Griping and Rambling

Still hurt, which sucks.  Yesterday the assistant trainer told me that he thought I might be out for longer than he originally thought.  He compared my injury to Troy Polamalu’s, and he’s supposed to be out 3-6 weeks.

It’s interesting how the pro football player got X-Rays and MRI’s, and he has a nice, semi-defined return date.  I on the other hand got a glance and a simple “don’t worry, this happens to soccer players all the time. 10 days to 6 weeks.”  Uhh, thanks?

So I go to the trainer today. And by go to the trainer I mean drive 10 miles, realize I don’t have coins for parking, get there too early, sit in my car sweating because I don’t want to turn the air on because I am so low on gas, ask a passing meter checker lady if she can make change and get denied, and finally heading inside after I borrow money from the trainer.

Also, while I was sitting in the hot car I was listening to a podcast detailing how this NYC electronics company frauded investors out of millions of dollars in the 1970’s and 80’s.  This is interesting because one of the major parts of the scam was how they hid money offshore.  They hid it with the help of a crooked banker at the Israeli Bank Leumi.  This is the bank the team uses, and the one the expect me to put my money in.  Not trying to say anything, it’s just kind of cool and coincidental.

So I go through with my usual treatment of stim, ultrasound and obviously the laser.  After I am finished I am told to wait around for my meeting with the head honcho trainer, who presumably will provide some hands on treatment and tell me all sorts of things about my knee.  What I get is a press where my ligament inserts into my femur (which causes awful pain) and a matter of fact “you can start activity.”

Whaaaaat?  Just yesterday I was told this is such a tricky injury and can take such a long time. He told me to start playing a little and just take it easy and “don’t do a lot of this.” (He takes his knee and bends it inward, such as would happen on many of my cuts.) So, I guess I can play at half speed without cutting, and report on how I feel.  Just the kind of vagueness I am getting accustomed to.  Of course I took this as a license to go to the gym and do an intense jumping workout, so hopefully I am not going overboard.

Speaking of the gym, I have a funny story.  The last time I was there I went over to the dumbbells, grabbed a couple, and let out a ridiculously smelly fart.  This is not like a private team weight room where this would not be a big deal, this is a thriving health club. I walked away as quickly as possible, and the one other guy lifting was not on to me yet.

I thought I was in the clear, but then I see him get all flustered and call over the weight room employee.  He is visibly upset, and is demanding things of the employee that I cannot hear because my headphones are on.  I wouldn’t have been able to understand the Hebrew anyway.  So the employee leaves and comes back with this spray, and starts going to town.  Just spraying a heavy mist allllll over the place.  And I am sure my gas smelled, but this stuff was clearly toxic.  I would not be surprised if the fumes took a year or so off my life, and the smell lingered the whole time I was working out.  Karma sucks, I guess.

So I have to vent about my roommate and other teammate now, so I guess if anyone who reads this is friends with them on facebook please don’t send this to them.  Isaac or Brian, if you read this, sorry!  Everyone keeps asking me if I am worried the wrong person will read this, and I just say if it happens, oh well, not the end of the world.

My roommate and I started fighting because we share a car, and up until today he was the only one on the insurance, so he was supposed to be the only one driving.  We just kind of disregarded that, and I drove whenever I wanted.  Then we got told that I really can’t drive till I get my license photocopied at the rental car place, and this caused all sorts of problems, because Isaac just did not want to drive me places I wanted to go.

One day he just left with the car all day, came back and refused to take me to either the grocery store or the weight room. Nice.  Later, I had to miss a physical therapy appointment because he would not wake up and drive me, and I had no other ride.  Fantastic.  Then he gets mad at me for not just getting on the insurance, even though I have told him a billion times that I had to wait to sort stuff out with one of the team management who was out of the country for the week.  He then stormed out after refusing another simple request to drive me somewhere.

Later that night, we are in the car together about to drive out to the first team practice, when I make a move to put in a CD that I burned.  At this point I have to mention this guys pension for dominating the music selection, and to make matters worse he prefers this TERRIBLE euro dance music shit.  It was at least new and semi-interesting to me for like a couple days, but it got old real fast.

When I would succeed in getting one of my CD’s in, he would simply skip the songs he did not like.  It might not sound so bad, but trust me it is infuriating, and it is one of those awkward relationships were we don’t like rag on each other or say what we really think cause we don’t know each other than well.  Not the best description, but I am sure people know what I am talking about.

