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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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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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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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Feel Good 5 Friday … On A Saturday Night

22 Aug

Sometimes the week’s or day’s events harden you a little bit more and even with a weary heart you go on and you find the softness in moments where you can find them, the kind that take you back and you can see yourself in the mirror again.

Sometimes it’s life during a pandemic, sometimes it happens even if the pandemic didn’t exist. Jobs you don’t like, moments you have to endure, or toxic people that still try to poison your well with their words or actions

Bit by bit, pieces chipped away and all you’re trying to do is get them back.

But you find moments of strength that help you endure. The ocean serves as a great salvation, as do morning hugs and laughter from my kids, early morning runs, or punching sessions with the MuayThai gloves. Laughter because of a good comedian makes you feeeeeeeeel yourself again. The smile that you saw in pictures way back, makes an appearance and a sigh of relief fills your chest.

But when I can’t get any of that and I’m feeling off, I put on the playlist. Sometimes it’s the slower tunes with deeper lyrics that get me to turn the corner.

They build.

And that helps reconstruct some of the pieces in you that felt broken. Zac Brown Band is always a go-to for me and never lets me down, with all the albums I own, he gets his feel good tunes any time of day. And the Brothers Osborne have that deep soothing voice and cool melody, I fell for this song and it caught my heart. Love the build. I flashed back to Los Angeles Azuuuuuuuuuules because they jam with other artists to make better sounds. My Blue-Eyed souls, the ones that bring it every time, my Hall & Oates, whose concert rocked epically, always get me with this song. And it’s a sad song, but it makes me feel better. Makes me feel. Just the sound of their voices. Bob Dylan’s son with his Wallflowers, when I hear this tune I need to stop and let it sink in. That opening and that vibe they got going, it reverberates and changes my frequency.

And that’s what needed.

These songs make me feel something different. Sometimes it’s a time machine sending me back to a moment or place that made me smile or feel good, sometimes it’s the they-probably-wrote-this-for-me reflection, and sometimes it’s the wishing part of the song, the one in the pocket between the chords, after the bridge that makes you feel connected.

I was in the midst of all that and it helped me breathe a little deeper. Feel-good vibes tingling my heart and building the part of me that’s important. Growing.

Buen Camino, my friends!

 

Brothers Osborne — Stay A Little Longer

(note I couldn’t find the original video for this song but was able to find the audio version)

 

Zac Brown Band – Homegrown

 

Angeles Azules – Acariname

 

Wallflowers — One Headlight

 

Hall & Oates – She’s Gone

 

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Feel Good 5 Friday … On A Saturday

15 Aug

Some already began their journey, but we had a little time left before our clock started.

No more morning runs, bike rides, tennis matches or Sandlot games. I’m going to miss it. It’s back to the Ticonderoga No.2 pencil and binders, or in this case computers.

Made me think of my school days and the tunes that I hear take me back to those Levi Jeans and Aquanet hairspray days before that 7:45 am bell. My Kevin Arnold days. Hoping the kids remember the songs they hear and it takes them back. Great music lasts. Especially 70s and 80s tunes being heard in 2020. Well there whole lives, really. It leads to good memories. Good moments. Good times. No matter what age.

Even with Back to School creeping up on us it looks a little different this time around. But there’s one page that exists in this Silver Linings Playbook, we’ve spent even more time together. And that’s a lot of dance sessions, mixed tape running jams, and feel-good morning songs. And although some days it seems like the clock is slowly ticking away, and I see the gray hairs growing in my tired lion’s mane, we manage to find some moments of gratitude so that the sands of time feel different.

Trying to make things lighter as the heaviness of this pandemic hits us in different ways.

And their annual summer ice cream for dinner extravaganza made the smiles last a little longer as the sprinkles and Chocolate Magic Shell syrup made appearances. Drizzles everywhere. They look forward to this treat every year. And with these times, why not hit the 2.0 version. Banana split it.

This was one of their moments of gratitude, they slowed down. They closed their eyes and took it in. Rocky Road rocks, especially with an epic playlist.

In general the kids smile, laugh, and feel loved. But the goodnight hugs that night were extra squishy.

Buen Camino my friends!

Frankie Vallie– Grease

George Benson — Give Me The Night

Kenny Loggins — Footloose

Human League — Fascination

Toto — Africa

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Feel Good 5 Friday

7 Aug

Still under lock down stay-at-home orders it’s the one thing that I’m looking forward to …

SHARK WEEK!

