First-Quarter List Review! Successes and Oopses and Covid Improvements

Time is a fascinating concept to me. I’ve written about it before, but it just seems so arbitrary sometimes. It amazes me how we can suck at it so badly that we have to add an entire extra day every four years to keep our system going — and no one really bats an eye.

We break things up into millennia and centuries, decades and years, months and days, hours and minutes and seconds. Not satisfied with that, we break up groups of months into quarters, which, if nothing else, allows for orderly American football and tense times for businesses that report to stockholders.

I can’t beat the system here. As much as I’d love to live away from time and all its constraints and limitations, it appears as if I’m stuck here in a society that values it and adheres to it in equal measures of strength.

So without further ado, here’s my Q1 report from my “One Hundred Intentions for 2022” list!


On Target

Lots of things are either done or on target to being done. Let’s review.

No. 1 — Go on 52 dates with CC: We have, indeed, gone on a date every week of this calendar year. I value these times to reconnect with Wifey Poo. We live busy lives, but I’m grateful for the time we take to be “just us” every week. It makes us better spouses, yes, but also better parents and better people.

No. 2 — Go to a Yankees/Cardinals game: I am a life-long Yankees fan, having grown up an hour from The House The Ruth Built. Wifey Poo is a life-long Cardinals fan, being a St. Louis regional native. Our teams play in early August and, thanks to the players and owners working out their differences, the tickets I bought Wifey Poo for Valentines Day remain valid.

No. 5 — Go to a concert: Music is my thang, and the f’n pandemic killed live music for a while. I’m making up for lost time. This summer and fall, I will see, if all goes well, Alice in Chains, Pearl Jam, Shinedown, Jewel, Gin Blossoms and perhaps Evanescence. Rock on’, yo.

No. 11 — See license plates from all 50 states: Though the end of the first quarter, I have seen 44, which puts me on pace to see 176 different state license plates and is a lesson on why you need to be careful with statistics. Living near I-70 has helped. Going on a few road trips has been a great assist. I’m imagining I’ll be able to find Connecticut, Nevada, Rhode Island, Vermont and West Virginia in the next nine months. It’s Hawaii that worries me.

No. 16 — Go to Ikea: Insert whatever the Swedish word is for “done.”

No. 20 — Go to a stand-up comedy event: Wifey Poo and I went to see Tim Allen in March. He was… meh. Very meh. We’re going to see Sebastian Maniscalco later this year, and Tom Segura is coming into town. I’d love to see him.

No. 23 — Go to a WLW wrestling event: So Harley Race was a badass wrestler from the 1970s-80s. He ran a wrestling promotion near where I live until his death a few years back. His son now runs it. Though this didn’t happen in Q1, Boy The Younger and I went this past weekend to Race Arena, which is really just a small warehouse with a roof so low that off-the-top-rope moves took on a different kind of risk than I’ve ever seen before. There were maybe 75 people in attendance. And it was awesome.

No. 24 — Start a collection of something: I began collecting CDs (see No. 5). I love music. And CDs were the pinnacle of sound quality. So I’ve started an eclectic collection that features Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains, Metallica, Bob Dylan, Marcus King, Evanescence and the Eagles. Recommendations are always welcomed.

No. 30 — Get Uber Eats delivered: Nothing like some Buffalo Wild Wings left on your doorstep when the family is out of town and you don’t feel like cooking.

No. 31 — Go to three new restaurants: Wifey Poo and I went to an African restaurant called Chez Ali, a really cool diner-type place with friends we met in Indianapolis called Rosie’s Cafe and, for our 25th anniversary, an amazing seafood place called Splash in Des Moines, and yes, despite being in Iowa, it truly was an amazing seafood place.

No. 36 — Read five books: This one was a matter of redemption for me. I used to be beyond an avid reader. Then Longhaul Covid turned my brain into mush. I can’t exactly describe what it’s like to try to read with such a brain, but the feeling is kinda like when you’re trying to get the top off of something and, no matter what you try, it just … won’t … budge. A neurologist recommended I push through that feeling as a way of helping my brain rewire itself. And it’s working! I read three books through Q1 (Blaze, by Stephen King; Heavier Than Heaven, the biography of Kurt Cobain; and Klara and the Sun), and just finished Stephen King’s The Institute yesterday. Now I’m onto Dave Grohl’s new book. Suck it, Covid.

