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Jerk (not Caribbean)

I wish there were a way to selective eradicate one’s memory. If that were possible, I would gladly erase last night from my memory forever. It made me seriously question my worth as a living organism, much less a human being.

If I wonder why hundreds of people who’ve I met through the years have totally forgotten me, they would have been reminded if they had saw me in action last night. To say I was a complete and total asshole would be too kind. I acted so badly I probably deserved to be sent straight to the Missouri State Penetentiary in Bonne Terre. I was that bad. 

It began before I got to Buffalo Wild Wings. I set up the computer in my room at the Overland Park Marriott–yes, it was a different room; I checked out of 1123 Wednesday morning after sleeping in that room for 18 of the previous 20 nights–and got on Facebook really quick. 

What I saw sent me over the edge. 

I saw Liz had posted pictures of her, Sean and Cori Gardner out the previous night. 

It wasn’t they were out–yes, it kind of reminded me I’m lonely away from Kansas City, but I’m so old and I was in Russell the previous night–but it was seeing Cori which brought out my anger and sadness. 

 I met Cori before I met anyone else at Buffalo Wild Wings, Liz included. She waited on me at lunch quite a few times during the summer of 2013, and we really bonded. I asked her about a tattoo she had, and she told me she had type 1 diabetes. The bad kind. 

I have type 2 diabetes, but at least I can keep my blood sugar under reasonable control with medication. I wish I could stay away from the sugar and exercise more, but I’m just so bone lazy. 

Cori and Liz were two of the few I knew at Buffalo Wild Wings at that time. I would get to know Sean, Ronnie, Dana, Casey, Morgan Tomac and others over time, but my eyes lit up any time I saw Cori and/or Liz. 

The last time I saw Cori working at Buffalo Wild Wings was September 15, 2013, which also happened to be the same day Alex served me for the very first time. I didn’t go back there until October, and by then, Cori was gone, and I did not see Liz at all for quite a few visits. I thought I would not see them again. 

Until November 19, 2013. Cori came in a little after 4 that Tuesday to see some people there, and she was so excited to see me.  About an hour later, Liz came on for her shift. She was surpirsed to see me, too. 

This is where it diverges. I would see Liz regularly. Cori disappeared from my radar. 

It seems like I lose ladies in my life at regular intervals. 

  • Stacie Dauterive Seube and everyone else at Arabi Park Middle basically wrote me off once I went to Brother Martin in the fall of 1989, and disappeared from view until I finally reconnected with them on Facebook. 
  • Not talking to Stacie for so long really hurt. Really did. When I found out her son, Colin, has autism, I really felt awful. I felt like I could have helped her had I gotten in touch earlier, considering I’ve been through the same thing. 
  • I met Tiffany Peperone, then a sophomore at Dominican and a Brother Martin cheerleader, in May 1990. Became really close to her. Once she graduated, I saw her only sporadically at LSU, and then after a couple of chance encounters at Ivar’s in 1997, nothing. That hurts a lot. Still. 
  • Two teachers at Brother Martin whom I became very close to, Janine Koening (8th grade science) and Rebecca Hale (junior English), have faded from view, as has another, Eileen Depreo (senior Civics), the lady who helped me so much during the St. Patrick’s Day folly at the Louisiana Supreme Court (see an earlier post). 
  • The ladies I worked with in LSU’s sports information office have wiped me from memory. Other than Laurie Cannon Moll, whom I reconnected with on Facebook, they’re all gone. 
  • Wendy Wall, whom I met in 1997 when she was in graduate school at LSU, hurt a lot to lose. I haven’t talked to her since she and her husband, Sid, went to dinner with my dad and I in Houston following LSU”s 2002 baseball super regional vs. Rice. I’ve tried time and again to get in touch, but to no avail. 
  • Rebecca Borne could be a chapter in a book, or maybe a book, period. The daughter of LSU football and men’s basketball public address announcer Dan Borne, Rebecca was a super smart young lady (34 ACT) whom I met through the LSU sports information office. We slowly drifted apart until her graduation in May 1998, and then it was she didn’t want to have anything to do with me again. I cried almost every day for years over it. It didn’t stop until I moved to Kansas. 
  • Rebecca McCann Campbell and I bonded when I first met her as an LSU Batgirl during the 1999 season. We stayed in touch for over a year, but once she graduated, she quickly got marreid to her high school sweetheart. I was so ecstatic to be watching an LSU-South Carolina baseball game in Columbia on the night of her wedding. She’s still married and has two lovely boys, so that’s worked out. At least she hasn’t totally forgotten me. 
  • Renetta Rogers. I’ll skip her for right now.
  • Brenda LeBlanc, the winningiest high school volleyball coach in Louisiana history, occupied the perch Liz, Brittany and Lisa do now. I trusted her completely. I felt I could count on her whenever and wherever I needed her. And I would be there for her if she needed me. 
  • In Kansas, the list is endless. I could probably name 250-300 people. 
  • I thought Amanda Schelp wanted nothing to with me again for a time. Fortunately, that’s not hte case, but there are several at the hotel where she used to work who probably want me gone. 
  • Now I worry to death it’s going to happen with Crista, with Dr. Custer, with Dr. Jones. If that happens, my health will suffer greatly.  
  • I also worry about the crew at Buffalo Wild Wings. I know LIz is moving soon, Lisa will have a new job, and I’m sure Brittany will move on following her wedding in July. There still might be Alex, Tori, Raymie and a few others, but I don’t know. 

