Summertime blues

I've neglected the blog as of late, and when assigning fault I choose work. It's been a busy month, as is true each and every summer. While my friends -- many of whom are in grad school or teachers -- enjoy their summer on their own schedule, work becomes a big headache for me. The summer months are deadline months for our fall titles, which means I work my ass off from April through August, with emphasis on June and July. To complicate matters worse, I was assigned to work on the Dallas Mavericks championship book, which as you know today is no longer happening since the Mavs lost to the Heat in the Finals. But that book not only disrupts my regular schedule, as it takes priority over everything else I'm currently working on under deadline, it also disrupts my non-work, evening schedule. Why? Well, I have to actually watch the NBA games, so I have a clue as to what to do with the book the following day.

I don't normally watch many NBA games throughout the season. When it comes to basketball, I'd much rather watch college games, and when baseball starts up in April, I'd much rather give my evenings over to the Cardinals than the NBA. (Sorry, Chicago Bulls.) This year the NBA playoffs were actually exciting, although I partially agree with M when she says you can watch the last five minutes of any NBA game and just skip the drama-less 43 minutes prior. While the playoffs as a whole were fun to watch, the NBA Finals were a let down. Sure, three of the six games were nailbiters, including Game 6. But for some reason, the matchup just wasn't that compelling. I'm a Mavs guy, partially because I like tall, dorky-looking, blonde-haired German men who shoot ugly -- albeit unblockable and often deadly -- jump shots. The Mavs were just a far more interesting team than the Heat, a collection of aging former All Stars and perceived selfish players coached by a guy I can't stand. By comparison, the Mavs feature a younger, less defined group of guys, and a rookie coach who has reshaped the team in his image (or at least attempted to). I suppose it's easy to root against the Heat and Shaq, and so maybe that should have made for a more compelling series from my point of view. But I just couldn't muster much energy in that regard. (Although I do know now what it must have felt like for anyone forced to root for a team playing against MJ in the playoffs. D-Wade is a phenomenal talent.)

My main reason for rooting for the Mavs wasn't the fact that they, like the Heat, had never won an NBA Championship. Nor was it the fact that one of the first books I edited here was on the Mavs, so they hold a sentimental spot in my memory. It was their diminutive coach Avery Johnson, whom I liked as a player. You see, it's been over 20 years since a black coach won an NBA Championship. Sad, but true. It was 1985 when KC Jones won the title with one of the best teams ever assembled, the Celtics of McHale, Parrish, Bird, Ainge, DJ, and Walton. It was KC's second title in three years. I still think Avery Johnson will get his title eventually. He's just too good of a coach, and as long as he sticks with Cuban, he'll likely have the players necessary to make a run at the championship.

But enough about basketball. (Well, almost. I just want to mention that I'm thankful that Game 6 was on last night, so that I could choose not to suffer through the Cardinals 20-6 loss to the White Sox. Man, what a fucking ugly game that was.) It's time to appease the readers of my blog who speed read through my sports posts. (You know who you are.) I'm going to post on my trip to Madison, but I'm not ready just yet. Instead, I'll update you on some good news. But first, the bad news: Younger Than Yesterday, my radio show, isn't long for this world. But don't fret, as I intend to keep up a twice-a-month schedule from the comfort of my home. I took the old two-channel mixer for a test drive this week, and I'm happy to report that it appears I'll soon be able to post DJ sets in mp3 form on the blog. To keep things interesting, I welcome any themes that people would like to see me explore in an hour-long set.

It's 90 degrees outside today, although it feels muggy and oppressive. I'm planning on going for a run after work, and I'm anxious to see how I hold up in the heat. Luckily, my 1.8 mile route includes a lot of shade. I skipped softball this week (another loss for the Sluggers) in favor of recovering from a long weekend, so this will be my first exercise of the week. Prior to this lapse, I had been doing a good job of keeping up on my every-other-day schedule of running. I hope to get a basketball game going this weekend as well, plus a nice, long bike ride. I'm a far cry from the conditioned state I need to be in to make my summer-end goal of a 25-mile bike ride. But hopefully I can get back into the swing of things. The problem is that my weekends have been so busy as of late, and weekends are the ideal time for biking. I guess I'll just have to force myself to make time.

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