#AtoZChallenge: K is for Kids’ Questions (Which Can Lead to Go Ask Daddy and Other Posts)

stormtrooper santa pez
Just checking in on the sugar-bearing Santa, while waiting for Madison to get out of work.

Let’s get at this.

GAD GRAPHICIt’s not like the girls’ questions have ever stopped. No, dad just doesn’t answer them on the internet like he used to. He’s all … responsible. Writing stuff for his job, journaling, sitting perfectly still in his recliner, silent.

It’s different from when he does this after eating pizza.

At that point, he’s reclined and grinning like a baby with gas. No, he’s actually meditating. That’s fine and all, but Go Ask Daddy posts don’t just write themselves.

10 things of gratitude

I’m grateful to have gone to the same high school as this great man. He died recently of complications from ALS. I found this plaque to him in the SAP Center in San Jose.

1. I’m so grateful for opportunities. I’ve written two guest posts in the past week or so, one at Midlife Margaritas and one at The Bold Thing. I will write separate posts about each, but here are the links.

2. I’m grateful for kids who seek adventure. One flew cross-country to meet the boyfriend’s ‘rents. She hiked, relaxed and she hit many Goodwills in California. The younger two spent a weekend camping in Tennessee. Those stories are still coming in.

3. Perspective, patience, and perseverance.

Flying over Arizona.

4. Systems and more – and pushing through them. I’ve implemented many with the idea of getting back to myself. Writing on the regular. It’s going to happen. It’s happening.


5. Potential. In myself and around me. It’s always there, but when you see it, it’s like Taco Tuesday. Monday-through-Sunday.

6. Serendipity. Sometimes, it’s splendid. Also? If it doesn’t happen every day, that’s okay. That’s a big discovery for me.

Hayden. Shh! Don’t tell her I used this! It’s her photo ID on my phone.

7. Time. Peace. Sometimes you just exist in it and appreciate it.

8. The hope in every day. Maybe hope isn’t the best word. I’m not a rebel fighter. The prospect of every day. The hidden growth or chances or game plan we can’t yet see.

9. When my girls wear my T-shirts. They used to do it when they were little and missed me. I don’t know why they still do but I am not complaining.

10. My words. They’re clumsy and sometimes they fail, but they’re always my own.

What did the girls ask?

stormtrooper guitar singer
photo credit: Nukamari Just voice and guitar via photopin (license)

1. Why do guys sing so high now?

So many ways to go with this.

A Google search with that question reveals three videos teaching how boys can sing high. I know singing high doesn’t make you less a man. I grew up listening to Frankie Valli.

He sang Walk Like A Man but sang high like a girl.

Usually, we associate the high notes with Mariah Carey, or Celine Dion, or Arianna Grande. Boys can hit the high notes, too. That Zayn kid you guys used to love from New Direction. (Weren’t they supposed to be the new Beatles?)

Let’s not forget Michael Jackson. What dad among us hasn’t tried to hoo-hoo-hoo in the car or in the shower?

Our ideas about masculinity are in transition right now. That’s okay. Hitting high notes as a dude isn’t destroying my gender. Even NFL players are spending more time being pretty than being gritty today.

No matter where they are on the vocal spectrum, it’s still right to hold a door for a woman or give up your seat in a conference room or light rail car. That’s how you walk like a man.

2. Wasn’t Captain America once wimpy?

Yes – he’s Skinny Steve Rogers, and his busting out was no less instant (and controversial) than baseball slugger Sammy Sosa jumping 17 shirt sizes faster than Mark MacGuire could rip a T-shirt or Chris Farley a little coat.

British Shakespearean actor Leander Deeny is listed as a bartender/body double in The Avengers. Through the magic of CGI, filmmakers projected Deeny’s teeny body in place of the hulking mass of man Chris Evans for the pre-change scenes.

I know many of you out there have no shame in swooning over Chris. You ladies look at him the same way I do a deep-dish pizza. Leander’s performance is so noteworthy because he had to watch the scene Chris did, and mimic his movements to near perfection for the magic to work.

It’s Super Soldier Serum that puffed out The Cap like a Chippendale. They call it something different in Major League Baseball. Stuff not easy to pronounce. Steve Rogers was such a brave soldier that the U.S. government decided to make him immortal.

He’ll walk like a man for eternity.

3. What does Michael Buble sing besides Christmas songs?

Lots of soulful stuff.

Most people know him for a bevy of Christmas classics. I’m grateful for those tracks, even though they didn’t make the list above. They could have. Christmas music is tired and worn out. I love when Michael Buble and Harry Connick come along and add some nutmeg and cumin.

Michael’s most famous song, probably, isn’t even good at capturing his essence. Just Haven’t Met You Yet sounds like a sitcom theme song. It’s sugary enough to blend right in with late-model Elton John and Bryan Adams (their 70s stuff is another story. A good ‘nother story.)

