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 sane. It was a year that started with me waiting for results of blood tests to help me understand what the hell was going on with me in the wake of my November 2020 COVID fight, with my father-in-law in the hospital suffering from the after-effects of COVID unknowingly contracted just before open heart surgery, with Wifey Poo struggling to juggle her own life, my ailments, her job as a mother and homeschool teacher, plus her role as the official family hospital visitor to try to bring some encouragement to her dad.
It was, to put it quite accurately, a shit-show.
The year ends with me significantly recovered from Longhaul COVID, with my father-in-law having lost his battle, with Wifey Poo dealing with the pain of losing her dad and the weariness of a year that was far too unkind to such an amazing person.
There is so much that could be said about all the events of 2021 that made this a year in which mere survival is marked in the “win” column. But I think it might be best for me to simply lay out the facts of what the year brought. The sad thing is, even doing that won’t accurately depict the depth of the shit-show because it doesn’t lay out all the crap that happen in 2020 … or in 2019 … or in 2018 … or or or. In searching for a date at which to begin the story of why 2021 was such a challenge, I came up empty because each candidate for a starting point must itself be put in the context of what happened before. Suddenly, we’re back in 2015… 2012 … 1993.
Not knowing where to start, I’ll simply follow the calendar — January 2021 through December 2021 — and trust you’ll understand, faithful reader, that there’s a mess of crap that comes before it.
- My COVID turns into Longhaul COVID, You can follow the course of that here in depth. Blood test show nothing. An EKG shows nothing. Further tests will show nothing nothing nothing. But I feel like I might die from exhaustion and that my brain has suddenly turned into mush.
- My father-in-law dies, losing a fight that begin in earnest in November.
- My parents choose the eve of his death, despite learning of my FIL’s grave condition, to pick a fight with me in which my father tells me he’s “tired of my bullshit.” We don’t talk until September.
- A mere 10 days later, we’re presented with the opportunity to host a child from Burkina Faso with disabilities who needs major surgeries in the United States. We’re in no shape to be host parents. We do it anyway.
- I have my first COVID vaccination.
- Oh my God, we’re suddenly responsible for a 4-year-old named Dieudonne (pronounced JordonA) who doesn’t speak a world of English, who gets around by scooting on his hands and dragging his feet, who will ultimate require roughly two dozen surgeries in six months. He arrives ahead of a bitter cold front and snowstorm. I’m quite sure My Favorite African has never seen weather like that before. Shockingly, I love him like a son after a few short days.
- The ravages of Longhaul COVID take over. I am still working, but each day requires multiple breaks, and I struggle to do basic things like think.
- Insomnia is killing me, which is pretty damn ironic considering all I feel like doing is sleeping. No matter what I try, I wake up at 3 a.m. after fitful “rest” and struggle to make it through the day. This leads me to a sleep doctor who prescribes a sleep study. I spend a night hooked up to a trillion wires and await the results.
- In an effort to find out why my heart will suddenly start galloping for no damn reason, I have a heart test and lung test. Both show nothing. My life has become a series of short periods of “activity” followed by prolonged periods of mental and physical exhaustion.
- In the wake of a minor surgery to repair a hernia, D has major leg surgery to repair his clubfoot. Wifey Poo and I spend our 24th anniversary apart, with her in the hospital and me at home with Boy The Younger. I never regret for a second bringing Little D into our lives. He has changed us forever for the better.
- I get the results of my sleep study. Though not obese, I have major obstructive sleep apnea, with the suspicion that it was worsened by COVID but there’s no way to be sure. Whereas the average person has somewhere between zero and three “events” an hour in which they stop breathing while sleeping, I have an average of 53 during my sleep study. I’m prescribed an APAP machine to try to bring it under control. I name it Bob.
- The worst of Longhaul COVID buries me. I somehow am managing to excel at work, but finances are getting tough. I took the job in September 2020 knowing I would be underpaid because I had to get out from under a really rough situation (there’s that pre-2021 stuff I was talking about), and I’m watching our savings disappear. They’re essentially gone each time a stimulus check seems to come around.
