🧩 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 the family room floor seems a lot more crowded than in Christmases past.
- I grilled nine steaks to medium-rare perfection in the dark. I really need to get some outdoor lighting where I’ve put the grill.
- The Judester’s tears after opening a present with a picture of her and my FIL, who passed away in January. Last Christmas he was in the hospital, and we missed him. This year, there’s a FIL-sized hole in the revelry.
- Big Sis’s husband coming upstairs with FIL’s old accordion and, well, looking like a guy wearing an accordion for the first time.
- Big Sis’s husband coming upstairs with FIL’s old trombone and blowing out our ear drums by belting out a Christmas ditty really poorly
I found myself sitting there next to Wifey Poo and looking at the scene around me thinking, “This is exactly what family is supposed to be.” No tension. No drama. Nothing fake. No one pretending. Just adults and children having a good time being together.
I am blessed.
📚 Let’s Learn Something Together 📓🖊️
Did you know there’s an activist group that claims birds aren’t real and are actually government-controlled drones used to spy on us? It’s true.
Well, sort of true.
The full truth is that the group, created by a Gen-Z college dropout, is a parody. The purpose is to point out the absurd conspiracy theories and other misinformation formerly rational, intelligent human beings have fallen for in the past decade or so.
Birds Aren’t Real was created in the midst of Donald Trump’s unwinding insanity in 2017 at a women’s march protesting his misogyny. Counter protesters showed up, including some QAnon quacks. Seeing this, Peter McIndoe grabbed a piece of cardboard and penned the first nonsensical thing he could think of: “Birds Aren’t Real.”
It caught on.
Now there’s a whole movement, mostly of people far younger than I, touting the Birds Aren’t Real movement.
Count me in as a fan who is going to purchase some merch tomorrow!
Prior to the gift card exchange, trombone playing and overall holiday revelry, we went to Lindenwood University, which was hosting my lone niece’s youth gymnastics tournament. Baby Audrey not only has to deal with two brothers but also four male cousins on this side of the family. She truly is the rose among the thorns.
It was fun seeing her out there doing her thing. It was not fun watching the judges score my niece lower than her Uncle John thought she should be scored. Jerks. I might have let out a too-loud “What!?!” after seeing the score she was given for her floor routine.
Still, Baby Audrey (she’s not a baby, but that’s what I called her when she was, and I’m not changing it) finished in fourth place. Nice work.
The ‘What Did You Say?’ of the Day
These are the things that happen at the In-Law Family Christmas.
In Other Writing …
A boy’s journey from amputation to leader at the Kansas Shrine Bowl Colton is eloquent about many things – his love of football or his motto for life, for example. But when you ask him about his feelings on being chosen as the honorary captain for the 48th annual Kansas Shrine Bowl this June, words…Keep reading
Today’s Reasons to Keep Living
- I plucked a $25 Amazon gift card from Big Sis at the end of our Rob the Neighbor gift card extravaganza. What to buy?
- Leftover holiday cheer has me feeling good about tomorrow.
- Wal-Mart grocery pickup tomorrow!
