Earth Day and Marriage — April 22, 2022


🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩
Marketing Earth Day 🌎
Lifeshit 💩
Mawwiage 🪢


Happy Earth Day. I love that we celebrate a planet that demonstrates in so many ways how much it doesn’t like us. Today, The Best Damn Real Estate Team on Either Side of the Mississippi is doing a highway cleanup project, so I’ll be on Facebook Live and posting photos and video afterwards. I designed a T-shirt for the event and dubbed those who are helping “The Clean Team.” Being The Marketing Guy is fun. Most of the time.


Sometimes, Lifeshit (as I like to call it) is just heavy. Someone I’d consider an acquaintance/sorta-friend found out he might have leukemia … likely has leukemia. He was feeling fine and the revelatory test was simply some routine blood work. What the actual fuck?

Another person I know from college had started posting cryptically sad stuff on Facebook, so I reached out. Turns out he’s now divorced.

In one of the stories I recently wrote for Northwestern University, a guy who leads a design innovation team talked about the need for optimism and optimists in product development. Creating a product from nothing calls for a certain leap of faith, he said. I understand optimism and optimists. Lifeshit can sometimes indicate that outlook and those people are nuts.


Wifey Poo and I had a great date on Wednesday. We’ve been kickin’ ass on our pledge to have a date once a week all year. This one was simple — dinner and a quick trip to the casino. We never made it to the casino. We ended up eating BBQ and talking for three freaking hours. It was probably one of the best talks we’ve ever had — about really important shit. I think we’d both say it was a long-overdue conversation. And it was good.

Being married 25 years is a feat of which I’m extremely proud. We’ve been holy-matrimonied long enough to witness the couples who didn’t last a year, who faltered somewhere around a decade and the surprisingly growing number of folks who end it a decade further beyond that (see above item). I’m proud of us. It certainly hasn’t been easy. The Good Stuff rarely is.


Yesterday was about taking care of me. I’m not really good at that, though much better than I used to be. I had an appointment with Arti The Therapist, which went well. I’m not ashamed of the fact that I talk with Arti weekly, though life has taught me I surely should be a bit cautious about being so open about it. Having been the object of horrific discrimination at a previous job for taking time to address my brain health, I know exactly why people are reluctant to open up about medical issues affecting our most complex organ.

After that, I did a float in a sensory deprivation tank. There’s something necessary about that for me, I’m realizing. To be devoid of sight, touch, most hearing and most smells is extremely freeing. To lose your sense of place in space and time allows your mind to go where it will. To shut out the noise of this world (and here I’m not talking merely about auditory things) is a blessing. To come out of that tank and have a good talk with a good person who runs the place is refreshing.

Then I went to a restorative yoga class, where, somewhere about halfway in, I realized I was feeling a way I so rarely have felt in my life: Phenomenal. The chatter is always there … “This isn’t going to last. It never has before.” … But maybe this time it will.


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Today’s Reasons to Keep Living

  1. If an Earth Day event isn’t chronicled on social media, did it really even happen?
  2. Wifey Poo is headed out of town tonight for a Sisters Day tomorrow, and Boy The Younger, though incredibly responsible for a 12-year-old, probably shouldn’t be left alone for that long.
  3. BTY has a baseball game tonight. I love watching him play.

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Adventures in Costco – Nov. 6, 2021

🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Cute Pic, Dumb Response 📷A Musical Connection 🎵A Time-Change Analogy ⌚ My first solo venture into Costco today did not end up in familial bankruptcy, surprisingly. Oh, it could have. It just didn’t. I walked right past the $40 slabs of ribs and steered clear of the $2,000 monster TV that…

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Punk! — Nov. 5, 2021

🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Wrasslin’ 🤼‍♂️Wifey Poo 🦶Costco 🛒 Boy The Younger and I found ourselves this evening in the most difficult-to-spell-without-looking-it-up building in the Midwest, Chaifetz Arena, home of the Midwest’s most-weirdly named college basketball team, the St. Louis University Billikens. But we weren’t there for hoops. We were there to watch the odd…

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Wounded Wifey Poo — Nov. 4, 2021

🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Role Reversal ◀️Work From Wherever ⌚People Talk Funny 📣 Today was Part I of Operation “Return Wifey Poo’s Ability to Walk Not Like An Old Lady.” We arrived at Barnes Jewish Hospital West, which graciously allowed us entry despite us not being members of the tribe, just before 10 a.m. to…

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John’s Seal of Approval — Nov. 3, 2021

🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩 📺 A Broadcast to Watch 📰 An eNewsletter to Read 📽️ A Documentary to Skip Here are two things that receive the official John The Storyteller-in-Chief’s Seal of Approval — and one that doesn’t. ✅ Peyton and Eli Do Monday Night Football I have been alive for many variations of the…

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Get Off My Lawn! — Nov. 1, 2021

🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Good Journalism 📰Fish Farts 🐟💨Dystopia 🧟 I’m officially old. I say that not because of a birthday or a sudden recognition that I am, indeed, 47. Rather, I say it because I’m increasingly pining for “the good-old days.” Now, I get it, Billy Joel. The good-old days weren’t always good, and…

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Cleaning Out Memories — Oct. 31, 2021

🔻 What’s Below 🔻My Red Wagon 😊F’n Nightmares 💤I Hate Facebook 😠 I greeted the Halloween morning sunrise while taking every last thing out of the garage of my little country home and putting it in one of four sections on the driveway: Stuff to throw away. Stuff to give to Wifey Poo to try…

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My Blue-Haired Medalist — Oct. 30, 2021

👎 What’s Below 👎Boy The Medalist 🏅Ricky The Trash Eater 🗑️Sweating It Out 🥵 Waiting for Boy The Younger’s blue-haired head to pop over the rolling southern Missouri countryside for the final sprint to the finish line this morning was torturous. He was running in his final cross-country meet of this, his first season, one…

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Make Mine a Double — Oct. 29, 2021

What’s BelowShoulder Ouchies 😧Chris the TigWaBaFatu 💁‍♂️Murder Pods 🔪 I’d love to know what idiot thought it was a good idea to get a COVID booster shot in one arm and a flu shot in the other less than a minute apart yesterday. Oh, that would be me. I spent much of the night sleepily…

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The Idiot Driver? Tis I — Oct. 28, 2021

👇🏻 What’s Below 👇🏻🚦 Red Means Stop 💉 Vaccination Ethics ✍️ The Many Voices in My Head  I’m convinced that people in every state think their state’s drivers are the worst, and never do they count themselves among them. I learned to operate a motor vehicle in New York, whose drivers have a particularly bad reputation, but…

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Christmas Road Trippin’ — Oct. 27, 2021

🔻 What’s Below 🔻Heading South for the Winter 🥶Laughing With Wifey Poo 🤣👩Americans Suck at Math 🧮Therapy 🧠 I love my role as the family’s vacation planner. I’m not sure exactly when I put on this hat, but I think it’s a generally recognized Family Truth that it’s something at which I’m good. I’ve planned everything…

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Sitting on the Bench — Oct. 22, 2021

👇🏾 What’s Below 👇🏾In the dugout ⚾What if I’m … wrong? 😢Angry face 😡  I spent part of the morning in the St. Louis Cardinals dugout. The fam took a trip downtown to tour Busch Stadium. It was a good visit. We saw the owner’s suite (posh), the Champions Club (pricey) and peeked in on the batting…

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So Many Damn Feelings — Oct. 22, 2021

👇 What’s Below 👇On Men and Crying 😭 Why I write ✍🏻Back Crackin’ 👨‍⚕️ So here’s a thing I sometimes hate about myself: I cry. Like, easily. And often. Or at least it’s “often” in comparison to how often men normally cry. At least, I think it’s often in comparison to the frequency men normally cry. I…

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Baseball is Broken — Oct. 20, 2021

What’s Below 👇🏼Nazis and Mongols ⚾Hippie writing ☮️Inside marriage 💍 The Astros playing the Red Sox to see who advances to the World Series is, to me, akin to the Nazis fighting the Mongols to determine who gets control of the planet — and if you haven’t heard about how the Mongols killed their prisoners,…

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Say ‘Cheese’ — Oct. 19, 2021

What’s Below 👇On being self-taught 📷The Bee Battle 🐝Ahhh, Ben Platt 🎶 I set up a little makeshift portrait studio today in a training room at my office. Lights, a backdrop — the color of which matches our new brand hue — and a tripod with my Nikon Z6. It all looked very fancy-shmancy. Here’s…

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Technology Sucks — Oct. 18, 2021

Human beings of the modern age like to think of themselves as the pinnacle of all creation. Of course, this is not necessarily new to the modern age. It wasn’t all that long ago that some of the brightest minds of their modern age — guys like Sir Isaac Newton — thought women got pregnant…

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Even a Bald Man Needs a Barbershop — Oct. 17, 2021

Being a bald man, I don’t have many reasons to be in a barbershop. And I miss barbershops. They are one of the few remaining oases for guys, and barbershop talk is fun. I took Boy The Younger to have his mop managed Saturday morning. Boy The Elder found Walt’s Barbershop a few years ago.…

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Infant Loss Awareness — Oct. 15, 2021

Today is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day, and even almost 21 years later, I’m not sure how I feel about it. So much of time is arbitrary. We screw it up so badly that we have to add a whole day every four years. So for me, today is just like any other day…

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Fourth State of Being — Oct. 14, 2021