No. 37 — Play Dungeons and Dragons three out of every four times the party plays: This had been another Longhaul Covid casualty. Just when I had reconnected with some high school acquaintances and begun slaying dragons, my brain turned to mush and, aside from reading problems, long periods of exposure to technology was horrific. So I stopped. Now I’m back, and I brought Boy The Younger with me. We completed one adventure in February and have started a new one. I’m now a half-orc barbarian with major rage issues. Seems about right.

No. 40 — Get a bottle of bourbon that’s on the “best of…” list: I bought a bottle of Woodford Reserve Double Oak Barrel and, I must say, it’s delicious.

No. 42 — Create a college football bowl pool with a traveling trophy: I did exactly that and the trophy was won by … Boy The Elder’s girlfriend? She was not much of a sports fan at all until she started dating BTE. Now she’s the champion of the tournament.

No. 43 — Start The Waffle House Fantasy Baseball League: So there are lots of leagues out there in fantasy sports in which the winner gets a trophy or money. I don’t know how many there were in which the loser has to spend 24 hours in a Waffle House and is able to reduce the time by an hour for each waffle consumed, but there’s now at least one.

No. 47 — Pick up a freelance marketing side gig: So I love what I do. I love writing, designing, videography… whatever. I had a nasty habit for a while of doing what I love to do and am good at doing for free. While nice and friendly, that doesn’t help my finances. So I let it be known I was in search of a side gig and landed a few in Q1, including a side job for my boss, a one-off in which I designed a flyer for an early learning center and an ongoing one in which I write articles for Northwestern University to help attract students to its masters programs.

No. 51 — Get new pants that fit: Having pants that don’t constantly threaten to fall down around your ankles is a good thing, I think we’d all agree. As part of my battle against Longhaul Covid last year, I completely switched up my diet to remove any and all foods that could cause inflammation. In the process, I lost 30 pounds. This year, I bought new pants to celebrate my less-fatness. Two pairs are in hands. A third is now somewhere out there in a DHL warehouse or truck making their way to me. Thanks Indochino!

No. 54 — Get a monthly massage: This one almost fell by the wayside in January. If not for a last-minute appointment, it would have. Now I have a great new massage therapist who is amazing to talk to and who, every month this year, has worked out the various knots and kinks that plague my neck and back.

No. 55 — Do a float every quarter: If you’ve never done a float in a sensory deprivation tank, you should. Yes, I know you feel like it’s closed in and scary. Try it and take deep breaths. For me, it’s a necessary thing, I’m finding. As an extreme empath, I’m constantly bombarded by other people’s crap. Locking myself in a chamber of warm salt water that promotes effortless floating and is completely dark and quiet is an amazing way to disconnect and just be.

No. 60 — Keep my new healthy eating habits and maintain my weight: See No. 51, above. I have had some day-to-day fluctuations — it appears I can gain or lose 5 pounds in a day based on what I drink or don’t drink — but I’m still below where I need to be below.

No. 64 — Get into and stay in the 99th percentile in Lumosity: So yeah, a lot of things on my list this year had to do with saying “fuck you” to Longhaul Covid. This was one of them. As part of my “retrain my brain” efforts, a doc recommended Lumosity in addition to reading. At first, the games killed me. Then I started to heal. Now, I’m in the 99.4th percentile for my age group overall. Suck it, Covid.

No. 65 — Take care of a pet: The original intention here was to watch someone’s dog or lizard or something. Then we got it in our minds that we were somehow ready for a new dog. I had been staunchly against this in the wake of the deaths of both my dogs in 2020, within three months of each other. Wasn’t 2020 a great year? Anyway, that all changed when we saw our Luna, an English bulldog who’d been used up as a breeding dog by some asshole who deserves a throat punch. She’s slowly coming around to the reality that people are good and love her. And I do. A lot.

No. 72 — Give an anonymous gift each month: What I’m learning is that, in this day and age, it’s tougher to stay anonymous. Still, I’ve been able to thanks a college friend, a work colleague and my middle school English teacher.

No. 73 — Create a screen-in-porch oasis: Another one not totally finished until April, but it’s finished now. May the creator of allen wrenches forever be damned to have blisters from turning his infernal creation! But the porch furniture is assembled and this past weekend I put together a mobile TV stand and hooked a TV to it so I can wheel it out and watch baseball on nice spring/fall afternoons.

