Something strange happened last night. I took the dog out late and didn’t run into a wall of heat. And it wasn’t cool really, but it also didn’t suck oxygen out of my lungs and I stood there and it made me think. And then inside again and petting the old mutt because he’s not that comfortable these days, and doesn’t know what to do with himself unless he’s getting some attention or he’s eating or snoozing. And then I went upstairs to bed.
Billy Pretty - "You all know we are only passing by. We only walk over these stones a few times, our boats float a little and then they have to sink." - The Shipping News
The screen jammed and flickered and I’d been lost in the feeds and this is how time takes you, we’re at the bottom of a deep and slippery tide and the walls rise high and the lockout’s evermore - agendas and fiefdoms and the owners all stealing magnets off each others’ desks, and writers tweeting about football and picking each other’s wings off. Mad mood children.
When I was in highschool, my buddy Waldo and I got drunk and ran out of ice so we walked to the Travel Lodge ice machine but the night manager chased us away so we drank some more and went back and pissed in the machine and left. The next day, we went down to the beach to bake. Our buddies were drinking margaritas and we asked, "where’d you get the ice?" They answered like it was the most obvious thing in the world. "Travel Lodge." Waldo and I snickered and sparked a joint.
Sometimes you need a line separating one paragraph from another. Sometimes you just need a change of scenery.
In FIBA EuroBasket news, Pau Gasol rolled an ankle in Sunday’s win over Lithuania but completed the game. He took the day off for yesterday’s loss against Turkey and says he’ll be back to start the second round on Wednesday. For those not keeping track, El Spaniard’s been a model of ultra de efficiency throughout the tourney - bombing treys, demonstrating spiffy cross-overs and tag-teaming with bro Marc in a series of beat-downs against Poland, Portugel, Great Britain and the above-mentioned land of dumplings and beer. Besides making beautiful basketball, Pau’s been recharging much depleted reserves - we all saw how his season ended, nobody was more dumbfounded than Phil Jackson who screamed and shoved the somnambulist in the chest to no effect. Gasol simply shrugged helplessly and whatever factors ran him empty, we need him whole again.
We could be exchanging lists. You and I like exchanging lists. I stop by the front lines and they’re talking about every piece that’s gonna be the same and I’m thinking, it’s never gonna be the same. The sales force couldn’t hit their numbers last year so you fired the supervisor and the foreman and the accounting staff and the stenographers but you decided to keep all the salespeople who forgot how to close? I don't buy it and apart from wanting to leave something special in Jim Buss’s ice tray and writing in the second person, I’ve gotta believe Mike Brown will bring some new blood into an inherited team. There won’t be any money to spend beyond minimum and some type of mid-level exception which pretty much leaves a trade and they won’t move Kobe or Drew and probably not Pau. And all this presumes a CBA settlement and I doubt they’d dropkick the president of the players association. Would they?
"Unceasing change turns the circle of life, and so reality is shown in all its many forms." - Phil Zen-ism
I began this journal one year ago today. The first entry was both pithy and wrongheaded - I rejected Derek Fisher’s intangibles and instead likened him to a meat and potatoes hitman. As in taking charges, laying out Luis Scola and putting up the legendary .04. We now see him in brief sound bites, urging patience and restraint while dealing with a pack of hyenas that would sooner break his union than decide amongst themselves, how to best divvy their own side of the street.
And when I walked out this morning it was windy and mild. And I could almost taste salt in the air, as if from the very outermost banks of some dying gulf weather system. But my mind was playing tricks on me. And I thought I heard the keening of the gulls, but I was wrong again. And the brine was replaced by drifting ashes and the faint smell of subdivisions burning. The wildfires had begun.