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.
Seven-hundred-fifty employees here – mostly young, wholly beautiful – and they invited the Gen Xer in dire need of a haircut. They’re for a campaign for our wonderful company. I took my place at the end of the couch, blending in with the Beautiful Six.
Blending in like an armadillo in a fox parade.
I folded my arms, fussed with my hair. I worried about my graying mop. Did I trim my nose hair? This can’t end well. Under bright lights, I told a joke when photographers asked us to “look natural.”
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.
I hate putting it that way. I feel like a kid – especially a girl – isn’t bound to compete at every turn. I don’t want any of my girls to feel obligated to take up the fight, for themselves, their families, their race, their gender … their anything.
I learned a ton when Grace took the high road before.
So she didn’t sign up for the LEGO Ninjango Obstacle Course a few weeks ago. I wrote about it here on the CD. She’d even picked out a friend to sign up with. She’d planned it all out, which parts she’s excel and which were better suited for her friend. We’ll call her Jaylen.
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.
Take one look in my work bag or backseat of my car, and you’ll learn fast: Organizatin isn’t my strong suit.
I am, however, a problem solver. Today’s organizatin photo features froyo from the RV food court. I’d encountered a problem on my previous cup: Toppings that stayed at the top. As first-world as this sounds, it needed a solution. A dose of organizatin.
I found one, with careful planning.
I led with a swirled base of strawberry-vanilla froyo, but just a layer. I followed with scoops of Snickers and Butterfinger crumble, and topped that with a couple more swirls of froyo. I stopped to add M&Ms and Reeses’, then buried that below more strawberry/vanilla.
When I see something beautiful to photograph, before I can even find the stupid camera icon on my $20 Android, one of my girls will inevitably whip out an iPhone or iPod and say, “dad, I got this. Your phone camera sucks.”
I wish they were this way about laundry and dishes.
Today’s word, birth, wasn’t easy. I’m glad for that. Flowers, puppies and bacon? Too easy. Evoke thought, struggle. I wanted a shot of Marie’s first real training session with this crazy good team she made for the fall. A birth into something new, right?
On Sept. 22, 1989, Hurricane Hugo made landfall in Charleston, S.C., in Category 4 glory. When the storm reached Charlotte, 85 miles away, he still packed hurricane-strength winds. I woke up after 3 a.m. to find my cat, Cybill, and turned on the radio.
(Side note: We had TVs back then.)
I stepped outside. The wind seemed to push and pull at once, the heavy smell of salt water all around. The sky glowed a menacing sea-green then yellow. Trees snapped and transformers blew to punctuate Hugo’s howling winds.
Note: I wrote this stream-of-consciousness post given the one-word prompt “book,” on the blog Life in Progress.
I have to finish this book, y’all.
It’s the one I’ve started and gotten further on than anything I tried to jot in a random steno pad. It’s about the NFL in the 1970s. And here’s the thing: I’ve interviewed former players for this. I’m going to tell the story, in their words.
Former Chicago Bears legend Gale Sayers returned my call for an interview, guys.
I won’t call it stealing, or cheating. I’d waited all day for sunshine, and when it came, I was inside. I drove through angry storms from Mooresville to Charlotte, through flooded streets and below thunder-crackling skies.
I picked Elise and her friend up from the mall.
The sun shone through and my phone battery died. I told her about the challenge, and that I needed a shot of sunshine if she could manage one. She’s a creative photog herself, so I knew I was in good hands. She took Elise’s senior photos, in fact.