Weekly Photo Challenge: Ambience

18 Jan

 

I wanted to feel magical.  It didn’t disappoint. And nothing says magical more than twirling with your daughter and son under the disco lights under night sky at the zoo.

Yup.

Magical twirling ambience.

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Weekly Photo Challenge Courtesy of The Daily Post.

 

 

 

 

 

The Dream Keeps Living …

16 Jan

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A historic day to reflect upon what matters …

When I ask my son and daughter if they knew why they had the day off, both of them told me it was because of Martin Luther King Jr. … “we’re remembering his life”.

I’m glad they were able to hear his words and understand the meaning behind his voice. When you’re that young sometimes the message gets lost in translation, but they seemed to have understood exactly what Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. meant. I’m glad it was easy for them and for a lot of kids in their class actually. Acceptance, equality, and empathy.

A day I wish we didn’t have off, because our country would have been so much better had be been alive.

But his words and his life continue to have meaning years after his death. They continue to touch the hearts of little kids like my own. I’m glad that historical figures like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. can keep affecting this nation long after he is gone. They keep inspiring so that the dream lives on during dark times, so that people can remember that character is what matters most in a person. What they say, what they do, and how they treat people in public and in private matter. I’m glad to continue teaching these lessons to my kids. I’m glad his words … his dream continues to inspire how people of different backgrounds live and act today.

 

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Better Late Than Never … Ummmm No.

11 Jan

When I saw this … it all made sense.

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🙂

It really did. It hit me, like that a-ha! moment I had when I saw the He’s Just Not That Into You movie and all the stars aligned and I was like yeah. Totally get it now.

But then I started thinking of exigent circumstances. I mean when could you really let it go … that your friend showed up 87 minutes late to a girls night out and you only had two hours because your babysitter holds the key to your life and that’s all you could get.

If you have kids … I get it. Babysitter is late. There’s vomit. There’s not enough Goldfish Crackers to go around. You ran out of wipes. The DVR didn’t record the latest Peppa Pig and you needed to know what happened. I get it. Meltdowns happen and you’re gonna be late. Most parents give themselves a buffer zone because they know this might happen. They just know and there’s a forgiveness clause on that. They’re just happy that they made it out in one piece.

But if that’s not your case, then what the hell is going on?

Just be honest and be like … nah … I kind of don’t want to go. I mean it’ll be a bummer but it’s better than waiting there at the Regal Beagle without Jack or Janet.

But then I thought of intentions. I mean when the idea was brought up to you a couple of days ago you totally wanted to go. You checked your iPhone calendar and knew it was clear and you even did a silent cheer in your head. You were the first one on board.

And then the week hit you hard, work was hard, life was hard, and Friday came  … and you thought … I don’t know.

It just crept into your head.

Doubt.

Is it worth it to leave the house? Is it really? I got Netflix. Cable. HBO. A box of wine. Do I really need to leave?

Then the doubt is fueled.

Traffic. There might be traffic. I think there’s an accident. Exhaustion. I feel pretty exhausted right now, the Friday night exhaustion that hits you in your 40s or late 30s that never seemed to appear in your 20s. Then you feel the love of your Old Navy pajamas and they feel so right. And then you think, do I even have gas in the car? Do I have cash in my wallet? I mean if you have to go to the bank, or put gas in the car, forget it. That might just kill the whole outing all together.

There are just too many hurdles and you begin to bargain with yourself about whether you reeeeeeaaaaally need to go. You say you’ll feel better once you get there, you always do, it’s just the “getting there” part that is sucking right now.

Ultimately guilt sets in and you muster up enough Maybelline and Red Bull to get you out of the house. You stroll on in with some excuse about traffic and grab a drink while your buddies are already into the good part of the conversation. They see you stroll in and you think they bought your traffic excuse, but they know … they know … because they were just on the same freeway and they know you have the speed through traffic app on your phone.