Back to last night.

I came into Buffalo Wild Wings at 6:30 and sighted LIz. I yelled at hear about Cori. She took me outside and chewed me out. I deserved it. I was totally wrong. 

First, I had NO RIGHT to go into her place of employement and make a scene. She should have slapped me, or kicked me in the nuts. 

Second, it isn’t her fault. Things happen with people and their lives. 

Third, she told me she hadn’t seen Cori much, either. So I wasn’t alone. 

When I went back in, I broke down and cried hard, the first time I had cried in public in a very long time. I started playing some of my favorite sad songs, “Against All Odds” by Phil Collins, “Sorry Seems To Be the Hardest Word” by Elton John, and “All By Myself”, first the original by Eric Carmen, then the remake by Celine Dion. Chad McCart, the manager on duty, told me I had to stop playing those songs. I did. 

I stayed until 9 and then left. I didn’t eat, and I hardly said goobdye to anyone. I did not say goodbye to Alex or Lisa. 

I was feeling awful by time I pulled back in to the hotel. Jackie wondered what was wrong. She had never seen me that down. 

At least something good happened last night.

I called Outback at Oak Park Mall to get a steak to eat in my room. I wanted prime rib at first, but I got a call five minutes later that there was no more prime rib. Therefore, I was offered the 22-ounce bone in ribeye at the same price as the prime rib. I jumped at the offer. That steak was so awesome. 

I got ready early this morning. My car is being serviced at Morse-McCarthy Chevrolet right now. The oil life meter was down to ZERO. 

It’s raining and cold this morning. Fits my mood. 

A day I’d rather forget

Thank God I was busy yesterday. I wasn’t able to remember why I hated September 16 so much.

On September 16, 2013, I was informed by the Kansas City Airport Marriott that I was banned from staying there for life. It was claimed that I had attempted to buy alcoholic beverages for female employees.

I was very angry. I would never, ever, eve attempt to cause someone to lose their job, even if I despised the person. That is beneath me and I would never attempt it. And why would I attempt to jeopardize the position of people I liked? I had been staying at that particular hotel regularly since May 2008, and I had come to know and like many of the people there. I cannot believe someone would accuse me of such heinous actions.

I believe one employee of the hotel in particular, Amanda Schelp, was responsible for the ban. That was what hurt more than anything. I first meet Amanda in January 2012, and upon the first time I met her, she offered to take the cart carrying my luggage to my room, since I had a long day of covering a wrestling tournament in Smith Center, and then driving east on US 36. We got to know each other well over the next 18 months, and I came to really like her. Not that I would want to date her, because I would never want to jeopardize her job nor my ability to stay there. I’m thinking she’s the one who led the drive to ban me.

I have thought about the ban every single time I travel to Kansas City. It hurts beyond belief. I want to cry. I want to harm myself. I sometimes have thought about stopping somewhere over the Missouri River and taking the final step. It really hurts. When I travel to Kansas City, if I want to stay near Zona Rosa, I must stay in a lesser quality hotel, or if I want to stay in a Marriott with anywhere near the service of the one at KCI, I have to stay in Overland Park, which is a 30 to 35 minute drive one way. I chose the latter option on many a night during the summer, and more than once, I didn’t get back to the hotel until after 1:30 a.m. I still hate myself because of it. I cannot drive past the airport on I-29, because I will see the hotel. If I have to go to areas north of the airport, like Platte City or St. Joseph,, I detour onto I-435 and take that north until it reaches I-29 in Platte City. I cannot stand to look at that hotel.

Readers–if you want to help me, I would be most grateful. You can reach the hotel at 816-464-2200.

The other reason I dreaded September 16 was it was the birthday of the lady I considered to be one of my closest friends from Louisiana, Brenda LeBlanc.

I met Brenda in 1999 when she was the volleyball coach at St. Joseph’s Academy, the all-girls Catholic high school in Baton Rouge. I already knew her husband, Baton Rouge sportswriter Lee Feinswog, from his days at The Advocate.  Brenda and I grew really close over the years when I covered her team for The Advocate, and she went out of her way to make me feel welcome and as much a part of her team’s family as she could. I knew I had to keep my distance somewhat because I was a journalist, but I had more access than most writers could hope to have.

