🐦 Go Ask Daddy About Avian Sexual Orientation, My Photographic Tendencies and Theatrical Cliches

GAD lede 12 18
photo credit: —I need more moments like this via photopin (license)

My buddy, Laurie, left for a walkabout a while back.

GAD GRAPHICHe wrote a guest post, one of my highest-clicked posts ever. Laurie wrote about what he’d bring to a barbecue at my place. That’s the fun stuff. He’s been out of the blogging asylum for a while.

He’s stepped away, and I can’t wait for him to come back again.

Laurie – Fratello to some – knows me. It’d be great to touch base with a guy I consider the big brother I never had, get all caught up and get a little insight.

He writes The Adventures of Writing, and also takes pictures. Tons of pictures, really good ones, too. You might have known him from our banter that lasted comments and comments after some posts.

When I saw the kookaburra question, I thought of Laurie’s photography.

He takes photos of the wildlife in his yard. I swear, it’s like another world. Not just because there are kangaroos roaming about. The birds. They’re almost … Seussian. Check it out.

Naturally, looking at beautiful photography of Australian critters lends naturally to talk about avian sexual orientation.


kookaburra GAD
photo credit: 206 via photopin (license)

1. Are kookaburras gay?

Not officially.

See, there’s a list. Of gay birds. About 130, in fact. I looked for the kookaburra, a badass Australian kingfisher. He’s missing. He’d have been there, between Kittiwake and the Laughing Gull. Scientists discovered that as many as 130 bird species engage in homosexual behavior.

The kookaburra is unique in that he has a song written about him. That’s where they say he’s gay, but it’s a different kind of gay. This gay means “lighthearted and carefree.” I like that definition.

It makes me believe Kurt Cobain when he wrote: “what else can I say?/everyone is gay.”


2. Isn’t Cups like a sport?

It’s known as speed stacking. It passes the litmus test of sports, in that you cannot speed stack while drinking or smoking. (Sorry, PGA and PBA.)

Competitive eating qualifies as a sport. Should speed stacking? They award a cup for it, which is funny if you think about it. You stack cups to win a cup, but only if you’re the best. It’s legit, though.

I have a tough enough time balancing a cup of soda and a handful of gingersnaps. If you can do this, you’re a sportsman.

reset 202

3. Why do you take pictures of us all the time?

I love you guys.

There are times and spots in my days and even at night when I think of you. I think of something we’ve done while I’m driving or sleeping or working. I’ll miss you right then, especially. I can pick up my phone and flip through and have a look at you.

Sometimes, yes, those pictures end up on the blog.

See, I want every moment with you. It’s hard when we’re together, but not. I know you have your thoughts and lives and moments and devices. And it’s okay. Because in those moments I’m missing you, you’re right there on my phone.

Holding a trophy or a huge fish or each other – sometimes in wrestling holds.

I’ve always kept totems of you guys. Little physical elements I could keep in a pocket or on my desk, a touchstone to feel connected to you. You kids are of me, but not from me, as you are from your mom.

A dad feels his kids are an extension without that tether that binds them to their mom.

It could be a cross made of wire and beads. A coin from Santa, gifted to me. A favorite plush tiny rabbit, the one you used to hold around the neck, Elise. I kept that in my pocket for a while.

Problem is, I lose your totems.

Sometimes, beside my car chair, or sometimes, it’s returned to the earth for good. I’ve always wanted … a necklace. Something close to my heart, something that is all three of you, a totem for my girls.

Maybe one that you have, too.

You’re like me, in that sometimes the gifts you get find their way back to the earth before its time. So who knows how long it would last? With the pictures on my phone, at any time, anywhere, I can hold you.

I really like that idea.

photo credit: Avocado and pip via photopin (license)

4. How do you pick a good avocado?

There’s a technique, handed down from generation to generation. It’s a family secret, originated in the times of the conquistadors.* It’s by feel. I see people poking around the avocados like they’re buttons in a slow elevator.

