Wunderluster


Friends will be Friends
January 20, 2008, 3:54 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

(Editor’s Note: The Wunderluster tried to make this coherent and meaningful, but he got pissed off about three-fourths of the way through and realizes this post mostly went to shit. Enjoy!)

Thanks.

I’ve just tried to call some of you. It’s about four in the afternoon on a hotter than usual summer’s day here in Dunedin and I needed a friendly friend fix and you weren’t there. Nobody picked up. You’re all probably watching the NBC Democratic Candidate Debate. Let me be clear: I’m not killing myself about you not picking up, or mentally killing you over it either. However, like any great epiphany, or convenient segue; it made me start thinking about something.

Friendship.

 

Please, please don’t run away. I promise some of this will be interesting and I’ll crack a joke about myself and you’ll snicker and nod your head. Just bear with me here.

No, I’m not talking about MySpace friendship. I’m not talking about summer camp BFFL’s (Best Friends For Life), either. Neither Bros, nor Hos fall into this conversation. I’d like to talk about the crux of modern adult friendship, which I might add, is a fucking drag.

Let me preface this bitchfest with a little note. Lo, around early November, I was still hell bent on moving to New York City in January. But I was feeling suffocated, as one would when one lives in one’s mother’s basement. So, in a time of need, or a need for a friendly friend fix, I called one of you just to chat about life. You didn’t pick up. Nor did you call me back in what would be considered a reasonable amount of time. I’m talking about five days.

Like all the petty ways in which I’ve tried to measure my life (you’re nodding now!), that particular persona-non-caller registered as the litmus test for my universe in that moment. It was time for a change. That was enough. So I bought a ticket, said my goodbyes. Yada yada yada and now I’m so fucking happy I got rainbows in my eyes and sunshine bursting outta my ass. Everything is fine now, truly. 

Close your eyes. Try to get a rough estimate of how many people from high school through college and up through now you’ve met and talked to at least more than five times socially. In my mind, the five conversation threshold lays the seeds for a MINIMAL friendship. So for me, I’d say I’ve averaged about 20 or so 5-Convo friends since I was 16. That puts me up around 200 people that could be in my close social network. Now, of those 200, who do I talk to on what I would regard a regular basis (as in twice a week)? One. Yes, I’m taking into consideration the fact that I’m in fucking New Zealand. I get that. I’m estimating since, say, this past summer. So, from young adulthood, until mid-20’s, my good friend rate is about .5 percent.

Please, stop giving your computer the middle finger for a second (it’s very unladylike) and let me poke holes in my previous paragraph, both relieving your dainty digits and further articulating my soul.

There are myriad reasons my good friend rate is about .5 percent. Moving. Work. Relationships. Travel. Family. Flame-Out. Different Classes. Different Workout Schedules. Outgrowing. Outdrinking. Bad habits. Bad Sex. 

Whatever.

I’m not saying anything new here: it’s hard to keep friends throughout your adulthood because your life is changing so much around you. We’re all happy with that explanation, right?

When I hear people talk about long gone connections, most sentences start with “Well, I’ve been so busy that…” or “Me and So and So had so much going on…” This again, because I’ve come to find out is how things work, is acceptable. If the majority of people function a certain way, there exists a logical leg to stand on. If you begin sentences like mentioned above, remember, I still love ya.

But I believe that work and proximity determine adult friendship. This means that who is available when you’re not working (or is at work with you) and who is in a reasonable distance from where you sleep are your friends. That’s who you invest in and who invests in you. Again, this may be Civilization 101, but I find it terribly depressing.

 (Editors Note: It’s all downhill from here.) 

Some of you I thought I’d know forever. I thought our kids might know each other. Heck, I even was looking forward to fathering some legitimate and not-so-legitimate Zach Jr’s with you, too.

