Always have. I buy them at Goodwill sometimes now, like a Furman University soccer tee I once found there. I especially love the obscure institution. Clearance racks are classic for this. If you want an Alfred State football shirt, look there.
1. I don’t know if it’s just my vibe or a gift from above, but I have this tendency to get food when I really want it but don’t ask for it. It just appears. I’d rather have this gift than, say, X-ray vision.
2. The longest I’ve ever lost one of my kids was probably a minute, but it felt like an hour. It was probably more like 27 seconds, but she was just 3. I found her as she stood among the crowd at a tech and toy show in Tallahassee, all smiles at everyone as she tried not to look nervous.
3. I always assume I’ll have enough sugar in the kitchen, gas in the tank, or spirit in the soul to do whatever I want to do in the moment. When I don’t have enough, it’s as big a shock to me as anyone. (Reminder: Sometimes the soul doesn’t have a low-fuel light).
4. I’d love to buy a cheeseburger for everyone who has commented on my blog.
5. Because the Colorado Rockies have a pitcher who 9 nine years older than me, it doesn’t matter that I’m nearly twice as old as any of the rookies on the team. The old guy’s presence alone means I’m still young.
6. My sister and I used to camp with my dad so high in the Rockies that you couldn’t get a radio station. We thought we were on another planet.
7. I was supposed to play baritone saxophone in a studio band. At least, that’s what I thought in junior high.
8. My first celebrity crush was Judy Jetson. I’ve since moved on. My first human crush was Ms. Tisdale, the teacher’s assistant in kindergarten. I’ve since moved on.
9. My coolest scar is on my elbow. Well, really my only even good one. The cool story is that I got it after I was hit with a pool cue. Sounds tough, huh? The details – that I was 12, had just gotten out of the swimming pool and it was by a 10-year-old girl named Angie, because I called her “Angelina” – make it less Steven Segal and more like the kid from Wonder Years.
10. I once carried Stephen King’s bags when I worked in a hotel. We talked baseball. He’s a good tipper. He had tons of sh*t in the back of his car, including a wooden bird cage. I didn’t ask. He carries about eight identical ink pens in the front pocket of his jeans. He also totes these bags of steno pads with hand-written stuff in them. I so wanted to steal one.
11. I feel like a bowl of Frosted Flakes is a good way to end a day. Don’t judge. It’s not hard liquor or animal testing.
12. I’m from Colorado, but don’t ski. I’m Hispanic, but don’t speak very good Spanish. I live in the South, but don’t drink sweet tea.
13. When I hear the song “Follow you, follow me” by Genesis, it’s like a special message from my dad, and it’s always incredibly timed. I’ll write about it someday.
14. I once dropped a quarter at McDonald’s and it landed inside a young girl’s shoe. She didn’t know where it came from. She picked it out and showed her mom. “Where did that come from?” Mom asked. The girl just shrugged. The mom seemed a little ticked. I said nothing. Hopefully, she’ll think it was the tooth fairy gone rogue.
15. My one and only athletic highlight was scoring a two-point conversion on my junior varsity football team in seventh grade. It was a simple off-tackle run. I even acted like I’d been there before – in the end zone – even though, I hadn’t. Or would ever return again.
16. I know that parents hate it, but the kids and I love it when it rains during our games.
17. I always wondered why there were no Mexican kids on Charlie Brown.
18. I once fell in a hole while jogging. Pitched forward after stepping in mid-calf-high mud and landed with a thud. This, just two blocks from the place the pedal of my bike snapped off just before I turned onto a busy road. It’s like Jesus doesn’t want me to exercise outside.
19. I can’t swim. I’ve almost drown, twice, but I still love to go swimming with the kids. I try to limit my time in the deep end, though. That’d be a lousy way to make the news.
20. The coolest names we’ve had for my soccer teams have been Mysteries and Snow Monsters. My kids made those up.
21. When I was a kid, I swore my Fred Flintstone piggy bank and the Darth Vader toy on my desk had conversations. More like pleasantries and small-talk. I didn’t think they had much in common though.
22. I could have been an NFL quarterback. It was the height and athleticism and talent I had a problem with.
23. I don’t yell a lot on the sideline and this bothers some parents. The kids know what to do. My vocalization is encouragement for a kid lagging behind or reminders of where they should be, stuff like that. I’ve also been nearly-tossed from a game only once.
24. Math is, by far, my worst subject. UNC Charlotte, my alma mater, didn’t even offer the math I qualified for, so I took a course at CPCC. I did pass it. Thing is, I can calculate slugging percentage and third-down conversions and batting averages on the fly when I need to. Luckily, there’s no trigonometry in soccer.
25. I joke around to such an extensive level with that sometimes when I’m really telling the truth, my girls won’t believe me. For hours.