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Lou Pickney's Online Commentary

October 2001

October 31, 2001
10:10 AM EDT

Sleep calls me now. But, the Yankees won a key game last night, which is very good. Also, the new NBA season is underway. I think Michael Jordan returning with the Wizards kind of tarnishes his reputation, but it did bring some interest to the otherwise hapless Wizards...

October 30, 2001
6:38 PM EDT

"I've said it to Matt, and I'll say it to you - your lives sound like a non-stop adventure..."
-Nic Denholm

There's a big game tonight for the Yankees. Down 2-0 to the Diamondbacks, tonight's game 3 in New York is as much of a "must-win" as you could find in a non-elimination game. With the prospect of facing Curt Schilling AND Randy Johnson at least one more time each, they can't afford to lose with Roger Clemens on the mound. Hopefully this will emulate the 1996 World Series, where the Yankees overcame a 2-0 series defecit to win the World Series. And if I'm not mistaken, in '96 the Yankees bounced back from an 0-2 start in the divisional playoff (vs. Texas), much like they did here in '01 (vs. Oakland). But if the Yankees lose, they'll be down 0-3, and the World Series will be all but over.

A busy week continues at work. Tomorrow I meet with our Lori in human resources to discuss the new health plan we're switching to as of 1/1/2002, and Thursday there's a news staff meeting at 8 AM. I'll finally get to meet Lane Michaelsen (our new news director) in person. Should be good.

October 29, 2001
8:37 AM EDT

"I can't remember the last thing that you said as you were leaving.
And now the days go by so fast..."
-Counting Crows "A Long December"

"You were sleeping next to me, but I knew that you'd be gone...
Just take some time before you go
Think of Monday's coming down
And the people that you knew
The ones that aren't around
Because you've been fading day to day
I've been moving town to town..."
-Counting Crows "Richard Manuel Is Dead"

"All my ex's live in Texas."
-George Strait

Good gawd, what an interesting month it's been. Maybe interesting isn't the word for it... eventful. That's more like it. It's been an eventful month.

First of all, Guavaween was a great time this past weekend. My bro Matt and my old friend Richard Karg and I tore this town up. I'm about half tempted to throw the story about Friday night up here, it was classic. Hell, the whole damn weekend was classic. It would've been better if I'd have met up with Amy at Empire at 1 AM on Saturday night like we had planned, but those crowds were massive. Anyway, bottom line, it was a crazy, wild fun weekend. Living La Vida Loca.

But I've got tons on my mind. First of all, I'm livid about a comment made by someone at work last night. Normally what happens at work stays at work (on the negative tip), but this has me so riled up... Okay, so Brian and I were in the newsroom, and then Person X walks in to tell us something regarding tape archiving. Brian and I were talking about pro football, and Jerome Bettis facing the Tennessee Titans defense tonight. Ok, then Person X says, and I swear I'm not making this up, "I wish the Tennessee Titans would've been on one of the planes that crashed into the World Trade Center." For a split-second I was in shock; I couldn't believe what I'd just heard. Then I was furious. I told him to back it down right then and there. It's a good thing I can control my temper, because otherwise I might be out of a job now. But how in the world could you make a statement like that? Person X didn't say it to rile me up, at least I don't think so. He then made some self-centered comment about the Jaguars and the Titans beating them in the '99 playoffs, but I was beyond livid. I still am.

Driving home this morning I nearly got in a wreck (trying to switch lanes on crazy I-275). Sleep deprivation is a bitch. But then I got home, and I finally got my mail that'd be waiting in my mailbox from Saturday. There was a UE magazine there, so when I got in I flipped it open. They had info on a few people I'd known, including info about Joel and Lane getting married... and then I saw one listing that really flapped me up big-time. You'd think after two and a half years I wouldn't care anymore, but some things pass easier with time than others. So as if my state of mind wasn't already all f---ed up, now I've got this to deal with. I guess when you have a weekend as good as the one I had, the flip side sometimes hits hard. This is about up there with one very memorable time at Harlaxton, right at the end, a pair of e-mails that flipped me out pretty wild.

So my state of mind is pretty sketchy right now, but what else is new. We have a new news director at 10 News, which is nice. I borrowed a stud finder for my walls from Amy at work, so I actually have some things hung up now around my apartment. I worked as a field producer for the post-game show we did for the Bucs/Steelers game last Sunday. Raymond James stadium is a nice place, I must say. As for future plans, looks like I'll be going back to Nashville in late December for a few days, but beyond that I think I'll be sticking around Tampa for awhile... We'll see how that goes.

October 1, 2001
10:32 AM EDT

"It's all about you."
-Tupac Shakur

I'm back in Tampa after spending yet another weekend on the road. And, barring any surprises, I don't anticipate hitting the road for awhile. In the past two months, I had the huge Europe trip, the weekend of my birthday up in Boston, the Orlando-Miami trip two weekends ago, and then my trip to Indiana this past weekend (more on that in a moment). October should be fun though -- my old fraternity bro Justin Smith is coming down to visit in two weeks (and to possibly scout out Tampa as a place to land a job when he finishes up grad school at Indiana State) on a three day weekend deal, and in four weeks my younger bro Matt flies in from Alabama for what should be a wild weekend -- Guavaween 2001. Between that and my usual adventures with my crew in Tampa... well it should be good.

