Category Archives: Personal
Call me lazy, disinterested, whatever you will. I deserve those epithets for going almost three months without writing something, anything.
The last time I posted was 20 July, the night the Bucks won their first NBA championship in 50 years.
Today, Milwaukee is in mourning. The Brewers were ousted from the National League Division Series in four games by the Braves, the team which occupied that city from 1953-65.
Milwaukee’s offense was putrid, which negated possibly the best pitching staff in the franchise’s 53 seasons (counting the first as the Seattle Pilots).
That was the reverse of 1982, when “Harvey’s Wallbangers” terrorized American League pitching, winning the pennant and blowing the last two games of the World Series to the Cardinals.
My first trip to Colorado was going great…then it wasn’t.
I returned to my room this afternoon and discovered the order of Rocky Mountain Oysters I got to go from the Buckhorn Exchange, the oldest and most famous restaurant in Denver and possible all of Colorado, were gone.
Housekeeping at the Marriott Westminster threw them away.
First, I had no idea housekeeping was coming into the room. I have stayed in at least 15 different Marriott properties in Kansas City, St. Louis, Wichita and other locales, and only once or twice did housekeeping come in, and that was only after I had been at the hotel for three days.
Second, housekeeping is not supposed to touch anything in the room except dirty towels on the bathroom floor.
I made sure the front desk realized it. I would settle for two orders of oysters (not the kind I inhaled in Louisiana). I thought about asking for having at least one night of my stay comped, but I am not that greedy.
The good news was I did get to eat oysters last night at the Buckhorn, as well as elk and bison. I love beef, but I told Andrea, the lovely waitress who took care of me, that I can eat beef anywhere, and it was time to try something different. Great move.
I do well grilling steaks on my George Foreman grill in Russell, just as long as I take them off the grill after three minutes. I can’t remember the last time I ate a restaurant steak. Outback used to be my go-to- in Kansas City and Wichita, and before that, Baton Rouge, but not now. Ruth’s Chris is in Denver, but I’m more than halfway to Boulder, and both locations are a good drive.
Gas is EXPENSIVE in Denver.
When I bought gas this morning, the price listed on the marquee in front of the station was $3.40.
Unfortunately, that was for 85 octane, which is okay in higher elevations, but in almost all of Kansas (except Goodland and a few places which border Colorado), it’s no go.
The 87 octane cost $3.75 a gallon, making it the most expensive fill-up since 2008, when gas was north of $4 a gallon.
Sorry for burying the lead, but I turned 45 at 08:16 MDT (09:16 CDT). I figured I’ve had too many birthdays in Kansas City and it was time for something different.
I was born in the same hospital in the same year as Reese Witherspoon and Peyton Manning. I feel like apologizing to them, not to mention Archie and Olivia Manning, for tarnishing the hospital’s good name.
Last week, I spent time in another state for the first time. More on that later. I promise it won’t be three months.
I no longer have an appendage dangling from my right arm.
My PICC line was removed Tuesday at the Russell hospital following my final intravenous antibiotic dose. I am still on oral antibiotics, but my life is a little easier now.
One of the biggest things I can do now without the line is shower easier. I had to wear a plastic sleeve on my arm to keep the line from getting wet. I was also wearing one on my right leg, although I didn’t discover until three weeks ago there was a cover for the foot only. I had the full leg one from when I was in a cast before the COVID pandemic in early 2020, and I just didn’t think to look for one that covered only the foot.
I probably could get away without the foot protector, but I’m playing it safe. Same with still wearing the earplugs to shower, although I worried the few times I forgot them. A friend of my dad’s had tubes placed in his ears, and when he didn’t wear earplugs, he got an infection. Nothing like that so far.
Unfortunately, the last person to see the PICC line other than my parents or the hospital workers was Peggy.
It was very fortunate. Seriously.
We saw each other for the first time in over 16 months this past Monday. It’s the longest we’ve gone without seeing each other since I moved to Kansas in September 2005. We usually would go three or four months from the end of one school year to the beginning of the next, but COVID threw a monkey wrench into everything.
I couldn’t attend Caitlyn’s matches at Ottawa this past season because it was strictly limited to family and students. I have not seen her since the Saturday before Thanksgiving 2019.
