Archive | October, 2020

Feel Good 5 Friday Plus One … On Halloween

31 Oct

Just a simple congratulations and a few words of encouragement. I like to keep things like that. Moments.

Sometimes I need to dig into the reserve when the tank is empty.

After hitting a rough patch this week I came across a card a friend had written to me a while back after opening night of my first play. I remembered how grateful I was to receive the card and how much it had meant to me. A quick flashback of the hug, the smiles, and the support. I might not have remembered what everyone said to me exactly, but I remembered how it felt. How I felt.

I got this. I took everything that came at me and I put it on stage and was able to write a comedic family story with some dramatic moments interlaced between scenes that ended the festival with laughter and applause. Everyone deserves a standing ovation at one point in their life. Everyone. And that’s the time I got mine … and I earned it.

It just takes a brief moment to help remind me of that, to remind me that I had courage once and that I could do it again. I sent my friend a text and thanked her for the card she probably forgot she had written. I wanted her to know that after a couple of years, it still mattered, her words, her support. It still helped me.

Sometimes that happens with a song too. I’ve talked about walk-up songs before, the kind that baseball players have as they’re walking up to the plate. And so to build off of my friend’s card, I busted out some tunes that would continue that I-can-do-it-feel-good vibe, because the momentum was building and I needed to feed off of it. If I hadn’t, the moment would be gone. Sports and life are similar that way, momentum plays a big part in everyone’s success.

So I’m hoping you’re riding your wave and you find old notes, and tunes that get you going in the right direction.

Buen Camino …

Irene Cara — What a Feeling

Kool and The Gang — Celebration

Randy Newman — I Love L.A.

Mary J. Blige — Just Fine

Celia Cruz — Rie y Llora

Groovie Goolies — Monster Mash

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Words on Wednesday …

28 Oct

Been waiting since 1988 when the RTD costs $1 and half of the school decided to leave after homeroom and make their way downtown to see Fernando Valenzuela, feel the mania in person, and catch a glimpse of “El Toro,” on a parade float.

It was amazing to see someone who resembled friends, neighbors, family lead the home team to an amazing victory. My dad got a new hat that year, don’t know where that one would be, as it’s not in my stash, but since he was busy working and didn’t have the luxury of leaving, parades were not in his future. So the hat helped celebrate the spirit of the neighborhood, and city.

I remember our neighbors being huge fans and celebrating the victory for days. Budweiser was the king of beers at the time and there was plenty of toasting going on.  There was an extra spring in everyone’s step.

And now I’ve got my bounce back.

Finally.

After so much heartbreak of coming up short, then getting robbed one year, and failing to reach the bar the next, it felt like the stumbling would continue.  But then it finally happened and I was able to watch and celebrate this rollercoaster ride with the kids. Making our own scrapbook  of memories. 

But to be honest, watching as a kid was a lot less stressful than watching it now.  My intensity levels keep strengthening and the faith of childhood  dreams with big comebacks don’t always show up nowadays … But I was hopeful and believed in Blue for decades because as you get older the stronger your allegiance to your team. 

I feel the stress and anxiety of these games a bit more as an adult, when you realize that second, third, or even fifth chances don’t come often.  You realize how deep it runs, the love of the game. The intensity of my fan being  puts me a little over the edge … especially when questionable pitching decisions snowballed into a disaster of an avalanche and I was left in my Costanza-Burgundy moments.

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I was more passionate about the game, and all the emotions that came with that comeback. I was grateful for the win last night. So grateful this happened to be a moment for the Jar of Awesome, sharing it with the kids … that created a memory all on it’s own. I’m hoping they’ll look back on it, just as I did. Hanging with my pops, baseball cap, and jumping up and down and screaming yesssssssssssssssssssssssss as they rushed the field.

And so I celebrate with my kids, along with the rest of the city, and enjoy the feel-good vibes that come with finally winning a World Series, of tipping my hat to players who’ve been on the roster for a long time and happy they’ve finally earned the ring they so deserve.

1988 was a long time ago.

