🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩
Karen in Control ⌚
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 the John I had become at that time, as I much preferred to be out of the limelight and in the background of any social situation.
But on that night, I did things that made people laugh, and I felt great. There was this moment during the process of being “put under,” that I was like, “Yeah, right. This bullshit ain’t gonna work on me. I don’t care what this dude says. I could open my eyes if I wanted to, lift my hand if I wanted to, move my leg if I wanted to.” And so I tried to do each of those three things in succession only to find I could do none of them.
Then, I just sort of went with it.
I found myself in a similar moment yesterday evening, sitting in a comfortable chair in front of an audience of only one this time, a professional hypnotist named Karen who said she thought she could help me get rid of this nasty taste I’ve had in my mouth since November 2020 that I’ve associated with COVID only because the two appeared at the same time.
I had met with Karen on Tuesday for a talk about everything going on in my life now, everything going on in my life then, and the difference was stark. My then was pretty freaking crazy and not at all positive. We were smack-dab in the middle of a pandemic, my two doggies had both recently died, my father-in-law had just had open heart surgery followed a day later by a COVID diagnosis that ultimately would take his life, Wifey Poo was beyond stressed, I had just started a new job and I was carrying a Sherpa-sized load of emotional baggage from problems known and yet-to-be known.
As I related all this to Karen, she dutifully took notes, her pen all but smoking on the page as she furiously tried to keep up with the pile of ugly crap I was laying on her.
Yesterday, Karen and I talked for a bit and then began the hypnosis process. There was soft music. The lights were low. I heard the noises of cars going by on the street outside, the hum of the air conditioning, a voice here or there, and then I just sort of went away. I arrived at that moment I had on stage nearly 20 years before — doubting that what this woman was saying was actually happening. Once again, I was proven wrong.
I have vague recollections of what happened during that hour or so. I know there were some extremely intense emotions that bubbled up, and she carefully and compassionately guided me through. By the time I came back to full awareness, I felt better. I’m talking a lot better. Now, the problem I went to see her about — my mouth — is, indeed, largely improved. There’s still an “it” there … that goopy feeling I’ve had for nearly two years now. But that sharp metallic nastiness is much less pronounced and nowhere near as irritating.
I have had a variety of experiences over the past year-plus that are hard for me to comprehend and even harder for me to explain, which typically is a sign that I’m not ready to share them yet. But they are profoundly good. During hypnosis yesterday, I had another one of those experiences. And today? Today I feel like I’m living the life I’m supposed to be living now. For that, I’m grateful. And happy.
In a few short hours, Wifey Poo and I will be whipping around a racetrack at around 55 mph on go-karts for our weekly date. I gave Wifey Poo coupons for Christmas for a variety of things — one eight-hour day with no one else home buy her, a night of total remote control, a gourmet meal cooked by her hubby and, pertinent to this, a fully planned “adventurous” date. “Adventurous” at age 48 looks different than it might have at, say, 28. Back then, we climbed rock walls and, in her case, she jumped out of a freaking plane. For us old fogies, high-speed go-karts are pretty adventurous.
The track is inside Worldwide Technology Raceway, where Boy The Elder and I went last weekend to watch the Indycar race. These karts aren’t your typical amusement park thing. They move. I watched them zip around their track while the Indycar race was going on. I love racing, in general, and being in the driver’s seat awakens a competitiveness in me that I historically only felt when I was the mound as a baseball pitcher. There’s a good chance that, if Wifey Poo is feeling a little too racy, I end up putting her in the wall.
Not sure that would be a great thing to do on our date, but hey, rubbin’ is racin’.
I tend to see things a little differently than most these days. For example, had one question after reading about this story …
A woman in Rhode Island was preparing to drive to her job in Massachusetts an hour away. She started the car, forgot something inside, got it, returned, popped on a podcast and set out for work.
When she got there, she got out and casually looked in the car’s backseat … where she saw a nearly naked man curled up asleep.
What does “nearly naked” mean? Good question. I wondered the same thing. Turns out the dude’s shorts were on one leg and he had a shirt wrapped around one arm, and that’s it. It seems as if the guy, who was said to have consumed a “large” amount of alcohol and weed, climbed in the back of the car when the woman went back inside to get whatever it was she forgot.
The one thing I want to know is this: What freaking podcast was she listening to? Because here’s the thing: Were it Wifey Poo who ended up in the backseat of a stranger’s car like that and had she happened to wake up during the drive, if it was a good murder podcast, she would have silently laid there listening to it for as long as the driver was driving.
Ya know what pisses me off? Bumpa stickas. Der I was da otha day, drivin’ down da street in my sweet-ass 1981 yellow T-top Camero, mindin’ my own business and listenin’ to some Pantera, when alls of a sudden, like a bat outta hell, dis frickin’ Maazda comes flyin’ by me and den cuts into…Keep reading
Today’s Reasons to Keep Living
- Time to school Wifey Poo on the race track.
- The weekend is almost here!
- I know I sound like a broken record, but I can’t underscore enough how much I’m looking forward to fall.
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🧩 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.…Keep reading
🧩 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…Keep reading
🧩 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…Keep reading
🧩 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…Keep reading
🧩 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…Keep reading
🧩 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…Keep reading
🧩 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…Keep reading
🧩 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…Keep reading
🧩 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…Keep reading
🧩 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…Keep reading
🧩 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…Keep reading
🧩 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…Keep reading
🧩 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…Keep reading
🧩 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…Keep reading
🧩 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…Keep reading
🧩 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…Keep reading
🧩 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…Keep reading
🧩 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…Keep reading
🧩 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…Keep reading
🧩 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…Keep reading
🧩 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…Keep reading
🧩 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…Keep reading
🧩 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 wake…Keep reading
🧩 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.…Keep reading
🧩 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…Keep reading
🧩 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…Keep reading
🧩 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…Keep reading
🧩 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,…Keep reading
🧩 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…Keep reading