Friday, March 23, 2007

A Thursday - Go Jayhawks!

Wow. I thought Oiler fever 11 months ago was hot. The folks in Topechka were at the local sports bars well over an hour before tip-off. Luckily my fellow co-worker arrived earlier to get us a table. Now consider this.... yours truly currently leads the officepool in the NCAA b-ball tourney.

You see, I've been a North Carolina Tarheels fan since 1982 when Michael Jordan shot that classic hoop to win the title with teammate James Worthy and legendary coach, Dean Smith (who I found out was from Topeka itself! That's really good trivia to know to make sure you don't get your ass kicked when you say you like the Tarheels. Trust me.)

Update: I ended up 3rd in the office pool due to UNC being knocked out in the Elite 8 by Georgetown.

Monday, March 19, 2007

A Zen Day

The day after St. Paddy's Day, I took a drive around KC, specifically in Overland Park (OP) and headed to The Plaza, an area with shops and restaurants constructed and decorated in a Spanish style beauty. A creek with a promenade and bridges runs along the South side with brick condos dominating the view.

It was a warm day, so I parked my vehicle and took a walk around.

I went to Barnes & Noble bookstore to look for a book on Buddhism--a recent interest of mine. I was about to buy one when I thought I'd check out the magazine rack. There I found "What is Enlightenment?" magazine which featured a study on the various theories of evolution, the lastest "Astronomy" magazine which talked about black holes, and "Triangle - A Buddhist Review" magazine which is proving to be excellent.
I then ended up at a clothing store and found a Bonzai tree growing kit. (I followed the instructions and was supposed to see some growth after six weeks. I'm typing this six weeks later and nothin'.) Regardless, I was excited about having a little friend in my apartment.
So I walk out of the store and turn left down the sidewalk and there they were, two Buddhist monks fully robed, walking my way.

I then thought I should go read these magazines, so I walked down to the creek and sat on a bench and read. It was a peaceful moment. I thought about what it would be like to live in Kansas City. I think I would enjoy it.
On my drive out, I followed the creek southwest which turned into a wide boulevard park and huge beautiful houses on either side. This went on and on and I realized that this was a large affluent area, and then now I thought I could definitely live here.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

St. Patrick's Day in Kansas City

After getting in some practice Guinness the night before at O'Dooley's, in the morning, I zipped an hour East to KC to meet up with my buddy Chasmo to go check out the big ass Kansas City St. Patrick's Day Parade. And let me tell you ... this was the biggest craziest parade I have ever seen. Every single Irish clan had their own float, and some of the floats were HUGE!

After about an hour and a half we headed down to the trendy Westport area and whadda ya know, a massive beer gardens broke out!

I saw someone wearing a Canadian Olympic jacket, but after talking to them, found out she wasn't Canadian, but knew someone from Calgary (booo!).

Chas and I then grabbed some BBQ and went to another Irish pub nearer to Overland Park (south of KC). Now there was some crazy fun band playing and the bar was packed. It was one nutty night!

St. Practice Day

Well, at Frances O'Dooley's Irish pub in Topeka -- the BEST Irish pub in the world by the way, Rich "The Irish Rebel" (see pic) played and sang on a night titled "St. Practice Day". Yes, that would be March 16th. It was good to see the Topechka Gang again--a great night was had by all. The best part was counting down to St. Patrick's Day.

Just like Christmas, eh?

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

First trip back home

Flights of Fancy

For the first ten days in March, I headed home to E-Town. I walked out of my apartment in Topeka into a blizzard, and I almost forgot my passport. I couldn't find it, so I ransacked in a panic. Finally, after some prayer, I realized it was in my other suitcase that I wasn't bringing. Whew.

My flight from KC was uberlate, so I obviously was going to miss my connection in Minneapolis. They then decide to put me on a three hour flight to Seattle where I would quickly connect to Edmonton. Although I originally had an exit row windows seat to stretch my long legs, the new plane leaving Minn had me in row 43 in a middle seat. That suuucked. So we arrive in Seattle, and I run over to my gate, but I missed my flight by a few minutes. Next flight home.... 5 hours. Nap time. Luckily I also had time to go to the duty free shop.

Dad picked me up and I got my keys from my aunt who lives five minutes away. Got a call from my lodge buddy's who were at the local pub. I also got to see my ol'/new pal Matty from Australia. We had some needed drinks and good conversation.

All in all, a total of 19.5 hours of travel.

The Rest of the Week

A lot of you reading this were there for most of it, drinks at Shlebby's et al. But my birthday at O'Byrne's was an awesome night and finishing off at Urban Lounge (which had it's roof cave in a week later ironically).

Had dinner at my mom's and then the next day at my aunt's with my dad and his wife.

The rest of the week was spent at the ol' fraternity house for some traditional fun and games, but I managed to slip in a night of karaokeing at B-Street. Sadly, Brad the DJ wasn't there, but a good time was had.

The flight 'home' to Topeka, was normal, finally, and it was strange getting back 'home'. 'Home' is such a weird relative term, as right now, I have two 'homes'. But I can't figure out which one I miss more.