Friday, July 30, 2010

Triggered Memories to "Makita Studio: A Love Letter" & ARC

In response to my cousin's posting Makita Studio: A Love Letter, it triggered a memory and an act of random kindness (ARC from Steve Carrell's Evan Almighty) that happened to me in Sin City of all places.

"My ex and I were in Vegas many years ago and we got into a huge fight. I excused myself to the bathroom from the restaurant floor to catch my breath and wipe my tears. I stood in front of the mirror looking down, and the female bathroom attendant, without saying a word, handed me a torn off, folded up piece of paper with "God only gives us what we can handle" handwritten on it. Of course it made me cry even more. I smiled and said 'thank you'. She smiled in return. I still have that piece of paper in a box on my vanity."

I probably had the most fun working at City Beach in Fremont, Ca where I wore many hats (Shocker, I know.) The COO actually poached me from my other job and the Restaurant Manager had to hire me. He seemed like a bit unhappy but when he had a good time, he had a good time. You wanted nothing but to see him smile because they were so far in between. Shortly after I began as a bartender, he decided to leave City Beach . And before he left he wished me good luck and said I would do very well there because "a smile goes a long way."

Another fond memory is when I was taking Bart into the city to work at Trader Vic's. It's no surprise that there are homeless folks on the street. I even saw a man just starting to urinate in between two cars, outside a Mediterranean deli. One sunny morning, I walked along the large San Francisco Library towards City Hall and I noticed up ahead there was a homeless man sitting cross-legged with his back against the wall. He was wearing dirty khaki pants and a red t-shirt, and his hair in disarray. I had my iPod on but I could still hear him ask me for some change as I approached. I smiled and apologized, and he just lit up like the Fourth of July. He screamed with his hands in the air, "That's what I want to see! Great smile! YOU have a great day!" I couldn't help but smile.

To recap:
Words of support and encouragement do not need to be spoken.
A smile goes a long way.
ARCs won't cost you the change in your pocket.

Spread some cheer everyday! You just might brighten someone's day.

3 Events in 3 Weeks

Tonight’s the wedding rehearsal and tomorrow is the wedding. I’ve touched base with the vendors I have worked closely with and the rest is up to the future sister-in-law and the bride. Apparently she has not been told that I am coming tonight or tomorrow. She knows of me but I am not sure if my role is crystal clear to all parties. My goal is to knock it all out tonight at the Decathlon Club. Stay tuned for wedding vendor info from this wedding for your vendor selection process.

I came up with the verbiage for the advice cards. I printed them onto card stock the bride has provided me, used the cutting board at work to cut much straighter edges than if I had done them freehand. I also printed the place cards and tied a red ribbon around them. I provided the bride with them last weekend and she was very happy with them. I’m so pleased.

The poor thing has been a bit stressed out the last time I saw her and could have really used the help and support of her family. I believe the groom has been excellent and very helpful. It’s great to see a groom very much involved in the process and provides his opinion when requested. When I see her tonight, I do hope things have calmed down. I have sent her a couple of emails with no reply but they aren’t life altering. I could get my answers this evening. My goal is for her to be a calm, happy bride tomorrow.

I will also be MC-ing tomorrow’s event so I will need to make sure I pronounce everyone’s names correctly. And, hmm, what to wear???

The reunion in Carlsbad is almost two weeks away. I have updated the list of “Things We Need” with items that will be supplied by family members. I spent quite a bit of time on a decorative piece that will be placed near the parking lot. I received quite a bit of decorative items from my purchases from eBay. Among other things I need to do, I have to book my hotel room and define my travel plans.

The Company Party on the 16th, the day after I drive back from Southern California, is going well. It will be pretty simple. The caterer is fantastic and I should devote more time on details starting next week. I have one of two servers booked and will nail down another server soon.

I am looking forward to continuing networking at industry events, take advantage of being a NEW Manager for Wellness International and promote the heck out of it and my Notary Public services, and just making progress and moving forward.

Monday, July 26, 2010

AIDS WAlk San Francisco - July 18, 2010

This was my 10th AIDS Walk San Francisco.
I’ve always had a goal of becoming a Star Walker but I was never able to raise $1,000. I raised the most I ever had in 2009 at $375, and I just realized that I was only $5 behind this year from that. So I only raised $370. I should have sponsored myself. I did try to raise money by making sugar cookies. I spent one long night making them and putting them in little treat bags with a note as to what the cookies were for, a link to my sponsor page, my Event Planning page and my Wellness International page. I brought a container to work and a small container for DB to take to work as well. Many folks at his office sponsored me and enjoyed the cookies. I was amazed! At my office, everyone ate the cookies but no sponsors. Sheesh! Well, except for AFTER the walk. Someone did make up for everyone’s consumption. It was a lot of work and I think I’ve mastered making the cookies. They were pretty good.

