I Nearly Gave Up On Santa. Here’s What Happened Next

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photo credit: Nukamari Preparing Christmas via photopin (license)

I can’t even blame Christmas.

Would it shock you to hear that even though my blog has collected moss like a molasses-slow manatee, I feel more on top of my game than ever? I feel a better grip on my carry-on? I do.

I have faith that this wresting back of control will lead me to hit the publish button soon, and often.

I have ideas – with no expiration dates, thankfully. I still want to write about elephants. I have a Go Ask Daddy thisclose to finished. The six words express steams on. I’m in talks with fantastic writers about guest posts.

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#GirlsRock: An Interview with Crossfit Trainer Dana Mather

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photo credit: kurt.stocker stormtoopers via photopin (license)

In all of the uniform fitting nights for all of the soccer clubs in America … she walked into the uniform fitting for the soccer club I’d been coaching for.

cd-interviewsShe’s Dana Mather, Crossfit trainer. That night, though, she was Dana Mather, matchmaker. As her sons tried on the club’s new kits, we talked soccer. Pay attention, and you can learn volumes about someone in a single, initial conversation.

My impression of Dana: Optimistic, energetic, in all the way in all she did.

Dana carries a quiet confidence that falls short of swagger, mostly because of her humility. A mom, wife, and athlete, Dana surprised me by asking lots of questions about my own coaching. That night, my coaching future was uncertain.

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The Matches We’d Like to Make, in 6 Words

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Never trust a T.I.E.-fighter pilot in a crayon conundrum.

Like The Greg Kihn Band says, “they don’t write ‘em like that anymore.”

Check out this old-school ad for Reeses’ Peanut Butter Cups.

https://youtu.be/DJLDF6qZUX0

6 words graphicForget the fact that a woman would prance down the boulevard chomping from a jar of peanut butter with her bare hands (dreamy as it sounds.) Forget the creepy old dude who pops in with a candy bar near the end. Chocolate and peanut butter, circa 1927, were separate entities.

Until they mash together through forces of the universe. Sometimes, the combination proves dastardly (a bobcat and me in a phone booth, for instance). Other times, it’s pure magic (onion rings on a cheeseburger, or The Beverly Hillbillies, in fact.)

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Go Ask Daddy About Prehistoric Throwbacks, Swoony Celebs and Good Guys on Teams We Love to Hate

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Conquering the BGR daily special in Gaithersburg, Md. – EJP

The good old days – amirite?

GAD GRAPHICI might act curmudgeonly at times, but really, I can roll with the punches. I finally got a smartphone, remember? I fully embraced Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and gave Fuller House a puncher’s chance (Hi Kimmy.) Agile, that’s what I am.

Still, there’s stuff I miss. Stuff I wish I could bring back.

Like, Summer Sanders. Toys in the bottom of cereal boxes. Ice cream in baseball caps at the ballpark that don’t set you back $8. Cookie Monster, in his full glory. The original Electric Company. The Gameboy. Trading football cards with Tandy Dillen at lunch.

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Go Ask Daddy, Weekend Edition: Speed, Fashion, and Caloric Consumption

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I love sports.

GAD GRAPHICYou know this if you’ve ever visited this blog. You also know that I’ll never paint my face at a game or defend a team’s honor with fisticuffs or waste any time watching ESPN SportsCenter. (Thanks, Disney.) No, my love of sports resides on a higher plane.

Give me rivalry and pageantry. Give me team colors, matchups, human stories.

Give me a team not expected to compete, in a state playoff game against a conference rival that’s taken them lightly. Watch them pronounce their arrival with spirited play and tenacity. That’s what the girls’ high school team did Thursday.

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#AtoZChallenge: Y is for You Knew They’d Ask Me More About Star Wars and Football

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photo credit: Behind the Shutter via photopin (license)

Y

I tried to write a succinct topper to this sucker. Twice.

First, I wanted to tell you about the Warby Parker frames I tried on, and the adventures (and misadventures) they led to. It got long, and I didn’t want it to detract from the Go Ask Daddy portion. So I shelved it.

Then, I got into soccer.

So many great things happening in the beautiful game for me right now. They even overshadow the bad things going on. The tough stuff. By far. From one kid getting a yellow card and an acceptance letter, to another getting a hat trick on a special day for her sister.

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#AtoZChallenge: W is for What the Hell is This??

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photo credit: J13 127 via photopin (license)

Part of the net gain we parents get from having kids is the comedic return.

WYou know. When they do or say something so abhorrently inappropriate you want to blog about it. (Or send it to Readers Digest, depending on your generation.) Thing is, I’ve told my kids I wouldn’t. Well, mostly. There was the time Grace yanked my soccer pants down at halftime.

Mostly, the embarrassing stories happen to me.

Do you know Katy, the Experienced Bad Mom? She writes a kickass blog. She told stories of things her kid did to make her laugh. One involved a bra. The other stemmed from first-grader handwriting, a virtual fountain of fun, if you know where to look.

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Behold, That Gem from American Blogging Ancestry: The Liebster Award

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photo credit: via photopin (license)

Today, I’m going old-school.

No, not a mullet or acid-washed jeans. Today, in place of a guest post, I’ll tackle something most of you blogging types will remember from the early days: The Liebster Award.

It’s a little known fact that the Liebster originated in 1901, the brainchild of one American philosopher Anna Brackett, inspired by a lost text from the Book of Matthew, recently found buried in a time capsule found in Haverhill, N.H., during the Chowder Festival.

I think.

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Why I Cried At Star Wars: The Force Awakens

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I’m good with the analogies.

I can summarize Michael Jackson’s career in terms of cooking enchiladas. I’ll compare love to baseball. (Or baseball to love.)  I’d explained once why I didn’t want an iPhone with references to Google, Parvis Emad and The Order of the Croatian Trefoil.

(Okay, so maybe that last one wasn’t fully developed.)

I’ve struggled to articulate a reason for my kids – and their vine-watching culture – why a man in his 40s cried not once, but a handful of times, while watching Star Wars: The Force Awakens. That it’s not just the emotional crumbling of Generation X.

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Why Coach? Let Me Count the Ways

photo credit: A helping hand (close up) via photopin (license)
photo credit: A helping hand (close up) via photopin (license)

I could write a post on my definition of a coach.

I’ve interviewed them. My girls have played on their teams. I’ve been one. For 13 years, I’ve toiled the sideline, run training, lost big games and won a few. I’ve met grown people in Walmart parking lots who approach me and say … “coach … is that you?”

Yes, it is.

I’ve done this long enough that grown people in Walmart parking lots approach me that way. Some played in college. Some didn’t play again after leaving my team. They’ve gone onto schools and families, but some still call me coach.

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