To begin, I need to mention that I also visited Seattle and Chicago this summer. While I was in Seattle people kept telling me it was the first time the temperature had risen above 75 in something like 200 days. I found that hard to believe, but I was happy to be there when it wasn’t overcast. I met some awesome people and basically spent the whole time at a pool, on a lake, playing a board game or out on the town. It was pretty amazing. Some highlights:
-Getting to see the grungy ass frat house where my friend Andy used to live. My school didn’t have places like this, and I had never been in a huge public school frat house before. It’s filth was awe inspiring. I got to see the area where they hold an event involving girls in bathing suits wrestling in a kiddy pool filled with watermelon. Wow. But Harvard’s cool too! My dorm had free milk and cookies every sunday!
-Having a cat follow us home for what felt like an hour and a half walk at the end of the night, naming it, feeding it and then kicking it out.
-Winning a game of scrabble by one point on my last word played.
-Barely avoiding severe embarrassment by winning a couple games of 2-on-2 against Andy’s friends. We were down big the first game before luckily pulling it out. Not a good look for a pro basketball player, ha.
My trip to Chicago was also a great time. Highlights:
– Having to share a bed with JD in a dank un-airconditioned basement room because a bunch of hick ass Georgians happened to be couch surfing at the apartment at the same time. Ha, I kid, the Georgians where actually very cool and I ended up seeing them more than Lucas, the friend I was out to see. The guy Casey was JD’s Southern doppleganger. They both have somehow memorized every line of every Simpsons episode, and they would repeat them back and forth to each other and laugh while the rest of us twiddled our thumbs. At some point we all spent a solid hour looking at youtube videos, with these being some of the best:
(Somehow I don’t know how to imbed videos. I’ll have to learn that. Sorry.)
– playing a TON of video games. It had been far too long since I got my fill of 2-on-2 Nintendo games, and between Mario Tennis and SuperStrikers I was more than content. If it seems like a waste to go all the way to Chicago only to spend half the time playing decade old game consoles, then you just don’t understand the pleasure derived from seeing a best friend or sibling screaming in anguish as Yoshi smashes in a goal from midfield with 2 seconds left in the game.
– Getting to chill with my boy Tim again. I should note that I also visited him up in San Jose. Those too were successful trips in that I got to do nothing but eat, play basketball, watch tv and play video games. I wasn’t even mad when we were supposed to rent some planet earth type show and ended up with this high school science class 1980’s looking thing featuring an old dude narrator with a windbreaker and an accent.
To be complete with my summer happenings I have to mention my one night stay up in San Fran. What up O! I got all that I had been missing with my partner in crime from college, complete with good food, partying, and a near fight right on the edge of a body of water that would not have ended well. All I can say is thank god for older brothers with cooler heads.
An additional bonus of all the trips was that in each and every case the people I was seeing were working at the time. So I constantly got to sleep as long as my heart desired while whomever I was with trudged off to sell his soul to the man. It made me feel lazy at times, but mostly I just appreciated having a 9 month a year job with no real responsibilities otherwise.
So as for Israel, not much has been going on. I have been practicing a ton because I am doing both the first and second division teams workouts. This is cool because it is fun to play against better competition in a gym that does not remind me of a run down Boys and Girls club, but it is also frustrating because I know they have no intention of moving me up, so at times I feel like a practice dummy. It is especially frustrating knowing that I could contribute if given a chance, and that they need another Israeli guard! (don’t forget that I am Israeli. Through and through. All hail Israel. I could be called to defend the holy land at a moments notice, the least they could do is give me a little burn in the Premier League. I’d rather play less at a higher level than do another year in the ghetto doldrums of the second division.) Alas, they are taking another jew guard who did well at the summer tryout. It’s hard for me not to beat myself up about stuff like this, but I am getting better at focusing on doing the best with what I’ve got and not worrying so much.
At least I am in good shape. Apparently I either worked a lot harder this summer than I gave myself credit for or I really was an absolute fat beast last season, because every single Israeli who knew me last year had the same reaction: “Wow! You lost so much weight! You have muscles!” Haha it has been crazy, without fail if an Israeli who saw me last year saw me recently he has gone into a tirade about my knew body type. I was at 87 kilos (192 lbs) at my physical, which really isn’t small at all, but it’s better than the 92 kilos (202 lbs) I ballooned to at one point last year. People are thoroughly impressed, which is a nice self esteem boost I guess.
At this point I am deriving satisfaction simply from not being injured and from playing a lot of minutes in my teams practice games. Just those two things (and having my teammate Rodney say that he “might have to make me an honorary black man” because of my extensive hip hop knowledge) have made the first couple weeks a bajillion times better than last year. I don’t want to be too happy about anything though because I know as well as anyone that it is still very early and things can go downhill in a hurry.
Now if I can just get a working washing machine and a car that gets better than 21 miles per gallon I’ll be set. Ok last tangent, but how the hell does Hyundai get away with producing a car so small it gets blown off course if a large insect flies by but still gets terrible gas mileage? Who would ever buy this car?! It’s tiny, its uncomfortable, it has 0 features, the gauges are always messing up and getting stuck so that I have no idea how fast I am going, and it gets bad gas to boot. I know nothing about cars, but I know that if a car is tiny, light and crappy it should at least be better at the pump than my Dad’s boat of a Chrysler (love that car dad, no offense.) And this would all be not nearly as upsetting if I wasn’t initially excited about this car because I assumed it would get killer mileage. I guess the lesson is to never underestimate just how terrible a product Hyundai is willing to make. Someone over there should be fired pronto.