#AtoZChallenge: E is for is he EVER going to catch up?

stormtrooper ties ewok boba fett

It’s never too late to be thankful, right?

I’ve tried to tie my weekly Go Ask Daddy posts to the Friday gratitude attitude going around the blogging world. The combination ranks higher than, say, those KFC-Taco Bell duos you find sometimes out and about.

It’s been a while since I’ve sat down to jot the good stuff in my notebook, though.

I’ve been thankful for, you know, a job that offers benefits and enough dough to get my kids off free lunch. This feels like the American dream to me. But I want to make this list not just about that because I’m almost kind of tired of writing about it.

So here’s my 10 things thankful, or great gratefulness, or whatever you’d like to call it.

10. I’m thankful for needing another hole in my belt. And the need to get pants that actually fit.

nike shoes
photo credit: edtrigger via photopin cc

9. I’m thankful for a pair of Adidas and a pair of Nike – both gifted to me – that put in mega steps in with me every day.

8. I’m thankful for new disc golf courses discovered, not far from the new job. For the new challenges and all the damned ducks that I’m afraid to hit.

7. I’m thankful for the girls who have grown close to Hayden on her school team. There’s something special about that crew, to her and to me.

6. I’m grateful for days the pollen can’t kick my ass. It sure tries.

pizza place
photo credit: Pizza time via photopin (license)

5. I’m grateful for new pizza joints on the way home. Is it Friday yet?

4. I’m grateful for my family’s unity when things go awry outside of our circle. We know we’ll always stick together.

3. I’m grateful for friends who’ve fallen off the radar. I wish them well and would welcome them back if the seasons turn that way.

2. I’m grateful for those friends who have filled in in the prior group’s absence. The void left allowed others to move closer and they’ve been such a blessing.

soccer fans
photo credit: Old Trafford via photopin (license)

1. I’m grateful for a day of soccer, a pair of comfy long johns, and an almost empty bag of 80-cent clearance Easter jelly beans on a Sunday.

Here’s what the kids asked. If you’re new around here, on Fridays, I try to answer five random questions from a list of almost 300 my girls have asked me. They range from the sacred to the profane, and sometimes I can’t even tell the difference.

Man Mexico flag moon
photo credit: AngelReyes93 Tierra de Soñadores via photopin (license)


1. What does the Mexican flag look like?

The call it “El Tri.” To the white ear, that sounds like something with bark and branches.

It refers to the three colors – green, red and white. Like the ol’ red, white and blue, only more southernmost. It also features an eagle with a snake in its talons, which is kind of badass. I mean, eagles on their own are badass.

Add a snack in his paws? Badass-er.

The colors stand for something. No, not guacamole, salsa, and tortillas, although, what a tri! Green represents the independence movement. White is for Catholicism’s purity. Red is for Spain’s support in the fight for independence and for bloodshed in the mission.


2. What are gigabytes?

It’s the measure of that first huge bite I take out of my first huge slice of pizza on any given Friday night.

It’s a unit of information, which, you know, could vary. I mean, a unit of information could be the letter N in the encyclopedia, or it might be a fraction of a fraction of the actual mass of my Darth Vader thumb drive.

Rather than facts about Napoleon or chapters of my unstarted romance novel, a gigabyte was created by God to measure data.

Gigabytes measure the data on your device. You know, the unanswered emails about your student loan, pics of your swollen sprained ankle, videos of me walking into the room wearing a shark head.

Bits are the smallest measures of units for data. You can’t just buy a bit. It’d be like buying just an apple chunk from out of the middle of an apple fritter. Nah. You’re just going to want something way more considerate.

A gigabyte is like, a lot. It’s the whole rack of ribs. It’s the two-pound bag of shredded cheese. Hell, it’s the huge box of Honeycomb, the one thick as a yoga brick and tall as Yoda. You can get mad pics and videos with a gigabyte.

Wait, they don’t say “mad” any more?

Well, I know this: We get 2GB of data a month and we chew through that pretty quickly. That’s a lot of Honeycomb. And it’s kinda tough to swallow.

jesus soccer
photo credit: kamagurka via photopin cc

3. What if Jesus wasn’t an only child?

Depending on who you listen to, JC had a ton of siblings – all of us.

