5 For Friday: Go Ask Daddy About House Heights, Mood Rings and the Art of Cooking


photo credit: Kalexanderson via photopin cc
photo credit: Kalexanderson via photopin cc

I once worked with a bellman who was an incredible eater.

By incredible, I mean “someone get this with your phone, because it should go on YouTube.”

My boy – we’ll call him Nico – ate 10 Wendy’s burgers in a single sitting. With minimal bites. (I wonder what the new Wendy’s girl on the commercials would say.)

A guest bought a Papa John’s pizza for me, my supervisor and Nico, the good bellman. Jong, I’ll call the supervisor, ate a slice. I ate another. Nico ate the rest. In an estimated six bites.

If there was a (pizza) pie chart to represent which of my girls asks the most questions, Grace would claim a share equivalent to Nico’s. When you’re 8 and spend lots of time at daddy’s elbow, you ask many questions.

When you’re 28 and spend time eating daddy’s pizza, you get called out in his blog.

1. How many feet tall is our house?



I have no idea.

I think the people who built it packed up and left the community in the middle of the night, and they left no blueprints.

Let’s see … two stories, 10-foot ceilings, what, a foot of floor/ceiling between them, an attic I probably couldn’t stand up in … yeah, about 100 feet tall.

No, not that tall. I’d estimate it pokes a good 32 feet up in the air.

I wonder if I could bounce a super ball over it.

2. What is brunch?

It’s nothing more than a cruel hoax perpetuated by contrived, parent-honoring holidays and overpriced buffets.

Brunch, a meal that takes place between breakfast time and lunchtime, in place of those meals, is fine for those who sleep in and wake up hungry. But what about those of us who wake up early and hungry?

I’d rather watch The View without Elizabeth Hasselbeck than wait until 10:30 to eat.

I propose a better plan:

6 a.m.

Breakfast: Two eggs, over easy, two warm tortillas, tall glass of milk, short glass of OJ

9 a.m.

Brunch: All your carbs – waffles, waffle sticks, pancakes, French toast, crepes, omelets. Or, three strips of bacon and a poptart.


Lunch: A grilled cheese, potato salad, a couple of carrots, a bottomless Coke Zero.

Don’t be fooled by Mother’s Day and Father’s Day specials and Easter brunches made to feel like special occasions with $20 entry fees. It’s still a meal for those who sleep in.

It shouldn’t cost as much as a half tank of gas – that’s what I call being tricked by a business. It’s NOT hella tight, as the kids say.

3. How do mood rings work?


photo credit: rubygirl jewelry via photopin cc
photo credit: rubygirl jewelry via photopin cc

Every human should have mood-ring technology strapped across their forehead.

Imagine the utility. If your cashier’s in a romantic mood, proceed with caution. If the traffic cop is having a blue day, he won’t get mad if you lag behind a bit.

If your hairstylist shows yellow? Proceed with caution. She’s a bit tense and excitable, neither of which mixes well with scissors.

Here’s what about.com says the colors mean:

  • violet blue – happy, romantic
  • blue – calm, relaxed
  • green – average, not much going on with you
  • yellow/amber – tense, excited
  • brown/gray – nervous, anxious
  • black – cold temperature or broken ring

A mood ring is actually a hollow clear shell with thermotropic liquid crystals inside. These crystals twist in reaction to temperature changes on your skin.

The twist changes the molecular structure of the crystals, which changes the wavelengths, which changes the color the ring displays. It’s more tiny science experiment than soul-reading sorcery.

I lost a mood ring once, when I was a kid. I’m not sure how I feel about that.

4. Does Iona stand for something?


It stands for Independent Oaths of Narwhals of America. Or Immigrant Oatmeal Needs Association. Or perhaps Impact of Oedipus complex for Nootkas Abroad. (Well, those would make good band names, anyway.)

Iona doesn’t stand for anything. It’s a college in New Rochelle, N.Y., with a cool nickname (Gaels) and cool mascot (a burly, man-sized leprechaun-like figure in maroon, wielding a walking stick.)

The Christian Brothers who opened the school in 1940 named it after an island of the west coast of Scotland.

The mascot’s name is Killian. He smiles a lot, even though the Gaels blew the biggest halftime lead in NCAA men’s basketball tournament history this past season (25 points).

Also, there’s no word on his stance on oatmeal needs or the Oedipus complex. (He might think that’s where the volleyball team plays).

5. Do you have to put all the ingredients in order when you make a recipe?

photo credit: chotda via photopin cc
photo credit: chotda via photopin cc

I do, honey.

I’ll probably leave out something small yet significant, such as baking powder. Or baking soda. Or chicken.

I go in order because if I happen to be cooking vegetables or bread or listening to the radio, my man brain can’t handle the strain. You end up with flat pancakes, bitter-tasting tortillas, or accidental vegetarian quesadillas.

