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Entry date: 12-31-2023 – Third Time is a Charm – Letters to My Friends

Dear Friends,


It’s hard to believe this is my third 12-31 post on Ergonomic Mischief. As tempting as it would be to say this is the last, I’m not sure I can stop at this point. I feel like I have a lot more I need to write and this is my place to do just that. I appreciate everyone who reads this thing. I hope that sometimes I post things that are helpful to you all in some way.


Last year I did sort of a year in review type of thing on this day. We were up north at the S cabin enjoying a really wonderful time. It snowed a lot, and it was a great way to bring in this whole 2023 thing. I was on the edge of starting a dry January and that extended well into March, I think, if not April. I don’t remember. I’m on the cusp of the same thing today.


I’ve been thinking a lot about my relationship with alcohol. I’ve chronicled it many times here at Ergonomic Mischief. I think it is probably time to consider a very different relationship with booze. I could write a book on the subject of being afraid of how alcohol makes a person feel. Maybe I will. Maybe I already am writing it.


During last year’s NYE post, I talked about how I was going to spend some time in 2023 going back an editing some of the things I have written. I did almost none of that. I almost wrote that I did zero, zilch, etc., but I did a tiny amount of editing on a couple stories that I looked at. Mostly fixing typos.


I am not promising that for this coming year, though. I have learned my lesson. I have a lot of new stuff to share this year. I’m way more interested in going forward than going back. However, if there are any stories I have shared, true or not, that people would like to read more about, please send me a message. I am the type of person who needs the occasional push.




I am going to challenge myself to do something I’ve never done today. Seems like the last day of a year is a good day for that. I’m not sure what it is, but I’ll figure it out. We are going hiking in a bit so maybe a new trail. I don’t know. Just seems like the thing to do.




I also decided to do a year in review by looking at my notes on my phone. Here’s what I was thinking (and probably laughing about) during the year:



1-20-22: A teacher is like a stockbroker in a way. Students are investors in themselves. Make a good investment and you can see the dividends for your entire life.


I like this thought a lot. I want my students to make that investment in themselves because they are worth it.


1-22-23: Death by Iron Maiden.


I think I had some idea of being put in a room and having Iron Maiden played until it drove you crazy. Non-stop Maiden, all the time. For some people, it would be a quick road to insanity. If it were me, it would probably end up being okay until it got to the shitty albums.


1-22-23: Jesus Loaves You. Jesus doesn’t loaf you, but we do. Jesus nailed to a cross made of baguettes.


I really like the idea of having a bakery. I think I was riffing on the idea of a bakery called Jesus Loaves You. This may have been an evening at The Main Ingredient.



(lots of February notes so here are the ones I enjoyed)

2-18-23: A guy who writes a self-help book about how aging is really just reliving your teenage years…but now you call it dementia.


Not sure what I was going for here, to be honest. Apparently, I have a theory about how time is man-made, and life is a series of repeated events.


2-23-23: The Man Who Worshipped Mail Boxes.


I have no idea, but I wish I knew what I was thinking here.


2-25-23: Sacrificing pigeons to the fan god.


This must have been something for the Mary story.



3-4-23: The author of Mary has to keep writing it to stop the real fan. It’s a really scary story.


I thought about making Mary a story within a bigger story about an author who writes things to stop horrible monsters from really existing.


3-10-23: There’s a racist joke buried in there. A country song about the most racist joke ever but you don’t actually get to hear the joke. Or do you. Or is it “the song about the song” thing. A punk song about this dumb country racist joke song that reveals the joke at the end.


I’m not sure what got me thinking about this. Probably some country song that was racist in nature. I don’t know.


3-10-23: Fozzy Dad – Wocka Wocka. First album. 1. Get your hands off my fucking Wocka Wocka Hat. 2. Shit Brown Bear (Wocka Wocka) 3. Wocka-ermit 4. Spin off? My Wocka Wocka ass! 5. Wocka Wocka This Way 6. Cocaine Bear is a pussy. We wocka wocka’d across the 70s.


A punk rock band inspired by Fozzy Bear. This is their first record. There are a few of these from the year.


3-18-23: Really High Birds: Shitting all over you from 20,000 feet


Another band and first record idea.


3-26-23: Permission cards to make fun of people.


This was a notion I had that everyone gets a permission card to be some sort of asshole. For example, maybe you get a permission card to make fun of white people. You can go around saying whatever you want about white folks and if someone gets mad, you just show them your card and they have to leave you alone. Could be a fun story.




