Archive | June, 2020

Feel Good 5 Friday

26 Jun

It’s the one thing that can rid you of irritability when you need it the most. Sometimes it’s planned because you’re trying to get rid of the funk. Other times the universe conspires to get you on a better path.

There I was at the stop light, feeling the crankiness of running into stupid people at the market with the added frustration of a bad phone call and the morning frustration of yet yet another rejection email during quarantine.

Never answer while driving, unless it’s your kids of course. Having a hands-free system still doesn’t prevent bad conversations.

But then I broke my mood and silenced my inner dialogue when I turned the dial.

I mean you think you got James Brown moves when the beat drops, because your shoulders feel the funk, but you don’t. But it’s those rhythms that renew your spirit and make you smile. You’re feeling different.

The music magic twirled its baton and I danced my way back to myself. The Spinners saved the day and I was grateful for whomever selected that song to put out on the airwaves.

There’s just something about the vibes you feel when you hear your song. I can’t even play these songs when I’m running or I’ll have to stop and dance. Glad I was close to home because the playlist continued with El Puma and company, and the feel good vibes made it possible to hit the reset button.

Hoping you find yours when you need it.

The Spinners- Working My Way Back

El Puma- Pavo Real

Le Chic – Le Freak

Yaz- Situation

Frankie Smith – Double Dutch Bus

Buen Camino my friends 🙂

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I Got Words on Wednesday

24 Jun

You got faded Polaroids of bellbottoms tucked away in albums, collared shirts still hanging in the closet, and his favorite Robert DeNiro DVD’s on your bookshelf. But there’s still a hole and something is still missing.

That never goes away. The “missing them” part. It doesn’t. Sometimes it grips you so strong you want to hug the picture but worry you’ll crumple it. Sometimes you can’t breathe when you cry and other times you crack up in the middle of the day at a memory that tears make their way to the corners of your eye.

Father’s Day.

Got a roller coaster of ups and downs this weekend but I managed through with stories from my childhood and his. This time I found myself at the empty driving range. Something I haven’t done in years, something we enjoyed doing together. Gold balls never making it passed the 200-yard mark but I didn’t care, was just hanging out and swinging away. Sometimes we didn’t have to talk. We were in the friend zone. Smiling in silence, or laughing at the ridiculousness of the shot shanking to the left. We didn’t even like watching golf on TV or cared who won The Masters. It was us. Hanging out.

Then driving home in silver Tacoma, listening to jazz and retelling stories. Sometimes there’d be a stop at 31 Flavors, just because. There were no Ben & Jerry’s. So rocky road was my jam. But he was more of a Haagen Dazs guy. Still he got ice cream. Sometimes he’d pick strawberry. Sometimes chocolate. He’d try something different. He’d say there are 31 but none of them tasted like Haagen Dazs.

And so this month, for my friend, and in his honor, I did the race. Normally I’d be scaling one of the tallest buildings downtown. 63 stories. 1,393 steps. Do it every year for him, raise money for the American Lung Association to help people with lung disease. But with Covid-19, it was postponed, then postponed again, then onto a virtual platform.

So without my racing bib, crowds of fellow climbers, and the claustrophobic staircases I made my way to The Great Outdoors, with an epic playlist and purpose. The gasping for air. The heart pounding. And the legs involuntarily shaking when I got to the tippy top and end of my climb. All of it was still there and so was my reason.

1,831 steps.

1,831 reasons why my dad was worth the effort.

Hope your Father’s Day was blessed with kids, BBQ, and Hallmark cards of dad on couches.

Buen Camino my friends.

Feel Good 5 Friday … on Saturday

20 Jun

Starting to trim it down. The unnecessary. That’s what Covid is doing for some people under quarantine. The stuff you thought was so important matters less. Substance makes its way to the front.

Finding little moments and bringing gratitude into the fold make the days count.

Feel Good 5 Friday wrapped up in music and feel-good vibes. The kind of tunes that get your shoulders grooving and your feet bumping. I got the funk of the 70s making its way back to me and filling my morning runs and walks with the bellbottom vibes I need to keep the spring in my step.

But I also got some Latin flavors from an epic band that remind me of my youth and doing chores to their music. Flashbacks of vacuum cleaners, sponges, and Ajax accompanied this song so as not to make mundane housework so dreadful. And the twist from one music icon honoring another inspired me this week. That kind of music and performance and feeling make you want to do better. To rise.

