Tag Archives: love

The Orange Dictionary and One Page Left

16 May

I remember taking a moment and thinking I should keep it. I should keep it.

And I did.

But in my early 30s, after having moved for the third time in four years, it didn’t survive. It got tossed around in boxes and then eventually tossed in the recycling pile. I remember pausing for a moment, thinking I should keep it. It was Erick’s. I should hold onto it just in case, but I didn’t and I remember feeling a little twinge the next morning when it was gone.

That orange hardcover dictionary with the word DICTIONARY in bold white courier font. He used it during his high school years to look up words he didn’t know, then look up those words in his Spanish-English dictionary, and then finally have an A-ha! moment after twenty minutes because he had finally figured out what they were asking him. He could finally answer.

My uncle Erick … he was more than just an uncle, he was the brother I never had, my role model growing up, my compass when I lost my footing. He showed me education can definitely create change. He was the first one in our family to graduate from college. He was there for me when I was learning my ABCs  and stood by me when I crossed the graduation stage myself. I knew when he had his own family he would be a great dad.

And he was …

uncle erick 007

Uncle Erick … very proud of the pumpkin skills that took place here with his daughter.

So when he died of cancer, when his daughter was only 10 years old, it broke my heart. I knew he was scared, not of death, but of not being in his daughter’s life, watching her grow, dancing at her quinceanera, and clapping for her as she crossed the stage in her cap and gown.

I knew he wanted to be there. So I made sure a part of him would be there with her for all those milestones. I interviewed him and made a scrapbook for her. Quotes, advice, stories, pictures. Messages and things he’d want to say to her when life happened, he was able to do that, to say some of those things.

I’d been giving these pages to her throughout the years, and now 11 years later, after her college graduation I only have one page left. One, and I so wish I still had that dictionary, because it was more than just a book of words, it was a part of his road to success. It was part of his work ethic.

But I didn’t know he was going to die when the dictionary got thrown away. I didn’t know he was gonna get sick. Nobody did. He didn’t smoke, he didn’t drink. He got the cancer just because he got it. And now I only have one page left.

I gave her the college page this weekend, followed by a hug and the I’m-proud-of-you speech, and the I-know-your-dad-is-proud-of-you-too whisper in the ear.

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My uncle, who helped raise me, was there that day too, sitting in the audience with me. His words were there, in black ink, scribbled in his slanted handwriting written during the last days of his life. He wanted to make sure he was there, and I was glad to have made that possible, because he was always there for me.

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They’re An XBOX And You’re More Of An Atari

12 Feb

Sometimes no matter what you do … things are just not enough.

You’re a decent person.

Not enough.

You try your best, work hard, and you have a good heart, a good one.

Not enough.

You’re the John Cusack of this movie.

Still not enough.

It breaks my heart when good people who deserve good things end up with the shaft. I tried to be supportive with my friend’s situation, put a neon light at the end of the tunnel, but that tunnel is pretty damn long right about now.

I heard Cee Lo Green’s song … and thought of my friend.

 

Atari rocks. It’s a badass original.

It had Pac-Man, Donkey Kong, Centipede, and Frogger.

C’mon, now.

I’d see my buddies in the neighborhood who had the game, and they loved it. They’d get lost in the challenge and in the fun.

XBox, I imagine, is the newer shinier version of it. The one with graphics and 3D stuff with guns blazing and blasters everywhere. All these Internet age kids enjoy it, it’s the glitz and glam of their generation.

But here’s the thing Atari is still cool. It was one of a kind. Groundbreaking, back in my day.

And just because something appears shinier and sparkly doesn’t necessarily mean it’s better. It’s just newer. It’s not 2.0. because it looks good on the outside, it’s what inside that matters. And sometimes newer ends up being better it does, but when we’re talking about things that mean something, shinier is not always better.

Substance matters. It’s always better than fluff. It’s too bad people forget that and good hearts everywhere end up broken and beat up, thinking they did something wrong or were unworthy.

They didn’t and they are …

So if some jackass thinks you’re not an XBox and that you’re more of an Atari, keep your head up. They don’t see your value. Atari’s are still cool, one-of-a-kind originals worth something.

They just can’t see it.

 

Duuuude I’ve Finally Found The Words To Replace Profanity … Maybe

28 Oct
:)

🙂

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Crisis of Imagination

25 Sep

I need imagination because I can’t see it right now …

Holy crap. That was it.

I had never heard it put that way, but that was it. I had found the right words to try to help my friend understand what was happening. They weren’t mine, but I heard them and I knew why they had come my way. My buddy was stuck in a moment and couldn’t get out of it. Stuck in the hurt. Stuck in the disbelief. Stuck in the ache of their heart. Stuck in the “it is what it is,” situation they thought they’d never find themselves in.

