👎 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 that has been pocked by much complaining about actually having to do the very thing he’s been doing essentially since he became bipedal.
BTY has the body of a distance runner. If he turns sideways, you just might miss him. He has the potential to be a really good cross country kid, which I’m sure could serve him well somewhere along the way, though I’m not sure how.
The event was the National Homeschool Cross Country Invitational — which made sense only if I missed the news that Missouri, Oklahoma and Arkansas succeeded from the union to form their own country. BTY got off to his typical slow start, charging up the first hill toward the back of the pack before disappearing down its far slope.
I learned as a cross country parent that having a cross country kid means running for the whole family. Your kid runs by and then you as a parent run to the next spot on the course where he will appear so you can scream encouraging things like “You got this!” and “Keep going!” as if he would just stop and sit down if not for your sage advice.
BTY dyed the front of his hair blue this morning at the hotel, as his team is the St. Louis Blue Knights, so he was easy to spot from a distance. I was settling in to count the number of boys ahead of him — something that at past meets took me into the 20s and 30s — when all of a sudden, there he was. He passed by me in 13th, and by the time he disappeared again he was up to 10th.
We ran once again to get a glimpse of him as he came up yet another hill — this course was brutal — and he was right there, holding his own in 10th. Twice more we saw him, and my boy was going strong. Wifey Poo and I started talking about what positions got medals at this event. It varies from meet to meet. The top 10 did in this one.
With one final run, we reached the boundary to the stretch to the finish. Any regular reader of this will know I’m an emotional guy — annoyingly so. And for whatever reason, seeing my boy work hard and compete in this sport does something to me. So when I saw that blue hair come over the hill with him at a full sprint and no one even close behind him, yeah, fine… I did get choked up. He finished in 10th place. A few hours later, his name was called to come up and receive his medal.
Rock on, BTY. Rock on.
Ricky doesn’t have to eat his food from Dumpsters. He chooses to.
Wifey Poo did the three-and-a-half hour drive back from Springfield today, as I work to get over this Covid booster thing. We listened to a podcast about people who have had interesting things happen to them or who do things that might be considered different.
Like be perfectly able to afford to buy food and instead choose to go Dumpster diving.
Ricky told the podcast-listening world all about how this started as something that he just considered “exciting.” He walked us through the best times to do it without getting harassed by store owners (daytime), things not to do (try to get into locked Dumpsters) and what his wife (yes, he’s married) thinks of his little hobby (she’s grown to accept it.).
This sparked an interesting discussion between Wifey Poo and I about whether what Ricky was doing could be considered “bad.” After all, though it didn’t start out that way, it’s grown to be something he does as something of a stance against American food waste. Or at least that’s what he tells himself.
Wifey Poo and I reached the conclusion that, while gross, it’s not, in fact, bad. That said, I’m never going to dinner at the house of anyone named Ricky ever again.
In Other Writing …
So what exactly is going on here? Well, a lot. This website is various measures of creativity, therapy, safety, career exploration, vanity and insanity (plus a few mystery ingredients I haven’t quite identified yet) — all dumped into one glass, shaken (not stirred) and poured into a 32-ounce Big Gulp cup. To better understand what…Keep reading
The ‘What Did You Say?’ of the Day
Last night was spent in a hotel room with Wifey Poo, Boys The Younger and Elder, one of my nephews and BTE’s girlfriend. (Don’t worry. BTE and his beloved were kept a safe distance apart at all times.)
I remember very little of it. When we left our little country home that afternoon, my fever in the wake of my Thursday Covid booster shot was at 101.1. I’m not sure what it was by the time we arrived, but it wasn’t good. So I crashed in a heap on the bed when Wifey Poo and BTY went to the cross country team’s meal and we waited for the others to arrive from Columbia. I woke up a few times in the night, drenched in my own sweat. But by this morning, I didn’t feel so feverish, and though I’m still on the low end of the energy scale, I’m on my way back.
Today’s Reasons to Keep Living
- Now that the worst of the post-shot illness is over, I have to live long enough to see myself not get Covid again.
- BTY is at the Judester’s tonight. You know what that means? Me and Wifey Poo have the house to ourselves. And you know what that means? No you don’t. It means we get to watch the final episode of the ‘Monsters Inside’ documentary with no interruptions.
- Halloween is tomorrow.
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🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩More Stupid Human Stuff 📱KC Trip ⚾Miserable Missourah 😠 Quick: Take a look around you. If you’re in a room with five other people, one of them thinks you’re financially struggling if you don’t have the latest iPhone. That’s according to a new survey following the release of the iPhone 14.…Keep reading
🧩 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
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Indycar 🏎️Best Friends 😎Baseball Irony ⚾ There are certain people who look at car racing as an endless series of left turns. These people are idiots on whom nuance is lost. Boy The Elder and I crossed the border yesterday late-morning to head just past the fine city of East St.…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Swine Inflation 🐖Swamp Thing 🎥Phone Calls 📱 Life was different when I went to college in Iowa after growing up in suburban New York City. This isn’t to suggest I was a city kid. I wasn’t. The city was a place we went to a few times a year, and where…Keep reading