As always, the walk was around Golden Gate Park. There were morning warm-ups, speeches and free food and drinks. Many booths for the many teams and long lines for the port-a-potties near the carousel which I have never laid eyes on until this event. My sister came with me this time and it was a fun experience for her. Marilu Renner from Taxi was there. We called for her but it seemed like she didn’t want to come by for a photo. Two gals from San Francisco’s WICKED, Alyssa Fox and Libby Servais were there as well. I didn’t know their names at the time so I just called out “Elphie” and “Glinda” and they were nice enough to pose for a photo with me. I read the book almost four years ago and DB took me the show last year for my 29th birthday. I do not believe these ladies were part of the cast in September of 2009.

Here’s my sis and I.

Then we started the walk. We took baby steps towards the starting line. There were dogs everywhere! I decided not to take the Beeves because he’d go nuts with the 1000s of people around that he would pull and pull until he chokes out after a mile. So perhaps when he’s older and calmer he’ll go on one of these walks.

The same entertainment from previous years were along the route: steel drum players, belly dancers, the Japanese drummers, Cal Berkeley’s band, etc. People came in costume, held signs with their loved one’s photo on it who has been affected by the disease and took samples from Pop Chips, Doritos, Popsicles and granola bars. There was even a girl carrying around a box of condoms for people to take. Good idea!

This walk was a bit tiring for me, I’m not sure why. My feet were hurting a lot and I could not wait to get to the car and go home. But we made it and I got a sticker to put on my 2003 AIDS Walk hat that I was wearing that I completed this year’s. YAY!

From my Sponsor Page, I posted why I do the AIDS Walk every year. It’s an incurable disease, Folks. With so many people that have had those one night stands with strangers and weren’t protected or the condom broke or stupidly believing the partner was ‘clean’ – no wonder its existence continues. Yes, I know there are other way to being exposed to it but I’d have to say that one session of great or HORRIBLE sex is not worth living forever with this disease. I walk because I don’t know anyone personally that has been infected and I’d like to keep it that way. Get educated, get tested, wear a condom, be aware of your surroundings, and don’t just trust everyone! It’s not worth it. There’s much of the world to see and life to experience.

I think I’ll volunteer for next year’s event instead of walk. We shall see.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

WINning Over the Corporate Totem Pole is Appealing

WIN is moving along. I’ve decided to invest a little more time into this as an added benefit to tie with my Event Planning services and see where it takes me. I went to another meeting on Saturday morning in San Mateo and met a couple more people and other distributors. They are from all sorts of career backgrounds – Accounting and Finance, Body Builders, Chiropractors, Construction Workers, and even even Housewives.

As stated in my earlier posts, this is an MLM company. I dealt with one before and I didn’t like it. Perhaps I’m just gullible but Michael (one of my superiors) made a good point. Corporations are structured the same way, with a hierarchy. Don’t you find yourself at the bottom or near the bottom of the totem pole? This company is structured the same way. One, it has a structure: my boss gets a bonus if I perform well. And I SHOULD be getting training from my boss because they apparently know more than me. When I worked at City Beach, I thought, the more people we bring into the restaurant, the more tips we will get. When the servers and bartenders are selling more goods, the bigger the tips. In turn, the restaurant manager is making his sales numbers. And the owners like the increasing revenue, therefore giving bonuses, kudos or good reviews which later benefits in other employment opportunities. Growth, right?

However in corporations and in this kind of economy, you may work your butt off but you don’t get a bonus or pay raise. You may be doing a great job, receive an excellent review but “Sorry, we can’t afford to pay you more.” However, we can give you a new title with additional responsibilities, and when we get money, we’ll pay you.” Hmmmm… Work hard now, and MAYBE get paid later? I’ve heard that before.

I’m playing it safe. I don’t know if WIN is going to make me a bunch of money as I haven’t devoted 100% of myself to it, not even 25% of me. I need a stable income and health insurance. I get both with this full-time salaried job. I am thankful I have a job. Things would be much more stressful if I didn’t. But now I see that WIN is looking a bit more appealing. My current job is really a no-brainer. It's not challenging nor does it give me the drive to more or do my job even better. I do it for the stable income and health insurance. There is no room for growth here for me. It’s natural for me to want to go above and beyond but I’m at the point that it’s not really going to benefit me significantly more if I give them 110% of myself. So… here I am trying something new… again.

