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Sunday, July 18, 2004 - 2:25 p.m.

The Houston chronicles are up

I realized yesterday that writing out my thoughts on All-Star weekend in Houston was more than just a regular journal entry. It's not something you can do during the downtime at work; it takes thought and concentration to recap four days of non-stop baseball and celebrity events, so I had to treat it like it was my job. So this morning, I ate breakfast, gathered my notebooks and All-Star info and moved the laptop to the dining room table, and devoted an hour (or so) to writing.

Just like a real reporter.

So everything's up on the other site. There are four installments, so make sure you go back to the beginning and check out the other three.

What's not mentioned is my mysterious chronic neck pain. I woke up Tuesday morning with a crick in my neck. I attributed it to the fluffy hotel pillows which are bigger than what I'm used to at home. I don't like sleeping on overstuffed pillows that raise my head too far from the bed. I am actually more comfortable sleeping with no pillow than with several beneath me. But as I stepped out of the shower and dried my hair -- quickly and violently, as usual -- I felt something else get wrenched out of whack. A sharp pain extended down into my shoulder area and even down my arms a little. I couldn't move my head at all and I gingerly walked out into the room and laid down on the bed, flat, staring at the ceiling. It was the only way I could alleviate the pain. I iced my neck and back and took two Advil, but the pain remained. I went to lunch with Laura and David, and being out with them and eating wings helped take my mind off the pain, so it seemed to lessen. At the ballpark, lugging around my camera bag, I felt better, but then that could've been the adrenaline.

The pain returned the next morning, and has every morning since. On Friday, I went to the doctor, who prescribed me a stronger cousin of Advil and a muscle relaxer to take at night, since I'd told her that the pain was more intense in the mornings, less so at night after a day of activity. Yesterday, to my dismay, I awoke feeling as stiff as ever and had a rather miserable day. I needed a late-afternoon nap before I felt the desire to do anything but lounge on the couch and watch TV. This morning, however, the stiffness remained mainly in my neck, not in my shoulders as it has on other mornings, and I'm hopeful that such improvement will continue tomorrow, when I'm supposed to call the doctor if things haven't changed since Friday.

I've now got eight rolls of photos to go through and various other articles and passes to someday, somehow organize into a scrapbook of this All-Star Game experience. I hope to scan a bunch of the pictures onto the computer as well in order to supplement my words over at First and Third with some of my images.

In some ways, it would've been nice to have been there to cover baseball, but going out as an entertainment reporter and being allowed into all the baseball stuff without the burden of deadlines hanging over me made the first time that much more fun. If I ever do get back there as a sports writer, I'll be familiar with the whole spectacle and I'll be more comfortable.

It was great to come back for a two-day work week before the weekend, but I feel like I could use a day to myself to lie around the house and recharge. Other than yesterday's hour-and-a-half visit to the Cloisters and tonight's dinner in the city, it will be a more relaxing weekend than last. But there's still a part of me that would like to take Tuesday, for example, and watch some DVDs or get to know my new NCAA Football 2005 on the Xbox.

There'll be time enough for that. For now, I've spent enough time on the computer.

Previous page: Off to Houston
Next page: Crap on TV

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