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Maybe I’m not that bad

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Nice to not be home for the holidays

I had a great day Tuesday. Too bad that didn’t carry over once I left Kansas City.

I decided Monday night after staying away from Buffalo Wild Wings to buy gifts for LIz, Brittany and Lisa the next morning. I knew Lisa would not be back until Saturday, and I didn’t think Brittany was working Tuesday, but I thought Liz was.

Turns out I got Brittany and Liz mixed up. Brittany worked Tuesday morning, so I sat in her section. She LOVED her gift. I got Liz to come by Buffalo Wild Wings just before 3 while she was out shopping, and she too was impressed. I cannot reveal the gift because LIsa might read this.

I wasn’t planning on spending long at Buffalo Wild Wings Tuesday, but sure enough, I stayed until 8:30. In the evening, I sat at my old table in the dining room, table 162, and had Rue-Jean Klapporth serve me for the first time. She got me to play some of her favorite songs which impressed her.

I didn’t get out of Kansas CIty until almost noon Christmas Eve, since I stopped at the new Chik-Fil-A on Barry Road and then for gas at Hiy-Vee just down Barry. The sun stuck its head out of the clouds just past Junction City, and it was there I remembered Buffalo Wild Wings in Salina was now open.

I checked in a little before 3 and stayed until closing at 5. Not as big as the location at Zona Rosa, but still bigger than ones I visited in Baton Rouge (Bluebonnet), Wichita (North Rock), Topeka and Manhattan. The walls are brick, and there is recessed track lighting all along the dining room ceiling. With a wide open window facing east, there is much more light coming in than at Zona Rosa.

If I had to do it all over again, I would have stayed away from Russell on Christmas Day. I really had no reason for going back, except for getting more clothes. I wasn’t too wild about the ham my mother cooked for Christmas dinner, although I enjoyed the eggplant casserole and broccoli with melted cheddar.

I wanted to leave Russell before dawn this morning, but I didn’t get out of town until after 10. I beat the snow east and to the Kansas City area at 2, but I ran into another problem.

I went to the Overland Park Marriott to check in, and it turns out there were no rooms available on the 11th (top) floor. I was offered a room on the 10th floor, but I wasn’t biting. They told me a big group took up most of the rooms on the 11th floor. I was unhappy the group got priority over a Platinum Premier member like myself, a Platinum Premier member who was in the top five percent of guests at that hotel.

I decided that I would go back to the Courtyard on Tiffany Springs. The television selection stinks, but (a) it’s $40 less per night and (b) much closer to Buffalo Wild Wings.

I arrived at Buffalo Wild Wings at 3, after making a quick dash into the CVS pharmacy next door. I’m now sitting at the bar with Brittany and Tori Weber. Liz brought me a couple of gifts, a polo shirt and a Tommy Hilfiger wallet. I was very impressed. It’s the thought that counts. I’ve haven’t had anyone do that for me in a very long time.

I now have a week to get Liz’s 21st birthday present. I will probably get her some beer to enjoy legally, plus I’ve got something else up my sleeve.

Kansas City, here I am

I left Norton at 9:30 this morning and drove straight back to Russell, choosing to bypass Hays.

The McDonald’s in Norton closed earlier this year, leaving no Golden Arches along US 36 from at least the Colorado state line–probably farther–to Seneca. The only Mickey D’s on 36 in Kansas are in Seneca and Hiawatha. At least Norton still has a Dairy Queen, as does Belleville, while Marysville has Hardee’s, Sonic and Taco Bell.

Got back home by 11:20, visited with my parents for half an hour, and got back on the road. I would have driven straight from Norton to Kansas City had I not forgotten my insulin pen at my house yesterday. However, you don’t gain any time going 36, because the speed limit is slower (65 vs. 75 on I-70) and there are stops in the small towns along the way–Phillipsburg, Smith Center, Belleville, Seneca, Hiawatha, et. al–that makes it slower than just speeding along the interstate.

I found myself locked out of my office today. I wanted to pick up something inside, but it turns out there was a new lock placed on the outer door. I decided I would live. I’ll get a key from Frank when I get back to town.

I got to Kansas City in record time, all because I wanted to see Brittany Davidson before she ended her shift as the bartender at Buffalo Wild Wings. Mission accomplished. She was ecstatic to see me, as were a few more people who had not seen in at least a month and a half, including Shannon Swanson, who encouraged me to get help for my depression.

