Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The Lost Brack-It: Best NBA Player with Goggles

Quarter Finals
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar vs James Worthy

George Mikan vs Bo Outlaw

Kurt Rambis vs Amar’e Stoudemire

Horace Grant vs Moses Malone

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar vs James Worthy

Kareem and Worthy both rocked the bug eye, racquetball goggles while they played for the Lakers and won three NBA Championships together. The goggles speak to the era they were worn in with a funky, ‘80s vibe. You can imagine Worthy and Kareem switching out the lenses to a rose or blue shade and heading to a club. The specs have large clear round lenses that give the eyes a magnified look that surely helped to intimidate defenders. The white nose pieces are thick and probably designed to keep the bad boy Pistons from breaking their glasses. Although both look stylish and have multiple championship credentials, it is pretty easy to pick a winner. Worthy is a great player and a Hall of Famer, but Abdul-Jabbar was the biggest star in Hollywood for the Showtime Lakers. The big fella takes the round.

George Mikan vs Bo Outlaw

George Mikan can be credited with being a part of many historical changes in professional basketball. Because of him, basketball has goal tending, 12 ft key, shot clock, the center position, the Mikan Drill, the Timberwolves, the ABA and multi-colored ball, the three-point line and for the most part the success and popularity of the League. His nickname is Mr. Basketball, and he won several NBL, BAA and NBA Championships. Most importantly, he was one of the first superstars to wear glasses while he played. Towering over his smaller defenders at 6-10, Mikan didn’t get too many four-eyes cracks, but he was sporting some coke bottle lenses.
Bo Outlaw was a defensive specialist and a fan favorite wherever he played. His all out hustle and intensity led him to an impressive career even if he was never considered as skilled as some of the other players around the League. Outlaw was definitely one of the most stylish though, rocking Oakley style sunglasses with clear lenses and a single earpiece/frame bar with a detached nose piece that was the trendiest frames of the time. Outlaw’s glasses are the Jetsons compared to Mikan’s Flintstones. Although Outlaw is a good sport, he got a bad draw and can’t compete with a legend of basketball eye wear. Mr. Basketball is Mr. Spectacles.

Kurt Rambis vs Amar’e Stoudemire

An explosive big man can be the difference between a lottery team and a playoff team. An explosive big man with rec specs is the difference between a good player and a legend. Amar’e Stoudemire finds himself in the minority of today’s players, who have more popularly moved to contacts for vision correction. He was forced to wear his protective goggles this past season due to a detached retina injury that he suffered the year before. Stoudemire is currently wearing similar goggles to Bo Outlaw and many beach volleyball players. His is still new to the goggle club and hopefully he switches his style up with some of the options that David Spade picked out in his All-Star campaign YouTube video.
Kurt Rambis is another member of the Showtime Lakers who wore goggles while he played. His rec specs have a nerd sheik look that any hipster would be proud to wear. They are also functional as seen by Kevin McHale’s infamous take down of Rambis during game four of the ’84 Finals. Rambis never lost his glasses in one of the most punishing hits in finals history. Stoudemire’s goggles wouldn’t have survived that kind of punishment, and they don’t survive to the next round.

Horace Grant vs Moses Malone

When you are in the league for 21 years and win three League MVP awards, it is easy to make a statement – a fashion statement. Moses Malone dominated the ABA and NBA as a rebounding and scoring machine right out of high school. His eyewear of choice was similar to the racquetball/bug eye goggles that Abdul-Jabbar and Worthy wore. His corrected vision allowed him to manage 27,409 points and 16,212 rebounds in his career. He changed goggles later in his career with the Hawks to stay with the times and wore red specs to match the team colors. The change in technology for the sport goggles hasn’t changed much, but the addition of the color changing rec specs made Horace Grant one of the most recognizable players in the ‘90s. The pre-HDTV era made it much more difficult to figure out what was going on in a game (try watching an old game on an old TV), but the rec specs made it easy to spot Grant jumping threw the lane for a rebound. His sense for fashion came out in the color of his rec specs that he matched with his jersey like putting matching colored rims on a Cadillac. Although Grant may not have the statistics on Malone, he does have more rings (4), and he embraced the goggles more than Malone making them a part of his persona. Grant takes down the three time MVP in this competition.


Kareem Abdul-Jabbar vs George Mikan
Horace Grant vs Kurt Rambis

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar vs George Mikan

The camera flashes from the paparazzi must be extra bright in Hollywood cause the two greatest centers in Lakers’ history had terrible vision. Sorry Shaq, but if you wanted to be considered the greatest center in Lakers’ history, you should have worn some protective eye wear. It is kind of a tradition, and just think of all the missed opportunities for clever nicknames, Shaq Specs, bifoShaqcals, Stunna Shaqs. Even Jack Nicholas wears shades and he just sits on the sidelines. Any big man who dominates the paint with a pair of hater blockers on their face just adds to the intimidation of the opponent. Now discussing whether Abdul-Jabbar or Mikan was more important to the Lakers or the game of basketball is like discussing the importance of Blublockers over Wayfarers; it is about personal preference. Nonetheless a decision must be made and lets face it, George Mikan looks like a mathlete not an athlete. Also, Abdul-Jabbar gets bonus points for wearing ridiculous snow goggles early in his career, ridiculous.

