37.28 – Zumba, Brazil, Caipirinha, Baila

Dear Club Med,

Thanks for pounding repetitive dances into my head for four years.  It is because of this that I love Zumba and also it is because of this that I felt comfortable with only starting to learn a dance on Sunday that I’ll perform at halftime of the Nuggets game this Sunday.  One week?  A full week of practice?  I’ve learned about half a show in a day….in an airport.  Come on, challenge me!

Oh wait, it is challenging.  As of late, exercise has not been my friend.  And we’re at altitude.  So, yeah, if you happen to see this on TV (and there’s more than one black person out there), I’ll be the one mouth breathing.  But I’m sure I’ll look fantastic while I’m mouth breathing.  Please don’t put me in the front row.  I know I’m short but that is the last place I want to be.  It isn’t stage fright; I got over that a long time ago.  I just don’t want to look like a tool in front of the tens of Nuggets fans that might see this.  Yes, tens.  *Birdman, away!*

Well, this is day 5 of my 21 day habit-forming blogging.  It isn’t really getting any easier.  It’s like squeezing a zit that isn’t ready to pop.  All you get is pain and an empty page.  I give mad props to people who can write and actually be interesting on a daily basis.  I mean, I fill space, but it isn’t always a great read.  I’m okay with that.  The one or two of you that stop by are okay with it too, right?!?!

I’m going to skip a Facebook friend story today.  Instead I’m going to go read my book.  See ya!

37.27 – Once upon a time in Mexico

I have an unhealthy obsession….with mariachis.  I LOVE the mariachis.  I am currently going through mariachi withdrawl.  Do you know how I know it’s getting bad?  I listen to this radio station in the car.  Yes, I do.  I am certainly the most Black, non-Spanish speaking Mexican you will ever meet.  Tacos al pastor and tequila and the ocean and music and people and Carlos and Charlie’s and Disco Taco and cab rides and sawdust covered floors in clubs and oh, sorry, I got off track there.

Yes, I do indeed love Mexico.  And you can call me crazy, but I would still go live there (with my Spanish speaking husband, of course) and I know that I would absolutely love it.  Once I hit that lottery, I’m all over this plan.

But where?  In Ixtapa or Zihuatanejo?  Or in Cancun?  Yeah, I hear ya.  Living in a resort-like or resort-close-to town isn’t like living in Mexico.  It is though.  I said so.  My blog.  My rules.

Weighing in as my first taste of Mexico and holding some very fond memories, fighting out of the West Coast corner, we have the Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo combo.  And fighting out of the East Coast corner, home of the merger of the century, iiiiiiiiiiiiiit’s Cancun!  Standing at ringside, we have D.F., always standing by in case of a double knock out.

Not a decision to be taken lightly.  I figure I have about 30 years to get there.  Aim big, people!

Entonces, hasta manana.  Pase un buen noche.

37.26 – Self contained underwater breathing apparatus

I finally put a movie in my Netflix queue!  It came to the house!  We actually watched it on the first day!  This is huge for us.  We don’t really watch movies.  But I’m starting a new tradition.  Dinner and a movie at my crib a few times a week.  So feel free to leave a note if you have a “must see” movie for me to put in the queue.

Tonight we watched Kick Ass.  Let me say that it was not at all what I expected.  Maybe I never paid attention in the previews but it wasn’t really what I was expecting.  At the rate I get to movies, I’d think it’s safe to say that if I’ve seen it, everyone has, but even still, I won’t give anything away.  Nicolas Cage is a lunatic though, I will say that.  If you by some odd chance are behind me in the Netflix queue, well, let’s just say it isn’t necessarily something you watch with your kids under, oh, let’s say 13 or 14 or so.  I just looked and saw that it’s rated R.  That explains a lot.  Still a good two hours.

I know that you’ve really only stopped by to see what story I’m telling today, so let me get on with it.  The main player in this story isn’t actually a Facebook friend, but a couple of friends there were in the general area when this went down and one or two may actually remember it.

Back when I was doing a little stint in the Caribbean, I tried to step outside of my usual routine and try some new things.  Crazy things.  Things that involve water.  You see, I don’t much care for water of which I cannot control the temperature…or stand up in.  Can I swim?  Define swim.  Will I drown if you throw me in the pool?  Only if you bonk me on the head first.  I tried a little snorkeling and I enjoyed it, but no, I didn’t know when to leave well enough alone.  I just had to learn scuba.  Call it temporary insanity caused by way too much sun and a few too many mind erasers.

In for a penny, in for a pound.  I wasn’t satisfied to just go when there was an instructor (co-worker) who was certified could take me.  No, I wanted to be able to go without that restriction.   I wanted to get certified….because I was obviously already certifiable.

