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Feel Good 5 Friday … On a Saturday Night … Again

16 Jan

I’m normally on top of matters, or at least I pretend to be so I can build up enough momentum and psych myself up for the challenge.

But considering the destructive and disturbing news of a failed insurrection happening in the country I’d been sucked into the news coverage of the events waiting for justice that apparently is moving at a snail’s pace. Arrests continue, but justice has yet to make its way into the light.

I’d never lost this much time waiting and waiting on news. But considering matters are in the hands of cowards in leadership positions at the current moment, swift is a speed I doubt will be coming. So I cut myself off from awaiting justice.

I rebooted.

I tried helping in the corner of the country where a positive impact makes a difference, focusing on community improvement and trying to be better than I was the day before. A Day of Service provides an opportunity for proactive nature to help change even if it’s a little, it adds up. I like instilling this concept into the kids. Sure I volunteer at their school, and coach my kids’ sports teams in the community. But a separate day dedicated for volunteering, just a Day of Service, just committing to the community, neighborhood, or state provides you with a Mr. Rogers’s moment that’s valuable, the kind that can inspire goodness, change, and improvement — the kind that Dr. King inspired.

So I turned my focus to that.

During this reboot session to start the year anew, I mean it is still January, still the beginning of 2021 no matter how ugly it started, I can still make the changes needed to spin the boat around and guide it toward better journeys, I found a tidbit of information. This kind of advice that helps vision boards, goals, WOTY, resolutions, promises — whatever you name it. I knew this. I did. But had forgotten. Completely.

Even if you’re not a morning person, which I don’t feel I am, waking up a little earlier just to have a minute to yourself, a moment, a few of them, so that you can mentally prepare for the day ahead is an awesome decision. Wake up a little earlier, one hour earlier. Just to focus on yourself and do something for you before work, school, the kids. Drink a cup of coffee, tea. Meditate. Write your morning pages. Go bike riding, running, walking, swimming. Listen to a podcast. Read a book on the couch. Do some gardening. Any activity that makes you feel like you WANT to wake up not HAVE to wake up. That was key for me.

Waking up extremely early in the morning is not something I enjoy, so the snooze button would seem odd. When I hit the snooze button that means I keep waking up over and over again. I’m not an obsessive about it, but I have been known to use it when the covers are extra cozy or the pillow feels just right. But after I wake up and the kids are still asleep I can enjoy the quiet of the morning, which is different from the quiet of the night. A different vibe. And once I’m up and spent the time, I feel better about it. I’m glad I did it. I bet if I lived near the ocean I would never hit that snooze button. If an hour earlier is too much start with 15 minutes and then add more as your body acclimates. I mean that’s how I roll.

The one moment of inspiration that got me moving during early mornings this week, aside from a podcast, was a feel-good song. That right there makes me smile and get up. Listening to Katrina tell me that I’d be Walking On Sunshine always gets me out of bed. So I’m grateful to have picked that song for 2021, but I also listen to jams that grove and take me to moments from my adolescence that remind me of special moments, sending postcards to myself through melodies and lyrics.

Super grateful for the Feel Good Friday’s I adopted last year, they’ve made this Groundhog Day Adventure much better than Bill Murray’s, although he did have an epic adventure with Punxsutawney Phil.

Buen Camino my friends!

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The La’s — There She Goes

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George Harrison — Got My Mind Set On You

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Jarabe de Palo — Bonito

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Belinda Carlise — Heaven is a Place on Earth

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Robbie Nevil — C’est La Vie

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Feel Good 5 Friday … on a Saturday Night

9 Jan

Sometimes people and life become so ugly and the excuses so lame that you got to find your corner of the world and remember that good resides there in order to gain the strength to see the next day and do good. Do good for your yourself, do good for your family, and do good for your community.

With all the chaos of the week it was easy to get lost in the bad, but needed a moment, just like everyone else, a moment to strip the negative away. But it was difficult, we needed something good and I was able to find what I needed in the tunes from my youth. Something about the tunes helps escape, at least for a moment.

And a quick escape from ugly is what was needed, in order to recalibrate and look forward to possibilities and a better something. I looked at the two good things that happened during the week and the small victories I could take in such a hot mess. I was glad to be part of something good when all the chaos hit, I was glad to have helped impact someone’s course and that trajectory was for positive change. I was glad to have volunteered and helped, making a difference, no matter how big or small everything added up. I mean look at Georgia … I took the win, put it in my back pocket, and turned on the jams.

