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Feel Good 5 Friday … on Saturday Night

23 Jan

I might have to change the title if this keeps happening. I really might.

But life and weariness hits us all in different ways at the end of the week. Sometimes you tell yourself I’m just gonna sit here for a minute and then the next thing you know you’re all cozied up with a comfy blanket dreaming.

But as I was looking back on the week, I remembered some of the feel-good moments that matched the vibes of my songs. There was one moment in particular that’s still with me.

One of the positives I’ve discovered during the pandemic is being able to appreciate the little wonderous moments that happen, the kind I’d pay attention to before and put them in the Jar of Awesome, but now the simple moments seem to be even more special and I take note. I appreciate the little bit of magic happening during on an uncharacteristically windy day reminiscent of those strong Chicago breezes I imagine.

Out early for what I’ve called a therapy run that helps kick off my days, no one out, not even dog walkers so I was able to wear one of the lighter running masks where I could feel the fresh air reaching my lungs. Ran passed my neighborhood and reached the fancy houses about a mile out, surrounded by large sycamore trees, palm trees, orange and lemon trees, shrubs, rose gardens, and lavender bushes. When I reached my midway point, a gust of wind rustled the huge branches and a flurry of giant crunchy leaves took off and danced in circles, and hanging out in the sky. Doing there thing. It was one of the coolest moments of the week. A little bit of nature magic, tapping me with it’s beauty. My run slowed down to a jog in that moment so I could check out the scene from my own personal highlight reel. I was glad to get caught up in the moment, feeling the feel-good vibes surrounding me.

Feeling the cold fresh air in my lungs, I closed my eyes and joined the twirling for a moment. Nature had invited me to the party and I didn’t want to say no.

Moments like this I’ve learned to appreciate even more. I was pretty good at being present and appreciated the good that came my way, especially The Great Outdoors. But this extra something is a feeling I like to hold onto. It’s simple. No flash. No fireworks, really. Just feel good vibes the sky and trees trying to send me, and I accepted the blessing and held onto it the rest of the day … and the week, really.

So in times of frustration when kids began tuning out my voice and not listening to directions or just bringing on an added volume of 10 when I needed a 5, I went back to the dancing leaves in the wind, their twists and turns, catching air pockets in different directions until the reached the ground. That moment of simplicity. That was Zen … Zen in the city.

I was grateful to be accompanied by a good playlist. But I did pause it. I paused it just to listen to the wind and leaves., to be in the moment and soak it up. After the wind settled, I raised the volume back up and continued the good vibrations, carrying them with me along with the cold crisp air, looking forward to the possibilities of my next 100 Day-Challenge.

Buen Camino my friends!

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Coldplay & The Chainsmokers — Something Just Like This

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Real McCoy — Another Night

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Charlie Zaa & La Sonora Santanera – Se Me Perdio La Cadenita

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UB40 – Red Red Wine

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Paul McCartney — Coming Up

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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 … On a Saturday …

19 Dec

I high-fived myself. The opportunity doesn’t come often but I took a moment to celebrate the little accomplishment. The little victory.

Yes. There was chocolate involved.

It wasn’t the final draft, final cut, final piece. But it was a big step in getting there. The blueprint, the infrastructure. Once that’s set all it takes is courage to lay down the first brick.

And I did.

So I took a beat a beat. I don’t do it often. Some people don’t do it often, just take a moment to recognize you jumped over a hurdle and didn’t fall, or if you did crap out, you got up and tackled the next one. Didn’t even hesitate, just jumped right into your stride.

High-fiving small victories becomes important on your road to creative recovery. The doubts are constant so the courage to stay on the yellow-brick road warrants a smile. And during this congratulatory fist bump I was pumping, I thought about the untitled piece on my computer screen. I mean I found a working title after a couple days of tweaking it, but titles are what stops people in mid sentence. Hit that pause button for a double take. You pick up the book. Choose the song. Watch the preview. Click the link. Stop for a minute to stare at the sign down the street. There have been plenty of awesome pieces here on the WordPress world that inspired a comment based on the title alone.