4-4-23: Arraigned man

They arrest him and nothing happened

They elected him and nothing happened (except lies and lies and pockets lined)

They detested him and nothing happened

They neglected themselves and he happened


A song idea, I guess, about Trumpo.



5-5-23: Global warming killed the ice capades


Kinda says it all.


5-6-23: Story about fucking with one’s self. Guilty feelings cause us to fuck with ourselves. Don’t let them torture you. Deal with it head on. Don’t be afraid. Don’t be afraid to fight your own demons. You made them, so don’t be afraid of them.


Wow. Where was my brain on 5/6? Interesting idea.


5-12-23: If you feed your aging dog kittens will they live exponentially longer?


A fair question.




6-8-23: Par*. Parsterisk.


Must have been golfing this day. I think the idea was for t-shirts that said, “Par*” and that Parsterisk was a good golf term.


6-9-23: The impermanence of relevance.


Clever turn of phrase, perhaps.


6-23-23: Pinch punch. Punch a baby.


No idea.


6-24-23: Hobo minerals.


No idea.




7-2-23: Severed spine is Shepherd’s Pie.


No idea.


7-11-23: Instead Rocking Chairs. Instead of a chair that doesn’t rock.  I wanna rock. Possible part of the Rise Above story.


I was thinking about Q loving the rocking chair in Maine and sitting on the porch and had the idea that a character in the Rise Above story could be a rocking chair maker.


7-11-23: Three ways. Problem solving techniques. What is the main problem (level 1). Break it down (Level 2). Get Crazy (Level 3). Based around three ways of solving a problem.


Whoa. I’m not sure what I was thinking here, but “get crazy” sounds good.


7-15-23: I bet eagles can read.


No idea, but I like the thought. I think this idea may have come while on a walk in Maine.


7-26-23: Roofie Abortion. Band name. First record: Forgot to Remember


My friend, A, and I were at the Gel show at Rebel Lounge getting drunk and talking about the stupidest band names as well as stupid abortion laws. I came up with this one.




8-29-23: I’m not sharing this one, but it is a pretty good idea for the ending of The Bet.


8-30-23: The empathy pill story should have some element where the person who takes the pill has taken a personality test so they get the same pill that matches their personality type to give them an impactful empathetic experience.


I must have been impaired when I spoke this into the phone. Either that or I was walking at the time. The empathy story is one I haven’t taken on yet.




9-16-23: Four dimensions. Three are good and one is bad. You never know what you are going to get and if you get the three good ones first, you know the bad one is coming.


Would it be luckier to get the bad one first? I’m not sure what I was thinking here. Maybe another “pill” story where you are given a drug that will have four parts. The three good parts are so good that the fourth, the bad one, is something you are willing to endure. Hmmn…




10-28-23: We are part of a reality video game. Time traveling super wealthy people go back in time and play a weird version of war games. This is why their deaths are almost always a mystery.


I’ve been playing with this idea for a while. Time travel stories fascinate me. I think a lot of times when very rich people die, their deaths are kind of mysterious. Maybe this is because they are traveling in time.




11-1-23: Is there anything more important than love?


Is there?


11-11-23: Justin Bieberlake. Creamsicle Cell. The Steaming Turds. Sparks cover band: 14 Seconds


 Band name ideas.


11-22-23: Near the Glass Coffins.

Clear the glass coffins.

No one should be buried alone in man made prisons without a window.

Gelatin capsules on time release, please.


Dana, Ward, and I were jamming and Dana was telling us about glass coffins so I got inspired.


11-24-23: Old guy shits himself when he gets high. He takes a gummy and realizes he doesn’t have his depends. It’s a race against time.


I hope this isn’t foreshadowing.




12-1-23: Sneeze disease. A boy walks into a classroom, sneezes, and immediately a group of his friends turn into him.


I love this idea. When the infected person sneezes, if other can breathe it in, they become the infected person, too. Is it permanent? I don’t know yet.


12-9-23: Slurpee Shaman.




12-15-23: Who’s the Pavlov now.


Cookie Eating Motherfucker. A Mike-xploitation film.




The only reindeer that will work for Santa anymore are the tweekers. They are the only ones who can make that run.


Rebranding “Jesus Built My Hot Rod” as a Christmas song about tweakers getting presents to the people in time.


Sir Sherbet Knightmare (AI picture)


Cuntfish: Spinning ‘Larms.


The ScumTwats: Reservation Apocalypse


Eclipse on Toast


The Kumquats


That was a good night at the J’s. Lots of material. Still fresh in the mind, too.




See you next year.

This is me, right now. 10:09 AM on 12-31-2023 or 123123.

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