Location, Location, Location

January 5, 2009

I’ve noticed my location has a lot to do with my actions/emotions. It’s weird. But I get frustrated/angrier easier in my office/arena than on the road. Even if it’s the exact same transgression. I don’t have the urge for a cigar if I’m not home. And I also could be working on the exact saame amount of sleep, but will be tired and go to bed earlier in a hotel than at home. I was exhausted Sunday night, but stayed up late because I was home, and that’s normal.

Then again, maybe the reason I wanted to go to bed was because I was in El Paso. You know what’s the fun thing to do in El Paso? Pack up your stuff and get the hell out.

We were playing UTEP, which is in El Paso. UTEP’s campus is about a long golf drive from Juarez, Mexico. It’s a place not many people would ever like to go (UTEP, El Paso or Juarez). I think it makes you insane. I can back this up with the conversations I overheard on the bus as we drove from hotel to arena and back multiple times for practice and the game last year.

One conversation focused on how if you were in such a situation, you’d rather die fighting for your independence from aliens or killer robots rather than be enslaved by them. It isn’t quite as poetic as “it’s better to die on your feet than live on your knees,” but it’s certainly a sound philosophy.

Another conversation was about the pros and cons of selling drugs if you lived in El Paso. This quickly turned into a very in depth discussion about how if you were stuck living in there, you could have a pretty good career manufacturing fake documents for illegal immigrants. This struck me as odd, because over the course of the very intellectual conversation about the supply and demand of such services, no one mentioned the very premise of why illegal immigrants need said documents: That being so they can gain legal employment and enjoy the benefits of an American (renting cars, easy travel, etc).

However, the reason for the demand is the very same reason no logical human being capable of such intellectual thought about fake document supply and demand would ever find themselves actually doing this activity. Namely that (a) as an American, you can get a job anywhere with your legitimate documents, and (b) even if you weren’t a legal citizen, you would have the skills to fake documents so you’d appear to be, so why the hell would anyone be in El Paso? If you could get a job somewhere else, you would.

I’ve got to think that even if your business were something like working for the Old El Paso taco supply company, you’d try to get a job at a competitor elsewhere. Why else would that Pace picante sauce commercial point out that most other brands were produced in places like New York City? Even that industry doesn’t want to be in El Paso.

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Happy New Year from beautiful El Paso, Texas

January 1, 2009

I know New Year’s is a time to make changes for the better in your life, and not Thanksgiving, which was 6 weeks ago. But screw that. I’m incredibly thankful for free medical attention from our training staff. One of the best perks of my job (up there with free Nike gear and per diem) is free drugs and treatment for a variety of afflictions.

We arrived after a strenuous day of travel (More on this at the bottom), and my shoulder/back/neck was all jacked up. I slept wrong on Monday night, so all Tuesday, I got this bolt of discomfort when I turned my head, or when I moved my shoulders. CL gave me a quick tweak before a ball game on Tuesday, which is how I got through the evening. But Wednesday morning, I could barely get out of bed. Mainly because CL stretched  muscles I’d never used before in my neck. Being a whiner, I complained this morning that I was in rough shape and needed another tune up.

When we arrived in El Paso, she introduced me to the best thing that doesn’t involve bacon: The stim machine. Oh, electricity pulsing through your muscles, relaxing and massaging you. I’ve got wires hooked up to all parts of my back, shoulder and neck.

I need to buy one of these.

The travel to El Paso is quite a bitch in one sense, but after hearing Louis CK on Conan (video no longer available on YouTube, sorry), I can’t complain. To quote him as accurately as I can remember:

“People talk about air travel like it’s such a horrible experience… ‘Oh my God, it was the the worst day of my life! We were delayed for a half hour. Then they kept us on the runway for like, 20 minutes. And my seat was broken, it only went back like, an inch’

Yeah, but did the chair then SOAR THROUGH THE SKY, defying the laws of gravity and God? Did you sit in a flying chair in the sky? It used to take 30 years to go from New York to Los Angeles. People would die along the way. Others would be born. You’d be with an entirely new group of people by the time you get there. Now? Five hours. You read a magazine, take a dump and you’re home. People should be sitting on an airplane yelling ‘Oh my God! I’m flying through the air!'”