Saturday, March 14, 2015

random thoughts

Age.  Becoming older.  Trying to embrace it and not freak out.  When I turned 29, I had more anxiety then when I actually turned 30.  I remember thinking....what happens now?  I'm not married, I rent a cute house with one of my best friends and have no interest in settling down.
Fast forward 9 years and I am almost in the exact same spot.  Single, renting a great casita in Santa Fe and having a challenging time establishing roots.  I did manage a fantastic support system while in Denver and recognize that that is home to me.  Where I felt the most comfortable in my skin and where I have family that I chose to be in my life.
Santa Fe has been good to me.  I feel embraced, supported, cared for.  I have a lovely job and meet interesting people on a daily basis.  I feel more confident in the yoga scene and have made inroads with people that will become my family here.  I do like it.
I feel youthful.  Well, I did, til I went to get my hair cut the other day.  Couple of things...I arranged an appointment in Santa Fe and paid $75 for a hair cut.  I think he cut 3 inches of hair.  Seems insane as I am not in New York or L.A.  Of course he did a great job and I liked him.  I don't think that I liked him enough to spend that amount of money for a haircut.  Next time, I will return to Phoenix or drive to Denver to have this need met.
The guy asked me if I colored my hair.  I have.  But, it's been years.  Probably 2006 or 07.  I wanted lighter highlights and tried to add copper, too.  The blonde held but the copper was a complete wash.  I think the hue stayed until I washed my hair after each appointment.
My  natural color is back and it suits me.  His next question was,"How old are you?"  My response, "Melody and I are are the same age."  Melody has been going to this stylist for years.  He continues with well, I have only seen a few white hairs.  I thought, crap!  I am getting old.  WTF?
That is why he asked if I colored and if he could potentially, color away, the white hairs in the future.  Smart man.  I am not there yet, though.
One of my co-workers told me if I had had kids, I would already be gray or white haired.  Probably.  I enjoy being an aunt.  Keeps me honest and a full head of dirty blonde hair.  Haha.
For the first time in my life, I am experiencing allergies.  Wow, I do not wish this on anyone.  The juniper is killing me in New Mexico.  I finally broke down and consulted a homeopath  The constant itching/irritable eyes in making me crazy.  I am not in love with the sneezing or congestion either. But, the itchy eyes is what motivated me to find some sort of relief.  So far, I feel much better.
I love March, solely, for watching basketball.  I wish I knew other fanatics so that I could watch my game later.  I will probably head out to watch it since it isn't broadcast on the local station.  If only I had friends that loved this time of year like I do.
Enjoy your Saturday, your youth and living~

Friday, March 13, 2015

Celebrating today

Happy Friday!  Thankfully, I have friends that enjoy dining out as much as I do.  There is a wine bar in Santa Fe that I have not checked out since moving here.  Years ago, I did have dinner there with Melody.  My only complaint at that time was that although there was a bar, there wasn't a bartender.  We had spotty service as a result.  I wanted to sit at the bar and they did accommodate that wish with a server who had a full section.  We were neglected or overlooked might be the better word.  More appropriate word.  Not neglected intentionally.  Just not a priority either.
Since then, thinking 2008 or 09, they have incorporated a bartender into the bar.  I am thrilled to be able to check out this space and especially today.  Specifically, I am toasting the life of a yoga master that I had met, once, last year.  Passionate man and left a mark on the community in Arizona for sure.  It is his birthday today and so I am celebrating his life.
Also, there was a celebration of life for another recently passed person this morning in Colorado.  Yesterday, I made some comment that I did not make an effort to attend the celebration.  Not true.  I had appointments in play before I heard the news about Marc.  Otherwise, I would have liked to have attended to remember Brian and be a presence of that for Marc's friends and family.  So, tonight, I will toast Marc's life, too.
And then there is the basketball factor.  I hope this wine bar has a tv.  My favorite time of year.  I can become intrigued in most games.  Well, not blow-outs or watching the #1 team perform.  Not that inspiring for me.  Sure, they are talented and deserve their ranking.  I prefer to watch teams that I am interested in is all.  Say rock chalk or I have respect for a certain team out of Arizona.
I am trying to do the ashtanga primary series without cheating.  I am improving on remembering the sequence.  However, I know that I continue to forget the full sequence of poses.  And, I try to skip through some of the poses that I have no love for.  I need to stop doing this and just embrace the challenge of it.  I think my flexibility is improving especially in the lotus position.  I have a long ways to go.
I am planning a return trip to Phoenix to do more yoga training and hopefully, heading to L.A. in May for the sole purpose of dining.  That and the beach.  My friend, Jonny, swears by Newport Beach.  It's been years since I have spent any time in L.A.  It keeps coming up in conversation and so I feel it is time to rectify this.  Of course, I do love San Fran and Paso.  Maybe I can swing a trip to one of those places too.  Wine friendly and inviting.
My mini proclaimed she is breaking up with doing things "someday".  I love her and I love this!  So true.  Why wait around for life to happen?  Why not make something happen?
Or travel. Or check out a new restaurant.  Do something unexpected.  In that spirit, I am off o celebrate life and maybe catch part of a basketball game.  I might switch things up and start with a cocktail tonight.  I feel saucy~

