Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The End of Fall Semester 2012

Monday marked the last day of fall semester at school.  It was an incredibly hard semester.  It was hard for all the usual reasons- because I was taking two very time intensive classes at the same time, while trying to work, and have a life- but that is 90% of the class.  What really made it hard is that I pushed myself harder than I ever have, in ways I had yet to see in myself.  It showed me how it important it is for me, as an individual, to constantly challenge myself and advance as a person.  

Since I've been back in school, I have put in the time and collected A's, but that's just it- I feel like I have collected them.  I hadn't pushed myself so far outside of my comfort zone, that it actually changed me, until this semester.  

I took upper division General Chemistry after an Intro to Chemistry course that taught me very little.   I tested into upper division General Chemistry by one point, sheerly on dumb luck.  I had no idea what I was doing while I was taking the entrance exam.  I worked off my memory alone by looking for patterns in problems that looked vaguely familiar.   I also took twice as long on the test as I was supposed to be allowed, because the test proctor was nice.   I knew I would have to teach myself the subject while performing at a really high level.  

My teacher told the class that if they were the type of people that were used to getting all As they should accept right now that there was going to come a point in the semester where they just weren't going to get one.   Forget not getting an A, I got a C on the first Exam, I failed the second quiz, and then I cranked up the volume on what it meant to apply myself.   A friend said, "In order to succeed in Chemistry, you can't just 'get it,' you have to master it."   That's exactly how it is.  The hard work never stopped.  I started getting As midway through the semester, and just when I felt like I may actually be able to get comfortable or lazy, I hit a mid- C on the last exam.   This left me in a very suspenseful position for my final grade.  An A was still possible, but I was truly going to have to master everything I had learned the entire semester.  By then, I was tired.  Really tired.    

 Once I began to master the subject, it fascinated me.  It explained the meaning of life.  Seriously- we are all particles of energy bouncing around!  I can't remember the last time I had a moment in school where I showed myself that I was capable of a lot more than I thought.   I worked so hard in that class that by the time the end was near, I felt so proud of myself and knew my sense of pride would transcend whatever grade I got.  

Of course I was happy to get an A, after studying for the final for 6 days, but I would have been proud of a B too because I was so proud of myself- for never getting lazy a single day in the semester, for mastering a subject that opened the doors to seeing the world in a different way, and for breaking my comfort zone and allowing room for growth.  Now I know I can go to Nursing or Physical Therapy school and there is no doubt in my mind that I will succeed, because after this class I truly feel like I can do anything.  And it is the best feeling I've ever had, next to being on stage and performing a poem, or that feeling of finally completing a poem on paper.  
Next step:  Poems about science?  Triathlon?
But first, some rest and relaxation!

Monday, October 8, 2012

My Bartender's Bible (Based on 5 things that Bug me as a Bartender)

    1)   Don’t come behind the bar…Ever!  As in never ever, ever.   Don’t even peer over with your head or half your body.   Stay on your side at all times!
    2)   If you don’t know what you want please give me something to start with- a type of liquor, or perhaps a preference in tart versus sweet.  If you mutter the words “ I just want a drink,” you will drink whatever I make you and never ever ever say, “But I don’t drink  [insert drink that I make you because you can’t decide for yourself]”  Come with a plan or take the one I give you. 
    3)   Never doubt me.  Don’t pipe in while I mix a margarita with “buts” or “ohs,” or “I’m used to’s,”  and then taste my final product and say, “It’s actually delicious.”  Of course it’s delicious.   I made it.  Drink more talk less. 
    4)   We’re closed means we’re closed.  No you are not the exception.  No I can’t do one more.   No!

         Especially, this one:
     5)   I do not have to explain myself to you.   We do not need to process the ‘why’ behind everything you can’t accept.  If I say we ran out of vodka, we ran out of vodka.  If happy hour is over, and you missed the $2 discount, it’s over.  If I say you’re cut off, you’re cut off.  It doesn’t matter why.  It’s happening.  Actually, it’s happened.  Get over it!  

Thursday, June 28, 2012

My Trip to Denver, May 30-June 6, 2012

Day 1

    It turns out my old roommate Nathaniel and I are on the same open-seating plane!  Muah!  It is awesome chatting all the way.  He takes the plane on to New Orleans and I meet my best friend, Eneri, in CO.  Hello Denver!

   We drop my bags off at her house in the Santa Fe Arts District and head out for drinks at The Sputnik.  First, lavender infused Gin mixed with St. Germain and soda water.  Delcious!   Next, a pickle infused Vodka martini.  Not sure if I'm a fan, but it sure looks pretty.  

