Tag Archives: George Costanza

Relationship Advice … Costanza Style

25 Feb

 

Costanza Wisdom

Costanza Wisdom

 

 

He Was One of The Best Storytellers I knew …

28 Jan

 

george-costanza

George Costanza

 

 

Hope You Find Another Way … A Festivus Miracle Way

22 Dec

 

Happy Festivus!

Happy Festivus!

 

 

The Seinfeld Chronicles: My Big Salad Moment

28 Apr

It’s worse than taking the last potato chip.

It’s worse than drinking all the Simply Orange and then leaving the carton in the fridge.

It’s worse than eating the last piece of chocolate cake.

Yeah … it’s pretty bad. It’s a did-that-just-happen-to-me-yeah-it-did-I can’t-believe-that-just-happened-to-me moment. And only one person could understand what I was going through, could understand the principle of the thing.

The principle.

Costanza. George Costanza. He knows exactly what I’m talking about.

“Yeah sure … you’re welcome.”

I sat there on the couch and I heard it, but I couldn’t believe it. I mean it’s family. My family. And within this Guat familial structure you know you’re not supposed to cross culinary lines. You’re just not.

The kitchen is sacred ground. You don’t go taking credit for something that isn’t yours. If it’s Tia Lola’s guacamole, it’s Tia Lola’s guacamole.  You don’t go passing it off as your own. Just because you put the guacamole in an avocado looking bowl doesn’t mean you should get the thank you that rightfully belongs to the chef. If it’s my broiled chicken in special red sauce, then it’s mine. You can’t go off pretending like you made it. You can’t.  I mean you may kid around a bit, but in the end you usually cave into the truth.

This did not happen.

I saw the thank you happen as she handed the plate over and then the you’re welcome followed. And I sat there in my George Costanza state of mind as compliments were being exchanged. I sat there waiting for it. Waiting for the … oh no I didn’t make it, she did.

I was waiting for it.

And it never came.

 

Has this happened to you?

Has this happened to you?

 

Normally I guess I would have let it go, but the compliments kept coming in and she just took them. Just grabbed them. She stole them, really. It was like class 5 felony.

And in truth she could have stopped it at any time. There were plenty of pause breaks. But she continued to nod her head and smile, as if taking the chicken out of the package was somehow a contribution to the final dish worthy of a Food Network Challenge. No dude. No it wasn’t and she knew it too. She knew. But what made the moment worse was the fact that someone in my family that rarely gives thank yous or compliments was gushing over the chicken, asking for seconds and thirds and even a take-home plate. And there she was taking the apron off and pretending she had something to do with that bird.

Dude.

I had no words. I sat there betrayed by my family in the kitchen.

I was just feeling the George Costanza in me bubble out.

But I waited. I waited for her to leave and then said …  Duuuuuuude … that was my chicken! What the hell?

And all I got was a raised eyebrow questioning the validity of my statement.

Dude.

Serenity now.

 

 

 

Love … Costanza Style

12 Feb

 

Image via TBS.com

Image via TBS.com

 

Just in case some of you forgot that the biggest love day on Earth is set to take place on Friday, thought I share some Costanza wisdom with you.

 

I’d Have Less George and More Me …

27 Jan

I finally found a way to look at the other side and not jump off a cliff.

In an attempt to create a sequel to my Happiness Project Adventures of last year, I’ve decided to keep tracking my attempts to get as much juice as I could from the lemons life gave me and so far my Clear-Eyes-Full-Hearts-Thelma-&-Louise-you’re-different-now-kind-of-feeling  hasn’t worn off yet.

I’m happy about that.

Usually self-improvement projects, plans, bucket list items, changes, gung-ho promises made at the beginning of the year — aka resolutions — suffer setbacks or wear off. Luckily the ripples are still in the water.

image.axd

Image via Seinfeld.com

So I managed to take advantage of this mindset and continued tweaking my outlook so that certain roles within my George Costanza existence would look more appealing and the effort to improve wouldn’t feel like such a chore. I’d have a Happiness Project Adventure Sequel, a Secret Life of Walter Mitty moment or two. I’d have less George and more me.

