🧩 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. Louis Cardinals seemed to be headed in the same direction.
It was 1996, and this situation was problematic.
Wifey Poo-to-be was and is a diehard Cardinals fan. I feel as if I practically grew up in the old Yankee Stadium. We both loved each other tremendously, but was it really enough to sustain us through a battle between our two teams that could have only one winner?
Thankfully, the Cardinals choked away a three-games-to-one lead vs. the Atlanta Braves in the National League Championship Series, losing three straight. The Yankees then disposed of the Braves in six to start a streak of four World Series titles in five years, including three straight, and Wifey Poo and I were married in a blissful ceremony the following March.
The following year, Major League Baseball started interleague play, and every so often, our two teams meet for a series of games with far less significance to the baseball world but enormous implications in our marriage. This weekend, my Yankees came to town to take on her Cardinals, and we were in attendance Friday night to watch the titanic struggle.
By the time the weekend was over, the Yankees had dropped all three games to the Cardinals, including an embarrassing 1-0 loss on Saturday in which a pitcher the Bronx Bombers traded the week before hurled a gem to completely shut down “our” offense.
Thanks, guys. Ugh.
There have been some seemingly really insignificant moments over the course of my family’s time together that have been just about perfect. Saturday evening was one of those times.
Wifey Poo had spent a busy day doing various cooking and baking projects in the kitchen. When Boy The Elder and I returned from an event we attended in St. Louis, she was in the middle of one of those stretches in which anything that can go wrong, does go wrong. There was a pile of spilled espresso on the floor, the kitchen overall looked as if a bomb had exploded in it, and Wifey Poo’s patience was, shall we say, stretched thin.
Over the course of the next few hours, the Core Four was at its best. BTE and I helped clean up the espresso issue, Boy The Younger appeared to help his older brother chop stuff for Texas caviar for a family event the next day, and everyone had a role in making sure the kitchen was cleaned up before we all retired for the day, an effort led by BTE that led me to once again marvel at his amazing work ethic.
During it all, I stood at the entrance to our kitchen, watching the chopping and the cleaning and the baking for a few moments, and I thought: “This is good.”
I love moments like that.
“Back in my day … “ If ever there were a phrase to denote an old person, there you have it. I find myself thinking and saying those words a lot lately. I miss the simplicity and small joys of the Old Days. Things like …
- Do you remember walking into McDonald’s or Burger King, ordering a meal, and coming home with a drinking glass? And not some cheap small thing either. A full-sized drinking glass made not of plastic but real freaking glass! The feeling of “Yes! It’s Grimace month!” cannot be overstated.
- The scent of a freshly opened baseball card pack. It was this mix of stale gum, cardboard and hope … hope that somewhere in the soon-to-be uncovered cards was that one you really, really needed to help you complete a team or even the entire set of that year’s cards. Now you can just go on Amazon and buy a whole set, and it doesn’t come with the stale bubble gum. Kinda boring, if you ask me.
- Boredom. No one truly likes commercials, do they? But they were a time to get things done. Grab a snack. Go to the bathroom. Change your clothes. Punch your sister. All before hurrying back as soon as you heard someone scream, “It’s back on!” Now, we dive into devices the moment there’s a break in the action, whether it’s on TV or if our date goes to the bathroom while at a restaurant. Gotta check Facebook Gotta post a photo Gotta check my email Gotta look at the news Gotta Tweet Gotta Text Gotta Gotta Gotta. Here’s a challenge: When life hands you a natural break in the action, spend time doing nothing. Let your brain rest. Let your mind wander. People watch. We’re a fascinating and often hilarious species to observe in our natural habitat.
The Top 5 Things You Will Learn If You Read This Entire Blog Jeopardy buzzers suck. To rule the world, you must start in Australia. Emus are the perfect killing machines. When you send out the military to kill birds, always send a cameraman. When nothing else works, build a wall. It’s time for Blog…Keep reading
Today’s Reasons to Keep Living
- Fall weather has to be coming soon, right?
- Going to my first IndyCar race in a few weeks.
- Just bought the latest season of Better Call Saul to watch.
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🧩 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…Keep reading
🧩 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,…Keep reading
🧩 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…Keep reading
🧩 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…Keep reading
🧩 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…Keep reading
🧩 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…Keep reading
🧩 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…Keep reading
🧩 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…Keep reading
🧩 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…Keep reading
🧩 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…Keep reading
🧩 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…Keep reading
🧩 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…Keep reading
🧩 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…Keep reading
🧩 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…Keep reading
🧩 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…Keep reading
🧩 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…Keep reading
🧩 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…Keep reading
🧩 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…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Musical History🎹Why Write? 🖊️Loser Level😔 We finally have only one piano in our house! Now, don’t get to thinking we’re this uber-musical family. We’re not. Wifey Poo, from what I hear, was a helluva clarinetist back in her day and did, indeed, take piano lessons. Boy The Elder is really good…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Beyond Tired😫Busting Ass 🐝Covid Sadness😔 Everything is knowable. When I look back at the pace of change in my life, I think that’s the biggest difference between my life as a child and my life as an adult. Back then, if you wondered something, you just … wondered it. I mean,…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Sad Anniversary😞My Back! 😳Dachau😭 Thirty-five years ago today, my first grandparent died. Grandpa was my favorite grandparent, and in looking back, I think it was because of his willingness to join my world. Grandpa played games with me endlessly. He taught me how to play rummy. He would spend hours on…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Bye-Bye BTE✈️Rival Riot Rumble 🤼♂️Old Man John🤕 In a few hours, Boy The Elder will board a plane headed for Germany. He just completed his sophomore year at Mizzou, and now he’s going overseas for a two-week study-abroad session in which he’ll allegedly learn more about food science and fermentation and…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Double-U🧸Big Sis 🦸♀️Preggo Healer 🤰 Anyone remember Speak & Spell? If you’ve seen E.T., you’ve seen it before. Don’t know why, but I was thinking about this toy the other day. For some reason, spelling wasn’t school if you had one of these things to play with. I can still hear…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Heat Wave🥵Lawn Mowing🚜Last Podcast 🎙️ It’s hotter than balls outside in my section of Missourah, and I’m not happy about it. I am not a hot-weather person. I hate heat. I sweat easily. I turn red even easier. Having a bald head does not match well with sun exposure. And has…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Friends😔What To Do?🙋Creepy Dolls 🎎 Yesterday was a rough day. It’s one thing to be a person with essentially no friends. It’s another thing altogether to not be friends with yourself. That’s where I was yesterday — all up in my head and imagining the worst was about to happen in…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Losing Money 🥊The Best F’N Mom Ever👩Heat 🥵 Wifey Poo and I took our weekly date Saturday and went to the city made famous in the original National Lampoon’s Vacation movie: East St. Louis. No, East St. Louis isn’t in Missouri and no, it’s not a popular data destination, but what…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩One Long Sentence 🖊️Birthday Boy🎂Wine & Chocolate 🍷🍫 I remember being a kid and wanting to be an adult. I wanted to drive and have a girlfriend and be able to do whatever it was that I wanted to do, not what someone else said I should do. And now, here…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Ink Stain 🖊️Big Week 🎂Gas Pumps 😂 If getting a link of ink right across the front of your shirt while trying to catch a falling pen isn’t one of the Mondayest of Monday things that can happen to a dude, I’m sure there aren’t too many things that can beat…Keep reading