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Ending a long silence, take 32

I haven’t posted anything in too long. I had something terrible happen to me the afternoon of August 10, about five hours after I arrived at home following my latest trip to Kansas City. The drive from Kansas City to Russell was smooth, but after that, my life descended into deep hell.

I cried almost all throughout my session with Crista the next day. My eyes were red as, ironically, I stopped in at Dr. Jones’ office to pick up my contact lenses and get a pair of reading glasses, because I’ve been having trouble seeing small print up close. The reading glasses have helped, but I still made an appointment for this coming Thursday, the 25th, to check out my prescription.

I went off my sleep machine for a couple of nights. I was going to go off my meds, too, but Dr. Custer kicked my tail a bit when I saw her the day after my appointment with Crista. I agreed for her to go back on my meds and sleep machine.

Now I have a problem with the sleep machine. Not the machine itself, but the mask. There are way too many straps to keep up with. I am seriously considering a full face mask. The nasal mask is nice, but I might feel better with a different one. My health insurance will pay for it.

I had another session with Crista this past Wednesday. Told her I’m scared about what might be coming, but she also told me that I needed to see Catilyn play her first match on the 30th. Norton’s home playing Hill City and Ellis, which is good for me, since I will get to see someone else I don’t see enough, Linda Nighswonger, who coaches the Ringnecks. I also need to see Peggy, obviously.

Dawn Amos’ birthday was last Sunday. I feel bad I couldn’t go to Kansas City to see her. I promised Robb I would come back soon, hopefully next week. I can’t go Thursday due to my appointments, but Tuesday is a possibility. I won’t be able to on Tuesdays until late October if I want to see Caitlyn play.

Speaking of birthdays, a very important one is next Friday. I’ll explain in an upcoming post.

I’ve been watching The O.C. way too much. Today is a very good day to be watching, as the man who gave us Sandy Cohen, Peter Gallagher, turns 61. He looks fabulous. Hard to believe yesterday marked the 27th anniversary of the nationwide premiere of Sex. Lies and Videotape, which starred Gallagher, Andie MacDowell, Laura San Giacomo and James Spader. The movie was shot in Baton Rouge in late 1988, a year after another film, Everybody’s All-American, was filmed in Louisiana’s capital.

Today, Baton Rouge is a real-life horror movie. Most of the city and surrounding area is reeling from devastating floods which have left 13 dead and tens of thousands homeless. It will go down as one of the worst non-hurricane natural disasters in Louisiana’s history.

Livingston Parish, east of Baton Rouge along Interstate 12, was hit much worse than the big city. Denham Springs, the largest community in Livingston, was swamped. Schools in Denham Springs won’t open until at least late September, and Denham Springs High may be closed until mid-October. I once covered a basketball game there. The hometown Yellow Jackets bombed Baton Rouge Catholic 85-59, shooting 60 percent from the field.

Another place I’m familiar with which was badly flooded was St. Amant, a tight-knit community in southeastern Ascension Parish, about 40 minutes south of where I used to live in Baton Rouge. I saw an aerial photo of St. Amant High, and it was completely underwater. The Pit, the football stadium at St. Amant Primary, fared no better. I spent many a Friday night at The Pit, including one where O. Perry Walker of New Orleans gained 707 yards and LOST. Twenty-one penalties for 182 yards and a defense which gave up 51 points will do that.

I am sick and tired of the Olympics. SICK AND TIRED. Come Monday morning, the world will be a better place. No more Olympics until the 2018 Winter Games, and no more summer crap until 2020. And hopefully Ryan Lochte and his pals will never be heard from again.

The O.C. at 11

NOTE: This post will be expanded later. 

Eleven years ago tonight, The O.C. premiered on Fox. I wasn’t watching. However, I have now become addicted to that show, so much so that I’ll often travel with my DVD collection so I can watch in my hotel room if nothing in particular interests me on television. I used to use another laptop and play it through the DVD player on the machine, but now that I have a Blu-Ray, it’s easy to plug in the HDMI cable.

