Happy In Bag

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Frozen Cherry Mash

I've been known to occasionally enjoy a frozen Cherry Mash but Saturday's storm isn't what I had in mind. I stayed home Chicken Little-style and watched ice and snow slowly coat my world. I was particularly concerned for this blossoming cherry tree. It survived. It's as if nothing ever happened.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Don't Jump!

The gallows humor prevalent at the edge of The Grand Canyon delighted me. "Just make sure she doesn't have the car keys in her pocket before she falls," went one typical joke. A five-part photographic diary of my spring break trip is now complete at Hit Random.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Trouble In Taos

Taos didn't work for me but I gained a new appreciation for Thomas Kinkade. Travel sure is educational! I've added second and third segments to my road trip recap.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Road Trip Recap

I'm recounting my spring break trip at Hit Random. As I look at the first installment, I'm filled with deep affection for the state of Kansas. Its relatively modest beauty allows me to more fully appreciate the rest of the world.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Sooners In Love

My week-long vacation ended with an afternoon of March Madness at the Sprint Center. It was easy to feel like a tourist while surrounded by boosters from Maryland, Memphis, Michigan and Oklahoma. I loved seeing a few of my favorite players- Greivis Vasquez, Pierre Henderson-Niles, Robert Dozier and Blake Griffin- in person. The latter is the most magical college player I've witnessed since Marcus Fizer dominated the Big 12.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Jonny Flynn

Six overtimes! Just because my team was already eliminated in the Big 12 tournament doesn't mean I didn't relish Syracuse's six-overtime upset of Connecticut yesterday. I witnessed the Orangemen's Jonny Flynn beat Kansas four months ago at Sprint Center. His play so impressed me that November night that I took this photo of the Sprinter Center scoreboard.

I'm off to create some March Madness of my own for a week.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Rock Chalk Quiet

I just watched the Kansas-Baylor Big 12 tournament quarterfinals game in a packed Westport bar. KU's passionate supporters groaned with exasperation as the Jayhawks stumbled. They went wild when the reigning national champions briefly rallied. Something most peculiar happened when the final buzzer sounded. A deafening silence overcame the bar and the streets of Westport. The unnatural hush was even quieter than a Sunday morning sunrise.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Rabbit Ears

Until a few months ago I held a part-time job that put me in regular contact with impoverished elderly people who were desperately afraid they'd soon be without a television signal. For many of these sad cases, a life without Wheel of Fortune is unimaginable. I'd grit my teeth and do my best to explain the federal government's television converter box coupon program. My sympathy for the old folks stood in stark contrast to my opinion of the political pandering and systematic ineptness that needlessly caused an absurd amount of anguish.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

See the World

I attended the ambitiously titled "Travel, Adventure & Culinary Expo" at the Overland Park International Trade Center yesterday. I figured that even if money's too tight for a trip to Rio, Sydney or Seoul, at least I could do some glamorous window shopping. It was disappointing to discover that most of the exhibitors were hawking RVs, campers and regional destinations like McPherson, Topeka and Oklahoma City. It's just as well- that might be all I can manage this year. Get ready, home of the throwed rolls- here I come!

Friday, March 06, 2009

Smells Like Beer

The musty aroma of coffee has long delighted passerby in downtown Kansas City. I've been known to linger on 8th Street just so I can bask in that scent. I've recently discovered an even better Kansas City smell. On warm days the air around Boulevard's brewery smells like fresh beer. Delicious!

Thursday, March 05, 2009

God Loves Ugly

What's in a name? I recently discovered that the day drinkers at Ugly Joe's are, in fact, rather unattractive. I overheard this witty repartee between a couple of smokers as I entered the Watts Mill establishment earlier this week. "Did ya know you got a big honker hangin' out your nose!" "Which hole?" I immediately knew I'd fit right in.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009


I observe Lent by abstaining from alcohol. For over a decade I've experienced annual booze-friendly events including spring training, opening day, SXSW, St. Patrick's Day, spring break and March Madness without a drop of liquor. I usually don't think much about it until Easter nears. It's different in 2009. Helplessly watching the world's economy collapse, I've already felt a strong desire to gulp shots of Maker's Mark. And I don't even drink whiskey. It's going to be a long forty days.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Ice Ice Baby

Downtown was hopping Saturday night. I had to park five blocks away from my destination. Navigating the icy sidewalks and battling the bitter cold wasn't a big deal. I'm just a kid. Don't laugh- I was at least a decade younger than the median age of the audience. As I looked into the anguished faces of the aged I could see that the evening's inclement conditions had taken a heavy toll. Let's relocate Kansas City to Arizona.