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October 18, 2003
7:34 AM

Man oh man..I forgot to write yesterday. Sorry about that. It's Saturday morning and I'm up at 7:34 AM. What am I doing up at 7:34 AM you ask? I have no idea. I'm still on Japan time I guess. Yesterday I woke up at 6:20 AM and thought "I'm wide awake". And today it's the same. Oh well. I guess I should make the best of things. I am currently sitting in some strangers bedroom in Los Angeles. My turn of events in the last 24 hours are as follows. Actually about 22 hours ago my friend Chris calls and says I have tickets to the Lakers game against Lebron James(He is the 18 year old just out of high school rookie basketball player who just signed a $90 million dollar shoe contract)and the tickets are on the floor. "What!!", I exclaim...As I ditch everything and head down to Los Angeles. 300 Miles away I reach Chris and to my delight the game is actually a double header. The first game is the over-hyped Lebron James and his lowly Cleveland Cavaliers against the equally pitiful Los Angeles Clippers. Game time is 4:30 PM and there's nobody at the Staples Center. The place where the stars come out. Stars like Jack Nicholson, Dustin Hoffman, and so many more. Even if you don't watch basketball, you know what I'm talking about dont' you? It's stuff that's on the news. No?? Hmmm... Anyways, there's nobody there. Probably 1,000 people in this 20,000 seat arena, but that's ok. No problem. I love basketball and I love "free", so what a perfect combination. After combing the lobby for some kind of decent priced food item, I settle for the macho nachos for $7.50. Yikes! And a large 7Up for $4.50. Double yikes! Yes, I am as frugal as they get and spending $12 for nachos and a coke gave my stomach as much pain as the actual food did. It's cool though, the game was free and oh!!....also before the game we didn't have a camera and we needed to get some pictures, so I bought a disposable camera in the gift shop. Guess the price...DDDDRUM ROLL......$16.73 after TAX. TRIPLES YIKES! 27 exposures, but thank god I didn't cheap out and not buy it. We got some amazing pictures. At least we think we did. Random hand shakes with no name players with last names like DROBJNAK and DROOLING. But the Lakers game was a different story. These were the superstars I had seen on TV and they were mere feet away from me. Remember, I'm sitting on the floor. Karl Malone, Gary Payton, Shaquille O'Neil(Though he didn't play), Kobe(Where was Kobe?, He wasn't there), the best of the best and suddenly the arena was full. And the energy level rose. Back up, back up...I'm missing so many good things. The girl who sang the national anthem in game one was 15 year old something something..I forgot her name, but she was blond hair, blue eyed wearing white doc martins and a very Avril Lavigne look to her. What does this all mean you ask? I'm not sure. I just thought it was funny that she sang the national anthem in front of barely any people the first game and then sang the national anthem again the second game in front of thousands of people and I wondered to myself what she was thinking?? If she was nervous? And if the major record companies were pouring their money into her to become the next Avril...Hmmmm... The things I think about I guess. Anyways, more amazing pictures as I am the person who sitting on the corner of the floor that the players have to enter and exit to and I am extending my hand to every player for a high five. I realize I'm older than any of these players, but yet I feel like a little kid and I'm a bit amused as we are trying to get pictures of the high fives. My revelation through all of this is the following: SHAQUILLE O'NEIL is the man of all men. Grand total-3 high fives from SHAQ!!! He never denied me once, but KARL MALONE-ZERO. I used to like him when nobody ever liked him and now I despise him. SHAQ gave me such variety in high fives-the fist to fist, the extended high slap, and the full hand shake. You rule SHAQ. Total time I was at the staples center-6 and a half hours. WOOHOO!!! We dropped off the photos at RITE AID last night and they'll be ready at 10 AM today. Please come out good, please... I'll post them on the site. I promise. Ok, this was a strange newsletter. If you made it this far.. APPLAUD!!

Peace always, Mike Park