Of Performance and Glee

Summer days give me time to rhapsodize on the year's events that were shaded with subtlety... and thus, overlooked. Por ejemplo, today I consider the break that occurs in a basketball match following the second quarter.

Ah, sweet halftime!

It is unfortunate that the players must leave the court at this juncture. What noble entertainments do we miss? In the locker-room, I have been known to bend a wistful ear to the muffled sounds that pavilion spectators are enjoying, even as our coaches speak.(Of course, with my other ear, I listen attentively!)

Sometimes I even have the errant daydream of emerging back onto the court DURING halftime to take part in human bowling, odd dance skits, or novelty basketball shots. And during a pre-season scrimmage, I was able to do a “rookie dance” (above) wherein I was able to showcase the moves of mine that were busted and otherwise broken. (See also Remembrance of Dance Moves Past.)

So I understand better than many the allure and thrill of performing live. And it is this repressed urge for performance that has led to me exhibiting my acting talents! Although it is broadcast in España, perhaps you have familiarity with the Crackovia program on TV3? In this skittish piece, I appear at the home of Pau Gasol, Kobe Bryant, and Juan Laporta. In the ensuing hijinks, I even get to speak Catalan!
Rudy dancing from the Oregonian.


My Inner Demon Wears a Jersey-Vest

As Miguel de Cervantes once wrote, our greatest foes, and those whom we must chiefly combat, are within us. This is true! And for myself, when I am battling a nemesis of my own nature, I imagine my foe to be dressed in the garb of a Laker.

This is what sports psychologists call “visualization.”

Now I am forced to visualize a demon in most horrible raiment. A French designer named “Colette” has come up with jersey-vests made in the NBA style. (You can see them here, in the colors of the likely Finals opponents.)

Now, as a Spaniard, I was born with an innate sense of fashion, and like you, dear reader, these faux-chic-kitsch jersey-vests make my gorge rise.

Could one wear a vest of this nature on the court? Preposterous! A cummerbund would be necessary to make it ergonomically correct. Very well, but would such a jersey-vest be acceptable in a more formal setting, like at a seaside banquet honoring our Mallorcan fishermen?

Outrageous! One would be knifed in short order. And yet even so, I have received pressures to purchase and wear just such a jersey-vest. This request comes from one who, as a model, knows a thing or two about what is fashionable. It is her profession, and thus my credibility holds little sway. So yes, Cristina, I will look into whether the odious jersey-vests come in XXXL. And yes, I’m sure that Colette can tailor one just for me… Very well, I know, it will probably look good once I put it on...
Cervantes sculpture by Carlo Nicoli,
jersey-vests by Colette.


The Face of Doom

I have gazed upon the face of doom.

It belonged to Sergio as he conferenced with Spanish news gatherers. El Chacho announced his conference call to confirm he has enjoyed his stay in Portland, and could he check out now? (Spanish article here, English take there.)

This came as a great surprise. I say this even though I recognize the impossibility of being caught flat-footed by knowledge I was already in possession of. (As a Spaniard, contradictions mean nothing to me!) , I knew Sergio was unhappy with the time for playing that he received. , the two of us have wondered aloud whether Nate McMillan understands the unique bravado that Iberian players bring to the pavilion.

And , I now recognize that if I am in Portland next year, it is most unlikely that my mejor amigo will be also. To stem the salty tide leaking from my orbs and onto my keyboard, I imagine finding a new companion in the 2009-10 seasonings. I place no limits on this individual; as long as he is Spanish, plays point guard with élan, and never wears a face of doom, all will be well!
Sergio foto from laopinion.es,
Rudy y Ricky Rubio from eurobasket.com.


Notions of Shortness

To achieve a sensation of what it would be like to be a shorter yet faster personage, I appeared on the Spanish TV program Buenafuente.

Do not allow worrisome thoughts to plague you; this is not the result of some rash cosmetic surgery! Rather, as you can see below, I had the assistance of an assisting assistant.

Reflecting upon my short experience on Buenafuente, I've grasped two things:

1.) I am fast enough at my present height.

2.) I need to dismiss my agent!


Yao Ming Will Never Stop the Golden Puck

¡Gol! I win again!”

Fernando Alonso's shouting at the end of our air-hockey match is most bothersome. First, it costs me another of the prized Krugerrand pucks. To further my annoyance, the short-legged race-car driver seems to be faster at air-hockeying than me!

But how can this be? I am a professional athlete who has learned to utilize every sinew in his coiled steel frame. Fernando is a race-car driver. That means he steps on the petrol while grasping a steering wheel. (This is not to belittle what he does. It is just that what he does is not much.)