Horace Grant vs Kurt Rambis

You have to wonder what kind of heated arguments went down in the Lakers locker room about the trends in recreational eyewear. Why didn’t Rambis follow his spectacle wearing Showtime Lakers lead and go with the clear-framed goggles? According to Chick Hearn, legendary broadcaster for the Los Angeles Lakers, it’s because Kurt Rambis is just an alter ego for his real job as Superman. I’m not trying to TMZ on Rambis’ off-court activities, but if I saw him rush into a phone booth I’d stick around to see if he flew out.
With Grant you never knew what color he would choose to sport when he came on the court to beat up on opposing big men. Zaza Pachulia, HOOP’s style editor, would have to give him a thumb up for coordinating his goggles with his jersey, especially the blue Magic jerseys, so fresh. Any fan of the NBA Jam videogame franchise remembers that although Glen Rice looked an awful lot like Kevin Johnson and every other player, Horace Grant could be easily recognized with his in-game rec specs. Rambis was a pioneer for the visually impaired power forward, but Grant took the time and had passion for the look of his sports goggles and overtakes Rambis to get into the finals.


Kareem Abdul-Jabbar vs Horace Grant

The tradition of winning and eye protection go hand in hand, and I’m glad HOOP took the ad space to honor these heroes of optometry. Just imagine if Medusa had some mirrored lenses, a lot of lives would have been saved. Cyclops’ laser vision wasn’t nearly as useful whenever someone knocked off his glasses, and it sure is difficult to hit a skyhook when you can’t see the basket. Both Abdul-Jabbar and Grant have plenty of other accessories other than their glasses, and by that I mean championship rings. They are the first too players that come up in any conversation about rec specs. Although you can make a case for either player, Grant takes it as the best player to wear rec specs. He is remembered more for his choice of eyewear than he is for his game, and as P. Diddy (formerly known as Puff Daddy) says in his song All About the Benjamins, he is “trying to get my hands on some grants like Horace.”

Friday, May 21, 2010

Why I’m Scared of Jared Dudley

This isn’t the first time I’ve been scared of Jared Dudley. The first occurrence was only a month into my internship at HOOP Magazine. My Associate Editor accompanied me to my first writing assignment at Madison Square Garden, which was my first basketball game as a member of the press. The Suns were playing the Knicks that night, and since I’m from Phoenix, I couldn’t have been more excited to see my favorite team. My legs shook with nervous energy when I walked across 8th avenue on my way to the most famous arena in the world.

I entered the stadium through the employee entrance and when I received my press pass I squelched the nervous feeling akin to the first time I used my fake ID at a bar. I kept waiting for the nice lady handing out the passes to make me tell her my sign, laugh at me, and send me away. They let me in though and even had my name printed on the pass, which I slipped around my neck. I tried not to trip on the heels of my Associate Editor, and failed to hide my shit-eating grin as we walked to the locker rooms. My heart raced, and I had folded and refolded my paper of questions in a rectangle the size of a piece of gum.

I tried to look cool when I walked into the Suns locker room. As I passed through the entrance, right in front of me was Grant Hill and his surprisingly amazing abs. For a 67-year-old veteran, his abs looked like the statue of David. To the left of the small poorly lit room was Amar’e Stoudemire in the corner. I did everything in my power to pretend to be professional and not scream like a 14-year-old girl at a Justin Bieber concert. I had been standing in the middle of the locker room gawking for a couple minutes and was too nervous to ask anyone a question. I didn’t even know how to begin.

While I was busy refolding my paper with questions that I was too afraid to ask my favorite superstar athletes, Jared Dudley came over to the table by me and grabbed a Gatorade out of the round cooler. He loudly said, “the infamous New York press” to the other journalists in the room, who were also just standing around. Or he said something to that nature. I’m not sure since I didn’t turn on my recorder, and I was busy searching for a “Die Bart Die” tattoo on Robin Lopez’s chest.

Then Dudley turned to me and asked to borrow my pen. We bantered a bit about the recent NBA news while I kept thinking about the appropriate talking volume for a professional locker room. I didn’t turn the recorder on and was just happy to talk with a professional athlete in a scenario other than screaming from a distance ‘D-Fense! clap clap clap’. However, I did manage to ask Dudley, to his surprise, about when he was going to do another episode of JMZ.

JMZ is a play off of TMZ. It is a series of entertaining twitvideo posts where Dudley plays the role of reporter and asks questions for his teammates to answer with insightful and often humorous results. When I asked him this, he got a huge smile on his face and said, “We’ll see” while giving me a dap and walking away with my only pen.

This also turned out to be one of the prouder moments of my life because I didn’t mess up the fist bump with one of those awkward ‘I’m high fiving while you’re doing a clenched fist, paper covers rock situations’. Even though Dudley never gave me back my pen, my first encounter as a member of the ‘infamous New York press’ was a success.

