Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Some people like to say only Greatness equals Greatness, but I have a new way to sort out that formula: Winning + WTG + Fwalt + Palaces + Sim Ju = Greatness.

Will arrived bright and early Friday morning (as all of my visitors have) at Dusseldorf airport. We mostly just hung out on Friday and Will caught up on some sleep because we had some big plans laid out for the weekend.

First, we wake up Saturday morning and decide we should hit up a castle so Will gets to see some classic, old Euro stuff. I do a quick google search and find something called Castle-somethingorother. I write down the address and we GPS that ish. We arrive at the address and we are somehow in a flat, rural neighborhood. Something does not seem right here. Will and I both decided that this castle would suck anyway because it is not on high ground, and therefore, would have an extremely difficult time defending itself. We turned around and head back to the house, wondering where the hell this castle was. No Biggie. We arrive back in Werne and guess what - Fletcher Walters is in the building. Fletch just rolled up and was waiting for us in my apartment.

At this point, I am extremely frustrated by this fake castle and re-run my castle search. I find the link for castle whatsamacallit and click on it. This castle is actually a scuba diving club. No joke. This is the link. Frustrated, Fletcher tells me that he google mapped Werne and saw this very cool picture of a hunting castle/palace thing. We check it out and it looks legit. Without having any idea whether we can actually go near this palace or have to pay for it, etc., (we needed a more successful adventure than our last one), we just go for it. Fletcher - GREAT WORK. This palace was absolutely amazing. We walked around, checking out all the statues and such and taking ridicuous, blog-worthy pictures like this. Posing like a statue is far more fun than you can imagine.

After the palace adventure, Fletch and Will went to Sim Ju to get some food from the Carnies ("Small hands, smell like cabbage." - TRUE), while I took a pre-game nap. Keep in mind, they have been doubting this festival all day. Saying things like, "Dude, we are in Werne, there will probably be like 100 people." FALSE. They fell in love as soon as they began to smell Currywurst, Crepes, and Pilsners. (Side Note: I think Will and I ate Carnival food 90% of the time we were eating, actually probably 90% of the total time Will was here. It was amazingly tasty and terribly repulsive all at the same time. But, seriously, Carnies can make some quality dishes.) They came back to the apartment impressed. Needless to say, I was excited for the game, but I was more excited for the Festival afterwards. Here is a little bit of info on Sim Ju.

The game went well. We won by around 20. Trevor had something like 24 and T and I each had around 18. It was nice having some friendly faces in the stands. Fletcher and Will were loving it and I played to the crowd a little bit throughout the game. They both think that I had around 20 rebounds but I think that may be a bit of an over-estimate, more like 19. I had one of the greatest blocks of my life on Saturday. As an unsuspecting guard on the other team went in for an uncontested, fast-break lay-up, I rose up to spike the ball out of the air towards my teammates on the bench. Right after, I made a no way symbol with my hands to the crowd to signal that the game was officially over (I am loving this stuff, you can do anything, it is so fun/ridiculous). The other team had 3 Americans too, so we thought they were going to be good, but judging by the point total at the end of the game: this was not the case. They were OK. We went up early and held onto the lead throughout the game. We are now officially second place in our league behind the team that beat us last week. As soon as the game ended, we did our patented celebration dance thing and than got psyched for the ridiculousness that is Sim Ju.

Most of the guys on the team and some of our fans rolled back to our apartment before going into Sim Ju. We just straight murked tequila with oranges and cinnamon and listened to quality Euro tunes. We actually left the apartment relatively early for a Saturday night and went straight to get a 1/2 METER BRATWURST. Yes, it was .5 Meter, 1.64 feet, almost 20 inches (no Romo)! Wow, it was glorious. We then hit up the beer tent where jolly, traditional German tunes were sung throughout the night. At one point, the entire tent went into a Ziggy Zaggy, Ziggy Zaggy, Oy, Oy, Oy! chant which was amazing and quickly prompted everyone to chug their beers. The night ended kinda early for Euro standards but was long and quality nonetheless.

Sunday, we hit up the Festival yet again, and ate all day. We took a break from the festival to watch Trevor coach one of his teams, hit the beer tent intermittently, and won some sweet Green Goblin masks in a balloon shooting Carnie game. We also discovered how Germans truly feel about America (notice the picture to the right). A great Sunday to say the least.

