Wednesday, December 26

A lot like Christmas

10 pm, Christmas eve."This is beginning to feel a lot like Christmas" Rodney thought out loud. Alcoholic beverage in one hand and a cigarette on the other. It felt like a frigid 32 degrees outside but that almost didn't bother us. All that mattered that night and at that very moment were the two Bottles of VSOP Hennessy, two cases of Beer, and the cigarettes. Shiet Rodney and Butch even had no coats on! The Cognac apparently works as a thermal insulator just as well. "Yes, i couldn't agree more!" I told Rodney while nodding profusely (now that i think about it haha).

Perfect in a way, but not before making the rounds with the family. It's Christmas man!... A few hours before that nostalgic moment, my family and I came to see my Grandmother in her charming little Nursing Home in Northridge. Not because it is what she would want during the holidays but because Christmas is about spending time with Family. I wanted to see her more that night than any night i can remember this year, especially because it had been a long and tough year for her. Nothing would have pleased her more than a visit from her grand kids. My Grandfather who is still fairly healthy (thanked God) was helping her with dinner when we arrived, it was kind of cute (they have been married close to 60 years... amazing!).

From Grandmas Nursing Home, off we went to my aunts house to see her family. Even though we drove in my car I had to ride shotgun with my Grandfather on the way there. Because my Mother asked me, quietly. Perhaps she thought it was appropriate or something and before i could protest my Grandfather had asked me too. My Aunts house (which is where my Grandfather lives too btw...) is literally just three blocks away so it wasn't really an issue. It's just that-- it's three blocks away! What the heck?! I suppose i'm still omega in this wolf pack... Arghh!

My Grandfathers 1982 Toyota Tercel clearly has seen better days but is considered by him a living legend of sorts. He can tell you stories about that car. Oh Ya! That stubborn car is the only one he has ever owned. Once many many years ago when i was still saving up for my first car, I had asked permission to use it for one month but he wanted it back not a week later lol. That stupid thing had no FM radio and a maximum speed of 50 mph and took a little while to actually get up to speed btw. Yup, try that on the 210 freeway! Anyway, i got in and buckled up immediately (Note: Car is not rolling until all passengers are buckled up. Rule # 1). Getting out of the parking lot was somewhat difficult because of the lack of power steering. Just Imagine an old fellow trying to maneuver a vehicle using his entire Body, yup that was him! I was actually almost tempted to reach over and help steer that damn thing out of there lol... In perspective my Grandfather still driving in his old age, is, in itself, more amazing than the car's acclaimed legendary status (I'm just not sure how old exactly haha). And I wondered his age while we drove. I had my doubts whether he was still fit to drive ya know? "How old are you Lolo?" I asked, carefully. He gave me a stoic look and assured me unless it was raining Cats & Dogs we were going to be just fine (haha!). Then proudly said "I am 86, young man!"... Well, that was my Christmas moment with my Grandfather... Good times!

Shall we move on to Christmas Day?

This particular Christmas Day was different from any other Christmas Day in the past. It wasn't your typical dare i say humdrum lunch at an Aunts or Grandparents house. I had a matinée date with the Lakers vs Suns game at the Staples Center. YEAH! Can you think of a better way to spend Christmas for a guy like me? I can think of only one other thing. And that would be snowboarding in Whistler, Canada. Other than that, there's not a whole lot...

The Staples Center isn't as stunning as the unique and neoclassical Conceso Fieldhouse in Indiania (Bob Costas called it the best building in NBA. And i would agree wholeheartedly!) but it is beautiful all the same. As you might imagine the walls inside are adorned with Laker memorabilia and impressive frescoes. They really know how to make you feel like you're in the Laker's House! That said, the house of the Lakers does tend to give me a fleeting feeling because i heard some other franchise play in the same gym. Whats up with that?

Theres lots of pre-grame stuff if your not into strolling around the Stadium. We didn't bother. We were more interested in the shootaround than the sites and sounds outside of the basketball court. Adrian brought up an interesting point minutes after finding our seats. He said that the basketball court looked smaller than he expected. Hmmnn... I think it's just an illusion though. The players are so tall and the gym itself so expansive that it makes the basketball court seem small. At any rate, it's a great way to spend Christmas Day... I've been playing League Basketball since i was a child and not only do i love to play ball, i love to watch live basketball at all levels just the same. The intensity of play, the passion, the mistakes, and all facets of the game is just completely magnified. The brilliance of Steve Nash and Kobe's unparalleled skills couldn't be more impressive. It was just beautiful and amazing! And would you believe it if i told you it was my first Laker Game? Well that's okay i'm only an adopted Laker fan. I had # 33 Larry Bird on my wall growing up hehe...


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