 Most of you are gone or on your way out. Friendship, I guess, is a little allegory for life. From the moment of creation, friendship is on a one-way ticket to death. This makes marriage such a transcendent venture. Sickness. Health. Richer. Poorer. Your friendship with your spouse should be impregnable to such ills as moving to a new apartment in the Upper East Side or a new job in Tucson. But I repeat, should be. 

Friendship is a war of attrition. I’m going to fight that war tooth and nail. But do me a favor, look around and take stock of the people you have and love them intensely now. Your life together withers each day. Make an effort to extract from friendship every last bit you can. Don’t be too busy. Don’t be too tired. And next time, pick up the fucking phone.



The Blogvellas: Vol. 1
January 10, 2008, 2:43 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

To honor a former editor, I submit to you, My Six, several mini-posts or “Blogvellas.” Think of them like Shakespearean Sonnets, except not about “the Dark Lady” and just as overtly homosexual. 

 

1. An alarming number of you have corresponded with me about my sexual health in the wake of my last post. I would like to put all rumors to rest and say that my sexual health is pristine, with my date rapes up only 16 percent thus far in 2008 and my porn usage stagnated due to the low third-world-like internet access here in Middle Earth. So, just chill with the sex references. It’s not befitting of a blog like this to toss such virtual verbal salad. Ahem.

2. To those of you who don’t already know, my long struggle against Kent County Hospital finally ended last month with me winning. Here, jump in the Wunderluster Time Machine again (yes, again) and I’ll spin the fascinating story of pan-continental basketball domination, boogery crying, reconstructive knee surgery, the painstaking and soul-stretching fight back to perfect physical condition, a $12,000 surgery bill, 27 months of denial, a last minute reprieve from a hospital and sanctimonious gloating. Wait. That is the story.

Anyway, I’ve had a $12,000 guillotine hanging over my head since the Hospital decided that a bureaucratic coding snafu wasn’t worth correcting; a snafu that switched the burden of the bill from my poor, cash-strapped heath insurance company to the economic behemoth that pens this burgeoning electronic journal. The hospital was all ready to take me to court, but fortunately, I’m just poor enough to qualify for financial aid. Hoo-f’ing-ray.

3. When I first moved to college in 2K1, I threw around a few revolutionary ideas, as one does at such an intellectual bastion as Northwester…I mean, Northeastern. One idea was a book about how we could really misunderstand tone and context in online convos – like Instant Messaging. Yeah, I am that smart. Get over it.

I’d like to think that half-assed sociology book fetus was in fact the cousin twice-removed of what would become the news-feed-of-our-lives, Facebook or yet the Byzantine MySpace. I’m not the first to talk about how these social networks have changed our lives. So, I’m not going on that track. I will say this: Facebook has ruined my day before. Of course, it’s made my day before, too. But, I’m not going to go on this track either.

Facebook has done an immense job of chronicling my life like I could not have imagined. It has photos from my last three years. It has my address, job history, the fascinating results of my friends’ movie knowledge quizzes, the fact that I’m a pirate and not a ninja and illustrates though a nifty graph, and my social history. And somehow, and this is freakin’ amazing, Facebook posts links to Wunderluster every time it’s updated without my prior knowledge! Basically, it’s my life index.

This dawned on me a few days ago when, in my news feed, the “R.I.P. Skip Gruneberg” Facebook group appeared. In high school, during my ill-fated and not-talked-about Hendricken days, my 1987 Ford Econoline Conversion Van would occasionally break down and I would need a ride to school. With some prodding, okay, a lot of prodding, Skip would drive about three-fourths of a mile out of his way and pick me up in the morning for school. Though a member of the now-defunct and overtly homosexual Hendricken social club The Swixtas, Skip was generally a good dude.

The point is not to harp on him here. And I can’t properly memorialize him, either. But I sit here in awe, in New Zealand, and know about the fate of a footnote of my life. Even 10 years ago, I would have never have known about what happened to Skip. I’m not going to any Hendricken reunions. I’m certainly never cavorting with any known douchebag Swixtas. Anyway, R.I.P. Skip Gruneberg.

