Archive | March, 2012

Holy Crap! I’ve Been Nominated …

31 Mar

Dude. Finding humor in my everyday drama has its rewards: it’s usually laughter, and sometimes tears from all the laughter.

This “emotional traffic” I’m stuck in definitely has its benefits … other than building character it garnered me with a nomination for the Liebster Award from Michelle at Life is an Exquisite Journey. So … a HUGE MUCHAS GRACIAS to Michelle for nominating me. She’s a cool chick with interests in “Self-Discovery, Fashion … Creative Expression, Travel, and Peace and Balance.”

The Liebster Award!  This award is  given to bloggers who inspire you and have less than 200 followers. The Liebster Award takes its name from the German word meaning ‘Beloved, Dearest or Favorite.’

The Guat is Beloved. Sweeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeet.

So in the Liebster Fashion of paying it forward I am to nominate five other bloggers (with less than 200 followers) that I appreciate.

So here are the rules and my nominees 🙂

    Here’s how it works … rules people!

  1. Link back to the person who gave it to you and thank them.
  2. Post the award to your blog.
  3. Give the award to 5 bloggers with less than 200 followers that you appreciate and value (It’s a great way to get to word out there about other blogs!!)
  4. Leave a comment on the 5 blogs to let them know that they have received this award.

 

Adela — New York — Barcelona  …. Ahhhhh Adela she makes me smile with her stories of a New Yorker in Spain. But what cracks me up are the cultural differences between Spanish Speakers from different countries and how her stories weave in culture, life, traveling abroad, and humor.

L.A. Girl Secret Diaries … This is a fun and entertaining read.  She describes herself as a “single do it on her own plus sized girl in her twenties on a journey for weight loss, love and contemplating the next move on the career track…” I think everyone is on that journey… the twenties just makes it fun and funny. 🙂

Debut Dad chronicles the humorous experiences of a first-time dad. Some of the discoveries he goes through are funny, others are touching. You can get on board this web-journal type of blog and see life through the eyes of a new dad.

Christine at Living is a Process had me at hello … with her title … then when I realized she was a football chick like me I thought … oh yeah I’m definitely reading this. But she writes about life, and sports are just a small part of it. She describes herself as a “work of art in process” and I liked that.

The Strugglers Handbook caught my eye by title alone, but hooked me in with his stories of life and being a dad, all with depth and humor. He often cracks me up and although I love to laugh, cracking up is always better. He does that often with his family stories.

So now that you know the nominees, feel free to drop on by and check them out 🙂 Once again thanks so much to Michelle for this honor.

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Warrior or Bust

30 Mar

Saturday is the Big Day …

There are no half times.

There are no timeouts.

There are no cheerleaders.

There are no subs.

There will be sweat.

There will be mud.

There will be the sound of my heartbeat.

There will be Gatorade.

There will be guts. 

There will be words running through my head. These words:

 

It’s Warrior or Bust.

Tune in on Sunday to see the Warrior Dash Saga unfold.

 

My Warrior Dash Update #10 … The You-Can-Do-It Phase

29 Mar

There’s nothing else I can do. I took all the vitamin B complex and glucosamine that my body could handle. I’ve done all the endurance training my Guat legs could muster. My quads are made of steel. My calves are toned. My arm muscles are sculpted.

Could I still trip and fall?

Probably.

But I’ll have enough strength to pull myself up and move on to the next obstacle. There are thirteen of these bastards, and I trained for each one. Then they changed six of the obstacles about three weeks ago and I trained again. The race is this Saturday.

What’s left to do?

The mental game. The you-can-do-it phase. How else does The Guat prepare for something like this?

Do I talk to myself and continually repeat my personal mantra internally? Do I call friends for support? Do I visit Tony Robbins’s website?

No. Not the Guat.

Sports movies. It’s sports movies. Underdog-against-all-odds-comeback-motivational sports movies. This is what I’ll be watching before my race in hopes that it’ll inspire me to kick ass. Most are based on true stories.

