Archive | November, 2013

Turkeys, Man Hands, and Remembering Dad

30 Nov

I have to agree with Garth Brooks … I’m too young to feel this damn old.

BenGay, Advil, and Sal de Uvas (a.k.a. the Latino world’s Alka-Selzer magic). All of these were a part of my life this week. Young people don’t feel the need to use these items in one week. However, they were my bare essentials everyday Thanksgiving week. I was thankful for Friday. My body was thankful.

Backaches, headaches, heartaches, and heartburn … you would think I was already pushing senior citizenship status. And my hands. Dude. My hands. In truth I would never be a hand model, and I was O.K. with that. But the fact that I had Man Hands this week made me little sad. Not just any Man Hands, but carpenter, fisherman, cracked, chapped, worn-out and in desperate need of that Neutrogena Hand Cream kind of Man Hands. Sandpaper Man Hands. But since Neutrogena was nowhere to be found at the CVS, I had to settle for Aquaphor.

Yeah. That was me. Beat up, tired, smelling of poultry and trying to fight back the effects of weather and age.

Thanksgiving week … it kicked my ass. It meant working at my Dad’s poultry shop without my Dad and surrounded by hundreds of boxes of Diestel Free-Range Turkey. Boxes that needed to be inventoried and moved. And inventoried and moved. And inventoried and moved. All in a 35 degree refrigerator weather. For all of you on The East Coast, that’s probably normal weather now. But for this Cali girl, that arctic environment wreaked havoc on my extremities. So much so that I didn’t even post regularly this week. My body gave in to sleep and a vegetative state on the couch.

The Gobble-Gobbles that created my Man Hands

The Gobble-Gobbles that created my Man Hands

The Gobble-Gobble Madness took it’s a toll.

But not everything was back-breaking work. Looking at my worn out hands made me think of my Dad and all the years he spent at the shop, all the years with his awesome knife skills and warm personality that could withstand even the bitchiest of customers. I remembered his hands, they looked nothing like mine, even though he worked harder than I did. He had not cuts and or need for Aquaphor. He was Dad.

I remembered his long white butcher coat and his white pants. I remembered his blue sweater vest that he used to keep himself warm, and the blue Diestel Turkey Ranch cap with the “Be Nice” button pinned on it. I remembered and it made sad. It made my heart hurt because my Dad, my friend, was longer there.

I never looked forward to working Thanksgiving week before because I knew how hard and cold it would be. I knew of all the details of inventory, and hours in the arctic temperatures. I knew what I would have to endure. But after my dad’s passing a couple of years ago, I think about it often and it’s not that bad any more.

Every day this week, I picked up his sweater vest from my closet, held it tight and then zipped it up. I opened one of his last bottles of aftershave and took a whiff. I grabbed his Diestel Turkey Ranch cap and put it on. Turned on his truck and drove to work. I didn’t mind coming home and smelling like poultry. I didn’t mind the inventory and tracking the 10-12, 12-14, 14-16, 16-18, 18-20, 20-22, 22-24, 24-26, 26-28, 28-30, and 30+ birds. I didn’t even mind the Man Hands I had acquired.

This just gave me a chance to be close to my Dad again. It reminds me of old times. It gave me a dose of an everyday-past that I didn’t know I would miss so much every year.

So at the end of the week,  I looked at my Man Hands, and remembered my Dad. He’d probably laugh and say … you should’ve worn gloves.

Ahhhhh. Dad. I miss you. I miss you much, my friend.


My Dad ... on one of the few days he wasn't wearing a cap.

My Dad … on one of the few days he wasn’t wearing a cap.




November Failure

25 Nov

I failed miserably. And I don’t like failing. It sucks. If effects my I’m-A-Badass state of mind.

But being a parent … wait … no … that can’t be used as a reason. I’m sure there are parents out there that are writers. Parents out there with two or even three kids that are cranking out over a thousand words a day. Life does not get in the way. NaNoWriMo Warriors.

I, however, have been defeated by my Nickelodeon Pack, exhausted by nine o’clock, and cranking out only five hundred words a night this week. I have barely scratched the surface. But, upon further review, these NaNoWriMo Warriors might get a night off from parenting duties every now and then. Me? I’m still full time on this parenting gig. I remain the CEO and janitor of this establishment, so apparently there seems to be very little down time that’s not being used up by executive decisions regarding diapers or LEGOs

Nevertheless … I continue my quest into the late hours typing away and doing my best to meet personal deadlines and avoid epic failure that creates the need for chocolate.  But the funny thing is, I didn’t really sign-up for NaNoWriMo, but I figured I’d participate in my own Guat way … you know, as a strong incentive to finish my book this year. But as you all know NaNoWriMo ends in November and I’m not even close to 50,000 words.

