Monthly Archives: April 2015

Losing the arms race

My right arm is hurting. Tendinitis. I took two Aleve at 9:15 a.m., but they don’t seem to be kicking in just now.

The NFL Draft begins tonight. The first round gets underway at 7 p.m., and unlike almost every other year, when it was held in New York, it has moved to Chicago this time. It’s almost certain Jameis Winston, the egotistical spoiled brat quarterback from Florida State, will be taken first overall by Tampa  Bay. Good luck with that.

The Cardinals don’t draft until 24th. I have heard at least eight different names in the mock drafts going to Arizona. That the Cards are drafting 24th is a good sign. It’s an even better sign when the scouts don’t agree; it means the team doesn’t have glaring needs and can go for the best player available.

Today marks the anniversaries of two major events which have shaped the world today.

On April 30, 1945, Adolf Hitler, one of the most evil creatures to inhabit the planet, committed suicide with his bride of one day, Eva Braun, in an underground bunker. The Nazis were on the verge of massive defeat at the hands of the United States, Soviet Union, and the rest of the allies, and Hitler took the coward’s way out. Typical for a man who probably had testes the size of BBs.

Thirty years later, South Vietnam surrendered unconditionally to the commies from North Vietnam. Too bad Lyndon Johnson died two years earlier. He should have been forced to take the humiliation alive. Instead, it was good guy Gerald Ford, who had been thrust into the White House because Richard Nixon was the most paranoid politician who ever lived, was forced to answer to America’s abject failure in southeast Asia.

I’ve got things to do after dinner. I hope my right arm will hold out. Two more Aleve before I go to bed.

I like my baseball plain, thank you

The Orioles defeated the White Sox 8-2 this afternoon at Baltimore in what is believed to be the first Major League Baseball game to be closed to the public.

The decision to bar ticket holding fans from Camden Yards was made due to the rioting which has been going on in Baltimore since the death of Freddie Gray, who suffered fatal injuries when he was in the custody of Baltimore police earlier this month.

I have no sympathy whatsoever for the rioting thugs. There is a major difference between peaceful protest, like Martin Luther King Jr. and the March on Washington in 1983 or the Alabama march from Selma to Montgomery in 1965,and the type of looting and destruction going on in Baltimore right now, or what went on in Ferguson, Mo., last year, or in south central Los Angeles on this night in 1992 following the verdict in the Rodney King beating trial of four Los Angeles police officers.

Enough social commentary. Back to baseball.

The Orioles game was open only to credentialed media members, of which there were about 100, Orioles and White Sox employees, and those who had a legitimate function at the game. The game was televised in Baltimore and Chicago and those with SiriusXM radio like myself (although I didn’t listen) could tune in.

The game was played in two hours three minutes. You want to know why?


As much as I enjoy Major League Baseball and I like going to games, I don’t think I could stand going to 81 homes games–or even one-fifth that many–due to all the asinine and inane things which go on in between innnings.

Do we need a pointless trivia question after every half inning? Do we need to have some idiot with a wireless microphone go into the stands to embarrass someone who probably could care less about being on the stadium’s big screen TV, someone who probably just wants to be left alone and enjoy the game with whomever he or she came with?

The Royals are among the most egregious violators. Since moving to Kansas, I have never been to a Royals game where there has not been an overabundance of lunacy and promotions which belong at a carnival, not a professional sporting event.

The worst is the hot dog race, which in Kansas City is sponsored by Heinz. This is a ripoff of the dot race which began in 1984 at Arlington Stadium, the old home of the Texas Ranges. I didn’t care for it then, and I certainly don’t care for it now.

Even worse about Kansas City’s hot dog race is KETCHUP is one of the three participants. KETCHUP. That’s un-American. I don’t care if you’re 3 or 103. YOU DO NOT PUT KETCHUP ON A  HOT DOG. Period. Cut and dried. If the Royals insist on having ketchup in the race, there ought to be a way that ketchup never wins, much like Teddy Roosevelt never wins in the president’s races at Washington Nationals games.

