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.
She’s eaten her way through a Farewell Tour, met with friends and brought home boxes of Zaxby’s and cups of Krispy Kreme coffee. Her stuff’s all packed. She’s dumped off all the “visit us!” college pamphlets on one sister and stole a bottle of lotion from the other.
I envy the forced minimalism, to be honest.
You’ve read enough about the girl who stops shots brilliantly and paints pictures beautifully. We’ve learned and lost and loved together. She’s in her room now, packing, probably singing the same chorus to a familiar song over and over.
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.
I heard about Pippa. Another one bites the dust. It’s why I keep extras in the Crush Bin. You never know when one’ll haul off and get engaged on you. Everyone from Summer Sanders to Paula Creamer to Cher Lloyd to Lizzy O’Leary to Elizabeth Davis to … well, you see what I’m dealing with.
I mentioned Pippa – she of royalty and extraordinary physical gifts – in my email to y’all about this month’s six words prompt.
Every month, I compile a post called 6 words. Ernest Hemingway inspired it. He claimed any story can be told in six words. No more, no less. I turn to bloggers, friends, strangers, and a few strange blogger friends with a prompt, to respond to in six words.
Never trust a recipe that starts out with heating up oil in a skillet.
Or warming an oven.
Or anything other than take inventory of all the shit you’ll need for this recipe, and what you’ll have to do with it. Find your garlic press. Ensure each integral stupid part is with it. Chop shit up. Know the difference between chop and dice. Account for pasta prep time.
Also for the pace water takes to achieve a rolling boil.
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.”
The Photo a Day Challenge helped. I could write about happy faces in frying pans and display sweet pics my kid took of clouds and not tread near to the hell breaking loose around the world. Unintentionally, I dealt with fear of speaking up by looking down.
It involved sticking my head in the sand when it comes to the Denver Broncos’ offseason woes or the perennial quandary my Colorado Rockies put their fans in by sucking but not sucking enough to justify giving in on a season and trading off all your tradable players.
I bottled up thoughts and reactions to pertinent things in the universe, such as shootings and coups and attacks on the innocent and a contentious election season brewing.
It involves a finger prick and a reading. How’d I do with that late-night snack? My glucose monitor doesn’t lie. I know what to expect mornings after three bowls of Frosted Flakes the night before. I know what to expect when it’s been an English muffin and sun butter.
I try to start my mornings with a tall glass of water and stretching.
They replace a swig of Coke Zero and bleary-eyed checks of the mobile phone and blog comments. I crack eggs to eat over medium with a warm tortilla, or scrambled, wrapped in tortillas or mixed in with strips of corn tortilla, fried in olive oil.