brief snapshots in time. memories and thoughts. disorganized and random.

Friday, February 29, 2008

photo Friday #3

St. Elmo

(Auguet 2007)

The life of the individual only has meaning insofar as it aids in making the life of every living thing nobler and more beautiful. Life is sacred, that is to say, it is the supreme value to which all other values are subordinate.

Albert Einstein

Thursday, February 28, 2008

so wrong

Perhaps I am naive. I know I've been naive about friendships, relationships, even jobs. This is a new one, though.

I actually thought restaurant week was an opportunity for restaurants to show off a little, attract a few new customers. Apparently I was wrong. Very wrong.

I was only going to be in town for two nights of the entire week, so I made reservations weeks ago. One night with the boy, one with the girls.

Obviously I had to find a new "date" for last night, to check out arestaurant where I've enjoyed appetizers and salads before, but never a full dinner. Despite their new spot on iPhone's ads, at least for their Aspen location, Campo de Fiori's Restaurant Week menu fell short.

My salad was fantastic, but my friends' calamari was chewy and our pasta dishes and desserts were just not good. The service was great, as well as the company, so I wasn't too disappointed. S assured me their dinners are usually fantastic. So perhaps I may try it again.

So, tonight we tried Opal for girls' night out. We arrived promptly for our 8pm reservation, and we didn't leave the restaurant for nearly 3 hours. Seriously. And not because we were lingering over coffee, because I'm quite certain we would have never received it even if we'd ordered it.

We were seated quickly, but drinks, and water even, were hard to come by. Our waiter took exception to my request to see the wine menu. He seemed frazzled, but we appeared to be one of perhaps two tables he was waiting on.

I will grant that our food was fantastic. But it took far too long to serve the entire table. With our desserts being delivered more than 15 minutes apart. By this point, we were literally the only table in the entire restaurant. We had to hunt down our waiter with our credit cards, as he was nowhere to be found.

As we walked out, we realized the valet was gone, so I asked the gentleman who appeared to be the manager where my friends' keys might be. He fetched them from the bar for us, and as he was checking their tickets (yes, even though we were the last three people in the place), I asked if he was the manager.

When he said yes, I shared with him our experience of the pathetic service. He began to make excuses and explain it away with some story about turning tables away because it was restaurant week. I simply told him that I've worked in the restaurant business, and as he was the manager, I though he would want to know about the terrible service we received.

He didn't seem the least bit phased.

I will never go back. Not after having our concerns dismissed so easily by the manager. I don't care if it is restaurant week, and they think that is a pain. If a restaurant doesn't want to do it, it's simple. Don't. It shouldn't matter if we may have received a slight discount on our meals. This was the manager's opportunity to apologize to us, and perhaps win a few repeat customers.

Several of the girls had been there before and loved it, but after the service tonight, and the horrific condition of the restroom, they will likely not go back.

Seems to me it makes more sense to skip participating in restaurant week than to do it poorly. Or in Opal's case, extremely poorly. But perhaps I'm just being naive. Again.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

inspiration void

Still not inspired to write about my trip. Could be that the stories aren't all that exciting for others to read. Could be that I think I'm coming down with the flu. Could be the mountains of work waiting for me. Or the mountains of baby shower invitations and such also waiting.

Could be that my brain is still hung up on a few things the boy said lately. And whether or not they dignify any response at all.

Could simply be I have yet to download my pictures. Not that I was inspired to take all that many. It was cold and snowy. Which normally lends to fabulous pictures, but not when it's grey, cold and snowy. We'll see how the few I did take turn out.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

half asleep

I'm home. But absolutely exhausted. Not that it wasn't a fantastic trip. Not that I did much besides relax in the company of amazing friends for the last six days.

But somehow traveling home, the book I read, the messages before, during and after my trip stole every last ounce of my energy.

Sleeping in my own bed will help. As will just being home. If only TheDog were back from her spa vacation to keep me company.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

behind the words

I know I've said it a thousand times, but I love my friends. Some of them must be somewhat psychic. They somehow know to call, e-mail, IM or text me just when I need it most. A quick check-in to see how I'm doing.

