Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Re-Solutions (we already know!)


1. Keep at least one plant alive in your bedroom
2. Start learning a language not spoken in Western Europe
3. Join a book club or writer’s group
4. Memorize all the international capital cities
5. Discover the meaning of ‘classical’ in classical art/literature/music
6. Trace your roots — discover more about your heritage
7. Teach yourself Morse Code
8. Visit the history channel more often
9. Borrow a friend’s instrument and learn to play it
10. Learn how to become lucid while dreaming

Take care of yourself

11. Drink more water everyday
12. Learn to meditate and form a routine
13. Use more sunscreen
14. Start putting away a small percentage of your income
15. Cut your hard-to-break bad habit in half
16. Record your thoughts in a journal (or any handy piece of scrap paper)
17. Eat big, healthy breakfasts
18. Bike instead of drive
19. Add 30 minutes to the beginning or end of your night’s sleep
20. Drink tea instead of coffee

Take care of others

21. Meet your neighbors
22. Remember your friends and family’s birthdays
23. Pay for the person behind you at toll booths / top up their parking meters
24. Pack a healthy bag lunch and give it to a homeless person
25. Write a recommendation for someone who deserves it
26. Forgive that grudge you’ve been hanging on to
27. Give ‘I love you’ gifts (gifts without a specific occasion)
28. Listen more, speak less
29. Do foreseeable favors before people ask
30. Say what you mean and mean what you say

Slow your speed, lengthen the ride

31. Play more board games
32. Take a bath and use bubblebath
33. Re-read your favorite children’s book
34. Allow buffer time between errands/duties
35. Make your meals instead of buying them, chew longer, and eat with others
36. Start a compost pile instead of throwing scraps away
37. Take the scenic route
38. Hand write thank-you letters and cards
39. Have more picnics
40. Show up several minutes early to everything

Detach from material things

41. Donate some of your wardrobe
42. Investigate a philosophical movement in history (transcendentalism, stoicism, phenomenology) and consider it in relation to your life
43. Go on dates that require no money
44. Eradicate noise pollution in your home
45. Free your skin of makeup for a few days
46. Unplug, in general
47. Separate your material wants from your material needs — and focus on the latter
48. Volunteer some place close to home
49. Lend someone your Xbox (or PS3/Wii) for a few weeks
50. Walk barefoot more often

Live in the moment

51. Rediscover your sense of smell
52. Take your watch off occasionally
53. Take the words ‘someday’ and ‘soon’ out of your vocabulary
54. Make eye contact when you shake hands
55. Drop your expectations
56. Turn your phone all the way off, not silent, when requested
57. Acknowledge pleasure
58. Learn to shut your mind off when resting
59. Get out of your comfort zone more often
60. Relish silence

Love more

61. Get a pet (that you can realistically take care of)
62. Hug your friends whenever you see them
63. Keep a list of things that make you instantly happy
64. Remove half the mirrors in your home
65. Be thankful for little things
66. Take the guilty out of guilty pleasure
67. Avoid relationships that stress you out
68. Laugh out loud when you feel like it
69. Try to stop comparing yourself to others
70. Ask your parents for advice more often

Get creative

71. Write one poem a week
72. Throw a themed/costume party
73. Fingerpaint, sketch, or watercolor on weekends
74. Make your own jewelry out of antique or discarded items
75. Give quirky names to your travel gear (especially your backpack)
76. Draw up a plan for your dream home — and incorporate some of it into your current home
77. Finish a crossword puzzle
78. Give gifts that are homemade, not bought
79. Write a letter to your future self, put it in a box, and lose it on purpose
80. Photograph everyday things from interesting angles

Be aware

81. Carry a reusable bag with you when you shop
82. Back up your files
83. Buy produce at Farmer’s Markets
84. Unsubscribe from everything that creates clutter
85. Look up words you don’t know when you come across them
86. Own up to your mistakes
87. Make your means as worthy as your ends
88. Follow a news publication/channel you trust, not one that proselytizes
89. Support family-owned businesses instead of chains
90. VOTE (and know what you’re voting for)