You know, the children of God. But I get your meaning. What if, after all the hubbub of the immaculate conception, Joe and Mary decided to expand the fam? From a modern standpoint, can you imagine the sibling rivalry?

Why can’t you kids walk on water like your brother?

I doubt Mary would say that. She seemed humble and loving, but you know, when you add multiple kids to the mix, sometimes it gets messy. Kid, Tween, and Teen Jesus would have likely been prone to all the challenges and misgivings of any other kid his age.

And think about it – not all of Archie Manning’s boys suited up in the NFL.

What if Jesus wasn’t an only child? It would be a revelation, but not Revelations. Probably bigger change in the news than Pluto not remaining a planet, or the discovery that T-Rex leaned forward all tenaciously rather than stand upright and nerdy.

I made while I was a Religious Studies minor at UNC Charlotte.

I considered Gospel writers sort of men on the Jesus beat. You had all four telling their stories for their respective books. I noticed a similarity in the way Matthew, Luke, and Mark told of Jesus, and how John did.

See, the first three referred to Jesus mostly as a teacher, a holy man, one who spent time in quiet contemplation (meditation?). One who went on walkabout, telling parables and, for lack of better term, sharing one-liners with those he met along the way.

John’s accounts tell of Him calling Himself the way and the light, revealing the plan that part of Christianity has embraced as the only truth. I’m not judging best of the show here for any of the books, but it’s interesting that the power of the press existed even then.

I took a course in college called Jesus. No, that wasn’t the instructor, but the prof was incredible. Dr. James Tabor. We asked him if he believed in Jesus. I believe in the empty tomb, he said. That can go so many ways. It’s a fascinating subject.

4. Why do they say every Tom, Dick, and Harry?

Your mom, girls, once remarked that every Tom, Dick, and Harry was named Jennifer.

Now that was funny.

I resisted the urge to click the What’s the origin of ‘shits and giggles’? when researching this question. Because don’t you just want to know? Tom, Dick, and Harry are every man; they’re everyone, and no one, all at once.

Elizabethans used to pair up common names all the time. Modern-day Elizabethans might say, “Every Liam, Noah and Logan wears saggy pants around here!”

Here’s what you probably don’t know about Tom, Dick, and Harry:

IT IS A TRICOLON | That’s a literary phrase in which things are listed in ascending syllable lengths, such as tall, dark and handsome or hook, line, and sinker. Veni, Vidi, vici come to mind, as does wine, women, and song.

The Rockies, pizza, and Amy Acker isn’t a great example, no. Or is it? Matthew, Mark, and Luke would be.

IT’S MNEMONIC | Medical students say Tom Dick and Very Nervous Harry. It corresponds to Tibialis, Digitorum, Artery, Vein, Nerve (tibial nerve), Hallucis. (That’s in your leg. Or ear?) I could have been a doctor. It’s all the science I had a problem with.

ARNOLD HAD ONE! | Not the former governor of California. Arnold, on the TV show Diff’rent Strokes, from back in the day. When asked what his favorite subjects were, he said, “lunch, recess, and summer vacation!

pumpkin carving
photo credit: Jack via photopin All rights reserved by the author

5. Why do we carve pumpkins for Halloween?

Whatchu talkin’ bout, Willis?

Well, way back when, even before Dana Plato stole my prepubescent heart, the Celts carved faces out of turnips and squash. Not to avoid having to eat them, although if it worked, I’d have carved up some cauliflower in a hurry.

They carved these faces and placed tiny lights inside the hollowed-out and ratified fruit to lead good spirits to their homes during autumn festivals. (Now, we do barbecue, and leave the turnips and squash out of it.)

The Irish saw what was going on and called the carved up fruit Jack O’ Lanterns. They said there was a lad named Jack who bargained with Satan himself and got a life sentence wandering the earth, not unlike O.J. looking for the “real killer.”