Thursday, March 12, 2015

more travel thoughts

I keep thinking of how wonderful it would be to have been homeschooled in the United States.  Obviously in multiple cities which would prove difficult.  Especially with three sisters.  I would have wanted to go south, east, southwest, north and pacific northwest.  I would have wanted my parents to travel.  At the time, it wasn't really an option.  My dad traveled for work and my mom did typical stay at home type of work while raising us.  I think she would have gone crazy had we all been at home trying to learn.  There is this great David Sedaris short story outlining what it was like to grow up in the 70's (yes, a little too early for my time).  Yet, still relevant in the 80's.  He talks of a time where they were snowed in.  School canceled.  YEA!  He and his siblings were thrilled.  Day 1, Day 2, Day which point, his mom kicked them out of their house. Locked them out so she could watch her programs, cocktail and enjoy her solitude.  Yea, I can understand that for sure.
However, had I had the chance to do this, I would have.  Meaning, had my parents been able to travel, shelter, educate and provide cultural stimulation...hell yes!  I would have wanted this.  I am envious of the little girls that I had the pleasure of meeting their parents on Monday.
I am thankful for my schooling in the heartland.  And recognize how it has changed since I was a child.  At one point, they got rid of evolution in schools.  Thankfully, it is now being taught again.  I think of how orchestrated my schooling was.  What if I had wanted to venture to the south to taste some of their education?  Or venture east to hear the differences in language.  Or, west to see the ocean.  Yes, I had the wanderlust gene at a young age. I yearned to learn, experience, taste life.  The minute I smelled freedom, I was off.  I don't think my parents had any idea what they had created.  Now, they just accept that I am going to do what I want, when I want.
For instance, I am missing out on a ceremony celebrating my dad's upcoming wedding.  Truly, I feel terrible about this and the timing of it.  Still, it was my understanding that they would exchange vows and party at a later date.  Suddenly, this changes and I am expected to attend the party in June.  Yet, I had plans that I spearheaded to make happen.  I think to dad knows that I have the wanderlust gene and that I try to travel 12+ times a year.  Why is he surprised that I have plans on the weekend that he wants to get married?  He must know that I am a complete junkie for travel.
So, I digress.  I dream.  I consider and make plans.  I will head west for a bit this year and then abroad.  I feel it.  I know that I go where I feel sound.
Tomorrow, there is a celebration of life for a mutual friend of mine.  He hired me for his catering company.  I met Brian there or my heart as I like to think of it.  I am saddened by this man's loss.  It is a reminder of Brian dying and how I met him.  Also, I know that he left behind a wife and three children and it is tragic.  Horribly so.  Mostly, because I could be selfish when Brian died and do what suited me.  This man's wife must proceed and help her children.  She cannot let go, grieve, find herself and move forward.  She must be strong, able and capable for her kids.  I remember many days where I barely ate.  I could drink like a sailor (or no other) and sleep for 3 hours and go to work and feel fine.  Looking back, I know, it was all adrenaline and that I was suspended between reality and a parallel universe of what I wanted but could not have.  I could no longer have a present with Brian.  As much as I yearned for it, demanded it or wanted it.
Could I have attended the celebration tomorrow?  Yes,
Did I make it happen?  No.  I focused on myself and what I wanted.
Plus, I know that it will be well attended.  Life will go on.  This woman's life will stop for awhile.  I remember this part of the process, too.  It is the most difficult part.  Figuring out that as much as you want to reflect, remember, talk....everyone else's life has moved on.
I am thankful for travel, culture, livelihood.  I am grateful for my friends and my life.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Traveling and education