Hoosiers with Gene Hackman. “Welcome to Indiana Basketball”.  Gene, plays coach Norman Dale, who along with his alcoholic assistant coach, takes a small-town team to the Indiana High School State Championship Game. A regular March-Madness-Cinderella story. The best hoops movie.

Rudy with Sean Astin. Best football movie ever.

“You’re 5 foot nothin’, 100 and nothin’, and you have barely a speck of athletic ability. And you hung in there with the best college football players in the land for 2 years. And you’re gonna walk outta here with a degree from the University of Notre Dame. In this life, you don’t have to prove nothin’ to nobody but yourself. And after what you’ve gone through, if you haven’t done that by now, it ain’t gonna never happen. Now go on back.”

The Natural with Robert Redford. “People don’t start playing ball at your age, they retire.” 

“It took me sixteen years to get here. You play me and I’ll give ya the best I’ve got.”

It’s Robert Redford and baseball. Do I need to elaborate?

Breaking Away with Dennis Christopher, Dennis Quaid, Daniel Stern, and Jackie Earle Haley. The film is about four working-class teenagers living in a college town. They are trying to figure out the next step in life. They enter the Big Race: a cycling race where they are pitted against the affluent university attending  jackasses of the movie.

“They’re gonna keep callin’ us “cutters.” To them, it’s just a dirty word. To me, it’s just somethin’ else I never got a chance to be.”

Working class rocks.

Rocky with Sylvester Stallone. The Eye of The Tiger? C’mon now. It’s everyone’s you-can-do-it theme song.

Invincible with Mark Wahlberg. It’s a film about Vince Papale a bartender who, against all odds, tried out and made the NFL Philadelphia Eagles team in 1976. His wife bails out and leaves this note: “You’ll never go anywhere. Never make a name for yourself. Never make any money.” He left it in his football locker and looked at it everyday until he made the team.

The Rookie with Dennis Quaid. A middle-aged dude, who probably had a Costo-sized tub of BenGay for his shoulder, teaches and coaches in a small Texas town. Jim Morris makes a pact: if the team goes to district, he’ll try out for the majors.

“Jimmy, how fast were you throwing fifteen years ago? ”
“Slow enough to where scouts stopped using the word “fast”…
“… You just threw 98 miles an hour.”

Seabiscuit with Tobey Maguire and Jeff Bridges. I know it’s about a horse but he’s a badass … “You know, you don’t throw a whole life away just ’cause he’s banged up a little.”

The Blind Side with Sandra Bullock. An inspiring story of a kid, Michael Oher who makes it all the way to the NFL with the help of good people.

“I mean any fool can have courage. But honor, that’s the real reason for you either do something or you don’t. It’s who you are and maybe who you want to be.”

Miracle Kurt Russell. The all-time underdog story. It’s about the 1980 U.S. Mens Olympic Hockey Team and their journey to win the Gold Medal against the heavily favored Russians — which they did.

“Great moments… are born from great opportunity. And that’s what you have here, tonight, boys. That’s what you’ve earned here tonight. One game. If we played ’em ten times, they might win nine. But not this game. Not tonight.”

Weekly Photo Challenge: Through

28 Mar

I'm through with you ...

 

I’m through with this love-hate relationship.

I’m through with the mind games on the putting green when I’m two feet away from the hole.

I’m through with the missed putt, bogeys, double bogeys, and snowballs.

I’m through envisioning my Titleist going straight and then it psyching me out as it slices to the right.

I’m through with the cart girl not having my preferred hops beverage.

I’m through watching the Hank Haney Project in hopes that I’ll improve.

I’m through with messing up the next shot after a great drive.

I’m through with the sand trap and it adding strokes to my game.

I’m through with blading a chip/pitch into the lake.

I’m through with golf swing analysis.

I’m through having patience.

I’m through with Caddy Shack …  nah-nah-nah-nah-nah-nah

 … maybe not.

 

You Can’t Win It, If You’re Not In It

27 Mar

It’s a small, square, orange piece of paper. But it can change your life. Six numbers that’s all it takes. Possible? Yes. There are people out there that have done it. Bastards. Probable … not so much.