The worst is the kiss cam. Seriously. KISS CAM? Can’t people have some privacy?

I worked one summer for the New Orleans Zephrys, a Triple-A baseball team. I loathed the stupid dizzy bat race. I could not stand the stupid race around the bases between a kid and Boudreaux, the nutria which is the Zephyr’s mascot.

When I go to a Major League Baseball game, I do not pay good money to park, to get into the gate and to eat mediocre food to watch some idiot with a microphone in between innings. I pay that money to watch BASEBALL. Major League Baseball. The game is more than enough to me.

If promotions departments would eliminate those childish hijinks, I guarantee they will save 25-30 minutes per night.

Sadly, this crap has permeated to the NBA and NHL. Every timeout, every stoppage of play in those sports is time for some fan to make a fool of himself or herself. The NFL doesn’t have these bad ideas. Doesn’t seem to hurt their crowds.

Party like it’s 1985

The Royals won again last night. The Brewers and Indians both lost.

This is starting to look a lot like 1985. That was the year Kansas City won its first–and only–World Series championship, rallying from a 3-1 deficit vs. St. Louis, thanks in large part, though, to a blown call at first base in the ninth inning of game six by umpire Don Denkinger.

Meanwhile, the Brewers and Indians were in a dog-eat-dog race for sixth place in the American League East. The two teams occupied the bottom rungs of the division in 1984, with Cleveland 75-87 and Milwaukee 67-94. Although the Brewers played the entire 1984 season without their future Hall of Fame third baseman and team leader, Paul Molitor, there wasn’t much hope for the Wisconsinites even with Molitor healthy in 1985. The Brewers, who won the American League pennant in 1982 and came within one win of a world championship, simply didn’t have any pitching, despite Molitor and another Hall of Fame shoo-in, Robin Yount, anchoring the offense.

At least Milwaukee could hit. Cleveland couldn’t hit, nor could it pitch.

Sure enough, when the season ended, Milwaukee found itself 71-90 and in sixth place, a cool 25 1/2 games behind division champion Toronto.

As bad as that was, Cleveland was 11 1/2 games WORSE, going 60-102. The only thing which saved the Indians from the worst record in the Majors was the beyond pathetic Pirates, who were 57-104.

Pittsburgh baseball hit rock bottom in 1985. Numerous Pirates, both on the 1985 team and since departed, were addicted to cocaine, and they were subpoenaed by a grand jury in the Steel City to testify about the rampant use of the illicit drug in Major League Baseball.

Although the 2015 season is not a month old, the Brewers and Indians are in free fall. Through tonight’s games, they are a combined 10-30 (Cleveland 6-13, Milwaukee 4-17), and not surprisingly, own the worst records in their respective leagues.

The Cardinals and Dodgers, the two teams which played for the National League pennant in 1985, lead their divisions. The Mets, whose 98 victories left them three games shy of St. Louis in the NL East, have the best record in the Senior Circuit right now. 1985 AL East champion Toronto is hovering around .500, but it’s early, and the AL East figures to be a mediocre division.

I wasn’t quite nine years old in April 1985, but for some reason, several events from that month stick out in my mind three decades later.

The first came on the night of April Fool’s Day, when Villanova stunned Georgetown in the NCAA men’s basketball national championship game at Lexington’s Rupp Arena.

The Hoyas won the 1984 national championship, and with three-time All-American and 1984 National Player of the year Patrick Ewing back for his senior campaign, John Thompson’s club was the overwhelming favorite to repeat.

Villanova finished fourth in the rugged Big East Conference, finishing behind Georgetown, St. John’s and Syracuse. The Wildcats of coach Rollie Massamino earned an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament, which expanded to 64 teams in 1985. The Wildcats, who had not been to the Final Four since All-American Howard Porter starred for the south Philadelphia Catholic school in 1971, were seeded eighth (out of 16) in the Southeast region.

However, once the tournament began, the Wildcats roared to life. They upended top seed MIchigan in the second round, and won regional games at Birmingham over ACC powers Maryland (led by Len Bias) and North Carolina to reach the Final Four, where they would be joined by conference rivals Georgetown and St. John’s, plus Memphis State (now Memphis) from the now-defunct Metro Conference.

