Feel Good Friday Continues

24 Oct

I was in the car when it happened.

In fact I bet you’ve been in the car when this has happened.

You’re sitting there waiting for the light to change and then it hits you.

You hear it, you lean your head back, and close your eyes for moment. You feel a smile coming on and then you reach for the volume … and crank it up.

It’s your jam … the one that takes you way back to Aquanet Hairspray, Levi Jeans, L.A. Gears, and Trapper Keepers.

 

 

You haven’t heard it in years and you begin to do your best Night at the Roxbury dances moves while driving down the street. You’re having all these 1980s feel good flashbacks and you’re feeling good because you’re having a moment.  You’re enjoying the present. You’re letting go. You’re having a let-your-freak-flag-fly moment. And it’s so good that you begin to sing. You’ve only done karaoke twice in your life, but you feel like you can take the stage at this point.

And then as you turn around you notice the driver next to you is not only watching, but staring.

So what do you do?

Do you pause in mid-song and shift to slow-motion until there’s no motion? Do you stop abruptly and hang your head in shame? Or do you turn around and pretend like you didn’t see him?

What do you think I did?

Yeah.

You’re right.

I did.

I looked straight at him, continued singing, and continued dancing. In fact I even got a smile.

Yeah the feel-good-Friday celebration continued.

 

 

 

 

 

I Totally Like Peaches …

22 Oct

 

Success … It Snuck Up on Me … And Then I Paused

20 Oct
It sneaks up on you

Growth … It sneaks up on you

 

I don’t know when it happened exactly … it just hit me a couple of months ago and I am just now coming to the realization that it’s a permanent thing.

I didn’t want to say anything because I didn’t want to jinx it.

Parents are superstitious that way. If we got a good thing going we don’t want to high-five ourselves until it feels concrete.

And now three months later, I’m finding that I can exhale.

I’m done.

Completely done.

And it’s awesome I can’t even tell you how amazing it feels that diapers are no longer in my short-term future.

Huggies. Luvs. Kirkland. Pampers.

On average I used to see about 50 of you in one week.

50 of you every week, for a combined total of six years.

Yup Two kids. Six years of diapers.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m thankful for the Velcro straps and the disposable nature of you. I’m thankful that I wasn’t crazy enough to go all Little House on the Prairie and get cloth diapers, the butt rash alone would have killed us both.

But I’m glad to be done with you.

Diaper Genie. You’re gone too.

I’ve completed the diaper phase of parenthood and I can’t tell you how awesome it feel to reach this milestone.

Sure it was my daughter who technically made this achievement happened for the last time in our household, but wasn’t really me wiping and washing and changing … day after day? Wasn’t it me having to wake up in the middle of the night as this Time Bandit woke up because the diaper was overflowing?

Yeah. It was me. And now I’m happy to see that phase has been completed.

Successfully.

No night-time accidents.

No I’m at Bed-Bath-Beyond-and-we-just-peed-all-over-the-Beyond-section episodes.

No. I got this.

Growth happened and it totally snuck up on me. I mean I was training for this to happen, giving stickers, and hugs, and M&Ms all kinds of parenthood bribes just so she would use the “potty.” I knew it would happen eventually, I could see it on the horizon.

I was hoping for it to happen, and then just like that it happened … and here I am … witnessing growth. It’s a trip. An awesome one. I totally high-fived myself and then I paused.

Crap.

Now I have to wait for all the other growth coming my way … the kind that will probably make me wish she was still in diapers.

Dude.

Thank God for chocolate.

 

The Best of Both Worlds

17 Oct

I first heard of it from Raymond.

It was his favorite.

It sounded good.

It sounded tasty.

 

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And I told myself every week that I would try it, but for some reason it didn’t pan out.

Not until years later when the Sopranos stepped in.

 

The Sopranos Family Cookbook

The Sopranos Family Cookbook

 

Dude.

Steak and pizza.

I have no idea why I waited so long. I had been depriving myself for years. But the wait was over. Nor more suffering. I came across the recipe while flipping through the book and I couldn’t believe that I hadn’t made it before. How could this have happened?

I had no idea what the ingredients were or how complex the dish would be, but I love Raymond and the fact that this was Ray’s favorite meant that I definitely had to try it.

I tuned in every week to see the adventures of The Barone Family. I knew the craziness so well I felt like a cousin, so how could this hearty and savory dish never cross my path, not even in a restaurant? Raymond loved it and after making it I completely understand why.

I get it. I really do.

Steak Pizzaiola.

The best of both worlds. It’s one of those meals that’s meant to share with the family, but after tasting it you kind of want to keep it to yourself. It brings out the selfish in you, it’s that good. So good that I forgot to take a picture of it, before it was devoured.

But the best way to describe it would be a steak lover’s dream. It’s the kind of comfort food that can change any mood. You got tender sirloin covered with a chunky semi-spicy tomato sauce made from plum tomatoes and infused with pizza flavors. All of this on top of a bed of linguine with sprinkles of Romano cheese. The sauce sits atop just waiting for you to sop every last drop.

Dude, I strongly encourage you to have the best of both worlds. It’s a must.

 

 

Shine On … You’re Ready To Take On The Day

15 Oct

 

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Good, Good, Good, Good Vibrations

13 Oct

It’s a feeling when you walk into a room after a long day.

It’s a place where you can exhale.

Can be anywhere.

You know it when you see it.

You know it because you feel it.

Good vibrations … you’re happy when you can find them away from home.

 

As soon as I walked in I felt relieved.

As soon as I walked in I felt relieved. Good, Good, Good, Good Vibrations all the way around.

