Saturday, December 5, 2009


So I didn't end up getting the Advanced allotment the other day. I'm not too bummed, actually, except for when I talk to other people about it.  If they seem upset, I too feel a strange responsibility to be upset.  Like I'm not treating it seriously enough.

Listen, it's really not a big deal.  I mean it.  I'd rather you not feel upset about it.  I genuinely think this is a blessing in disguise, and I will still make the film I want to make, and hopefully will do a good job of it.  It just won't be in that class.

Luckily I've been able to bury myself in other work, which I am sorting through slowly and inefficiently (Story of my...).  Storyboarding homework, a paper on Disney's WWII cartoons, and a life drawing assignment should be manageable.  But three chapters of my memoir for my non-fiction class? What the hell am I possibly going to do with that? Have I even lived long enough? Done enough? Possibly the most excruciating exercise possible.  Why did I sign up for this class? Does this post count?

I went to the Knicks/ Suns game with Sean Dunn on Tuesday, which was a huge bust for the team I wanted to see and an almost uncomfortable surprise for the other.  Nash with 6 turnovers in the first quarter? The Knicks won, I spent the next day in an exhausted stupor, and except for picking up the new copy of Smoke Signals #3, it was mostly an unproductive mess.

Still fending off a general bitterness, I went for a long overdue session of basketball at Coles.  It had been a month since the last Sports Team loss, and still being in a state of mourning I hadn't picked up a ball since.  After struggling and wheezing my way through two full court disasters, in which I saw my athletic pride and functioning lungs flash before my eyes,  I pulled out one impeccable game of pickup basketball.  I'm a little out of shape, obvious from the first games, so in the third game, which featured some fresh and fairly high quality regulars, I made a concerted effort to use my energy wisely. I played economically, cutting when I had to, defending smartly, not crashing every board needlessly.  I pushed the ball in transition and played patient offense.  I shot the ball with confidence.  I felt great.  We ended up losing 13-11, but my stat line was out of control.  I must have been 6-10, 2-3 from behind the arc, with a few assists and no turnovers.  Team loss, personal win. 

Pickup is all about these little, personal victories.  Winning is honestly an added bonus, dependent on other, usually uncontrollable variables.  The fleeting nature of the "team" in a pickup game and the expected lack of overall coherence leaves a player little to do but focus on their own performance, and their ability to hopefully contribute in a positive way.  In a sense the best you can do is what you can do. 

I'd like to think about my lack of allotment in the same way.  It would be ridiculous and awful to gauge my being "cut" from the team as an absolute loss.  It shouldn't even be thought of like a team at all.   Why did I make that analogy?  I'm being unfair to myself and the process and the people who did manage to get it.  I'd like to take the progress I made in my story, in pre-production, in the good ideas I've slowly collected about the film, and hold on to them.  Keep going with them. Find some avenue to use them.  Small, personal victories. 

After the games and a shower and the realization that yes, I did have to put sweaty socks back onto  clean feet (forgot an extra pair), I emerged from the gym in a state of contentment that only fulfilling exercise can provide. I was tired and probably less spry but my steps felt balanced, my breathing focused, my movements deliberate.  When I got to the computer lab to study and write, my thoughts moved swiftly and the usual distractions seemed uninteresting.  I was in a zone of concentration accessible only to the physically worn.

Such is the reward of physical sacrifice.  The bruise in my thigh has colored and grown and my legs were certainly stiffer the next day.  But those are good, useful pains.  Those will fade and, like any great RPG character, the experience will benefit me and eventually lead to an increase in ability. I like playing basketball because I like feeling like my body has been used.   I like how good I feel after tough exercise, and how much more I wish it was a regular part of my life.  I like feeling like I've done something.  

Still working on the music posts. Trying to figure out good ways to talk about music, ideally with access to specific songs in the post.  Anybody know a good embeddable mp3 player a la Lala or something?  Right now I'm using youtube like this

"Call Me" - The Andrea True Connection

Upcoming music posts: 
Kanye, Big Boi, Harold Melvin, and the narrative of a sample
The Andrea True Connection and the disco's bad rap
Panda Bear/ Animal Collective/ feelings of fear/ envy/ bliss
Big Blood
Songs/ Albums of the Year


Thaddeus Koz said...

Keep playin basketball , it don't matter where, or part of what team if any. And trust me when I say you are a bball legend in my household.

Anton said...

I think you should put the music at the BEGINNING of your post, so that it can act as a theme song while we read it.