This past Friday, I wasn't going on much sleep. I knew better than to trust myself to take a nap -- the last time I did that before a flight, I slept an extra hour and damn near missed my flight to Boston. As it was, there was plenty to go to get ready for the trip. Getting to the airport early was a smart idea, as there were long lines and high security.

The flight to Indy was a direct trip (unlike my return home). Now with Southwest Airlines, there's no assigned seating. It's first come, first serve for getting a number. However, despite me drawing #85, I was able to land a window seat. I didn't want the seat for the view -- in fact, I kept the screen down on it to keep the sun from glaring in. Plus, sleeping in an aisle seat is no good; eventually, someone will want to get out, or the flight attendant will wake you up to see if you want a drink or whatever. But tap out by the window, and usually you'll be left alone. Usually.

On my Indy flight, there was me, an empty seat, and some middle-aged guy. Perfect -- no one next to me means a little extra leg room (which goes a long way when you're 6'2", I can assure you). But, just before the flight took off, some women came up and asked if the middle-aged guy would switch seats with her husband. I thought to myself uh-oh, what is this all about? The husband then came up... carrying a baby. NO!!! There are few worse curses to land on an airline trip when you want to sleep than to have a baby in the row you're in. Usually, forget about sleep. Well, maybe if I was double-dramamine fueled I could, but I only took one dramamine (knowing I would need to stay awake later in Terre Haute... at that time, I didn't know just how much later that would be). So I thought well maybe this child will be well behaved and quiet. Ha!

So there I am, drifting in that stage between awake and asleep, and then I feel something wet on my right hand. I opened my eyes, and I don't know what it was... but the dad apologized to me, so I can only presume the baby decided to spit across the aisle or some nonsense like that. At that time he was holding the baby; a few minutes into the flight, he put the baby in the seat next to me. And so, babies being what they are, the kid was crying and whining and climbing around and trying to climb up my arm and what not. Fine I guess in a normal setting, but not when I needed to sleep. I like babies just fine, but under the circumstances I was not amused. I think the dad got the idea that I was starting to get a little steamed, as he ended up switching the baby off with his wife and bringing up a 3-or-4 year old toddler. Actually that turned out to be just fine -- the toddler threw crackers on the floor and made a mess, but I was able to get some sleep, which was the bottom line.

Once in Indy, I was able to find Justin quickly enough over by the baggage claim. With the new safety regulations in place, they don't let ticketed passengers past security. So we got my bag soon enough, and after I pointed out this too-hot-to-be-single blonde chick who'd been on the flight to him, we were off to Terre Haute.

Dinner at Applebee's was nice. Half-price appetizers are great, and so are dollar drafts, both of which they had going on there. Plus the service was good, too. From there, we went back to the apartment and had some beer and watched some of this really really good show on ABC called Thieves. It features John Stamos (from the all-time horrid show Full House) and this really hot Australian chick named Melissa George. The show was shot in an unusual way, almost a European feel to it. Hard to explain without having the visuals to accompany it, but believe me when I say it was excellent.

Anyway, Justin and I were planning on going to going to Willie Jack's, which is supposedly the best dance club in Terre Haute. But unfortunately the only taxi cab company in town quoted us a price of $12-15 just to get there. So, Justin suggested we walk it. He showed me a map, and from the looks of it he made it seem like it wasn't all that far. So we walked it... and decided to bring some Budweiser with us for the trip. So we drank as we made our way to the club... looking like a couple of high-rollers, no doubt.

We headed out at 9:45 PM... On the way we stopped at this bar called the Pasttime Tavern. It was this old-time feeling bar that was about to close for the night. In fact, the front door was locked, but Justin had the presence of mind to check the side, which was still open. So we went inside and had a beer and a couple of shots... a nice break from the long walk.

Finally we made it to Willie Jack's. It was 12:30 AM... almost 4 hours since we had left his place. The "mile and a half" walk had actually been a FIVE MILE walk. Anyway, we made it. So at the door was this huge bouncer who looked like Rikishi from the WWF (a large Samoan guy with dyed-blonde hair). He used a wand metal detector and checked our ID's, then let us in. After a beer at the bar, Justin and I headed to the back, where the dance floor (and the women) were... But when we got there, the place was pretty dead. Not a whole lot of people there, and the chicks who were there most all were there with guys. So it ended up being a pretty dud evening there.

When 2:30 AM rolled around, we decided to head back. Justin and I went to the front and asked if they could call us a cab. The bartender lady and the Rikishi-clone bouncer gruffly told us there was a phone in the men's room! Imagine that, a bar that won't call you a cab. Real nice work there assholes. Get you nice and liquored up, but if you need a little help getting home, well up yours buddy. Unfortunately, the cab company didn't answer the phone. So Justin and I had to WALK BACK. Apparently the only cab service in Terre Haute shuts down at midnight or something. Ridiculous... We didn't get back to his apartment till 6:15 AM.

Soon enough, 10 AM hit. By 11 we were on the road to Fort Wayne... And while I was tired, it was a great time at Joe and Chaz's wedding. Saw lots of old friends, people I hadn't seen in years. Very nice, and a very good weekend.

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