Monthly Archives: December 2014

Ending well

At least the last day of 2014 has been far better than the previous three days. No crying, no raised voice, and a therapeutic post which has things back on track with one of my closest friends.

I came to Buffalo Wild Wings just after opening today. Tori Weber was behind the bar, and was ecstatic I showed up. My food bill was less than $8, but I let her keep the rest of the $20 I gave her.

I left for a little while to pick up Liz’s birthday gift from Dillard’s at Zona Rosa. I also made a stop at Bed, Bath and Beyond and bought Brittany’s fiance, Zach, a Royals Tervis Tumbler, since she was trying to use the Mizzou tumbler I bought her Monday. I also felt guilty I hadn’t gotten him anything for Christmas. He’s a good guy. He and Brittany are very happy together and will be for a very long time.

I wrote something to Liz on Facebook this evening. I told her she was one of the best friends I have ever had, one of the best friends anyone can ever ask for, and apologized for not trusting her, not believing much of the time that she wasn’t my friend, and assuming she didn’t have my back when she really did. She told me that we’ll be friends until we’re walking around with canes.

Made me feel much better. She’s made my life much better over the 18 months I’ve known her, and apparently, I’ve had the same effect on her. i never would have dreamed someone 17 years younger than me and living four hours away would have that kind of impact, but the Lord works in mysterious ways.

Brittany came in at 5. She was excited about the tumbler for Zach. She had her hair done for a New Year’s Eve party she and Zach were going to. It looked great.

I wrote something to Lisa on Facebook. It was a lot of the same things I wrote to Liz, only longer. I hope it works out. I would hate to see it end. However, if it does, I have nobody to blame but myself.

Brittany read it and loved it. She told me I’m always welcome and I need to keep coming back, because she loves it when I’m here. Very touching.

I was originally planning to leave at 8:30. I still might, but I might stay with Brittany until she gets off, just to be a good friend.

Tomorrow morning I have a decision to make: stay at the Courtyard and check out and stay at Overland Park for the remainder? I think the latter is the option, since it’s oly going to be $10 more per night. That, and I really want to try the Japanese steakhouse at the OP Marriott.

Missed big time

Ole Miss might as well had not left Oxford. Their performance today in the Peach Bowl is beyond putrid.

I don’t like the Rebels, period. I dislike Ole Miss more than any other SEC school. I get tired of Ole Mss thinking they are more refined and more cultured than the ‘rednecks’ which populate Auburn, Gainesville, Fayetteville, and especially Starkville. Rebel fans think because they eat on tablecloths during tailgate parties, they are more civilized than their peers at LSU. Because their students wear coat and tie or dresses to games, they’re more sophisticated than Missouri.

I’ve been to Oxford enough times to know that if Ole Miss weren’t there, it would be just another small Mississippi town with a few gas stations, a few restaurants, and not much else. Other than having Ole Miss there, Oxford isn’t much except for a bigger town on a four-lane highway from I-55 in Batesville to Tupelo, the birthplace of Elvis and the largest city northeast Mississippi.

One thing about Ole Miss that galls me is the total control Greeks have over that campus. If you are not a member of a fraternity or sorority, you have absolutely no chance to getting elected to a position in the student government, which means the Greeks have almost unlimited access to the faculty at Ole Miss. I would not be surprised if Greeks often get grading breaks not afforded to non-Greeks.

Problem is, if you don’t have a family member who was in a fraternity or sorority, or your family does not have money, good luck trying to get in. People like me would have less than zero chance.

Sadly, the Greeks run student life at Alabama as well, although it isn’t reported, simply because there’s too much other news coming out of Tuscaloosa (read: Nick Saban’s football dynasty). The Greeks have run Alabama since the days Bear Bryant and George Wallace were students, and that’s over 80 years ago.

Ole Miss, which beat Alabama in October but stumbled later with losses to LSU, Auburn and Arkansas, is getting destroyed by TCU in the Peach Bowl, the first of the six ‘access bowls’ now under the control of the College Football Playoff committee. The Horned Frogs, who finished No. 5 in the CFP rankings released Dec. 7–one spot shy of qualifying for the playoff–have steamrolled the Rebels throughout and lead 42-3 in the fourth quarter. TCU is aiming for its second 12-win season in its last five, pretty remarkable considering the Horned Frogs were among the doormats of the old Southwest Conference for the last 35 years of that conference, from 1960, the year Bob Lilly graduated and went on to his Hall of Fame career with the Cowboys, through 1995, the last year of the conference.

