Time to Take a Stand on this whole Kneel Down Thing

Taking a stand on a gorgeous fall day in a Roanoke park.

Dear Mr. Kaepernick,

First, I’m a little late to this party, I admit. If you could see my inbox, you’d understand. I also could use a haircut. But who am I telling? This letter, though, has little to do with my hair and unanswered emails.

It has everything to do with the movement you’ve begun, by kneeling during the National Anthem before kickoff.

I happen to be a minority here in the USA. I’m the people you’re doing this for. First, I kind of appreciate that, Colin. There’s lots of hashtags out there for minorities, but generally, the ones for my people mostly have to do with #CincoDeMayo.

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How to Win (Even if You Haven’t Actually Showered)

A snowtrooper, on a coin-operated iron binocular, atop Mill Mountain in Roanoke, Va.

I sat, at a crossroads.

An uncomfortable, unshowered, unshaven, ball-cap-covered crossroads. In the middle of a conference room, at work, among the showered, shaven, and non-ball-cap covered. Smart, pretty people.

Important words, by important people, were being said about a project my team poured tons of work into.

Should I stand, and speak, risking the scrutiny of colleagues – some of whom I promised I’d even wear a dress shirt to this meeting – and possibly the question of “did Eli sleep on a park bench last night?”

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Where We’d Go and What We’d Do, in 6 Words

photo credit: DocChewbacca #26 Let’s go surfing II via photopin (license)

Passport awareness to me means knowing where the dreaded thing is.

GAD GRAPHICIt’s a viable fear, losing my passport in another country. Not that I jet-set. Were it not for Red Ventures’ annual company trip, the extent of my worldly travel could be summed up in a drive down Charlotte’s Central Avenue, with its Mexican bakeries and Mediterranean restaurants.

I compile a monthly post called “6 Words.”

Ernest Hemingway inspired it when he said any story can be told in six words. I ask bloggers, friends, strangers, and a few strange blogger friends to respond to a prompt. September was National Passport Awareness Month.

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The Challenge of Blogging Now (Even When You Don’t Blog)

photo credit: valiant aja First Order Stormtrooper via photopin (license)

Blogging happens even when I don’t blog.

Take the week that was. I met deadlines and commitments. I found myself at midnight, ready to write and read, yet short on midnight oil. One can’t burn what one doesn’t have. Off to sleep. The writing mind kept sentinel, though, when my waking mind could not.

Strife swirled all around.

My city caught fire. Fellow citizens rose up and spoke out. Those of us who didn’t, wanted to. We felt, perhaps, shame in our voice. Undeserved shame. All voices warrant value. I held words in and wore my Broncos cap and saw connections between strife and tension.

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Go Ask Daddy About Spicy Commercials, Reserved Parking and the Home of the Demon Deacs

I think I remember you from my teenage years …

Long before Kesha and Jennifer Lawrence, way back on the timeline before Ingrid Michaelson and Laura Linney, in a time Hope Solo, Sue Bird and Paula Creamer were just youth-league cuties … there was the MCI girl.

GAD GRAPHICGuys, this is Jean Louisa Kelly.

Her cute but creepy ad for the soon-defunct MCI became all sortsa Dream Weaver for me.  She resurfaced in Mr. Holland’s Opus, as star-dreaming Rowena Morgan in 1995. In 2000, you could see her in Yes, Dear, married to a dude even dweebier than yours truly.

I thought she’d disappeared after that feeble TV show.

Then I watched 1,000 to 1: The Cory Weissman Story. I resisted, invoking my “No Movies That Star Kids From Disney Shows” clause. But … Cory’s mom looked, so sweetly familiar. The curls were now straight; her lipstick less pow than fire-engine red.

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15 Amazing (and Simple) Things For a Happy Life

Happiness glows from within one. Or from directly behind one.

Oy, happiness.

It’s there. We must practice patience. It’s like a Taco Bell burrito. Sometimes, they’re made incorrectly. All the cheese or sauce or sauce and cheese get tucked into the final fifth of the burrito. One must endure dry beans for a while, but eventually you’ll get the cheese.

Or the sauce or sauce and cheese.

Laura writes the blog Riddle from the Middle. It’s real life, as she says, with a side of snark. She’s a lover of family, words, and music, and really, with proper snacks, isn’t that what we all love? She writes a thoughtful, enlightening blog I hope you’ll check out.

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Where Are You Going? 10 Questions for Direction

“Candy, as far as the eye could see. Almond Joy, Krackle, Skittles. Not the cheap-ass candy from the dollar store.”

To remain in this moment becomes perhaps the closest we can come to ultimate harmony.

It’s tricky. It requires dismissing a past, shunning self-imposed limitations and savoring every ounce of life. Living in the moment also gets a bad rap. That’s what happens when folks jet to Vegas or say yes when they should say no, invoking a Carpe Diem Clause.

The Carpe Diem Clause, however, doesn’t cover gambling losses, lost teeth, lost wages, marriage annulments or penicillin shots.

Brianna Wiest wrote a book called The Truth About Everything. She also wrote a post for Elephant Journal that I wrapped in cheesecloth and hit behind my disc golf bag. It’s 10 questions to ask yourself when you don’t know where your life should go next.

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Go Ask Daddy About Cinematic Symbolism, Steve Martin Stunts and Retail/Dining options for Dec. 31

Do you know where that water’s been, brother?

NPR just made rain kind of gross.

GAD GRAPHICA show promo pointed out that water we drink today have passed through the kidneys of a brontosaurus. Japanese freestyle swimmer Shigeo Arai probably swam through it in the 1936 Olympics.

It might have lived in a water pitcher on the set of the Dominican telenovela Tropico, too. I try not to think of that, but it’s true. Water’s the original repurposed thing.

Sure, rain’s kind of nasty, but it’s also beautifully poetic. It made up puddles my girls stomped in walking into the grocery store with dad. It helped soil uniforms – school and soccer – and locked in stories and memories and history.

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Guest Post: Mo, of Mocadeaux, on Plethora

The search for the right word can sometimes be like this.

This one time, Grace thought she’d become famous.

All it took was a parade. We’d talked in church about joining the Pride Parade a few years ago. Grace heard keywords – parade … ride a float … matching T-shirts! She was stoked. So I explained what the Pride Parade meant.

She remained stoked.

We didn’t end up walking. She went off with the grandparents that day. The conversation happened, though. When I wrote about it, today’s guest poster, Mo of Mocadeaux, chimed in on the CD for the first time.

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What One Soccer Coach Included On His Wish List Might Shock You

wish list lede
It’s kind of like a soccer sideline, but really, it’s the towel rack at the Acorn Motel in Black Mountain, N.C. Nice place.

I’ll get it out of the way, first.

As a soccer coach, I’d love it if the tradition of root beer and a Cubano sandwich became post-game routine. I know that won’t happen, unless I make it work for myself. (Coaches who maintain a set approval rating could upgrade to cold beer and a Monte Cristo.)

Here’s 42 reasonable (and some unreasonable) items on this coach’s wish list.

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