The state lottery was up to 363 million dollars.

Did I buy I ticket?

Yeah.

Do I want to win?

Stupid question.

Will I?

Probably not.

The tickets

But having that small slip of orange paper, made me think of my dad. He wasn’t a compulsive gambler or big purchaser of Lotto, but whenever it was up there he would buy a couple of tickets.

I remember telling him I needed one of his business cards for something and he told me to get it from his wallet — some leather thing he had since 1987 that was holding on to dear life by a thin brown thread.  No matter how many wallets I bought him, they remained in their boxes and my dad held on to his aging money carrier.

As I looked through the wallet, I found a couple of pictures of my sister: One from her junior prom as the reigning queen; One from homecoming as the reigning queen; A glamour shot with a big, red, fluffy, feathery scarf deal and soft lighting happening. She’s in her late thirties and my dad still carried all these old school photos of her.

Me?

One picture. Varsity basketball.

Grandkids? A couple of each kid, smiling that cheesy smile that preschoolers know how to master.

“Hey, what’s up with just one photo of me? What am I chopped liver?”

He’d smile. “I just need one, you never change. This is you always. Plus I have you here in person. Your sister … she’s far away. She’s on the other side of the country. The only reason why she didn’t move any further was because there were no more states … just water.”

I’d explain to him that her job transferred her and she needed to go. But you know dads … him and his “hey, hey, hey … regardless. She could’ve got another job.”

As I continued flipping through his wallet and looking at all the business cards I found a couple of lottery tickets and for some reason that made me sad. I always thought I’d be some big time writer so my dad wouldn’t have to buy lottery tickets.

My dream was to repeat the Citi Credit Card commercial with the father and his son going to the land of their ancestors. Have you seen it?

Yeah I wanted to repeat that version with my dad when he turned sixty, but it never happened. Instead I found state lottery tickets in his sad wallet. Made me feel pretty crappy.

He asked why I looked weird.

I explained to him that I wanted to take him to Spain with my big time writer best-seller book advances or my hit TV drama royalties when he turned sixty. Instead I just bought him a steak dinner and baked him a cake.

“That cake was good,” he said.

I’d shake my head.

“Don’t worry you can still take me to Spain when I turn 65 we’ll eat some paella and tortilla espanola, visit Estremadura … you got five more years, get on it. Dream big, take me on a plane. And don’t worry, if I win the Lotto you can still take me to Spain, we’ll just use that money.”

“I guess I better buy a ticket too. Increase our chances. Can’t win it, if you’re not in it.”

He’d smile and shake his head.

I never got that chance to be the Guat version of the Citi Credit Card commercial. It’s almost going to be two years since he passed. He was 62. I had three years left.

So when ever I see those old, orange lottery tickets folded up in my wallet, I think of my dad, my writer’s dream, and Spain.

Jellyfish and Testicles

26 Mar

Considering that my son is on a preschool sabbatical due to my economic technical difficulties I decided to expose him to some of the same experiences he would’ve had if he remained in school.

Here Come the ABCs

Here Come the ABCs (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I didn’t get all crazy home school regiment, but I did apply some of the same guided discovery situations that allowed for play-based, thematic learning zone. The Guat Learning Zone.

Ocean combined with marine life became the first “theme” I explored. So we read books like Eric Carle’s A House For Hermit Crab and The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister. We talked about all the animals the different shapes and body parts like the gills, tentacles, fins, teeth, blowholes, and tales.

We got chalk and drew out all kinds of fish, octopus, whales, and dolphins in the back yard patio. We put on our snorkel gear and went “scuba diving” and then went “deep-sea fishing” with our makeshift fishing poles. Since we don’t own a pool, and I chose not to got to the public urine filled pool that reeks of chlorine, we grabbed our swim trunks and gear and headed to the bathtub. It was a little crowded.

