🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩
Wifey Poo’s Laughter 🤣
Expensive Turkey 🦃🍗
My Boys 👨👦
Walking back to my car last night from The Funny Bone comedy club in St. Charles, I got to thinking. This comes as a surprise to no one who knows me (not many people, as I’ve recently discussed) and no one who reads my stuff on this little website (again, not many people, but I treasure them all).
I’d left Wifey Poo by the corner. She’s three weeks out from foot surgery and limited in the distances she can (should) walk. So it was just me and my thoughts and the cold night air swirling around The Streets of St. Charles. She and I had just had a great time laughing at three really good comedians. She’d had a glass of wine. I’d had a couple whiskeys, the comedians had told great stories, and oh, how she laughed.
There’s something about Wifey Poo’s laugh when we go to comedy clubs. It’s different from her normal laugh. Wifey Poo is a generally joyous person, much different from her curmudgeon of a husband. But at comedy clubs? At comedy clubs her laugh is 100% free and open. It’s like she gives herself over to the moment and just soaks it all in — and that laughter is what pours out.
When I bought the tickets for the show over the weekend and emailed the still-sleeping her to ask her if she’d go on a date with me Friday night, I was thinking about that laugh. I haven’t experienced it in awhile.
The last time we were in a comedy club was a free Wednesday night show in the Before Times when there were exactly five audience members. I felt horrible for the comedians and horribly awkward for us. Not every joke is funny, but when there’s only five of you, well, I felt an obligation to give every one a little extra in response.
Then the Great Plague set in, which shuttered comedy clubs. And her dad got sick. And we got Covid. And her dad died. And I got Longhaul Covid. And we welcomed a host child from Africa for six challenging and surgery-filled months. And we moved. And I switched jobs (again). And she had foot surgery. And a whole host of other crap in between. It seemed like just when we could have used a few big laughs, there weren’t many to be found.
I realized by the time I reached my car that I would give anything in the world to hear Wifey Poo laugh like that. Her laugh is infectious. It spreads the joy she has in such abundance. Her laugh makes me laugh — on the inside. Not at anyone else’s jokes. At how amazing she is and how she somehow still wants to be with me.
We need to go to more comedy clubs.
📚 Let’s Learn Something Together 📓🖊️
Everything costs more. That’s not news. We’re all experiencing it. The good news for single people is that this likely will be the topic of conversation at the Thanksgiving table instead of your love life. The bad news is that the stuff on that table will be taking away from what could have been spent on your wedding if you ever get serious about your life and find yourself a good man like your sister has.
According to a Farm Bureau study, the cost of a traditional Thanksgiving meal is up 14% this year to $53.31 for a group of 10 people. Still, coming in at less than $6 a person, it’s not a bad deal.
The worst culprit? The damn bird. Tom Turkey, weighing in at 16 pounds, costs $23.99 this year, up 24% from 2020. Jesus, Tom… feeling pretty good about yourself, aren’t you?
We returned home from our date to find Boy The Elder back for Thanksgiving break. He’s a sophomore at Mizzou, majoring in food science. He naturally falls into these explanations about chemistry stuff and seems to forget his dad has taken a grand total of one chemistry class in his life and passed it only because his lab partner, Amanda Bortz, knew what they hell she was doing.
BTE has changed so much in the past few years. He’s gone from a boy to a young man. He’s now as tall as I am, has a girlfriend of over two years, and pretty much takes care of everything he needs to take care of by himself without any prompting or reminders from Mom or Dad.
One of my biggest fears is that, because of all the stuff I’ve gone through and put myself and my loved ones through over the past few freaking decades, I’ve messed up my kids. I know what it’s like to be raised in a household with volatile people, and, sadly, I have been a volatile force in my family’s lives. I’m not proud of that, but I own it. I did it. Me.
So when I looked around last night and saw how great BTE is doing and how on-track Boy The Younger seems to be, it gives me a measure of peace — and even greater appreciation for the stability Wifey Poo has brought not just to my life, but to theirs as well.
Listen, I think I’ve done a lot of good for my kids. I really do. I bring positive things to the table that are far different from Wifey Poo’s strengths. Together, we’re pretty much the perfect freaking parents (high-five, babe!). My hope is that those things are the things that take root in my boys, that when they’re my age, they have positive things on which to reflect and not just the times that dad inserted chaos into their lives.
The ‘What Did You Say?’ of the Day
High Five ✋
Today’s official endorsement goes to the Confessions of a Travel Addict blog, by Morgan Fraser. I met Morgan at a retreat for empaths at The Esalen Institute in, what was it? Twenty-eighteen? I think so. The Before Times. We ended up sitting next to each other during the first session or two and, once again surprising to no one who know me, had some pretty deep conversations about life. Her blog reflects her inner struggles and growth, and her writing is engaging and conversational. Check it out.
In Other Writing …
Many know the one that ended in a famous statue, but there’s more Bobbi Jo Wright is famous in certain circles for being the girl in the statute, the one who was lifted up and held by the Shriner. But sometimes, there’s another memory that jumps past the event that led to the sculpture that…Keep reading
Today’s Reasons to Keep Living
- Wifey Poo ‘s laughter.
- The Core Four is back together again for a while!
- I’m having a head shave and beard trim at Walt’s Barbershop tomorrow!
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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
🧩 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
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Triple-Threat 🖥️🖥️🖥️Tasmanian Tiger 🐅Video Work 📹 Humans were not meant to stare at laptop screens. At least, humans of a certain age were not meant to stare at laptop screens. I say this after successfully lobbying for a second monitor at work, which effectively turned my laptop screen into a third…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Look Before Brewing ☕Hoop Construction 🏀Nuclear War ☢️ If you’d like an indication of how much of a Monday yesterday was for me, know that I ended up with an orange in my coffee. Well, to be fair, it wasn’t a full-blown orange. It was something called a Cutie, which is…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Weird Date 🪦Nature Walk🌳Bulldog Bath 🐶 If you have a date walking around a cemetery, you’re either weird or goth, and neither Wifey Poo nor I were wearing black today, which I guess tells you all you need to know about us. Old cemeteries are something of a fascination for us,…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩So Long, Kid 👨👦Steak Celebration🥩Chip & Joanna 🪚 Regular readers of my drivel know that I’m kind of an emotional guy, which is like saying that Jack kind of could have fit on the spacious floating door with Rose in Titanic. So it should come as no surprise when I say…Keep reading