🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩
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 Coast Italian thing.
Father Dearest grew up in the Bronx in the 1940s and 1950s, and his two ride-or-die buddies became my Uncle Danny and, yes, Uncle Frankie. The three of them are now in their 80s and remain great friends, something that I think is truly a special blessing.
Joey was six years older to me and, in every way, someone I thought was super-cool. In the midst of our conservative suburban upbringing, Joey was somewhat of a rebel. He was the first person I knew to grow his hair long. He played the drums. He got an earring. I’m pretty sure he had a tattoo, but that could be me mythologizing this person I oddly looked up to.
We didn’t see each other much — he lived in nearby Connecticut, but while the parents got together for dinner somewhat regularly, our families gathered maybe once a year, and whether Joey was there or not was always sort of a last minute thing. I always hoped he would be, and I would try to tag along with him and insert myself into his world in whatever geeky way I could.
Twenty years ago or so, Joey became a standup comedian. I followed his career from afar. When the interwebs became a thing, I could watch clips of him online, and I caught up with him on Facebook. I always joked that if he made it out to wherever the hell I was living at the time, I wanted to come catch his act. Joey was no longer Joey by that time. He was Joe. And this week, he left his East Coast base to bring his funny stuff to the St. Louis area.
Wifey Poo and I went to the Funny Bone in St. Charles last night to see him do his thing. He absolutely killed it. It was kinda weird … as he was cracking up the crowd, there was a part of me that felt this intense pride, as if I was saying, “Yup, I knew he was funny long before you people did.” I admire what Joey … err… Joe does. I have long wanted to do standup but never had the courage. Seeing Joe up there making people laugh like that, well, it was good. Hearing him tell jokes about his dad and his mom was cool. Good comedy truly is based on reality, and I knew well the reality he was joking about.
After his act, Wifey Poo and I sought him out. I hadn’t seen him in more than 30 years … probably more like 35. When last we saw each other, I had hair and neither of us were able to grow the beards we now have, let alone have copious amounts of gray in those beards. We talked for a few short minutes, and then we said our goodbyes. He had a second show for which to prepapre.
I absolutely love going to comedy clubs with Wifey Poo. There’s something so endearing about how she gives herself over to laughter, and Joe made her laugh so hard I heard at least one snort and saw tears leaking from the corners of her eyes.
I don’t have many connections to my roots, and sometimes, because of that, I feel adrift. I encounter very, very few people in the average year who knew me when. It’s not that Joe really did, but as he did his thing, I remembered backyard summer Wiffle Ball games at his house and BBQs at ours.
If you ever get the chance to catch his act, do so. The laughs are good.
After Joe’s show last night, I drove Wifey Poo back to her car. She had made it to the club at the last second after waiting for an appliance repair man to not fix our long-dormant ice maker. I had come from work.
“I wish I could do what Joe does,” I said.
“Well what about improv?” Wifey Poo responded.
Wives are funny creatures. You can tell them the most important piece of information in the world — say, the score of the previous night’s Yankee game — and they won’t even remember what sport you were talking about five seconds later. But when you, infected by a nasty bout of self confidence one weird day, tell them about a long-hidden dream of taking an improv comedy class, they remember it as if you’d given them the code to unlock the vaults at Fort Knox.
Yes, I’ve thought about doing improv for a while now. I say this knowing that few people actually like listening to people do improv. I’m one who does. I listen to several podcasts that are based on people doing improv. Couple that with my long-standing love of making people laugh and, well, if I could just overcome the fear, I think maybe I could actually be somewhat OK at this kinda thing.
I mean, I do it at home all the time. Luna The Bulldog has a complete backstory and an ongoing dialogue with the the rest of the Core Four, and all of it has been made up on the fly. She went to Yale. She has lived multiple lives, including one in which she sailed the world with Magellen and one in which she was a disciple of Jesus. She played basketball with the Knicks. She has a secret fight club that starts at midnight in our basement, but only on nights in which she shines the fight club signal in the sky. I’m pretty sure that’s improv, and I love doing it. If I could just get up on a stage and be Luna, I might be OK.
