Ahh, January 2022, the month that will be remembered as the one in which, despite being vaxed and boosted, that little bitch Covid came to live with me again and as a month that lasted approximately 758 years.
Yet despite its general assholeyness and inexplicable length, I managed to actually cross off very few items on my list of 100 Intentions for 2022. Let’s review, shall we?
Well, it ain’t much, but the things that are actually Done Done for 2022 are, as follows:
42. Create a college football pool with a traveling trophy: Kudos to Boy The Elder’s well-chosen girlfriend for showing us all how it’s done.
64. Get and stay in the 99th percentile on Lumosity: Not only have I gotten there, but I’ve now advanced to the 99.3rd percentile, am in the 99.5th percentile in speed and the 99.4th percentile in problem solving. So if you need some complicated shit figured out fast, I’m your huckleberry.
65. Take care of a pet. OK, to be clear: The placement of this item on the list was not about me getting a dog. Yet when I went to bed on the night of Jan. 31, I received a good-night kiss from, yes, my wife, but also a so-ugly-she’s-adorable English bulldogs we’ve named Luna. So yeah. I’m taking care of a pet.
75. Complete a home repair project I haven’t done before. It would be a matter of debate if a project I home repaired because I home broke it should count. But if we’re gonna talk about things like manifesting, I’ll say it’s more than serendipity that I placed an item on my list that became a necessity because I’m not good at the very item that’s on the list. By way of explanation: The furnace in our new home has an air handler that doesn’t use the disposable air filters I’ve used every other place we’ve lived. It has these two permanent metal thingies that I guess are called filters and weigh, like, 15 pounds each. Every once in awhile, supposedly, they need to be cleaned. So I attempted to clean them outside with the hose as I saw on the video. But for some reason the hose isn’t working and it’s winter and the faucet is oh-so-conveniently placed behind rose bushes with thorns straight out of Jumanji. So I gave up on that and attempted to wash them in the bathtub, which, of course, then necessitated a huge bathtub cleanup project later, but I digress. When I put the filters back in, everything seemed OK until I flipped the air handling unit back on. Then it sounded as if a wall of angry hornets was inside. Off-on-off-on. Still the buzzing. So I did some testing and research and then, ho-ho! I saw that one of the metal slats on one of the filters was bent in a place that the filter that didn’t buzz was not. So jimmying and coaxing and voila! No more buzzing. So yeah, I broke the filters, but the important thing to focus on here is this: I fixed the filters too.
100. Private. This seems like an extremely ambiguous list item until you understand the fact that I’m not attempting to accomplish Private in 2022 and that I’m merely not listing everything I’ve done because some stuff is, well, private. In this case, to list the item would be to spoil a gift, so you’ll just have to wait and trust me when I tell you, No. 100 is done.
“Jesus, John,” you say, to which I reply “Wrong order” and then you say, “Uh, I didn’t finish my sentence, and even if I had, like, wow. So to continue: You didn’t get a whole lot done in January,” to which I reply, “Yes, you’re right, not a lot is completed, but other stuff is in-progress so cool your damn jets, will you?”
Now that we’re not speaking, I’ll fill you in on some of the deets. (God, that’s annoying, isn’t it?
1. Go on 52 dates with CC (AKA, Wifey Poo): Four weeks, four dates. A great time was had by all, which means we both had great times on all four dates. So there.
11. See license plates from all 50 states. One month in, I’ve seen plates from more than half the states — 27, to be exact. Which means I’m on pace to see plates from 324 states, and let that by a lesson on why you should never just trust any stat someone throws at you without engaging your brain. Done are, in the order in which I saw them: Missouri, Iowa, New Mexico, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Indiana, Arkansas, Colorado, Michigan, North Carolina, Tennessee, Illinois, Kentucky, Mississippi, Oregon, California, Maine (there are a LOT of big rigs that come through here with Maine plates), Texas, Florida, Pennsylvania, Montana, Minnesota, Ohio, Georgia, Wisconsin, Delaware and Virginia. Oh, and hey, if you’re driving through from Hawaii, please give me a buzz.