So if you don’t want this sweater as your next gift, think long and hard before committing to your next date, outing, hanging out session, or shenanigan. Or maybe you should just say no from the start, and then when Friday comes around, you change your mind if you want. You can totally show up and surprise them because even if you are late, they’ll be glad to see you.

Buen Camino my friends.

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Names

9 Jan

 

 

 

Creating memories and then bottling them up so that you can pull them out on rainy days when it’s pouring down on you, becomes a memory itself.

I like the fact that my kids enjoy the outdoors and were given an opportunity by the National Parks Service to hold on to that special something. I like that dreams and outdoor adventures can be captured in mason jars and kept For The Record.

I like the fact that my kids can say that one right there … that one is mine … it has my name on it.

 

 

 

Weekly Photo Challenge Courtesy of The Daily Post

 

Getting Through The Twilight Zone

6 Jan

A night of smiles, laughter, celebration, and pride. A night of feel-good feelings to be remembered all year long never happened.

I turned to Plan B ready to find the silver lining, to have a good night despite the bad taste in my mouth. A quiet night of resurgence that included a comeback story waiting to happen was foiled by a bad conversation that exhausted my being. The DMV-clerk-type-of encounter … that kind of exhausting.

Bad conversation people you just need to stop.

I mean do you hear yourselves when you talk? I feel like I’m trapped in the Twilight Zone, the Pig Nose episode where nothing makes sense. This circular logic of bad conversations does nothing for my sanity, it makes me sigh louder and rub my face harder.

So I zoned out. The rest of the words, I chose not to hear them, I just let them think what they wanted to think. I let them have the last word because that’s what mattered to people like this … having the last word. It’s a power thing I guess.

I had given up the possibility of a rational conversation when I came to the conclusion that I could not say anything to make this person see the light and change their mind. Normal people might say … hey why don’t you say how they make you feel, even though you tried and tried and tried different approaches, why don’t you try again until they hear you?

To which my reply would be … there are no hearing aids sophisticated enough to improve these listening skills.

Some people are just permanent residents of the Twilight Zone.

So after a couple pieces of chocolate failed to remove the funk hanging over me I closed my eyes for  a bit and imagined that the A-Team was really real. I tried to think of a way to contact them, but remembered newspaper circulation is down.

And so I closed my eyes and thought of Plan C to help turn things around and during this meditative state, I remembered a moment in the day. I saw the sun hitting the outdoor skating rink and my orange skates cutting through the ice. I swayed from side to side and found the magic. I remembered Bruno Mars and Andy Grammer blasting through the outdoor speakers.

I closed my eyes and remembered that.

I was grateful for it. I thought I felt that magic today despite knowing what the night was supposed to be. Then after a bad conversation … I was still able to close my eyes and see the smile on my face while a zig-zagged on the ice. I had one moment today … today when I thought I would not have any … I had at least one and it carried me through the Twilight Zone.

Buen Camino my friends.

 

 

 

My Inner Liam Neeson

4 Jan

Dear Fool Who Stole My Credit Card And Decided to Get An Erotic Massage at The Geisha Spa House in Paris,

You suck.

I mean when I decided to go to the science museum and expand the minds of my kids with the interactive exhibits exploring planetary research stations, Eco Challenges, and the science behind sports I had no idea you were lurking in the shadows of their computer system ready to steal my credit card number.

I’m all for random acts of kindness and picking up the tab every once in a while but I think you’ve misunderstood what generosity means. I totally could have bought you an eclair … a chocolate one at that. But you decided to push the boundaries a little.

I mean someone handling the knots in your deep tissue with elbows and hot stones sounds awesome. I love hot stones but I kind of wanted throw one at your face followed by an elbow. A Muay Thai elbow. That would have been really relaxing for me, actually.

I mean to spend $550 on a massage sounds a little excessive, I mean for fifty bucks you could have gone downtown and had Bertha work the kinks out. But no … you decided to go all out this year. I mean you could have even given a nice tip. But I guess your generosity stopped you there. Didn’t want to steal anymore for a tip, huh? Or perhaps the tip was included. I don’t know. I just know you were really living it up before the New Year got started. I mean it’s 2017 why not go all out, right?

