🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩
Good Morning, Bank of America, How Are Ya? 🎮
Woods Walk 🌲🌲🌲
Big Bird’s a Commie ☭
I awoke this morning to a text from Bank of America about potentially fraudulent charges on my debit card.
“Pshaw,” thought I. “Probably just a scam.” So I stumbled into the kitchen, made my coffee and came back to my home office to do some writing. I made a quick detour to my inbox and saw an email from Bank of America about potentially fraudulent charges on my debit card.
But I’m no fool. I know how not to get phished, so I hovered over the links in the email to see if they were taking me somewhere more likely to be frequented by, say, sketchy Eastern Europeans than American banking officials (no comment about their sketchiness).
It looked legit.
So I logged into my actual bank site from my bookmarked link, and, indeed, there was an alert asking me to review some suspect charges. Had I, indeed, attempted to make a whole bunch of purchases at 3 a.m. through Google to someplace called Tencent and another thing called Kingsgroup?
A little research informed me both of these are gaming companies.
No, no I hadn’t been awake gaming at 3 a.m. In fact, I don’t remember the last time I have gamed. And I’m pretty sure Boy The Younger wouldn’t get out of bed at 3 a.m. to game — he’s too much like his mother when it comes to his love of sleep to do that. Plus, he knows that attempting to pay actual money that is not his for gaming would lead to swift and long-term separation between him and his ability to game.
It’s not that I have a blind spot for my kids. I know they are, in fact, kids, which by definition means they’re going to do incredibly stupid things sometimes.
Just not this kind of stupid.
I called the number on the bank website and was on hold for 20 minutes because of “higher than normal call volumes” (at 6:30 a.m.!). When I was finally connected with a customer service person, she quickly and politely handled the situation. A new bank card is on its way.
And I hope whoever made my Sunday start out this way rots in hell.
I took a break today from tending to Wifey Poo as she recovers from foot surgery and all that goes into running a household with a 12-year-old to venture out into the woods behind my house. I’m still in awe of the fact that those woods are part of my property. I haven’t lived in a place with woods since I was a kid. It was so soothing to my soul to take a crappy old plastic chair I’d found under our back deck and bring it out with me, find the spot that just felt right and sit there amidst the trees for a while with my journal and my thoughts and my heart.
In Other Writing …
As Zach prepares for his first ultramarathon, he sometimes finds himself 20 miles into a training run deep in the Redwood Forest with tears streaming down his blond-bearded face. It’s not pain from the grueling run or sadness from a sometimes difficult past that brings them. They are tears of appreciation that he, born without…Keep reading
The passage of time can sometimes feel so heavy. I remember when I first met Wifey Poo, Little Sister was still in high school, studying her Spanish words for a test the next day. Tonight, I followed Wifey Poo as she wheeled into a funeral home to pay her respects to the mother of one of Little Sister’s friends. She passed away earlier this week after a lengthy illness.
Wifey Poo, Little Sister and another of her friends sat out in the — what would you call it? — the lobby of the funeral home? I dunno, but the room where the open casket wasn’t. We’re all showing the signs of aging. Wifey Poo’s rollin’ around on a knee scooter. When I look in the mirror, the reflection staring back at me looks tired. Little Sister’s friend talked about how she thought she might have gout but it could be arthritis.
We have all gone through the Getting Married stage and the Having Babies stage. We’re now in the Oh My God They’re Teenagers stage and the We Have To Take Care Of Our Kids And Our Parents? stage, as well as the When Did It Become A Thing To Make Noises When You Sit Down? stage.
What the actual fuck?
The ‘What Did You Say? of the Day
Today’s Reasons to Keep Living
- Boy The Younger’s basketball season starts this week. Hoop dreams!
- I want to spend more time in the woods.
- Fall has been nice and long this year. I’m stickin’ around for all of it.
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👇🏻 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 👇🏾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…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