Go Ask Daddy About Dating Celebs, Super Cephalopods and My Day in Court


T-Swift? She’s aight.

GAD GRAPHICThat’s my story and I’m sticking to it. The girls know I’m quick to flip stations when many of her songs come on. That one about “you’re cheer captain/and I’m on the bleachers”? I like that one. But those others, especially the one that she makes a lot of the same noises … I Knew You Were Trouble!

That’s it.

Songs keep artists out of my inner circle. Katy Perry, with “Roar.” Ellie Goulding, with “Love Me Like You Do.” Pretty much anything by Nicki Minaj.

T-Swift? She’s aight. She’s better than aight. What she did for artists everywhere against the streaming music business is nothing short of bad-ass. But these three musical divas got her beat, in dad’s book. (Let me write this before I change my mind.)

BASIA | It’s a story for another day, but your dad snuck into her concert and got her autograph – onstage! She even held my hand and sang to me. Seriously! Time and Tide is probably my favorite song of hers.

DIANA KRALL |  So soulful. She’s one of my dream concerts, definitely on our list. Just DK and a piano. So many favorites, but Let’s Fall in Love is tops.

NORAH JONES | The antidote to Kesha, really. The woman who wrote Come Away With Me, one of the greatest love songs ever, also wrote an amorous number about – her dog. Girlfriend has ZERO bad songs.


1. Didn’t Taylor Swift date John Mayer?

photo credit: Taylor Swift 085 via photopin (license)
photo credit: Taylor Swift 085 via photopin (license)

Yes she did – and that I knew that is a miracle in itself. I can’t even keep up with who the kids at work are dating at any given moment. (Or, talking to … isn’t that how you say it?)

Taylor dated John Mayer, for a hearty three months, enough time to produce breakup songs and fill tabloids. Mayer was almost as old as me (then 35) when he dated Swift (then 18). I’m a stats guy, so it stands to reason that I know that’s the biggest age gap between T-Swift and any high-profile love interest. (See how I qualified that?) Check out what else dad knows:

Mayer has won seven Grammy Awards – but none since his breakup with Swift.

Mayer inspired Swift to write “Dear John.” On her official website, Swift likened this song to a final email someone writes to someone they were in a relationship with, but don’t send. “I am pushing send,” she said. Mayer took exception, and lines in his single “Paper Doll” make references to Swift:

  • “you’re like 22 girls in one,” perhaps in reference to Swift’s single, “22”
  • “someone’s gonna paint you another sky.” Swift, in “Dear John,” sings that Mayer painted her a blue sky

2. Why is there a circle on that sign?


It’s a clever transparent depiction of a surf board. It’s commonly placed on pedestrian crossing signs, to make the Walking Joe look like Joe Surfer.

The best usage ever, though, is the one someone slapped on the goose crossing sign on Albemarle Road. Classic.

It doesn’t really matter that we’re 31/2 from Myrtle Beach.

Just gotta Shake It Off, though.

3. Why is octopus blood indigo?

photo credit: blown glass octopuss via photopin (license)
photo credit: blown glass octopuss via photopin (license)

Octopuses (yes, that’s an acceptable form of the plural) have super blood.

It’s super because it contains hemocyanin, a protein with copper atoms that bind with an equal number of oxygen atoms. This allows an octopus to survive at extreme temperatures. Hemocyanin gives octopus blood a blue hue. The blood works overtime, because octopuses have three hearts.

I don’t think they fall in love three times more often than your average one-heart cephalopod. Talk about a Love Story.

4. Is there such a thing as heat thunder?

photo credit: Helsinki Lightning via photopin (license)
photo credit: Helsinki Lightning via photopin (license)

Makes sense that heat thunder would accompany heat lighting, right?

But it doesn’t. Same as an octopus isn’t prone to love triangles (or would that be love squares?), it doesn’t add up here. When we see lightning from a distant storm, we’re all, “oo – heat lightning!” No such thing. It’s just far-off lightning. Light travels much farther than sound.

You can hear a thunderclap from about 25 miles. At that distance, you’re Safe and Sound.