- I go to an ear, nose and throat doctor because one of my first COVID symptoms — a horrible taste in my mouth that never goes away — is making life unbearable. The ENT throws a Hail Mary, thinking it might be an inflamed nerve and prescribes me high-dose steroid
- My bottom left wisdom tooth starts hurting one day. Like, bad, bad, bad. Ultimately, it has to be pulled. There again is some vague hints that all this mouth crap might be COVID-related, but after more than a dozen doctors appointments, a half-dozen expensive tests, a bazillion tubes of blood and a helluva lot of lost money, no one knows squat about anything regarding my Longhaul symptoms. The only thing that happens with the steroids is I gain a lot of weight really fast and feel worse.
- I make the decision to stop being a guinea pig and give up on traditional medicine as the route to find any answers to help with with Longhaul COVID.
- D starts running a fever and is admitted to the hospital with a major staph infection. He remains there for two weeks, with Wifey Poo by his side for the huge majority of it and me trying to balance work, my rapidly declining health, home life with BTY who has proven to be incredibly adaptable and resilient, and a wife who — oh yeah — needs some relief every once in a while. We spend Easter apart.
- I have my second COVID vaccination.
- D has his major leg surgery, during which both his upper leg bones are cut through and turned so that his feet face forward and he can begin the process of learning to walk. Wifey Poo is there for the first days after surgery in the hospital, in which D, the toughest kid I’ve ever known — a kid who has hardly blinked during all the surgeries he’s already had — wails in pain throughout the night before doctors finally find the right dosage to ease his pain. This occurs over Boy The Elder’s birthday.
- I seize upon an opportunity and finally ask for a raise based on the overwhelming positive feedback I’ve received on my work, how it has become the model for the marketing departments in other hospitals in our system and the independent evidence that I am underpaid by up to 60%. My solid case is met with silence. I start looking, in the midst of all of this, for a new job.
- Unable to find any answers to help with the Longhaul COVID, I stumble into a functional medicine doctor on the recommendation of Wifey Poo, who heard about how such alternative physicians are actually helping people get over the worst of the symptoms. Dr. Laura Wies has me fill out a ton of paperwork, asks even more questions and orders blood tests that fill 11 vials. The results start the course for a huge change that sees me regain some of my health.
- I go to a neuropsychologist in search of answers for the brain fog that has left me unable to think, caused me to trail off in the middle of sentences, turned my memory into swiss cheese and leads me to say words that don’t make any sense. For example: “Oh, I left it in the glasses” when what I meant to say is, “Oh, I left it in the garage.” The tests show significant problems, but he gives me ways I can work on getting my thinking back.
- In the midst of all of this stuff, while hosting a child recovering from major leg surgery, we pounce on an opportunity to move out into the country and sell our house at the height of the market. This is pure, utter insanity, but we do it anyway because the opportunity wouldn’t be there if we waited. We begin to get our house ready to sell.
- I find the place I want to work and have the first two interviews for the position. Things are going well.
- I start on a revolutionary change in my eating habits as the way to beat many of these Longhaul symptoms. It’s a huge, huge change, and I’m blessed that Wifey Poo agrees to go on the journey with me. I cut out anything processed, all sugars that aren’t nature, dairy, breads and more. It is surprisingly easy to do. When you feel like complete shit and are at the point of wondering if this thing is actually going to kill you, change isn’t so hard. Oh, and side benefit: I lose 30 pounds without really trying.
- I develop a major pain in my throat that the doctors can’t explain. I’m told to get an MRI, which, shocking to no one, reveals nothing. It eventually goes away and is attributed to “one of those COVID things.”
- I begin ozone therapy. Once a week for six weeks, a bag of my blood is drained, infused with ozone, and dripped back into my body. The extra oxygen molecule, seeking stability, detaches and, as the theory goes, binds to impossible-to-detect virus, rendering it impotent and killing it. The first three treatments do nothing but leave me tired. I notice some improvement with the fourth. By the end of the sixth, I’m …. good?
- Our little host child, whom we have grown to love as a son, returns to Burkina Faso in a whirlwind in which there was doubt whether he would leave or have to have an emergency spine surgery up until the very last hour. Because that’s how we roll.
