You know. Staying in the present. It’s how I’ve managed to keep the train on the tracks when all else fails. I remind friends of this when they cling to the past or fret about the future. Frame where you are now, and be fully in it.
If one of those friends said that to me now, back, I’d see how impossible it feels.
Madison is moving to California next month. I’ll take a 40-hour road trip with my oldest and her cat, Munch. I wake up at 4 a.m. every day worried about it. But I’m getting better. She’s excited. I’m excited for her, and I’ll work extra hard to buy plane tickets to visit her early and often.
Not the first one. One of the last ones. Maybe the last one. There was this epic battle between the mighty Tyrannosaurus Rex (sorry, my generation gave the big guy his due – no T-Rex) battled a mega super ultra mean swole somethingasaurus.
I kept thinking, what could they possibly do to top that?
And then this sea monster pops up and eats that bastard like he’s a potsticker. That’s kind of how 2020 is feeling right about now. You think you’ve wrapped your mind around your circumstance, and then … well, sea monsters.
Sometimes, interesting parallels emerge in Go Ask Daddy questions.
They’re chosen at random. From a list of about 200. When the first two contained the words “alcoholic drink” and “crack cocaine,” I began to question the universe. Namely, what is intends for me. Then, more pressing … did my girls ask these questions, really?
Every week, I try to pick out five questions the girls asked (over years and years) to answer in this space right here. To continue the controversy, the Dallas Cowboys appeared on this list, too. And a doozy of a fifth question. Check it out.
But let’s be honest: The pandemic has me spending a tad more impossible income on spirits. I was disappointed the ABC store sold me a bottle of rum and tequila but didn’t serve them to me in paper sacks.
But it has cachaça, which isn’t on my Walmart pickup list. The Cherry Bourbon Smash sounds like it should have a holiday named after it. I learned a lot reading about this Easy Cherry Lemonade – and it just made me thirsty.
Hayden has extensive knowledge of drugs, thanks to a high school course. She rattles off facts about cannabis, ecstasy, and hallucinogens the way I did about Ankylosaurus, Stegosaurus, Triceratops back in the day.
Cocaine comes in both powder and rock, kind of like there’s a Triceratops and a Zuniceratops which look similar.
They call it cocaine or coke when it’s a powder, and crack or crack cocaine as the rock. I looked up how it’s made, and I won’t go into it in detail, but it sounds a little like how you make rock candy. Which is kinda messed up.
They call it crack because it crackles when it’s cooked.
It’s pretty highly concentrated, so it’s possible to get addicted with just one dose. If you or someone you know might have questions about addiction, they can call the American Addiction Centers at 888-969-0144.
3. Why are they in church on Saturday?
Maybe they lost track of what day it is like I have.
More likely, they’re Seventh Day Adventists. They consider Saturday the sabbath, not Sunday. While some Christians go to church on Sunday, others consider it a true day of rest – like, you can even sleep in on Sunday mornings. I like that.
It’s like those calendars that sometimes start on Sunday, sometimes start on Monday.
Some Jewish folks have services on Saturday, too. Some Christians say they should church on Sunday because that’s the day of the week of Jesus’ resurrection. I was just a boy then, so I’m not positive.
In 321, Roman Emperor Constantine said everyone should rest on Sunday, which is why that’s the one day of the week I won’t clock in for anyone.
4. Who was the guy who jumped into the Salvation Army bucket?
It wasn’t Constantine (because it was on a Sunday.)
That distinction goes to Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott. He hopped into an oversized Salvation Army kettle at AT&T Stadium after a rushing touchdown against Tampa Bay. What a donation
I’ve written negatively about Elliott on this very blog, but I also don’t believe in condemning anyone for life because of something they did or allegedly did.
Elliott has a childlike view of the game that I totally appreciate. He leaped into the kettle and it gave the Salvation Army a good bit of playtime. He wasn’t fined for this, and I agree with that. Donations spiked after his leap, and Zeke made a donation of his own.
The Salvation Army said it got $850,000 in online donations after that – which would buy 91,000 meals for those in need.
5. Why does ‘fine’ sometimes mean something great, like fine dining, and sometimes just so-so-, like, ‘you did fine’?
One thing I’ve learned as a man is that ‘fine’ has a ton of meanings and connotations. You mentioned fine dining – that’s elegant. Think white tablecloths and prices in tiny print on a menu. ‘You did fine’ is the other end of the spectrum – like, meh.
If you say “that girl’s fiiiine,” it means something – and when you do it in front of your significant other, and aren’t talking about her, you might be told that everything is ‘fine.’
I’d rather just PAY a fine for my mistake. It’s a fine line between just appreciating the human form in the form of your friendly neighborhood restaurant server, and committing a major infraction of … appreciating the wrong human form.
