Archive | June, 2017

Roberto Duran, Tuesday Night Fights, and Late Night Cup of Coffees on Father’s Day

18 Jun

It’s the day you think about the cool Thrifty’s ice cream cone he bought you on a hot day.  It’s the day you focus on the traffic-congested-day trips to Sea World or Raging Waters he used to take you to during the summer. It’s the day you think about him driving after a long day of work to try catch one of your basketball games. It’s the day you flip through the 1970s photo albums to try and remember the posed Kodak moments that sit behind that clear plastic covers.

As an adult it’s the day you try to hold onto good childhood (and adulthood) memories without crying, but smiling and laughing instead, because they happened and you can remember them.

 

 

 

 

Father’s Day celebrates all the dads and the adventures they led you through to make you the person you are today. It celebrates the stubbornness and adventurous spirit of the dude that sat behind those tired eyes at the end of the day and listened to my stories while stirring his cup of coffee.

 

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I tried to recreate a Father’s Day Weekend he might enjoy by heading to the mecca of golf shops and looking around at things he might want to buy but knowing full well he would probably just use them like twice a year, yet still be very satisfied with his purchase. Went to Fry’s Electronics store and stared at the big screen TVs and other gadgets for a while just thinking of what he’d say.

On Father’s Day Eve I watched a couple of boxing movies he had yet to see, but I guarantee he would have enjoyed them just because they had to do with boxing and the underdog. He liked Robert DeNiro almost as much as I did, so I imagine he would have given Hands of Stone two thumbs up. I imagine in part because it was a true story, and in part because he probably saw one of Duran’s fights on television. He would have told me about the first Sugar Ray Leonard fight, and what an amazing blow by blow battle it was. He liked Sugar Ray, but I think he would have rooted for Duran because of his upbringing and rise from nothing into something. He probably would have told me about the rematch as well, and had something to say about that Don King. He would have talked about it being on the news and how people heard Duran say “No Mas,” but wondering whether Duran really said it. We would have had an all-out-father-daughter discussion over some ice cream on that one.

I imagine him liking Hands of Stone for the same reason he would have really liked The Fighter. He enjoyed true stories about the human condition, the come-back kids worth rooting for.

With boxing it wasn’t so much the punching, although you couldn’t miss the combinations in each round, but it was the stories behind each boxer he enjoyed, it was the story of the fight. He was a fan of the sport, watching HBO cards whenever the big dudes took the ring. But what he really enjoyed watching were the weekly matches on USA Network’s Tuesday Night Fights.

I remember, every Tuesday night, coffee cup in hand and pillows fluffed up in the right position on the floor, because for some reason he enjoyed propping up all the pillows against the bottom of the couch and lying on the floor facing the television. He didn’t enjoy the sideways angle in which the couches were situated. So he made his own comfy space, a make-shift Lazy-Boy, although with all the excitement of the fight he’d put the coffee cup down and stand up in the middle of each round, bobbing and weaving with the boxers. And then smiling and saying … Phewwww!  That was a good round ….

So I tried to recapture some of that for myself yesterday. I tried to catch some of my Dad.

Celebrating someone who has passed on is tough, they’re physically gone and you don’t hear their laughter anymore, but you hold onto to their stories the best you can and focus on the good things they left you with, like their heart,  spirit, Tuesday Night boxing stories, and late-night-cup-of-coffee memories.

Happy Father’s Day …

 

1A

 

 

 

 

The Kiddie Pool Will Educate You … Properly

12 Jun

No matter how badass you think you are a kiddie pool will humble you … Immediately.

Don’t be lazy.

Bend at the knees, not the waist.

They have a warning label about drowning and diving into it, but nothing at all warning perfectly healthy 40-something year olds who run in Spartan races and triathlons about the dangers of kiddie pools. I mean drowning yeah … That’s serious and should be addressed. But this is important too.

This 20-dollar piece of aquatic plastic from the Do-It-Center sidelined me instantly, and it did not matter that I handled myself with ease in a Muay Thai Boxing gym. This kiddie pool had my number.

There was about two inches of water in the pool and I thought I’d move it over to the side of the patio, just to give it more sun, so my kids would feel the warmth of the rays as they splashed around, you know because I’m an awesome mom who thinks of these things. I thought I’ll move it over before I fill it up completely because it will be too heavy to do so once it’s full. Let me just do it now, while its nearly empty.

