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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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Feel Good 5 Friday … With Gorilla Tape

2 Oct

Dear Gorilla Tape People,

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

I remembered. And I missed it.

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

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

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

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

Imagine that.

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

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

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

Architecturally correct, supported by Gorilla Tape.

But competition got cancelled this time around.

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

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

Earth, Wind, and Fire — September

Juan Luis Guerra – Lampara Pa Mies Pies

Blondie — The Tide is High

The Archies — Sugar, Sugar

Jimmy Buffet — Margaritaville

Buen Camino my friends …

Feel Good 5 Friday … On a Saturday

26 Sep

So after a week of heaviness and hopelessness of a good person’s death the sun still came out, and there were blessings out there for some people. But not everybody.

And it reminded me of that Jimmy Stewart Christmas movie, and it’s funny because I don’t like watching it. In fact it’s on every Christmas but I don’t watch it. I think I only watched it once and that was enough for me. In any case, this whole scenario reminded me of that Potter guy and what an ass he was and how many Potter guys we have out there.

Stewart came out all right in the end, realizing his worth and everyone in his circle showing him so much love he felt rich in that way.

But that’s not enough in this situation. Karma’s slow and I need her to hurry up a bit. Until I can be more patient and funnel all that energy in a more positive direction, distraction is a good thing. Something uplifting and hopeful makes the present bearable.

So I watched The Social Dilemma on Netflix. Not the most positive step forward. But it was enlightening and I was super grateful that I am probably one of the few parents on Earth that doesn’t let her kid have a phone. My answer is usually, you’re not a doctor or a plumber, you’re not on call. I’m your personal Lyft/Uber driver so you got no use for a phone and if there’s an emergency use the house phone. When school was still in session I informed him he could use the school phone and that shouldn’t be a problem. Phones were intended to call people, but instead they’re a distraction. Pictures and posting.

He was not too thrilled with my response but understood.

The notions that are revealed in this docudrama are something I’ve been aware of, so it didn’t really surprise me. I’m not on social media that much either, so not participating in things of that nature isn’t really difficult for me. But I found it interesting that the kids were so addicted to these devices. But maybe it makes sense, since they were born into it. I mean even adults, there’s not a lot of social interaction, there wasn’t even before coronavirus. Many people were on the Facebook or Instagram, communicating that way, which is why I enjoy team sports or The Outdoors. Connection, live connection, is important and a lot of people are realizing that now.

And even though it was a good film it wasn’t the pep-me-up I was looking for to help turn the corner. But I was able to do a couple things to shake off a little funk.

After weeks of being on the injured list, I finally ventured out on a run this week and I can say that although I wasn’t at 100 percent, it still helped boost the good mood levels. The fact that the air quality was good enough to go outside was a bonus. Wild fires ravaging my neck of the woods provided an apocalyptical environment. But they’re getting through bit by bit. So that was something positive.

I was also able to catch a couple episodes of shows that made me laugh, learn, and feel good this week. I mean other than baseball rocking this unpredictable season, these TV shows provided a silver lining and lightness during a heavy week. Sometimes you need to hear other people’s stories to help you with your own. Food’s got a lot of good stories, from it’s origin all the way to the table. I find the food journey fascinating and delicious. Plus I discovered two comedies I never watched when they originally aired. Finding hidden gems late at night when you can’t really call anybody helps provide smiles that you need for a good night’s sleep. Hope you can find some this week!

Buen Camino, my friends!

Down to Earth with Zac Efron

Club de Cuervos (The Ballad of Hugo Sanchez)

Taco Chronicles

Community

The Chef Show

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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