So anyway, I go to put a CD in, and he stops me and says, no joke, after all his terrible music, “You’re just gonna switch the music? What if I was listening to that?” I was stunned. I said, “Are you going to deny that you have dominated the music playing since we got here?”  He disregarded this question, and told me, to my face, that I was “very rude” for trying to switch the music, and that we should “talk about what we are going to put on and come to an agreement.”  Talking about music is something that has obviously not happened often since we started driving together.  I cannot describe my sheer befuddlement.  Was this guy truly, actually serious? Can he be that strange and un-cooperative?  I just said whatever and left his god-awful music on, but it was a pretty telling interaction.  He’s just a weird, illogical guy I guess.

So on the way back he is in a better mood, and he changes the radio to put on one of HIS CD’s.  If you know me at all, you know I am not going to let this slide without making a snide remark about it.  I go “what happened to the joint decision about what music we play?”  He gives an awkward smile, like we didn’t have a serious disagreement about this earlier, and goes with the brilliant “No, this is good.”  Nooooooooooo!  How do you deal with someone this dense?  Then he has the audacity to come back with “you’re a real smartass, huh?” I guess that’s what he considers me for calling him out on his hypocrisy.  He thought it was all kind of funny, and I am sitting there steaming, not thinking anything is funny.

If you are thinking, “Wow, he cannot possibly write more about his dislike of certain people out there” then you would be very, very wrong.  Feel free to skip ahead if you find this to be dragging on, I’ll never know.  The more I write the more therapeutic this feels, so I am going to continue on to the other thorn in my side, the American on the team who lives across the street from me.

If you thought Isaac was unreasonable and unnecessarily mean, then you have not heard about this guy. It all started about the 3rd or 4th night I was here, when he came over to the room to ask if he could use my USB Internet drive that the team had given us, because his was not working.  Being a kind, non-asshole of a person, I of course said yes. In hindsight, I will really, really regret doing this.

He takes the Internet, and it works for him.  We had both also been given other Internet USB drives that did not work, and the one I let him “try” was the only one that works on my almost 5 year old computer.  So I figure that since I let him have mine, he would be more than willing to let me have it back.  Maybe he could talk to the management about getting one similar to that.  This is not at all how things work out.

He repeatedly avoids my inquiries as to when I will get the drive back, and does not offer up any sort of timetable for return.  I try to solve things another route, by getting different drives from the coaches, but none work.  I finally get my coach to let me send this guy a text from his phone demanding that he give me back the Internet.  Now let me be clear, I have been blessed to be able to steal good wireless from someone in my building, but not powerful enough to vid chat with my family or skype call them, so not having that card is costing me dearly.  So I finally get a USB drive from my coach and head over to Brian’s apartment to make an exchange.  Notice how I could have just demanded the Internet, but I had the decency to offer him an alternative as well.  He sullenly took the USB that I brought and plugged it into his computer, and then claimed that it was not working.

This may or may not have been the case, because I have first hand experience with how bad with computers this guy is.  He asked me a few days earlier, before I knew what a jerk he was, if I would help him with something.  So I went over to his apartment, where he sat looking at his computer with a look of despair on his face.  The problem?  He could not figure out how to drag a song off his desktop into iTunes.

I swear I am not making this up.  I was kind of stunned, showed him what to do, and went on my way.  Somehow I restrained myself from asking for his birth certificate to prove he wasn’t really a 98 year old, technologically illiterate retard.

Similar weird, are-you-being-serious? but not quite on the same level story.  We were casually talking about our schools, teams, study hall and the like.  He was like “ya, they say once you get a degree from the University of Miami you are all good. (the way he said it kind of implied set for life type good.)  He turns to me and goes “is it like that at your school?”  It’s weird, maybe I am so used to people treating my Harvard degree as some sort of ultimate golden ticket that this took me so off guard, but he asked it like he had never heard of my school. Knowing him now, there is a good chance he hadn’t.  I just kind of said “umm ya, we have good alumni connections.”

Back to the story.  He says, “this is not working on my computer.”  I say, “well, sorry, can I have the other one back?”  He flat out says “Na, that’s not gonna happen.” Good god why do I have to deal with people like this?  I say “Well, it was mine to begin with, and I gave it to you.”  (I’m really trying to spell things out here, hoping he is not as ridiculous as I think he is)

He does not take well to this argument, and comes up with the brilliant “How am I supposed to get in touch with my people?”  What I want to say is “How the FFFF am I supposed to get in touch with my people, this is my internet card, remember?  How dumb and rude can you possibly be??!?!”  I am trying to keep my cool.