Andy Casagrande.

Do you know him?

He’s the man. There are so many biologist and camera people that bring us the awesomeness and beauty of sharks. And we’re all excited to catch what’s gonna happen next week.

Shark Week is my jam. I nerd out and feel like George Costanza, that I too can become a marine biologist. With limited beach access it’s the one open-water thrill that makes me feel closer to the ocean and protecting the life that lives in it.

I’m looking forward to Sharkadelic Summer and Mako Nation. My son is a bigger fan than my daughter, but we all cozy up on the couch and watch. We learn something new every time and it’s been a good family tradition. As long as I can remember we watch this week-long event together, shark cupcakes and all.

The week has got me feeling all the great vibes and in honor of these warm smiley emotions I got my beach mixed tape playing all week. When you’re driving to the market and you hear that beat drop … mannnnnnn!

That irritability hides somewhere else in the background because it can’t share the same space as this music. The feeling dissolves and the smile happens. Just like that, you feel good and the frustrations of the day are on pause. Lightness of being is on play.

These tunes coming out my radio frequency and I imagine heading up PCH to feel the warm sand between my toes, and a bit a fresh air … far away from everyone and everything.

Tunes are magical that way. So is Shark Week.

Wishing you sunshine and waves …

Buen Camino!

Carlos Vives — La Gota Fria

Beach Boys Good Vibrations

Los Moonlights — Rosa Maria

Zac Brown Band — Knee Deep

Mungo Jerry — In the Summertime

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Feel Good 5 Friday on a Saturday… The Flip Side

1 Aug

Those butterflies I feel in my heart, it’s the nervousness and anxiety of starting something new. It’s about the fear of failing, the what-the-hell-happens-if-this-is-sucks feeling, the what if this never gets made feeling? It’s part of the dreamer’s disease. Side effects when you’re chasing stars and gravity’s got a hold on you. 

Even in a pandemic these feelings still exist.

But because of the very pandemic, these feelings won’t stop me. They’ll make events and stepping stones a lot more challenging, but not impossible. It’s the vision you gotta keep, the vision and your motivation.

Projects become something to look forward to for everyone, whether it’s planting a garden, learning a new instrument, crocheting a blanket, starting a weight-loss program, a 30-Day Challenge, or writing a new story. Getting jazzed up about it is the first step and I’ve been on fire for a bit, now I get on with the research and storytelling.

I set the goal and I’ve been inching my way, step by step on the broken yellow-brick road. I’m still a ways away, but I do something every day to contribute to the success of this project. Whether I’m researching content online, writing notes, writing story, editing as I go along, getting pictures and notes to help me stay motivated. Every hour helps. Every day. Carve out an appointment with myself to get it done. I’m still worried about not knowing certain technical aspects for the story, but research continues. I’ve even added a side hustle to help me financially. I’m trying to remember, it’s just a way of making it happen.

And just when I hit a bump of discouraging news this week, I thought man, this is gonna suck, don’t know if I got it. Will I get it? I heard the tunes that got me out of some jams. Sitting in my car wondering … and the tunes come out.  I hear the funk, the guitar, and those lyrics jumpstart something in me, the dancing begins and the boost in my confidence. They introduce a different mindset. A positive one. Sitting on the couch thinking, and a feel good song from my childhood occurs to me and it makes me strut, that George Jefferson confidence strut. Makes me feel like I got this! I’m on the flip side. It’s possible. Even if it’s just today, today is the day I need confidence. I’ll deal with tomorrow, tomorrow.

And here I am, continuing that train of thought sending the tunes out in the universe hoping it encourages someone else out there to strut their stuff.

 

The Jeffersons Theme Song — Moving on Up

Oye — Sonora Margarita

Queen — Don’t Stop Me Now

 

Juanes — A Dios le Pido

 

U2 — Beautiful Day

 

Buen Camino my friends …

 

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Feel Good Friday on a Saturday … 5 Before 45

25 Jul

I made an appointment with myself this morning.

I mean, I make doctor’s appointments, parent-teacher conferences, coach’s meetings, practice sessions, camping arrangements. That was all prior to Covid-19. Now I make virtual meetings, virtual campouts, virtual summer camps, virtual book club, virtual everything. I make the everything appointments.

Everything but myself.

Haven’t done too many of those when we’re all supposed to be hunkered down. There’s little room here.

But needed a moment to think.

