Friday, February 27, 2009

Clip of the Week!

Don't you go thinking I forgot... I am sticking with my clip of the week plan until someone tells me not to.

This week, the clip is of a young boy after getting a tooth pulled. This clip has been flying around the internet in the past few weeks and I am sure some of you have seen it already, but it is a great one and worth another look. Besides the absolute highness of the kid, I feel the Dad really improves the clip by asking juusssst the right questions... Enjoy!


Tuesday, February 24, 2009

5 Smurfs vs. A Viking: A Summary of Karneval Weekend

If you have ever seen 5 smurfs take down a viking, you may have been to the most recent celebration of Karneval in Germany. Before I get into the nitty-gritty of Karneval weekend (Carnival in Brazil or Mardi Gras in N'Orleans), let me just say that this is definitely one of the most insane celebrations in all of Germany and I am surprised that it does not get as much coverage as Octoberfest. Then again, I am sure the Brazilian version (which gets way more hype than the German version) is far more ridiculous with its warm weather and notoriously beautiful Brazilian women. Now, let the stories begin (this post may be a long one).

So on Friday we were invited by Ivan, our coach, and one of the guys who takes care of all things TV Werne to go to this Karneval celebration. We knew NOTHING about what this weekend was for or what we were getting ourselves into besides the fact that it was only men, but we went nonetheless. I guess Friday is like "Man Day" of Karneval weekend and Thursday is "Woman Day" because on each day there are parties which can only be attended by one gender or the other. I thought it was strange sounding going in, but I now think it is great.

When we arrived at the party, our host told us to simply, laugh, be loud, and drink beer. We all happily obliged, helped along by an 11 liter mini keg of Krombacher for the 5 of us. Throughout the night, they had comedians on stage and good looking women in funny outfits doing dances and such for the crowd. Between every act, a girl would come out holding the number of the round we were on (similar to a boxing fight), with 11 rounds in all. This lasted from 7 to 11. This night was more similar to a boxing fight than you may imagine, as one of the fine German gentleman sitting near us was KO'ed by a deadly combination of Krombacher, beautiful women, and dancing on our table (which he smoothly fell right off in mid-cheer).

After arriving back at the house, we decided that the only logical course of action would be to continue this wonderful evening at a local bar. On Friday nights, it is 99 cents for any mixed drink at a bar right here in Werne, and we took full advantage of our Saturday day off by abusing this bar's specials. In addition, Marko pulled some black-market-Serbian-sweet-talk to get us into the bar without having to pay a cover charge. A fun night for a small fee: Glorious.

When the house finally awoke on Saturday we were not a very energetic bunch. We relaxed mostly and stayed in for the night, teaching a few drinking games to Marko throughout the evening and going to bed a bit earlier than the night before. Uneventful to say the least. Since I had to work on Monday, I did not plan on going out Sunday night but Marko, Junior, and Trevor supposedly had an amazing evening at a famous local pajama party in Waltrop. Sounds good to this guy... but now, we shall proceed to the really good stuff.

I awoke Monday like any other Monday: sleepy and upset that it was only Monday. I had little to no expectations for the day. I was very excited, however, that we got to leave work early to attend the local parade / party / Karneval celebration. I had heard rumors that Karneval was a good time but we live in Werne and how good could a silly parade in a small town be?


First off, Karneval is similar to Halloween in the US - everyone is dressed in costume (or mostly everyone), and the people on the parade floats fire candies in the crowd the entire day and you know I love me some German gummy bears - 1 point Karneval... In addition, there are no laws prohibiting open containers and such and Germans encourage everyone to drink at the earliest hour possible: in this case - we were drinking by 1 PM on the streets of Werne, patiently waiting for the parade to begin - tack on another punta for Karneval.. Cheap Vodka = point, Good Orange Juice = point, Even better screwdrivers = multiple points - you get the drift. I think I can stop officially awarding points now and let the reader come to his or her own verdict after hearing the story of the rest of the day...

So, while drinking our screwdrivers and hanging out on the streets of Werne all day, we witnessed many hilarious events. One of my personal favorites was the old, drunk German lady who walked up to Junior, licked her thumb, and proceeded to try to rub the blackness off of his face. I guess she had black make-up on her face (I sure as hell didn't see it) and was curious as to whether Junior, T, and Junior's friend Jemell were wearing the same black make-up she had on. Much to her dismay, they were going all natural for the day.

Throughout the day, Junior's friend Jemell attempted to contribute to the liveness of the parade as much as possible. I don't know how it was in other parts of Germany, but our parade had no barriers and therefore, it was quite easy to join in and participate in any number of ways. For instance, Jemell used the old Dave Chappelle robot move and followed a few unsuspecting Germans along their parade route. He then grabbed a toy rifle so that he could lead a march through the streets of Werne. Oh yea, and 5 smurfs supposedly beat up a viking... You get the point, hilarious stuff to say the least.

After the parade finished, we headed over to our favorite local bar to continue the party. It was a ridiculous 4 or 5 in the afternoon and we ended up staying there until it felt like it was 6 am (it was actually only 8:30 PM or so but who's counting?). The day ended with some of us looking a bit different than we normally do...
I dunno about you, but when I can get my Serbian roommate to wear something like this, I call the day a success.
Overall Rating: Karneval gets an A+ for pure liveness..

