Saturday, April 18, 2015

Film review: Into the Wild

 

Hello All,

 

Something a little different I wanted to share a film with you all that I find to be very important. Into the Wild is a 2007 Sean Penn film based on the true story of a young man who after graduating decides to go on an adventure ala Jack London and reach his goal of Alaska. Christopher McCandless gives away his money and hits out on the road determined to live one day at a time.  Sadly he makes a fatal mistake and it costs him his life. The film is a tribute to Chris and tries to show us the world through his eyes.

I have seen the film perhaps three times now and it haunts me..the scenery and music along with an excellent cast just makes for a wonderful film.

You can debate about the mistakes he made or if he was selfish or cruel to his parents for not keeping in touch. What I take away from the film at least, is a story of a person filled with a wonderful giving spirit. The different people who spent time  with the actual Chris McCandless all seem to see something special in him.

I find it hard to express in a few words the feeling of joy I get, but he gives me faith in people.

Do your self a favor when your in need of something more than the daily rat race , check out this film and step Into the wild.

Peace and Love

Friday, April 17, 2015

Reshuffle the deck

 

Life is not fair, it never was …and so what are you going to do about it?! I don’t know of anyone myself who has it easy. I know a lot of people who on the outside have everything going for them but once I got to know them ,well time and time again I learned that they shared the same mind set.  These people who seem to get life understood that no matter what cards they were dealt, the game was only beginning.

 

My mother told me that when we moved to America and were invited out somewhere she would be so nervous,but my dad would enter the room like he owned it. Dad would say “ I feel like James Bond” and he would take on the role for the night until it became second nature.  Now to be honest my dad was a lean and handsome guy with a Scottish accent ,but he figured out too Americans that made him different and he played it up.

That’s my parents on the far left.

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Myself, I’m short and bald and look dreadful in a suit, I look more at home on a loading dock than I do at a cocktail party.  So I play that card…and I have adapted my strengths over the years to overcome what I consider my flaws.

Anyone of us can take control of the cards.

Now change is tough, which is excellent, because if you are willing to change or adapt than you will be for ahead of the rest of the great unwashed who or too lazy or lack imagination.

I work for a company that helps customize wheelchairs for individuals, so over the past twenty years I have met some amazing people who most would say were not given a good hand of cards.  Just this week I picked up a co-worker at the airport who was in a wheelchair and her independence and strength inspired me all day.

She has a sparkle in her eye and our sense of humor clicked , her attitude was life is going on and I don’t want to miss any of it!

I can list my flaws all day long, and if you know me I’m sure you could some more to the list. I don’t believe in perfection but I am a very big  proponent of improvement from within.

Every day is a chance to add too yourself esteem,  so instead of having the Monday blues find ways to make Monday work for you. Change the deck in your favor, make Monday night the best dinner of the week or make that date night.

Today's rant is in short  Your desire to change must be greater than your desire to stay the same!

 

Peace and love

Thursday, April 9, 2015

My Book of Cool

 

Hello All,

 

A few years ago on my FaceBook page I decided to do a shout out to folks I know who impress me in some fashion. I took the title from a line in the film Dusk till Dawn when George Clooney’s character as a bank robber tells his hostages to remain quiet and they will all be in his “book of cool”! I love the line and I borrowed it right away.

I found great pleasure in doing so it turns out, how simple an idea to tell someone in your life that they matter and at times they really stand out to you.

I stopped doing it for awhile because I did not want it to become a click or some type of bullshit contest of your cool but she is not, but I missed doing it and it makes me feel  good to stop and high five a pal or hug a person.

I admire people who get it, fly their freak flag ,walk against the crowd,stick too their guns no matter what anyone else thinks.

If you think something is of value that shout it out or don’t …wear what you dig brother.

I have a soft spot for writers of any type who can put down a thought on paper and make it a novel or lyric.

I admire anyone who goes on a stage to perform and really sells it! 