Brenda not only was a wonderful lady, she was the best volleyball coach in Louisiana high school annals. She coached St. Joseph’s to five state championships, the first in 1998, and then four in a row from 2001 through 2004. Prior to coming to St. Joseph’s in 1994, she led Episcopal School of Acadiana to seven consecutive titles from 1987 through 1983. The string of consecutive titles by ESA continued from 1994 through 2002. .Before coaching, Brenda was a standout athlete at Lafayette’s Northside High and Tulane. She retired from coaching following the 2006 season, but she continues to teach physical education at St. Joseph’s.

I had sent Brenda very nice gifts for her birthday, including a $250 Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse gift card in 2005, and then a bouquet of sunflowers in 2010. But we had lost touch through the years, and I had worried to death that she had totally blocked me out of her life.

Thank God I was wrong on that one. She got back to me today and told me we were good. That was a ray of sunshine I badly needed in what has been a very bad time.

Conflicted

I had a lot of trouble sleeping last night. I was feeling miserable after all that went on, although it gave me time to do my laundry in the wee hours. I barely slept, but somehow, I was out of Russell just before 10 a.m.

I am convinced McDonald’s breakfast is the worst restaurant food ever created, at least food which does not come from that hellhole Spangles. I stopped at the Russell McDonald’s on my way out of town, and long before I got to Salina, I was feeling sick to my stomach. The Russell McDonald’s is especially horrible, since they barely put the English muffins in the toaster, and they look very sickly and soggy. I like mine crunchy. If I see black on the edges, I know I’m in good shape. But Russell NEVER puts theirs in the toaster. Another reason to avoid that place.

I got some food at Burger King in Abilene after using the restroom, but I could barely eat it. I was able to eat a couple of croissants and down a frappucino from Starbucks in Junction City, but that breakfast still wasn’t sitting well all the way past the eastern toll plaza of the Turnpike between Tonganoxie and Bonner Springs.

I veered south for the first time since the August 28 meltdown and went to Lukas Liquors in Overland Park after a brief stop at a Bank of America ATM. I bought three more six-packs of Abita Beer, two of which are fall seasonal brews, Pecan Ale and Oktoberfest Lager, as well as Andygtor, the bock which is 8.0% alcohol by volume, meaning under Kansas law, it must carry a higher price.

I was hoping Lisa Toebben would be done with her doctor’s appointment and work tonight, but she isn’t, so I gave the Andygator to Tori Weber, who really enjoyed the Strawberry lager I gave her Monday night. Alex Mullinax got the Oktoberfest, and I’m guessing I’ll give the Pecan to Brittany Mathenia-Tucker, although that could change.

Elizabeth Psenski reiterated she’s moving to Colorado soon. That has me really depressed. Another person comes into my life and becomes an important part of it, and boom, he or she ups and leaves. I understand why she is doing it. She has to improve her life. But here I am again, almost 40, trying to find a stable friendship, It has rarely, if ever, happened. I can go on and on and on about the people.

It started way back with Rosemarie Renz and Lisa Syrdal from St. Robert Bellarmine. Rosemarie and I reconnected at Arabi Park, but then I left her, Stacie Datuerive, Toni LaRocca, Lara Doyle, Tammy Gilbert, and saddest of all, Allison Richardson (rest in peace) when I left for Brother Martin. Of the guys, I’ve at least reconnected with Shawn O’Neil.

There weren’t any students at Brother Martin I missed, but there were teachers and coaches. I didn’t get to say goodbye to Bob Conlin when he passed away too soon. I cry over Janine Koenig, my very first teacher at the school. I wonder about Rebecca Hale, my favorite Tulane booster.

LSU and Baton Rouge? The bridges are burned enough to span the Mississippi River from the Louisiana State Penetentiray at Angola, near the Mississippi state line, all the way to the Hale Boggs Bridge in St. Charles Parish. Who should I begin with? Let’s see:

  • Bill Franques, Michael Bonnette, Herb Vincent, Jim Schwanke, Dan Canevari, Bill Dailey, Laurie Cannon, Fred Demarest, Wendy and Sid Wall, Erika Goulas and the entire Borne clan at LSU,
  • Robin Fambrough and a whole bunch of others at The Advocate.
  • Brenda LeBlanc is by far and away the biggest casualty from Baton Rouge, but as for other coaches, there’s Dorinda Beaumont, Beverly Russell, Bill Bofinger, Dale Weiner, Kenny Almond, Sid Edwards and Guy Mistretta, just to name a few.

Kansas isn’t even safe. Larry Mills, why have you forgotten about me? It’s not limited to you, though; half of Norton has basically flushed me down the toilet. I’m sure Morgan Baumann, Lacy Keilig and many others would like to see me burn or otherwise hasten my demise. I haven’t made any friends in Russell other than Larry Bernard and Mark Paul, who’s now at Ulysses. I’m sure many at Smith Center want me sileneced after that fiasco at the state volleyball tournament a year ago.

Without Liz at Buffalo Wild Wings, why come to Kansas City? I don’t know how much longer Lisa and the Brittanys will be here. If they’re gone, why bother? Braidey Howe has tried to convince me to keep coming. I don’t know.

Lonely days. Lonely nights.