Somewhere in between our first few drinks plus the sandwich and hush puppies that we share, I run into one of the bartenders from my favorite San Diego Bar, Hamiltons.
                                          "Wtf are you doing in Denver?"
                                          "Wtf are you doing in Denver?"
It turns out Sam's band, The Donkeys, is playing at the music venue next door, The High Dive.   He is so nice to put us on the list and Eneri and I have an awesome time listening to them play.  Nathaniel on the plane and Sam at the Sputnik!  What a great start to Denver!


                                                                            Day 2

I meet up with my homegirl, Jane.  Jane drives us through the mountains.  I am disturbed by the McDonald's in the middle of the Rockies.   SUV+ McDonalds in the mountains= I guess that's the U.S.A. for you.     

I am definitely a city and nightlife person,  but I am also a mountain, hiking, nature, camping freak.  The drive is awesome!  

 We stop for a quick hike around Lake Lilly, near Rocky Mountain National Park.   

      You can see snow on the higher mountains!

We head to Estes Park, which is where the famous Stanley Hotel, inspiration for Stephen King's novel The Shining, and film location of his mini-series took place.  They say the hotel is haunted.  Hmmmm....

Beautiful bar inside the hotel.  


                                                                          Day 3
The next morning, I wander around downtown and stumble upon this amazing restaurant- Udi's Bakery.  It specializes in gluten free bread and vegetarian food!

I eat a Vietnamese style Tofu sandwich with Quinoa salad and they are so f-ing good, that I foresee dreams of them for weeks to come (proved true)


stumble upon The Falling Rock Tap House, a bar with a craft beer selection on par with Hamiltons.
I spend a good hour here indulging in beer and talking about it with other beer lovers <3

They even have free pool tables.  God, I love this bar!

I make a quick stop at the Great Divide Brewery and hop on the last brew tour of the day.  Favorite Great Divide Beer:  Rumble Oak-Aged IPA

My best friend Eneri asks me to join her at her brother in laws restaurant, The Atomic Cowboy, to taste a cheesecake that he wants her to duplicate.

"What?  You want me to eat NY Style Cheesecake and drink Lefthand Milk Stout?...Uh.......Ok, I'll do it."

That night, Jane, Eneri and I go to a strip club (my first time!).  They pick a great one to go to:  Shotgun Willies, one of the only strip clubs in the nation owned by women!  I leave with a newfound respect for strippers.  These women are doing things in six inch heels that I can barely do barefoot in my yoga class.

Yes, this is me wearing a blonde wig for our night out!


                                                                  Day 4
I take advantage of my employee discount with the Hyatt and book a room with a view.  I love my job...

That night, Eneri and I celebrate her friend Sarah's b-day at JJs Chinese restaurant.

And head to the Lancer's Lounge afterward- a dive with drinks as strong as the Cherry Bomb in San Diego.  Nobody went home sober.   

                                                                        Day 5
Eneri takes me to eat Vegan Menudo- yes, Vegan Menudo!  Holy shit it is amazing.  And vegetarian tamales to boot!   Food porn.  Food porn.

I cruise downtown,

and stumble upon a Chalk Art Street Festival

then make my way to Euclid Hall where I have one of the best cocktails ever:  Appleton Rum, Leopold Blackberry, lime juice, coconut water, and agave nectar.   

My friend, Jose, and I share a beet salad with coconut crusted marshmellows.

I end the night at The One Up Bar, a basement bar with old skool video games.

I used to be good at Off Road...


                                                                      Day 6

Eneri and I go for a hike around the Watershed in Evergreen.

Then we drive to Red Rocks.

We pick up Empanadas on the way back to Eneri's house.

  Dieting is for chumps.

At Eneri's house,

for community dinner.

Eneri and Danielle have a chicken that looks like David Bowie!

Denver is big on Food Trucks.

                                                                 Day 7

Back at the Hyatt

1:30 am-  I find a food truck that sells Tofurkey hot dogs.  It changes my life.

                                                                Day 8

It's my last day...sigh.

Eneri and I share a spicy Vegan hot dog at Biker Jims.  Eneri tells me that Anthony Bourdain discovered Biker Jim when Jim was working on a food cart.  Now Jim owns a restaurant downtown.

  It's not over until it's over.   Eneri and I drive to Avery Brewing Company,

and try just about everything on this menu.


We take all the important stuff home.

On our way to the airport a lightning storm hits Denver.   Everyone is stranded at the airport overnight.   The line for McDonalds is around the corner- gross!

What else do you do when you are stranded at the airport?  Close down all the bars and pass out on the floor!

                                                                         Day 9
Bye Bye Denver.  I miss you!!!  I had so much fun!!