If you’ve been following Make A Shift for a while I’m sure you’ve been wondering where I’ve been and why I haven’t blogged in a while. Or maybe not. haha. But for those that have, well, I took a break for a while and though I’ve had so much to say and write, life has just taken over. Well, I’m back but I’m back in Audio form with the “Something Neue” Podcast. I discovered an awesome audio podcast app called Anchor and it’s a great platform for anyone wanting to podcast and get their message out to the world. Download the app and tune it. Let me know what you think of this first podcast in a series called “Doing What You Love”. Enjoy.
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PUPPIES FOR BREAKFAST WITH A SIDE OF BACON.
A couple of months ago, this little dog with his little white feet was running through traffic on Jensen St in the 5th Ward of Houston with an apparent death wish. Jensen St. is an industrial type road with sometimes heavy traffic, but since he was roaming around at night, his chances of getting hit by a car were a lot less. After being forced to detour onto Jensen to avoid construction, I noticed this little pup in the middle of the road and instinctively wanted to rescue him. As I worked to turn around down the road, I noticed another car stopping in an apparent rescue attempt, but I don’t think the pup made it easy because they left fairly quickly. By the time I got back to him, he was on the side of the road sniffing away so I pulled over, got out of the truck and since my other little Pup was with me I put her out in the grass to help. The dog quickly came to her to say hello and without hesitation I picked him up and put him in the truck.
After the standard social media posts and attempts to see if anyone would claim him, my plan was to find this cute tiny legged dog a good home. I had no intentions of keeping him since I already had three dogs and there were a few people already interested in him, but after a week or so of hanging out with this dude I couldn’t help but consider adding him to the family. And just like that, Torta aka Happy Feet become a part of the pack and as you can see in the pic above he’s living a very very hard life. (by the way, Torta is the Spanish word for a fajita filled french bread sandwich).
My love for dogs goes deep and I know I get it from my father, who my mom says would bring different dogs home all the time. Growing up we always had a dog and sometimes two. Unfortunately my dad passed away when i was 10, but his dog loving spirit lives on in me and my mom witnessed it in action when I hosted my first little dog fest in my back yard in the Summer of 2010. I had this vision of having friends and family over on a Saturday morning and I would offer coffee, juice and breakfast tacos and everyone would be encouraged to bring their dogs. I set up a small kiddy pool in the backyard along with balls and lots of dog toys and guess what, everyone showed up. About 15 – 20 people stopped by with their dogs, some people bringing 3 or 4 dogs, and we had a good little morning event. I had people and puppies over for breakfast and thus the name “Puppies for Breakfast“.
Two years later, in 2012 I decided to host a larger version of this festival concept and on Saturday, May 13th from 10am – 3pm, Puppies for Breakfast will celebrate it’s 5th year and has become one of the largest dog festivals in Texas and probably the country. A little gathering that started in my back yard has turned into a huge event and every year it gets bigger and better. This year we have over 40 different vendors and dog industry companies involved, 3 food trucks, a couple of dog treat trucks, and amazing sponsors such as Kriser’s Natural Pet, Arne’s Warehouse, Market Square Tower, Pet Talk Magazine, and Sit Means Sit Dog Training. The event will also have the signature 4,000 sq ft dog play area that will once again become a Puppy Bowl full of balls, pools, and toys. We have 2 – 3 DJs, including DJ Illset and Fredster, two custom photo wall / booth areas, and not to mention the existing dog run / park that is part of every day use at Market Square Park.
This year the event will benefit Animal Justice League Dog Rescue and though the event is free to the public, we are are asking attendees to please make a $5 donation or gift of any amount to help this amazing rescue. You can also make a donation online at www.puppiesforbreakfast.com.
This is a family event and if you don’t have a dog don’t let that stop you from enjoying a great event. Big thank you to the Downtown District and Market Square park for hosting us every year. They’ve been amazing and we love our partnership with them. See you Saturday.
RSVP on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/580158072184612/
ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS ARE SOCKS
It’s Christmas Eve and barely last night did I begin purchasing gifts for my family. I don’t buy much and the gifts are usually just for my mom, nieces and nephews, and if I buy anything for my brothers it’s usually a gag gift or socks, which is the typical default Mexican Christmas present. Lol, I have so many memories of getting so many pairs of socks from aunts and uncles as I was growing up. They weren’t even cool socks either, they were plain white tube socks. Lots and lots and lots of socks. Once you hit about 10yrs old, you can say goodbye to cool Christmas gifts and count on making more room in your clothes drawer for a shit load of socks.