- My sleep apnea isn’t as improved as the sleep doctor wants it to be. I’m still having more than a dozen — and often 20 or more — episodes a night. I have to go in for another sleep study, which diagnoses the emergence of central sleep apnea, the kind not caused by an obstruction in the windpipe but by the brain not signaling the body to, ya know, breathe. It is frightening as hell to realize this virus is affecting the function of my brain. I’m ultimately given a different kind of breathing machine at night, and low and behold, I start to actually feel rested when I wake up in the morning once I’m not struggling to stay alive all night.
- I resign my position from Shriners Hospitals after accepting a new job with The Allen Brake Real Estate Team. When I turn in my resignation, my Shriners boss says that she’s not surprised, that she sensed I “lost enthusiasm” for the job a month or so back. I say nothing. If “lost enthusiasm” is defined as “Got tired of being drastically underpaid and ignored when I showed them their own comments about my work and what the market says I’m worth,” yeah, she’s right.
- Unable to find any answers to help with the Longhaul COVID, I stumble into a functional medicine doctor on the recommendation of Wifey Poo, who heard about how such alternative physicians are actually helping people get over the worst of the symptoms. Dr. Laura Wies has me fill out a ton of paperwork, asks even more questions and orders blood tests that fill 11 vials. The results start the course for a huge change that sees me regain a lot of my health by the end of the year.
- I go to a neuropsychologist in search of answers for the brain fog that has left me unable to think, caused me to trail off in the middle of sentences, turned my memory into swiss cheese and leads me to say words that don’t make any sense. For example: “Oh, I left it in the glasses” when what I meant to say is, “Oh, I left it in the garage.” The tests show significant problems, but he gives me ways I can work on getting my thinking back. Lumosity is a godsend.
- The craziness of having a host child and his departure rolls right into the insanity of getting ready to move, then actually moving. Boy The Elder and his crew of friends pull off an amazing accomplishment of getting everything boxed and moved.
- In the process of getting the house ready, I’m power-washing the deck, when I suddenly feel dizzy. As I go to get off the stairs to sit down, I miss a step and stumble into the side of the house, busting my head open and jacking up my neck and back.
- Wifey Poo and I finally get away, just the two of us, to decompress after the move and all that 2021 has thrown at us. While we’re there, my phone starts blaring message after message after message that our air conditioning back home isn’t working. It’s 100 degrees. Thankfully, it’s working when we return home. It conks out three days later, but it’s only in the 80s.
- I start my new job. The pace is insane, right out of the gate. I essentially rebrand the company — something that in most places might take a year or more — in three weeks.
- Might things actually be starting to … settle down? It’s all relative. Aside from the insane pace of my new job and planning the first major event for our company since COVID, the only major thing to happen is the closing on our house, which, despite our Realtor’s best efforts to screw it up, goes relatively smoothly. Had I gotten my job a few weeks earlier, I would have known how a real Realtor operates and used my own real estate team!
- Our new house is starting to come together a bit. We moved into my in-law’s former house when the Judester moved into a senior living community. Yet most of her stuff remained. That means our stuff mingled with her stuff, and let me tell you, my in-laws had a lot of stuff. Slowly but surely, Wifey Poo leads a cleanup effort to go through everything, sell stuff, donate stuff and start creating our home.
- After waiting for an apology from my parents for the entire year — an apology that never comes because that’s not something they do — I reach out to my dad for a reason I’m not quite sure of. Within a day, he’s talking about how he’s glad everything is “back to normal” and is planning a visit. I did this for the benefit of my kids, but it just feels wrong, that I allowed us to do what we always do — sweep real issues under the rug under the guise of “moving forward.” They plan a visit for October.
- I have my COVID booster shot .
- The first event I planned for my new job goes great. FallFest 2021 attendance shatters expectations. The weather is beautiful. I breathe a sigh of relief.
- The Judester has a property that’s been in the family for years that she wants to sell. Linking up with my Realtor teammates, we sell it for nearly double what she was asking in less than a week on the market. This is a service I now offer my friends and family, I guess!
- My parents visit. It feels awful and I realize how much I didn’t miss the drama and constant conflict and anger.
- Wifey Poo has foot surgery. She’s off her feet for a few days and slowly works herself back to action over the course of the next month or so.
