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OFFSEASON BLUES CHRONICLES - PART 1 - THE AWAKENING

I woke up this morning feeling better than yesterday.  I was still spitting up phlegm, but not at the same frequency of the days prior.  I took a Claritin 24-Hour Relief pill on Saturday and a Sudafed 24-Hour Relief pill on Sunday.  I don't know if one worked better than the other, but my two-day binge on orange juice probably helped.

I had to feel better today because I was picking up some very important Japanese clients in the afternoon.  We are shooting some pick-up shots in Glen Rose tomorrow for a commercial that will only air in Japan.  There's a running joke in the commercial business about working on 'mayonnaise commercials'... I'm not sure what dinosaur fossils have to do with mayonnaise... but according to the suits, this is a real-life mayonnaisse commercial.

I met the production supervisor in the lobby of the Hotel Palomar at 10am.  He gave me some spending money, told me that I had to pick up an SUV rental at the Budget at DFW Airport at 3pm, and then pick up the clients at 5pm. 

"That's it?" I asked.

"That's it."

"What do I do from now until then?" 

He shrugged. 

I decided to spend the rest of my morning chillin' by White Rock Lake.  I've only been to White Rock Lake a couple of times... I was raised on Arlington's south side, and have yet to reside in Dallas proper.  So, White Rock Lake is still somewhat of a mythical landscape I only hear about on the radio whenever there's a jog-athon.

The lake was surprisingly accessible... (the people who run Joe Pool should take a lesson from this)...

I pulled up to the waterfront, kicked off my shoes, and basked in the cool glow of early autumn sunlight.  A woman jogged past me, blessed with the roundest boobs I had seen since I saw Lucy Pinder on the cover of American Curves at the 7-Eleven checkout a month ago.  I said hello.  She smiled and nodded, panting as if her workout was becoming too painful.  Stripper.

I tired after awhile, and retreated to my car.  I rolled down the windows, flipped on The Ticket, leaned my seat back all the way, and flicked the bill of my cap to cover my eyes.  It was then that Sean Bass mentioned that Mike Maddux was going to be named the new Rangers pitching coach. 

The first thing I thought of when I heard this was Homer in the Stampy episode... when Santa's Little Helper and Snowball are trying to impress him with new tricks...

Goood Luuckk!

I decided to have lunch with the dizzy Dallas public at the Café Express in Mockingbird Station.  To my dismay, the haughty-professional-type crowd outnumbered the SMU skirts.  I got my lunch and sat next to a table of young, attractive business women.  I looked up at them every now and then to see if they had noticed my handsomeness. 

Alas, I was not acknowledged. 

On my final attempt, I glared at them deathly... a piece of roasted turkey hanging from my lip. 

When that was not successful, I decided to gather my things and get to work.  The fries tasted like shit anyway.

I took a taxi to the airport.  It was $40 BUCKS.  Do taxis already add a tip to the amount?  Because I gave the sonuvabitch an extra six bucks afterwards.  All for doing nothing but keeping his mouth shut.

I picked up the Expedition, drove to Gate C4 and waited for my clients to arrive.  While passing the time at the baggage claim, I noticed a middle-aged man and a much older woman embrace for a full minute... Sixty seconds had never seemed like an eternity.  In my haste to form conclusions, I began to choke-up. 

I don't think I've ever hugged my mother that long.  Ever. 

What circumstance could cause two people to hold each other that long, I wondered.  As they let each other go, she took off her glasses and wiped away her tears.

The Japanese agency arrived moments later, accompanied with a translator.  It was only until they were five feet in front of me that I realized I had not researched Japanese etiquitte the night before like I told myself I would.  I quickly punched the cap off my head, stuck out my hand and bowed.  I offered them bottles of Aquafina that I bought with my own personal money, just as a courtesy.  They politely declined.  I had no idea what they were saying.  But, they smiled.  I smiled.  The middle-aged man and the old lady smiled.  Everyone was smiling.  I wanted to leave.

I drove them back to the Palomar in a brisk Japanese 55 MINUTES.  Seriously, why is there more traffic going towards downtown at 5pm, than going away from it?  I thought it was the other way around.

I hate fancy hotels.  HATE 'EM.  No, I don't want you to valet my car.  No, I can carry my bags myself.  Fuck you.  Thank you.

If I were one of the top closers in baseball, I would stipulate in my contract that I stay at a La Quinta on every road trip.

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