20. Attend a stand-up comedy event. Tickets are purchased to see Tim Allen in March.
31. Eat in three new restaurants. I’m a third there. We ate at Chez Ali in January.
36. Read five books. I finished Blaze, by Stephen King and am about halfway through Heavier Than Heaven, about Kurt Cobain. (Side note: Heroin is bad for you, kids.)
37. Play DnD three out of every four times the party plays. Suck it, people: I played every single damn time the party played in January. My character is Luther, a half-orc barbarian outlander who loves nature and the wilderness but who was snatched ended up in a dank prison in the dark underworld. I’d go on, but I wouldn’t want to overwhelm you with my raw sexual vitality.
44. Grow the house sale money. To grow money you have to invest money in something other than a non-interest-bearing checking account. And I did that right after the new year started. Have you seen how the markets were in January? That whole “grow” part in going to have to come in the other 11 months of the year.
54. Get a monthly massage. Self-care is important to a highly sensitive empath dude such as myself. Hey, um, ya know something I suck at?? Self-care. I’m really, really, really good at taking care of other people and putting their care above mine. I’m awesome at running myself into the ground by producing insane amounts of work in short amounts of time. So it shouldn’t be a surprise that, like, Jan. 29 hit and I had done zero things that would fall into the self-care portion of my list. And the list was largely made as a way to be accountable for my self-care. Yes, I know. I’m exceedingly stupid sometimes. But I do have moments of smartness. So on Jan. 29 I found someone who could give me a massage on Jan. 30, and it was a really good massage. I’ll be going back there because it’s extremely difficult to get an actual appointment with the person who really is good at fixing my aches and pains.
55. Do a float every quarter. If you haven’t done a sensory deprivation float and aren’t uber-claustrophobic, you should give it a shot. The mind needs to rest, and it can rest really well when our acknowledged senses aren’t doing anything. I scheduled on for the end of February.
58. Go to restorative yoga 52 times. Well, if we’re going to talk about the whole “on pace” thing, I should have gone to restorative yoga four times by now. I went once. On Jan. 31. Because I’m an idiot. Restorative yoga is so good for me, even when it’s sometimes tough on my overactive brain that takes “stillness” as a sign for “let’s think about every shitty thing that you’ve ever done or had happen to you.” So I guess I’ll be playing catch-up, or is it catsup?, here.
66. Write down my top 5 accomplishments from each month. Here goes: 1) I produced numbers that are really necessary for me job nearly 60% ahead of projections and more than 1,000% better than 2021. 2) I fixed the furnace filter thing without the need for a repairman. 3) I took my boys to the Royal Rumble and say somewhere other than the cheapest seats, and we had a great time. 4) I planned an awesome Valentine’s Day dinner and 25th anniversary getaway for Wifey Poo and I, and I made two awesome videos to let her know about them. (Side Note: If you’d like me to make a video for your special occasion, contact me. I work cheap!) 5) I made significant progress through some heavy and long-ignored shit with my new and awesome therapist.
72. Give someone an anonymous gift each month. Did it in January. no, I’m not going to tell you who I gave it to or what it was. Dummy.
95, 96, 98, 99 and 100. Private. If you’re wondering why I have seven things on my list identically labeled “private,” you just maaaght be an idiot. It’s because there are some things that I just don’t want you or others to know about right now. All five of these things involve some sort of gift or thing for someone else. So you’ll have to take my word for it that these things are now underway.
One month in, and I’m beginning to think a few things are already in jeopardy of actually happening this year. Shocking to no one, some of these are in self-care, while others lay squarely at the feet of some obnoxious millionaires who should just shut the hell up and play ball. To that end…
2. Go to a Yankees/Cardinals game. My team — or, more accurately, God’s team — is coming to the Lou to play the Cardinals this summer. That is, if the players and the league can agree on a new collective bargaining agreement that, whichever side “wins,” involves more zeros at the end of the number than I’ll ever see on a paycheck if I added together all the paychecks I have received and will ever receive.
3. Go to a minor league baseball game. See above item about really rich people not agreeing to entertain me at any level.
21. Go to dinner with a friend. That would require me to have, ya know, a friend. And the reality is, I’m not a very popular guy, it seems. If you read my recent post over in “Wrestling With Myself,” you’ll catch my angst on the topic.