I love Christmas, and though it’s my favorite part of the year, the hardest part of the holiday is what’s at it’s core, and that’s purchasing gifts. I know, it makes no sense since that’s what drives the holiday, but what’s challenging is the pressure to purchase gifts out of obligation, and not necessarily because you want to give out of the kindness of your heart. I procrastinate because it’s frustrating having to roam the stores with 10,000 other people and figure out what to get for people who pretty much have everything they need.
Aside from these scrooge-like tendancies, I do admit that giving gifts is fun and I love the different “spirit” that’s in the air. People seem to be in better moods and I feel that the “giving” nature of Christmas is a powerful force that brings out a lot of good once a year. Receiving gifts isn’t that bad either, but if I could receive a gift, I think I’d prefer receiving something unexpectedly. I would get much more out of a present that was given to me for no reason and without any strings attached, and I would imagine that that would be the case for most.
Imagine that for a minute. You’re at home, cleaning your house or cutting your grass when all of sudden the UPS truck pulls up with some small packages and they have your name on them. You can’t remember having ordered anything and to your surprise it was just a thoughtful gift from someone who wanted to give to you for no reason at all. Receiving a “just because” gift is powerful and a lot more meaningful than giving because a holiday dictates it. Those are the gifts you’ll always remember.
If I would have posted this earlier in the week or a few weeks ago, my advice to everyone would be to do your best to put your heart into the gift giving process. It’s a little too late to encourage you to not give out of obligation since most of you have already purchased and wrapped all of your gifts. A week or more ago I would have encouraged you to make it personal and do it with love, and hopefully many of you have probably been doing that anyway. Maybe. Or Not.
What I can do this morning though is wish you all an awesome Christmas, and remind you and myself to not get caught up in the commercialization of the holiday and show more love than you ever have to your family, friends, strangers and that asshole driving like a crazy person on the freeway as you rush to Target for last minute gifts and wrapping paper. Have fun this weekend and maybe a month or two from now, surprise a family member or friend with a gift for no reason. Do it “just because” and see how good it feels to give when no one is expecting or telling you to. And if you need to practice, feel free to drop off gifts on my porch or office. DM me for my address. Ok, thanks.
ROCK. PAPER. SCISSORS. – Be Together. Not the same.
1983 was a very transitional time for me, as I was about to enter my first year in middle school as a 6th grader and McDonald’s had just introduced the chicken McNugget. Yeah, you know those nuggets changed your life too, admit it. Swatch also released their first watch that year, which I would later overdose on and wear way too many at a time on both arms, but that’s for another 80s story. One story that always comes to mind though as a new middle schooler is one of my first real experiences with a bully. I remember him clearly, yet I always forget his name. What’s funny is that it made no sense why this guy was bullying me and several others, because he was short and to this day is probably the size of Mr. Danny Devito the lovable little actor. One would think that HE would be the victim of bullying because of his awkward size and I only use the word “awkward” because at that time he was obviously very different from most kids. He wasn’t technically a dwarf or little person, but was small, stocky, strong, and definitely menacing to me. For reasons unknown to this day he chose me as a target and would constantly pick at me. I don’t recall ever having to give him my lunch money but he put a fear in me that eventually led me to share with my older brother, someone who didn’t play around and wasn’t going to allow anyone to mess with me.
My brother is about 4 years older than me and the early 80s were the beginning of many many tough years for him. A year earlier our dad had died from Cancer so all we had was each other and even as he struggled with his own issues and even though we had brotherly fights ourselves, he was going to do his best to watch over and protect me as needed. The next day after receiving this news about the bully, he met up with me on the side of the school where I would normally run into this little bully and sure enough he could be seen walking down the sidewalk towards the school gate exit. He saw me and as he and his friends approached and got closer my brother stepped in front of me and confronted him. My brother drilled him about his bullying and Mr. Bully was clearly concerned and worried and without any warning or notice, my brother punched him right in the forehead. This surprised everyone that was surrounding us and within seconds the guy’s forehead swelled up like a baseball. My brother calmly asked him to leave me alone and from that day forward me and the bully became friends, which lasted all the way through high school. Turns out he wasn’t so menacing after all and was actually a very nice person. He just needed a little guidance and punch in the forehead.
