Sunday, November 02, 2014

New Mexico

New Mexico, why do I love thee? Well, to be honest, it's the food. I am crazy about it! (See last photo.) Better than regular Mexican food, and easily  better than anything called Mexican that can be found in the Denver area. It's a version of Mexican, but usually spicier and with more flavor than I have found in the average Mexican restaurant.

Christmas means a lot more when it's referencing both green and red sauce on my...well, whatever I'm eating. Colorado introduced me to green chile, but I think I'm always surprised by how good the red sauce is when I'm in N.M. Since we got back from our last trip, I've already found a recipe for red sauce and can't wait to try it out. I want to make some stacked cheese enchiladas with onions. Great. Now I'm hungry.

On my most recent trip to the land of enchantment (isn't that what it's called?), there was scenery amazing enough to match the eats. The Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta was a beautiful sight to behold. The great part is how close you're able to get to the balloons themselves. Visitors can flow out onto the field and surround the balloons, right up to the edges of them, even as they begin filling them. It's suitably impressive to stand amidst the rising giants, hearing the roar of the fires inside them while they light up like fireflies.

Humpty Dumpty

The Wells Fargo balloon

This cow was MASSIVE!

Looking up the owl's "skirt"!

Time flies!

Cheese enchiladas, Christmas (both red and green sauce), hominy and beans

Thursday, October 09, 2014

I love my car dealership, I hate my car dealership

It's a love/hate thing.

I decided to take my car to Fisher Honda in Boulder to get the oil changed. Usually I take my car to a small, local shop that would (in theory) charge less than the dealer. But, they hired a guy who always has a negative comment and always makes me feel bad when I'm there. I really don't have time for this kind of stuff in my life. It's the Grease Monkey in Louisville, CO, if anyone is curious. They used to be awesome, but ever since the new guy in the office started, I struggled to maintain my loyalty.

The nice thing about my car dealership is that they honor a 15% Costco discount for most services rendered. I'm not sure if this applied to a simple oil change or not, because the woman who checked me in for service was kind enough to apply a $5 discount.

They, as usual, were kind enough to tell me all of the big picture things I need to do to my car. Which is where the hate part of my relationship comes into play. I need to replace my timing belt, get new tires soon, and do my major routine service. All said and done, it will cost somewhere in the ballpark of $1,500! Geez. This really drives home the need to find a job.

I still really like my dealership.They don't pressure you, make you feel like they're telling you anything false, and my oil change only cost around $31 after the discount. I guess if it comes down to it, I can stand on a street corner with a sign that reads: Will work for timing belt and tires!

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Coconut Hair and Ebola

Coconut Hair
My neighbor Delaney told me about using coconut oil on her hair and skin a few months ago. I didn't try it because I forget to buy it when I'm at the store, I'm lazy about giving myself beauty treatments and I thought the oil would be expensive.

I was surprised to see that tubs of coconut fat (solidified oil) sell at the Walmart for anywhere from $4 to $18, depending on the size and whether you buy organic or not. My hair is overdue for a trim, so I'm starting to get split ends and the perpetually dry weather in Colorado is making everything a bit crisp overall. Crispy is NOT how you want to describe your hair, trust me.

So, I scooped out about 2-3 tablespoons and spread it through my hair as it melted in my hands. It melts pretty darn quickly, so I'd ignore anyone's suggestion that you create a mini double boiler to liquify the stuff. I rubbed the excess on my arms. When I sat down on the couch, my cat Artemis sniffed me for a bit and then licked me six times. Since she's a very picky eater, I found this reassuring and a sign that I must smell okay.

I slept with the oil in my hair overnight (put a towel on the pillow!), and washed my hair the next morning. My hair is still slightly damp from the shower, but it does seem to feel softer. I'm due for a hair cut tomorrow, so I'll have to see if applying this treatment regularly helps keep the split ends at bay longer.

I'll admit it. I've wondered what it would be like to have a fraction of the humans on planet earth. Of course, in my fantasies, my friends, my family, the smartest, and the funniest people on earth survive. Hey, it's my fantasy. What drives these thoughts? It's probably anxiety. I avoid aggressive drivers on the road. I abhor crowds in most scenarios. I am switching oil change places this week because I can't bear to deal with the rude man who started working at mine this year.

I solemnly promise I am not secretly wishing for the Ebola virus to spread at all. It would be terrifying if it did. It was sad to hear this morning that the idiot in Dallas who came back from Liberia infected has just died. I call him an idiot because he lied about being around sick people during his trip. He didn't have to die. Let's hope that others will learn from his mistake, and honestly share the details of any interactions with the ill.