I first started watching The O.C. by accident. I was watching SoapNet in the summer of 2009 for reruns of Beverly Hills 90210, and The O.C. happened to come on with back-to-back episodes at noon and 1 p.m. Rather than turn the channel, I just stayed with it, and then with One Tree Hill at 2 and 3. That was the summer I was recuperating from the kidney stone and urinary tract infection which sent me to the ER at St. Luke’s Northland in Kansas City, so I was spending lots of time at home.

By the end of 2009, I had The O.C. DVD collector’s set, and I was watching as much as possible. I pretty much knew every character’s story by heart, and I knew a lot more about the actors on the show, especially Peter Gallagher, who played the iconic father/public defender/moral center, Sandy Cohen.

I found out Peter starred in sex, lies and videotape, a 1989 classic which made a star out of Andie MacDowell. The movie was shot in Baton Rouge, where of course I went to school at LSU and lived for a time after graduation.

Peter is also a talented singer, and he showed that off during a season two episode when Sandy serenaded Kirsten (Kelly Rowan) at an anniversary party. His daughter, Megan, appears on her way to singing stardom as well.

Sandy Cohen is the type of father every boy and girl would wish for, and every man a lady would want to marry. He was morally centered, but he would go out of his way to do anything for those he cared about most. He hardly lost his temper at his family, and never would dream of resorting to physical harm. He set firm rules for Seth and Ryan, but he let them have their freedom and learn life’s lessons on their own. His marriage to Kirsten had its rocky moments, especially when old flame Rebecca Bloom reappeared in season two, but Sandy took his vows seriously, no matter how much father-in-law Caleb Nichol belittled him and considered him unworthy of marrying his daughter.

The character would not have worked without the right actor, and Peter brought so much to the table. It’s shame he wasn’t nominated for an Emmy for playing Sandy. He is worthy of such accolades. I hope his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame is coming.

Good looking dude

The FIFA World Cup final is scoreless with only three minutes remaining in regulation. Barring a late rush, Germany and Argentina are heading for 30 minutes of extra time, which would mark the fourth time since 1994 the championship match of the world’s most watched sporting event–sorry, Olympics; no dice, Super Bowl–will be heading to at least extra time. Two of the previous three matches to reach extra time, Brazil-Italy in 1994 and Italy-France in 2006, went to the shootout. In 2010, Spain scored in extra time to oust the Netherlands.

A few minutes ago, ESPN’s cameras showed German manager Joachim Low. He looks mighty dapper in his navy blue or black button-down shirt and grey slacks, a departure from the wardrobe of many managers, who wear a suit or a sportcoat and tie on the sideline, the tradition in the NBA and NHL. American manager Jurgen Kilnsmann has adopted the American football coaching standard of a polo shirt and khaki pants. Of course, nobody would dare wear a uniform. It would look silly in almost any sport, but in baseball, it would seem out of place if a coach DIDN”T wear a uniform.

Low is a doppelganger for the legendary actor and singer Peter Gallagher, who gained fame with the younger generation beginning in August 2003 when The O.C. premiered. Gallagher played the legendary Sandy Cohen, the morally grounded public defender who took in Ryan Atwood, the troubled young man from Chino who happened to be a client when Ryan and older brother Trey were arrested for grand theft auto in the series premiere.  Gallagher is a native New Yorker, and Cohen was portrayed as growing up in the Bronx, but whereas Cohen was Jewish, Gallagher is Catholic. Strangely enough, I happen to be going through my annual summer review of The O.C. right now, although I’ve paused for the World Cup final, and I have once again enjoyed watching Gallagher do his thing as Sandy. And let’s not forget the other actors on The O.C., especially Ben McKenzie as Ryan and my personal favorite, Kelly Rowan as Kirsten Cohen. As much as I liked One Tree Hill, I wonder what might have been had One Tree Hill ended after high school and The O.C. gone on.

Of the actors on The O.C., three have gone on to other well-known series: Gallagher in Covert Affairs, McKenzie in Southland, and Rachel Bilson in Hart of Dixie. By contrast, only one OTH alum has been a series regular, Sophia Bush in Chicago P.D., although Hilarie Burton had a memorable turn on White Collar. Bethany Joy Lenz, where are you?

Extra time is underway in Rio de Janeiro. I’ll stop for now.

Feeling ponderous

Once I got up and around, Wednesday turned out to be pretty good.

