Blog Archives

Flash flood of emotions

Today will go down for me as one of the most emotional days I’ve experienced. Not in a bad way. Just a wave of emotions which have overcome me, simply because I got to spend so much time surrounded by people who love me and truly care about me, and in turn, people I love and truly care about. 

As soon as I found out today was LIsa’s last day at Buffalo WIld Wings, I knew it would be emotional for me. Before I started therapy with Crista, I doubt I could have handled it. If this had happened, say, last year at this time, or even in October or November, I may not have gone. I might have told Lisa that I was sorry I couldn’t come, but it just was best if I stayed away.

Now, I knew I would be able to handle it. I knew LIsa was moving on because she and Jeff each had exciting new opportunties and the chance to plant roots in Chicago, where LIsa would have the loving support of Jeff’s family. 

Also, Lisa asked me to be her for her final day. Nobody I can recall who was leaving somewhere had ever asked me to show up for their final day. I was humbled. 

I left Russell before sunrise, made the obligatory stop at Starbucks in Junction City, and got to Kansas City at 10, one hour before opening. 

Before going to Buffalo Wild Wings, I had to make a special stop at Bed Bath and Beyond on the opposite side of Interstate 29 along Barry Road. 

It has now been two years since I first met Liz. I knew she had been working at the Buffalo Wild Wings in Zona Rosa for a while when I started coming regularly in May 2013, but we did not get to talking until one day in June, when she liked a particular song I chose on the jukebox. The song: Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick in the Wall, Part 2”. It’s the great one where the band screams, “HEY, TEACHER, LEAVE US KIDS ALONE!”. I played the song almost every time I put money in the jukebox at Ivar’s, my favorite hangout in Baton Rouge. Now, whenever I hear the song, I think of Liz. 

At Bed Bath and Beyond, I purachsed a beatuiful oak salt and pepper grinder set. 

The pepper had very special meaning for our friendship.

It was late, late one night in October when Liz told me that I didn’t have to be anyone else, that she accepeted me for who I was, flaws and all. She told met that I was all the pepper I needed to enjoy life and make it worthwhile. 

I had the idea to buy her a pepper grinder back in April. I kept it in the back of my mind before doing it today. 

LIsa was behind the bar when I arrived a few minutes before 11. She was very happy to see me. Lisa is more reserved than Brittany or Liz, who will come up to me with a huge grin and throw their arms around me. But I know Lisa really cares about me and loves me just as much as Brittany, Liz and a  lot of the others. 

The day dragged on for the most part, but at 3:45 my trivia pals Robb and Dawn Amos came in. They wanted to see Lisa off as well. 

We had a great time playing trivia for over two hours. Just before 6, Lisa said her goodbyes. I was able to get through it without tears.  At least I’m going to see Lisa again at Brittany’s wedding reception in two weeks. 

Brittany, Liz and many others I know are on shift tonight. I took a break from 8:30 to 10:30 to check in to my hotel and get some food and beverages for the stay. I’m now back at Buffalo Wild Wings watching the Royals wrap up an easy win over the Athletics in Oakland. 

How in the heck did I end up with friends like these? Regardless, I am blessed. I wouldn’t trade them for anything. Not just Brittany, Lisa, Liz, Raymie and the others at Buffalo Wild Wings, but Peggy Cox and her daughters Caitlyn, Courtney and Chelsea; Sue and George Rossi and Janet and Kevin Jilka; Shareece Hileman and Anne Kingsbury; Larry Bernard; Sean Spoonts; my former boss, Jack Krier and Kathy; and last but not least, Crista Geyer, who with Dr. Patriarca at High Plains Mental Health, and Dr. Shanon Custer and Dr. Stacey Jones, keep me healthy, both mentally and physically. 

I would give everything I own to see Stacie Dauterive Seube and a lot of my old classmates from Arabi Park Middle. The same goes for Tiffany Peperone. For Brenda LeBlanc. For the entire Borne clan. At least I have seen Bill Franques in the last few years. 

I can’t dwell on the bad. I’ve got too much good. 

Monday madness

It has been quite a Monday. March is ending in 27 hours, and it’s ending with a bang for your intrepid blogger.

I got to Buffalo Wild Wings at 12:45. I wanted to get there a little sooner, but it worked out well. Lisa was bartending, Raymie was serving, although she got cut early due to slow business. I had the delicious New  Yorker, pastrami on a pretzel bun, for lunch.