- The major marketing campaign I’ve been working on at work since I started launches. Now it just has to work and prompt potential clients to call us.
- Holy crap, you guys! Not much happens. I finish off planning our family vacation to Memphis and New Orleans for Christmas, I do my shopping and find excellent gifts for my loved ones, my boss takes the team to Ruth’s Chris Steak House for a Christmas celebration, and our vacation turns out awesome.
Which leads to today.
And the scary thing is, folks, these are just the highlights. There are so many more things — good and bad, happy and sad — that filled the days of the year. I can’t say that I’ve really slowed down enough to process it all, to feel it, to put it in any sort of context.
But what I have done is survive it. And for that, I am proud.
Happy New Year.
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🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Jesus Wept 😥Good Mom, Bad Mom 👩Baseball Success ⚾ In 1990, just 7 percent of Muricans considered themselves non-religious. Today, that number has quadrupled. Depending on whom you ask, this is either a sign of our descent into earthly hell or a great awakening to the sins of the institution most…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Life Right Now 😥Classmate’s Death 😥TUP 😠 I long ago lost any semblance of the notion that life could be easy. To the best of my recollection, this shattering of innocence occurred for good somewhere in the third grade, when I was dealt my first really shitty teacher (I imagine Mrs.…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Scratchy Sweater 😥Birthday Boy 🎂Fucking Facebook 😠 I think there’s a big difference between being depressed and being sad. And I think I’m qualified to talk about that difference because I’ve been both. Some say that depression is sadness that lasts, which I think discounts the true power of sadness. True…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩One in Two? ✌️Isolation 😥Really, HR? 😠 OK ladies, look to your left. Now look to your right. If you’re flanked by two men, one of them likely has been on Pornhub today. I used math today to figure that out. (Proud of me, aren’t ya, Wifey Poo?) I read a…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Relays Weekend 🏃♀️Janelle 🤗No Steve 😥 Want to experience something trippy without the benefit of hallucinogens? Return to the place you met your spouse more than 30 years ago with your 20-year-old and 13-year-old sons. The Core Four took a long weekend minus My Favorite African, who was wonderfully cared for…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Drive to Work 🚗Drive to Home 🚗Broken System 💔 I was thinking a lot on the drive to work this morning, which isn’t necessarily anything new. I think a lot, well, a lot. Long drives are usually prime time for me to tap into my intuition and listen to what’s being…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Sweet Single ⚾Car Delivery 🚗Back/Neck Fixers💆♂️ On the one-year anniversary of that time a jackass piece of crap Little League “coach” did the most un-adultlike thing I have ever seen, Boy The Younger took the field for his new team in the spring’s first tournament. He batted second and started at…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Garbage Can 🗑️Food Insecurity 🍲Poop Smell 💩 The level of significance of a particular task varies based on the time of day. This is something I realized this morning when I hauled my ass out of bed at 5:09 a.m. because of a thought that popped into my brain at 3:32…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Alive vs. Living 😔Dental Thoughts 🦷Pronouns 🧑🤝🧑 I am 48 years old, and I realized something today: I have no idea how to live life. This isn’t to suggest I don’t know how to stay alive. I’m OK at that. But the finer points of relationships and communication and working my…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Awww, Snap 😏Office Flood 🌊Potty Mouth 🚽 Boy The Younger is like his old man in a lot of ways. One is that, if we experience something cool, we have a pathological need to have others experience its awesomeness as well. It wounds my soul when I share my music or…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Fuck Carvana 🚗Stupid Tooth 🦷Cave Woman 😠 I am a huge fan of the 1993 movie Falling Down. The movie stars Michael Douglas. Interesting side note: I once umpired a Little League baseball game for his son and called him out on strikes, which led to a crying temper tantrum. His,…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Stop Being So (Fake) Happy 😊The Better Choice ✔️Checkmate, Motherfucker ♛ I’m not exactly what anyone would call an optimist. Perhaps it’s because I see the world too clearly these days to think that we’re headed anywhere close to the right direction. Some would call me a pessimist, and I’m OK…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Brown