And I was getting tired of waiting.

Hopeful … and with fingers crossed. It happened.

Picture by Wally Skalij

Buen Camino

Words on Wednesday

21 Oct

Wish I was here …

Buen Camino …

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Feel Good 5 Friday … On a Saturday

17 Oct

Lucky Charms used to be my jam Saturday mornings. I look back and remember my crazy morning hair, pouring my bowl as silently as I could and watching Mighty Mouse. He was out to save the day.

That’s the feeling I want most days. The Lucky Charms Saturday morning cartoon feeling, the kind you don’t realize is so awesome when you’re a kid and it’s happening to you. You remember the tetherball moments, Sandlot moments, swimming pools, and neighborhood block parties. Those definitely stick with you.

As I got older I left the Lucky Charms and bacon, crisp, flaky, savory bacon. That was what I lived for. I couldn’t get enough of it. When I got to college it was all about pancakes. Light fluffy, with the sweetness of peaches, bananas, strawberries, or blueberries. Saturday morning pancakes. They’ve stayed with me, even on not-so-lazy Sunday mornings. Saturday morning pancakes on any day, or night.

If I get up early enough the quiet of the morning still sits throughout the house and I can travel back in time to that Lucky Charms moment. In peace. Reminds me of Australia Pancakes, you know, the kind you have when you’re on vacation, the first vacation you’ve ever gone to by yourself and they taste like … The. Best. Pancakes. Ever.

I was thinking about that feeling all week long, remembering the Lucky Charms. I don’t think of myself as heavy on the nostalgia because I try to look focus on the present and what I want in the future. But I guess I am. I get caught up in the music, Kodak moments, and Sandlot memories and they bring me that same smile, the one you get if you’re floating in a pool and you feel relaxed, safe, and fun all at once.

If I can get that it pretty much makes my day. I felt it. Again. But this time I didn’t need pancakes. Although it inspired pancakes the very next day. My Trisha Yearwood recipe. Blueberry ones.

It was just a moment but I closed my eyes and caught it. I put the car in park and sat there with the air conditioning blasting. My eyes closed, imagining I was somewhere else. No DeLorean needed. Lucky Charms. Bacon. Pancakes. The trajectory of my life. And Jack Johnson gave me that vibe this week.

Buen Camino my friends …

Jack Johnson — Banana Pancakes

Mumford & Sons — Hopeless Wanderer

Los Diablitos — Los Caminos De La Vida

Zac Brown Band — You and the Island

Al Green — Love and Happiness

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Words on Wednesday … Stuck in an Elevator and Driver Licenses

14 Oct

Remember when you got your driver’s license for the first time? Remember that? You walked out of the DMV like Rocky Balboa feeling like I GOT thisssssssssssssssssss!

Granted I didn’t get mine until I got out of college, but I was living with a driving permit for years. Not because I didn’t want to take the test, but I actually didn’t need a car in school as the subway was the way to do, and walking. So I didn’t have a need for one really. But once I got out into the real world and started working, that license was imperative. Not just for work but for the independence that came with it. The driver’s license was much more than permission to get behind the wheel.

Now, driving doesn’t feel like an accomplishment at all, just an extension of the everyday. Parallel parking in a tight spot while random strangers are watching you from their porch? Now THAT still puts an extra spring in my step! I strut like George Jefferson when I pull that off.

But thinking about my license and traveling back in time, that was an epic day. One I looked forward to most definitely. And so during my little time traveling escapade I realized that I’ve been missing the “looking forward to” aspect.

There are little things here and there to be grateful for, can’t deny that. Parallel parking as I mentioned, rocks. Under current circumstances, gratitude makes this adventure we’re all going through better. But feeling the feels, like that driver’s license vibe … that’s missing. The assuredness that you’ve planned or prepared for something and it’s about to go down.

That’s been missing a long time.

