11:44 PM, Sunday, December 4th, 2005:
It was 16 years ago that I came to my dad with a VHS tape and said:  You have to see this. Of course he had heard of Michael Jordan before, but the night before he had just scored 69 points against the Cavs and we spent the afternoon making a highlight reel set to the tune of "Simply The Best" by Tina Turner.
So I was excited to surprise my dad with tickets to the Cavs vs. Clippers game. We even watched LeBron and CO. play the night before (he had an incredible first quarter) and I kept the secret until we were all the way downtown.
"Man, LeBron is in town? Too bad it's sold out..."
"You sure it is?"
"Yeah I checked last night... but good thing I bought tickets a month ago"
<Whip out tickets>
Great reaction. He was absolutely dumbfounded. This is the nice side of my personality when it comes to surprising people. Yes, I'm the guy who likes to scare the shit out of people by hiding behind a wall, but I also like doing things like this. :-)
And hey - I get to use my new camera...
And here's what it looks like from the 2nd to last row at Staples Center. LOL. Of course, with my camera, this is what a picture looks like:
Ahh the secret 28mm lens that extends to 300mm but still looks like a 28mm lens so you can get past the security guards that for some reason have a friggin' 3.5" limit on camera lenses. WEAK. I'm slightly ahead of myself though.
This was about to be the only picture I was gonna have. I was showin' my dad how to use the camera when a guard comes up and asks me to come with him. He takes me to guest services and says "You need to check your camera". All business, just doin' his job. Frustrating though, because if anyone should be able to have a good zoom it should be the people in the cheap seats.

So I had to check my camera before LeBron even hit the floor. I was pissed. I wasted my shots on pregame shit when no one was on the court? Greeeeeaaaaat.

It was hard not to show my disappointment. The Journey does a funny thing to you. When you do anything fun, but you can't document it...it somehow loses it's fun. LOL. It's this sickness I have. It's like nothing really even exists if I can't get a picture or video for the site. So I was bummed. That and the Cavs got off to a wonderful start - down 20-4 in like 4 minutes. (sigh). They got within 8 at the very end but it was obviously hard to beat such a pathetic start. Welcome to back-to-back nights in the NBA. But with about 5 minutes to go, I had an idea...
...just go to guest services like I'm leaving. Lady gave me my camera back asked "are you leaving?" - "Of course I'm leaving..."
...this room and going back to my seat to steal a couple of pictures before the end. WAHOOO. I was so happy.
So I put my feet up on the seat in front of me, slouched down in my chair, extended the lens, took some snaps and immediately retracted it and looked around like a complete criminal. It wasn't the easiest thing to do - and also, autofocus is a bitch from like 500-600 feet away. It barely has anything to catch onto. Manual focus was just not possible as the pictures you're seeing are me just zooming in on a picture 5 times bigger than it. You really need a tele-photo lens to pull of pictures from this distance, but it's still pretty awesome how close these are considering just how far away we were.
They lost. LeBron was mad. His headband paid the price.
LeBron was still LeBron:  30 pts, 6 rebounds, 5 assists - but man the Cavs sucked. I'm tellin' ya, James will be in a Knicks uniform next year if they don't get a real team around him quickly. I can't believe in the 3 years he's been in the league they have yet to pick up some real talent. Larry Hughes is offense only, a horrible passer and worse defender. Michael Redd was there one big shot last spring and they blew it.
Leave it to Cleveland management to screw up getting LeBron James. How do you tell the 100 million dollar kid to not go to a big market when you're NOT gonna put the pieces around him to be successful? They should make the playoffs this year, but it's a one-man show and you can ask Kobe just how well that works.
Anyway, so I wasn't accosted by security guards in the final minutes of the game and we made it out of the arena alive with a few pictures to show for it.
As usual the visit was too short, we only got through half of our movie stack but it was fun nonetheless. It means so much to have someone come out and visit, and I think only other people who have moved several states (or even countries) can attest to that. There's such a HUGE disconnect from your family no matter how much you stay in contact.  
I was bummed that I was so sick though. I wanted to do a couple of things that my body just wasn't gonna let me do. Luckily we're both movie buffs and there's plenty of that to go around. The pups were quite happy that we decided to stay in and lay around all day. They certainly understood the value in that.