4. Day-to-day life here has been going much better. Dunedin has returned from its month long lunch out. And, the moody Otago weather has mellowed out. This made for a sea-kayaking trip out to the small seaside town of Karitane. Yes, I have a friend out there: an American professor and his courteous and startlingly well-behaved family of five sons and a wife. It was beautiful. Along with the domestically annoying, yet annoyingly functional Monica, I set out in the two-seater vessel and traversed a peninsula, spying yellow-eyed penguins, seals and a manta ray.

 

 Yet in the same week, I watched the first season of The Wire in just less than 36 hours. That’s 13 hours of The Wire. Sixteen hours of sleeping and seven hours of other, boring stuff. It’s good to know that my life here has finally found some balance.

5. I’d like to give this site some routine features… besides the top quality gripes of an intellectually insecure half-breed. One feature was started last week with those mind-boggling philosophical life questions I threw out to My Six. But it doesn’t count yet because it didn’t have a catchy name in capital letters. Monica just suggested the clever, yet not entirely bright enough, “Zach’s Corner of Q’s.” Veto. I’m going with iWunder. So without further adieu, the eagerly anticipated debut (but not really debut) of the iWunder feature!

A. You have the chance to flash forward five years and meet your soul mate. (Note to the delusional: this is assuming you haven’t already found them.). This is the person who will complete you in every way: ignite your deepest desires, buy you good Christmas presents, have that heart-softening knack of kissing you when you’re angry and will make you a spinach and feta omelet and perfectly percolated coffee on cold, winter weekend mornings. This is not just your soul mate; it’s your soul mate, soul mate.  The rub is you’ll have just a vague memory of the previous five years, akin to a comatose dream. However, you will not live through these five years. There is no guarantee you’ll meet this person if you don’t take the five-year free pass. Do you make the life trade?

B. Imagine three people of the opposite sex. Person 1 is very physically attractive. But sex with this person will cause a 50-50 chance of sterility due to a groin-crippling STD you’ll contract. Person 2 is physically acceptable, nothing to get all excited about, but is a generally nice person. Sex with Person 2 has to be done in front of their spouse, an acquaintance of yours who is watching intently and approvingly. Person 3 gives you the willies, but is not necessarily a bad person. Doing it with No. 3 will cause a pregnancy. Abortion is not an option. Who do you do? WHO DO YOU DO?

C. Do you like me better with short hair or long hair?

   



Bumping boners
January 2, 2008, 3:56 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

A little Jewish humor to get us started off.

Q: What happens to a Jewish guy right before he bumps his boner into a wall?

A: He hits his nose.

Hilarious, right?

Yep, I went there

Many of you reading this have either (1) slept with me or (2) really wanted to sleep with me, so a boner reference is sure to have my readership plunged deep into the throws of some most furious carnal passion, but stick with me here.

This joke is not to inspire the six of you to either leave your boyfriends, husbands or finally admit that you’re gay. It’s a metaphor, people.

Since arriving in Dunedin four weeks ago, Monica and I have been bumping our boners into the wall. See, it’s dead here. The university students that number nearly 40,000, give the city its soul and very reason for commercial existence, have gone for the summer, leaving an urban skeleton.

So the city looks like fun. It teems with several closed businesses and is plastered with more concert posters than Brooklyn. And, because the key economic demographic is trekking through the rest of the country have casual sex, eating Tim Tams and drinking flat whites, no jobs exist for those of us who need them.

Well, let me qualify that. Monica works as a waitress at the Ra Bar, an upscale café/bar (mostly bar) that is located in the Octagon, the city’s nerve center. But waitresses here don’t get tips. But what they do get is condescending locals, retarded tourists and the odd slap on the ass by the inebriated denizens. I don’t need that shit.

But you guys are saying “wait, you got a job with that world famous basketball team that’s gonna pay you gobs and require that you get some minor celebrity perks like third-rate groupie tail.” This only partly true. While I’m banking big time on that last part, the basketball pay is going to be spotty at best as my paycheck is tied to specific projects I work on, not an hourly rate or a Zach-friendly salary system. The pro season doesn’t really even start until February. So, I’m going to need another job regardless.

