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Today I was reminded of why no one in the NBA plays defense: It sucks!

Last night at Life, Joseph and Josh told me I should come to the park today for some basketball. Having not shot a ball for almost three years and not regularly since I left home for college, I was wary. But they seemed to think it would be nothing more than a little shootaround, maybe some 21. Sure, what the hell, right?

When I got there, Jojo was already playing some pick up with other neighborhood kids, and I got there with Josh so I couldn't back out. 4 on 4. Dear god, I was no good at 4 on 4 even back when I shot all the time and was in reasonably good shape. I hung in there, even scored once. My basketball skills can be summarized thusly: I can shoot the ball. My hands have all the grace of cinderblocks whether I have the ball or am being passed to. I may have a height advantage on most of my peers but rebounding is more about timing, which mine is dubious. But it was the defense that killed me. Once the tunnel vision set in, I wouldn't have had the energy to get a good shot off even if I handled a rebound or pass cleanly. So I had to convince a reluctant Andy to tag in for me.

The good thing about stinking at b-ball? After 13 years, my game hasn't eroded significantly. Maybe on Wednesday, we can just play some HORSE.

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Sunday is a glorious day, whether you share it with god or not.

Sleeping in, eating brunch out with the paper, the Sox Win, the Mets Win and the Yankees lose: Especially Glorious Sunday.

The brunch I learned about last night, which convinced me to wake up in time for it. A Kentucky Hot Brown: Turkey, French Toast, Bacon, syrup, cheese sauce, tomatoes and home fries. When I first heard of this, I was immediately reminded of the Hawai'ian equivalent, the Loco Moco: Rice, Hamburger Patties, Spam, Fried Eggs and gravy. Does every region have a potentially fatal breakfast?

While forcing the cholesterol through my system, it occurred to me why breakfast is such a fat-loading time of day. We used to have shit to do during the day! Carbs aren't any help when you have to cut timber in an hour; they won't kick in until it's almost dark out. Fat and protein are the way to go. Naturally, we still crave those things (well, I do anyway) even though much of our income-making routine could still occur even if we might be confined to a five-foot radius.

Since we won't get rid of computers or swivel chairs any time soon, I propose a simple solution to our desire to consume 800 calories ante-meridian. If we could somehow up the difficulty of modern tasks to mimic the exertion of chopping wood, we might just break even. The resistance of computer keyboards should be increased ten-fold. Printers and copiers should be activated by cranks tempered with SoloFlex rubber bands. Elevators will only run if everyone on board is running in place.

If the Shuttle Run in middle school taught me anything, it's that physical fitness involves being completely exhausted while ending up in the same place you started.

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I'm really starting to freak out now and not because Papelbon blew a game against the Royals (although that doesn't make me very happy at all).

When you spend the whole day as a zombie because you've had under two hours of fitful sleep and you come home to finish it off with a food coma, you'd expect to go right to sleep. Five hours of quasi-doze is not sleep. I honestly can't tell if I feel better or worse right now. Being wired and tired at the same time is completely unpleasant.

Tomorrow is going to be so much fun I can't even think about it yet.

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The local WB affiliate (or The CW in about a month) has started a curious little non-show in the slot they used to reserve for the second South Park rerun at 2am. It's called Text2Win and billed as the country's first live viewer-contested game show. It's also virulently obnoxious. It features two sub-Junior-Jumble-caliber games that viewers text message in to enter a random drawing to be called live on the air and answer correctly for $500. Two games in a half-hour? Seems like a lot of dead air, right? To fill the time, they have a dangerously bubbly host that they probably rescued, crying in front of the Actors Equity building a few short days ago. Her job is to babble incessantly while saying "five hundred dollars", "know what the word is" and "you have to text in" as many times as possible without actually sounding like someone having a seizure.