Peggy is healing after surgery on her right foot a couple of weeks after my operation. She came into Old Chicago in Hays on the same kind of knee scooter I used to get around the hospitals in Russell and Hays until recently.
I forgot how good Old Chicago was. It was my first visit since before the pandemic. It was so good I went back the next night and played trivia, since it’s the only location remotely close to me which has Buzztime. (Peggy asked that I not play so we could converse. I agreed.)
I’m now current with Peggy, Robb, Larry, the ladies at Buffalo Wild Wings Shoal Creek (Tina, Nikki and Ashley), Molly at Minksy’s (Lindsay got fired, which I was very sad to hear), and Morgan at Buffalo Wild Wings Zona Rosa. Seeing Morgan, who has been through things I wouldn’t wish on anyone, did my heart a lot of good. I worry about her sometimes. I haven’t seen Dana since before the surgery, but at least more recently than a lot of others.
Yes, I went to BWW Zona for the first time in almost two years last Saturday to meet up with Robb. Approximately 97 percent turnover, but that’s to be expected in the restaurant business in good times, but with COVID, it’s been more rampant.
Caitlyn is a big hole in my heart. Sadly, there are more.
I was hoping to see Bill in 2020 at another baseball series, but most of the season was wiped out. I couldn’t travel this year due to the surgery. Hopefully, our Bucks will finally get back to the NBA championship series, if not tonight, then Monday.
It has now been more than three years since my trip to Baton Rouge, where I saw Brenda, Dorinda, Bryan Lazare (whose larger-than-life father, Buddy, passed away last month in New Orleans at 94), Glenn Guilbeau, Kent Lowe, Jacques Doucet, Michael Bonnette, John Burke, Lyn Rollins, Ronnie Rantz and many others.
Dan Borne has treated me like COVID the last two years. That hurts. A lot.
Some of the old Kansas City faces are fading. I’ve gotten back in touch with Lisa, but still have not seen her since her wedding in St. Louis four years ago. I keep wondering where Liz is. Dawn has shut me out (and Robb too).
I have not seen Herb Vincent since the 2005 SEC baseball tournament, which was three months before Katrina. I have not heard from Wendy Wall since late 2003, and it hurts. At least I’m in touch with him and a few others from Baton Rouge, like Laurie Cannon (Moll) and Rebecca McCann (Campbell).
I haven’t been back to New Orleans since Katrina. I’m glad to have kept in touch with some of the people I went to middle school with. Jason Malasovich and his family was the last from the Big Easy I had contact with, three years ago.
I departed before dawn this morning for Kansas City. I got my car nice and spiffed up; the interior needed it badly. I stocked up on the whipped soap from Whole Foods I like, I returned an ill-advised purchase of a Chromebook, then got a personal issue taken care of. I’m driving back tonight. For some reason, I don’t have trouble falling asleep at night as I do in the morning.
The (DIS)-United States of America turns 245 tomorrow. I’m not proud to call myself an American. Not by a longshot. I am proud to say, however, I voted for NOBODY for president last year. If you don’t like it, tough.
Remember, tomorrow is INDEPENDENCE DAY in the United States. It’s the Fourth of July everywhere, including Kiribati, Niger, Uzbekistan, Cyprus, Guyana, Liechtenstein, Bhutan, Comoros, Timor-Leste and Vanuatu.
At this point, I wouldn’t mind going into lockdown again. It would save my blood pressure from shooting through the roof every time I’m in public.
Every fucking time I go to the medical clinic in Hays, I have to worry about some stranger stepping on the elevator with me. I despise riding an elevator with a stranger, especially a strange male, during normal times, but during a pandemic? HELL NO.
I had it happen Monday. Had to wait until two people got on the damn elevator before pushing to button to wait for the car to return.
Then in Kansas City, it has happened twice at the hotel. I have to get through tonight and tomorrow. I hate staying on the ground floor of a hotel, but it may be the only way to avoid the elevator.
Speaking of the hotel, Thursday morning was straight out of The Twilight Zone.
My laptop was off. I was worried it had randomly shut down like it sometimes does, but then I noticed the light on the power adapter which indicates it is plugged in was off. That really worried me, because I would be without the computer until I got back to Russell, where i have another adapter (I have two so I don’t have to keep unplugging one).
