Reviewed Bin 46 Wine Bar & Cafe

I’m back in the groove of things; hopefully this is just the first of many reviews. There are a couple of other places that I’ve been to that I’ll have to write about, but all in due time. Bin 46 Wine Bar & Restaurant is the latest reboot of The Modena Wine Cafe with some much needed changes. Read more here.

Long Time No See

2015 was an incredible year for me. It was crazy, emotional, and revolutionary in ways that I couldn’t have begun to predict when I wrote my “Moment of Clarity” post almost a year ago. I feel badly for not updating my blog, but during a time of such grand upheaval, it felt almost impossible to sum everything up as it was happening. Let’s start at the beginning, shall we?

January 2015

I was still very wrapped up in breaking up with my ex-boyfriend and being kicked out of his house. I didn’t like the job that I was working; I was not well payed nor doing something at my skill level. My grandfather had recently passed away, and I had some lingering regrets about not returning home sooner to visit my grandparents (It had been three years since I returned home at this point). At the same time, I was becoming reacquainted with old friends from back home and was being strongly urged to move back.


At the beginning of March, I get a call from my former neighbor that there’s fire, police, and ambulances at my ex’s house. His mom (whom I’m very close to) is there, and there is a big scene. I’m sure some of you are thinking “No, don’t do it!” But I did do it. I went over there, spent a few days providing moral support for his mom and taking care of the dog. While things may have ended badly between us, his family had been very kind and helpful to me, and I wouldn’t turn my back on them. I even became somewhat friends with my ex, and we were more cordial to each other. In many ways, I received closure from this event that helped me get over him.


I was told in the beginning of April that my contract job would be ending, as the entire department was moving to Georgia. I was in a panic. We had about a month and a half to find other means of employment; while the Greater Denver Area is a great place for finding tech jobs, it can also be on the competitive side. I started hunting immediately. I was also making back-up plans. I reached out to a friend in Seattle who was willing to help me get a job there if I needed one, and I was talking to friends and family back in Indiana; the worse case scenario was that I did not find another job by the time my current one expired, and I would be forced to move back home. I really didn’t want to leave Colorado, but preparations had to be made.

At the end of the month, I was contacted by a company I had applied for months ago saying that the position was open again, and they were interested in interviewing me. I jumped on it and crossed my fingers.


May was a very decisive month for me. At the start of the month, I was offered a job in Seattle. The very next day, the company I had interviewed with in Denver offered me a job. It was one of the harder decisions I’ve had to make; I’ve always wanted to live in Seattle – I love the rain and would enjoy the constant overcast. But the pay and the benefits were not as good as the job here, and then there were moving costs to consider. It simply was not a good opportunity. I transitioned smoothly from my previous job into my new job.

I was also out and about more, socializing with friends and meeting new people at bars and clubs. I went back to the gym and starting working out again. I got that library card that I promised I was going to get. I started writing again, little by little. I also had to break the news to hopeful friends and family that no, I would not be moving home.


June started it all. One innocuous event changed my life forever.

I was good friends with a wonderful lady named Heather, and it was standard by that time for her to host regular BBQs for everyone to get together, eat, listening to music, etc. I met a lot of interesting people there; I got to socialize with plenty of people I was already friends with. That’s where I met Brett. Sitting in between me and another girl who I was discussing the finer points of content editors and how messy some of them can be on the HTML side, he made an off hand remark about how great it was to be seated in the middle of our discussion. And that’s about all that it took for me to ask him to dance and for us to get each other’s numbers.

We wouldn’t get together for another two months due to scheduling conflicts (which in my opinion, was for the best).


w/Stella and Marty



Brett and I finally meet up at The Modena Wine Cafe just down the street from where I lived for a few casual drinks. By the end of this four hour affair, it was a date. One date turned into three, turned into a long-term relationship.


