By Allen David
TUESDAY, MARCH 22
I guess after the Auto Club Speedway last week announced washed-up/straight-to-DVD (or relegated to the TV ghetto) actor Christian Slater as its grand marshal, it becomes sort of hard to top that. No——wait. They just topped Mr. Gleaming the Cube, a.k.a. Jack Nicholson Jr. Dragging out yet another has-been, the Speedway today announces that Sugar Ray Leonard has been named as the honorary starter for the Auto Club 400 race booked for this weekend. I’m not saying the Sugar Man ain’t worthy of some respect. I mean the man could literally shower in the welterweight, junior middleweight, super middleweight and light heavyweight titles he racked up over the years. And he did win the gold during the Olympics—way, waaaaay back in 1976. Were the Olympics even invented yet? Christian, sorry, man. Forget what I said about Hard Rain.
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 23
A bunch of winery owners are bitching and moaning in the Temecula Valley over this beastly thing with an utterly bureaucratic name: the Wine Country Community Plan. These owners fear a 20-acre-limit on wineries will put the mom-and-pops out of business. Talk to Valerie Andrews, co-owner of the 10-acre Oak Mountain Winery, who suggests the big-o wineries are a bit on the impersonal and faceless side. “But at the smaller wineries, you can talk to the owners. They’re working at the winery. They have a passion for what they do. You get to ask them questions and have a personal relationship with them.” Personal relationship? Hey, I just came here for the almond champagne. That and those little bitty crackers.
THURSDAY, MARCH 24
Apparently, the political “Bromance of the Week” started when state Assemblymen Tim Donnelly and Gil Cedillo were assigned seats right next to one other. Donnelly, a Republican from Twin Peaks, suddenly got the warm and fuzzies: “I want to wish him a happy birthday and it’s an honor to have him as a seatmate.” Now, he says this before literally embracing Cedillo, the Democrat from L.A. So, why is this weird? Cuz after these guys wrap up the chesting and knuckle-bumping, it’s time to get dirty and fight tooth-and-nail over the political issues that deeply divide these two like Lindsay Lohan’s brain and a sense of reality. Donnelly supports the tea party movement and was a former leader of the Minutemen outfit. Cedillo, a former union organizer has spent a big chunk of his time expanding the rights of immigrants (read: Mexicans). In other words, bringing these dudes together is like having Lex Luthor crash Superman’s wedding. But supposedly, these political enemies are all buddy-buddy—they admit to having dinner together and having their respective families meet each other—when they’re not voting against each other’s bills and pissing on each other’s shoes. Strange bedfellows, indeed.
FRIDAY, MARCH 25
Triple overtime! And the Suns were shooting like mad. Steve Nash, you may be uglier than sin, but you can make three-pointers like nobody’s business.
SATURDAY, MARCH 26
I’m not sure how this is supposed to play out exactly, but the folks that run the California Speedway in Fontana are sure as hell optimistic about their attendance. They’re currently reporting 14 straight non-sell-outs, dating back to when they added a second yearly race in 2004. And for this year, the Speedway had another race taken away. But tomorrow, the Auto Club 400 is supposedly going to be the real deal, mister. “There’s definitely a groundswell in the community around NASCAR,” beams Speedway president Gillian Zucker. But then Gilly goes on the offensive when the nature of NASCAR and its fanbase is probed as well as the decline in ticket sales. “I don’t think that NASCAR needs defending,” she says. “There’s nothing wrong with the sport.” Why would NASCAR need defending? Uh, trucker hats with beer holders. Toddlers covered with nacho cheese. Trainwreck single mothers wearing too much makeup—and their daughters’ skinny jeans. And miles and miles of mullet. Nope, nothing wrong with this sport.
SUNDAY, MARCH 27
The Lakers play the Clippers and end up getting another purple-and-gold feather in their post-All Star break hat. But it wasn’t easy. It was a 112-104 win over Blake Griffin and Co., thanks in part to Kobe’s 37 points and six assists. Then it got ugly when the Clippers’ Chris Kaman jawed at Derek Fisher after the two collided on an (illegal) screen. At least the Lakers didn’t let a 21-point lead slip through their fingers. Again.
MONDAY, MARCH 28
What happened, Mr. Bill Postmus? What happened to that whole “I’m innocent” thing?