 

 

IMG_6489

The smell alone was comforting enough.

 

 

Lots of choices

Lots of choices

 

Started off with something nice.

Started off with a little Lambic before my pizza.

 

My favorite piece of surfer art that was on the walls.

Scanning all the surfer art, this was my favorite piece on the walls. I bet you they had stories.

 

I know lettuce doesn't seem like much, but when you whip it up like this ... dude it becomes a Mega Salad.

Then the meal … I know lettuce doesn’t seem like much, but when you whip it up like this … dude it becomes a Mega Salad.

 

And nothing like digging into a classic to continue the good vibrations channeling throughout the place.

And nothing like digging into a classic to continue the good vibrations channeling throughout the place. A nice way to end the a long day.

 

 

 

Finding The Moments While You’re Under Construction

11 Oct

Enjoy the lifelong project of building a self, because it is the prospect of a fulfilled self that brings satisfaction even in the face of resistance, obstacles and setbacks — Deepak Chopra

 

Dude I am so trying.

And I’ve realized during the process that I’ve had moments of happiness that sustained me through pretty crappy times. Granted most of those moments come from races, stay-cations, Bucket List items, Sandbox List Adventures with my kids, and flying my freak flag whenever possible. But I’ve learned that food and movies definitely play a special place in this lifelong project.

I love the feel-good or Holy Crap moments that stay with me during a movie or show. I like that they produce pockets of happiness in my life. Most recently I had one of these moments while watch Jon Favreau’s latest film Chef. I don’t want to give too much away, but it’s about a guy’s journey to finding his happiness again after some crazy blowout with a food critic.

I mean … disaster strikes.

But he manages to find something small and then builds. Eventually his prospect of being fulfilled is realized, and I loved that fact that food was part of the journey. I mean when don’t I right.

Dude.

They had some inspiring dishes that made me want to travel through the US on a culinary adventure. But that’s the good thing about food, you don’t even have to leave your kitchen to travel, you can do it through the amazing dishes you prepare.

 

 

If you’re a Favreau and Leguizamo fan then this is the movie for you. Robert Downey Jr. even makes a small appearance in it and he’s amazing. I liked almost everyone in the film, except the leading lady. I’m not a fan of Vergara at all and almost didn’t watch the movie because I realized she was in it, but my love for Favreau overpowered any dislike I could have for that woman.

And I was glad it did.

I was able to find a pocket of happiness toward the end of the movie when Favreau sees his son’s film project about their journey. It was a small and touching moment and sometimes that’s all you need … something small when your life is undergoing construction.

 

 

Second Chances …

8 Oct
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If people would listen to Jack, life would be so much easier.

So much easier.

 

The Bowl of Lucky Charms Had To Wait on Saturday Morning

6 Oct

I never met a kid who wasn’t a morning person on a Saturday at the crack of dawn.

Especially in the 80s.

We sprang out of bed with our crazy hair, and plopped ourselves in front of the television. The bowl of Lucky Charms had to wait. Our time was precious. It was limited. We only had a few hours to catch our favorite characters and their adventures, and laugh.

It was a special time when all else was quiet and everybody was snoring in bed. It was a time we had to ourselves and it was awesome.

And the thing is we didn’t have much. We didn’t need much. We only had seven. Seven channels and no remote control. And that was it. No TiVo no DVR no Internet.

And that’s all we needed.

To some people that might seem out of the ordinary, surreal even, but for me it was everyday life, and I loved waking up, hanging out in my pajamas, and losing myself in the funnies of cartoon life.

I was reminded of this Guat childhood memory this past weekend  when I heard that the Saturday morning cartoon ritual on prime time television ended. But I guess that would make sense with Nick Jr., Disney Jr., The Cartoon Network, and The Sprout Channel providing a cartoon extravaganza all day. It makes sense, I guess. Business sense.

But to me, there was nothing like waking up at the crack of dawn to watch your favorites because that was the only chance you were gonna get. The only opportunity and you made the most of it. So in memory of my Guat childhood here is my top ten Saturday morning cartoon lineup.

 

Mighty Mouse

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Superfriends

super-friends

 

 

Super Chicken

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Wacky Races

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Fat Albert

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School House Rock

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Bugs Bunny and the Looney Tunes

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Scooby Doo

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Woody Woodpecker

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Felix The Cat

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Feel Good Friday Tunes

3 Oct

In the midst of my neverending battle with hundreds of ants this week I became frustrated with the fact that they didn’t get it.

I mean here I was a giant in their eyes, with this organic nontoxic formula that reaked of unpleasant fumes, spraying them left and right. Killing them on the spot but I let a few get away just so they could warn others about my presence.

I don’t know what happened.

I think the message might have gotten lost.

Because a couple of hours later I saw the long line of ants going from the patio door all the way to the kitchen.

I went on a killing rampage. I couldn’t believe it. Why were they coming back? There was nothing but soap in the kitchen.  I was itchy all over from the thought of all those ants running amok and frustrated by the fact that they weren’t disappearing for good.

And then while wiping down the remains of hundreds of ants I heard it.

It turned my problem, my frustration into calm.

Instead of seeing an endless amount of ants storming into the house  I saw light blue lockers in a crowded hallway. I saw notes being passed in class. I saw CornNuts being sold at the student store. I saw the dances at my school gym.

Sometimes a blast from the past is all it takes to hit your reset button, to put you back into a feel-good-Friday kind of mood. I love it when that happens … even if I’m surrounded by unstoppable ants on a mission to find something. I don’t feel as irritated, how can you after this jam.

 

 

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