Saturday, September 18, 2010

The Visitor

With not much to do, former NBA superstar Vlad Radmonovic decided to give me a visit in my Southern Florida habitat.

I will recount our adventures in cleverly titled sections because I know that's how Americans like to read when they decide to read at all.

The Part Where I Forget How to Drive

One of my best qualities is my perfect driving record. Have I been spotless? No. Ask Jeff Schaible about my thrilling U-turn of death. But I have no tickets at all and I can usually work myself around an area in which I've spent nearly four years.

But anytime former Lakers lazy man Radmonovic comes to town, I turn into an 80-year-old Alzheimers patients hunched over the wheel swerving into Farmer's Markets.

First, I get lost driving back to my apartment from the airport. A drive I've done dozens of times with no problem and suddenly we're on our way to Naples.

And I couldn't find an Outback Steakhouse. That took us an hour. I couldn't find a Boston bar where we could watch the Patriots game. We even missed the first touchdown of the season.

I also got sidetracked again while driving to Hollywood, having to circle around the airport to get back to I-95.

All this is made worse because you could drop Radmonovic in Siberia and he'd find the closest Siberian Shawarma within 20 minutes with only a dogsled and a map of Mordor.


Where No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

After the 1-15 Patriots cheated their way past the Bengals, Vlad and I took to the sandy courts nestled next to beautiful Fort Lauderdale beach. Of course I lost, but it was 12-10. Respectable. After a soul-searching swim in the warmest beach water I have encountered, we were headed home when I found part of a man's wallet in the parking lot.

I had his social security card, voter registration form and the works. Did I sell it on the black market? Did I steal his life savings? No. I called him and told the man I'd wait for him at the beach and hand him his wallet back.

While we waited, I got a parking ticket. Now, while we were paying at the beginning, a man came up to us and handed us his slip, which had few more hours on it. Great! So I displayed the slip but in my haste it flipped upside down, leaving only an old one face up for the parking inspectors.

Another mindless Sears moment for me. But since I still had the good parking slip, I vowed to fight the good fight the next morning and get the ticket rescinded. Finally, a Sears victory against the Man! Instead of being the lovable lout of loserdom, the sweet nectar of victory was close at hand.

So I waltz into the bureaucratic crypt the next day confident of victory.

"Can I see your Fort Lauderdale resident card?"

Wah wah wahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

I glanced at the ticket and lo and behold, "Fort Lauderdale resident" glowed up at me. They get discounted parking rates, the rest of us don't. Bye, bye, 25 bucks.

To recap, one man's nice gesture prevented us from just paying for the slip ourselves. And my decision to stop, pick up the wallet and wait meant my car sat in the parking lot 20 minutes late. So two acts of kindness = $25 parking ticket.

And you wonder why I'm a misanthrope.

No Life at Sun Life

I still remember my first trip to Fenway Park in 1995 in a game against the Brewers. The gigantic Green Monster. The smell of the impeccably green grass. The Citgo Sign. The wide, finely raked infield. The stuff that gets Bob Costas in the mood.

So with that in mind, I hoped to give the hulking bear that is Vlad Radmonovic a similar experience at beautiful Sun Life Stadium for an NL East slobberknocker between the Marlins and the Phillies.

It was an eye-opener, all right. Vlad could not believe the Rhode Island-mall type atmosphere for the game. The empty concourse. The endless expanse of empty orange seats. The ability to freely pick where we wanted to watch the game from center field.

An audience you'd expect at the Division 5B Rhode Island Sectional Semifinals between Scituate and Cumberland, not a major league baseball game with the two-time defending NL champions.

Only a short baseball throw from rightfielders Jayson Werth and Mike Stanton, we watched the Phillies fool around with the disinterested Marlins. Both of us were on TV for just a second on Logan Morrison's solo bomb to center. Only an obnoxious, foul-mouthed teenage girl added any spice to the proceeding.

"I F'n love F'n Jayson Werth! World F'n Champs!"

Damn kids these days.

The Lost Winter of 2005 Part II

Back in December of 2005, Vlad and I watched more than a few seasons of the Sopranos. Worse, I was watching those episodes for the second time. It's like we went on a huge meth kick and loss a month of our lives strung out in some dilapidated shack. Only with more gabbagool.

After several expensive meals (including a delicious $11 margarita for yours truly) and a salacious A/C controversy that cost me a yet-to-be determined amount of money, we decided to revert to cheap college student mode and watch The Wire, otherwise known as the greatest TV show of all time.


Again, I was watching these episodes for the second time. In my defense, you have to watch that show more than once. It is that deep. We zipped through an entire 10 episode season in about two days, but what a glorious, "life is futile and we're all cogs in an evil machine" two days they were!

Vlad has since gone back to New Jersey, but that doesn't mean I stop having fun. Yesterday, I saw the Kings of Leon perform. They put on a solid set. Nothing fancy. They just got up there, played their songs skillfully and left. They played all the songs I wanted to hear so I was happy.

And I got a $30 t-shirt out of it.

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