Feel Good 5 Friday … On a Saturday

26 Sep

So after a week of heaviness and hopelessness of a good person’s death the sun still came out, and there were blessings out there for some people. But not everybody.

And it reminded me of that Jimmy Stewart Christmas movie, and it’s funny because I don’t like watching it. In fact it’s on every Christmas but I don’t watch it. I think I only watched it once and that was enough for me. In any case, this whole scenario reminded me of that Potter guy and what an ass he was and how many Potter guys we have out there.

Stewart came out all right in the end, realizing his worth and everyone in his circle showing him so much love he felt rich in that way.

But that’s not enough in this situation. Karma’s slow and I need her to hurry up a bit. Until I can be more patient and funnel all that energy in a more positive direction, distraction is a good thing. Something uplifting and hopeful makes the present bearable.

So I watched The Social Dilemma on Netflix. Not the most positive step forward. But it was enlightening and I was super grateful that I am probably one of the few parents on Earth that doesn’t let her kid have a phone. My answer is usually, you’re not a doctor or a plumber, you’re not on call. I’m your personal Lyft/Uber driver so you got no use for a phone and if there’s an emergency use the house phone. When school was still in session I informed him he could use the school phone and that shouldn’t be a problem. Phones were intended to call people, but instead they’re a distraction. Pictures and posting.

He was not too thrilled with my response but understood.

The notions that are revealed in this docudrama are something I’ve been aware of, so it didn’t really surprise me. I’m not on social media that much either, so not participating in things of that nature isn’t really difficult for me. But I found it interesting that the kids were so addicted to these devices. But maybe it makes sense, since they were born into it. I mean even adults, there’s not a lot of social interaction, there wasn’t even before coronavirus. Many people were on the Facebook or Instagram, communicating that way, which is why I enjoy team sports or The Outdoors. Connection, live connection, is important and a lot of people are realizing that now.

And even though it was a good film it wasn’t the pep-me-up I was looking for to help turn the corner. But I was able to do a couple things to shake off a little funk.

After weeks of being on the injured list, I finally ventured out on a run this week and I can say that although I wasn’t at 100 percent, it still helped boost the good mood levels. The fact that the air quality was good enough to go outside was a bonus. Wild fires ravaging my neck of the woods provided an apocalyptical environment. But they’re getting through bit by bit. So that was something positive.

I was also able to catch a couple episodes of shows that made me laugh, learn, and feel good this week. I mean other than baseball rocking this unpredictable season, these TV shows provided a silver lining and lightness during a heavy week. Sometimes you need to hear other people’s stories to help you with your own. Food’s got a lot of good stories, from it’s origin all the way to the table. I find the food journey fascinating and delicious. Plus I discovered two comedies I never watched when they originally aired. Finding hidden gems late at night when you can’t really call anybody helps provide smiles that you need for a good night’s sleep. Hope you can find some this week!

Buen Camino, my friends!

Down to Earth with Zac Efron

Club de Cuervos (The Ballad of Hugo Sanchez)

Taco Chronicles

Community

The Chef Show

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Final Friday …

18 Sep

It was her Final Friday and a tough one to hear about.

One of the strongest women giving others hope.

It’s an unfortunate loss that many are grieving.

Rest In Peace.

Notorious RBG

Neighborhood Watch 2.0

16 Sep

It’s the MacGyver of door peepholes. The caller-ID of doors. You’ll never miss the Prize Patrol from Publisher’s Clearinghouse ever.

Supposed to help you answer the door in case you’re in your backyard, in the garage, in the bathroom, or just out and about.

Ring.

Image result for ring doorbell

One of the best doorbells on Earth for people who don’t want to answer the door. You don’t even have to get up from you Netflix binge watching session to check who’s at the door or what they want.

A lot of places put them on their front door steps to make sure no one tries anything funny. Although the backyard, or alley way is something they like scoped out too. A whole security system.

But people still try funny things.

Amazon packages are still being taken in mad dashes, now you just have a picture of the hoodie suspect and the police still won’t do anything for you. Just file a report. Nothing much else. Unless you have one of those awesome pop-up glitter explosions with a camera so you can see the thief’s face as they unwrap the trap you sent them.

But other than watching people steal packages from your doorstep, or see how many people park outside your house, or visit your neighbor across the street, it also provides the most intense neighborhood watch program I’ve seen ever.

My friend says that there are multiple crime bulletins posted, people put their captures, pictures, or videos of thieves stealing their packages, shoes, bikes, mail and mailboxes. Warnings posted of car break-ins or stealing catalytic converters, which apparently is a popular item. Sometimes just random people trying to open their doors at 4 a.m.

Who does that? Who’s awake at 4 a.m. trying to unlock doors?

People who aren’t afraid of getting punched in the face or confronted with a hostile encounter if they wake anyone up at 4 a.m.

But Neighborhood Watch 2.0 Steroids Edition has got your mug shot and description. They’re taking notes and passing it along. People see you in daytime and nighttime hours. Got your stats and they’re posting it everywhere. So if you haven’t been caught it’s only a matter of time, unless you’re Batman.

They got it all on camera, just in case. But don’t ever know if the case is ever solved. But Ring Neighbors are onnnnnnnnn it. They report crimes, speak to the police, get incident maps alerting them of new crimes, get alerts of suspicious activity within a five-mile radius perimeter, post announcements. Lost pet? They probably have his mug shot posted within seconds.

A friend of mine has had one for over a year and I’ve seen them popping up everywhere in neighborhood and city. There’s an app that’s attached to your phone and you have instant viewing. Everything is recorded.

See the source image

So if you think you’re alone walking the streets, think again. The neighborhood is watching. And the community is getting larger, and I imagine more intense. Don’t think you can steal someone’s 30-day supply Metamucil and special order diabetic socks and not have someone stop you at the 7-11 and say hey I saw you stealing someone’s packages the other day. What the hell?

In the time of coronavirus, I guess it’s still important to feel a sense of community and help your neighbor out. People trying to look out for each other, even if it’s digitally. I mean who doesn’t want the Amazon package theft to go down? You’ve become the best nosy neighbor ever and you didn’t even have to look out the window. Ring has elevated your status.

Buen Camino my friends!

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Feel Good 5 Friday … On a Saturday

12 Sep

Everybody needs a walk-up song, the one that drops its beat and you feeeeeeel it, The heart. The pit of the stomach. The I-got-this feeling.

We’ve been missing our songs lately. We’ve had morning songs sometimes, our feel good songs, but not our walk-up songs. Personally the Bee Gees and funk from the 70s gives me that vibe. Confidence, be walking like I got purpose.

We’ve been missing that without sports and teammates. Our songs. We came to the realization that my son would have had three games and a tournament by now, and my daughter a scrimmage.

Saw a few people at the park today and it reminded me of how important teammates, comradery, and the game became in our family. Not so much for winning, but for the sake of playing. Being part of a team gives a sense of community, of purpose, of belonging to something bigger than yourself. People counting on you, a sense of responsibility to them. Been playing for years. Been part of our routine.

Now we’re out of sorts. Everyone is really and so we look for communities where we can.

This realization tripped me out today. Even if we’re not on the ice or the field, kids still need to feel that sense. They need to hear their walk-up song. Regardless. They need that feeling, and I need to make it happen. Need to make it better than it was yesterday. That’s the goal. And you can’t get to the goal if you don’t have a good beginning. A good setup. A good walk-up. Just as everyone needs at least one standing ovation in their lifetime, everyone also needs a good walk-up in order to have a good set-up. Even if the fields and rinks are closed, you need to hit that play button.

And so until you find your walk-ups I share with you my kids’ songs. Every time we headed to a game these were part of the playlist … sending you sunshine and waves. Buen Camino!

Rebel Rebel — David Bowie

Dream on — Aerosmith

Levels — Avicii

I’m Still Standing — Elton John

Walk of Life — Dire Straights

Feel Good 5 Friday … on Sunday

6 Sep

121 degrees was not fun.

And it wasn’t even the hottest day yet.

The weekend was yet to come and the heat was on. But I didn’t let it break my stride I got tunes, a virtual birthday hangout with a good friend joining the 45-Club and a little field trip.

So we escaped to the mountains and the hidden cool river waterfall lagoon paradise. This time early. This time we didn’t see anyone. Just the path. Although I was a little bit slower as I was on the mend. But my walking stick and back brace provided the support I needed to make the trek.

Sounds of the cool river flowing passed the rocks soothed me. Kids enjoyed jumping in the water, dog paddling their way around, and fishing a bit. Sometimes all you need is a bit of nature set you right.

I was missing the beach. Still am. But you see our annual Labor Day Weekend beach trip wasn’t gonna happen. Just the thought of the masses getting to the beach by 10 a.m. would only give us two hours of peace. I needed a little more.

Feeling disconnected from everyone and everything for a little bit gives some peace. I found that by the river, under the shade of the trees, by the waterfall, or with the cool water on my toes. I was missing some of that before. As I’ve gotten older it’s one of my top priorities. Peace and Laughter. They make me happy. And luckily I had both this weekend.

Getting together with girls refills my cup. To the brim. Sharing stories with tears or with laughter both provided comfort and friendship. And even though there weren’t any hugs that was a definite good-time-noodle-salad moment. So I wished my friend Gisela a Happy Birthday and hoped for blessings and good vibes her way.

The tunes setting the mood for this week were all about dancing and fun. The universe was trying to push me in the right direction. Feeling the rhythm and letting loose. Grooving is the best part. Started loud and rocking Working for the Weekend and La Gozadera. Plus who doesn’t love B-52’s and Pump Up The Jam. Gets that head bopping. But then George Benson ties it together with his smooth sound. The first ten seconds and you just feel good. George and his sound makes that happen. A playlist to match my week.

Buen Camino Friends!!

Everybody Working for the Weekend — Loverboy

Rock Lobster — B52’s

La Gozadera — Gente de Zona

Pump up the Jam — Technotronic

Give Me the Night — George Benson

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Wednesday Words

2 Sep

Gratitude.

Even with a back injury laying me out for the past five days there were those yet moments where gratitude still snuck in, I mean you can’t be angry and frustrated while feeling grateful at the same time.

Icy Hot

Advil

Heating pads

Yoga mats for hardwood floors

Walking.

80’s music

Grateful that my back didn’t go out until after my friend’s birthday car parade. Purple balloons bring happiness. Seeing her and her family was reward enough, but I was blessed to catch the sunset on the way home.

Buen Camino my friends!!

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Friday Four …

28 Aug

Cancer sucks.

Especially when you lose the battle. My family knows the pain of that. A lot of families do.

I heard about a loss to cancer today and I felt sad. Shocked me really. I didn’t even know him, never met him. But his potential … what was left to give that saddened me. Another unfinished life.

I heard he was 43. Colon cancer. Chadwick Boseman.

But he still made an impact. Publicly through his works and privately through activism.

He’d made many works but his most notable … Black Panther. I love that role, it changed some people’s views of what a superhero could look like, Wakanda forever right? Changing perspectives with his work.

But my favorites were Marshall and 42. Playing historical figures is a mighty responsibility especially when their significance weighs heavily. I enjoyed the portrayals and internal struggles. The storytelling mattered. You got the whole picture, the strength and vulnerability in character.

So in honor of his memory I’m pausing Feel Good 5 Friday to remember a guy who made impactful stories. He was more than just an actor I know, but these are stories he participated in, extensions of values and beliefs rooted within. He was introduced to me this way. Friday Four, if you get a chance, check some of these out.

Buen Camino …

Marshall

Black Panther

Da 5 Bloods

42

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Words on Wednesday …

26 Aug

Needing to escape the funk and keeping my vision board promise to myself I filled up the gas tank, packed the car, and went off on a RainMan road trip adventure with the kids.

Never been there before, but it was on the list, see this majestic being. And I stood there and soaked it in. From all angles I took my time to just sit there and appreciate it.

The Great Outdoors

The air. We just took a little extra that day and it filled me with peace.

But I guess a lot of people were looking for the same kind of wonder because for a middle-of-the-week escape there were quite a few people. Everyone was tying to get a nature makeover and Sequoia National Park was the place to make that happen.

We still enjoyed ourselves, masks and all. It was good to escape the city and make it all the way to the sequoias. Something about being in that giant tree forest helped me forget about all the excess, even if it was for a brief moment.

I was in it, I was present and I felt that reset button hitting itself. I was even more grateful that it happened for the kids too.

I was grateful I could give them the escape and views that helped rejuvenate their spirits. Being restricted by Covid has minimized our summer adventures but I was so appreciative for this one. Glad we got to see General Sherman and all of his awesome giantness. It was definitely worth the drive.

My jar of awesome got another note and our family spirit got that boost we needed before school started. Hoping you find yours …

Buen Camino!

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Feel Good 5 Friday … On A Saturday Night

22 Aug

Sometimes the week’s or day’s events harden you a little bit more and even with a weary heart you go on and you find the softness in moments where you can find them, the kind that take you back and you can see yourself in the mirror again.

Sometimes it’s life during a pandemic, sometimes it happens even if the pandemic didn’t exist. Jobs you don’t like, moments you have to endure, or toxic people that still try to poison your well with their words or actions

Bit by bit, pieces chipped away and all you’re trying to do is get them back.

But you find moments of strength that help you endure. The ocean serves as a great salvation, as do morning hugs and laughter from my kids, early morning runs, or punching sessions with the MuayThai gloves. Laughter because of a good comedian makes you feeeeeeeeel yourself again. The smile that you saw in pictures way back, makes an appearance and a sigh of relief fills your chest.

But when I can’t get any of that and I’m feeling off, I put on the playlist. Sometimes it’s the slower tunes with deeper lyrics that get me to turn the corner.

They build.

And that helps reconstruct some of the pieces in you that felt broken. Zac Brown Band is always a go-to for me and never lets me down, with all the albums I own, he gets his feel good tunes any time of day. And the Brothers Osborne have that deep soothing voice and cool melody, I fell for this song and it caught my heart. Love the build. I flashed back to Los Angeles Azuuuuuuuuuules because they jam with other artists to make better sounds. My Blue-Eyed souls, the ones that bring it every time, my Hall & Oates, whose concert rocked epically, always get me with this song. And it’s a sad song, but it makes me feel better. Makes me feel. Just the sound of their voices. Bob Dylan’s son with his Wallflowers, when I hear this tune I need to stop and let it sink in. That opening and that vibe they got going, it reverberates and changes my frequency.

And that’s what needed.

These songs make me feel something different. Sometimes it’s a time machine sending me back to a moment or place that made me smile or feel good, sometimes it’s the they-probably-wrote-this-for-me reflection, and sometimes it’s the wishing part of the song, the one in the pocket between the chords, after the bridge that makes you feel connected.

I was in the midst of all that and it helped me breathe a little deeper. Feel-good vibes tingling my heart and building the part of me that’s important. Growing.

Buen Camino, my friends!

 

Brothers Osborne — Stay A Little Longer

(note I couldn’t find the original video for this song but was able to find the audio version)

 

Zac Brown Band – Homegrown

 

Angeles Azules – Acariname

 

Wallflowers — One Headlight

 

Hall & Oates – She’s Gone

 

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Feel Good 5 Friday … On A Saturday

15 Aug

Some already began their journey, but we had a little time left before our clock started.

No more morning runs, bike rides, tennis matches or Sandlot games. I’m going to miss it. It’s back to the Ticonderoga No.2 pencil and binders, or in this case computers.

Made me think of my school days and the tunes that I hear take me back to those Levi Jeans and Aquanet hairspray days before that 7:45 am bell. My Kevin Arnold days. Hoping the kids remember the songs they hear and it takes them back. Great music lasts. Especially 70s and 80s tunes being heard in 2020. Well there whole lives, really. It leads to good memories. Good moments. Good times. No matter what age.

Even with Back to School creeping up on us it looks a little different this time around. But there’s one page that exists in this Silver Linings Playbook, we’ve spent even more time together. And that’s a lot of dance sessions, mixed tape running jams, and feel-good morning songs. And although some days it seems like the clock is slowly ticking away, and I see the gray hairs growing in my tired lion’s mane, we manage to find some moments of gratitude so that the sands of time feel different.

Trying to make things lighter as the heaviness of this pandemic hits us in different ways.

And their annual summer ice cream for dinner extravaganza made the smiles last a little longer as the sprinkles and Chocolate Magic Shell syrup made appearances. Drizzles everywhere. They look forward to this treat every year. And with these times, why not hit the 2.0 version. Banana split it.

This was one of their moments of gratitude, they slowed down. They closed their eyes and took it in. Rocky Road rocks, especially with an epic playlist.

In general the kids smile, laugh, and feel loved. But the goodnight hugs that night were extra squishy.

Buen Camino my friends!

Frankie Vallie– Grease

George Benson — Give Me The Night

Kenny Loggins — Footloose

Human League — Fascination

Toto — Africa

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