This is another prompt from the book 300 Writing Prompts. As you might have read, it’s a book a friend gave me when I left Red Ventures. I carry it with me everywhere. When I’m on a plane, I ask someone to pick a prompt for me to tackle.
It usually goes well, the ask.
The person who helped me with this one was in for a huge change in life. I’m going to send her the link to this, so I don’t want to give all the details. It was a great conversation and I have a feeling she’s doing wonderful things where she is.
I got sick of the normal X words. As if X words are normal. I’m sure somewhere someone is writing about xylophone adventures and xenophobia. More power to ya.
I say, let’s go with 10.
You know, the roman numeral for 10, X. Quick story here: I was a no-soccer-experience soccer coach at first. I made my own formations and positions, such as junker. (It was like a sweeping fullback, full of badass.)
I have lots of friends whose marketing efforts for all sorts of businesses inspire me. They show me that there are effective ways to stand out in a crowded space of posts and links. It’s a personal touch that gives a person and business a signature feel.
Nancy Kempa does just that in her posts.
We became friends on Instagram, and talked a lot about our messaging and about life. She has one of those determined wills that is also inspiring. Have something you’d like to do or do better? Nancy’s approach is to tackle it.
So, there’s a story I want to tell and I don’t care if you judge.
One of my kids made a gesture at the TV yesterday that told a story. We’ve navigated this lockdown like good astronauts (minus zero gravity and Tang.) But as my girls worked on a puzzle during a Hulu session of Malcolm in the Middle, an ad came on and triggered her.
Social distancing doesn’t have to mean we have to be distant socially, the sugary-voiced lady was saying to promote something I can’t even remember.
Instinctively, a middle finger arose. She didn’t even look up from the puzzle. I said nothing. I get it. Social listening data tells us that people love ads like this. They want to know corporate America is in it with us. That they’re doing their part.
Sunday, feeling almost caught up in the writing part of this #AtoZMadness (but still way behind on reading!), I had the task of cranking out a post to go with the letter K. Oy. Kaleidoscope? Karma? Kaput? Kayak?
(I could write about the time I almost died in a kayak – or was that a canoe?)
Well, I still could have tied it to kaput! But I got a test from a friend named Kelly on Sunday afternoon checking in on how things are going (happens a lot with the COVID, and I’m grateful!) and wondering if I’d published our interview for #GirlsRock.
The pessimist in me wonders what not wearing jeans for four weeks has done to me physically. The optimist in me feels as if this quarantine has at least kept the Colorado Rockies from the dredge of the NL West for now.
The artist in me has documented, for better or worse, my thoughts each day in the pandemic – as daily haikus.
Some are flippant, some sad, some confused. Like any other March that I could have done this, but only this March is historically significant. Not just because there was no Final Four, but because when has the entire world ever has so much in common?
I just started hacking away, inspired each day by Twitter or TV news (I’ve cut way back) or just what was going on that day.
Let me know how the quarantine has been for you, and which of these, if any, resonated with you. A college today said she can’t just go day to day anymore, and I get that. So I’m hoping to get to the ballpark soon and the beach even sooner.
Just as soon as we get the all-clear.
COVID haiku journal
I’m honestly not too sure.
I’ll just stay in place.
My people, our house
Not a big house, but enough
I can’t hear anyone
The big Pop Tart box
Seems like the best choice right now
One tart at a time
No Jehovah’s Witnesses
Was that Amazon?
Don’t you miss hugging?
I know it has just started.
Just looking ahead.
Lots of people out
When I pick up our groceries
Am I a chump too?
Finding time to write
Should not be so difficult
Work days are so long
My back feels so sore
My ass is getting flattened
Four rolls left in here
TP is greater than gold
We are middle class
I’ve lost track of days
And how long since I’ve worn pants?
At least we have cheese.
Out of cat litter
The shit might hit the fan now
Is this our world now?
Uncle Frank is ill
His test comes back in 3 days
It’s canceled after 5 days
Instacart on strike
Three of them to sustain me
For three days at least
It’s April Fools Day
I wish someone would play tricks
We could use the laugh
It’s my dad’s birthday
He would have been 68
I miss him so much!
Not happening in the parks
Bunch of dumb asses.
Was yesterday harsh?
My bad. I should be more kind.
Cover your damn mouth
Steaks on my new grill
Make happiness if you can
Steak is a good way.
Pray for my uncle
He’s fighting this thing so strong
Grant him all my strength
Girls want fried chicken
Who am I to argue that?
Food is everything
Uncle Frank update
He had a good day Tuesday
Let’s keep on praying
When this is over
Oh, how we will celebrate
Hug and kiss for days!