I was reminded of that this week, though, as I couldn’t go to any of my kids’ soccer, hockey, or baseball games seeing how there was no season. Looking forward to seeing them play, their hard work and skills learned during the week tested out there, the smiles on their faces when things went right and the sighs when improvement was still needed. Or the feel of the big league stadium when you’re at the ballpark and it’s playoffs, the cheer of the collective crowd. I miss that. I don’t miss the damn beach balls that always seem to bounce in your line of vision when someone has an epic play at home plate.

The “looking forward to,” part was missing and it feels like I’ve been stuck in an elevator between the 7th and 8th floors telling everyone else stuck in there with me, ‘well when I get out, what I’m going to do is this …’ ‘

We’re all making plans, we’re all plotting out what’s gonna happen first. I mean I know Disneyland will probably be packed. No doubt.

But this elevator sucks and those doors are going to be closed for a long time. So I have to find moments until the doors open, even if they’re not driver-license worthy, they still give me something to look forward to beyond the everyday routine.

The race, for instance.

Most of the time my obstacle races and runs present both physical and mental challenges that make me laugh and feel good. Give me those Gatorade worthy moments. But this year it’s done with a virtual twist. I did my dad’s race that way and even though it wasn’t the same it did give me the looking-forward-to-it vibe. I had purpose. I felt that pitter-pat. So when a friend of mine sent me a link to a virtual race for our old school, I thought cool shirt. I’m in. I want a little something different.

It broke up the regular of this irregularity. So I had something to look forward to, something out of the ordinary. A little excitement bubbled as I joined others feeling the same way, participating, being part of a community even if we weren’t at the finish line at the same time. It was good to do a little something different, to reach a goal and to reach it with my kid. It was a good break from the stuck elevator.

🙂

And so my life remains in chunks, and even though I’ve been grateful for the wake up in the morning without Coronavirus chunk, I wish, like everyone else, that there were more driver’s license moments.

Buen camino my friends …

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Feel Good 5 Friday … On Saturday Night

10 Oct

Rebounding becomes difficult if you keep getting knocked down. But then there’s a little voice inside that keeps whispering … It’s only the fourth round. Those gloves are tight and they’re not coming off. So you get up a few more times and go.

You step up because you got no choice. You need to show up and change directions, change the flow, or time will keep wasting away like a never ending Groundhog Day.

The problem is that sometimes you have your walk-up-to-the-plate song. The warm-up song. The feel good song in the morning. And you only listen to it in the morning. You think you’re set for the rest of the day. Sometimes you are, but then there are those times you’re faced with situations you have no control over. Just random jerks right on your path, infesting your vibe and trying to drag you down.

It happens.

All it takes is a couple words. They may not be much, but the meaning and delivery gives you instant acid reflux and major side-eye as you try with every fiber of your being to Zen your way through it.

And when you can’t work out right there and then?

What do you do?

A middle of the day jam. That’s exactly what needs to happen in order to get you over some things. The one that puts those problems in the rear view mirror and you ain’t looking back. You looking ahead now, and that tune helps you get rid of that funk.

You hear it and you’re ready for the next round that life is about to throw at you.

Sometimes you need something with a beat late in the day to help you remember how you woke up this morning. You woke up ready to rise and shine.

Buen Camino …

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Roger & Zapp

One Way — Cutie Pie

Johnny Ventura — Patacon Pisao

Pointer Sisters — Jump

Diana Ross — Upside Down

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Words on Wednesday

7 Oct

After a game that nearly had everyone in the city on the verge of heart palpitations and requesting an EKG, I was finally able to settle down.

Straight up needed some deep breathing and meditation. I’ve learned that as a I get older the quietude rocks. Like we don’t have to always talk, quiet is good, especially if you need a minute to center yourself, you’re preparing for the day, or you’re trying to forget about the crappy one you just had.

I took a minute to visualize places that brought me peace and it took me back to a trip, the last big outing before Contagion became our reality. And it was so beautiful that I still tap into it today …

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With penalty boxes and fast paced intensity I found my Zen at a youth hockey tournament excursion. Of all places I found tranquility of The Great Outdoors and it’s still with me after all these months. I close my eyes and picture it and I can sense a calmness coming my way, even if it was 19 degrees and airlines and car rental reservations were involved, I found the pockets and they’re still with me.