After the encounter with Dudley, I loosened up and was able to get quotes from Stoudemire and Side Show Bob (Robin Lopez). I eventually became comfortable talking with professional athletes and navigating the MSG press room like I belonged instead of like a fan that slipped through the cracks. In later assignments I had no worries about approaching athletes with questions and was more concerned about being able to pick up their mumblings on my crappy recorder than thinking about how big a fan I was of the person I was talking to.

Although I became comfortable as a sports journalist, in a bitch-slap of foreshadowing, Jared Dudley taking my pen could prove to be the future of my sports journalism career. I could tell that Dudley was happy to know that I had seen his early work as a player/reporter when he had only a couple thousand twitter followers back in December of 2009. Now, Dudley is appearing on the BS Report, PTI and has done exclusive videos for TMZ. He even got a shout out from Hall of Fame Reporter Bob Ryan who called Dudley “my man”. Dudley has launched himself into a media star by the use of his twitter feed while most other NBA players use it to let their fans know about what they had for dinner.

This season has had some momentous NBA twitter posts that have caused shake-ups blurring the lines of reporter and player. Unlike Dudley’s entertaining and informative JMZ reports, most of the twitter news involving the NBA is negative. Examples range from the halftime tweet by Charlie Villanueva, which forced the creation of the Charlie V Rule that bans any social media during games. As well as, Gilbert Arenas going tweet crazy after reports of his gun-pulling encounter with teammate Javaris Crittenton, which led to his suspension from the League, and the deletion of his twitter page. There has even been breaking news stories that have been reported via player twitter feeds. Kevin Love was the first to report on the firing of Kevin McHale. Also, Chris Bosh recently asked his twitter followers to give him advice on whether he should resign with Toronto or move on to a new team. This past week a “hacker” apparently made Paul Pierce's twitter page predict the sweep of the Magic. Twitter will surely be the focus of another controversy of the NBA, but Jared Dudley has turned his twitter page into a PR machine. He is doing the jobs of suns beat reporters better than they are because he has the access and perspective that they can’t get.

The use of twitter by NBA players puts aspiring sports writers in a difficult position. There is no need for me to go into the locker room of the Phoenix Suns to ask Amar’e Stoudemire what is his favorite type of music or his thought on the upcoming game, when Jared Dudley is there asking the questions and posting them on the Internet. The transparency of the superstar athlete has led to a more difficult job for sports writers to come up with unique angles and write entertaining articles that are longer than 140 characters. As a fan, I love the idea that I can communicate with my favorite athletes and learn more about them as people. It is refreshing that players feel comfortable to announce to the Internet their true feelings instead of hearing the recycled responses that they give gumshoe journalist.

Although I may have been too scared to ask Dudley for my pen back, I’m more afraid that he is going to take my job. I am going to treat this like my first assignment for HOOP and just wait for the initial excitement to pass. After all with more players going pro after one year in college someone is going to have to proofread their tweets.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

BluePrintCleanse Running Diary

After high school I realized that my life turned from a well thought out schedule of activities and goals into a self propelled mess of avoiding responsibility that people refer to as college. Like any 18-23 year old, I pushed the limits of my new found freedom from the droll of suburban life and indulged in my inner sloth. I quickly arranged for my weekends to start on Thursday (by senior year they started on Tuesday) and eventually got through four years of what I called a never-ending spring break with a degree, amazing. Showing up for classes only when I needed to and cramming a semester’s worth of knowledge into one night of anxiety filled study session didn’t leave much time for me to visit the Student Rec Center or consult the Student Health Center about the debilitating effects of my life style choices.

One of the major drawbacks of the freedom from living under the thumb of your parents is your food source. I luckily grew up in a family where my mother made delicious home cooked meals every night of the week, but since my freshman year my eating habits have reflected what I saw Homer Simpson eating instead of the foods I grew up with. So when I told my mother that I was doing a BluePrintCleanse, and would have nothing but nutritional juices and no solid food for three days, she was appalled.

She said, “You don’t need a cleanse. What do you have to cleanse? And why don’t you answer my emails?”

The Josh she knew from infancy to 18, who grew up on three square meals a day consisting of all the levels of the food pyramid, probably didn’t need a cleanse. If she knew the crap that I have been gulfing down for the past five years, she might feel differently.

I am by no means an unhealthy person, and to be honest I don’t usually think about what I am eating. However, I love food and started eating before I could walk. My eating habits have led me to be very skeptical that my body will be able to survive three days without high fructose corn syrup or processed meat-like products.


If I had a choice I would probably never consider the cleanse on principle, and because it sounds terrifying. However, this cleanse is a part of my training for a recent part-time gig I got with BluePrintCleanse while trying to be a starving artists in New York City. I originally got the job so I could afford groceries, and now I can’t eat food for three days. Even though I am on the BluePrintCleanse payroll, my words have not been edited by them, and the story is of my true feelings and actual events. They don't pay me nearly enough to write this epic and not tell what really went down. I do admit the end does get a bit pitchy.