I admire people who work with their hands and create something.

I greatly admire people who have the ability to make every day you see them a better day.

I was also floored by some of the responses I got back from my friends , very powerful stuff at times.

So why share with your pals and family just how important they are?!  I bet you have some cool friends out there that have no idea how much they rock.

It can be a path of joy and wonder  with birds singing, it can be dangerous or lonely stretch  where no one calls your name…The only thing I know for certain is at the end of the road is black dog hungry and expecting us… so until then I’m taking one day at a time with a little help from my friends.  ..Now who’s next in my book of cool??

Peace and Love all

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Body in motion

 

Hello All,

Just a quick note about not giving up…ever! I often have long days of pressure from working in the corporate world (my choice so I’m not bitching)  and during the day in my mind I think “boy when I get home I will ride so far ,work out etc..” and then when I get home my mind shifts to what’s for dinner or turn on the TV and tune out. This is the time you need to rethink too what it feels like in a mind numbing meeting or endless emails to respond to and how you wish you were outdoors.

So as an example the other night I rode a fast six miles on my mountain bike, so good cardio for a bit and when I put my bike away I was passing my kettlebell and felt there was no way I could face swinging that beast of pig iron tonight. I went inside took a look around and thought how long is my kettlebell workout in real time? So back out I go, still breathing heavy from my ride and I picked up the bell and started swinging it.

To my great surprise I felt very strong and my breathing soon switched to this workout of different muscle groups. I felt energized and sleep well that night feeling accomplished.

When you set realistic goals and keep your word with yourself its just a great feeling.

So reward yourself, make a plan and stick to it.

Peace and love all

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

When no one else is watching

 

 

Hello All,

There is a moment, a very precise second when the axis of the Earth changes its tilt and you see in a different light.  

If you have a personal trainer or a coach it is admirable how much you get done and your work effort,but  the people I ‘m thinking about are the ones out there all year long in all types of weather fighting for their health. I wanted to reach that next level of thought that drove these people.

Dedication to a set task is part for some people, I need to be fit for a wedding in six months or a wrestler or boxer must make weight for a match. The  long sometimes lonely road when no one is cheering you on or even watching you is what I speaking of. It is so easy to just say why bother or not today…most of us know that well. I have discovered by endless attempts and paths that the reason why they do what they do is ,the pay off is amazing.

 

Just some  observations on how I feel when I workout and when I don’t.

Workout and eat healthy:

My over all feeling is better, I feel rewarded for my efforts every time I take the stairs and my chest does not hurt. I love when I try on new clothes and I have to go down another size because of the fat I lost. The great sense of accomplishment when I set out to say bike ride 15 or 20 miles and I not only do it,but I do it with grace.

Skip workouts and ignore what I eat.

I feel bloated and tired, as well as disgusted with myself. I feel hungry and crave more junk food. My body gets rundown and I get sick more often. My sleep suffers and I feel tired though out the day.

Clothes are feeling tight and uncomfortable. I feel overwhelmed and my mood sinks into depression.

So when I see people working out in whatever form they choose and they are all alone with just their thoughts, well now I get it. I get why they push when so many other people give up or never try.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

The basement gypsies

 

Hello All,

 This post is for anyone out there that has an idea but they might be thinking what’s the point of trying.

When I was 14 I saw the musical “ Beatle Mania” for whatever reason it never occurred to me that anyone could play the Beatles music…the fever took place that day and I started to teach myself guitar. I don’t sing and have zero stage presence so the best I could do was annoy folks at my house as I played little riffs to songs.

I saw a story on the news where a group of school kids tied paper cups to balloons and waited to see if they would hear back from someone maybe a few blocks away.

This was the seed planted in my wee  thick skull, what if I was too send a message out in a bottle and toss it in the sea,how far would it go and would anyone reply?  So with the help of a small multi tracker I recorded some of my favorite songs,Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Celtic and a few I just came up with.  I called my album “Deja vu Blues”. 