No. 74 — Create with BTY his new bedroom: Doing this Q1 review has made me realize I put a lot of stuff together this year. And this is amazing, considering there was a time in which I felt totally incompetent with things like this. Now, I feel like I could put anything together. BTY has a completely updated bedroom — less like a child and more like the teen he soon will be. I put together his bed, his dresser, his nightstand, a fish tank stand and installed three shelves. This came after painting the walls (with his and Wifey Poo’s tremendous assistance).

No. 83 — Write my own obituary: I don’t want anyone else telling my story when I die. First off, I don’t want anyone to put in any bullshit like “He was loved by all who knew him.” My own sister hates me, and my mother ain’t too fond of me either. And there sure as hell are some former work colleagues who aren’t going to be sending me any Christmas cards of the non-ticking variety. I made a first pass at writing this and it’s technically done, but I wrote it when I was kind of angsty and should probably revise and soften it a bit.

No. 88 — Watch season 5 of Better Call Saul: Damn, I love that show. And I loved Breaking Bad. The fact that the latter is over and the former is heading into its final season makes me sad.

No. 90 — Watch a classic film from the 1940, 50s or 60s: Wifey Poo and I watched Casablanca for Valentine’s Day. The intention was to have a crowd, as part of No. 61: host a monthly movie night, but that plan didn’t work because I apparently have no one living within 50 miles of me who thought my planned movie night worthy of their time in January, February or March. Still, it was nice to watch it with Wifey Poo. Great flick, great date.

No. 98 — Make an anniversary video for Wifey Poo: We celebrated our 25th anniversary in March. I made her this. Ladies, if you’re looking for romance, marry someone who knows Adobe Premiere Pro.

No. 99 — Rent a Jeep for Wifey Poo to drive for a day: Wifey Poo loves Jeeps. We currently drive piece-of-shit Nissan Versas because we’re poor and love good gas mileage. Someday I will buy her a Jeep, but for now, renting one to take on our 25th anniversary getaway brought a smile to her face. Speaking of which…

No. 100 — Plan/go on a 25th anniversary trip: The original plan was to go to Alaska this summer, though Wifey Poo didn’t know that. When things didn’t happen as I wanted them to with my job soon enough, I pivoted and creating something far less adventurous but far more sentimental. We went to Des Moines Freaking Iowa, back to Drake University, where we met. Back to Roseman Bridge, where we got engaged. Back to Drake University club hockey, where we had our first date and where, this time, I arranged with the team to be at their practice and for them to surprise her with flowers and a team “happy anniversary” wish. It was awesome. A lot has changed since our Drake days (1992-96), but one thing that’s stayed the same is us. Always us.

This is how I invited her:


Probably Not Gonna Happen

Ahh, if everything could be going as swimmingly as the items above. Alas, this was a list of intentions, not a list of things I definitely was going to do. Some things probably aren’t going to happen. A few definitely won’t happen. Let’s discuss.

No. 39 -Take enough photos to have a Photo of the Week for 52 weeks: I love looking at the world through a camera lens. I love capturing moments from that world. I just live in a very small world and am pretty boring, which makes finding interesting photographs a challenge. Or I’m just plain lazy. Whatever.

No. 58 – Go to restorative yoga 52 times: I love restorative yoga. I love my little yoga studio. But perhaps going, on average, once a week was a little ambitious. Weather canceled some classes. BTY’s sporting events, my round-two battle with Covid and other situations led me to skip out on a few more. Fifty-two ain’t happening. But some is better than none, and I’ll keep going.

No. 59 – Meditate daily: If you’re picking up on a theme here, you’re not alone. These highly time-bound items are killin’ me, Smalls. “Daily” was perhaps ambitious. Of course, “not meditating at all for the first two months of the year” was perhaps lazy and stupid. March saw me get into more of a routine, and now I’m approaching something like four or five days a week. But daily? Pshaw. I should have known myself and my own affinity for ignoring self-care better.

No. 61 – Host a monthly movie night: My long-standing battle with not having friends is a thing. I thought this would help alleviate that. I would invite a shit-ton of people I kinda sorta knew, and at least a few of them would show up for some fun and entertainment. In doing that, maybe one of those folks would turn into an actual friend. Yeahno. Not one person RSVP’d to January — and then Covid invaded my house and it was canceled anyway. February came and went with no RSVP’s. March was successful only in that BTE and his girlfriend came, but they’re not exactly friend material. So screw it. You don’t want to come? I don’t want you here. (And you wonder why I don’t have friends?)

