Taking Your Talents to South Beach was so…… LAST YEAR!!

That’s right, “taking your talents to South Beach?”, shit was last year. This year, especially this NBA off-season, it’s all about taking your talents to SoCal!!

Yes, as you can tell, I am hella excited that Mitch Kupchack actually wants to win again with all the wonderful moves he has pulled this off-season. First it was re-signing Jordan Hill who, other than being offensively-challenged, is actually a legit rebounder and a solid defender when he wants to be. Not signing often-lost and seemingly mute Ramon back, was good considering he bolted for more money, but what made the move even more genius was the kidnapping of Nash days after.

After the Nash signing, the “taking your talents” to Socal sorta died a bit, until savvy veteran PF Jamison left often league worst Cavs for the City of Angels. And for a few wks, die-hard Lakers fans did not hear much more, until last night. When rumors hit like raindrops on Asian rice field, rumors that Superman has found a home. Yes, DW12 aka Superman aka Dwight Howard is coming to the Lakers, and the only man we lost was big-“boy” Bynum. Yes, he is still a boy in my eyes, immature, lost, and unreliable.

What’s even better is that we kept the often-“softer than baby wipes” Pau Gasol, who other than being weak and sometimes pathetic, is a great PF possessing unbelievable vision, control, and knowledge of the Lakers’s system and the game of b-ball. I don’t always blog about Basketball, but when I do, it’s because I have nothing better to do.

Sadly I will be at Shaolin for a yr, but I hope all you “real” Laker fans enjoy this season and hopefully collect enough bottles to save up for a game ticket.

Here are the Details if you want to:

Lakers; Dwight Howard

Philadelphia: Bynum and Jason Richardson

Denver: Andre Iguodala
 Aaron Affalo
Nick Vucevic
Mo Harkless
Al Harrington
first round picks from Lakers, Phil and Denver

I must Confess……

I must confess that I have done some really bad things. Here is a recent one.

So I was playing “badassminton” a week or so ago, and a problem came up. The problem was that my stamina was too good to always be playing with people my age, cause they would always get tired. (I am not sure if they were tired physically or tired of playing with me) But as a result of my stamina, I sometimes would be paired up to play some opponents who I would not normally play with if I had a choice. Well, this is where the problem begins.

I eventually got paired up to play with this little girl (she was like 15 but looked 12, and actually looked a LOT like my lil sis’s lil sis,if you know who that is), and being respectful I decided to play my best and give it my all cause I assumed that’s what every opponent expected. The game was going well, she was really good, forcing me to run a lot with changing angles and drop shots, this in turn got me really FIRED up, and you know how i can get when I am fired up. Finally, after much volleying, she made a mistake in offering up a gentle lob, and I could not resist the chance to overhead smack that …… So that’s what I did.

However, just when I was about to SMASH the ball, my racket slipped out of my hand and flew forward, and by some “bad” fortunes, it struck the little girl. And tears began to fall like a faucet turned on full throttle. At first I was like, “hey she doesn’t look like my lil sis’ lil sis anymore”, but then I started to feel really bad. So I approached her to see if any serious damage was done. Much to my relief, she wasn’t hurt that bad, no broken bones or ruptured veins, but she was very much emotionally shocked or rather surprised that a racket would fly at her. She had some scratches on her, so I carried her to the benches and bought her an ice cream and a can of beer. The ice cream for emotionally joy and the beer to ice down some of her scratches, in hopes that it won’t swell up. Surprisingly she was up and playing again in no time, after the tears had dried.

So I went back and started playing again,but it took me a LONG time to find someone to play with. Guess no one else wanted a racket to the body, but luckily for them my racket never slipped again.

Sticking it…..

Today was working on the last and most important part of all my flips, and that’s sticking the landing.

A new coach came in, he was pretty young (21), and had just returned from a tournament, but he was really into parkour and the art of movement, so we talked about philosophy for a bit. When we actually got to the flipping, my every moment felt so much faster and more powerful. I guess the shorter practice yesterday (only 2 1/2 hrs) really help me recover. I was able to amplifier every moment and get even more “air” than ever. On one jump, I had about 160cm vertical.