Yeah … you still suck.

And the thing is before I decided to take up meditation and lead a life of Zen and finding happy moments I probably would have gotten all Liam Neeson on you and been like …

I don’t know who you are. I don’t know what you want … other than dirty massages … but what I do know is that I have is a particular set of skills … I will look for you. I will find you and I will kill you.

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Yeah … my inner Liam Neeson would have gotten crazy on you. But the funny thing was I didn’t get crazy. I didn’t freak out about losing all that money. I didn’t curl up in the corner and cry. The credit card people flagged you before you could do any more escargot damage and I imagine the shady places you visit don’t take to kindly to red flags when paying bills. I mean there might be a bruise on your face the size of a hot stone already. A couple stones actually. Who knows?

But having heard this news to start off the New Year could have really sucked for me but it didn’t.  I just shook my head at the thought of you and wished you a painful death as you fell off the Eiffel Tower. I shook my head in disbelief. I shook my head at the inconvenience of your existence.

I shook my head thinking … you suck.

And then I went for a run.

When I came back I thought, this wasn’t a bad experience, this was just good writing material, a story waiting to happen.

Thanks for story. But don’t get too crazy … my inner Liam Neeson isn’t that understanding.

Sincerely,

The Guat.

 

 

Everyday Balloons Rockin’ 2017

1 Jan kramer

I saw that number one on my phone calendar after the clock struck midnight.

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Everyone probably saw it on their phones but the impact was different. It wasn’t a massive tsunami of emotion washing over me, more like a rippled water effect felt by skipping stones on a lake. A quiet peaceful a-ha moment in the midst of fireworks and celebrations.

It was a good revelation.

I entered the New Year with hugs and kisses from kids, music in the background, and fireworks from a distant celebration booming through our windows. Found some Big Magic in that space between our arms.

And then I remembered …

I mastered finding the Big Magic that hides in corners even when toxicity surrounded me  like a bad cold. I found the ninja skills it took to get to “The Juice,” that thing that I feel like bottling up after an awesome Gatorade-worthy moment. I found ways to hit the reset button and find peace when it was missing. I found the funny in 2016.

I’m gonna need me some more of that.

And it’s funny because all of that is what I set out to do and I was glad to be able to have done it. Some people don’t bother with lists, 2.0 Versions, or improvement projects. No resolutions and I get it. Lists suck sometimes. But all I’m trying to do, is do better than I did the year before, and I found that every year something new has helped me reach those goals.

This year Muay Thai Boxing helped me wake up like Clark Kent and leave like Superman …  got out of bed with my super strength and cape … ready to go. New energy. New vibe. New perspective.

I was Flawsome and it was awesome. I never knew my uppercut, left hook, and speed could knock someone’s lights out! I mean watch out if you try anything in the Target parking lot because my Marty McFly  appearance will fool you. And I like that. I like that people underestimate me. It’s amusing to see.  I like that 2016 had that surprise in store for me.

I like that I found a new adventure, that I tried something and it enhanced my life.

I like that I had new writing projects. Two this year, and even though they didn’t pan out, as you all know the downfall of my play,  I still found pages in the Silver Lining Playbook to help me out I still found stories. I still found the lesson and the funny, even though it sucked to do so sometimes.

So what’s in store for 2017?

I’d like to find more balloons.

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🙂 I LOVE Kramer. 

 

I like that Kramer embraces his FLAWSOMENESS. I like that he has everyday balloons.

That’s me … that’s what I want for 2017 … everyday balloons. I want to find reasons for the positive side of things when the day sucks, because I imagine stuff on a National scale will suck, but I’m hoping for hope. I’m hoping for a resurgence … like Rogue One.

I’m hoping that I find the gratitude and grace in things so that I can celebrate with stuff like Everyday Balloons.

