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What Kind of Friend Are You?

22 May

I’d like to think that I’m the kind of person a friend could call if they needed to move a body. I consider loyalty to be a very important quality in a person. So if someone called me I’d like to think I would pause Mad Men and drive over there immediately. No judgment.

Now before you go freaking out calling the police, I don’t mean the kind of body you would have to move out to the desert, requiring a shovel and a deep hole. No, that’s a whole different conversation and level of friendship. I’d probably have to know you for more than ten years to do something like that. But no, that’s not what I’m talking about here. I’m talking about a body that’s passed out on your couch for some reason or another. A mom. A dad. A brother. A sister. A son. A daughter. A grandma. Your dude. Your lady. Whatever they may be to you. If they’re passed out because of too many Lemon Drop Martinis, El Patron shots, or something stronger I’d like to think that my friends could call on me for help. No judgment. No drama. No gasps of horror. No lectures.

The “please don’t tell anybody about this–” preamble would not even be necessary with me.

I read something recently about the depths of friendship and the whole moving the body situation, they got all into it with details, scenarios, and different types of friendships. And it got me thinking about the type of friend I am.

I’m not the fake Facebook friend, I’m the body-mover. I realized that I’m one of those people.

I’d probably show up with a great piece of chocolate and tell you there’s no need to move the body, just leave it there. There’s no social worker coming over. So let them sleep it off. But if you still wanted me too, I’d help you move it. I work out. I’ve got muscles. We could do it. Then we could feast on chocolate and I’d probably try to throw in some Goodfellas type of jokes just to lighten the mood. And there would be no chisme, no drama, no judgment. Just safety in knowing that The Guat’s got your back. Really I’m the last person to be judging anybody, my life isn’t all happily ever after, it’s like a Spanish soap opera, but with more clothing and less good-looking people.

But while I was contemplating what an awesome non-judgmental body mover I would be, I realized that I only had a few of these type of friends on my speed dial. I had movie-going friends, writing pals, eating lunch time friends, give me a ride to the airport friends, and go to a game with friends. Not too many move-a-body friends, or relatives for that matter.

I felt a little bad about that, but then I realized you only need a few of those friends. Bodies aren’t that heavy if you’ve got a plan. You really only need one friend like that. A strong one, or maybe one that studied physics in college, stuff that would make body moving easy. I mean it would be awesome to have like twenty body moving friends, but realistically I didn’t see that in my future. But I could be wrong. In times of crisis people come through for you. They surprise you. So you never know.




Looking At The Bright Side

20 May
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Sometimes you have to look at the bright side to get through the tough times.



This Explains A Lot

16 May


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Happiness Project Update 25: I’m Still Keeping The Snooze Button

15 May

Apparently everyone has a set of inherent rules that help them get through the day. Sometimes you’ve had them so long you don’t even remember making the list, you just keep the rules because they have been working for you … sort of.

And then it hits you … you’re the female version of George Costanza except you’re in your thirties and  you’ve got hair. Gray hair, a multitude of gray sneaking in, the bad kind. The stressful kind. So maybe you need to examine these rules a bit closer. Part of this whole Happiness Project challenge involves mindfulness and I couldn’t go forward without examining some of my rules.

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I know I’m a Chapstick type of chick, but I’m still a complex human being. I’ve got layers. So my list was a little long. But I narrowed down the rules that could use some tweaking. But could I? I’ve had them for a while. They were rules, right? Dude … then I realized. This is not Monopoly, you can totally change the rules. These were the contenders.

Hit the snooze button.

Finish the to-do list.

Hurry. Hurry. Hurry.

Calm down.

At first they seem pretty good. Finishing my to-do list was necessary. It gave me umph! at the end of the day. A high-five for crossing everything off my list. Victorious at the end of a very tiring day. And of course I had to be in hurry, how else could I finish the list. Hurry to be on time. Hurry to finish working out. Hurry reading this book. Hurry  I only had 24 hours. But then I thought if I had all these things to do why would I hit the snooze button in the mornings? It’s just taking time away from finishing the list. Am I sleeping longer? Yes, but then I’m in a hurry because I snoozed it. Then there’s the calm down, effect. I realized that sometimes you need to feel a little rage. Case in point my run-in with the personal space hijackers at the beach. Calming down is not necessarily what you want to hear or feel at the time. Just feel it. Repressing emotions just lead to crazy later.

That is what I learned after a brief review.

But the most eye-opening examination happened to be the one that Gretchen Rubin gave me. Apparently she agreed with me about the hurry, hurry, hurry. It’s not very constructive and it’s probably more stressful. So she gave me an idea.

