Category Archives: Personal

Exhausted–the good kind

When I left Russell at 6 am. yesterday morning, I had no idea it would be a day like it turned out to be.

The plan was after my time at Buffalo Wild Wings in Liberty, I would go over to Zona Rosa. I had no idea whether or not I would go to Buffalo Wild Wings there, or go immediately to Minsky’s.

I didn’t make it to Minsky’s.

Not because I didn’t want to go. I was feeling bad for not going over there to see Lindsay and Tara.

There were people who grabbed my attention–three of whom I had no earthly idea I would see yesterday.

I arrived at Buffalo Wild Wings Zona Rosa at 3:30. I asked Robb what his plans were, and he said he and Dawn would try to be there by 5:30. I told him I didn’t know how long I could hold on there before getting the itch to cross Barry Road.

I ate at Liberty, so I wasn’t eating at Zona Rosa. No Buffalo Wild Wings twice in a day. That’s a new rule for me. There were times where I’d eat twice at B-Dubs Zona Rosa the same day. Not anymore. The food isn’t that great. With Minsky’s and Outback right there, why bother with B-Dubs again?

Just before 5, I got a tap on my shoulder. It was Molly.

I knew she would be working tomorrow from 11 to 5, but her arrival was a pleasant surprise. I told Robb I would stay for awhile. I could see Lindsay and Tara later.

Robb and Dawn got there at 5:30. I thought we’d be there for an hour and half to two hours, then I’d cross Barry Road.

When Robb posted his high score in Countdown, he got a Facebook comment from an ex-Buffalo Wild Wings employee stating she and another ex-employee would be arriving around 8:30.

The ex-employee: Shannon Swanson. Her accomplice: Lisa Toebben.

Whoa.

Shannon was in town from Chicago. Lisa is trying to balance her 18-month old son, Liam, and prepare for her October wedding in St. Louis.

Robb and Dawn could not stay that long. They left at 8:30. I was still there, and I also ran into another trivia pal, Bob (ARROWHEAD), who has been going through a tough time as of late, following the death of his mother last month. His mother was 99 and lived a full life, something I can only hope for.

Shannon and Lisa didn’t arrive at 8:30. They weren’t there at 9. Morgan asked me why I was still there at that late hour, and I revealed it. She was quite surprised as well.

It wouldn’t be the first time I would see a former Buffalo Wild Wings sweetheart this month.

Elizabeth Psenski was in town last week. I saw her twice. Of course she had to hug me more than a few times. Now I have to go to Colorado Springs to see her.

Shannon and Lisa arrived at 9:30. They sat next to me at the bar and visited with Molly, Trey and all the employees they knew, plus a few guests they recognized. We talked about Liam, about a guy Shannon is seeing, and other things going on. I didn’t divulge much about myself, but I promised I would send a message about what’s been going on in my sessions with Crista.

Shannon and Lisa were the ones who pushed me to get help in late 2014. They kept on me about it. They were not going to put up with me the way I was going, which was straight down the toilet. And to be honest, they should not have put up with me in that state. Fortunately they prevailed upon me, and Dr. Custer got me referred, which led to me seeing Crista.

I hated leaving at 10:50, but I finally did. I used the excuse I was an “old man”, although I wasn’t fooling Lisa, since I’m sure Jeff has had many sleepless nights. Eleven and a half hours at two Buffalo Wild Wings. That was plenty. At least it was good.

After picking up a steak at Outback–I hadn’t eaten since 2:15–I stopped in at Minsky’s to say hello to Lindsay and Tara. I promised I’d be back later today.

The best thing other than seeing Larry, Robb, Dawn, Molly, Shannon and Lisa? My contacts did not irritate me, even though I wore them 19 hours.

It’s now a little after 1 a.m. I’m not yawning, but I am weary. A happy weary.

Today looks stormy. As long as I can get to Barry Road without much trouble. I’m sure it will be soaked when I drive from B-Dubs to Minsky’s, which makes me worry a bit about some maniac causing an accident.

I’ve seen more rain this year than I have since moving to Kansas. People can stop complaining about a drought. Then again, they’d better not waste water, because if the drought returns, there will be hell to pay.

Friday on another track, part 2

I’ve been at Buffalo Wild Wings too long. I just forgot to change a trivia answer and got zero points. Oh well. It happens. It would have angered me so much when I was playing trivia in past years, but now, it’s a reminder I have to stay on my toes. It is easy to get distracted with all the electronic gadgets. 

