Happy In Bag

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Bacon Strips

A snapshot I took at The American Royal gives me an excuse to weigh in on the crisis du jour. Pigs are delicious. They're also revolting. Spending even a few minutes in the presence of swine makes religion-based dietary restrictions seem entirely reasonable.

Cross Check

I couldn't even tell you who's left in the NHL playoffs. Even so, I'm excited about the construction of the Independence Events Center. Visible from I-70, the building will host a minor league hockey team, high school basketball games and concerts. I can't wait to walk through this entrance without fear of being arrested for trespassing.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

That's Funny!

I didn't buy a ticket for Larry the Cable Guy's performance last night. But don't think I'm above his lowbrow brand of Southern humor. I grew up thinking that Justin Wilson and Andy Griffith were sophisticated comedians. Maybe that's why basic human pratfalls reduce me to gales of inappropriate laughter. I find the slow-motion-style falls of inebriated people particularly hysterical.

Friday, April 24, 2009


I don't use air conditioning in my car. Consequently, I spend much of the summer swimming in perspiration. My hair is a joke. I don't expect others to drive with their windows down. That's their business. But the weather was ideal a couple days ago. I couldn't help noticing that about half of my fellow drivers were celebrating so-called Earth Day sealed inside their cars.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


I knew it! Four Corners is a fraud. I suspected as much when I visited the site last month. It was recently revealed that the desolate, flea-bitten tourist trap is in the wrong location. The geographic intersection of Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Utah is 2.5 miles away. In fact, the actual spot is probably the source of the rancid smoke behind the windblown, effeminate fat man.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Address Unknown

"Hey man!" the doorman at the bar exclaimed. "I've been trying to locate you for ten years." While I was glad to reconnect with my old coworker last week, I was baffled by his assertion. Hasn't he heard of Google? Just when I start to think that the entire planet is wired, I'm reminded that a few of my peers remain defiantly off the grid. One old friend communicates with me exclusively by postcard. I scarcely know how to respond.

Thursday, April 16, 2009


You'd think that twenty-four dollars would buy the best breakfast experience in Kansas City. Instead, I spent that much on a frustrating meal for two at the new Cupini's location at 95th and Mission. The well-intentioned but discombobulated service resulted in a series of agonizing delays. Our entrees, for instance, were late because "the cook forgot how we make omelettes." A codger at the next table's borderline racist recap of the previous day's "tea party" at Johnson County Community College only served to heighten my misery.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Behind the State

As I waited for my number to be called at the DMV this week, I had plenty of time to reassess my longstanding antipathy of government agencies. They're inherently inefficient and wasteful. Yet when my turn to write a check finally came, I encountered a friendly clerk. Her humanity reminded me that our government is not evil. It's just inevitably incompetent. That's why I don't relate to hysterical freaks on the right or the left.

Monday, April 13, 2009


I've come to associate holiday gatherings with inevitable taunting from friends and family about Plastic Sax. I don't consider my passion for jazz perverse or strange, yet it inspires relentless ridicule. "Who cares?" I do. "Why don't you focus on something more viable?" Well, I love hip hop but no one else is doing what I do with jazz. "Why do you regularly go negative?" The truth must be told. "Isn't jazz boring?" Not to me.

Friday, April 10, 2009

A Different Field of Dreams

I've been to Arthur Bryant's hundreds of times. Yet until yesterday I'd never stopped four blocks north of the restaurant to see the site of Kansas City's Municipal Stadium. It's possible that I attended a Chiefs or Royals game at the stadium, but I would have been too young to retain any memory of it. A smattering of houses now occupy the site. How cool would it be to live in the midst of those ghosts?

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Not Fat

I feel so good that it's churlish to pout. Even so, I'm disappointed that I've lost only ten pounds after six arduous weeks of strenuous exercise and extreme dieting. I was hoping to drop twice that amount. Hitting my goal would hardly have made me skinny, but I'd no longer be lumped into the fat guy category. My scale will disappear on Sunday. I miss my magic potion.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009


I once thought the drive between Lawrence and Kansas City was a significant journey. These days, a spontaneous whim will inspire me to navigate K-10. Maybe the new development along the road makes the trip seem shorter. Or it could be that life itself is speeding up.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Brahms Gets the Ax

"Let's try to keep each other awake," one matron told another before Friday night's performance at The Lyric Theater. Many in the audience displayed a disconcerting lack of enthusiasm for the program of Brahms and Beethoven. Rather than being inspired by the music presented by The Kansas City Symphony, they attended out of a sense of civic obligation and for the opportunity for social engagement. The performance? I've never cared for Brahms, but Emanuel Ax was splendid. Beethoven's compelling Pastoral Symphony was impeccably rendered.

Thursday, April 02, 2009


What series of nightmarish calamities would need to transpire to instigate rioting on the mean streets of Prairie Village? Food shortages? A complete stock market collapse? An untreatable outbreak of dandelions? Please forgive my outburst. I'm rereading Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four. It's coloring my perception of the G-20 meetings in London and other current events. (I took this photograph of a peaceful London protest in 2008.)

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

See Monkeys?

Every kid eventually becomes acclimated to the bitter taste of disappointment. The back pages of Boy's Life provided me with several relatively harmless lessons. I'd scrutinize the magazine's compelling advertisements hawking animal traps, hovercraft, stamps and Sea Monkeys. "You'll think they're almost human! Or maybe not.