Due to my hectic and evil schedule, I manage to start watching the game at 43-35, Magic.

2nd period, 2:46 remaining

Random thought #1: The idea of this series getting knotted at 2-2 is making my mouth water – not like it would if this were the CELTICS-Lakers, but it would be nice to see the Lakers at least struggle a bit. It’s like being a Red Sox fan. Just as important as winning is the Yankees NOT winning. Same applies for the Lakers.

Random thought #2: From watching the opening of game 3, I noticed they’ve added Paul Pierce to the “Champions” Finals montage. But it looks like he’s holding the Finals MVP trophy (Now the Bill Russell Award…Awesomeness) and not the Larry O'Brien. Still, cool.

2nd, 2:22 remaining
Howard with big-time left-handed hook. Mark Jackson correctly identifies it as “big time,” but does not say “Mama look out for that man,” or whatever the hell he always says.

2nd, 1:50 remaining
Howard goes to the right hand hook from a few feet further out. Mama, watch that man. Big time. Get out of my way. Hold the onions. Hide the children. Close the mall.

2nd, :11 remaining
Howard tries an identical right-handed hook. Air ball. It reminds you that this dude is just not naturally gifted at the offensive end – aside from cleaning up missed lay-ups with authority.

2nd, :8.9 remaining
Jackson, about Howard: “He’s putting on a clinic.” Mark Jackson lives in cliché-land. Or at least has a vacation home there.

Great commercial watch: LeBron-Kobe puppet commercials. Awesome. The only thing that angers me about them is that I didn’t think to spoof them. One new spot shows LeBron lifting weights, counting reps…"2007, 2008, 2009 2010…yeah” the puppet nods “2010.” THAT must make Cleveland feel great – the commercial practically promises LeBron is leaving. Or at least appears to hope for it. Comments Mark Jackson: "Cleveland getting no respect whatsoever. Mama look out for that man."

ABC Halftime

Magic Johnson states the reason for the Magic lead is the Lakers are “just playing. They have no gameplan.” Uhm, there’s a backhanded diss of Phil Jackson if I’ve ever heard one. Or maybe that was the forehand.

Halftime teaser shows Dwight and Bill Russell giggling. I don’t know what they’re laughing about, but it’s gold. Not KG-Russell gold, but gold. I swear, you put Bill Russell with anyone, and it’s cool. Except if it’s, like, Bill Russell and Screech from Saved by the Bell. Or Brian Scalabrini. In fact, let’s say this, Scalabrini is the anti-Russell – put him next to anyone, and that person becomes instantly NOT cool.

Query: What would happen if Bill Russell and Brian Scalabrini were put together for a promo? Would the spot where they’re standing turn into a swirling vortex of time-travel-inducing black hole like what the red matter did to planets in J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek? If you haven’t seen that movie yet, by the way, you’re missing out.

Feature: Dwight talks to Russell. Nice reminder of the KG-Russell piece last year. Seriously, let’s make sure Bill Russell is featured in every Finals series until he dies, or doesn’t want to do it anymore. The man has earned it, and always delivers the goods. Speaking of The Goods...

Russell’s defensive advice to Howard “Always jump straight up.” Good advice, Bill. Sadly, in today’s league, you’ll regularly get called for a foul doing that.

In the piece, Patrick Ewing, Russell, and Howard are on the sideline at practice. Ewing admires Russell’s ring and says “gotta get me one of these” and Howard mumbles something like “Gotta do somethin’ out there [to get one]” and gestures to the court. Dwight mumbles this half-heartedly, perhaps because as he's saying it, he must realize he’s dissing Ewing’s trophyless career. Lots of unintentional dissing going on tonight. Let's say something shitty about Dan Marino and complete the Trifecta.

Sorry, Mr. Ewing. You’re going to have to try for that ring as an assistant coach. It’s the same ring as the players get, but the league injects the center stone with the scent of abject failure and perpetual frustration.

3rd quarter

Hmmm, the Lakers are in foul trouble in the Magic’s building? Unusual.

3rd, 9:45 remaining
Ariza steals, gets a breakaway layup, pulling the Lakers to within 10. Ariza gives an “I’ve been fouled” look even though he went to the hole uncontested and untouched. It’s like all NBA players are trained to gripe on every play. Must be in the player orientation manual.

