Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Breaking Up Is Hard To Do

I really never thought it would come to this. It seems surreal. Despite all the writing on the wall, I still held an innate hope, I guess. My head could see it coming, but my heart would never believe it. Now it appears almost imminent and there is a sadness hanging just off in the horizon like an ominous, mysterious fog threatening to envelope the town.

Kobe is going to be traded.

I've been through a couple of difficult breakups in my time and while I won't be so melodramatic as to directly compare the weight of those situations to what ultimately amounts to a cheap soap opera with insanely rich players, I do feel like there are similar types of emotions at stake here. Reflecting back to the days when Lakers' championship parades through Los Angeles seemed as regular as traffic jams and wildfires, when the preeminent images of Lakerdom were Shaq whooping up the court after alley-ooping the Trailblazers or Kobe leaping into The Diesel's arms as confetti rained down around them, it's difficult to comprehend that we've come this far. Today we somehow find ourselves a franchise and a fandom exhausted after our first game of the season. We're dazed and unsure of who we are anymore or where we're going. We look for something to lean on, but find ourselves standing in a house built of ashes where the slightest touch to a single wall could bring the entire structure collapsing on top of us. This course we're on, to trade the legend of Kobe Bryant for a new collection of neophytes, seems now to be inevitable. Inescapable, yet still senseless and disorienting. Like a breakup, blame can be easily thrown about at the moment of separation with much of it being valid, but the true, meaningful understanding of just what exactly went wrong and how each person involved is responsible will only come with the crawl of time and the settlement of maturation.

In this early stage, emotions are powerful, raw, and vague. Tonight I feel angry. Is it because I as a fan have vigorously defended Kobe all these years only to be selfishly abandoned? Is it because the Laker organization stood loyally next to Kobe through criminal charges of rape only to be labeled liars and incompetents? Or is it that in Kobe's threats to veto any trade including Luol Deng for sake of leaving Chicago with an opportune wingman, he is subsequently ensuring that our Lakers will be left in as bad of shape on the court as we are now off it. Perhaps it's all or none of the above. As of now, the only thing we can count on is uncertainty and inconsistency. Tonight's bitterness may preclude tomorrow's peace of mind. Tomorrow's excitement for a new and better life may only give way to a crippling obsession with our past and a fossilized sense of identity.

As long as our hearts' fate is held in the balance by this volatile mix of pride, pain, and this facade of "business," we just can't know.

Reason Number 5,987 to Hate Jonathan Papelbon

That's right folks, that's the poster boy for Red Sox Nation, a cocky-as-shit 20-something punk pouring beer all over the American League Championship Trophy. Classy, no? What an utter disgrace to the game and to the league. Where were you on this one, Peter Gammons?

I swear, this fuckin' kid is due for a beating like no one I have ever seen.


Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Calling all first year psych students....

My dream last night:

I went to my ten-year high school reunion. It was held in a high school gym and it was mostly empty. We started playing softball right there in the gym. For some reason, I chose to play with my shirt off. I guess that shouldn't come as a surprise as it is widely known that I play better half-naked. Still, it wasn't like a Top-Gun-Kenny-Loggins-Playing-With-The-Boys type of a thing, I was just shirtless. Then I realized that I was overdue for a back waxing. I went back to my bag (By the way, I had a gym bag with me at the reunion for some reason) to get a shirt. Some unidentified person was there helping me pick out a t-shirt. I put one on and the fit was just not right. It wasn't too big or too small, it was just an awkward fit that didn't look or feel right. I went back to the bag and discovered the bag I was rooting through was not mine. I was wearing someone else's shirt. I went to my bag and found that, while it contained other clothes, there were no shirts to be found in it. And then the whole event was pretty much over. Most of the few people that were there had gone. As I walked out, there was a twenty-year reunion going on in an adhacent gym and that thing was packed with dancing revelers. Go figure.

Let the psychoanalysis begin!


I have decided I am going to cook my own turkey this year. I will still attend the family Thanksgiving dinner, of course, but prior to that I am going to cook my own bird at home. It's good practice, I think. Plus, as the fam has grown steadily over the years, I never end up with enough leftover turkey. Also, I would like to fill my own home with the smell of roasting fowl!

My recent struggles to get to the gym on time have been the result of not being able to get out of bed which was caused by exhaustion. This week, I have woken up ready to rock, but laid in bed anyway and still gotten in late despite not being the least bit tired. At this point, I blame the commute and the lack of a gym partner. Big ups to Conrad.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

House Arrest

I rarely get to bed before midnight during the week. For me, it's not about being a night owl, it's about enjoying my time at home so much that I just can't bring myself to willingly close the book on it for the day. There's so much to do. Cooking, wine of course, a little laundry, some music, TV, books, maybe a good movie...if all else fails, writing asinine thoughts on a blog.

