Thursday, December 13, 2007


I went to my first professional basketball game with the hoop-savvy Mugwatch on Wednesday night and I'm still wondering why the New York Knicks employ the Monopoly guy as their court-side announcer.

(in monocle and top hat): "A THREEEEE POINT-AH! NAAAAAAAATE ROBINSON!!!!"

followed, of course, by:


Also, I'd like to point out that of all the major sports, I know the least about basketball. Despite my lack of knowledge, I could still make out that the Knicks stink on ice. To be honest, I was wondering when the JV squad was going to hit the showers and the varsity Knicks were going to stop fucking around and come out to entertain us.

Needless to say, the plight of the Knickerbockers (which is a great name for an animated film...or a porn) has put the fans into an incredibly bad mood. They boo EVERYTHING at a Knicks game. Even if, let's say, you were part of the Make a Wish Foundation and your DYING WISH was to take a shot from the foul line at Madison Square Garden, you had better PRAY that you make that shot.

(insert here the sickening woosh of an airball)

And speaking of fans taking shots, during the halftime show a small collection of thugs urban youths were allowed to take a half-court shot and guarantee their spot as a 15 minute pariah when they invariably missed. However provocative this would seem, the Knicks announcer did the crowd one better by introducing one of the contestants as a self-proclaimed Celtic fan.


ANNOUNCER: And, he's wearing a Red Sox jersey! (which he was)


The only additional factoid that the announcer could have POSSIBLY mentioned to get the crowd four seconds from a massive, sweeping lynching is include that the young man also LOVES 9/11. Regardless of this glaring omission, the largest cheer of the night occurred when the Red Sox-loving Celtic fan missed his shot. The crowd occupied themselves throughout the rest of the game with chants of "Fire Isaiah" and "THROW THE T-SHIRT."

One last thought: all of the food vendors at MSG look like Rick James.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Plane of woe

Achy and chocked full of Mexican food, I took my seat on the Jetblue flight out of Tucson and nervously awaited takeoff. As is custom in my travels, I will invariably be seated next to the saddest, most desperate person on the planet. A woman in her forties sat in my row, turned to me, and asked:

"Are you from New York?"

Ugh. Go fuck yourself. I guess we're talking now and I don't really want to get into the technical stuff like the fact I'm from Pennsylvania nor do I want to get trapped into answering obscure New York trivia for a tourist just before a four hour flight, which would no doubt open up the floodgates for more questions until I find myself telling this woman where to go for the best Brazilian pedicure.

"Yes," I answered.

"Well, my father just died and my mother is suicidal. How long do you think it would take to get up to Connecticut if I drove from JFK?"

Wait...wait, what? There are definitely TWO separate thoughts here. It had a strange blend of personal tragedy and an SAT question:

Jake is on a train traveling north at 4 meters per second. Paul is leaving from the same location, traveling south, at 3 meters per second. If Paul runs out of steam three minutes in, how could you do this to me?

"Uh, well, considering we'll be arriving at 7:30 AM, you'll probably hit a fair amount of traffic. I'd add an hour to whatever you were expecting."

And then I stared at my personal TV screen embedded in the headrest in front of me. Were we done? She didn't want to TALK about this did she? I'm ill equipped to deal my own tragedies, much less the woeful despair of others. I pretended to be enthralled with Animal Planet until I saw her vanish from my periphery. For a long time. So long that it appeared that, maybe, she went into the bathroom to open her veins 30,000 feet above the United States. (It turns out she found a row all to herself in the back of the plane in order to, one would hope, work on her tact in broaching sensitive subjects to complete strangers. Most likely, however, she used the time to figure out how to get into the cockpit and let the pilot know about her father's death, in case he wanted to make an announcement or something).

I suppose some things are so incomprehensible, so devastating, that you can't help but spill your guts to everyone you meet. Or, people can smell my awful fear of awkward situations.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

The Tucson Marathon kicked my ass

I am sunburned and in pain and it took six hours to complete the Tucson Marathon. However, Arizona is beautiful to look at. I might not try running here again, though.

A full video blog to follow when I return Thursday or Friday.