With all the momentum that came with this trip: the romance of travel, the escape from my mom’s basement, the deeply satisfying rubbing-it-in-to-your-friends phase, I’ve kind of hit a wall…with my soul erection, or Soulrection. I’m metaphorically dry humping drywall. Now, I’m famous tenor Flacido Domingo. I vacation in upstate New York at Lake Flacid. I recently dropped flacid with a couple of hippie friends.

But, wait, wait, wait. It’s really not all that bad. Essentially, I’m only damn near broke. But what would a Wunderluster entry really be without dragging the readers down with unfunny jokes, immature and untimely sexual references and a general bleak outlook on life without uplifting the spirit just at the very end to prove the author’s worth? Exactly.

Without further ado (and whining), the good stuff!

1. Nothing.

2. Just kidding.

*We finally have friends. At the hostel up the street, we’ve somehow befriended the owners and their motley crew of internationals who are vaguely our age. So, every night, I make my way up the hill around 7 p.m. without the knowledge what debauchery will ensue. Usually, there’s no debauchery, unfortunately. However, it’s a place to drink, tell stories and play unusually competitive board games, usually inflamed by unreasonably aggressive Germans.

We spent Christmas with these hostel people and went off-roading into the Otago countryside. I, of course, DJ’d the whole five-hour trip. Needless to say, everyone in the car was in raptures and ready to rip off each one of my fingers.

The day before that, our group drove down to the beach on the advice of my flatmate, to dig for cockles. (A quick note about the flatemate: due to the terms of our lease agreement, I can’t mention this dude in the blog. So, bear with me). Cockles are, if you stupids didn’t already know, like small clams. After ethnically cleansing the shelled delights from the bay, we drove back to the hostel and peer-pressured said flatmate into cooking the cockles for a dinner party of 10. It was delicious. And it has inspired me to only gather my food from now on. So, I do the shopping and Monica cooks. It’s like frontier living.

*I’ve been tossing around some philosophical questions in my head recently, so I put them to you, My Six.

1.For the ladies only: One day, Jesus Christ appears to you and says “look, my dad and I have been talking and we agreed he fucked up with the whole immaculate conception thing. Admittedly, it’s a little, well, unbelievable. So, we want to bring the next generation of our dynasty in the proper way. Wink, wink.” Here’s the question, do you bang Jesus? For those of you who are curious, Monica refused to answer the question on grounds that it was sacrilegious. I said yes because (1) I’d be super-famous and (2) parents would be naming their kids Zach-Katherine, Zach-Jane, Zachia, Zachie and several other derivatives thereof for 2,000 years.

2. You’re stuck on a deserted island for three years, Cast Away style. You can pick a television or movie character to spend that time with. Who is it? Mine was Kate from Lost. Monica’s was Hans Solo. He-who-will-not-be-name-due-to-the-lease-agreement picked Amelia Earhart. No kidding.

Seriously?

3. You’re given the chance to immediately find your soul mate. This is the person who completes you in every way imaginable and gives you transcendent bliss and comfort. But here’s the trade-off: this person is of the same sex. Now, to make this transition a little more palatable, a genie that looks like me appears to you wearing nothing, save for a blue speedo and matching blue turban and said if you make the choice, you will forget that you were ever heterosexual. But everything else is the same. Monica said no because of cultural repercussions. I said no because I’m employed full-time as a bi-sexual genie. Dr. Voldemort, M.D. kicked me in the face and went back to reading his biography of Amelia Earhart.

Finally, I would like to wish you all a happy new year. In accordance with recent history, my New Year’s resolutions will remain unchanged.

1. Love and success, hopefully at the same time.

2. No more freakouts.

Enjoy 2008.