Music is not always a solution, I know, but it provides a space, a safe space for peace and calm in my heart, of happiness and feel good vibes when they’re missing everywhere else, for inspirations that may help find solutions, for joy when you need to feeeeeeeeel it because in the midst of ugliness two moments of good took place and at the very least I needed to recognize it.

Needing something good and I found it in my playlist.

Buen Camino, my friends …

Van McCoy — The Hustle

Tavares — Heaven Must Be Missing an Angel

Chuck Mangione — Feel So Good

Los Faulosos Cadillacs — Matador

Dee Lite — Groove is in The Heart

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Feel Good 5 Friday … 10-12 pounders and No Turkey Trots

27 Nov

I’ve mentioned this before.

Turkey trots.

Haven’t participated in one and usually take to the road on my own designing my own race and hearing my footsteps as they rock they track. Only in adulthood years have I found Zen moments involving Saucony running shoes. I hated running when I was younger. Couldn’t stand it. But after college and kids, I realized that swimming, running, and obstacle racing bring out the better parts of me when I can’t make it to the beach.

The freeing sense of getting away, of moving forward, of making that giant push at the end is extremely satisfying. In truth, I don’t always wake up excited feeling like running is the greatest, but I do feel better every time after I’ve finished. Don’t regret it.

But Turkey Trots … I’m not big on them. I’ve done plenty of other races, just not that one. Maybe it’s more of a group event, you do with a whole lot of your people, wearing turkey costumes.

I’m not big on those, but I don’t think anybody was this year. However I still went on my run. 3.5 miles and that little extra was just in case I had to reach deep to tap the reserve. Thanksgiving provides for loads of material for any artist, but this year the dysfunction was at a minimum in part because we’re in the middle of a pandemic. Silver lining.

But even with the run, with the breathing and the sweat trickling down, with feeling tired, that good kind of tired, with being in that zone, the one that feels like a reward, I felt something missing. There was no where to go this week. Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday were busy with grocery shopping, kids school, my side project, and pandemic life. But I was not in a giant walk-in fridge-freezer taking inventory of turkeys as I had done for so many years in a row growing up. There were no index cards with orders for 12-14 free range turkeys. No moving or inventorying hundreds of boxes. No customers. No parking validations. No coffee breaks with my dad.

He’s been gone 10 years, but Thanksgiving is still the week and day that I remember him the most. Owning a poultry shop for years, you get to know what weeks are complete chaos and when the countdown needed to begin. And that was it for us. Thanksgiving. Late nights recording new orders with pops at the dinner table, while he drank his coffee.

Boxes. They weren’t my favorite. At the time I dreaded it. So much work. So many 14-16 pound birds. And now I remember it all the time. I can see his distinctive block printing, he only used Parker pens. His white butcher’s coat and collared shirt. His blue Diestel Farms cap and black Samsonite briefcase. His tired eyes but will to keep going because it needed to be done.

I thought about that all week long, 16-18 turkeys, and more so when I was eating the turkey and mashed potatoes on Thursday. The laziness of the day use to always hit us, more him than me. No waking up at 4 a.m. to drive to the shop and get ready for the rush. He’d sleep in on Thanksgiving. He always slept in on Thanksgiving and I thought about him as I rose to run.

Thought about all those details and it pained me to remember that it had been 10 years. But I kept walking with that hurt in my chest knowing it was there because he was loved and missed. Still. And grateful that I could remember the details and picture the moments in my mind. I’m lucky that way I guess. I tell the stories to the kids. They found the endless boxes of turkeys in the walk-in fridge and me freezing hilarious.

Ten years later, no more index cards, 18-20 pounders haunting me, or white butcher coats. Just green bean casserole, mac-and-cheese, fresh rolls, and pumpkin pie … and of course our own 10-12 pounder.

Buen Camino my friends …

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I’ll Be Your Man — Zac Brown Band

Something Just Like This — The Chainsmokers & Coldplay

Let My Love Open The Door — Peter Townshend

Vivo La Vida — Olga Tanon

Last Dollar — Tim McGraw

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Feel Good 5 Friday

13 Nov

Sometimes you just run out of patience and it’s only Wednesday.

I mean I had nothing left in the tank and what made matters worse was the judgement. You know, when people who have no business judging you, go on and preach and you stand there thinking whaaaaaaaaaat? Mannnn, you’re not even in the arena how you gonna judge me. Some people shouldn’t even let out a whisper because the hypocrisy of their voice might just have lightning strike.

The judgement sucks especially when I’m already my harshest critic.