Let me note here that there was a hey-come-see-if-you-might-like-scuba event that took place in the pool.  In 4 feet of water.  I got all the gear on and put  my face in the water for about 4.5 seconds before I shed it all faster than anyone could ask if I was ok.  I failed bubblemaker.  Miserably.  And yet, I think going into the ocean will be better.  Certifiable.

I got all of my books and made sure I could get to the classes.  I watched videos. I read books.  I committed information to memory.  I was ready. Because I can outsmart anything, you know?  If I can just think it all out, it will go exactly as I plan it in my head.  Certifiable.

Now, Kyle, who was the poor soul who got to deal with me and my learning attempts, has the patience of a saint.  He let me interrupt his class and kept encouraging me nonetheless.  Have you ever been to the water part of a scuba class?  Well, maybe you do it in a pool or you do it in the ocean if there’s a safe spot there.  We went to the ocean.  We put on our gear and waded out and filled our BCDs and floated around in a circle while Kyle explained what we were going to do whilst sitting on the bottom.  Explanation complete, we were instructed to let a little air out and go ahead and sink down to the bottom.  That worked for about 5 seconds. (A half second longer than the first time!)  But 5 seconds was enough time for me to sink to the bottom and immediately push off and shoot my way back towards the sun.   Certifiable.

Kyle got everyone settled at the bottom and then came up to talk to me.  First, telling me that I’m lucky as hell that we were only in about 7 feet of water, as pulling that stunt from deep would really eff me up, and second, asking what happened.  I told him that I just freaked.  Told him to go back down to his class and that I would watch from the top and slowly sink my way down if I could.  He was satisfied with this and away he went….thinking, “this chick is certifiable, and probably not in scuba.”

I somehow managed to calm down enough to slowly sink to the bottom.  Upon my arrival, I even got an underwater round of applause from the rest of the class.  Nothing like feeling like a tool.  But I guess I didn’t know what that felt like.  Yet.  You know, you don’t just sit down there.  There are things that you have to do.  You have to fill up your mask with water and drain it back out.  You have to learn to control your, well, float.  It’s called a fin pivot, look it up if you want to know.  You’ve gotta take your regulator out and put it back in, getting the water out of it so you can breathe again.  All this, not a problem.  Take your mask all the way off, put it back on and then clear it…problem.

Now, some folks might say that if you’re breathing through your mouth then you’re not breathing through your nose.  Maybe for some people that’s true.  I’m not some people.  See, I never breathe through my mouth unless I’m sick or super winded or yawning.  So breathing through my mouth isn’t natural to me.  My instinct is to breathe through my nose.  With a mask on, no big deal.  It isn’t enough to make a difference in the mask.  Without a mask on, you might as well be asking me to land a 747 without using the auto-pilot.

I tried everything I could to get around fully taking the mask off.  I pulled it away from my face for a second, but that wasn’t enough.  I put it up on my head like sunglasses but that was a no go.  I will admit that my classmates were either rooting for me or laughing their collective asses off at me, not sure which.  I just did NOT want to do this.  I knew that I had to do it to continue though.  I did it.  I thought I was going to drown, yes, while breathing through my mouth.  My mask got caught in my hair.  Another reason to freak out.  I can’t see, of course, and I’m about to lose my mind.  And then all of a sudden, I get my mask back on.  Hallelujah I’m not dead!  *round of applause*

I made it.  I’m thinking I’m golden.  But no, then there’s the pool part.  I’ve gotta float for like 5 minutes.  Float.  The thing I don’t do.  In water I cannot stand up in.  I try to practice.  I try in the ocean, I try in the pool.  I get assistance from people who swim and swim well.  But I sink.  Always.  Like I don’t use a lot of weights in my BCD sink.  I cannot do it.  After defeating the ocean, I am beaten by its red-headed step-child the pool.

I’ve not gone back.  The water and I are still not friends.  But that’s okay.  I’m landlocked now.  I’m friends with the mountains.  And you.  Thanks for stopping by.

37.25 – AFC North Champs!

Yes, yes,  my friends.  The beloved Black and Gold has secured the AFC North.  Now we rest.  We rest and we focus on the tasks ahead. So let it be written, so let it be done. *bangs a gong*

I hope that you’ve all (or all of you who had it) enjoyed two short weeks in a row.  I know that I loved it.  It’ll be quite some time until I have another short week (well, MLK day that I’m taking without pay, Black Power) but after that, it’ll be a while.  All of my time off/vacation focus is on Mexico right now.  I’m thinking about it.  I’m planning it in my head.  If I try hard enough, I can picture myself there with the smells and everything.  En Junio, mis amigos.