I do it all really. I bartend, serve, plan events, am a Notary Public, I’ve walked a dog, babysat, do miscellaneous administrative tasks, all to make an extra buck. My sister wants to be a financial advisor. My very good friend is spending more a month than what she brings in. Many people have to have a second job. Many people retire in poverty. Many retirees go back to work because we outlive our money. Notice the senior citizens working at McDonald’s or security patrol in office buildings or parking lots. I definitely don’t want that to be me.

Christy has been taking the Biolean and states “Yes, I’ve been taking it and loving it so far… Taking half for now but I think I’m going to take the whole thing soon.” I told her how it effected my body temp and she says she can’t really tell about the body temp changes because she’s always hard at work, usually on her feet and lifting luggage and bags.

I have been going to the gym in the morning before work and am trying to get into a sleeping routine. I was pretty tired on Tuesday and had the WINrgy mixed with water and I was A-OK for the rest of the day. I have also been taking the ProXtreme after I work out and it’s pretty darn tasty. I add a couple of strawberries to the blender to get that sweet, fruity taste. I haven’t missed a Biolean dose since I started back up on the 28th of June. Since then, my severe cold and cough went away, I was able to enjoy my July 4th weekend and I haven’t gotten sick. It is said to help with allergies and I think it works for the most part for me, unless it is extremely windy or ridiculously dusty. I plan on increasing my dosage to full packet once I receive my new order of products.

I just want to recap on some notes I jotted down at this meeting on Saturday.
- WIN is expanding internationally – We are already in Australia and very soon will be in Turkey.
- Wellness company – for physical, mental and financial well-being
- Products are formulated to meet or exceed all guidelines established for dietary supplements
- The labs are FDA approved
- The Germany Olympic committee has approved a number of WIN products
- WINrgy – primarily of B Vitamins. Michael’s teenage boys have it breakfast.
- Sleeptite - Michael says that his child has ADHD and it helps with that and getting a good night’s sleep. In 2008, there were 8 new sleep aids released in the market.
- WINspa - Michael says that his teenagers use the night cream and it helps with their acne.
- Omega-3 - I had no idea that companies put Omega-3 in pet food because we love our pets! I have a dog. Bevo doesn’t get enough Omega-3, that’s for darn sure.
- Our CoQ10 – if you’re taking Lipitor, I’ve been told that it takes the CoQ10 out of your system.
- LovPil – That’s self-explanatory. Competitors pay big money to have their ads during the Super Bowl. That’s proof that SOMEONE is taking it, though not admitting to it.

Business Steps:
1) Use the product
2) Share the results & benefits
3) Share samples
4) Share opportunity to purchase the products at retail or wholesale (at least 10% discount)
5) Share the opportunity to make money

Seems pretty simple. Anyone interested in doing this with me? I’ve met other distributors and if you’re in the business together, it’s most likely that your indirect business will go to them. What I mean is that, when I need to get a hair cut, I am planning on going to a WIN distributor that is also a hairstylist. I am about to meet a calligrapher interested in getting started as a distributor. She will probably give me and my bride (my client) a discount because we work together. It’s networking. It’s a must to grow your business, as a WIN Distributor or a Notary Public or an Event Planner.

Good luck!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Back to the gym before 6 AM

HAPPY FRIDAY! I am motivated to get back to the gym on a regular basis. My cousin Tiff and my sister have been working out in the morning before work. I used to do that awhile ago. One, my ex didn’t think I could do it and I proved him wrong. Then I stopped doing it because my priorities shifted. Also, Bevo is on a schedule. He gets up when I get up so I didn’t want him to get in the habit of waking up and needing to go potty at 5 AM. I ran him around the complex and that warmed me up real fast.

It just feels soooo good to work out in the morning. It wakes me up and gives me so much more energy to last me throughout the day...naturally. I asked my sis to text me when she got up at 5 AM to also motivate me to get out of bed and I did. That really helps when you think you’re going to work out with somebody as well.

I got to the gym and there were about 4 other people there at 5:25 AM. I dropped off some WIN materials on Women’s Health at the table near the lobby with other health pubs and notices. I picked up an updated group exercise schedule and it looks like they have some pretty good classes available. Since I was already warmed up from the jog with Bevo, I jumped on the treadmill and did some incline walking for 15 minutes. I then decided to work out on my chest since it is one of my weakest muscle groups. Then I realized that I haven’t lifted heavy weights in quite some time so all muscle groups will need to feel the burn. I also did some wide grip pull downs to help that flab near my underarms, and back extensions without added weight this time. Then I stretched and was reminded that I am not flexible whatsoever. I left, sat in my car, updated my log. Funny that my sis turned me onto that site and iPhone app and she doesn’t update her. Actually, no one I know personally updates theirs.

I got home, was in a really good mood and made myself a vanilla flavored ProXtreme protein shake with reduced fat milk (which is all had) and three strawberries. It was tasty. DB was still sleeping by the time I left to go to work where I took my Biolean.

