Friends and Family

Ask, and you shall receive, Maria. ūüôā

First, this choreography! I need to go back to the 70s where I could keep up with the dancing. Step, together, step, tap, baby. I got that all. Day. LONG! My CM choreographers know this.

Second, if you aren’t thinking of the Pirates from the 70s when you hear this, well, I guess you just aren’t a Pirates fan, now are you?

Now, on to the meat of things: family.

Some folks might only have, one definition of family, that being those who fall under the category of people related by blood. Nope, nope, nope, nope nope. If you’re a Facebook user, you might be familiar with friends lists. In my world, they’re more like family lists. Let’s take a look at that, shall we? Not literally because you don’t need screenshots of my Facebook. ūüėõ

Alrighty then, let’s start at the beginning. Steph and Jess had the most pimped out wedding ceremony you have never seen back on 8.1.70. They are my everything. Taught me all the good stuff about respect and being a good person. All the sirs and ma’ams to be had. But also pinochle, barbeque sauce, and banana pudding. And food takes us down the yard to Gram and Pops. Man. Totally my second mom and dad but with cookies and ice cream. Gram made the good good. Peach junk and mac and cheese. I can kinda replicate them because I spent so much time watching her make them, but any time I asked for a recipe, it was “a little bit of this and a little bit of that”. Pops got me my car knowledge as he “worked” in a garage and so I learned to change oil and tires which leads me to the first family that wasn’t blood. Let us not forget the little brother whom I clobbered with the ketchup bottle and the daughter who came much later down the road.

The VMH crew. Van Meter Heights, a name we entirely made up in our backwoods, rural one mile stretch of road. It was the kind of area where everyone knew everyone’s business, so there was no sneaking of anything! At least not for me, lol. I had mom and dads and brothers and sisters all up and down the road. They taught me friendship and fights and how to make up from them. These people were more than likely the beginnings of the unemployed comedian I am today.

My next sets of families came from work. The Don Pablo’s family, the Kanagroo’s family, the Houlihan’s family, and the Club Med family. Working in hospitality changes you! Everyone should have to do it at least once. These folks taught me about relationships and what they were and what they weren’t. They taught me what it was to have someone’s back and to know when someone had mine. I learned fantasy football with them, nearly got kicked out of baseball stadiums with them, went to back-to-back-to-back movies with them, did parking lot donuts in the snow with them, checked out WWF (back when it was still WWF) Raw with them, and took over Carlos ‘n Charlies with them on a weekly basis. Of course there were not so great times, but we got through them together and we’re all stronger for it. This isn’t to say that I have no family from non-hospitality jobs because I do. I’m looking at you Rebecca, Pedro, Justin, Holly, and Chris. OMG don’t be mad if I didn’t mention you. I can’t list every single person, Pramod. And Shiva.

A quick shout out to my pole and circus family! Y’all taught me to be my damn self and go ahead and be that self on stage. A couple sentences isn’t really enough, but I can’t be here all night!

And now, now I am growing a real estate family. It’s been fun! I am constantly out shaking hands and kissing babies. Mayor McCheese-ing like there’s no tomorrow. People who are teaching me how to get this job done; taking me under their collective wing and providing me with guidance and encouragement. I can already almost build a castle with business cards! (I’m not, but I COULD.)

Of course, I couldn’t end this without speaking of my not blood but close as you can be family. The hubster and his (now my) family. They’ve never been anything less than spectacular to me. Hubby puts up with more of my crapola than anyone in the world probably could without kicking me out. He has taught me, with no offense to one or two other people, what true love is, in giving and receiving.

So there you have it. Sometimes hard to follow but sometimes stream of consciousness is how I write. Don’t worry, you’ll get used to it as you get to know me. ūüėÄ Come back tomorrow or the next day for some more confusion. It’ll be fun, I promise, fam!

Laying Foundation

Ha! You see what I did there with that title and that video? I got jokes.

Last night, I visited a pole studio that I’ve visited previously, but not for a while since it’s kinda far from home. BUT, Shawnda asked and since she’s been over to my neck of the woods, I could certainly return the favor. Here’s a little nugget about rush hour in Denver: it took me an hour to go 8 miles, lol. Of course, it didn’t help that it had started raining/snowing and people were driving like it was the Indy 500 and therefore crashing like it was Saturday night at the Motordrome. Shout out to Smithon!

To accentuate how long it had been, when I walked in, I said hello to the instructor. She said hello back and then did a double take. “Whoa! I haven’t seen you in forever! I actually can’t remember the last time.” So,¬† yes, it’s been a while since I took a pole class strictly trick-related. We started out with a fun little combo. If you don’t dance, this will mean nothing to you, so just hang tight or skip ahead or something. For those of you that do, and for my own reference later, it went like this:

Girl on top, back hook, girl on top, step through to jasmine to the floor, two ninja turtles (lol, Shawnda)

We played with that for a little while and it was fun. I have to remember to keep my toes on the floor in ninja turtle, but other than that, I didn’t do too badly. Now, the other thing, lol. Teacher says while doing the moves: “Ok, so Apprentice, push out to Extended Butterfly, then tuck your hips to a Box Split. I’m not gonna leave out my non-pole dancing friends here. You can see the moves right there from left to right.

Nowwwww, not all of yinz know me or my broke ass hips, but that last move is pretty much just a no fucking way for me. My hips aren’t about that life, even though I stretch them daily. They’re making progress, but I’m nowhere near what is needed for that third move. Not that I would let these broke ass hips keep me from giving it a shot and providing some entertainment.

First move, sure, I can do that, because strength. Second move, yup, that was a go-to move on the regular when I was working out on the regular. So up I go and it goes like this: grunt, grunt, grunt, inverted grunt, hip cramp, scooch hands, scooch leg, get top leg lowered some, grunt some more, slide, slide, slide, find the pole with bottom leg, get both feet to the floor before I fall off the pole. All of this while people were watching. More people than I realized, lol.

After the grunt and scooch fest, the teacher comes to me and asks if I’m a runner. I reply that I am not. She says that something is making my hips tight. I tell her, yes, a partially torn labrum in one of them. We both laugh and she says, yeah, that’ll do it. Points learned: still got it, can roll with level 3s, hips are broke, I need to do more inverts because strong lower abs would help me in my handstand press. Oh, and I still enjoy it.

That’s all I’ve got today!

6/30 – Different Forms

This is actually something that’s crossed my mind a few times recently. Who do I find fascinating and why? Believe it or not, it isn’t anyone famous. The people I find fascinating you can find on my friends list on Facebook. While I enjoy them all, only some fall into this category. I’m not going to name names on this one, but I think if you’re reading this and you’re one of the people I find fascinating, you’ll know.

I am fortunate enough to have friends and acquaintances who have passion. Drive. They’ve had ideas and run with them. Brought them to fruition. You guys are the ones I find fascinating. I mean, I understand that everyone isn’t gonna be at your level of awesome, but I do sometimes wonder why I’m not. You guys are parts of the awesome I wanna see in myself.

I know some of your stories and how sometimes an event happened or a person may have said to you at one point that turned your arrow due north. As crazy as my life’s been, I wonder if I had one of those moments or people but I just missed it. I mean, I’m not really good with subtleties. I’ve been hit on and never knew what the hell was going on. Probably why these days, I just say what I need to say so there’s no room for confusion.

Anywho, you guys keep doing what you do because you’re pretty damn awesome. Teach, dance, fly, create. Be you.

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!