So I found some space. Something big was happening and I needed to clear my head. I needed a moment with myself to do something without the kids. So I woke up just at the same time the sun did, laced up my Saucony running shoes for the last time as a 44-year old.

I try to make time stop, slow it down on the last day. I try to get just one moment that day, do something fun, something Zen, something that makes me laugh, something that makes me feel good, like waking-up-early-to-watch-Saturday-morning-cartoons-when-I-was-a-kid good. Something with that vibe. Gives me perspective on the day before I turn one year older. I like to pause.

Early is the way to go when you’re trying to avoid people. Not too many feel the need to rise on up on Saturday morning. Not even myself. But today I did. And it was a good thing.

After I sprinted the last 200 yards with my heart pounding, trying to catch my breath, I felt it. I crossed my imaginary finish line marked by the parking sign and the sweat falling underneath my Cal Bears cap.

I closed my eyes and took a deep breath. And there it was, between the heartbeats. Brief. But it was there for me, a moment to be present, a moment of gratitude, a moment of pause. I enjoyed looking up at the sky and feeling the sun. 44 was leaving. But the mixed tape that went with it was worth it.

I don’t know what year 45 around the sun looks like, I know it will include Ben & Jerry’s that’s for sure. I’m celebrating the ending of year 44 with pint. But if year 45 is better than year 44, then I’m doing a good job. Moment by moment. Step by step.

 

Katrina and the Waves — Walking on Sunshine

 

La Sonora Dinamita — Se Me Perdio La Cadenita

UB40 — The Way You do The Things You Do

 

Los Tucanes de Tijuana — La Chona

 

Phil Collins — That’s All

 

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Buen Camino my friends!

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Feel Good 5 Friday

17 Jul

Sometimes you just need soothing comfort of the cool side of the pillow. When you’ve hit a rocky patch and you’re trying to bounce back sometimes you need to slowly groove your way out.

In steps.

Not all at once.

But let the soul of their voices pick you up after you stumbled. Sometimes it’s the softness of it that makes you stronger, sometimes the sadness of it makes you feel like someone can relate and you nod your head in recognition.

Sometimes they just take you back in time and reliving that moment makes the one you’re going through more bearable. You know you can get through it, whatever moment you feel stuck in, you can get out of it.

I heard these tunes and they gave me comfort to get through and smile on the other side of it. They were definitely something to feel good about on Friday.

Buen Camino …

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Ooh Child — The Five Stairsteps

Bob Marley — Three Little Birds

Lean on Me — Bill Withers

Ana Gabriel– Simplemente Amigos

Whitney Houston — Exhale

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Feel Good 5 Friday

10 Jul

He owned a dark blue Camero and rocked to songs of the 70s . I knew him my whole life. Since I was in pampers… there he was with bell bottoms. Uncle Erick.

It wasn’t easy growing up the way I did and where I did. But having Uncle Erick there made a difference. He was the brother I never had, and he died when he was 44 years old. Rare form of cancer.

His daughter was 10.

Damn cancer.

Heartbreaking when I think about the circumstances. Could happen to anyone and it sucks. I’m 44, and my son is 10.

It hardened me, as it was the first time someone in my inner circle had died so young. Not at 98 after a long and well-lived life. His was unfinished.

But I find pieces of him every now and then. My Dad and Uncle Erick are probably hanging out, drinking a cup of coffee somewhere out there in the universe because coffee was big in my family.

I heard one of his favorite jams and I hadn’t heard it in a while and it made me smile. I knew all the words and I raised the volume. It made me remember his dance moves.

Every time I hear Bill Joel I think of my Uncle Erick. He was a Billy Joel guy and any time this particular song made its way through the airwaves he got his Elvis dance moves twist and shake. He passed his love of 70s music and Billy Joel onto me.

Billy Joel’s got so many awesome tunes, Piano Man being in the top, but these in particular tunes make me think of my Uncle Erick, jamming in his Camero, busting out his dance moves on our brown shag carpet, or watching Bossom Buddies on TV. It makes my heart feel good and we need some of that today.

And while I was jamming to these tunes this week, I also rewatched one of my favorite movies, one I saw with Uncle Erick. This epic parade scene needed to be included in the Feel Good 5, it was a must if you’re an 80’s kid.

Billy Joel

It’s Still Rock and Roll To Me

Billy Joel

You May Be Right

Bill Joel

My Life

Billy Joel

The Longest Time

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off Parade Scene

Buen Camino my friends!

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