I bring up this story because here I am, 44 yrs old, and I thought that bullying and situations like this were reserved for the school yard, yet I see more of this behavior by adults everyday on social media and yes, even in person. You would think that with age we would mature and handle things differently but I feel like social media has created a world where humans are finding it a lot easier to bully, bash, attack, and beat up on each other with words and images. More than ever I’ve seen this bad behavior as we approach an election and I’ve seen sides of people that I never thought existed, all in the name of politics. People are getting angry and wanting to poke people’s eyes out because of differing opinions and views. Speak against the opposing candidate or appear to be supporting another and you run the risk of being eaten alive or have your limbs torn off. It’s very sad and it shouldn’t be this way, but it is and all I can do is acknowledge it and ask those in my circle and my readers to do something different and be different.
The video below is one that I saw this past year during the Oscars and I have to give props to the agency that created this, because they delivered a message of unity better than I’ve ever seen. Every one of us is different in many ways yet we are all very much the same. We all have hands, feet, eyes, a brain (some bigger than others), we have beating hearts and that heart pumps the same blood throughout our veins. We’re going to have differing opinions and politics, we’re going to like different music, and we’re going to see the world differently, but please don’t allow those differences to cause ugliness or hate. Don’t allow those differences to attack your brother or sister and hurt one another. We’re bigger than that and we may have had an excuse for this behavior as kids but we definitely have no excuses as adults. Learn from one another and accept each other’s differences.
So whether you’re a rock, a wrinkly piece of paper, or those little tiny scissors that they give you in elementary school that don’t cut worth a damn, be nice to one another, love each other, and encourage those around you to do the same.
With lots of love.
WHEN YOU HAVE NOTHING TO SAY, SAY NOTHING
I love writing, as it’s one of the most therapeutic things I can do, and aside from my 14 year old chihuahua named Squirt, writing has helped me get through some really tough times over the past few years. Just a year ago after a very bad break up, I found myself writing everyday for almost a month, many times doing so at like 3 or 4am, knowing that if I didn’t write out what was in my head I would never be able to sleep. This stint of unloading my thoughts into my 13″ Macbook Pro eventually turned into a small book, one that no one will ever get to read.
My last blog post dates back to March 2016 which was titled “Make More Mistakes” and it was around that time that I felt that I had nothing else to write. It was almost like the end of a very long several months of therapy, with my last blog post being the last visit to the doctor’s office. If you read back through my posts before that you’ll see that the overall theme was the result of being hurt from the breakup and working through the after math and a broken heart. This blog exists as a place for me to share my thoughts, my life, and lessons learned in hopes that it will help someone else, so if you come through here regularly then I hope it has done just that.
There have been many times since March where I say to myself “Hmm, I need to blog about something, it’s been so long” only to find myself sitting in front of my computer with nothing to write. I won’t write and make up some bull shit just for the sake of blogging, but today I felt the urge to write about nothing. Haha.
I have a lot of “blogger” friends that work to keep their blogs fresh and updated with new content, hoping to increase their following and website traffic, etc. There are entire blogging communities that work to help each other do the same, but that doesn’t really interest me. This is an outlet for me and I’ll write when I feel like I actually have something to say and today the only thing that I have to say is “Hello” and share that I haven’t really had anything to write lately. LOL.
If you have a blog or some type of online presence, write what you feel and every time you write, be sure to feel what you write. Let everything that you write have purpose and don’t be afraid to admit the times that you simply have nothing to say. You’ll find your writing to be much more powerful and enjoyable when it comes from your heart.
I’ve learned a lot about myself this past year and I have tons to write about, I just haven’t felt the need to share it. I think that over the next few weeks I’ll take time to share the many lessons that I’ve learned and provide some insight and tools that have been life savers for me. I have an entire series that I could devote to therapy and how valuable and life changing it can be. Maybe I’ll start with that in a few days. Maybe.
Till then, have an awesome day, or week.