Apparently the first step to this was to psych myself up, to give myself one of those awesome pre-game sports speeches, the kind that’s delivered by Coach Eric Taylor in Friday Night Lights (the show, not the movie), by Sean Astin in Rudy, by Kurt Russell in Miracle, and by Gene Hackman in Hoosiers.

I’m no Kurt Russell, but I did come up with some creative ways to look at the different roles within my life. I juiced it up a little so that I could look forward to these parts of my life, instead of dreading them.

And so far so good.

Instead of checkbook balancer, coupon lady, and finance checker, I thought Rainmaker would motivate me more when dealing with my finances.

Instead of working on “emotional control,” I thought Zen Master Apprentice would be more appropriate.

Instead of saying dude I have to workout, I’d look at it more like my Ninja Warrior Triathlete-Decathlete training, which sounds a little bit more awesome.

Instead of working on exercises to develop a spiritual side, I thought I’d try to be a Super Soul Sunday Engineer. Sounds like I’d get all kinds of spirit with that.

Instead of thinking of myself sometimes as just a mom who’s home with her kids for endless amounts of time trying not to get lost, I could consider myself more of a Human Spirit Adventure Developer and Life Compass Architect.

Instead of freelance writer, I could look at myself as a Future Barnes & Noble Best Seller.

Instead of looking at crappy moments like I-can’t-believe-this-just-happened-to-me-I-need-chocolate-right-now experiences, they could be envisioned as life moments to be  written up and appear in Saturday Night Live Skits, although I wouldn’t get rid of the chocolate.

Yeah.

Chocolate is still a necessity.

Even though I’ve juiced up the different parts of my life and kept the ripples in my pond going I think I’ll still keep the chocolate. George Costanza phases come and go, but like I said before hopefully with these little changes in perception I’ll have less George and more me. Don’t get me wrong, I love George, but you shouldn’t have too much of him.

 

Getting In The Spirit!

23 Dec

 

festivus

🙂

Getting in tune with my inner George wanted to make sure I spread the holiday cheer. Happy Festivus people.

You Gotta Love George

22 Jul

 

:)

🙂

 

Whenever I need a laugh I know I can count on George … he sees things from a different perspective.

 

 

Happiness Project Final Update: I’ve Learned to Embrace the George Costanza Phase of My Life

11 Jul

It all started a year ago with a picture and an unexpected outing at Barnes and Noble.

There I was in a CAL Hockey Jersey hands up in the air celebrating an amusement park triumph. I looked at the photograph and paused.

Who was this chick, and where did she go?

It was me … only I was happy, my spirit was busting loose. My freak flag was flying.

I looked at myself in the mirror and thought … what the hell?

And there it was … this is when the concept of the lemon squeezer was born. Had I turned sour because Plan A wasn’t working out the way I had imagined … maybe … I had my moments. Did I have bouts of malaise? Hell yes. Did I need an Elizabeth Gilbert Eat, Pray, Love experience? Yes…hell yes. But I was broke and had no time to really fly off to Rome, India or Bali.  I couldn’t afford to go to Fiji and have a Tony Robbins life-changing experience. So I’d have to change my life without the use of a passport.

But I didn’t really get started until Gretchen popped into my life.

Image via Happiness-Project.com

Image via Happiness-Project.com

I never thought I’d meet a Gretchen or that she’d help change my outcome. I mean it’s not like she was Tony Robbins or anything, just some chick with a book I glanced at during one of my self-help expeditions at the book store. In truth, I hadn’t planned on going to Barnes & Noble, but the movie I wanted to watch was sold out, so instead of heading back home — a world where moms hardly escape — I decided to take a detour and hang out at the book store. As I was checking out all these ridiculous “find-your-inner-light” books by people who didn’t really have inner light, I came across Gretchen’s book: The Happiness Project.