No. 77-82, 84 – Writing stuff: I had grand plans to do a lot of creative writing this year. It’s not happening, though it’s for a good reason. It’s because I’m getting paid to spill words out, as I mentioned in No. 47. That said, I’d like to do at least something creatively. I have started a few short stories. I’m real good at that — starting stories that never get finished. We’ll see what happens.

No. 94 – Take an improve class: I love comedy. I have been someone who makes people laugh ever since I was a little boy. I think I could perhaps do something with comedy to make more people laugh. So I put this on there because I know of a place where improv happens and where they’ll teach you how to do it better. That said, the thought of actually doing it, of putting myself out there like that, terrifies me. So I say this probably won’t happen, but in reality, it really should. I mean, at the very least I can laugh at myself.


So there you have it, the Q1 update on the List of One Hundred Intentions For 2022. I’d say I’m fairly happy with where I am. Q2 has started off well. Let’s see what happens.


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🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Man Cold? 🤒Balloon Analogy 🎈World Flop ⚽ If you want to know how my Monday started yesterday, I poured coffee all over my hand. It isn’t that I don’t know how to pour coffee. I’ve done it a billion times. It’s that, on this particular Monday, somewhere in between the start…

No Slides Allowed — Nov. 17, 2022

🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Presentation Skillz 📽️No Tribe 😔Fuck 45 🖕 There was a time not all that long ago, cosmically speaking, that the mere thought of standing up in front of a crowd and giving a talk would have made me want to throw up in my shoes. In fact, there has been a…

What’s Funny? — Nov. 15, 2022

🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Boss Kudos 🙌Chill Time 😌One In 8 Billion🧍 It always feels good when the Big Bossman comes up to you and shakes your hand for a job well done. That happened last night when El Presidente of our company congratulated me on the video I wrote, shot and produced for our…

Engaged — Nov. 14, 2022

🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩BTE and Div 💍Brother Greetings 👨‍👩‍👦‍👦Travel Day ✈️ The morning after Boy The Elder was born, I awoke in the hospital to his sweet cooing and his momma’s deep-sleep breathing. Scooping him up carefully and holding him nervously, I sat in a rocking chair in the pre-dawn darkness and talked to…

Dying Democracy — Nov. 11, 2022

🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Election Message 🗳️School Priorities 🏫Tickets Aplenty 🎫 It would seem to me that if a common sentiment from wise people following an election is that it’s a good thing the results were so muddled because it means not much will get done in the next two years, you’ve got yourself a…

Fairy Tale — Nov. 9, 2022

🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Stephen King 🕮Legal Weed🌿Public Schools🏫 I read my first Stephen King book when I was in high school. It was summer, if I remember correctly, and everywhere I went, I carried a worn library copy of Pet Sematary. Since that time, King’s words have been a regular companion through every stage…

Year In Music — Nov. 5, 2022

🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Concert Craze 🎵Back Crackin’👩‍⚕️To-Dos Done🚗 My year of music is over. And, my God, has it been good. It started on a sweltering mid-July afternoon at Hollywood Casino Amphitheater in which Wifey Poo and I watched my Backup Wife Jewel do her thing. It ended last night on an evening that…

Update: My Favorite African — Nov. 3, 2022

🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Little D’s Return 🏥Irony 🔨Planet Killer 🌎 Being a host parent to a little boy from Africa (Burkina Faso, to be precise) was one of the hardest and most rewarding things I’ve ever done in my life. And now, that little boy is returning to the United States. For those not…

Mega Billions — Nov. 2, 2022

🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Stupid IT Rules 🖥️The Bend 🚑Is The War Over? ✌️ Tonight, there will be a lottery drawing in which someone could win $1.2 billion. That someone won’t be me, as I didn’t buy a ticket, but it didn’t stop me from thinking about what I would and wouldn’t do with that…

Fun Family — Nov. 1, 2022

🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Family Dynamics 👪New Mattress 🛏️To Share Or Not To Share? ❓ Let’s say the only cracker you’ve ever eaten is a Saltine. You have no experience with any other crackers. In fact, you don’t even know that there is such a thing as other crackers. You might not love the Saltine,…

Halloween Haters— Oct. 31, 2022

🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Ghosts of Halloween 👻Wrinkles 👴Words Spawn Action ✍️ Wifey Poo made a bold declaration about her opinion of Halloween on our drive back from Springfield, Missourah, Saturday afternoon: “Halloween is a great time for kids to dress up …” If you think there’s more to that statement, nope. She added: “Period.”…