With some I know to answer that I'm getting by. With some I can be honest and tell them flat out that I'm actually feeling rather crappy.

The ones I can be honest with are the ones who don't tell me to just get over it. They don't question my vodka intake on Saturday night. They understand if I ask him what happened, or if I decide not to acknowledge him ever again, whichever I decide I need to do*. They don't tell me I must meet guys out or get my profile back online immediately. They understand my need to feel sad for a little while.

All of my friends tell me I deserve better, and of course, they're all right.

Everyone just has their own way of dealing with getting over someone. Mine is not to simply turn it off. I like to think about it, at least for a little while. Try and commit to memory both the great and not-so-great things about the relationship. Mostly so I can do my best to not repeat the not-so-great next time.

I'm heading to New York in a few short hours, with my new camera as my traveling companion. To see great friends. Great friends who will let me either talk about it or just forget, whichever suits me at the time.

* He texted tonight and said he was sorry, he can't give me what I want and deserve. Who is he to think he knows what I want? As far as deserve? I definitely deserve better, at the very least someone who tells me to my face that it isn't working for him. When he figures it out, not after a nearly a week of silence. Meaning the sorry at least a little bit. Feeling terrible that he treated another human being so poorly, much less someone he used to care about deeply.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

cheer a girl up

There's been an emptiness in my life. For a long time. Something missing. Or some things missing.

I've tried to fill it through various means. Diversions. Distractions.

Some kept me busy for a while. Others didn't even begin to fill the hole. None seemed to work completely.

Finally the papers came along with a bit towards getting things back to where they were. It would never truly be back. But this would help a bit.

I knew what I needed to do. I knew exactly what I wanted. And I knew exactly where to get it.

It would make me happy, help me to forget the last week. Forget the pain I'd been feeling for even longer.

What cheers every girl up? Why, shopping, of course.

But for me it's not typical retail therapy, it's a trip to my favorite camera store. Finally.

Monday, February 18, 2008

stop believing

Friends at work indulging me with you're better offs and a glass of red with my lunch. My mom insisting that even though she liked him, he wasn't the one for me. My sister calling him a fool when she said she'd watch TheDog for the night.

I know they were all trying to make me feel better, but I'd rather just not think about it. Which is why I neglected the work I should have caught up on over the weekend and headed for the hills.

Some of the girls were heading up. A free place to stay. The promise of a few turns and a few drinks made me change my mind.

The flirting with a cute guy helped me to nearly forget why I so badly needed to get out of town in the first place. Flirting enabled by too-much-vodka. We had an interesting conversation. He leaned in for a kiss. He said he would call tonight.

I should really stop believing what guys say.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

stop it please

I honestly cannot believe that those may very well be the last three words I ever hear from him.

A guy who I thought might be my one. A guy with whom I spent some of the best months I can remember. A guy who told me he'd always talk to me.

A guy who is apparently a complete coward.

It's been three days since he wrote those words after I called and he was shorter than short with me. Annoyed with me for asking him if he was alright. Annoyed with me for being disappointed he had to cancel our silly plans on the silly red heart day.

Perhaps he was annoyed with me for other things. Perhaps he had been hoping his jerk-like ways lately would get me to break up with him. I may never know.

Half of me wants to insist he explain. The other half doesn't even care anymore. Half of me incredulously checks to see if he's finally called or texted. The other half of me doesn't know if or how I'll respond even if he does.

All of me knows I deserve someone who wants to be with me. And all of me spent the weekend with family, great friends, good food, tasty beverages, and perhaps a few other interesting diversions.

Friday, February 15, 2008

photo Friday #2

Ski Day

(January 2008)

That best portion of a good man's life;
his little, nameless, unremembered
acts of kindness and love.

William Wordsworth
(1770-1850, British Poet)

Thursday, February 14, 2008

once a fool

I got wished a heartfelt Happy Valentine's Day by just about everyone but the one person I really wanted to hear it from. Sure he had significant issues at work. And sure he said it this morning on a little screen.