Just a Little Bit “Closer”
December 26, 2007, 4:24 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Nothing says Christmastime more than watching 2004’s Relationship Mindfuck “Closer” starring Julia Roberts and Natalie Portman as whores and Jude Law and Clive Owen as douchebags.

Now, you may be thinking “Closer” is a bit odd of a choice for Holiday Season viewing and you’d be pretty right. But me, Monica and our roommate Hutch went down to Blockbuster on Christmas Eve and this is what our cross-cultural compromise bore. For those of you that don’t know, “Closer” is a movie about a “love square” that involves four depraved individuals who essentially fuck each other and then fuck each other over.

(Editors Note: the word “fuck” has been used three tim….make that four times thus far in this post. Plus I’ve used the word “depraved.” This is called lyrical foreshadowing. I think.)

I’m no Roger Ebert. Hell, I’m not really even a Stephanie Sears. So, I won’t be able to give a great synopsis and review of this movie other than it delves deeply into the gross, grimy make-up of relationship sex, dissatisfaction and dissatisfied relationship sex. 

HOWEVER, I will make a relevant connection here. This is the second time I’ve seen this movie.

Come with me then, as we take the Wunderluster Time Machine back to March of 2006!

My college roommate rented “Closer” and we had a watch of it on what had to have been a Friday night. Yep, dramas on a Friday night with my heterosexual male roommate. College was wild.  

ANYWAY, as the plot thickened and the relationships within this movie dissolved I sank deep within my hoodie. I watched Clive Owen interrogate his wife Julie Roberts about her on going tryst with the Jude Law. He was curious about sexual details of the affair going so far as to ask what Mr. Law’s cum tasted like. To which she replied, “like yours, but sweeter.”

Sulk.

Owen had cut so deeply into himself with that question, yet he found satisfaction in that lurid, complex-building revelation.

He calmly responded, “Thanks. Thank you for the honestly. Now fuck off and die.”

Now, those of you who know the Wunderluster, knew that he was in Month 18 of a 34-month breakup with a longtime flame. (Yes, those are real numbers). And while neither the Wunderluster nor Ms. X (as she will be called from now on) was depraved or a cheater, they had been through epic, soul-crushing fights of similar, withering intensity.

The Wunderluster was in therapy the following week after seeing “Closer.” No joke.

******Warning, switching from third person to first person********

Of course, I didn’t go into therapy just because I saw most of Natalie Portman’s ass. It was a lot of things, mostly having to do with Ms. X and my father. (But nobody wants to hear you bitch about your ex-girlfriend on your blog. It’s a bit weenie. It’s a bit cliché. Only clichéd weenies do that sort of thing. So, I’ll stick to the topical and timely format this space affords me.)

Twenty-one months have passed since I first saw “Closer.” So I’m wondering: how much have I changed?

I’m still totally incomplete without the youthful love I once had. But I’m far more insecure. I’m far more self-loathing. I’ve cried once. I had my first migraine. I had my first ill-advised hookup. I chased a girl I shouldn’t have. I delivered laundry for a living. I’ve gained a little weight. I have more grey hairs. I found The Smiths. But truly, that’s not so bad.

I graduated from college. I moved to California. I chased a girl I shouldn’t have. I met my Bert (Monica). I made small-town friends. I lived in the mountains. I drove across the USA. I had my first ill-advised hookup. I drank wine that tasted like bananas and flowers and shit. I found The Smiths. I moved halfway around the Earth, just for fun. I’m remembered.

 

I guess what I’m trying to say is the lows I’ve experienced have been devastating and trying but the sadness they’ve triggered has given my life immense texture and depth. The pain and failure derived from things not working out with Ms. X has made my resolve to be a better lover and partner in the future not just matter of hope, but a requirement of my destiny.

And that’s what was missing from “Closer.” It doesn’t track the ascent after the fall. Loss is neither the Alpha nor the Omega in that story or mine. It’s just a chapter. A scene. It’s not the whole damn movie. It’s not the whole damn book.

