👇🏾 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 really are nothing special?…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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🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Loser Species 👶Email Win 📧Dad Pride 👨👦👦 I’m pretty sure I’m not normal. Normal people respond to that statement with, “Oh, John, nobody’s normal,” which is just a sign for us non-normies that the person we’re talking to is normal. Yesterday, I was waiting for Wifey Poo to pick me up…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Concert Thoughts 🧠Marriage 💍Drunk Idiots 🧉 There’s this scene in the 2004 movie Garden State in which Sam (Natalie Portman) looks at Andrew (Zach Braff) and notices … … And yeah, that resonated with me then and resonates with me now. Ever since then, being “in it” has become a thing…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Sadness 😥Beautiful Skies ⛅Two Terms For 2022 ✌️ Back in our early days at Pound Ridge Elementary School, Sarah was the fastest girl runner in the class, which bought her some serious playground cred. There were only a few of us boys who could hang with Sarah in the 50-meter dash…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Ear Flushing👂Grunge God🎶Tech Guy📺 If you have to have a doctor tell you a body part or yours is small, I suppose one of the least offensive would be the ear canal. That’s what a doctor told me this morning, after I finally broke down and actually went to said doctor’s…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Toys in the Hall🪅Idiot Governors🗳️Flopping FedEx✈️ Last night in my hotel in Springfield, Missourah, I set out a glass of milk and a plate of cookies before going to bed. It’s not that I don’t know how to read a calendar or have any particular belief in a fat man in…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Which One?🗺️Leave Introverts Alone🤫Oxford Commas🤪 I’m on the road for work this week, in Springfield. Ahhh, but Springfield what? There currently are 35 populated places in the United States named Springfield, spread out over 25 states, including five in Wisconsin. In addition, there are 35 Springfield Townships, and Ohio owns 11…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Surrounded 😷Wood Splitter 🌲Morons 🤪 I’ve had COVID. Twice. The first time fucked up my life for a year. I’m still not back to the me I was before it came into my home, and I’m pretty sure that now, nearly two years later, that’s not going to change. The second…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Sunday audible🤒Fantasy Failure 🏈Anal Chess♟️ Sunday was supposed to be a romantic day spent in a canoe with Wifey Poo, the two of us paddling leisurely down the Meramec River. Mother Nature was not in the mood to play wingman and decided to pick the one day in the midst of…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Finish Line Scene 🏃♂️Baseball’s Better ⚾M-I-Z! Z-O-UC-H! 🏈 I have never understood the modern-day purpose of running for the sake of running. Sure, I understand it’s a great form of cardiovascular exercise and it’s a convenient way to get from Point A to Point B, yet the desire to strap on…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Book Guy 📚Queen Stuff 👑Bernard Shaw 📺 I’ve decided I want to own a copy of every Stephen King book ever written. That’s about 75 books at the moment. I have a built-in bookcase in my mancave/home office. I don’t think it would hold all 75 in hardcover, but perhaps it…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Beginnings 📚School Start 🚌Real Baseball ⚾ I was thinking this morning on my drive to work how we rarely know when the significant times in our lives begin. So frequently, the most important things that happen to us start with nothing noteworthy. Of course, there are exceptions, the “love-at-first-sight” moments or…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Fallin’ Thoughts 🤕Shinedown 🎸Sleepy 😴 The brain can be surprisingly efficient when the meatsack it’s attached to is in the middle of falling off a ladder while holding a revved-up chainsaw. This, I learned yesterday morning while attempting to saw a limb off a tree that was getting way too close…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Overview📅Fantasy Football🏈Elite Bonding🤼♂️ Days that start with chainsaws and lighter fluid and end with four hours of really good professional wrestling are bound to be added to the “good” column for review when the scales are weighed at the end of a life. Yesterday was such a day for me. In…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Funeral 😢Glimmers ☁️Meat 🥩 If you’re lucky, you’ve had a second mother. Whether your first mother was or is an amazing person who nurtured you and raised you among calm consistency or if she was lacking in certain maternal fundamentals, having a second mother is a blessing. Today, we were there…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩We’re Dumber 👎OnlyFans Thrives 🍑Shinedown 🎵 Official statistics put the COVID death toll in the United States at 1.04 million, with another 713 deaths yesterday. More than 4,000 people are in the ICU right now suffering from what the former Moron-in-Chief called that one person coming from China and a situation…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Dethroned Queen 👑Gravy Wrestling 🤼♂️Dog Talk 🐕 Don’t fuck with the Bucyrus Bratwurst Festival board. That’s a message Abigail Brocwell is learning the hard way. Brocwell was expected to be inaugurated as the queen of the festival in the northern Ohio town earlier this month, but she was stripped of the…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩3, Unassisted ⚾A Sad Day 📅Tracking Your Vagina 🌸 The last time Boy The Younger was on a baseball field, the “coach” of his team removed him from a game in the middle of an inning because I had privately messaged him to not attempt to steal home with my kid…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Hydrogen Issue 🚀Karting 🏎️Lake Life 😌 I was all excited to watch the launch of the moon-bound Artemis 1 rocket this morning, only to see the clock stopped at T-minus 40 minutes because of a “hydrogen issue.” Don’t know about you, but I’m thinking having an issue with hydrogen is a…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Karen in Control ⌚Karting 🏎️What podcast? 🎧 In the winter of 1993, I went to a comedy club with a friend and, in the spur of the moment, decided to be one of those who came forward to join the fun and be hypnotized. This was decidedly out of character for…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Little League Flap ⚾Grandpa Joe 🤦Psychedelics 🍄 Boys are interesting creatures who aren’t easily understood. One of the many, many weird things boys do is mercilessly make fun of their best friends. My closest friends in middle school and early in high school were affectionately nicknamed Goon, Tree Frog, Butt and…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩 Death Cometh Sooner 💀Twitter Security 🔓Game Over 🌑 Average life expectancy in the United States dropped in 2020 by almost two years in 2020, the biggest decline since World War II. Every state and the District of Columbia saw a drop. Guess it was a little bit more than that…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Worm brain 🧠Chicken Big Mac 🐔Eye Twitch 👁️ Caenorhabditis elegans is probably too elegant of a name for something that is really just a disgusting little worm about a millimeter long and most easily found in rotting fruit. It is more commonly known as a lab roundworm and was the first…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩The Agliata Homeschool Academy 🚌Hypnosis 😳Sunburn 🌞🔥 When you tell people you homeschool your children, you typically receive one of three responses: An enthusiastic: “Oh, that’s so cool!”An I’d-rather-be-dipped-in-acid: “Oh wow! I could never do that!” A you’re-one-of-those-weirdos: “Oh… really… homeschooling, huh?” The percentage for each has changed in the wake…Keep reading