Monday, June 14, 2010

Truth and Opinion

I have to apologize to all my Puddlers out there because I know that my posting has not been as frequent as it probably should be over the past few weeks or so.  I am trying to come up with new material and I want to start inserting the podcasts  back into the schedule so that the new writing posts can be broken up a little bit more balanced, which also helps me because I get more time to work on them before I have to post them all up for you to read.  Also, the fact that the summer is here and that weekend trips become much more frequent doesn't help matters.  This past weekend I was able to go to my friend's house in Connecticut where we watched the World Cup games on a big projector his father had set up.  My friend's father is Argentinian, so we watched Argentina and the incomparable Lionel Messi easily defeat Nigeria on Saturday morning.  After that game, his father and mother treated us to a delicious Argentinian spread, which consisted mainly of barbequed beef in several varieties: prime rib, skirt steak, flank steak and short rib.  We also go to enjoy some sweet breads as well as empanadas and a grilled Argentinian provolone, which was rubbed down with oregano and other spices and was quite delicious. And of course, we got to scoop on the chimichurri.

So being stuffed like that, we then watched the U.S. play England.  The U.S. managed a tie due to one of the luckiest goals of all-time, which I am sure you all saw.  The U.S. played terribly in that game. They lacked aggression, urgency or even joy in their playing.  It was almost a replay of the opening game of the 2006 World Cup in which the U.S. played as if they didn't even enjoy the game of soccer or have any interest in winning a game.  England did not play terrific and we actually should have won that game if any sort of pressure was put on the English defenders. Very disappointing.

Then, we ate dessert, which was cheesecake and flan.  After that, being more stuffed and filled with some leisurely daytime beers, we decided to play some soccer on the slippery lawn.  There is nothing like slipping on grass on a full stomach and getting your ass all wet.  At one point, I pulled soccer moves on my friend's dog in order to prevent the ball from being bitten and was able to evade her while holding a beer and slipping on my ass in the mud.  Needless to say, I felt great and then finished the beer.

Of course, we had to come back to New York, where we regrouped later at night at a new bar on Lorimer and Meeker called Night of Joy, which is a legit bar.  It has a great roof deck, some creative cocktails and a much smoother and classier inside than most of the bars in Williamsburg.  I'll probably go back there quite a few times.  The drinks are a little pricey, but I spend enough time watching basketball and drinking 24 oz. of Busch to throw some coin at Maker's Mark on the rocks or a gin gimlet.

The weekend finished up last night, with the Celtics taking Game 5 from the Lakers in the NBA Finals. Game 5  basically lived up to the high standard that Game 4 did.  In this game, Kobe had no supporting cast and had to take on the Celtics on his own. Kobe scored 19 points in the third quarter and at one point had scored 23 consecutive points for the Lakers.  Meanwhile, Pierce was played the big game I was expecting from him at some point and put in 27 points.  His game was so effective, that it actually felt like more.  He had his midrange jumper going, his drive, his jap step fadeaway and even a few three pointers.  The Celtics were playing well on all cylinders, but let the Lakers get close in the last four minutes of the game.  However, the Celtics eventually made the highlight play of the series when after Pierce ripped a rebound off of an Artest missed free throw away from Kobe he called timeout.  The Celtics then took the ball out, with Garnett inbounding.  There appeared to be no real options, until Pierce streaked towards the sideline in the frontcourt with Derek Fischer guarding him.  Garnett hit Pierce who had to stretch for the ball to save it from Fischer.  Pierce then tightroped the sideline and as he was leaning to fall out of bounds hit a streaking Rondo who had shook off Kobe.  Rondo caught the ball in stride and laid in a beautiful reverse layup as the crowd went wild with the slight resemblance of Dennis Johnson's layup after Larry Bird stole the ball against the Pistons in 1987.  The Celtics now have a 3-2 lead in the series and Game 6 will be in Los Angeles tomorrow night.  Both teams have a short rest and long travel.  It seems to me, that the Lakers are tired.  Phil Jackson has been playing his starters too many minutes because the Lakers have no faith in their bench, whereas the Celtics have seen their bench flourish in the Finals.  This series is going to come down to legs at this point.  The adjustments to be made are fewer and fewer and all that is really left is for each team to play their hardest.  Whoever plays harder and makes less mistakes will win.  Can Kobe's legs hold up? Can the Laker bench show up with the home crowd backing them in L.A.?  Can Gasol bounce back from a terrible performance in Game 5? Besides Game 1, every game in this series has been played tough and neither team has disappointed.  No matter what happens in Game 6, we are in for a treat now that this series has shifted back to L.A.  We have one or potentially two pressure packed games to look forward to.  This is why I love the NBA Finals.

This post is called Truth and Opinion.  Well, that bit about the Celtics and the picture of Paul "The Truth" Pierce handles the "Truth" part.  The "Opinion" part of this title comes from a reader of this blog who found my site through Expecting to Rain, which posted my piece from last Thursday called "Signs" as one of their posts of the day last Friday.  The reader's name is Dr. Wolfgang Schwass.  And I apologize Wolfgang if you did not want these comments to be posted, but I found them sincere and felt it would be appropriate to put them up:

Hi Matt,

my name is Wolfgang, I´m 60, Dylan-fan since ages ago, number-cruncher (controlling) in a medium-sized company in Germany…. and during my coffee-break (kind of…) I just read your post about „New Morning“ and I do feel the urge to let you know how deeply impressed I am about your clear and open thoughts in it  of life and death and will and hope and reality and dreams and life in NYC and in the country and about nearness and openness and about satisfaction and longing…. poles in life, we all hang in between somewhere… until we do not anymore some day…
and all this related in way to Dylan´s album.( I always felt the same way about the four lines you quoted from Sign in the window: eternal truths …. for a while…..)
Good to know that there are people like you elsewhere in the world who feel the same way…
Again: awesome post …and so well written…. will keep me thinking…. Thanks !

and have a nice day …. in New York City…. (a city I love a lot… because it´s a city of choices…and poles)

kind regards !


Wolfgang, I have to thank you for writing in like that and I encourage all my Puddlers to do the same.  You can even write in with suggestions and I will try to abide by them.  The above e-mail is the whole purpose of this blog and my writing, is to connect to people and make them feel an enjoyment of life, even if enjoyment is painful.  In any event my Puddlers, that's what this is here for and our pal Wolfgang is evidence of that.
Tomorrow will be another installment of From Here to the Last Mound of Dirt, then the rest of the week is up in the air, but Friday or late Thursday should bring the posting of the Puddles of My Podcast of Myself that will be conducted with the table being flipped and Nick Mencia interviewing me.  So please stick with me here and try to enjoy the last bit of basketball you are going to get for some time.

No comments:

Post a Comment