🧩 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 when the batter obviously didn’t have or understand the “take” sign to not swing. It had happened twice that game and multiple times that season.
I did it quietly and privately so as not to cause a scene and to avoid my kid being blasted with a line drive that could seriously harm him. Baseballs hit at people from close range can do a lot of damage. Here’s about 20 minutes of of that …
After reading the message during the middle of an inning, the “coach” called for time and then made a show of yanking BTY from his position at first base and throwing him off the team, while loudly and obnoxiously yelling in my direction.
Last night, BTY returned to the field, with a new team led by a real coach and run by a real organization dedicated to baseball fundamentals.
In a little bit of serendipity, the first game of the fall season was against a team from his old organization, coached by its leader. In the first inning, BTY took his position at first base. The first pitch of the game was hit directly to him. BTY did what BTY does. He fielded the ball, ran to the bag, and the batter was out. That alone would have tied a nice bow on this little saga. But the Baseball Gods weren’t finished.
BTY’s Rebels were up 3-0 in the fourth when the starting pitcher ran into trouble. After a two-out base hit tied the game, the coach summoned BTY from first and handed him the ball on the pitcher’s mound.
One pitch later — a comebacker BTY fielded cleanly and threw to first — and the Rebels were out of the inning. In the top of the next frame, their bats came alive again, sending BTY out to the mound needing just three more outs to earn the victory with the score 6-3.
BTY worked himself into some trouble, allowing a hit and a walk. With two outs and runners on second and third, he got ahead of the next hitter 1-2 before zipping a fastball by him for a strikeout to end the game.
What happened to BTY on his last “team” should never happen to any kid. That a supposed adult would act the way his “coach” did and then be backed by a supposedly Christ-centered organization is disgusting. I have examined my own actions leading up to and following the incident, and though I found myself lacking in the latter, I most certainly was not wrong to quietly and privately insist on baseball fundamentals that protected the safety of my child in the former. The fact that this “man” chose to take out his hurt feelings for being challenged on his lack of baseball knowledge on a child says all I need to know about him. I will never forgive nor forget what happened.
Call it God, the Baseball Gods, the universe, karma or whatever you want … everything that happened in last night’s game just felt good.
I try to tell myself that time is arbitrary, that dates on the calendar merely represent a certain point in another revolution around the sun and that we, as a species, really aren’t that great at measuring it, to the point that we need to add another entire day once every four years just to make it right. I felt this before the recent news that our planetary rotation has been getting wonky lately, leading to actual shorter days than the accepted 24 hours and that it could get to the point where we actually need to take a reverse leap year to set things straight.
All that said, when Aug. 30 comes around every year, my heart feels sad. It was on that date in the year 2000 that my world changed forever. Wifey Poo and I went to the doctor that day excited to find out the gender of our first child. We left a few hours later knowing that that child, a boy, would most likely not survive much past birth.
For five blessed hours on Dec. 20, 2000, we were able to love the very real presence of Jacob Alexander Agliata. And then we had to let him go.
Handing my son over to a nurse following his death knowing I’ll never see him again here was the hardest thing I had ever done. That was then eclipsed a few days later by having to bury him while I was ravaged by chicken pox and delirious with fever and grief.
Life has never been the same.
In the wake of all that, and even in the midst of it, people would say, “I don’t know how you are doing this. You are so strong. I could never do that.” Yes you could. There was nothing strong or brave about what I did. My heart was committed to still beating, and so life went on. Every morning, the sun rose and my eyes opened. Every night, it grew dark and I would eventually fall asleep. I had no choice.
The capacity for humans to endure is sometimes astounding, yes. I feel like, despite what Wifey Poo and I faced, we’ve made a damn good life for ourselves and the two boys who followed Jacob. Yet there will always be a hole in our hearts that nothing this side of Forever can fill.
And so when Aug. 30 hits, as it seems to do every single year, I pause, I remember, I feel it.
I wrote about it mere days after the Supremely Idiotic Court got all up in your uterus, that Big Data was going to be a big problem for women. Then, Facebook data was used to charge a raped teenager who sought an abortion. Now comes news the Federal Trade Commission has sued ad tech firm Kochava for selling geolocation data (read: tracking of your whereabouts) that could expose people’s movements to sensitive locations such as abortion clinics.
Digital surveillance of your reproductive healthcare … that’s what this is, and it’s as creepy — and wrong — as it sounds.
Every decision carries a consequence. Economists call it an opportunity cost. Politicians often simply call it an opportunity. Parents sometimes call it grounds for punishment. Whatever it’s called by whomever it’s called, the fact is that every single decision we make sets us down a new path, a new timeline, a new reality wholly separate…Keep reading
Today’s Reasons to Keep Living
- I’m gonna live in yesterday’s baseball victory a little while longer.
- Hypnosis, Day 2, is this evening.
- There are lots of good documentaries that remain unwatched in my Netflix queue
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🧩 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 🧩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 🧩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…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
🧩 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…Keep reading