I wouldn’t even serve those for brunch.

Go Ask Daddy About Concussions, Baseball Records and Mascots On The Payroll


concussionMy Go Ask Daddy list brims with possibility. It’s 30, maybe 40 questions strong. I don’t want to give it away, but subjects include stress tests, gladiators and mattress construction.

Sometimes, I get one I just can’t ignore. One that deserves its own post, such as, “would you die for me, daddy?” Or, that deserve top billing on a Friday, such as one about concussions – from a kid who knows better than me.

Nearly a week ago, In quick succession, I saw Grace get hit inadvertently during a soccer match, with a knee to the side of her head. Then, I caught her as she stumbled off the field and her legs gave way beneath her.

Grace says she doesn’t even remember getting hit.

I watched an orthopedic doctor administer tests to her on the sideline (her vision was blurry in her right eye), medics stabilize her on a stretcher, and an ambulance whisk her away to the hospital.

When I lay down to sleep that night, the images caught up with me and took my breath away.

She’s fine, today, and will likely miss just one week of soccer. That’s better than good. I happen to love that jolted little brain (and the girl all around it), not to mention the questions that come flowing out of it.

Play strong, Grace. Play strong.

1. Has anyone gotten a concussion and couldn’t get up?


synapseI’m glad you did, lovey.

You might not remember the doctor’s explanation or mine, but your brain is like a big bunch of cauliflower floating around in, say, butter sauce. But, congealed butter. Mm. Roasted cauliflower with butter. But I digress.

When you take a knee to the side of your noggin, as you did, that butter sauce that is designed to buffer your brain isn’t enough to keep your brain from slamming against the inside of your skull.

It’s not pretty. Too many of those is really bad for your health.

Your question, though: Has anyone ever gotten a concussion, and couldn’t get up? As I said, I’m glad you did, lovey. Let’s leave it at that.

2. Why do people dressed as the Statue of Liberty stand by the road and wave?

photo credit: sniggie via photopin cc
photo credit: sniggie via photopin cc

Psh. Because the Statue of Liberty is French.

The ones you mean are Liberty Tax Service mascots.

They entice us to come in and have our taxes done. Sometimes, it’s Uncle Sam. Other times, it’s that stoic French lady – only it’s portrayed by a groovy dude with headphones in or nice lady swinging a sign that says “open late.”

They’re groovy human billboards, at a mere $8 an hour.

God bless America.

Check this dude out:

3. What’s the record for the longest baseball inning?

The one I extended to 30 minutes at Garinger High School with two in the outfield errors feels like it.

On May 8, 2004, the Detroit Tigers and Texas Rangers played a 31-run, 30-hit game that featured a record-breaking fifth inning.

Check out what happened in that inning:

  • Texas walked the first three batters of the inning on 20 pitches.
  • Detroit scored eight runs and faced 54 pitches in a half-inning.
  • Texas faced 56 pitches in their half of the inning, and scored 10 runs.
  • The line: 110 pitches, 18 runs, in 1 hour, 8 minutes.

Compared to that, I was stellar at Garinger.

4. When you have a nose ring, what do you do when you have to blow your nose?

nose piercedThe answer is, very carefully. I wanted to ask a new girl here at work how she does it, but because that would be our official first conversation, I decided against it.

According to Yahoo! Answers users, such as Amanda S., you should “be gentle and cautious” when you blow before the piercing heals. The user One Sexy Jeep Girl says her nose is pierced, and she’s always blown her nose normally. Which is more than I can say.

5. How much do mascots make?

I used to dream of being a mascot. I’d have done it for $50 per game and a plate of nachos.

Most NBA teams have mascots on the full-time payroll. They earn $40,000-$45,000, with benefits (dragon care, chicken insurance, etc.) If you’re funny, don’t hurt fans, and don’t insult Steve Irwin, as the Tampa Bay Rays mascot did, or run over an opposing team’s quarterback with a golf cart like the Tennessee Titans’ mascot did, you could probably make a pretty good life in this gig.

Then there’s heat exhaustion and the danger of running up and down stadium steps in an oversized donkey head with feet big as Ronald McDonald’s.

I’d have to ask for $75 and extra cheese on my nachos. I mean, that’s a concussion waiting to happen. Know what I mean, Grace?

5 For Friday: Why I Love Baseball


I love spring. Warm air and cool breezes. My annual death match with tree pollen.

And baseball. I love me some baseball.

As a Colorado Rockies fan, the hope of being just 1.5 games out of first place, and a summer of possibilities ahead is enough to sustain me. Spring is that time between my NCAA bracket’s implosion and the Rockies’ fall from postseason contention.

As a dad, some of my favorite moments have baseball undertones. We’re soccer players and soccer coaches in my family, but when the cleats come off, nothing beats a day at the ballpark.

Continue reading “5 For Friday: Why I Love Baseball”