Two beautiful ladies came to the bar just after 2. Of course, being the social butterfly that I am, I totally froze. I did give them one of my $5 discount coupons, however. 

I should have done a shot with them, because Lisa was begging me to drink alcohol. Actually, I did owe it to her, since she asked me to do a shot with her on my birthday in October, but Brittany said I couldn’t, since (a) I had work to get done that night and the next morning, and (b) I had to drive back to Russell the next day. 

Eventually, I settled on a black cherry moijito. It was delicious. I hadn’t drank an alcoholic beverage in four years, but I’m so big, it probably wouldn’t affect me that much. 

It’s been five hours now, and I feel pretty good. I’ll be careful going back to Overland Park, though. 

The one alcholic beverage I’ve wanted to try is, strangely enough, Kahlua. I love the Kahlua cheesecake from The Cheesecake Factory, and I would like to try a coffee flavored liquer. Maybe some day. 

I had a great night at The Pulse–following a fiasco with the first question, which was on Buzztime, not me. 

The first question asked which team did Wisconsin beat last Saturday to advance to the Final Four. Of course, that was Arizona. However, the computer said it was North Carolina, whom the Badgers defeated in the Sweet 16 last Thursday. I got only 244 on the second question, but got rolling after that.

My tally of 27,256 was enough to vault me to #1 nationally. First time that’s happened since September, but the 10th time in the last calendar year. Ironically, my first national #1 in The Pulse came almost exactly one year ago, March 31, 2014. 

I’m going to get out of here shortly. Got food waiting at Outback in Overland Park, and then I want to get some Kahlua (what else?) cheesecake. It’s been fun. 

Got to get some work done tomorrow, and then back to B-Dubs for one more go. I think my dad will be discharged Wednesday, so it looks like I’ll be going back to Russell with my parents. Knew it was coming. 

Departure upcoming

My time in Kansas City, at least for this trip, is down to no more than 12 hours. I’m going to leave Buffalo Wild Wings, where I’ve been since 3 p.m., and go back to the hotel in a few minutes. I’m hoping to pick up my parents and be on the road back to Russell no later than 10 a.m., hopefully earlier.

Liz and Brittany are working tonight at Buffalo Wild Wings. I knew Brittany was because she told me Tuesday, but I didn’t know about Lisa. This is Lisa’s last Thursday night. She’s going to be working mornings and afternoons before she starts her job with the state of Kansas later this year.

I don’t know when I’m getting back. I’m hoping it will be for Super Bowl Sunday, but my long trip to Oberlin Saturday plus the iffy weather may not make that possible. Besides, the crowd will be quite large. I only have one open weekend in February, and that’s Valentine’s Day, a day I might be better off spending away from crowds. I know I will probably be in Beloit for basketball Friday the 13th. The last time I drove straight from Beloit to Kansas City, I was very fortunate not to strike a deer which crossed I-70 between Chapman and Junction City.

The only other out I can see is coming in on Monday and leaving Tuesday at noon to go to my basketball game. I’ll have to figure it out. In either case, Salina will do just fine in a pinch.

Right now, I can’t worry about that. I’ve got to get my parents home and get myself to Norton so I can get a good night’s sleep tomorrow. First, I have to sleep tonight.

Time wasting Tuesday

Nearly six and a half hours later, I am still at Buffalo Wild Wings. I’ve just shifted locations from the bar, where I kept Lisa company through her entire shift, to the dining room, where Rue will now be taking care of me until at least 8:30.

Poor Lisa had hardly any customers for the entire day, save for a salesman from Chicago who came for a little over an hour around noon. We discussed Chicago’s sports teams, mostly the Bears and their hiring of John Fox as coach.

When the salesman left, it was pretty much me and only a customer here and there, save for a rude couple who came in at 4.

I gave Lisa a little extra in my tip. She was appreciative.

Brittany came in at 4:30. I was overjoyed.

If my father were not in the hospital, I probably would be getting ready for Russell High’s basketball doubleheader at home vs. Hoisington. But since I’m not, I get a very rare January Tuesday in Kansas City. I cannot remember the last time I was here on a night where there were basketball games.

Haven’t heard from my parents recently. Hope everything is okay.

Done before noon

I stayed until almost 10 last night, playing through the final round of Buzztime Countdown for the evening. Tori didn’t have any customers at the bar besides me for the last 30 minutes I was there.