It got worse. Much worse.
There was no hot water. I took a freezing shower, then shaved with water barely above room temperature, which makes it much harder. I’m fortunate I didn’t cut myself.
The lights by the bed were so dim they were no brighter than a night light. The lights in the bathroom, kitchen and living area all worked. Just as I was ready to leave, I noticed the light in the refrigerator was severely dimmed.
Then the elevators were not working.
I was already a bit upset with the TownePlace at Briarcliff due to the TV turning off after a few hours even without setting up a sleep timer; the small luggage carts; and the lack of mobile key, requiring me to stop by the desk, which I find a great hassle, especially when you’re dealing with an unfamiliar clerk.
There’s so much to like about that hotel. However, it may be time for a break for a few months.
Back to my social distancing woes.
I went back to Buffalo Wild Wings Wednesday against my better judgement. I have done all I can to not make eye contact with Rita Roberts, the general manager. Seeing her makes me sadder and lonelier than usual.
No social distancing problems there.
Today at Minksy’s was a different matter.
Everything was fine until just before four when some strange asshole wanted to sit on the stool next to me.
I was pissed beyond belief. I hate sitting next to strangers to begin with. During a pandemic? I’m petrified.
I lost my mind. I dropped an f-bomb. I was that angry.
I moved to a table, which is what I should have done when Larry left at 13:30.
In January, I got to Buffalo Wild Wings late on the first Saturday of the NFL playoffs. The bar was full, so Tina told me I could sit at a table designed for six people.
Tina asked me if I would share my table with a group, and I did. Three times.
There’s just too much wrong with my life now to put up with the shit. I feel like the biggest loser.
At least I got my White Castle fix. Drove to the St. Louis area Thursday to go to Schnucks and Dierberg’s. Also got my car washed and bought Polo at their outlet store in Chesterfield. Ate a few sliders on the drive back. This morning, I had the crab cake sliders White Castle only sells during Lent. I am kicking myself for not ordering clams.
The Polo shirts are needed now because Lacoste shirts are too short in the torso. I have a lot of Lacoste shirts that don’t cover my gut. I am afraid to wear them now.
The first half of two weeks (almost) in Kansas City ends tomorrow morning. I have to return to Russell to pick up another week’s worth of prescription meds, go to an appointment Monday in Hays, and get clean clothes. I return to the big city by Monday night.
Friday was a major bust. Larry was too busy to meet at Minsky’s for lunch; besides, I had another case of indigestion, and I woke up very late. Must have taken two Seroquel by accident. I had enough energy to go to Overland Park and pick up an Amazon shipment at Whole Foods, then go to Best Buy to replace the keyboard I bought last week in Topeka, which malfunctioned after eight days. I bought the two-year warranty, so it didn’t cost anything.
When I got back to the room, I was spent. I ordered in, watched the new Bunk’d, then aimlessly sat in the chair at the desk watching TV and typing up work things.
Today I’m back at Buffalo Wild Wings Shoal Creek for the second time in three days. I’m seriously considering not coming back. It is very, very painful right now.
I am going to stop staying at that SpringHill Suites on I-435 across the highway from Worlds of Fun, probably for the rest of this year.
The biggest problem is the location. I-435 in that area is under severe construction over the Missouri River. When I departed the hotel just before noon, southbound traffic was backed up to the exit at Parvin Road/48th Street and slow all the way to the river, and probably south of it too.
If I want to go back into Kansas, or even to Columbia, this is problematic. I found a way around it when I went to Overland Park and Leawood Wednesday and Friday, but it is a pain in the rear. Going north on I-435 isn’t as bad, but southbound stinks. Really stinks. I’ve already devised a detour tomorrow morning.
The television is antiquated compared to some other Marriott properties, notably the SpringHill Suites in Leawood—where I’ve stayed twice this year. The Leawood hotel now has Chromecast, where I can cast any app, except AppleTV, to the TV from one of my devices and watch. The same thing is also available at an older property, the Courtyard in St. Louis County off I-270 in the Westport area.
I purchased a Chromecast unit for my basement TV. Love it. Going to install it for my parents in the living room soon, and maybe in my mother’s bedroom.