Lisa and Liz are working tonight, and they’re very happy to see me too. I also saw two of my trivia buddies, Jane and Mark, and gave them one of my many $5 discount coupons. I also saw Rondo, who was playing when I got there. I was surprised the 12,989 I posted on Dec. 4 held up as the high score for the month until Rondo hit 13,000+ twice today. I just posted 13,286.

This keyboard for my iPhone has everyone jealous. Larry Bernard was the first to notice Thursday at the wrestling meet in Lincoln, Peggy Cox, Mason Buckmaster and Taylor Zabel all noticed last night at basketball, and now I’ve gotten raves from Liz, Lisa and Chris Smith at Buffalo Wild Wings. Sounds like a great gift idea. The best thing about the keybaord is I don’t have to lug my 30-pound laptop everywhere if I want to work. The only time I now really need the laptop is to download things from the Main Street Media FTP site. I have Word on here, so I can write the articles, save them to my Sky Drive, then transfer them to Quark when I get the computer set up.

Lisa was so nice to get me a stool with a back to sit down. I really feel welcome when she’s my server. But I’m very happy to hear both she and her man, Jeff Daniels, recently got new jobs. I know as a young couple they’re probably struggling a bit, and this is good news.


A dark, heavy weight was lifted last Thursday at this time. Needless to say, it was a huge relief and while I can’t say my life is all rainbows and lollipops, it is far better than it was prior to 5 p.m. last Thursday.

I went back to Buffalo Wild Wings just before 3 p.m. last Thursday. I pulled into the far right spot for takeout orders and sat in my car. I passed the time by watching an episode of Silk Stalkings on my iPhone (isn’t technology grand?) and listening to WHB-AM, one of the two sports talk radio stations in Kansas City. It was close to freezing outside, so I had to run the car from time to time to use my seat warmer.

I saw a lot of the familiar faces go in and out of the restaurant. Nobody noticed me. And I mean nobody. I was so invisible that Michael Pinkerton, one of the shift leaders who also is in my fantasy football league, walked right in front of my car without noticing me.

At 4:30, I finally honked my horn loud enough to catch Morgan Gilliland’s attention, but she didn’t know it was me. I finally messaged her on Facebook and revealed it was me who honked at her. She told me to come on but I kept resisting.

I texted Liz a couple of times and told her I was sitting in my car outside. She told me that I should go in, but I told her I was dead scared.

By time it got close to 5, I was really crying. I was crying so hard the tissues would get wet very quickly.

Then Liz got out of a car with Sean and someone else. I honked, and Liz noticed. She came to my car and I told her what was going on. She tried to calm me down, tried to explain there was nothing wrong, that it was all in my mind and not real.

A couple of minutes later, Brittany and Lisa came up behind Liz and noticed me. They too were wondering what I was doing in my car. They told me it was fine, just don’t get emotional. I agreed to come in.

I sat at the bar since Brittany and Lisa were working there. I ended up staying for five hours. I did play trivia. I did not get emotional, nor did I eat too much. I even made a run to QuikTrip on Barry Road at 8:30 for pretzels, although Brittany ended up sharing hers with me.

I wanted to stay until closing, but since I had the long trip to Smith Center the next day, I left at 10. I left feeling better than I had in a long time.

I told everyone I would definitely be back no later than the day after Christmas. I’m hoping to go back one of the next two weekends at least to pop my head in.

Year 38 in the books

The final minutes of my 38th year have ticked away. Technically, my final nine hours and change of my 38th year are here, siince I was born at 9:16 a.m. on October 13, 1976. I was born at Baptist Hospital in New Orleans, the same place where Peyton Manning was born to Archie and Olivia March 24 of that year.

I’m going to be spending my 38th birthday in the same place I spent my 37th, Buffalo Wild Wings at Zona Rosa. The big difference is this year everyone there knows it’s my birthday. Last year, nobody knew. Liz wasn’t working, although Sean was; in fact, he was my server that day. Alex was there, but nobody else, because Lisa and both Brittanys had not been hired yet, and Tori wasn’t there, either.

The best thing to happen to me during this 38th year was definitely meeting Lisa Toebben and Brittany Davidson, two people who have become such wonderful friends and people I can count on when I need them. I went the first 37 days of my 38th year without seeing Liz–I first met her in June 2013–but once I finally saw her, we began to grow closer, and for that I’m so grateful. I deeply care about Liz, Lisa and Brittany and am so happy they have people in their lives who care about them. As much as I love them, I realize I’m a little too old to be dating them. They need to be with men who can be there for them a long, long, long time. Maybe the Lord had something different in mind.