Villanova dispatched Memphis State and Georgetown ousted St. John’s to set up the fourth meeting of the season between the Catholic schools, separated by less than 150 miles of Interstate 95.

The Wildcats played what has been called by many the best half of basketball in tournament history in the second half. Villanova hit 22 of 25 field goal attempts, an astonishing 88 percent, and won 66-64.

It was the final game before the NCAA adopted a shot clock for all games. Several conferences had experimented with it in the early 1980s, but it was not universally adopted until the fall of 1985.

Less than 48 hours after Villanova’s amazing victory, my parents, my brother and I departed for an Easter vacation to Walt Disney World.

Let me just say that trip is not one of the most pleasant memories of my life.

In fact, the opposite.

The first night told me this would be trouble. My father insisted on stopping for dinner at a truck stop off of Interstate 10 in the Florida panhandle, approximately 70 miles west of Tallahassee, the state capital and the city where we would stop for the night before completing the trip to Orlando the next day.

The food was terrible. The service was awful, and we got the short shrift since we were not truckers. My dad vowed never to eat at a truck stop again, the only good thing to come out of this trip.

The next day, it went from bad to worse.

One of the tires on our 1978 Oldsmobile Custom Cruiser station wagon went flat on Interstate 75 near Gainesville, home to the Florida Gators. I already was not enamored with Florida, since it was a rival of LSU’s in the Southeastern Conferenc,e but the tire blowout gave me another reason to loathe Gainesville.

It wouldn’t be the last bad experience with the city.

Since only one tire was damaged, my dad put the spare on and we made it to Kissimmee, where we checked into our hotel.

I found nothing really exciting about the exhibits at Disney World. The lines were way too long. At least a cold front came through central Florida, meaning it was nowhere near as bad as it could have been. However, the Saturday before Easter, we were stuck in the hotel most of the day by rain.

We visited Epcot Center the last full day, which was far better in my estimation than the Magic Kingdom. If I had my druthers, I would have far preferred Anaheim to Orlando.

When we left the Tuesday after Easter, my father got lost and we took a circuitous route back to the Florida Turnpike, which led to I-75 south of Ocala. Gainesville was on the horizon.

And more trouble.

Two tire blowouts on one trip is almost unheard of. To have it happen in the same city must mean we did something very wrong to anger God.

This time, TWO tires were blown out in Gainesville, and we spent almost three hours in a Firestone store in Gainesville while the tires were repaired.

I have not looked at photos from this trip. Ever. Maybe they were flooded by Katrina.

Two weeks after the trip to Disney World, New Coke debuted.

There were rampant rumors throughout the first quarter of 1985 Coca-Cola would be changing its formula in order to combat the rapid rise of Pepsi, which had been a rival of Coke’s for nearly a century, yet never could come close to eclipsing Coke’s popularity, especially in the South. Coca-Cola’s world headquarters are in Atlanta, and in the Deep South, when you say “soft drink”, it almost always means “Coke”. Pepsi is frowned upon as “Yankee Cola” by many southerners, although it was invented in North Carolina.

April 23, 1985 was the big day. It wasn’t a day which will live in infamy, like Pearl Harbor Day was, but it certainly will be remembered as the introduction of one of the great marketing flops in American history.

Less than three months after New Coke hit the shelves, Coca-Cola agreed to bring back the old formula as Coca-Cola Classic. You would have thought cancer and AIDS had been cured in one fell swoop.

Nobody had any idea what was in store for the rest of 1985. But April had more than its fair share of hijinks.

Did it rain last night?

Just before 10 a.m. this Saturday morning, the sun is out. You never would have dreamed Russell County experienced severe thunderstorms only 16 hours ago.

