I cannot believe that we are seriously in the year 2009. I'll be 24 in October of this year and it still feels like my first day at Warwick Valley High was just yesterday. Let alone my first day at New York University or the first day living out here in Germany. But with the New Year comes many New Year's Resolutions…and with many New Year's Resolutions comes many broken New Year's Resolutions. There was a report on the news the other night that said "studies" now show that making resolutions you can't realistically accomplish can be extremely detrimental to your health. They gave the example of someone who resolved to lose 100 pounds and was unsuccessful may begin to look at themselves as a failure, start to lacking self-confidence in other things and blah blah blah...Personally, I'm not looking to lose 100lbs (I don't think my coach or teammates would like that very much, although some of my opponents may) but I definitely have a few realistic resolutions to try and make in 2009.
With that being said, here they are. The first of my three New Year's Resolutions in 2009 is trying to officially "Go Green." Recent observation has brought me to the conclusion that the German way of living is a much more environmentally-sound lifestyle. When I was g rowing up, especially on Earth Day (quick side note: rumor has it that the video to Michael Jackson's Earth song was filmed in Warwick, New York where I attended high school…but I promise that'll be the first and last time I ever refer to Michael Jackson in a blog)…so yeah the Earth Day motto "Reduce, Reuse, Recycle" you've heard that before right? Well they definitely do a better job of that out here in Germany. The two different flush handles in the bathroom reduces the amount of daily water usage, the charging of plastic bags at the supermarket forces people to reuse the bags, and recycling, which was harder than 12th grade physics when I first got out here, is a strictly enforced law, with punishments similar to those of drunk driving. There is also the massive amount of bicycles that people ride around on. Combine that with the amount of stick-shift (or manual) cars on the road and the comparison of gasoline emissions can't even be close. (Another quick side note: Learning how to drive a stick-shift car in a town where bikers pop up out of nowhere like zits the night before prom was not fun at all). So basically, the changes I've been forced to make while living out here in Germany and the new ones I learn from occasionally watching The Green (TV channel) will be attempted to embed into my lifestyle for 2009 and from here on out. Do I think I can make that much difference? Ehh probably not, but it can't hurt can it?
The second of my three New Year's Resolutions this upcoming year is to do a better job of following United States Politics. I never really cared too much about politics but with everything that happened in the 2008 election, I feel it is very important to keep a closer eye on how America changes. The issue that I found particularly significant during the election was foreign policy. That was obviously because I'm overseas and my initial impression of how George Bush (as well as generally all Americans) was received out here in Europe wasn't good. I know it's still early but the immediate overseas reaction of Barack Obama being elected the new President, at least in Germany, has been a good one. So with this newly found American pride these days, I just feel it's more of a duty to keep up with what's going on. He won me over when he made fun on how big his ears were though…I like his charisma more than anything.
The final resolution I plan on making this year is to do a better job of documenting my time overseas. This is where the blog comes in handy. Last season, my girlfriend Holly, who was a senior at NYU, got weekly emails describing what was going on out here. I sometimes like to look back and read them and let them take me back. They do a good job of helping me relive just how far I've actually come in only one year. After awhile, we both found out about Skype and got the chance to talk everyday so the documentation stuff went out the door like DJ Jazzy Jeff from the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Remember Uncle Phil used to always throw him out the…nevermind. Anyway, I started writing emails to a group of friends from high school and college just so I'd have something to look back on, and because I got tired of posting the same "updates" on all of their facebook wall's every 10 days. When my coach got wind of these mass emails I sent out (still not sure how he knew) he asked me to start a blog on the team website for the summer so the fans had something to look forward to while there was no basketball being played. It was a success but once the season rolled back around I didn't really stick with it the way I wanted to. So my third resolution is to get back to writing
So go ahead and bookmark this page and check back for the latest installment of the my attempt to document everything that goes on in this head of mine. My blog isn't going to exclusively pertain to basketball but will rather depict what it's like to live in a foreign country, while getting to do what you have a passion for every day of the week. If that's not enough to keep you coming back I have also decided to include three unique elements to my blog to help you get to know the real me, incase my writing doesn't do a good job. Those three elements are: What's Playing on JBoone's iPod , JBoone's YouTube Video of the Week, and JBoone's German Phrase of the Week.
What's Playing on Jason's iPod: Zapp & Roger-Computer Love
Since my girlfriend is not out here yet, and I wanted to make sure this first blog was good enough to keep you coming back, it seems that my computer and I have been spending a lot more time together than we usually do. Trying to survive without my computer out here would be dreadfully difficult so in a way, I guess I love it...so tell me do you know a more fitting song for a man and his computer than Zapp & Roger's Computer Love? I don't. Plus the song was on the Menace II Society soundtrack and my little brother and I used to watch it all the time. "I got these cheeseburgers man."
YouTube Video of the Week: (Translated) Angry German Kid –Correct Translation (Parental Advisory) http://www.youtube.com/watch?
This was probably a bit extreme, especially come to find out that this kid is an actor, but it's still funny. Initially learning the language from practicing with a bunch of teammates, the first German words I learned were all curses. And the translation on this video is pretty accurate from my knowledge. It's tough trying to decipher what people are saying sometimes out here when it sounds like that, as you can imagine, but I think you'd be surprised how much you can pick up.
German Phrase of the Week: Frohes Neues Jahr- Happy New YearThis phrase was shouted all over the street of Gottingen all week. The German language is pretty similar phonetically (reis-rice; haus-house; eis-ice) but if you ever hear them speak it, it can make your head hurt. I grew up learning Spanish and definitely think German is harder. Sometimes it's difficult to clarify a word from a throat clearing grunt…but "when in Rome" right?