Sunday, June 22, 2008

Sad day in Oranje Town

The Depressed Dutch.

Well the glorious run of the 2008 dutch national voetbal team has come to an inglorious end. Losing at the hand of a talented and (superior) Russian side 3-1 in overtime. Although if not for Captain and current champions league title holding keeper Van de Sar (who, much like for their basketball stars, the dutch have a song for. His is to the tune of the popular American 4th of July tune: "3 cheers for the red-white and blue" except it goes "Van de sar, Van de Sar, Van de Sar! Van de Sar, Van de Sar, Van de SA-R.) it would have been more like 7-1.

It was a great run for the dutch team. And now its is over. All though for the shop keepers around the Leidseplein it is just as well. Many fans put orange on and just go absolutely bat-crap crazy. Getting way too drunk and out of control. The police where out in force last night and apparently had been beating people who let the frustration of losing get to them.

Of course for the Russian fans there was joy. And interestingly, having not met nary a Russian person for the entire year I've lived in Amsterdam. They were seemingly everywhere last night. I met like 10 Russians over the last two days and I must say, was impressed with their passion and accents. (very cute)

For the Dutch people, most handled losing like they new it was coming. The mood in the air was very nervous before the game. It was the elimination round and the team hadn't played for a week. But there was an feeling of resignation that lingered. The dutch attitude was to pretend that the losing didn't matter, that they didn't care. But no one was fooled. Many still wanted to get drunk and dance (as they do) but the atmosphere wasn't so gezellig.

Well, theres always the world cup, just a short two years away.

As for now, Hup Turkey and Spain! (who I have in my pool!)

If they make it to the finals I stand a good chance of taking this thing home.


Monday, June 16, 2008

Kobe Bryant is a little bitch

We've all known this for sometime. Now here lies further evidence. Since he apparently got his nails done before game 2 of the finals.

See here.

Unbelievable? No. Very believable. Its Kobe.

Go C's.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Found in translatation

My Egyptian poet friend Gamal, (Jimmy), gave me an assignment to write a poem called "Suntired" whist we were hanging out on a sunny day in the Vondel Park.

I completed the assignment. It was nice to do, especially since I studied and wrote so much poetry in college, and yet the only thing I've written the last 5 years has been comedy stuff.*

*turns out...not a lot of money in poetry. No body wants to shell out 20 euros to go have a dinner and watch some slam poets.

Awesomely, Jimmy took the time to translate said poem into Dutch.

Here is the original:


The day dies
like a monk
who has prepared.

Sunlight mingles in the trees that line the water
fading light leaning towards twi--
ensnared between boughs
seeming not to mind
holding whispered conversations
photosynthesis and magic

the leaves glow
like i do
like when in close contact
to a beautiful woman.

And here is Jimmy's Dutch version.


De dag sterft
als een monnik
die zich heeft voorbereid.

Zonlicht mengt zich in de bomen langs het water
verblekend licht hellend naar twi--
enverdeeld tussen takken
schijnbaar achteloos
gesprekken fluisterend
fotosynthese en magie

de bladeren stralen
als ik doe
als wanneer in de nabijheid

van een mooie vrouw.

So I thought Why not keep it going? So I took this dutch translation and then i fed it back into the Google Translate machine. I turned it back into English, then into Chinese, then back into English, then into Arabic, which looks like this by the way:

وفاة اليوم

كما راهب

من اعدادها.

الشمس المشرقه ، الى عدم التدخل في الاشجار على طول المياه

الالتزام ميل طفيف التوى --

enverdeeld بين الفروع

لا يبدو ان الرعايه


محادثات fluisterend

التمثيل الضوئي وماجيك

انتم الطائرات

واذا كنت

كما لو كان في محيط

امرأة جميلة.

Then back into English.

This is the end result:


The death today

The monk

Of preparation.

Sunshine, not to interfere in the trees along the water

Commitment slight tendency Twi --

enverdeeld between branches

Does not seem to care


Talks fluisterend

Photosynthesis and Magic

You aircraft

If you

As if it were in the vicinity

Beautiful woman.

Personally, I like it better then my original. It makes less cohesive sense. The but that's the point. Get it?

now if only I could sell it for some sneaker money...

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Amsterdam Revenges

The Dutch Basketball Championship.