Going back to yesterday and the early termination of the track meets at Osborne and Phillipsburg, I can remember a few other meets which were affected by rain:

  • 2006 at Norton–the Bluejays were unlucky that year. The meet was called off on its original date, April 7, due to cold and rain. Believe me, it would have been a miserable day for all. The new date, April 25, also found it cold and wet, so the meet was completely canceled.
  • 2006 at Hill City–the meet got underway at 4 p.m. (way too late) as scheduled. Two hours later, severe weather moved in and forced the meet to be called. I drove as fast as I could down US 283 to I-70 at WaKeeney to beat the heavy rain, which I did. The meet resumed the next day, although I did not attend.
  • 2007 Russell Invitational–meet originally scheduled for April 5, but rained out. Held April 16. Russell has two meets each year, the Russell Invitational in April and the Russell Relays in May.
  • 2007 at Norton–meet rained out on original date, April 6. Rescheduled and conducted April 23.
  • 2007 state meet–Saturday’s action was interrupted by over three hours due to heavy rain. I later learned the Kansas State High School Activities Association was very close to calling the meet and sending everyone home. The rain ended just in the nick of time, and the meet lasted until 10:30 that evening. That was the first year the 3,200 meter races were moved from Saturday to Friday, or else it would have been closer to midnight before everyone left Cessna Stadium.
  • 2013 at Smith Center–Redmen Relays scheduled for April 9, but called due to snow. Held April 12 with different field.
  • 2013 MCL at Hill City–several events conducted in the rain. Cold front came through with the rain, and thank God I had warm clothes and my parka to put on.

Yesterday marked six years to the day of a memorable event for me at Osborne.

I found a $50 bill laying on the ground near a gate which led from the bleachers to the track and football field. I did not think twice about bringing the cash to the press box so its owner could be located. Public address announcer Rex Johnston at first only announced he had a Federal Reserve Note to be claimed; not mentioning whose picture was on the bill, or of course the denomination.

Eventually, the unfortunate lady and her money were reunited, and I received $5 for finding her greenback.

If it had been a $1 bill, maybe I pocket it. But $50? I could not in good conscience pocket that much.

It turns out rain was not limited to Kansas.

The Royals-White Sox game in Chicago was suspended in the 9th inning with the score tied 2-2. The game will resume at 1:10 this afternoon, followed by the regularly scheduled game. However, more rain is forecast. If the teams are unable to play, the suspended game will be finished tomorrow, and today’s game gets made up on one of Kansas City’s other trips to the South Side.

It wasn’t until 2007 when Major League Baseball regular season games could be supsended. However, this provision only applies when five or more innings are completed and the game is tied. If the game is not tied after five, the game is over. If the game hasn’t reached five, it is scrubbed and starts over. In the postseason, the game is suspended, no matter the score and inning, and nine innings must be completed.

The Royals have the best record in the American League, 12-4, one-half game in the win column behind the Mets, who saw their 11-game winning streak end last night at Yankee Stadium. The worst team in MLB? The Brewers. 3-14. Lovely.

Mother Nature 1, Sprinters 0

Since moving to Kansas, the third or fourth Friday of April has invariably found me in Osborne for the Kaser Relays. This was the very first track meet I covered for Main Street Media in 2006, and frankly, I had no idea what to do. I didn’t have nearly the camera equipment i do now, and while I knew what the event were, I had no clue where to position myself and what to look for.

Osborne’s meet is one of four I covered every year during my first nine seasons in Kansas. The others are the Russell Relays, which are in two weeks; the Mid-Continent League meet; and the state championships at Wichita. I did not cover a regional in 2013, and I didn’t begin covering the meets at Smith Center and Plainville until 2007.

Today, I had one eye on the events, but one eye on my iPhone.

The forecast since Sunday had called for severe weather today, and by time I arrived at Osborne at 2:20, it looked the sky was beginning to stir. The sun would poke out from the clouds, but mostly it was overcast.

I could feel the bad weather coming. It was unusually humid for western Kansas in late April. The dewpoint was 60 degrees, about 25 degrees above where it should be for this time of year. It wasn’t a question of if the rain was coming, but when.