I don’t necessarily pick winners every time with my projects or posts, but can appreciate it when others do. Stuff like … Faith The Two Legged Dog, When I Was In Cuba I Was A German Shepherd, When You Start to Miss Tony From Accounting, Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs, Dragons Love Tacos, El Burrito Sabanero, One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, Smells Like Teen Spirit, The Devil Wears Prada, It’s 5 O’clock Somewhere, Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door, Well Well Well If It Isn’t The Consequences of My Own Actions … and the list continues. I bet there are probably five or six off the top of your head that you just know. Some you might have even seen this week.

So it took me a while to fine tune the title for my project. I mean I think I have it, but who knows. Maybe down the line with more work and more writing, it will come steam rolling in and be like BAM! Here it is girl!

But nevertheless I celebrated my step forward. My boost in the right direction. I turned up the dial for music and the Christmas spirit was rocking the airwaves, sending that holiday happy vibe out. So it was a two-for-one. A high-five with Christmas tunes, accompanied with chocolate. Then I came home and raised up the volume to some of my favorite festive beats. My kids were thrilled with our little dance session, with it being the last week of school, and the festive music on full blast. They enjoy Christmas songs all December long.

And I got to say everybody has their favorite holiday songs where it starts to feeeeeeeeeeeel like that red sweater was made just for you, jingles and all. But these tunes bust out the candy canes, hot chocolate, and ho, ho ho feels all while getting into my dancing groove. Enjoying the vibe in the direction I’m headed … forward.

Buen Camino, my friends!

Bruce Springsteen AKA The Boss — Santa Claus is Comin’ To Town –

Pedrito Fernandez — Mi Burrito Sabanero

Band Aid — Do They Know It’s Christmas Time

Stevie Wonder — What Christmas Means to Me

Mariah Carey & Michael Buble — All I Want For Christmas Is You

BONUS CLIP!!! 🙂 Because you can’t have Christmas without Whitney 🙂

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Feel Good 5 Friday …

4 Dec

Sometimes you say the truth and it’s too strong for people. You make a mental note and then remember the next time around. Some people enjoy telling you like it is, but don’t enjoy it when you return the favor. The opinion they’ve asked for is no longer welcome.

You know anyone like that?

It can be emotionally and mentally exhausting dealing with that in your life. No matter how many times you let the words slide off your back some of them scrape your skin on the way down and leave a mark. Building strength to deal with that when you’re trying to avoid it is tough. Deep breaths don’t always come to mind but getting away, taking a walk, and turning your phone off, that’s something. That’s a moment that can build.

During a recent escape I found myself trying to think of a happier place. After the run, I remembered multiple flashbacks when the kids were younger. I shifted my attention and emptied the space this frustration was taking up and filled it with these memories of toy cars, bubbles, Crayola squiggly art, squishy hugs and tiny hands.

I sighed because the peoples were right.

I blinked and now they’re much bigger.

But it didn’t feel like a blink though. I felt some of those days. They were long and I was grateful when the moon came out. I got the gray hairs to prove it. But they’re bigger and it feels fast now. Although the pandemic is definitely making the days last longer than anyone would have thought.

I watched old videos of Monster Trucks and book festival outings, of inflatable pool splashing, little league baseball games, Play-Doh creations and first days of school. I filled my heart with these memories and a strong urge to preserve it radiated. And then it came to me … instead of dealing with people who aggravate me with their one-sided courtesies and spite, I should fill my space with more talks, movie nights, and board game sessions so in a couple of years I don’t feel like the blink was too fast.

It’s not that easy, of course. We’re you’re in the middle of it, you feel like there’s nothing else that you can see. So another mental note, give more space and more compartments in my mind so that what matters and what’s positive can sneak in instead of the anxiety inducing conversations I replay in my head.

