🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩
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 between those bookends there was a massage, Boy-The-Elder-made paella, a game of Skip-Bo with Wifey Poo and Boy The Younger, a fantasy football league draft, some work on a cool project in my home office/mancave that I’ll reveal soon and the soothing sounds of softly falling rain.
So yes, it was a good day.
The aforementioned fantasy football league draft comes as my first season as commissioner of a fantasy baseball league winds down. Over the winter, I gathered nine others and formed The Waffle House Fantasy Baseball League. It has proven to be one of the great joys of my life.
The league is a hodge-podge of people from different parts of my life. The Core Four and my perhaps-someday daughter-in-law. My Other Son, the 19-year-old child of my wife’s best friend. A few people I knew in high school. A great dude I know who lives in Florida and who I am convinced is in the CIA. A friend from my Ohio days.
I’ve tried to make this league fun. I put out a weekly comedic text update on the previous week’s matchup and the upcoming week’s fun. I bought a traveling trophy, except, in true me fashion, it’s a pro-wrestling-style championship belt, customized with the name of the league. And of course, there’s the looming punishment for the manager who finishes last — 24 straight hours in a Waffle House, though that time can be bought down … one hour for every waffle consumed.
Last place was earned in spectacular fashion by my Other Son. He’s prepared to face his punishment later this month, and we’ll be there to help him get through it. The playoffs begin this week. I am the No. 3 seed, and I face Wifey Poo in the first round. Tension abounds.
The football league has its own unique features. The winner each season will, of course, receive a traveling championship belt. The loser has to take a bucket and whatever he or she wants to use as drumsticks and head out to a public place with a sign that says “I have to keep drumming until I earn $100 for Shriners Hospitals.”
The draft was fun. I picked fourth and grabbed the Chargers’ Austin Ekeler. I haven’t played fantasy football in awhile, mostly because I suck at it. NFL action starts Thursday. We’ll see what happens!
There was a time in what I’m calling my Great Awakening that I realized I needed to do more to bond with BTY. Our boys are spaced seven years apart, and the truth is, whether anyone would actually admit it, it’s different when you become a dad at 28 compared to 35. Sure, I had the benefit of seeing what worked and didn’t work with BTE, but what worked for BTE didn’t necessarily work for BTY. And then there’s the fact that I’m just older and, yes, much more worn out by the struggles I’ve faced and stupid things I’ve done.
Rather than feel bad about opportunities missed, the newly awoken me sought possibilities, and in that search, I found All-Elite Wrestling. The upstart wrestling group that’s taking on the titan WWE is doing a great job of telling compelling stories and presenting a quality product. It’s become a weekly thing for BTY and I to watch and discuss. Yes, we love the action, but our true joy rests in trying to predict what way the storylines are going to go or, better still, what way the storylines should have gone, because we’re obviously better bookers than the guys who do it for a living.
Last night was a big pay-per-view, All-Out. It featured a ton of great action. Our house was filled with random Others last night … BTE is home from college for the weekend, my Other Son came over for the fantasy football draft and stayed, my maybe daughter-in-law was here, as was a friend of BTE’s from college. We all watched as CM Punk dethroned Jon Moxley to win the AEW world heavyweight championship (their belt is better than our fantasy baseball belt, I admit), before being confronted by a returning MJF.
Whether it’s the fantasy baseball league, football league or AEW … having a common language is important for bonding. I’ve seen that this year. Wifey Poo now talks intelligently about WHIP and OPS. BTY and I talk about juji gatame submission holds and tope suicida dives through the ropes to the outside. These things are good, and they were all part of a really good Sunday.
Top 5 Things You Will Learn If You Read This Whole Thing It isn’t difficult to piss off a guy who runs a snake collecting operation.If you get punched by your boss after he fires you, he wasn’t technically your boss when he punched you. Some people — but not you — hate their wives1997…Keep reading
Today’s Reasons to Keep Living
- Shinedown concert tonight!
- Float trip with Wifey on Saturdya!
- A four-day work week ain’t bad.
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🧩 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 🧩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 🧩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