My confidence grew and I started to get that “feel” I was so desperately seeking  just a few days before. We moved some mats around and I began to practice on more solid ground. My back-flips never felt so quick as my “tuck” got faster and faster, I was able to stick every single landing today, never felt so much ease doing back-flips. Only after getting home and showering did I feel the intense soreness in my now very visible lower abdominal area.

Also had the chance to try out some new flips today, like the “monkey flip”, which is a back-flip sideways but instead of landing on your legs first, you land with only one hand. My aerial was the least practiced one today, I only did about 50 reps, but it felt much easier than before. I think I am starting to get a feel for using more of my “chi” to pull me up when I jump, instead of using purely leg and ab/back strength.

After practice, I found out that the new coach had a twin brother, who is on the team for Circus De Soleis, and travels around the world performing acts on a weekly basis. I thought that was really cool, since I actually did see their show in Vegas, sadly I fell asleep and do not remember a thing.

Today was my last gymnastic practice, for I leave for my dad’s ancestral home tomorrow to see some fambam, before going to HK then Beijing next wk. I am really happy with what I was able to accomplish in 4 days of practice, not only did I learn how to properly do a back-flip, front-flip, and monkey flips, but also more importantly I develop confidence with my movements in the air and a “feel” for my body when I am flipping.


College Major?!

Talking with Hong today, got me thinking about college majors. Even though I ain’t gonna be enrolled in any formal collegiate education for another 14 month, it’s never too early to sit around and ponder about the future with no real intentions of making any decisions

After much thought (about 5 minutes), I decided, prematurely of course, that I will Major in Trolling and Minor in Love. A combination of two of the  most common yet “hardest to master” subjects that exists today. I am sure my parents will not be super duper ecstatic to find out about this, but who says they have to know. And since I am paying for my own education, it would be wrong to let my parent’s disapproval affect me, right?

I hope this will inspire others to go out there and explore their options when it comes time to decide on your major(s). Cause 75% of the highest paid and most popular occupations today did not even exist 20 yrs ago, so never think that “this is not gonna work” or “this might not be right”.

Training Updates:

I recently found a home in my uncle’s gymnastic gym, as a prefix to my training at the Shaolin Temple. Basically to learn some simple flips and be comfortable with them in a place with mats, before heading over to a place where if I fell, I will have only the solid ground to catch me.

After 4 days of training, I am really like it. Other than eating LOTS of shit cause I tend to over flip (sometimes 1.5-2 revolution in the air), I am progressing well for only having a few days. I got more comfortable with my back-flip and aerial that I can perform it with no mats, without too much fear, cause there is always some fear. My front-flip is still very much in the D-League stage, I have yet to figure out how much strength equals how many revolutions, sometimes I can go too hard and do a double front-flip only to suck on the landing, while other times I simply jump forward and ignore the jump up motion completely.

But after eating lots of shit, I have learned quite a few things. The most important ones being that I have to multi-task with my body parts (to perform several actions with different parts of my body all at the same time), this is really hard for me because I am more of a step by step, “set this goal, go get the goal”, kinda guy and not the “hey, let’s do 5 things all at once”. And also how to draw on my chi or air from my body, I have learned that if I draw from my stomach and pull my chi up, I can jump almost my own body height in vertical length, without using half the strength I would need if I was just using brute power to lift off.

I am pretty sad that I only have 3 more days of practice at the gym here, everyone is so nice to me, teaching me all these things while watching me eat shit and telling me to keep getting up and trying after falling. But hey I am meeting with my homie Hong Chen tomorrow, before he brings his talents back to Socal, pretty excited to finally speak English again….even though I have a feeling I am going to end up just practicing my Cantonese with him.

Do I Look Like A Smoker?

I was shopping for a new phone, cause after 3 wks of no phone I just couldn’t hold it anymore. But suddenly, I really couldn’t hold it anymore, so I grab my “wipes” (cause you have to bring your own here in China) and ran to the restrooms for a “Number 5” (its like a bit of #1, then 2x#2). However, before I got down to do my business, this one guy (20s) asked me “for a fire”, I was totally like “WTF fool, do I look like a dumbass”, but because I have manners and I simply couldn’t hold it anymore, I just smiled and held up the “wipes” in my hand and he let me pass.

