Playoff Update/ Book Reviews

We advanced to the final four. I played the second game of the first round series with a mask on. It was terrible. I was happy that the team gave me anything, but trust me that this mask was not meant to be worn during basketball games. It has these pads all over it that kill my peripheral vision. I felt like I was playing with glaucoma. Surprisingly, the most noticeable affect was on my ball handling. I never realized how much I actually rely on my peripheral vision when dribbling. Probably something I should work on.

I was so ineffective that game that I decided to chuck the mask for our first game against Yavne. My nose is still sore, and if I caught an elbow I would be down for the count, but I figured the chances of that happening twice in 4 games was slim. Not the best logic, but I’m trying to win a championship here, ya feel me.

I got a little nervous during the pre game introductions. I saw one of their players whispering to their assistant coach, and they both started staring at me. This team is notorious for hard fouls and tough defense, and I was praying they weren’t concocting a plot to “accidentally” hit me in the face.

Thankfully, I got through the game with no problems. Besides the god damn refs, that is. They are so mind blowingly, inexplicably bad. I don’t want to harp on it too much, so I’ll just say that I fouled out having committed 2 real fouls.

The foul trouble plays into the theory of one of my veteran teammates: If you come off the bench, the refs don’t respect you. I think there is definitely something to it. I came off the bench this game, and I felt like I got the scrub treatment a little bit.

They are all about respect out here. Part of the scouting reports have to do with who tends to get the benefit of the doubt from the refs. That was so strange to me at first, but I guess that is probably what happens in every league from the NBA on down. I can see Durant and LeBron getting respect from refs, but I hate that some Israeli with hairy shoulders and a decent first step gets calls because he has been around for a while.

For lack of anything else to talk about, here are short reviews of books I have read recently:

Biography of Alexander Hamilton – Perfect book to read if you want to be reminded of just how lazy you are. I feel good about myself if I get 200 practice shots up and do the dishes on the same day. This guy was orphaned in the West Indies, self educated with whatever he could get his hands on, hustled his way into an American college, excelled in every subject, became Washington’s right hand man in the Revolutionary War, helped craft the constitution, and then single handedly created our whole financial system. But hey, I did some pushups and stretched today! Overall, it was entertaining for a while and then becomes a little tedious.  I was also bothered by a gnawing sense that I could have achieved roughly the same level of knowledge in a millionth of the time by reading his wikipedia page.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime: Read this on the recommendation of someone who had yet to lead me astray. I guess all good things come to an end. It was an interesting concept, but it’s just a little too boring. It is the story of an autistic, aspergish kid who runs away from home. It was kind of disconcerting that I shared some of his OCD tendencies, but I can eat things that are brown and I don’t curl into a ball and start screaming if someone touches me, so that’s good.

I guess the author got a lot of invitations to speak at Autism awareness type events, and he was like “uhh, I don’t really know anything about autism. This is something I made up, people.” He also got criticized for not accurately depicting the thought processes of autistic people. That is too much. Hate the book because it is uninteresting, but this guy never claimed to be doing a research paper. If you are that serious about Autism awareness, aren’t their better ways to spend you time than to go after best selling books that feature main characters who are a little mentally off? On the other hand, I had an episode of Friday Night Lights ruined for me because this guy who was supposed to be a star basketball player had the form of a blind amputee, so I can empathize with misplaced anger.

The Trial: Kafka is supposed to be the man, and The Metamorphosis was pretty interesting, so I decided to see what The Trial was all about. I can’t make this any clearer: This book can take a long walk off a short pier. I gamely plodded through about 2/3 of it, and then I snapped. NOTHING HAPPENS. A guy is accused of a crime that he apparently didn’t commit, and the book follows this guy around for the next year or so. There is never any hint of what is going on, or what any of the characters’ motivations are, or why every now and then some supernatural nonsense will happen. I skipped to the end and read that the main character got executed, and that was oddly satisfying.

I read about the book, and apparently it was based on an actual trial that Kafka went through. People say he was trying to express how messed up bureaucracy is, and how trials are unfair or something. What’s unfair is that people hold this book up as a masterpiece and recommend it. Avoid it at all costs.

A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again: Only the second thing I’ve read by David Foster Wallace, but I really like him. If I went on a luxury cruise and then wrote a huge piece about how it was a fake, soul sucking experience, I would come off as a whiny prat. But DFW makes it interesting and hilarious.

The Hunger Games: Read it on the plane to see what the hype was about. I can’t lie, it was entertaining, but just a little too PG-13. If it was written by Stephen King it might be the most badass book ever.

A Short History of Nearly Everything: Awesome. Bill Bryson basically does what the title implies. It’s like a history of science class minus all the boring stuff. I found it fascinating how many times throughout history someone would make a discovery that was ahead of its time, only to find themselves hated and dismissed and beaten into obscurity. Then a few years later everyone would be like, “oh yeah, I guess homosapien bones could have been found in that region. Sorry for ruining your life, guy who we discredited!” It’s scary the lengths that some people will go in order to maintain the status quo.

In a Sunburned Country: A cool book about how fascinating Australia is. I never realized that it really was a penal colony for England. I thought that was one of those half-facts. Nope, they really dumped a bunch of criminals over there and left them to build a society. I guess a lot of them weren’t that hardened, they got caught stealing bread and stuff like that. It was almost a way to clean out the underclass of society. Just ship the poor people halfway around the world.

I wish the author would have stuck entirely to awesome stories about people dying in the desert, but he had to also talk about sightseeing walks he took and how sunburned he got. Booooo to your personal anecdotes. Tell us about killer spiders.

I’m looking for a good book if anyone has any recommendations.

Final four continues Monday night. Hopefully we can get the win and set up an epic championship series between us and Hapoel Tel Aviv. Their coach passed on signing several of our guys over the summer, we split two exciting games in the regular season, we were the two best teams the whole year, and they have the only real crowd in the league. It has all the makings of a good time.

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4 thoughts on “Playoff Update/ Book Reviews

  1. Hi Drew, unsure how keen you are on fantasy, but if you want a truly fantastic book to read, I could not recommend The Name Of The Wind by Patrick Rothfuss enough. The sequel is also fantastic.

    Love the blog, good luck in the finals against Hapoel! Would really like to see you play in the Premier League next season.

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