Happy In Bag

Friday, November 30, 2007

Cerner Job Application

Hey, Cerner! You're killing me. Why in the name of Arthur Bryant am I filling out duplicate forms at a major medical facility in your own backyard? I figured that in late 2007 the need for superfluous paperwork would be gone. Seriously, I had to specify seven different times yesterday that I had no drug allergies. So let me know if you're interested in hiring a gimpy but aggressive salesman. Believe me, I'm motivated to sell your systems.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

I'm Beginning To Smell the Coffee

Happy In Bag readers rely on me to bring them cutting edge information and opinions. So steel yourself for this shocking revelation- our medical system is broken. I don't want to come across as an angry pedagogue or as an annoying crybaby, so I'll spare you the details of the mind-numbingly slow and breathtakingly expensive initial steps to repair my damaged knee. The process is so awful that I'm suddenly tempted to do the unthinkable.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Retro Happy In Bag

That towhead is Happy In Bag boarding the bus for his first day of kindergarten. It was the beginning of almost a decade of fun and success. High school became a different matter entirely. Note the Toughskins dungarees, my confident stride and the open field across the street from my home. The living was easy.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007


Even as I become more nimble on crutches, the most rudimentary situations still require absurd amounts of strategy. Extricating myself from a toilet seat, scaling stairs and retreiving an object from the floor become rudimentary ballets executed only after tremendous forethought. And it hurts.

Monday, November 26, 2007

If Loving You Is Wrong

A couple of my cynical associates have dared to suggest that the knee injury I sustained Thanksgiving afternoon is somehow connected my carousing at a National Guard Armory earlier that day. I resent the implication. Here are a few of my pictures from the event. Jason captures the scene with a representative video.

Friday, November 23, 2007


It's with great sadness that I announce that my football career has ended. The dehabilitating injury sustained to my left knee while playing backyard football Thanksgiving afternoon leaves me no choice but to permanently hang up the pads. While my future remains uncertain, it will almost certainly entail the pursuit of Oxycodone. I've discovered that the magicial substance cam make even severe pain seem irrelevent.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

What Happened To Us?

There's nothing new about profanity. Humans have been talking a blue streak since Adam tasted the apple. Only in the last five years, however, has vulgarity become part of mainstream culture. Turn on the radio or television and a torrent of once-offensive words will soon follow. Newspapers aren't entirely innocent either. Blogs are notoriously offensive, but it's the coarseness of push media outlets that most alarms me. Go ahead and call me "granny." I'll call you member of the Idiocracy.

Monday, November 19, 2007


I realize that thousands of layoffs have recently been announced by major Johnson County employers. Even so, isn't a tumbleweed rolling down Metcalf Avenue a bit of overkill? Maybe things are worse than I thought.

Friday, November 16, 2007

In Polite Company

Just because I don't write about politics in this forum doesn't mean I don't harbor strong opinions. I recognize that the world doesn't need another bloviating know-it-all. I tune into C-SPAN the way many people study ESPN. So the debates between presidential rivals are my idea of supreme entertainment. And yes- I feel dirty.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

I'm Not Your Little Monkey

Healthy living isn't everything it's cracked up to be. As I drop weight and eat my vegetables, I feel "iffy" at best. Meanwhile, I'm irritating friends and colleagues (even more than usual) with my heightened level of tension. This primate at the Kansas City Zoo reflects my current self-image.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Direct Hit

While I maintain a jazz site, I believe it's been a while since I've mentioned a very important aspect of my life. I love rock and roll. Great times.

Monday, November 12, 2007


Because I prefer taverns to cafes, I never feel entirely comfortable in establishments like Westport CoffeeHouse. The unspoken protocol of the coffee culture eludes me. I just don't get it. Or maybe I'm looking for something that's not there. And if that's the case, I'm relieved that I'm not missing anything.

Friday, November 09, 2007


Waterfowl feast on fish and amphibians. Footprints of racoons and opossums dot the creek bank. The forest abounds with indigenous plants. The most amazing aspect of this bucolic scene is that it abuts eastbound traffic on I-435 in Overland Park. As with much of life in the Kansas City area- and life anywhere, I suppose- things aren't always as they initially seem. Look a little closer.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Ground Control

Did you spot Discovery on its trek a few miles overhead Wednesday morning? The close encounter with the space shuttle provided a cheap thrill, but I was left with a hollow feeling when the craft touched down in Florida a few minutes later. The first manned lunar landing provided one of my first memories. As a child I assumed that space tourism would become a reality in my lifetime. I spent a lot of time daydreaming about zero gravity and moon colonies. I hope today's kids get to experience what's been denied to my generation.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Meta On Metcalf

To paraphrase an old gag, I spent two weeks stuck on Metcalf yesterday morning. The construction just north of 435 paralyzed traffic. And the infamously slow stoplight at 75th backed up vehicles for several blocks. You'd think I'd learn to avoid the commercial avenue, but Metcalf repeatedly lures me like a siren song.

Monday, November 05, 2007


Although I've never even been inside a room at what's currently the Marriott hotel downtown, it's one of the most important sites of my so-called professional life. The vast majority of my employers have been based out of town; many of them choose to stay at this location when they visit Kansas City. More often than not, I begin and end my meetings with my contacts in this informal lobby lounge. I wonder if things would have gone better if I'd suggested Hotel Phillips?

Friday, November 02, 2007

Brush Off

Because my current tube is almost empty, I'm in the market for toothpaste. And my search has been futile. I don't want a product that promises to whiten my teeth, walk my dog or increase my energy. Incredibly, a basic version of a seemingly rudimentary consumer staple doesn't seem to exist.

Thursday, November 01, 2007


Sell your Burger King Corporation stock. I won't be ordering my usual Double Bacon Homestyle Melt for breakfast. Boulevard Brewery should decrease production. Pale Ale doesn't have a place in my annual health bender between Halloween and Thanksgiving. When I punished a dusty scale this morning, I was relieved to discover that I was still safely under the Mendoza Line. The six pounds I intend to shed over the next three weeks aren't even a third of what I could stand to lose, but I'm not prepared to make a serious commitment. The payoff comes when I wear my fancy pants to see Millie Jackson at the National Guard Armory on Thanksgiving, where I'll get reaquainted with alcohol and grease.