🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩
Alive vs. Living 😔
Dental Thoughts 🦷
I am 48 years old, and I realized something today: I have no idea how to live life. This isn’t to suggest I don’t know how to stay alive. I’m OK at that. But the finer points of relationships and communication and working my way through the mire that is living? I don’t think I’m really good at that. In fact, it seems to me that I get worse at it the older I get.
Worse still, I don’t really want to play the game anymore.
When my first son died in late 2000, Wifey Poo and I were lauded on numerous occasions by people who said they admired how we were handling things and that they, themselves could never be that brave. That wasn’t what anyone should call bravery. That’s called not having a choice. I didn’t get to choose to walk that walk. I had to. It’s not brave to walk a walk you have to walk. That’s just staying alive because all required organs are continuing to function.
So I get staying alive. I’ve done that in the face of tremendous adversity on more than one occasion.
I just can’t seem to get living.
I am so tired of feeling like an outsider, of having so few connections, of having to try so hard for the most basic of things. I’m tired of feeling so much and thinking so much. I’m tired of being misunderstood and maligned. I’m tired of feeling like I could poof vanish and it wouldn’t really mean a thing to very many people at all. I’m tired of struggling.
I am extremely grateful for the blessings in my life. I value the Core Four and those associated with it. But like I said … I’m tired.
It’s OK. This isn’t necessarily new. It’s just ongoing. And it’s frustrating.
I went to the dentist at 7 this morning to have my permanent crown put on. After battling for two weeks to keep the temporary one on and being entrusted by the dentist to do so without any formal dental education, I was told this morning that not having it on actually made today’s appointment easier.
I didn’t have it on because last night while eating dinner it popped off (again), but this time, before I realized it was off, it got caught in a chomp and shattered.
Getting the permanent one put on was easy-peasy. My new friend McKenna did her thing. Then the actual dentist came in and did her thing. Then I was done and told not to eat anything sticky or “aggressively floss” that tooth for 24 hours. I don’t think I’ve ever aggressively flossed any tooth ever and have no plans to start at this ripe old age.
I had several thoughts while at my 15 minutes appointment.
- Why do dentists have you walk the mile when they call you back? I walked past numerous other open rooms where people were having dental work done. It’s very much like a zoo exhibit from hell.
- What are dental chairs made out of that makes the slightest movement when you’re sitting in them sound like a massive fart? This, of course, leads a person like me to have to move slightly again, just to replicate the sound to prove the first sound wasn’t a massive fart. I’m not sure what McKenna believes at this point.
- I think the sunglasses they have you wear when they work on you are a nice touch. They didn’t have those when I was a kid, and you spent the appointment staring up into that interrogation light while bits of water and tooth debris splattered all over your face.
- For all the advancements we’ve made, I’m not sure why no one has made a dentist drill that sounds like a passing breeze or a purring kitten instead of a torture device. Get on that, someone.
- I have absolutely no faith that this stupid crown is going to stay on longer than a day. I hope to be proven wrong.
(Editor’s note: Welcome to Living Eulogies. All recollections are accurate in the author’s mind only. Apologies in advance to everyone who has different recollection of the same events. Send all complaints to Al Roker. Stop, drop and roll.) My drive to work today was highlighted by my first listen of Metallica’s new album, 72 Seasons.…Keep reading
My Level 1 improv class started Sunday. Two people from Level 0, who happen to be the two dudes I got along with best, are in the class, along with me and 11 others.
I’m going to wade into some dangerous waters here, but I have to say it annoys the fuck out of me that, when introductions are done around a certain type or age group of people, you’re essentially asked to lead with your preferred pronouns. I miss the days when introductions were simply your name and something interesting about you or what animal you’d be or two truths and a lie. That was simple and didn’t feel like walking through a fucking minefield.
Listen, I’m he/him. I always have been, and I understand that disqualifies me in certain people’s eyes from having any opinions on this topic. I also happen to not give a crap what your pronouns are, any more than I would be offended if you called me something other than my chosen pronouns. If you want to be called they/banana, I couldn’t care less … except for the fact that it makes my life more difficult when I have to interact with you or talk about you to anyone.
Now, I’m not saying that me having some difficulty in any way compares with the difficulty you have in living outside the mainstream. Trust me, despite being a white male, I’m well educated and well aware of how difficult that life can be. But that doesn’t stop me from being annoyed at having to think so hard just to interact with you or talk with someone about you.
This goes back to what I wrote about yesterday. Life shouldn’t be as difficult as it is. Folks, I’m tired. Fucking tired. There’s just so much shit in this world, and if you’re going to be overly sensitive about your pronouns, I can’t have you in my life to any significant degree. If you want to be called by pronouns different from what your general appearance suggests your pronouns would be, that’s completely cool with me and I promise you I’m going to try my damnedest to get it right because I respect you as a human being.
Just don’t get too butt-hurt if I mess up and call you “he” instead of “they” or “she” instead of “banana.”
That said, a bridge too far for me was when someone told me their child didn’t want any pronouns. I’m sorry, but it’s a little much to say I can’t use an entire part of speech because of your child’s existence. I would never presume to tell anyone they can’t use adjectives when they are talking to or about me. Calling me “asshole” isn’t as effective as calling me “an enormous asshole.”
If I have to use your first name every time I refer to you, that’s way too much work for me. You better bring a whole helluva lot to the table if you want to stay in my life and require that much work. Because I don’t care if Chris wants to be called Chris any time someone talks about Chris; if Chris wants to make me work so hard, Chris better always bring Chris’s world-famous chocolate pie to every gathering Chris attends.
See what I mean? That sentence took forever to write and felt awkward as hell to read. If Chris wants to be called he/him or she/her or they/it or peanut/Ferrari, cool. But you don’t have the power to eliminate an entire section of grammar just because you exist.
I know this is an unpopular opinion in some circles and certainly cancels me in some people’s eyes. That’s cool. I’ve already been nixed by every Republican I know because I think their messiah president is as awful as a Nazi. What’s one more group who hates me?
Today’s Reasons to Keep Living
- Gotta see how long this crown stays in.
- Poker night is Friday.
- Massage on Saturday, and damn my neck needs it.
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🧩 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 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