Stockings ⚾I’m A Dentist 🦷Quick Hitters 🐅🦎 If all had gone according to plan, I’d be well into retirement and diving into my money Scrooge McDuck-style after a success career pitching for the New York Yankees. Alas, I’m sitting at my desk in Maryland Heights, Missourah, munching on carrot sticks…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Crowned 👑MFA Moment 😥AI Danger 💻 I remember as a kid getting a filling and hearing that it was real silver being put in my mouth. I figured if times ever really got tough, I could just yank out my tooth, melt the filling and buy food. Yes, these were thoughts…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Nose Woes 👃African in School 🚌Trumpster Fire 👮 The human body has a way of keeping us humble, especially as we get older. We lose hair where we want it and grow it in abundance where we don’t, we produce ear wax and eye boogers, and 99% of us should never…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Tiger-Iguana 🐅🦎Cornhole Crushing 🌽Poison M&Ms ☠️ The first time I saw a commercial for the Volkswagen Tiguan, I thought it was a parody. As a marketing guy, I couldn’t fathom how an entire department of highly paid professionals could sit down at a table and decide the best name for a…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Closing the Door 🚪Car Shopping🚙Fake Kid-Hater 🧒 Over the course of my life, I’ve gotten used to doing the difficult thing. This often hasn’t been by choice, and it’s never been easy. It’s simply what I’ve had to do. Whether it was facing a pregnancy in which we knew our child…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Changes and Similarities ✈️Family Drama Update 🎭Close Encounters 🤼♂️ My Favorite African (MFA) has arrived. His plane landed at Lambert International at around 1:15 yesterday, and about 15 minutes later, a kind TSA person allowed us and the woman who accompanied MFA on the flight to violate all sorts of Homeland…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Little D Nears ✈️Familiar Familial Drama 🎭Van O’ Canadians 🍁 My favorite African returns to us tomorrow afternoon. Dieudonne will board a plane from Philly with an escort (not THAT kind … I think, anyway), and land in the STL around 1:15. For the next three or four months, we’ll take…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩TikTok Stupidity 😠Back Woes 😧Improv Friends 🎭 There are increasing number of hours each week in which I have a strong desire to throw every piece of connected technology into the nearest lake and move to wherever I have to go to be as far away from any modern gadget as…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Anniversary Changes 💍Near Death Experience 💀Dreamcatcher Drama 😳 All relationships change over time. Friendships, parent-child, boss-employee, husband-wife … no matter the relationship, the only constant thing is change. My marriage has changed mightily since it began. When Wifey Poo and I said our vows on March 22, 1997, we were –…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Why The Blahs? 😷Anniversary Plans 💍Unpleasant Warnings 🐍 Feeling blah is complicated when you have my medical history. For many people, feeling blah as I’m feeling right now is a clear indication that some sort of illness or infection has invaded the body. But for me — and for many others…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Dentist Visit 🦷Basketball Sucks 🏀Found Husband 👨 No one truly likes going to the dentist. I’ve had people push back on me when I’ve said this before, but when I lay out the following scenario, well, it’s pretty much checkmate: “You just had the most well-respected doctor in the world tell…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Dumb Gubment 🦅Dawg Party 🐶Flying African ✈️ We as modern Muricans tend to just accept that it’s the gubment’s job to educate our children. Of course, when other countries that aren’t our friends do that, we call it “indoctrination,” but that’s a topic for another day. The topic for today is…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Costly Mortality ☠️Crazies, Unite 🤪Defining ‘Appointment’ 🦷 I’m getting ready to die. Sounds ominous, right? Dramatic? Scary? It’s not. Oh yes, in a certain light, it’s depressing as hell. But what it really involved was a meeting with an attorney that Wifey Poo and I had yesterday to figure out exactly…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Books and Stories 📚SVB Lessons 🏦Basketball Party 🏀 Holy crap, you guys! I actually finished something I wrote! In fact, I finished two somethings I wrote! As my regular readers (hey you three!) know, I’ve been stunk in a funk of starting to write books and short stories with gusto and…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Podcast Appearance 🎙️The Birth Control Pill Story 🐶Good Tired 🥱 If you would have asked me a few years ago whether I could ever envision