But it's not the same. Despite our plans, I spent my night solo. I just wish I mattered at least as much as his job, or his friend in need.

Valentine's Day cards from a friend far away and my sister. A quick IM exchange with a friend going through a similar thing. A smile from a cute guy. And the promise of a little present to myself tomorrow made it not so bad.

I know, I know I'm a fool. But I think I figured out my minimum requirement.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

for now

It's always so reassuring when someone seems to be going through a similar situation. You root for them. Even hope their situation works out as you hope yours will. But you can sometimes see things in another's you're too close to see in your own.

Every new post of Betty's, I root for her. Hope she finds what she's looking for. And think I know what she should and shouldn't do. I realize I know the paragraph synopsis and not the whole story, so I usually keep my opinions to myself.

But I'm very glad she often shares hers. She always seems to reassure me, ask the right questions. Her last comment was a question of how little is not enough.

I haven't completely worked that all out for myself with the boy. I know what we did have was definitely enough. What we have now, is enough for right now, but not for long-term.

We have plans for tomorrow, nothing elaborate, but low-key suits me just fine. And I have reservations for us for restaurant week. Which he happily agreed to do.

For now, I'm alright with making plans, so long as he is excited to do them. Spontaneous plans on his part, like he used to, would be great.

But for now, wanting to be with me is enough. Although I hope we find what we used to have again. Soon.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

cutting advice

Some say the only person that knows more about you than your bartender is your hairdresser. Since I don't have a bartender anymore, I guess my hairdresser is the one.

As he cut my flirty hair (his term, not mine), we talked about relationships. He insisted I stop letting the boy get away with giving me less than I want. He told me to either stop complaining that I want more, or do something about it.

He later said I may never have a longer relationship with any guy than I've had with him.

At least he was right on one point.

Monday, February 11, 2008

red heart hope

I knew I was going to have to ask. Have to clarify our situation. But I almost didn't want to. I almost preferred to just go with having fun and not worrying about what the future held.

Sometimes when I get comfortable I don't mind the status quo, don't want to rock the boat. But I knew the time was coming when I had to find out.

Lately I'm the only one insisting on plans. I don't know if it's because he doesn't want to, or if he's too busy, or if he's just gotten used to me doing the planning.

But his showing interest in what we do, trying to plan things, is important to me. Some days, in particular. So I took a deep breathe and asked him.

Do we have plans for Thursday?

Of course what I meant was did you make plans for Valentine's Day. And his response was simply he didn't know, he had to work until fill-in-the-blank time.

Not exactly the sweet plans I had hoped for. Is it asking so much for my boyfriend to want to do something special with me on the silly red-heart holiday?

Sunday, February 10, 2008

where I need to be

I played hooky today. At least part of today. What's the big deal you ask? It's Sunday, after all. But with the week I have stretching out in front of me, it was everything.

It all started at the beginning of my weekend. After thouroughly enjoying my sushi date Friday night with the boy (don't think that's just the Malbec talking), I slept in until the decadent hour of 8am. TheDog was beside herself at my lateness, but calmed down once she realized a walk was in her near future.

We met a friend for coffee mid-way through our walk, then I left TheDog to her nap, and headed to work. My friend was busy at her computer, although she let me distract her long enough to wrangle an invitation to a movie and late lunch with her friends today. I told her I would if I got far enough along on my report.

After she left, I put my nose to the grindstone until it hurt. And until I had to leave to play wing-woman for friends at a singles party.

I woke up early this morning, quickly walked TheDog for coffee, and headed into the office. I hadn't heard back from my friend, so I figured the movie plans had fallen through, and resigned myself to knocking out my report.

The text came through with just enough time to get to the theater. Although the movie wasn't as funny as we'd hoped, the conversation over fondue was better, despite being the only non-mommy. The you-have-to-hear-what-Johnny-dids only took up half the conversation.

But the time spent not at work was wonderful. Particularly with my work friend who I rarely get to see these days outside of the office. And out of the office is exactly where I needed to be.

