I have slept nine hours in the last seventy-two, so please mind the poorly veiled urgency dripping from this post—but frankly, all I wanna do is shower and sleep for three days straight. Instead I am writing this. Guess I'll sleep when I'm dead.
This week we played our final preseason games. Holy cow, I can’t believe that is true, but it is and now, one week from today, season will have officially started. Tuesday we faced another team from our league, Rotenburg. The game was at home, which is always nice, and we had an energetic little crowd that night. The game started really well for us and maybe that was the problem. After jumping out to a fifteen-point lead in the 1st, it seemed like we took our feet off the gas for the rest of the game until the 4th and sorta lost our edge. It didn’t help that Bri, our PG, twisted her ankle in the second quarter. I was PG for the remainder of most the game. AS I am writing this I am suddenly seeing a distinct correlation. Anyways, we had sustained a ten-point lead going into the 4th, despite not playing particularly well, but as the clock ticked away, so did our uncertain lead. With 4 minutes left, they took a one-point lead for about ten seconds, but wouldn’t regain it again. We won by six and I had thirty points.
Thursday was our next and final game and it was on the road at Marburg. Though a different team this year after losing their starting posts, Marburg is still good and they proved this. Again, we started the game fairly well, though we boasted only an eight-point lead. But instead of improving as the game progressed, we got worse. After three quarters we were down five and I had scored two points. Yikes. I had missed everything with the exception of two free throws. I was something like 0-6 from 3’s and 0-2 from inside, so it was hardly my day. Down nine with four minutes left in the 4th quarter, things finally clicked. Finally. Before I knew it, there was less than a minute left and I had just tied the game with two free throws. Moments later we fouled their shooter and she gave them the lead with ten seconds left. We inbound the ball to Morty and we have the length of the court to go. She kicks it to me on the right wing at half court—eight seconds, seven seconds, six seconds—and all we need is a two to tie. I don’t like ties (incidentally, that’s why I quit soccer) so as I dribbled toward the three-point line, I faked the drive and pulled the three with two seconds on the clock. And boom goes the dynamite. We won by one and I finished with nineteen points. Perfect way to end preseason.
This weekend was our last free weekend before season starts, so I thought it was necessary to do something—go somewhere. Who do I know in Europe close enough to drive to that would love to have me visit them? No one. Okay fine, let’s rephrase: who would LET me visit them? The answer to this would be Kelly, my Dutch roommate from last season. I have always wanted to visit Amsterdam and I hadn’t seen Kelly since we said bye in Croatia so Holland it was. Since both my roomies were nursing injuries, this would be a solo road trip and my first one at that over here. The trip took exactly five hours and turned out to be pretty simple. And as much as I don’t especially like driving for long periods of time, I gotta say it’s hard to not enjoy yourself driving through Europe. I left at 4am and got to Delft, where Kelly lives, at 9am. Maybe you are wondering why I left so early and the answer to this is two-fold: first, I couldn’t sleep and there is nothing worse than being desperate to sleep and knowing you won’t; second, I find I feel waaaay more comfortable driving unfamiliar territory when I can stop, turn around and/or reverse on the highway whenever I need to. That might sound ridiculous, but when you have to read signs in a language you hardly know, being able to reverse after passing your exit, or simply slow down to a crawl in order to properly comprehend the signs is ideal. And yes, I did this. We took a short train to Amsterdam and walked around the city all day; it seriously is unlike anything. The canals stream throughout the city and are truly breathtaking as are the buildings, which I realize in Europe, isn’t that uncommon.
Amsterdam though has such a unique atmosphere, thanks in large part to the liberal and free-spirited culture fostered there from all the weed. It is everywhere and it is pungent. The coffee smoke shops are all over the place and they are all filled all of the time. But this city is more than just weed, sure. It’s got that whole weird, inappropriate and questionably legal purchasing of sex element too, if that’s your thing. Even worse than that—yes, I am actually suggesting there are worse things—within the “red light district” area you can also pay to watch live sex. I was warned about this show and, actually, encouraged to see one while I was there. Honestly, it was considered. I mean, you hear “live sex show” and you wonder what’s that all about, thinking maybe it’s a metaphor or an odd improv show. Then you get there and it’s not, it’s simply people having sex…live. The consideration was short lived and we decided our imaginations were enough for us. I know in the past I have adhered to a pretty impressive tradition of embracing cultural differences, even the ones of the naked variety, but paying to see that is outside my scope of comprehension or capacity. I could barely walk past the establishment without feeling like I needed a shower. How that became normal for the people there I will never know, but all this goes into what makes Amsterdam such a remarkable city. I watched Kelly play that night in her Dutch league game and then we went dancing with all her friends. We got home at 5am and I drove home to the Wolf at noon. I'll sleep when I'm dead.
Season opener is next weekend and Marburg is hosting this year. Since we won the league last season, we play the last game on Sunday. My team picked me to shoot in the three point competition, which if you recall didn’t go too well last season so I am happy for a second shot. Below are the links to both my team website and the website for the league, as promised. To watch my games, you click the league link and then on the right hand side there will be a list of each of the games for the week there. Below each game there is another link that says "livestreaming"--click this and you should be good to go. If not, tinker with some things and figure it out. Ha.
Oh, by the way, I have a number now that you can reach me at via text if you so desire. It's 1 (805) 253-2987. It is just a texting app but I'd love to hear from you if you ever get a chance! Or, if you are as cool as this lady, you can just skype me when you wake up at NOON on a Sunday :) Whatever works.