Why Exactly Am I Here? — Sept. 4, 2021

Sometimes Things Be That Way

There are some days that, when night falls and you take stock of all that happened, you just say — or at least think — “Well good goddamn. What the fuck was that all about?” Today has been such a day. I look back at the waking hours and realize some of this was self-inflected — more than I’d like to admit to, in fact — and some of it is just that the world can be an inhospitable place to people who feel big. It’s easy for me to take days like today and get all existential, A big part of me thinks this is when I see the world — the real Real World — the way it actually is instead of the way I fool myself into believing it just might be. The reality is that my very being is extremely vulnerable to a world that doesn’t seem to be a friendly place, and it makes me wonder why I exist at all.

But hey, how about them Mizzou Tigers, amaright?

The great state of Missourah neglected to send me my annual car registration renewal reminder. Now, truth be told, it probably shouldn’t be the state’s responsibility to remind me when I need to do things, but once you set that system up, I tend to free up the brain space so I can remember more important things — like lines from Breaking Bad.

It came as a surprise to me that my tags expired at the end of July. A repairman changing the oil on my car alerted me to my status as an Illegal, and ever since then I’ve been on the run from the law.

I’ve now made two attempts to rehabilitate my life and reputation by going to the local DMV. The first time, I stood in a line 15 people deep that moved exactly two feet in 20 minutes. I was on a lunch break during a WFH day. I had a Zoom coming up. I did the math. I couldn’t wait.

The second time was this morning. I arrived at the office 10 minutes before it was scheduled to open and was greeted by a sign that said they were closed today for the Labor Day holiday, which, last I checked, is Monday. I get it. Everyone wants a three-day weekend. But dammit, I want my status as a full legal citizen of this ahem great country restored, and because they didn’t send me the reminder with the handy-dandy PIN on it, I can’t do this online.

Stupid DMV.

Remembering Galaga Glory

There was this one day in Columbus, Ohio. My aunt was getting married to a man my grandparents made clear was Not Acceptable, though I thought he was just fine. I remember it being an issue that she was getting married outside and not in a church, which I thought at the time (and still do today) was quite silly because I understood a wedding to be a promise before God and I’d been told that God was everywhere. But in reality, I didn’t care too much who was pissed at whom. I just wanted to play the Galaga arcade game in the hotel lobby.

That day, I was on fire. On one quarter, I blasted my way through screen after screen. And after more than a half-hour, when my last guy was finally blown up, I saw I’d beaten the game’s high score. This is a big freaking deal in the life of a child. I entered my initials with pride. I’d like to think there’s a Galaga game at some hotel I don’t remember in Columbus, Ohio, that still flashes “JMA” on the top line.

Today, Wifey-Poo and I went on a date to a place that has classic arcade games. We played pinball, Tetris, Outrun … and Galaga. The years haven’t been kind to my Galaga skillz. I didn’t even make the top 10.

The ‘Don’t Blame Me, I Didn’t Say It’ of the Day

‘The actual children on board behave better than the grown adults do.’

Mitra Amirzadeh, flight attendent

Adults can be assholes.

Today’s Reasons to Keep Living

  1. That a good whack with a hammer to the back of a well-placed screwdriver can solve many, many things.
  2. That arcades still exist.
  3. A “No Diving” sign over a toilet.

More From ‘A Puzzle Known As Life’

Off — Dec. 6, 2021

🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Detached 💭Intentions for a New Year 📆Red is Deadly 😷 Today sucked. The problem is, I don’t really know what the hell happened. I woke up just after 6, later than I have been recently, and I felt so significantly off that I truly don’t remember much of the first 45Continue reading “Off — Dec. 6, 2021”

Tree Haulin’ — Nov. 26, 2021

🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Family Rituals 👨‍👩‍👦‍👦The Grinch Rocks ❤️Churros and Poke Bowls 🤤 It’s interesting to think about how family rituals actually become family rituals. There are some that are very intentional. You had something done for you as a child, so you do the same thing for your kid. Others just sort ofContinue reading “Tree Haulin’ — Nov. 26, 2021”

Boy The Singer, Nov. 23, 2021

🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Self-Teaching 👨‍🏫Beer Flood 🍺🌊Space Mission 🚀 When I left the newspaper industry in 2009, I knew how to write, take decent photos, design pages and copy edit. I landed a job in which the mandate was, “Go make our communications program better,” something I’d assured those who interviewed me I knewContinue reading “Boy The Singer, Nov. 23, 2021”

Big Buck — Nov. 14, 2021

🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Oh Deer 🦌The Thought Gap 🧠Unplugged 🔌 I was sitting in my as-yet-to-be-named home office this morning when this big boy ☝️☝️☝️ walked out of the woods into my yard. It’s the opening day of deer season in Missourah, a day of significance for many local inhabitants on par with theirContinue reading “Big Buck — Nov. 14, 2021”

Sloth Talk — Nov. 8, 2021

🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩What Makes a Sloth a Sloth? 🦥Launch Day is Nigh 🚀Talkin’ Free Speech 🎙️ I find myself going down some interesting rabbit holes lately. For example, tonight I wondered why exactly sloths are so slow and how exactly such a creature could survive in a survival-of-the-fittest world, especially when they liveContinue reading “Sloth Talk — Nov. 8, 2021”

Punk! — Nov. 5, 2021

🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Wrasslin’ 🤼‍♂️Wifey Poo 🦶Costco 🛒 Boy The Younger and I found ourselves this evening in the most difficult-to-spell-without-looking-it-up building in the Midwest, Chaifetz Arena, home of the Midwest’s most-weirdly named college basketball team, the St. Louis University Billikens. But we weren’t there for hoops. We were there to watch the oddContinue reading “Punk! — Nov. 5, 2021”

FIL’s Day — Sept. 19, 2021

Today was all about my father-in-law, Marvin. FIL died in November following complications from heart surgery and COVID. Wifey Poo and the sisters-in-law organized an ice cream social and issued an open invitation to the family and FIL’s friends. When we set the date for late September, the thought was that we’d be past theContinue reading “FIL’s Day — Sept. 19, 2021”

Work Drinkin’ – Sept. 3, 2021

I’ll Drink to That Since my departure from newspapers in 2009, I’ve worked for very conservative not-for-profit organizations. An electric cooperative. A Lutheran benefits provider. A pediatric orthopedic hospital. None ever encouraged me to post photos on our social media of employees drinking during the workday. But that happened to me today following our champagne-tastingContinue reading “Work Drinkin’ – Sept. 3, 2021”

Moving Day – Aug. 13, 2021

Moving Is Fun … … when someone else does it. At just before 9 a.m., movers from Two Men and a Truck arrived at our Wentzville house. There were four men. Within three hours, they’d loaded up all the crap we had boxed and the furniture and other assorted LifeJunk we’ve accumulated through the years.Continue reading “Moving Day – Aug. 13, 2021”

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