After finally taking care of business the old-fashion way,  you know the one where you have to squat and work on your quads? I walked out of the restroom and another guy, this time much older (40s), asked me if  he can “have a fire for his smoke”. Instead of saying “No, I actually care about my health and the health of those around me”, I smiled and shook my head and pointed my right index finger at an old man who was smoking right behind me, cause I have recently acquired a little bit of manners 🙂

But the question remains, do I really look like a smoker? From an extremely narcissistic point of view, it could be that I look really manly (you know the tall, dark, and handsome type) and I really resemble the supposedly “Badass” characters, who almost always smoke, in most HK, Taiwan, and Mainland China movies. From an extremely honest point of view, it probably cause I am really dark. Being dark over here generally suggest a career outdoors (farmers, labors, migrant workers, factory labors), implying someone who is low-income, low-education, and likely a smoker. Yeah if you are really dark over here, you get judged.

But what do you guys think? Do I look like a smoker?!

Why my Family thinks I am weird……and lame

1.) Because I am dark, which causes them to think I am a “Filipino migrant worker”. Other than being hella racist, which they are, I never even knew those existed.

2.) Because when asked what I do for fun in America, I said “I go to track practice”. So now they think I am not only weird, but also a lame dude with no life.

3.) And when asked if I had a gf, which I said “no” to, of course. They assumed me a homosexual or a straight dude with no game. Maybe I had too many suitors that it was hard for me to chose or maybe I was too busy, you know, with mourning the Spurs’s losses.

4.) Because I always hold hands with someone when I cross the street here in China because I am terrified.

5.) Because I wake up at 11:00 AM everyday(super unhealthy), and go out to run miles around town (healthy)….half naked.

6.) Because I scream like a girl when I see “long-haired” girls in a dark stairway. Maybe I am still heavily affected by that Chinese ghost movie that I saw earlier this week.

7.) Because I keep all the letters my friends wrote to me in an orange box that I bring to every city I visit. Maybe I am a sentimental guy.

8.) Because I spend 6 hours a day exercising and not sitting around getting fat and wasting time. Maybe I should spend more time with family though.

9.) Because I am not aroused when I see attractive woman with long hair and legs. Maybe I like girls with short hair, or maybe I am going to a monk, yeah that one.

there is going to be much more too come…..

Real Life Chinese Ghosts………scared the shit out of me

Contrary to popular misconceptions, I am actually a very “safe” person, meaning I am freackin scared of many things,  among them are death, ghosts, hairy woman, and etc. Since I am in China, I have the pleasure of being entertained by a rare but dangerous breed of ghosts, the “not so gruesome looking but hella scary and fully dressed” Chinese ghosts.

After watching a scary movie called “Chinese Ghosts from the Past” last night, I have been freacking out randomly at the slightest sight of long haired Asian woman, especially walking the stairs of my 10-stories (no-elevator) apartment, which has no light.  Yeah it’s pretty scary at night

Coming home from a long bike ride to the “Sunflower fields” today at approximately 10:00 PM Beijing time, I met my first real life Chinese ghost, it scarred me for life. It was “completely dark” as there is no light in the stairs (and I have to climb 8 stories), and suddenly BAMMMwhen I reached the 4th floor, this “long-haired” Asian chick comes out of nowhere and just stares at me with her hair all over her face like the “Grudge Girl”.

And being sane, I had the normal Jerry reaction. I jumped back, hugged the nearest wall, and squealed like a dying farm animal. But in reality, my spirit really died a little after seeing her face, it was so shocking that I forgot what she looked like. She then asked me in a calm ghostly voice “Am I really that scary?”. I didn’t say anything due to immediate fear, and i think she took offense to my silence for she stormed off with a loud “whatever” type of moan.

The climb after this incident, from the 4th floor to the 8th, was the longest climb I have ever had in an apartment building in China. I think she lives on the 1st floor, I really I hope I don’t see her again in my two more days of stay here.