TCU originally was going to be accepted into the Big 12 when it formed to give the new league a foothold in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, but Ann Richards, then the governor of Texas and a big mouthpiece for Baylor, threatened to torpedo the Big 12 if the Bears were not taken in. Texas, Texas A&M and Texas Tech were eagerly accepted by the rest of the Big Eight; it just came down to Baylor and TCU. SMU was not an option due to the lack of a baseball team; Rice is too small; and Houston has a history of numerous NCAA rules violations.

The Horned Frogs are coached by Gary Patterson, who grew up in Rozel, Kansas, a tiny dot on the map between Larned and Jetmore. Patterson has led TCU to unprecedented heights, heights not seen since the glory days of the 1950s under Abe Martin.

Ole MIss has played in a couple of Cotton Bowls and a couple of Gator Bowls in January over the past 25 years, but today’s Peach Bowl can truly be called the Rebels’ first bona fide major bowl game since Archie Manning propelled Ole Miss past Arkansas in the Sugar Bowl of January 1, 1970. That year, there were only four games on New Year’s Day, and if you played in the Cotton, Sugar, Rose or Orange, you must have had a pretty good season.

Ole Miss went 7-3 in 1969, but they caught a huge break when 9-1 LSU turned down the Sugar Bowl. The Bayou Bengals were hoping for a Cotton Bowl berth against top-ranked Texas, but the Cotton instead snatched up Notre Dame when the Fighting Irish ended their 45-year prohibition on playing in bowl games. LSU was offered a spot in the Bluebonnet Bowl vs. Colorado, but said no, meaning it sat home at 9-1.

Sadly, too many 6-6 and 7-5 teams are playing bowl games hardly anyone cares about. The attendance reflects that. I’m sorry, but no way 6-6 Miami and 6-6 South Carolina should have been in a bowl. Same for 6-6 Arkansas and 6-6 Texas. I think eight wins should be the bare minimum.

Can we just skip today?

Today is one of the days I LEAST look forward to. If there were a way I could take a 24-hour sleeping pill and not wake up until the next day, I would do so without hesitation.


I don’t see why people need to get drunk just to celebrate the changing of a calendar. Nothing about your life is going to be magically better because the last digit (or digits) on the end of the date are going to be higher. Credit card companies are not going to magically forgive your debts, you are not going to be able to magically trade in your old car for a shiny new model without having to pay anything, and relationships which are broken are not magically going to be fixed.

In 2007, ESPN Radio personality Colin Cowherd summed it up best for me. He said New Year’s Eve was amateur night, a night where people in crummy jobs get dressed up and think they’re big shots. Those who have good money, those who are famous, aren’t going to bother with the crap that goes on New Year’s Eve. They can have New Year’s Eve whenever and wherever they want.

I don’t go out late on New Year’s. I don’t go to parties. In fact, if I ever get asked to a New Year’s Eve party, I’m going to say no and not give it a second thought.

The only New Year’s Eve I have ever been out past 9 p.m. was on the last day of 1995, when I was returning to my home in New Orleans from the Superdome, having watched the Sugar Bowl between Virginia Tech and Texas. My objective that evening was to get out of the Dome as fast as possible and high tail it home before the drunks were out in force.

This will be the fifth consecutive year I have celebrated the new year in a hotel room. It’s one of the few times during the school year I can get away for an extended period.

I rang in 2011 in Omaha, and the temperature overnight plunged to 5 below zero. The next morning as I loaded my car for the trip home, there was a bunch of pop cans exploded and frozen. Learned my lesson there.

The last four years i have been in Kansas City for the new year. In 2012 and 2013, I celebrated in my room at the Kansas City Airport Marriott. Unfortunately, I was banned for an incident i did not commit, and was forced to find new lodging. Therefore, it’s now been the Courtyard on Tiffany Springs Parkway.