I finished fourth nationally in The Pulse last night, but missed first by less than 300 points. I have now finished in the top nine for 16 consecutive rounds, 15 of those in the top five.

My mother sent me a terse text saying my father came through the surgery alright. She doesn’t know how to text and I don’t expect her to learn. She doesn’t like to carry a cell phone in the first place. I’m sure they’ll call today at some point.

Ethan Hoyle got me hooked on Trivia Crack for the iPhone. He had me play a game for him on his phone, which I won, so I downloaded it myself. It will be a good diversion when I can’t get to Buffalo Wild Wings or another location to play trivia.

I did a little more writing in the wee hours, getting Plainville and Ellis out of the way. I fell asleep at 3:15 and didn’t fully get up until 7:45, but I had the bulk of my work done, so it didn’t take me long to finish.

By 10:45, I was showered and ready to go to Buffalo Wild Wings. Lisa is behind the bar this morning. She’s very happy to see me, and I was ecstatic to see her. She loved her birthday swag.

I just played my first round of Buzztime for the morning. Didn’t get the first one, but got the next six to finish with 6,261 out of 7,000 possible (the games from 11 to 2 are only seven questions).

Super Bowl factoid: only one Super Bowl has been held on January 27. Many call it the best Super Bowl ever played. I think it’s highly overrated.

Super Bowl XXV was the first of four conescutive trips to the championship game for the Buffalo Bills. Their opponent, the New York Giants, won Super Bowl XXV four years prior.

Most of the experts predicted the Bills would win. More than a few predicted a rout. Buffalo was fresh off a 51-3 destruction of the Raiders at home in the AFC championship game, while the Giants had to travel across the country for the NFC championship game, where they won an exhausting battle against the two-time champion 49ers, 15-13. Immediately after the game in San Francisco, the Giants flew straight to Tampa, since there was no week off between the conference championship games and the Super Bowl.

My 14-year old brain differed greatly from the experts. The Giants, even without starting quarterback Phil Simms, who suffered season-ending foot injury in a regular season loss to the Bills in December, had the better team. It was not close on defense. Even though Buffalo had the best defensive end in football in 1990, Bruce Smith, New York had far more talent on that side of the ball, led by Lawrence Taylor, Carl Banks and Leonard Marshall. I also thought the Giants had a strong enough offensive line and ground attack to push the Bills around and keep Jim Kelly and Buffalo’s no-huddle offense off the field.

The Giants controlled the ball for 40 minutes, overcoming a 12-3 second quarter deficit. Buffalo had one last chance to win, but Scott Norwood’s 47-yard field goal attempt with five seconds left sailed wide right, allowing New York to escape with a 20-19 victory.

There was another Super Bowl which was originally scheduled for January 27, but it didn’t come to pass.

Super Bowl XXXVI, the Rams-Patriots game in New Orleans, was originally scheduled for January 27, 2002, but due to the September 11 terrorist attacks, the NFL postponed its week two games and pushed back the end of the regular season to January 6. The NFL did not want to compress its playoff schedule, and since it did not schedule a week off between the conference championship games and the Super Bowl, there was no way they could hold the game January 27 with the new schedule

The NFL rescheduled the Super Bowl for February 3, the first time any game other than the Pro Bowl would be played in February.

At first, it didn’t appear New Orleans would be able to host the Super Bowl on the new date. The weekend of February 1-3 was the first weekend of Carnival parades in the Big Easy, and the National Automobile Dealers Association scheduled its convention that weekend, and had booked nearly all of the prime hotel rooms.

To keep the Super Bowl in the Superdome, the NFL paid a hefty fee to the NADA to move its convention, and the Carnival parades were rescheduled to the weekend of January 25-27, the original weekend for the Super Bowl.

For those who weren’t old enough to watch Super Bowl XXXVI, or those who don’t know their football history, Tom Brady became a household name that day by leading a perfect two-minute drill which ended in Adam Vinatieri’s game-winning 48-yard field goal on the final play, which lifted the Patriots to an improbable 20-17 victory over a Rams team which won Super Bowl XXXIV two years prior and was called “The Greatest Show on Turf”.

Kurt Warner, the former Hy-Vee stocker who rose to superstardom when he led the Rams to the 1999 championship, would get back to the Super Bowl seven years after the loss to Brady and New England. Only this time, he would be wearing vastly different colors than the Rams’ blue and gold.