The other night this couple came into the bar.  Initially, I was annoyed based on how they greeted me.  They made some comment about the fact that there were many ladies working that day.  Continued with how obviously they hired us to work the day shift.  Somehow I managed to move past that.  I suppose since I thought they were foolish as it was 6 o'clock at night.  Obviously not a day shift. I calmed down and tried to get to know their story.
At any rate, I chose to ask them why they were in town and how long they were visiting.  They explained that they and their two daughters were traveling around the U.S. for a full year.  Visiting national parks, hiking, museums, food, cultural interactions.  Incredible.  They chose cities that they had always wanted to visit and have spent 3 weeks to a month in each place.  For example, they stayed in Santa Barbara, here, Denver and eventually New Orleans.  Of course, they were home schooling their kids, too.  The girls were being exposed to a rich education.
Suddenly this couple became very interesting to me.  Mostly because I thought of what this experience would do for their daughters.  For the rest of their lives, they would be blessed with the wanderlust gene.  I know that I would.  More than I already had from childhood.  My parents did what they could.  Four daughters and thankfully, we did manage a vacation on an annual basis.  Even after my parents divorced, we managed a vacation with my dad and mom, separately.  I think that is what inspired my love of travel.  The opportunity to see new places as a young kid.  That and the encouragement to seek out travel as a young adult.  My first solo trip was school planned.  We camped in the Sand Dunes in Colorado, visited Bandelier, Taos and Santa Fe.  It was amazing!  My first time to Santa Fe.
My first flight was to Orlando.  As a drummer (mediocre at best), I marched with the bass drum around Epcot.  On the return flight, I ate tuna casserole and about ten minutes before we landed, I used the barf bag.  Thankfully, the one and only time that has occurred.  To this day, I blame it on the tuna and the fact that I was seated in the back of the plane.  Something for me about being claustrophobic and stuck waiting to be on solid ground.
The following year, my sophomore year, I flew to Philadelphia.  Solo.  I went to visit a family that I used to babysit for in Kansas.  They invited me out to visit the kids and see the east coast.  My first stromboli, skiing and time to D.C.  Of course, I would have loved to have explored Georgetown but it wasn't the right people to check out that area.  I think Michelle was 8 and Matthew was 4.  Little kids.
Then there was Europe.  Seeing Paris at 17.  Drinking wine, dining at streetside cafes and really experiencing life.  Talk about liberating.  I remember eating terrible fast food in London due to a late night out.  Two of my classmates chose to leave the club to hang out with two american servicemen they met.  We were out looking for them til 4 a.m.  The following day was pretty much a loss.  Some lame tourist trap, crappy food and missed opportunities to explore the city.
Neither of my parents ever tried to stop me when I made travel plans.  Of course, they have been concerned with some of my decisions.  I remember my mom being upset when I left for six months.  Still she did not try to stop or discourage me.
I love traveling, meeting people and reconnecting with them at a later date.  I hope to visit L.A., Phoenix, and Las Vegas in the next few months.  Phoenix is yoga centered, L.A. will be about the beach and food factor and Las Vegas is about reconnecting with people from my childhood.  It is going to be great.
I am glad that I took the time to inquire about the couple in spite of their insensitivity to why I was working that night.  Otherwise, I wouldn't have remembered why I love traveling so much.  Or recognized how amazing this experience is going to be for them and their daughters.  Something they will remember for the rest of their lives.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Dinner and lazy day today