5. What do you do on jury duty?

photo credit: Jury Duty via photopin (license)
photo credit: Jury Duty via photopin (license)

You wouldn’t believe it if I told you.

There’s a chance when you’re summoned for jury duty that you’ll have to sit on an actual jury and hear evidence and not talk to anyone about what you’ve heard. It could take weeks or months and you can’t go back to work. Instead, you get a little paycheck from Uncle Sam for your troubles.

I’ve never even gotten close. And not getting close in Mecklenburg County resembles what I imagine would be the kind of prison Donald Trump would serve time in. I got to sit in comfy stadium seats, watch movies, play on my laptop, shoot pool and talk with other interesting detained citizens.

Close to 5 o’clock, they come in and tell you they won’t need you today, and that you won’t be summoned again for another two years. You’ll want to finish your popcorn and wrap up any billiards action, and hope there’s not much left in your movie. Say goodbye to friends.

And thank Jesus you live in America. It feels like Today Was a Fairytale.

jury quote


  1. reocochran says:

    I like that Taylor has plenty of talent and years to get better where she will become a landmark or ” legendary.”
    I tend to be all over the place with music. Thete were a lot of balladeer female singers I have enjoyed. I try to post at least 2-3 times monthly with a song reference, Eli.:)

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Time will tell, won’t it Robin? My Pandora has everything from AC/DC to Hayley Westenra. There must be 11 more female singers I could have featured, at least. A good song reference (or even a bad one) should rarely be passed over in a post, I believe.

      1. reocochran says:

        Music connects most of us whether in the instrumentals, beat or words. With female singers, I fall back on Carly Simon, Joni Mitchell and bands like Heart and Blondie. There are so many more male singers I enjoy. Maybe women like a man to sing to them. Is this true with men listening to women, Eli?

      2. Eli Pacheco says:

        Yes, Robin – give me Katherine Jenkins over Steven Tyler any day of the week.

  2. 1jaded1 says:

    Heat thunder is real, beautimous and scary.. TS. No comment either way.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Oh it’s real – it’s just far-off lightning, not some muggy-night-clouds-rubbing-together phenomenon. Maybe TS is a phenomenon too, of not muggy-night-clouds-rubbing-together variety.

  3. I totally agree with you about Nora Jones and she seriously is such an underrated artist sadly though. And as for Taylor Swift, I concur here, too, but then again not shocked that I agree with you on this and more 😉

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I’m okay with her being underrated, and I think she is too, because she knows I really dig her. T-Swift caught flack for being young and beautiful and dating lots of famous dudes, but heck, if I was the dude equivalent of her and young and beautiful, I’d date lots of famous dudettes if I could.

  4. I got called for jury duty once. It was like sitting in an ER waiting room for 2 days – only quieter, no TV and no padding on the chairs. I got called to the stand though – the prosecution liked me but the defence didn’t…probably because I was a legal assistant at the time and he knew I was too smart for him. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it! 😉

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Just once, Jenn? Here, it’s like a country club. Lucky you got so far in the process, but if I’d been called in, I’d be wondering what my new friends were doing in the play room and what movie was on.

      I think maybe a blog post is in order for your jury duty experience …

  5. Ginny Marie says:

    My husband has a strict rule that he will not listen to Taylor Swift if the girls are not with us, because we listen to TS constantly when they are with us! Love all your TS references! 😉 My favorite song is Red, and I broke my husband’s rule by putting it on my Roadtrip playlist. He’s more of a Def Leppard kind of guy.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I have that rule when it comes to any music from the “hit” station my kids like. I wondered if anyone would pick up on the T-Swift references (and did you now each is a link to a video?)

      Def Leppard and T-Swift don’t mix, Ginny Marie. And this from a guy who has Red Hot Chili Peppers *and* Lindsey Stirling on his Pandora!

  6. tania2atee says:

    I actually just broke down and bought her 1989 album on iTunes. Bad Blood grew on me and my kids sing it non-stop…could always be worse.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Well, you weren’t going to find her music free, that’s for sure. She made sure of that. My kids took exception to T-Swift back when they were One Direction fans, when she had the gall to date Harry Stiles. Remember that?

