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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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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 a Saturday

12 Sep

Everybody needs a walk-up song, the one that drops its beat and you feeeeeeel it, The heart. The pit of the stomach. The I-got-this feeling.

We’ve been missing our songs lately. We’ve had morning songs sometimes, our feel good songs, but not our walk-up songs. Personally the Bee Gees and funk from the 70s gives me that vibe. Confidence, be walking like I got purpose.

We’ve been missing that without sports and teammates. Our songs. We came to the realization that my son would have had three games and a tournament by now, and my daughter a scrimmage.

Saw a few people at the park today and it reminded me of how important teammates, comradery, and the game became in our family. Not so much for winning, but for the sake of playing. Being part of a team gives a sense of community, of purpose, of belonging to something bigger than yourself. People counting on you, a sense of responsibility to them. Been playing for years. Been part of our routine.

Now we’re out of sorts. Everyone is really and so we look for communities where we can.

This realization tripped me out today. Even if we’re not on the ice or the field, kids still need to feel that sense. They need to hear their walk-up song. Regardless. They need that feeling, and I need to make it happen. Need to make it better than it was yesterday. That’s the goal. And you can’t get to the goal if you don’t have a good beginning. A good setup. A good walk-up. Just as everyone needs at least one standing ovation in their lifetime, everyone also needs a good walk-up in order to have a good set-up. Even if the fields and rinks are closed, you need to hit that play button.

And so until you find your walk-ups I share with you my kids’ songs. Every time we headed to a game these were part of the playlist … sending you sunshine and waves. Buen Camino!

Rebel Rebel — David Bowie

Dream on — Aerosmith

Levels — Avicii

I’m Still Standing — Elton John

Walk of Life — Dire Straights

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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Wednesday Words

2 Sep

Gratitude.

Even with a back injury laying me out for the past five days there were those yet moments where gratitude still snuck in, I mean you can’t be angry and frustrated while feeling grateful at the same time.

Icy Hot

Advil

Heating pads

Yoga mats for hardwood floors

Walking.

80’s music

Grateful that my back didn’t go out until after my friend’s birthday car parade. Purple balloons bring happiness. Seeing her and her family was reward enough, but I was blessed to catch the sunset on the way home.

Buen Camino my friends!!

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