Writers. Artists, Athletes. Parents. People in general

We all have that extra sass in the back pocket just in case we didn’t feel bad enough about how the day was going, you got that zinger. That inner dialogue playing tricks on you when what you need is the strength of your inner superhero, sometimes he’s just stuck in the costume change.

You’re gonna need to wait a minute

So there were a lot of mixed feelings and emotional hangovers rolling over in the middle of the week. Got me thanking the universe for boxing and the sunshine on my back as I ran in the mornings. The pandemic minimizes the getaways, but a quick staycation would be good. Might have to plan another nature escape in order to recharge our batteries. Sometimes staring at your vision board isn’t enough, you got to make your own postcard. Even if it’s not pinned to the board, the trip will still be memorable and important for your sanity, because moving forward is a pace. Doesn’t have to be fast, just forward.

But until then, the eclectic bunch of feel good tunes got me bopping my head and feeling the beat, instead of focusing on the frustration of the moment. Releasing negative energy and breathing in something better, that’s Feel Good 5 Friday.

Buen Camino my friends!

Real World — Matchbox 20

Camisa Negra — Juanes

Keep Ya Head Up — 2 Pac

Some Nights — Fun

Born to be Alive — Patrick Hernandez

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Feel Good 5 Friday … On Sunday Morning Yeah … Sunday

8 Nov

Sometimes the finish line takes a couple extra steps.

The running is smooth. You feel your heartbeat, freedom, and peace. Your best leg. The swimming is hard but you enjoy it. The feel of the water on your skin as you glide passed the ripples. You feel your inner Michael Phelps. But it’s the biking, the hills. Even though you’ve trained the biking still kicks your ass that’s why you don’t like Peloton. You do strength, running, and yoga workouts only.

But you manage to climb while your legs are burning. You keep pedaling. You remember that you do in fact enjoy bike riding, but racing is different.

This week has been a triathlon.

It’s been an incredibly stressful for everyone in The States but it all came to an end last night, with a few more loose ends. But in all the finish line can be seen.

Finally.

The rainbow comes out after the rain and we were able to watch.

Literally.

The kids and I took a walk and there it was … suspended between the clouds. Taking deep breaths and feeling good. You know I always enjoy a walk or run after it rains. No one really around. It’s quiet. But the best part is the scent. The smell of clean air and fresh earth gives off the peaceful vibes and the rainbow was just extra sprinkles on top.

Been a rollercoaster of a week and the playlist for the week reflects that …

Buen Camino my friends.

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Stevie Wonder — Higher Ground

Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers — Waiting

Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats — S.O.B.

Los Hermanos Flores – La Bala

The Beatles — Here Comes the Sun

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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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Final Friday …

18 Sep

It was her Final Friday and a tough one to hear about.

One of the strongest women giving others hope.

It’s an unfortunate loss that many are grieving.

Rest In Peace.

Notorious RBG

Neighborhood Watch 2.0

16 Sep

It’s the MacGyver of door peepholes. The caller-ID of doors. You’ll never miss the Prize Patrol from Publisher’s Clearinghouse ever.

Supposed to help you answer the door in case you’re in your backyard, in the garage, in the bathroom, or just out and about.

Ring.

Image result for ring doorbell

One of the best doorbells on Earth for people who don’t want to answer the door. You don’t even have to get up from you Netflix binge watching session to check who’s at the door or what they want.

A lot of places put them on their front door steps to make sure no one tries anything funny. Although the backyard, or alley way is something they like scoped out too. A whole security system.

But people still try funny things.

Amazon packages are still being taken in mad dashes, now you just have a picture of the hoodie suspect and the police still won’t do anything for you. Just file a report. Nothing much else. Unless you have one of those awesome pop-up glitter explosions with a camera so you can see the thief’s face as they unwrap the trap you sent them.

But other than watching people steal packages from your doorstep, or see how many people park outside your house, or visit your neighbor across the street, it also provides the most intense neighborhood watch program I’ve seen ever.

My friend says that there are multiple crime bulletins posted, people put their captures, pictures, or videos of thieves stealing their packages, shoes, bikes, mail and mailboxes. Warnings posted of car break-ins or stealing catalytic converters, which apparently is a popular item. Sometimes just random people trying to open their doors at 4 a.m.

Who does that? Who’s awake at 4 a.m. trying to unlock doors?

People who aren’t afraid of getting punched in the face or confronted with a hostile encounter if they wake anyone up at 4 a.m.

But Neighborhood Watch 2.0 Steroids Edition has got your mug shot and description. They’re taking notes and passing it along. People see you in daytime and nighttime hours. Got your stats and they’re posting it everywhere. So if you haven’t been caught it’s only a matter of time, unless you’re Batman.