On Monday night, Will and I had a nice dinner at this Italian place that sponsors our team and talked about the world and the economy over a nice bottle of Red. Sounds kinda awkward, haha, but I truly appreciated it. Will was dropping knowledge about the US markets and I was actually fascinated by it. I think I am finally maturing haha. I dropped Will off at the airport Tuesday morning to finish off an amazing weekend with the bigger (not quite as large) brother. Will, I would just like to say thanks for rolling up. It made me happy.

Brooke is coming on Friday bright and early for a great weekend. Fletch and Andrew play each other this weekend (I think?) and we have an away game on Sunday. Should be another quality weekend in the Deustchland. 'Til next time.


Monday, October 20, 2008

My First L...

Unfortunately, TV Werne took our first L this past weekend against Hagen Haspa. We were the last two undefeated teams left in the league and they took us down at their place. Luckily, we got another shot at them when we play them at home.

We shot out to a 10 - 0 lead early in the first before they started crawling back into the game. By halftime, it was a 1 point game I think. They had 3 Americans as well, actually 2 Canadians and an American but you know Canada wishes it was America anyway, so I will do them a favor and call them Americans. There lone actual American had absolutely BOOSTIES (this means he could jump really, really high). At one point in the second quarter, he caught an alley-oop behind me with his left hand and absolutely railed it home. I thought his head was going to hit the rim, and he looked kinda old too. It was surprising and impressive to say the least. After the alley-oop, I kinda just shrugged and said respect. Perhaps before I broke my leg (or never in my life) I would have jumped to try and alter the alley but the oop was too legit - no stopping something like that, woulda just been embarassing. Speaking of embarassing, this picture kinda sums up how the game was and how much higher this guy could jump compared to us. You may not be able to tell, but our opponent is still rising while Trevor is at the peak of his jump resulting in Trevor getting this shot PUNCHED in a similar fashion to Team Blackout's consistant spikage in the MSVL (Motown Summer Volleyball League) this past summer.

Trevor had four fouls in the first half and fouled out early in the fourth, which never helps anything. T and I each had around 20 points and I think I had 5 three-pointers on the day. It is sad to say, but the refs truly changed the outcome of the game. Whether it was terrible fouls leading to our foul trouble or letting some "hacking" go uncalled, they definitely made an impact. Andrew came to the game to represent and after the game Trevor (whose birthday is today - Happy Birthday Trev) and I went back to Andrew's apartment to begin the annual Fletcher and Goldy Birthday Extravaganza, for this year only, known as the Fletch, Gold, and Trev Celebratory Weekend. By the way, thanks to everyone for the birthday wishes, it made me feel like the good ol' U S of A missed me.

Fletcher showed up soon thereafter, and we brought back on old school game known as Strategic War while watching college football and the truly surprising Tampa Bay Rays. Although Saturday's Rays game was a disappointment, I gotta give a shout-out to one David P Sullivan for being a great fan. He has always followed the Rays religiously and he is finally getting his shot at the World Series. Congratulations my friend. Overall, one of the best nights I have had here in Germany with a ton of hilarious moments occurring throughout the evening, and all we did was sit in Andrew's apartment for most of it. We did get yelled at by some German Frau about her children sleeping and threatening to call the Polizei (I think?), but no biggie. I am sorry to you if you are reading this blog, we may have been louder then we thought.

The GMEN with another big time W yesterday and gotta give some love to the Packers for my pops. Dominating against the Colts. In case you were wondering, I miss Sundays in America...

Will is rolling up on Friday for the annual Sim Ju Festival in Werne. Supposedly, absolutely crazy. We already have Carnies posting up all over town and the town is buzzing with excitement. I will definitely have a post for ya sometime next week.


Friday, October 17, 2008

Quick Note..

It is my birthday today and days like this when you are half way across the world make you truly appreciate your family and friends from home. I miss all of you but luckily have my boys to hang out with this weekend so that Fletch and I can celebrate our birthdays in style, just as we have done the past 4 years.

On a less serious note, when you work in Germany, people bring in cakes for EVERYTHING. So, yesterday, I had to go to the bakery and purchase 3 cakes for my co-workers. I felt like if I did not bring in cakes, I would have gotten fired. Last day of an internship - cake. Birthdays - cake. You stub your toe over the weekend - cake. No, one of those is not true, but seriously we have had cake at work like 3 times over the past 5 days. It is getting out of control. I have discovered, though, that Germans know how to bake. They also know how to celebrate birthdays. Work got me Zoolander on DVD and many of my co-workers told me "congratulations" as if I had just won the freakin' Nobel Peace Prize. Haha, yes, they say congratulations for birthdays. I think something got lost in the translation there but who knows.

