Go Ask Daddy About Genetics, Likenesses and the Bottom Rung of Fast Food Quality

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photo credit: Leoraul Prop Shot Lighting, Finn Stormtrooper Helmet via photopin (license)

Back in my day, there wasn’t such a thing as a spoiler.

GAD GRAPHICWell, unless you went to see The Cannonball Run before everyone else and could tell your friends how Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr. place in the race. So that was me, age 9, in the middle of a Greeley, Colo., movie theater, with mind blown.

Before mind blown was even a thing.

I was watching The Empire Strikes Back – Episode V, for you dinkledorphs who insist upon that – when one of life my life-altering utterances occurred right there on the big screen. [It was hokier than I remember. See it here]. When Leia tells Han that Luke is her brother.

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Go Ask Daddy About Device Diversions, Writing Weaknesses and Couponing Questions That Shall Never Be Asked

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photo credit: v_mats D16B2649-1 via photopin (license)

A kid will call a dad out.

GAD GRAPHICThe younger the kid, the rawer (is that a word?) the call-out. I’ve navigated three daughters through the unfiltered years, without many stings. There was that day on the Barbie doll aisle with one daughter, who, noting Mattel’s plastic diversity, asked, “why would I want a black Barbie, dad?”

I sailed through that one with honesty, not damage control.

“I think little girls like to play with dolls, no matter what,” I explained. “But sometimes, we want toys that look like us. These dolls look like different people.” And it was true. I remember complaining that there were no Mexican kids on Peanuts.

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5 Words I Know (That My Kids Know I Shouldn’t Know)

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photo credit: Thorsten-Koch Stormtrooper in Vienna via photopin (license)

Here’s the thing – I don’t know what a story is.

It’s on Instagram and SnapChat. Right? Maybe What’sApp, but that’s less likely. Anyway, I know it’s like a place where people can, I don’t know, write something like a blog post? It’s kind of a big deal, I gather. Yet, no, I don’t know its parameters.

That’s okay – I’m 45 after all.

Like the Washington Redskins, I sometimes get lucky, with the terminology. I coach teenagers and work with millennials. The most awkward thing I can think of this side of Elizabeth Banks reading my mind would be to appear to try to be acting young.

I’m not young.

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How to Behave Like an Elephant (& Live a Happy Life)

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photo credit: DocChewbacca See you Space Cow-Boys via photopin (license)

So, elephants.

I’ve sat on this one forever. Not an elephant. I have ridden one before. It was like being on a second-story leather couch. Kind of stinky. No, I’ve been sitting on this post, one I wanted to write about elephants – and not their couch-like qualities and aromas.

Months ago, I wanted to write about elephants and the lessons we could learn from them.

Life got in the way. Coaching, deadlines, commutes and being a dad. Time spent confused and busy and resentful for not being able to be here. Those days are gone for now, and even though I’m a day late on this post, it’s live, isn’t it? (Two days, technically.)

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Pick a Genuine Gift, Make an Old Dude Happy

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I had to borrow a watch for this shot.
Disclosure: I was compensated by BikeBandit in exchange for this blog post.

Forty –five.

It’s a milestone. Not of the stratosphere of 50, where Over the Hill decorations and black balloons lurk. My kids have rounded up to 50 for my age since I was 40. At 16, a man yearns to be 18. At 18, 21 becomes the benchmark. No man yearns or benchmarks for 45.

What does a man on the precipice of a non-milestone milestone age do?

Especially if he hasn’t the gumption – or American Express card – for a full-on midlife crisis? He dreams. Not just of Dana Perino and Hope Solo, but of a personal sea change. Of a regimen of situps and planks, early-morning disc golf, keeping up with his kids.

He imagines choosing the garden salad over the Caesar salad, rather than expect a medal and keys to the city for even having picked the Caesar salad over a can of Pringles. (I did this today.)

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Tooting Our Own Horns, in 6 Words

You don't have to be a star, baby, to be in my show. (Snowtrooper jubilation at Mill Mountain Park, Roanoke, Va.
You don’t have to be a star, baby, to be in my show. (Snowtrooper jubilation at Mill Mountain Park, Roanoke, Va.

Sometimes, you just have to represent.

6 words graphicYourself, that is. None of this ‘aw shucks’ stuff. No, “no one reads my blog. I just mess around with words” business. It’s not usual fare for a blogger to boast (or is it?), so this month’s challenge proved … challenging to most.

I compile a post called 6 Words. Ernest Hemingway inspired it when he said any story can be told in six words. I ask bloggers, friends, strangers, and a few strange blogger friends to respond to a prompt every month.

October is National Self-Promotion Month. In six words, tell us something good about your blog. 

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Time to Take a Stand on this whole Kneel Down Thing

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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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Where Are You Going? 10 Questions for Direction

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“Candy, as far as the eye could see. Almond Joy, Krackle, Skittles. Not the cheap-ass candy from the dollar store.”

To remain in this moment becomes perhaps the closest we can come to ultimate harmony. It’s tricky.

It requires dismissing the past, shunning self-imposed limitations and savoring every ounce of life. Living in the moment also gets a bad rap. That’s what happens when folks jet to Vegas or say yes when they should say no, invoking a Carpe Diem Clause.

The Carpe Diem Clause, however, doesn’t cover gambling losses, lost teeth, lost wages, marriage annulments or penicillin shots.

Brianna Wiest wrote a book called The Truth About Everything. She also wrote a post for Elephant Journal that I wrapped in cheesecloth and hid behind my disc golf bag. It’s 10 questions to ask yourself when you don’t know where your life should go next.

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Go Ask Daddy About Cinematic Symbolism, Steve Martin Stunts and Retail/Dining options for Dec. 31

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Do you know where that water’s been, brother?

NPR just made rain kind of gross.

GAD GRAPHICA show promo pointed out that water we drink today has passed through the kidneys of a brontosaurus. Japanese freestyle swimmer Shigeo Arai probably swam through it in the 1936 Olympics.

It might have lived in a water pitcher on the set of the Dominican telenovela Tropico, too. I try not to think of that, but it’s true. Water’s the original repurposed thing.

Sure, rain’s kind of nasty, but it’s also beautifully poetic. It made up puddles my girls stomped in walking into the grocery store with dad. It helped soil uniforms – school and soccer – and locked in stories and memories and history.

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What One Soccer Coach Included On His Wish List Might Shock You

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It’s kind of like a soccer sideline, but really, it’s the towel rack at the Acorn Motel in Black Mountain, N.C. Nice place.

I’ll get it out of the way, first.

As a soccer coach, I’d love it if the tradition of root beer and a Cubano sandwich became post-game routine. I know that won’t happen, unless I make it work for myself. (Coaches who maintain a set approval rating could upgrade to cold beer and a Monte Cristo.)

Here’s 42 reasonable (and some unreasonable) items on this coach’s wish list.

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