Saturday, May 9, 2009
Paul Solomon Takes Weekends Off
I was playing left field for the Dodgers. Chad Billingsley was on the mound. Carlos Delgado walked off the on-deck circle and approached the plate. He took a few practice swings, then stepped into the batter's box. Billingsley turned toward the outfield, wiped his forehead, then scratched his crotch. Then he faced the batter, and looked for the sign from catcher Russell Martin. He shook off the first sign. He then gave a quick nod and delivered a 96mph fastball right down the middle of the plate. Delgado swung and hit a fly ball to left center. I sprinted toward the ball, not worrying about the hamstring I pulled in the first homestand of the season. At full speed I ran. Then, all of a sudden I was running in slow motion, as if in a dream. I ran and ran and ran. The ball hung in the air, and I felt myself gaining ground on it. I was now running at full speed. I was heading toward the wall in left-center. The wall was getting closer, but I knew the ball was within reach. I didn't make the major leagues by giving up. Suddenly the ball flew out of my reach, into the stands, and I crashed violently into the wall. Then I woke up. It was all a dream. I looked at the clock. It was almost noon. I had overslept. And it was Saturday, and I had a full itinerary lined up. First up, brunch at Nat's Early Bite. Then we headed off to Barnes and Noble for a book signing by Carol Leifer, who's book "When You Lie About Your Age, The Terrorists Win," gets my vote for best title for a non-fiction book. My wife's a big fan, so she got her book signed, we chatted with Carol, and then went shopping for dresses at Nordstrom's. In a recession, people are still buying books, but dresses are another story. The place was empty, except for a few employees. Everything was overpriced, which probably explained the lack of customers, so we headed off to Walmart. So that's where everyone's been going. We could hardly find a a parking place. Unfortunately they were out of the old-fashioned tube televisions, which we were having a hard time finding. Our old TV gave out after 15 years. We needed a new TV to fit into our armoire, a beautiful antique wooden cabinet which is a permanent fixture in our den. Besides, the flat-screen models are much more expensive. We went to Best Buy, Fry's, Radio Shack and Target; zilch. They only sell flat-screens. Finally, at Sears, we found a Sansui, 27" model, old-style. We snapped it up at just a little over 200 bucks. It was a hot day in the San Fernando Valley, so we wanted to get home quickly so none of the old-fashioned components in our new TV melted. But first we stopped with our coupons for a free chicken meal at KFC. Unfortunately, we were told they weren't accepting the coupons because the barcodes were printed wrong. We signed up for a rain check, which would be sent in the mail. We were told it will take a week to 10 days. I can't wait. We got the TV home and now I had to figure out how to get it into the house. I called my brother, who rushed over and we got the TV in the house and hooked it up. Luckily my brother is good with instructions, because the remote control has to be reprogrammed to synchronize with the cable box. Finally everything was working. But it's almost time for dinner, and I realized that my weekends are taken up with exciting events that don't include writing. So that is why my daily commentary will no longer be written on weekends. I'm just too busy. You will still be able to read up on my views on entertainment and politics Monday through Friday. The weekends will be used to recharge my batteries. Or as you can see above, doing things like running around town looking for TV's and dresses.