Howard misses another hook. If he could regularly create his own shot, he’d be frightening.

Kobe and Ariza threes – Lakers to within 5. Time out Magic.

In-game interview snippet: Kobe’s comment about Ariza: “He’s crafty.” Kobe makes this compliment in the most condescending way. It’s like he’s talking about his son or something. We know you’re the best player on Earth, Kobe, relax – you can say nice things about other players without us forgetting how awesome you are.

3rd, 7:11 remaining
Turk called for a foul on Ariza. Crap call. 54-50 Magic.

3rd, 6:42 remaining
Good Laker ball movement, Ariza with another 3. Eleven points by Ariza in 5 ½ minutes. Impressive. Isn’t this a contract year, Trevor? Maybe the Celtics can steal him….

3rd, 5:41 remaining
Derek Fisher runs into, then grabs the leg of Rashard Lewis. Ball out of bounds. No foul, Laker ball. Interesting.

3rd, 5:17 remaining
Nice floater by Alston. No, he wasn’t taking a crap.

3rd, 4:54 remaining
Bynum’s 4th foul is a joke, so much so that Howard thinks the foul is on him. Officiating in this league should be defined as comedy. The only thing I can assume is that refs made the call on Bynum because he shoved Howard out of the way for an earlier rebound three seconds before the actual whistle. Still.

Orlando Magic “Second-rate Celebrity” watch: Chris Tucker, Rihanna, and Tiger Woods – which of these three “Stars” is really a star? Hint: He plays golf (maybe Chris Tucker plays golf too, but that would be pure coincidence).

3rd, 3:34 remaining
Odom gets hammered by Howard going to the hole. Curious no call.

3rd, 2:17 remaining
J.J. Reddick ties the game at 61 with a wicked ball fake and a three.

3rd, 1:53 remaining
J.J. Reddick undoes his great play with a lame try-to-lean-in-for-a-foul-call jumper. No call, no basket, no charitable feelings for the inconsistent Reddick.

3rd, 1:28 remaining
Kobe rips a rebound out of Dwight’s hands (legit), Howard bear hugs Kobe (foul called, fine), Kobe tries to elbow Dwight. Commentators actually say the following: “That would normally be a technical, but there are no technicals in the Finals.” Nothing this simultaneously true and pathetic has ever been spoken in the history of mankind.

3rd, :25 remaining
Breen notes that an “anti-ref chant” has begun. I can’t make out what the crowd is saying, but if it’s anti-ref, I agree with it wholeheartedly.

Lakers outscore Magic 30-14 in the 3rd. Yikes.

Great commercial watch: A new “Where will amazing…” commercial unveils Dr. J’s under-the-basket lay-up from a rare opposite baseline camera view. Awesome. Not quite “Larry stole the ball” awesome, but awesome.

4th quarter

4th, 11:35 remaining
Kobe alley-oop to Odom puts Lakers up 69-63.

4th, 10:52 remaining
Breen and Jackson are saying get Nelson out, put Alston back in. Did everyone on Earth but Stan Van Gundy (hereafter SVG) know that putting Nelson back into the lineup would ruin the team’s chemistry?

4th, 10:39 remaining
Pietrus rakes Gasol across the face while driving, sends Gasol to the floor in obvious pain. Foul on Gasol. NBA refs are fantastic.

4th, 9:54 remaining
Odom fouls Turkoglu on a three with the clock running down. Turk makes 2 of 3. Lakers, 71-67.

4th, 9:35 remaining
After a breakaway steal, Pietrus blows an open layup, getting all discombobulated by Ariza’s high-speed defensive approach. Made him look like he should be playing in high school. In fact, Breen et al thought he slipped on a patch of wet floor or something...until the replay. Nope. He just bricked it - bad.

Yes, Pietrus actually missed this shot.

4th, 9:09 remaining
Howard called for an offensive foul while establishing position. Legit. He whacked Gasol three times hard before they blew the whistle.

Bad Commercial Watch: Mice riding in a car. Still don’t know what it’s advertising, and don’t care.

4th, 6:55 remaining
Moving screen on Gasol. No replay shown to confirm that the refs smoke crack. The only closeup is Gasol saying “Bad Call” or “Bullshit.” Verdict: Close-ups on Gasol inspire nightmares.