They got it all on camera, just in case. But don’t ever know if the case is ever solved. But Ring Neighbors are onnnnnnnnn it. They report crimes, speak to the police, get incident maps alerting them of new crimes, get alerts of suspicious activity within a five-mile radius perimeter, post announcements. Lost pet? They probably have his mug shot posted within seconds.

A friend of mine has had one for over a year and I’ve seen them popping up everywhere in neighborhood and city. There’s an app that’s attached to your phone and you have instant viewing. Everything is recorded.

See the source image

So if you think you’re alone walking the streets, think again. The neighborhood is watching. And the community is getting larger, and I imagine more intense. Don’t think you can steal someone’s 30-day supply Metamucil and special order diabetic socks and not have someone stop you at the 7-11 and say hey I saw you stealing someone’s packages the other day. What the hell?

In the time of coronavirus, I guess it’s still important to feel a sense of community and help your neighbor out. People trying to look out for each other, even if it’s digitally. I mean who doesn’t want the Amazon package theft to go down? You’ve become the best nosy neighbor ever and you didn’t even have to look out the window. Ring has elevated your status.

Buen Camino my friends!

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Feel Good 5 Friday … on Sunday

6 Sep

121 degrees was not fun.

And it wasn’t even the hottest day yet.

The weekend was yet to come and the heat was on. But I didn’t let it break my stride I got tunes, a virtual birthday hangout with a good friend joining the 45-Club and a little field trip.

So we escaped to the mountains and the hidden cool river waterfall lagoon paradise. This time early. This time we didn’t see anyone. Just the path. Although I was a little bit slower as I was on the mend. But my walking stick and back brace provided the support I needed to make the trek.

Sounds of the cool river flowing passed the rocks soothed me. Kids enjoyed jumping in the water, dog paddling their way around, and fishing a bit. Sometimes all you need is a bit of nature set you right.

I was missing the beach. Still am. But you see our annual Labor Day Weekend beach trip wasn’t gonna happen. Just the thought of the masses getting to the beach by 10 a.m. would only give us two hours of peace. I needed a little more.

Feeling disconnected from everyone and everything for a little bit gives some peace. I found that by the river, under the shade of the trees, by the waterfall, or with the cool water on my toes. I was missing some of that before. As I’ve gotten older it’s one of my top priorities. Peace and Laughter. They make me happy. And luckily I had both this weekend.

Getting together with girls refills my cup. To the brim. Sharing stories with tears or with laughter both provided comfort and friendship. And even though there weren’t any hugs that was a definite good-time-noodle-salad moment. So I wished my friend Gisela a Happy Birthday and hoped for blessings and good vibes her way.

The tunes setting the mood for this week were all about dancing and fun. The universe was trying to push me in the right direction. Feeling the rhythm and letting loose. Grooving is the best part. Started loud and rocking Working for the Weekend and La Gozadera. Plus who doesn’t love B-52’s and Pump Up The Jam. Gets that head bopping. But then George Benson ties it together with his smooth sound. The first ten seconds and you just feel good. George and his sound makes that happen. A playlist to match my week.

Buen Camino Friends!!

Everybody Working for the Weekend — Loverboy

Rock Lobster — B52’s

La Gozadera — Gente de Zona

Pump up the Jam — Technotronic

Give Me the Night — George Benson

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Words on Wednesday …

26 Aug

Needing to escape the funk and keeping my vision board promise to myself I filled up the gas tank, packed the car, and went off on a RainMan road trip adventure with the kids.

Never been there before, but it was on the list, see this majestic being. And I stood there and soaked it in. From all angles I took my time to just sit there and appreciate it.

The Great Outdoors

The air. We just took a little extra that day and it filled me with peace.

But I guess a lot of people were looking for the same kind of wonder because for a middle-of-the-week escape there were quite a few people. Everyone was tying to get a nature makeover and Sequoia National Park was the place to make that happen.

We still enjoyed ourselves, masks and all. It was good to escape the city and make it all the way to the sequoias. Something about being in that giant tree forest helped me forget about all the excess, even if it was for a brief moment.

I was in it, I was present and I felt that reset button hitting itself. I was even more grateful that it happened for the kids too.

I was grateful I could give them the escape and views that helped rejuvenate their spirits. Being restricted by Covid has minimized our summer adventures but I was so appreciative for this one. Glad we got to see General Sherman and all of his awesome giantness. It was definitely worth the drive.

My jar of awesome got another note and our family spirit got that boost we needed before school started. Hoping you find yours …

Buen Camino!

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