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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15 Amazing (and Simple) Things For a Happy Life

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Happiness glows from within one. Or from directly behind one.

Oy, happiness.

It’s there. We must practice patience. It’s like a Taco Bell burrito. Sometimes, they’re made incorrectly. All the cheese or sauce or sauce and cheese get tucked into the final fifth of the burrito. One must endure dry beans for a while, but eventually you’ll get the cheese.

Or the sauce or sauce and cheese.

Laura writes the blog Riddle from the Middle. It’s real life, as she says, with a side of snark. She’s a lover of family, words, and music, and really, with proper snacks, isn’t that what we all love? She writes a thoughtful, enlightening blog I hope you’ll check out.

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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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Go Ask Daddy About Cinematic Symbolism, Steve Martin Stunts and Retail/Dining options for Dec. 31

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Do you know where that water’s been, brother?

NPR just made rain kind of gross.

GAD GRAPHICA show promo pointed out that water we drink today has passed through the kidneys of a brontosaurus. Japanese freestyle swimmer Shigeo Arai probably swam through it in the 1936 Olympics.

It might have lived in a water pitcher on the set of the Dominican telenovela Tropico, too. I try not to think of that, but it’s true. Water’s the original repurposed thing.

Sure, rain’s kind of nasty, but it’s also beautifully poetic. It made up puddles my girls stomped in walking into the grocery store with dad. It helped soil uniforms – school and soccer – and locked in stories and memories and history.

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What One Soccer Coach Included On His Wish List Might Shock You

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It’s kind of like a soccer sideline, but really, it’s the towel rack at the Acorn Motel in Black Mountain, N.C. Nice place.

I’ll get it out of the way, first.

As a soccer coach, I’d love it if the tradition of root beer and a Cubano sandwich became post-game routine. I know that won’t happen, unless I make it work for myself. (Coaches who maintain a set approval rating could upgrade to cold beer and a Monte Cristo.)

Here’s 42 reasonable (and some unreasonable) items on this coach’s wish list.

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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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Go Ask Daddy About Prehistoric Kids, Noble Research and the Art of Antagonizing

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What happens between a Stormtrooper and a green bone shouldn’t be told outside of the stove top.

It took a while before my tenderest-hearted girl ever watched cartoons.

GAD GRAPHICShe saw the PBS stuff – Caillou, Telletubbies, Big Comfy Couch – but not the violent, irreverent stuffs of our childhood. Wile E. Coyote and Sylvester the Cat. The Jetsons and the Flintstones. The Really Rottens. Woody Woodpecker, and most of all, Tom & Jerry.

Elise finally got to see the eternal feud of Tom & Jerry.

Jerry pushed a piano down a staircase after Tom had attacked him with a mallet and butcher’s knife. On this particular episode, Tom actually gave up the ghost. His spirit floated heavenward, where he had to wait in line for St. Peter.

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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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When My Big Girl Was Little …

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Stormtrooper kicks it with a Warren Wilson owl. – EP

It’s two days until Moving Day.

She’s eaten her way through a Farewell Tour, met with friends and brought home boxes of Zaxby’s and cups of Krispy Kreme coffee. Her stuff’s all packed. She’s dumped off all the “visit us!” college pamphlets on one sister and stole a bottle of lotion from the other.

I envy the forced minimalism, to be honest.

You’ve read enough about the girl who stops shots brilliantly and paints pictures beautifully. We’ve learned and lost and loved together. She’s in her room now, packing, probably singing the same chorus to a familiar song over and over.

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