Tuesday, September 03, 2002


Today was a tough day. Got back to the Piker offices after the long holiday weekend and was all alone. No one to share my stories with. No one to shoot the shit with around the water cooler. As a matter of fact, the water cooler was one of the few remaining items left here in the office and Arrowhead sent a guy to retrieve it today. So I talked to him for a few minutes as he was hauling away the equipment, but you can’t really count that as water cooler talk, per se.

This morning, I came into work pretty gung ho. I woke up at a decent hour, ran five miles, and had a solid breakfast. After all, this was to be the first day of a new era for Piker. But, it’s extremely difficult to generate ideas for new directions and new elements without a staff. I couldn’t have any meetings – no creative meetings, no budget meetings, no sexual harassment seminars. And I really wanted to have some damn meetings. Even if, at the very least, the purpose of the meetings was to shoot down everyone else’s crappy ideas and railroad my own. So, in lieu of meetings, you’d think I would hit the phones. That would be the case, if I had phones. Apparently, someone in operations didn’t pay the bill. I suppose after I fired everyone, or everyone quit when I went AWOL, whatever, I then became the new operations person. Fine. I screwed up. No phones. No people. No meetings. No business.

So I went home and did some laundry while watching a pretty good day of U.S. Open tennis. Last night was an amazing night of tennis, a confluence of the world’s best players playing on the same night due to almost two full days of rain. There was Pistol Pete Sampras winning a tough five-setter against that Canadian/Brit confused accent sore loser Greg Rusedski; the indefatigable 32 year-old Andre Agassi dominating the much younger American Jan-Michael Gambill in straight sets; Tommy Haas, the current most controversial player on the men’s tour, outlasting the pesky Swede Thomas Enqvist in five sets. And then, you had the most exciting thing to happen to tennis in a long time, Andy Roddick, outdueling Spanish veteran Alex Corretja, the sleek and adorable Daniela Hantuchova upsetting Justin Henin, plus victories by Jennifer Capriati, Lindsey Davenport, and world number one Lleyton Hewitt. I’ve always loved the U.S. Open -- night matches under the lights with that rowdy New York crowd… I can’t get enough.

Andy Roddick just defeated Juan Ignacio Chela in four sets to move through to the quarterfinals. At one point in the match, Roddick appeared to have a bad foot injury. Chela tried to take advantage of it by running him around the court, which opened the door for the just-turned-20 years old Roddick to produce some of the most exciting points of the tournament and get the crowd into it. As a matter of fact, after Roddick won the best point of the match, he got into the crowd, high-fiving a bunch of people in the expensive seats. Now the grizzled Pistol Pete is trying to take down the hot-shot Haas to set up an All-American quarterfinal against young Roddick. I’ve got to go watch.

Following tennis tonight, I will most definitely be watching the finale of American Idol. I honestly don’t care who wins between Justin Guarini and Kelly Clarkson. I think they should both do musical theater after this whole circus ends. The real pop star in this competition, Tamyra Gray, was unceremoniously booted out by the idiotic American public, who thought Nikki McKibbin actually had more star quality. I’ll tell you what she had more of… stretch marks! Now, I don’t think having stretch marks should prevent the girl from winning, I’m not that crass. But wearing a shirt that bared her midriff with full knowledge of said stretch marks should have disqualified her instantly. One other more-deserving performer, Christina Christian, was voted out when Nikki should have been, and it really caused me to dislike the girl. I know it really wasn’t her fault that a viewing audience of complete morons kept voted her through, but I blamed her and tuned in each week hoping against hope that she’d finally get what was coming to her. Now she’s gone and we’re left with Justin and Kelly as the final two, and I’m stuck having nothing to root for and nothing to root against. So, in order for me to get satisfaction out of the conclusion of this prolonged “talent” show, my dream finale must include a diatribe by Simon Cowell, the acerbic judge who is easily the best thing to come out of the show, putting the no-talent co-host monkeys Ryan Seacrest and Brian Dunkleman in their places once and for all. Odds are that I won’t get my wish. But, despite my previously-stated aversion to gambling, you can bet the farm that I’ll be watching tonight and tomorrow night as this addictive train wreck of a show comes to an end.

Tomorrow will be the beginning of a new era in Piker history. I’m determined to make something of this blog and make something of my life. First, I’m going to go make myself a sandwich.

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