Tonight I am heading to a local spot to experience incredible fare.  I haven't dined here since moving here. I haven't really had the opportunity to do it.  Sure, last week was restaurant week, which would have been the ideal time to sample an assortment of their dishes.  I was out of town and that isn't all that appealing in all honesty.  It feels like dining out on valentine's day or nye.  You do it since everyone else is.
At any rate, I am excited for this evening.  I feel a touch under the weather and am determined to power through it.  I don't know who contracted the little cold, first, Shari, Jonny or me.  All I know is that we have all dealt with it in the last few days.
I am stubborn.  Made these reservations last week and am plan on enjoying dinner with someone that enjoys food like I do.  He isn't afraid to spend a little extra money for great food.  Instead, we reflect on the experience of what the food created.  That is optimal to me.  I am thankful that I have friends in many places that appreciate this style of dining.
We met at a watering hole for the end of happy hour.  I still had a little bit of a headache, but, again, I was determined to go to the dinner.  I powered through a margarita before heading to the restaurant for dinner.  We started with foie gras and a caesar salad.  Josh spoke to the chef and next thing I know, we have an appetizer of seafood placed in front of us.  Shrimp, tuna, and salmon.  We chose seabass and green chile mac and cheese for dinner. I enjoyed the food and the conversation.  Josh trusted me to choose the wine.  A sauvignon blanc and a cotes du rhone.  I was craving a nebbiolo but that was not an option.  I suppose I figured, I would not drink for a few days and so I should enjoy a delicious nebbiolo had it been available.  Next time.
I hope that we are able to check out a few additional restaurants in Santa Fe before season hits and our time off is limited.  It's always challenging to coordinate with people that you work with. Especially when you see them, daily, at work.  Sometimes it's nice to not talk about work.  Although, last night, I felt we did not talk about work much.  Thankfully!
I realized that I left my yoga mat at the studio when I drove us to the restaurant.  I prayed that it founds its way to lost and found and not into a new home.  That thought remained with me all night.  I dreamt of travel and food.  I woke up with the thought of where do I go next?
I managed to collect my mat before the noon class today.  I should have opted out of the class.  I could tell, almost instantly, that I was not in the right frame of mind to enjoy the class.  We took too much time in the opening by listening to the instructor speak and then chant. The music was too slow and folk like.  I struggled to stay especially after she revealed her sequence.  I just wasn't in it today.  I wanted my mind bent.
Oh well.  I will take a night off and enjoy a beautiful night of sleep.  I'm ready!

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Where did last month go?

February came and went.  I just realized that I never managed to write about my travel during that month.  I had plenty of it, too.  Spent more time traveling than working as a matter of fact.  I was fortunate to attend yoga intensive weekends in Phoenix and the last five days of February in Austin with Shari and Jonny.  I can honestly say that I love Austin and feel foolish for neglecting to visit til just now.  What an amazing city.
I decided to stop complaining about yoga and the personal plateau I am experiencing from living in Santa Fe.  I opted to get certified.  I considered certification in Colorado, Albuquerque and realized that the style of teaching I love occurred in Phoenix.  Maybe I don't love the city of Phoenix, ad nauseum, but the yoga community there is pretty great.  Every teacher that I have liked all trained under the same studio.  Made sense to seek that out for my own personal development.  Fortunately, this studio offers an intensive four times a year.  And, February proved the ideal time to begin this adventure.
I learned, immediately, that my physical practice is solid. I thrived on the ashtanga led classes, arm balances/inversions and any hard core physical class.  I fidgeted during the restorative classes and lectures.  I recognized that I need to improve my understanding of sanskrit and be more in tune with saying the poses in the proper term.  I came home from the first weekend and felt excited about my decision. I could already see how my own practice was improving.  Two weeks later, I returned, sore, from all of the push-ups (chattarnagas) that occurred in a four day stretch.  A touch more confident with the sanskrit and the determination to seek out ashtanga in Santa Fe.  So far, that has not happened.  Mostly due to the fact that I have not sought it out too intensely.   A little distraction called Austin.
Now that I am back in Santa Fe for the month of March unless I get a crazy hair and head to Denver or Phoenix or San Diego (I do miss this city, in particular), well, I will be attempting to arrange ashtanga here.  I love being in Phoenix and doing yoga and seeing friends.  That, alone, is a distraction.  My first weekend, I definitely could have done more yoga.  Instead, I went to dinner with my cheese buyer friend, Justin.  I saw the Mini, Jan, Cale and a few other friends from work.  I visited my old boss and saw how they are developing a new restaurant in another neighborhood that will love the local bike friendly spot.
Busy with travel and hopeful to conclude my yoga teacher training.  I practiced yoga with Shari in Austin.  I was not in love with the scene there.  The music was awesome but the flow was simplistic and boring.  On the third day, we decided to practice at the house.  Jonny has a diverse music selection and I led us through a flow sequence.  A little challenging to lead and practice at the same time.  I feel my alignment is good and then I need to say commands and correct alignment.  I think, next time, I will not practice with her.  I will lead her through a sequence and see how that differs.
I am off to greet the day.  I have some letters to mail, yoga, a pedicure and dinner at a lovely foodie spot tonight with my friend, the sous chef.  I am looking forward to returning to this place as it has been too long.  Way overdue.  I actually have not dined here since moving to Santa Fe.  That will all be corrected tonight.