La Pregunta de Hoy

Question: Have you knowledge of what Spanish galleons always kept in stock?

Answer: Cannonballs!

Ah, my summer basketball camp (Campus Rudy 09) is underway, so there is no time for lengthy diatribing, mis amigos. Just remember our one directive: You must run by the pool!
Top foto by Casey Holdahl at Center Court,
bottom foto also by Holdahl from pdxtrailblazers.


On Being a Man

Life is not a competition, barring cases in which scores are kept and winners and losers are established.

In the never-ending contest of manliness, we Spaniards have carried off the suspiciously-shaped trophy many times. For Spanish men know what is most important for the male— lack of pretense, camaraderie, and the company of nubility.

And the typical Spaniard preserves his innate masculinity by rolling out of bed laden with unshaven machismo.

To maintain this primal air, the Spanish gentleman utilizes shave oils, gels, grooming sprays, texture and grooming creams, waxes, moisturizer, shine tonics, pastes, fragrances, body washes, cleansing bars, and shave moisturizers.

For me, these ablutions result in three styles. There is my Classic Look, which is most ideal when attending important events. My Street & Casual Look (top) includes disheveled hair for a studied air that fits with urban youth. And then there is my Intimate Look, which Cristina forbids me from speaking of!

The cosmetics firm American Crew has recognized my stylings, and I am their company SpokesMan. (No matter my geographic region!) American Crew's motto is “Official Supplier to Men.” That makes me an Official Role Modeler for Men.

So I am Man. And my testosterone-inflected roar will be heard across international boundaries!

Javier Bardem from here,
Rudy from RudyFans.


Events of Great Tumescence

The magnitude of what follows cannot be enhanced. I address it reluctantly, but wish to take no further evasions. So I sincerely go on the journalistic records with great finality:

I think I do possess a passing resemblance to Bret of Flight of the Conchords.

As to Sergio’s trade to the Sacramento Kings, I already put the matter behind me in the past so that here in the present I would not be forced to deal with it in the future. (See The Face of Doom.)

Let me add only that El Chacho will have much work to do with his new mates. In fact, his predicament reminds me of a Catalan joke which has been traced back to the Moorish occupation:
A man who can perform miracles is traveling when he comes upon a man suffering from severe gastro-intestinal distress. With a wave of his hands, the miracle worker heals him. Further down the road, the miracle man meets a woman suffering from dropsy and a combusting pancreas. A whispered word of encouragement cures her of her ailments!

Finally, the miracle worker meets a man who is crying hysterically. The miracle worker asks him what’s wrong, and the man answers that he is a fan of the Sacramento Kings. The miracle worker then joins the man and the two have a good cry together.
Sergio foto from The Oregonian.


Erfolgtraurigkeit Is a Dirty Word

Schadenfreude: German noun made of Schaden (damage) and Freude (joy). Thus the Germans coin damage-joy, or joy from the injuries that occur to others!

But while all of us have familiarity with Schadenfreude, it is passing strange that its opposite feeling is not more well-known. This is Erfolgtraurigkeit, or a frustration at the achievement of others. It is a sentiment of universalness, yet finds little use in American vocabularies.

Admittedly, Erfolgtraurigkeit does not roll trippingly from one’s tongue!

Regarding this emotion, Gore Vidal said, “Whenever a friend of mine succeeds, a little something in me dies.” Yet Vidal is a smallish individual, and perhaps the scope of his thoughts are bound by his stature. For my part, Pau is my close friend and Kobe Bryant is still my favorite player. So I say let the Lakers enjoy their garlands!

Besides, I am enjoying myself this summer every bit as much as the Black Mamba! (As an aside, I believe that someone should inform that oversized ebon rodent what a snake's diet usually consists of. ¡PUM!)
Kobe from Ball Don't Lie,
Rudy y Woody from RudyFans.


Love’s Tweets of Passion

It is a matter of no secrecy: Swirling emotions are all-important to the Spanish. Just witness the passion that courtiers like El Chacho and myself convey on the parquet!

And though Oregonians are noted for their mildness and passive-aggressive ways, I noted with pleasure that native son Kevin Love also yields to life's wild abandonments.

For instancing, here, Señor Amor states “basketball's an emotional game. Life's emotional, so I just acted on my emotions.” And what brazen and rash act of passion had the Minnesota Timberwolf initiated?

A tweet.

This week, Love's Twittering shattered the news of the firing of coach Kevin McHale. (This was in advancement of official team pronouncements to this effect.) What unrepentant recklessness! What a wanton, willy-nilly WASP!

With such floodgates of illogical feelings unleashed, it is only a matter of time before we see Kevin Love fleeing from the bulls in España... or Chicago!
Love/McHale foto from the Star Tribune,
bull runners from Notes from Spain.


