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Shelf Appropriate :: Santa is Real!

Mike Ganotisi
Japan
Okinawa
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Santa was ruined when the kids at school told me he wasn't real. As a parent, I'm dealing with the same problem. My 8 year old daughter is being mocked about Santa being real. For 8 straight years, we've been sneaking gifts under the tree, slipping money under her pillow (Tooth Fairy), and placing eggs in the backyard and baskets on the kitchen table (Easter Bunny).

This was my first year participating in the Secret Santa. Not only did I get the games I want, but I had never felt so excited. It made me feel how my kids might be feeling when they receive their gifts on Christmas Day.



I enlisted in the Marine Corps in November 1996. I never left the island (born and raised in Hawaii) and it was the first time I've ever missed Thanksgiving/Christmas with my family. I was told in recruit training, "It's just another day in the Marine Corps." Missing holidays was going to be a common thing for as long as I was a Marine. Deployments would keep me apart but it was always worth seeing their faces when I came home.
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Sun Nov 20, 2011 4:19 am
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Shelf Appropriate :: Brain Fasting - A Short Hiatus from Cranium Innards

Mike Ganotisi
Japan
Okinawa
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Aside from Christmas, Halloween was, probably, one my most anticipated days as a child. It was a chance to be something/someone that never really existed in reality. But more importantly, it was a day to prove who's parents were cool(er). At least in my neighborhood it was.

On Halloween night, you could clearly pick a winner amongst the kids. They were dressed from head to toe, wore elaborate costumes, and sported detailed masks. For me? I was an underdog of the game. I had a hockey mask, yielded a plastic samurai sword, and a faded shirt that needed my mom's approval before I could tear it. If the shirt still fit me, there was no chance of it falling victim to my scissors. A plastic grocery bag was used to collect my candy. None of my outfit ever made it to the "headlines" the following day, but hey, as long as I had fun, right?

I'm a proud parent of 2 girls. Every year has been a great opportunity for me to be the coolest dad on the block. Everything from foggers on the doorstep, intricately carved pumpkins, and full blown outfits ensure my kids are the talk of the block. All is fun on Halloween - strategically, it might be the cheaper route to show my spirit (My wife is in charge of Christmas; trees and ornaments are expensive).



In memory of my childhood days and a little spark from watching "The Walking Dead," I decided to play a campaign of All Things Zombie: The Boardgame. Aside from scenario 4, I've been enjoying the solo side of the game. I've enjoyed taking pics during my session, even if it's done with my phone. (My wife said she misplaced lost the batteries to our DSLR camera).

Here's to a Happy Halloween!

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Sat Oct 29, 2011 7:40 pm
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