I work in comedy theater. When big groups come its pretty easy to pick them out. Usually it will be a hen party of some British ladies wearing matching crazy hats. A few drinks a few laughs. One of the hen's will suggest dildo and they'll giggle. Its fun.

Last week we had a different sort of group. A very tall group of guys in matching red jackets. This was a team. That we knew. But who? At some point during the show Robbie asked them what team they played for and somebody said: "Eiffel Towers!"

What? Excuse me? That is a historical monument in France sir.

And it is.
But I learned something that show.
It's also a basketball team.
And not just any basketball team.

The Den Bosch Eiffel Towers. Defending 2-time champs of the Dutch Eridevise. The NBA of Holland.

I wanted to talk with them after the show. They were sitting in the front row, tough to miss. And they seemed to enjoy our unique blend of sketch and improv just fine. Especially the older guy with the Lakers hat sitting who kept banging on the table with laughter. I caught up with them in front of the theater and ran up to flex my Blazer tattoo and talk some trash. The guy with the Laker hat turned out to be their coach, who asked me if I had ever seen an John Holmes movies.
Yes. I told him I was familiar with his work.
Yeah, he said, you remind me of him.
Thank you. I said. And I meant it.

Turns out, The Eiffel Towers were in town for the finals against the Amsterdam MyGuide Amsterdam's (real name).
One of the players, Travis Young, gave me his card. "Come check out a game."

On his card it said:

Travis Young.
Professional Basketball.


Well. I am all about seeing some hoop live. Basketball is my favorite sport. Played it since I was wee. The last game I saw live was a Blazers game, last January. When they lost to the lowly (at that time) Celtics. Unbelievable but true.

Game 7. What you're gonna do?

And this was a game 7.

So I was chomping at the bit. Over the next few days I emailed and texted Travis. But didn't' get a response so I figured: oh well.

Then on Sunday morning around noonish (c'mon. get off my back) I was awoken by a call from a number I didn't know.
I took a moment to rip myself from dreamland. "Hello?" I answered perkily.

It was Travis. All I needed to do was just roll to the stadium at 2.00 and then I could get in. Nice one. Back to sleep.

I rolled my bike down towards the Amsterdam Olympic Stadium. The Amsterdam Sportshal Zuid was the gym near by.
I got there a little early and chatted it up with the Eiffel Tower faithful. Already blowing their colorful horns. Loud.
The team rolled up and I met up with Travis who told me to park my bike and roll in with him.

Allright. Okay! My first time rolling to a game 7 national championship with the team. I mean these guys are professional athletes. They play basketball for money. It's mind-blowing.
It didn't matter that the gym was community college sized, the Den Bosh fanatics were going apeshit crazy.
This was also my first Dutch basketball game. And they have some interesting traditions. Like this guy who sung karaoke Dutch classic accordion-heavy-pop-ballads. 45 minutes before the tip. This guy was belting out song after song. And they were pretty well received, too.
Until he sung the one about Amsterdam.
Big mistake.
It didn't matter that the gym was community college sized this place was getting loud.
The Den Bosh fans went absolutely nuts.
I mean. It got loud.
They sung their own song:

"Hey-a En Bosch. Hey-a Den Bosch. HeyHEYheyHEY hay-a Den Bosch!!"

This guy sang for a LONG time. Songs like this.

Over and over again. Noise maker horns filling up the 1/2 kroket shaped gym.
and this was 30 minutes before tip. As it turns out Den Bosch had a song for just about every situation.

The Amsterdam fans, although far bigger in numbers were dressed and acted far more causal. They were a little too cool for school for my tastes.

Maybe they were not wearing any of their team colors because they were the same as Den Bosch's. It was the red and white VS. the white and red. Tonight! As Sportshal Zuid!

During the shoot around before the singing. I talked with Travis and Sharone. A veteran big man making the transition from playing to coaching. He'll be a full time assistant with the towers next year. Sharone remembered me from the Boom show. He said he played in Toronto with Damon Stoudimire. I knew then, if he's friends with Damon, he must be a chill cat.

My friend Ash was able to join me and the game got underway. Early on Travis was killing. Playing lock down d and getting the ball down the court for some easy transition buckets.

I n the first quarter, swarming defense and timely shooting had the Eiffel Towers up by 17.

