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Motivation Mondays: The Upside To The Downside

23 Jan

I started off Saturday morning parking five long blocks away from the Metro station and putting my best parallel parking skills to the test — the kind where you have to turn down the music and high-five yourself when you finally turn the engine off.

As I got to the station the sight of the massive crowd made some people turn back, either changing their travel plans or just changing their plans for the day.

train

ūüôā

 

But I saw an opportunity to move forward. Inch by inch onto the platform, linked arm in arm with women I had just met on my way to meet my Comadres of a lifetime. We started off as strangers on a train and but walked through the sliding doors knowing each other’s names and purpose, and wishing each other luck as we stepped forward into our future.

 

Civic engagement used to come every election, but now the grassroots movement on this side of town continues to be strong, especially around particular issues important to people, whether it be education, women’s rights, health care, or the environment. Everyone was speaking for something that mattered to them.

It ¬†was moving to see so many women come together and peacefully unite for a cause. I was even prouder to be part of a country-wide effort that brought worldwide attention to this cause. Thousands upon thousands of people throughout the country … in New York, Atlanta, Boston, Seattle, Miami, Chicago, multiple cities throughout the world engaged. Everyone is watching.

Those that were apathetic  became more vigilant of their future and the potential dangers out there, and those that are passionate find ways to engage more people and continue inspiring others.

Marching with 750,000 people in favor of women’s rights made me feel certain during uncertain times. I left knowing what Gloria Steinem called “The Upside to the Downside,” and this was just step one.

 

 

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I Don’t Need Another Ribbon … Or Challenge

25 Nov

Maybe it will be Turquoise or some kind of dark blue satin strip that tries to copy the blue that the water used to be …¬† I have no idea, but either way I don’t want it.

This holiday season I don’t want it.

I don’t need another ribbon … There’s the red one for AIDS, the pink one for breast cancer, the multicolored one for autism. I don’t need another one.

I don’t need another water bucket challenge, push-up challenge, or mannequin challenge.

What I need is for people to do the right thing so that ribbons or challenges are not needed. I don’t need awareness challenges after-the-fact, I need justice for people who are fighting for what’s right. I need to Erin Brockovich this situation, because what’s a ribbon gonna do, when you could have stopped it from happening?

 

 

This injustice inspires anger in me, not hope. It inspires frustration, not cooperation. It inspires profanity, not prayer. It breaks my heart, not strengthens it. These feelings may not be the right ones, but they fuel the resolve that I have to use my voice to help stand in solidarity with those who still have peace and hope in their hearts.

And hopefully it helps.

Water is an essential part of life and putting something under it, near it, or around it that could contaminate it, that will probably contaminate it, kills off a source just as important as oxygen.

So why is this Dakota Pipeline still happening?

Big Oil. Big Money. Big Bullies.

When the documentary BULLY came out there was an uproar at the blatant incompetence and neglect of some schools, districts, educators, and bus drivers that escalated these situations. People who were supposed to protect children from bullies were failing and allowing this toxic behavior to emotionally and physically harm their kids.

bully

Big Oil. Big Money. Big Bullies. Same problem.

Everything has two sides I get it. The people near Bismark did not want the pipeline near their water sources, they said it could contaminate their drinking water. So it was moved to Lake Oahe … to potentially contaminate the drinking source of hundreds of Native Americans. It not only could contaminate the water for the nearby reservation, but also endanger the remains of their loved ones, and violate an 1851 treaty.

One community asks for the pipeline not to be built near their water source,  they comply. Native Americans ask they not build near their water source for the same reasons in addition to burial sites and the treaty. No one listens. Bulldozers come. Pipe is laid.

Two sides to every story. I wonder what kind of people lived near the Bismark water source?

People who say it’s complicated aren’t really looking at the simplicity of the matter. It’s wrong. Period. If decision-making people in government can’t find the courage to stand up and do the right thing, then maybe they shouldn’t be standing in a position of power. I told you … I don’t know need another ribbon or another challenge.

I need people to do the right thing. THEY need people to do the right thing. But what happens …

The Army Corps Engineers plan to shut down the Dakota Pipeline Protest Camp by December 5th, and add a “free speech zone” instead in order to “protect the general public from the violent confrontations between protestors and law enforcement officials that have occurred in this area, and prevent death, illness, or serious injury to inhabitants of encampments due to the harsh North Dakota winter conditions …”

I. Can’t. Eeeeeeeeeven.

A lot has already been taken away from these people … I can’t imagine why the government would allow anyone to strip them of even more. Freedom of speech. Freedom to assemble peacefully. Freedom period.

