Tag Archives: Life

There’s a Time for Dancing and a Time for Sitting.

22 Sep

 

Image via quotablecards.com

 

Dude. Sometimes you totally just need to sit one out because your umbrella is broken, there’s thunder, and lightening and you just fell off the curb, face down, and are now sitting in a knee-deep puddle of muddy water. There’s a time for dancing. There’s a time for getting your groove on. I know. I’ve done it plenty of times. But sometimes, you just have to sit one out. Nothing wrong with sitting one out. Just don’t sit too long. Get perspective, and then busta move. I’m sure the storm will still be there.

 

Sometimes You Need to Buy Yourself Nice Things

1 Sep

 

Image via quotablecards.com

 

If someone ever gives you this card, accompanied by any form of chocolate, you better hold on.

It’s too bad I bought this one for myself. Although I do think I am the hop in my scotch, which is probably why I bought it. Sometimes I’m even the zig and the zag, which is probably why I bought that box of chocolates too.

 

 

I Bought a Mead Notebook Instead

24 Aug

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I noticed this journal staring at me in the bookstore. I felt like it understood me. But then I realized I constantly write about my dysfunctions, neuroses, emotions and inner child moments  in journals and in this blog, however they’re not really fascinating.

I have plenty of moments of doubt, but I’m not really into self-loathing.

Misanthropy? Well I don’t really hate or mistrust the human species, just the jackasses that comprise a small percentage. Although as I grow older the percentage keeps getting bigger.

Completely normal insanity. Yes. I have plenty of that. I am crazy due to plenty of environmental factors, and I do acknowledge my craziness. I think everybody is a little crazy in their own way. Some accept it and yes some are in denial.

I thought it was a funny cover, but then I saw the price tag and then it wasn’t so funny. I bought a Mead Notebook instead.

I Don’t Think We’ll Be Drinking Margaritas Anytime Soon

30 May

What happens when you get caught lying?

When you’re a kid it’s kind of a big deal. People are trying to mold you into a good person. So lying is something that is strongly discouraged. You may even get a you-need-to-care moment. But what about as an adult?

I don’t go out much. Most of the time I’m hanging out with my kids, but when I get the chance to go out, I do. I go out with friends, and sometimes I go out alone. Most people have issues hanging out by themselves, but I’m pretty comfortable with that. Table for one, no crying, no yelling, no baby food, no Thomas the Train engines on the table. It’s nice.

So when a friend of mine asked me to hang out a while ago. I said sure why not. It was a mutual agreement. She wasn’t my best friend, but I thought she was a close friend. I thought we both wanted to hang out. She suggested it, and I said yes. So we made plans. So you’d understand why I thought she wanted to hang out.

We set it up and were supposed to meet. But then I got the phone call. The sorry I couldn’t make it phone call. And that alone would have been all right. But then she went on … she elaborated. She gave me this big story on how she couldn’t make it because of work. She was overloaded, and this project she was working on extended itself, and she went on and on about the details. It sounded pretty serious. Regular Wall Street gone wild.

I said no problem that’s fine. Some other time.

But I still decided to got out. Nothing crazy, just a visit to Barnes & Nobles, just to get out of the house. But as I was leaving the store and headed to a restaurant, I saw her … she was across the street, getting out of her car and walking into another restaurant with a couple of chicks.  They didn’t look like they were Wall Street people.

Dude.

It’s not like a live in a small town. I live in a heavy populated metropolis  filled with anywhere from three to four million people. There’s no Piggly-Wigglys here. So running into her was not something I had expected, especially after she told me that big story. 

So I stood there, at the cross walk. It was weird. I’d been stood up by a friend. She pulled a boyfriend move: The I’m-going-to-lie-to-you-because-I-really want-to-hang-out-with-the-guys-but-not-hurt-your-feelings move, which I thought was weird considering she asked me.

So I stood there for a second, contemplating what to do. It was weird. I didn’t want to make a big thing about it, but then again, why didn’t she just tell me the truth. I really wouldn’t have cared. What up?

So I did it. I walked into the other restaurant and headed to the bar. As I turned around to survey the scene I saw her. It took her a few minutes, but then she saw me. She did the double take and then looked mortified. That was all I needed.

I shook my head and just walked to the car.

She followed me outside and tried to explain the situation.