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My “awake” part of this 24-hour spin on Mother Earth’s axis began in the wee hours of the morning when I came to consciousness screaming — scaring the crap out of Wifey Poo in the process — because evidently calf cramps are a thing for middle aged men. How Do You Cheer in Cross Country?…Keep reading
I’m what you call an ambivert. This doesn’t mean I eat both plants and animals, though I do. Rather, it means — among other things — that I’m somewhere in the middle between an introvert and an extrovert. Sometimes I refuel by getting away from people and enjoying my solitude. Sometimes I refuel by soaking…Keep reading
I spent a half-hour today renewing my hatred for Robert Gaskins. Don’t know who Robert Gaskins is? I wish I didn’t, too. Robert Gaskins is the principle inventor of PowerPoint. He sold his little tool of the devil to Microsoft in 1987. QAnon Crazies love to point the finger at Bill Gates and say he’s…Keep reading
I stopped at the cleaners on my way home from work to pick up a pair of khaki pants that had an unfortunate run-in with honey a few weeks back. As I stepped through the door, a middle-aged woman named Karen (I’m assuming, anyway) was finishing up berating the lone employee. It had something to…Keep reading
You’re a Wizard, Harry When the Great Awakening of Societal Selfishness began in 2020, Wifey-Poo, Boy The Younger and I began reading the Harry Potter books out loud to help pass quarantine time in a way that didn’t involve baking bread or killing each other. It took more than a year, but we finished the…Keep reading
Kitchen Completed It is laughable even to me that I find myself, at age 47, really good at organizing stuff. I am the grizzled aging man with more salt than pepper in his beard who at a different stage of life had to bulldoze a path through dirty clothes, random school stuff and assorted other…Keep reading
Sometimes Things Be That Way There are some days that, when night falls and you take stock of all that happened, you just say — or at least think — “Well good goddamn. What the fuck was that all about?” Today has been such a day. I look back at the waking hours and realize…Keep reading
I’ll Drink to That Since my departure from newspapers in 2009, I’ve worked for very conservative not-for-profit organizations. An electric cooperative. A Lutheran benefits provider. A pediatric orthopedic hospital. None ever encouraged me to post photos on our social media of employees drinking during the workday. But that happened to me today following our champagne-tasting…Keep reading
An Impressive K Boy the Younger got shelled on the pitcher’s mound last night. As a former pitcher myself, I know these things sometime happen. No one squared up on any pitch he threw. They just hit it where his guys weren’t. And this should happen to him. He’s playing up an age group and…Keep reading
I Parent Like China It pleased me a great deal to share with Boy The Younger this morning that the rules he lives under are similar to those imposed on kids by the Chinese government. Our Communist Owners recently banned whippersnappers younger than 18 from playing online video games on school nights and allow them…Keep reading
Dying Less I think we can all agree that it’s not exactly a good thing to stop breathing more than 53 times an hour while we’re sleeping, yes? OK, good. There’s at least one thing that isn’t divisive in this country right now. When I had my first sleep study in February, I was not…Keep reading
Believing in Myself So here’s the thing: I have amazing intuition. Believe what you want about humans having only five senses. We don’t. We have more. And for me, one of my strongest senses is my gut feelings about what to do and not to do. I’ve had this ability since I was a small…Keep reading
Road Show Coming to you live from somewhere in the Ozarks, where I’m hoping not to hear banjos and have some inbred redneck hillbilly make me squeal for him. Wifey-Poo and I are in the middle of a weekend getaway. It has been a long while since we’ve had an extended period of time to…Keep reading
And the Thunder Rolls My desk at my new office faces out to a busy street – Manchester Avenue – and has a floor-to-ceiling window. I’m absolutely loving it. At my previous job, my desk was tucked away in a corner behind a cube. I called it “My Hovel.” It was a good place to…Keep reading
Namaste, yo I found myself tonight in a state somewhere between awake and asleep, lying on a yoga mat with 40 pounds of sandbags on my shoulders and chest in a dimly lit studio as soft music tinged by rain sounds caressed my ears. I love this state, and I’ve only found it through meditation…Keep reading
Sell This House Our house hit the market today, which is to say the Great Gods of Google allowed for it to be found by Realtors and anyone else who happens to have a larger-than-average nosy bone. Our Realtor said we could share it with our friends and family. I was trying to think of…Keep reading
Stages of Life Over the years, I’ve found tremendous comfort in the stability of my in-law family, especially with my sisters-in-law and, as time has progressed, their husbands. My own family is pocked by constant drama. It took me a long time to recognize exactly how not-typical my own family is and to realize that…Keep reading
Wakey Wakey My day started off with a bag-full of my blood being drained, filled with ozone and then dripped back into my while I listened to a cancer patient banter about QAnon insanity as if it were gospel with the nurse in charge of my treatment. How was your morning? So Long, Sonny Boy…Keep reading
Interesting Things You Say to Your Spouse “Please don’t get killed by anyone using a sharp object. I don’t want to go to prison for the rest of my life.” This sentence that I said to Wifey-Poo this morning makes sense if you have a spouse who loves murder podcasts and TV shows. My hands…Keep reading
Welcome to the World of Real Estate Starting a new job today was a welcome relief from the drudgery of moving. After getting my ass kicked yesterday in the Great Fridge Swap, I welcomed the opportunity to use my brain instead of whatever physical power I might have left. This is the first time I’m…Keep reading