Archive | May, 2012

My Three-Year Old Son, Golfing School, and the Courtesy Incident

31 May

Last week the word for the day was perseverance.

“Mom, mom, mom, mom, mom, mom, mom, mom, MOM!”

“What!”

“Watch this swing.”

“Dude. I’m totally looking at you.”

Ball does not go in the hole.

“Mom, mom, mom, mom, mom, mom, mom, mom, MOM!”

He knew perseverance. It really didn’t have to be explained to him when we were on the course. He had the concept. It’s the competitive side in him. 

This week however the word of the day was courtesy. Something that all three-year olds and hostile moms who drive Exagerators that steal your parking spaces should know. This is the key to a peaceful existence everywhere not just on the golf course. It’s too bad not too many people go to golf school with their kids. We’d have better parking lot situations if they did.

Courtesy. Coach Jeff tried to explain the basics on that one. You are polite. You are nice to other golfers on the course while you play. You wait your turn and you don’t talk when someone is swinging.

Pretty simple. We thought everyone got the concept. So we went right to it.

He hit a bucket of balls on the driving range and played the first hole on the course. It was his first time playing any course. The coach’s original plan was to play the first two holes, but three and four-year olds do not necessarily put the ball in the hole after three tries. More like ten.

It took about an hour for six kids to play one hole. Let me tell you, sunscreen rocks at that point.

The First Tee.

Most of the parents were courteous and encouraging. We all knew our kids, so it was fine. There was no rolling of the eyes or sighs of exasperation. But we did have a one or two kids and dads just putting away and swinging while other kids were trying to tee off. Coach Jeff continued his “courtesy” reminders. But getting hit with a golf ball … that’ll work. No reminders needed. Hey, live and learn. Live and learn the hard way on the golf course.

Anyhow after the hour was done and we got a nice tan, we headed back to the clubhouse. Coach Jeff was pleased that all the kids tried their best and busted out the rewards. The Tootsie Roll Lollipop. The chewy chocolate candy that usually comes out of pinatas was right there within reach.

My son was excited of course and decided to rush Coach Jeff.

“You have to be courteous, remember. That little boy was in front of you. Wait your turn. Courtesy.”

“Right!” He repeated as he lined up behind the little boy. “Courtesy. Mom. I’m being courtesy.” 

My son waited and it was finally his turn. As he reached for the orange lollipop, another kid walked in from outside approached Coach Jeff and tried to take the same one. My son looked up at me then at Coach Jeff with this hey-hey-hey-what’s-the-hell-is-going-on-here look.

Coach Jeff removed the Tootsie Pops away from reach and reminded the other little boy about the word of the day. The kid didn’t take it well. His mom was the lady in that drove the Exagerator. It didn’t surprise me. The kid went to the back of the line, upset.

Coach Jeff took out the Tootsie Roll Pops again and my son smiled. He grabbed the orange one and walked toward me.

“Look mom. Here is my reward. Coach Jeff said I was great golfing today. I am courtesy too.” 

Then he turns to look at the boys still waiting for their Tootsie Roll pops and then looks back at me, points, and whispers.

“He was not courtesy, mom.  He tried to take my lollipop. No lollipop for him, only a timeout.”

I Don’t Think We’ll Be Drinking Margaritas Anytime Soon

30 May

What happens when you get caught lying?

When you’re a kid it’s kind of a big deal. People are trying to mold you into a good person. So lying is something that is strongly discouraged. You may even get a you-need-to-care moment. But what about as an adult?

I don’t go out much. Most of the time I’m hanging out with my kids, but when I get the chance to go out, I do. I go out with friends, and sometimes I go out alone. Most people have issues hanging out by themselves, but I’m pretty comfortable with that. Table for one, no crying, no yelling, no baby food, no Thomas the Train engines on the table. It’s nice.

So when a friend of mine asked me to hang out a while ago. I said sure why not. It was a mutual agreement. She wasn’t my best friend, but I thought she was a close friend. I thought we both wanted to hang out. She suggested it, and I said yes. So we made plans. So you’d understand why I thought she wanted to hang out.