I told her, she didn’t need to explain. It’s not like we were dating. I told her to go back inside. I walked back to the car.

It was weird.

Stuff like that has never happened to me before. I don’t know, maybe it has and I never caught the other person. It’s not something to break apart a friendship, but I can’t imagine it would bring you closer. It does make you look at the person differently, though. I mean, I don’t think we’ll be drinking margaritas any time soon. And that’s o.k I’ve never minded drinking alone.

My Tinman Update

18 May

Due to circumstances beyond my control — bad babysitters who tell you they’ll watch your kids and then shaft you — I wasn’t able to go to the track as often as I wanted to this week, so I had to workout the sneaky way.

Nap time and bed time.

Those were the Guat workout hours. Not ideal for triathlon training, but for now it’ll have to do. And I know that’s not the best answer. I know my body will be cursing me out during the race, telling me it’s dying and cramping up, ready to fall down and cause me pain.  And it will have every right to do so, considering the challenge I want to put it through, but hey … that’s why they got glucosamine and vitamins. And I’m stocking up.

Image via Durtbagz.com

 

But Nature Made pills can only get you so far. Training is training and these sad fifteen to twenty-minute intervals suck as a triathlon regiment for my thirty-six year old body, but it’s my reality and I embrace it. I’m not gonna finish first, but I am gonna finish.

So as a sad substitution for running, I’ve added the jump rope to my Tinman training. I don’t know if that will help because I’m not going to be jumping rope for three miles during the race. But jumping rope gets my heart pumping and boxers do it during their workout sessions. But as a friend pointed out: they box, not run, bike and swim. You need to be training all your running, biking and swimming body parts.

So in my search for training my running-body parts without running at the track, I came up with running up and down the stairs at home, as quietly as possible during nap time. It’s a running motion, I’m just moving vertically instead of in circles. It could work for now. My quads say it is working. Most definitely.

We’ll see how things progress during bad babysitter times.  I guess there’s nothing wrong with walking during a race, but I imagine it may be frowned upon by other runners. I mean I’m frowning right now just thinking about it … I’ve got to get better babysitters.

 

I’m Gonna Need My Wavemaster Punching Bag

10 May

You ever have those I-know-better-than-you people in your life?

You pray for them to just leave you alone and then when they don’t, you wonder why God decided to take the day off.

If it was a friend or co-worker, you could probably stop talking to them and be grateful for caller ID when the phone rings. But what happens when its family? There’s no caller ID buffer for that one, especially if you live in the same city. They’ll find you. 

So you’re stuck having to rely on your Costco-sized Advil for the encounters that await you. You even buy one of those squeaky stress balls. But you choked the life out of that, and it no longer functions. So all you have is some breathing exercises because your Wavemaster punching bag is in storage. Breathing. That doesn’t work for this I-know-better-than-you person. I think I need a Dalai Lama seminar.

Granted you know some people actually do know better than you. You accept it. It’s fact and you have no problem with it because you have faith in their perspective and authority. But these people tend to have titles. If a chef, like Bobby Flay or Mario Batali, tells you something needs salt. It probably needs salt. If a botanist tells you that a particular plant is poisonous, then you should probably stay away from it. If a personal trainer tells you to lay off the ho-hos and do more cardio, then you’re probably gonna lay off the chocolate and run some laps.

But what about the I-know-better-than-you person that  doesn’t know better than you? Age does not necessarily grant you wisdom or I-know-better-than-you experiences, at least not in this case. It doesn’t grant you expertise on all things. It doesn’t make you flawless.

These people are the kind that desperately need erasers and white-out, but unfortunately they’re experts on all things and are never wrong. They need no corrective devices.

So there you are engaging in conversations and arguments that should be avoided. You’re not an expert yourself on anything, by any means. But you do know stuff about your kids and they’re schedule. You spend 16-20 hours with them on a daily basis and you know their personality and routines. You pride yourself on being a good mom. 

So when the I-know-better-than-you person insinuates that you don’t know what you’re doing you get a little crazy. Sometimes it’s true … as a mom, you don’t know what you’re doing, but you do things from the heart and with good intention. So the last thing you want to hear from anybody, especially the I-know-better-than you person whose kids are complete basket-cases, is that they can do better. You tend to ignore their advice and practice those breathing exercises.

Breathing. There’s just not enough air on Earth after that encounter. I’m gonna need my Wavemaster Punching Bag.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Unfocused

8 May

Unfocused

Unfocused.

You sit there exhausted. You spent the last twenty-hours cramming for an astronomy final exam that you desperately need to pass and now you’re supposed to be writing a comparative literature paper on One-Hundred Years of Solitude. You’re tired and unfocused.

You sit there staring at a blank screen. You slept well. You ate well. You exercised. But your writer’s block consumes you. You remain unfocused.

For the third night in a row your kid posts a fever of 102. You slept a total of seven hours in three days. You look like death. You log on to write on your blog but sleep deprivation overpowers your mind. You’re thoughts are unfocused.

You’re in the middle of a great short story. The words are flowing so well that you know you’ll finish the chapter by tonight. The phone rings. You get up to answer it and stub your toe on the wooden chair.  Your toe nail is lost, and you’re in excruciating pain. You return to your chair and stare at the computer screen. Your toe is throbbing. You lost it. You’re unfocused.

He passes by your cubicle for the third time that day. You’re mesmerized by his Matt Bomer good looks. You melt as he smiles and says hello to you for the first time in nine months. You stare at the computer screen. You forgot your own name. You’re on cloud nine. You’re unfocused.

Unfocused.

Sometimes Being Richie Cunningham is Not a Good Thing

7 May

While growing up my sister and I were part of a very strict household. It wasn’t so much because we were wild and crazy. It was the neighborhood. There were no white picket fences or people playing hacky-sack on front lawns.  It was the kind of urban neighborhood that taught you street smarts very quickly. So curfew was a big deal.

Now I’d like to tell you that I made it home by curfew every day. But sadly no. It wasn’t so much that I was out there partying it up. No. I would just lose track of time on the basketball or volleyball courts. It happened. Then I would have to invent some elaborate story of how the bus got a flat tire, or how it took a detour because of construction, or how some crazy aliens came down X-Files style and we were being questioned by officials.

My sister on the other hand was always on time no matter what. Not a minute later. Not a second later. In fact sometimes she was early. She was conscientious that way, like Richie Cunningham.

But me … I was the one who was always late. A little or a lot. Late was late. But hey … I got there right? I was a good kid. But for some reason I always had to prove that. I was the youngest so people often underestimated me. For some reason, they had low exceptions, so I was constantly surprising people with my awesomeness in general. But regardless of what a good kid I was, rules were rules.

Image via discoverclocks.com

Curfew was curfew in this Latino household. Even when we graduated high school and went off to college. Just because you came home for a visit didn’t mean you lived by college rules.  Rules never changed in the Latino household. Curfew was still curfew, the time was just a little later. However one rule remained the same — we always came home at night. No sleepovers anywhere … regardless.

So when my sister and I went out together, my mom felt confident that we would be back in time for curfew. We never went out together, but for some reason she asked me to hang out with her after our softball game and against my better judgement I said yes. I mean they were her friends, not mine. But I didn’t want to go home yet, so I said yes.

All of a sudden Richie Cunningham decides to get hammered at her friend’s house. Throughout the night I remind my sister that it was getting late — that we should get going. But she waves me off as she’s hanging out with Potsie and Ralph Malph over in the corner. So I let her do her thing. 

Before you know it I dozed off and fell asleep on the Lazy-Boy recliner. I wake up around 2:30 a.m. freaked out. Everyone is passed out with Bartles & James and Jose Cuervo bottles lying around everywhere.

I try to shake her awake, but she remains sleeping. I yell in her ear, nothing. So I get a cup of water and splash her face. She wakes up.

“Get up. We have to go home.”

“What time is it?”

“It’s time to get your ass off the floor and give me the car keys.”

“I don’t think you guys should be going anywhere. It’s really late.”

“I don’t think you know our mom. Put your shoes on. We got to go.”

“It’s really late. It’ll be safer if you stay and then drive in the morning.”

“It’ll be safer for my ass if I go now, with my sister. Get up.”

“Do you think it’ll be safe if your parents see her like this?”

“I think we should stay,” my sister says.

So I was overruled. I then suggested that we at least call to let my parents know we weren’t coming home. My sister told me it wasn’t a good idea. She said there was no way our parents would let us break rule number one. They’d probably drive out here in the middle of the night, our crazy mom would make a scene, and we would definitely not hang out with her friends again.