It angers me that this young kid, Kendrick Eagle, among hundreds of others who remembers the promises from the campaign of HOPE were met with a militarized police force and National Guard using tear gas, plastic bullets, hoses, tasers, and other “nonlethal” means of keeping protesters “in check,” like keeping them in dog kennels after being arrested¬† you know for the “safety of everyone.”

The moral compass seems to be broken in North Dakota, especially in the governor’s office. So this week, when I was giving thanks, I also empathized and honored the people who have been victims of the government for over 200 years.¬† I do my best to spread their word while I still have a voice and time to do it. I Stand With Standing Rock all the way from California and without a ribbon pinned to my shirt. I told you I don’t want one.

Buen Camino.

 

 

 

 

The Most Awesome Panamanian

4 May

He has the ability to change your day. He can affect your outcome. So you either love him or you hate him.

You’re eating a meal, drinking a cold¬†beer, and enjoying the night with a couple of friends.¬† And then he comes out and you smile. You know the night just went from good to great.

But for some it doesn’t turn out that way.¬†You’re having an awesome day, the sun is shining. It’s a nice 70 degrees, no clouds in sight¬†and everything is going your way, until he walks out.¬† You shake your head, slump your shoulders, and sigh. You don’t even want to eat your hot dog any more. There’s nothing you can do. It’s over. You need two drinks now.

You love him or you hate him. Most people from Boston hate. Me, I live in California so I don’t share the same hostility.

New York Yankee closer Mariano Rivera before a...

New York Yankee closer Mariano Rivera. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

He walks out.¬† Six-foot-two and¬†185 pounds of Panamanian Awesomeness. Mariano Rivera. You love him or you hate him. I’m not a die-hard Yankee fan but I’m a Mariano fan.¬†I follow the player wherever¬†he goes. So when I heard of his torn ACL¬†injury ohhhhhhh¬†I was bumbed out.

He’s 42. In baseball years that’s not a good thing. It’s like being a model, not that I would know anything about that, seeing how I¬†don’t wear heels,¬†and¬†I do wear Chapstick.¬†But I imagine you don’t have too many 42 year-old models out there when teens and 20-somethings are doing the weird model-horse walk down the runway.

So a 42 year-old baseball player with a torn ACL, not cool. He’s in hazard zone, in danger of being sent home¬†permanently.

But he is badass. He’s a closer. He’s the closer. He comes in to finish the job. He’s got over 600 career saves. I can’t tell you how many times I was watching a ball game at a bar and as soon as he came out to close the game you see haters looking at the waitress saying check, please. You see¬†fans ordering another round in celebration of what was to come. He hadn’t even thrown the first pitch, but they knew. They knew.

Mariano Rivera

Mariano Rivera (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Now unfortunately he’s out for the season.

But¬†he’s a Yankee, so you never know. Perhaps back in time for the playoffs.

This organization has massive amounts of cash. I’m sure they can find the best doctors out there to help out my man. If it can be done it will.

But for now my man is down for the count.¬† Even though he makes about $14 million a year, I still feel for him. I know what it’s like to tear an ACL in the prime of your season. Believe it or not, in my high school days I was a baller. I lettered in three sports for four years. Captain of two varsity teams and athlete of the year twice. I was badass, until I tore my ACL.

Like Mariano … I was out. Unfortunately for me it happened during my senior year and I did not have $14 million.

I felt¬†bad for my man, but now in retrospect, I’m sure he’ll bounce back.¬†It’s not like he’s a Guatemalan in his senior year of high school. He Mariano Rivera … one of the most awesome Panamanians.

When You Have Passion, Good Things Happen …

14 Apr

He makes you want to pursue your passion. 

I saw him on the Nightly News with Brian Williams.

I thought … man this nine-year old boy is awesome. When I was nine I was watching Karate Kid, practicing my Mr. Miyagi moves, playing Light Bright, Battleship, tag and basketball.¬†¬†Nothing inspirational by any means, but my dad was still proud of me.

So when I saw Caine’s story I thought … wow … this kid is awesome. He has passion and he¬†took it to the next level.¬†He’s probably going to be the next Bill Gates in his field. His dad is most definitely proud of him. Caine is proud of himself.

He spent time during his summer vacation at his dad’s auto parts store. He noticed all these cardboard boxes and had vision.¬†

This is his story …

 

Caine’s Arcade

 

Holy Crap! I’ve Been Nominated …

31 Mar

Dude. Finding humor in my everyday drama has its rewards: it’s usually laughter,¬†and sometimes¬†tears from all the laughter.