First Friday of 2015–last free one for a whille

The lines at the Hy-Vee at 95th and Antioch were long at 1:15 p.m. Guess everyone is out doing their weekly shopping, or in some cases, stocking up for the winter storm which is supposed to hit tomorrow. I hope it doesn’t, although if it does, I’m in a nice hotel with a full-service restaurant. Plus, I bought some sushi just in case I am stuck. I’ve got enough pop to make it through the week.

I’m going to have to horde some sushi before I go back to Russell. I doubt Dillon’s in Salina has it (the Dillon’s at 21st and Central in Wichita does), but it wouldn’t hurt to look.

I made it back to Buffalo Wild Wings a few minutes before 2. I sat in a booth in the dining room so Lisa could serve me. I was dozing off in the booth, which was very comfortable in comparison to the hard barstool I’ve been sitting on the last two days. Lisa didn’t get off until 12:30 this morning, and now will be working doubles back-to-back days. Plus, she’s battling a cough. Feel for her.

Well, I’m back on a barstool with Tori and Brittany behind the bar. I was so glad to see Alexandra Mullinax, whom I had not seen here in over two months, although I did see her for a minute when I visited in early December.

I’m going to watch Kansas State in the Alamo Bowl vs. UCLA, but after that, I probably had better cut out, because there could be freezing rain overnight, which could glaze the roads.

Tennessee is beating the pee out of Iowa in the TaxSlayer Bowl, formerly the Gator Bowl. A 6-6 beating a 7-5. WHOOOPEEE. Same thing earlier today, where 7-5 Houston beat 6-6 Pitt in the Armed Forces Bowl. In fact, of the four bowl games today, only K-State-UCLA is the only one where the teams don’t have at least five losses (both are 9-3).

Just another Thursday

New Year’s Day has basically been just like another Thursday when I’m in Kansas City. Not a bad thing.

After packing up my room at the Courtyard Marriott, I headed south to spend a couple of hours with Tori at the bar, but didn’t order food. Wasn’t feeling up to it.

Left a little after 1 for the Overland Park Marriott. I actually took a short nap in my car before going to check in, thinking my room would not be ready. However, the ladies at the front desk were waiting for me with my keys.

Spent almost an hour in the room, getting things set up and checking on a few things on the computer.

Took US 71 north from I-435 to I-29 for the trip back to Buffalo Wild Wings. The way I figure, I’ll spend enough time on I-635 going back and forth, and with today being a good day to drive, why not take the more scenic route?

I’ve been at the bar ever since arriving. Tori was still working until Brittany got there at 4. Lisa arrived at 4:30, immediately churning my stomach and getting me quite nervous. She is working in the dining room tonight, a departure for her, because she usually works the tables in the bar area, or more recently, as bartender.

Liz got there at 5 and immediately brightened my mood. I let her see her birthday present, Ralph Lauren Romance perfume. She loved it. Last week, she told me she didn’t have any perfume. Now, she not only has the birthday gift, but the Big Pony I gave her for Christmas.

I stlll haven’t eaten. I guess I’m going to have to soon. Brittany is swamped, but I figured she would be. The poor guy next to me tried to order takeout, but THREE TIMES, they brought it to him as if he was going to eat it here.

Ending well

At least the last day of 2014 has been far better than the previous three days. No crying, no raised voice, and a therapeutic post which has things back on track with one of my closest friends.

I came to Buffalo Wild Wings just after opening today. Tori Weber was behind the bar, and was ecstatic I showed up. My food bill was less than $8, but I let her keep the rest of the $20 I gave her.

I left for a little while to pick up Liz’s birthday gift from Dillard’s at Zona Rosa. I also made a stop at Bed, Bath and Beyond and bought Brittany’s fiance, Zach, a Royals Tervis Tumbler, since she was trying to use the Mizzou tumbler I bought her Monday. I also felt guilty I hadn’t gotten him anything for Christmas. He’s a good guy. He and Brittany are very happy together and will be for a very long time.

I wrote something to Liz on Facebook this evening. I told her she was one of the best friends I have ever had, one of the best friends anyone can ever ask for, and apologized for not trusting her, not believing much of the time that she wasn’t my friend, and assuming she didn’t have my back when she really did. She told me that we’ll be friends until we’re walking around with canes.