I’m leaving the restaurant in Liberty just before 3. Time to drive west on Missouri Highway 152 to the Zona Rosa area. Whether I go to Buffalo Wild Wings there or to Minsky’s is up in the air. 

I don’t care where I am today. I’m glad I am not at Wichita State University covering the Kansas State High School Activities Association state track and field championships. I have nothing against the athletes. Nothing against the coaches. Nothing against the spectators. 

I’m especially glad I’m not covering this year. It is hot and humid, much more so than it has been in recent years on this date. It isn’t as hot as it was the first time I covered the meet in 2006, but it’s bad enough. 

My beef lies with the KSHSAA itself, Wichita State’s athletic department, and the officials who run the meet. I’ll get into that in another post. 

The only sad thing is I’m missing Caitlyn’s final high school event. She and her teamamtes on Norton’s 4×100-meter relay qualified for the final, but the 4×400 relay was eliminated in the prelims. Caitlyn’s final race is tomorrow afternoon, and I’ll be in Kansas City. I feel bad for her. I’ve abandoned her this track seaosn, and I wouldn’t blame her, or anyone else in her family, if they told me to get bent. 

It’s about time to leave. I’m ready to go because some asshole at the bar keeps going out to smoke his cancer sticks and he smells worse than my feces. I HATE CIGARETTES. PERIOD. HATE THEM. HATE THEM MORE THAN ANYTHING ON EARTH. 

Friday on another track

I was up at 4:45 this morning. By 6 am., I was in my car and driving.

Unlike past years, I was not driving from the Wichita Marriott on North Webb Road to Wichita State University’s Cessna Stadium. I was simply driving from Russell to Kansas City for a long weekend. I need to see those I know in town, play some trivia and eat some good food. And I need to do it before it gets unbearably hot and humid.

I don’t have much desire to come to Kansas City this summer, especially when it gets to be as miserable as I remember Louisiana. Nothing can be as oppressive as a Louisiana summer (okay, it can be), but I don’t want to feel like that again. Hot and less humid in western Kansas is terrible enough.

The Kansas State High School Activities Association track and field championships are today and tomorrow at WSU. I covered the meet 10 consecutive years from 2006-15, but I have not set foot on campus since. I am so glad I am  not covering that meet anymore, but that’s another blog post.

I checked in to the Fairfield Inn Liberty just before 10 a.m. I couldn’t believe I got the message that my room was ready before I left Russell. Usually, it isn’t until the afternoon when the room is ready, which means I go to Buffalo Wild Wings to kill time, then check in. This time, the check in is first, meaning all my crap is out of the car, and I can relax.

I’m staying in Clay County this time instead of the Fairfield near the airport in Platte County. Figured a change of scenery would be good, at least for a  few days. The good news is Price Chopper and Zaxby’s are very close just off Interstate 35. Outback is a still a ways, but the way they’ve been burning my steaks as of late, maybe I’ll skip.

I’m going to Buffalo Wild Wings Liberty in a little bit. Hopefully Larry is there so we can play trivia and go over the news and sports of the world. I have to make my way the Zona Rosa area sooner or later. Minsky’s with Lindsay and Tara?  Definitely. Buffalo Wild Wings? Don’t know. Tori is still on vacation (in New Orleans, no less). I know I’ll be there tomorrow with Molly.

I stayed up a little later last night than I would have liked, because I wanted to see the end of the Ottawa-Pittsburgh NHL game. The Penguins won 3-2 in the second overtime to advance to the Stanley Cup Final, where they play the Nashville Predators starting Monday. Guess who I will be rooting for? HINT: Not the team Carrie Underwood likes.

The Cavaliers won last night to advance to the NBA Finals vs. the Warriors. I still won’t watch.

Bad start to May

This has not been the best week for me. I’ve had worse, but this one has been downright dreadful at times. 

It wasn’t so bad until 3:30 Monday.

That’s when Interstate 70 westbound in Topeka came to a dead stop. DEAD STOP. As in an elevated parking lot. 

About a mile west of the Kansas state capitol, everything screeched to a halt. And from what I could gather, the traffic was stopped all the way to the junction with I-470 a mile west of Wannamker Road, and then the backup continued into Wabaunsee County. 

I wasn’t about to sit in a parking lot for a very long time. I had to find a way to get off the damn interstate and turn around. However, the nearest exit was over a mile away. Then a trooper threatened to ticket me for ‘not staying in the lane’. What the FUCK? There were only two fucking lanes of traffic, and neither was moving. As tempting as it was to get on the shoulder to find the exit, I wasn’t going to risk it. The trooper was looking to arreast someone. 