Immigrants to the U.S. found pumpkins – which are so much easier to carve faces into. I mean really, a turnip? Carving pumpkins, it turns out, is the cultural equivalent of the badass bald eagle, the Statue of Liberty, or even a good t-bone steak on the grill.


Check out this video on carving because of course #merica takes it to the next level.

(Whew. I’m just grateful I got to E before Halloween in this A to Z Challenge.)

So, in the comments, tell us a good pumpkin story, would you?

Other posts in the A to Z Challenge

A is for Approachable Stranger in Target

B is for Boy without a job

C is for Courtney Wright, guest blogger

D is for Designer, as in graphic, as in #GirlsRock: An interview with Amber Lorine

quote davis pumpkins



  1. Great post, Eli. ALL of it!

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Thanks, CC. It took forever to write!

      1. Sometimes…that’s how it goes. And then, look! A fun, engaging and interesting post…all rolled into one! Nice job!

      2. Eli Pacheco says:

        You’re so right. I wanted to come back to it, but life kept getting in the way – or I’d fall asleep trying! Glad you liked the final result.

  2. Beth says:

    I’m glad you have discovered a new disc golf course near your job, good place to spend a lunch break perhaps? We’re still waiting on some snow to melt so we can finally get out, this is the latest we’ve ever gone before getting back on the course in a long time! I’m hoping maybe next weekend finally.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Most definitely Beth – or when it gets hot, before work. I played in the snow once. It was cool!

  3. Court says:

    Hm a good pumpkin story…
    When I was a sophomore in college, for .99 you could download a video of a guy doing naughty things to a pumpkin. He made enough money to pay for several semesters of school.

    Also boyfriend dude grows giant pumpkins each year. Last year’s was small and weighed about 700lbs. You have to use a sawza to carve it and they’re often frozen on the inside from cold nights and not being able to thaw through during the day.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Why didn’t I think of that, Court! Well, when I was in school, college was just $500 a semester anyway.

      That’s a lot of pumpkin seeds. And pie. Can you even eat a giant pumpkin like that? I think you should write that post.

  4. Lauren Becker says:

    Your girls ask some good questions. 🙂 I’m glad you have a lot to be thankful for – I especially like the one about old friends.


    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      They keep me on my toes, Lauren! Yeah, sometimes an old friend’s orbit comes back close and then we’re still good.

  5. ksbeth says:

    i’d say, don’t even worry about catching up, just keep moving forward. )

  6. E is for Enjoyed this Eli. I like your gratitude list – both the things on it, and the idea of a list in the first place. It reminds me that I haven’t done a Gratitude Gumbo on my blog in forever, and it’s high time to get back into it. I always enjoy your answers to the kid queries. If I had been up to me I would have gladly sacrificed all brussel sprouts to minature carving knives and been a very happy Halloweener.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      T is for thanks a lot, Deborah! The gratitude list has been good for me … I need to gert back to the daily writings in it, though.

      Gratitude gumbo sounds kind of delicious. Glad you like the answers here – getting these questions still from all three is stellar for a dad like me.

      They’re like tiny little stinking cabbage. Brussel Sprouts, not my kids! Although …

  7. Charlotte says:

    I always love when you share your deep thinks, Eli. and your daughters are so thoughtful in their mature questions… I mean, who would even think about Jesus having siblings? I sure never did but it was an interesting answer to read through nonetheless (lol at “why don’t you walk on the water like your brother?).

    Also yay for pizza and extra holes on belt loops and circles of girlfriends that support and encourage your daughter ❤ have a wonderful weekend buddy!

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I wondered if the Jesus thing would get me in trouble, Charlotte! Probably one of them wondered if Jesus wrestled down his little brother like they do to each other!

      You could be the troublemaker sibling and say “do you know who my brother is?” when you get in a pinch, too.

      Hope your weekend is awesome too.

  8. https://my30somethingadventures.wordpress.com/ says:

    Great post. I’ve heard of these disc golf courses (I think Beth has mentioned them). Glad that you have family and friends that are supportive – good relationships are such a blessing.
    Hope you are having a wonderful weekend so far.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Thanks! Beth and I are someday going to chuck some plastic in the woods together. I think when we give appreciation for the relationships we *do* have and don’t worry about those we’ve lost, we’re better off!