Made me feel much better. She’s made my life much better over the 18 months I’ve known her, and apparently, I’ve had the same effect on her. i never would have dreamed someone 17 years younger than me and living four hours away would have that kind of impact, but the Lord works in mysterious ways.

Brittany came in at 5. She was excited about the tumbler for Zach. She had her hair done for a New Year’s Eve party she and Zach were going to. It looked great.

I wrote something to Lisa on Facebook. It was a lot of the same things I wrote to Liz, only longer. I hope it works out. I would hate to see it end. However, if it does, I have nobody to blame but myself.

Brittany read it and loved it. She told me I’m always welcome and I need to keep coming back, because she loves it when I’m here. Very touching.

I was originally planning to leave at 8:30. I still might, but I might stay with Brittany until she gets off, just to be a good friend.

Tomorrow morning I have a decision to make: stay at the Courtyard and check out and stay at Overland Park for the remainder? I think the latter is the option, since it’s oly going to be $10 more per night. That, and I really want to try the Japanese steakhouse at the OP Marriott.

I’ve lost Lisa (and probably Liz)

I guess I’m the biggest sucker and/or glutton for punishment who ever lived. I have come back to Buffalo Wild Wings each of the past two days after making a total fool of myself Sunday. I’m shocked I’m still allowed in the restaurant, and I’m even more surprised anyone wants to be my friend.

December 28, 2014 will rank as one of the worst days of my life. Sure, there were other very bad days, but this one was far worse than the day Katrina flooded my family’s home, far worse than getting into any automobile accident, far worse than, well, just about anything.

The worst thing is, I could have prevented all of it if I would have thought things through and not had one of my patented explosions. All I had to do is wait patiently until a seat opened up at the bar, but no, I got panicky, I started raising my voice, and it got the last person on earth I wanted mad at me mad.

I really screwed up with Lisa Toebben. I really messed that up good. If she doesn’t want to be my friend anymore, it will devastate me to no end, but I understand where she’s coming from. She’s done nothing but be nice to me and this is the way I repay her by basically spitting in her eye? Is this the way I treat people? Sadly, it is, and I just keep repeating the same behavior over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over.

I’ve only known Lisa for ten months, but in that time, I’ve managed to fuck things up so bad I would not screw someone I’ve known ten times that long that many times. She’s a saint if she still wants to be my friend. I can understand if she does not, but  if she chooses the latter path, what good is my life? It’s not worth living.

I’ve also lost Liz forever, too, in all likelihood She witnessed all that went down Sunday night, and she was very angry with me, as she should have. Liz has put up with a lot from me, but I’m guessing this is the last straw.

Without LIsa and Liz, it might be time to cash in my chips and just go for it. Why bother living a life with two of the most important people n it? Besides, I’ve already alienated so many people, the list is so long it would take me two books to fill.

Monday night at Buffalo Wild Wings was quiet, but LIsa and Liz were not there. I thought LIsa was there when I got there this afternoon, because I saw her boyfriend, Jeff Daniels (AKA THE LUCKIEST MAN ON THE FACE OF PLANET EARTH) (sorry Lou Gehrig). Fortunately, she was not, and I was able to sit down. But I fear if she and/or Liz are here, I’m gong to have to leave.

I’ve fucked up the two most important relationships I have right now. Let me repeat: I’ve fucked up the two most important relationships I have right now. Again: I’ve fucked up the two most important relationships I have right now.. Why bother?

Sunday morning

I didn’t spend very long away from Buffalo Wild Wings, although my body tried to fight me from leaving in time to get there in time for opening at 11 a.m.

Fortunately, it takes me only 15 minutes to get showered, shaved and dressed, even though my shaving routine is longer than most men. I actually got there a few minutes early.

I’m at a different table in the dining room right now, but that’s because I wanted Rue-Jean Klapproth to serve me. She’s incredibly sweet. She took care of me Tuesday and I was totally impressed.

Lisa is working a double today and I promised I would sit with her at the bar when she begins her bartending shift at 5. Liz is scheduled to work tonight, but if she was able to switch with someone, it would not upset me. I heard she and Sean were here until after 2 this morning.

I’ve got some writing to do tonight and tomorrow, but it should not keep me from getting to Buffalo Wild Wings by 4:30 in order to play sports trivia at 7. After getting that done, I should be free and clear until the first events start back up Jan. 6.

This is the last Sunday of 2014. Where has the time flown?