Seeing the World Through Grrs and Greats

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Some ideas are so great it’s great to use them more than once.

(Using the same word in the same sentence twice isn’t a great idea. Oops. I did it again.) Think about some great ideas in history. Playing football on Thanksgiving? Great. Let’s do it again. The beautiful and comedic Elizabeth Banks on a real estate commercial?

Yes, great.

You can’t have greats without grrs, however. A grr is … playing football in a stadium like Heinz Field in Pittsburg, where it’s impossible to kick a field goal on one end. Ever. Or … persistent ads on Pandora for problems of men my age.

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Go Ask Daddy About Vocabulary, Liability, and Rad 80s 3D Puzzles That Forever Stump Me

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Competition wasn’t a problem for me as a kid. It was the success I had a problem with.

GAD GRAPHICNo bother. I embraced a life of green and white third- and fourth-place ribbons on field day as part of my DNA. (I can’t remember which was for third, which for fourth.) I toiled on the second level of Donkey Kong and Pac-Man, even.

I made the Detroit Lions look like the dynasty to end all dynasties.

Imagine if I’d been able to compete in something squarely in my wheelhouse. Alas, there existed no competition that involved eating tacos (that I knew of) or throwing a plastic football on the roof of my grandma’s house and catching it at least 20% of the time.

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Go Ask Daddy About Utility, Emergency, and Conservation Opportunity

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This might be a good time for a history lesson.

GAD GRAPHICGo Ask Daddy has been a Friday feature around here for years. My girls ask lots of questions. I know your kids do too. It felt derelict of daddy duty to answer with look it up or I dunno. I don’t feel right, not at least putting down my grilled cheese and giving fatherhood a good try.

I wrote the girls’ questions in a notebook, and then feared I would leave the notebook in the cafeteria and not have a thing to write on a Friday.

So I started a Word doc, on my work computer, and I try really hard and follow the rules at my job so I’m not fired and would lose the entire list. This motivates me at work to avoid criminal activity and also to try good like I would with being a dad.

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5 Blog Post I’d Recommend You Read

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I gave blood on Sunday.

Not a big deal. I love that I can. I’m O positive and have some special particles or sorcery in my blood that makes it good to give babies. Who doesn’t want to give good stuff to babies? I’d rather give baby crackers or baby nunchucks than my blood, but …

If they need it, I’m glad mine is compatible.

I watched my blood – which looks not surprisingly like barbecue sauce, in those little bags – go out of my arm, and clear saline solution flow in. I do something called double red cell donations, so they take the red stuff out and wash me out with the saline.

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Alphabet Recap, Mindfulness Challenges, and 7 Random Smartphone Photos

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Seems as if there’s room for just one challenge in this coach’s bag at a time.

Those of you not participating (and probably a percentage who are) probably turned the calendar to May with a touch of gratitude. We’re cultish, we A to Z knuckleheads. We flood your inbox and social media feeds with sorcery and daily posts and crazy rules.

And who the hell blogs every dad-burn day? We do.

The cleverest among us have compiled posts of their favorite posts from each of 26 days of the challenge. Others have shared their most viewed and commented-on posts. I’m not among those cleverest, but you can bet 10 publish buttons I will next year.

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#AtoZChallenge: Z is for the Zen in Building Chances

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Man – sometimes the shots just don’t fall.

ZI mean the shots, tactically (as in soccer) and philosophically (as in life) – and this is coming from a dude who sometimes sits and thinks. It can be a bombed test you studied for or the girl who says no (even when you stand up straight and comb your hair).

You might not get that handful of Skittles or promotion at work or the C- to raise you GPA (was that just me?), but in the building those chances, well, there’s a Zen to be found.

Zen (the term) gets as much overuse as Beethoven’s music in TV ads for toilet paper. It’s in those perfect moments, with full bellies and full beer mugs, in 70-degree bliss, bills paid and the trash out at the curb. It’s a good book and a better glass of wine, right? Zen.

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#AtoZChallenge: V is for Vague Differences Between Protecting and Sheltering

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I might be prone to excessive examination at times.

VEspecially when it comes to the philosophical, or soccer, or cheese. So many moments as a dad, acting in the moment and considering the impact later, at night, when I should be writing or sleeping or at least eating graham crackers.

Who am I kidding? I’m eating graham crackers anyway.

As I vacillate between the college kid soccer girl and the high school soccer girl and the budding musician/soccer girl, happy to have spots in their worlds, I think about how I parent, vague (or subtle?) differences in what we do.

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#AtoZChallenge: U is for Unconventional Loves

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I’d wanted to write, during this A to Z Challenge, about my girls’ stuffed animals.

UAll three have one that has meant something to them over the years. Haven’t we all? I had a stuffed dog I found in a park when I was a boy. I named him … boy. I loved him until he fell apart.

One of my girls loved a German Shepherd, so big she could use him as a pillow.

Another slept with a bear named Daddy. I last saw him tucked behind her headboard. Unceremoniously. A third girl kept a rasta monkey I won her at her bedside. I scrapped the idea, although to read the first four paragraphs here, you wouldn’t know it, right?

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#AtoZChallenge: T is for Teenagers

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So, my friend Tiffany wrote about teenagers a while back.

TIt was more than two years ago. I kept the link because even back then, I lived among the mess of a life with two teen daughters – then 17 and 14. It was as if Tiffany, who writes Sounds Like Life to Me, had looked into our window. Tiffany even included comic strips depicting life with teenagers.

You know, those awkward yet lovable collections of our DNA and parenting skills and 80% other factors we have no control over.

Teenagers are like those cool tropical fish you get after you’ve mastered goldfish.

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#AtoZChallenge: O is for One Day from Payday Spicy Skillet Chicken

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Just one more day.

OIt gets that close sometimes. It’s the day before payday, the man has taken most of your take-home, and, well … the kids insist on dinner. Rather than break out the plastic to break bread, I’ve found another way – and I suspect you have too.

Inspiration often comes from the show Chopped.

Last week, I nabbed a pack of chicken from the freezer (cut into tenders and stored in zip-lock bags, because we’re out of freezer bags), and mulled over the random assortment of canned goods and other tat lining the shelves.

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