This story is just an excuse to steal a classic column idea from one of my favorite writers, Bill Simmons of ESPN, and write a running diary of my experience while on the BluePrintCleanse “Three Day Renovation Cleanse” for anyone who is considering a cleanse to have an idea of what to expect.

***End of Disclaimer***

So what am I cleansing? I’m cleansing: every Halloween where I would eat pounds of candy, chicken nugget eating contests at camp, finishing pints of Ben and Jerry’s in one sitting, Girl Scout cookie season, dorm food, Little Caesar’s Hot and Ready Pizza, tailgating, 4:00 AM munchies, Double Stuffed Oreos, hot dogs, gushers, meals enjoyed at restaurants that as a kid I called “Toxic Hell” “Wackdonalds” and “Bugger King”, and the copious amounts of alcohol that I have consumed, enjoyed and regretted the next morning. It was a great run of feeding myself with flavors without consequence but for the first time in my life I’m going to actually think about what I’m eating, and I’m going to bring you along for the ride. Enjoy.

Day 1

6:30 AM – 1st Juice, Green Juice, ingredients: Romaine, Celery, Cucumber, Green Apple, Spinach, Kale, Parsley, Lemon.

According to the BPC website (www.blueprintcleanse.com) this is the most important and most difficult to swallow juice in the cleanse. It smells kind of funky, but I slam it down and don’t mind the taste. Keeping in mind this isn’t supposed to be drinking Orange Crush or Gatorade, it could be a lot worse. The website makes it seem way worse than it really is.

I’m running a little late to work so I’m drinking on the subway. If there is anything that could use a cleanse, it is the subway system. This place is grimy.

6:42 AM – I just passed a group of pigeons eating a feral looking Shit McSandwich that must have been left out on the sidewalk from the night before. Right next to them are two other pigeons poking at a bunch of jalapeno peppers (at least it is a vegetable). These city birds just don’t care what they eat; I’ve seem them eat glass. This is an encouraging image for anyone who wants to start a juice cleanse. Juice is better than eating old burgers and jalapenos even if they aren’t off the sidewalk.

7:00 AM – I’m not hungry, but I feel tired. This may have something to do with watching sports till 2:00 AM and waking up at 6:00 AM. Or it could be my body wasting away because I haven’t had solid food for eight hours!

8:15 AM – I’m starting to get a craving for some eggs and bacon. My stomach isn’t empty, and I actually feel content. It is the knowledge that I can’t eat anything that makes me want it so much more.

9:15 AM – 1st pee of cleanse! It is normal.

9:58 AM – 2nd Juice, P.A.M. Juice, ingredients: Pineapple, Apple, Mint.

This juice is great. I would drink this everyday, all day if I could. It is refreshing and sweet. I also feel like it would be a good mixer for some cocktails maybe with some rum or a spin-off mojito. Yes, I am thinking about cocktails at 10 in the morning. Does this mean I have a drinking problem?

10:45 AM – This old man sitting across from me holding a bagel sandwich has passed out in the chair. The sandwich appears to have eggs, American cheese and bacon. Not that I have been staring at it for the past 15 minutes thinking of ways to sneak over and take a bite of his sandwich… It definitely has some bacon on it, and I’m sure I could sneak a bite out of his hand without him waking up. Serenity Now!

12:20 – 3rd Juice, Green Juice.

The cravings aren’t so bad as long as I stay busy. Although, I check my watch every 10 minutes to see when I can get my next juice. No headaches or tummy rumblings, which is what usually happen to me around this time.

1:50 – Home from work (part-time work has its perks) and time for a nap. Naps are part of my regular schedule since they are in style for freelance writers and bloggers. I don’t think it is the lack of food that is making me tired, but probably the four hours of sleep I got last night.

2:50 – I Just woke up an hour later for no real reason, but I do feel a little hungry. I made some green tea, since the website said it is good to have if you are in between juices and want something other than water.

3:10 – First BM of cleanse! I’m sorry to disappoint, but there is nothing exciting to report about it. I was actually looking forward to this BM more then I usually do because the Common Questions page on the BPC website has this doosie:

Q: What should I do if my stool is bloody?

A: Is it? Or did you just drink some of our beet juice?
A: If it is, consult a doctor.

I haven’t had the beet juice yet, although it looks like the best juice. I can’t be more excited to see what my poo looks like after. I’m sure you’re excited too!

3:30 – 4th Juice, Spicy Lemonade, ingredients: Filtered Water, Lemon, Agave Nectar, Cayenne.

This juice is just about as good as it sounds. You might think the Cayenne would ruin the lemonade, but it adds a nice kick.

Even though I am not hungry. I’ve become very aware that I am not hungry, even though I think I should be.

Also, I go pee every 30 minutes. I was planning on keeping track of everything that went into and out of my body, but now it seems superfluous. Trust me, I am going pee all the time. I don’t even understand where all this liquid is coming from. They aren’t short burst either. It is more like the peeing scene from Austin Powers. Don’t worry if anything comes out weird, I’ll be sure to let you know and consult my doctor.

4:00 – I expected to be lethargic during the cleanse and cleared my schedule of any activities that I could. Now, the problem is that the opposite is true. I have crazy energy with nothing to do. I just cleaned the house, walked to the park and shot some hoops. I even went to Bed Bath and Beyond. There was enough time (Old School reference, good? No? sorry).

7:00 – 5th Juice, C.A.M. juice, ingredients: Apple, Carrot, Beet, Lemon, Ginger.

Devastating! I have been intrigued by this juice since the moment I unpacked my cleanse. The dark red color of the beet juice makes it look like the syrup they put in snow cones so the ice cream man can charge $2.50 for crushed ice. This juice would make the worst snow cone ever. Also, all the juices so far have been delicious. I might have built this juice up too much. Between the Kool-Aid inspired color and the magic poo changing abilities, I couldn’t have been more excited for this juice. This is extra disappointing since it is 1/6 of my caloric intake for the day.

10:16 – 6th Juice, Cashew Milk, ingredients: Filtered Water, Raw Cashews, Agave Nectar, Vanilla Bean, Cinnamon.

This juice totally redeems the beet juice. It is delicious. I can’t control myself and chug the entire bottle. It tastes like a milkshake, and I stick my tongue in the bottle trying to lap up every last drop of it. I’m not even a little embarrassed.

12:01 AM – Day 1 is in the books, and I have survived. My tummy is fine, and I’m excited for Day 2. I’m not even missing fourth meal as much as I thought I would.

Day 2

8:00 AM – I just woke up with a head splitting migraine and my body aches all over. My toenails have fallen out and the tips of my fingers are black. I am grabbing patches of hair out of my head and there is a strange growth coming out of my back that looks alien! When I try to stand up my knees buckle and I fall to the floor. The room is spinning, and it feels like my stomach is attempting a coup on the rest of my body.

Just messing with you! I feel great, and actually look better than I normally do this early in the morning. I’m ready for some breakfast.

8:36 AM – 7th Juice, Green Juice.

The best part about the cleanse is that it takes away three of my most difficult decisions for the day: What am I going to eat today? What am I going to drink today? What alcohol am I going to binge drink tonight? I know exactly what I am having for the rest of my day and tomorrow. Also, it is refreshing to think about alcohol in the morning when I’m not hung over. There is a lot less dry heaving involved.

Not eating food is probably better than my normal eating habits. Everyone I talked to about wanting to do the juice cleanse always seemed shocked that I would do this and thought it was not a healthy decision. However, my normal eating habits usually involve skipping breakfast, eating some kind of fried chicken or brick sized burrito and drinking too much alcohol. That is about it. Waking up and drinking some green juice starts my day off much better than normal. Even though it has been over 24 hours since I chewed something.

10:11 AM – My co-workers at my second job (not juice related) have questions:

“Have you seriously not eaten anything since Sunday?”

“Are you hungry?”

“Seriously, you haven’t eaten anything since Sunday?”

“Are you crazy?”

“Do you want a cheeseburger?”

This has been the normal reaction from my friends and family, a lot of questions about my sanity. In fact when I heard about this juice cleanse phenomena; I too thought it was the silliest new trend. However, it does make sense, and the good people at BluePrintCleanse will preach the power of digestion, toxins, alkalizing ingredients and other nutritionist lingo, which I’m sure is great. For me though, it comes down to getting what my body doesn’t get enough of like veggies and vitamins and clearing out all the bad stuff like mozzarella sticks and tatter tots in the safest and most efficient way possible.

All the food I normally eat just gets broken down into mush anyway. So drinking calories just makes it that much easier on my stomach and gives my digestive track a rest. If I am going to get all of my food in liquid form then my body doesn’t need to work as hard to break down food. Therefore my body can use that extra energy on other things, such as dunking a basketball, improving my night vision, growing an extra inch (in height you sickos), or wooing a super model. Sadly, and surprisingly, none of these things have happened.

11:48 AM – 8th Juice, P.A.M. Juice.

12:49 - One of my colleagues just brought up some Thai food to the office, and another one is eating some tofu salad combo that looks amazing. I didn’t realize that it was bring delicious smelling food for lunch day at the office.

This is one of the stranger side effects of the cleanse. My sense of smell for foods is heightened and I seem to only pass by delicious smelling restaurants. Rather then hold my nose and run by, my pace slows, and I take giant sniffs as I pass. It is very masochistic.

Here is a list of my favorite smelling foods:

Thai, Italian, pancakes, bacon, Mexican, my grandma’s cooking, popcorn, fresh baked cookies, pizza, coffee, oranges, food karts, hot wings… at this point any food smells amazing.

Worst smelling foods:

Green juice.

3:33 – 9th Juice, Green Juice.

The website says it is fine to work out and do physical activities while on the cleanse. So I’m going to head to the gym and try to see how weak I have gotten at the halfway point. Usually, my gym routine involves:

-Taking smaller weights then I should because they are easier to lift

-Skipping sets because working out is boring

-Taking water breaks

-Making excuses to not do exercises I don’t like

-Heading to the sauna after about a half hour of wandering around

It’s probably better to take it easy anyway since I haven’t eaten since Sunday and passing out at the gym is frowned upon.