That’s all wrong.

You’ve got to cradle the avocado in the palm of your hand. You want to squeeze the avocado, but not with your fingertips. Nothing’s worse than a bruised avocado. Or a dad who takes too many cellphone pics of his kids.

Anyway, the avocado should give a little to your squeeze.

Not a lot. If it feels had as a stormtrooper helmet, give it some time. If it mushes in your hand like a jawa’s face, it’s too far gone. Or, typed a search on it into a browser window in 2015. Either/or.

stormtrooper rain golf quail hollow pga
Waiting out a weather delay at Quail Hollow Club during the PGA Championship – on an ice cream cart.

5. Why does it always rain when someone dies in a movie?

I took a course on this kind of stuff in college.

It’s fascinating stuff, symbolism in film. The way a camera view of a literal crossroads means a virtual one, too. Or how a character can appear framed by a window, to represent some form of confinement of spirit or mind.

Or how a character never wears bright colors or always does.

Those views that span from close-up too far away, especially aerial views, depicting a character as a small cog in a worldly machine. And sometimes it’s purely for mood and effect, like the baseball movie going to the bottom of the ninth always.

Or the guy busting into the church just as the bride is about to say I do.

Theatrical timing, and wouldn’t it be a sucky movie if it wasn’t like that?

rain quote


  1. I totally get your answer to the photo taking question as I am totally guilty of this so much with my own girls as I am constantly taking photos of them. Some make it my blog, too and others still I just love to look back on and hold close to my own heart still when I can, as well. It is just a parenting thing I suppose in this day and age 😉

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      How can we resist, right Janine? I have about 10 of Grace in the leaves, so it’ll probably make another blog appearance. And the kids ain’t exactly allergic to having their pictures made.

  2. ksbeth says:

    yes, my family and friends all tend to react when i pull out my phone at any time now, they all fear that everything i take a picture with is going to be a blog. imagine! )

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I know, right? They act like we’re obsessed or something, Beth (just because I’m answering this at 11:30 p.m. doesn’t make me a fanatic. Right?)

  3. I love your ending quote. It’s been raining a lot here – both outside and inside. And yes, sometimes you just have to give yourself permission to dwell in the rain. The sun will come out again soon enough! Blessings.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Thanks Jenn. Rain doesn’t just stay outside, does it? I’ve experienced it too lately. You can will it to stop all you want, but it’s going to run it’s course.

  4. Holly says:

    Best way to pick an avocado: None. Just don’t buy them. Skip the guacamole.

    I love the idea of always holding the girls close to you via the pictures in your phone. I only wish I had more of M but he doesn’t like them and has learned to pick up when I am trying to take a candid shot and move at the last second (gee, wonder who he learned that from?)

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      More for me, Holly. Only way I’ll skip the guac is if there’s tofu up in there.

      Sometimes I just miss their faces, you know? They’re getting savvy about getting out of frame – these same girls who used to load up my phone with selfies if I left it out!

  5. Rhonda Albom says:

    I read somewhere that the best way to choose an avocado was to pull out the little knob on the top. As the avocado ripens the colour inside of this changes from green to brown, you want one that has both brown and green inside this as it means the avocado is ripe, but not overripe (as all brown would be).

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I pulled that knob out once and nothing poured out. It’s a tricky proposition, getting the avocado at the right time.

      Next time at the market, I’m going to do odd things to them, like, smell them, or knock on them, or hold them up to the light, and try to notice if the white folk are taking note.

  6. Lyn says:

    I have a hundred or so photos of my grandkids on my phone–it’s important. Grandmothers need bragging rights. Love avocados – on toast with a poached egg on top, with chicken, lettuce and mayo on a roll or sandwich…basically with anything. Well, maybe not apple pie 🙂

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      That’s gold, Lyn. I share them only when they make it to the blog. Don’t discount the idea of apple pie and avocado – I just saw a recipe where you scoop out a little avocado and toss in an egg and cheese and bacon and bake it all together.