We set it up and were supposed to meet. But then I got the phone call. The sorry I couldn’t make it phone call. And that alone would have been all right. But then she went on … she elaborated. She gave me this big story on how she couldn’t make it because of work. She was overloaded, and this project she was working on extended itself, and she went on and on about the details. It sounded pretty serious. Regular Wall Street gone wild.

I said no problem that’s fine. Some other time.

But I still decided to got out. Nothing crazy, just a visit to Barnes & Nobles, just to get out of the house. But as I was leaving the store and headed to a restaurant, I saw her … she was across the street, getting out of her car and walking into another restaurant with a couple of chicks.  They didn’t look like they were Wall Street people.

Dude.

It’s not like a live in a small town. I live in a heavy populated metropolis  filled with anywhere from three to four million people. There’s no Piggly-Wigglys here. So running into her was not something I had expected, especially after she told me that big story. 

So I stood there, at the cross walk. It was weird. I’d been stood up by a friend. She pulled a boyfriend move: The I’m-going-to-lie-to-you-because-I-really want-to-hang-out-with-the-guys-but-not-hurt-your-feelings move, which I thought was weird considering she asked me.

So I stood there for a second, contemplating what to do. It was weird. I didn’t want to make a big thing about it, but then again, why didn’t she just tell me the truth. I really wouldn’t have cared. What up?

So I did it. I walked into the other restaurant and headed to the bar. As I turned around to survey the scene I saw her. It took her a few minutes, but then she saw me. She did the double take and then looked mortified. That was all I needed.

I shook my head and just walked to the car.

She followed me outside and tried to explain the situation.

I told her, she didn’t need to explain. It’s not like we were dating. I told her to go back inside. I walked back to the car.

It was weird.

Stuff like that has never happened to me before. I don’t know, maybe it has and I never caught the other person. It’s not something to break apart a friendship, but I can’t imagine it would bring you closer. It does make you look at the person differently, though. I mean, I don’t think we’ll be drinking margaritas any time soon. And that’s o.k I’ve never minded drinking alone.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Summer

29 May

Summer

 

Summer.

It brings Coppertone Water Babies Sunscreen SPF 50.

It brings grid-lock traffic on Pacific Coast Highway as you try to get to the beach.

It brings record heat of 103 degrees Farenheit.

It brings “Are we there yet?” at the most inopportune time.

It brings parking lot rage as you get to parking space 344 and the bitch in the Denali cuts into the lane and steals your parking space.

It brings large umbrellas, chairs, plastic buckets, shovels, rakes, sifters, duckies, starfish, seahorses, crabs, bulldozers, dump trucks, diggers, and beach balls constantly slipping out of your sweaty arms as you trudge across the hot white sand with two kids.

It makes you wish you had bought a little red wagon.

It brings out not-so-good-looking people wearing inappropriately tight suits with the word Juicy on it, exposing body parts that need to stay hidden.

However, once you get to your spot and set up camp on the beach … it brings you peace, smiles, and Kodak moments.

Summer.

 

 

 

I’d Still Like to See Someone Slap Pete

28 May

I couldn’t believe what happened last night. I was completely taken aback.

Pete is such an ass.

While trying to appreciate all the fallen American Soldiers in The Pacific, on D-Day, in World War I, World War II, Korea, and Vietnam, with programs such as Band of Brothers and The Pacific during Memorial Day I still couldn’t forget that jackass.

It happened yesterday, and I still couldn’t shake off the ugly feeling. Pete that pimple.

Image via AMCtv.com

He’s one of the characters on Mad Men. He’s the jackass, but not just any jackass. He’s the conniving, manipulative type. Yup, yesterday he made it to the top of the list.

I get so involved in this show that the characters actually piss me off. I spent a couple of hours during the day burned out by his chauvinistic attitude.

