A Pictorial Essay of Kansas City

jen and laura

I'm a little worried. I just realized most of my back-to-school clothes have ruffles. This is disturbing. I hope the next step isn't writing sonnets and playing a lute.

Good weekend, everyone? I had inservice on Saturday (teacher informational meetings of matters so critically important, it couldn't wait 'til Monday) and survived it. But just barely. For most of it, we were in our arts center, which has comfy theater seating, and as if they'd never taught children, they dimmed the lights. Cardinal rule when speaking to people who are not giggly excited to be in your presence (basically for anyone who is not a rock star)–never turn the lights off. Sometimes I show video clips in my classroom, and my kids will say, “Turn the lights off! We can't see!”  Just squint. It will be fine.  Anyway, it was so hard to stay awake. Especially when the last 2 hours were just a pep talk. I don't know that anyone gets more pep talks and has to listen to more inspirational crap than a teacher.  Given our paychecks, we're already here for altruistic reasons, so do they really think some quote involving the words: journey, dreams, and wings is really gonna give us warm, tingly feelings? The answer is no.When one gentleman got out a guitar and began to sing about our profession, I thought I was gonna…buy him a ruffly shirt.

I had one last jaunt out of town before school started. For my mom's birthday we surprised her with tickets to see her favorite duo Brooks and Dunn, who are divorcing and on their last tour. So my aunt, mother, and sister in law (see picture above) went to Kansas City for some boot scootin' fun. Except we didn't wear boots. Exhibit A:

See that water bottle? After you buy them at the concession stand, they take your lid.
“Why?” my aunt asked.
“So you won't throw them at the stage,” I said.
“We can't throw bottle caps?” Mom asks. “Bra time!”

Here are my mom and aunt. Aren't they pretty?

mom judes
Bring on Brooks! Bring on Dunn! We're not afraid to throw undergarments!

Opening for the opening act was a newcomer named Tyler Dickinson. We decided he's probably supposed to be the male equivalent of Taylor Swift.

He sang “I'm Just Like Hank.” Pretty sure you're not, but good luck to you all the same.

Gary Allan opened for B and D, and I decided this guy just needs a hug. He's a little intense.
P1070418I think if you got close enough, you'd probably hear growley noises from him. He started out in a suit which included a jacket and leather pants. Leather+sweat+stage lights cannot be a good combination. Bless him for his sacrifice in the name of art and chafing.

As he sang, he gradually ditched articles of clothing.

Forget the jacket!

Then forget the jacket, tie, and the last 4 buttons on my shirt!


We thought he was gonna shuck off the leather pants. We had to hold my mom and aunt back from rushing the stage. Those ladies.

I sat behind Bob Pinciotti from That 70s Show.

The next day we went shopping in Kansas City. What a great town. I don't know why we don't hang out there more often. We went to the Plaza Something or Another Shopping Area. Awesome place. I went straight for a little piece of heaven on earth.
Isn't that the perfect place for a Restoration Hardware? What a great building. The RH catalogs say they are going through a transition and working on their brand and direction. They are on a “journey.” So far I'm not impressed. Stuff is dark and dreary and monochromatic. And weird. I mean, like this chair.
Who sits here? Gay Batman?

We went to eat at the Cheesecake Factory. We don't have one of these restaurants in Arkansas, so we usually stop at one when we can. I used to hate cheesecake, but over the last decade I've grown to love it. Why that same phenomenon couldn't have happened to vegetables, I have no idea. Outside the Cheesecake Factory there is a fountain.

Let's zoom in on that. The guy has no arms, but he doesn't seem to care.
Check out my man boobs. I know I am.

We are four women who are easily entertained (see picture above). We also live in Wal-Mart country, and there is not a Costco within spitting distance. The nearest one is four hours away. We have been hearing of this Costco place for years. It's a sad fact that “Go to Costco” resides on my bucket list. (Right under hold my breath underwater for more than 10 seconds). High goals. Anyway, my mom wanted to go “if we had time.” And we were all like, “Shoot yeah! We'll make time! We'll spend the night if we have to!” So unlike our own Sam's Club, Costco doesn't sell/give out day passes. So…it's a very long story how we got in and purchased items, but yeah for Costco for such great customer service and letting us come on in with our wide eyes and debit cards.

Costco had all sorts of neato things I didn't even know I needed. Like this.
A giant skull! Gimme three! I'll put it with the 400 lb bag of dog food and the 20 pack of 5 inch binders!