43. Start the Waffle House Fantasy Baseball League. Exactly what the Waffle House Fantasy Baseball League is is a topic for another day. Suffice to say that I can’t start a fantasy baseball league if the actual baseball players aren’t playing. Unless I want to use Boy The Younger’s Little League team, in which case I highly advise you to not draft any of the pitchers on his team — including him.
59. Meditate daily, a minimum of five minutes. You’d think this would be easy. After all, you can easily say, “John. My dude. It’s only five minutes.” Yet if the intention was to do this daily, I think I failed at this by January 2. So maybe it’s OK to revise the goal to five days a week. Oops. Failed on that too. Oh well. I’ll meditate. It’s good for me.
So now we’re onto February. What items can I get done? I know there are a bunch of things I’ll make progress on, but what can I actually expect to scratch off the list?
40. Get a bottle of bourbon that’s on the “best of…” list? Sounds like a good idea for winter.
57. Get a new, longer yoga mat? Why not? No time like the present, huh? I’m sick of my feet or head hanging off the mat.
83. Write my obituary? Because I sure as hell don’t want anyone else doing it and saying I passed on from this life or went to be with my heavenly father when what I want it to say is that I died. And I don’t want anyone even thinking about saying I was loved by all who knew me when the truth is I was loved by very, very few and despised by more than a few.
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🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Growth 💗Dreams 💤Redecorating 🛋️ There are moments in a dad’s life in which he can see the growth of his sons quite clearly. Sometimes that growth is physical. One day, Boy The Elder was a short, stocky little boy and then, boom, he came home from his high school job at […]
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Burn Pit🔥Alaska Ass🍑Nose Hair🐽 Having a plan is a far different thing from having a plan work out. I’m really good at the former, yet the latter seems to be extremely elusive. Yesterday, my plan was to take the huge pile of chopped-down cedar-tree limbs that have been in my backyard […]
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Jewel💎First Kiss💋Slow Ahead🐢 Wifey Poo and I are headed out into the sweltering hell that is Missourah this evening to see the woman who, should she knock on my door and say “let’s go,” I am fully empowered to join in the next part of life’s journey. I jest. Sort of. […]
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Parenthood 🚓Alexa 📋Quick-Hitters 👋 Just about every statistic imaginable tells us we shouldn’t have kids — at least, not if we’re concerned about our own happiness, mental health, marriage, career, finances, time or ability to buy a really boss car instead of a freaking minivan. Yet here we are, still a […]
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Lawrence Pfaff Sr. Sucks 🚓Engagement Talk 🌯Quick-Hitters 👋 From what I know of Lawrence H. Pfaff Sr. of Belmont, NY, he was kind of a douche. The 81-year-old man died on June 27. I never met him. Never even heard of him. Until I read his obit. And about that obit? […]
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Travelling Companion🚓Free Beans 🌯Unfollowed 👋 Brandy Bottone is either stupid or brilliant. Whichever it is, she’s also right. The Texas woman was traveling in the HOV lane — which, for the country folk out there, stands for High Occupancy Vehicle and is reserved for cars with two or more people to […]
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Slots 🎰Dude Perfect ⚽Bye Bye Facebook? 👋 My mother-in-law (AKA The Judester) is nearly 81 years old and has knee problems that keep her from getting around too well these days. Watching her stand up from a chair is to feel pain yourself. Yet when I walked into the Ameristar casino […]
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Reflections on Grandma 👵Kids & Death 👨👦👦Don’t Say It 🤫 My grandma died yesterday, four days shy of her 96th birthday. As it goes with people at that age, it wasn’t a surprise. She had been fading for more than a year and, though she still was breathing, that version of […]
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Sleepwalking 🧨DnD Gang 🎲Gas Idiots 🛢️ If there were a day-by-day measure of the collective output of workers in these here United States of Amuricah (and for all I know, there is), I would venture to guess that July 5 ain’t our most productive day. I base this on my observations […]