But I’m terrified about that “getting up on stage” part. It’s not that I haven’t been on stage before. I’ve spoken in front of crowds ranging from five to 500 or so, often about the most difficult topic I can imagine — the death of my son. I once had the governor of the state of Missouri speak before me, which led me to open with the line, “Wow. I never thought I’d have the governor as my opening act.” And he actually laughed!
The thought of getting up in front of people and having them not laugh is what haunts me and has kept me locked in the crowd. My one and only theatrical performance came when I was in first grade. Our school librarian was named Mrs. Donahue, and she was weird to the core. She had us do a play based on a record of Casper the Friendly Ghost. This meant none of us had to say a damn word. All we had to do was get up there and lipsync what the record was saying.
I was given the role of Johnny Ghost. He was playing hooky from school and ends up getting in trouble. I feel as if I was typecast, but hey … I was 6. Who was I to object? Anyway, Mrs. Donahue wanted me to open up the scene, in which I was enjoying the freedom of not being in school, by playing hopscotch.
Hopscotch? Are you kidding?
Like any Hollywood diva, I objected. “I wouldn’t play hopscotch is I was skipping school,” I said.
“It’s not you who’s skipping school, John,” replied Mrs. Donahue.
“Johnny Ghost wouldn’t play hopscotch either. No one skips school just to play hopscotch,” was my retort. Of course, no one called me on the fact that I knew exactly no one who’d ever skipped school before, so the volume of my encyclopedia on school-skipping activities was quite thin.
Mrs. Donahue might have been weird, but she knew well the path of least resistance with diva 6-year-olds. “Fine. What would Johnny Ghost be doing?”
I hadn’t quite thought of that. All I knew was that Johnny Agliata had never played hopscotch in his life, so Johnny Ghost sure as hell wasn’t going to get up in front of people, including cute-as-a-button classmate Susan Ziegler, and play freaking hopscotch.
“Um….. how about street hockey?”
An odd choice, I realized even as I was saying it. I had played street hockey the same number of times as I’d played hopscotch.
“Fine. You’ll be playing street hockey. Make sure you bring your stick to the next practice.”
“I don’t have a hockey stick,” I replied.
“You don’t have a hockey stick?”
“Does anyone you know have a hockey stick?”
As a matter of fact, I knew no one who had ever played any form of hockey. Not in my friend group. No adults. No one.
I don’t remember how, but a hockey stick materialized in time for our one and only performance. I remember having to wear this black plastic fedora, and when my music hit, I walked around chasing a ball back and forth, faking shots and deft passes. Then I mouthed some lines. I’m sure there was a moral in my scene somewhere — something about skipping school being a gateway to cocaine addiction. These were the beginning of the Just Say No Reagan years, after all.
And then I was done with theater.
I was friends with some theater kids in middle school and high school. My best friend in high school was one of them. He had a great part in the school rendition of Grease. He even did some professional acting, though he threatened to beat the shit out of me if I ever told anyone he’d gone for professional headshots and then landed a part in one of those cheesy “Teens, don’t have sex” videos in which the director sadly yelled “Cut!” just as he was leaning a quite attractive young lady back on a couch.
The closest thing I did to acting during the rest of my youth was at some parties with friends. Whereas other groups of high schoolers were getting shitfaced and going into closets for seven minutes in heaven, we were playing theater-kid games. Two people would start a scene. Someone would yell something or other, and then another person replaced one of the actors and had to continue the scene. Oh, yes. We lived on the edge.
I also performed in a skit at my best friend and his sister/my girlfriend’s church camp, which is funny because, again, I didn’t act, and I also didn’t know a dang thing about this Paul I was talking about who said the greatest thing was love. But hey, my best friend and girlfriend were there, so if saying a few lines about some dude named Paul meant I could hang out with them, cool by me.
