🎥 Go Ask Daddy About Movie Casting, Data Blasting, and Bald Britney

stormtrooper me today need my office
That’s me in that picture, getting ready to take on the short-track at Hickory Motor Speedway, back in the day.

I’ve fallen behind on all the Star Wars movies.

GAD GRAPHICIt pains me to say that but also doesn’t. Camdyn didn’t give the most glowing review of Solo: A Star Wars Story. What we have feared for years seems to have come true: Disney might just be stinking up our story.

I didn’t ask for details.

We’ll see, though. When Disney first got ahold of Star Wars, I was apprehensive. I ended up crying in the theater! (My girls noted that all the other old dudes in there also cried.) I don’t want to cry sad tears again for the loss of the story I grew up with.

But enough of that.

We might be outgrowing it, literally. Stormtroopers will always be a part of this blog. But among clothes Camdyn is getting rid of after graduation: A T-shirt depicting Darth Vader at-bat in a baseball game. We’ll see if Star Wars continues to grow with us after all.

star wars stormtrooper

1-Are the old people going to be on the new Star Wars?

Old to you kids might not mean old to me.

Yes, Luke Skywalker will be in it. They’re going to include Princess Leia, played by the late Carrie Fisher, digitally. Also, the actor who portrayed Chewbacca has died, but he’ll be easier to replace, logistically.

Billy D. Williams will be back to play Lando Calrissian, but I think you girls don’t know that dude yet, do you? Well, from reruns of Return of the Jedi.

I read that Kerri Russell also will be in this movie. The great thing about the original movies was that, outside of Harrison Ford (Han Solo *and* Indiana Jones??), we knew the actors for Star Wars only. Kerri is acclaimed and adorable, but it feels like trampling.

Gah, I sound whiney. Stay off my lawn. And my space fantasy, please.

club soccer

2-How long are MLS games?

Major League Soccer games last 90 minutes, as is standard for top-level soccer. That’s two 45-minute halves, plus a 15-minute halftime. Referees – the last of the accepted sporting fascists – can add “extra time” as they see fit.

Legit reasons include stoppages such as injuries, game delays for celebration, or minutes spent chasing streakers or rabid raccoons about the pitch.

If a game is level after 90 minutes (plus stoppage time), teams play two 15-minute halves. No golden goal. If the game is still tied after that – it’s a tie. In the playoffs, they’ll go to penalty kicks.

Again, showing a grumpy old guy side of myself right now, I don’t care much for overtime in the regular season.

As a coach of teams that would be thrilled to tie with better teams, playing for a tie is a strategy. Also? Get off my lawn. And my space fantasy. And my sport, too, apparently.

3-What are those numbers on the IndyCar lap counter for?

Those things have a little of everything on them! We’re talking about the dashboard on network TV for the Indianapolis 500. Not to be confused by the scoring pylon that juts up at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. That thing shows you the running order in real time.

The TV dashboard has more stuff on it, such as intervals to the lead and … well, I couldn’t figure out the rest. Lap splits, perhaps? Tire pressure? The degree to which all those tiny drivers were turning their tiny steering wheels? Perhaps.

Wow. Can you tell I favor stock car racing? Stay off my lawn. Stay off my space fantasy and sport, while you’re at it. And don’t give me too much data on a car race I’m watching primarily because the Coca-Cola 600 hasn’t come on yet.

photo credit: National Zoo via photopin (license)

4-Why do you get mad about our music, but you listen to bad stuff, too?

You really think this is a good question to ask right now, given my past three answers? The funny thing is, I feel young and spry today. Productive. Active. Activated. But all that’s coming out is growls about the good old days.

Only, in music, they really were the good old days.

I mean, Afternoon Delight by Starland Vocal Band is stanza after stanza sung by happy white people in 1976 about getting it on at lunchtime. Yet, it’s not nearly as bad as when I hear the first part of Whistle by Flo Rida.

This is a generational thing. My great-grandparents objected to Elvis’ pelvis, for Madonna’s sake.

I wouldn’t say I get mad at your songs. Not like Star Wars or soccer mad. If anything, I’m offended by the low quality of the songs overall. I didn’t even know Cake By The Ocean was dirty until today. I really felt they were talking about cake. I rarely question the cake.

I feel like your oldies stations are going to suck. Badly.