Apart from the crime of taking away the thing that real insomniacs want (more South Park), this show is also sort of bogus. Texting in to be entered in the random drawing portion costs $1.50. But they say you can enter on wb11.com for free. Problem? You have to be able to load one page to enter your contact info and a second to submit them. And it's a small local affiliate that has obviously not upgraded their servers to deal with thousands of up-late New Yorkers trying to access their website simultaneously. So even if you get through once, your chances of getting the second one are even smaller. Frustrating, and I can imagine lots of people who want to play giving up on the web and submitting to the $1.50 charge to text.

They give away $500 every 15 minutes. (The show has surpassed the half-hour mark so I guess they're going for a full hour.) There are no advertisements so they are making their money solely from the text messages. If 334 people text in for each game, they've built the pot that they are giving away. So this isn't really a game-show, it's a lottery. A lottery that you have to be awake at 2am for, is set up in a frustrating manner and has an irritating host.

Some may wonder why I myself have put up with it for this long. One, it's on in the background and only just audible where I'm sitting now. Two, that's the sort of dedication I have to document the real world and its madness.

You're welcome.

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Game Night produced an interesting experience unrelated to the actual game being played. I finished a close second in Scrabble. (although I used the questionable English common word 'PAX' to start off the game. if that isn't a proper Scrabble entry, then I guess the karma balanced out in the end.)

No, the interesting experience is that, after getting to know Harija better (I'm probably misspelling her name horribly, but considering that I called her Maria when we first met, it's just par for the course), I've discovered that she is a spot-on doppelganger for my friend Stephanie. Instead of being Irish-Italian, Harija is Indian. But in most other respects, she's very much like Stephanie; same smile and facial mannerisms and if I wasn't looking at her talking, she could fool me into thinking Steph was speaking. Uncanny.

Which got me thinking. If the chances that one person could meet two people so closely alike are very slim, then it stands to reason that there might exist another person even MORE similar to either one of them that the original party hasn't met. And if that's true then there might be someone out there who is stunningly similar to my very own self. The mind (okay, well, mine) reels.

Harija and Steph both live in Brooklyn too. If I catch my double on the street, I don't know whether to run or to see if he wants to play frisbee. Maybe I could do both!


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I wanted to go to Life Cafe last night to cool off in their blasting AC (it's not super cold, but it literally blasts) and get a glass of water. But it's crowded, loud and busy in there and before I can voice my hydro request, I find a PBR deposited in front of me. On top of that, Greg's there to chat with, it's open mike night and did I mention it's feckin' hot outside? So I pull up a chair and stay a while.

Well, the most important development of the night was getting invited to Vanessa's Game Night. This is exciting for a couple of reasons. One, maybe it's my time to start making some friends. I mean, it's only been a year in this neighborhood and all... Two: Game Night! I'm sure I'm not the only person two ponder Desert Island Board Games but it's still a strange list. (Note: Being stuck on the Desert Island by myself doesn't significantly alter the thought experiment.) I just really love them. Except maybe Life. I never really got the Game of Life; is it trying to get us hopelessly optimistic or is it just rubbing it our faces? It's sort of a toss-up.


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A few weeks ago the news machine made a great, huge, shamalama big deal about how hot it was going to be and that everyone should run for the hills. That was the day I made a special trip to a movie and then took a four hour tour of greater New York on the subway.

I picked the wrong day to go see Superman because it was today that the sun turned into an evil supervillian. He is like a white ball of hate lasing through the sky. If you stand in the shade, it's actually sort of tolerable outside, despite the oven-wind blowing about. But in the light, I felt like saran wrap in a campfire.

It's not too bad in my apartment so far. The west-facing windows make sure it doesn't start heating up until actually after the sun stops shining through them. Perhaps because of that, it doesn't get really hot in here until after dark. I can't tell if this is some function of the heat convecting through the building, or just some trick of my own body's metabolism. But it's pretty nasty at night. I had to wait until 5am this morning to actually get to sleep. I'm hoping the sleep deprivation konks me out before I notice tonight.

And now, for a cool turkey sandwich.