Tomorrow I’ll hit the gym before my WIN meeting in San Mateo. Might do legs.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Repeat Business is Awesome!

Thank you, Man of the Earth. That’s what I call a good friend from high school. He got that name by traveling the globe for a year for personal reasons and every now and then for race car driving, attends Burning Man, and when I craved Apple Turnovers in college he would drive his Volkswagen Golf thru bushes, parking lot islands and park on sidewalks on our search.

He hired me to do his annual company party again. I worked the same event last year and had Christy and her coworker from On The Border, Rich, fill in when a friend fell thru while I was vacationing in Las Vegas days before the event. It’s funny that again, I will be traveling home the day before this party. This time I will be driving back from Southern California for the family reunion.

I just sent off an email to the caterer we used last year, Namie’s Kitchen, to see if she is available. She did a great job and her food was delicious. She was able to work in a confined space, bring in an oven and order the rentals we needed as well. My friend and his father was very happy with the outcome. If she is available, it’ll be a pretty easy event. I will just need to confirm two servers.


Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Carson City, Nevada - Day Two

DB came back to the hotel around 2:45 AM. And was up and at it again the next morning to be back at Centennial Park by 11ish. He spotted an IHOP on our way into town and decided to get his favorite, Stuffed French Toast, there to start off his morning. The place was busy as any IHOP would be in the morning. Our food came out super fast but DB was unhappy with his still chilly Stuffed French Toast. I had the nutella crepes, scrambled eggs and a piece of bacon. My plate came with four pieces of bacon but they were way too salty. And I’m still on vacation so I got the nutella crepes. Like I’ve said in my Yelp reviews, they’re not great but they will do.

We drove to Centennial Park and I hung out with him and some of the other umpires he works with for a bit. They all seem like pretty cool guys. I finally met Rick, DB’ buddy, and his umpire partner by choice. They knew I was headed to the Wine Walk in downtown Carson City and joked around that I was going to be pretty tipsy. We shall see. I wouldn’t see DB til probably 9ish that evening.

At breakfast, we discussed what I was going to do today. I decided the night before that I was going to see Eclipse. I looked up the movie times and figured I’d go see if after my Wine Walk. So I had about an hour and a half to kill before it started. Instead of heading straight back to Bevo, I stopped off at the Goodwill store to try to find more items for the reunion. I found two crocheted pillows, a book and movie I was going to use for the centerpiece. I still have to order some things so I’ll probably do that now in case things are on back order. I stopped off at the carnival grounds and park but I didn’t know that the fair didn’t officially open until noon. No wonder it was deserted. There was one vendor there that had these great skirts that I think Jenna would love but they didn’t have a small for me. The park was huge. It had tennis courts, picnic tables, a whole lot of trees and grass. I think it’d be a great place for a reunion or birthday party. There was grey fuzz on the ground and it felt like there must be a hen house or something nearby. I asked a person that was walking in the same direction I was “What’s up with all the feathers?” He said, “Those aren’t feather. They’re from the pussy willow trees.” Ohhhhh.

Since I had time to kill I thought I better make the best use out of my time. I parked the M5 in the empty parking lot of the Carson City Community Center. I was hoping it was open to explore and gather some info. The front doors were open but the doors to the auditorium were locked. I found a maintenance person and asked for the main office but he said it was closed. Bummer. So I took photos of what I was able to see and was on my way.

I headed back to The Plaza to Bevo. As usual when I arrived, he was sitting on the couch, leaning against the two small pillows. That day, he was sooo bad. I thought we’d play fetch in the vacant lots next to the motel since there wasn’t a lot of foot or car traffic that made it unsafe for him to run about. BUT, when I did throw the ball around he wouldn’t bring it back to me and all I heard was myself calling out his name and getting frustrated that my dog doesn’t listen. So he did his business and we went back to the room.

I was fortunate that DB picked a hotel in downtown because the Wine Walk began at the Nugget 3-4 blocks away so I just walked. After all, I was going to be walking all day. So off I went to take in Downtown Carson City. It was a nice day; much less calmer in terms of wind than the day before. I was wearing a dress that Kim passed down onto me but I didn’t have to worry about it blowing up and showing my unmentionables. I got a lot of compliments on this dress. Even when I was crouched down looking thru fabrics at Goodwill.

On my way back to the hotel from Centennial Park, I saw three people holding big cardboard signs protesting America citizen’s values on our elected officials and the immigration law in Arizona. I took a picture and will post them here soon. While at the stop light, I only heard one car honk in agreement. On my walk towards the Nugget, I saw the truck they traveled in with another cardboard sign that read “No Amnesty, No Anchors, No Benefits, Illegal is Illegal”.