The car service was routine, although the technician told me I would need new tires by the end of this year. I told him I would probably be back in September or October. I’m thinking no later than October 10.

I thought about making a diversion before going to Buffalo Wild Wings, but I ended up instead going straight there, arriving just before 2. Good decision. Got to spend the early part of the day talking with a lot of the staff I know, since it was pretty quiet in there. In fact, it got so quiet that by 4 p.m., I was the only person sitting in the dining area. There were a few more people on the bar side. It picked up later, but there was never a time where people had to wait. I expected it to be quiet today because (a) there were no World Cup matches played; today was an off day and (b) the Royals played at noon in Minnesota. The sports fare tonight was pretty weak, because there were three other Major League games (Brewers-Blue Jays, Reds-Padres, Indians-Dodgers) which were played in the afternoon.

Liz had the day off, but a few of my other favorites were there. One in particular, Brittany, really likes me. She hugs me every time she sees me, which I really appreciate. Made my day today.

The food tonight was awesome. I had two of Buffalo Wild Wings’ new menu items, the marghertia flatbread and the chicken street tacos, which have southwest ranch, pico de gallo and cilantro. I ordered my tacos tonight with extra cilantro. Caleb Nichol, the cantankerous father of Kirsten Cohen on The O.C., hated cilantro.

Alan Dale, who portrayed Caleb, is a tremendous actor. He really did a great job with the character for two seasons. He and the actress who played Kirsten, Kelly Rowan, are not from the United States. Dale is from New Zealand, and Rowan is from Ottawa. The third foreigner in the cast was Mischa Barton (Marissa Cooper), who is a native Brit.

Peter Gallagher (Sandy Cohen) and Ben McKenzie (Ryan Atwood) are from New York City and Austin, respectively. The only member of The O.C. cast who grew up in the Los Angeles area was Melinda Clarke (Julie Cooper), who is from Dana Point. Rachel Bilson, who portrayed the iconic Summer Roberts, is from San Diego.

Coincidentally, the actress who plays Peter Gallagher’s wife on his current show, Covert Affairs, is also a Canadian. Kari Matchett is a proud native of Saskatchewan.

Enough about The O.C.  At least for this post, anyway.

I was challenged a few times playing Buzztime today, but nothing really serious until the very last game. I was behind for only one question TOTAL in nine rounds of Countdown, the 15-question general trivia game which is played in 30-minute blocks. I didn’t have a spectacular score, but quite a few over 11,000 and 12,000, still pretty darn good.

I was waiting for 7 p.m., because that’s when one of my favorite Buzztime games, Six, was played. Six refers to the number of categories: science, geography, TV/movies, arts/music, history and sports/games.  I was challenged by ENICK, a regular who had a pretty high Countdown score Saturday night after I left for the hotel, but tonight, it wasn’t close. I ended up with over 54,000, which is my fourth best score all-time for Six, and third in the past 12 months at Buffalo Wild Wings Zona Rosa. My highest Six score of all-time, 62,384, was posted at the Buffalo Wild Wings in Derby, which is south of Wichita, last September. It ended up being #2 in the nation that evening. One of the ladies playing against me was amazed and told me so.

The only game I ended up not winning is Lexitopia, which is played Wednesdays at 8:15. It’s 10 questions about esoteric words. Nobody will know I didn’t win, because the person who beat me is not registered with the Buzztime website, meaning his score only counts in his mind and on the leaderboard for the location only. Nobody else looking, including RONDO, will know I didn’t win unless they read my blog.

Tomorrow is my last full day in Kansas City, at least for this time. I’m heading back to Russell on Friday to eat Fourth of July lunch with my parents at the home. I’ve really enjoyed Buffalo Wild Wings and all the people there, but I can’t wait to get home and eat my mother’s cooking and good sandwiches. I’m smuggling at least four loaves of the sourdough bread from the Kansas City Bread Company back to the west, because it’s the best bread I”ve ever had. I can eat regular wheat okay, but I really prefer sourd0ough and rye.

I just realized I have to find a Buffalo Wild Wings Monday. Since I got the national high score on Buzztime’s The Pulse Monday, my achievement will be displayed following the first question next Monday.