I hope you had a great weekend! I know some of you are getting ready for school, buying school supplies, and stressing over your class schedules. Then there's the “get my kids outta my house” stress. Or the “School is in Session Traffic” stress. Oh, school. You cotton headed ninny muggins.

Where is your weekend getaway place? Folks around here head to KC, Tulsa, or the big one…Branson, Mo. What about you?

See you Wednesday!

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 28 comments
Ruth - August 16, 2010

I love me some Gary Allan, but that leather outfit is a bit ridiculous. And shiny. The man shouldn’t be wearing shiny, just sayin’. When I saw him in concert (when he opened for Keith Urban…2 years ago, I think??) he wore jeans, and wore them well. 🙂

Amy - August 16, 2010

HAHAHAHAHA!!!! That’s awesome! I’m glad you kept your mom and aunt under control. They look like they could get pretty wild.

How do you get all your nifty snapshots to look like Polaroids? That’s just too much fun!

Mary @ Giving Up on Perfect - August 16, 2010

I do like Gary Alan, but you’re right. Man needs a hug.

I’m glad you had a good trip to KC! It’s weird. You are the second author I have “discovered” this summer – right AFTER you’ve made a trip to my town! Weird coincidence.

Livvie - August 16, 2010

Hola! I was just wondering,
when are you going to send
out the August newsletter,
Jenny? I’m dying to know if
I won the contest! Please
send it out SOOOON!!!


Jules - August 16, 2010

There are too many things to comment on in this post. You are hilarious.

If I have to limit my comments to the one thing I noticed most, it will have to be Tyler Dickinson’s hair.

Dear Tyler,

Honey, NO.


ashley - August 16, 2010

I love the plaza in KC! I am a Kansas Unversity alumni so I’ve spent a good number of weekends up there, wandering around completely broke and unable to buy any of their amazing stuff.

I was in Cincinnati this weekend, awesome city – put it on your list of places to go!

Jenny B Jones - August 16, 2010

Ruth, I didn’t say he wasn’t pretty and built nicely… ; ) Cuz he sure is. Keith Urban is my favorite concert performer ever. I try to see him 1x a year. He’s just the best.

Ashley, I didn’t know you were a KU grad! I’ve never been to Cincinnati. Normally I can’t even spell it right on the first try. Like just now.

jules, the hair was even crazier (and girlier) in person. Lots of flipping.

Livvie, soon!

Mary, you live in KC!! I stopped by your house and raided your fridge. Did you notice?

Amy, Flikr/Picnik!

Pamela - August 16, 2010

I’m so glad you enjoyed your tour of the city. I’m only guessing which Costco you went to. 🙂 Both of my sons work in the Plaza but where they were work is way more expensive than the Cheesecake Factory. I ate there with my sisters last time they were in town, and boy was it good!!!

I would have said, next time your in town let me know and we’ll have coffee, but you guys sounded like you kept pretty busy without that. 😀


Jennifer - August 16, 2010

So glad you enjoyed KC. My sister left her back door open, but you must not have stopped by. She is also a teacher (6th grade history). Not sure if she wears ruffled shirts.

I’m so glad you liked Costco – my hubby has been a forklift driver there for about 5 years. It’s known for it’s customer service and also is a great company to work for.

I love your commentaries on the statues. You should submit them to the chamber in KC so they can update their visitor brochures.

Abby Minard - August 16, 2010

Great pics! Of all the times I’ve been to the Cheesecake Factory on the Plaza, I’ve never noticed the guy on the fountain with no arms. We always sit on the fountain while waiting for our table, but I guess I never actually took a good look at the statue ;p

Oh, and that chair- is that supposed to be bones??

Evangeline Denmark - August 16, 2010

Your blog is the only blog I ever tell my husband that he has got to OMG-snort-go-look-at. This is a post I’ll be subjecting him to. The man boobs? Beyond hysterical.

chip - August 16, 2010

This post was like going on a JOURNEY. It fulfilled my DREAMS, except for the part about your mom taking off her bra. It didn’t give me WINGS, but it did give me man-boobs — which the guy, in his pride, is apparently staring at, just in case passersby missed them. (“Hey! LOOK at my man boobs!”) As inspirational posts go, this ranks right up there with the recent speech from that guy on “Hell’s Kitchen,” who told his cooks they could either “If you saute scallops in a nonstick pan, they won’t stick. That’s why they call it a nonstick pan. I don’t know what ‘nonstick’ means in Texas sweetheart.” He didn’t actually use the words “journey” or “wings,” and there were a couple very bad words tossed in there, but I think you’ll be moved by his words. Perhaps you could quote him at your next inspirational meeting!

