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Can't sleep. This is a good 'can't sleep' activity. I'm bleary-eyed and I 'feel' like I was recently beat up.

I'll do the all car/bike post this weekend, time permitting. Some goodies.

The trash truck came this morning at 4:19. Is that City of Denton's idea of a joke?

I heard a forecast of 15� for the low next Tuesday. Wow!

My ehehe, fax machine now works, so I can now send faxes.

I think for the movie adaptation of Otherland 4: Sea of Silver Light, for the scene outside the Well towards the end, when Wulgaru is stomping outside and Paul and Martine are walking and talking and Paul has finally realized *what* he is and what his fate will be, the song 'How to Disappear Completely' by Radiohead (from Kid A) is the perfect soundtrack accompaniment. I can see and hear it now.

That there
That's not me
I go
Where I please
I'm not here
This isn't happening
In a little while
I'll be gone
The moment's already passed
Yeah it's gone
And I'm not here
This isn't happening

Nothing could fit the theme, scene, tone of that part of the story better than that song. And my choice to play Paul Jonas? In a perfect world it would be Liam Neeson. I think he has the right aspect and capacity for earnestness.

In many ways, Paul was a more tragic figure than even 'Landogarner'. Both characters' deaths seemed inevitable in hindsight, although Orlando's was a bonafide but not unexpected tear-jerker while Paul's was a jaw-dropping shock. And of the existence that each manifested in the end, Paul has by far the steeper mountain to climb while Orlando in a way got what he always wanted and always deserved. Paul is going to have PROBLEMS.

Will the movie ever happen? Where would a director or producter start? The novel spans a genuine 3276 densely-packed pages. The multitudinous locales and settings are grand and exotic. Just replicating Troy would deplete the budget for most movies, and they're there, what, 100 pages? Not to mention places like Kunohara's research center or Abydos-That-Was. To do the entire saga credit would take 10 movies, maybe 20. And how could you possibly choose just one 'episode' to translate into film?

Of course, that's where the technology used in Final Fantasy comes in, but even then there wouldn't be enough animators with enough time to cover a tenth of what they'd need. I have to say, though I loved literally every page (although the Ice Age was bleak and depressing), if I had to choose one 2 hour episode it would be Paul and Brummond rescuing Vaala on Mars. I still remember when I read that. It was like a solid punch to the gut, but a 'good' punch to the gut. It was an example of authoring on steroids and nitrous. Magnificent.

I would like to shift gears for the rest of this and talk about my Mavs. This is a way to 'mark my words'. I'll come back to this post in three months. Here's the deal. We traded away Timmy Hardaway, Juwan Howard, and Donell Harvey, our first round draft pick for 2002, and $1 million to the Denver Nuggets. We also waived Charlie Bell. In return we received Nick Van Exel, Raef LaFrenz, Avery Johnson, and Tariq Abdul-Wahad.

Harvey, Johnson, and Wahad are kind of tacked-on pieces, although Wahad's contract is so bloated that he was a key part of the trade for Denver. But those three, as far as players go, are inconsequential. Avery is waaaay past his prime, but is a very well-spoken and polite guy. So basically you could say we gave up Hardaway to get Van Exel, and gave away Juwan to get LaFrenz. I don't get it. We STILL don't have a center. We still don't have a basher, a rebounder, a post up player who can guard Shaq. It all comes down to beating the Lakers, and simplifed even further, it all comes down to containing Shaq. And we still can't do that.

What we COULD have done if we had kept Juwan and waited out his giant contract next year is we could have cleared enough cap space to grab a quality inside player, like Tim Duncan. That's all gone away now. Now we're loaded up with even more big contracts and nearly untradeable players (notice they couldn't unload Mantis). In addition, now we have no chance of picking up a rookie because our first round pick is gone. Granted, it's going to be a 27th or 28th pick, but that still leaves room to find someone before every other team snags them. The million dollars hurts a little too, because it's not just a gift or a price, it's cap money. By doing that, our cap shrinks by one million until the trade deadline next year at this time, and Denver's grows by one million.

Juwan was playing better. He was getting his 15 points and his strong moves to the basket and some clutch rebounds. Poof, he's gone. Hardaway is even harder to comprehend. That guy ALWAYS provided a spark off the bench and his three point proficiency was second only to Nash's. I don't see how you trade him away unless you're getting a Jason Kidd or a Gary Payton. Poor guy. He was excited about this team and going far in the playoffs, he was playing his best ball in years, he had the Timmy Hardaway show every week, and now he has to stew in Denver.

And the new guys? Van Exel isn't one of the top 75 players in the league. In my opinion, he doesn't replace Timmy. He's had one of those careers with flashes of greatness but a great lack of consistency that keeps him from being a good player. Kind of a choker. I mentioned Jalen Rose and Chris Webber are in the same boat. They've been saying Van Exel will let Nellie give Nash a break, which will be important down the stretch and into the playoffs, as the hardest working man in the NBA tends to wear out when he plays 45 minutes 5 times a week. We'll see.

The problem with Van Exel is not so much his playing ability or lack thereof. Today Kiki Vandeweigh broke a silence about Van Exel, saying he tore up Denver's locker room and caused the team to lose numerous games. He's a problem child. This guy has been nothing but trouble wherever he has been. One of the strengths of the Mavericks is that they are friends, they like each other, they play as a team, they're united, they're in it to win, not show off or make stats or stroke their egos. That's part of why I'm such a fan of this team. Well, Van Exel is not a team player. He's not going to be content with 20 minutes. He's not going to shut up. Bad move, Mark, bad move.

LaFrenz is a 6-11 'center', although he's nothing like a Shaq or a Divac or an Olajuwan. He's a 'soft' player. He and Mantis ought to get along well together. I'll be scratching my head for the next three months on this one (until the Mavs are eliminated in the first round of the playoffs). I thought if they couldn't get Duncan maybe they could go after Olawokandi or Mark Jackson or Fortson. But LaFrenz? He'll be Shaq-fodder. Well, at least now they have the opportunity to put five seven foot 'white' guys on the court at the same time (Dirk, Eschmeyer, Wang, Mantis, LaFrenz).

The Mavs have the second-best record in the whole league. And yet they felt the need to break up the chemistry they had going by ditching two key players and replacing them with two questionable players. I like Mark Cuban alot, but you have to start to wonder at this point after the Mantis and Esch contracts and now this deal. Maybe he did it because he's a hacker and has to tweak and change things around and this was all he could get. Maybe he's too impatient to wait for Duncan. At least they didn't break up the big three (Nash, Dirk, Finley). We now have players from six different countries (Wahad is French).

So the Mavs had a game last night they were sure to lose. Only 8 active players and a very stressful day caused by all the trade rumors and then the trade itself right before the deadline. And a great Celtics team. And they were down by 12 going into the 4th quarter. But they turned it on, especially Dirk, who finished with 34 points and 23 rebounds along with several blocks, assists, and steals. They held the Celts to 2 points in the final 6 minutes of the game and came up with yet another paradoxical win. There is no denying the absolute greatness of Dirk Nowitzki and Steve Nash.

And today they have an even bigger game against the #1 team, the Sacramento Kings. It's a nationally-televised game and the first with the new players. Should be good. It would take another miracle for the Mavs to win, but it's not like they haven't gotten plenty of those already this year.

Anyway, I've thought about it more and I'm still pissed off, and losing Timmy especially hurts; but we'll see where this leads them and if they improve (or fall apart).