4th, 6:40 remaining
Farmar hangs on Howard’s arm to prevent a dunk. Good play for a guy his size to stop the score. During the regular season, this is a Flagrant 2. Howard hits both freethrows.

4th, 5:38 remaining
Pietrus with a huge and-1 against Kobe. Timeout. 75 all.

4th, 5:06 remaining
Turk misses two frees. No arc or savvy. I thought he shoots well….?

4th, 4:18 remaining
Nelson feeds to Howard for a dunk. Finally Nelson shows some worth.

4th, 4:01 remaining
Kobe drives. Furious over no call. The boy cries wolf. Again. I once saw Kobe drives and whines in concert at Soldier Field. They were awesome. And they love to do endless encores every time they play.

4th, 3:19 remaining
Turk misses another freethrow. Twelve charity stripe misses by the Magic. Think this will come back to haunt them?

4th, 3:02 remaining
Nelson feeds Howard again with a bullet pass for a dunk and 1. Hold the lettuce on that “Nelson is ruining the Magic’s chemistry” verdict. You can practically smell Alston’s fury on the bench. Magic 81-79. Howard hits free throw. He’s more solid than Turk at the line right now, which is a tad surprising.

4th, 2:28 remaining
Ariza hits a HUGE three with the shot clock running down.

4th, 2:08 remaining
Turk nails a three back. Magic 85-82.

4th, 1:34 remaining
Turk’s floater puts the Magic up by 5. He’s very ugly when he grins and sticks out his tongue in celebration. He could benefit greatly from being a stone-faced assassin.

4th, 1:14 remaining
Blocking foul on Nelson, who drops in front of Kobe. Legit call.

4th, :32 remaining
Kobe with a nasty-good no-look feed to Gasol for the dunk. Magic by three.

4th, :11 remaining
Turk feeds Howard down low (Turk missed seeing that same open pass on the previous play). Kobe pulls Howard to the floor to prevent the basket. During the regular season, that’s a Flagrant 2, three months in prison, and a mandatory hour in nipple clamps.

Dwight misses both free throws. Ew. Maybe that smell is the Magic’s free throw shooting and lack of Finals experience, not Alston’s rage.

4th, :4.6 remaining
Fisher hits a three to tie the game. SVG makes yet ANOTHER huge stupid defensive mistake. Teeny, tiny Nelson out there on D? It didn’t help that his 3-point defense smelled like poo as well. How many odors are the Magic going emit tonight? Oy, Stan. Make it a free throw shooting contest. Foul Fisher before he lines up for a three. I can’t believe how many professional basketball teams allow this to happen.

Final play of regulation

Pietrus doesn't notice Howard under the basket with Kobe on him. He takes an off-balance shot and misses. The Magic have just blown another golden opportunity to win a Finals game in regulation. I predict here and now that the Lakers will be going up 3-1 tonight. You can’t give Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, Micheal Jordan, or Kobe Bryant two chances. You will lose.


Lewis three, Kobe two. Magic 90-89.

OT, 3:54 remaining
Howard misses a contested lay-up. Now Dwight Howard is a player you can give two chances - hell, give him three. He’s not elite yet. Remember, Patrick Ewing is his mentor. Nuff said.

OT, 2:38 remaining
Howard misses another lay-up. See?

OT, 1:57 remaining
Kobe misses his second jumper, BUT refs miss a forearm foul on Pietrus. Know why? Because Kobe didn't crumble to the floor and curl into the fetal position. No wonder these players feel the need to overact.

OT, 1:27 remaining
Lose ball foul on Fisher. Legit. Gasol (in front of Howard) went flying on the play, but he flopped. The right call was made, as Fisher was trying to push Howard with all he had. Howard just didn't move anywhere because he weighs 750 pounds.

OT, 1:01 remaining
Ariza rebounds a missed Laker shot. Doesn’t look like he reestablished both feet back in bounds on the play. But what do I know? I’m not an NBA ref. Replay shows only one foot reestablished inbounds. Breen, Jackson, and JVG are oblivious.

OT, :46 remaining
Lose ball foul on Nelson. Legit. Nelson wrapped Gasol’s arm and pulled him down.