      I’d take a bite or three of that.

      1. Lyn says:

        Oooh, I like the sound of that one 🙂

  7. stomperdad says:

    kookaburras aren’t gay, they’re just fabulous. Great questions, as always. I now have a pen and pencil nearby so I can start recording questions. Every time they ask something, I want to say, “Go ask Coach Daddy”. Like Crash’s question the other night about him being scared of a world-wide earthquake. Love your answer to the why so many pictures question. I get attached to the boys stuff and want to keep them forever – like the Tigger stuffie they used as chew toy when they were teething.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Good line! It’s always an adventure with the questions, mate. I used to keep the Go Ask Daddy questions in a notebook. I should offer to answer other people’s kids’ questions in a guest post or something.

      Those natural disaster questions will bring out some good answers and responses from a dad.

      There’s a bit of sentiment to the way we dad, Eric. That’s a good thing.

      1. stomperdad says:

        This thing called a heart makes us feel things our hands can’t touch. Not all dads get one, but I’m sure thankful we do.

      2. Eli Pacheco says:

        Comes with some definite disadvantages – none of them which make it not worth it all.

      3. stomperdad says:

        You got that right, Eli!

  8. tamaralikecamera says:

    It also rains when people kiss in movies! Or if it’s a Christmas movie. Then it snows when they kiss. I always wonder what I’m doing wrong that it doesn’t happen in real life. I just kissed the most handsome boy I know – Des – and it didn’t snow.
    Moving on, the Star Wars Avocado Method is time-tested in our household too.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      It does, doesn’t it? I saw a tweet about how kind men who can express their feelings are in abundance in Christmas movies, but scarce in real life. (I countered that they’re often devoured before they reach molting age in the wild.)

      Star Wars and avocado just seems like a quality combination.

  9. I like “lighthearted and carefree”. How’s Laurie doing? I fondly remember the BBQ party. Didn’t he arrive on his 4-wheeler lawn mower?

    Avocado is one of my staple foods, My secret is to purchase two that feel right. If one disappoints, the other might be perfect.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      It’d be a good way to live, wouldn’t it Tamara? Laurie’s fine – I just heard from him via email.

      His guest post was one of the most clicked on ever here. Your memory serves you right about the four-wheeler lawnmower, and I remember some back and forth between you two about taking a ride on it with him.

      I’ve found that that second avocado comes in handy when two kids devour one bowl of guacamole before a third girl can make it down the stairs.

      1. Tamara says:

        In your case you’ll need at least five avocados. Better yet, plant your own tree. You wanna be prepared for Las Posadas, right?
        Say Hello to Laurie for me. He may want to knock on your door for those tamales as well?

      2. Eli Pacheco says:

        I might just want to stay in and eat my own avocados. Avocados bring out the introvert in me.

  10. Rorybore says:

    I’m a big fan of pathetic fallacy in literature and film. Sorry if that term becomes next weeks question. Or how it differs from Personification. Sorry, I’m basically just creating more work for you here, aren’t I? 😉
    I think I grew up playing different “cups.” As in Beer Pong and Flip Cup. Again… more questions I am sure. Again, sorry. hee hee

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I’m a big fan of pathetic fallacy in life, Rore. No need to apologize if that question ends up in the mix.

      I’ve always believed personification is different, on a smaller scale, anecdotal, even. Pathetic fallacy is more representative of a theme or mood the author wants to convey from a character on a grand scale.

      Beer pong might come up. Heck, anything’s game. Grace just asked me last night how much I weigh (because I told her I’d lost 10 pounds in the past month.)

      1. Rorybore says:

        hey congrats! I think I found some of your 10 pounds up here on myself, because holy shortbread cookies, I baked a ton! LOL
        If you have been reading my story, you might have noticed that it often goes a bit stormy outside when Mike is deep in thought, or reflective; while Callie is always bright sunlight or the glow of sunset. That’s rather intentional.

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