This is my attempt at channeling Hope to everyone reading during Hope’s most powerful calendar appearance. You should know I think about you all regularly and pray for your continued good fortune.

So, Merry Fucking Christmas.

(That’s six)

  



Yes, you’re appreciated
December 18, 2007, 2:03 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

I just wanted to pop on here quickly and thank everybody (you know, you six) for reading the blog. It’s been a surprisingly satisfying outlet. Of course, it’s not so satisfying if you guys weren’t reading and responding to me. I think I’ve had 200 hits so far. And no, it doesn’t count my own hits. So some of you are pretty fucking obsessesed with me — which I dearly appreciate.

So, enjoy a New Zealand video.



Vicious Trouble Standard
December 15, 2007, 2:02 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Take a deep breath; I made it through my first practice. The guys responded to me pretty well. I made some points that were well received. Who could ask for more, really? While there little vestiges of my fears (i.e., skeptical, surly veterans) for the most part, most of the guys were happy to have me. It even went so well that some of the players who are going to be around Dunedin during the Christmas asked me to come in and work with them. I was down-right flattered.

 

 

Now, the hardest part of this whole night was the opening speech I gave. I was torn as to how I would introduce myself. I’ve been involved in basketball since a young age. Players, much like werewolves, can smell fear. So, my first inclination would be to be as short and as sweet as I could; show no emotion. But that’s not me. I’m emotive. I’m secure and insecure. I’m dynamic and severely lacking. But someone once told me that it would be better to not unleash myself on the first date. Hell, even my mom coined the phrase that will serve as my epitaph: “Zach, you’re a difficult person to know.” To know! My mom said that.

 

 

But I couldn’t go too hard to on the self-deprecation. So, the goal was to ingratiate, not perform a self-vascetomy. It worked. I think.

 

 

It raises an interesting issue both Monica and I have been facing since we’ve been here: the American Double Standard. The first part of this catch-22 is that we’ve been, at times, received tepidly because of the fetid stench our “Ugly-Americanism.” Maybe it’s deserved. I’m outgoing. I’m looking to conquer, although as politely as I can. But that’s not to say that I won’t share or learn. I mean, my God, all I want to do here is learn. TANGENT ALERT. So, I’ll reel myself back in here.

 

 

Ugly American

 

 

On my first day of work for the Otago Nuggets, a top coach pulled me over for a chat and mentioned the word “Sepo.”

 

 

“You might hear this word, Sepo, Zach,” this middle-aged Maori woman said. “And that word is an Australian term for Americans which is short for septic tank, which means that you Americans are full of shit.”

 

 

Yikes.

 

 

Her eyes narrowed before she explained that she and the basketball team had been burned by Americans in the past. We’re all sparkle and no substance, apparently. We talk a big game. Make a lot of promises. Use the situation for our benefit. Shag the place and leave it worse off than we found it. (Oh, what a perfect metaphor for my romantic life!)

 

 

 That’s not totally untrue, I suppose. The long and short of it from her was that I had extra to prove as I’ll be received with a healthy skepticism.

 

 

So, fuck you to the following that have ruined it for Americans: G.W. Bush, Hollywood, Paris Hilton, every politician ever except Barack Hussein Obama (Obama 2008), Roger Ailes, Rupert Murdoch, Latrell Sprewell, Michael Vick and Eddie Vedder.

 

 

 

Fuck you Eddie

 

 

The other part of this double-standard is the (maybe) unfair respect Monica and I get. There’s definitely an assumption that because I come from the U.S. I have some super-advanced knowledge of basketball. As if Jesus had appointed me Apostle of Hoops. People have deferred to me in certain theoretical arguments for which I know my opinions are perhaps well-thought out, but certainly flimsy. This is not for my Eastern European good looks or embarrassingly interesting body-hair pattern, but instead because I have the slightest East Coast accent and a few Boston Celtics t-shirts.

