#AtoZChallenge: M is for Men I Forgot to be

 

stormtrooper stand alone

I feel like I have lots of mileage for a dude who just wrote how he’s halfway there.

MIf stop-and-go city driving miles push a car to the auto salvage yard quicker than country miles, maybe parenthood miles push a dad to pasture quicker than childless men’s miles. I’d so much rather take on the wear and tear than not to take this path, though.

Rather than a car, I am, as a dad, more like a skillet with age.

The seasonings of use and heat and duress enhance it for the next meal. I’m better off for that. I can look back at the men I meant to be for my girls that have fallen off along the way like pine needles on a Christmas tree when you strap it to the roof of your car with the tip pointing forward, not the trunk.

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#AtoZChallenge: L is for the Last 3 Blogs I Read (and Why You Should, Too)

stormtrooper egg stormtrooper

Most of blogging ought to be reading.

LI know this. In the middle of the night, I must choose: Start on my post I wish I’d written earlier, or get to my reading routine? I have a reading routine. It’s complex and it’s regimented, and tonight, I’m actually choosing the more selfish path – I will write this, rather than read more blogs.

However, I hope that by sharing some recent blogs I’ve read, I’m bending the karma.

I’m in a vortex of incredible work. It comes from the A to Z Challenge, but also the top six commenters on my blog. I find great reads in the WordPress bloggers I follow. And I’ve just joined a Facebook group, small in number and perfect in tone, to associate with.

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#AtoZChallenge: I is for Ice Cream

ice cream sprinkles scoop

It’s easy for me to dream about food.

ILike, when I’m awake. Between meals, or during, actually. I wonder what a psychiatrist would say about that. For today’s A to Z Challenge, I went with, “what would go on your dream ice cream sundae?” I wanted to keep it light today and went with dessert.

But not light dessert – because that’s just gross.

I set out to ask my girls what would go on their dream sundaes. I checked in with Madison, the college girl, first. She, like me, keeps a quadrant of her brain trained on food. It’s what we do.

Her answer might or might not surprise you – but it’ll show you the ice cream scoop doesn’t fall far from the counter. A shit ton of chocolate said she, and gummy worms.

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#AtoZChallenge: H is for Halfway There

stormtrooper grass

Three girls, three schools.

HThree cities, technically. And all three play soccer in three different towns, too, sprawled from the Appalachian Mountains to the Carolinas Piedmont. I’m in halfway through it all, one daughter engaged, another a budding star in high school and club soccer.

The third – who knows what limits she’ll push, in a greenhouse or on stage or with a ball at her feet.

It gives the illusion of my importance in being halfway there. I’m not lifting my youngest to my shoulders for a ride, but not yet ready to give away my oldest to her future groom. Take your time, I urged them the day they showed us the ring. Take your time.

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#AtoZChallenge: E is for Eight Things I’ve Left Behind

stormtroopers sunset romance

If only it was only eight.

EIt’s eight – times something. Eighty? Eight thousand? Eighty-eight thousand? That depends on if you count car keys and wallet as two things, left behind regularly, or one for every time. I wouldn’t want to do that math.

If God had a cosmic lost-and-found bin, even The Great I Am would assess me a storage fee.

I’ll forego listing the plastic dinosaurs I buried beside my house just before dad put on a sidewalk, or the UNC Charlotte sweatshirt left on the bus in Louisville. Same, too, for the stormtrooper Tervis, the actual stormtrooper from my youth, a few tons of innocence …

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#AtoZChallenge: C is for Interview With a … Cat?

stormtrooper cat
photo credit: DocChewbacca More dangerous than a Sarlacc via photopin (license)

Pigs have guest posted on this very page.

CWell, one pig. Bacon “Bake” Thompson hogged this space with a guest post a while back. My buddy Janine Huldie held the mic and let the swine writer set his hooves to work on the keyboard.

I’ve written about our empty cupboard, and the lessons learned as I filled it up.

I’ve started over and over again, keying on the man in the Rockies cap – me – for my own revolution. Today in the #AtoZChallenge, I’ve interviewed an actual cat – Yoyo – one you might recognize if you read Pat’s blog, New Bloggy Cat.