Keep an open mind
91. Change your favorite color
92. Attend a friend’s sporting event
93. Grow your hair two inches longer than usual (or cut it two inches)
94. Watch more foreign films and documentaries
95. Let go of judgments
96. Go to karaoke bars once in awhile (and sing)
97. Try a food you can’t identify
98. Hear people out (fully)
99. Move your desk/computer to the other side of the room
100. Don’t feel pressured to make any New Year’s Resolutions

Friday, June 17, 2011

The #1 Fan of my Blog

Monday, October 11, 2010

Alba, Italy Truffle Hunting

We spent a weekend in Alba Italy searching for the white truffle. Those that are really lucky can find one with the help of a dog (used to be pigs) and have a meal fit for the king.

The white truffle might smell like earth, tree roots and old cheese, but this gastronomical object of desire, from Italy's Piedmont region, is very famous for its aroma, taste and aphrodisiac qualities. For centuries people have travelled from near and far just to savor a little piece. It is a gastronomical jewel only to be experienced at its fullest intensity in Alba, Italy.

And, it is always a mystery as to which tree might produce the best, as individual trees vary considerably. Other tree species such as the hazelnut, lime, poplar, willow also present possibilities for savory truffles to grow. The size, flavor and aroma of a truffle is contingent on various factors such as moisture, weather, species and age of the tree, soil type and acidity, proximity to the roots and tree trunk, and insect traffic. Nature has a way of making certain that the truffle ultimately created is a gift of surprise.

One thing that is important to remember when eating truffle, is that it is always best to eat it with simple foods like pasta, rice, or meat dishes, with truffle thinly, delicately sliced over it; a special truffle cutting knife is used for fine slicing.

Here are the pics from out trip!


Friday, October 1, 2010

Ski Season is almost here!!!!

In search for the powder..... ;)

filled with anticipation
prior etches in my mind
a day for the adventuring kind
beauty's true form appear
a faraway glance catches my eye
looking so dramatic
it's you I want
not chance or fate
even a minute a second
carpe diem vamps my day

coyness is no longer waiting
pride urges in action
summit to the top
second thoughts in mind
chill wind lashes away
fear sweats you up and down
pressing more weight on my heels
breathless words falling out
a cold whisper brushes my ear
all barriers vanished
its only you and me here

give mercy on my soul
for what I'm about to do
push me push me to the limit
squeeze my insides so tight
frozen in awe because of you
a shy glance through my feet
humbling movements proceed with caution
we shall dance a last dance
this chance is not often

curiosity salivates my teeth
I lunge with my best
primal instincts unleash
utter surprise is your nature
comforting solace absent
you put me in danger
make the reckless man humble
feeble heart in your hands
you are no longer a stranger
respect you demand

first note starts to play
every soft subtle curve a new
discovering rhythm with our bodies
relax and enjoy the ride
designed just for two
our bodies glide the tango
your breath on my cheek
god knows just how lucky
it is here with you
an encounter never forgotten
I must say adieu.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Small World Fusion

I received an email today from David Romanelli's 'Yeah Dave' yoga blog only to find that the world is getting smaller and smaller. In the email he is planning an event in Boston called YOGA FOR FOODIES with Celebrity Chef Ming Tsai.

Dave and I became acquaintances in Scottsdale at some social gatherings with a mutual friend of ours(Adam). I follow his yoga blog because he does interesting things like yoga with chocolate/wine and travels the world creating cool retreats in interesting destinations. He probably does it just for the women, but entertaining in all aspects.

Ming Tsai is a famous chef with his own shows on the food network (Ming's Quest, Simply Ming) and won the James Beard Award for Best Chef in the Northeast. Known for his 'east meets west' cuisine specializing in tasty fusion dishes. I was in high school working as a bus boy at Santa Café, where I met Ming. He was starting out his career as a head chef and I was just trying to grow some facial hair.

Well, now their doing Yoga for Foodies together in Boston. Strange, I've met both these guys at different points in my life, in different cities and now they are meeting up on the other side of the states. If you are in Boston, definitely worth a fusion visit. Bon Appetit!