The Revulsion of Bestubbled Satisfaction

I am most happy for Pau winning an NBA championship! It is a great day for Spanish basketball and España in generality.

But it is underneath a sub rosa understatement for me to say that I am somewhat conflicted about this accomplishment. For along with my satchel of genuine joy for Pau, there is other luggage to be unpacked.

First, my sentiments regarding Los Angeles have altered since my hermana, Marta, was released by the L.A. Sparks. This, combined with the most shameful rioting that broke out following the Lakers winning the championship, has led me to this conclusion about the City of Angels:

You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy!*

For there is a most compelling reason why sourness has seeped into every Iberian pore upon my coiled-steel frame.

Seeing this image of the malignant presence of Sasha Vujacic near the championship trophy has brought my red blood cells to a simmer. His obscene cradling of the prize while gazing upon it with bestubbled satisfaction... It is entirely too much to bear!

So forgive me, Pau, but your mate must never be allowed to win this trophy again.

*Never before have I had occasion to quote Obi-Wan Kenobi. ¡PUM!
Pau foto from Ball Don't Lie,
Marta from RudyFans,
Sasha Vujacic from Basketbawful.


Mystery Posteriors and Lawful Recreation

Whose posterior is this? Read on!

Before I address posterior identities, let me say that my summer’s goof-off quotient has been quite low. Yet I fear that my multiple TV appearances could mislead some into thinking that this has been an indolent off-season.

To these nay-sayers I say: The bow cannot always stand bent, nor can human frailty subsist without some lawful recreation!

Now, as to the drinking-glass bottom above, it belonged to the scientist to the left. He engaged in experiments to inform and delight on the Spanish TV show El Hormiguero Pablo Motos. How could a drinking glass on someone's gluteus accomplish such things? I suppose you must watch to find out!


Spaniards Dominate Media Headings!

Even as Pau’s Lakers put the wrappings around the Orlando Magic, other Spaniards exert their newsworthiness. Firstly, there are fertile rumors stating that the Trail Blazers will trade Sergio to the New York Knicks on the day of drafting.

While this will consign me to a Sergio-less perdition, it would be a heavenly match for El Chacho and his new coach. Sergio can fast-break with his eyes duct-taped shut, and Mike D’Antoni will smile beatifically at what a skilled courtier he is.

I have spoken with Sergio about this New York prospect. Regarding it, El Chacho is mad past recovery, yet he has lucid intervals.

I have enough self-awareness to see that there are potential jealousy here. As is known, if I were not playing in Portland, I would prefer Madison Square Garden’s environs. This is because New York is not such a long plane trip from Spain.

Additionally, it is New York!

Superadequate news also comes from Ricky Rubio. He made less than $100,000 last year as point guard for my former Spanish team, DKV Joventut. Even so, to play in the NBA this coming season, he will need to come up with over six million dollars for his contract buyout! In this fashion, Ricky may have to purchase his way into the NBA.

If I were in possession of more assets, I would gladly assist Ricky in this respect. But last season, I made a mere million dollars myself!

(I am often asked for opinions on Ricky’s readiness for the NBA. For those truly interested, I am in agreement with this draft breakdown of his skills.)
Sergio y Rudy fotos from the Oregonian,
Ricky from WelcomeToLoudCity.com.


Pablo Neruda Could Put Points on Your Face

News of the Bad: While my hermana Marta and I show relaxations and smiles, our appearances may cloak a deception. Yesterday, Marta got the news
that she will NOT be playing with the Los Angeles Sparks in the WNBA this year. It was a grave disappointment; this was the very last day that team discards could be notified as such.

But my sister is strong, and has both feet on the ground. It is just that those feet will not be in Los Angeles this year.

News of the Nationalistic: As for myself, I shall soon train with the Spanish National Team. There are some who will think I am playing too much basketball. To them, I reply with the words of poet Pablo Neruda:
¿Cuanto vive el hombre por fin?
¿Vive mil dias o uno solo?
¿Una semana ovarios siglos?

(“How long does a man live, after all? Does he live a thousand days or one only? A week or several centuries?”)
A finite number of days exists for me to engage in basketballing. I plan to extract the most from each of them. However, our team will lack both Pau Gasol and José Calderon. The former plays in the NBA championship matches, while the latter nurses injuries on his pig ranch.

News of the Good: Given these absences, I will be the undisputed leader of the Spanish team in our attempt to win the gold medal. Haha! *rubbing hands together* Ricky Rubio will no doubt be point guard. Other mates who may have bred familiarity with international basketball fans include Marc Gasol, Felipe Reyes, and Fran Vasquez. And perhaps El Chacho will also join us!
Rudy y Marta foto from here,
Rudy graphic from bonnieln at Blazers Edge,
Rudy y Pau di RudyFans.


My Expense Account

I can see that this individual had a laugh on my jersey.

But is his laughter also at my expense account?