Basketball- Things are slowly changing for the better. I reclaimed my starting spot this past week, and have been making a real effort to be more aggressive. I’m working out all the time, my body feels good and my shot feels good, so I’m hoping it’s just a matter of time before I have a breakout game. Our one game a week schedule is inching along, and we are currently in 5th place. Playoffs start in April. The top 8 make the playoffs, and the top 2 from that have the opportunity to move up to the first division next year. In related news, during a crucial timeout last game my coach got fed up with our softness, and erupted with this: “There eeiz a goood hospital very close!!! PUT DEM ON THA FLOOR!” I think he was dead serious.
Locker Rooms- Our last game was on the road against Ramla. Ramla has far and away the best gym in our division because apparently their women’s team is awesome. It was the first decent locker room we have had the whole year. It is hard to do justice to just how horrifying the all except one of the visiting locker rooms are. If you have ever been in Columbia’s visitor locker room, imagine that but half as big, twice as old, and ten times as dirty. As has often been the case out here, I once again realize how good I had it in college. Without fail the floors are black with filth and the tiles are rusty. One room had a couple disbanded washing machines haphazardly stacked in a corner. The first thing you notice upon first entering one of these mini dungeons is the smell. It hits you right away, and there is no escaping, because the bathroom stalls are never more than a few feet from the benches. One room had such a pungent odor that the entire team had to cover their noses while the coach was talking, even the Israelis, who are generally much more tolerant of these conditions than the weak Americans. For example, there was a time my teammate dropped a cookie on the floor, picked it up, brushed it off and ate it like it was nothing. This floor that 12 sweaty, disgusting dudes had been walking all over. It’s hard enough to maintain an appetite after experiencing the foulness of one of these locker rooms, let alone to eat something off the ground.
Finally, there is the pressure of getting a seat. If you don’t hurry in getting from the bus to the locker room there is a good chance you will have to carve out some space on the floor or wedge yourself between the least objectionable people. There has rarely been enough seating for the entire team. Sometimes people have to pull up extra chairs, but the only space is right next to the sink, causing them to get sprayed with water whenever someone washes their hands. After once being forced to sit on the step of a drinking fountain, I decided to make getting a locker room seat a top priority. Now, I am basically in a full sprint from the time the bus turns its engine off until I secure a spot, preferably one where I am only bordered by a person on one side.
Army- I got a letter in the mail today from the Army. My roommate translated, and apparently they need me to come in for an interview on March 27th. Can’t wait! I hope it won’t result in me “falling” down some stairs to get out of active duty.
Books, Movies, TV shows- Just feel like listing all the things I have read or watched.
Books– Kurt Vonnegut-Timequake, John Steinback-Travels With Charlie, Tom Wolfe- Bonfire of the Vanities, Steve Martin-Born Standing Up, Something Medved-10 Big Myths About America, Dylan Thomas-Adventures in the Skin Trade, Charles Dickens-A Tale of Two Cities, Can’t Remember- Life of Pi, Stephen Ambrose- Nothing Like it in the World, Can’t Remember- Fugitives of the Forest
Movies- Mallrats, Chasing Amy, Clerks, American Psycho, 5th Element, Avatar, 2012, Religulous, Big Fish, The Illusionist, Food Inc.
TV Shows- Seasons 3-9 of the Simpsons, Every episode of the Sopranos
Food- I have been making a more concerted effort lately to eat the diet I started over the summer. It’s basically trying to eat smaller meals every 2-3 hours and getting the majority of your carbs from fruits and vegetable rather than grains and breads. It also involves awesome things like boiling chicken feet into a broth. I should finally be able to access some chicken feet next week, so I am pretty pumped for that. My roommate, like all the other haters out there, thinks I’m insane. Recently when I eschewed a falafel and ate a potato instead, all he could muster was a shake of the head and “you get weirder every day.”
Tel Aviv- I finally made it out to Tel Aviv again, and it was a much better experience. Went to the only club so far that played rap, and unsurprisingly there was about 20 other basketball players there. An interesting part was when I asked a girl if she spoke English and she said that was dumb question because everyone learns English from an early age. I told here that a ton of the people I’ve see met so far only speak Hebrew, and she brushed them off as being “stupid.” Well then. Maybe all the English speakers congregate in the South. I also met someone who went to Penn and asked if she ever went to any basketball games or knew that Penn just upset the number 23 team in the country. She had never been to a game and didn’t know a thing about recent sporting events. The boredom on her face was too obvious to ignore. It seems basketball related pick up lines are never going to get me anywhere.
Anyway, speaking of basketball, if I could bet on Harvard to beat Cornell tomorrow I would. I predict a ton of double teams on their big ogre, a ton of missed threes and a ton of their coach stomping around the sidelines complaining about every call.