My boy is a classic crooner, but he isn’t without faults. There is no Super Singer Serum, apparently – he dated the downright dreamy Emily Blount and did her wrong.

Among my favorite songs of his that you should check out girls, are remakes of Feeling Good, Save the Last Dance for Me, and this one:

4. What is Malcolm’s last name in Malcolm in the middle?

It’s almost as elusive as sightings of Maris in Frasier or Vera in Cheers.

It’s Wilkerson. You have to look for it in a nametag on a school uniform in the pilot, and on the cutting room floor – it was part of a joke that didn’t make the cut. Big brother Frances drops his name badge at Malcolm’s graduation.

The name on it? Frances Nolastname.

I tried to find Malcolm’s middle name, but not even the fan sites have it. Also? His dad, Hal? We never learn what his profession actually is. Oh, and Malcolm also didn’t treat the women the best all the time, either – especially Anita, the fortune-telling hippie he looked down on.

(Played by Rosanna Arquette. Sigh.)

5. If you had Jimi Hendrix’s autograph, would you sell it if we needed the money?

Kid, I’d sell a personalized Rosanna Arquette autographed Rockies cap for us.

None of my possessions mean the world to me. I hold tight to few things – stuff that belonged to my dad, items you girls gave me or made me or picked for me. Any shirt with a memory tied to one of you is destined to spend eternity in my closet.

I have autographs from Michael Jordan and Dell Curry (he’s Steph’s dad.) Willow Bay and Basia. (I got that one by breaking the rules.) I have old Joe Namath football cards and a pair of lugnuts I ganked from pit road after the last NASCAR race at North Wilkesboro Speedway.

I’d sell it all, even my Star Wars figures. Except for the ones you’ve given me, of course.

I’m grateful for those.

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

E is for Is he EVER going to catch up?

F is for Finally – he’s writing again (thanks, Cheryl Strayed!)

G is for Guest post – Lauren Mayhew, on Buried Treasure

H is for Here, as in Far From Here (Guest Post by Beatrice Pittoco)

I is for It’s Not Always Racism (Even When Pizza is Involved)

J is for Just Zip It, Parents – A Guest Post From Madison

quote hendrix crazy

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  1. A most enjoyable post, Eli. Your wisdom is showing…and it’s awesome. 🙂

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I am going to bust this up into two posts next week! Go Ask Daddy on Wednesday, gratitude on Friday. It’s a little much together! Thanks for the kind words my friend. It’s good to come back.

  2. Haha you are right about Malcolm! I never noticed that before. We were making our way through the series again and then Netflix pulled it! I was so bummed! Lois is kind of my mom hero.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      It makes me wonder what quirks lie in other shows I watch, Beth. Like the pineapple in Psych, and all the Corbin Bernsen references.

      I hate when Netflix flicks off the shows I’m watching! I think they dumped Leave it to Beaver, too. A little part of me has a little thing for a little part of Lois, too.

  3. Trish M says:

    Good to hear from you Eli! I love the thought about potential in yourself. This is something I often forget about when I am trying to swim through life. I hope you have a wonderful weekend and I look forward to all your future ports!

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Thanks, Trish – it was good to read you too! There are so many little things I’ve put into play in life that led to incremental gains which have become life changers.

      You’ll find that seeing potential in yourself can give you a pair of magic flippers when it comes to swimming through life!

      Here’s hoping we both get to write a lot and reach each other in the coming months.

  4. Kathy G says:

    The first couple of episodes of Malcolm in the Middle had me rolling on the floor…in a sitcom way THAT WAS MY FAMILY! I thought the series went downhill after the first season, and stopped watching.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Did it feel like they should be sending you royalty checks, Kath – or at least complimentary T-shirts? What did you not like after the first season? I think a lot of series take turns with each season, and you look at those and make a decision, whether to stick around or move on – I know I’ve been down those roads before.

  5. Great post. Finding the hope everyday can be elusive and there are days it is hard to find.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Thanks, Jo Hawk, and welcome – look forward to reading your stuff! Hope can totally hide from us, but a big stride for me was to stop looking for it in the wrong places.

  6. Singing high is the in thing today, and it will probably be out tomorrow or next day. Meanwhile, hope and your striving for the right words should both live on.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Hair bands and duos who lip sync but don’t actually sing also were here and gone, right Meems? Right. Hope springs eternal, too.

  7. ksbeth says:

    and it’s clear you’re on a positive path back to you. i love the malcolm info, i really miss that show. always good to see you, eli –

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I am on a good path beth – I just wish there were more writing stops along the way! We haven’t watched Malcolm in a while, and the trouble the boys get into reminds me a little of my girls, quite honestly.

      Always great to see you, Beth. I’ll be by soon.

