🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩
Knicks Memory 🏀
JBM LLC 🧑🏼💼
Brain Drain 🧠
My most memorable interaction with Paul Silas occurred when I was a 17-year-old kid with big dreams of being a sports reporter.
I’d talked with Paul before — his wife and Mother Dearest were active in the local Make A Wish Foundation chapter and Paul, then an assistant coach with the New York Knicks, had been instrumental in landing some really tall bowlers who arrived in really small sports cars for the organization’s celebrity Bowl-a-Thon. But this was different. This was me showing up at the Knicks practice facility to interview the team’s first-round draft pick (12th overall) in the 1991 draft, Greg Anthony.
Paul passed away over the weekend at the age of 79. Hearing the news brought back the memories of that day. You might think that interviewing a first-round draft pick who had been a college star as part of Jerry Tarkanian’s Runnin’ Rebels of UNLV would have been the highlight. No, no. That spot is most definitely occupied by the sight of Patrick Ewing sitting in a folding chair that looked to him as a preschool chair looks to me, wearing nothing but his knee pads and a jock strap while his trademark prodigious sweat ran from his face and pooled between his feet.
In fact, interviewing Greg Anthony barely makes the Top 5 of the amazing things that happened that day. Besides the Ewing image that is seared into my brain, there was my encounter with Kiki VanDeWeghe, the 6’8″ power forward from Germany. He stared a hole through me because I was leaning on the bench press rack while interviewing Anthony, a bench press rack he obviously wanted to use but couldn’t find the words to communicate. It didn’t matter. Those ice-blue eyes made his point abundantly clear. I moved.
There was John Starks, the scrappy guard with him I had a love/hate relationship as a Knicks fan. Starks could go on amazing hot streaks where he’d carry the team to victory. Aaaaaaand he could go on befuddling cold streaks in which he’d miss 48 shots in a row and still not hesitate to chuck up a 49th. Seeing him in the weight room as I talked with Anthony was pretty cool for a kid my age.
Then there was the time with Paul himself. He met me at the entrance to the practice facility and talked with me as we walked to the weight room. He must have sensed I was nervous — I most definitely was — and I remember him telling me “Relax, kid. They’re just normal people.” Maybe to 6’7″ Paul Silas, who’d played in the NBA and been in those circles most of his life. I’d played a bunch of pick-up games with friends and one year of organized basketball, which ended with a 135-3 loss to Yonkers and a serious concussion — my first of six (or is it seven?)! To me, the guys I was around that day were literally and figuratively larger than life.
Anthony was a really nice guy. His career didn’t live up to the hype of his draft position, but he had a good run. It didn’t surprise me in the least when he went onto become a successful TV analyst. He was easy to talk to, knew the game backwards and forwards, was an amazing communicator in answering my questions, and made me feel as if I belonged in the role I was aspiring to fill.
I don’t remember much about the story I wrote about him. I know it had to do with a “changing of the guard,” as veteran Mo Cheeks exited stage left and Anthony battled with Mark Jackson for playing time at the point under new head coach Pat Riley. (Get it? He played guard, so …? God, I was good.) Unless there are archived copies of the 1991-92 Fox Lane Forum somewhere in the bowels of my old high school, my words in telling that tale are lost to time.
When I was done, Paul walked me back out and shook my hand, his huge one enveloping what I previously had thought was a fairly large mitt of my own. I’d see Paul several more times before there was some sort of stupid falling-out between him and Father Dearest. I remember going to watch his kid play in a game for his high school. He was a hot prospect at the time and now is the head coach of the Houston Rockets.
It’s funny how these seemingly random collection of people who have come into and out of my life make up so many good childhood memories.
My side gig, Johnny Boy Marketing, is becoming more and more of a thing these days. Wifey Poo and I met yesterday evening at an attorney’s shop to go over all the documents that needed to be approved and signed for the business to become an LLC instead of a John Runs Things By The Seat Of His Pants Business. Over the past month or two, we’ve met with an accountant/tax preparer, formalized our books into something beyond the maze of Google Sheets I’d created and, now, we’re officially a business.
I don’t know where this whole thing is headed. I’m immensely content at my current full-time job and have no intention to ditch that to make JBM a full-time thing any time soon. But it’s a fun side gig that feeds my soul. I definitely can imagine that being my thing after I retire. If you or anyone you know needs marketing help, hit me up! I do a ton of things, from writing and graphic design to customized videos of your vacation photos to turn them into a slammin’ YouTube video.
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Christmas Video 🎥Fighting The Big Boss 🥊Roland The Farter 🍑💨 I spent much of the day making a video for my job with The Allen Brake Team. I shot the footage a few weeks ago, and today was the day to identify the clips to actually use, assemble them, find the…Keep reading
Regular readers of my drivel (hey you three!) know I loathe Facebook/Meta and social media in general, despite “social media management” being a key part of my day job. It makes me giddy to hear about them having financial issues, though the fact that those issues will lead to 11,000 people losing their jobs is unfortunate.
Now comes news that those who survive the slash-and-burn will have a third of the their mental health benefits sliced away. The cut will supposedly save the company $76 million a year.
I don’t want to make Meta out to be cold here, because the company does do more than many employers when it comes to mental health. But here’s the bigger question: Why do we treat brain issues any differently in terms of insurance than we do issues of the lungs or heart or foot or arm? Why are benefits for brain illnesses most often so much less than benefits for other body parts?
To those who think we’ve come a long way in changing the narrative about mental illness, think again. Until we treat the brain like a part of the body, I’m calling bullshit on that supposedly changed narrative.
Today’s Reasons to Keep Living
- This is my last full week of work of the year.
- Christmas potluck lunch at work is today.
- Johnny Boy Marketing makes me happy.
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🧩 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 🧩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