🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩
Stephen King 🕮
I read my first Stephen King book when I was in high school. It was summer, if I remember correctly, and everywhere I went, I carried a worn library copy of Pet Sematary.
Since that time, King’s words have been a regular companion through every stage of my life. I walked with the Gunslinger for many, many years. The amazing story It provided some hilarious high school memories with a classmate friend who hated clowns. Monday morning, I woke up, fed Luna The Bulldog, downed a big glass of water while the coffee brewed, grabbed a cup of said coffee and sat down to finish King’s latest work, Fairy Tale.
That I’m able to read at all is something I have to pause and appreciate. There was a time in the midst of Longhaul COVID hell that attempting to read written words caused my brain to short-circuit. I have never found the right way to explain what would happen, so I’m left saying that when I tried to read a book, I couldn’t. Brain fog is real for Longhaulers, and it sucks. For more than a year, I completed no books, a far cry from the days in which I’d read at least 30 to 40 in a year.
Then King’s Billy Madison led me back. It was a shorter book, a simple story, and I figured I’d give it a try. I finished it. When my eyes took in the last words on the last page, they involuntarily filled with tears. It was a significant moment in what has been a long, ongoing recovery from this stupid disease.
I followed up with King’s Blaze, and I finished that, too. Now, I’m back to being a regular reader, and I’ve decided to collect each and every Stephen King book ever written. But I’m not just going out and buying all of them on Amazon or something. I’m spending the time scouring second-hand stores and treating it like a treasure hunt. Friday after work, I had a few minutes before meeting Wifey Poo for our date, so I stopped in a Goodwill store and found Nightmares & Dreamscapes and The Eye of the Dragon. Total cost? $3.24. My plan is to re-read all of the books I collect.
Finishing a Stephen King book is, for me, filled with mixed emotion. There’s the joy of ending up at the finish line of an amazing tale, and Fairy Tale was no exception. There’s the sadness of saying goodbye to characters — people — you’ve gotten to know. Today I bade farewell to Charlie and Radar and all the fine folks of Empis.
Soon, I will have a part of Stephen King’s work with me forever. I’m planning my next tattoo. My favorite line in any book I’ve ever written comes from King’s The Dark Tower series: “Go then. There are other worlds than these.” And there are. I believe that. I’ve seen that. It’s gonna be a part of what I hope is a boss tattoo.
Today, yes, I say goodbye to the people from King’s latest work. Up next are those from his earliest. Hello, Carrie.
I look at the fact that, so far, we have gotten through another Election Day without violence and further undermining of our “democracy” as a good thing. I admit: I didn’t vote. Bottom line? I don’t have faith in Muricah, and I don’t see any candidates on the ballot who represent me or my interests and do so without being bought and paid for by lobbyists and corporations.
I was, however, interested in how Amendment 3 in Missourah turned out. It’s the one that would legalize recreational cannabis, and it appears to have passed. Good on us, Missourah. I’m happy to hear people with non-violent convictions for marijuana will have their records expunged. It was the height of hypocrisy to allow drugs far more potent, addictive and damaging than weed be something doctors prescribed like they were Pez dispensers while making something like cannabis criminal.
Red state, blue state … I don’t really care. I live in the midst of a Redneck Trump Riviera. None of these politicians are free from undo influence by lobbyists and corporations. I’d much prefer whoever the masses elect just leave me the hell alone.
Welcome to Issue No. 12 of Listicles, the feature that presents the Top 10, Top 5, Top 3, Top 100 or Top 1,000,000 of whatever it is you want to know about. Email your Listicle suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org. It’s easy to appreciate the big things. That I have two sons here on Earth who are…Keep reading
Wifey Poo returned to the public school classroom on Monday for the first time in a long time, and boy howdy did it make me glad we homeschool.
Prior to bringing Boyz The Elder and Younger into the Here, Wifey Poo was a middle school and high school math teacher with a strong interest in special education. She is good at what she does. She taught in the Dayton (Ohio) Public Schools and more than held her own with kids coming up from horrible upbringings and more challenging circumstances than most of us could ever contend with.
Now, she’s a substitute teacher in a local school district. Boy The Younger is of the age where he’s able to work independently on his school stuff one or two days a week, and Wifey Poo is preparing for an eventual full-time return to the classroom when he graduates.
The public schools have changed a lot since she was last in them. The inmates seem to run the asylum, and things labeled as “special needs” really are just kids who need some consistent discipline. The kid she was tasked with shadowing had an individualize education plan because he “says inappropriate things.” This amounted to him basically having a license to be a disrespectful jerk to adults. No, it’s not Tourette Syndrome. It’s that this kid — a fourth-grader — doesn’t like being told what to do and hasn’t learned that, at the age, well, tough titty.
