🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩
Game Time 🎮
Marriage Tips 🪢
I remember when it was simple. Horrible, yes … but simple. There was Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold and they matched up with Columbine — which, side note, would have been my high school had my parents not moved to NY when I was 2.
Now, on the same day a school shooting happened not 20 miles from where I work, which happens to be the same day a school shooter in Michigan pled guilty to killing four students and injuring seven other humans, it feels like we’re all playing the match game with this fucked-up phenomenon.
I remember these worksheets from elementary school. You’d have a list of something on the left — say, cities — and you’d have to draw a line to the appropriate item in a column on the right — say, states. Newark matched with New Jersey. Chicago matched with Illinois.
It’s becoming more and more challenging to remember which asshole goes with which shooting. Part of that is because we’re becoming desensitized to this shit. Part of it is because there’s so damn many. And that’s not even counting the non-school shooting mass casualty incidents. I listened at lunch as some colleagues talked about different incidents. “No, that wasn’t the Sandy Hook kid. That was the Parkland kid.”
So let’s play a game to illustrate just how fucked up our country is. Match the shooter with the mass casualty incident:
|A. Nicolas Cruz||1. Santa Fe High School|
|B. Jeff Weise||2. Uvalde, Texas|
|C. Christopher Harper-Mercer||3. Sandy Hook|
|D. Seung-Hui Cho||4. Amish school, Nickel Mines, PA|
|E. Dimitrios Pagourtzis||5. Parkland, Florida|
|F. Salvador Ramos||6. Virginia Tech|
|G. John Zawahri||7. Umpqua Community College|
|H. James Crumbley||8. Red Lake, Minnesota|
|I. Adam Lanza||9. Santa Monica College|
|J. Charles Carl Roberts IV||10. Oxford Twp., Michigan|
ANSWER KEY: A5, B8, C7, D6, E1, F2, G9, H10, I3, J4
Yesterday was family picture day for the Core Four. Boy The Elder and his lovely girlfriend arranged a photo shoot for Wifey Poo and I for our 25th anniversary back in March, and we decided to include the rugrats in it. We haven’t done this since 2016, and to say the boys have changed a bit is an understatement.
We were to meet at a local park, but when BTE and I arrived after a lunch trip, we found it to be closed. Why? Because it’s setting up for its festival of lights, a Christmas event. I guess that takes awhile.
So we audibled (OMAHA! OMAHA!), contacted the photographer (the daughter of a friend of Wifey Poo) and switched to a different park. The fall colors were beautiful, the wind way too much for those with hair (suck it, losers), and it was unseasonably warm, with temps tipping 80.
We had fun. It’s cool to see BTE an Boy The Younger be goofy together. There’s seven years between them, but they don’t act like it. BTE has been a fantastic big brother, and BTY allows BTE to keep his childhood alive for longer.
As far as Wifey Poo and I, we’ve had a lot of pictures taken together over the years, but not too many by a professional photographer. It was nice. Happy 25th anniversary to us.
I talked recently with an acquaintance who, after a number of years of marriage, is getting a divorce. This has become a somewhat frequent thing in my life, which I guess isn’t surprising, but this one was sad. I’m well aware there are two sides to every story, but this one seems to be all about a wife who just stopped putting effort into being married.
This is as true for men as it is for women, but I’m going to address this to the ladies. Hey … um … us men? We’re really not that complicated. Sure, your man might be different, but there are a bunch of really easy things you can do to keep your marriage solid. Here’s just a quick sampling of the first 15 things I thought of:
- Listen when he’s talking.
- Support his work. Whether it’s the thing that brings home some bacon or a hobby about which he’s passionate, be his biggest champion.
- Compliment him in public. We love to be seen as your hero.
- Show him and tell him that he’s wanted. As in, desired. We don’t want to be your roommate. We have friends. Neither ever wanted us.
- Give him out-of-this-world pleasure. You know what I mean here. In a rut? Google something and be creative.
- Invest the time. We see you doing all that other stuff that’s really, really important. We want to be really, really important to you too.
- Play with him. Whatever he likes to do, find a way to join him. Pool. Xbox. Shooting.
- Buy him small gifts.
- Write him a letter.
- Don’t criticize. We get it. We suck. We are abundantly clear that there are things about us that we can be better at. Hearing it from you too often hurts.
- Arrange dates with him.
- Write a list of everything he’s done to make your life better. Share it with him.
- Hug him. Often. Strongly. Willingly. Often. Did I say often?
- Encourage him. Deep down, we all feel like frauds sometime. Your encouragement means the world.
- Tell him he’s the one. Remind him why you chose him over all others, and tell him you’d do it all over again. We know, but it’s still nice to hear.
Folks, marriage is work. Get too complacent for too long and you’re inviting trouble. Willingly, joyfully do what it takes to show your spouse how amazeballs they are.
Soul Comforts A just-because gift An accidental nap Shared fries A hidden note, found A joined passion A soft hand Communicated desires A hug, freely given A safe landing place A secluded table Memory-filled songs Appreciation, openly stated Take me away from here Take me away Take me Take A common blanket A slow dance…Keep reading
Today’s Reasons to Keep Living
- Boy The Younger runs in cross country nationals this weekend.
- Big stuff coming up for Boy The Elder.
- I love fall!
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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 🧩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