Bumper Car Aggression — Dec. 4, 2021

Bumper Car Aggression — Dec. 4, 2021

🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩
Ice Violence ⛸️
Movie Night! 📽️
Most Popular Dog Names 🐶


Today was date day for Wifey Poo and I. We’ve been trying to do a date a week since, oh, back in 2018. That was interrupted for awhile by a certain African host child this year, but we’re back at it. Today we went to Steinberg Skating Rink in Forest Park in the STL. Wifey Poo is a month out from foot surgery and in no condition to skate, and I should never be allowed on ice near other human beings. But when we heard about bumper cars on ice, we had to give it a shot.

For $15, you get 10 minutes in a fairly contained area. Five of that seemed to be spent figuring out how to control your little inner tube on wheels. The other five was spent getting your aggression out on your date and whatever random strangers happen to be in your 10-minute session. I instantly found an ally in a boy of about 8 who helped me bash Wifey Poo on at least five occasions. I wanted to take him home with me and make him Boy The Youngest, but alas, he had a parent.

Overall, it was a fun thing to try, and it was a festive atmosphere to be in.


It was fun to hear the idiot parents of the school shooter in Michigan went on the run. I was hoping for a Bronco chase. My family has had some pretty bad weeks during the course of our togetherness, but never have we each had a police mug shot taken over a seven-day span. Kudos to us for not being the worst family in the world.


Every once in a while, I make an attempt to be sociable. Today was one of those days. I created a Facebook Group (oh, and F you Facebook. I still hate you) called The Agliata Friends and Family Movie Night Group. My goal is to host a movie night once a month in 2022. So I invited a whole bunch of people from different parts of my life to the group, and Wifey Poo is doing the same. Then I created the event for our first movie. We’re going to gather to watch The Green Mile on Jan. 8.

At least, I hope there’s a “we.”

At the very least, it’ll be The Core Four — me, Wifey Poo and Boys The Elder and Younger. And I’m sure some of Wifey Poo’s friends will come. She’s pretty damn popular in the homeschool circuit.

And probably BTE’s fiance-in-waiting.

And some of BTY’s friends.

I’m the one with the really piss-poor record as an adult of forming friendships in which the other person is not simply hanging around me for the free counseling/advice. That’s grown old and tiresome. I’m just looking to get to know a few people who want to watch a movie or go to a bar or watch some sports sometimes.


📚 Let’s Learn Something Together 📓🖊️

Did you know if you named your dog “Max” this year, you need to live a little? It’s true.

Why? Because you followed the crowd like a sheep. Turns out “Max” is the most popular name for a male dog in 2021, according to something called “The Dog People,” powered by Rover.com. Rover combed its database (which is a friendly reminder about how much information companies mine on us, by the way) and broke down results for the nation and select cities (because, as another friendly reminder, they know where you live!!!!!).

Max was followed by Charlie, Cooper, Buddy and Milo. On the female side (I tried hard not to write “the bitch side,” and I won! Sort of.) it’s Bella beating Luna, Lucy, Daisy and Zoe. Max is either No. 1 or No. 2 in every city featured — except Boston, in which it is No. 3.

The Rover folks didn’t deem Missouri or St. Louis worthy of a breakdown, which is probably a good thing. I’d expect to see “Trump” somewhere in the Top 5.

Other interesting results:

  • People like naming their dogs after Covid. There was a 270% increase in dogs named “Fauci,” a 443% increase in dogs named “Zoom,” and, in the “What the hell did the dog do to deserve that” category, a 35% jump in people straight-up naming their dog “Covid.”
  • Breakfast-related names are on the rise. “Eggo” jumped 106%, and “Toast” jumped 37%.
  • Not surprisingly, as we slogged through 2021 in an alcohol-infused haze trying to numb our feelings about the current state of affairs, the number of pooches named “Mai Tai” rose 223% and “Pimms ” skipped ahead 163%
  • Oh, and sorry Mr. Trump, your dog likeness might be as common in Missourah as one of your flags flying next to a rebel flag in the back of a too-loud pickup truck, but the political dog names that are actually trending upward are “Joe” (+24%), “Biden” (+863%), “Kamala” (+3%) and “Harris” (+17%).

The ‘What Did You Say?’ of the Day

‘Why would you want to be normal? No one normal has ever accomplished anything in this world.”

Jonathan Byers, Stranger Things, to his brother, will

High Five ✋

Today’s official endorsement goes to Lonas Lil Eats at 2199 California Ave. in the STL. Wifey Poo and I stopped there for lunch today after attempting to kill each other in the ice bumper cars. The biggest challenge for me since I’ve changed my diet to not feel like crap in the wake of Longhaul Covid has been eating out. It’s not that I’m tempted to eat a whole bunch of junk (except for pizza). It’s just hard to find places that have things that don’t have the stuff that left me all inflamed and feeling like garbage.