I finally found my way out of the parking lot. I had to double back seven miles to return to the Kansas Turnpike, then divert southwest all the way to WICHITA. I could have gotten off at Emporia and taken US 50 to Newton, but I had no desire to go on the two-laners. None. 

It took four and a half hours to divert from Topeka to Wichtia and finally arrive in Russell. Somehow I made it wihtout stopping. I was beat. Really beat.

I should not have been surprised I-70 came to a standstill in Topeka. First, the interstate through downtown Topeka is ridiculoulsy narrow, and there is no room whatsoever for expansion. Whomever designed it that way was truly stupid. Second, traffic in almost every capital city I’ve been through in the US is horrible. The roll call: Baton Rouge, Topeka, Oklahoma City, Austin, Jackson, Montgomery, Columbia, Tallahassee, Lincoln, Nashville, and of course, Atlanta. 

The exception: Frankfort. Breezed right by on I-64 leaving Lexington. Going in wasn’t bad, either, save for the normal rush hour of state employees leaving work on the day I arrived in Kntucky.  

Tuesday was a torture day of work. Wednesday was more of the same, but I was also groggy as hell because I took seroquel to sleep better. 

Then I find out Wednesday Norton is coming to Russell’s track meet tomorrow. I really had no desire to go to a track meet. None. Now Peggy is trying to guilt me into going. UGH. 

I took seroquel again last night. Couldn’t get going until after 1. Finally I made it out. Drove to Salina for trivia at Buffalo Wild Wings. But now I’ll be thinking about that track meet tomorrow on the drive back to Russell and then when I get home. Sleep will be tough tonight. 

Russell has had more rain in the first four months of 2017 than it normally has in a full year. This summer will be the worst for mosquitoes I have witnessed in Kansas. Nothing, though, will ever be as miserable as Louisiana summers. I don’t miss my native state most of the year for that reason. 

All by myself in a packed place

I’m almost to the point of total boredom with Kansas City. There, I said it.

The trip to Kentucky came at a perfect time. It not only got me out of Russell and the trouble I have at home, it also got me away from Kansas City and some of the thigns that go on there. Believe me, if I didn’t have work to get done or an appointment with Crista today, I might have stayed in Kentucky a little longer. I’m going to have to find time to go back there. Probably not during the summer because Kentucky can be quite humid, even in the higher elevations of the Appalachian valley. 

I woke up at 4:30 yesterday and left Kansas City at 5;20. I had a 10 am appointment in Hays with Crista. I was groggy the whole way. I took seroquel before going to bed Wednesday night, and while it helped me sleep, it left me lagging a bit as I drove west on Interstate 70. Crista could tell I was worn out during our appointment, which ended after 45 minutes. It wasn’t anything with her. I was just beat. 

I had to stay at home for a little while to get some aggravating work done. I left Russell at 4:45 and drove to Topeka, where I stopped at Buffalo Wild Wings to play some trivia. My favorite game, SIX, is at 7:30 Wednesday and Thursday evenings. I could have stopped in Salina and played a little longer, but if I did, I wouldn’t get out of Salina until 8:30, which meant I’d be back in Kansas City no earlier than 11. By stopping in Topeka instead, I was able to get back to Kansas City before 10, which meant I could get Outback to go. 

Today has been a lonely sojourn. Stopped at Buffalo Wild Wings near Liberty to see if Larry was playing trivia and/or Tina was bartending. They weren’t. I stayed for about 40 minutes then headed to Zona Rosa. The music playing on the jukebox at that B-Dubs was beyond awful. I wanted to scream. I didn’t stay that long, didn’t order food. 

Finally made it to Minsky’s just before 4. Somehow, I feel lonely even though the place is packed. There’s a lady sitting to my left who probably thinks I’m totally perverted. 

Return to routine

I’m driving my car again, and I’m sitting on my familiar barstool at Buffalo Wild Wings Zona Rosa. Slowly but surely, I’m back to the routine life. 

I returned the rental today, even though it wasn’t due back until tomorrow. It saved $23 in parking fees at KCI. I already ran up enough as it was, parking there for six days. But what else was I do? It would have been cheaper to park at Wichita and drive up the Kansas Turnpike, but that would have taken extra time. The rental fees out of Wichita would not have been that much different than KCI. I probably could have rented out of Wichita had I not had the appointment with Crista last Wednesday. Would  have been able to drive to Wichita Tuesday night, wake up early, rent the car, then go. 