Instead of hurry, hurry, hurry. Try “I have plenty of time for the things that are important to me,” even if I hit the snooze button.

“By questioning my True Rules instead of applying them unthinkingly, I could make sure I applied them only when they’d guide me to decisions that reflected my true priorities … By mindfully deciding how to act in line with my values instead of mindlessly applying my rules, I was better able to make the decisions that supported my happiness.” — Gretchen Rubin

And so with this advice I added a few new rules to my list courtesy of Rubin’s chapter on mindfulness in hopes that more happiness and less craziness comes pouring in.


First thing is first (as in when the plane is going down, grab the oxygen mask and put it on yourself first before helping anybody else … you can’t help if you’re not breathing).

Down with boredom.

Get some work done everyday.

Choose the bigger life.

People succeed in groups.


But I’m still keeping the snooze button, sometimes you really need it.

Personal Space Hijackers

13 May

What is it with you?


You are not family. You are not friends. You are not even hi-and-bye acquaintances. You’re strangers. Complete I-don’t-know-you people who should respect the personal space radius surrounding me. At least a three to five yard circumference, depending on where we are. But you don’t get it. You just don’t. You walk on up with no regard for that piece of earth, that region, that atmosphere that surrounds me and that I lay claim to as soon as I walked into it. Psychologically speaking, it’s mine. I called it. But there you are, completely disregarding the rules of the universe, thus branding you a jackass.

I’m tired of you, constantly showing up. Unannounced.

If this goes any further, we might have lead roles on the latest episode of Oxygen’s Snapped!, and I assure you, you probably wouldn’t like the part. But you have no one to blame but yourself. And don’t claim ignorance. I know you know. You do. You know. You just don’t care and it’s this blatant disregard that really burns me out. If you keep at it, there’s no amount of chocolate that will help settle the wrath boiling within. So you better recognize and get steppin’. Recognize!

I wake up early, you know. I don’t like waking up early. I’m not a morning person, but I make it happen, because the reward is big. The beach. It’s nature. It has the perfect spot just waiting for me. It’s not too close to the waves, but not too far from the shoreline. Just close enough to hear the waves crashing and smell the salt of sea. It’s a place where the sand is soft and not too grainy. No seaweed in sight, no seagulls, and far enough from the volleyball courts so that I don’t get smashed with one in the face. The perfect spot for your towel. Me time with a view. These things are necessary for my own sanity. So I get there early, so I can get my spot. I scout the space. The beach is huge. Miles of space. But I figure out which piece of sand is best for me, and I set up my personal space radius. Towel. Chanclas. Beach chair. Bag.


This is me. This is my spot. Ready for "me time," until they show up ... personal space killers.

This is me. This is my spot. Ready for “me time,” until they show up … personal space killers.


There it is. You see me. I know you do. You see the stretch of sand on the right, the stretch of sand on the left. Those patches are attached to me. Anything within arms or foot reach is within my personal space circle. You know that. I know you do, because I bet you don’t sidle up to anybody at the ATM machine. You give them their space. So why? Why do you insist on hijacking my personal space? There is plenty of  sand and space beyond mine. Plenty. And some without seaweed. But what do you?


The Personal Space Hijackers. Right there.

The Personal Space Hijackers. It looks like I know them, right? My towel is next to the buckets. You would think I was part of the family, right? NO. No. I’m not.  These are the people who suck.

Are you kidding me!


I know you heard me and my suggestions for you to move further away. I know you saw my dirty looks and eye rolls when you didn’t. I know you heard my hostility. But no, that didn’t matter. Nice or angry, neither approach worked for you. You didn’t care. You just had your agenda to hijack my space and ruin my day. You suck. I bet if I were wearing a thong and showing half my ass, your wives and their crazy bitchy nature would have walked further down to the empty piece of land a few yards away. Thongs.

I’m not the thong-wearer. I’m a board shorts apparel owner. So in order to regain my personal space, I had to leave my perfect spot in search of another. I ended up surrounded by seagulls, seaweed scraps, and no direct view of the beach. Just cellulite and bikinis that really should have been one piece swimsuits.

Karma … you better handle this. Personal Space Hijackers suck. They really do. I hope there is a flat tire with no spare, no air-conditioning, and no cell service in their future. I really do.


Sometimes Chocolate is The Only Answer

8 May


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Sometimes you just have to take a day and chocolate is the only answer.