Hope you enjoyed it!


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Clip of the Week!

I have decided to unveil a new feature on my blog... The Youtube Clip of the Week!

Throughout my time here in Germany, I feel that my youtube searching ability has improved tenfold. This may be due to boredom (most likely) or because I have a primal instinct to see videos with english in them or maybe, simply because one Marcus "Ya Boy" Bradley inspires me. Nevertheless, my ability has improved.... thus, my first youtube clip of the week:

This week's clip is an ad campaign from Gatorade called "Mission G." It is a spoof of Monty Python and the Holy Grail and stars one Kevin Garnett. Although you may have seen parts of this on TV, when put together it becomes a wonderful short film. Last night, I was in dire need of a movie and with our DVD player currently on the fritz, this youtube clip had to suffice... and suffice it did...

I know it was a bit long, but I feel it is well worth it! Somehow, a boring week in Germany became most blogworthy... Three posts in one week... Let me know what you think of the new feature... haha..


Tuesday, February 17, 2009


I cannot remember the last day it didn't at least drizzle here in Werne. In addition, the sun is never out. I like the sun and I miss her. I know - a bit random - but necessary in order to understand Germany and its culture.

In other news, I have gotten more clicks on the ads on the side of the page lately. That is most glorious and whoever is doing so please keep up the good work. I make a few cents for every click and maybe by 2020, I will get my first check from adsense for a nice, round 100 big ones...

Hoping for sunlight...


Monday, February 16, 2009

Short and Sweet..

On Saturday, we absolutely spanked a team 106 - 72. They were bad. I mean, really bad. None of the housemates scored in double figures and we still had over 100! That is just crazy talk. When the game started, it felt like I was playing against an average high school team. I have an extremely hard time focusing in games like that, so I am very happy that I did not end up embarassing myself too much throughout the game.

Our young Germans were all smiles during our post-game locker room celebration as T, Trev, Marko, Junior, and I rode the pine most of the day so that they could clock some big time minutes. The newspaper articles seem much happier this week and they even commented on how much everyone has improved throughout the year with the help of the 4 Americaners...

After the game, a bunch of our teammates came back to our apartment to chill and celebrate. Trevor and I taught them the fine art of kings, horse races, and up the river down the river. We ended up just hanging in the apartment instead of going anywhere else.. a decision I was very happy with.

Earlier in the day Saturday, Freddy and I went to Dortmund to check out the shoes and clothing stores. I guess there were a ton of sales, so I picked up a new v neck and buttown down shirt from H and M. When I tried on the buttown-down shirt, Freddy looked at me and said "Indiana Jones.." Haha, so if you can picture Indiana Jones type gear on me, that is what I picked up, so don't try messing with me anytime soon cuz I may look like this stud muffin. But, for realsies, haha.. I felt that it was a tight Euro-look that I could still pull off so I went for it.

Trevor's mom has been here for the past weekend, bringing with her powdered gatorade, slim jims, and reeses peanut butter cups. Staples in any American's diet if you ask me. Special thanks to her for bringing a little bit of America with her to Germany.

Big love sent out to my boys at Amherst for holding it down against a very good Middlebury squad on saturday for senior day. I wish I could have been there for that, but it is all good. Now, it is their time to go out and get a NESCAC 'Ship... I know they can do it and they know they can do it so I say let's make it happen. Next week should be interesting as we have a week off from games and there is a major German festival going on all week: Carnival. More to come later....


Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Wooo Hooo!

Ok, so we are back on the winning track and it feels gooooooooood. Last weekend we played BG Herford at their place. No matter who you are playing, when you are the away team in Germany, you have to be ready for a battle. We came out in the first quarter ok with Trevor holding it down for the squad because everyone else was kinda being a bum. We were up after the first and than after a DISASTROUS 2nd quarter went into halftime down 8.

I have not written about this it all yet, but our team has been the focus of a major debate in all of the papers around our area. Ever since we acquired Junior, teams and players have been upset that we have so many Americans on our team and that we score around 90% of our points. They say how the young Germans need a chance to play blah blah blah and that if they can't with our team then when will they ever get a chance? Well, I don't know where these people are from (wait a second, I do, Deutschland) but where I am from you have to earn your minutes. Our young guys are just that, extremely young. They have so much to learn about basketball still and what none of these naive people understand is that prior to this season, none of them could have really played big minutes on any regionaliga team. But, by watching our squad in practice lately, I can honestly tell you that every single one of them has improved their games ten-fold just through practice alone, and it will end up benefiting them in the long run that we were all here to help them continue in their development. Ok, enough with the ranting and raving, I just had to get that off my chest.