I mean I know I can’t turn it off instantly, but as soon as I feel it coming on, definitely activate the force field so that I can give even more time to people and moments that fill you up instead of making you create invisible barriers to help protect yourself from anxiety and bad vibes. As my girl Tabitha says … That’s just not in my spirit. So I’m hoping to continue to focus on the switch and this week the tunes from my past help jumpstart that pathway. I don’t know what it is, but the tunes from the past keep making me feel good. Don’t get me wrong the music is good today. I mean there’s The Zac Brown Band, right? But something about the growing up tunes that always produce the good vibes that create the smile and boost I need.

Buen Camino my friends!

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The Greatest American Hero Theme Song — Believe it or Not

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Tiffany — I Think We’re Alone Now

DeBarge — Rhythm of The Night

Claridad — Menudo

Tears for Fears — Everybody Wants to Rule The World

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Feel Good 5 Friday … On a Saturday

21 Nov

I missed my Wednesday calling … my Words on Wednesday. Twice. Not that anyone is counting really. Feel like I’m performing a one-woman show in a giant theater to an audience of five, but at least it’s an awesome five who bring good vibes and thoughtful conversation.

It’s weariness. I think that’s what’s biting me in ass on Wednesday nights. I need another trip to the CVS vitamin aisle to get some Vitameatavegimin. I feel like the older I get the earlier I go to bed. What is that? I used to stay up until 1 or 2 on a consistent basis. I got parenthood wearing me down now and my silver fox look gaining some ground. With the change of life I haven’t been consistent. I have spurts. But I only have a month left to get a first draft together. I need to whip myself in writer shape. I used to stop by this lady’s spot a while back … 4 a.m. Writer.

Yup.

That’s exactly what it sounds like.

I don’t know if I can hang with that though, I’ve never been a rise and shiner. My entire life the crack of dawn hurts, unless I’m in the Australian Outback. I didn’t feel a thing when I traveled to Ayers Rock. First time in my life that I was excited for 4 a.m. in whatever time zone. I was up to watch the sunrise, freezing with a runny nose, but it was one of the best moments of my life. Funny how weariness hits me more when I’m at home.

But I think I made up for it with a surge of writing. Good music and morning pages. I got turned onto Morning Pages by Tim Ferriss and Brian Koppelman, but I found the source … Julia Cameron.

It’s supposed to help with my creative recovery during this Bill Murray Groundhog Day Adventure we’re all trying to survive. You know, all the procrastination and putting everything and everyone else before your project. Handwritten morning pages in a notebook every day are supposed to empty out the clutter in your mind and free up some space for creative efforts later on in the day, get in the habit of writing no matter what or how I feel. The morning routine of the pages starts the creative gears moving, that along with other Julia Cameron tips. But it took a while for it to kick in, at least for me. But I’m grateful to have been able to make progress.

And as I mentioned before progress means you’re going forward, and forward is a direction.

And along with this spike in activity I was able to hear some jams during some quick dance breaks that helped keep the vibes going. I hadn’t heard a couple of these in a while and they made it to my playlist this week and I was feeling better because of them. I especially enjoyed the funny.

I don’t usually hear Thanksgiving Day songs, Christmas is creeping and trying to take over the waves. But this tune right here … right here at the 4-minute mark from The Roots is my favorite Thanksgiving Song. Ever. In November this makes my day. I get my James Brown Janelle Monet dance moves and it just feels good. Dancing and funny feels good.

So I’m sending it and the rest of my Feel Good 5 Friday out to you …

Buen Camino my friends!

The Queen of Hearts –Juice Newton

Give Me That Side Dish … Stuffing in a Dead Bird — The Roots (starts at 4:00)

Blinded by The Light — Manfred Mann

El Chico Del Apartamento 512 — Selena

Life is a Highway — Rascal Flatts

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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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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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