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Friday, February 27, 2009

Hi My Name Is...

February is almost over and that means there are three things that I can guarantee are about to happen.

First of all, guys all over the world are going to start asking girls to date them (they were reluctant with Valentine’s Day approaching). Secondly, people are going to stop giving a shit about Black History until Martin Luther King Day 2010 kicks off another month-long Celebration. And lastly, people are going to start feeling guilty about the New Year’s Resolutions that they broke during the past few weeks.

To once again prove that I’m better than the common person, I got my girlfriend a pretty hooked up V-Day gift (video is private), I always celebrate Black History (wait for the video of the week) and I often refer back to my New Year’s Resolutions in an effort to stay true to my word. But this blog isn’t about any of that stuff.

While taking an analytical look into German culture to try and find new ways to live a “greener” life in 2009, I noticed some other little things that are worth mentioning. The animals out here are a lot smarter. There is no roadkill anywhere, the squirrels, hedgehogs and other rodent looking creatues do a good job of avoiding the street all together. Domestic dogs are never on leashes and always seem to stop at the curb like their owners. Speaking of stopping at curbs, not a soul out here has ever J-Walked. I’ve actually been stared down by people 4x my age looking like they wanted to fight because I crossed the street while the light was still red…even though there wasn’t a car in sight.

But the one thing that I’ve noticed more than anything else is the desire to call everyone by their given name. Even as I sit here and write this, I am not sure why this shocks me as much as it does…but I cannot think of a single friend of mine that hasn’t had a nickname growing up…and it just seems like, out here, nobody has one.

During my 23 years on this Earth I’ve definitely had my share of nicknames. Growing up it was simply a shortened version of my first name. Jason became Jay, my friend Richard became Richie or Rich and my boy Andrew was simply Drew. Then when I got to highschool my first name went out the window and most of my friends called me by my last name "Boone." But my good friend Brandon, who became Bran most of highschool started calling me Boonie and that stuck for the remainder of highschool. Right around my sophomore year basketball season (late 2000) I had a “nasty” dunk according to two varsity players (Orrin and Tomczak) and I inherited my favorite nickname of all time “Big Nasty.”

The summer before I got to college I played in a Hoboken Summer basketball league with a few of my NYU teammates; Jason Bayuk (aka JB…sucked having the same initials), Jack Sullivan (Sully, Casper, Powder, Elmers…he was pigmently challenged), Mike DeCorso (Big Mike, Gooch, E-corso…his defense was a bit non-existent at times)and Jared Kildare (J-Hood, Yogi, The Good Captian). I was dubbed Baby Shaq by a big fan of the league…he was actually a hype man for a few teams and just enjoyed watching the games and talking shit to anyone who was rooting for the opposite team. Anytime I was tired and needed a sub, our little hype man would always demand our coach to put me back in and take “Polar Bear” (big white kid from Stevens Tech) out.

When I got to college, my little brother Malcolm (MXB aka Lil’ Nasty aka Malc) started calling me “Big Jay” because apparently I was doing it “big.” But in college is where every person I know replaced their government name for a new alias. Although there were a few people I introduced myself to as Jason “Big Nasty” Boone, including my Writing the Essay Teacher freshman year, I went by Boone most of my time at NYU. For a short stint I became “Cal Ramsey Jr.” which was either because of the similarities in our playing styles or the social interactions between Cal Ramsey and my grandmother at the NYU post game reception.

During a recent trip to Cancun with my Entourage (Big Mike my best friend, Chris Bencivenga aka Benci aka the wildest mo-fo you’ll ever met aka my agent, and Mike Torres aka Miguel aka Pete Sampras aka The Mitchum Man aka my Personal Trainer) I was without a doubt the largest person in the country. Let’s just say Mexico isn’t known for their 7-footers and the sight of me caused a mass hysteria among everyone working at the resort. The mixture of Tequila and Corona that was in my system 24/7 caused me to join in on water aerobics one day at the pool and during one of the exercises the MC called me Kong (obviously short for my distant relative, the Empire State Building climbing creature). It was all in good fun and the nickname actually stuck for the rest of the trip.

Now that I’m out here in Germany, the nicknames have not slowed down. Although it’s only my American teammates that use them. I’ve been called Boone-Dawg, Jay Beezy, and Cheeseburger Boonie (refer to Feb 5 Blog). I was beginning to think that Americans were just lazy and tried to find a way to shorten everything, Benjamin’s are always Ben and Christopher’s are always Chris but when you really think about it, we just like to differentiate our friends. Or maybe we are just lazy. I don’t know.

What's Playing in Jason's iPod: Vengaboys -Boom Boom Boom Boom

Okay you got me, this song is not actually playing in my iPod but when I start thinking back to highschool and all the stupid things I did, changing the words of this song to Boone and claiming that every girl that sung this song wanted me in their room was definitely one of them.

YouTube Video of the Week: http://www.thepeoplespeak.com/

Okay you got me again, this isn't a YouTube video, but it's actually a very good trailer for a film that I think is very interesting. It's based on a Howard Zinn book and tells the story of History from "the other" perspective.

German Phrase of the Week: Ich heisse Jason...or...Mein name ist Jason

You can probably guess what those mean. The first one is a little more formal but all this talk about nicknames made me realize that I never taught you guys how to tell a German speaking person your name...in case you ever need to know how to tell a German speaking person what your name is.

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