I’m glad it’s bitterly cold outside. Serves all the drunks going out tonight right. Only thing that would be better would be snow. Then again, I would rather not have to drive on the snow.

I’ve lost Lisa (and probably Liz)

I guess I’m the biggest sucker and/or glutton for punishment who ever lived. I have come back to Buffalo Wild Wings each of the past two days after making a total fool of myself Sunday. I’m shocked I’m still allowed in the restaurant, and I’m even more surprised anyone wants to be my friend.

December 28, 2014 will rank as one of the worst days of my life. Sure, there were other very bad days, but this one was far worse than the day Katrina flooded my family’s home, far worse than getting into any automobile accident, far worse than, well, just about anything.

The worst thing is, I could have prevented all of it if I would have thought things through and not had one of my patented explosions. All I had to do is wait patiently until a seat opened up at the bar, but no, I got panicky, I started raising my voice, and it got the last person on earth I wanted mad at me mad.

I really screwed up with Lisa Toebben. I really messed that up good. If she doesn’t want to be my friend anymore, it will devastate me to no end, but I understand where she’s coming from. She’s done nothing but be nice to me and this is the way I repay her by basically spitting in her eye? Is this the way I treat people? Sadly, it is, and I just keep repeating the same behavior over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over.

I’ve only known Lisa for ten months, but in that time, I’ve managed to fuck things up so bad I would not screw someone I’ve known ten times that long that many times. She’s a saint if she still wants to be my friend. I can understand if she does not, but  if she chooses the latter path, what good is my life? It’s not worth living.

I’ve also lost Liz forever, too, in all likelihood She witnessed all that went down Sunday night, and she was very angry with me, as she should have. Liz has put up with a lot from me, but I’m guessing this is the last straw.

Without LIsa and Liz, it might be time to cash in my chips and just go for it. Why bother living a life with two of the most important people n it? Besides, I’ve already alienated so many people, the list is so long it would take me two books to fill.

Monday night at Buffalo Wild Wings was quiet, but LIsa and Liz were not there. I thought LIsa was there when I got there this afternoon, because I saw her boyfriend, Jeff Daniels (AKA THE LUCKIEST MAN ON THE FACE OF PLANET EARTH) (sorry Lou Gehrig). Fortunately, she was not, and I was able to sit down. But I fear if she and/or Liz are here, I’m gong to have to leave.

I’ve fucked up the two most important relationships I have right now. Let me repeat: I’ve fucked up the two most important relationships I have right now. Again: I’ve fucked up the two most important relationships I have right now.. Why bother?

Should have done this a long time ago

I guess it’s time for me to jump into the Missouri River. It’s time. I have ruined everything worth a crap in my life.

Like tonight. I fucked up my friendship with Lisa Toebben. FOREVER.

Time to end it

That’s it. I have decided that this life is not worth living. I am going to end it very soon. I just need an exit strategy.

I have fucked up everything that ever meant anything to me. I am going to continue to fuck it up. Might as well end it while I’m not too far behind.

Why am I even here?

I’ve been sitting in Buffalo Wild Wings for three hours now. Trivia, football and not much else. Did enjoy the prime rib nachos, which are going off the menu after today.

It’s crowded in here, which is what one would expect for a Chiefs game. I’m guessing Sundays will not be nearly as hectic, save for Super Bowl Sunday, until September, starting next week. The NFL playoffs should draw a decent crowd, but since there will only be one game on at a time, it shouldn’t be as crowded.

I committed a faux pas by leaving my Tervis tumbler in my car full of drink. It was frozen this morning. Not making that mistake again. I’d better not, because it’s going to get much colder by Tuesday.

It’s 2 p.m., so Buzztime now moves on to Countdown, the standard 15-question game. From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., games are seven questions each. No specialty games on Sundays.

Sunday morning

I didn’t spend very long away from Buffalo Wild Wings, although my body tried to fight me from leaving in time to get there in time for opening at 11 a.m.

Fortunately, it takes me only 15 minutes to get showered, shaved and dressed, even though my shaving routine is longer than most men. I actually got there a few minutes early.

I’m at a different table in the dining room right now, but that’s because I wanted Rue-Jean Klapproth to serve me. She’s incredibly sweet. She took care of me Tuesday and I was totally impressed.