OT, 31.3 remaining
Lakers with ball. Kobe elbows Nelson in the chin. No call. Fisher hits a three to put the Lakers up three. It appears my pickup basketball cohorts are right – offensive fouls really shouldn’t be called under any circumstances. Huge play. On the other hand, maybe Nelson flopped. I know that when people elbow me in the face, I try to sell it by spitting teeth and bleeding. Ok, Nelson won't need facial reconstruction, but it was a clear hello-meet-my-elbow-bitch by Kobe. Huge play.

OT, 21.6 remaining
Turk takes a bad, off-balance three. Gasol grabs a breakaway lay-up to put the Lakers up five. Gasol is happy and doing that jump-celebrating thing with his teammates. I hate the jump-celebrating. That needs to go. P.S.> Happy Gasol is not as ugly as a happy Turkoglu, but it’s close.


OT, :3.4 remaining
Lakers have the game in hand and the ball, which is passed to an open Gasol beneath the basket. Pietrus sprints in and slams Gasol full force with both hands. Gasol hits the dunk and the two jaw at each other. Flagrant on Pietrus. Watch this play closely. It’s the grandest illustration of what is wrong with the NBA. Forty times a game, you will see players get hit with one-tenth the force of that hit and fall like a pile of toothpicks. But here, Gasol knew the game was over, so an acting job wasn’t necessary. It would be nice if all games could be played that way all the time.


Uh, this is over.

"Note to self: Revise sign."

The Magic have put up a nice fight, and could easily be up 3-1, but they’re not, because they can’t finish games, not against the best, anyway.

And the Lakers are the best.

This year.

Let three countdowns begin:

- A Celtics / Lakers rematch in 2010. May both teams be healthy and fully stocked, because that’s the war I want to see.

- Phil and Kobe’s ascendancy over Red and Shaq, respectively.

- My week of nausea and depression. At least the Red Sox are 9-0 against the Yankees this year.

Congrats to the Lakers. It’s only a matter of time before you win it all.
And yes, I’m trying to jinx you.

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Anonymous j oren said...
wasnt kobe talking about hedo turkoglu re: the crafty comment? i taped the game i'll have to rewatch but im pretty sure it was about turk, not ariza

Anonymous big tuna said...
comment left by Karc from a day ago:
"2. Nick Anderson before the starting lineups. I honestly thought the Magic were losing at that point. How funny that it's Byrant who ends up bricking 5 free throws in a four-point loss. Try that again Orlando, and see what happens."

spooky dude...

Blogger Unknown said...
May the stat curse stay true, I want to see a game 6

Anonymous Anonymous said...
You can’t give Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, Micheal Jordan, or Kobe Bryant two chances. You will lose. >>> Kobe Bryant in a same sentence with the greats.... priceless.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
NBA refs are so awful that even prisoners want to beat them. Tim donaghy was getting attacked with paint rollers while in jail recently.

No mention of the 0 ft's that LA shot through the 4th quarter and overtime until Gasol got flagranted with 2 secs left. That's home cookin' if I've ever seen it.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
i like how SVG rationalizes playing jameer nelson by saying "he wasnt really doing anything, but he wasnt hurting us"

...someone should tell him by not doing anything, nelson WAS hurting them. they might as well have played with a propped up corpse on the floor. hell, that might have played better D on fisher's shot by creeping him out

Blogger Unknown said...
@big tuna: I said the exact same thing yesterday on the comments for the article below.

"Blogger flohtingPoint said...

Nick Anderson on the floor getting the crowd hyped up? Chalk up an L for the Magic...

6/11/2009 7:59 PM"

Blogger The Dude Abides said...
Magic 17 FTs in 4th quarter
Lakers 0 FTs in 4th quarter
Game played in Orlando. True champions fight through the adversity, and a 17-0 FT disparity on the road certainly qualifies as adversity.

Oh, and if Kobe had hit Jameer with his left elbow instead of his right, it would have been a foul, because he would have had to swing his elbow over. Instead, he brought the ball up from his waist to pass the ball from head level, just as Nelson was sprinting into and invading his space. That play should always be a non-call. You have to be allowed to bring the ball upwards in your own space to make a pass.

Also, Evil Ted, what if the FT disparity situation had been reversed, and it was the Lakers who shot 17 FTs in their own building to the Magic zero, and the Lakers win the game? The answer is that we would never hear the end of it. That 4th quarter last night was an utter travesty of one-sided officiating, and yet the Lakers fought through it and won. That's the mark of a champion.