As I crossed the street to the same block of the State Assembly building, two Nevada Sheriff patrol cars were parked on the street and stopped the protesters about their signs. I didn’t stop to hear what they were saying but the cop made one of the three people lay out their signs on the grass to get a better look at them. From afar, I turned around to see that one of the cops was taking a picture of one of the signs. For evidence? I moved on.

I was smack dab in the middle of the state’s capital. It was cool to see the buildings in excellent condition where assembly men and women gather and where history has been made. I wandered thru the park that had the Governor’s Mansion to the north, the Supreme Court to the east and the legislative building to the south. There was a statue honoring the miners, fallen men and women in law enforcement, Kit Carson who explored these lands and Abe Von-something who was the architect/developer of many of the buildings of Carson City.


I walked towards the Governor’s Mansion and thought it’d be really cool to walk around in the old building. The grounds were beautiful. It was surrounded by many different kinds of flowers, tall trees and an iron fence. I headed to the front door and it was locked. Just my luck.

I wandered across the street where more judicial buildings were. On the blocks of cement on the sidewalk were bronze emblems with Carson’s face on it. I walked on towards the Nugget and stopped in the only clothing store I saw. As soon as I walked in, there was a musician to my right playing a guitar. I walked towards the back of the store scanning it’s inventory and found a woman sitting on a bean bag with a glass of wine that didn’t greet me. I take it she didn’t work there but saw that there was a working margarita machine on the counter. That’s strange. I walked out.

I saw store fronts that matched the names of restaurants and stores I came across on Yelp. Funny how some things only exist on the internet to you actually become tangible. I arrived at the Nugget and the reflection of the sun off the gold sides blinded me. I opened the door and I forgot that you could smoke in there. Whoo! I immediately found the check-in area, paid my $10, grabbed my map, picked the wine glass that said Wine Walk on it, tasted the Pinot Noir by Annabella from Oakville, CA, filled out my drawing slip and had a seat. You were supposed to drink the wine only on the premises. You cannot drink on the streets. When I was done with the Pinot, I went back for a small taste of the Chardonnay by J. Lohr. Jenna works for J. Lohr. I’m not a big Chardonnay fan. I sat back down and three ladies joined me. They were friendly and actually invited me to join them on the walk. I kinda wanted to take my time and stop but thanked them for the invitation. I walked thru the casino floor, found the poker room and the long table was filled.

My next stop was the Children’s Museum that looked like an old church. A Children’s Museum on a Wine Walk? That’s strange. I looked around and an older lady, who looked like she’s already had a hard day on her feet, asked if she could help me. I smiled and told her I was on the Wine Walk. She said she wondered why they didn’t take the museum off the map. They were part of the first ones and they only distributed glasses, not serve wine. But she encouraged me to take a look around even though I said I didn’t have any children of my own. The place was like a middle school auditorium for school plays and such. It was pretty cool and the attractions were old but glad it’s being put to some use. They even had a big floor keyboard like in BIG with Tom Hanks. And headshots of President Obama and VP Biden on the wall. Kids typically know who the President of the United States is. On my way out, I picked up some cards of local event professionals that were near the staircase and left my own business cards as well, and some WIN flyers on the racks.

Next Stop: Purple Avocado. Walking towards this spot, I saw a blonde horse pulling a wagon. It stopped right in front of this small house with purple trim. I spoke to the lady in the front seat and the young boy dressed up frontier gear. I asked about their services and said they were out and about to transport people to different places on the Wine Walk. How fun! And it’s funny that the horse was named Bella. (Twilight? Ha!) The horse was 24-years-old and they say that’s young. I don’t know anything about horses but they sure are beautiful creatures. I stepped into Purple Avocado and it was pretty cramped. There were people here on the Wine Walk as well and the crafts and items for sale were great. They had magnets, cards, lotions, wall decorations, mugs, books, music.. it was wonderful. I remember reading reviews on Yelp for this place and I have to agree that it’s was really great. I met the owners and they poured me a Kenwood Merlot and some Ferrari chardonnay. I spent quite some time in the shop and the owners were incredibly friendly. I didn’t notice that there was a small dog sitting on their counter. It was so quite and well behaved and ironically, it was also named Bella. Wow, it’s a sign that I should go see Eclipse tonight again. I noticed a sign behind the counter that said “Your husband called and he said you can buy anything you want.” They said their son got that for them in Seattle. I took a picture of it and posted it DB’ Facebook wall. He loved it and replied with “You can have whatever you liiiiike….” Which is a rap song that came out the first year we were together.