I decided Wednesday I couldn’t live without Chromecast so I bought one to carry around with me and plug in to the TV at the hotels without it, which includes the TownePlace Briarcliff, where my next stay is. Love the hotel, but the TV is a little outdated, plus it hangs from the wall, which means I’ll have to run an extension cord. That’s life.
I want to go to Columbia and/or St. Louis (actually, Wentzville will suffice) this week. Tuesday is out because of my appointment, and Wednesday would have to wait until I’m done with work. Then there’s Larry’s plans. I need White Castle right now. I’m hurting. Badly.
Sorry for not posting for so long. Then again, what would I post about? Let’s see here…
WARNING: FOUL LANGUAGE COMING.
Trump? Narcissistic son of a bitch. Fucking cunt.
Biden? Lying son of a bitch dictator. Bitches about Trump executive orders, then issues more than any other president in first week of administration. The guy couldn’t wait three hours before issuing his first.
The riots in Washington? Both sides have to own it. Trump incited it, and lefties like AOC egged them on. The American political system sucks, and I hate this country more than ever.
Super Bowl? I hate the Chiefs, but I despise Tampa Bay just about as much as any other NFL team. I have hated the Buccaneers passionately since they treated Tony Dungy like shit. I hate Jon Gruden, I hate Warren Sapp, I hate Derrick Brooks, and I have nothing but disgust for Brady, Gronkowski, and Arians, the lying son of a bitch who told the Cardinals he was retiring for “health reasons”, then came back a year later with Tampa Bay. Fuck you Arians.
The Chiefs played like absolute garbage. Should have forfeited. Mahomes wanted to be with his bimbo fiancee as she was ready to give birth, Andy Reid wanted to be home to make 4,895 excuses for his criminal son driving drunk and almost killing a 5-year old girl, Kelce was bitching about anything and everything, and the Chiefs’ offensive line in the Super Bowl would have trouble blocking Raymore-Peculiar’s defensive line. In case you don’t know, Ray-Pec played for the state championship in Missouri’s highest high school classification in November.
The worst thing about the Chiefs looking so shitty was Brady won his fifth Super Bowl MVP, and the narrative of sycophant media calling him the “greatest of all time” was louder than ever. Please. Brady would have been toast if he had played in Johnny Unitas’ era, when receivers were physically beaten up and down the field and offensive linemen could not use their hands to block.
Even worse was fucking Aaron Rodgers, who is now a climate change expert just because he got engaged to actress Shailene Woodley. Olivia Munn and Danica Patrick are better off without the motherfucker. Besides, I like Willa Holland much more than Woodley as Kaitlin Cooper on The O.C.
I almost got a ticket. I pooped and peed in my pants when I was pulled over. Fortunately I was wearing pants. I have had a couple of incidents wearing shorts where the pee came flowing and got over things.
Valentine’s Day? Need I say more?
The brutal cold? So fucking what? I’d rather that than the heat I’ve dealt with all my life in Louisiana and Kansas. I hated being cooped up, but I didn’t want to subject my 17-year old car to those harsh elements.
I drove to Kansas City today just to get out of Russell and give my parents a few days without having to deal with me. They deserve it.
Everything was good until a few minutes ago.
A side entrance door would not open. Another one did.
Then an asshole whose mask did not cover his mouth tried to race in and get on the elevator with me. The motherfucker was outside smoking with two buddies, and I could smell the stench from a mile away. I panicked and accidentally hit the telephone button in the elevator. Fortunately, the door closed in the son of a bitch’s face.
I hate riding elevators with strangers, especially men. I don’t want to look at them, don’t want to talk to them, don’t want to smell them.
I despise cigarette smoking. Hate it passionately. It is so disgusting. People who do so, including my parents (my dad quit in September 1985; if he hadn’t, he would have been dead by 1995), are beyond stupid. Yes, Pete Rozelle, you were stupid. That’s why you died at 70. Yes, Bear Bryant, you were stupid. That’s why your retirement lasted four weeks. Yes, LBJ, you were stupid. That’s why you had a massive heart attack eight years before Lee Harvey Oswald (probably) made you president, and died before your 65th birthday.