So there it was … we broke the rule and as I lay there in the Lazy-Boy I feared for my life. I did not know what would happen when we got home. I couldn’t believe my sister was sleeping. I knew we messed up. Me … I knew the magnitude of this disaster. I could only imagine the possible you-need-to-care moment upon our arrival. I couldn’t sleep.

My sister … there she was sleeping away. 

I was on edge. I was stressed out. I probably got my first gray hair right then and there from all the worrying about what awaited us — from the dangerous unknown.

As we walked up the driveway at 7 a.m. we saw my dad leaving for work. He shook his head, gave us the speech, told us he was upset, told us the conversation wasn’t over, told us he was glad we were still alive and then wished us luck.

“Luck?”

“Yeah. Your mother is waiting for you.”

Dude.

We entered and she was sleeping on the couch in her pajamas. As we made our way in, my heart was pounding, my stress level was at an all-time high, and I imagine my blood pressure was 230/200. I thought we were not going to make it that morning.

Sure enough the spanish profanity and yelling began. But the weird thing was that it happened to be directed more toward my sister than me. Don’t get me wrong I got my fair share of insults, but it seemed I got it less that day. After the verbal beat-down and barely escaping the you-need-to-care moment we went upstairs to our room. We figured the less time we spend in front of our mom, the better our chances of escaping  La Chancla. Can you imagine a twenty-year old getting the La Chancla?

When we got upstairs my sister made an observation:

“Hey, how come she was yelling more at me?”

“Did you notice that too?”

“What was up with that?”

“They usually expect that type of behavior from me. The disappointment. The let down. The stress of not making curfew. It’s not a surprise. It’s expected from me, but not from you. They’re very disappointed in you.”

Sometimes being Richie Cunningham is not a good thing.

They Call Me … Curb Job

6 May

I sat at the corner table typing away on the computer and spotted them as they waited for their drinks. She was giggly and nervous about the cookies near the register, and he smiled at her as he paid for the drinks and carried them to the table. First-date people. 

They’re an interesting breed. She was nervous about saying the wrong thing and he directed the conversation and tried to stay cool as he noticed his socks weren’t matching. They didn’t want anything embarrassing to happen. Anything that may ruin their chance at happiness for the next eight weeks.

I couldn’t help but laugh … this is not what happened to The Guat.

I remember having the hots for this one dude. He was tall, athletic and muy good-looking at the time. He caught my eye at a friend’s party. He had no idea who I was of course, but after some stealth investigation on my part, I found out he had been friends with her five brothers for ten years, loved U2, and had no girlfriend. I liked him.

My friend dropped hints to her brothers about my availability, and eventually the message got around to the dude. So one day as I walked out to my car, which was parked down the block, he asked if he could call me sometime so we could go out on a date. I nearly fell down then and there from all the swooning my heart was doing.

I told him I was going out with my friend next Friday night, but we could go out on Saturday.

See you then.

On Friday night, I got ready to go out with my friend. I put on my best Levis booty jeans and blouse. I added a little extra hair pomade to my curls, so that I wouldn’t look like Amanda Miguel in the crazy humidity of the night. I also added a little bit of makeup that day.

All of this just in case I ran into The Dude. Well, that’s not really true. I knew I would run into him. They were all there every Friday night. The brothers, The Dude, and a couple of other friends. About 10 to 12 guys outside my friend’s house, just hanging out. I thought I was ready for the accidental run-in.

As I approach her house I paused. Damn it. There’s no other parking space available other than one in front of her house. Directly in front of her house, between a large blue Ford truck and a brown Buick Regal. I closed my eyes and took a deep breath. I took a little longer than usual at the stop sign, because I didn’t want to do it. I didn’t want to parallel park in front of 12 guys, one of them being The Dude.

I didn’t know what it was, or why I was so nervous. I could park. I’d done it thousands of times at work, on busy streets, and at home. But in front of all these guys? Dude. If I drove past them, they’d know I didn’t want to demonstrate my parking skills, so I decided to go ahead and do it. I felt my heart racing.

Cars parallel parked along K Street in Washing...