Listen, I respect behavioral issues and actual diagnoses of legit medical issues. I understand the theory behind inclusion. But this kid is just a punk who’s found a way to game the system to get what he wants, which is attention and to not do his work. In the end, the ones who suffer are those who are bright and willing and able who are held back while, despite having a teacher and and individual babysitter to help him get through the day, this kid slows down the entire educational process.
It’s really not hard to see why Muricah is falling behind internationally.
Today’s Reasons to Keep Living
- I scheduled time for two more tattoos early next year.
- Work trip to Florida coming up.
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🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Bloody Hell 💂Circus Moments 🤡Silence 🤫 OK, people: I’ve got a bone to pick with you. But first, a little digression. What in the bloody hell does that phrase mean? “A bone to pick with you?” That sounds absolutely disgusting. And if you’re wondering why I said “bloody hell,” well, that…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩24 Hour Video 😡Rubik’s Kid 🧊Dilbert Doofus 🤪 There are two things I cannot stand in the working world — and in life, in general. The first is people whose lack of preparedness turns ordinary stuff into emergencies. The second is when people criticize the result of something they previous approved.…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Mormon Billionaires 💰Bigger Packages 🍌Birds Really Aren’t Real 🐦 Can we just get on with blowing the tits off the world with nuclear weapons or something and end this stupid thing we call the human race? Yeah, I know that’s a little dramatic, but when I take a look at the…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Muricah The Evil 🦅You Buy You 💰Big-Ass Van 🚚 I find it rather humorous that Muricah warned China not to send arms to one side of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine … and that we issued this warning with a straight face. I’m quite sure most Muricahns believe their country…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Salve 🩹Car Wash 🚗💧Light Removal 🎄 I try not to venture too often into a Wal-Mart, especially on the weekend. I cling to slim hope for this nation as it is, and I find Wal-Mart trips do not help my grip. Alas, this weekend, Boy The Younger was under the weather…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩CC, BCC, FU 📧Basketball Poll 🏀Andy Rooney 🎙️ This week has largely been a Shit Week marred by Shit People. What are Shit People? They aren’t exactly easy to define, but one hallmark of a Shit Person is his rampant use of the CC function at work to passive-aggressively play power…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Chill Day 🛋️Busy Weekend ⚾Halftime 🏈 I’m not working today. Not only am I not working at my day job, I’m not doing any work for my side gig today. I’m not planning on doing much of anything, actually. And I don’t feel guilty about that. This weekend was insanely busy.…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Big Pharma Sucks 💊Work Rules 🧑💼Big Weekend 🏈 Spend any time in front of the television and you’ll see ads touting the latest drugs that you shouldn’t take if you’re allergic to and that you most definitely need to ask your doctor about. Now comes a study showing that the people…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Top 5 🎈Symphony 🎻Living Eulogies 💗 Top 5 things overheard in Missourah last week as a purported Chinese spy balloon made its way over the state en route to its rendezvous with an F22’s missile: Despite my high-brow upbringing in Suburbia, New York, I’m not what anyone would call A Symphony…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Space Walk 🧑🚀Bye-Bye Brady 🏈Failure Rate 🐿️ When Boy The Elder was just Boy and devoid of a younger brother, we had a nickname for him: Pokey Joe. BTE didn’t do anything fast, but more than anything, what he did incredibly slow was get out of a car. That would suck…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Raccoons 🦝February 💘Man Nips 🕺 Today I bring you the story of a raccoon who got his balls stuck to railroad tracks. But the reason you think I’m bringing you this story is not the reason I’m bringing you this story. You think I’m bringing the story of the raccoon Neil…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Tyre Nichols 😔Tattoo Day ✒️Nephew Hoops🏀 I was a white kid in suburbia, New York, in 1988 when the gangsta rap group N.W.A. came out with its album Straight Outta Compton, featuring the song Fuck Tha Police. It was scandalous, at the time, to suggest that the police would be anything…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Car Concert 🎵Sick Wife🤒People Suck 🖕 Within the 24 hours in the run-up to Snowpocalypse 2023, the estimates on the Weather Channel app for our snowfall total ranged from 1 to 10 inches. That’s like going to the doctor and being told you have anything from a splinter to terminal cancer.