That’s where they were currently residing.

And when I heard these words I knew I had to pass them along. I thought maybe it would bring a sense of comfort, knowing that once they broke through the mind block, they might be able to feel less hurt, and more hope.

You can’t imagine your life like this … You can’t imagine how you’re going to get through it … You can’t imagine life differently. And that’s the point … because you were never supposed to, your future wasn’t supposed to look this way. But now there’s no choice. It’s happening.

Most people go through something like this in their life, whether it’s the loss of a relationship, a dream, or a job. We’re hurting because we’re in the midst a life crisis, suffering a “crisis of imagination.”

We can’t see outside the box and that’s why the hurt lasts so long. That’s why we feel stuck, because we still can’t believe it.

I’m hoping I can help my buddy find some creativity in the unknown future. Help imagination find its way to their doorstep, so they can exhale and begin to heal, begin to realize that they can do it. It’s going to be hard, extremely hard to change their vision, but it’s possible. I’m hoping I can help them out. I’m hoping I can help them imagine that tomorrow’s tomorrow will help them find happiness in the present moment. I’m hoping I can help my friend find the imagination that their not seeing.

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:)

🙂

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Today … Joanna Was My Exception Joanna And Her Six

19 Aug

Normally I don’t … I just don’t.

But the title caught my eye.

Six Things I Wish I’d Known About Marriage When I Was …

Dude I was like wait … only six? I would have waaaaaaaaaaayyyyy more.

So I got curious, and it wasn’t so much the information, it was the fact that I thought, dude I could have written this article. I definitely had plenty of lessons. I definitely had plenty I-Wish-I-Would-Have-Known moments. I totally could have had a byline on the front page of a magazine. Totally. Who was this chick and what were these six?

So I went against my instinct and clicked on the link.

I had to, I had to find out if the pretend article in my head would be better than what was posted on this major site. And the thing is I never do. I don’t. I stopped reading stuff like this after my 20s. In fact I bet you did too. I bet you didn’t even click the link I posted.

I bet, and you know why?

The majority of these articles are a load of crap. All these relationship articles out there claiming to know the secrets of marriage, or the top ten things your wife really wants, or ten things to never do in front of a guy, or what your husband is really thinking, or do these four things just like so-so celebrity and your partner will thank you for life.

Dude this was crap. It wasn’t like it was Oprah or anything.

I was already reaching 30 and decided I had to stop. I had too.

None of those articles out there had my life, my dudes, my problems. They knew very little of what my ideal relationship should be, so I just quit all of them because you know what? There is no secret to marriage. It’s work. Hard work, but it’s worth it with the right partner. It’s worth it and if I needed advice I’d probably ask a friend how she made it work. That’s real to me.

So I don’t do it anymore. I had stopped doing it. I made the rule and that was that. No exception. Nope. None. I’m done wasting time with that nonsense. Now I stand there in the grocery store line, waiting to pay, and I ignore the crap out of all those magazines with some hot chick on the cover they think I want to be like and I focus more on whether I brought the right coupons and people watching.

People watching at the market rocks. Makes for good material and characters in stories.

But this time I wasn’t at the store. I opened up my computer, clicked my Firefox 30.0 and waited for my homepage to appear and then there it was staring at me.

Six Things I Wish I’d Know About Marriage When I Was …

I thought yeah I wish I knew some things. I wish.

Six huh? Just six.

And so I clicked.

I read.

I was like Amen sister! Preach! Preach! I’ll testify. I’ll testify tonight.

Yup. For once they got it right. This chic Joanna Schroeder rocked those six lessons, I would have added a few more in my case, but overall I think she covered some ground. I don’t know what else she writes but this one was right on the mark.

Today … Joanna was my exception. Joanna and her six.

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Guys … Try To Be Smart

3 Aug

Normally I don’t pay too much attention to social media sites, it’s just too much fluff and not enough substance out there. But every now and then I find an inspirational post, or some great pictures, or good stories from friends. Friends. But then there is the post out there that burns me out.

The one you look at and say, really?

Yeah I found one this weekend. I came across this and for some reason it seemed to bother me.

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Now it wasn’t so much the message, but the responses to this message that had me shaking my head.

This is the girl I’ve never heard of who posted this. Apparently she’s a model, and this was one of the less risque photos I found of her, the majority of pics I came across were of the Playboy suggestive nature type.