Nonetheless, I pay the puck.

Seeking insights into why this miniature wheel jockey has an air-hockey edging on me led me to a discovery. New evidence from neuroscientist David Eagleman suggests that tall people live further in the past than short people. Of course!

As is known, all people (even the French!) experience reality by the feedback that their senses provide. But for a tall person, these sensations take longer to travel to the brain.

Imagine the following: In a match against the Trail Blazers, Shaquille O’Neal falls to the floor. Joel Pryzbilla is nearby, and he accidentally kicks the fallen man in his kidneys. Because Joel is seven-feet tall, it would take a tenth of a second longer for the sensation of kicking to travel from his toes, and up his ankle, leg, and backbone before arriving at his brain.

Joel could then consider the tempting notion of whether he wanted to do it again!

And as a tall person has a constant short delay on his body’s information relative to a pequeño like Fernando, it means I am always a nanosecond late trying to block that golden puck!

(To pay my puckish debts, I have been motivated to advertise for fine products and services; por ejemplo, yesterday I shot a number of ads for Bidobido.com. Visit them today!)
Rudy y Fernando from Rudyfans.


Eyeballing Is Not Believing

The off-seasonings provides time to relax and take up new hobbies. As stated, playing bumper-pool with Fernando Alonso is a new pastime of mine. I have also begun playing hockey! For full frontal disclosure, it is merely air hockey, but the pucks we play with are made from gold, so the stakes are high.

With opportunities to check media sources, I discovered this audio interview with Greg Oden. It seems Greg is currently somewhere in the bowels of the United States. Interested parties will hear the following at 8:10 of the interview:
Radio Personage: Eyeballing guys for athleticism…your FIRST glimpse of Rudy Fernandez, did you think, “Eh, this guy can’t be that athletic” and then all of the sudden he turned out to be pretty darned athletic?
Greg (laughs at the ludicrous query): He is, actually, um—
Radio Personage: You can eyeball him, and I think you would probably believe that initially…
Greg: …he’s definitely one of those wiry-looking guys that you wouldn’t expect something like that out of.
Pre-eminent among my questions is this: Why is this radio personage rubbing his eyeballs on me so mistakenly? Plainly, he cannot recognize 185 pounds of coiled Spanish steel when he sees it!
Rudy from RudyFans,
Oden from the Oregonian.


Of Love and Bumper-Pool

I return!

Though time has passed, I possess no heartiness to revisit the ends of my first season in Portland. Interested party-goers can find ample writings of the Trail Blazers’ playoff loss to the Houston Rockets elsewhere. I can only say that I am not surprised at the current stalwart opposition the Rockets have given to the Lakers. ¡Buena suerte, Pau! (Though I am also rooting for a certain hirsute Argentine.)

My current vacationing has given me an amplitude of time to watch my countryman Rafael Nadal play at tennis. And the metronomic plopping of his ground strokes leads me to wax and wane philosophical. (I find this a welcome antidote to post-season mopery.)

And today, I am thinking of love!

Americans and Spaniards have different notions of love. For a Spaniard, love is no cuddly thing, cooing infantile words. In Spain, love runs alongside one person, walks gravely with another; turns a third into ice, and sets the fourth aflame. Love can simultaneously wound one man, kill another, and smash an esmaixada (slam dunk) in the face of the third, all in a flash of lightning that begins and ends in the same moment. (Much like an alley-oop thrown by Sergio!)

And these are the loves I hold for basketball.

Beside this towering love, all others are lesser and more fleeting. (This is with the exclusion of my love for my family, Cristina, Sergio, my dog Max, and for both my Mallorcan and Portland homes. I am also partial to bumper-pool.)

My fiery love explains why I will play on the Spanish national team this summer. I fear no injury, and will brook no dissuasion. Trail Blazers brassy-management types, please take notice.

In other newsiness, I was surprised to learn that Spanish racing-car star Fernando Alonso shares my enthusiasms for bumper pool. (We met up at Barcelona’s Formula One Grand Prix.) Our matches have proven a welcome diversion from considerations of all matters Sergio.

Can it be that El Chacho may have really played his last game as a Trail Blazer? Is it possible that the two of us shall never be mates again? Perhaps I can persuade Sergio that love makes a fortress yield at night, though it began its siege only that very morning. But whether I might sway him to believe that Coach McMillan will ever provide him with meaningful minutes on the court is another matter.

My eyes are clouded— I can write no more of this now. Cue up the ball, Fernando; let the bumper-pooling begin!
Fotos from the Oregonian,
y RudyFans.com.