👇🏾 What’s Below 👇🏾
In the dugout ⚾
What if I’m … wrong? 😢
Angry face 😡
I spent part of the morning in the St. Louis Cardinals dugout. The fam took a trip downtown to tour Busch Stadium. It was a good visit. We saw the owner’s suite (posh), the Champions Club (pricey) and peeked in on the batting cages (high-tech). But that moment you pop up from the bowels of the stadium and a Major League baseball field spreads out in front of you? That’s something special.
You’re there, where only a small percentage of those who have ever picked up a baseball glove ever step.
The first time I was in a Major League dugout was as a 16-year-old sports reporter at the original Yankee Stadium. To stand where — theoretically, at least — Ruth, Gerhig, DiMaggio and Mantle had stood meant something to me. It was the closest thing to a sacred space as I had in my life at that time.
Then you realize it smells like stale farts and old sweat, and some of the shine wears off pretty fast.
The ‘What Did You Say?’ of the Day
What if My Existence is Just … Wrong?
If you’ve ever been treated for a brain illness, you probably can relate to the feeling that something is just wrong. After all, you don’t end up sitting in a comfortable chair in some stranger’s office spilling your life’s deepest struggles because the way things are going are just ducky.
The problem is that even well-done therapy can create a sense that everything about your life is wrong, that if you put all your actions and thoughts and experiences on a scale divided on two platforms labeled “Yup, nailed it” and “Oh jeezus Christmas what the hell was that about?” the latter would be so heavy that it would launch the former up to hang with Richard Branson, Elon Musk and William Shatner.
I realized this evening that I’m in a place where I’m constantly battling this kind of feeling, that I feel so completely foreign as a human being when I look at the world around me that something certainly has to be fundamentally wrong with me.
I wrote a lot yesterday about feelings and motivations and my deepest heart’s desire — for the writing I do to matter to the people to whom I want it to matter the most. I have been struggling with, among other things, the question of why the thing I think I’m best at matters so little to so many of the people who actually are part of my small inner circle. I can’t seem to anchor myself with many other human beings I come across who say, “Hello there, kindred spirit,” and this births in me this belief that I’m somehow wrong, that I’m flawed.
But maybe that’s not the case. Maybe, best-case-scenario, I’m just different. Maybe even … special? That people like me — though few in number — have a purpose and a place, that we’re 1%ers but just not the money type.
I’m 47 years old. It sure would be nice to figure that all out soon.
The Angry Red Face
One of the glorious parts of Longhaul COVID was that it took what probably was long-undiagnosed sleep apnea and turned it into freshly diagnosed Super Sleep Apnea, the biggest dick of a superhero never created by Marvel or DC.
Thus, I went from having generally poor sleep to having sleep in which I was not breathing for 10 seconds or more fifty-three freaking times an hour, when I finally was tested. So now I sleep with a machine I’ve named Angelina, who shoots air up my nostrils to send a message to my brain that, “Oh, hey, yeah… you’re probably gonna wanna make this dude who’s hosting you take a breath again.”
So now I have only zero to three no-breathing times a night. The problem lately has been with “adjustments,” which is a fancy way to say that the air that is supposed to be shooting up my nose is, instead of making its way to my lungs, coming out my open mouth. How do I know this is happening? Because every morning when I wake up and turn off Angelina, instead of a pleasant, smiling green emoji staring back it me from her display, there’s been a pissed-off, angry red face welcoming me to a new day.
That’s not the kind of negativity I need when I’m just coming back to the land of the conscious. Maybe I’d actually laugh if the display showed this:
In Other Writing …
Top 5 Things You’ll Learn If You Read This Whole Thing There have been five previous mass extinctions. We’re in the middle of the sixth. We evidently don’t know about 90 percent of the species on our planet. Knowing where babies come from is a relatively new thing. Humans aren’t that special. What if you…Keep reading
Today’s Reasons to Keep Living.
- There’s a free restorative yoga class led by Hippie tomorrow. I will love the escape.
- We’re making ribs for dinner tomorrow. Three huge slabs for the whole damn fam. Gotta nosh on those.
- Boy The Elder will be here to watch the Chiefs game, and his insane passion when his team does poorly is great entertainment. They’re playing the Titans and a good chance Derrick Henry will run over or straight through some Chiefs defenders. BTE will lose his mind. Can’t miss that.