Now, I’m scheduled to act. Or do improv. I have no idea if the two are the same. But starting Feb. 12, for six consecutive Sundays I’m taking a course entitled “Level 0: Entry Level For Beginners” at The Improv Shop in St. Louis. The course description reads, in part, “Level 0 is an optional course for the absolute beginner in improvisation; it is not a required course within our core curriculum. While Level 1 jumps right into longform theory and dynamics, Level 0 is for the curious person who has little to no experience with acting or improvisation.” I guess I’ll just have to hide my Johnny Ghost performance and hope they don’t check out my IMDB page.
The course is taught by a woman named Melanie Penn. I checked out her bio on The Improv Shop site and followed the link there to her Facebook page. She seems great. She also now holds my very soul in her hands.
Wifey Poo assures me I’m going to do great, that I might even find My People, which I’ve sorely been looking for.
I just hope I don’t throw up all over their shoes.
When good ole’ Q.F. was a bitty boy growing up in the hills of Northern California, I wasn’t allowed to own toy guns. Hippy Mom, she of the butt-length wavy blond hair and constant wearer of culturally appropriated moccasins, thought this would infuse me with peace, love and happiness. Instead, it infused me with devious…Keep reading
Wifey Poo and I have spent an awful lot of time together this week. This isn’t a bad thing. Rather, it’s unusual. We’ve been really good with making sure we have a date a week. Somehow, we managed to have three this week.
It started on Monday. Wifey Poo, Boy The Younger and I were scheduled to go to a Christmas lights display about five minutes from our house. Rather than the typical drive-thru experience, it was a day in which you could walk the mile circuit. Alas, BTY — like a billion other human beings in this area, it seems — developed a fever and non-COVID, non-strep, non-flu illness that plagued him most of the week. That turned the family Christmas lights stroll into a couples Christmas lights stroll. I’ll take it.
Then, on Wednesday, I learned about Joe’s visit to do his comedy routine. That led to a Friday night date.
Finally, we got to Saturday night, which was our originally scheduled weekly date. Our alma mater, Drake University, was in town for a men’s hoops game against the nearby St. Louis University Billikens. Going to Drake hoops games is a step back in time for us. Students could get in free to all Drake sports when we were students from 1992-96. Cheap dates were our friends. We spent many, many evenings watching the Drake men’s team play. So whenever the team is within reasonable driving range, we try to make it.
The Bulldogs started out slow, and I thought they were going to get run out of the building. They seemed a step behind on defense, and SLU was banging threes on the reg. Then, as tends to happen in college hoops, there was a huge momentum shift. Drake dominated the end of the first half to pull ahead and kept things rolling in the second.
With about eight minutes left, someone put a cap on our bucket. SLU stormed back and took the victory, which was sad … but very reminiscent of our dating years at Drake.
Today’s Reasons to Keep Living
- In-law family Christmas today.
- The stage awaits me.