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
Fun stat of the night: Here's a short list of everyone who's posted 9 blocks in a playoffs game (since 1991). Notice Howard's 16/21/9 with a historical high 7 TOs last night is the only loss. Even Ostertag's amazing 0/10/9 box score resulted in a win. Historic fail.

Fun stat of the post: There are 7 "awesome"s.
Also every time I see that midair bump from now on I will always be saying to myself "Yay!"

This year's Finals is so full of fail. I want the Lakers to win in 5 to rub it in Stern's face. I want the Lakers to lose because Kobe Sux. I want Orlando to lose because SVG is a moron (does anyone even need to point out the correlation between Alston and Nelson's PT and WINNING?). By the power vested in Basketbawful make this all happen.

Blogger Wild Yams said...
ET - Congrats on doing a far more credible job with the "Boston homer doing a live blog of a Lakers Finals game" than Bill Simmons did the other day. The bias and bitterness were still there, but in far smaller amounts, and tempered with some genuine respect. Kudos :)

The Dude Abides is 100% correct. A 17-0 free throw attempt disparity in the 4th quarter like that is arguably worse than the famous gap in free throws the Lakers enjoyed in Game 6 of the 2002 WCF. In that game the Lakers shot 27 free throws in the 4th quarter to only 9 by the Kings, for a +18 FTA difference; but considering the final 6 of those Laker free throws were the result of intentional fouls by the Kings in the last 20 seconds of the game, what we saw last night was much worse. It's really incredible that the Magic could choke away a win like that considering all that help from the officials, but I guess you have to give the Lakers credit for fighting through it.

BTW, a play that happened near the end of regulation seems to be getting overlooked a bit considering everything that followed it, but Rashard Lewis should probably get mentioned in today's Worst Of when that goes up for not only scoring just 6 points last night, but for missing a wide open jump shot with the Magic up 5 with 39 seconds left. If he'd hit that, it's almost impossible to imagine that the Lakers could have come back from down 7 with less than 40 seconds to go. But he bricked it, and it led to Kobe with that incredible dish in traffic to Gasol for the dunk, and suddenly it was only a 3 point game with 31 seconds to play. IMO, that Rashard miss was as big as any of the other plays that happened in the last 6 minutes of the game. When you have a $118m contract, that's a shot you need to hit.

Blogger Cortez said...
"When you have a $118m contract, that's a shot you need to hit."

When you're the type of guy that takes the time to grow a silly-ass pharaoh beard that's a shot you're going to miss.

...and is anyone else officially sick of hearing how these guys shoot 99.99967% on free throws in practice but show up to the game and can't even hit 50%?

Either they are lying (likely) or they are using the same piss-poor shooting technique in practice (equally likely). How can you practice that much, with profession instruction, and still have the shooting form of a injured baboon

Howard looks like he is shooting a freaking 75 pound kettle bell.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
Cortez -- You know, that shit started with Wilt Chamberlain back in the 1960s. He used to brag about what a great practice foul shooter he was, and his coaches and teammates often perpetuated this myth, probably hoping they could build the Stilt's confidence (as if he needed any more) enough so that the big guy could hit a few in games.

Anonymous AK Dave said...

Nice game notes. I should have been reading this while watching the game last night. Except that I always watch games on the DVR to avoid commercials... so nevermind.

My sentiments pretty much mirrored yours regarding the score and outcome. I was hoping Orlando would blow it wide open, but, alas, they Nick Andersoned this one. Sad.

And the WHOLE 4th quarter, I'm sitting there saying out loud "What the FUCK is Jameer Nelson doing in the game??"

Blogger Evil Ted said...
J oren - Kobe was commenting on Ariza.

Anon - Yes, Kobe is in there with the greats. Of course, flattery is just a Boston homer's sneaky method of earning leeway on future comments where I'm going to trash him ;)

Abides - Agreed that Nelson was flying in, and I can cede to the perspective that a no-call is legit there. Nelson hurt them in so many ways. Yes, he had some pretty highlight dishes, but you can't mess that much with the team's chemistry in the Finals - you just can't.