Supply and Demand

1 May
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As a writer sometimes the words do escape me …


Ever Have One of Those Days …

26 Apr
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Curious George Makes Earth Day Happen

22 Apr

I knew what day it was today and figured I had to do something good for the environment. I mean I wasn’t going to pledge a Billion Acts of Green, but I could at least do one more act of kindness other than recycling. You really can’t be selfish today. It was Earth Day. Earth … it’s a pretty big planet. You’re supposed to think of the bigger picture, at least for today. You’re supposed to think about Earth.  It’s probably the only planet that has chocolate, so gotta do what you gotta do.

So I thought I would do something involving nature. I could plant a tree. It would make up for all that driving around back and forth in a gas guzzler. I don’t own a Prius. It’s too small to house the Guat Posse. They’re also way out of my poor writer price range. Most hybrids and electric cars are, but I’m sure when I’m rolling in it I’ll upgrade. But I’m not that bad. California has strict emission laws to keep everyone in check, but I’m the vapors coming out of my exhaust aren’t that breathable, so I thought planting a tree would be good. But I had nowhere to plant it. I don’t have a yard. I don’t even have a house. I’ve been in a state of homeless transition for a while, having to live at my parents house. Stupid Craigslist housing section, you’ve let me down.

So I couldn’t plant a tree, but I still wanted to do something involving nature. Then it hit me. Literally it hit me, my one year-old likes emptying things out of boxes and bags, and not in a gentle way. So as I was pondering this whole Earth Day contribution a small Curious George packet of tomato seeds landed on my face. I thought this is the perfect Earth Day activity for us.


The origins of our future plant were kept in here.

The origins of our future plant were kept in here.


My son wanted to examine the seeds. My daughter wanted to taste them.

My son wanted to examine the seeds. My daughter wanted to taste them.


And so our little Earth Day project began as we added soil to a recycled cottage cheese container

And so our little Earth Day project began as we added soil to a recycled cottage cheese container.


After we added the seeds, baby sister wanted to get in on the action.

After we added the seeds, baby sister wanted to get in on the action.


We added the final touch ... and they waited, and waited, and waited.

We added the final touch … and they waited, and waited, and waited.


Both of my kids were pretty excited about using gardening accessories and planting something that would grow. But when plants didn’t sprout out within the hour, it was kind of a bummer for them. However my son recalled a Curious George episode and told his little sister that the plant needed more time. A long time. He told his sister: “Tomorrow. Tomorrow the plant will come.”


My Woo-Hoo Badges of Honor

19 Apr

When spectacular things don’t happen to you on a daily basis, you look for tiny little good moments to wrap your brain around, so as to avoid your blood pressure from rising. You reach and grasp for whatever you can so that you go to bed thankful for something. Something!

Things like finding a five-dollar bill in your freshly laundered Gain-smelling jeans.

Things like finding a spare key when you’re locked out of the house.

Things like the last Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate Square waiting for you at the bottom of the bag.

Things like being able to take the carpool lane when traffic is jammed and passing the jackass that cut you off in the process.

Things like the makers of Framboise who help you out on Friday nights.

Things like BenGay and ice packs to help your weary muscles and bones.

Things like FX and AMC that rock your world because you no longer have HBO.

Things like the bloggers who surprise you with awards and make you feel like a badass writer.


Now usually I’m on top of awards and I post my gold stars right away, but with all the training for the race it escaped me. But it’s never too late to acknowledge the people who think I’m “Guatacular.”



Cayman Thorn, Clay Watkins, and Jim. Cayman Thorn over at Drinks Well with Others nominated me for the Very Inspiring Award, which goes to show you that someone out there — a comic, sensitive genius himself — finds my sense of humor inspiring out there. Clay at Making The Days Count and Jim a Fit Recovery both nominated me for the Liebster Award. They both write about life and their own journeys to make the most out of it.

I totally accept these woo-hoo badges of honor and wanted to let them know that …


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I know there are specific rules for these types of awards, like tell us a couple interesting facts about yourself, post the award on your site, and nominate 10 people … give or take. But I’m gonna break a few of these rules in order to pass both honors to blogs I think are definitely worthy of appreciation and gold stars. I appreciate the blogging love given to me and I send out double the love to the following bloggers who inspire me with their travels, their photographs, and their ability to make me laugh.


TBM at the 50 Year Project

Baz The Landy Out and About Having Fun

Stephen Kelly Creative

Patrick Latter at Hiking Photography

Justin Gawel at Ramblings From An Apathetic Baby


The Time is Write

Lame Adventures

They keep the blogosphere awesome and entertaining with adventure, dreams, pictures that are priceless, and comedy. Don’t forget comedy, it keeps the gray hair away and the blood pressure down. Feel free to stop by and get a dose of inspiration in a variety of ways.