Kenny Ubelaker, Osborne’s track coach from 2007 through 2014, joked with me that if it waited until 5 to rain, it would be fine with him, since he would be wrapped up with the boys javelin, the event he was managing. Rex Johnston, the public address announcer for the meet, said it would wait until 10 to rain.

When I checked the radar on my phone at 4, I knew Kenny would be right.

The weather to the southwest of Osborne was beginning to stir, and a line of thunderstorms was between Wakeeney and Hays. Twenty minutes later, it got much worse.

A tornado warning was issued for Ellis County. A tornado had been spotted just north of Interstate 70 and looked like it might scrape the northern portion of Hays. Fortunately, the twister did not touch down anywhere within the Hays city limits, but it slowly made its way east across US 183, just south of K-18.

Of course, Russell County is the next county east from Ellis.

Just after 4, I made the decision to leave the meet following the completion of preliminary heats in the 100-meter dash, 200-meter dash and high hurdles. I was in communication with my supervisor, Frank Mercer, who was in Russell. He was supposed to cover the Broncos’ baseball and softball games vs. Ellis at Russell, but those were postponed to May 14 due to the forecast.

As the 4×800-meter relays were run, the skies began to darken, and I noticed the rain shield inching closer to Osborne on my phone. I figured it was a good time to leave and see if I could get to K-18 before the bad weather arrived.

Good plan, but Mother Nature had her own ideas.

About halfway between Osborne and Luray, where US 281 meets K-18 for an eight mile jog west, a tornado warning was issued for northern Russell County. Any further driving south would put me in harm’s way.

I turned around and headed north, back towards Osborne. Just past the city limits, I turned right onto a county road which I knew would take me east to K-181. I would then get on K-181 and head south towards Sylvan Grove.

I had forgotten just how many twists and turns K-181 has. It was a roller coaster ride up and down the hills, with a couple of very sharp curves, curves I wasn’t totally prepared for. I was going too fast, trying to outrun the storm.

I did outrun the storm. I got to I-70, and finally home, without a drop. Just as I pulled into my garage, it appeared as if it would rain hard in Russell, but it stopped almost right away.

It turns out the meet was suspended only minutes after I departed. It never restarted.

Until today, it had been seven years since I covered a meet which was called off early.

The 2008 Russell Relays were terminated following the completion of the field events due to ridiculously high wind, wind which gusting in excess of 60 miles per hour at times. Only three schools–Beloit, Concordia and Russell–wanted to continue the meet.

In 2012, the Beloit Relays were suspended for three hours by severe thunderstorms. That meet ended up resuming, but not completed until after 10 p.m. I left at 1 and went down to Wichita.

I’m beat. That’s all for now.

It’s got to get better, right?

I have not had it good the last two weeks. Even a day I was looking forward to, the Norton Invitational track and field meet, went to hell in a handbasket.

Maybe today will be better. I’m going to Plainville for its track meet. There will be several schools I’m familiar with at this meet–Ellis, Norton, Russell to name a few–and Peggy Cox is supposed to be there to watch Caitlyn and Conor.

Thank God for Crista Geyer. If it had not been for my therapist seeing me each of the last two Thursdays and calling me twice last week, I might not have made it. I see her again Thursday morning.

The meet at Smith Center last Tuesday went well, but then I had some terrible times at work. I missed a deadline and I felt guilt ridden about it.

I think this week is going to be more about the personal side. I am angry right now at people from Kansas City. Really angry.

I wish I had more time to blog, but I’m going to get organized and out the door.

Hello it’s me

Yes, I am alive. No, I am not well.

I am very sorry for going quiet on this blog for so long. I will provide an update later.