She’s a good-looking lady who probably does very well for herself in the modeling industry and the message she put out there seems to shed some light on the type of person she is within a relationship. And apparently a friend of friend’s, cousin’s, brother’s, uncle had this re-posted on Instagram or Facebook. I can’t recall which social media disaster this came from but it was up there. I don’t know if it was an ad or something but it was up on their feed.

In any case this girl happened to post this message up there and the responses were mostly from the male population consoling her and letting her know that they were there for her and how amazing it was that she was this type of person. However, in addition to their well-wishes they seemed to express their discontent about the message itself. According to the men that replied there are no women who fit this description. They haven’t seen any of this caliber within a 10-mile radius. Nope. False. These women were a myth.

Idiots.

The fact that these dudes were so narrow-minded to believe that ladies like this did not exist made me shake my head at the stupidity of this thought, and how they might spread this stupidity through more social media or discussion. Maybe they were burned by not-so-nice chicks who happened to leave a deep scar.

But let me enlighten you … They are out there people.

They are.

Maybe not in a push-up bra and thong, but they’re out there.

I know plenty of ladies with great hearts who love deeply, like The Notebook kind of love, loyal and caring, the kind that makes you grateful for their very existence, the kind of love you find in 80s love songs, the kind that accept you and love you for who you are and not for what you can do, the kind that make you feel like you matter.

Yup these ladies are out there, guys just seem to be looking in the wrong places. Some ladies are taken…smart guys who noticed. Some are single … not so smart guys who let them get away.

They are out there you just have to be smart enough to notice.

Try to be smart.

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When BenGay Isn’t Gonna Be Strong Enough … But You Do It Anyway

21 Mar

I’m confessing something big tonight.

HUGE.

Duuuuuuude

There is fear living in the Guat Household.

My knees are freaking out.

Now normally I’m not afraid of much. Neither are they.

I’m fearless.

I’m a badass, not afraid to fly my freak flag. Not afraid to chase Bucket List Adventure Challenges. Scared of what? Bungy Jumping. No. Skydiving. No. Triathlons. No. Warrior Dash Mud Run Obstacles that make you jump through fire. No. The Mommy-and-Me-Mafia-PTA-Looking group of ladies that take over the park. No. Gaining weight. Hell no bring it on.

But there is one thing that makes my close-to-40-year-old-worn-out-and weary knees tremble.

Wobble.

63 floors.

Close to 1,400 steps.

Ain’t no BenGay strong enough, no ice pack cold enough …

But there is one man that’s inspirational enough …

My Dad.

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My Dad and me sporting our awesome bell-bottoms.

He lost the 12-Round-Heavyweight Championship Bout against Interstitial Lung Disease at 62 years young. It was an all out battle and he fought hard, but in the end he lost his fight against the disease, and I lost my father.

So this is it.

Time for me to cowboy up.

On April 11th, I’m taking on The Fight For Air Climb again in what seems to be the ultimate battle of strength and will for my bones and cartilage. It’s become a tradition now. Exhausting and claustrophobic, but worth it.

Honoring family is worth it, and that’s what I aim to do.

Hanging with Dad.

Hanging with Dad.

So I’m going to take my Hulk Hogan-Randy-Macho-Man-Savage-Tina-Turner-looking quads and run down knees through the ultimate test of the year.

I’m gonna do it for my Dad.

My Dad ... just being Dad

My Dad … just being Dad

He’s still with me, sometimes on my shoulders whispering in my ear while I’m chasing dreams, and sometimes in my heart when I’m raising my kids and I’m trying to be awesome at something. He’s the champion for my life. He’s the spirit behind my drive. My Dad is there in one of his many baseball caps and smile, being my friend, my TV buddy, my support group, and the TV remote control ruler of the house.

I’ll be taking this on next month and if you’re feeling generous with the need to donate to a good cause, feel free to click the link on the bottom and it will guide you to my personal fundraising page.

Buen Camino Everyone!

Fight For Air Climb Fundraising Page

… Siganme Los Buenos!

I Totally Like Peaches …

22 Oct

 

This One Is For The Ladies

6 May

“I love him and want to thank him for putting up with me.”

I recently heard this and for some reason it burned me out. In truth I’ve been hearing and seeing that phrase quite often.

What’s up with that?

It usually happens at anniversary parties or at birthday parties, or for some reason when I’m at the market waiting for Coupon Lady to finish up her transaction and I’m browsing the magazines. I see it and I wince.

For some reason chicks feel the need to utter the words, and I guess if you’re a real ball buster, money spending pain in the ass crazy PMS mood-swinging diva who can’t even boil an egg, well then maybe it’s true. But for this hard-working Guat the thought never occurred to me. It may be the fact that I think if I were a guy, I would totally be in love with me and be grateful for this Guatacular person that has come into my life who constantly makes me laugh.