Next stop was a jewelry store called Capital Jewelers. It had a sign on the side of the building that said “Dude, you’re right. Jewelry stores suck. Get over it. Get in here. She loves this stuff.” Great sign. This town has quite a sense of humor. I stopped in and was immediately greeted. I was given a taste of red and a “Coin Purse” appetizer which was filled with spinach and cheese. It was delicious. I took my time looking at the jewelry and the rainbow collection really caught my eye and a beautiful way to show your pride. Again, the sales people were very friendly and there was a lot of beautiful items there but nothing I was willing to personally buy myself.

Like the Children’s Museum, the Platinum salon was on the list of places on the Wine Walk but were not participating. I made my way to Captain Jacks and found myself playing video poker while I sipped on my wine at the bar. We were also offered a pork sandwich with a side of potato salad on a small appetizer plate. I enjoyed the potato salad much more than the pork. I didn’t eat the bread on the sandwich and the pork was a bit tough. But again, people sat next to me that were on the Wine Walk and were very friendly. I lost $7.50 but that’s not bad for entertainment purposes. I was playing Deuces Wild at $.50 a hand. A guy dressed up as Cactus Jack in a white Colonel Sander’s suite and a tall Stetson and white beard and mustache was in the casino as well. That was pretty festive.

Next stop was Shahram’s Fine Persian Rugs. Outside, the ladies I met at the Nugger were hanging outside and greeted me with smiles and loud “HELLOs!” The wine was working. Fun times. The store wasn’t super busy and I tried the white this time. There were two ladies looking at the shawls that were 70% off. I thought about getting one as a souvenir but I don’t know when I’d use something like that.

Across the street was the next stop at Westwall Militia. I had a BB red wine that was described sort of like port but it was quite shocking to my taste buds. It was dry and tasted kinda dirty. I just gulped it down and chased it with two pieces of cheese that they were offering. I walked around the store and every inch was covered with army green or blue uniforms, hats, helmets, photos… it was really awesome. I sat on the porch for a bit enjoying the weather and an older lady sat down next to me while her husband and daughter from out of town took a look inside. She complimented me on my dress. I mentioned how nice it was, inquired if she was having a good time and where she and her family was from. She said she and her husband retired here and loved it. They definitely get all four seasons here. Everyone I met on this Wine Walk was so friendly. It was refreshing. By this time, I’m not sure if it was getting hotter or it was the wine kicking in. Honestly, I think it was a mixer of both.

Next, I wandered into the store next door and didn’t even realize it was on the map. It was called Rockin & Rollin’. Very cute store. It had a little porch and a HUGE rubber lizard in a large, round fish bowl. Behind it was a lizard in a plastic bag about 3 inches long. It said WATCH ME GROW! I thought about getting one for Brent but not sure he’d have the patience. And it wasn’t Thomas the Train related. I passed. I wandered the store and it wasn’t until I reached the back of the store at the counter where I saw wine bottles. I was greeted and asked what kind of wine I would like. Ha! I didn’t even know this was a stop on the list. I took the white. It was getting a little warmer. I spoke to the older gentlemen about the store, the weather, etc. He said he just moved to Carson City from Oregon. I told him I used to live in Vancouver, Washington. He asked me if I knew where Newport was. YUP! My mom and her husband at the time made me go there with them with their friends while they went crabbing. It was also where Keiko was from Free Willy. I love when I meet people from small towns and can say that I’ve also been there. I was only 14 or so when I was there and didn’t explore like I am exploring Carson this holiday weekend.

Next stop was Downtown Coin. Two men were sitting in chairs near the window facing the counter. Nothing in their hands, just sitting there, talking to each other and not facing each other. The lady behind the counter was very enthusiastic. She had about 7 bottles of wine to choose from. I think I went with the white again. And I had a small sugar cookie topped with white frosting and sprinkles. When I consumed that, I had another. It was good. When I cut myself off from the cookies, I asked the lady behind the counter what people look for. And like anything else and how different people are, there’s a huge range. Some people like silver, some like quarters, some gold bars, some like coins that were made in imperfect. It really depends. And it completely makes sense. What one person values doesn’t necessarily mean that someone else is going to value it in the same way. There are coins that are worth five times it’s value but that still may mean that that nickel is only worth a quarter. Whether it’s worth the time and effort to store, keep safe and maintain, that’s the question. She did mention that she had a gold bar earlier that day. That wouldn’t been cool to see with my own two eyeballs. I inquired about stamps as well. I have both coins and stamps somewhere. I started it about 8 years ago. I wonder if there’s anything I have that’s of any value. I should probably start that up again. You never know what you’re going to find. DB has a bunch of baseball cards he’s logging onto Hopefully that makes him some good money.