On another side note, it feels good to know that our class at Amherst left a legacy in the Division 3 sporting world. Til next time...


Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Productivity.. The Spice of Life

I recently realized just how much I love being productive. First off, a quick story to relay... on a beautiful Sunday afternoon where we did not have much to do, the roommates and I went out and played pick-up soccer against some locals. It was ridiculously fun and we ended up playing for probably around 3 hours. Now, we could have just sat around all day in the sun or just took it easy, but instead, my roommate, Trevor, went out and found us a soccer game to play in. Thats legit and I give Trev mad props for having so much ADD that he drove around in our van til he found something to do.

Embarassingly, however, one of the local youngsters broke Trevor off a little bit of "football" love by not only going through Trevor's legs on a move but also making him fall over... with a damn soccer ball. It was amazing. As I was rolling over in laughter, I quickly remembered that I was still the goalie at the time and if one of my defender's was on the ground, I may be screwed. The kid turned and rocketed a ball to the inside post and scored. Respekt. Us Americans gained their respect too, however, by going undefeated on the day at 4 - 0. I felt like I was a lightning bolt again. Where is Mr. Noonan filming home videos when you need him?

Now, back to the truly productive day. Yesterday, as usual, I got up early and went to work, half sleeping the whole way there. When I arrived, I had a sudden burst of inspired energy and finished an excel spreadsheet followed by a powerpoint presentation. I dont know what I was thinking, but it might have had to do with the fact that the wonderful GMEN lost to the lowly Browns and I was attempting to hold off my depression by focusing on other things. The day went on as usual and I ended up finishing a good amount of stuff.

I got home and instead of taking a quick nap (like I used to do), I went out to run some errands. I purchased a new wallet so that I could keep track of all the annoying change that Euros lead to (their smallest paper bill is a 5), I went to Western Union and sent some money home to me mum, went straight to the gym to lift, and had a nice post-lift shooting session. After shooting, I hit up the grocery store and got this weeks food and than cooked a lovely meal of gnocchi with garlic tomato sauce and mozzy sprinkled over the top. Oh, it was tasty. I went to bed exhausted, full, and satisfied with the day's work. Prior to settling in for my neeps (a strange word that I picked up at Amherst, not really sure how, but I know one M. Bradley uses it quite often) I debated topping this day off by doing some laundry but decided better of it so that I would still have something to do over the next few days. On a side note, I just heard that while Brandon is here, he is taking German lessons. I am jealous, learning a new language is tight.

Speaking of productivity (not really), I am not allowed to ask you to CLICK the stupid advertisement links on the side of my blog! So don't do it damn it (wait a tic)! I was reading an article on how bloggers make money and this is one of them. The more clicks, the better. I will pay for many rounds at either The Office in Morristown or McMurph's in Amherst, I promise. I figured since writing this blog makes me as giggly as this kid, I might as well try to make my blogging experience more PRODUCTIVE. Haha, productivity from a guy who had a giant wooden entertainment center with 3 tv's throughout college, who woulda thought?


Monday, October 13, 2008


And it happens to be my beautiful niece, Eve Sumner Goldsmith. Yes, I am luckily related to this young one. Thank you, that is all.


Thursday, October 9, 2008

Amsterdam.. Check Please

First off, I am in absolute awe that the things that are legal in Amsterdam are legal in Amsterdam. The place is absurd. Saying that, I will go over the weekend's events with as much details as I can, but to truly understand what it is like in Amsterdam, you have to go there at some point in your life. I highly recommend it. It is not only a city with great history and friendly people, but those damn Dutch know how to chill out with the best of them....

As the long-time readers (haha) may already know, I absolutely love European cities with rivers going through them. In comes Amsterdam, the city with the most bridges in all of Europe and with canals all over the damn place. I was in river-through-the-city heaven. It is most definitely a beautiful place. This is especially impressive due to the fact that it straight poured throughout our visit without putting the slightest damper on our weekend events.