 

I have no clue about copy writes and all so I made about 30 or so copies and then handed them out to family, friends and co-workers and waited…

I asked that instead of paying for the CD folks would listen too it and review it and then send it on to someone else. I also thought it would be fun if they took a picture of themselves holding the CD showing where they are in the world… so I waited some more..

Instead of being overwhelmed or ignored I now receive little bits of joy here and there from some unexpected places. My little project from my basement in St. Louis made its way over the years to the UK, the Middle East and all over the USA. I once got a call from one of our offices in Albuquerque that they were burning copies of it to share.

 398493_2623233102667_303129865_n Kathy

So last year I decided to try it again but this time I wanted to create all of the music myself.  I call the band “ The basement gypsies” I felt this takes away from any pressure on my self and leaves room for any other musicians to join in.  I play guitar and  a little bit of mandolin. A friend gave me a mountain dulcimer so I tossed all these in the mix.  The tracks I wrote from the first CD made their way on to the new CD and I released it on ITunes and Amazon and the called the CD “ Cellar Door” by the basement gypsies!

Some of the things I learned along the way that really surprised me.

1. I got a small taste of fame and I found out that a small dose is more than enough.

2. I found out other peoples opinions' can be great or bad but that is all its just another voice.

3. I use to be amazed when I would read that one of the Beatles were not sure which album a certain track was on, How could they not know??!! ,trust me after spending all that time on tracks the best thing is too hear something and like it and then discover its yours. Very easy to forget which track is in which order.

4. I now feel a kindred spirit with all my hero’s of music who have sat in a studio with headphones on trying to get the right sound.

5. Most of all I know I want to continue doing this even if no one else listens I’m having fun! 

The important difference between the two CDs (and only the second one is now available unless some asks me nicely for a copy of the first) is that the first CD was made to impress other people ,for me to try and show off… I learned through my efforts that it was more important to do a project for myself and if anyone cared about it then that would also be nice.

So the results this time around because of the internet is I’m seeing downloads around the world of people checking out my tunes, I’m thrilled every time someone checks out one of my songs or sends me a comment, more fun than I could ever have imagined. You just never know until you try and see how far you can go.

 

So the point of today’s rambling is two fold: HEY GO TO ITUNES OR AMAZON AND BUY MY CD!!!!  ( on Amazon you have the choice to order a hard copy or download) and the other point is if you have a dream then go for it, but do it for yourself and then no matter the outcome you will be happy with the results.

 Cellar Door 2 Cellar Door Back 

Peace and Love

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Mind Games

 

I will continue to keep on playing those mind games forever, thanks John Lennon now I have that tune in my head.  I play all sorts of stories in my head to get through my day, and you know what? its working!

There is a loneliness  at first when you are side stepping all the trappings that made you unhealthy or when you  are working out and  no one is around and you have to push yourself to keep up the fight. It can be very tough,…so you need to come up with some ideas to focus on when it gets rough and it will get rough.

The first thing I do is keep my mind focused on my end goal and I balance it against one of my least favorite memories. Its an old idea that works well..is that bowl of Ice cream better tasting than the feeling you get when you can wear that outfit that a year ago was impossible to conceive?!

I also picture myself after reaching my goal, I act like I’m already there. My confidence is higher, and just like having a new car I take care of this new healthy body and treat it with the respect it deserves..no cheap gas for  this baby!

Over time I have turned every bad snack into a poison in my mind, so much so I get repulsed when I see folks eating cake or large amounts of bread.

If you every goes your way at some point you will reach your goal,but the game is not over now you must maintain so the mind games must continue.

When I reach a goal I add a new goal , and get my head wrapped around that.

I indulge myself with all sorts of Walter Mitty adventures to finish up one more rep or go and extra mile and it always pays off.

So make up your mind the type of person you want to be, and start acting like that person today…it will so become a habit and than a lifestyle.

 

Peace and Love