.  But, what did she do wrong?  She and her husband provided a good life for this kid.  He had no wants. He was just unhappy in his life and he took it out on other people.
I digress.  It has been a beautiful weekend.  Perfect weather.  I am glad that I choose to be here now.  I hope you enjoy yours, too.  Cheers!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

me vs the endless spiders in my casita.....

From an early age, I have always had a fear of spiders.  I know, it sounds irrational.  I am a highly capable adult and yet the sight of those little things scampering across my floor makes me crazy.  I have had a few encounters with the lovely eight legged creature and have mad respect for what they are capable of.  Think, Australia, 2007 and the ensuing six month struggle.
At any rate, while living in Arizona, I had few encounters with the spider.  We had a symbiotic relationship where we enabled the other to live in the space without much interaction.  I mostly watched for scorpions while living in Tempe.  Thankfully, I had no encounters.
I relocate to a new city and immediately, find the eight legged friends within my home. Daddy long legs, black things and cob webs.  I try to remain calm and let them live within my space.  For the last two months, well, they have become a little more aggressive.  More cobwebs, transparency and sightings.  The daddy long legs I can work with. The cobwebs I can overlook but the black eight legged things were starting to screw with me.  There are two that play during the afternoon or so it seems.  Again, I know how it sounds.  Me being afraid of spiders.  I reached my breaking point on Tuesday afternoon when I went to iron my work clothes.  I retrieved my ironing board and set it up.  I turned the iron on and waited.  I was about to put my slacks on the board when I noticed the black widow like looking spider on my ironing board.  This thing taunted me.  Wouldn't move and dared me to do something about it.
I chose to iron on my mantel...lame, yes, but all I could think about was this thing jumping on me and injecting me with poison.  Spider won that encounter.
I talked to one of my co-workers about it and she was like---omg, you gotta get rid of that thing.  They are scary!!!
I came home and researched how to proceed.  I didn't want to buy some deadly chemical that I would ingest.  My aunt Bryn (Dr Bryn as I refer to her as she helps me with a holistic approach) has used hedge balls in the past.  I looked into buying them and placing them around my house.  The research suggested that they were moderately effective.  Meaning, to me, that the black thing would triumph and continue to taunt me on my ironing board.
There were other websites that recommended using essential oils.  Specifically, lemon or peppermint oil as spiders did not like either of these.  Essential oil seemed more appropriate.  I love peppermint oil and imagined how lovely that would smell in my house.
I sprayed everything.  Went out of control with the spray bottles.  I felt confident that I was winning my war with the spiders.  How wrong I was.
I return home after my day shift to find two spiders roaming freely.  The bigger one (I swear) was the one from the day before on my ironing board.  It scampered into my bathroom near the toilet.  All I could think of was of that video illustrating a public toilet where huge spiders lurk.  I freaked out.  I resorted to finding a toxic spray to deal with the issue and attempted to call my landlord to help me.  He didn't answer his phone and so I embarked on a journey to find a powerful spray.  In the meantime, my landlord called me to see what I needed.  I told him of my spider issue and he told me to call him and he would take care of it.  I bought a potent spray and headed home.  Spider was still hanging out in my bathroom which prohibited me from using the bathroom.  I called Matteus to get his help but he was unavailable for a half hour.  I sprayed my doors, windows and a few cobwebs.  All the while hating this action since I could smell the toxicity of the spray.  I reminded myself that I needed to resort to the spray to avoid being bit.
My landlord swooped in and within a minute had the spider in my dustpan and out the door.  I was in awe of how quickly he disposed of it. I feel a little better knowing the spider is out of my house for the time being.  However, there is a chance that it will find its way back into my house.
I sprayed more toxic b.s. before leaving for work.  I want to minimize its ability to return and air the place out before I ingest the toxic fumes.  I feel torn that I wanted to do the essential oil route but it didn't give me the results I needed.  Instead I relied on the toxic crap to get the job done.  If only I had been patient.....
For the time being, I am without the widow and hoping that she will not return.  I hope to retain that symbiotic balance in my home.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Small world

Yesterday, I went into work and experienced some pain in my ankle.  I had not twisted, sprained or taxed my ankle in any way from my recollection.  I had went to yoga, cleaned my house and put my sandals on. On the drive over to work (think four miles) I experienced some odd pain in my foot.  I limped into work.  Seriously.  I had some issues and asked the manager if I could go home and retrieve my ankle wrap.  I wanted to stabilize my foot.  Thankfully, I found the one wrap that I have, grabbed some arnica cream, took a few alleve and headed back to work.  I rethought my day and where I would have potentially injured myself.  I couldn't remember.  I think it is the sandals.  How they now fit when I walk.  Somehow I tweaked my alignment.
At any rate, I went into work held together by a wrap.  I don't enjoy being reliant on others to get things for me.  I am self-sufficient and capable.  Waiting on others to bring me necessary items so that I can work is challenging.  I don't like it.  Of course, we were busy.  I was busy from the start.  Full bar and lots of personalities to entertain.  Eventually, this couple sat down and ordered food.  They seemed kind and so I asked where they were visiting from.  Denver.  This, of course, opened up a solid conversation.  I love talking about Denver.  Things to do, places to dine, people watch, etc.  We bonded over a brilliant city.  They had starters and entrees.  Meaning, we had plenty of opportunity to chit chat and learn more about each other.
Someone made some comment about  me being from Kansas. I think it was basketball related which led us down another path of conversation.  This couple also had attended college in Kansas.  The girl went to KSU and her husband to KU.  It was crazy how much we had in common on the dining scene.  Our collective world gets smaller when they realize where I grew up. Typically, when this happens I will be asked if I know some random person.  I grew up in a small city.  It is bigger than a town as it was 55 thousand + residents.  Of course, I don't know everyone that grew up there and more likely than not, I don't know who the person inquires about.  Normally, I try to think of some way in which our paths would have crossed--high school, family friends, work related.  However, last night, this couple did not ask me if I knew so and so...instead, they mentioned a college friend that now lives in Denver. Ironically, I knew this kid's sister since we graduated together.  I was in shock.  I hadn't heard his name in years.  This couple, equally surprised, text the guy and he responds immediately with my full name and the fact that I had two sisters.  It was funny and made my night in a way.  My world does get smaller on a daily basis.  From places I have lived, traveled, dined, I can connect/associate to people.
I drove home and considered picking up ziplock baggies to enable a homemade ice pack. I forgot that I had borrowed Jan's ice pack from a previous injury while living in Phoenix.  It made the move thankfully.
Today, I hope to enjoy the day, do some chores and take it easy. I skipped yoga to rest my foot.  I should find new shoes.  I am disappointed in my sandals as they were expensive and along the orthotic type of shoes.  They should hold up longer than six months.  Seriously. $275 for shoes to break down and create pain is a not a good slogan for the company.