With COVID, I do not want to share a confined space with anyone, period. If I were with someone I knew, I would ask them to ride the elevator first.
Tiger Woods was in a serious car accident today in Los Angeles. Of course, there was an outpouring of sympathy, with many calling him the “greatest of all time”.
Tiger still hasn’t matched Jack Nicklaus’ 18 major championships. And the competition in Tiger’s best days was Phil Mickelson and a whole lot of nothing. David Duval and David Toms won majors in 2001. If you don’t follow golf, you must ask “who the fuck are they?”. Nicklaus had to battle Gary Player throughout his career, Palmer in his early years, Tom Watson and Seve Ballesteros, among others, later.
Tiger is not a G.O.A.T. Neither is Brady.
I hope Tiger recovers from his injuries. But if he never plays another hole, I won’t shed a tear. I’ve had enough of this Tiger being the greatest narrative. Same with Brady. Same with LeBron. Same with Serena. Same with Alex Morgan and the US Women’s Association Football (I ain’t using the S-word) team. Same with anyone who voted for Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa, Roger Clemens, Rafael Palmeiro, Mark McGwire or any other steroid user on their Baseball Hall of Fame ballot.
I had KFC delivered to my hotel this evening. Great call. I grew up one mile from the first Popeye’s, which opened in June 1972, and I still love it. But KFC is a very, very, VERY close second, if not ahead of Popeye’s. My God, the KFC original recipe is incredible. Popeye’s, however, wins hands down with their sides, especially the Cajun rice and onion rings (where you can find them). KFC biscuits are just too hard to digest. Too hardscrabble. Save those for Cracker Barrel, which I find highly overrated.
That’s all for now. Maybe my next post won’t be so gloomy. Pray for it.
As I mentioned Tuesday evening, I’m staying on the Kansas side of the Kansas City metro for the first time in a long time, and in a Kansas hotel for the first time in a year and a half.
The reason? I had to be in Kansas to hold a Zoom conference with Crista at 08:00.
Last May, I got on a Zoom with Crista in St. Louis (Chesterfield to be exact), and at our next session, she told me I couldn’t be out of state to for a virtual session. Think it has something to do with Blue Cross/Blue Shield rules, although it could be High Plains Mental Heatlh’s rules.
This has forced me to make the long drive north of the Missouri River. It takes about 30 minutes, give or take, to reach my destinations.
Buffalo Wild Wings at Shoal Creek is an easy drive. Interstate 435 all the way past Arrowhead and Kaufman Stadiums to Shoal Creek Parkway.
The drive to Zona requires four highways….435 to 35 to 635 to 29. The problem with that drive is traffic is horrendous where I-635 ends and defaults to I-35 south. Metcalf Avenue is a better option.
Today I went to get my car washed in Leawood. I signed up for a monthly plan, and the lovely young lady behind the counter asked if I knew my license plate. I rattled it off without hesitation. She was impressed.
More bits of useless information…I can recall every license plate of every car I’ve driven. I also remember some my parents drove.
In Louisiana, when I began driving the 1989 Chevy Cavalier my dad purchased in July 1989, the license plate was 604 A 407.
Prior to 1995, Louisiana license plates featured six numerals, and in the middle was the letter of the state police troop issuing the license plate.
Bryan Lazare, the great sportswriter for The Times-Picyaune and later Rivals.com, found it strange my car had a license plate on a New Orleans-area car with an “A”.
A is the letter for the state police troop in Baton Rouge, which is on Highland Road near the East Baton Rouge/Ascension Parish line. That troop has responsibliity for East Baton Rouge, West Baton Rouge, Iberville, Pointe Coupee, West Feliciana, East Feliciana, Livington, Ascenion and the east (actually north) bank of St. James (the west/south bank of St. James is handled by Troop C near Houma).
Troop B is the New Orleans troop. The 1978 Oldsombile Custom Cruiser station wagon my family drove until July 198t6 had the plate 706 B 406.
It was the last Steinle car to have a “B” plate.
The 1980 Datsun 310–one of the two worst cars my dad has ever bought—had a plate of 254 X 414. There is no troop X; rather, it’s an overflow designation for trooops which ran out of letter plates (mostly in New Orleans, sometimes in Baton Rouge, never anywhere else) in a year.
