Monday, April 27, 2009

Denver Revisited and Another Perfect Date

I returned from Denver last night. My flight was delayed for what seemed like hours and I didn’t get settled in until about 1am. As a result I did not have the gumption, strength or brain power to blog!

My visit was lovely. I had a wonderful time visiting my friend Sangeeta. (For those of you who don’t know…Sangeeta is a friend from graduate school. Her sister, Rupa, lives here with her family.) She moved into her loft about a week ago so the primary purpose of my visit was to put that interior design certificate to good use and help her create a space representative of her “transitional period!” This is the first time she has carved out her very own niche and I can’t help but think that Virginia Woolf is smiling down on her and admiring her strength and fortitude during a rather difficult time! Above is a picture of Sangeeta on the phone with her cable company. She is going to love this photo! I can not wait to hear her yell at me for posting this. Tee-hee! Below are a few photos of her new loft and a view of the mountains from her balcony.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention her very loving kitties, Isis and Athena. They are sisters and love to cuddle with one another. This type of cuddling NEVER happens at my house.
In addition to adding finishing touches to the loft we had our nails done at the BEST nail salon EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am in love with this place. Not only is it a place to get manicures, pedicures, facials, waxing and massages….it is also a “lounge.” In other words, you can order wine and martinis during your treatments. Furthermore….it is completely shabby chic in style and we all know that is where I feel most at home! I brought along my Jungle Red by NARS and Karen gave me a great manicure and pedicure. If you are ever in Denver (Stapleton area) check this place out. It is called Sweet Life Nail Bar and Lounge.
Above are three photos from the Nail Bar and Lounge. We NEED one of these in San Antonio. Anyone interested in a business venture? Partner up with the local public school cosmetology programs….something to consider….

We had dinner at a restaurant in downtown Denver called Rioja. I had scallops on toasted risotto cakes garnished with a mango salad. AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We stepped next door to a lounge called Corridor 44. We met some very nice people there. One gentleman was from England (so we had a chat!) another was from Lebanon and named Lutfy….which is so ironic. I immediately sent a text to the Lutfy I know and he marveled at the coincidence. We also met some precious young girls, early 20’s, who were so fun to talk with. The lounge was beautiful….it was kind of old school pub meets upscale elegance. And the martinis were perfectly filthy….the way I like them!
Saturday we had traditional high tea at the Brown Palace which is the oldest hotel in Denver. I chose chamomile and Sangeeta ordered her typical oolong. We shared scones, clotted cream and jam, tea sandwiches and an array of desserts. The tea is held in the lobby and it is accompanied by a piano player and a harpist. The hotel is stunning! Again…if you are ever in Denver this is a MUST! Here is a photo of the hotel lobby where tea is served. This is a picture of our traditional tea.
Sangeet and I enjoying our tea. Hers was the chocolate version and mine was the traditional menu. After tea we hit a PRECIOUS boutique called Talulah Jones. I don’t have any photos but I want to mention it because I think they have an online store. (Just click on the highlighted words above.) The owner was so gracious and she had the fattest dog I have ever seen. The dog is named Mary Gertrude and she is supposedly the same breed as Toto from The Wizard of Oz. Not even close! This dog resembled a hairy pig! But she sure was sweet and what a name…I love it….Mary Gertrude!

That evening I had another spectacular date! This is Maximus! Isn’t he sweet? I went to undergraduate and graduate school with his mommy, Alaina. She lives in Denver, as well. She and Sangeeta are very close and enjoy spending time playing with this little man! Congratulations to Alaina and William. He is an angel. Unfortunately…..he fell asleep in my arms too. (But only for a few minutes!) What’s with all my dates falling asleep on me?

Maximus and I.......
Sangeeta, Maximus and his mommy, Alaina........ Despite the “elevation disease” that plagued me the first two days (happened last time I was there), annihilating my shin on Sangeeta’s new platform bed and dropping a burning hot Kashi meal on my arm the trip was absolutely fantastic. I think I speak for both of us when I say we needed it! We needed a “no boys, girls only” weekend (with the obvious exception of Mr. Max) where we could reconnect and enjoy each others company. Not to mention it was nice to get out of town and enjoy much cooler weather. And…it has to be said…my hair looked awesome. Of course, my nose bled… there is something to be said for a little humidity!
Today’s daily celebration is harsh criticism and character attacks. I know you are wondering how this can possibly fall under the sub-heading of daily celebration. Hang in there with me. I promise I am going somewhere with this. I recently received a very caustic email from a person who was of once great importance to me. This person attacked my character and pushed the VERY SPECIFIC button that upsets me and hurts me most. (Great strategy on that individual’s part.) Now, to be fair, I picked the fight. Having said that, I needed to have been prepared for the retaliatory consequences. However, I never expected to hear such harsh words. The email unnerved me and I was shaken for a few hours. It was unfortunate I opened the email in Denver….but I was in the company of a dear friend who held me as I cried. I continued to mope about for a few hours. Feelings welled up in me that I had not experienced in a while. I felt angry and even projected that anger onto several individuals (silently in my head) at the Denver airport. As I waited for my airplane (which we know took several hours) I started to wonder how I could turn this situation into a positive. How could I make these bitter, angry, biting words a “daily celebration.” I kept seeing the ONE sentence in my mind. I could hear this person’s voice echoing the words in my mind. The perseveration set in and I was on the verge of tears for a long while. Two valuable things occurred to me. First, there is a large element of truth to the words of this individual….making them even more difficult to hear. Second, it is my responsibility to listen to these words and not make the same mistakes again. This person’s anger is my opportunity to better myself. Especially because I know the statement was somewhat valid. I do not plan on responding and I graciously surrender the last word. This was, perhaps, the harshest criticism of my character I have ever experienced. Given that it is my responsibility to hear the individual’s concern and work through the validity for myself. Today I celebrate criticism and it’s opportunity for my personal growth. Even ugly criticism can be made constructive criticism if we are open to it. I certainly am trying to be!
Right now I am lovin’ a book called American Wife by Curtis Sittenfeld. It is a fictional account which is very loosely based on the life of Laura Bush. This is the second book I have read by this author. I previously read Prep. She (yes, the author is female) has a way of drawing me in immediately. I really appreciate her writing style. And though she is a young woman I feel she is wise far beyond her years. Her observation of the human condition seems to belong to a woman who has lived a long, experienced life. I appreciate that most about her writing. It’s almost as if there is no judgment in her writing. She can write from a truly objective place and allows the reader to slip comfortably into that spot as well. I am about 150 pages in and my very favorite quote comes from the main character’s grandmother. One simple statement that hit me profoundly, “We have to make mistakes. It's how we learn compassion for others.” I am sure I will mention this book again several times before I finish it. But I already highly recommend it. (Image from

Jim: Right now this is just a job. If I advance any higher….that would make this my career. And if this were my career, I would have to throw myself in front of a train. So, really, it’s a matter of life and death.

1 comment:

  1. Andy: "I'm always thinking one step ahead. Like a carpenter that makes stairs."