 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As I pulled forward, the car across the street drove away. It was one of those Exaggerators with shiny rims. A huge space was made available. There was a Volkswagen Beetle in front of the space and a drive way behind it. Perfect. I didn’t have to parallel park. I was so relieved. I drove past the house, did a perfect driver’s test U-turn and then approached the spot. I didn’t even need to turn down the radio for this parking attempt.

They noticed me as I pulled up across the street. In retrospect, I wasn’t driving as slow as I needed to be … as I approached the space I was started to feel the passenger side of the car elevate. I was a little lopsided. I was at an angle. However by the time I became aware of what was going on, I couldn’t stop.

All of a sudden I heard a BOOOM-BOOOOM!

As I realized what happened I didn’t know whether I should drive away or put the car in park. I shook my head, put the emergency brake on, put the car in park, and turned the engine off. Apparently I had driven on and over the curb. The BOOOOM-BOOOM was the sound of my tires and rims jumping off the curb, and making a hard landing on the street.

This awesome exhibition of parking skills was witnessed by 12 guys, including The Dude. I was mortified. I could see from the corner of my eye and the side mirrors that they were all staring at my car. I really didn’t want to get out. But I had to … there was no escaping it.

As I got out of the car, they all turned their heads in different directions, pretending they were interested in the moon, the stars, the architecture of the neighbor’s house, shoelaces, telephone polls, the lawn, or the handle bars of a motorcycle.

As I got out of the car I walked quickly past the guys and waved hello without really looking at anybody. I entered the house and headed to my friend’s room.

“OH … MY … GAAAAAAAAAWWWWWWWWWWWWD. I can’t believe that just happened!” I plopped my body face first onto her bed and proceeded to tell her what happened.

She sat there with her mouth wide open.

“Maybe we’ll wait ten minutes before leaving …”

When I got home that night I wasn’t sure what to expect the next day … my first date with The Dude. I imagined I had already made an awesome first impression.

The parking incident didn’t come up until our second date. We were hanging out at Gordon Biersch Brewery, and I had gone to the restroom. As I made my way back to the bar he was talking to a friend. They hadn’t seen me as their backs were turned.

“So what are you doing here?”

“I’m on a date.”

“With who?”

“Emilio’s sister’s friend.”

“Wait. You’re here with Curb Job?”

“Um … yeah …” I said as I stood behind them. 

They both looked at me. Silence.

“But Curb Job is just my middle name. Nice to meet you.”

I Don’t Think My Kid Is Vegetarian

5 May

I couldn’t believe it. I thought I was dreaming, but then I remembered I haven’t slept long enough to have a dream so it must have happened.

I checked the clock. 5:47 a.m.

To most people waking up at this hour on a Saturday morning completely sucks. If you’re not fleeing the country in an emergency, or work on a farm, there’s no reason to get up this early. In general I would hate it too. But not today.

Today I got six hours of sleep. Six hours of uninterrupted sleep. The kind of sleep that happens after two shots of NyQuil. I have not slept that long in a while. Nine months and to be exact.

Sleeping baby seen from crib height, behind it...

 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The baby decided not to wake up. She decided to sleep all night and I don’t know why. I didn’t do anything differently. Everything was the same. If I would have known she was going to do that I probably would have gone to bed earlier and gotten eight hours. But she kept that information to herself. She didn’t really notify me of her plans, so I stayed up until midnight expecting for her first crying session to commence. But when all was silent at 12:17 a.m.  I didn’t know what to think. I thought she was playing these baby mind games with me. You know the kind that happens when your head hits the pillow, your eyes close, your body relaxes, and you begin drifting off into a deep sleep coma then … you hear crying.

It’s over.

You’re up, anywhere from forty-five minutes to an hour. She goes back to sleep, then wakes up again around 3 a.m., followed by her 7 a.m. wake-up call. I had accepted the fact that my nine-month old kid had insomnia. I expected it every night. It’s been the norm. So when I woke up a little before six in the morning, I was ecstatic. I could have done a cart-wheel. Although I didn’t, I hadn’t taken my glucosamine yet.

So how did this happen? I don’t know. Everything was the same. The only difference was that instead of having vegetables and rice for dinner, she had chicken, vegetables, and rice. Just a little chicken.

That may explain the awesomeness of sleep I got last night.

Maybe it was the free-range part of the chicken she enjoyed. No hormones. No antibiotics. Maybe she could taste the difference.

Maybe she’s just not a vegetarian.

Chicken and sleep … who knew.