…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Mission: Failed 👎Ho 🤣Handy Family 👍 It has to suck to work at the Missouri Department of Transportation. Why? It took exactly 75 minutes for all of 2023 to be a failure. Let me explain. Those of you unfortunate enough to have been involved in any sort of corporate planning process…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Houston 🖊️Sad clown 🤡Taco Seasoning 🌮 Houston, Missourah, is not unlike a lot of other rural Missourah towns through which I’ve driven and bears a resemblance to the Small Town USA in which Boy The Elder did a lot of his early growing up and to which Boy The Younger came…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Definitions 📖Missing Bourbon 🥃Mysterious Knocks 😵 I generally abhor any writing that starts with, “Webster’s dictionary defines …” Webster’s dictionary defines “ceiling” as a noun meaning “the overhead inside lining of a room.” The implication is that it’s a limitation, a max, a point of demarcation between what’s out there and…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Sadness 😥Annoyance 😠Disappointment 😞 When Boy The Elder was Boy The Only in our home, he watched one of the Air Bud movies featuring a basketball-playing dog. Or maybe it was football. Or soccer. By the time that series was over, that dog had played them all. Anyway, whichever Air Bud…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Thor’s Blurry Hammer 🍆Pigeon Delivery 🕊️Idiot List 🤪 Thor is really, really good with his hammer. And by that, I mean that Thor the walrus in Scarborough, England, is really good at masturbating and ruining New Years Eve. If you haven’t heard about this story, stop reading stupid news like politics…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Bruising Basketball 🏀Poke ☝️Six?!? 🔫 I grew up in the NBA era of the Bad Boys Detroit Pistons while loving a New York Knicks team that was, to put it mildly, quite physical. Guys like Steph Curry and LeBron James can makes basketball seem like artistry these days, but give me…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩What There is Like! ⛅’Modern Policing’ 🚨Xylophone Time! 🎵 When you decide to talk about a time in which you truly believe you more-or-less died and saw what comes after this life, you have to be comfortable with the fact that people might think you’re nuts. Hell, talking about it on…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Grace Ashford! 📰Idaholy Shit! 🥔Story of the Year! 🍆 The three most influential people in my life as a journalist are, sadly, all part of the Great Newsroom in the Sky now. Professors Michael Perkins and Bob Woodward (AKA Bob Woodward-Not-That-Bob-Woodward) helped educate me at Drake University, and Lisa Warren was…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Poor Puppy 🐶Romeo and Juliet 🤴👸Meta Mistake 🙊 Disturbing news out of Washington, D.C., today as Republican Congressman-elect George Santos (if that’s his real name) brought a 6-month-old puppy to the house floor and screamed “Hey, look at me!” before slitting its throat and lapping up its squirting blood like a…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩A Pretty Good Rant 😠Tesla Plunge 🚗Missed Lasts 😥 Those of you who regularly read my drivel (I see you, DirtySciFiBuddah) might have become aware of the fact over the past year or so that I am not a huge fan of our world’s modern institutions. All of them might, in…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Incomplete 🕮Frustration 😠Bowl Bust 🏈 To say that I know how to write is like saying I know how to breathe. No one considers that they know how to breathe. They just … breathe. No one is particularly good at breathing or bad at breathing. Again, they just … breathe. I’ve…Keep reading
Welcome to Issue No. 15 of Listicles, the feature that presents the Top 10, Top 5, Top 3, Top 100 or Top 1,000,000 of whatever it is you want to know about. Email your Listicle suggestions to email@example.com. So last year, I had a list of 100 intentions for 2022, and I did fairly well,…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩2023 📅Helping 🧠The Universe 🔭 I’m not much for long-term plans and goals. This isn’t to suggest I don’t think they’re important. I just think that spending a lot of time on them is futile. What’s the saying? Man plans, God laughs. Something like that. Anyway, I’ve learned through experience that…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Chain Links 🔗”Work” 🧑💼Popular Toys 🧸 After my first son died in December 2000, I spent a lot of time wondering why. Why me? Why Wifey Poo? Why Jacob? Why this level of suffering in a world supposedly created and run by an all-loving, all-knowing, all-powerful God? So I did what…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Chiefs! 🏈Indy Tickets 🏎️Bank Visit 💰 When I bought the tickets to the Christmas Eve contest between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Seattle Seahawks as a gift for Boys The Elder & Younger, it was sometime in September and temps hovered around 90 degrees. The thought that the game might…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Timelines 👶Extinctions 🌋Sin City 👌 As I fall deeper down the rabbit hole learning more about theories on space and time, the concept of alternative timelines comes up again and again and again. Whether it’s the stuff of science fiction or one day will be proven to be the stuff of…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩’Cousin’ Laughs🎤Improv!?!? 🎭Drake Hoops 🏀 Back when I was a boy, I had a favorite Cousin-Who-Wasn’t-A-Cousin. His name was Joey DeVito, and he was in no way a blood relation to me, though I called his father Uncle Frankie and his mother Aunt Celia. I’m pretty sure this is an East…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Glazed 🍩Bingo! 🖥️Disappearing Christians ⛪ I didn’t intend to bring doughnuts for my co-workers yesterday morning. It just sorta happened. How it happened and how it played out is a window into my weird mind. First, an explanation: I have a card purchased from Boy The Younger that entitles me to…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩STL’s Homeless 😥Snake Hoo-Hoos 🐍That Was Epoch 👴 I found James huddled underneath a blanket as he sat, knees to his chest, head bowed, just outside the doorway of a CVS in the Delmar Loop section of St. Louis. If you’re not familiar with the area, it’s a fun place filled…Keep reading