We resurrected the old Discovery Channel jellyfish tank that my son loved so much. It created a mini tidal wave when my aunt decided to move it thus, putting the computer out of commission a couple of months ago (you can read about that little incident here).

And then the field trip. The Aquarium of the Pacific. My son was so excited to see the diversity of marine animals live and in action, as well as the water play area that featured life-size oceanic animals squirting water at you. Needless to say, we spent a lot of time in water battles that day.

We experienced the awesomeness of the tropical pacific gallery that featured multitudes of colorful fish and coral reef.

One of our favorite exhibits proved to be the scuba divers swimming in a ginormous tank modeled after Blue Cavern Point, a kelp forest near the Santa Catalina Island Coast. It was a massive tank-like aquarium with scuba divers feeding hundreds of fish species trolling the waters. He was able to name some of the sea creatures and body parts, like their gills and fins. He was excitied about all this fish knowledge he acquired. I was pretty proud.

At the shark lagoon we petted sting rays, which were quite slimy and a couple of bamboo shark. But the best part of the field trip adventure was petting the jellyfish. My son was a little hesitant, but after explaining and seeing the similarity to his jellyfish-like creatures in his Discovery Channel tank, he was up for the adventure.

He pushed up his sleeves and plopped his hand right into the water. As I guided his hand over the jellyfish, he smiled and tripped out on the rubbery and slippery texture.

He was not scared, but amazed. He saw them swimming everywhere and yelled:

“Wow … look at all the jellyfishes everybody! They’re swimming. They’re swimming! And look they have many testicles, look at all the testicles, but we can’t touch because they will sting us.”

Amazing fish knowledge indeed.

The Aquarium guide lady and a couple other adults couldn’t help but smile and giggle.

“Yes … I see many tentacles.”

“Yes, mom. Many testicles.”

I smiled. I was still proud.

This Meal Went Beyond Paper Plates … It Deserved Barcelona

25 Mar

With so many mouths to feed and the massive amounts of Dawn and Palmolive destroying my youthful hands, I gravitated toward using paper plates.

Lazy?

Perhaps.

But after washing breakfast plates, pots and pans; followed by lunch plates, pots and pans; then dinner plates pots and pans, I’ve decided to take short cuts and help myself out a little bit. I didn’t even mention the bottles…don’t get me started on the Dr. Brown baby bottles and their million parts. Dude.

So I’ve become a Dixie chick. Not a country-singing-I’m-Not-Ready-To-Make-Nice Dixie chick, but the paper plate kind. They’re awesome. They save me at least twenty-to-thirty minutes a day. And in Guat time that is really important. But sometimes a meal comes along where I have to use the Barcelona Dinnerware. It’s just that good.

Tonight happen to be one of those nights. I actually took the night off from eating yesterday because of my incident on Friday night. But I felt better today and made my comeback in the kitchen.

What did I make?

 

Meatloaf Muffins. They’re so awesome I literally patted myself on the back. But these were not just any meatloaf muffins, they were Rachel Ray’s Meatloaf Muffin Recipe.

Now I know I complain about her recipes totally sucking the 30-minute mark. Most of her recipes are all pretty tasty, but there are no 30-minute meals at my house … more like an-hour-and-a-half meals. But regardless of the time on this particular recipe I always thoroughly enjoy a tasty, savory comfy cozy meal that makes me close my eyes when I take the first bite.

Do you know how good food has to be to make me close my eyes and shake my head?

Dude.

My relationship with food goes up several notches with this dish. I don’t care about calories or portion size in general, and this meal… hijole! … just puts me over the edge. Claim-Jumper size portions. It had celery, peppers, onions, Uncle Dougies Barbecue Sauce and Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce. I don’t really impress myself much, but today … dude … I was so money. 

This meal deserved the Barcelona Dinnerware plate. The earthenware with the beautiful glazed finish that makes everything look better. It deserved to be laid out in total awesomeness. No Dixie plates on this one.

As the night came to an end after baths for the kids, stories for my son and bedtime for both of them, I walk down to see a sink full of dishes.

Ugh….

But this time I didn’t mind it too much. It was a well-deserved mess.

 

He’s a Womanizer…But I Still Love Him

24 Mar

How long would you wait for that special someone?

We had a long-standing arrangement. Every Sunday night. How long would you wait if he didn’t show up?

Ten minutes?

Fifteen?

Thirty?

An hour?

He’s a workaholic. You knew it when you met him.

You wonder, what’s going on?

How long am I gonna wait for someone who says stuff like: “The reason why you haven’t felt [love] is because it doesn’t exist. What you call “love” was invented by guys like me to sell nylons.”

I mean do you wait? He’s smoker … you don’t even like smokers. That was a deal breaker for you … but you made an exception for him. Just for him you wait.

I’ve waited about two years for my man to return … and he’s back Sunday night.

Image via amctv.com

Image via amctv.com

I don’t know what I’ve been doing without Don Draper, but this is it. He’s back … Mad Men is back and I couldn’t be more ecstatic.

He’s a womanizer, but I still love him. It’s a flaw. A BIG one. But it’s Don, you gotta love him. He’s a conflicted soul with secrets. You think you wouldn’t love him. But it’s the flaws that draw you to his vulnerable side. You’re intrigued. I’ve missed him, his charm, his work and his great lines. Stuff like:

“It wasn’t a lie. It was ineptitude with insufficient cover.”

How awesome is that?

For those of you that don’t know what I’m talking about. Mad Men is one of the, if not THE, best show on television. Picture it: The 1960s… Madison Avenue. It’s about a New York ad agency and the men and women who work there. It’s got envy, plenty of secrets, jealousy, deception, clever ads, fashion (if you’re into that but I’m not), alcoholism, sexism, drama, adultery, excitement, too much smoking, and awesome writing.

I was addicted from Day One.

I look forward to Sunday night. I don’t answer the phone. If someone comes to the door, I don’t get up. I don’t let them in. If someone tries to have a conversation with me … good luck. It’s not happening. Don’s got my undivided attention. For sixty minutes I’m his, well this Sunday he’s got me for two hours during the premiere. Every Sunday I belong to Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce. I’m theirs.

I want to hear how Don’s new marriage turns out. Is Betty gonna jump his bones? I look forward to discovering the layers of his past. I look forward to seeing how far Peggy goes in Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce. What’s up with Joan having Roger’s baby and her disappointment of a husband still playing doctor in the war? And Pete … well he’s still a whining weasel. I don’t like him.

But the drama will come and I’ll be there. The great lines will be there. Stuff like…

“You don’t cover for me … you manage people’s expectations of me.”

Grab a drink, or some rocky road, plop yourself on the coach and get ready for the ride. Season 5 coming.

Giddy up!

Three Packets, and I Still Got My Ass Kicked … But Jet Li Helps.

23 Mar

It didn’t turn out the way we thought it would.

A nice dinner in a trendy Big-Bad-Voodoo-Daddy restaurant/bar, followed  by an evening of relaxation. Simple, yes?

No.

Not for the Guat.

There was nothing Big Bad Voodoo Daddy about it … Just bad.

The service was slow, the food was bad, the dinner was overpriced, and the wine glass was not half full. Not cool, man.

Once again “me time” bites me in the ass. “Me time” … time away from your kids so that you’re not a parent for five seconds, time away from your job so you’re not working for “The Man” 18 hours a day, time away from school so you’re not having a nervous breakdown from all the stress of a higher education. This is “Me Time.”  And once again it bit me in the ass.

First it’s my near-death Pinkberry experience, then it’s my mission eight o’clock falling up the stairs (yes I said up) experience, which resulted in a bruise the size of a watermelon on my hip area, and now this. Me time is being challenged by forces of the universe.

Sal De Uvas Picot...didn't help me this time.

Three packets of Sal de Uvas Picot and I still got my ass kicked. One packet usually does the job when I have an upset stomach, but this food entity inside me was cruel. It just laughed at my efforts.