The other bad car my dad bought was a 1971 Chevy Vega, which rusted. My dad bought the Vega after he was forced to trade in his 1969 Pontiac Firebird due to the wheel rims being stolen numerous times, and State Farm refusing to insure the car.
The Vega was traded in 1975 for a Mercedes, then for the station wagon three years later. Two kids will do that.
The wagon became a 1986 Oldsombile 88, license plate 252 N 928. “N” was a second designation for Troop B.
In case you’re curious, the other troops are:
B—Kenner (Jefferson, Orleans, St. Bernard, Plaquemines, St. Charles, part of St. John)
C—Houma (Assumption, Lafourche, Terrbonne, St. Mary, parts of St. James, St. John the Baptist)
D—Lake Charles (Calcasieu, Cameron, Jefferson Davis, Beauregard, Allen)
E—Alexandria (Rapides, Avoyelles, Grant, Vernon, Sabine, Winn, Natchitcohes, LaSalle, Catahoula, Concordia)
F—Monroe (Ouachita, Morehouse, East Carroll, West Carroll, Richland, Madison, Tensas, Franklin, Caldwell, Jackson, Lincoln, Union)
G—Shreveport (Caddo, Bossier, Webster, DeSoto, Red River, Claiborne, Bienville)
I—Lafayette (Lafayette, Iberia, St. Martin, St. Landry, Evangeline, Acadia)
L—Covington (St. Tammany, Washington, Tangipahoa, St. Helena)
In 1995, Louisiana changed its plates to three letters and three numbers. The Cavalier got plate EIP 887.
I don’t remember the plate number the Corsica I drove from 1998-2001 had.
In 2002, I took over my mother’s 1998 Olds 88, license plate LFV 472. The plate went to Kansas and was traded one month later for Kansas plate WDA 498.
On 4 October 2005, I crashed the Olds into a deer. Less than 48 hours later, the plate moved to the 2005 Pontiac Grand Prix I acquired in Hays.
WDA 498 lasted for the entire run of the Grand Prix, almost six years, and went to the 2010 Chevy Impala, which was my car through 2018. In 2012, the first Kansas plate was replaced by the current 545 FEH.
No wonder I’m good at trivia. 😜
Just checking in to tell you I’m alive, if not totally well. The right foot is my Achilles’ heel, and it’s not the heel that’s hurting.
My Thanksgiving was boring, which was good. I ate turkey this year, probably too much, since I had indigestion after all the turkey sandwiches I ate. I passed on the seconds of stuffing and candied yams, but devoured the rest of the fried cauliflower.
I began December stopping by two of my favorites, Imo’s and White Castle, both in Columbia. Imo’s has an Overland Park location, but sadly, White Castle no longer is in western Missouri/eastern Kansas. Whataburger is supposedly coming to Kansas City, thanks to one of its most famous connoisseurs, Patrick Mahomes.
There’s an NFL game in 70 minutes. The Ravens and Steelers were supposed to play on Thanksgiving. Baltimore had COVID-19 issues, and it was moved to Sunday. The Ravens had MORE COVID issues, then it was moved to Tuesday, and then to Wednesday.
The NFL has played only one Wednesday game since 1950, and that was to work around the 2012 Democratic National Convention.
Just read on the ESPN crawl where Maryland-Michigan and Kent St.-Miami (Ohio, not Florida) are off due to COVID. That’s football 2020 for you.
My 44th year of existence ended three days after the LSU-Missouri football game in Columbia.
Now that I’ve seen LSU and Mizzou play since, the result—a 45-41 victory for the Tigers in Black—was not surprising in the least. The Bayou Bengals’ defense has struggled mightily, and Mizzou has shown enough on both sides of the ball to stay competitive in its first season under Eli Drinkwitz.
LSU was beyond dreadful in losing 48-11 at Auburn two weeks ago. It was Auburn’s largest margin against LSU since the series began over a century ago. The Bayou Bengals were supposed to host Alabama Saturday, but an outbreak of COVID-19 at LSU forced the game to be postponed.
Alabama was favored by 28 points just before the game went off the board at the sports books. This means the “sharps” think Alabama would have won by 31, since the home team gets three points for home field.
How the mighty have fallen. But that’s college football.