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🔻 What’s Below 🔻My Red Wagon 😊F’n Nightmares 💤I Hate Facebook 😠 I greeted the Halloween morning sunrise while taking every last thing out of the garage of my little country home and putting it in one of four sections on the driveway: Stuff to throw away. Stuff to give to Wifey Poo to try…Keep reading
👎 What’s Below 👎Boy The Medalist 🏅Ricky The Trash Eater 🗑️Sweating It Out 🥵 Waiting for Boy The Younger’s blue-haired head to pop over the rolling southern Missouri countryside for the final sprint to the finish line this morning was torturous. He was running in his final cross-country meet of this, his first season, one…Keep reading
What’s BelowShoulder Ouchies 😧Chris the TigWaBaFatu 💁♂️Murder Pods 🔪 I’d love to know what idiot thought it was a good idea to get a COVID booster shot in one arm and a flu shot in the other less than a minute apart yesterday. Oh, that would be me. I spent much of the night sleepily…Keep reading
👇🏻 What’s Below 👇🏻🚦 Red Means Stop 💉 Vaccination Ethics ✍️ The Many Voices in My Head I’m convinced that people in every state think their state’s drivers are the worst, and never do they count themselves among them. I learned to operate a motor vehicle in New York, whose drivers have a particularly bad reputation, but…Keep reading
🔻 What’s Below 🔻Heading South for the Winter 🥶Laughing With Wifey Poo 🤣👩Americans Suck at Math 🧮Therapy 🧠 I love my role as the family’s vacation planner. I’m not sure exactly when I put on this hat, but I think it’s a generally recognized Family Truth that it’s something at which I’m good. I’ve planned everything…Keep reading
👇 What’s Below 👇On Men and Crying 😭 Why I write ✍🏻Back Crackin’ 👨⚕️ So here’s a thing I sometimes hate about myself: I cry. Like, easily. And often. Or at least it’s “often” in comparison to how often men normally cry. At least, I think it’s often in comparison to the frequency men normally cry. I…Keep reading
What’s Below 👇🏼Nazis and Mongols ⚾Hippie writing ☮️Inside marriage 💍 The Astros playing the Red Sox to see who advances to the World Series is, to me, akin to the Nazis fighting the Mongols to determine who gets control of the planet — and if you haven’t heard about how the Mongols killed their prisoners,…Keep reading
What’s Below 👇On being self-taught 📷The Bee Battle 🐝Ahhh, Ben Platt 🎶 I set up a little makeshift portrait studio today in a training room at my office. Lights, a backdrop — the color of which matches our new brand hue — and a tripod with my Nikon Z6. It all looked very fancy-shmancy. Here’s…Keep reading
Human beings of the modern age like to think of themselves as the pinnacle of all creation. Of course, this is not necessarily new to the modern age. It wasn’t all that long ago that some of the brightest minds of their modern age — guys like Sir Isaac Newton — thought women got pregnant…Keep reading
Being a bald man, I don’t have many reasons to be in a barbershop. And I miss barbershops. They are one of the few remaining oases for guys, and barbershop talk is fun. I took Boy The Younger to have his mop managed Saturday morning. Boy The Elder found Walt’s Barbershop a few years ago.…Keep reading
Today is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day, and even almost 21 years later, I’m not sure how I feel about it. So much of time is arbitrary. We screw it up so badly that we have to add a whole day every four years. So for me, today is just like any other day…Keep reading
There’s this state of being that’s not quite asleep, not quite dreaming but definitely not awake. That’s where I found myself Thursday evening at Livin’ Sublime Wellness, my little yoga studio in Wentzville. Restorative yoga is a lifesaver for me. If you haven’t tried it, you should. Not to sound all Hippie-Dippy or anything, but…Keep reading
A vegan, a person on a gluten-free diet, and a person who does Crossfit walk into a bar. How do I know? Because none of them would shut up about it. If you haven’t heard this joke before, you can probably relate. I know I can. I remember meeting Sarah on Day 1 at a…Keep reading
The one thing I know how to do better than anything else is write. I love it. But it’s also sometimes very difficult. Because I know how to tell a story, I’m tapped to do so in trying times. I did so when my father-in-law died in January, writing his obituary and helping my beautiful…Keep reading
I found it funny this morning to be walking through Kohl’s with a meat thermometer in my right hand and two toilet seats tucked under my left arm. There are some moments in life that are just serendipitous. Boy The Elder and Wifey Poo are indirectly responsible for this little portrait you now have in…Keep reading
I’ve been a Yankees fan since I was a small boy. Some of my best memories were born in the old Yankee Stadium. It’s in my DNA to not like the Red Sox. I can think of no good reason to despise the Sawx or their fans, but I still am repulsed by their logo,…Keep reading
I once played in a baseball game in which it was raining so hard that, when I picked up a ball stuck in the mud in the middle of a puddle in a centerfield that resembled a shallow lake, it felt like I was throwing a shot-put to the second baseman 15 feet away. Today,…Keep reading
Life sucks when you’re tired. I know this. I’ve lived this. A lot of people like to say they have insomnia. I used to say I had insomnia. Then I actually got insomnia. There’s a difference between a few nights of poor sleep and insomnia. Which isn’t to diminish a few nights of poor sleep.…Keep reading
The one-and-only competitive footrace I have ever won came during Field Day 1980 at Pound Ridge Elementary School in suburban New York. I was in kindergarten, on the green team, and was a part of the 50-meter dash. I remember being most fascinated that day by the starters’ pistol, wondering if it contained real bullets…Keep reading
I’m all about lists. I love making them. I love crossing things off on them. And it really annoys me when things I wanted to get done on a list don’t get done. I came into today with a lot of things left on my weekend to-do list. Rather than end the day annoyed, I…Keep reading
Our boys are not “stuff” kids. We learned this early on, when Boy The Elder was but a wee little lad and we did what normal first-time parents do: Buy him a ton of what I call KidShit for Christmas. The KidShit went largely untouched. BTE, we learned, was more of an “experiences” kid. He…Keep reading
Tonight was date night for me and Wifey Poo. We swung by Stone Summit Steak & Seafood for a drink — she, a fruity white wine; me, a Woodford Reserve, neat — and then went to see Dear Evan Hansen. I’d wanted to catch it back when it was on the stage and never had.…Keep reading
One of the interesting truths about this whole “living” thing is that we make so many important decisions before we know what the hell we’re doing. For example, I chose my career path the same year I got my driver’s license. I had absolutely no concept of a mortgage and office politics and exactly how…Keep reading
I have seen in person how protective a mother grizzly bear can be of her cubs. The Fam was on a two-week Alaska vacation between my seventh- and eighth-grade years, a trip on which my voice changed and I enjoyed the company of twin 14-year-old sisters from Alabama, which is a story for another day.…Keep reading