Tuesday, December 27, 2016

The Things You Don't Need

A couple of years ago I decided to only buy things if I really need them. The only things I've failed in this decision are socks, books and cameras, but I really NEED them so it doesn't count. Honestly, I don't get much enjoyment out of spending money and I get way less enjoyment cleaning and dusting the junk that was purchased back when I thought I needed to spend money on crap I really didn't need. 
Last week when I went on a shopping trip, for stuff I needed, I came across these fun notepads that look like sticks of butter. A few years ago I would have actually wasted money on them. Mostly because it reminded me of my school days. In college I had to take a Design I and II class and the professors never made it clear what the actual point of the courses were. Design what and what for? So when it came time to build stuff and explain what the purpose of my "product" was I always said, "to hold sticks of butter".  Seriously, if we were going to get ridiculous assignments I was going to give ridiculous results. I always put my best effort into it but looking back I could have had a better attitude about things. Instead of being slightly judgmental towards the professors' teaching methods I should have just asked questions.  I didn't need any butter holders, I needed to be more proactive in my education.  
Something else I realised I didn't need, my Amazon Prime membership. You know what, if I can't wait five days for something to ship to me then I need more patience. Amazon Prime was really nice to have for the last two years but getting stuff in two days just made me more impatient. I used to think getting a pizza in less than 20 minutes was the living end but after eating a pizza that someone spent more time and put more effort into I realised that pizza that took 45 minutes tasted so much better.
You know what else you don't need? Negativity. Sure it sounds like a dorky thing to say but trust me, if you can remove (not literally) one negative person/thing (probably literally) from your life you'll start to see the benefits. Soon you'll stop associating with negative people and you'll find yourself surrounded by positive ones. Those positive people will help you see an entirely new world. 
Something else you don't need, plain tomato soup. Seriously, if you're not putting basil and garlic in your tomato soup you don't know what you're missing. 


Saturday, December 10, 2016

Taos, You're Too Much

After leaving the ski lodge, where no skiing was done, we headed off to Taos, New Mexico.  To say the drive was depressing would be putting it mildly and it wasn't due to the company in the car. It was the landscape around us. The woman at the lodge mentioned to us that she admired the farms of the Midwest because they were so well "groomed". It was hard to believe the land we were driving by was what they use for farming. Every where you looked you could see broken down vehicles, shacks and various other large machinery just abandoned out in the middle of, I'm guessing they call it a field. We weren't sure what was actually growing on this land and we didn't see any livestock so I had to look up what they farm in New Mexico. According to this page we can thank New Mexico for pecans and a few other crops. For being called, The Land of Enchantment, it wasn't very enchanting to look at.
On our way into Taos we drove through the Earthship Biotecture homes. They looked neat but the area surrounding the homes wasn't much to look at. All I could think was, this looks like Mars and if we opened the car windows our eyes would start popping out of our heads like on  the movie Total Recall.
--------I wrote all of that on October 12, 2016 and abandoned it. Why? Because I felt like I only had negative things to write about Taos, NM.  It wasn't as great as we had anticipated but there were a few redeeming qualities, so I'll finish it up now,---
When we first rolled into town we hit the galleries and got something for lunch.  Taos is definitely a tourist hot spot, the downtown area was bustling which kept up the illusion that this was a great place. After we managed to get some lunch, everywhere was crowded, we checked into our hotel. It was very evident that it was going to storm.  I asked the girl at check in how long storms usually lasted around there and she kind of gave me a weird look. She clearly had no knowledge of a Midwest type storm where they can last anywhere from 5 minutes to 25 hours. The sky gave the illusion that the storm was going to be brutal and last for hours. It lasted about 5 minutes and didn't amount to much. Taos should be renamed The Land of Illusions.  While we waited for this heavy storm to roll through we scoured every touristy magazine that they put in the hotel room to find something to do. We struck out with the downtown area so we needed to see some other stuff. We didn't see anything interesting in the magazines and it was seeming hopeless to find something to do. I grabbed my phone and got on Instagram. I searched the hashtag Taos and thank goodness for those helpful tourists that tagged their photos so we could find some places to go. We first tried out the Taos Pueblo. It was quite an adventure just to get there. A dirt road with nothing nearby it felt like we had taken a wrong turn. Once we got there it was closed for some sort of repairs. We left there and went on the hunt for the large pair of glasses. Before we left on our trip we started a board on Pinterest where we pinned things that we thought looked interesting. One of those pins was the large pair of glasses on the side of the road. We found them and much to our surprise it was a whole sculpture garden at the Bareiss Gallery. The gallery wasn't open but we had fun walking around looking at the sculptures that are outside.
Something else we had pinned was the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge. We had crossed it on the way into town and didn't think much of it. We figured we'd stop by on the way out of town to check it out. It was just a bridge after all. Since we couldn't find anything else in town we drove back out there and checked it out. I don't really have a fear of heights so this started out as no big deal. Then when I got nearly half way out I stopped and was ready to turn back. Amber was just starting to walk out and she couldn't figure out why I was ready to turn around already. When a large tanker truck drove by she quickly learned why I was ready to turn around. Sure I've been on bridges that shake, even when there aren't cars driving across them, but this bridge was shaking over a VERY long way down. I offered to let her stay out there and I'd head back. Surprisingly she did stay a little longer and took some pictures but we both agreed that a shaky bridge over a very long way down was an uncomfortable place to stay for too long.
Clearly we needed drinks after that experience. Lucky for us the Taos Mesa Brewing Company was just down the road on the way back to town. I ordered beer and nachos and they were both delicious. We sat outside which was very nice. Lots of people with their dogs, the setting sun and the live music was all relaxing after our tough day trying to find something interesting to do in Taos.
Sadly we both agreed that Taos wasn't our favourite place, but we gave it a shot.