And those moments were good to listen to and to watch. But I had something extra special to highlight of Feel Good 5 Friday.

Everyone has at least one moment during the week where something, or someone, made them smile. We need some of that at this time and I found an undiscovered wave of goodness a couple of weeks ago but wanted to highlight it today.

Tabitha Brown. Have you heard of her?

She’s what I need during this quarantine She spreads smiles and goodness with her warmth and safe advice, like if I want to add more garlic then I should because as Tabitha says it’s my business.

Now I’m no vegan or vegetarian, but this lady right here, makes me want to double up on my daily 5. She makes the day. She’s the girl you want to hang out with for sure.

And after I’ve done some cooking and gotten my good vibes from Tabitha the tunes that gave me the warm and fuzzies kept me going when I couldn’t find a smile.

Earth Wind and Fire -Let’s Groove

Kool and the Gang -Ladies’ Night

Los Angeles Azules

Sting singing Bruce- Rising

Tabitha Brown

Father’s Day tomorrow … hoping all the Dads have a good one 🙂

Buen Camino my friends!

Life Full of Wordless Wednesday’s

10 Jun

Stories coming to front pages begin to shed light on facts a lot of communities of color already knew. They lived it. It had been there tirelessly. N.W.A. and other artists made albums speaking on these practices. The only difference back then was not many of these were being recorded and released. Not until Rodney King.

Pictures and images give more weight to words. Especially when no one believed your words at face value.

A friend of mine from back in the newspaper days was recently featured in a National Geographic spread and I was so proud to have known someone whose storytelling needs no words. His life is full of Wordless Wednesdays, capturing moments in time that reveal emotion and journey. Zoom lenses. Shutter speed. Focus. All to get the right shot.

Sometimes pictures are so good they inspire others to tell the story.

And so during this time of social unrest, protest, and pandemic emergency it’s important to differentiate between pictures and stories that sensationalize without context and those with substance that sit with you and make you think. I wasn’t surprised to hear that my friend was highlighted as one with depth and contribution.

For photography.

But good writers, painters, composers, musicians, singers, and actors do that … Artists do that. Anyone can have a moment like that if they’re present enough. It can come in the middle of a conversation and you find it. Storytelling.

It’s been of critical importance now to hear people’s stories. It’s good that they’re being documented because the voiceless need to be heard especially when people are intentionally drowning them out and trying to cover up, manipulate, or erase what’s happening. But luckily you can still find truthful words and pictures during abuse of power. Whether it’s silent and subversive at work, home, or school, or on the streets with tear gas and rubber bullets, stories continue to be captured.

Don’t stop telling your Wordless Wednesday stories …

Buen Camino my friends

Until Next Time Feel Good 5 Friday …

5 Jun

Considering recent events the need for Feel Good 5 Friday seemed important, seemed like people needed a lift in their spirit after so much violence and turmoil. But it’s a time for reflection so it returns next week

During these moments of retrospective thoughts on what we can do to help improve matters in social justice I took a look at leaders who’s courage and commitment impacted life beyond what they imagined. And change happened. Some lived to see it, others looked down from the heavens to bare witness.

Going beyond. It takes that extra step, the one somebody else couldn’t, or wouldn’t, take to help someone that’s been forgotten and made to feel less when in fact there is always something meaningful there. Taking that step to shine a light on something that’s trying to hide.

That’s what a lot of great leaders had in common.

This one was new to me.

Bryan Stevenson

I didn’t know that name. But I knew someone like him existed. A story of a young lawyer who traveled down to Alabama to try and help the wrongly convicted and unjustly imprisoned. All this happened when I first entered college and I had no idea.

I was glad he wrote a book, that he told his story and that of the birth of the Equal Justice Initiative. It’s a powerful educational story. And the movie with Michael B. Jordan and Jamie Foxx make it available to those who didn’t read it and wish to see it played out so they could connect.

And because of recent events, Just Mercy is streaming for free on multiple online platforms. I hope you can catch the film and experience a different perspective on matters, because today is all about perspective and hearing someone else’s story.

https://justmercy.eji.org/responsive/#about

Buen Camino my friends