Letters (to the On the Street Penthouse Suite)
#1 Miracle Fruit and Flavor Tripping
Evidently, people in NYC are breaking all rules of flavor...
The video is insane. People are gurgling vinegar and drinking tabasco and stuff
#2 Salt in the Wound
As the Spurs were on the ropes after Game 4, the haters wrote in.
How's things homey? What's the good word?
#3 What Have You Done?
Congressman Al wrote this before Game 5 from Los Angeles. It was a group letter in a bottle, a call to action, and a test of fate.
So, I've done what I can do. I've dropped $131.31 on a $74 face ticket in section 322. And I moved into a loaner apartment on Finley Ave, explicitly to jump-start a former 20+/game player.
And my question is: What have YOU done to help the Spurs win today?
Which prompted these replies...
After that Brazilian dillweed Tiago Splitter screwed us yesterday and signed with Tau Ceramica in the Spanish League I vowed never to buy Spanish tile.
Also, I turned down an invitation for karaoke tonight.
Al, your apartment move is admirable but I'd be concerned that the place is old and creaky and won't be able to deliver in the clutch.
I'm just saying.
And then this...
This morning I stopped by the local surgi-center and received a vasectomy reversal, despite the fact that I have never had a vasectomy.
I will feel so stupid if we lose.
#4 Drinking to Forget
Then came this email with an oblique reference to the new Scott McClellan tell-all book about Bush and the White House. The quote is found from the link below.
The media won't let go of these ridiculous cocaine rumors,' I heard Bush say. 'You know, the truth is I honestly don't remember whether I tried it or not. We had some pretty wild parties back in the day, and I just don't remember.'
Reminds me of a scene in a movie I recently saw.
That last line can only be a reference to the latest Harold and Kumar film.
Sydney Pollack RIP/Paranoid Trilogy/3 Days of the Condor
This week legendary (actor's) director Sydney Pollack passed away. I'm not sure if it was a coincidence but AMC happened to be playing his forgotten 3 Days of the Condor a few nights ago and I happened to watch. 3 Days of the Condor conincided with director Alan J. Pakula's "Paranoid Trilogy" (of Parallax View, All the President''s Men, and Klute) and established a cinematic record of the wonderfully bleak still idealistic enough to care to be cynical 1970s, a period no less bleak then now one could argue yet for unknown/various reasons has yet to be evidenced on-screen and more importantly, at the cineplex.
My memories of 3 Days of the Condor were loose, yet a few years back I do remember hearing of some unforseen 9-11/Twin Towers connection. The film is quite prescient, at least it was around the time of the beginning of the Iraq War. Though the film works as a political thriller, in the end, it's about elements of the government trying to start an illegal war in the Mideast to procure oil. Where have we heard that one before? The irony is that in the film this potential war is thwarted by the CIA itself as an act of cleaning house. Yet, the CIA still comes across as the nefarious arm of the shadow government. Jump ahead to 2005 (and now) and we find the Bush Government with its own battle with the CIA over new secret wars, and the CIA acting in the same manner as in this film, yet, they are now seen as relatively heroic.
I probably should discuss what happens in the film but then I would just be ruining it. However, as a nice touch one can see Robert Redford begin the film by riding through Manhattan on a moped, which is interesting in its own right and also foreshadows the energy crisis moral dilemma that later develops, and gives some sense of proof for what this was reaching for.
The Visitor (Or How Walter Got His Groove Back)
Yesterday, I snuck over to Crossroads Bijou and saw The Visitor, a film that had been getting great reviews. From the reviews I expected a sad tale of immigration in a post-9/11 world, which is definitely true. However, the film is titled The Visitor not The Visitors and subtly suggests that the main character is the real "visitor" in the film, not the immigrants he befriends.
Often times films try to do too much and end up being a complication of loose and dead ends. The Visitor is two or three films at the same time, yet somehow feels whole. On one level, yes, it is a statement about the recent detached immigration policy. But at its core, the film is about Walter and the distance he travels in reaching out to other people. He isn't a bad person at all, however he is completely alone and has nothing left in life that moves him. It may seem corny that a stiff, quiet professor ends up learning to play African drums from his new friend, and even joins in with others at Washington Square Park (which is merely seconds away from Mamoun's Falafel, the best "sandwich" shop in the country, coincidentally seen here on a t-shirt in a foto for the recent cover story...)
...and yet the film never feels like its slipping away from reality. With such a slow point for film right now, what else is there to see? Other than Ironman...
Game 4 (Lost By Not Flopping?)
Let's just dive right into it.
Here's a clip of the play with Brent going out of his way to take the high road.
Luckily, On the Street knows no high roads. Only a fan well educated in the history and politics of last second shots (or an outright Laker fan) could make a case against a foul. The next day the NBA itself admitted that a foul should have been called, but only after being pressured to show some sense of transparency and help extinguish the Lakers-Celtics conspiracy theory.
It was bad enough to throw away Game 1, but after this instance of bad luck (again at the hands of Fisher), the Spurs hopes for survival were getting lower moment by moment.
And then the hammer dropped.
The game was a microcosm of the season as a whole. We played brilliantly for the first quarter of the game in the same way we played brilliantly for the first quarter of the season. A 17-3 run to begin the season made everyone think this was our year and a repeat was finally in the cards. Teams made huge trades to try and counter the Spurs, which seems odd now as every perception of the team has since changed over the course of the last few weeks. In that sense the Spurs destroyed Dallas and Phoenix just through the threat they posed. Those teams now must fully rebuild and start over.
And yet, after the Lakers series the Spurs are somewhat in a similar place. Yes, the Big 3 are still around but a third to half the team needs to be replaced. With the dollar to euro exchange not going in our favor, the Spurs strategy of drafting foreign players seems less and less beneficial. The team needs to draft Americans, yet the idea of a 22 year old American on the Spurs seems exotic at this point.
The next few months will be interesting. Any help is needed.
(Menudo Terremoto Williams)
And the DVD That Will Never Be
And with no title that means no Championship DVD to watch for amusement. It's odd to think how over time the DVDs of past championships will serve a record and possibly replace some of the actual, in the moment memories of the Finals themselves. (And on a sidenote, can any of the Championship DVDs compare with the 2003 edition? The fourth quarters, the Stephen Jackson and Speedy Claxon youth movement that slipped away...)
I'm not sure why I'm ruminating on DVDs but for some reason I'd like to see a DVD on this season. Of course that will never happen. And for what purpose? Even with last year's DVD, very little new was discovered. It's like the DVD documentary crew had grown too old and past their prime as well.
For reasons I admit are basically retarded I would like to see a DVD of this year. The team's mortality has never been more on the line, hence the outpouring of eulogies we see on almost every basketball site.
To me this season had the most drama of all of them. It also had the most frustration. Perhaps I watched too many slow-paced, bleak movies of the 70s growing up (see above, 3 Days of the Condor.) Perhaps that's why I'm drawn to the team. Who knows? But a DVD of this season that truly got behind the scenes and captured all the subtle humor, pathos, and private drunken rants would be a Sundance winner in my mind.
Perhaps I don't want the season to end just yet. As much as I privately hated a third to half of the team this year, I also appreciate what they did over the years. The fact they even made it past New Orleans was an accomplishment in my mind.
For me it's been about a 23 year journey of watching the team - from the low point of the Ed Nealy/Walter Berry years to the end of the high point last night.
So much time. Last night felt like the last stage of grief. It's a sad acceptance.
And so goes another week on the streets of San Antonio. As always, to be continued...