Sunday, May 22, 2005

Sunday Ten-Spot Weekend Wrap

1) I’m sitting here looking at my Oliver Perez bobblehead doll, which we got last night down at the Pirate game. I was going to take my camera, but reconsidered right before leaving, and I regret that mistake. As soon as Dill put on the pair of oversized sunglasses while “Wake Me Up Before You Go” was playing, I realized the error of my ways. The four of us Professional Pirate Game Attendees – myself, Dill, Kody and Vicini – were shocked to find our usual parking garage full, which never happens, leading us to park a bit farther from the stadium. It really wasn’t that far, and four bucks cheaper, so it’ll remain an option.

Anyway, the reason for the closure was revealed as we walked into the stadium in the top of the 2nd and a random kid started telling us how they could only get “Standing Room Only” tickets. We were shocked – the Pirates had just sold out. The crowd was chanting and clapping for strikeouts and we were pretty sure we’d either A) Gone through some sort of dimensional warp or B) Accidentally driven to Fenway or Wrigley. We knew we were in the wrong place when the second worst run-scoring team in the majors hung a five-spot on the Rockies in the bottom of the 2nd.

Oliver pitched decent – two earned runs and eight strikeouts in five innings, on a bloated 96 pitches – and the Buccos won. On our way out, we heard the faint drifting of a familiar melody, and amazingly enough, it was the Pirates’ entrance song from 2003, not heard during last season’s terrible “This is the Pirates’ town” fad, or this year, when they decided to not spend money on a new song and used “Lose Yourself”. If you can’t enjoy the “Root root root for your hometown team” song that fills my heart with absolute glee, you’re sick and disturbed.

The lesson of this story?

A) “Sweet Home Alabama” will probably never fall as the Pirates’ Jukebox (my favorite part of the game) choice.
B) If the Buccos keep winning, we won’t be able to waltz up to the box office ten minutes before the game and get tickets like in previous years.
C) I need to do a photo essay of a Pirate game sometime. It will be glorious.

2) The events involved with the wreck prom night are terrible and horrific (when typing that, I almost combined the two and put ‘terrific’ – that would have required some explaining), and I wish the best to all involved, but what I’m really fascinated with is how extremely quickly the news spread. I wouldn’t be surprised if everyone in the West Shamokin attendance area knew about it by 10:00. Bad news travels fast, and apparently when police scanners and cell phones are involved, it travels really, really fast.

Example: Life-flight flew over Baker’s house, his aunt called and told him what she had heard over the scanner and he came up and informed me around 7:10. We went to get Putneyville, Kody was here when we got back at 7:30 and he had known already. We come in the house, and Tina had left a message on the answering machine at 7:25 giving a pretty accurate description of events, considering the large amount of stories I’m sure were swirling around the event. How my parents didn’t find out eating dinner down at DiMaio’s Ristorante is beyond me.

3) I watched my first Desperate Housewives with commercials of the season this evening, and considering it was the season finale, I was kinda disappointed. Maybe it was the commercials, because I thought there were a lot of them, but it just didn’t seem to wrap up well. So, so many loose ends for next year and one of the most blatant cliffhanger endings you’ll ever see. Granted, I’ll be tuning in next September for the season premiere, but the pace of this episode just seemed slower (again, the commercials).

I worry about the women of Wisteria because they’ve all but solved the season-long mystery that was the center of the show any time the other storylines were fizzling out, and unless there’s some other deep, dark secret that needs revealing for next season, I’m not sure how they’ll manage it. I’m sure it will end up being great and interesting, but I don’t see how it can match this season’s success.

4) I start work tomorrow, meaning that while I will be making a large amount of money – which is needed, due to all the cash I’ve managed to blow in my fifteen days (has it been that long?) back home – I also will no longer be able to watch The Price is Right, shoot hoops in the middle of the afternoon and sun-bathe down by the lake. It’s a tough trade-off, but the fact I can take off whenever and I want and there’s a 90% chance I’ll be in the office or garage in Kittanning everyday, which means I’m 200 yards from Sheetz, puts the whole “Going to work” thing strongly into the plus side.

And yes, I will be tired of it and complaining by this time next week.

5) Do not fear, Phoenix Suns fans, and those of you neutral observers who want to see the exciting, flashy team advance to the Finals, for while your team lost this afternoon to the Spurs, there is hope. Granted, the Spurs could score all day, just like I told Dill they would – he argued it would be like Kentucky vs. UAB, completely ignoring me when I warned Manu, Tony and Brent could run – but there is one huge factor to consider: Odds are Brent Barry doesn’t outscore Shawn Marion by double-digits, or at all, the rest of this series. That was a fluke. If Joe Johnson is back by the time the series shifts to San Antonio, that’s like getting two more offensive players than you had in Game One.

Everything else you saw in today’s game will probably stay the same, other than both Marion and Manu will score some more. Steve Nash will continue playing outstanding, because that’s what he’s done the entire playoffs, Tim Duncan will get 30 and 15, because he’s Tim Duncan and because Steven Hunter can’t possibly guard him, Amare Stoudemire will be good for 30+, because he somehow is absolutely phenomenal against the Spurs and Tony Parker will score a lot, because Nash cannot cut off his drive and there aren’t enough big bodies in the Phoenix paint to knock him down.

Game Two is Tuesday night – be ready to enjoy.

6) Pretty big lull in the cinematic world right now, as Episode III passes by and everyone anxiously awaits Mr. and Mrs. Smith on June 10th, followed by Batman on the 15th. Until then, you’ve got – ick - The Longest Yard remake, Madagascar (you know they’re out of ideas when they start naming movies after random island countries), Cinderella Man (if you’re a Russell Crowe fan – I am not) and Lords of Dogtown, which could be cult classic-good or just plain-bad.

Needless to say, business will pick up when Brad, Angelina, Vince and Adam are all together on the 10th.

7) Apparently all of the experts panning Giacomo as incapable of winning The Preakness were correct, and now for the first time in a couple of years do not have a reason to go down and bet the Belmont Stakes in hopes of a Triple Crown. Then again, with the money Smarty Jones cost me last year, that might not be a bad thing.

8) John and Franky are running for senior class president and vice president, and they’ve got my full endorsement. I warned Jo Bu, however, that the campaign itself is a lot more fun than the actual presidency. My advice would be to win it by a large margin – say 70 percent to 30 percent – throw your victory party and then resign.

9) If you were to ask me who I was rooting for or who I wanted to win in the Pistons/Heat series, I would not be able to answer on either account. If it’s because of Dwyane Wade going crazy and being unstoppable, I’ll take the Heat, but otherwise, I like the way the Pistons play, and repeats are cool.

10) If anyone knows when the new season of My Super Sweet Sixteen premieres, rewards will be offered…I’ll go in-depth about the three new consoles coming out, but I think Microsoft may be making a large mistake not making the new X-Box backwards compatible…the PS3 looks friggin’ sweet, and the Nintendo Revolution ain’t too shabby itself…seven Pirate games in seven days: too expensive and simply crazy, or a noble idea?...Sorry ABC, but I’m not buying Geena Davis as the president….then again, I wasn’t buying a bunch of strangers stuck on an island or a show about suburbia at this time last year either, so you probably got me there…RIP Rex Van Dee Kamp (I have no idea how that is spelled), who had my favorite Desperate line of the series, from The Pilot: ”Pass the salt.”

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