In the show, Pete is a partner at one of the top ad agencies in 1960s New York — Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce. He deals in accounts. The wining and dining to land big time clients. Most of the time he’s sucking up. But yesterday as the firm was trying to land their first car client — Jaguar — the car guy proposes that Pete provide him a night with Joan Harris — the smart red-headed bombshell from the office.  And the thing is … he actually makes Joan the offer. According to Pete, it would make or break this firm.

Pete’s always prostituting himself. It’s the ad business and he has no morals. But this time, it was a different kind of prostitution. This time it actually involved pimping someone else out. Pete is the I’ll-do-anything-to-get-this-account kind of guy. After Joan rejects his offer, he talks to the other partners for help finagaling the situation. All but one, agree to go forward with this. Don Draper, the main guy of the show and the one partner that was vehemently against this proposition, told her it wasn’t worth it. They didn’t need an account this bad. But Pete pressed on.

Image via AMCtv.com

In the end Joan does what is suggested and she’s given a five-percent stake in the company as well as a partnership for this transaction. This is what she demanded in exchange for this indecent proposal. They win the account. 

I felt bad for her. I felt bad for all the Joans out there. I imagined that something like this probably did happen. It wouldn’t surprise me. There are a lot of immoral Pete Campbells out there. That’s probably why I was so hostile after watching this episode. But in the end, it was one of the ways she was able to get her “voice” heard in business matters in the late 1960s. She earned a partnership in Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce.   

I’ll have to see how this partnership unfolds the rest of the season and whether or not it was worth it for her.  But regardless of what happens, I’d still like to see someone slap Pete.

 

What Happened to My Phone Call? Stupid Facebook.

27 May

I remember how the phone used to ring and I would answer it. We’d engage in conversation and laughter. I’d learn little idiosyncracies and they would learn mine.

We’d hang out. In person.

I thought I was special, someone deserved of a phone call, a personal visit, a sit-down lunch in a booth with placemats and a wine list, where conversation commenced and personal information was shared. But now … I’ve become one of the masses. One of the hundred-plus under the “Friends” category.

Image representing Facebook as depicted in Cru...

Image via CrunchBase

It hit me. I was no longer special. I’d been dumped and Facebook was the reason.

I have to admit it was a good idea to begin with … reconnecting with old friends and childhood acquaintances. People could post pictures of their kids without being the annoying intrusive parent who constantly pops out photos of their kids at the office when people don’t even ask them. Everyone posted what they were doing, when they were doing it, and what they liked. They had their own paparazzi, however this media outlet publicized the positives — accomplishments.

But then slowly I began to see important notices — milestones — on the website. Stuff like buying houses, new jobs, baptisms, births, and engagements.

Now that was all fine and good for old friends or acquaintances, people with no regular telephone frequency. Even for friends in another state. But what about close friends?

I realized … I guess I wasn’t that close. What up? What happened to my phone call? Stupid Facebook.

Just the other day I realized that someone I had known for over ten years bought their first house.  I found out at the same time as 122 other people. I thought, no wonder I hadn’t heard from them. I would call and leave messages. But no response. And then there it was posted on Mark Zuckerberg‘s invention.

“We just moved into our new home!” Pictures included.

There were no more conversations. No more idiosyncracies. No more placemats. I got notified just like everyone else.

I understand moving is crazy. It’s a hassle. It’s a bitch. I’ve done it four times in eight years. I know it’s overwhelming. But I call. I let my close friends know, then I send out an email letting the rest of my world in on it.

But technology has allowed people to reach the masses. Let everyone in on their business. It allows you to share your joys, your triumphs, your memorable moments as fast as they happen.

But with all this sharing and the new technology that allows you to do it, even from your cell phone, I’ve lost many good friends. I’ve gone from a good friend to friend No.54.  I’ve become one of the masses. Stupid Facebook.

Reminders Are a Good Thing

26 May

Image via Quotablecards.com

 

I was cleaning out my backpack and came across this card I had bought months ago. I saw it and it made me laugh.

It reminded me of the movie Swingers and how someone can be awesome and not even know it. They’ve done all the practice they need, they just don’t see it.