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Stupid Parade 🧨Math Matters ➗What Amazon Reveals 🚚 Not being a hugely patriotic person at this point in my life, I made no plans to go to any Fourth of July parade this year. It seems mighty foolish to be celebrating freedoms that are eroding right before our eyes, though I […]
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Alone Time, Girl Time 👩👧Picture Hanger🔨What Amazon Reveals 🚚 Wifey Poo and I found ourselves in an interesting position at home today for a little bit: Alone. Boy The Elder took off for Six Flags with his buds, and Boy The Younger left with a friend and his family (Chicken Owner, […]
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Oil Change 👨🔧Goose Lover🛦Church & State⛪ Based on my history, the last place anyone should ever look for me is underneath a car. Yet that’s where I found myself late this morning, side-by-side with Boy The Elder as he showed me exactly how stupid I’ve been all my life. I’m not […]
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Media Bias 📰Rudy’s Sandals 🩴Lack of Faith ⚖️ I’ve watched with interest the blowback against newspaper tyrant Gannett following its reminder to its journalists in the wake of the Supreme Court’s undoing of Roe v. Wade that they are not to take sides on social media. “You cannot use social media […]
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Censorship 🍈🍈Newspaper Talk 📰Toothbrush 🦷 I did my first actual “work” thing at my new job yesterday. The first two-plus days have been filled with meeting new people and learning about the kazillion awesome products we sell so I can talk somewhat intelligently about what we do. But then Nu Bossman […]
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Hitler Talk ⚖️Chicken Postscript 🐣Green Seats ⚾ I wonder when the average German in the 1930s/1940s said something akin to “Oh shit.” There has to be a point when the rational, sane sauerkraut-lover realized that perhaps his or her vote for a certain mustachioed politician was a really bad idea. For […]
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Take Me Away🛀Period Tracker🩸Choose Wisely💒 Arriving for the first day at a new job is kind of like showing up in a new town after throwing away your old identity. It’s a blank slate, and you can be anyone you’d like to be. Want to go by a different name? Go […]
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Racist Billboard🐲Roe Silence😶Guest Bulldog🐶 Driving out of rural northern Arkansas today to return home after several days in a cabin in the boonies, I passed a billboard that was startling, to say the least. It starts off innocently enough with a very true statement: “It’s not racist to 💗 people.” I […]
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Uranus Sleeper🔭Cabin Rules🩲Taco Seasoning🌮 What does Cuba, Uranus, Sleeper, Doolittle and a billboard saying “If we don’t return to 2 Chronicles, than were finished” have in common? They all were on the route from my Humble Rural Missourah Home to the cabin in the boonies of Arkansas that is my home […]
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Check Engine 🚗Declined 🥡Murder Suspect 🔪 Every once in awhile, life throws you a pleasant surprise that seems to even the score a bit. Wifey Poo’s car is up for an emissions inspection this year. Her “check engine” light has been going on and off for a year or so, and […]
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩River Thoughts 🛶Little Annoyances 😠Birthday Boy 🎂 I didn’t know what a float trip was until I met Wifey Poo. I’m not even sure today that the term “float trip” is used outside Missourah. But if you’re a Missourahn, when someone says, “Wanna go on a float trip?” you know a […]
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩My Boys 👨👦👦Work Drinking🥃Feeling Good 😎 I’ve understood since seventh-grade science class how a child is a somewhat random and yet somewhat traceable mish-mash of his parents and their parents and their parents ad infinitum. It’s so cool to see that play out with my own boys. Boy The Elder is […]
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩The Stinger 🦂Inflation 🎈Housing Costs 🏘️ There’s something quite amazing about witnessing a human dinosaur be thrown through a stack of four tables. That was just one of the scenes from last night as Boys The Elder & Younger and I attended AEW Dynamite and Rampage. The biggest news from the […]
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Shitty Goodbye 💩Bald Is Beautiful 👨🦲Housing Market 🏘️ It’s official: My duty ensuring the continued breathing of roughly 20 chickens for Wifey Poo’s and Boy The Younger’s vacationing friends is over. Success! All birds were present and accounted for this morning, as I said goodbye to my new friends — Gertrude, […]