2015 MLB predictions

Yes, I am well aware the 2015 Major League Baseball season is one game old. However, (a) the season is only ONE game out of 2,430 old, and (b) I made these projections last week. Here goes:

AL EAST-1. Boston 90-72; 2. Toronto 85-77; 3. Baltimore 84-78; 4. Yankees 80-82; 5. Tampa Bay 66-96
AL CENTRAL-1. Cleveland 94-68; 2. Detroit 88-74; 3. Kansas City 81-81; 4. White Sox 78-84; 5. Minnesota 68-94
AL WEST-1. Seattle 93-69; 2. Angels 91-71; 3. Oakland 83-79; 4. Houston 70-92; 5. Texas 64-98
NL EAST-1. Washington 103-59; 2. Miami 84-78; 3. Mets 79-83; 4. Atlanta 74-88; 5. Philadelphia 65-97
NL CENTRAL-1. St. Louis 95-67; 2. Pittsburgh 92-70; 3. Cubs 82-80; 4. Milwaukee 73-89; 5. Cincinnati 70-92
NL WEST-1. San Francisco 93-69; 2. Dodgers 92-70; 3. San Diego 80-82; 4. Colorado 68-94; 5. Arizona 65-97
AL WILD CARD-Angels over Detroit
NL WILD CARD-Dodgers over Pittsburgh
AL DIVISION SERIES-Cleveland over Angels; Seattle over Boston
NL DIVISION SERIES-Washington over Dodgers; St. Louis over San Francisco
AL CHAMPIONSHIP-Cleveland over Seattle
NL CHAMPIONSHIP-Washington over St. Louis
WORLD SERIES-Washington 4, Cleveland 2

Easters past 

We are 28 minutes into Easter 2015, at least in the Central Time Zone. Easter arrived earlier today at other points across the globe.

In Rome, it’s 7:30 a.m., meaning Pope Francis will deliver his Easter message from St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City shortly. Pope John Paul II could not deliver his final Easter message in person, as he was near death on March 27, 2005; he would pass away six days later. 

A few Easters of mine involved LSU baseball. 

In 1999, the Bayou Bengals lost 4-3 at Knoxville to Tennessee. We flew back that night, going from Knoxville to Atlanta to New Orleans to Baton Rouge, with the last leg, of course, on a bus. At least all of the luggage arrived with the plane at New Orleans, which was not the case earlier in 1999, when half the luggage on a flight back from Arkansas got delayed and didn’t arrive at the Baotn Rouge airport until the next afternoon. Some of my luggage was among that which did not make it. 

LSU was supposd to host Mississippi State in baseball on Easter Sunday 2002, but a torrential downpour overnight prompted Ted Stickles, LSU’s Director of Game Management, to call off the game at 9:30 a.m. that morning. 

Mississippi State coach Ron Polk was happy to get out of town early. LSU coach Smoke Laval was pissed at Stickles for calling the game so early, and with good reason. His team won the second game of the three-game series Saturday and had the momentum going into the rubber match. 

Bill Franques and I were equally perplexed as to why the decision was made so quickly to call a Southeastern Conference game. We thought Stickles could wait a little longer, especially since Mississippi State did not have a travel limit and was going back to Starkville on a bus, not flying out. 

This was out of the umpires’ control. Prior to the beginning of the game, the home team has total control of whether or not to begin the game, call it because of weather, whatever have you. Once the first pitch is thrown, that contorl shifts to the umpires. 

The exception in college baseball to these rules are in postseason tournaments, particularly the College World Series. At the CWS, the chairman of the NCAA Division I baseball committee, in consultation with both coaches and the umpires, makes the decisions. 

Sure enough, by 11:30 that morning, the sun broke through the clouds. 

This wasn’t the first time it had happened. In 1997, Stickles gave in to Auburn coach Hal Baird, who wanted to get out after his team lost the first two games of a series in Baton Rouge. Same thing happened: the sun was shining by time of the scheduled 1 p.m. first pitch. 

The next year, Easter was in Nashville, where LSU beat Vanderbilt to avoid a three-game sweep against the Commodores. Vanderbilt was playing its first season under Tim Corbin, who has built the only private school in the SEC into a baseball superpower, but at that time, nobody could see it coming. 

Most Easters in Kansas were uneventful, until 2013, when I was in Columbia for LSU’s baseball series vs. Missouri. The Bayou Bengals swept. 

