👇🏾 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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🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Top 5 🎈Symphony 🎻Living Eulogies 💗 Top 5 things overheard in Missourah last week as a purported Chinese spy balloon made its way over the state en route to its rendezvous with an F22’s missile: Despite my high-brow upbringing in Suburbia, New York, I’m not what anyone would call A Symphony…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Space Walk 🧑🚀Bye-Bye Brady 🏈Failure Rate 🐿️ When Boy The Elder was just Boy and devoid of a younger brother, we had a nickname for him: Pokey Joe. BTE didn’t do anything fast, but more than anything, what he did incredibly slow was get out of a car. That would suck…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Raccoons 🦝February 💘Man Nips 🕺 Today I bring you the story of a raccoon who got his balls stuck to railroad tracks. But the reason you think I’m bringing you this story is not the reason I’m bringing you this story. You think I’m bringing the story of the raccoon Neil…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Tyre Nichols 😔Tattoo Day ✒️Nephew Hoops🏀 I was a white kid in suburbia, New York, in 1988 when the gangsta rap group N.W.A. came out with its album Straight Outta Compton, featuring the song Fuck Tha Police. It was scandalous, at the time, to suggest that the police would be anything…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Car Concert 🎵Sick Wife🤒People Suck 🖕 Within the 24 hours in the run-up to Snowpocalypse 2023, the estimates on the Weather Channel app for our snowfall total ranged from 1 to 10 inches. That’s like going to the doctor and being told you have anything from a splinter to terminal cancer.…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Mission: Failed 👎Ho 🤣Handy Family 👍 It has to suck to work at the Missouri Department of Transportation. Why? It took exactly 75 minutes for all of 2023 to be a failure. Let me explain. Those of you unfortunate enough to have been involved in any sort of corporate planning process…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Houston 🖊️Sad clown 🤡Taco Seasoning 🌮 Houston, Missourah, is not unlike a lot of other rural Missourah towns through which I’ve driven and bears a resemblance to the Small Town USA in which Boy The Elder did a lot of his early growing up and to which Boy The Younger came…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Definitions 📖Missing Bourbon 🥃Mysterious Knocks 😵 I generally abhor any writing that starts with, “Webster’s dictionary defines …” Webster’s dictionary defines “ceiling” as a noun meaning “the overhead inside lining of a room.” The implication is that it’s a limitation, a max, a point of demarcation between what’s out there and…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Sadness 😥Annoyance 😠Disappointment 😞 When Boy The Elder was Boy The Only in our home, he watched one of the Air Bud movies featuring a basketball-playing dog. Or maybe it was football. Or soccer. By the time that series was over, that dog had played them all. Anyway, whichever Air Bud…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Thor’s Blurry Hammer 🍆Pigeon Delivery 🕊️Idiot List 🤪 Thor is really, really good with his hammer. And by that, I mean that Thor the walrus in Scarborough, England, is really good at masturbating and ruining New Years Eve. If you haven’t heard about this story, stop reading stupid news like politics…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Bruising Basketball 🏀Poke ☝️Six?!? 🔫 I grew up in the NBA era of the Bad Boys Detroit Pistons while loving a New York Knicks team that was, to put it mildly, quite physical. Guys like Steph Curry and LeBron James can makes basketball seem like artistry these days, but give me…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩What There is Like! ⛅’Modern Policing’ 🚨Xylophone Time! 🎵 When you decide to talk about a time in which you truly believe you more-or-less died and saw what comes after this life, you have to be comfortable with the fact that people might think you’re nuts. Hell, talking about it on…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Grace Ashford! 📰Idaholy Shit! 🥔Story of the Year! 🍆 The three most influential people in my life as a journalist are, sadly, all part of the Great Newsroom in the Sky now. Professors Michael Perkins and Bob Woodward (AKA Bob Woodward-Not-That-Bob-Woodward) helped educate me at Drake University, and Lisa Warren was…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Poor Puppy 🐶Romeo and Juliet 🤴👸Meta Mistake 🙊 Disturbing news out of Washington, D.C., today as Republican Congressman-elect George Santos (if that’s his real name) brought a 6-month-old puppy to the house floor and screamed “Hey, look at me!” before slitting its throat and lapping up its squirting blood like a…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩A Pretty Good Rant 😠Tesla Plunge 🚗Missed Lasts 😥 Those of you who regularly read my drivel (I see you, DirtySciFiBuddah) might have become aware of the fact over the past year or so that I am not a huge fan of our world’s modern institutions. All of them might, in…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Incomplete 🕮Frustration 😠Bowl Bust 🏈 To say that I know how to write is like saying I know how to breathe. No one considers that they know how to breathe. They just … breathe. No one is particularly good at breathing or bad at breathing. Again, they just … breathe. I’ve…Keep reading
Welcome to Issue No. 15 of Listicles, the feature that presents the Top 10, Top 5, Top 3, Top 100 or Top 1,000,000 of whatever it is you want to know about. Email your Listicle suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org. So last year, I had a list of 100 intentions for 2022, and I did fairly well,…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩2023 📅Helping 🧠The Universe 🔭 I’m not much for long-term plans and goals. This isn’t to suggest I don’t think they’re important. I just think that spending a lot of time on them is futile. What’s the saying? Man plans, God laughs. Something like that. Anyway, I’ve learned through experience that…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Chain Links 🔗”Work” 🧑💼Popular Toys 🧸 After my first son died in December 2000, I spent a lot of time wondering why. Why me? Why Wifey Poo? Why Jacob? Why this level of suffering in a world supposedly created and run by an all-loving, all-knowing, all-powerful God? So I did what…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Chiefs! 🏈Indy Tickets 🏎️Bank Visit 💰 When I bought the tickets to the Christmas Eve contest between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Seattle Seahawks as a gift for Boys The Elder & Younger, it was sometime in September and temps hovered around 90 degrees. The thought that the game might…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Timelines 👶Extinctions 🌋Sin City 👌 As I fall deeper down the rabbit hole learning more about theories on space and time, the concept of alternative timelines comes up again and again and again. Whether it’s the stuff of science fiction or one day will be proven to be the stuff of…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩’Cousin’ Laughs🎤Improv!?!? 🎭Drake Hoops 🏀 Back when I was a boy, I had a favorite Cousin-Who-Wasn’t-A-Cousin. His name was Joey DeVito, and he was in no way a blood relation to me, though I called his father Uncle Frankie and his mother Aunt Celia. I’m pretty sure this is an East…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Glazed 🍩Bingo! 🖥️Disappearing Christians ⛪ I didn’t intend to bring doughnuts for my co-workers yesterday morning. It just sorta happened. How it happened and how it played out is a window into my weird mind. First, an explanation: I have a card purchased from Boy The Younger that entitles me to…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩STL’s Homeless 😥Snake Hoo-Hoos 🐍That Was Epoch 👴 I found James huddled underneath a blanket as he sat, knees to his chest, head bowed, just outside the doorway of a CVS in the Delmar Loop section of St. Louis. If you’re not familiar with the area, it’s a fun place filled…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Knicks Memory 🏀JBM LLC 🧑🏼💼Brain Drain 🧠 My most memorable interaction with Paul Silas occurred when I was a 17-year-old kid with big dreams of being a sports reporter. I’d talked with Paul before — his wife and Mother Dearest were active in the local Make A Wish Foundation chapter and…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Piped-In Music 🎵Astronomy 🔭Fusion ☢️ Here’s the thing about Christmas: I want to love it, and in many ways, I do. I love giving gifts and, to be honest, I love getting gifts. There’s something so cool about the magical times when someone knows you well enough to get you that…Keep reading