Luckily November doesn’t mark the end of the year. Just the end of the writing frenzy — a sort of Scared Straight moment for writers with personal end-of-year deadlines.

A Cowboy-Up moment, if you will.

So when all the crazed people attack those Black Friday specials at midnight, I’ll be on my third helping of something involving chocolate or pumpkin and typing away, in hopes for my own writing frenzy to spill over into the Jingle All The Way environment.

November will probably bring failure upon The Guat, but it also brings on so many December possibilities. Hopefully accompanied by humor, chocolate, and the words The End.


Back On Deck

22 Nov

It just showed up this morning. Perhaps my buddies TBM, Lame Adventures, BrickHouse Chick, and Fit Recovery were responsible for it showing up unannounced. But it was there … well  pieces of it were there. And I guess that’s all I needed … just a little a piece.

Perspective. A little can go a long way. It’s horrible when it’s missing. You’re agitated and lost. You’re thinking logically, but self-doubt consumes you. It’s the uncertainty that gets you.

Having an emotional hangover sucks, but when compared to today’s historical events involving John F. Kennedy, my loss of perspective didn’t seem so tragic. Just a bump in the road … well more like a ginormous pothole that gave me a flat tire in the middle of nowhere with no spare … But I still needed to fix it. And so I find perspective helping me out and getting me back on the road.

But I also found some help from Babe Ruth. The Great Bambino. So … I’m back on deck.


Image via

Image via




You’re M.I.A.

21 Nov

Dear Perspective,

It seems that you’re missing. You’ve escaped me during my rage and apparently you’re needed.

A recent conversation has driven me over the edge and beyond the help of chocolate.

Yeah. I’m not having any Zen moments right now, I’m having red. I’m seeing red. I’m in red. Where do you go, anyway? Do you not know the importance of your presence? You help avoid the inner-dialogue conversations that lead to the self-help section at the Barnes & Noble.


Has someone ever said something to you that sparked a fire? Not so much the-I’m-going-to-get-off-my-ass fire, because you’ve already been off your ass and battling in the trenches. But a I-think-I-might-snap-right-now-and-jump-across-this-table-and-end-up-inspiring-an-episode-of-law-and-order kind of fire.

Yeah … those can be disastrous.

Sometimes people go too far and they know they’ve gone too far, but they don’t reel it in, they keep going because they’ve hit the point of no return. They said something and it’s already out there, already infecting my brain and creating feelings. As a chick, I remember stuff like that.

Perspective … I don’t know how to get you back. You’re M.I.A. Sleep is probably best for recovery mode. I hear that a lot. Drinking might not be the best idea because that may lead to drinking and dialing where circular logic runs rampant.

So now all I can think of is revenge. Not a I’m-going-to-get-you-back revenge, not I’m-going-to-say-something-hurtful-to-you type of revenge, but the I’m-gonna-make-you-eat-your-words type of revenge … a you’ll-regret-it type of revenge … a-I-should-have-never-said-that-to-her type of revenge … the I-made-it-in-spite-of-you type of revenge.

In Spanish … The Lero-Lero type of revenge.

In 80s … The Ha-Moded! type of revenge.

I can’t find you perspective so I’m all for that suggestion right now. It’s fueling me. If you come out of seclusion, maybe you could advise.


The Guat.

Trying to Enjoy The Episodes

20 Nov
Image via

Image via

It’s been a tough week, so tough that I’ve missed a few posts. But I’ve been trying to take some wise advice.

No Need For Flowers Guys … Just Say Something Nice

15 Nov


Image via

Image via



Don’t Forget Your Headphones

14 Nov

I never realized how important they would be … but in the end it became the difference between a peaceful train ride and a I-can’t-believe-this-jackass-is-sitting-right-behind-me trip.


If you’re single and interested in meeting someone, headphones are a terrible thing to have when you’re on the bus, subway, plane, or train. Apparently it makes you unapproachable, perfect for someone who is married or flying solo.

This is exactly the type of vibe I was trying to send out. Headphones are perfect for someone just wanting to enjoy the ride and relax. I really didn’t need to meet anyone, unless it was Ryan Gossling or Charlie Hunnam and it was very unlikely that either one would be on the train. So it was unfortunate for me that I forgot my headphones. I brought my computer, my books, my work, but no headphones. I thought … well it seems peaceful enough. The car was practically empty. I’d be fine, or at least I thought.