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When it gets really hot for days in a row, the amount you have to sweat while in a state of inertia before you notice gets progressively larger. It doesn't even register that you might be indistinguishable from someone who might have climbed out of a pool until the final uncountable tickle from a drop of perspiration alerts you to your condition. This is a very uncomfortable position to be in, in at least two ways.

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I'm going to stop paying attention to the weather reports. Not because I don't believe them; they don't seem right or wrong any more frequently than anyone else. But I think they aren't regularly pertinent to ME. I seem to have my own climate that operates independently of their predictions. Today was supposed to be decent. Hot and humid, but not overly so. Well I spent the whole day completely wet and it just started raining a few minutes ago. Sure, I did my laundry today and would have thusly expected to be locally damp around that time. But it's carried over hours past and I'm sure I'll be getting pruny soon. I've even postponed pasta sauce making. Actually, I don't know what I was thinking with that plan anyway.

The MetSox have a night off, along with the Evil Ones, so there isn't anything to listen to on the radio. The trade deadline is coming up and it's looking more and more likely that nothing will happen before it. Not just for my teams of interest but league-wide even. Which is just as well. Despite a compelling article I read today stating the case for the Mets making a trade, I'm not completely convinced. Unless Omar can catch Larry Beinfest drunk-dialing and get him to give up Dontrelle for Lastings, straight up, I just don't see how our biggest need can be met without serious harm somewhere or somewhen else. Considering they are working with a six-man rotation temporarily, I have a feeling that our biggest concern is one that many teams would want for themselves.

Likewise with the Sox, who have the same paltry crop of potential fixes out there and plenty of stuff that I'd rather see them keep. They too will soon find themselves with a number of different pitching options. Obviously none of them are sure bets; if they were, I wouldn't really be discussing it from this angle. And really, the Sox are set up better than the Mets long-term. I'd like to see them win it this year but they are too stacked in the back for this to be a Win Now situation.

What's a greater concern of mine is the future of Trot Nixon. I've heard only recently that he's become a trade rumor. Everyone gets to be one of those at some point in their career and at this time of year, 50% of players are. I know he's struggling right now but I think the Sox would be foolish to dump him. The only way I could accept this is if they have a backdoor deal (Bronson fans, I do not need to be reminded that he too had a gentlemen's agreement with the Sox) to trade him and get something they could use this year, and re-sign Trot in the offseason when he's on the market. This is still sort of shitty because it would leave Trot in a Nomar-esque situation if the Sox really do win it again. But I want to reiterate that this is the ONLY way I'd feel okay about it. Trot should stay on the Sox for his career and when it's over, they'll relax the rule that says only Cooperstown players can have their number retired in Fenway.

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The good thing about having no money for two weeks is that when the two weeks are over you have money again. What? That doesn't happen to everyone?

The bad thing when that happens is sometimes your boss suggests that we have a talk when the two weeks is over. Since I already sort of know how human relations work (not from recent experience; I guess it never leaves you), she must mean we need to talk about my future endeavours at the company. I was sort of hoping my future endeavours would involve a different company but there comes a time in every young(ish) man's summer that he must deal with the possibility that he'll have to go back to work full time. And for the same company that he got laid off from. What? That doesn't happen to everyone?

There's still time though. I could still get a new job. I could also win the lottery. I won $3 on Tuesday. If that isn't how Warren Buffet started his fortune then I guess I'm not destined to give Bill Gates my entire life's work on every talk show in America. But I have to give going back to full time work serious consideration. As much as I've enjoyed collecting my generation's social security (read: unemployment) there are definitely tangible benefits to my job. No one notices when I don't shave. I haven't purchased new clothes except to avoid doing laundry. LiveJournal gets care and attention. The halal food cart guy seems to genuinely enjoy my patronage. It keeps me out of the sun. These are all totally awesome things about being there. And there's five of them!

It's a shame that I haven't gotten new work while I was unemployed. It means I'll have to fend off whatever rudimentary guilt I might feel if I get a job offer while I'm technically employed. The good news is that scenario carries long odds.

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