This “emotional traffic” I’m stuck in definitely has¬†its¬†benefits … other than building character it garnered me with a nomination for the Liebster Award from Michelle at Life is an Exquisite Journey. So … a HUGE MUCHAS¬†GRACIAS to Michelle for nominating me.¬†She’s a cool chick¬†with interests in “Self-Discovery, Fashion …¬†Creative Expression, Travel, and Peace and Balance.”

The Liebster¬†Award!¬†¬†This award is ¬†given to bloggers who inspire you and have less than 200 followers. The Liebster Award takes its name from the German word meaning ‚ÄėBeloved, Dearest or Favorite.‚Äô

The Guat is Beloved. Sweeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeet.

So in the Liebster Fashion of paying it forward I am to nominate five other bloggers (with less than 200 followers) that I appreciate.

So¬†here are¬†the rules and my nominees¬†ūüôā

¬†¬†¬† Here‚Äôs how it works … rules people!

  1. Link back to the person who gave it to you and thank them.
  2. Post the award to your blog.
  3. Give the award to 5 bloggers with less than 200 followers that you appreciate and value (It’s a great way to get to word out there about other blogs!!)
  4. Leave a comment on the 5 blogs to let them know that they have received this award.

 

Adela — New York — Barcelona¬† …. Ahhhhh¬†Adela she¬†makes me smile with her¬†stories of a New Yorker in Spain. But what cracks me up¬†are the cultural differences between Spanish Speakers from different countries and how her stories weave¬†in culture, life, traveling abroad,¬†and¬†humor.

L.A. Girl Secret Diaries¬†… This is a fun and entertaining read.¬† She describes herself as a “single do it on her own plus sized girl in her twenties on a journey for weight loss, love and contemplating the next move on the career track…” I think everyone¬†is on that journey… the twenties just makes it fun and funny. ūüôā

Debut Dad chronicles the humorous experiences of a first-time dad. Some of the discoveries he goes through are funny, others are touching. You can get on board this web-journal type of blog and see life through the eyes of a new dad.

Christine at Living is a Process had me¬†at hello … with her title … then when I realized she was a football chick like me I thought … oh yeah I’m definitely reading this. But she writes about life, and sports are just a small part of it. She describes herself as a “work of art in process” and I liked that.

The Strugglers Handbook caught my eye by title alone, but hooked me in with his stories of life and being a dad, all with depth and humor. He often cracks me up and although I love to laugh, cracking up is always better. He does that often with his family stories.

So now that you know the nominees, feel free to drop on by and check them out ūüôā Once again thanks so much to Michelle for this honor.

He’s a Womanizer…But I Still Love Him

24 Mar

How long would you wait for that special someone?

We¬†had a long-standing arrangement. Every Sunday night. How long would you wait if he didn’t show up?

Ten minutes?

Fifteen?

Thirty?

An hour?

He’s a workaholic. You knew it when you met him.

You wonder, what’s going on?

How long am I gonna wait for someone who says stuff like: “The reason why you haven’t felt [love] is because it doesn’t exist. What you call “love” was invented by guys like me to sell nylons.”

I mean do you wait? He’s smoker … you don’t even like smokers. That was a deal breaker for you … but you made an exception for him. Just for him you wait.

I’ve waited about two years for my man to return … and he’s back Sunday night.

Image via amctv.com

Image via amctv.com

I don’t know what I’ve been doing without Don Draper, but this is it. He’s back … Mad Men is back and I couldn’t be more ecstatic.

He’s a womanizer, but I still love him. It’s a flaw. A BIG one. But it’s Don, you gotta love him. He’s a conflicted soul with secrets. You¬†think¬†you wouldn’t love him. But it’s the flaws that draw you to his vulnerable side. You’re intrigued.¬†I’ve missed him, his charm, his work and his great lines. Stuff like:

“It wasn’t a lie. It was ineptitude with insufficient cover.”

How awesome is that?

For those of you that don’t know what I’m talking about. Mad Men is¬†one of the, if not THE,¬†best show on television. Picture it: The 1960s… Madison Avenue. It’s about a New York¬†ad agency and the men and women who work there. It’s got envy, plenty of secrets, jealousy, deception,¬†clever ads, fashion (if you’re into that¬†but I’m not), alcoholism, sexism, drama,¬†adultery,¬†excitement, too much smoking, and awesome writing.