I remembered my picture and thought … yeah I need me some of that because Trader Joe’s may be running out of chocolate lava cakes.

What do I have to lose? $14.99?

I thought damn Guat … you need to start squeezing some of the juice out of these lemons that life threw at you like a Randy Johnson fastball in his prime.

So I launched my Happiness Project. I made goals, plans, resolutions to make things better out of the crappy life I wasn’t meant to have. Sure I had my health, but I couldn’t just go walking around just being thankful for my health alone. I wanted more. I wanted to be like Will Smith at the end of The Pursuit of Happiness where he’s clapping his hands and crying because he made it. Yeah I wanted me some of that.

So I read it. And I know the book only had 12 chapters, but I managed to squeeze out 27 lessons, experiences, plans, resolutions for my Happiness Project. I vowed to take baby steps and giant steps toward my happiness. I vowed to rush down that field like an awesome Heisman Trophy winner. I vowed to be Badass again … with a capital B. I vowed to let my freak flag fly. I vowed to try to be that Guat I saw in the picture.

:)

🙂

I concentrated on specific things for my own happiness:  emotional, physical, and mental wellness; being an awesome member of the parenthood fraternity; finding the funny in not so funny situations; dancing like I was the chick from Flashdance every day because the music is definitely in me; staying athletic no matter how much IcyHot and ibuprofen I used; being present and not getting crazy with the multitasking that is inherent in all moms; seeking new challenges so I am less depressed; having my kind fun however it is that I defined fun which usually involved sports, the AMC network, or anything involving Jason Bateman; living like it was Shark Week; learning to be grateful; having a purpose and feeling like there’s something out there for me, productivity as in pouring out my writing ideas even if the publishing date is still TBA, and celebrating little accomplishments as in giving myself a high-five.

This is what I tried to do for 365 days.

So the big question is, are you happy? Are you happier? Did it work?

I can only say that considering I had turned into the female version of George Costanza, my Happiness Project has kept me from jumping off a cliff. I see that chick in the picture more often than I used to.

Am I happy all day, every day? No. I’d need more cash for that to come true. And I know people say that money doesn’t buy happiness, but they might not be trying hard enough, because it sure does help.

But aside from that am I  happy? Considering what I go through and what my life didn’t turn out to be, I’d say I’m rocking Plan B. I’ve squeezed every last drop of the hundreds of lemons dumped on me by life and they in turn have given me more moments of happiness.  Don’t get me wrong, I’ve fallen off the wagon plenty of times this year. Marriage and family will do that to you. This is when the chocolate, drinking, Deepak Chopra style meditation, or Rocky Balboa type of workouts surfaced.

But regardless of the crappy days, I learned that the next day gave me another 24 hours to make up for it. I was like Jack Bauer … making the most of every hour. And during this Eat, Pray, Love journey that was confined to the Golden State, there were a few resolutions, lessons, goals that helped me out the most.

Be The Guat — remembering to fly my freak flag no matter what. I usually didn’t have a problem with that one ever, but it was always a good reminder.

Be present — as in show up, enjoy the now, be present in the moment in whatever it is I’m doing … running, reading, watching a movie, eating dinner, playing Legos with my kid. Stop multi-tasking and be present. Savor the moment because if I’m doing something I can’t go at it half-assed. Whole ass is the way to go.

Find the funny — you gotta laugh. First you’ll probably cry, and eat a couple of pints of Ben & Jerry’s but once that’s done, find the funny. Write your life like a Saturday Night Live skit and you’ll find the funny and it’ll get you through.

HappinessHere

🙂

Yeah … these were my lessons, my goals, my resolutions. Am I happy?

I’d say I’m a little happier. I’ve learned to embrace the George Costanza phase of my life. Happy Festivus!  And even though I finished the book, My Happiness Project still continues. I’ll always be trying to squeeze out as much juice as possible, it’s in my nature now. I’m a lemon squeezer.