Friday, February 08, 2008

photo Friday #1

San Felipe de Neri Church
Albuquerque, NM

(November 2007)

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

and yet

The days melt into one another, blending together.
Yet each stretches out far too long, never seems to end.

Nowhere near enough time to get everything done.
Yet too much time to think, too much time to wonder.

Everything seems to happen all at once.
Yet the times of nothing reach out into infinity.

Nothing, no one seems to be able to elicit a smile.
Yet one waggle, one nudge, can make everything alright.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

have your cake and eat it too

She was from New Orleans. To me that seemed exotic, unusual. A different country almost. Our freshman year, as we shared a dorm room, we shared tales of our short histories.

My stories were down to earth. Tame.

Her stories were anything but. The different culture that is the city of New Orleans. And the tales of Mardi Gras. Of weeks off from school. Of the parades and crew balls.

And then it came in the mail. Express delivered from her mom. King Cake.

I never knew quite how a wreath shaped braid of dough with purple, green and yellow sugar sprinkles, with a tiny baby inside could be so absolutely delicious.

In the years that followed my introduction to Mardi Gras, I've been to New Orleans many times. Even for Mardi Gras a couple. Gone out to celebrate Fat Tuesday in other cities.

None quite compare to King Cake in a dorm room with one of my life-long best friends hearing her tales of the celebration and the city.

Happy Mardi Gras!

Monday, February 04, 2008

could go either way

I'm torn between just throwing in the towel and trying my best to help things to improve, being the absolute best I can be.

There are many reasons behind why I think I should do both. Some important some nearly ridiculous. But regardless of importance, there are many on each side. And the reasons keep piling up, on both sides. So I'm having a tough time figuring out on which side my decision should lie.

So far there seems to be no definitive answer. I suppose I'm waiting for something to tilt the balance. Help me make a decision one way or the other. Good thing patience is one thing I have plenty of.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

all work

They don't necessarily get along with each other. But I love them all. My friends. All different. All dear to me for their differences. I spent most of my free time this weekend with two of them. We talked about jobs and boys and life.

One joined me for happy hour Friday, which I really needed. I've known her for over two decades, and she read between the lines of my happy hour e-mail plea to my friends and knew I needed to go out. See friends. Vent a little. She did, too, so it worked well.

We met again the next morning for coffee, with TheDog, and to swap books. She's been reading a bit on her break between jobs, and I've been looking for a good book. So we exchanged recently read favorites and talked about what the other should do about their respective boy situation.

Walking home I realized my boy situation isn't as bad as it feels at times. I know it's not great, but it's still fun, and I don't doubt he wants to spend time with me. I just may want more than he does right now.

This morning, S stopped by to walk to the coffee shop with TheDog and I. We spent hours talking. Between the walk, the patio at the coffee shop and my couch. Some of the same topics as the day before, but completely different. I've known her for less time, but she knows me far better.

We talked about the boy, our jobs, politics, house issues, and everything else. I (hope I) helped her figure some things out where her career is concerned, and she helped me with a few things I'm struggling with.

And our conversation helped me to realize a few very important differences in how you weigh your options of leaving a job versus a relationship.

With a job, you should leave not only because where you are isn't working for you, but because you're sure the next will be better. Not just different. The whole running to something, not from something.

But with a relationship, if it's not working for you, really not working for you, that's reason enough to leave.

It's about needing the job, but not a guy. It's about career paths and not making too many switches, but paths and switches aren't necessarily frowned upon in the dating world. It's about loyalty and working things out.

Many people have said they don't understand why, when it comes to my career, I can go for what I want, be assertive and self-assured. However when it comes to relationships, I can be a bit apprehensive.

My company needs me and I need them. I know if I leave I have other prospects. Although I want a guy, I don't need one, and he doesn't need me. And if I leave, there's no guarantee of another prospect.

Of course, I still won't stay, in either, if I'm truly not getting what I need or being treated badly. But it's good to recognize that, while only one is a job, both are hard work.