My favorite part of going to the gym is the sauna. Coming from Arizona, the dry heat reminds me of home. Even more so if only they could spray dust around, set up some slot machines with Native American themes, and have an officer check people for their immigration papers when they entered the sauna.

5:15 - 10th Juice, Spicy Lemonade.

Usually after the gym I am exhausted and need to eat some food immediately. I felt fine at the gym, had plenty of energy and wasn't light headed. Although I really took it easy. Most of the time was spent waiting for old ladies to finish with their weights to do a set or two at their level. BowFlex commercial here I come!

Now, instead of a slice of pizza, I slam down my spicy lemonade. It is not that I feel bad, but there is an overwhelming sense that my body is catching on that it is not going to get any food. This may be directly related to re-reading from the Common Questions that says:

Q: What are detox symptoms? Will I get them?

A: During a cleanse, the body is essentially tearing down all of the "bad stuff" and rebuilding with new material. To make room for that new material, the "bad stuff" needs to leave; how it makes its exit is your potential crisis. For example: when the body eliminates coffee, symptoms usually include headaches, nervousness, and shakiness. When protein, meats, and fats are eliminated, you may experience skin eruptions, foul body odor, or a coated tongue.

Lucky for you, we keep Healing Crises to a minimum; BluePrintCleanse is specifically designed to your type allowing for gradual elimination.

Only now do I notice that I do have a slight shake in my arms and hands and my teeth feel funny. I think I smell normal. I haven’t noticed any skin eruptions, but I’m on the look out for them. The detox symptoms aren’t painful and don’t stop me from doing anything I want to do. It is more just a weird sensation similar to getting off a roller coaster and feeling disoriented.

7:34 – 11th Juice, Beet Juice.

The beet juice is so disappointing; the only cool thing about the beet juice is the knowledge that the Cashew Milkshake is coming up next.

10:01 – 12th Juice, Cashew Milk.

I really can’t get enough of this Cashew Milk. It is great by itself, but I can’t help thinking about how good it would be with a bowl of cereal or blended with some chocolate ice cream.

This is my last meal for Day 2, and overall I feel good about myself. I’m looking forward to my last day.

Day 3

9:45 AM – 13th Juice, Green Juice.

I’m in full cleanse mode now and going at it like a pro. I’ve accepted the cleanse at this point, and there is no more mystery or even a desire to get a bagel. I am fully confident that I will be able to make it through the day with just juice.

12:47 – 14th Juice, P.A.M. Juice.

This is the first time I just completely forgot that I was on a cleanse and didn’t even feel hungry or like I needed my juice. This is amazing considering two days ago I was checking my watch counting down the minutes to my next juice.

That is the way food is though. At one moment memorable and the next moment an unconscious habit. For example, I can remember every detail about a breakfast burrito I ate in Sante Fe nearly six years ago. It had green and red chili (christmas style), eggs, potatoes, cheese and peppers all wrapped in a flour tortilla, and I think about it more often than I like to admit. It is the standard for all breakfast burritos. On the flip side, two weeks ago I ate an entire box of Cheez-Its in one sitting without even realizing it. I actually wondered if my box was half full to begin with because that is a lot ‘its’ to consume.

The lesson I have learned from the cleanse is to think about what I am eating. It isn’t bad to indulge in guilty pleasures. I just need to be aware when I eat the same crap over and over again and try to mix in some vegetables and real food into my diet. The cleanse has been a great experience to help me realize that the foods I thought I needed aren’t necessary.

2:51 – 15th Juice, Green Juice.

When I do my next cleanse, I’ll be sure to do the BluePrintCleanse “Level Two Foundation” route. It is similar to the cleanse I am doing now, but doesn’t have the “deceitful, looks delicious but isn’t, beet juice” and replaces it with another one of the green juices.

3:04 – The ultimate test, someone just offered me a cookie, and I have to turn him down. Even though I bet the cookie is really good. He also seems confused and a little hurt that I won’t accept his offer of a sweet. What am I supposed to say to him? “Sorry dude not my style, I only drink juice.”

5:01 – 16th Juice, Spicy Lemonade.

This is my last spicy lemonade. I would say a few words, but it is just an empty bottle of juice and that would be crazy.

7:24 – 17th juice, Beet Juice.

I’ve hated on the beet juice for the past three days. It isn’t that terrible a juice, and maybe I haven’t been fair. For me, the beet juice is kind of like seeing a really pretty girl and then hearing her say something offensive and stupid. It makes you think less of her but doesn’t make her a bad person. You will probably still hang out with her too because she looks good.

10:04 – 18th juice, Cashew Milk.

The most shocking part of the cleanse has been my bathroom exploits. Since the first day, I haven’t moved my bowels, and I am a pretty regular everyday mover. I also haven’t stop peeing every 30 minutes. I must have peed between one million and ten fillion times through these three days.

Now I don’t know what to do. My juice is all gone. What am I going to eat tomorrow? And like Satan appearing in movies when the character says, “I’ll give anything for (insert desired thing)”, The KFC Double Down Sandwich commercial has just come on the TV. Colonel, you da man.