I love that movie. Sometimes through all the everyday hectic madness or just the crappy days you need to be reminded of your awesomeness.  It was just like the other day, when I found an old picture of myself stuffed away in a book. When I saw it, I instantly connected and knew that somewhere underneath the sweats and t-shirt was the old Guat.

Cover of "Swingers (Miramax Collector's S...

Cover of Swingers (Miramax Collector’s Series)

There are times when you need to be reminded of how awesome you are.  Sometimes it happens by accident, other times it’s intentional. It’s like the movie Swingers. Sometimes you need a friend like Trent Walker to remind you that you’ve already put in all the work. You already practiced. You’re awesome. You’re money, baby.

“You are so money and you don’t even know it.” — Trent Walker

I was reminded of this today, so I thought I would remind the rest of you.

 

 

 

Woo-Hoo For Happy Accidents

25 May

Inspiration. It hits you when you least expect it. 

I often find it in many of my rock-bottom moments. I live by the Lero-Lero Factor, so I most definitely find it when people tell me it can’t be done. But the other day, I found it in the simple sentences on the computer screen.

TBM and the 50 Year Project they’re undergoing sort of lit a fire under my ass. I came across the blog this week and that sort of coincided with my Happiness Project Debut. Serendipitous moment indeed.

I’ve always liked that word. Serendipity. The accidental discovery of something pleasant. In my experience accidents are never pleasant, but on the rare occasion that it does happen–that one time, that one percent out of ninety-nine– I think to myself … you need a great word to describe something like this and that’s probably the reason why the word was invented. It’s one of the great ones.

Anyhow as I came across TBM’s About Page I saw it: “… refocus my negative energy into positive thoughts and inspiration.”

I thought yeah! I need me some of that. Everyone in life has got issues, I’ve got plenty, but I don’t really voice them in the blog. I try to find humor in daily blowouts, successes, and unbearable situations. Humor is what gets me through most of the time.  But  sometimes comedy is hard. So I thought I would combine it with my own Happiness Project, and when I read TBM’s blog I thought wow. I need to do this STAT!

So I’m launching it this weekend. The Summer of The Guat.

But let me back track. I know some people are probably thinking: What the hell is a Happiness Project. I wrote about it briefly a couple of weeks ago when I got an email about books on happiness. And I thought to myself: What the hell? Can they see my suck-ass-jump-off-a-cliff days through these fiber optic wires on the Toshiba  computer’s camera-less screen? Is that why I got the list of these books?

No.

Image via Amazon.com

To be fair, I had heard of  Gretchen Rubin, the author of  The Happiness Project, before I got the email. I came across her book while I was hanging at Barnes & Nobles. Yeah I hang at book stores from time to time.

It chronicles a year in her life and her quest at finding happiness or how to be happier in her current life. It’s like Elizabeth Gilbert‘s Eat, Pray, Love without traveling across the world. It’s trying to find happiness in your own everyday crazy hectic life while living in a small apartment in a big city. Although I loved Gilbert’s book, I sure as hell didn’t have money to travel to three countries in one year.

So this week is the “getting started” phase. Just as TBM narrowed her list to thoroughly enjoying: traveling, reading, and watching movies (something I think is truly awesome) I must come up with my own list of what makes me feel good, gives me joy, energy and fun? What makes me feel right?

Although I will be making my own list, TBM’s top three definitely make it to the getting started phase of my Happiness Project. So I’m off in deep thought and in deep comedy to launch the project. Hope you enjoy what’s to come.

Giddy up!

My Tinman Update #2

24 May

My booty muscles were not prepared.

I hadn’t ridden my Bianchi Avenue Hybrid Bike in over two years. It’s a comfort bike. It’s got a BodyFit cushioned seat. Lies. All lies. My butt was not feeling the cushiness. I had forgotten about my muscles back there. They were out of shape. I never knew my booty could be out of shape. But it was. That’s what I get for neglecting my Bianchi for that long. However, I’m sure my back-end will be fine after a couple of rides.