It’s time for my Facebook friend of the day.  Today’s lucky winner is: childhood friend and up the street neighbor, Shirl.

Now, mind you, this isn’t a story about something Shirl did, she was just there when this happened.

Back in the day, I’d say when I was about 10, no matter how much it was forbidden, we loved to jump on the bed.  Jump, jump, bounce, bounce, seat drip, front flip.

*sidebar – Who would’ve ever imagined that when it comes to flipping on a trampoline, it’s actually easier to learn to flip backwards than the forward flip that most of us grew up with?!?!*

Well, as Shirl, my brother and I were taking turns jumping on my bed (parents: putting your child’s bedroom downstairs means you don’t hear them jumping on the bed), my brother took a wrong bounce and hit the wall. With his head.  Leaving a round dent in the drywall.  I’m sorry, at that very moment, it was scary, but as I think about that almost-hole in the wall right now, I’m cracking up laughing.  I bet that dent is still there.

I know that isn’t much of a story, but that little nugget makes me laugh.  I mean, I also crashed her trike into a tree and almost broke my thumb off, but that isn’t as fun of a memory.

It’s once again time to run with a random exercise program.  I’ve done Hip Hop Abs (loved it), Zumba (loved it so much that I got licensed to teach it), P90X (OMG so hard but I looked fantastic for my wedding), and now, it’s time to return to Shaun T and try Insanity.  It’s about a three month program.  I’ll time it just right to finish just as I pay off all of my credit card debt and for Lovey’s birthday.  Go me!  Of course, I’ll have to do it back-to-back to be in the proper Cancun mindset.  Six months of work to eat every single thing I want for one week.  Ev.  Er.  E.  Thing.  I’ll take pictures.

Well, I have talked to you until my champagne glass is empty.  Could I refill and come back to you?  Sure.  Will I?  No.

See ya tomorrow!

37.24 – Making it a habit

It has been said that it takes doing something 21 times to make it a habit.  We’ll see how close I am to being a habitual writer at the end of this month.  Admittedly, a lot of the times I don’t write, it is because I feel as though I don’t have anything about which to write.  To help me get over this excuse, I’m “teaming up” with NaBloPoMo or National Blog Posting Month.  Every month, they provide a writing topic and all I have to do is think up something to write about.  Should be easy enough, right?

This month, the topic is friends.  Simple.  This month may be all about reminiscing.  I’ll be randomly selecting one of my Facebook friends every day and writing down a memory or two that I have about/with that person.  If you’re reading this and cringing, don’t worry, I won’t write about anything that would get either of us in trouble. 🙂  I thought it would be simple to randomly select someone on Facebook, but I forget that they keep changing everything and making it a clusterfudge.  Thank goodness for the handy, dandy backup iPhone.  I’ll go to my friends list and randomly scroll up and down a few times with my eyes closed and we’ll see who wins.

Drumroll please……….

And the winner is: Mr. A. West, Jr.

Back in the day, when I was making the transition to public school from private, it was a little traumatic.  I was going from a school with about 50 kids in it to a school with more than 50 kids per grade.  A lot of the kids made the transition a little easier, though.  I was greeted on my first day by a trio of classmates who shared a birthday.  Somehow they knew that we all shared the birthday month and couldn’t wait to see if I shared the same day.  I missed them by two days, but it was close enough for them.

One day on our walk to lunch, or maybe gym, it was over 20 years ago, gimme a break, AW gave me a proper welcome to public school.  He came up behind me and used me as a springboard of sorts and told me something.  I’m not going to share that little nugget of knowledge because things change, but sometimes, they don’t.  For the next 7 years, AW and I got to know each other and ended up being pretty good friends.  I never forgot what he told me, though.  I took it to heart.  I saw flashes of truth in what he said in my school years.  I also saw so many things that made what he said untrue.

Funny how some things stick with you 20 years down the road, isn’t it?  But pulling out these memories is kind of fun.  I mean, it was elementary school.  It was Atta Boy-Girl.  It was not walking through the pee pod in the cafeteria.  It was kickball outside.  It was an outrageous 6th grade.  It was a person tripping/being pushed through a plate glass window.  It was hiding me all day and getting dirty looks from other teachers.  It was a playground collision that bruised my kneecap.  It was Release!  It was the beginning of many a friendship.  It was just a really good time.

Back to the current day and time, I’ve gotta go learn a dance.  I’ll be doing Zumba at halftime of a Nuggets game next weekend and I’ll be damned if I go out there not hitting every move.  Thanks for walking down memory lane with me.  It’s been fun.  See you tomorrow for another story.

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