Mizzou is also idle this week. The Tigers were slated to host Georgia, but Columbia has been hit hard again by COVID. CoMo and Boone County have been hot spots in the Show-Me State, and it’s not hard to see why: large population, small geographical footprint, flagship university.
Texas A&M-Tennessee and Auburn-Mississippi State were also victims of COVID in the SEC, while Ohio State at Maryland was cancelled and will not be made up. Nothing surprises me anymore.
The first month of my 45th year has been quite crazy. An incident in the last 24 hours demonstrates why.
Last night at 23:15, I went to the garage, hoping to load some things into my car so I could leave early for Kansas City.
Much to my shock, the Buick was locked.
I never lock my car when I’m parked in the garage, but my mother locked it for some reason when she came home from the American Legion post last night.
I have two sets of keys, but I carry both sets. This is for hot weather, so I can dart inside somewhere and leave the A/C running. It also comes in handy when it’s bitterly cold, although I haven’t had to start the Buick on a day when the temperature was below minus-15 Celsius (10 Fahrenheit).
There was nothing I could do late last night (or in the first hour of this morning), so I tried to sleep as best I could—not well—before getting AAA on the horn to unlock the car.
I put in the service call through the app at 8:45.
Ten minutes later, my car was unlocked, but not because AAA arrived in record time.
My dad found a gray key to a GM vehicle in a desk drawer in the kitchen. I thought it was to my old Impala, but I figured it would not hurt to try.
Turn the key…OPEN! Phew.
The trouble with my Buick has been a recurring theme of the last month.
The “Service Engine Light” had been on constantly since mid-September, even though I thought I had it fixed then. Three other notices kept coming on “gas cap loose”, “engine oil low” and “low tire pressure”.
Before I could get any of that taken care of, I had another emergency with my grandfather’s old ride.
The latch to the trunk broke in the parking lot of the Schnucks in Lake St. Louis. What was stunning about this is I went to Dierberg’s in Wentzville less than an hour before that, and the trunk closed just fine.
Since it’s me, the latch would have to break while the trunk was stuffed. I somehow got everything inside the car then had to drive 30 minutes through St. Charles County with the trunk flapping before reaching Lou Fusz Buick on Page Avenue in Maryland Heights.
The latch was not available from GM, so I had to leave the Buick in St. Louis that weekend and drive a rental back to Russell. The rental was a Toyota Corolla, a fine car, but too small for yours truly. I hit my head every time I entered and exited, and could not use my seat cushion, since my scalp was butting up against the roof.
I made an intemperate remark while driving around St. Louis about how I felt people who drive small cars are clueless. I should have said people who can afford large cars yet drive small ones are clueless. Sometimes, a person can only afford a small one. Also, most Americans are not grossly overweight like me.
The good thing about the second trip to St. Louis was discovering Imo’s Pizza.
Imo’s Pizza has been a St. Louis institution since Lou Brock and Bob Gibson were starring for the baseball Cardinals. I can see why.
The pizza is served on a crispy cracker-style crust. Topping go all the way to the edge. And the slices are small enough to where intake is easily managed.
I devoured three Imo’s pizzas in the space of a week during my travels to St. Louis—two after the trunk latch broke, and a third to return the rental after the Buick was fixed.
I also had a lot of White Castle. Good stuff, but I may need a break. Lot of indigestion.
The next to last day of October was mostly spent at Cable Dahmer Buick. I waited seven and a half hours to see if the engine light and other warnings could be fixed.
After less than 500 km of driving, the service engine and loose gas cap warnings were back in full force. I made another trip to Kansas City last week. So far, the lights are staying off.
I also have discovered Springfield. More on that in another post.
I love you Caitlyn!
Today points out one of the biggest problems of being single.
I have been at the Buick dealership over SEVEN HOURS now. Since I don’t have a girlfriend/fiance/wife like most normal men over the age of 25, I have to wait it out. I could have called an Uber, but that would have cost a pretty penny.
It would have been at least $80 to make the round trip to my hair removal appointment at Shoal Creek. I figured I could wait until Monday.
Now this young boy is annoying the hell out of me being rambunctious like most young boys (certainly like I was at his age). I just put in my earplugs, but the sound of his plastic dolls hitting plastic is so loud it doesn’t filter it out.