 

The Journey …

Happiness Project Update: Squeezing Every Drop of Juice Out of The Lemon

Happiness Project Update 2: Humor Seeker, Dancing Fool, and Big Pants Wearer

Happiness Project Update 3: I Don’t Fit Into Skinny Jeans, But I’m O.K. With That. I’m an Athlete With Curves.

Happiness Project Update 4: Listening to my GPS and Getting More Branches on the Tree

My Happiness Project Update 5: Still Aiming for That Six Percent and Tina Fey.

Happiness Project Update 6: Get a Grip! You’re Not Single Anymore, It Takes 90 Minutes.

Happiness Project Update 7: Enjoying The Now, Enjoying The Later Much Better, and Ripley

Happiness Project Update 8: I Accept That This is Not an 80s Movie

Happiness Project Update 9: Parenthood … Awful, Awful, Awful, Terrific!

Happiness Project Update 10: Parenthood … Where Everyone Has a Meltdown

My Happiness Project Update 11: Parenthood is All About Angles, Even If Some of Them Require 243 Pieces.

My Happiness Project Update 12: Finding Gratefulness in Ordinary Days … And Not the Artificial Kind.

My Happiness Project Update 13: Other People’s Crappy Life

Happiness Project Update 14: The Lemon Squeezer

Happiness Project Update 15: Getting A Mango Every Now and Then

Happiness Project Update 16: Pantene Moments During Crunch Time

Happiness Project Update 17: BFFs or Just BFs

Falling off the Happiness Project-Bucket List Wagon

Happiness Project Update 18: Table For One? Dude. No. Party of Two and Tag-Teams.

Happiness Project Update 19: It’s All About Options

Happiness Project Update 20: Paying It Forward One Penny at a Time

Happiness Project Update 21: The Lieutenant Dan State of Mind

Happiness Project Update 22: The Food Network Adventure Begins

Happiness Project Update 23: Extending Deadlines and Plan B

Happiness Project Update 24: Stopping the Autopilot

Happiness Project Update 26: The Antidote to the This-Currently-Sucks-Right-Now Moments

Happiness Project Update 27: I Fell Off the Wagon … But I Found Refuge

Serenity Now

3 Apr
Image via LeFunny.net

Image via LeFunny.net

Yes. I found this to be true. Very true, which is probably the reason why I decided to take on the 21-Day Meditation Challenge a while back. I wanted to stop having George Costanza moments whenever I encountered stupid people. I don’t know why they irritated me so much, but they did. And I knew these people multiplied so I had to find a way of dealing with them without adding stress and aggravation to my life. So when the challenge came my way via a friendly email, I thought why not.

I finished the challenge this week and in truth I found so much peace in a couple of sessions that I meditated myself into a deep sleep and I guess that can be a good thing. Relaxation and peace are the ultimate goals and sleeping is the most relaxed and peaceful state I’ve experienced. So I gave myself a B+. I would have gotten an A had I stayed awake.

But that’s not the only reason for my B+ status. I didn’t quite master the art of emptying my mind until day 12. I imagine it had a lot to do with the endless to-do lists, my life lists, my rejection letters, my bills, my kids crankiness prior to bed, my excitement for what was waiting for me on my DVR, my attempt at trying to find humor in my latest personal disaster, my random ideas for another story, or my latest encounter with stupid people and how frustrated I was that they were still popping into my head. It’s busy up there.  I had a lot emptying to do, luckily I was able to make it happen by the half-way point and I reaped the full benefits of his whole meditation shindig.

And after 21 days, is there a difference?

Well, I still have Costanza moments, but they have simmered down a bit. I think being able to sit in the quiet, to reflect, to say my mantras, and to empty my mind has helped. I’m improving my perfect health portfolio which tends to include mental health, peace and inner well-being. Although chocolate is still a pretty amazing Zen experience too. But this whole meditation situation added a little balance without the calories. It added my serenity now moment, without the yelling and hostility. It tamed the Costanza in me, but let’s not get crazy … he’s still there. He just goes on hiatus every now and then — attempting to master his anger management skills and cope with the existence of brainless people.