      1. tania2atee says:

        Luckily my kids aren’t interested in the love lives of celebrities just yet.
        I’m not going to lie, it was a bold move for T-Swift to take on Apple, and kudos to her for that move. I gladly paid for the album. It’s actually pretty good.

      2. Eli Pacheco says:

        It was just a ‘didn’t they date?’ kind of thing. Glad they don’t read the tabloids! T-Swift took up for artists everywhere on that one. But hell, I don’t even buy Kesha’s albums. Pandora is a poor man’s musical paradise.

      3. tania2atee says:

        We don’t have Pandora in Canada! 😦

      4. Eli Pacheco says:

        We rightly consider hungry citizens of third-world countries, but we shouldn’t lose sight of our neighbors to the north and the plight they have without Pandora. Do you have some arctic-chilled version of Pandora there?

      5. tania2atee says:

        It’s a streaming service, right? Is it free? We have a few, but they’re not that great. Maybe one day they will find their way north, as long as they are smarter than Target. We’d like them to stick around if they do come.

      6. Eli Pacheco says:

        A country without Pandora *and* Target? Thanks Obama.

      7. tania2atee says:

        That’s Canada!!

      8. Eli Pacheco says:

        Oh, Canada. (At least you have Poutine and the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.)

  7. NotAPunkRocker says:

    I like to think the sign guy is hula hooping his way down the road. 😀

    1. Eli Pacheco says:


      I think so, anyway. I found lots of support for the hula-hooping dude signs. And there’s a connection to a Colorado Jam Band called String Cheese Incident.

      It’s a much better story than surfers!


  8. 100% agree with you about Norah Jones. She is my go to CD (yes CD) when I’m driving and I don’t like whats on the radio. Here I thought I was the only one.

    Robert Frost was, in my opinion, a clever witty man.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Norah’s a diva in all the right ways. The universe serves up copious Norah on days I need her most.

      I’m definitely with you on her, Ashley.

      Robert Frost was a brilliant quote machine, wasn’t he?

  9. You were being sidelined at jury duty? And I thought you were going to tell us scary details of a murder trial.
    To me Joe Surfer looks like he had one of them hula hoop loops.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I just never got in the game, Tamara, but that was okay with me. It just wasn’t meant to be.

      Check out the link above – hooping is what they call it.

  10. tamaralikecamera says:

    I saw heat lightning once.. in Myrtle Beach, actually. No heat thunder that I can remember.
    Ok, I’ve never been summoned to jury duty. If I write that, will I lose my perfect streak?

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      A tornado skirted by us at Myrtle Beach once – and forced the cancellation of a baseball game I had prime seats for. Thanks, Jesus.

      No, I don’t believe in jinxes, Tamara. But, you’re missing out! At least for jury duty in Mecklenburg County.

  11. Sandy Ramsey says:

    I like Taylor Swift. She’s pretty cool and aside from her kiss and tell music she seems like a good kid. I can call her a kid…she’s 25. Right now, Nikki’s favorite song is ‘Bad Blood’ so I get to hear that one A LOT!

    I love Norah Jones. As for Nicki Minaj. She’s just gross.

    I refuse to comment on jury duty. I’m afraid to actually. I don’t want to jinx myself. Work that information out however you like.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      That’s fine, Sandy. She’s a game-changer and I love her drive. She most definitely a kid to me – she’s young enough to be my little sister.

      My girls don’t get too hung up on one artist over another, but they will inundate me with a ‘style’ of music that grates on my old soul like a Disney Channel marathon.

      Norah Jones is the girl everyone loves but you don’t hear much about. Do you know Jules Day? Just as lovable, almost.

      So Sandy’s been skirting the law for a while now … your secret’s safe here.

  12. Kim says:

    My four year old requested a Taylor Swift song by name yesterday. I didn’t figure that out until Google clued me in…

    Good thing it was a good song. That I can’t remember the name of… *facepalm*

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      It could be worse – they could, at that age, quote Eminem or some such. Quick, queue up some Go-Gos and see what happens.