How I Do Me — Oct. 27, 2022

🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Empath Life 🤗Earthquake 🌎Revolutionary Failure 😶 About six months after I started my career as a professional journalist, I started walking past this job opening in our company every time I walked in and out of the building. It was for editor of a weekly paper routinely ridiculed by those who…

School Shooter Match Game — Oct. 24, 2022

🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Game Time 🎮Family Picture📸Marriage Tips 🪢 I remember when it was simple. Horrible, yes … but simple. There was Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold and they matched up with Columbine — which, side note, would have been my high school had my parents not moved to NY when I was 2.…

Helping the Homeless — Oct. 23, 2022

🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Helper Bags 🆘What’s In The Bag?🎒Mini Golf ⛳ I was raised to avoid the homeless. Avoid eye contact. Avoid conversation. And most definitely avoid giving them anything they asked for. I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in this, which doesn’t make me feel any better. What was instilled in me as…

Marcus F’n King — Oct. 21, 2022

🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Books & Covers 🕮Seeking Balance ⚖️Weirdo🤪 We’re taught at an early age to not judge a book by its cover. If I remember correctly, that was impressed upon me sometime around the first grade. Yet to be honest, I don’t think it’s a lesson that ever really sunk in. I imagine…

Political Ads — Oct. 20, 2022

🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Illegals or Guns? 🤦Scrolling Through Stupidity 🖱️Worst Nurse Ever 👩‍⚕️ If there’s anything I hate more than politics and politicians, it’s political advertising. Cutting the cable cord has lessened its intrusiveness in my life, yet it still manages to seep in. Case in point: I was watching the Padres-Phillies game last…

Chocolateman— Oct. 19, 2022

🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Passion 🍫Sarcasm 😜Poop 💩 I appreciate people who are passionate about something. Well, except politics. Then I’d prefer it if you’d just keep your mouth shut. But if you’re super-interested in photography, goats, cooking, geocaching, quilting, etching … whatever … your enthusiasm feeds my soul. Which is part of the reason…

Top 5 Things From The Past Week: Oct. 10-16 edition

Welcome to Issue No. 9 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 johnagliata@gmail.com. No. 5: I pledged to finish something I am a writer. If I’m going to be a…

Evolution — Oct. 17, 2022

🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Monkey Crap 🐒BTY Day 👨‍👦Incomplete Stories 🖊️ If you’re of the belief that human beings evolved from apes, I’m not here to try to dissuade you. What I am here to say is that, if evolution is true, we sure have come a long way. I say this after a trip…

Basement Water — Oct. 15, 2022

🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Personal Growth 🌱Mad Mom 😠Oh, Jeffrey 🧠 About a year ago, Arti The Wonder Therapist waited patiently for me to finish yet another of my amazing monologues detailing just how I felt about the various situations I was attempting to address in my life at the time and then calmly asked…

Death! Death! Death! — Oct. 14, 2022

🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Cue the Outrage 🔫Animal Extinction 🐆Eye Update 👀 Even back in the day when I considered myself a Republican (before the dark times … before the Trumpire), I never quite understood the death penalty. Perhaps it was because I looked around at the other nations that still killed people as punishment…

Corneal Complications — Oct. 13, 2022

🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Hello Darkness, My Old Friend 👀COVID Costs 🦠Jackass Jones Verdict👩‍⚖️ I’ve spent much of this week so far in forced darkness. After I wrote on Monday morning, my right eye started to get blurry. Then it got real blurry. Then it became utterly useless. In this, I have reprised my role…

Mattress Shopping — Oct. 10, 2022

🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Awkward Shopping 🛏️Disingenuous Holiday 🗓️Help the Homeless 😔 If there’s a more awkward retail excursion than mattress shopping, I have yet to find it in my 48 years. Wifey Poo and I went to a high school gym to do exactly that on Sunday afternoon. The bed we’ve been sleeping in…

So Long, Cards — Oct. 9, 2022

🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Playoff Disappointment ⚾Oh, Britney 📲Friendship Failure 😔 In the span of just more than 24 hours, I went from the excited expectation of being in Busch Stadium to watch the hometown St. Louis Cardinals eliminate the Philadelphia Phillies and advance to the next round of the playoffs to watching those Phillies…