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩CrytpoStupidity ₿Coffee Seltzer ☕Chicken Update🐓 I like to make fun of Matt Damon. I know this comes from a place of deep-seated insecurity because Matt Damon is, well, Matt Damon and I am not. Yet it’s fun to make fun of Matt Damon, precisely because he is Matt Damon — all […]
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Meatloaf🦎Ugly Fish🐟Chicken Update🐓 You can buy insurance for many things. Your car. Your home. Your boat. Your health. Your eyes, teeth or brain (which, for some reason, is separate from your health). And now, according to a Missourah court, you can buy insurance that pays you if you contract a sexually […]
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Kentucky Fried Idiot 🍗Johnny Boy Marketing✏️Airplanes!🛦🛦🛦🛦🛦 There’s a scene in the 1979 film Rocky II in which the titular character (sorry, I’ve always wanted to write that …) is tasked by his trainer Mickey with chasing a chicken. Rocky was pummeled into oblivion — though somehow managed to eek out a […]
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Rogue Golfers 🐝Nay Voters🐟Chicken Day🥤 Golfers are known as being a genial sort. Whereas a basketball player could maul an opponent driving the lane, leaving him bloody and unconscious, and still complain about the foul called on him, golfers actually call fouls on themselves! Yet the world of professional golf is […]
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Bees Suck 🐝Bees As Fish🐟Cup O’ Pee🥤 I hate bees. Yes, I know they’re somehow the lynchpin on which our species’ survival will turn, but seriously, if we’re so fragile that we’re depending on a stinging invertebrate to keep us going, well, perhaps we’re not really so special after all. My […]
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Poultry Responsibilities 🐔Fine Dining🥩Crappy Year For Music🎵 I am many things. I am a husband, a father, a marketing guy, a storyteller, a jokester, a damn good parallel parker and a guy who played on a basketball team that lost 135-3. What I am not is a farmer. I left my […]
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩NASCAR President ₿Creepy Coffee☕Chef BTE 🍖 We all know that just about every politician at any level is, in some way, bought and paid for, right? I mean, perhaps your local school board representative isn’t (though she might be owned by her kid), but when you reach the state and national […]
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Dessert, Not Desert 🍨Happy Belated Birthday, McLovin 🎁Men Kissing 🏳️🌈 I started out my career in the news business and quickly learned that people suck. I mean, back in the mid-1990s, the internet was just becoming a thing — we even capitalized it … Internet … and wrote “e-mail” instead of […]
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩New Job🧑💼Happy Times🤗Small World ⚾ Buckle up. It’s story time. Today I made a reservation for Ruth’s Chris steakhouse on Sunday for me, Wifey Poo and Boys The Elder and Younger. The Core Four is getting dressed up. Keep in mind, we are not Ruth’s Chris people. It’s not that we […]
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Pants on the Ground👖Pimp Slap✋Pissin’ in the Wind🌬️ I had occasion to wear a suit yesterday. This was notable because I evidently hadn’t worn said suit in about a year. Over those 365 days, I’ve lost roughly 30 pounds. Thus, I showed up to the engagement necessitating a suit looking like […]
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Chainsaws Suck🪓Early Arrival✈️Shrimp on the Barbie🦐 I awoke bright and early this morning, kissed Wifey Poo on the forehead and went outside ready to put chainsaw to felled tree. I live far enough out in the country that crankin’ up a chainsaw at 6:30 a.m. on a holiday morning isn’t a […]
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Racin’🏎️Heat☀️Gorilla Guy🦍 When I was a small boy, the Indianapolis 500 was must-see TV. I’m not sure exactly how it started, but it must have been around 1978 — when I was a 4-year-old boy who loved Matchbox cars and big wrecks. It was around that time that Pops brought home […]
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩My Fullback 🚑Sicky Poo 🤒Helium Shortage 🎈 I don’t get paid anywhere close to enough to deal with St. Louis traffic when it rains. Not that St. Louis drivers are uniquely bad. I would imagine large swaths of drivers in other cities react just as poorly to the presence of moisture […]
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Taking Toys Away 🔫Checked Out ✈️Windsurfing Kid 🌬️ Many moons ago, I had a toy rubber snake. That my parents would have allowed such a purchase is shocking, given that Mother Dearest was terrified of anything remotely reptilian and Sister wasn’t that far behind. Yet there, in the depths of my […]