 

 

Name dropping the Boston Globe has helped. Name dropping California helps, too. And, yes, I probably do have a lot of good things to impart to these people. But should they be receptive? Would I be receptive if a random Kiwi came to Boston and started to chat me up about how “they ball in Te Anau”? Nope.

 

 

So, respect and derision are fighting a battle for my livelihood in New Zealand. This, of course, isn’t just a New Zealand thing. All over the world Americans have to prove their worth because of years of political missteps and heroic (and eventually) commercial world-saving.

 

 

In Japan for example, when American baseball imports are introduced at those zoo press conferences, their jersey is handed over with a number that represents how many home runs they’re expected to hit in the upcoming season. Many of the best home run hitters of all-time admit that hitting a homer is an almost random event. You can’t call your shots. (Quiet, Babe).

 

 

However, in the twisted psyche of the Japanese baseball collective, the belief exists that since Americans have created baseball, they should dominate the game in Japan. But of course, should the American not reach those lofty, and often times impossible standards, the negative Nipponese take immense joy in watching the failure as both an affirmation of the quality of Japanese game and yet another reminder about how Yanks promise a lot, but are just a load of shit.

 

 

 

Mr. Tom Selleck

*********************

 

 

 

When it’s been a while between meetings with my grandfather, he’ll give me a look-over and quip “Zachary, I didn’t know they stacked shit that high.”

 

 

Here’s hoping I don’t hear that sort of respect and derision until I step off the plane again at Boston Logan Airport.



Social and Slutty Networking
December 13, 2007, 2:15 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

If there were to be a theme for my first week in Dunedin, it would be “Social and Slutty Networking by Zach.” I’ve been talking to everybody and anybody. So far, it’s turned into leads at a few newspapers and other jobs. I had a chat over at the Otago Daily Times, the major daily in Dunedin. My stutter subsided long enough for me charm the pants of those folks. They were quite taken by some of my stock witty one-liners. I took a test to be a copy editor while I was there. I’m not bad at grammar, but damn near garbage at arithmetic.

Nuggets
So as I’ve been networking, I’m holding in reserve an epic amount of hope. This is apparently the way in life: get yourself out there, make friends, and smile and project optimism. Certainly not my cup of tea. Or rather, certainly not the cup of tea I’ve been drinking, bitterly.

But desperation, which is the case here is manifested as a search for a job, can breed different things. In September, I needed a job badly. I had no real prospects. And though I ended up working my butt off running basketball camps and working for a laundry company (LAUGH TRACK) it was depressing. I couldn’t handle the thought of being nowhere and doing such nothing things. But, with equal desperation, I’m somewhere and doing, well, somethings.

IN OTHER NEWS
*Our place is pretty fly. It overlooks Otago harbor, has three bedrooms and just ten minutes away from the city’s social hub, the Octagon. We finally got a third roommate last night. Monica and I laid on the abrasive American charm, which somehow worked. Although, I’m sure we looked good compared to the other New Zealand crackhouses our new friend Ed checked out. One thing you find out: you’re never more your nationality than when you’re nervous. The cloak comes off. I’m a nervous

*It’s been so far so good. The basketball people do seem to like me. I’ll be (hopefully) picking up a company car this week as well as a cell phone from the team.
*On Monday, I came into train with the team. Basically, that’s just scrimmaging. There’s really no cliché to describe how badly these men beat on me. Essentially, I was the second shortest player on the court. There were a few 6’ 10” guys and the rest were ATHLETES. I stuck with these triathletes for a good five minutes or so, but my body started to break, I was huffing and puffing like an emphazemic marathon runner. By the end, near 90 minutes later, my limbs were shaking like an expectant virgin on her wedding night. Now, the challenge here is going to be taking that performance, which all these guys saw, and walking into practice next month saying “I’m your coach, listen to my knowledge.” Yeah, awkward. And by next month, I mean, tonight, Thursday, I’m running my own practice.

P.S. — I want to upload some pictures onto here, but the internet situation in New Zealand is ridiculously slow. So while I work on that, daydream about me frolicking and being (relatively) happy.