After some issues at the airport, my mum finally arrived Friday in the early AM. When I say early, I mean early, like 6 in the morning. We hit copious amounts of traffic on the way to Holland but finally arrived at the hotel and settled in. Trevor, T, and Marko went to their hotel, which was hilariously dirty, and my mom and I took a nap before venturing out into the city. For some strange reason, we were very motivated that Friday and saw both the Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh museum before dinner. It was intense to say the least. The Rijks was an art museum but also had alot of information on the history of the Netherlands as a whole which I was digging. As soon as we walked in, there was a serious replica of a Dutch East India Trading Company ship that was made a long time ago. Of course, my immediate thoughts went straight to Captain Jack Sparrow and the glorious crew of the Black Pearl.

Don't get me wrong, I love museums and history and such (wow, I am a nerd.. damn you Amherst!) but, I feel like there is no place in the world which induces daydreaming about weird ass stuff more than a museum. You walk through checking out famous paintings, punching in numbers so that you can listen to your audio tour, and immediatley upon seeing a large famous painting such as my favorite from the Rijksmuseum and their most famous piece, "The Night Watch," I wondered how the hell Rembrandt got all those people to pose for long enough to paint that ish. I imagined the little girl in the painting getting antsy and Rembrandt attempting a million different ways to make her stand still like when a 4 year old gets his/her photo taken for the family christmas card. Or, maybe he did it from memory and all my rambling daydreams were for nothing. Whatever the case may be, my daydreams can make any museum a little bit more interesting. I found myself secretly wishing my mom had made a scavenger hunt for the museum like she did when I was a youngster. A tactic I most definitely will use with my future fam, not only to keep the young ones interested, but because I am a large child inside a large man's body.

I definitely dug the Van Gogh museum too. It kind of went through his life like a biography which made it more interesting to me than just looking at his paintings. It also turned into a bar during our visit which never hurts the cause. That night, momma G hit the hay early and I ventured into the streets of Amsterdam to meet the other roomies. We went out, and it was great. We made friends with a Dutch bartender and drank some local brews and met some crazy Englishmen having a bachelor's party. In addition, many a prostitue tapped on their red-lit window and said, "Hey, big fella, you want a good time?" in broken, Russian-accented English. I tried to get a picture of some of the red lights, but every time I took one it would inexplicably go a bit blurry. It is like the prostitutes have power over the weather a la Storm from X-Men. Here is my best shot, however. Surprisingly, alot of them were quite good-looking (must have been because it was the Friday graveyard shift cuz I heard some horror stories about the old day shifters), but they scared me. Nevertheless, I am glad I have a beautiful girlfriend (shout-out one time!).

At the end of the evening, I walked back with the guys to their hotel before beginning the solo mission back to my own hotel. The walk from their hostel to my hotel was essentially a straight walk following a single canal. In my state, in the wee hours of the morning with a rainstorm coming down, I found it extremely difficult to follow my soggy hotel map and got severely lost. This journey reminded me of my famous walk towards UMass (I was not trying to walk towards UMass) in the early weeks of Sophomore year at Amherst, except, I could not call Andrew and ask him to pick me up on Lincoln Ave. I finally found a place I recognized and got home safe.

Saturday was a day of Touristy events. Me mum and I went on a bus tour of Amsterdam with a stop at a diamond factory followed by a lovely canal tour. It was a great way to see all of Amsterdam and I took maybe a million pictures. You can see all (most) of the pictures from the weekend here.

Saturday night was basically the same as Friday minus the whole getting lost thing. Sunday, I showed ma the Red Light District cuz she just had to see it. I quickly realized the difference between Friday / Saturday nights and Sunday mornings. After viewing a small sampling of the Sunday morning shift, I had a bad taste in my mouth that finally went away around Wednesday. In addition, my eyes stung for a couple days, but I have finally recovered from the horror that is Sunday morning in the Red Light District. I am now doing my best to black out those Sunday memories, but, alas, luck is not on my side and those visions have been seared into my memory until the end of time. So, now, I'm praying for the end of time (Meatloaf fo' life). Haha, no, Amsterdam was great and a visitor must take the good memories with the bad. In my opinion, this weekend's great memories far outweigh any of the nasty/ugly ones because all the nasty ones were absolutely hil-arious.

Final opinion: I recommend a visit to Amsterdam to anyone in the area. It is absolutely worth it and will definitely be a trip you will never forget, whether you want to or not. Much love.