Then this guy Robert Earl Owens (REO they call him. But not like REO Speedwagon. Actually pronounced RIO in Dutch. They had a song for him.) had 16 in the first half and was looking real tough.

But in the 2nd half, the Towers came out flat. And Sergerio (Teddy) Gibson was en fuego. ("Op brand' in Nederlands) The man turned into Mr. Clutch for MyGuide Amsterdam. He stuck a buzzer beating 3 at the end of the 3rd and didn't miss a shot in the fourth quarter including a couple of big three's down the stretch.

Amsterdam picked up the D the last few minutes and didn't let sharp-shooting Kees Akerbloom Jr. (son of Dutch Hall of Famer Kees Akerbloom sr. the Den Bosch-iacs had a song for him too.) Get a shot off. It was a tough loss. My instinct would be to leave instantly and in silence the way I have whenever the Blazers have lost a big game I attended. Just walk out and keep on walking. Yet the Den Bosch manics didn't move. NOT ONE. They stood and they sang.

"Hey-a Den Bosch, Hey-a Den Bosch, HeyHeyheyheyhey-a Den Bosch."

It was a touching moment. The team just lost in game 7 of the championship, and here were fans: Small, determined, proud. They loved their team and they let their team know it. It may have been because I was in the middle of Den Bosch fever but I swear the cheering and singing was louder then for Myguide Amsterdam. Who just won the championship on their home court. Amazing.

Afterwards I gave my condolences to Sharone and Travis and to the coach. I was amazed at how calm Coach Randy Wiel was in person. He was disappointed but philosophic and more like a politician as he rushed around shaking hands and saying "dankewell" to the supporters. It occurred to me that you see enough winning and losing over your career in sport, then it really stops to bother you the way it does when your a kid. Its just another game. Some one wins and someone loses. That's it.

After the game the Eiffel tower die-hards gave Kees Akerbloom Jr. some love.

Turns out, its not the winning and losing but the way you deal with it that makes you a professional.

I gave my number to some of the guys on the team and if I am around next year for their season. Please believe that I will be supporting the Den Bosch Eiffel towers from the beginning. Win or lose.

Read more about the team and the game here.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Old Indiana Jones Chronic-Ills


The new Indian Jones movie: INDIANA JONES AND THE CRAZY ALIENS was Awesome. With a capital "A". I loved it. I was, admittedly, quite nervous. Being such a huge Jones fan for my whole life, and the trailer had me sweating digital bullets-- but that worry was misplaced. Spielberg and his cinematographer took great pains to film this latest Jones adventure in the same classic Hollywood fashion. Only using computer animation when absolutely necessary. Relying on top-shelf stunt work and good old fashioned story-telling. A story which is more appropriate now then ever with ALIENS in the news.

This from the Huffington Post

The Rocky Mountain News is reporting that tomorrow the world might actually see who else is out there. A man, named Jeff Peckman, claims he will reveal video of live alien to the news media Friday. Brace yourselves. Below are some key excerpts from the story:

A video that purportedly shows a living, breathing space alien will be shown to the news media Friday in Denver.

"It shows an extraterrestrial's head popping up outside of a window at night, looking in the window, that's visible through an infrared camera," he said. The alien is about 4 feet tall and can be seen blinking, Peckman said earlier this month.

An instructor at the Colorado Film School in Denver scrutinized the video "very carefully" and determined it was authentic, Peckman said.

Could Spielberg and Lucas be preparing us for what is to come??
They always seemed one step ahead.

It does feel time for aliens, does it not? They were here before and taught us how to irrigate, we'll I'd like them to come now and teach us how to get past all this combustion engine non-sense we're dealing with. To take us to the next level, inter-dimensionally, if you know what I mean.

I am just excited to see this video of the Denver Alien. (and why Denver? Is ET a big Broncos fan? Did he/she/it read On The Road and went to go check out Neil Cassady's old hang outs? Is it just easier for aliens to get to the mile high city? Did he escape from under the Denver Airport? So many questions!!!!)

Stay tuned, internets!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

My (current) Jam

I can only bump it on youtube, but who cares?

Hutch is the truth! Pick up his album: "Sounds Like This." It rules. (warning: this song does not appear on said album...we got to act like we're in a hospital and be patient.)

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The best thing...evar?

Italian Spiderman.
Wow this rules.
I can't wait for more!