Friday, January 17, 2014

A Mid-January Report

Cheerio! I bet you heard that a lot in the past week. I gotta say, before I was demoted, I was really looking forward to this little excursion. There's nothing like international travel to clear your mind. Plus, I've always had a soft spot for England: ale, bangers and mash, the Queen, cricket, cops not carrying guns -- just a terrific society. And, I just love that British humor. The first time I saw Monty Python's "Holy Grail," I almost died. ("It's only a flesh wound!") Of course, you can complain about the weather. But sometimes a nice, rainy day can really make you feel alive.

Anyway, here are some notes:

- Of course, Joe would dominate in London. There's something kind of English about him. He's understated, polite, stiff upper lip and all that, but you don't want to mess with him. Andray Blatche, who also had a terrific game, blows this theory out of the water, though. He is as American as a slice of ziti pizza.

- You've probably already guessed it, and, yep, you're right, I'm out of the woods and back in the friendly confines of North Jersey. Things got really spiritual and metaphysical towards the end of my stay there in the woods. I went on a a five-day fast and drank a ton of green tea. I realized a few things about the reality of the world that we are living in. Maybe I'll share it all with you at a later date.

- But, I'm back and I'll be honest, I've been watching a lot of TV the past few days. What's up with all these commercials for "Monuments Men"? Something's not adding up. Clooney, Murray, Goodman, that buffoon from "Downton Abbey," and the movie is coming out in February? That one has "bust" written all over it.

- I'm all over the place this morning, but this is what you get when you leave a mind like mine unoccupied for over six weeks. I'd like to say I'll get back in the swing of the daily reports, but that's just not my style. You can call me many things, but "liar" isn't one of them.

- I love the snow, but I'm thinking about taking a trip to some warmer climes. I'm interested in the Caribbean, but airfare is just a killer these days.

That's all for me. I have some leftover venison, so I think I'll make a stew.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

A Humble Report from the Woods

I gotta say, this last week has been humbling. Not just for me, but for haberdasheries all around the tri-state area. Not only do you not need daily reports to set off on a four-game winning streak, but you also don't even need a tie! Who knew? If it's all right with you, though, I'll continue to wear one while I write the reports.

Here are some notes from the last week:

- My god, was it cold. What started out as a simple existential, soul-searching retreat to the northern woods turned into mid-July at Vostok Station. Just my luck.

- I'm not getting the full story, but it seems like there's some controversy involving traffic on the George Washington Bridge. I'm not sure why this is a big deal -- there's always traffic on the GWB. But there are ways around it. If you really want to get on the bridge in heavy traffic, all you have to do is take Lemoine Avenue past Fort Lee High School and McDonald's and then sneak onto the on-ramp to the bridge right in front of the EZ Pass lanes in the middle of that whole nightmare entrance. I know you're probably confused, but any real Jersey guy knows this trick. I can email you a sketch if you need it.

- I'm staying in the woods for a little bit longer. I'm getting closer and closer to the true nature of my self. I'm stripping away my ego, super-ego, and all that other nonsense and really zeroing in on my core.

- Oh yeah, basketball. I guess just keep doing what you're doing. Paul Pierce at the 4, Livingston at the 2, running your offense through Mirza -- sounds good to me.

- What the hell is Vin Baker doing in North Korea? He's a good guy and I hope he gets out of there in one piece.

I'm on day three of a fast, so no pithy food comments today. We'll be in touch.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Report from the Snow

I was actually thinking about leaving the cabin yesterday, but then I got engrossed in this Winston Churchill biography, and then it started to snow, and now I'm pretty much stuck. I'm surrounded by about two feet of snow and I just don't have the energy to dig myself out. Luckily I have plenty of squirrel, venison, and chickpeas to get me through the day.

On to the notes:

- Joe Johnson. What can I say? That guy is just an ice-blooded maniac assassin.

- You might not believe me, but, before the game, something told me, at the very least, this wouldn't be an embarrassing loss. I always say, you have a real shot to win any time you're playing a team that gives serious minutes to Kendrick Perkins.

- How do you decide not to wear a tie? Do you consult with your staff? Run it by Billy and Proky? Did the fact that it was a Thursday night in Oklahoma sway your thinking? Personally, I'm a tie guy, but you actually pulled it off last night.

- I caught the end of that Knicks game and, boy, that was something. Shumpert and Belinelli trading baskets, Beno Udrih in the mix, Boris Diaw standing around not doing anything of any real significance -- it felt like I was watching the 2019 Turkish League All-Star game.