Lonas is a blessed exception. We had two of their rice paper wraps — mine was the #10 brisket wrap, Wifey Poo’s was the #9 smokey chicken wrap (and yes, it bothers me that smoky is misspelled on the menu). The food was excellent, and we ended up sitting outside on an unseasonably pleasant afternoon.


In Other Writing …

Into This Crazy Life, We Bring an African Child

Dieudonne became a part of our household amidst chaos, grief and weariness. Objectively speaking, it wasn’t a good time for us to welcome a 4-year-old with medical issues who didn’t speak a word of English. Of course, waiting for a “good time” to tackle that challenge is much like saying, “We’ll have kids when we’re…

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I miss this little dude and hope he’s doing well back in Burkina. Hopefully 2022 brings him back to us for a little while.


Today’s Reasons to Keep Living

  1. Restorative yoga class tomorrow! That’ll be three for me in the past seven days. Booyah. Zen as fuck, yo.
  2. I am charged with the important mission of grocery pickup from Wal-Mart after yoga and can’t be dead for that.
  3. Movie night is Jan. 8!

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In a few hours, this revolution around the sun will be complete and a new one will begin. Unless something unexpected happens, I will have made it out alive. Hyperbole? Perhaps. But when I look back at the year that was, I feel I’m justified in counting it as a victory that I’m alive and…

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Disturbing Duck Fact — Dec. 23, 2021

🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Creepy Mail 📪License Plate Strategy 🚗Donald Dick, Err, Duck 🦆 Wifey Poo received a piece of mail recently from a company that looks to buy your car. It was astoundingly bad marketing. The first sentence read, “According to our records, it looks as if you’re driving a VEHICLE.” First of all,…

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Balloons — Dec. 21, 2021

🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩The Sad Dad Club 💔A Toast 🥃🥃Done Writing? 🖊️ It took me less than 24 hours as a part of the Dad Whose Child Died Club to learn that membership came with a myriad of uncomfortable situations. It was the day after Jacob (AKA Boy The Eldest) was born and died,…

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‘The Plan’ — Dec. 20, 2021

🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Plague Life 😷The Real Plan 😭A Hilarious Obituary 🤣☠️ Does it ever randomly smack you in the face that we’re living through a historic freaking pandemic? Are you ever going about what you might fool yourself into believing is your Before Times life and then suddenly something jolts you out of…

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Thinking of Kix — Dec. 18, 2021

🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Kix 👶Greg 🐟The First iPhone 📱 Life has a way of kicking you in the balls when you least expect it. Wifey Poo and I were cleaning up our lower level today and trying to get all of our crap that was put against the wall in the back by the…

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Battling Bowser — Dec. 14, 2021

🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Christmas Video 🎥Fighting The Big Boss 🥊Roland The Farter 🍑💨 I spent much of the day making a video for my job with The Allen Brake Team. I shot the footage a few weeks ago, and today was the day to identify the clips to actually use, assemble them, find the…

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Digital Detox Day — Dec. 12, 2021

🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩No-Phone Sunday 🚫📱Creepy Moles 🐀Doc Talk 📽️ Today was sort of a practice day for something I put on my “Hundred Things” list for 2022. It was a Digital Detox Sunday, which is No. 63 on the list. To me, this meant that I wouldn’t have any sort of device in…

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In-Law Family Christmas — Dec. 11, 2021

🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Trombones are Loud 🎺Birds Aren’t Real 🐦Death to Gymnastic Judges 🤸 Top 5 things that happened at In-Law Family Christmas, held at our humble country home, today. The realization that the mass of youngins has gotten so large now that our little babies have grown up to various new stages that…

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Tornado Sirens — Dec. 10, 2021

🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Hey There, Dorothy 🌪️Christmas Hurts 🎄Bye-Bye, Checks and Balances ✔️⚖️ If you’re ever in need of some entertainment, might I suggest being in a church with a bunch of homeschool parents when tornado sirens go off? That’s where I found myself tonight, accompanied by Boy The Younger at a spring track…

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‘When Crazy Comes Knockin’ ‘ — Dec. 9, 2021

🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Car Crash 🚗Video Day 🎞️Five No. 2s!? 💩 The Core 4 is headed out on a winter vacation to Memphis and New Orleans soon. The plan was to rent a vehicle through Turo.com, which is kinda like an Airbnb for cars. I had a quality vehicle picked out and reserved, one…

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What the Hell is on My Shirt? — Dec. 8, 2021

🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Shirt Stain 👔Score One for the Unabomber💣Oh Canada 🌈🍁 I arrived at work this morning, put my stuff down on my desk and hit the men’s room because evidently a 42-minute drive is too long for a man of 47 years to comfortably hold his bladder. I did what I do,…

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Wifey Poo, The State Champ? — Dec. 7, 2021

🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Baseball God(ess) ⚾Alice in Chains 🎸What About the Golfers!? 🏌🏽‍♂️ To say that baseball was my life when I was a kid is an understatement. I watched it as much as the scant channels we had at home would allow — the Yankees were on Channel 11 WPIX and the (ugh)…

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Off — Dec. 6, 2021

🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Detached 💭Intentions for a New Year 📆Red is Deadly 😷 Today sucked. The problem is, I don’t really know what the hell happened. I woke up just after 6, later than I have been recently, and I felt so significantly off that I truly don’t remember much of the first 45…

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One Hundred Intentions for 2022

Circles are interesting things. They have no beginning and no end. They just keep going around and around and around. And yet we set Jan. 1 as the day to mark the start of our journey around the sun, a journey we measure so incredibly poorly that we have to add an entire extra day…

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The Song of the Year is What? — Dec. 3, 2021

🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Top Songs of 2021 🎶Where’s the Snow? ❄️Thunder Struck ⛈️🏀 Because I didn’t already feel incredibly old and out of touch, I looked at the list of top 100 songs from 2021. It wasn’t until song No. 65 that I even thought I knew one of the songs, “Go Your Own…

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Death to the Elf — Dec. 2, 2021

🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Redemption 😊Spice-Lovin’ Tree Shrew 🌶️Mark The Freaking Elf 🧝 I spent the morning in a hotel conference room down in STL learning from a man named Jeff Glover about 21 ways to get 21 listing of homes to sell. Glover is a big fish in the real estate industry. He runs…

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United States of Inefficiency — Dec. 1, 2021

🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Maria and The Chickens 🐔Strange Cyber Monday Offers 🧪Bloody Gift 🩸🎁 I hate wasting time. I hate it hate it hate it. Everything about my life centers on efficiency — the routes I take when I drive, how I go about getting ready for the day, how I organize my work…

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Return to the Dungeon — Nov. 30, 2021

🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Paul 🧙‍♂️Slowest Speeder Ever 🐢Another School Shooting 🏫🔫 I found myself tonight in a dark jail cell surrounded by four zombies, some kind of wizard, and my son. This is not what I expected for my Tuesday evening. After a months-long absence, I returned tonight to the Dungeons & Dragons game…

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Let’s Talk Syrup — Nov. 29, 2021

🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Canadian Oil 🍁Freaking Covid 😷Namaste, Yo 🧘🏿 Monday started out with the news that the Bosslady has Covid. This whole “living through The Great Plague” thing somehow has been incorporated into our lives to the point where we don’t really even realize that thousands of people are dying from it daily.…

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Internet Outage Dispatch — Nov. 28, 2021

🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Disconnected 🔌Worst Mom Ever 🦘Death to Autoplay 💀 Internet outage, Day 2. I’m sending this message via carrier pigeon. Or maybe it’s just some bird I caught with my greasy-fast speed. Things are looking bleak. We’ve been without internet service for more than 24 hours now. The weather outside is cold,…

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Tree Haulin’ — Nov. 26, 2021

🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Family Rituals 👨‍👩‍👦‍👦The Grinch Rocks ❤️Churros and Poke Bowls 🤤 It’s interesting to think about how family rituals actually become family rituals. There are some that are very intentional. You had something done for you as a child, so you do the same thing for your kid. Others just sort of…

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Pie Tweaker — Nov. 25, 2021

🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Stable Family 👪Armed America 🔫🦅Good or Nickelback? 🎶 Thanksgiving was a quiet affair for the Core Four — my nickname for the entity that is Wifey Poo, Boys The Elder and Younger, and me. We had no family visit, and none of us left the house until BTE traveled to his…

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Don’t Touch Armadillos — Nov. 24, 2021

🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Coffee With Wifey ☕👱‍♀️Armadillo Lepers 😳Choice Cigar 🚬 To say Wifey Poo and I have been through some shit is an understatement. When we said “I do” back in March of 1997 as freaking twenty-two-year-olds (!!!!), neither of us had a clue how challenging the “or for worse” part of a…

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Boy The Singer, Nov. 23, 2021

🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Self-Teaching 👨‍🏫Beer Flood 🍺🌊Space Mission 🚀 When I left the newspaper industry in 2009, I knew how to write, take decent photos, design pages and copy edit. I landed a job in which the mandate was, “Go make our communications program better,” something I’d assured those who interviewed me I knew…

