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!
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.
More From ‘A Puzzle Known As Life’
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 email@example.com. No. 5: I held an epic car concert If you were anywhere in the vicinity of my […]
🧩 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, […]
🧩 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. […]
🧩 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 […]
🧩 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 […]
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. No. 5: I reached out to a friend I have not been shy about sharing that I’ve […]
🧩 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. […]
🧩 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 […]
🧩 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 […]
🧩 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 […]
🧩 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 […]
🧩 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
🧩 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 […]
🧩 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 […]
🧩 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 […]
🧩 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 […]
🧩 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 […]
🧩 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 […]
🧩 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
🧩 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 […]
🧩 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 […]
🧩 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 […]
🧩 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 […]
🧩 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 […]
🧩 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 […]
🧩 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 […]
🧩 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 […]
🧩 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 […]
🧩 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 […]
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩 Death Cometh Sooner 💀Twitter Security 🔓Game Over 🌑 Average life expectancy in the United States dropped in 2020 by almost two years in 2020, the biggest decline since World War II. Every state and the District of Columbia saw a drop. Guess it was a little bit more than that […]
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Worm brain 🧠Chicken Big Mac 🐔Eye Twitch 👁️ Caenorhabditis elegans is probably too elegant of a name for something that is really just a disgusting little worm about a millimeter long and most easily found in rotting fruit. It is more commonly known as a lab roundworm and was the first […]
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩The Agliata Homeschool Academy 🚌Hypnosis 😳Sunburn 🌞🔥 When you tell people you homeschool your children, you typically receive one of three responses: An enthusiastic: “Oh, that’s so cool!” An I’d-rather-be-dipped-in-acid: “Oh wow! I could never do that!” A you’re-one-of-those-weirdos: “Oh… really… homeschooling, huh?” The percentage for each has changed in the […]
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Indycar 🏎️Best Friends 😎Baseball Irony ⚾ There are certain people who look at car racing as an endless series of left turns. These people are idiots on whom nuance is lost. Boy The Elder and I crossed the border yesterday late-morning to head just past the fine city of East St. […]
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Swine Inflation 🐖Swamp Thing 🎥Phone Calls 📱 Life was different when I went to college in Iowa after growing up in suburban New York City. This isn’t to suggest I was a city kid. I wasn’t. The city was a place we went to a few times a year, and where […]
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Triple-Threat 🖥️🖥️🖥️Tasmanian Tiger 🐅Video Work 📹 Humans were not meant to stare at laptop screens. At least, humans of a certain age were not meant to stare at laptop screens. I say this after successfully lobbying for a second monitor at work, which effectively turned my laptop screen into a third […]
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Look Before Brewing ☕Hoop Construction 🏀Nuclear War ☢️ If you’d like an indication of how much of a Monday yesterday was for me, know that I ended up with an orange in my coffee. Well, to be fair, it wasn’t a full-blown orange. It was something called a Cutie, which is […]
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Weird Date 🪦Nature Walk🌳Bulldog Bath 🐶 If you have a date walking around a cemetery, you’re either weird or goth, and neither Wifey Poo nor I were wearing black today, which I guess tells you all you need to know about us. Old cemeteries are something of a fascination for us, […]
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩So Long, Kid 👨👦Steak Celebration🥩Chip & Joanna 🪚 Regular readers of my drivel know that I’m kind of an emotional guy, which is like saying that Jack kind of could have fit on the spacious floating door with Rose in Titanic. So it should come as no surprise when I say […]
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Cash 4 IRS 💰Cash 4 Workers 💸Sound of Silence 🤫 Be extra careful on your taxes this year. The IRS is expected to receive nearly $80 billion when The Inflation Reduction Act eventually becomes law, and its plan is to hire 87,000 full-time workers. More than half of the $80 billion […]
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Spoon Nose 🥄👃🏻Dump Truck 🚚Twitter Traitor 🐦 Every night, I strap a mask attached to a long hose to my face so I don’t die. Not satisfied with looking kinda like an idiot, I then wrap a flexible Velco-enabled strap around my chin and fasten it on top of my bald […]
