Happy In Bag

Wednesday, September 30, 2009


In spite of what a few foes might say about me, I am not a slacker. Need proof? I've been inside Buzzard Beach only a handful of times. The Westport tavern, or so it's always seemed to me, is a haven for people who have managed not to take life too seriously. I'm not dismissing the establishment's regulars. I'm jealous. I stopped by for a beer the other night. This is the view from the deck.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Things Ain't What They Used To Be

I'd like to think that I'm more interested in tomorrow than in yesterday. Looking back is a losing proposition. So I generally welcome the fact that "Things Ain't What They Used To Be". A recent visit to my old stomping grounds at the southwest corner of 75th and Troost, however, made me momentarily blue.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Stay Clean

I like to bodysurf for hours on end when I make it out to the Pacific Ocean. It's a liberating experience for this Kansan. Inevitably, however, I'm distracted by something on the beach and a rogue wave takes me under.

I'm flipped topsy-turvy and my head is repeatedly battered against the ocean bed. I know that I must find the surface to survive but a malicious undertow holds me under. When I finally crawl back to the shore my ears are ringing and I'm vomiting seawater. It's excruciating but exhilarating. Full immersion in a Motorhead concert is much the same. It's like a painful ritual cleansing. Thursday night at the Midland Theater was no different.

Some people get colon cleansings. I go to Motorhead concerts.

(Cross-post from There Stands the Glass.)

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Lost In Translation

I'm suspicious when people and institutions go out of their way to articulate concepts that should be implicitly understood. Here's how I translate three irksome slogans. "The Friendliest Place In Town" means "We're really working on minimizing our employees' use of profanity." "Celebrate Diversity" bumper stickers mean "I'm unaccountably uncomfortable with the color of my skin and with my personal faith." A "Coexist" t-shirt means "It's really important that everyone know I'm not racist."

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Looking For a Soft Place To Fall

Even after the mildest summer in memory the advent of fall is still welcome. The chill in the air means that my annual season of sweat is at an end. Baseball playoffs and football promise plenty of good times. The sole downside to this perfect period is that I'll soon be collecting these gorgeous leaves.

Monday, September 21, 2009


The first sign of trouble as I went to bed last night was a disconcerting rumble in my stomach. I was soon overcome by nausea, intestinal difficulties and a cold sweat. My tear ducts emitted what felt like crushed ice. That symptom actually felt wonderful. My body was determined to expel a poison. But what? Only when I reviewed the ingredients of the dinner I'd prepared hours earlier did I settle on the culprit. I remembered that I'd tossed in a perishable item that had once gone a night without refrigeration. It's gone now.

Friday, September 18, 2009


Twice as expensive. Twice as tasty. That's my take on seasonal honeycrisp apples. A good one has precisely the right size, texture and flavor. The small luxury is well worth its price.

Monday, September 14, 2009

The Gray-Crowned Rubberneck

Much fuss has been made lately about the dangers of texting while driving. I can usually resist that temptation but I am utterly unable to avoid taking my eyes off the road every time I drive past water. I'm looking for birds. It seems like every pond, stream and lake in the area hosts at least one egret or heron. I don't care that they're common. My heart leaps every time I sight one.

Friday, September 11, 2009

KC's Bluesmobile

I've long appreciated White Hat Mike's old-school approach as a disc jockey. His unbridled enthusiasm and infectious sincerity set him apart. Until today, however, I didn't know about his car. I love the music of James Brown and Johnnie Taylor too, but I'm not about to inscribe their names on the side of my sedan.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Emerald City

Residents of the Kansas City area won't be surprised to learn that it's raining as I type these words. The summer of 2009 has been most unusual. I don't recall the season ever being so wet and so relatively cool. The result is an overwhelming sea of green.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Here's To You, Irish Fest

Music emanating from Ireland doesn't instinctively grab me and Crown Center isn't my favorite place. Even so, the Kansas City Irish Festival is the most reliably fun annual event in the region. It's more than the unbeatable trifecta of music, beer and God. The logistical triumph it represents awes me. As always, nice job- now get to work on 2010!

Friday, September 04, 2009

Hitting the Gas

"What an enormous parking lot!" That's the first thing that struck me on my initial visit to the Gaslight Grill. Situated in the substantial shadow cast by Leawood megachurch COR, the restaurant was doing brisk business Wednesday. As I indicate at Plastic Sax, however, I didn't dine. I was there for the wacky Dixieland band.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009


I realize it's heretical to admit in these parts, but I"m tiring of barbecue sauce. Sure, I still regularly wolf down beef on bun and short ends, but I no longer drown every other food item with Gates or Bryant's. My preferred condiment is now chili garlic sauce. The sweet and spicy stuff compliments almost everything.