Playoff Baseball — Oct. 6, 2022

🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Baseball Gear-Grinders ⚾Sunrise Woes 🌄Heavy Pumpkins 🎃 There are a few baseball-related indignities in my home that, as the saying goes, grind my gears. The first is that there is a state championship trophy on the mantel above the fireplace in our Humble Country Home with a gold-plated baseball player, bat…

There Will Be Blood — Oct. 5, 2022

🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Weird Wound Treatment 🧂Phillies Bring Doom ⚾Meetings Suck 👎🏽 Apparently, I’ll take medical advice from waitresses and allow myself to receive medical treatment from busboys. This, I learned last night. I have a tendency to get hurt in really interesting ways. When I tell you that I once got a concussion…

Top 5 Things From The Past Week: 9/26-10/2

Welcome to Issue No. 8 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 johnagliata@gmail.com. No. 5: I held an epic car concert If you were anywhere in the vicinity of my…

Place Your Bets — Oct. 3, 2022

🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Football Picking God 🏈Fish Story 🐟Free Floating ☁️ A few months before Boy The Elder was born, I had about $100 set aside to buy Wifey Poo a gift that I intended to give her after she ushered our child into the world. It was the least I could do for,…

Sliced Bread — Sept. 30, 2022

🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩New Route Home 🏎️Confirmed Weirdness 🤪Here’s Your Sign 🤦 I took a new route home from the western part of Missourah yesterday after doing the whole open-house thing for work in St. Joseph. Rather than shoot down to I-70 and traverse the state on that familiar road, I went across Hwy.…

Rental Tank — Sept. 29, 2022

🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Woo-Woo vs. The Beast 🛻Dart Throwers 🎯My Job 📋 I am not used to driving a tank. My normal vehicle is Woo-Woo, AKA The Shitty Little Car, AKA a Nissan Versa. It’s practical. It gets great gas mileage. I hate it. Woo-Woo normally accelerates as quickly as a child asked to…

LinkedIn — Sept. 26, 2022

🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Unwitting Guinea Pigs 🐹False Bragging 🦹‍♂️Put Me In, Coach 🚀 My regular readers (hey, you three!) know that I have a hatred for social media’s influence on society with an intensity rivaled only by the heat of a thousand suns. The latest bit of “Are you fucking kidding me?” comes from…

Top 5 Things From The Past Week: 9/9-9/25

Welcome to Issue No. 7 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 johnagliata@gmail.com. No. 5: I reached out to a friend I have not been shy about sharing that I’ve…

iPhone Envy — Sept. 25, 2022

🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩More Stupid Human Stuff 📱KC Trip ⚾Miserable Missourah 😠 Quick: Take a look around you. If you’re in a room with five other people, one of them thinks you’re financially struggling if you don’t have the latest iPhone. That’s according to a new survey following the release of the iPhone 14.…

Human Babies — Sept. 23, 2022

🧩 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…

In It — Sept. 22, 2022

🧩 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…

Remembering Sarah — Sept. 21, 2022

🧩 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…

Small Ear Canal — Sept. 19, 2022

🧩 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…

Sunday Randomness — Sept. 18, 2022

🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Two, Four, Six, Eight👑Tips💰Book Buying📖 Some random thoughts from the week that was: Today’s Reasons to Keep Living

Nominee Day! — Sept. 16, 2022

🧩 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…

Springfields Aplenty — Sept. 15, 2022

🧩 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…

F’n COVID — Sept. 13, 2022

🧩 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…

Change of Plans — Sept. 12, 2022

🧩 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…

Why Run? — Sept. 11, 2022

🧩 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…

Stephen King — Sept. 9, 2022

🧩 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…

Random Bullets — Sept. 8, 2022

🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Shrimp(s) 🍤Toilet Training 🚽Apple’s Long Game 🍏 A little bit of randomness for a Thursday. Today’s Reasons to Keep Living

Once Upon a Time — Sept. 7, 2022

🧩 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…

Chainsaws & Ladders — Sept. 6, 2022

🧩 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…

Inside a Good Day — Sept. 5, 2022

🧩 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…

Second Mothers — Sept. 3, 2022

🧩 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…

Muricah the Crumbling — Sept. 2, 2022

🧩 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…

Bratwurst Flap — August 31, 2022

🧩 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…

Baseball Serendipity — August 30, 2022

🧩 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…

Failure to Launch — August 29, 2022

🧩 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…

Hypnotized — August 26, 2022

🧩 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…

Outrage? — August 25, 2022

🧩 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…

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