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Thanks, Yankees ⚾Kitchen Moment 👩🍳McDonald’s Glasses 🥛 Wifey Poo and I were recent college graduates and months away from becoming Married Folk when our relationship nearly faced its greatest test. The New York Yankees were rolling toward their first World Series appearance since I played with Matchbox Cars, and the St. […]
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Mammoth Dilemma🦣Zombie Pigs🧟🐖Stadium Pals⚾ Finding the fossilized remains of a Wooly Mammoth in New Mexico isn’t exactly news. It seems the furry elephants loved to hang out in the land so frequently visited by aliens. What is news is the condition of the fossils from the latest find. Some of the […]
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Ankle Shot 🦶🏻Teamwork 🤝🏽Talkspace Stupidity 🤪 Over the years, I’ve played catch with Boy The Younger dozens and dozens of times. From those early days of him aimlessly flinging an oversized soft thing a few feet forward, to now when he’s zipping a real baseball the regulation distance from a pitching […]
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Creative Desert 🎨So Long, Supra 🏎️Taco Truck 🌮 I have absolutely nothing today. On most days — even the really, really bad days — I can push out something creatively worthwhile. A blog post. A flyer. A video. Not today. Today I have jack shit. This is professionally problematic, considering my […]
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Hungry=Stupid 😋Strategic Planning 📅Bed Sizes 🛏️ Hunger is a strong motivator. This, most of us know. Yet I witnessed this truth at a whole new level this weekend. Wifey Poo and I traveled up to Hannibal, Missourah, for a few days. Hannibal, for you uncultured folks, is the hometown of Mark […]
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Change 🌀Me, Different 😷Bad Baseball ⚾ I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Most everything in humanity is governed by two intertwined forces. Supply and demand. Scarcity. Whether its the economy or human emotions, everything about us is geared toward responding to these two things. For example, when there […]
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Double Standards 🦅Birthday Deals 🎁Video Guy 📹 The United States has a problem with hypocrisy. Don’t worry, though; it’s nothing new. It just happens to be glaringly apparent right now. Our revered Founding Fathers got things off on a really bad foot when they penned the lofty statement that all men […]
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Revolution 🌍Rain 🌧️Refund 💰 By this time tomorrow, I will have completed 48 trips around the sun. Or is it 47 and I’ll be starting my 48th? Whatever. I’ll be 48 years old tomorrow. I have to admit, I’m feeling kinda blah about it. Looking back, this past revolution was busy […]
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Bitchy Mother Nature 🌧️⚡Tech Woes 🖥️Maturation 👦 Overnight storms made for a restless night, as waves of rain and thunder rolled through our section of Missourah. Flash flood warnings pinged my phone sometime in the middle of the night, and by the time I left for my drive to work, eastbound […]
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Rollercoasters 🎢Sad Puppy 🐶News Roundup 🤖 It’s possible to think a lot of thoughts while plummeting 90 feet at a 90-degree angle while staring up at the sun. This I learned yesterday while at Silver Dollar City in Branson, Missourah, with the Core Four, Div, Wifey Poo’s baby sister and baby […]
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Date Day 🤟🏽Prison Justice 👊Universe Questions 🚀 Wifey Poo and I ended up having more than 12 hours to ourselves yesterday here in the Midwest Redneck Mecca of Branson, Missourah. Boys The Elder and Younger, along with BTE’s lovely girlfriend of nearly three years, and Wifey Poo’s baby sister and family […]
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩WFH WTF? 🧑💼Rebel Ball ⚾Psych Myth 🧠 As a writer/columnist/blogger/thought-spewer, I always enjoy when I get something out there before anyone else. I dug that when I was a newspaper journalist, and I dig it now. That’s why I’m happy to be hearing national publications and sites like Business Insider starting […]
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Fahrenheit 🌡️Blindingly White ⬜Alone Time 👴 Muricah is very much a reactionary nation. Much of what we do and who we are is because we were pissed off about the way someone else did things. Monarchy? We’ll have a democracy, thank you very much. The metric system? We’ll measure stuff our […]
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Tryouts ⚾BBQ Sauce🍖TMNT🐢 There is cause for celebration in the Core Four: Boy The Younger has been drafted. Sadly, we’re not talking about the ongoing Major League Baseball draft. Rather, we’re talking about the sick modern world of Little League baseball. Not to get too “Get off my lawn!” on you, […]
🧩 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 […]
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Shut Up🤫Waffle House 🧇Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes🤗 So here’s something I don’t quite understand: Why is anyone, especially our political leaders, expressing “shock” over what happened in Texas yesterday. Dude … the sun rose yesterday. The sun has risen every single freaking day for the course of humanity. The sun will rise tomorrow. That’s […]
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Subway Obsession😞Guard Dog 🐶Chainsaw John🪓 Every child is peculiar in his or her own way. It’s an early indication we all should recognize that none of us is normal. We’re all weird. And that’s OK. Boy The Younger has always had his peculiarities. As a small child, he was fascinated with […]