Lisa is working a double today and I promised I would sit with her at the bar when she begins her bartending shift at 5. Liz is scheduled to work tonight, but if she was able to switch with someone, it would not upset me. I heard she and Sean were here until after 2 this morning.

I’ve got some writing to do tonight and tomorrow, but it should not keep me from getting to Buffalo Wild Wings by 4:30 in order to play sports trivia at 7. After getting that done, I should be free and clear until the first events start back up Jan. 6.

This is the last Sunday of 2014. Where has the time flown?

Saturday escapades continue

It’s 6:20 p.m., and I have not left Buffalo Wild Wings since arriving seven and a half hours ago.

I’m glad I came at opening. Poor Brittany had a slow day behind the bar, and by time 3:35 arrived, I was the ONLY customer at the bar counter. She politely declined my tip, because she was overjoyed I brought her three six-packs of Abita beer: grapefruit IPA, Mardi Gras bock and the new Wrought Iron IPA. She and Zach have loved all of it before, so this should be no different.

As I was playing one of my numerous Buzztime trivia games in the afternoon, I noticed my buddies Dan and Pam, whom I had not seen since October, were in the restaurant. I found them and went to their table to help with answers.

Lisa returned to work for the first time since her trip to Chicago with Jeff. I had four six-packs of Abita waiting for her (the same three flavors I gave Brittany, plus a six-pack of Andygator, the Dopplebock), plus the same gift I gave Brittany and Liz Tuesday.

I can now reveal the gift: Ralph Lauren Polo perfume. It’s the same fragrance I wear, except for women. Brittany told me Zach loved it. She’s now worried she will run out before her wedding July 11. I told her that can be one of her wedding gifts.

Lisa isn’t having the best n ight, either. Not many tables. Makes me glad I’m here tonight too.

Liz is working tonight. Her 21st birthday is a week from today. I’m sure her 21st will be far better than mine. It was raining and chilly in Baton Rouge that Monday, I had to go to class, and then I ate with my mother, since my father was wrapping up a business trip to Brazil that week.

I’m going to get out of here no earlier than 8:30, but try to do so no later than 10:30. Back at it tomorrow at 11 a.m. sharp, and I will bring work with me to bide my time.

Maybe I’m not that bad

Nobody is harder on me than me. I wish it weren’t that way, but if you’ve known me for quite some time, you’ve probably seen it.

It happened again last night at Buffalo Wild Wings. I was really upset seeing couples all around the restaurant, especially one couple who was sitting at the bar only a couple of stools down from me with their hands all over one another.

Made me wonder about why I bother going on sometimes. Those who know me are well aware of my trouble relating to people, my loneliness and my overwhelming desire to find a special someone. I’m almost to the point of giving up. I’m going to be 40 in less than two years, and the pool of 40-year old singles, especially in a rural area far away from a city of any size, is very shallow. I’ve been more than willing, and still am, to travel all the time and not make anyone see Russell unless they want to, but that’s not happening, either.

After leaving for a few minutes to check in at the Courtyard on Tiffany Springs and make a quick run into Hy-Vee, I returned to Buffalo Wild Wings. I was down. Way down. Brittany got on me for being so grumpy. She tried to cheer me up by telling me the couple who had their hands all over each other were a couple of jerks, but there was a part of me who wished I were a big jerk. I probably would be with someone. Then again, maybe not.

Liz sat down with me a few minutes later. She tried convincing me I was wonderful as I was and that she didn’t want me any other way. She used her mother, Nadine (who also works at Buffalo Wild Wings) as an example of not needing a significant other to be happy. Liz told me we probably wouldn’t be friends if I wasn’t like I was.

I’ve never had someone tell me they liked me for me. If I did, it was probably a very long time ago that I don’t remember. It made me feel good to know that someone out there accepts me for me, flaws and all.

I went down to Overland Park to Lukas Liquors this morning to buy some Abita beer for my three dear friends. Liz is turning 21 next week, so I hope she enjoys what I get her. I’m back at Buffalo Wild Wings, back at the bar with Brittany. One of my trivia buddies, Larry, is here with his girlfriend, so it’s making for a lively scene. I’ll be here most of the day, waiting at least until the night shift comes on at 5.