So I survived the BluePrintCleanse, and I feel pretty good about myself. This doesn’t mean I’m going to go vegan, stop drinking alcohol or switch to an all-liquid diet. It did however make me think about food in a different way. I’m confident that I can get enough nutrition from what I used to consider side dishes like vegetables and fruits. Also, I did sit on my porcelain throne the next morning, and it was a great relief. I still don’t answer my mother’s emails though.

If you are considering doing the BluePrintCleanse, I recommend you go for it. The experience isn’t as scary as it sounds and will give you plenty of energy to write a 4,000-word story about your experience.

The good people at BluePrintCleanse are also extremely helpful during the cleanse and send encouraging emails and answer any questions you may have while doing the cleanse. If you want to try a cleanse, I recommend you give them a call (212.414.5741) or go to their website and check it out. If you are a little scared about jumping into a cleanse then you might want to try some of their other options like “Juice Till Dinner” which is a program that has you drink juice for most of the day with snacks in between and a delicious vegan meal for dinner. It is also a really good way to break your cleanse. Or if you just want to try the juices you can order the "Tasting Flight" that has a sample of all the really good juices like the Lemonade, Pineapple and Cashew Milk. If you decide to make cocktails out of them (Cashew Milk White Russian!), more power to you.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Get Down with the Download?

Dear friends,
It only took two and a half hours, but I think I made my latest Obrouni Show available to download at: http://www.megaupload.com/?d=HDKQ7O16 . If anyone back home wants to try it out and let me know if it worked that would be cool. It is a bit choppy and the sound goes dead while I switch on the mic, but it should be entertaining.
Big shout out to all the readers of this terrible little blog. Especially to Christina for pointing out that I left off a monumental tumble in the last post. That would be the breakfast we shared where I ordered bottomless Bloddy Marys and a black coffee. I give it a ********* awesomeness level and a ! disaster level. The ! is because that breakfast ended when all involved would have been happy to sit at that table for days.
I hope the download works and you enjoy the show. I'm working on getting the station online, as well as, other things that I will update soon enough. I love receiving comments on the blog or emails so if you love writing you should send me an update. Peace!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Tumbling into Awesome!

Ok, so I know it has been afillion years since I did one of these silly blog things, but my bro requested I start it back up. I'm sure there are plenty of bored people back home who would love nothing more than to waste time correcting my grammar and punctuation.
Unless you have been at my side for the past 7 months and have been on the wild ride that I have dubbed “Tumbling into Awesome: The Josh Gordon Story” the following is a list of the Awesome that you have missed. The stars represent levels of awesome and the exclamation points represent levels of disaster or loud volume.
(Side note – This list only contains things that I remember anything that I have forgotten will not be on the list, but it should be assumed that a couple of crazy awesome things have happened that I don’t remember.)

Michelle Comes Back To Ghana **** !!
Josh Starts a Pirate Radio Station in Tamale ***** !!!!
David Comes To Ghana ***** !
Josh is Father Christmas *** !
Children’s Party at the Grove with over 1000 kids *** !!!!!!

New Years Party at the Dr.’s mansion ******
Kweku’s (Dr.’s Son) Wedding **** !
Josh Bartends Kweku’s Wedding ***********

Josh Writes GMG Business Plan **
Lankesha’s Going Away Party **** !!!
Lankesha and Josh’s Going Away Party ****** !!
Josh Returns to America ***************

Josh Starts the Reunion Tour West Coast Road Trip ************
Josh Kicks it in the OC ******* !!
Fat Tuesday *** !!!
Josh goes to San Fran ********* !!!
Sound Tribe Four Nights in a Row ************ !
Josh Goes to Eugene ******** !!
Sound Tribe One More Time ******* !!!
Party Team Reunion ******* !
Ducks Baseball **** !
Josh Goes to Portland ******* !
Blazer Game ****
Josh Heads Home ** !
Josh Stops in Vegas *********** !
Josh Comes Home to AZ *** !

Josh Goes to NYC with the Momma ****** !
Josh Sees the Fam ***********
Josh Goes to a Show *****
Madrid Shit Show Reunion 2009 ************ !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Nate’s Birthday ********** !!!
Citi Field Super Flush 2009 *********
Central Park ****** !!!
Josh Goes Home **
Josh Signs up for the GMAT !!!!
Josh Buys a 3 day pass to Coachella **********
Coachella ************ !
GMAT Two Days After Coachella !!!!
Josh Returns to Ghana ****** !

Starts Work On GMG ** !!
Begins Working On New building for Ahomka FM * !!!
Attends Edina Traditional Council Meeting ***
Applying for Radio Licenses !!!

My Birfday ****
UT comes to the Grove ****
CPP 60 year anniversary ***

And that should get you pretty much up to date. Reading over the list, it doesn’t look like I’m doing that bad. If you have any questions about specific tumbles post it in the comments and I’d love to give you more details next time (I promise that wont be 7 months from now).