It would’ve been a nice train ride along the coast.

He came in wearing jeans, a beige wool sweater, and a blue clip-on tie that had no business being on a sweater. The fact that he could have chosen any other seat, far away from me and didn’t, burned me out. The fact that he started having a conversation with himself made me realize the true importance of headphones.

That’s right. That’s right you’re going to miss me. You’re going to miss me but I’ll be back. I’ll be back! That’s right!

Silence ten seconds.

Yeah you’re gonna miss me! But I’ll be back.

I realized he was talking to the city. I don’t think he realized the city was ecstatic upon his departure.

The train began to move and he continued talking about the wonders of his phone and the discovery of free WiFi. He began rapping and tap-tap-tapping on the fold-out tray table, which is of course connected to my seat.

I tried to ignore it. I continued typing because before he got there I had experienced a writing breakthrough with my book. I typed away before the ideas evaporated. But I learned that I’m not a café writer, the kind that sits at Starbucks tuning out other people’s conversations and writing a masterpiece. I was in desperate need of the quiet soothing sounds background music could provide if I had only brought my headphones.

English: Bose Around-Ear 2 (AE2) Headphones

English: Bose Around-Ear 2 (AE2) Headphones (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Whoo! Yeah. Mmm-hmm. It’s back! It’s back. Yeah I got the Internet. Yeah. Let’s go. That’s what I’m talking about. Because you know that’s how a playa’ lives! Yeah that’s right. That’s how a playa’ lives!

Then he opened up a bag of pork grinds and continued rapping.

Yeah … that’s how a player lives.

After fifteen minutes of that, I heard the flick-flick-flicking of the lighter and a distinctive smell that comes from a lot of college dorm rooms. I couldn’t take it. This little herbal cigarette could have made matters much worse. I felt the need to intervene in my own Guat way and even though he denied it the smell lingered. But only for a while, because apparently he put it out. However this did not stop his rapping or insistence on letting me and the rest of the passengers know he was a player.

The trip ended with me writing in a new character … one with a bad haircut, terrible beige sweater and blue clip on tie. He dies … on a train.


Weekly Photo Challenge: Habit

13 Nov
Habits ... They're important even if it's only a couple of minutes.

Habits … They’re important even if it’s only a couple of minutes.


Taking Five … A very important habit in our family.

Necessary for them, but even more necessary for me.

Quiet is important.

It’s almost as good as chocolate.

Keep up the good habits.


Sometimes It’s the Simple Things

12 Nov



Something to be thankful for … even when you’re having a bad day, it ends up well.




It Called Thanksgiving … Not Christmas Shopping Season

8 Nov

Dear Department Stores and The Rest of the Shopping World,

What’s a matter with you? Have forgotten the purpose of November? Have you forgotten about dysfunctional families, mashed potatoes, and green bean casserole? Have you forgotten about the roasting, the baking, or the deep-frying? Have you forgotten about the weeklong marathon cooking shows on the Food Network … it’s like their Shark Week. Have you forgotten the awesomeness of leftovers and football? Have you forgotten it’s the only holiday where you can unbutton your pants at the table and nobody cares, because they’ve done it too? Have you forgotten about the tastiness of turkey and ham?

Yeah … yeah you have and as a Thanksgiving enthusiast I feel the need to remind you of your error. I’ve seen the decorations, you know. I’ve seen the commercials for shopping. There is no longer a Black Friday, you’ve started planning your greed fest for Thanksgiving day!

Charlie Brown would be very upset. And Lucy would kick your ass.


What the hell?

This night is meant for dysfunctional families everywhere to swim in the tension-filled pool of family dinner and uncomfortable conversation that only wine and football can cure. It’s only one night a year, just one night where it all hits the fan. You cannot possibly choose greed over drama.

It builds no character.

Thanksgiving. It’s the holiday of resilience. If you survive this you can do anything. Survivors of this holiday go on to do great things.



But in truth not all Thanksgivings are tranquilizer worthy … Most of the time the drama settles and the holiday becomes one where you appreciate family, even the crazy ones. You appreciate your blessings. You give thanks and you hope Charlie Brown gets a chance to kick the football. It’s a holiday worthy of its own decorations. It’s a holiday that should not be overlooked or dismissed. It’s not one to be overshadowed by reindeer, fake snow, and Santa Claus.

So get a grip people and embrace the love of turkey. Put out your gobble-gobble decorations and feel the love. I know I will.