Sarah - August 16, 2010

Love the Plaza! So bummed we just barely missed each other in KC. Maybe we’ll have to meet up and live it up in good ol’ Branson!:)

And I’ve never noticed the man boob statue either. I was there once when they were cleaning the big fountain with all the huge horses and the horses were laying on the ground all around the fountain-a little creepy!

Mattie - August 16, 2010

It’s great you had fun in KC! My cousins live there. Were you on the Kansas or Missouri side?
This weekend we went with my cousins (the ones who live in Kansas City :]) up to Grand Lake, CO. We had an oober doober good time! We went tubing on the lake and jet skiing. But I fell off a few times (off both pieces of equipment) and was super sore the next day. But it was all in the name of fun…. And totally worth it! 🙂

Stephanie Morrill - August 17, 2010

“Gay batman” Tee he he. I’ll be chuckling over that all morning long.

I loved growing up in Kansas City. And hopefully my kids do too, ’cause I don’t see us moving anytime soon.

Glad you can now cross Costco off your bucket list.

Shauna - August 17, 2010

We are official Kansas Explorers (http://www.kansassampler.org/kansasexplorersclub) since moving from Colorado earlier this year, so we’ve been traveling around the Sunflower State some weekends. We haven’t made it to Kansas City yet but will soon. I went to Kansas State and have a lot of friends in the KC area. One of my friends is a traitor and works at KU now.

Katie Ganshert - August 17, 2010

I about peed my pants seven different times while reading this post.

Jenny B Jones - August 17, 2010

Pamela, in all seriousness the customer service was UNREAL. I filled out a comment/suggestion form and just filled it with praise.

Katie, it’s an honor to inspire unexpected pants peeing.

Shauna, wow! I’m impressed! I’m not sure I knew you weren’t in CO anymore. You gotta go see KC.

Stephanie, I should’ve asked you for restaurant suggestions. I totally forgot you live in the area!

Mattie, MO side. : )

Sarah, Branson, MO is a common place isn’t it? We could see Shoji Tabuchi. : )

Chip, the Hell’s Kitchen guy is welcome to give our yearly inspy speech any time.

Evangeline (pronounced Evan-juh-lynn), thanks ever so. : )

Abby, I’m not sure what that chair is supposed to be. I do know it doesn’t look any better in person.

Jennifer, I can’t believe the chamber hasn’t called for my pics yet. I don’t understand. they obviously don’t get good photography.

Pammer, what is the fancy restaurant that must not sell gigantic slices of cheesecake?

Katie Ganshert - August 17, 2010

Oh – and BTW, I’m a teacher too. I don’t know what you get paid, but I totally went into this profession for the money. Same reason I started writing. My first phonecall with my agent and I had her shouting “Show me the money!” into the ear piece.

(Thanks for the laughs, Jenny)

Gina Conroy - August 18, 2010

I’m not going to praise your prose lest you get a big head or something…I’m actually impressed with those close up shots of the guys on stage. How close were you? And girl, bras are way too expensive to be throwing. Why didn’t you just throw the water bottles? Then again, if you paid for them at the concession stand, they probably cost as much as a bra!

Melody - August 18, 2010

I hate when they take your water bottle cap. The whole point of the bottled water is that it can be closed up again to shield it from dirt, bugs and poor hand-eye coordination. They might as well use paper cups. At least those are somewhat biodegradable and aren’t leeching toxins into the water.

Joanna - August 18, 2010

Maybe all the pep talks are because they feel guilty about your paychecks. Just sayin’ . . . 🙂

Thanks for the laughs!

Liv - August 18, 2010

Blah blah blah blah blah! Ya’ know whut I’m sayin’?

sgchris - August 19, 2010

Great post! Just glad I wasn’t drinking anything at the time, so my screen and keyboard were safe!

Liv - August 19, 2010


Micah - August 19, 2010

Such an awesome post. That crack about Bob Pinciotti really got me! Haha!

Jenny B Jones - August 20, 2010

Micah, update your blog so I can have something entertaining to read. : )

Sgchris, why thank you!

Joanna, sadly no one feels guilty about teacher pay. I’ve tried to encourage guilt, but no takers.

Melody, it really is the dumbest thing ever. Few people are close enough to the stage to get a good throw in any way.

Gina, we weren’t that close. It’s pics of the screen.

Katie, yes teaching and writing are like winning the financial lottery. I give friends and family blank checks all the time because i don’t know what to do with all that cash that keeps rolling in.

Nicole O'Dell - August 21, 2010

Gay Batman?



Leave a Reply: