Mindful Monday | My first baseball mitt

outsmarted baseball
CGP

We’re excavating our garage like it’s King Tut’s tomb.

Not finding golden statues or mummified cats, if that’s what you’re thinking. Yet. I found my first baseball mitt, though. Even as I revere the beginning of baseball season, I felt a wave of emotion as I put on my glove.

Most of it was awful.

This cheap chunk of leather – real leather? I’m not sure – represents my introduction to a game I love today. It harkens a loyalty to a team and a reliance on hope. For what better an example of hope? A sport that lasts all summer and breaks nearly every heart.

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Where We’d Build a Tunnel to, in 6 Words

stormtrooper first order castle
Sometimes you get to storm a castle at the church yard sale. #truecrusaders

I’m all for being in the moment.

6 words graphicBut sometimes, you just want to tunnel your butt someplace else. Not always even to a churro factory after hours, although … well, we all have aspirations. And I’ve asked several strangers, bloggers, friends, and a few strange blogger friends this question:

If you could build a tunnel from your house directly to anywhere in the world, where would it go? And why?

That’s a lot to get into six words, but it’s possible.

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Always Enough Happy to Tell You Something Good, Guaranteed

IMG_20170505_135344

I can make my famous brown and white sugar pancakes by heart now.

I save time. And a great way to avoid leaving out key ingredients – such as baking soda – or doubling key ingredients – such as baking soda. I’ve flipped these classics – this same recipe – for years, probably since the Milwaukee Brewers (or Jewel) were any good.

I looked Saturday at the dry ingredients in the bowl, mostly white even with the brown sugar integrated, and it started the wheels turning.

Not of Hispanic America’s integration or dispersion into modern caucasian culture. I thought of how sugar – brown and white – mixes with salt, baking soda and flour, to become greater than the sum of parts. To become something delicious.

And if you were forced to choose a single grain of that to eat, you’d wish for sugar, right?

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Where We’d Take an Alien, in 6 Words

ET stormtrooper alien

When I was a kid, I wanted to be friends with Elliott.

6 words graphicHe’s the boy who befriended E.T. in the movie. He just seemed like the kind of kid I would like to hang out with. Looking back, I believe I probably admired his loyalty and courage in all that happened when E.T. came to town.

Every month, I collect responses for a post I call 6 Words.

If you’ve been around here a while you know Ernest Hemingway inspired this idea when he said all stories could be told in six words. I ask friends, strangers, bloggers, and strange blogger friends to respond to a prompt, in six words.

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#AtoZChallenge: F is for Foods That Bring Me Comfort

stormtrooper cookies dessert
photo credit: DocChewbacca Gluttony via photopin (license)

Some days, a dude’s gotta eat. You know what I’m saying?

FYou just can’t wait to get home, soak in a hot shower, pull on some Avengers pajama pants and eat. Not just anything. Not a fist full of Saltines or – yuck – kale chips. You need scrumptious, on a day getting your arse handed to you on the soccer pitch or you forget to wear a belt all day long.

It’s not just after a rough ride that you’d like a plate of mouth-stuffing goodness.

Hell, when the Rockies bullpen holds a lead, or I get to work in less than an hour, or I see tons of commercials with Erica Piccininni in them, or your scrappy soccer team gives the conference champs all sortsa hell and high water, well, that makes you hungry, too.

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How This Latino Thing Has Become an American Thing

mexico
EJP

Sometimes, my Latino shows up in droves.

I felt all Brown Power after a weekend spent doing things a Latino guy should know how to do: Extracting a headlight casing from a junkyard Pontiac, and, less than 24 hours later, planting a magnolia tree. Dang, I told a friend. I feel Hispanic.

She cringed. You’re not supposed to say that! she hissed, apologetically.

We set up these months to recognize those things unique and beautiful about a culture. But the mention of them – skills proudly associated with my people, mechanically and horticulturally – is perceived by some non-minority as a slap in the face to the minority.

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Time to Take a Stand on this whole Kneel Down Thing

kap-lede
Taking a stand on a gorgeous fall day in a Roanoke park.

Dear Mr. Kaepernick,

First, I’m a little late to this party, I admit. If you could see my inbox, you’d understand. I also could use a haircut. But who am I telling? This letter, though, has little to do with my hair and unanswered emails.

It has everything to do with the movement you’ve begun, by kneeling during the National Anthem before kickoff.

I happen to be a minority here in the USA. I’m the people you’re doing this for. First, I kind of appreciate that, Colin. There’s lots of hashtags out there for minorities, but generally, the ones for my people mostly have to do with #CincoDeMayo.

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Guest Post: Olympian Leo Manzano, on The American Dream

leo lede
photo credit: Swimming – 100m breaststroke via photopin (license)

Seems like there’s lot of hurdles in these upcoming Summer Games.

guest postOnly some are on the track. Headlines about doping, violence, killer mosquitoes and more steal the Olympic glare from the attraction we tune in for most: The competitors. To me, the Olympics has always been a treasure chest of stories, just waiting.

Today’s guest post comes from an Olympic athlete I’m honored to have here.

Leonel Manzano carried two nations’ flags during his victory lap in the 2012 London Games. A Mexican immigrant, Leo won the first American track and field Olympic medal since 1968. His performance came to symbolize the American dream to me.

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Photo a Day Challenge: June 18 – Pink (Plus a Monday Music Blog Hop)

challenge pink
HMP

My kids have developed an aversion to pink.

It’s partially because the entire toy section seems to be divided along pink vs. camo lines. My girls bring ferocity, in a pretty way. That’s the best way to describe it. Not hair-bow pretty, but just enough eye makeup, usually painted fingernails pretty.

Yet, they come to kick some ass.

My sport Saturday: To watch a handful of 3v3 games Grace played in, while keeping my germs at a distance, as the only guy at the field with a chill and long sleeves. I downed a couple of Gatorades on the day, one of them pink, to wash down Ibuprofen.

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