It laid me out…I’m down for the count, still. I went to the porcelain thrown and had that not so good feeling rumbling in my stomach and esophagus. I was grossed out. I literally grossed myself out.

Oh-oh.

I knew it was coming.    

And then there it was … I threw up the sad three-course dinner. I don’t like throwing up, I imagine most people dislike this experience. But the stomach is a powerful thing. It’s part of the digestive tract. It’s in charge of phase two. Apparently the enzymes and acids did not agree during phase two, tragically for me.

So needless to say it took me a while to recover. I was down for the count.

So here I am feeling wretched and hoping it’s not food poisoning, because I sincerely don’t want to visit the porcelain thrown all night.

After my episode, I laid down on the couch, curled up on my side, flipping through the channels.

image via ma-collection.com

Then my dude found him on TeleFutura. He was kicking ass and he made me feel better.

I mean I didn’t imagine I would end up watching a 1994 Jet Li movie dubbed in Spanish:  Puno Legendario. Fists of Legend.

Ahhhhh … nothing like watching Jet Li kick ass to help keep my mind off my stomach kicking my ass.

Kiefer Sutherland Drawing Out My Road Map

22 Mar

I’ve said it before … I hate it when people say “…everything happens for a reason…” but ever since I saw Kiefer about two months ago I’ve learned to hate it a little less. I didn’t believe that “everything happened for a reason,” I thought it was bullshit … until Kiefer touched me.

Yeah he touched me … in his Kiefer way.

No…not in that way. In a philosophical-Nietzsche-blind-faith kind of way.

He’s awesome at connecting the dots of the universe with his emotionally challenged son, Jake, in his new show Touch. It’s a story about the relationship between a son and a father… and how they communicate.

The premise: “Our lives are invisibly tied to those whose destinies touch ours.”

Dude.

Pretty deep, and I really don’t get deep in this blog. But it’s Kiefer and The Guat can get deep. 

I know it’s just a TV show, but sometimes shows are so awesome they change your perspective by sheer entertainment and good writing. Hot actors  too. I’m not going to lie.  Hot actors definitely help. Just like LOST, 24, The SopranosSons of Anarchy, or Mad Men. Maybe there wasn’t anybody too hot in the Sopranos, but it was just a good show.

Kiefer changed my perspective once before in my first Kiefer post: I Don’t Believe Everything Happens for a Reason Unless Kiefer Sutherland is Involved, and now he did it again.  It’s Kiefer.

Serendipitous moments creating a chain reaction of events sometimes called fate. Coincidence. Some people call it coincidence … yeah I guess that’s true … in some cases being forced to make a right turn because there’s construction blocking your path, just means you’re making a right. Don’t get all crazy.

But if you see the same construction worker three different times in three random locations, the universe is trying to tell you something stupid. Other than stalker possibilities, watch out, Kiefer may be in the mix, trying to gear you in the right direction.

There are no coincidences with Kiefer. Things lead up to something. A road map. This is what happens in Kiefer’s new show.

I hadn’t thought about it before, but I’d like to think of it as a road map, instead of those “everything happens for a reason” words. Destiny Road Map sounds better … sounds like something Tony Robbins would say. But Kiefer drew this one out for me.

 So I take it that all the writer rejections will lead up to something somewhere. I mean I’ll keep writing, it’s their job to read it and say yes or no, that’s what they do. It’s just my job to put it out there. 

I take it that this temporary living situation at my parent’s will give me an aha-moment soon. 

I take it that all the weariness, gray hair, and tired-struggles of a 35-year-old Guat staying afloat with two kids and trying to take showers on a daily basis led up to this mother-and-son moment:

I’m weary, I’m on four-hours of sleep. I haven’t worked out. I’m not too thrilled about playing monster trucks for the 247th time. I’m not too thrilled about being in the heat, playing construction site with my son for the 248th time. Then he turns to look at me: “I’m glad you’re my mom.”

Dude.

I don’t know if that would have happened if I wasn’t in my parents’ back yard. Maybe…maybe

But that was the road map for the day.