I’m going to assume someone is going to ask “Why did you go back to Ghana?”
In short I wrote up this plan to build 3 new radio stations and used fancy words like 'synergy' to propose a media house that will have a daily newspaper, online journal, 4 radio stations, marketing agency type thing, a news agency, TV and Recording studios. So after writing up the plan, the Dr. (My boss) gave me a contract to come back and be the Project Manager. That is what I am doing, at least when I know what Im doing, which is sometimes. It made such big news that I got a feature written about me in the UofO SOJC newsletter. There goes my fifteen minutes. Here is the link to the story: http://jcomm.uoregon.edu/articles/study-abroad-program-leads-2008-graduate-to-niche-in-ghanaian-radio . It does a much better job of explaining what I am doing then I can.

Another question is probably going to concern pictures. I don’t know why, but I just don’t take pictures. I promise these things happened and I’ll try my best to take pictures, but right now I'm in a moral dilemma between the abuse of not using my super sweet camera and the awkwardness of taking pictures with a giant machine. I’ll work on this…maybe.

Glad to be back. Hopefully, I’ll update this when something crazy or cool or crazy sexy cool happens (TLC). Shoot me an email or post in the comments I would love to hear how you are getting down with the get downs.

Go Ducks!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

The Obrouni Show

Sup my internet family. I feel that I am just starting to get into a little rhythm here in Ghanana, and of course I have some new stories to tell. Everyday strange things happen that would blow your mind, but I guess I am getting used to them and feel pretty comfortable with the idea of living in Ghana and often being the only white person around.

It is now November, which means that I have been away from home for a little over 4 months. Yes, I miss everyone back home. I have been hard at work trying to take control of my mess of a radio station, and the work is finally starting to show. This past month was the first time that we have finished with a profit and a substantial one. I still think things could be better, but at least things are going in the right direction. Just last week, we did a joint program with the Ghana AIDS Commission. I worked with them to put on a peer educator training program for the radio presenters so they could be informed and tell people about the risks of HIV/AIDS over the amazing radio machine. The program turned out to be an awkward 4 hours of sex education. The lecturer they brought down spent most of the time with a wooden phallus that he would use to point at things on his power point and wave around with every hand gesture. The information was good, but nothing I hadn’t heard before and some of the questions that my staff asked were a little alarming: “I have a friend who says that expensive condoms break more easily than cheap ones, is this true?” “I have a friend whose girl will not allow him to have sex until his financial situation improves, how does he get her to have sex with him?” Pretty good stuff. The most entertaining part of the program was the condom demonstration. The lecturer would call up one guy and one girl to demonstrate on the wooden phallus. I was selected along with one of the reporter girls to show the group how it is done. I had the easy part of holding the phallus in an atomically accurate position while the reporter girl opened the condom and forced it over the wooden figure with such force that it broke the condom. We failed the condom demonstration. Anyway, the lecturer showed the group the appropriate way to get it done, and now everyone is much more educated on the risks of HIV/AIDS.

In other news my visa to stay in Ghana has expired. A couple weeks ago I went to the Ghana Immigration Office in Cape Coast to request an extension. My boss assured me that this would be an easy process. I filled out the papers and gave them to the immigration officer with a letter from my boss requesting that I get an extension. After a 15 minute wait in the immigration office, I got called back to meet with the big boss. He asked me a lot of questions about why I came to Ghana and why I wanted to stay longer. The problem is that my status in Ghana is a little shady. I am no longer a student and I get to stay at the most ballin' beach resort for free, plus the political thing with the Dr. It just looks shady. After the questioning he gets on the phone with my programs manager and talks to him in Twi but I can here some words that don’t sound good to me. After the phone call the immigration officer just sits there and says nothing for an uncomfortable amount of time, and then calls in another immigration officer who is a huge man. He could easily snap me in half and sits down in the chair next to me. The two immigration officers start talking in a language I don’t understand, for what felt like half an hour but I’m sure was less, while I sweat it out thinking that they are gonna throw me in jail or worse kick me out of the country. In the end though they let me go and said to be back in 2 weeks to pick up my passport with the visa extension. I’m still not sure what happened, but it seems to have been all worked out.

In other news, I have my own radio show on Fridays from seven to eight and it is becoming a small success. Every week I choose a new artist to feature on the show and just play my favorite songs from the artist for an hour and read a little bio I get off of Wikipedia. This last Friday I played all Jay-Z tracks, so it was super fresh. I also, for the first time, opened up the phone lines for people to call in, and they actually did. People said that they loved the show and requested their favorite Jigga songs. It was cool. Next week I’m focusing on Nas and then probably Kanye. Any suggestions please feel free. I’m also gonna see if I can record the show and put it on the information super highway for those that want to hear what DJ-Go sounds like on the radio. That is my radio name “DJ-Go” it is like J-Go, but for disc jockeys.

Those are the updates for this post. I think I’m gonna go up to the north with the Dr. and set up a pirate radio station for the next presidential debate. I'm sure to run into some adventures. Tonight the resort has a live band and a bon fire on the beach so I'm gonna go catch the show. Wish you were here? I do! 3 more months untill I’m home. Go Ducks!