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The Costco Plaid Mafia — Nov. 20, 2021

🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Beard Trim 🧔🏽Grunge Shopping 🛒Funny Animals 🐒 When you find yourself with a straight razor poised a millimeter from your neck, you realize this is probably what was going on when the Almighty said “Be still and know that I am God.” I found myself in this situation this morning, in…

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Family Matters — Nov. 19, 2021

🧩 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…

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Wine & Chocolate — Nov. 18, 2021

🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Drinking on the Job 🍷The Land of the Giants 🏀Joseph McCarthy Returns 🏴 It the past week, my job has taken me from a chocolate factory to a wine bar — all in the name of business, of course. Last week, Big Bosslady and I visited Chocolate, Chocolate, Chocolate, which is…

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Who Needs Medical School? — Nov. 17, 2021

🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Itchy Foot 🦶Pay Cuts ❌💰The Best Pen Ever 🖊️ Wifey Poo woke up around 4 a.m. itching, itching, itching her recently repaired foot. Underneath the Ace bandage and the gauze and the padding to keep it safe, she’s got a rash of some sort, and the foot is swollen. Doc says…

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Warm November Day — Nov. 16, 2021

🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Warm November 🌡️The Jaguar People 🐆Squid Game 🦑 I’ll take a 70 degree day in the middle of November, thank you very much. I spent part of my workday on my back deck doing the things I do for my real estate team — social media ads, flyers to promote open…

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Happy Covidaversary To Me — Nov. 15, 2021

🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩A Year of Hell 😷Where’s Ben? 💔Profiting From Pollution 🏭 Happy Covidaversary to me. On this day one year ago, I had a Q-tip shoved up my nose to confirm what I already knew. Wifey Poo’s sister had been diagnosed with it. Wifey Poo’s mother had been diagnosed with it. Wifey…

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Big Buck — Nov. 14, 2021

🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Oh Deer 🦌The Thought Gap 🧠Unplugged 🔌 I was sitting in my as-yet-to-be-named home office this morning when this big boy ☝️☝️☝️ walked out of the woods into my yard. It’s the opening day of deer season in Missourah, a day of significance for many local inhabitants on par with their…

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Homeschool Stuff — Nov. 13, 2021

🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Picnic in November 🥶Happy Wife 👩Pour-Over Coffee ☕ Scheduling a picnic outside in Missouri in November seemed to me to be a very gutsy call. That’s until I stopped to realize who was scheduling it — Boy The Younger’s cross country team. These folks run everywhere, and, thus, I assume are…

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Huckleberry Hoops– Nov. 12, 2021

🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Hoops at Twain’s House 🏀Lunch With The Big Bosslady 🥪Breaking Up Is Efficient 💔 After a long week of work, I traveled north this evening with Boy The Younger for his second hoops game of the season. I missed the first because of an early start time, but this one was…

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Toys in the Hall — Nov. 11, 2021

🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Gross Photos 📷Sand? Sand!? ⏳Sleeping With Cheese 🛏️🧀 I had major ankle surgery back in 2008 to essentially reconstruct my left foot, which had a nasty propensity to roll over without the rest of my leg accompanying it on the journey. After a four-hour operation and two weeks, I went back…

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Absolut Curly? — Nov. 10, 2021

🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Pizza Visit 🍕French Fry Vodka 🍟🥃Let’s All Move to Portugal ✈️ We were surprised at dinner time last night with the sight of a kid who’s really no longer much of a kid. Matthew, who’s been Boy The Elder’s friend since the two weren’t even toddling, stopped by, pizzas in hand.…

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Inventor Regret — Nov. 9, 2021

🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Death List ☠️Doctor Day 🩺Stay Calm, Be Confident 🧘 Sometimes the internet does something useful. For example, in the early days, there was the site that was nothing but The Hamster Dance. I’m not making that up, kiddos. The only thing this website had was The Hamster Dance. Don’t believe me?…

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Sloth Talk — Nov. 8, 2021

🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩What Makes a Sloth a Sloth? 🦥Launch Day is Nigh 🚀Talkin’ Free Speech 🎙️ I find myself going down some interesting rabbit holes lately. For example, tonight I wondered why exactly sloths are so slow and how exactly such a creature could survive in a survival-of-the-fittest world, especially when they live…

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Early Morning Gaming? — Nov. 7, 2021

🧩 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…

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Adventures in Costco – Nov. 6, 2021

🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Cute Pic, Dumb Response 📷A Musical Connection 🎵A Time-Change Analogy ⌚ My first solo venture into Costco today did not end up in familial bankruptcy, surprisingly. Oh, it could have. It just didn’t. I walked right past the $40 slabs of ribs and steered clear of the $2,000 monster TV that…

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