Long before Kesha and Jennifer Lawrence, way back on the timeline before Ingrid Michaelson and Laura Linney, in a time Hope Solo, Sue Bird and Paula Creamer were just youth-league cuties … there was the MCI girl.
Her cute but creepy ad for the soon-defunct MCI became all sortsa Dream Weaver for me. She resurfaced in Mr. Holland’s Opus, as star-dreaming Rowena Morgan in 1995. In 2000, you could see her in Yes, Dear, married to a dude even dweebier than yours truly.
I thought she’d disappeared after that feeble TV show.
Then I watched 1,000 to 1: The Cory Weissman Story. I resisted, invoking my “No Movies That Star Kids From Disney Shows” clause. But … Cory’s mom looked, so sweetly familiar. The curls were now straight; her lipstick less pow than fire-engine red.
A 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.
Consider all three girls implicated, though. The injuries they’ve suffered number in triple digits. The injuries they’ve suffered have only a few been serious. The injuries they’ve suffered occurred at the hands of – their other sisters. Well, mostly.
Some are self-inflicted.
One kid suffered a hyper-extended elbow climbing into a cardboard box. One bruised a cheekbone opening a car door. One burned her hand when she touched a stove burner I just turned off. (These are all one kid. And she blames me for the last one.)
It took a while before my tenderest-hearted girl ever watched cartoons.
She saw the PBS stuff – Caillou, Telletubbies,Big Comfy Couch – but not the violent, irreverent stuffs of our childhood. Wile E. Coyote and Sylvester the Cat. The Jetsons and the Flintstones. The Really Rottens. Woody Woodpecker, and most of all, Tom & Jerry.
Elise finally got to see the eternal feud of Tom & Jerry.
Jerry pushed a piano down a staircase after Tom had attacked him with a mallet and butcher’s knife. On this particular episode, Tom actually gave up the ghost. His spirit floated heavenward, where he had to wait in line for St. Peter.
In the midst of a work post, the utter stubbiness of my attention span – and ability to comprehend anything not about food, soccer or Star Wars – couldn’t be ignored. “They didn’t have as much stuff for you to learn back then,” Grace piped up.
“And they didn’t have all the ways we could learn stuff back then.”
Immediately I saw myself in my sabre-toothed tiger jumper, all Paleolithic-like in a schoolhouse like the ones on Little House on the Prairie. Oh, these kids.
I 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.
It can be done in many ways. Meditation’s my favorite. I’m stellar at switching off my brain, which should come as no surprise to anyone who knows me as a man, a father, or a Colorado Rockies fan. Once, I came to after a mediation session to find my friends staring at me.
“I want a brownie,” I muttered. [Watch Reese on Malcolm in the Middle zone out below]
Yeah, I get all enlightened, go Zen AF to my eyebrows, and what do I ask for? Not world peace, not eternal life or immortal knowledge – I want baked goods. I’m also prolific at powering down the gray matter at bedtime. Today’s worries can wait until tomorrow.
By Bo, I mean Bo Jackson, the super athlete who got dudes started on two sports back in the 1990s. For my girls, the year’s split into two seasons: Soccer season, and count-your-wounds-and-fight-with-each-other-until-soccer-season-starts-again season.
That’s fine with me.
Other families transition into basketball after fall soccer. Can you imagine? After tournament drama, come sit in a gym and listen to sneaker squeak hell. Marie played an intramural basketball game once. I’d pay anything to be able to go back and see it.
Grace has fired the questions at me fast and furious this week.
That’s what happens when you spend more than an hour a day in the car together. That, plus the hour or two she’s been at my side at work after I pick her up from theater camp. The final performance of Robin Hood happens today at 3. I can’t wait.
We’ve covered everything from politics to an OCD diagnosis (for me). As if.
Go Ask Daddy questions nearly reached 450 as a result. Not that I mind. I’m working on a new feature called Dadding in the Kitchen, to document my considerable struggles over the stove – and delicious consequences despite them. Also, look for more How To posts from me, an unlikely source.