I headed next door to the Nevada Day Events and it looked they were only selling blue Nevada sweatshirts. They were pouring one red and had three bottles of Trader Joe’s white wine. Uhm, I went with the red without hesitation. And I was in and out of the store in no time.

I walked across the street to the Horseshoe Club Casino and walked thru the casino floor pretty darn quickly. I stopped and got some white wine and a couple of chicken taquitos and sour cream that were pretty darn delicious. I sat at the bar, put in $5 to the poker machine and checked my Facebook and Twitter. (Jenny’s titi posting made me laugh out loud twice in here. I probably looked like such a lush.) The regular two stools away from me started chatting with me and asked how I liked the taquitos. *thumbs up* with my mouth full. I played until my $5 and my taquitos were gone, said goodbye and walked to the Blue Bull Bar across the street from the Nugget. I was almost done with my Wine Walk because it was approaching 4:30 and the raffle starts at 5. I was pretty shocked that I spent all afternoon taking my time at these stores and wandering the streets of downtown.

I sat at the bar and a regular was there chatting it up with the blonde bartender. Three girls were playing pool in the next room and I noticed this ad for Smitty’s. Roo calls me that.

I had a taste of the red by Sycamore Lane. I should’ve kept a better log of what kind of wine I was tasting; after all I stuck a pen in my ponytail for that very purpose. The regular at the bar eventually roped me into the conversation. He said his son is in law enforcement, that his wife, soon to be ex-wife met a new boyfriend over the internet and remains in Colorado. He has a 3-year-old grandson that asks where grandma is and that it’s hard for him to tell him why she’s not around. I was done with my wine and told him good luck. He said “Thanks, but luck has nothing to do with it.”
“No, but it couldn’t hurt.”

I headed back to the Nugget to hopefully win a raffle prize. I sat in the little shop next to where the drawing was going to be held and ordered an apple turnover. I used to be crazy about these things. I remember going on a hunt with Spencer in Albany looking for some at 9:00 in the evening years and years ago. This was just what I remembered. Hard and crusty with sugar crystals on top. It was a messy pastry but it helped me kill the time until the drawing. Two ladies joined me at my little table to also wait and hope for their names to be drawn. We were chatting a little bit. They asked me what I did for a living and I said Event Planner. She mentioned that her niece was interested in doing that too but was discouraged by her mother because the demand for it was so low in Carson City. Now the niece is interested in doing beauty procedures such as working with Botox. From what I heard from ladies at the WINSpa, Botox is “poison” for your face and I handed this lady my card and a newsletter on the WinSpa products. Anyways… so the drawing happened.

Everyone at the raffle drawing

And I didn’t win anything. BUT I would definitely participate in Wine Walks in other towns. I think it’s a great idea to get folks familiar with what the town has to over. And for $10, it’s a great deal! I’m not sure how well that’d work in Hayward.

The movie starts in an hour and a half and I have to eat dinner and take care of Bevo. So I went to Comma Coffee which was also on the Wine Walk but I didn’t make it that far. It was a cool, big, overly decorated coffee shop with chairs outside. I ordered the spinach salad with chicken and balsamic dressing for $10. While I was waiting, I looked at the tall dresser with shelves that had business cards and pamphlets for local businesses. Yes, I added mine as well. The salad was OK. The balsamic dressing was a bit thick and the chicken was cut into cubes so I’m not sure how much chicken I actually got. I scarfed down as much as I could without wanting to taste it, just to get something in my stomach.

Changed my clothes, fed and walked Bevo, saw the movie, picked Bevo up and was back at Centennial Hall in time for DB’ last game for the evening. I forgot about all the sunflower seeds that covered the ground at these parks and it’s not a good idea for Bevo to be eating them so I had to do my best to keep him on my lab. That was more of a pain than anything. He would not sit still. Then I moved him off the bleachers and we stood by 1st base behind the fence and in the sand. He again was rolling in the dirt, digging thru it and at eating sunflower seeds. Ugh! He would not chill out. Then I took him to the far end of right field near the entrance and he still wanted to eat sand and roll around in the dirt. Next, I tried standing in the parking lot that overlooked the fields and I could still see what’s going on, just not up close. After awhile of standing and a day walking all over the place in flip flops, my feet were tired and my knees were giving me problems from standing and locking them into place. So I decided to grab the car and park in the same spot I was standing in the parking lot and watch the game while I was sitting down. Bevo was ‘grounded’ by having to stay in the back seat.