I was addicted from Day One.

I look forward to Sunday night. I don’t answer the phone. If someone comes to the door, I don’t get up. I don’t let them in. If someone tries to have a conversation with me …¬†good luck. It’s not happening. Don’s got my undivided attention. For sixty minutes I’m his, well this Sunday he’s got me for two hours during the premiere. Every Sunday I belong to Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce. I’m theirs.

I want to hear how Don’s new marriage turns out. Is Betty gonna jump his bones? I look forward to discovering the layers of his past. I look forward to seeing how far Peggy goes in Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce. What’s up with Joan having Roger’s baby and her disappointment of¬†a husband still playing doctor in the war? And Pete … well he’s still a whining weasel. I don’t like him.

But the drama will come and I’ll be there.¬†The great¬†lines will be there. Stuff like…

“You¬†don’t cover for me¬†… you manage people’s expectations of¬†me.”

Grab a drink, or some rocky road, plop yourself on the coach and get ready for the ride. Season 5 coming.

Giddy up!

The Big Wardrobe Change Heard Around The World

19 Mar

¬†He’s the top news story on every channel, and he’s not even involved in some¬†crazy scandal.

Jags vs Colts Monday Night Football

Jags vs Colts Monday Night Football (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

¬†It’s Peyton.

  Peyton Manning.

Most chicks don’t know who he is or who I’m talking about. Football chicks yes … definitely yes, you do know the magnitude of this news. But there are very few¬†of us in this club.¬†So this is for the other chicks, for the sake of your dudes listen up. Por favor! Let me educate you sisters!

He’s not on The Bachelor,¬†Dancing with the Stars, The Young and The Restless, a trainer on The Biggest Loser, or one of the husbands from Housewives of Atlanta, Orange County, Beverly Hills, etc… He’s an athlete. Yes! But he doesn’t play basketball or golf professionally. He’s one of the most awesome quarterbacks ever on Earth and in the Milky Way Galaxy.

¬†The big deal? He decided to change his wardrobe.¬†Not by choice of course. He no longer wears the¬†white and blue¬†with a little horse shoe on the helmet¬†from Indianapolis. Instead he’s decided to¬†wear¬†navy and orange and hang out in Denver.¬†

He’s still a horse, but he’s not longer a Colt: a young male horse. He’s a Bronco: a wild horse. Although¬†as a quarterback he’s not really wild … just awesome. I usually prefer college football to the pros, but when Peyton was playing,¬†my nachos and I sat on the couch and he had our full undivided attention.

I’ve been a fan since day one and he’s the reason why I became an Indianapolis Colts¬†fan. However, now that he’s changing colors I might have to own a navy and orange jersey. That’s just how I roll. I’m loyal¬†to the man like that.

I mean hey … it’s Denver. John Elway, right? Peyton working with Elway¬†… Dude.

He’s been called “Top Gun.” Need I say more … well maybe a little. He’s¬†one of the best I’ve ever seen. He’s got consecutive seasons with 4000 or more yards. Super Bowl Champion? Yes! ¬†He’s the only player to receive NFL MVP honors four times, and he’s been in the Pro Bowl 11 times. Eleven!

Are you that good at your job?

I mean have they given you an executive, CEO, CFO, doctor, associate, lawyer, teacher, or mom award four times? Have you ever been so awesome at something that you were on the spectacular squad 11 times? Well … maybe if you’re Meryl Streep … that chick has mad acting skills with her dozens of Oscar nominations. Me …¬†I’m lucky if I get 11 thank yous in a year.¬†

Manning and his teammates in a game against th...

Manning and his teammates in a game against the Jacksonville Jaguars. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

But ladies (and gentlemen)¬†… Peyton is of massive importance. He’s special. He calls his own plays. His own plays! When most dudes are¬†guided by the coaches on the sidelines or perhaps via phone call from the Big Cheeses in the luxury boxes, Peyton sees the field and takes action. He’s such a bad ass that he’s in huddle¬†calling his own plays.

Talent and Smarts.  Top Gun indeed.

So if your dude, or a dude you know, your brother, or your dad is sad or upset about the wardrobe change, you can surprise him and say … well Joe Montana¬†went¬†from the 49ers to the Chiefs, Brett¬†Favre went from the Packers to the Jets to the Vikings¬†and they were still pretty awesome. I’m sure Peyton will kick ass in Denver. Playoffs baby. Playoffs!

You’ll score some points. No doubt. No doubt.