I am going to go back to the hotel when this is done and collapse if I don’t cry first. This is another stark reminder of how much my life sucks and how much worse it will be when my parents die and I’m really alone.
I blew my chance at happiness when I screwed up with Renetta. Caitlyn is too young. Brenda and Peggy are married. No other women would be caught dead with me. I tried Match.com briefly again, but I’m not paying an exorbitant amount to get nothing out of it.
I bet the car will not be ready when the dealership closes at 18:00. What the hell will I do then?
If you want to laugh at me, please do. You need to laugh. I’m wretched and deserve it.
For the THIRD time in the last 43 days, I am sitting in Cable-Dahmer Buick/GMC. Service Engine Light has been on since last Friday. No problems, but that’s something that has to be checked out. Other things have popped up, including.irreperable damage to a sidewall of a tire, meaning it needs to be replaced.
Yesterday started well enough. Andy Gibb’s “An Everlasting Love” woke me up at precisely 05:30, the first time an alarm has worked for me in at least a month. Work done on time.
Then it got strange.
I drove to Brew Top in hopes of seeing Dana, but when I parked, I realized my Gateway Arch keychain was not in my pocket (I drove using the spare key). It wasn’t on the passenger seat or floorboards. Not in the trunk or my bag.
I immediately drove back to my hotel. This time, I’m staying at the new Springill Suites next to Interstate 435 across from Worlds of Fun, which is between the river and Liberty. It’s got a few more conveniences than Briarcliff—QuikTrip, Wendy’s, Burger King and Taco Bell are right down the street—but construction on I-435 south of the river is terrible, and there’s no freezer in the room, which I knew going in. The room is nicely sized, but I’m not able to freeze anything for the trip home. Not a big deal as long as.I remember to shop before leaving.
Keys were not on the ground in the parking lot. It finally dawned on me to check the cupholders.
Now it was too late to eat, because I had to go to Leawood for my monthly haircut and shave with Heather at The Gent’s Place.
Parking was a bitch. The city of Leawood closed all streets surrounding Park Place, the development where The Gent’s Place is located. I had to park in the garage, where nearly every non-reserved space faced the sun and was far away from the elevator and stairwell. I found a covered place on the fourth floor, but became disoriented trying to find my destination.
I said I would never go back to The Gent’s Place because of the streets, but I quickly backed off. They told me they didn’t know until the last minute, either. Good to see government still bungles royally during a pandemic.
Heather was great as usual. I won’t see her again until January because she’s going on maternity leave. She was barely showing. The only person who showed less that late into pregnancy was Courtney Cox Otto (Peggy’s daughter/Caitlyn’s sister, not Monica). At their suggestion, Camille will take care of me in October and November.
Heather has tattoos all over, and I would never consider getting one. Yet we get along wonderfully. In the past I may have recoiled, but now, it’s okay. Honestly, I have no problem with tattoos on women, but they really bother me on men. My dad got two tattoos in the Navy, and he calls it his second biggest regret behind smoking for over 30 years (he has now been smoke-free for 35 years; I’m convinced he would have died before Katrina had he not quit). My dad often wears long-sleeved shirts even in hot weather to cover up the tattoos. The one on his right forearm is not big, but it is faded badly; the one on his upper left arm is grotesque. I try not to look at it.
When I got done with Heather, I went to Cable-Dahmer hoping to squeeze my car service in, but they told me they ddin’t have enough mechanics, so I had to return this morning.
I went back to the hotel and wasn’t in the mood for anything. Other than picking up Zaxby’s for the second straight night, I stayed in my room.
On the third Thursday of September last year, I was in St. Louis watching Caitlyn and Ottawa play Missouri Baptist in volleyball. Now, I’m doing all I can not to think about all of it—Caitlyn, volleyball, Peggy, everyone else. Volleyball crossed my mind, though, since Brenda’s birthday was yesterday.
I can’t stay in Kansas City past Tuesday. I don’t have any more meds, other than insulin and the antidepressants I refilled Tuesday. My blood pressure has been running high. I’m worried.
The Chiefs play the Chargers Sunday in Los Angeles. I know what I won’t be watching.