- All jokes aside, I get a little nervous when these big upsets happen in sports. If the Knicks and Nets can go to San Antonio and Oklahoma City, respectively, and get wins on the same night, what kind of world are we living in? I'm afraid that I'll take a dog-sled down to the general store tomorrow and a gallon of milk will cost fifty bucks.

That's all for me. For some reason, I really got a craving for a glazed donut.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

New Year's Eve Report

I know this may come as a shock, but I'm not a big fan of New Year's Eve. I'm not much for organized revelry and, anyway, my year runs from October to June, so December 31 is just another day on the calendar for me, and it's usually one that has some serious NBA action that requires my attention.

Here are some notes:

- You got the Spurs tonight and it won't be fun. Don't be surprised to see a lot of Aron Baynes and Nando De Colo. I can't think of one good reason why Pop would play Duncan and Parker and, hell, even Tiago Splitter for more than a quarter.

- I'm starting to get the hang of this country living. What's important is to have a routine. You gotta make sure you have your food and wood ready for the night before noon and, if you're planning to hunt and ice-fish, your gear needs to be ready to go at first light. The sun goes down quick and early up here. You don't want to get to 2:30 in the afternoon and be standing around like a sailor waiting for hardtack and salted pork.

- If you got time, maybe go and sit in the Alamo for an hour or two this afternoon. I always find that quiet reflection in national historic places really helps me to clear my head.

Win or lose, don't get too crazy tonight. Time to soak some lentils.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Another Report from the Woods

I'm not sure how much longer I can last here in the woods. I'm really starting to miss all those wonderful North Jersey amenities. Do you know how much work it takes just to get a wood stove going? Of course you don't.

Anyway, here are some pre-game notes:

- Thoroughly decent win last night against Milwaukee. Shaun Livingston as starting shooting guard? I guess that's why you get paid the big bucks.

- I heard the news about Bynum earlier today and it really makes you think. If you got Andrew's number, text it over to me. I got an extra bedroom here at the cabin and I feel like I could help him sort through a few things. Plus, there's actually a really nice bowling alley just about a half-hour up the road.

- Somehow you're up against the Pacers tonight for the 16th time this season. I got nothing. Vogel's got those guys playing like the '85 Royals. Just sit back and try to soak it all in and use it as a learning experience.

My cable's a little spotty so I might not be able to watch tonight's beatdown. But I found an apple at the bottom of my backpack, so that's a plus.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Christmas Report

I'm not a big holiday guy and you and I have had our differences the last few months, but nevertheless I hope you're having a decent Christmas.

Anyway, in between cutting wood, foraging for walnuts, and searching for my soul, I caught a few minutes of that horrible game at my cable-equipped cabin out here in the forest. Here are some notes:

-  With all the sleeves and those striped socks, I felt like I was watching Barnum & Bailey's circus. This isn't the NBA I grew up with.

- I really like the way that Jimmy Butler kid carries himself. I feel like he could be a senator when his playing days are over, or at least a state senator.

- I think we can all agree that this season is a lost cause. For the rest of the way, I got two words for you: Mason Plumlee. He didn't play his best today, but he's the future of the Nets.

Back to chopping wood for the fire. It's a cold one.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Daily Report - 12/23/2013

I gotta be honest with you, I'm having something of an existential crisis here. I've been on the NBA sidelines virtually every night for the last 16 years and now here I am sitting on a couch or a chair or sometimes on the floor watching the games on TV. Do you realize how many commercials there are? I really had no idea. It's downright sickening. All this "buy, buy, buy" "spend, spend, spend." I'm just not sure I'm cut out for this 21st century consumer culture.

So, I have decided to head out to the woods to do some soul-searching maybe for a week, maybe two weeks, maybe for months, maybe for years (probably not years). I'm not exactly going off the grid, but maybe to the edge of the grid, the fringe of the grid. I'll still be filing my reports, if not daily then bi-daily or tri-daily. If you could tell Prokhorov and Billy for me, it would be much appreciated. Billy is still not returning my texts and last I heard from Proky, he said he would only be available via messaging drone after December 20.

Anyway, good luck against Indy tonight and Chicago on Christmas. As for the Pacers, your goal tonight should be making sure that Lance Stephenson does not get a triple-double. As for Chicago, I hope you've been practicing with all types of sleeves.

I'm having a good, hearty breakfast of steak and eggs before heading out on the road. My diet will mainly consist of nuts and berries for the foreseeable future.