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#A to Z Challenge: B is for Burgers & 3 Lessons I Learned During a Month Without Them (Plus, 3 Random Smartphone Pics)

stormtrooper lineup army

I told a co-worker that I staged a hunger strike because of her leaving the company.

BMost hellish 13 minutes of my life, I announced. This food-related sacrifice plays right into the mindfulness challenge I participated in for March. I softened it to be carnivore-friendly: March was a beef-free month for me.

Jen Schwartz’s challenge was to give up meat completely, like a liberal. I believe in miracles, yes, but also in the universe’s balance. I could no more easily go veg for more than a single bean tostada as an NBA star could expect to play every game on his team’s schedule when he’s healthy.

My own depravity – which challenged in duration the time Jesus spent in the wilderness that one time or the average drought between quality starts for an Arizona Diamondbacks starter – taught me.

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

stormtrooper wheelchair

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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How to Recognize Your Past to Appreciate Where You Are

stormtrooper egg easter candy

A little more than a year ago, I stood outside with my 11-year-old as she took pictures of a rare winter landscape here.

“I am where I am,” I said, of course, in 27-degree weather wearing shark pajama bottoms with a curious child who goes out of her way to spend time with me. It’s also where I am, at the bottom of stairs looking up at where I hope to be or at least feel like I am someday.

Yes, you’re way down here, I told myself, but you’re looking the right direction.

Who knows what path I’ll take. But parenting, the divergent routes and surprises and development and growth and discovery of ourselves on the journey will power me upward. Meredith, who writes the blog The Mom of the Year, inspired this post.

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Go Ask Daddy About firewood, Kickass quarterbacks, and loooong shots

stormtrooper skateboard skater

We tell the kids stuff not to do all the time. Here’s 42.

GAD GRAPHIC

  1. Don’t eat cookies in bed. Share them on the couch with dad.
  2. Don’t leave the door open!
  3. Don’t leave the fridge open.
  4. Don’t drink daddy’s soda.
  5. Don’t drink daddy’s rum.
  6. Don’t play your saxophone after eating a KitKat.
  7. Don’t run in the street.
  8. Don’t pick the cat up by the tail.
  9. Don’t text in church.
  10. Don’t quote Macklemore songs in church.
  11. Don’t use your tablet after you’ve eaten a rack of ribs.
  12. Don’t yell, “don’t listen to coach!”
  13. Don’t wear sweatpants with words across the arse.
  14. Don’t wrestle by the fish tank.
  15. Don’t leave your soccer ball at the bottom of the stairs.
  16. Don’t use a throw pillow as a placemat.
  17. Don’t spit sunflower seeds in the living room.
  18. Don’t retaliate for a foul.
  19. Don’t leave bubble gum in your pockets.
  20. Don’t talk to the refs.
  21. Don’t pick your nose if the Kiss Cam is going.
  22. Don’t grab a catfish around the fins when you’re taking the fishhook out.
  23. Don’t use the same hand to eat Double-Stuft Oreos as you do for baiting your hook.
  24. Don’t change the station if Electric Light Orchestra is on.
  25. Don’t sneak pizza slices into your jacket pockets at CiCi’s.
  26. Don’t fall down in the shower the morning of game day.
  27. Don’t try to call time out in a soccer game.
  28. Don’t pop more than three M&Ms, or any candy, in your mouth at once. Savor them.
  29. Don’t root for the Seattle Seahawks, externally.
  30. Don’t let go of the Wii remote.
  31. Don’t pass up a chance to watch soccer on TV. Or in person.
  32. Don’t walk barefoot in a dog park.
  33. Don’t disparage your president, the pope or Kesha.
  34. Don’t put an egg in the skillet, and go upstairs to paint your nails.
  35. Don’t pay retail for banana chips.
  36. Don’t forget to stand up for your friends. And even those who aren’t your friends.
  37. Don’t sing or cry with your mouth full. In church, at least.
  38. Don’t skimp on the cheese.
  39. Don’t forget mother’s day.
  40. Don’t say anything bad about Samantha Ponder within earshot of daddy.
  41. Don’t drink dad’s rum when it’s in his Coke (Thanks for this, John).
  42. Don’t burn crepe myrtle.

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