As a parent I’ve got to have Everyday Balloons because failure and exhaustion hit hard on Friday nights, or any day of the week for that matter. Gray hairs, Vitamin D Supplements, and anti-aging cream should be celebrated. I’ve earned it.

As a member of a family deserving of their on Telemundo Telenovela, I’m distancing myself and removing all toxicity. I’m not standing for it any longer. If you don’t like my peaches … don’t shake my tree. If you’re not on board with Everyday Balloons then this ride is not for you, I’m pulling over and letting you out. I’m a fighter, I’ve remained unbroken no matter the environment, resilient. But I find it’s better when good-times-noodle-salad vibes surround you. My Big Magic pockets are getting bigger.

As a writer I need Everyday Balloons, for those times when I sit there daydreaming and wonder what I’ve been doing for the past 37 minutes, with only a paragraph on the page … I can give myself an Everyday Balloon for getting something written down and enhancing the outline nestled somewhere in my thoughts.

 

Everyday Balloons shouldn’t take away the glitter and shininess of New Year’s Eve balloons, but they should just serve as a reminder that little victories are still accomplishments and a high-five is deserved. With humor and gratitude I’ll be looking for little victories in 2017, in between a new adventure, I’ll be looking for Everyday Balloon moments.

Buen Camino my friends.

 

 

Resilient

30 Dec

“The un-concealing of something we never imagined …” — Pete Rollins

Quote of the year.

I think that’s what Jyn Erso was thinking when she set out on that Rogue One journey.

Yup.

Most definitely.

I mean Darth Vader in charge of the Universe?

Definitely sounds like the dark path ahead.

Definitely freaking everyone out right now, definitely freaked everyone out in the Star Wars Galaxy. So they banded together, a motley crew indeed, of The Goonies proportions. A blind guy, with awesome ninja skills and a powerful sidekick, who believed in the power of The Force. A pilot who realized he was on the wrong side and decided to do the right thing and join The Resistance, a reprogrammed android who is surprisingly hilarious throughout the entire movie reminding us that we need laughter during strife, and an Intelligence Officer who served in the Alliance and chose to believe in Jyn, to believe in a cause bigger than him.

In time of conflict, ordinary people choose to do extraordinary things and in doing so create hope for the future. Even though they died, hope and resilience rose from a Darth Vader cloak of tyranny. Their idea for a better future endured. I mean all you need is an idea … and some ninja skills.

I mean look at Luke and Leia Skywalker for crying out loud. Princess Leia … what a great character. Rest In Peace.

We’re sure to have some Skywalker type of people in 2017. Some Jyn and Captain Cassian leaders out there who fight the good fight, head the resistance. and continue being a beacon of hope, continue being resilient.

Resilient. Something needed for 2017. Definitely need to endure. Hope is resilient.

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I saw this awesome poster by my house … it definitely seemed fitting for the challenge.      TM & Lucasfilm LTD

 

“Rebellions are built on hope.” — Jyn Erso

 

 

Resilient Challenge Courtesy of The Daily Post

 

 

Happy Festivus!

25 Dec

Happy Festivus people! In a Telemundo version of the Airing of Grievances and Feats of Strength, it never occurred to me that I would get sick this holiday season, but what’s Festivus without the added bonus of a migraine followed by nausea and killer stomach aches.

Yup … there I was … scavenging the medicine cabinet for Sal de Uvas–you know my people’s Alka-Seltzer– during the Broncos vs. Chiefs game and praying that I wouldn’t throw up on the floor.

Ho. Ho. Ho.

It’s a terrible feeling when you know you have to but it’s not happening, your whole body is going through an internal battle, and you can feel its losing, and there on the horizon is bed time routine … just waiting to start.

I held out as long as I could, but in the end my son finished reading How The Grinch Stole Christmas. Both kids went to sleep quickly as they could tell mom was losing the battle, we all managed to fall asleep until my phone rang and it woke me.