But as I learned the hard way once the pool is down … It’s down.

Doesn’t matter what you can bench press or how many push-ups you can do. The kiddie pool will educate you properly.

Kiddie Pool: 1   The Guat:  0.

Apparently once there is water in it, you really shouldn’t move it at all and if you try, don’t even think of just bending over and sliding it down. Don’t. Even. Think about it.

The floor and I have gotten re-acquainted with one another. I learned crawling is a good way to travel, it’s not just for toddlers. And the yoga mat, a Costco-sized bottle of Advil, ice packs, and heat have been my best friends since last Monday.

Seven days.

I was concerned when my investigative results online came up with bulging disc, cervical radiculopathy, and osteoporosis.

It wasn’t either of them, but I’m still out for the count. I stopped using my son’s hockey stick as a cane two days ago, so I suppose that’s an improvement. Plus I had the luxury of getting into a jacuzzi so that voodoo magic helped me out. But I’m still not at %100. Sneezing and coughing prove to be painful reminders of kiddie pools being the boss of me.

I still have a hitch in my get-along. I don’t think I can even do a proper jumping jack. But I can peddle a stationary bike for five minutes without muscle spasms so that’s something.

I knew my back was essential to daily life but not THIS important. I need it for everything. From carring a box of CapriSun juices to parallel parking to waiting in line at the AAA Office to putting on socks, I neeeeeeed my back. It’s up there with breathing.

So now as I’m in recovery mode, and researching chiropractors and acupuncturists, I reflect upon the importance of downward dog, upward dog and any other stretching mechanism that strengthens the back …

Because kiddie pools are no joke for healthy 40-something year olds. They’ll let you know who’s boss. So when you see the warning label, beware of the pool people … Beware.

Buen Camino my friends.

 

 

 

 

 

I Don’t Wear A CatWoman Suit But I Was Inspired

5 Jun

When you see a friend reaching for it, you really hope they hit their mark.

You’ve seen their hard work and witnessed their dedication and you know they deserve it, so as one of their fans you’re pulling for them. You’re hoping that opportunity meets luck and the universe rewards them.

Sometimes it ends up being a learning experience, other times it’s a stepping stone closer to the bigger dream, and sometimes it’s a homerun and you leave feeling inspired. One of my friends received an award for her awesome duties as principal, another for providing medical services to young children, and another for her volunteer work with kids and bringing arts programs to school. They got their plaque and sort of reached a peak, or mini-milestone, in their career, and I was happy for them. High-five happy.

But something recently happened that not only left me high-five happy but also inspired. As a creative person I constantly root for other artists to make it out there. I love the underdog stories of how luck and hard work meet and then the universe sprinkles out an opportunity that changes lives.

I root for artists in a different way just because I know the struggle first hand, so when there was an opening on the road to success and dreams coming true, I was happy to have been in the audience witnessing it happen.

You see, I recently attended one of my friend’s debuts at a small venue, where she filled the place with her magnitude and rockstar attitude. She had a presence about her, so I knew she had it in her, but I was still wowed by her performance.

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My buddy Lo Thompson setting up for the next song

It was a well-deserved night out, but more than that, it was an opportunity to be inspired by a buddy chasing her dreams and leaving it all out on the stage. We were all consumed with her energy and left feeling … who wassssssssssss that?! We all knew her … she was one of the moms at school, picking up her kid and just running around trying to keep it together, just like the rest of us.

But she wasn’t like the rest of us … She was Lo Thompson and she was rocking the stage that night I saw her in her element and it felt good to see someone I knew get a win.

She definitely came out there and made her mark. And as I was seeing her dream unfold I wanted to bottle up that emotion of pride and happiness I felt for her. She was doing it and bringing down the house while it was happening and it felt great to share that experience with her.

While she was living her dream one night at a time, getting closer to the Bigger Picture, and enjoying the moment, I found myself inspired. Creatives inspiring other creatives, that makes me happy, feeling like it can happen. Big or small, it can happen. Now I won’t be wearing an awesome Catwoman type of suit when I hit my mark, but I was inspired and I’ll probably be feeling as badass as Catwoman.

 

Buen Camino my friends. And incidentally if you enjoy rock music you should check her out.