“Well Brian, I need to talk to my family too, and this is the only one that works on my computer.  Maybe it is time for you to try and get management to get you a knew one.  I  am sick of trying.”  This logic sways him none.  He just keeps shaking his head, avoiding eye contact, and saying “Nah.  I need the internet.”  He comes back with the decent point that I can use my roommate’s comp, but the thing is, I DON’T WANT TO BE ON MY ROOMMATES COMP. I WANT THE GODDAMN CARD THAT WAS ORIGINALLY MINE.  He could walk across the street and use my roommates comp if he really wanted to.

As my last resort, I go to what I think is an infallible argument.  I mention the text that our coach sent him, which I wrote myself, that told him to give me the card.  I do not think there is any way he can get out of this one, but I underestimate his sheer ability to lie.  He goes “uhh, he told me to let you use it, not to give it to you.”  He does not know that I wrote the text, so I know exactly what it says.  Basically, he just straight up lied to my face.

I am out of options, unless I want to resort to hand-to-hand combat to try and get my card back.  I leave his place, and he, god it is hard for me to even type this, has the nerve to come out to the door and get mad at ME for leaving his door open as I walked away.  I am not sure if I have encountered a more difficult person to deal with in my life.  Just, wow.

Last thing, and trust me I feel pathetic writing this and looking back on what happened next.  I am not used to getting into actual, real serious fights with people I see everyday, and thus I am not sure how to respond to it.  I go back to my room to stew a little, then decide that hey, I don’t want to be in constant conflict with someone I am going to see so often, I am going to try and patch things up. So I go back to his place to try and talk with him again, and sorry for overusing the caps but this is just so appalling considering he was the one who was totally in the wrong, he WOULD NOT LET ME IN TO TALK TO HIM.  He spoke to me briefly through the door.  Unnnnnn B lievable.  So now I decided my only option is to not purposefully do one nice thing for him as long as I know him.  I hope I am good at holding grudges.

This all sounds really petty after writing it out, especially considering the real troubles people face all over the world (lack of shelter, starvation, persecution) but in my little world these things are a big deal, so I will continue to complain about them, but I will try and keep things in perspective.

It is just tough finding out within 2 weeks that the person you have to live with for 10 months, along with the only other American teammate you have, are dull, rude, un-sensible, EXTREMELY annoying and just plain awful to be around.  I guess that’s just the way things go sometimes.  But man, if only I could go back to the days when my annoyances were as small as dining hall food or Andrew putting an MGMT song on repeat for so long I can’t hear it without thinking of that time.  I didn’t know how good I had it.

Quick update just to talk about basketball for a little.  We had a practice game up at this kibbutz called Megido.  I figured it would be like a college scrimmage.  It was not at all.  They had about 100 fans there, and they were screaming and cheering the whole time.  Like really screaming, and whistling during free throws, and blasting the refs like it was the NBA finals.  It was pretty cool.

I was told the real games are even more crazy cause the whole place is packed.  Now, this is not a very big place, but these fans are so passionate one of them is like 8 American fans.  I’m serious.  The players are all emotional too, like beating their chest after making a 3 that cut their deficit to 12 and similar antics.  Just bizarre.  They were generally pretty bad.

We had a rematch scrimmage at our gym tonight, and they had like 5-10 die hard fans who made it out here.  They ended the game by belting their lungs out questioning a call by the ref in the final seconds of a close game.  Rightfully so, because this call was truly terrible.  They were down 3 with 8 seconds left and had one free throw.  The guy missed it on purpose, hoping for a tip out for a tying 3.  His shot was high arching, and hit the backboard, then the front rim. But, there was a whistle.  The ref called the free throw void because he decided that it did not hit the rim.  There was all sorts of yelling and confusion, and it took me a while to realize why they were so upset.  This ball CLEARLY hit the rim.  Like absolutely no doubt about it.  I felt bad for the ref, cause he kind of had to stick to his guns I guess, but man, was that a horrific call.  I’ve never even seen such a thing.

Random thought that I have had before, but when is it going to be socially acceptable to wear 2 different shoes.  Why is this not ok?  Would it not look cool and different every now and then if I was rocking one Nike Free with one Stan Smith Adidas?  Or if I came out for a championship game sporting a Kobe on one foot and an LeBron on the other?  I swear Kanye or some other jackass fashionisto is going to start doing this at some point and everyone is going to think it is so cool, but if I tried it now I would be ridiculed to no end.  Such are the downsides of not being a super famous, trend-setting guy I guess.  At least I don’t have to worry about paparazzi.  But, if nothing changes, be warned that I will start doing this at some point.

Nothing much else to report.  I am sure I will have interesting, basketball related news once I get back on the court.  Go Lions! Let’s hold the next QB to a mere 5 TD’s!

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