I know I made the right decision to drive all the way to Kansas City yesterday. It would not have been fun driving three and a half hours across Missouri after going six yesterday. I figured I might as well get it all done yesterday. 

I would not have been able to leave early because of all the work I had to get done, and what about traffic? Maybe I would have got to enjoy more White Castle, but now I have an excuse to drive to Columbia every so often. That and the rye Triscuits. A dozen boxes should last me until June, but they might be too hard to resist. 

This trip really opened my eyes to what is lacking in Kansas and the Kansas City area. No White Castle. No rye Triscuit. No Marathon gas stations. Very little Shell stations. No Mobil stations. At least there’s Zaxby’s in Lawrence, becuase Chick-Fil-A does not have variety, and Raising Cane’s is highly overrated. I am still praying Buzztime will come to Hays–other than the Fort Hays State studnet union–soon. 

I also don’t like staying in a hotel for only one night. Usually, I try to make it three nights, uusally more. When I stopped in St. Louis last week, it was the rare times in recent years I was in and out of a hotel. I did it last year going from Russell to Wichita and then to Lawrence in the morning. Kansas City is usually three nights or more. 

I have to go back to Kentucky. Sooner not later. 

Return to Missouri

ST. CHARLES, Mo. — Kentucky, Indiana and Illinois are all in my rear view mirror. So is the city of St. Louis and St. Louis County. 

I’m in St. Charles at another White Castle, the last White Castle in Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Colorado, Texas, Louisiana…you get the picture. Better enjoy it now. I may have another reason to come back to the St. Louis area soon, but I don’t come this way very often, sadly. I wish I did. 

I figure I’ll be in Kansas City by 6:30. The drive across the state should be fine until I get to Blue Springs (exit 21 on I-70). It will then get congested all the way to I-435 near the Truman Sports Complex, then open up on 435 as I go north. 

I doubt I’m making an appearnace at Buffalo Wild Wings. I love The Pulse, the Monday night sports trivia game, but I’m really not in the mood to waste time tonight. I’ve got work to do. Besides, tomorrow night is when I want to be at B-Dubs, because Dana is tending bar starting at 5. 

I need to go back to Kentucky when I have more time. I had a great time, even if LSU lost two of three. It was fun. 

Lenten finale

Easter is tomorrow. It looks like it will rain at least for the first few hours, which may cause a problem for sunrise services in Kansas City. It will be a problem for eastern Missouri most of the day. 

I did something yesterday I hardly ever do when I’m in Kansas City. However, I don’t feel bad about it. 

I did not set foot inside Buffalo Wild Wings Zona Rosa. I usually go just about every day when I’m in town, save on days when I’m departing. If I don’t go, it’s because (a) the weather is too bad outside to be driving; (b) I have too much work to do; or (c) I’m really feeling crappy. 

However, yesterday was my equivalent of “DNP-CD” in an NBA box score, which means “did not play, coaches’ decision”, or in other words, the coach felt the player would contribute nothing to the cause. 

Oh yes, I did play trivia. Lots of it. Four and a half hours at Buffalo Wild Wings in Liberty, then another five and a half at Minsky’s. In fact, I missed only eight questions in transit along Missouri 152. It was kind of strange, though, turning left from Barry Road onto Northwest Prairie View, instead of right. Every other time I’ve been to Minsky’s, it’s been after spending time at Buffalo Wild Wings. 

I didn’t see Tara last night at Minsky’s. I hope she enjoyed herself. I did see Lindsay. 

And two other folks I’m familar with. 

Robb and Dawn showed up at 4:30. Robb told me they might stop at Minsky’s, and sure enough, after I was there for an hour, they came up behind me. It’s always great to see them. They’re going through a difficult time right now, more difficult than anything I could ever go through. 

I would love for them to come to Salina one day for a summit meeting with Peggy and the Cox family.  I’ll introduce them to Caitlyn when she moves to Overland Park later this year. 

I’m out of KC tomorrow morning. I’ve got to get work done tomorrow night, Monday and Tuesday before my crazy Wednesday. I’ve been trying to get a start on it by typing up all the track results from the past week. 

I’ve got to stay at B-Dubs until I see Raymie, Morgan and few others. 

Repeat of the early quarter blahs

I am not feeling my best today. I haven’t since Monday morning. Stuffed up.  

For some reason, this always happens when I come back from Kansas City. It happened just after January 1. This case is nowhere near as bad as the one then, but I can still feel it. 

It’s just coincidence, right? It’s the beginning of a quarter, just like it was the last time. 

