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Friday, March 20, 2009

Twenty-Four 24: Reversal of Twenty Four-tune

Oh Friday, how glad indeed I am to see you, with your promises of an alarm clock silenced and as many game clocks ticking as I care to follow.  In this, the first weekend of the tournament, game after game after game will air, and I can lazily watch as much basketball as I would like to without worrying if any coworker might care. 

There is also room for much needed recuperation, as in the time between yesterday and today, the madness of March truly got underway.  Last second shots have decided the fates of many teams, and just this evening, two games were decided in the last 3 or fewer seconds within about a minute of one another.  The collective "OHHHH!"s of gathered fans were fast and furious and bewildered as CBS changed coverage from one game to another, sometimes mid-stream, as the action kept pace on both courts.  
The madness has had elements of the good, the bad, and the ugly, as did my own personal madness of yesterday and today.

These two good game endings, at least in terms of excitement, did as good a job of numbing the pain of the brutal loss of my alma mater to a much lower-ranked team in this, their first, and what was to be their only, game of the 2009 NCAA tournament.  The problem was not just the loss, it was the absolutely emotionless way in which we earned that loss.  Ugh, even writing this raises the specter of my ire all over again.  Only watching four other teams play as if their lives depended on it, as if their winning or losing meant playing more or going home (which it DID, by the way), dulled the sting of a lackluster, uninspired showing on a national stage.  Ugh.

Moving on.

I think I will use the good, the bad, and the ugly to organize today's post more effectively.

The Good: Last night I participated in a bar crawl
The Bad: Last night I participated in a bar crawl
The Ugly: Today was a good old fashioned work day! 

Luckily for me, I think a combination of several extraneous circumstances (Friday, Spring Break times, first day of spring, NCAA tournament planning) made for a general attitude of malaise in the workplace, but I did spend many a touch-and-go moment today wondering if I was doing a good enough job of acting like a well-rested, respectful, responsible, adult employee rather than an egregiously hungover, possibly still mildly intoxicated, old-enough-to-know-better, moron.  

The Good: I went to a fine establishment with many bar games and a bartender who hailed from Pittsburgh.
The Bad: The lack of potato chips or bar snack food items (say, hard boiled eggs, maybe pickles too) available for purchase behind the bar, as would be found in any number of establishments in Pittsburgh that looked just like this one.
The Ugly: We left this bar and went to another!

The Good: This bar had a dartboard! I love darts.
The Bad: I accidentally only put in enough quarters to make a one-player game, so my friend and I alternated throws as "Player 1" (that was my bad, but it was actually a good because we had a lot of fun).
The Ugly: My dart-throwing arm hurts today.  We played ONE game.  One game.  I am old.

The Good: Pittsburgh love.  The bartender was wearing a University of Pittsburgh shirt.  I asked him if he was a Pitt fan, accordingly, assuming that if he were actually a Pitt fan, he would respond better to Pitt than Pittsburgh.  Yes, he was, he answered, and he was from Pittsburgh but moved
out west years ago.  To show me just how much he was from Pittsburgh, he 
rolled up his shirt sleeve.  I am sure you're expecting a segue to "The Bad" or "The Ugly" now, but it was actually a chance for triple good.  This guy had a devotional sports montage on his forearm:  the Penguins emblem, the 1970s-era Pirates logo, and, this is where I need a separate section for The Great,
SIX LOMBARDI TROPHIES.  With roman numerals. Commemorating each Steeler Super Bowl win.  
The newest of these was precise in its demarcations 
and shading.  The first trophy from the seventies was slightly faded.  Faded ink on his arm, but certainly not faded glory of that Super Bowl win.  Just fantastic.  

After our fun was had and our darts were thrown, we moved locations to a tiny spot that would be host to huge music. 

The Good: A friend offered to take me home when she left at a reasonable hour. 
The Bad: After some thought, and a public discussion of the ways in which it would be very wise for me to leave with her, I stayed.
The Ugly: Even after sharing my thoughts on how one can't go crazy on a weeknight without being severely incapacitated and pained the following day, I decided to go wild.

At some point today, when remembering fractured tidbits of the evening in between wishing for some sort of greasy meaty fried product and my own death, I realized that if I had been wearing a t-shirt last night, it could have said "I am a rampage. Get on if you wanna." Sigh.  Yes, today I felt dumb and like I probably made a fine ass of myself on many occasions, as one does when rampaging.

It was a very active choice to do myself in for all of today for the sake of fun in the moment.  I not only suspected I would be feeling the pain today, I practically gave a lecture on the many reasons why pain was assured, and just going for it like the young kids in their early 20s can do is a terrible idea.  Bad idea.  The ugly.

I am not quite sure what inspired my need for intentional hm, recklessness is not even the right word, personal sabotage seems a bit strong but more accurate, hm, intentional negligence toward my own best interest perhaps? Let's go with that. That sounds like legal terminology.  As I was saying, I am not quite sure what inspired my need for intentional negligence toward my own best interest, but key factors involved were: friends, a triangle, a squeezebox, a slide guitar, a theme, and enough beer to get a horse or two drunk.  
Then on to today.  The reckoning for the negligence.  The UGLY.
The Good: Though I would have preferred not to, I went to work and enjoyed a delightful day in cube city.
The Bad: I spent several hours fantasizing about fried foods, and wondering about the extent of my jackassery.
The Ugly: I remembered I had eaten an entire avocado last night, but could not remember with 100% certainty whether or not I'd turned off my space heater.

The Good: There was basketball and the much-pined-for fried food at the end of my day.  Somehow the  additional suffering of the stupidly won physical sort made the anticipation of the relief of the game viewing that much more intense.  
The Bad:  Nutritional value of the fried foods consumed.  My team's first half.
The Ugly:  My team's second half.  Horrendous. 

And after that...
The Good: Coming home to Friday night.  Also good - the new Frosted Flakes Gold cereal purchased for consumption pre-blog.
The Bad: Writing about ones exploits into the land of the hungover.
The Ugly: Checking my tournament brackets and seeing how far my team is not going to go, despite my best penned-in intentions.

Today is good. Even with the loss, it is good.  Yesterday was good. Even in overly enthusiastic outings, it was good.  This morning was good. Even in borrowing the "slow rollin' low" lyric from Waylon Jennings, it was sunny and full of potential. Even if I brought plenty of the bad and the ugly to the day, it was good. Can't wait for tomorrow!

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