There’s this state of being that’s not quite asleep, not quite dreaming but definitely not awake. That’s where I found myself Thursday evening at Livin’ Sublime Wellness, my little yoga studio in Wentzville. Restorative yoga is a lifesaver for me. If you haven’t tried it, you should. Not to sound all Hippie-Dippy or anything, but…

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Losing Weight Wasn’t the Goal — Oct. 13, 2021

A vegan, a person on a gluten-free diet, and a person who does Crossfit walk into a bar. How do I know? Because none of them would shut up about it. If you haven’t heard this joke before, you can probably relate. I know I can. I remember meeting Sarah on Day 1 at a…

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The Family Writer — October 9, 2021

The one thing I know how to do better than anything else is write. I love it. But it’s also sometimes very difficult. Because I know how to tell a story, I’m tapped to do so in trying times. I did so when my father-in-law died in January, writing his obituary and helping my beautiful…

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On Toilet Seats and Meat Thermometers — Oct. 8, 2021

I found it funny this morning to be walking through Kohl’s with a meat thermometer in my right hand and two toilet seats tucked under my left arm. There are some moments in life that are just serendipitous. Boy The Elder and Wifey Poo are indirectly responsible for this little portrait you now have in…

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Painful Playoff Baseball — Oct. 5, 2021

I’ve been a Yankees fan since I was a small boy. Some of my best memories were born in the old Yankee Stadium. It’s in my DNA to not like the Red Sox. I can think of no good reason to despise the Sawx or their fans, but I still am repulsed by their logo,…

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An All-Sports Weekend – Oct. 3, 2021

I once played in a baseball game in which it was raining so hard that, when I picked up a ball stuck in the mud in the middle of a puddle in a centerfield that resembled a shallow lake, it felt like I was throwing a shot-put to the second baseman 15 feet away. Today,…

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So. Damn. Tired — Sept. 28, 2021

Life sucks when you’re tired. I know this. I’ve lived this. A lot of people like to say they have insomnia. I used to say I had insomnia. Then I actually got insomnia. There’s a difference between a few nights of poor sleep and insomnia. Which isn’t to diminish a few nights of poor sleep.…

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The Finish Line — Sept. 27, 2021

The one-and-only competitive footrace I have ever won came during Field Day 1980 at Pound Ridge Elementary School in suburban New York. I was in kindergarten, on the green team, and was a part of the 50-meter dash. I remember being most fascinated that day by the starters’ pistol, wondering if it contained real bullets…

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Wifey Poo, The Super Finder — Sept. 26, 2021

I’m all about lists. I love making them. I love crossing things off on them. And it really annoys me when things I wanted to get done on a list don’t get done. I came into today with a lot of things left on my weekend to-do list. Rather than end the day annoyed, I…

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Kid Coupons – Sept. 25, 2021

Our boys are not “stuff” kids. We learned this early on, when Boy The Elder was but a wee little lad and we did what normal first-time parents do: Buy him a ton of what I call KidShit for Christmas. The KidShit went largely untouched. BTE, we learned, was more of an “experiences” kid. He…

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Dear Evan Hansen — Sept. 24, 2021

Tonight was date night for me and Wifey Poo. We swung by Stone Summit Steak & Seafood for a drink — she, a fruity white wine; me, a Woodford Reserve, neat — and then went to see Dear Evan Hansen. I’d wanted to catch it back when it was on the stage and never had.…

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Getting Married vs. Being Married — Sept. 23, 2021

One of the interesting truths about this whole “living” thing is that we make so many important decisions before we know what the hell we’re doing. For example, I chose my career path the same year I got my driver’s license. I had absolutely no concept of a mortgage and office politics and exactly how…

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I’m Legal! – Sept. 22, 2021

I have seen in person how protective a mother grizzly bear can be of her cubs. The Fam was on a two-week Alaska vacation between my seventh- and eighth-grade years, a trip on which my voice changed and I enjoyed the company of twin 14-year-old sisters from Alabama, which is a story for another day.…

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The Shirt-Jack is Back! – Sept. 21, 2021

I spent the morning in my office at work ensconced in my gray shirt-jack. If you don’t know what a shirt-jack is, that’s OK. I didn’t either until I found it on Amazon a few years ago while searching for something that wasn’t quite a sweatshirt but not quite a jacket to wear around the…

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FIL’s Day — Sept. 19, 2021

Today was all about my father-in-law, Marvin. FIL died in November following complications from heart surgery and COVID. Wifey Poo and the sisters-in-law organized an ice cream social and issued an open invitation to the family and FIL’s friends. When we set the date for late September, the thought was that we’d be past the…

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Lots of Thoughts on Life and Death — Sept. 18, 2021

The term “hot as balls” definitely applied to today, though I don’t know exactly what it means. It was parents weekend at Mizzou, so we traveled yesterday evening to see Boy The Elder and attend a football game today in which the Tigers took on the mighty Southeast Missouri State Somethingorothers. The game itself was…

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