Image via Durtbagz.com

The sad thing is I didn’t even bike that far. Maybe like five or seven miles. I would have ridden more, my booty muscles weren’t the issue at the time. They didn’t start hurting until the next day. It was my bike. It was undergoing some technical difficulties.

Air. I needed air. There was all kinds of air outside, surrounding me, whirling about in the California sunshine, but not so much in the back tire. So my ride was cut short. I thought I had inflated it, but for some reason it was escaping.  

However regardless of the short ride, I was glad to be pedaling again. In truth I was a little scared at first. Wobbly. Trying to stay coordinated. Wondering if I was going to fall. But after the first mile, I found my biking legs again. And I truly enjoyed my surroundings.

The Lake

 

I forgot how awesome it was to bike around this lake, in addition to working out my quads and butt muscles. After this ride I did feel inspired to continue training. The running was getting to me. I was lacking motivation as my New Balance pounded the track. I couldn’t find the awesomeness of this preparation. However, changing it up to the bike this week seemed to help my muscles say: Woo-Hoo! Bring it, girl! We like these fresh moves. We’re finally on board. 

Even though we need more time to workout and prepare we’re on board Guat. We’re tight on time, we’re not sure we’re going to make it, but if you work us out, we’ll help you finish the race.  You’re crazy, but we’ll help you.

Even my booty was on board.

Giddy up!

 

La Vecindad, Duct Tape, and Our Own Water Slide

23 May

The heat. It brings out the humidity in your hair, the sweat from your pores, and the inflatable pool your kid has been asking about. Well, that is unless you have a house with a regular pool and aren’t a starving writer like myself.

In any case it’s pool time, and while I was filling up the pool with hot air I started thinking about my own inflatable pool growing up. Yeah the nonexistent one. My parents believed in the beach or your bathtub. No in between. But luckily I lived in La Vecindad.

Photo via gadgetrivia.com

La Vecindad  was a Latino populated nine unit building in the inner city. A community — an extended family of sorts — where everyone knew everyone, and if you had a family disagreement all the families knew about it. Thin walls. We were joined together through the good, the bad, and the ugly. But we enjoyed our stay there, because when it came to the summer the kid with the giant inflatable pool, which was usually Marisolita, always shared. It was the La Vecindad code.

One year someone got a Slip-N-Slide, but we soon realized that Slip-N-Slides and concrete patios aren’t a good combination. So we stuck with the pool.

It was always a team effort to blow that thing up and make sure there were no holes. If there were we’d find a solution — Vecindad Style. Ahhhh. The magic of duct tape. That swimming pool must’ve had at least four patches, but we loved it. It was our own upscale getaway, and if it happened to leak we always had more tape.

It would get filled with massive gallons of water and we would splash and swim around pretending we were Aquaman, have relay races and swim like we were Michael Phelps, then play volleyball with our makeshift net — duct tape also involved the creation of this sporting equipment. We were resourceful inner city kids.

But one of the best parts was the end — when we let the water out. We’d all position ourselves at the top of the stairs, give someone the signal with our pruney hands and whoosh! Niagara Falls in La Vecindad.  Gallons upon gallons of water creating mini tidal waves that allowed us to “slide” down the 24 steps and race back up for another run. We didn’t care whether there was dirt, insects, gum, or Budweiser residue on the patio floors and steps, we were sliding down those steps. And it was awesome. 

I loved our little Raging Waters experience. 

So as my son was done swimming and splashing around, I tried to replicate the same childhood moment, but seeing how we didn’t have 24 steps,  it wasn’t the same. However he still had a good time slipping and sliding … him and his Batman figurines.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Hands

22 May

Jerry and his date.

 

Hands.

You go out on a date.

She’s got awesome eyes.

She’s attractive.

She’s smart.

She’s a great conversationalist.

She’s funny.

But then you see it …

She’s got Man Hands.

They’re bigger than yours.

They’re stronger than yours.

They’re like Andre The Giant‘s, they open your beer bottles, and crack open your lobster.

The date goes downhill.

Why?

Hands.

Man Hands.