  13. ksbeth says:

    love diana krall too, and i love being on jury duty for some reason -talking to and bonding with my team. also think that is a hula hoop around the person in sign #2. i wish it was.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I never got that far, beth – but i did enjoy getting to know others who were detained for the day.

      You’re right about the hula hoop! See the link above. I wish I’d researched better. It’s a much better story!

  14. dialysisgal says:

    Exceptional artists, all!

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Can’t go wrong with any of them, can you Beth? I could have listed 11 more.

      1. Eli Pacheco says:

        Sarah Brightman, Hayley Westenra, Anita Baker, Sade, Katherine Jenkins, Colbie caillat, Imelda May, Missy Higgins, Eliane Elias, Kat Edmonson, Brittney Spears …

      2. dialysisgal says:

        Eclectic mix, and good choices!

      3. Eli Pacheco says:

        Not many bad tunes spinning around here.

  15. kismaslife says:

    Happy Sunday Eli! I love Norah Jones and and tolerated TS in her early years because she was new. Now her voice is like listening to finger nails down a chalk board. Kudos to her for her action about streaming music, otherwise she kinda reminds me of a middle school drama queen that I have really worked with my daughter on avoiding, ha.

    Love the new blog layout.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Happy Sunday to you, Tiffany. I’ve yet to meet anyone who doesn’t like Norah Jones. Is it even possible?

      Some of those T-Swift songs do feel a bit like waterboarding for my ears. I’ll give you that.

      Glad you like the new layout! For many reasons, I was overdue to change things up. The old look worked, but it also was linked to some not so pleasant memories. It was time for a cool change, like the song says.

  16. Rorybore says:

    LOVE LOVE LOVE Norah Jones. I could listen to her voice all day long. brilliant. my girls are rather into the Katy Perry and Taylor Swift, and let me tell you it is all kinds of wrong hearing your sweet 5 year old belt out a tune about her “long list of ex-lovers.”

    John Mayer is one of those sorts where I like some of his music — the guy is talented – but something about him personally makes me cringe. so I can’t listen anymore. bad form John.

    wait, I though octopus have ink? that’s what the blue stuff was?? ugh, now I gotta do the Google. maybe one of the kids knows.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      What’s not to love, Rore? I got plenty of Norah today on the drive with Elise to visit colleges. “Teenage Dream” is all sorts of inappropriate for our girls.

      I think a lot of musicians (Not you Erin Bowman!) are a bit … eccentric. (Erin is too, but in a good way.)

      Octopuses do have ink, but their blood is blue. They have all sorts of strange pigment things going on.

      1. Rorybore says:

        being Irish and of the freckled pigmentation, I suddenly feel an odd affinity with them. 🙂

      2. Eli Pacheco says:

        Probably the eight arms would come in handy as a mom, too.

  17. Love Diana Krall! One of my favorite Google Play radio stations to listen to while I’m working. 😉

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      She’d be awesome live, don’t you think Britt? The more Pandora puts of her in my day, the better.

  18. Norah Jones? Love her! I’ve been known to belt out “Don’t Know Why” to the radio.
    As for T.Swift…she’s aight 🙂
    I just love these posts, Eli! Sorry that I’ve been gone for so long. You know I always come back 🙂

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I hope Norah Jones never becomes insanely possible so those of us who truly appreciate her can have her to ourselves. My favorite line from “Don’t Know Why”: I feel as empty as a drum/I don’t know why I didn’t come.” But you know that, because you do your radio duets with N-Jones.

      I know your orbit always brings you back around, Michelle. Always good to have you here.

      1. Awww….an orbit! You always make my visits over here special. Thank you, Eli!
        (My favorite line is “my heart is drenched in wine”)

      2. Eli Pacheco says:

        “I left you by the house of fun … “

      3. *walks away from the keyboard and fires up Spotify….

  19. What a fabulous cornucopia of information. You’re a true spermologist.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      These Go Ask Daddy posts can go any direction or every direction at once (you should see the list for next Friday!)

      I had to look up spermologist first but thank you very much!

      1. It’s not a well used word but fun to throw into conversations

      2. Eli Pacheco says:

        I’m going to work it into a post.

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