So stay off my lawn, with those horrible excuses for songs playing on your MP3s or streaming or hell, vinyl, I guess, since you’re bringing that back. Stay away from the beautiful game and beautiful space fantasies and don’t you dare overload me with metrics when I just want to root for Danica Patrick.

5-Did Brittney Spears shave her head?

Yes, and she couldn’t even blame your generation of music for it.

It was about 12 years ago. Wow. Madison was 9, Hayden was 6, and Camdyn was 2. I was … well, old enough to be a dad. There are a thousand theories about why she did it and what it symbolized. Did she crack under paparazzi pressures?

Her husband had just left her with the kids, and Brittney said in a 2008 interview that a lot of “artificial” stuff had been going on.

The shaved head was a fresh start. A rebellion, or shedding what’s old. It’s a positive process, that. The act became iconic in a generation. Every move she made was under a microscope. We all make mistakes in our 20s and 30s.

Hell, 40s, I guess (I haven’t felt it, yet.)

But when you’re in the spotlight like she was, coping with breakups and parents divorcing, and, oh, the image she was supposed to be living, it can get a little hairy.

I can understand shedding her hair, one of the symbols of her femininity and identity. I’m not dealing with anything on that scale, but I feel like shedding things, too. Clutter. Worry. Clothes that don’t fit. And maybe even my Star Wars figures from my youth.

You never know what’ll grow back.


spears quote identity


  1. ksbeth says:

    so funny, things do change over time in spite of us. 2 of my daughters had to do an intervention with me at one point to tell me that the 3rd and youngest one was no longer into pink, sparkly, glitter things and that I should change up my gifts and wardrobe choices for her. she didn’t want to hurt my feelings but wanted me to know. so funny now. p.s. I saw the band perform ‘afternoon delight’ live at some college thing I was at and died laughing knowing the meaning.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      It’s always moving parts, beth. you had the pink talk, eh? for my girls, their eras of pink ended abruptly too.

      This lyric, though:
      But you got some bait a-waiting and I think I might
      Like nibblin’ a little Afternoon Delight

  2. It’s amazing what we outgrow, and what we get very strict about that has to be a certain way. Yes, The oldies stations of the future are not something i look forward to.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Maybe our standards imporve, Mimi? Thankfully my kids will still have Journey and Flock of Seagulls and ELO to listen to!

  3. Sara Strand says:

    I remember when Britney shaved her head- I was at a really low point in life (more than now, which is saying something) but I would always remind myself I’m not at shaving my head levels, THAT is messed up. I’m not there. I mean, I *lived* for the hourly updates on her complete breakdown. I was at work, getting screamed at by a completely delusional supervisor thinking, “At least I’m not doing this, things could clearly be worse”. So when I heard she might be going off the rails again I got giddy and that’s terrible. Ha! But again, I’m kind of in a low spot so my girl saves the day AGAIN.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I think her head-shaving was a spot check for many of us, wasn’t it? Like, how are we doing in comparison? And how much less scrutiny are we under than her?

      It also made it clear that stardom (or just a reminder?) don’t make us immune to pushy expectations, busting up families or dolt dads for your children.

      Always rooting for you, SS. If you could see the spirit we see that you fight with, you’d be amazed. Always got your back.

  4. Lauren Becker says:

    HAH! Music these days is a bit more explicitly dirty, I think. I like music from various generations though.


    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I couldn’t believe some of the stuff I heard on Spotify … it’s not cloaked as it was before! There’s good things going on, too.

  5. Anthea says:

    I remember Britney shaving her head. I cannot believe how long ago that was (and how old I now feel haha).
    So many songs have catchy tunes and you don’t always realise the lyrics until you actually listen to the words. Sometimes I’m quite shocked haha!

  6. Kathy G says:

    I’ll join you in the grumpy old folks corner.

    I’m woefully behind on Star Wars movies. I don’t listen to hit music anymore, so except for the huge cultural reference that EVERYBODY knows I’m clueless. (Although in my favor I’ve replaced hit song radio with cool community supported, every-genre music.) I don’t even like car racing.

    Bah humbug 🙂

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Pull up a chair, Kathy! The Star Wars movies used to come once a decade – now they’re every summer, it seems! You probably haven’t, as I haven’t, watched Games of Thrones, either.

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