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Time > Money

After I finished school at the end of 2013, I started binge watching television. I realized that hanging out with with friends, watching TV, traveling, or exercising all required the one luxury that I was lacking for years: time. Now, when I do any of those things, I really appreciate that I am experiencing something valuable.

A bunch of the great places that I have traveled to since I finished school (and quit my job):
St. Maarten
St. Barths
Las Vegas
New Orleans
San Francisco
Peru (Lima and Machu Picchu)
Los Angeles
Colorado (Great Sand Dunes, Pagosa Springs, Telluride, Mesa Verde)
West Virginia (whitewater rafting)
Washington, DC

Some of the television I've watched:
Ripper Street
Call the Housewife
Game of Thrones
Orange is the New Black
The Blacklist
Witches of East End

A few thoughts on those two lists. Travel continues to be one of the best things in life I've ever known. Traveling with the man I love makes it even better. Delicious food and beaches with warm water are usually tops on my list, but trying new things and experiencing radically different cultures are neck and neck with those.

Television is amazingly good right now. Actors are top quality and stories range widely. I often enjoy British programming, something I attribute to the fine acting and dry humor. Seems like I'll never run out of shows to watch; since I'm so far behind, I have years of shows to binge watch when I'm in the mood. Also, Netflix and other streaming options rock! Oh, and as someone who hasn't subscribed to cable in a very long time, it's amazing how much T&A is on HBO, Showtime, and the like. I'm open minded, so I don't mean that this is bad...just surprising after only watching network television.

I have big dreams for my future travels and life experiences, and for the first time I can see all of my years ahead of me. They are whispery, gray shapes that form and flow and reform, but I can see the constant threads that stretch from now until the end of my days. I feel content and excited about the adventures to come.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Poem on Sleeping While I Should be Studying

Too comfortable couch
Cookie Monster blue throw
swaddling me
wrapped in a cocoon of warmth
head nodding
eyes closing
Ah, why?! Why can't constitutional law invigorate instead of sedate?
an hour later
sugar and caffeine to the rescue

Okay, enough distracting myself with being silly. I better drink my tea and get back to reading!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Homemade Tamales

I never thought I would make my own tamales. It's such an authentic food and I've always been told that it's a time consuming process. So, I just figured, eh, I'll buy them when I feel like it and that's all I can do.

But then my son decided he really like them. If he's decided to order a large meal at a Mexican restaurant, he's likely to order a cheese enchilada and a tamale.

I like to make things for those I love, hence the freshly made tamales in my kitchen right now. I'm feeling vindicated because these are without question the best tamales we've ever eaten.

Thank you, Allrecipes for the base recipes that I modified. 

Tamale recipe used for the masa (cornmeal portion).
Recipe for slow cooker carnitas (pork), modified by adding about 8-10 slightly crushed juniper berries.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Life in High Speed

This year has been a blur.

I started with a new company last year, and have been really enjoying getting to know all about the company and my coworkers. There has been an incredible jump in my social life because of the new friends I've been making - and I've loved it!

A few new things I've done this year:

Shooting - At the range, lots of different handguns including revolvers and semi-automatics, up to a .44!). I have even purchased my own, which I love. She's my baby.

Argentine Tango - I've just taken one class, but since it's dance lessons in general that I love, I can really see going back some more. I need a new pair of shoes though. Any excuse to buy new shoes, I like. :)

Traveled to New Orleans - An amazing trip, with amazing people. Had a fantastic time enjoying the food and the sights. I can't wait to go back. Hurricanes, Muffalettas, the Garden District...

Traveled to Wisconsin - Land of the cheese curds and sturgeon spear fishing. My work has offices there and I went out for some training. It was great to meet my coworkers and showed me how invaluable it is to get to know people face-to-face.

And a few things coming up:

My first lone road trip - My son and I will be going camping at the Great Sand Dunes and then checking out Santa Fe. Can't wait, it should be a blast!

Georgetown Visit - Today I'm heading up to one of our small mountain mining towns in Colorado. Should be fun!

Gambling in the Colorado Mountains (?) - I haven't checked out any of our little (and few) gambling communities here in Colorado, but I want to! Just to play a few slots and maybe a few hands of poker or blackjack.

Back to school - I'm heading back after a nice summer off to continue working on my bachelor's degree in business. I can see a light at the end of the tunnel and I have some new motivation to get my classes finished in the next year and a half (my work is giving me a great opportunity to develop my HR/recruiting skills).

The only thing that I'd like to be able to add to this year would be meeting the right guy! Crossing my fingers and hoping (beyond hope) that I'll be lucky enough to meet a nice guy that fits my personality. In the meantime, though, I've got lots on my plate and will have no problem keeping busy!