My spring break is this week.

I thought that 2006 might have been the last year that I got to enjoy the over-indulgent “holiday” known as spring break, but now it looks like I’ll have a long, fruitful career of academic springs breaks that I can look forward to.  This, of course, is highly contingent on me finding a job after graduation, but, hey, that’s four and a half years from now — why worry?

Back to spring break, we have a few fun events lined up, none of which would be possible if we didn’t live in California.

First, my friend Nicolas and I are going on a little hike tomorrow.  The specific trail is called “Devil’s Punchbowl — Devil’s Chair,” which besides possessing a menacing name, is only an hour and 15 minutes from our apartment.  And it’s up in the mountains, so that will be nice.  We were looking into climbing an actual mountain, but according to the Forest Ranger the trails in the San Bernardino National Forest are not passable without snowshoes.  That’s another confusing fact about California.  It was like 80 degrees out today and only an hour away people wishing merely to walk require squash rackets attached to their boots.  I don’t really get it.

Second, we’re going to Rangers spring training in Surprise, Arizona this weekend.  I cannot wait to experience my first spring training.  Now that the Rangers have finally left that dump known as northern Florida, seeing Brandon McCarthy tear his rotator cuff up the Dodgers and Rockies in person has become a possibility.

Spring break = success.


In regards to your column, posted on ESPN today.

Dear Bill:

I feel that you may have gone a little overboard in heaping praise upon the Suns in your latest column. Sure, if Steve Nash had hit that three-pointer against Agent Zero and the Wiz and if The Good German hadn’t busted a three in the Suns’ collective face a couple weeks ago, then yes, the Suns would be riding a 28-game winning streak.

But let’s talk Mavs, Bill. The Suns have eight losses this season. Two have come against the Mavericks. The Mavs started the season 0-4, the Suns 1-5. Since that start, the Mavericks have been winning 88.8% of their games. Toss out the first four games of the year and the Mavs would be on pace for 72.8 wins this season. Since you can’t round up wins in the NBA (and you can’t on the official census, either, Mr. Every USA Household Averages 1.7 Children Census Guy), we’ll go ahead and give the Mavs 72 wins, thus tying them with the ’95-’96 Bulls for the most wins ever. But you already knew that, didn’t you, SportsGuy?

In winning Western Conference Player of the Week honors this past week, Dirk Nowitzki averaged averaged 32.5 points, 8.5 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.0 steals. And that includes only 11 points in 25 minutes in a blowout win against the Blazers. Or read John Hollinger’s latest column (you do have ESPN Insider, don’t you?). He declares that if Josh Howard was hitting the free agent market this summer he’d command a maximum contract. You can take all the Boris Diaws you want, but give me Howard. As a last resort, we could always talk about the Mavs’ fourth quarter defense this season, which kinda dwarfs any defensive improvements the Suns may have made.

Yes, the Suns are a great team, but they’re not iconic. To mention them in the same sentence as your 80’s Celtics, well, that almost seems a little ridiculous. So take your hand out of Amare Stoudamire’s pants, stop giving Steve Nash a belly rub, and give some credit where credit is due. Also, thanks for writing, ’cause you’re really funny.


Parker in Dallas

P.S. If the refs had known last summer that Dwyane Wade is, in fact, not made of porcelain, then your column probably would have been about the chances of a Mavs’ repeat and talk of establishing dynasties, but I digress.

Bird Streets Dispatch:

Sitting at home, watching The Office. Russ attempts to call me. My favorite show is on, so I don’t pick up. Russ shows some persistence and uses the underappreciated and little-used landline. I pick up on his urgency and decide to answer.

Our conversation goes as follows:

R: Are you watching this game?

P: Dude, no, The Office is on.

R: Switch over.

P: I can’t. I have Time Warner Cable. The NFL and Time Warner are currently locked in a battle to the death over the availability of the NFL Network. I can’t flip over.

R: Fair enough. You’re never going to believe what just happened.

P: Tell me, then. But hurry the fuck up, Michael Scott is wearing a bandana on his head and talking like the guitarist from the E Street Band.

R: Ok, Chad Johnson (or “Ocho Cinco” to those of you south of the border) just scored a touchdown. After dropping the ball, he went over to the goalpost, pulled out an artillery shell, set it down in the end zone, lit it, and the goddamn thing shot up and exploded. Or in other words: Chad Johnson just set off fireworks in the stadium as a part of a touchdown celebration.

P: Holy shit. Did he get ejected?

R: Yes, all the refs threw their flags at once and he got tossed.

I curse Time Warner for not giving me NFL access and then spend the next 15 minutes trying to find a video online. ESPN comes up empty. CNN comes up empty. And when YouTube proves fruitless, I realize that I’ve been had. The wool was pulled over my eyes. I was duped.

I decide to seek revenge two hours later.

P: Are you watching Sportscenter?

R: No, why?

P: Jeremy Roenick just scored a goal, went behind the bench, pulled out a Russian-made rocket with a monkey sitting inside, and shot it to the moon.

I don’t think he believed me.

And the reason rhymes with “fuck”. Or “suck”. Or any other word that ends in u-c-k.

Here’s what Kevin Sherrington at the Dallas Morning News has to say about the whole thing:

Coming off the stunner in Detroit, the Rangers suddenly looked like a contender again. All that stood between that pivotal series and another against Oakland was Tampa Bay.

Tampa Bay … home of the third-worst ERA in baseball and tied for last in batting average.

And what happens? Showalter comes back from his clubhouse hiatus, and the Rangers go in the tank.

There is more Dallas Morning News, err, news. A couple weeks ago the News’ publisher, Jim Moroney (whom I saw speak at the Austin College Law Symposium), offered buyouts to any staffer willing to leave the paper. And I mean any staffer.

Unfair Park, the informative and entertaining blog of the Dallas Observer, reported yesterday that a partial list of the staffers willing to accept Moroney’s buyouts is in their possession.

The list surprises me, although it shouldn’t, because much like the baseball team that plays in Arlington, print journalism is dying.

Anyway, Tim Cowlishaw is reportedly moving to ESPN. Philip Wuntch and Ed Bark, the movie and television critics, respectively, are moving on as well. Those two have been at the paper for as long as I can remember. And in a change that will affect my parents, but not me, Scott Burns, the lead business writer for the News, is out, too.

Come September 15, it’s going to be a much different Dallas Morning News that will be sitting on my kitchen table.

Or bathroom floor.

Also, today is Friday. Sarah, the aforementioned girl in the Boom Boom Room, is playing a show tonight at Club Dada. Rock and roll, man, rock and roll.