I could never handle life in The Big House. Andy Dufresne, I am not. But if I was ever convicted of a crime and was sentenced to house arrest? I'd be lovin' life, baby! Woooooo!

If anyone has any experience in criminal justice and can recommend a specific crime I could commit to where the most likely repercussion would be house arrest, I won't not listen, friend.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Random Thoughts (As Opposed To Deep Ones)

--Decided to make a dent in the many movies in current release I want to see...Of all the interesting options, managed to select two duds, "Michael Clayton" and "The Darjeeling Limited." Not to mention "Lantana" via Netflix Friday night. Why do I always happen upon good or bad movies in streaks?

--Bill "The Rock" Stoneman is stepping aside as Angels GM. Very interesting. We'll see if this new fella can do what Bill never could (fairly or unfairly), get us a power bat to protect Vlad.

--Don't ya just hate it when your DVR gets its programming mixed up? I have "Mad About You" (Lifetime reruns) set as a series recording but the last 5 episodes have actually turned out to be "The Andy Griffith Show" which is not the same.

--Speaking of DVR/TV, is anyone else watching "Damages?" It's fuckin' awesome!

I, Coward

So here's how big of a wuss I am...

I'm at the movies Saturday night. I walk in and the only people in the theatre (I like the Brits' spelling better, okay?) are these two women. I take my seat. A few moments later, the two women ask me if I wouldn't mind saving their seats for them for a few minutes. Because I am an inherently courteous person, I instinctively reply "Sure." As soon as they left, I knew I had made a mistake. The tension in the air was as dense as coastal fog. I was almost praying that they would hurry up and come back before anyone else entered the theatre, much less went for their seats. Once again, the universe made me the butt of one of its many jokes and compelled a young couple to stroll in and take the exact two seats the women had entrusted me with protecting.

So what did I do you ask?

I didn't say a word. I couldn't. What was I supposed to say? "Excuse me, two women asked me to save these seats for them?" Not a chance! It's awkward if not unbelievable. I'm not one for self-description, but, come on, I am nothing if not acutely attuned to awkwardness. Am I wrong? Anyway, so here these people are sitting in the seats I am sworn to guard. I can't say something to them, but I also can't just sit there and do nothing and bear their disappointment when they return to find their seats snatched away from them.

So what DID I do?

I went to the bathroom even though I didn't need to, hoping that they would come back whilst I was away, conclude that I had needs of my own and that they took too long doing whatever they were doing and that my own bladder control may have been stretched to the limits by their insistence on doing everything together. Pretty chickenshit on my part, isn't it?

Well, it worked and it didn't. I came back from carefully washing my hands and found the two girls had indeed reentered and been forced to find new seats. However, I would not escape so easily from their jeering and scorn. They jokingly prodded me with comments along the lines of "Thanks a lot" and "Your're fired." I feigned innocent surprise and went back to my seat, which was being guarded by a braver soul than I.

What kind of a man am I? On second thought, don't answer that.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007


So that happened. Fuck. Me.

Game 1, 3:30 Pacific

"If you Willits, it is no dream."
-- V.I. Lenin

In Vlad, We Trust.

Playoffs start today, friends. I want to win this series so bad I can feel it pinching in my stomach like bad gas pains. Aside from the obvious benefit of having my boys advance, I would be remiss if I did not admit that part of my craving for victory in the ALDS is a thirst to beat Boston in particular, a reflection on their Masshole fans. By now, everyone's heard my gripes about Boston fans so I won't regergitate it here today. I'll just quote two other sources' hilariously apt descriptions of everything I hate about "Red Sox Nation."

Angels blogger Matt Welch had this to say this morning on Halos Heaven:

"...the most narcissistic fans on Earth. The sociopathic alcoholic white supremacists in the stands will take any Angel scoring personally and pout, thus taking 90 percent of the crowd out of the game."

The article that says it all.

If you told me I had a choice between A) the Angels winning this series or B) a check being handed to me for X number of dollars, I am not sure how much money would have to be on that check to make it worth an Angels loss. Ten grand wouldn't do it. Twenty grand wouldn't do it. I think at 60K I would have to start really thinking about it, but even then, I am still not sure.

Enough negativity. It's Game Day.