Join David Romanelli for his second appearance at Stil Studio and
special guest celebrity chef Ming Tsai for an amazing night of great
yoga and great food! David's combination of yoga and love of all things
enjoyable has been a huge success nationwide. Last October he sold
out his Yoga plus Chocolate workshop at Stil Studio and this event is
sure to be bigger and better!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Life Lessons from Pops

My dad sent me to excerpts from the book The Horse Whisperer. Thank you for the quotes. Next year I have to decide where I want to live and what to do with my life. Luckily, right now there are not many obligations, so the possibilities seem endless. Who knows...New website: www.Off2(Fill in the blank).com.

Life is a struggle between obligations and possibilities.
For obligations are palpable, soundly rooted in reciprocal deeds.
Possibilities on the other hand are chimeras, flimsy and reckless, even dangerous.
And as we grow older and wiser we realize this and close them off. This is reality.

The other is a wonderful moment in his life where he wished that now could last forever. But what he realizes is that forever is but a path of nows and the best a man can do is live each one fully in its turn.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Homeward Bound!

I always love heading home. This trip started in Phoenix, then Santa Fe, then Tampa Bay. Pics from the trip....


Monday, June 28, 2010

Wine Words

This past cave ouvertes was an adventure. Biking through the vineyards, meeting a family, staying for dinner, friend crashing the bike. It was ultimately a good day. These are a few words for the next tasting:

Ten Worthwhile Wine Words

The following 10 words are simple, straightforward and readily understandable. I've also listed the wine(s) that you're likely to be offered by a sommelier or retailer if you use them to describe the wine.

Crisp—a fresh, bright generally young wine with perceptible acidity. Wines like Sauvignon Blanc (from all over the world) and Italian whites like Vermentino, Verdicchio and Arneis fall into this category, as well as Alabarinos from Spain and Chablis from France.

Fruity—a wine with a pronounced fruit flavors and aromas that may be completely dry or "off-dry" (which is to say "perceived as sweet.") Rieslings, Muscats and Gewurztraminers are among the fruitiest wines and Zinfandel and Gamay are among the fruitiest reds.

Grassy—a wine with an herbal character; a classic term to describe Sauvignon Blanc.

Hearty—this is a word used almost exclusively to describe red wines like Syrahs and Malbecs that are fairly substantial in terms of structure and tannins.

Oaky—this is pretty much as it sounds; an oaky wine has a pronounced oak character. It's most often used to describe Chardonnay and Cabernet, though it could describe any wine where the oak is the most dominant feature.

Rich—wines that are viscous, weighty and lush like Chardonnay and Viognier are generally referred to as "rich," as are reds with a lot of extract and flavor like Cabernet, Syrah and Merlot.

Soft—wines that are round and fairly fruity with low or well-integrated tannins and fairly low acidity. The word applies to certain whites, such as Semillon, and reds, such as Gamay and Grenache.

Spicy—this word is associated with the Syrah grape ("peppery" is another) that's grown in the Rhone Valley, Australia and various parts of the world including California and Washington.

Supple—this is usually what people mean when they say they like a "smooth" wine. It's applicable to wines with fairly soft tannins and texture such as a Pinot Noir.

Velvety—this word is all about texture. It generally characterizes a wine that is rich and supple as well. See suggestions above for "supple" and "rich."

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Une Question.

Would you rather live for 80 years of so-so happiness or 57 years of ecstatic joy?

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Think I'm an addict

La Grave is known for its all off piste runs. We hired a guide for the weekend and went to places the public don't go. Amazing experience.

Extreme Freeride Weekend

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Blog Buddies- spreading the word.

You can probably see my blog taste under the All2Cool Links. I so enjoy traits/qualities of...travel blogs, live a personal experience, display a sort of passion, something that makes you think, have a laugh, or just entertain. I added a few more.

Below are some blogs that have some quality content and worth a look.

http://jennjimenez.blogspot.com/ Jennifer Jeminez - Friend from my hometown diagnosed with Pulmonary Hypertension. The cause, a Congenital Heart Defect and how it changed her life. She is going through heart surgery TODAY and is in my thoughts.

http://mykugelhopf.ch/ - Winner of the 'Best Travel Blog'. Guess where? Switzerland, that's right! ~Passion for Food and Travel. Definitely 2 of the best things in the world and a perfectly done blog.

http://www.notesfromtheroad.com/index.html - The colorful writing, design and pictures from this blog is worth checking out.

http://blogs.nationalgeographic.com/intelligenttravel/ - It is national Geographic, Pictures and Detail...do I need to say anything else?

Monday, February 9, 2009

Family jeans be shakin

Tyler (nephew) update: it's been over a year since I've seen the little guy. (Last Tyler Post) Amazes me how fast he has grown and the difference between the last blog and this one. He can talk, barely, but often he engages in eye contact and mumbles nonsense like he is involved in the conversation. I'm sure it is something important and insightful, but we won't know for a little while.

Is dancing an instinct or learned behavior?
My conclusion is instinct. For example, you put a group of Weilands in a room, play a tune and all the sudden bodies are shaking, moving spastically and sometimes actually to a beat. Be warned, any nearby bystanders are often pulled involuntarily into the mix of rhythmic chaos. You can take most babies, play some music, they will shake their legs, and arms, but this is much more advance. With music on Tyler utilizes his head, arms, legs, forward, backward, sideways, even his toes are clapping. Tyler has shown a willingness to get-down behavior at the very young age of 1.8 years old. Therefore, he has the Weiland gene for dancing.

I bought a new mac (never thought I would) and edited a little video. Get down lil buddy!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

things to do before i go

It started out with a phone call to mom, 'let's do Oktoberfest in Germany'. My grandpa caught wind of the news, and without avail we had three generations singing songs, meeting friends, prosting our beers with people from all over the world.

It got me thinking about just what we might see in our lifetime, and what I’d still like to see in mine. There is so much out there, cities, cultural events, people, traditions, and on the other hand so much less wilderness and wildlife. Sometimes it feels like we’re racing against time to experience something or somewhere before whatever it is that makes it special has been exhausted, used up, or crowded out. And yet the experiences we seek as “once in a lifetime,” have a way of transcending time. Whether single events or processes that take weeks, months, or years, these experiences remind us that the world remains a magical place.

Some activities may be cheap, or would cost a pretty penny to engage in, but what the heck, you can't take it with you anyway and if you should die in pursuit of completing this list, then you'll have died doing what only a handful of other people have done in their lifetime. This list doesn't have to be done independently or solo, but involving family and friends, I would have it no other way. Dreamer-doers is the buzzword for this. The idea is to write down your dream and doit.

2009 being another year of fresh opportunities to see something new, this list is created to put words into action. I expect that the list can and will change. Life has a funny way of throwing unexpected things at us, and flexibility is required to complete anything but the simplest goal, but the simple truth is that we never know what tomorrow will hold. This is an opportunity to think big and make it happen.

Todo Status
1 Running of the bulls
July-09 Pamploma
2 Have your portrait painted.
Jan-09 Paris
3 Attend a huge music festival in another country and spend the nites camping with all the music junkies. Jul-09 - Glastonbury, England
4 Not just skydive, but add a wingsuit, and actually fly.
5 Go skinny-dipping at midnight in the South of France.
6 Donate a piece of art to a local park.
7 Watch the launch of the space shuttle. Experience weightlessness.
8 Submit a picture to National Geographic.
9 Be an extra in a film.
10 Tell someone the story of your life, sparing no details.
11 Throw a huge party and invite every one of your friends.
12 Brew your own beer. (Did it in college, but I would like to give it another try.)
13 Trekking through the jungle on the back of a two story tall elephant will surely be something you remember forever.
14 Live like a local for a month in Africa or the Amazon. The experience of visiting native peoples will give you way more insight into another way of life.
15 Visit a “real” blues bar in Chicago. What better way to leave music’s commercialism behind and find the soul of the blues? (Next time I'm visiting family in Chicago.)
16 Give your mother a dozen red roses and tell her you love her.
17 Be a member of the audience in a TV show. (Daily Show with John Stewart, or Conan O'Brian)
18 Put your name down to be a passenger on the first tourist shuttle to the moon.
19 Ride a camel into the desert.
20 Get to know your neighbors.
21 Plant a tree. (Did this as a kid, need to do again)
22 Learn not to say yes when you really mean no.
23 Write a fan letter to your all-time favorite living idol.
24 Write a letter to someone who can make a change.
25 Lead in making a change and/or protest a cause you believe in Washington DC.
26 Learn to ballroom dance properly.
27 Eat jellied eels from a stall in London.
28 Fall deeply in love -- helplessly and unconditionally.
29 Ride the Trans-Siberian Express across Asia.
30 Sit on a jury to a case that makes everyone cringe.
31 Write the novel you know you have inside you.
32 Go to Walden Pond and read Thoreau while drifting in a canoe.
33 Stay out all night dancing and go to work the next day without having gone home.
34 Follow in the footsteps of a favorite travel book. What better guide than a book that inspired you to travel in the first place?
35 Take a bush plane ride into Africa’s interior. These lightly visited regions are filled with unique cultures and diverse wildlife.
36 Cross a glacier on foot. Traversing these fast-disappearing natural wonders is an adventure that future generations might not be able to experience.
37 Be someone's mentor.
38 Shower in a waterfall.
39 Learn to play a musical instrument with some degree of skill.
40 Teach someone illiterate to read.
41 Spend a night in a haunted house -- by yourself.
42 Write down your personal mission statement, follow it, and revise it from time to time.
43 Attend at least one major sporting event: the Super Bowl, the Olympics, the U.S. Open.
44 Get passionate about a cause and spend time helping it, instead of just thinking about it.
45 Sing a great song in front of an audience.
46 Drive across America from coast to coast.
47 Make a complete and utter fool of yourself.
48 Own one very expensive but absolutely wonderful business suit.
49 Write your will.
50 Sleep under the stars. (Done many times as a kid)
51 Take a ride on the highest roller coaster in the world.
52 Spend a whole day reading a great novel.
53 Forgive your parents.
54 Learn to juggle with three balls.
55 Spend Christmas on the beach drinking pina coladas.
56 Overcome your fear of failure.
57 Raft through the Grand Canyon.
58 Donate money and put your name on something: a college scholarship, a bench in thepark.
59 Buy your own house and then spend time making it into exactly what you want.
60 See a baby being born (hopefully mine)
61 Grow a garden and make a salad.
62 Spend three months getting your body into optimum shape.
63 Drive the autobaun in a car that performs with the top down and music blaring.
64 Accept yourself for who you are.
65 Give a speech in public.
66 Go up in a hot-air balloon and bungee jump from it.
67 Attend one really huge rock concert. Glastonbury 2009
68 Be able to handle: your tax forms, Jehovah's Witnesses, your banker, telephonesolicitors
69 Learn how to take a compliment.
70 Find a job you love/passionate about or find a hobby that pays and not work another day of your life.
71 Change an career entirely twice
72 Give to a charity --anonymously.
73 Play the world series of poker.
74 See the cubbies in the world series.
75 Let someone feed you peeled, seedless grapes.
76 Kiss the Blarney stone and develop the gift of gab.
77 Fart in a crowded space.
78 Make love on the kitchen floor.
79 Go deep sea fishing and eat your catch. Spear fishing would be cool too.
80 Visit the Holy Land and pray.
81 Make yourself spend a half-day at a concentration camp and swear never to forget.
82 Run to the top of the Statue of Liberty.
83 Create your Family Tree.
84 Catch a ball in the stands of a major league baseball stadium. Homerun ofcourse!
85 Golf in Scottland or Ireland. The origin in Scottland is believed that it started with shepherds knocking stones into rabbit holes. Why Birdie?
86 Make a hole-in-one, buy everyone drinks and frame the ball.
87 bartend at a fancy club. create and name a drink
88 Run a marathon.
89 Set foot on each of the seven continents. Antarctica might be a tough one, but once you’ve reached all seven you can truly call yourself a world traveler.
90 Cross a country on a bicycle. A bicycle tour takes some planning, but it beats being separated from a country though a passenger-side window.
91 Learn French. This is definitely a weighty and time-consuming proposition, but there are plenty of resources out there to ease the process. Currently Ongoing
92 Go heli-skiing. The access to snow and terrain via heli is different (read: better) that anything else you’ll ever experience.
93 Travel India by train. With its extensive rail network, this mode of transport is the best way to see one of the world’s most colorful and diverse countries.
94 Climb one of the world’s Seven Summits. Climbing mountains is not for the faint-hearted, but everyone has had a dream of standing atop one.
95 Swim with a dolphin, or even better a whale shark. Swimming with these gentle giants is among the most powerful underwater experiences in the world.
96 Participate in a Carnival parade in Brazil. You haven’t had a good night out until you’ve been to the biggest party in a nation of big parties.
97 Dance Tango in Argentina.
98 Surf off the shores of Austrailia. It’s not about being a ripper but just catching waves.
99 SCUBA in the Great Barrier Reef. The largest coral reef in the world is a must for dive enthusiasts. It is the world’s most unique aquatic environment.
100 Publish an article about your travels. Part of traveling is sharing your experiences with others. Plus, getting published might be easier than you think.
101 Volunteer abroad for a month.
102 Ice climb a frozen waterfall.
103 Visit the source of one of the world’s great rivers. Great rivers, like the Nile, have humble beginnings.
104 Buy a round-the-world air ticket and a rucksack. explore
105 Follow your food from field to table. Most people in the world still eat what they have picked with their own hands. Why not get back to these basics?
106 Photograph an endangered species. Aside from an image you can keep for a lifetime, it will remind you, and others, how fragile life can be.
107 Participate in Burning Man . As they say: “Trying to explain Burning Man to someone who has never been is like trying to explain color to a blind person.”
108 Spend 24 hours alone in the jungle.
109 Learn how to make a national dish. What is the one and only thing that everyone has in common? Eating. (Swedish Meatballs)
110 Spend the night in a storied/historic hotel, haunted would be cool too.
111 Attend the Olympics. Whatever you say about the commercialism of the Olympic Games, they are one of the biggest events on the planet.
112 Meet your favorite (living) travel writer. They’ve inspired you; now thank them for it.
113 Travel to Germany to experience Love Parade. It’s one of the biggest festivals, attendance-wise, on the planet.
114 Partake in a Japanese Tea Ceremony, after a sushi dinner of course . This timeless tradition is at the heart of Japanese culture.
115 Join a caravan in the Sahara. See how people can thrive in one of the world’s harshest environments.
116 Stand at the North or South Pole. While up there, see the northern lights.
117 Be in the stands when two rival South American club teams play each other in Football. A passion for most of the world’s population.
118 Find your own version of untouched paradise.
119 Enjoy a freshly rolled cigar on the beaches of Havana, Cuba. Taste a hand rolled specialty close to its source. Learn to dance salsa there as well.
120 Visit every capital city in Europe. The crowded continent is full of beautiful architecture and diverse cultures.
121 Watch an orchestral performance in Vienna.
122 Bike the Pacific Coast Highway.
123 Shake hands with someone who has truly changed a country.
124 Participate in the world’s biggest water fight during Thailand’s New Year’s festivities (Songkran).
125 Skydive into the Alps Aug-08 Interlaken
126 Own a room with a view. Oct-07 Geneva, Verbier
127 Demand a raise, or better yet be your own boss and start your own company. 2006 Weiland Enterpirses
128 Visit the Senate and the House of Representatives to see how Congress really works. 1994 Washington DC
129 Go to Oktoberfest. The meeting of over 6 million beer afficionados. With 3 Generations - Grandpa, Mom and Me. Oct-08 Munich
130 Grow a beard and leave it for at least a month. 2007 - Current
131 Create your own web site. 2007 - www.off2switzerland.blogspot.com
132 Learn to sail. Summer-08 - Geneva Lake -
Cern Sailing Club
133 Climb an active volcano. The mountain trembled, I thought it was a beast in the jungle, so I ran… Costa Rica- Arenal
134 Spend New Year's in an exotic location. New Orleans 2000, Goa
India 2001, Barcelona 2008, Paris 2009