That’s what a good vacation can do, give you moments you can tap into, the kind that take you back into a a state of gratitude when you’re feeling stressed out! I pictured the outing at the Garden of the Gods and Manitou Springs, and it made for a more positive state of mind.

I imagined the fresh, crisp air, cold to inhale but filling my lungs with freshness that only The Outdoors can do. I pictured the boulders and deep orange colored rocks against the blue skies. I remembered the climbers brave enough to scale to the top with little effort and a lot of confidence. I pictured the snow and the kids throwing it up in the air. I remember needing to bottle up that moment and save it because even with its simplicity the effect when revisited washes over you for less Costanza outbursts. I visualized and nature’s awesomeness helped the recovery effort.

With the deep breathing and Kodak moments I was able to settle down and relax. I mean sports is supposed to be a distraction from the current insanity going on, but sometimes the distraction becomes an anxiety-inducing experience … so you escape to the little vacation spots, or hidden places, and you’re back to center. Ready to take on the rest of the week and Game 3

Buen Camino my friends!

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Feel Good 5 Friday … With Gorilla Tape

2 Oct

Dear Gorilla Tape People,

I’m sad to say this year I didn’t need you. I saved a lot of money and you made less, but it doesn’t make me happy to say that.

I remembered. And I missed it.

I missed the two weeks. Had my measuring tape, ruler, box cutter, and pencil in the hair. I was like the female version of Schneider without the mustache. The kids would come up with the concept and I’d construct it. They’d partially help me with taping and decorating and be proud to say at the competition that they did it all. And I’d laugh.

Driving there and hanging out until sunset. A cool vibe drifting between the palm trees, doing something fun inspired by childhood memories and Saturday morning cartoon inspiration.

It was our own Wacky Races adventure. Cardboard Boat Regattas. I’m sure you’ve probably sponsored some out where people do this type of even in lakes. If not I highly recommend your PR people get on it. If you haven’t done it, you need to hire Don Draper. Stat. He’d know what to do.

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You know, it would have been our seventh year in a row.

Imagine that.

That’s six years of buying Gorilla Tape to help with these masterpieces. People really shouldn’t call duct tape, duct tape anymore. Like facial tissues are called Kleenex, search engines are Google, glass cleaner is called Windex. Duct tape should really be called Gorilla Tape. I mean what’s the deal with that? When is that taking place?

In any case, the month of August your sales would have gone up, at least here in my neck of the woods. And not two or three, I’m talking rolls and rolls.

Right after Shark Week, I start visiting our little hardware store down the street and stock up of Gorilla Tape. You know … “for the toughest jobs n the planet,” I’m a mom. I need these things to work so as not to have any additional parent fails. Gorilla Tape helps me with that. One year the coupon clipping mom in me decided to try something else and didn’t it just didn’t. I wasn’t aware duct tape would shrink and shrivel and melt in the sun. But this tape did. This was not built for the toughest jobs on the planet, not even the easiest one. So I found you and did it over. And there we were, the unsinkable ship.

Architecturally correct, supported by Gorilla Tape.

But competition got cancelled this time around.

Corona virus struck and we got nothing. No box or large cardboard pieces to tape together because people were freaking out about cardboard, not knowing what surfaces this disease was clinging to or for how long. People didn’t know anything really. And I include myself of course. So no duct tape to help with the memories.

Sorry about your sales. With the NHL, NBA, and MLB back in playoff action not many fans of the Cardboard Boat Regatta lobbied for its return. But I don’t blame them. I didn’t want people up in my grill, shaking my hand crowding me during quarantine. We all want to stay alive. So our Wacky Races Adventures will be fondly remembered until next time …

Earth, Wind, and Fire — September

Juan Luis Guerra – Lampara Pa Mies Pies

Blondie — The Tide is High

The Archies — Sugar, Sugar

Jimmy Buffet — Margaritaville

Buen Camino my friends …