So, I think Ivan was feeling the pressure and tried to play as many of the Germans as possible in the first half. Don't get me wrong though, none of us, including myself, really had our swagger in that first half besides Trev and therefore, we were losing at half. The second half, my friends, was a totally different story. We all came out heated after an intense locker room talk and within a minute or so into the third quarter had tied the game back up. From there, we just got after it on defense and shut them down. After giving up 53 points in the first half (WAAAAAAAAAY too much), we gave up only 35 in the second half and ended up winning by 18. I was finally satisfied with my play on Saturday, scoring 14 in the second half alone (I only had 4 in the first), and grabbing double digit rebounds. It felt damn good to put in some quality work on the court.

Here is a link to an article about the game. The rest of the week was more of the same. Lifting and work and cooking gourmet treats and watching 24 DVD's have all taken over my life. Jack Bauer is just an unbreakable, terrorist killing machine who will cut off your fingers if you ever say to no to him.

I miss my girlie and my fam and all my friends from home alot lately, but I am loving the experience over here still and Fletch, AO, Kev, and I are in the planning stages of Euro Trip '09 which will be ridiculous (and Brooke will be meeting us in Paris for the second half of this insane trip).

Oh, one last thing I totally forgot. So, on Thursday, Trevor forced me to go to this crazy public pool place in town where the average age is around 75 (no offense to anyone on the older side). I know what your thinking, ummmmmm, Matt - a public pool in Germany in February does not sound like the greatest plan.... BUT, it was legit. It is actually all salt water, massive and heated. You enter the pool from inside like a locker room and walk out and hang out in the hot water. There are these little seats where there are jets to massage your entire body and waterfalls and stuff. It was very cool. We treated it almost like we were back at school, going to the training room to get some actual healing for our aching bodies, and it worked.

Shoutout to the Lord Jeffs for getting two big NESCAC wins last weekend. I did get to watch the Bates game online and I love how our young proteges are just taking over the helm this year. Bauski looked great, Chibs banked in a free throw, and Marcus was still acting clutch. Beating Tufts always brings back great memories as well. Love to all the 09's and of course, to the rest of the squad as well. See ya next week!


Wednesday, February 4, 2009

It Could Have Been Epic...

This weekend could have been one of the most epic weekends of my entire time here in Germany except for one little problem. We got SPANKED on Saturday by Hagen Haspe. They simply outplayed us the whole game and I got to give them credit, I think they are the best team in the league. They just know their stuff and what works for them and they do it and than do it again and then add in an alley-oop from halfcourt to make sure you know they did it.
So, who really cares that much about the game, it sucked and you do not want to hear me talk much about it. One good aspect of the game though, was that Andrew came to see me play because he played earlier in the day on Saturday. Always great to have a familiar face in the crowd. Trevor also had a visitor all weekend, his friend Lilly from high school. She was tight and was a pretty quality roommate for 3 days straight and she bakes tasty ass chocolate chip cookies.. mmmmmmmmmmhhhmmmmmmm.....

So, on Saturday night, I taught the house Strategic War. If you do not know about Strategic War please click the previous link. It is a legendary game Andrew, Fletcher, and myself created as freshman at Amherst. Clearly, Saturday night went pretty well, but the real fun was to be had on Sunday.

Super Bowl Sunday was most glorious. On Saturday, Trevor and I checked out the Joy of Cooking all afternoon and went to the Grublinghoff (the biggest food store in Werne) and picked up so many tasty, Americanized treats to cook that I almost died of finger food overdose during the Super Bowl. In addition, I invited Andrew and Fletcher to partake in our festivities - two dudes who definitely understand the concept of keeping it live.

Trevor cooked an awesome batch of chili con carne to start off our eating around 10:30 or so at night. For those not in the know, the game began at 12:28 AM in Germany. Although we began eating at night, Trevor and I had been preparing our dishes all day. I ended up making potato skins, serious nachos, and the buffalo wings I learned how to make from my brothers. Shout-out to Will and John - those wings are tasty as hell no matter where you make 'em.

In addition to all this great food, when Andrew and Fletcher showed up, they came with two cases of Iserlohner (great beer), a bottle of vodka, and a bottle of whiskey. As soon as they walked in, I thought to myself, man, that is so much unnecessary alcohol. Well, kids, one thing I have learned from hanging with the Amherst crew is no matter what it looks like before the night starts, usually its all gone by the time the night finishes.

An hour before game time, I began to assemble an array of glorious dishes to all be done at the same time. I quickly hooked up my potato skins (most of the work for the taters was done earlier in the day) while beginning my wings and and putting my nachos in the broiler with the homemade salsa I had concocted. While all this multi-tasking was happening, I had yet another task to complete. A power hour. Andrew had suggested it to the crowd while I was cooking and than called me into the room. He said that he needed to ask me a question which was "What do you think normal people do in an hour?" And I responded, "I dunno... a power hour?" And thus, the epic evening began.
After the power hour, I brought all the food out to the crowd and the game began with everyone well-lubricated and hungry. Oh, I forgot to mention, Fletcher brought over the projector which he has in his apartment, so, we got to watch the game off of my computer projected onto an entire wall in our family room. It was amazing. Throw in a great fourth quarter to the super bowl and some quality company and you have one of the best super bowls ever. If we had done this last year for the Gmen, it might have been the highlight of my life, but, alas, we did not. It was an epic evening to say the least... just wish we had won that damn game on Saturday...