Here’s to making 20, something (or, happy birthday, Madison)

stormtrooper madison (2)I had to wait a day to get my favorite birthday present. That was 20 years ago.

Camdyn’s two goals Saturday come in a close second. What kid can score on her dad’s birthday? It’s just Camdyn doing Camdyn things. Hayden’s done it, too. It’s kind of Babe Ruthian to go out and deliver on a day and on a dime.

Sunday, Madison turned 20.

She nearly shared my birthday, did you know that? If her mama’s contractions hadn’t stopped around the time M*A*S*H* comes on TV, this would be a different post. That was 20 years ago now. The girls are rolling through all the milestones, 12, 13, 16, 17, 20 …

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The wisdom of shark heads, quarterbacks and old-school Billy Joel

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It’s 12:17 a.m. and this day has gone so long it’s wrapping around into the next.

I have cobwebs on my blog or at least on my comments and if your blogs were my goldfish, you’d all be belly up in algae-riddled muck. I’m the blogging equivalent of the boyfriend who texts you at 2 a.m.

It’s 12:19 now and I should be doing a million other things.

Looking for a job, for instance. Not eating this quarter pounder on a plate, stage right. Boiling water for the sleepytime tea I’ve had every night. Answering comments or brushing my teeth or, maybe even sleeping before my 2.5-hour trip to Raleigh at 7 a.m.

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I Believe … XIII

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Stormtrooper in a Denver storefront. Photo courtesy of Rhea Merck

It’s been a while since I’ve done an I Believe post.

Not that I don’t still believe, because I do. Some days, it’s easier than others to see it. Every day, though, we carry with us beliefs. Mine pop up in conversation, email, texts, comment responses, court depositions.

Kidding on that last one.

What do you believe? I’m only slightly (and very slightly) embarrassed that probably 37 of 42 statements here are food-related. Forty-two, also, is not by accident. It’s supposed to be the answer to the universe.

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What an Invisible Civilization Would Learn About Us, in 6 Words

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I’m the king of the assinine question.

6 words graphic“What if Jeeps cost a nickel?” I asked my college friend, Bobby Keith – while we both were still in college. “I’d buy many Jeeps,” he answered. “What if packs of gum were $5,000?” I followed with. “Then I wouldn’t chew any gu – where the hell do you come up with this??” he asked.

Fair enough question.

The six words question for March isn’t asinine – but it is unusual. It comes from a wonderful source of thought-provoking questions from #Q4KIDZ. Grace and I have both contributed to the question pot, which spits one out daily for you and your kids.

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Go Ask Daddy About Spicy Commercials, Reserved Parking and the Home of the Demon Deacs

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I think I remember you from my teenage years …

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.

GAD GRAPHICGuys, this is Jean Louisa Kelly.

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.

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Where Are You Going? 10 Questions for Direction

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“Candy, as far as the eye could see. Almond Joy, Krackle, Skittles. Not the cheap-ass candy from the dollar store.”

To remain in this moment becomes perhaps the closest we can come to ultimate harmony. It’s tricky.

It requires dismissing the past, shunning self-imposed limitations and savoring every ounce of life. Living in the moment also gets a bad rap. That’s what happens when folks jet to Vegas or say yes when they should say no, invoking a Carpe Diem Clause.

The Carpe Diem Clause, however, doesn’t cover gambling losses, lost teeth, lost wages, marriage annulments or penicillin shots.

Brianna Wiest wrote a book called The Truth About Everything. She also wrote a post for Elephant Journal that I wrapped in cheesecloth and hid behind my disc golf bag. It’s 10 questions to ask yourself when you don’t know where your life should go next.

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Guest Post: Mo, of Mocadeaux, on Plethora

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The search for the right word can sometimes be like this.

This one time, Grace thought she’d become famous.

All it took was a parade. We’d talked in church about joining the Pride Parade a few years ago. Grace heard keywords – parade … ride a float … matching T-shirts! She was stoked. So I explained what the Pride Parade meant.

She remained stoked.

We didn’t end up walking. She went off with the grandparents that day. The conversation happened, though. When I wrote about it, today’s guest poster, Mo of Mocadeaux, chimed in on the CD for the first time.

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42 People Who Need a Stern Talkin-To (Who Aren’t named Hope Solo)

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He gets just enough of the save to keep the match level!

I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore.

Well, okay. I’m not happy. I noticed Hopey Solo – I mean, Hope – trending on Twitter the other night. That can’t be good, I thought. And it wasn’t. Turns out, Boo got suspended for six months for mouthing off after a shootout loss to Sweden in the World Cup.

The USWNT also terminated her contract. She called the Swedes “cowards” for their conservative tactics in a tied match against the U.S. I disagree with her. In my eyes, Sweden played legal tactics that give them the best chance at winning.

Hope’s diatribe was only words. No mammals were traumatized. Amphibians either. It might have lacked class, but Hope responded honestly to a question.

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Here’s Hoping My Girls Have Friends Like This

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Sisterhood can be a twisty thing. But it’s mostly illuminating.

I have three daughters.

I want much for them. Peace, not a pampered path. Purpose, not existence in pretend. Experiences, not empty days when the moon rises and sets without peace, purpose, and experiences. I want to drive them places they want me to take them.

I want also for them to venture into places I am not.

The influence and support they’ll have from their parents will never cease. What of those times when she’s chosen to play on a new team, in a far-off park? When they’re she’s on a stage somewhere I am not, rehearsing and projecting?

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Travel Light. Wear Simple Clothes. Just Watch.

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“Travel the world and the seven seas/ Everybody’s looking for something.” – Annie Lennox

Eloquent people seem to travel lots. Or maybe travel breeds eloquence. What do you think?

I don’t travel much. Unless you count roundtrip drives to Mooresville, or the trips I’ll take to the mountains for Elise’s games. There’s my annual work trip to someplace tropical every winter. When you travel, you pick up stories, whether it’s in Madrid or Mooresville.

My friend Brittany tells stories of travel abroad and also to the junk yard in the blog Girl Interrupted, and its superb reading. The clarity of scenes she sets? Downright Hemmingwayesque in its delivery.

My friend Britta writes It’s a Britta Bottle. She undertook a life shift to teach in Thailand. Her stories began when she made the choice and influence her writing today. Her adventures inspired this post.

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