I had the chills most of Monday. I fell asleep during the end of the men’s basketball championship game. I heard North Carolina won, but didn’t see any of it. By time I fell asleep, the auto tune had changed the channel. I didn’t have the chills Tuesday or today, but I’m still a bit stuffy. 

I haven’t taken any medicine for the cold, for fear it would knock me out and make me too groggy to get my work done. I did get some vitamin C supplement today when I stopped at Walgreens to pick up prescriptions. 

I made it to my session with Crista this afternoon, but I felt a bit lethargic. I felt bad for her. She told me it was no problem, but I felt like it wasn’t as productive as it could have been. Good thing nothing really happened in the past nine days which needed to be hashed over. 

I had enough energy somehow to drive to Salina to play trivia at Buffalo Wild Wings. I have missed my favorite game, SIX, on Wednesday and Thursday nights the past two weeks, and I didn’t want to go another week or two without it. Ergo, here I am. 

I’m glad I made the quick getaway to Kansas City last weekend. I got to see Larry (MIZZOU) for the first time in over three months, plus Robb and Dawn, and my favorites at Minsky’s, Tara and Lindsay. I felt a little lonely at Minsky’s Saturday, but it wasn’t anything anyone was doing. 

Caitlyn’s first track meet is Friday at Norton, which is her last athletic event at home. Right now, she’s more concerned with her oldest sister, Chelsea, who gave birth to her son, Peggy and Clark’s second grandchild, yesterday in Colby. I haven’t heard any details about the birth, but it’s because everyone is so busy. 

I would have slept later today, but I had to get a haircut. It looked pretty shaggy after four weeks. Then again, shaggy for me is probably too short for most. 

The “Q” key on the Bluetooth keyboard is balky. Lucky it’s the Q key. 

I was wrong about Mississippi State’s women. I finished near the bottom of the men’s pools I entered, thanks to my wonderful picks of Duke, Arizona, Kansas and Kentucky in the Final Four. HUGE whiff. Basketball is definitely not my sport. 

The Royals are 0-2 and have been outscored 16-2 by the Twins. Minnesota has scored six runs in the seventh inning each time. Too bad for the Twins, the season still has 160 games to run. 

New old trivia locale

Another early morning departure for Kansas City. I woke up briefly at 2:25, then went to bed until 5:15. I was out of Russell before 7, and in Kansas City by 10:30. 

I’m starting this Kansas City sojourn at Buffalo Wild Wings. 

Only this time, it’s not at Zona Rosa. 

I’m at the store on Missouri Highway 152, on the eastern edge of the Kansas City city limits, almost in Liberty. 

Prior to the opening of the Zona Rosa location in 2011, this Buffalo Wild Wings was the only one in the Kansas City metro north of the Missouri River. When I first spotted this location on the map on Buffalo Wild Wings’ website, the map had the store in Excelsior Springs, which is way out to the northeast. 

When I started staying near KCI on my trips to Kansas City, I would come out to the B-Dubs on Highway 152 to play trivia. It is 15-20 minutes to get from the airport to the restaurant, and if there’s trafffic on 152, it’s even longer. 

I came to that B-Dubs quite a bit in 2008 and 2009, until the July 4 weekend that year, when I started urinating blood at Buffalo Wild Wings. I had to go to the emergency room at St. Luke’s Northland for a kidney stone–which I passed before going to the hospital–and a urinary tract infection. Once I recovered from that, I lost my trivia fervor for quite a long time. I really didn’t return to playing Buztime regularly until 2013.

I have only been to the B-Dubs in Liberty once this decade. It was in 2013, when I one day ate lunch there before going to Zona Rosa. 

The store on 152 has been remodeled, and it looks very nice. There’s brick near the entrance, there is a new bar, there are new tables, and the barstools are much more comfortable, since they have padding, unlike the ones at Zona Rosa, which are hard, necessitating the use of a cushion. I might have to come here more often. 

I came to the B–Dubs in Liberty to see my trivia buddy Larry (MIZZOU), whom I had not seen since December. He has been coming to the locale in Liberty as of late, and I figured I would go there to meet him. Sure enough, he showed up at 11;20. I’m glad I came, because I’ve found another place to come when I need to. 

I am going to Zona Rosa today to see Robb and Dawn, as well as Lindsey Taylor-McClain, who is leaving. Time marches on. Tomorrow I need to go to Zona to see Molly. Then there’s Minsky’s, where Tara and Lindsay will be working today and tomorrow.