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🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Crowned 👑MFA Moment 😥AI Danger 💻 I remember as a kid getting a filling and hearing that it was real silver being put in my mouth. I figured if times ever really got tough, I could just yank out my tooth, melt the filling and buy food. Yes, these were thoughts…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Nose Woes 👃African in School 🚌Trumpster Fire 👮 The human body has a way of keeping us humble, especially as we get older. We lose hair where we want it and grow it in abundance where we don’t, we produce ear wax and eye boogers, and 99% of us should never…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Tiger-Iguana 🐅🦎Cornhole Crushing 🌽Poison M&Ms ☠️ The first time I saw a commercial for the Volkswagen Tiguan, I thought it was a parody. As a marketing guy, I couldn’t fathom how an entire department of highly paid professionals could sit down at a table and decide the best name for a…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Closing the Door 🚪Car Shopping🚙Fake Kid-Hater 🧒 Over the course of my life, I’ve gotten used to doing the difficult thing. This often hasn’t been by choice, and it’s never been easy. It’s simply what I’ve had to do. Whether it was facing a pregnancy in which we knew our child…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Changes and Similarities ✈️Family Drama Update 🎭Close Encounters 🤼♂️ My Favorite African (MFA) has arrived. His plane landed at Lambert International at around 1:15 yesterday, and about 15 minutes later, a kind TSA person allowed us and the woman who accompanied MFA on the flight to violate all sorts of Homeland…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Little D Nears ✈️Familiar Familial Drama 🎭Van O’ Canadians 🍁 My favorite African returns to us tomorrow afternoon. Dieudonne will board a plane from Philly with an escort (not THAT kind … I think, anyway), and land in the STL around 1:15. For the next three or four months, we’ll take…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩TikTok Stupidity 😠Back Woes 😧Improv Friends 🎭 There are increasing number of hours each week in which I have a strong desire to throw every piece of connected technology into the nearest lake and move to wherever I have to go to be as far away from any modern gadget as…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Anniversary Changes 💍Near Death Experience 💀Dreamcatcher Drama 😳 All relationships change over time. Friendships, parent-child, boss-employee, husband-wife … no matter the relationship, the only constant thing is change. My marriage has changed mightily since it began. When Wifey Poo and I said our vows on March 22, 1997, we were –…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Why The Blahs? 😷Anniversary Plans 💍Unpleasant Warnings 🐍 Feeling blah is complicated when you have my medical history. For many people, feeling blah as I’m feeling right now is a clear indication that some sort of illness or infection has invaded the body. But for me — and for many others…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Dentist Visit 🦷Basketball Sucks 🏀Found Husband 👨 No one truly likes going to the dentist. I’ve had people push back on me when I’ve said this before, but when I lay out the following scenario, well, it’s pretty much checkmate: “You just had the most well-respected doctor in the world tell…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Dumb Gubment 🦅Dawg Party 🐶Flying African ✈️ We as modern Muricans tend to just accept that it’s the gubment’s job to educate our children. Of course, when other countries that aren’t our friends do that, we call it “indoctrination,” but that’s a topic for another day. The topic for today is…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Costly Mortality ☠️Crazies, Unite 🤪Defining ‘Appointment’ 🦷 I’m getting ready to die. Sounds ominous, right? Dramatic? Scary? It’s not. Oh yes, in a certain light, it’s depressing as hell. But what it really involved was a meeting with an attorney that Wifey Poo and I had yesterday to figure out exactly…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Books and Stories 📚SVB Lessons 🏦Basketball Party 🏀 Holy crap, you guys! I actually finished something I wrote! In fact, I finished two somethings I wrote! As my regular readers (hey you three!) know, I’ve been stunk in a funk of starting to write books and short stories with gusto and…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Podcast Appearance 🎙️The Birth Control Pill Story 🐶Good Tired 🥱 If you would have asked me a few years ago whether I could ever envision myself on a stage in the back room of a dive bar sharing a story about how my dog ate six months of birth control pills…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Pee Mate 🚽Game Maker 🎲Dumb Muricans 🦅 I have been thinking about death a lot lately, not because I’m particularly eager for it to happen or because I’m particularly not eager for it to happen. I guess it’s because I’m a few months shy of my 49th birthday and please-for-the-love-of-God let…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Dieudonne 🌍Hoops Win🏀Cornhole Roll ✔️ In 2021, during some of the darkest and most difficult times in our lives as individuals and couple, Wifey Poo and I did a thing. It was a big thing. It was a challenging thing. It was an amazing thing. But to say it was just…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩’Full Stop’ 🛑Needles 💉Business Lessons 🧑💼 Here’s something I learned about myself today: One way to ensure that I will debate you on a topic until I give my last breath or until you are huddled in a corner in a fetal position is to end the statement of your opinion…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Mindfulness 🧘Mullet Prez 👩🦳Murder Family 🔪 Our brains are amazing things. So adept are they at routines that they can essentially run on autopilot and let you do the everyday stuff like operating a multi-ton object advancing at 70+ mph among lots of other multi-top objects advancing at 70+ mph without…Keep reading
🧩 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 🧩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
🧩 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…Keep reading