myself on a stage in the back room of a dive bar sharing a story about how my dog ate six months of birth control pills…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Pee Mate 🚽Game Maker 🎲Dumb Muricans 🦅 I have been thinking about death a lot lately, not because I’m particularly eager for it to happen or because I’m particularly not eager for it to happen. I guess it’s because I’m a few months shy of my 49th birthday and please-for-the-love-of-God let…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Dieudonne 🌍Hoops Win🏀Cornhole Roll ✔️ In 2021, during some of the darkest and most difficult times in our lives as individuals and couple, Wifey Poo and I did a thing. It was a big thing. It was a challenging thing. It was an amazing thing. But to say it was just…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩’Full Stop’ 🛑Needles 💉Business Lessons 🧑💼 Here’s something I learned about myself today: One way to ensure that I will debate you on a topic until I give my last breath or until you are huddled in a corner in a fetal position is to end the statement of your opinion…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Mindfulness 🧘Mullet Prez 👩🦳Murder Family 🔪 Our brains are amazing things. So adept are they at routines that they can essentially run on autopilot and let you do the everyday stuff like operating a multi-ton object advancing at 70+ mph among lots of other multi-top objects advancing at 70+ mph without…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Bloody Hell 💂Circus Moments 🤡Silence 🤫 OK, people: I’ve got a bone to pick with you. But first, a little digression. What in the bloody hell does that phrase mean? “A bone to pick with you?” That sounds absolutely disgusting. And if you’re wondering why I said “bloody hell,” well, that…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩24 Hour Video 😡Rubik’s Kid 🧊Dilbert Doofus 🤪 There are two things I cannot stand in the working world — and in life, in general. The first is people whose lack of preparedness turns ordinary stuff into emergencies. The second is when people criticize the result of something they previous approved.…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Mormon Billionaires 💰Bigger Packages 🍌Birds Really Aren’t Real 🐦 Can we just get on with blowing the tits off the world with nuclear weapons or something and end this stupid thing we call the human race? Yeah, I know that’s a little dramatic, but when I take a look at the…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Muricah The Evil 🦅You Buy You 💰Big-Ass Van 🚚 I find it rather humorous that Muricah warned China not to send arms to one side of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine … and that we issued this warning with a straight face. I’m quite sure most Muricahns believe their country…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Salve 🩹Car Wash 🚗💧Light Removal 🎄 I try not to venture too often into a Wal-Mart, especially on the weekend. I cling to slim hope for this nation as it is, and I find Wal-Mart trips do not help my grip. Alas, this weekend, Boy The Younger was under the weather…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩CC, BCC, FU 📧Basketball Poll 🏀Andy Rooney 🎙️ This week has largely been a Shit Week marred by Shit People. What are Shit People? They aren’t exactly easy to define, but one hallmark of a Shit Person is his rampant use of the CC function at work to passive-aggressively play power…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Chill Day 🛋️Busy Weekend ⚾Halftime 🏈 I’m not working today. Not only am I not working at my day job, I’m not doing any work for my side gig today. I’m not planning on doing much of anything, actually. And I don’t feel guilty about that. This weekend was insanely busy.…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Big Pharma Sucks 💊Work Rules 🧑💼Big Weekend 🏈 Spend any time in front of the television and you’ll see ads touting the latest drugs that you shouldn’t take if you’re allergic to and that you most definitely need to ask your doctor about. Now comes a study showing that the people…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Top 5 🎈Symphony 🎻Living Eulogies 💗 Top 5 things overheard in Missourah last week as a purported Chinese spy balloon made its way over the state en route to its rendezvous with an F22’s missile: Despite my high-brow upbringing in Suburbia, New York, I’m not what anyone would call A Symphony…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Space Walk 🧑🚀Bye-Bye Brady 🏈Failure Rate 🐿️ When Boy The Elder was just Boy and devoid of a younger brother, we had a nickname for him: Pokey Joe. BTE didn’t do anything fast, but more than anything, what he did incredibly slow was get out of a car. That would suck…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Raccoons 🦝February 💘Man Nips 🕺 Today I bring you the story of a raccoon who got his balls stuck to