For the first time in almost a year, I went back home. I did a long trip that split my time between family in South Bend, Indiana, and then spent a few days in Toronto, ON with two friends I made playing CS:S several years ago. It was good to see my friends and family and get to spend plenty of time with them. I dyed my hair a glorious blue. I caught frogs in a pond I knew from my childhood, and I got to spend time with a friend who I’ve known since grade school, almost fifteen years! It was an incredible time.




And then there was Canada. Aside from missing my flight at O’Hare because the TSA took over 2 1/2 hours to get me through security, everything was great. I visited the Royal Ontario Museum and Ripley’s Aquarium, and even got to see a Rave-mobile make it’s way through downtown (seriously, people were just following a glorified car made to look like a parade float, bumping to some serious dance music). I got to see Niagra falls and spend some time with my besties!



Brett and I moved in together, and for the first time in probably my entire life, I felt like I was home. I’ve had my own apartment, I’ve lived with other boyfriends, had roomies, and none of them quite felt like home. Maybe the closest I had come to that feeling was when I was living on-campus at university. Here, there is a sense of belonging and a feeling of being “in this together” with the person I’m living with. I feel as if my spaces are, in part, my own, and I have some control over them as opposed to just temporarily inhabiting them.


Business as usual for Christmas. We put up Christmas lights on the house and decorated a tree. It was nice to have someone has enthusiastic about decorating as I am, even if it’s just a few decorations here and there. Every time I looked at our tree, it made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.


January 2016

Now we’ve come full circle! I’ve started writing again, I’ve been coming up with ideas for editing my novel and for poetry. I’ve joined a Beekeepers Association and am preparing to raise honey bees next year in addition to starting long distance cycling. It’s going to be a busy busy year ^_^!

A Moment of Clarity

I’m going through a major transition right now. My previous post probably implied that, but there is definitely more to it than just books and libraries and all these thoughts banging inside my head. As many of you know, I’ve barely written since my arrival in Colorado almost 3 years ago (come March 5th);nothing seems odder to me than experiencing a foreign place and having absolutely no words come of it. Yet as I approach this major fork in my life, my perspective is narrowing–focusing down to a pinprick. Often throughout my life, my religion, my spirituality, has fine tuned my experience of each moment and offered clarity to what was and what will be. My faith has always been a torchlight with which I found my way. Now it is more of a telescope – a series of curved glasses and mirrors that brings focus to all these moments simultaneously. I’m approaching a moment similar to one in The Fountain where a single realization, admission, possibly surrender, collapses all time into a unified function where the past, present, and future coalesce into a multifaceted experience and understanding. It is almost as if I can focus the past to drive the present into the future of an almost perfect design.

Some would call this destiny or fate, but I’m not sure which of those apply, being that there is, to some, a pivotal difference. All I can reconcile it with is that all that has been, the perfect moments, the horrible moments, moments of great despair and joy, finally meet together at the nexus of purpose.

Anyways, just some thoughts pouring out here. Whatever is coming next is going to be big, and I think my huge writer’s block has almost passed. Here’s to the next few months!

Breaking in 2015

2014 was probably one of the least productive years I’ve ever had as a writer. While I started a few poems, I never finished them. I haven’t worked on editing (and trying to publish) my novel. I haven’t even written much as far as my new novel. I haven’t even read a book in the past year. It actually sounds pretty disappointing once I look at all of it in retrospect. But I think that 2015 is going to be different. There are a couple of reasons.

I moved and am in an environment where I can actually spend more than 5 minutes at my computer without being interrupted. I’ve met a lot of new people and have been in a lot of interesting places. As any writer knows, fresh exposure to people and places always tickles the creative buds. And if that wasn’t enough, I recently went to my roommate’s holiday part at a sip and paint type place, which led to my first acrylic painting on canvas. It was pretty neat. Plus good time and good laughs.


I’m on the left.