This year, LSU played its serires at Alabama in Birmingham Thursday-Friday-Saturday. Its bus should be somewhere between Hattiesburg and the Mississippi-Louisiana state line on Interstate 59. The Bayou Bengals would have been home by now, but the game went 13 innings, meaning it didn’t get over until after 7 p.m., and add in the extra hour of travel from Birmingham instead of Tuscaloosa (Alabama’s stadium was torn down and is undergoing major reconstruction), meaning it will be a longer night than expected. 

As for me, I’m so wired right now I could probably drive straight back to Russell.  Maybe I will. 

Two days of heartache

These have been two of the strangest days I’ve been through in 2015. 

Yesterday I was dressed and ready to go before 9 a.m. On Good Friday. Why the hell would I get up that early on a day when I had absolutely nothing to do? 

My car needed me to be up that early. My oil ilife montior on my Impala was telling me it was time to change my oil. The oil life was down to ZERO. As in get it done now. 

I did just that. Got to Morse-McCarthy Chevrolet on Metcalf Avenue just after 9. I had to wait a little longer than usual for an oil change and tire rotation, but that was to be expected, since it was Good Friday and a lot of people took their day off to get their cars serviced. The good news? It was free due to my loyalty to Morse-McCarthy. 

I didn’t get to Buffalo Wild Wings until 2. Lisa was bartending, and she was on pins and needles, because the regional manager, Tory, was there, which marked the fifth time he had been there in the past three weeks. Brittany and Tori took over for Lisa at 5, but I didn’t stay that long. 

Dawn and her husband came in for happy hour. I didn’t play trivia against them, but I didn’t leave, either. Then came two of my favorites (not), DIGDUG and RONDO. Time to get the hell out of dodge. 

Not only did I leave, I did so in tears. I was still very upset over what had happened with Liz the previous night, and I wasn’t up to dealing with certain people. In fact, it was RONDO playing trivia against me which caused me to snap the day I almost hit that guy in the Buffalo Wild Wings dining room three months ago. 

I didn’t stop crying until I finally got back to the Marriott. I stopped at Dunkin Donuts at 75th and Metcalf for an iced coffee, went to Hy-Vee for a few things, and then picked up dinner at Outback at Oak Park Mall. Three lobster tails. Outstanding. 

Then I did something I almost never do, especially if I am staying in Overland Park–I went back to Buffalo Wild Wings. I’m glad I went back.

First and foremost, I got to see Dan and Pam and their kids, Emily and Parker. I had not seen them since New Year’s Night. I had missed them four times in the past three weeks, and each time I got frustrated at missing them. But this time I didn’t miss, and it made me feel much better to see them.

I’m glad I came back to see Liz. She had a rough day, and it only compounded her problems. Not only is her mother back in the hospital, but her grandmother and Aunt Loretta, who lives in MIchigan, are also in the hospital. I hate to see anyone going through that, especially someone who is 21 years old and someone I love so dearly like Liz. I’m going to be 39 in October, and both of my parents and my paternal grandfather are still living. I feel guilty about that sometimes. 

I had a horrendous time getting up today. I kept falling asleep and falling asleep. At one point, I dozed off in the chair at the desk and had a really weird dream. 

I didn’t fully wake up until 5, and it was time for the Michigan State-Duke game in the Final Four to tip off. I got in the shower and then went out, going back to Dunkin Donuts and Outback, with a stop at Walgreen’s across the street from Dunkin to pick up insulin. 

I felt really awful as I ate my T-bone and coconut shrimp. I felt like I had left my friends, especailly Liz and Brittany, in the lurch by not showing up to watch the Final Four games. I felt like I had been a bad friend. 

I didn’t leave the hotel room until 8:40 to head north. Stopped at Dunkin on 87th Street in Lenexa for another iced coffee, then made my way into Missouri. I got to Buffalo Wild Wings at 10, but at first, I couldn’t bring myself to go in.  Finally, Liz brought me in. 

I still have a little guilt. I shouldn’t. I would have been intimidated by the large crowds. 

I still haven’t decided whether or not I’m going back to Russell tomorrow to eat steak with my parents. Part of me says no way. The other says I don’t want to let them down. Decisions, decisions.