Summer Camp and Petty Crime in Prospect Park

During the summer, my local park turns into one massive summer camp. The baseball camp bleeds into the lacrosse camp bleeds into the Harry Potter camp bleeds into Percy Jackson Camp bleeds into the toddlers who pick at the grass and do singalongs bleeds into the Orthodox Jewish toddlers who pick and grass and do Orthodox Jewish singalongs.

Usually, I do my best to ignore them all as I take my daily walk, but one day last August I felt compelled to stop and watch an event that was unfolding on the main lawn.

Continue reading “Summer Camp and Petty Crime in Prospect Park”

How Ancient Wisdom Can Help Us Deal With Haters

Like most everyone, I once waged a battle against a force as relentless, punishing and timeless as waves crashing on the beach: kids being dicks to each other.

Here’s a quick recap of my life up until age 16, with a focus on what would become the major annoyance of my youth: my high voice making me feel inadequate on the basketball court. 

Continue reading “How Ancient Wisdom Can Help Us Deal With Haters”

Self Promotion (Or Lack Thereof)

A couple of weeks ago I had a conversation with my agent. He said that he was talking to some teams in Italy. I got very excited. (I recently gained Italian citizenship.) Then he said that they wanted to see some film. Maybe a highlight tape. I was instantly crestfallen.

It hit me all at once that I was wildly unprepared to fulfill that request. My most recent highlight tape was from college. I sent that anyway, hoping that the all the footage of Jeremy Lin might serve as an intriguing distraction while I scrambled to figure out what I was going to do.

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Gated Communities

A few days ago, I had to drop my sister off at a friend’s house. This friend lived in a gated community within a gated community. That’s right, two gates. Two separate interactions with the guard gate command center to make sure that I wasn’t a threat. I was blown away, mostly because this community was located inside an incredibly safe city to begin with. Continue reading “Gated Communities”

Standardize Basketballs! (The Rock Sucks)

I was at a workout the other day and noticed that a recent high school graduate was shooting with a strange looking ball. It had a completely different color, texture, and weight than the Nike ball I was using. It was darker, rougher, and harder.

It was made by Under Armour. Apparently the school this guy is attending uses those balls exclusively. I couldn’t believe it. Not only was I unaware that Under Armour even made basketballs, I was shocked that they had the audacity to trot out what I consider an obviously sub-par product.  Unless you are 100% defensive minded, I am pretty sure you prefer a ball with some give and cushion to it. A relatively soft, slightly sticky ball is easier to handle and allows you a little more leeway with your shots that hit the rim. By making a tough, unforgiving ball, Under Armour essentially ignored all the traditional qualities that people seek out in a college ball. It had the look and feel of something a Middle School team would use when if were forced to practice outside. Stick to cleats, Under Armour.

Seeing Under Armour’s poorly made, make-James Naismith-Roll-Over-In-His-Grave ball reminded me of the least favorite basketball I have ever used.

This guy:

worst ball ever
Lots of bad memories coming back right now.

Continue reading “Standardize Basketballs! (The Rock Sucks)”

Philly Airport

I had a layover in the Philadelphia airport on my flight back home. My terminal featured no fewer than 8 strategically placed TV’s that played a Philadelphia infomercial every 3 minutes or so. It’s volume was offensively loud. I imagine someone high up in the airports marketing department pitching this: “Sitting down and zoning out out in front of the terminal is going the way of the dodo. My research shows we will get people to waste money at our dumpy little shops if we bombard them with an obnoxious advertisement. The key is that the we play it at decibels that pierce even the best headphone technology. People will never resent us for the shameless self promotion. It’s a no brainer!”

Make a corny, over produced, questionably factual, transparent cry for attention if you must, but don’t replay it every 3 minutes. There needs to be some sort of Geneva Convention type thing to establish protocols for the humanitarian treatment of airport travelers. If that came to be then this commercial would certainly be found in violation of everything that is decent and the creators would be punished appropriately.

Keep in mind that there were TV’s placed all throughout the terminal, so there was no way to escape the audio-visual bludgeoning other than to hide in the bathroom. Here’s my breakdown: Continue reading “Philly Airport”