And of course, me with my painting:


Furthermore, I’ve really been getting into the TV series, Grimm, as it is spooky and grisly in a way that inspires me. It certainly lends a different perspective to the entire fairy tale thing in a way that is neither too campy or too literal. Grimm has actually found a very delightful balance between revamping classic fairy tales and making them its own and staying true to certain characteristics. Also, who wouldn’t like a series with the handsome Sasha Roiz in it? Quite honestly, I can’t imagine anyone else playing the mysterious and charismatic Captain Renard. It makes me rethink some of my leading male characters, and some of my villains, and ways that I can make them last black and white and a little bit more ambiguous. One thing I find fascinating about some of their characters is that you don’t really know where they always stand, and yet they always stay true to their character.

Which is why I am so excited about this book my Dad and his wife bought me for Christmas:

Brothers Grimm

Not only that, but I live just a block away from the library now. Really, there wasn’t an excuse for me to not go to the library before, I only lived 5 minutes away. But I have a couple of goals for 2015. Some of them include:

  1. Start sending submissions to journals again. There is no excuse not to, even if I am not writing a bunch of new content.
  2. Start editing my damn book and prep it to either be submitted to a publisher or self publishing (if any of you have suggestions for a great self publisher, I’d welcome them!)
  3. Read more books. Even if it’s to read ones that I have already read 5,000 times!
  4. Walk myself to the library and get a library card. NO EXCUSES!
  5. Write more. Maybe >> <<

So there you have it. That’s what’s been going on and that’s what I’m going to do to fix it. I’ve been a horrible slacker (and I’ve been justifying letting my writer’s block dominate my brain by making excuses. The most popular one? That I deserve a break after writing every single day for like 12 years straight…). What I should be doing is scheduling a little block of time to write anyways, no matter how hard it is or how uninspired I’m feeling. I do feel, however, that the change in my living situation will make all the difference in the world, but time will tell!

And just because, I’ll leave you with a little bit of fortune cookie wisdom: “Appearance can be deceiving. Remember endurance makes gold.”

F is for Fiction

FF is for Fiction. Fiction is probably what I am best at, though my problem has always been short fiction and novellas. No matter how short I intend a piece to be, it simply grows from underneath me. Every “short fiction” piece I ever started on my own has grown to hundreds of pages. My longest, and only completed, fiction piece is a novel called “Finding Eden” that I’d like to publish one day. It started as a dream, and I had intended for it to be short, probably novella length, under 100 pages. After my first few rounds of editing after its completion, it’s a burgeoning 1,000 pages. I’m sure that there is more I could trim out, but the task seems daunting.

On the other hand, I can write short pieces that are either a couple of paragraphs or a few pages with ease. Anything  that needs to be wrapped up in 4-6 pages, forget about it. 100 or else? Not likely.

For me, it always seems like the characters hijack my story before I can even blink an eye. The characters complicate themselves and each other, and in turn, the story. It’s never the plot that gets carried away (most of my stories tend to be mostly internal journeys as opposed to external ones).

What is your biggest writing obstacle? Do you have more trouble keeping a story short or making it long enough? I’d like to know.

Dad Illustrates the Darndest Things He’s Ever Said to His Kids

A cute post where a dad shares illustrations of some very memorable things he’s said to his kids. A must read.


Video producer and father of four, Nathan Ripperger, has caught himself saying the darndest things to his kids. It’ just another day in the life of a parent, only Nathan decided to illustrate his most ‘introspective’ quips.

The series has become so popular that it has spawned a series of prints (8 x 10 and 16 x 20) that you can purchase from Ripperger’s Etsy Store. You can also view larger versions of each illustration on Nathan’s Flickr profile.

Now for the parents out there, what’s the darndest thing you’ve said to your kid?


dad illustrates the darndest things he has ever said to his kids nathan ripperger (3)

Flickr | Etsy Store (prints available)


dad illustrates the darndest things he has ever said to his kids nathan ripperger (4)

Flickr | Etsy Store (prints available)


dad illustrates the darndest things he has ever said to his kids nathan ripperger (8)

Flickr | Etsy Store (prints available)


dad illustrates the darndest things he has ever said to his kids nathan ripperger (1)

Flickr | Etsy Store (prints available)


dad illustrates the darndest things he has ever said to his kids nathan ripperger (6)

Flickr | Etsy Store…

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