And I can’t forget all the others at Buffalo Wild Wings I’ve met through the year: both Morgans, Jaclyn, Shelby, Lauren, Sydnie, Raymie, and another of my favorites, Sam, who’s at school at Northwest Missouri State in Maryville. Liz is one of the old hands, along with Alex and Tori.

Reconnecting with the people from my past at Arabi Park Middle School, first and foremost Stacie Dauterive Seube, was very important. I will always hold Stacie very near and dear to my heart, as I will many of my former classmates from 1988 and 1989. Sadly, Allison Richardson is no longer with us, and I still deeply regret not being able to properly say goodbye.

My brother Jason began his second year of wedded bliss yesterday. My parents had resigned themselves to the fact neither he nor I would ever get married and ever have children, but Jason not only gets married, he finds a lady with a daughter. My mom and dad have taken to Ali, but there’s a feeling that there’s not the full connection, since she has a different biological father.

My prospects? Can’t worry about them. Can’t control them. Not going to sit in front of my computer wasting money with online sites, not going to go bar hopping in Russell, Hays, Salina, Wichita, Kansas City, wherever looking, because I have far more important and better things to do.

Speaking of better things to do, I have some writing to get done if I want to spend most of my birthday with the lovely ladies of B-Dubs. Be back soon.


Sunday ticking away

Sunday has been pretty good, save for one minor slip up.

Lisa worked this morning from opening until 4, and she took care of me. Awesome as always. This time, I begged her to accept my tip, because I knew she was not feeling well and was having a tough day. She did so reluctantly, but was very very grateful. I was happy for that.

Alex came in later and got me my second salad of the day. Geez, two salads on the same day twice on this trip. What’s getting into me?

Liz was here tonight in the dining room. I’m really glad I’m getting to spend this much time with her. It’s been nice.

It got really fun tonight when Dan and Pam showed up. I sat with them at the bar for awhile and helped them play trivia. In fact, Pam scored 14,919 and finished first in the nation during the 8 p.m. Countdown, which is my proudest trivia moment, even more so than me scoring a perfect 15,000 on Countdown or my nine national first place finishes in The Pulse.

I’m going to wrap it up here shortly and go back to the Courtyard on Tiffany Springs. I have some writing to do and then get ready for tomorrow.

Much much better

The rain came back shortly after 6 p.m. and has not abated. The streets are slick, people are not slowing down, and it may be a very long night of accident reporting for the Kansas City Police Department. No fun.

It was all fun today at Buffalo Wild Wings. I finally did what Brittany and Lisa told me to do a long time ago and bought a journal at Staples.

I played trivia for six and a half hours straight. Pretty much dominated all those who challenged me. For the first time, I posted the #1 national score in SIX, the Wednesday and Thursday evening game which features six categories of questions over four rounds. My score of 61,136 is my second highest all-time, but it was not off by much. I posted 62,384 to finish #2 nationally last September at Buffalo Wild Wings in Derby, south of Wichita.

I got to see a lot of lovely faces today. The first was Alexandra Mullinax, who was wearing her glasses, which gave me pause to think it might be Lisa. But when she greeted me, I knew it was her. She took my order in the afternoon and she was awesome as always.

Alex told me she and Brittany had tickets to Monday’s Royals-Orioles playoff game. I was a little jealous, but not really. Not into fighting crowds like that.

Braidey Howe waited on me for the first time tonight. I’ve seen Braidey around here since last June, but this was the first time she’s taken my order, and I want to say one of the first times she’s worked in the bar area. She was exclusively a cashier and greeter from the time I first met her until this march, when she finally started serving.

One of the other ladies who used to be a frequent cashier, Jessica, was back tonight. That put a smile on my face.

Liz showed up unexpectedly. Made my week. She called me Tuesday evening after I got home from Smith Center, worried about me. I told her what went on Monday, and she told me I’ve got to stop being so hard on myself again.

Shannon Swanson was here too. Glad to see her. She really helped me after my incidents last week.

I made an unusual decision to eat salad for both my meals. Caesar early, garden late. Really good. I got some of the ahi tuna from Outback to eat in my room when I leave later.

J.J. Watt returned ANOTHER interception for a touchdown in the Colts-Texans game tonight. Houston is hanging in there, down 33-28 late in the third.

Tomorrow is a trip west to Brookville for Smith Center’s footbal game vs. Ell-Saline. The Redmen won 43-8 last year on the same field, and I don’t see any trouble tomorrow, although if L.T. Meitler and Brody Frieling can’t go, it might be tough to move the ball, because the Cardinals will stack the box against the run. Back to KC after the game, which will be about three hours (Brookville is 12 miles southwest of Salina). Buffalo Wild Wings is a possibility before or after, but if I don’t go, no big deal.