I don’t consider myself a person that someone has to “put up with.” It probably dates back to the days when my high school coaches and teachers told me I was great. And I believed him. A couple of them even told me I was special and seeing how they were college educated and wise beyond their years I had no reason not to believe them. I heard guys say that all the time, but they were just smooth talkers trying to get me to go out with them. Can’t really trust what a hormone driven teenager has to say. You like it, but can you really trust it?

Maybe.

It may also be due to that fact that I read too much Anthony Robbins change your life kind of quotes so that I can jump-start my Shark-Week kind of day. It may be due to the fact that Steve Harvey says that kind of stuff about women all the time. Wherever it came from, I got it. That’s what I think.

I may not flaunt it with my Chapstick Girl kind of lifestyle, but it’s in there. Even if Budweiser Chick herself were standing next to me I’d still think I was pretty awesome. Running triathlons, Warrior Dashes and 1,400 stair climbs tends to boosts my confidence. The fact that my four-year old son tells me I’m good mom helps out too.

Now don’t get me wrong, being awesome hasn’t gone to my head. The family I grew up in makes sure nothing gets to my head. You stay so low to the ground you know you’re a Salt of Earth kind of person. But nevertheless I’ve got what my Latino people call caracter fuerte, which loosely translates to being a strong woman — I’ve got balls. But I’m not a crazy person, I know when to unleash The Hulk and when to stay dormant. I’m like one of those wild animals on National Geographic, majestic and beautiful, but ready to chase you down if you piss me off. I live by the law of the jungle. I know what I am and I know what I’m worth. Sometimes it makes me sad that chicks don’t.

And what is it that I am?

I know I am not a person someone has to “put up with”. I’m the kind that should be appreciated. And I’d like to think that there are other ladies out there that feel the same way. Not all the ladies because in truth I know there are some chicks out there making it hard on everybody. You know the kind that are married and their poor dude is no longer Emilio, Hector, or Esteban. They are Poor Emilio, Poor Hector, Poor Esteban. So I get it. I know that there are “put up with” kind of people. But I can assure you not everyone is like that … there are still awesome chicks out there. So if you are out there, I’m holding my glass up to you ladies because the Guat feels you.  I know you’re awesome too.

I Think Taylor Swift Wrote My Song But I Never Got The Guy

10 Aug

I tend to surprise people. It’s the underestimated factor.

I don’t know what it is about myself that people tend to overlook or dismiss. I guess this could be considered a bad thing. But I like underdogs. However this tends to happen quite a bit.

I get the look.

The Holy-Crap-I-can’t-believe-this-chick-is-so-awesome-and-I-didn’t-notice-it-before look.

It happens with co-workers, acquaintances, and new friends. Most of all it happened with dudes.

I hadn’t thought about this in a while. I was reminded of my underestimated factor when an old high school friend sent me an invitation via email for her 40th birthday party. I had flashbacks after reading the email. I went back in time to this particular high school crowd where a guy caught my eye — the green-eyed dreamy dude.  The one that played football and baseball, the one that was older than me, the one crush that you stare at during passing periods. The dreamy kind. But I wasn’t very dreamy for him.

I didn’t know why at first, but then I saw his dreamy chick and I knew. It must have been my Chapstick-Type of personality. My tomboy attitude. My sports enthusiasm. My down-to-earth attitude. My Miller’s Outpost attire (for those of you that don’t know it was a very popular store back in the day that sold Levis Jeans and t-shirts — a rustic Old Navy if you will). This was me. I was the chick in the Taylor Swift country song. And I don’t even like Taylor Swift … I can’t stand her. But the funny things is … she wrote my song.

 

 

“She wears short skirts and I wear t-shirts. She’s cheer captain and I’m on the bleachers …”

Yeah that was me. Although I was never on the bleachers I was more likely wearing a jersey on the court or the field. My status was underestimated.  He just saw the funny sporty chick. He looked passed me and in truth I was a bit sad about it back then. I was a chick. I was a teenager. I was dumb. But then as time passed I became a junior in high school and I was still the same Miller’s Outpost chick. However my appeal factor went up. Don’t know how or why, but apparently it did. He must have noticed my jump shot.

But by that time, he wasn’t so dreamy anymore. He was just the guy who had underestimated me. But I was all right with it, because I finally got the Holy-Crap-I-can’t-believe-this-chick-is-so-awesome-and-I-didn’t-notice-it-before look. It was an awesome high school chick moment.