      1. ksbeth says:

        Me too, with my daughters

  8. cricketmuse says:

    A great assortment of ponderments.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Quite the compliment, my friend – I need to practice better management of the release valve for all this!

      1. cricketmuse says:

        A fast walk or dark chocolate works for me. Sometimes both are needed!

      2. Eli Pacheco says:

        Ever walked fast *with* dark chocolate?

      3. cricketmuse says:

        That seems counterproductive…but I’m pretty I’ve done a leisurely stroll savoring a chocolate treat.

  9. Lots of summer adventures make for good memories. Wanna know a secret? My Dad passed away 6 years ago and I brought home 2 boxes of his things when me. One had a bunch of things for around the house to remind me of him. The other was a box full of some of his favorite shirts! I don’t know what I am going to ever do with them, but they are a treasure to me for sure! Great share! Hope you spend some of the weekend in the recliner…with some pizza 🙂

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Even the little things, Kim – when my parents would hang out with neighbors way late and we kids could run back and forth between houses and eat what we wanted and watch what we wanted on TV and go outside whenever we wanted!

      Those boxes … just treasure them now. You’ll know what to do with them. I wore my dad’s Broncos shirt for big games. I’ve slowly let go some of his things, mainly believing that they can benefit someone else better.

      My aunt – my dad’s sister – made teddy bears of some of my dad’s shirts, for my daughters. I loved this. Only Madison ever met my dad.

      I love this comment and hearing from you here. I’m in the recliner right this moment! There’s leftover pizza in the fridge … 9:30 a.m. isn’t too early, is it? No one else would even know! haha. Look forward to getting back to your place, Kim.

  10. my30somethingadventures.wordpress.com/ says:

    Lovely gratitude list – nodding along to no. 3 – these are essential for us all! I feel like writing it down as a reminder.
    I never thought about Malcolm in the middle’s last name. And oh my word – Maris in Fraser – I don’t think we ever saw her? I loved Frasier growing up.
    As always, I’m craving pizza after reading your blog!

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      The toughest part about No. 3 is that it feels a bit like giving up. We have a tendency to think a struggle is necessary to feel like we care. But that slow progress, that incremental gain gives us momentum in most things. I could go on and on!

      These kids keep my brain supple with these questions. I really wish I could find Malcolm’s middle name. We didn’t see Maris, but after all the description, I wonder if some fan out there drew her.

      My dad loved Frasier. It’s funny to see reruns now and recognize how his character influenced me in a way or two.

  11. stomperdad says:

    It’s just stuff. I have a few sentimental things… the rest I’d be willing to sell. Love the wisdom (and the Easter eggs found in TV shows). Have you see The Goldbergs? Its us in the 80s!

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      So right, bro. I could fit all my sentimental must-keeps in a box half the size of the crate they put the Lost Ark in. TV show easter eggs are the best, and shows without them are just missing out.

      We love the Goldbergs! It’s definitely us, isn’t it? I feel like we helped create shows like that with how we lived. Oh, and Diary of a Wimpy Kid. That hits home, too.

      I made a Cheese Touch reference at a work function recently and it went way over the head of the women I work with!

  12. My parents listened to Frankie Valli when I was a kid. I remember being shocked when they told me that those songs were sung by a guy. I really thought it was a girl.

  13. Hey Eli.. I guess I am not the only one who has taken a hiatus to some degree. I have let a lot of things get in the way of writing. I need to change that…. I have deleted a lot of emails of blogs that I just could not get to. But I always save my favs to eventually read. Sorry I haven’t gotten to you before now.
    I love your grateful list. I should get back to making mine everyday. It changes the mind set of self-pity for me. And I have been having a doozy of a party lately. More on that later.
    Your girls do ask some interesting questions:
    1. I hadn’t really noticed guys singing any higher now than they have in the past because I am old enough to remember The Temptations, Frankie Valli and other guys with extremely high voices.
    2. I loved the Captain America movie but I have not seen all of the other ones with the group of Avengers in them. I get tired of things blowing up. There is no reality to those things anymore because it is computer generated. I respect real stunts and the art of timing with past pictures although they were a lot more expensive to make. I would rather watch a good story told by good actors.
    3. One of my favorite songs by Michael Buble is Feeling Good. The story behind that song is amazing. Several people have done it like George Michael and Traffic. The original was by Nina Simone and written for a musical called The Roar of the Greasepaint – The Smell of the Crowd. Look up different versions. There have been some amazing covers!
    4. Never watched Malcolm in the Middle. It was just one of those shows I never got into. I try to limit the amount of TV I watch each week and I only have a couple of priorities. The rest of them sit in my DVR que. One day I will get to them. I have deleted many hours of stuff that I just fell out of love with…
    Hope you are well Eli… ❤ 😘

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