Over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over again

I am in Kansas City right now. I did not go to Buffalo Wild Wings. Did not even consider it. Instead, I got takeout at the Outback Steakhouse on Barry Road, the same one I’ve gone to many a time, and just took my food back to my hotel room at the Courtyard on Tiffany Springs. I stuffed myself good–New York Strip (rare this time, not overcooked), the ahi tuna, plus a salad, and I still have a Caesar salad left.

I couldn’t go back to Buffalo Wild Wings. Not after the commotion I’ve caused on my last two visits. Not with the hurt I’ve caused to two people who opened their hearts to me and I proceeded to treat like crap. I deserve to be alone and deserve to be ostracized for the things I did.

Brittany Davidson and Lisa Toebben were nothing but nice to me from the first time I encountered them at Buffalo Wild Wings. And recently, all I have done is piss on it. They have gone above and beyond what anyone should have to do to help another human being, and I have taken it for granted.

Brittany and Lisa had no reason whatsoever to help someone who lives 250 miles away, even if I am a regular customer at Buffalo Wild Wings. They didn’t have to do so, but out of the kindness of their hearts, they did all they could to help me, and more. And what have I done? Taken it and spit on it. They didn’t do anything wrong to deserve this treatment from me. Yet I’ve done it time and time and time and time and time and time and time again. No wonder I’m lonely. No wonder so many people have cut me out of their lives.

Brittany and Lisa are far from the first people I’ve done it to.

First and foremost, I blew my chance with Renetta Rogers because I supposedly posted negative things about her mother on Facebook, and supposedly it cost Liz Rogers a job in Jefferson City when she moved there with her husband and Renetta in 2009. Renetta was everything I was hoping for in a partner, and Renetta was really able to look past all my flaws and see what I had to offer, but I blew it. Really blew it. Maybe all of the things I’m going through now is karma for the way I royally screwed up with Renetta’s mother. Then again, I keep doing it.

I’m just so damn lucky a few, like Stacie Dauterive Seube and Toni LaRocca, have given me another chance. They didn’t have to. They could have easily forgotten about me when I left Arabi Park Middle for Brother Martin in 1989. They should have forgotten about me when I left Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina. But thank God they’ve come back to me. I know I haven’t talked to any of the others from Arabi Park as much as I have with Stacie and Toni, but at least I know they haven’t forgotten me totally.

Stacie and Toni have had it far worse than me. They lost Allison Richardson to cancer at 32. Nobody should have to live the last two-thirds of their lives without one of their closest friends. And it’s a damn shame Allison was robbed of her life so young. She had so much promise. I saw it in her when we were 12 and 13. I wish I could have gone in her place.

Brenda LeBlanc is another one who should have dumped me. If she wanted to take me to one of the bridges in Baton Rouge which span the Mississippi River and dump me over, I wouldn’t have blamed her. I let her down so much. So so much. I’m damn lucky there, too.

Elizabeth Psenski should have kicked me to the curb for the stunt I pulled before she went on her trip to Michigan in July. I pretty much pulled the same shit with her that I have with Brittany and Lisa. I thought she was going to do that to me on the Fourth of July, but she gave me a reprieve. She has more wisdom before 21 than I will ever acquire. It’s because she has a great mother. Nadine probably should have given me the cold shoulder, too, for treating her daughter so poorly. But she hasn’t.

Shannon Swanson came on board in June and has done all she can to help me, and I’ve let her down. I’m sure she’s frustrated with me. She offered to go to a group with me later this month. I need to. I need help.

Brittany posted something very harsh on my Facebook page last week. But she did it because she doesn’t want to see me sad. Yet here I was Monday still sad and angry too, and it had to not only make her angry that it seemed like I was ignoring her pleas, it had to scare her I was in that state. Over 48 hours later, I still can’t get it out of my head. If she doesn’t want to talk to me again, I understand.

Lisa had to put up with the same crap the previous week. She didn’t deserve it. She’s trying her best to help. She volunteered to go to the group with Shannon and I. She doesn’t have to. Lord know what I’ve put her through.

I know I will never, ever be forgiven. Brittany Davidson is probably out of my life forever. I deserve it. But I don’t know how I’m going to go on.

Twenty-two hour Tuesday

I began today in Buffalo Wild Wings. I’m ending it in my basement. In between, it was quite a ride–literally for two parts of the day.