Somehow the 17-0 FT disparity eluded me. All I was hearing was how many FTs the Magic were missing, but the 4th FT disparity was underplayed in the broadcast (by a Stern edict?). Agreed, that is egregious, but at the same time, the Lakers were playing a better brand of distribution-jumpshot ball that led to fewer contact plays. The Magic, by contrast, were having Turk drive hard and flail, and were dishing to Howard and looking for hack-a-Dwight.

Yams - Thanks for the Kudos. If this were Lakers/Celts, I'm sure I could summon greater ire. As for the Rashard miss, there were just so many plays that blew that game for the Magic, I can't pick just one. I don't care who's being paid what - if Howard hits one free throw with 11 seconds left in reg, it's over. You could just FEEL the lack of champion swagger...

AK Dave - You can still stop on the commercials I'm referencing! Don't give up that easy!

I think the worst past of it all is, I kind of always expected the Lakers to take this, but like every good NBA fan, I want to see drama, and the Magic have found quite a few ways to suck the drama right out of this series.

Lakers in five. But I hope for six. Hell, seven. A man can dream, can't he?

Blogger Shiv said...
Rihanna is legit. I don't know how you can consider her a B-List celeb...

As for the series, phooey. That is all. I hope selling your soul was worth it Kobe. I really do.

Blogger Cortez said...
"J oren - Kobe was commenting on Ariza."

Unless there were two completely differnt interviews he was talking about Hedo. He also mentioned that was wasn't really fast either.

Blogger Cortez said...
"but like every good NBA fan, I want to see drama"

That's a good soap opera fan. Or maybe a pro wrestling fan. Or a theater major.

A [basketball] fan wants to see highly skilled upper level athletes playing well executed basketball.

...on the other hand maybe you're on to something, that's probably why Kobe keeps taking the most difficult shot possible.

They're certainly unnecessarily dramatic more often than need be.

Blogger Evil Ted said...
Whomever has this game on DVR, please review Kobe's "he's crafty" comments, and report back. Please provide video if possible.

Drama implies "highly skilled athletes playing well executed basketball." If both teams has done this, we'd be tied 2-2, and have more drama.

Anonymous Ken said...
With the "he's crafty" comments, Kobe definitely said it about Hedo. They were even playing a highlight of Hedo muscling into the paint "craftily" when they replayed his comment if I remember right.

Regarding the comment "Ariza rebounds a missed Laker shot. Doesn’t look like he reestablished both feet back in bounds on the play.":

Is this a new rule that you have to establish both feet inbounds before you can touch the ball again? I was always under the impression(which could be wrong) that if you're jumping back inbounds to collect the ball, as long as one of your feet is back inbounds(and the other foot is off the ground), then you're considered back in play.

Blogger Evil Ted said...

Regarding Kobe on Ariza/Hedo: I asked for video or some other definitive evidence (like VIDEO). We've already got two people working under the "if I remember it right" premise.

Regarding the need to establish both feet in bounds after being out of bounds, the following is an excerpt from this link:


"Question: Player A1 makes a driving shot attempt, and his momentum carries him out-of-bounds. The attempt is missed, and the ball becomes loose. Is player A1 allowed to grab the ball if he re-establishes one foot (but not both feet) in-bounds, or must he re-establish both feet in-bounds before touching the ball?

Answer: The player may established himself on the court with one foot in-bounds and then touch the ball (of course, the other foot cannot be out-of-bounds). This means the player may not jump from out-of-bounds, grab the ball while he has both feet in the air, and then land in-bounds -- that would be an out-of-bounds violation."

Good catch, Ken. I've always been taught it was two feet back in, but this may be the case at other levels outside the NBA.

- ET

Blogger Cortez said...
"We've already got two people working under the 'if I remember it right' premise."

I'm not one of the two. He's said it about Hedo.

Now, if there is some other interview where is says the same thing about Ariza then all that means is that Kobe likes the phrase, "He's crafty".

"I've always been taught it was two feet back in..."

That's some vile hybrid of football/basketball.

"If both teams has done this, we'd be tied 2-2"

Both teams could just as easily do that in a 4-0 sweep.

Blogger Evil Ted said...

You're crafty.

Blogger Cortez said...

You're crafty."

Only on the internets my friend.

...and avoiding the rats in my mom's basement!