Thursday, June 12, 2008
  I've Got 99 Problems, But a Blog Ain't One
Yeah, so it's been a while.

I was informed of this by a loyal, prominent TLBR reader who asked, via the magic of text messaging, "where the shampoo has TLBR been? writer's strike?"

In keeping with HIPAA laws, as well as taking a page out of my Belichick-ian manual in dealing with delivering news to the media, all I was prepared to say was: "Leg injury. Return probable."

No, it wasn't a torn blogger's sheath in my left wrist that required a cast and immobilization for 4-6 weeks. Nor was it a quiet pledge to myself that I would post a new entry when Souljah Boy (tell 'em) released a follow-up to his smash single "the song by Souljah Boy that Bo Ryan dances to."

It was simple: I had nothing to say.

Sure, it's a rarity and in some locales, a welcome reprieve, but I just didn't have much to say. How enthralled would y'all be with the following: "Well, I started the South Beach diet because my acquired L4/L5 lumbar stenosis was acting up, so I need to lose some weight and I'm working out again, trying to strengthen my core while also tone and stretch my now 33-year old muscles. I eat a lot of protein, no carbs, and have limited my alcohol intake. I come home zonked from the workouts and the lack of muscle-replenishing carbs, so I watch the Red Sox and set the sleep timer and wake up the next morning."

Wow. How 'bout that? It's my life, I typed it, and I'm still looking for things to stick in my eyes and under my fingernails.

So I'm back. There was a good run, with 12 days of material or so, but after that? Nada. Ugotz.

Not anymore. The workouts have increased blood flow, which has brought more oxygen to the brain, and that ultimately means it's typing time. Plus, if I suck in my stomach really hard, you can kind of see the outline for a four-pack.
What do rats do when they're cornered? If you're looking for a literal explanation about rodents and 90 degree angles, Google "rats AND corner."

If you're looking for a trite metaphor, then Google "Tim Donaghy."

Boy, the NBA probably isn't enjoying this one too much. For the first relevant NBA Finals since No. 23 pushed off on Bryon Russell, all that the writers and sports talk radio intelligencia can point to on a daily basis is: Is the fix in?

Never before did the trio of officials, their whistle patterns, and home/road splits matter to the common fan. The gambling population of the world has known this for a while, but now? Every generic NBA fan will be watching every previously generic whistle for the third gunman on the grassy knoll.

Donaghy may be right. He may be lying. He may be desperate. He may be selling his soul of secrets for some leniency.

But one thing is for sure. He may affect this NBA Championship series without making one single call.
Speaking of the NBA Finals, it's the first Laker-Celtic matchup that I've worn the green for.

Yes, I grew up a Laker fan. I loved James Worthy - the first true modern power forward. I loved Michael Cooper locking people up on the defensive side of the floor, while keeping them honest from 25 feet away. Byron Scott, Magic, Kareem...they were my guys. And my second "favorite" team? The Celtics.

Why? Because I had SportsChannel and if you liked to watch basketball and lived in Providence, Rhode Island, you watched the Celtics.

Third "favorite?" The Sixers. I still have my Converse Dr. J posters (I bet they'd get a few bucks on eBay...), Mo Cheeks, Bobby Jones, Charles, Moses, Andrew Toney, etc...

That's like being a fan of the Yankees, Red Sox, and Toronto Blue Jays. It doesn't make any sense.

But it did. There were never any fistfights in the neighborhood if I wore my Worthy Express New Balance hightops to the park, or if I wore my purple and gold Laker shorts. Perhaps that's because the neighborhood baller - "Z" - was the world's third-biggest Laker enthusiast behind Jack Nicholson and Irwin Fletcher. Z was bald, I think, at age 14, but he was the likely inspiration for Magic Christian (6-4...6-9 with the afro).

Mind you, Rhode Island is kind of a funny place (boy, that's a pretty open-ended statement). There are a lot of Yankee fans here in God's Country. Why? Because of the large Italian population. Eye-talians like Joe DiMaggio. There are a lot of NY football Giant fans. Why? Because, prior to 2001, the Patriots blew. They've existed since 1960, but really haven't been relevant that long.

Red Sox and Yankee fans fight about it. And after the most recent Super Bowl, Patriots and Giants fans might not co-exist quite as peacefully as before.

But Laker fans? No one cared then. And no one cares now.

Take the Sox and the Yanks and their respective " 'Fill in team name' Sucks! " chants. What's the Celtic-Laker equivalent? "Beat L.A."

Wow. How vicious. Why not follow that up with "please make sure you look both ways before you cross the street after the game, because taxicab drivers in 'fill in city of the home team' tend to be bad drivers, friend."

It has all the anger and vitriol of a St. Louis Cardinal game. They're GREAT fans.

(Pujols sucks.)
Due to situations beyond my control on Monday, the ceiling kind of started leaking because of a concentration of condensation (Clyde Frazier, bedamned) in my office.

The drip-drip-drip turned into a pretty consistent stream, and then a full-on Fountain of Trevi.

So there I was, throwing pennies over my left shoulder with my right hand and wishing for world peace, a new iPhone, and lo-cal fat-free, carb-free foods that begin with the world "buffalo" and don't taste like shit.

The minor dripatation situation caused me to move all electronics to the spare desk in the copy room. It's been a blessing and curse. One good thing is my office is now dark (and dripping), so when people look for me, they don't see a light or a computer, and assume I'm not here. One bad thing is that the copy room is directly above a large speaker to the weight room below, and I get a steady stream of bad guitar rock while the undergrads who are around for summer school pump iron.

But something funny happened on the way to the Great Western Forum (old habits are hard to break...) and the music shifted.

I heard a song that has probably never, ever, ever been played loudly in the world of picking up heavy things and dropping them, rhythmically: "Eleanor Rigby" by the Beatles.

Nothing makes me want to super-set and max out more than a song about a lonely old woman who lived and died sadly anonymous.

Need a spot?
Since 2004, with TLBR, you've got a friend.

So if you're down and troubled and need a helping hand, TLBR will be there to brighten up your darkest nights.

So if you want a friend, "Facebook" us here at headquarters and we'll be happy to oblige.

The Facebook page link:
OK kids, gotta go.

I hope we can see each other again, real soon. And I hope it's not, like, weird or anything.
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