I stayed at B-Dubs until closing at 1 a.m., meaning I spent 10 and a half hours there total, starting at 2:30 p.m. yesterday. I agreed to stay until the bitter end because Elizabeth Psenski was closing, and from what Brittany Davidson told me, Liz was having a tough go, so I figured if I was there, it would help her feel better. It did. Tori Weber also stayed until close, and she was very happy to see me there

I almost didn’t get all of my work done before departing Kansas City. I kept falling asleep–expected–but somehow I found enough energy to get it all wrapped up and get out of the hotel at 11 a.m.

I ran into construction on US 36 in Doniphan County at noon, and I thought to myself, oh boy, I’m not going to make it to Kesnington in time for the volleyball matches at 4 p.m. According to Google maps, it was a four hour, 20-minute drive from the Courtyard on Tiffany Springs Parkway to Kensington, but I figured the construction would slow it down.

Construction on two-lane highways is hell. One direction has to come to a complete stop while a pilot car leads the traffic in the other direction. The wait can sometimes be more than 15 minutes. On many occasions, I’ve turned off my engine and reclined my seat back to catch a few winks.

Fortunately, there was hardly any waiting this time. The pilot car was leading the eastbound traffic past us as I came to a stop, so the wait was only a couple of minutes.

At Seneca, it began to sprinkle and I thought here’s the rain that was in the forecast. Sure enough, as I crossed the Nemaha-Marshall County line, it began to rain steadily. Nothing heavy, but enough to be a nuisance. I stopped at the Sinclair in Marysville to fuel up, use the restroom and get some snacks, and when I returned to my car, it began to rain harder. The heaviest rain fell from Marysville to Washington, at times slowing things down to 45 miles per hour. I was worried this was going to persist all the way to Kensington.

The rain finally subsided in Republic County about halfway between Washington and Belleville. The sun finally came out when I got past Mankato, and i pulled into Thunder Ridge High School at 3:40.

It turns out I had a little more time . Natoma and Thunder Ridge were supposed to play a varsity match at 4 p.m., but the junior varsity from the schools took the court first, pushing the start of the varsity match between the teams to 4:50.

Sadly, Pike Valley’s coach is in critical condition in a hospital awaiting heart surgery. Therefore, the Panthers only brought their varsity to Kensington, shortening the night from six matches to four.

Thunder Ridge had little trouble taking care of Natoma. Natoma lost the first set to Pike Valley, too, but came back and won the last two to pull out the match. In the last match of the night, the host Longhorns ousted Pike Valley in straight sets.

The drive home had a hairy moment. Approximately eight miles south of Phillipsburg, I caught two deer crossing the road from east to west. Luckily, I had plenty of room to stop and let them cross.

I actually clipped a deer with my current car on US 36 near Washington two years ago, but all it did was knock off a piece of my grille. I turned around, retrieved the grille piece, and then popped it back in at the Dairy Queen in Belleville. Of course, a deer destroyed my Oldsmobile 88 on 183 a few miles north of Hays in October 2005.

After getting past that obstacle, I saw a squirrel about a mile later, and then a hitchhiker pulling a suitcase. What the heck?

I’ve got a lot to do tomorrow for Russell’s paper. Hopefully it won’t wear me out.

Gift bearer

I was a good guy today. I drove from Tiffany Springs Parkway all the way to 119th Street in Overland Park to stop at The Cheesecake Factory and Lukas Liquors. The only thing I picked up for myself were two six-packs of Abita root beer.

I got three slices of cheesecake–two red velvets for Elizabeth Psenski and Brittany Davidson, and Kahlua for Jaclyn Blankenship. God I love Kahlua and was tempted to eat it myself, but I figured it would do my heart and mind good to give it to her. I bought Brittany some more beer so she and her fiance Zach can celebrate her birthday Saturday. I won’t be able to be in Kansas City Saturday due to the volleyball matches going on.

The Royals lost the completion of the suspended game to the Indians 4-3. They scored once in the bottom of the 10th and had a runner on second,, but Omar Infante popped up to shortstop. The Royals got out of a bases loaded jam in the bottom of the first of the regularly scheduled game and lead 1-0 in the second.

The Bears and Jets are the Monday Night Football game. Meh. There’s been better and there’s been worse. The Bears have a good offense and a bad defense, and the Jets have a bad offense and a good defense. If they could combine the Bears’ offense and Jets’ defense, that would be an unbeatable combination.

The Pulse, Buzztime’s sports trivia game, starts at 7 p.m. I’m going for my fourth consecutive national high score. I fell to #2 last time I tried for four in a row.