I’m still losing the battle but feel that if I lay perfectly still with no sudden movements  it’s not that horrible. Listening to some tunes and watching The Ref helps. Slipper socks … medium. Ha! Dennis Leary cracks me up.

So I thought I’d try to pass along the good cheer … you know, just in case some of you were battling the Festivus nausea this year and needed some Christmas spirit headed your way … you know in case you wanted to feel like Hugh Grant dancing to  The Pointer Sisters in Love Actually.

Hope your Festivus was merry and filled with laughter … not nausea.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Buen Camino my friends.

It Was Time To Find The Story …

22 Dec

I had to get a jump on it, between folding laundry and ironing clothes for tomorrow, I had to get on it. I had to muster up enough 5-hour energy on my own, the natural kind, the one that comes from heart and will power, not so much the one that came in the bottle. Otherwise I’d have no story this week, and with no story there is no record  …

You gotta have a record. I almost didn’t have one this week … the cool side of the pillow seemed to win most of the battles this week as I fell off the WordPress Wagon. Didn’t mean to of course. I’d like to say it was because of the holiday and all the Christmas spirit that was hanging around here, but no … no spirit. Just exhaustion.

But before the week ended I was able to summon the creative juices of finding the funny … I had to … otherwise the bitterness of the situation would fester into my Festivus celebration and I’d just turn into another angry chick.

But you know what?

Nothing is wrong with being an angry chick.

Absolutely nothing.

You just have to accept that, but I’m not always that angry chick. Most of the time I’m Zen, but anger strikes hard when people cross the line. So you have to hold tight to the things that matter to you … like dignity and self-respect and being able to tell a story before the powers of exhaustion kick in and you fall asleep at the computer.

Take for instance the chick that was suing me … she turned out to be a very angry individual who embellished the story quite a bit as she spoke in front of the judge. However the law happened to be on my side and I didn’t have to go into too much detail when it was my turn. So Judge Wapner dismissed it But I’ve learned that just because it was dismissed, doesn’t mean it’s over. She looks like the kind of person that might appeal … we’ll see. I didn’t get a good vibe from her as she walked out of the courtroom.

Or take for instance when someone flat out accused me of taking something we both knew I’d never touched, however blame was being throw around with profanity and bad attitude because they had an audience. Why not throw me under the bus while they had an audience? Drives things more in your favor. Luckily said object was found. I got no “I’m sorry,” or “thanks for finding it”. Just plain attitude that it was missing because they happen to forget where they put it …

Don’t you hate it when that happens?

People … I get that losing something sucks, but don’t go off blaming people who are standing within a 10-foot radius of you just because you’re frustrated.

So during this edition of Guatemalan Peoples Court, writer-director battles that cancelled my project, and being thrown under the bus for a family member’s lost item, I took it upon myself to remember … to remember that this stuff isn’t really important.. It sucks. Yes. No doubt. It’s not cool what they’re doing. It isn’t … but their opinion of me and what they say isn’t important. It doesn’t matter.

What matters is how you act when the shit hits the fan. And I’m happy to say that my integrity stayed in tact, my ability to do the right thing, to go high when they went low, was in full effect. So when I lay my head on the pillow I have no regrets.

I know what was said about me was exaggerated. I know it wasn’t true and my kids knew it wasn’t and that’s what mattered most. I continually focused on people and things I loved … like my kids, chocolate, friends, Netflix … plus it didn’t hurt that I was able to beat the crap out of pads during a Muay Thai boxing workout.  Beating the crap out of things helps to get it all out, because I realized that sometimes mind over matter doesn’t work out … so you have to use body over mind to get you out of the funk. Working out, getting you body active, tends to help align things mentally for me again.

And for that I was grateful.

I’d put that bitterness in the rear view mirror and was looking ahead. Festivus was around the corner, time to celebrate, time to wake up the next morning and be like … I got this! It was time to find the funny in the the not-so-funny … it was time to find the the story

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