railroad tracks. But the reason you think I’m bringing you this story is not the reason I’m bringing you this story. You think I’m bringing the story of the raccoon Neil…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Tyre Nichols 😔Tattoo Day ✒️Nephew Hoops🏀 I was a white kid in suburbia, New York, in 1988 when the gangsta rap group N.W.A. came out with its album Straight Outta Compton, featuring the song Fuck Tha Police. It was scandalous, at the time, to suggest that the police would be anything…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Car Concert 🎵Sick Wife🤒People Suck 🖕 Within the 24 hours in the run-up to Snowpocalypse 2023, the estimates on the Weather Channel app for our snowfall total ranged from 1 to 10 inches. That’s like going to the doctor and being told you have anything from a splinter to terminal cancer.…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Mission: Failed 👎Ho 🤣Handy Family 👍 It has to suck to work at the Missouri Department of Transportation. Why? It took exactly 75 minutes for all of 2023 to be a failure. Let me explain. Those of you unfortunate enough to have been involved in any sort of corporate planning process…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Houston 🖊️Sad clown 🤡Taco Seasoning 🌮 Houston, Missourah, is not unlike a lot of other rural Missourah towns through which I’ve driven and bears a resemblance to the Small Town USA in which Boy The Elder did a lot of his early growing up and to which Boy The Younger came…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Definitions 📖Missing Bourbon 🥃Mysterious Knocks 😵 I generally abhor any writing that starts with, “Webster’s dictionary defines …” Webster’s dictionary defines “ceiling” as a noun meaning “the overhead inside lining of a room.” The implication is that it’s a limitation, a max, a point of demarcation between what’s out there and…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Sadness 😥Annoyance 😠Disappointment 😞 When Boy The Elder was Boy The Only in our home, he watched one of the Air Bud movies featuring a basketball-playing dog. Or maybe it was football. Or soccer. By the time that series was over, that dog had played them all. Anyway, whichever Air Bud…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Thor’s Blurry Hammer 🍆Pigeon Delivery 🕊️Idiot List 🤪 Thor is really, really good with his hammer. And by that, I mean that Thor the walrus in Scarborough, England, is really good at masturbating and ruining New Years Eve. If you haven’t heard about this story, stop reading stupid news like politics…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Bruising Basketball 🏀Poke ☝️Six?!? 🔫 I grew up in the NBA era of the Bad Boys Detroit Pistons while loving a New York Knicks team that was, to put it mildly, quite physical. Guys like Steph Curry and LeBron James can makes basketball seem like artistry these days, but give me…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩What There is Like! ⛅’Modern Policing’ 🚨Xylophone Time! 🎵 When you decide to talk about a time in which you truly believe you more-or-less died and saw what comes after this life, you have to be comfortable with the fact that people might think you’re nuts. Hell, talking about it on…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Grace Ashford! 📰Idaholy Shit! 🥔Story of the Year! 🍆 The three most influential people in my life as a journalist are, sadly, all part of the Great Newsroom in the Sky now. Professors Michael Perkins and Bob Woodward (AKA Bob Woodward-Not-That-Bob-Woodward) helped educate me at Drake University, and Lisa Warren was…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Poor Puppy 🐶Romeo and Juliet 🤴👸Meta Mistake 🙊 Disturbing news out of Washington, D.C., today as Republican Congressman-elect George Santos (if that’s his real name) brought a 6-month-old puppy to the house floor and screamed “Hey, look at me!” before slitting its throat and lapping up its squirting blood like a…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩A Pretty Good Rant 😠Tesla Plunge 🚗Missed Lasts 😥 Those of you who regularly read my drivel (I see you, DirtySciFiBuddah) might have become aware of the fact over the past year or so that I am not a huge fan of our world’s modern institutions. All of them might, in…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Incomplete 🕮Frustration 😠Bowl Bust 🏈 To say that I know how to write is like saying I know how to breathe. No one considers that they know how to breathe. They just … breathe. No one is particularly good at breathing or bad at breathing. Again, they just … breathe. I’ve…Keep reading
Welcome to Issue No. 15 of Listicles, the feature that presents the Top 10, Top 5, Top 3, Top 100 or Top 1,000,000 of whatever it is you want to know about. Email your Listicle suggestions to email@example.com. So last year, I had a list of 100 intentions for 2022, and I did fairly well,…Keep reading