      Here’s to a great weekend for us both.

  9. Kisma says:

    ah, I just popped over in hopes of seeing something new here and I am so glad I did. Great post my friend.

    Here is to a great weekend.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Well I’m glad I had something not-so-dusty when you got here, Tiff. I’ve missed seeing you here!

      Hope your weekend was good – mine was exhausting but great.

  10. Carrot cake, zucchini bread and pumpkin pie! Drool!!

    Sorry, I don’t have a good pumpkin story to share, but the day Jesus stood in front of me with his arms outstretched: that blew my mind. Talk about incredible love! I honestly don’t know him from books, and have not been much of a church goer. But today, he’s one of my #1 spiritual Dudes. Love in the form of a teacher.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Yum! I’d take any of those. For breakfast.

      Jesus is all right, isn’t he? Love in the form of a teacher. And still teachin’ it.

  11. stomperdad says:

    Great things to be thankful for! Can’t go wrong with KFC/Taco Bell duo. And if a gigabyte is the whole rack of ribs then a terabyte is the whole meat department.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I like that meat logic, Eric. I’m tempted to get a Go Cup and a bean burrito (no onions) tonight on the way home. #livingright

  12. Lindsay says:

    Great post, Eli. 🙂 I haven’t seen you post much, but that’s because you’ve been so busy, Eli. See if I participated in the A to Z challenge, I’d have been in the same boat as you and so behind, so I decided not to set myself up for failure this year and decided I wasn’t going to do it. Don’t try and play catch up, just look ahead my friend.

    Good for you on cinching that belt. Keep it up. 🙂

    Take care my friend,

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Thanks, Linds. I want to post more! I have some … looking ahead to do. Let’s both do it next year and we’ll have someone to fall behind with.

  13. No. 2 – Hee! I’m with you on the cauliflower, Eli. And ZOMG that video. Great post. Now I kinda want pizza though. 🙂

  14. What a post!

    Such an interesting thought of Jesus having off the radar siblings. I like to think that his sister is an aspiring country singer, working a day job as a waitress, and his brother is into sports.

    What does the Mexican flag look like? It’s Italy plus some bird and stuff in the middle 😉 I like the guacamole, sour cream (or tortilla), salsa version.

    So you’ve got a few letters left…


    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Thanks, Tamara! That’s either Jesus’ siblings or John Wayne’s. Either or.

      I wish the eagle were holding some guac. That’d be awesome.

      I’m going to catch up on the A to Z before the next A to Z starts!

  15. mocadeaux says:

    I’ve been a Catholic my entire life and have never, ever heard such a clear and insightful analysis of the Gospel writers. And I really do try to pay attention during the homily…most of the time. PS I relate more to the Matthew, Luke and Mark version. I guess I am judging best of the show.

  16. Rosey says:

    It sounds like you got a new job. Big Congrats to you!! I just gave my resignation and won’t be returning for the new school year. I am looking to teach elsewhere though, preferably in a high school (middle school has it’s perks…the perks being I love the kids and staff) but it’s a tough age when you’re in a behaviorally challenged school. 😉 IF I find a job paying more than teaching though, while on the job hunt, I would jump in with both feet and cheer. 🙂

    Nike shoes… I have loved them for years. Since I was 15 in fact, so that would make it a LOT of years, hahaha. My son, however, has gone through FOUR different pairs in a super short amount of time. He’s also gone through Fila, Reebok and some other brand I forget. HIs Jordan’s lasted the longest, maybe 4 weeks, which was awesome, but still not a great amount of time. He’s Mr. Basketball, and it’s hard on the soles. The Nike’s (four different types including all leather) have not held up well, so I’m still buying them for me, but not for the boy.

    Good luck with the golf, and watch out for those ducks! 🙂

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Thanks, Rosey. I love it here! What’s your job-hunting status?

      My girls rip through the Nike cleats, too. They just can’t hold up to them. It might be more my girls and less Nike.

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