DB finished his game, he picked up some Jack in the Box, which he said he’s never had and we went back to the room. We had to get up at 7 to go back to the park the next morning. The bed sucked and we all, I mean Bevo as well, didn’t get a good night’s sleep all weekend.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Carson City, Nevada - Day One

It is 10:35 PM and I'm in the hotel room with Bevo. DB picked up a last minute game that starts at 12:30 AM for this round the clock tournament. He left us around 9 PM to head over to the fields to check out pre-tournament activities such as a home run derby. He texted me saying that the 18-year-olds are knocking them out of the park and hitting the RVs parked along the perimeter.

We left the house at about 8:30 AM. I reluctantly got out of bed at around 7 AM, did some last minute packing, crunches and used the WINSpa Enzyme Peel since I knew I was going to be getting some sun and I haven't used it in awhile.

We were on our way on 580 and haven't even left Castro Valley when we spotted a CHP car on the side. That was the first of many CHP officials we saw on our road trip. We left early enough that traffic wasn't bad at all. We stopped off in Sacramento to pick up DB' coworker and went to McDonald's for lunch. I have been craving Chicken Nuggets since I saw Eclipse with Sarah late Tuesday night. I was going to give in and eat like crap. Hell, I'm on vacation. I ordered a 10-piece box and held off on getting the meal with their delicious French Fries. I asked for a side of the Big Mac sauce for dipping purposes. Mmmm. Then we were on the road to Carson City.

I've done that drive up to South Lake Tahoe several times. Placerville is a cute town. As we drove thru the one stop light, I thought about the time we stopped off here to use the restroom on our way to Harrah's for me to see the Los Lonely Boys and check out a burrito place that was recommended years and years ago. We also drove thru Apple Hill. I've never spent a single dollar in this town but do remember pulling off for Christy and I to take a photo under a sign of the town's name. Apple (Manzano) and Hill (Christy). We were coming back from snowboarding in February of 2008. Here's Bevo and I riding shotgun thru Apple Hill.

By this time I kinda had my fill of umpire chat WITH the radio turned down. If DB hadn't turned down the radio, maybe I wouldn't mind so much but I plugged in my iPod and put on my earphones. I hope that wasn't rude. I wanted to let them talk.

We made it thru the hills and we were very close to the beautful blue lake. DB saw a white tent and a lot of people going in and out of it. I told him it was the outlet shops and the tent belonged to Adidas. He pulled in, took a quick look around but found nothing.

We finally saw Lake Tahoe up close and DB saw exactly how blue it was and was pretty amazed. He's never seen it during the day or during the summer. There was still snow on the ground when we came here in 2008. We passed Harrah's and I thought about the good times I've had there with LLB and La Onda. Ah, memories.

We arrived in Carson City, dropped off Josh at the Gold Dust West Casino which DB said was almost $200/night. Really? It was attached to a casino and a bowling alley. That's a first. Then we found our hotel closer to downtown. Which is perfect because I'm going to do the Wine Walk tomorrow. Yes, all by myself. I have no shame. :) We're paying $50/night and we're on the second floor, at the end, has two big windows and is pretty darn large. A queen size bed, 7 cabinets, two sofa chairs, a pull out couch, two chairs and extendable table, microwave, coffee maker, and fridge. Oh, and a television but not a large one. Yes, it has ESPN for my Blue. We relaxed for a bit and of course DB took a lttle nap. There isn't anywhere he can't sleep. I played on the comp for a bit with Grey's Anatomy playing (I've never seen the show) and eventually took a little nap with him.

He woke up hungary and I searched on Yelp for something to eat. Italian sounded good but from my searches weeks prior, the cuisine isn't anything special in this area. So we just got in rhe car and drove around. We ended up at the park where DB was going to umpire and toured the facilities. It was pretty deserted though activities were to start in an hour's time. But it seemed like they were pretty well set and ready. On our way out we ran into Ed, who was the Tournament Director, and DB asked where was a good place to eat that wasn't a dive bar. He pointed us in the direction of the Gold Dust West Casino.

We parked and ate at Ole Ole. You'll see from my Yelp review of the experience but the food was eh. Real cool decor and very friendly service but the food OK. I had the sopapillas and they had nothing on Chevy's version. DB was looking thru a free entertainment pub that literally consisted of four pages. He saw the wine event I was going to check out tomomrrow and I reminded him that I was going to go to it. He asked, "Alone?" Yup! He said he was sorry that he couldn't go with me a couple of times and that felt nice because he usually doesn't mention anything. But I know the intention of us coming up here was for him to work and he enjoys it so I told him that I understand. Here is us towards the end of our meal.

We headed back to our hotel and relaxed watching Comedy Central until he had to leave us. I took Bevo for a walk and found myself grabbing some info for a local spa literally less than a block away. The placed used Arbonne which is a WINspa competitor so I can't really do business there. I do wonder how his business is doing though.

And now I'm blogging... Day 1 down.