justin adler, blog, buenos aires, bahia blanca, university of arizona, brooklyn, basketball, travel, paul mcpherson

Friday, August 28, 2009

09-10 Hoops Preview

I know college basketball does not start for a couple of months, but consider this my 2009-2010 college basketball preview. Also I hope you realized that my last post was the 2009-2010 women's college basketball preview.

I hope Arizona does well.

I hope Oregon does well.

I hope Lance Stephenson makes Brooklyn and Cincy proud and picks up at least 3 felonies by the time conference play starts.

The only other person I really care about is Louisville's Peyton Siva. I first saw Peyton play in an AAU tournament after his sophomore year of high school. He was a flashy, score-first point guard who wore the number 3. I was sold. I talked to him a couple times for meaningless interviews, but unfortunately he was too young to be a hilarious asshole yet (not everyone is blessed with the Marbury gene).

I saw him play again after his junior year and by this time he had several tats including "GOD'S GIFT" on his inner biceps. He also reps Seattle hard.

I rarely use Twitter, but because I can't fall asleep before 1 I found myself killing time on my Twitter homepage. I forgot I followed peytonsiva3, but I am glad I do because of his brilliants tweets like this:
I want to meet Obama. He like the coolest person. No homo
6:04 PM Aug 24th from TwitterFon
Another reason to root for Peyton is that he looks just like the dude from V for Vendetta.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Once again it's on

I used to claim that I started this blog to hone my writing, practice journalism and some other bullshit that I have since forgotten. Having unofficially given up on transitions, cohesive paragraphs and anything else that would moderately resemble legitimate writing, I present a post of trill stuff I did in Philadelphia.

- I have lived in New York for a couple months and I have never seen a celebrity on the streets. The first time I was in Philly within 24 hours I saw Jim Cramer. On my most recent trip, within 2 hours I ran into Danny Bonaduce. If you want to bump shoulders with A-listers and mega-celebrities, Philly is for you.

- My friend/Philly ambassador Tarny and I went to the Philadelphia Mint to see blue-collar Philadelphians do the US government minimum wage's worth of work just to make a dime. It was mildly exciting. I learned that the Philly Mint alone makes 6 billion pennies a year, which seems like a giant waste in every way imaginable.

- Every time I go to Philly I get a cheesesteak, enjoy a Rita's water ice, listen to a lot of State Property, see famous celebrities, and convert a lot of money to weird state quarters in the dope coin-converting machines Philly is famous for. Last time I was there I got some Guam jumpoffs, this time I got some American Samoas.

- I toured Tarny's dad's frozen-food warehouse, which has a dope roof that overlooks the city. I recommended Tar build a basketball court atop the roof to which Tar responded, "I would never do that because I would be too afraid my best friend would fall off trying to touch the top of the backboard. Then I would not be able to sleep at night and I'd spend the rest of my life working as a security guard at a local high school."

- The warehouse currently has a 60'x100' American flag painted on the side, which is cool, but not half as trill as the massive Iverson Reebok advertisements that once covered the wall. If I could go back to any time in history it would be living in Philly for AI's glory years.

-It goes without saying that Tar and I listened to Freeway's Flipside about 2o times.

- I rehearsed meeting Tarny's D1-hooping sister Rosie with her cardboard cut-out.

- Then I met the real deal, ate some cheesesteaks, and asked her a million questions about playing in Mac Court.

- We then bounced to the mall, found some Mike Vick tees and copped 3 purr. Didn't have to think twice. Done deal.

- The mall also had a jewelry shop selling a huge I-95 medallion. A Mike Vick tee and a I-95 pendant, this mall had everything I could ever ask for. Unfortunately these cz's were a monochromatic grey bling, unlike Joey Crack's multicolored pendant. The sales representative noticed my interest and asked if I wanted it. I told him that I needed the I-10 jumpoff. Which I did not know was a real thing until I saw K-Town wearing his.

- I'm overlooking the whole point behind wearing huge interstate inspired pendants is to make it known to anyone with 50 feet of you that you have moved cocaine along the I-95. A feat I have yet to accomplish and probably won't accomplish any time soon.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


As many of you know I am a huge Lang Whitaker fan. I have read his writing at SLAM since I was a freshman in high school and he's pretty much the reason (for better or worse) I studied journalism and wanted to be a writer.

I met with Lang two weeks ago to get some advice the writing industry and life. As an added bonus he bought me a great lobster melt from Cosi's that I will forever be grateful for. In short, Lang was a really good guy and he was quite helpful.

Lang was kind enough to run my notes from last Wednesday's Entertainers Basketball Classic in last Friday's "Links."

Below are some additional notes from last Wednesday that I did not e-mail to Lang.


-- After watching the first 15 minutes of the USA/Mexico game at work I ran across town to catch the second half at Nevada Smiths. Luckily I was one of the first 10 in a line at least 30 deep that got access to the bar for the second half. Sure I could have gone down the block, paid less for a beer and had a seat to watch the game, but the atmosphere would have not even been close.

-- I proudly ordered a Bud Light, blissfully ignoring the fact that the European company InBev owns Anheuser Busch. It was still a statement drink against all the Mexicans in the bar with their bottles of Corona.

-- The United States lost 2-1 and every USA-backer was forced to walk out of the bar to Mexico supporters chanting "¡Olé, Olé, Olé!"

-- Normally I'm a big Mexico fan, having grown up in the Southwest and picked up all my Spanish from Mexicans, but I left the bar furious and ready to join the Minute Men.

-- I bumped Shyne's first album on my Zune to fuel my rage, but it actually relieved my tension to be reminded that Shyne will be a free man on October 6th. I pray every day he post a "housing-wanted" ad on Craigslist and moves into my apartment.

-- I then hopped on the train uptown to catch the Entertainer's Basketball Classic semi-finals at Rucker Park.


Read the rest of my notes midway through this Links column.

**I'd also like to publicly hate on Gould for failing to edit my notes before I sent them to Lang. As a result there is a line that reads: "Even though it was a great guy that went down to the wire, Brandon Jennings did not look up once from his Sidekick."

It should read: "Even though it was a great game that went down to the wire, Brandon Jennings did not look up once from his Sidekick." Thank you Gould for making my man-crush on Brandon Jennings look even gayer than it already is.

Brandon Jennings and such

Because I feel some odd moral obligation to reblog everything Brandon Jennings. Here is his new Under Armor commercial, which even I will admit is incredibly retarded. I don't get the odd, fake-dunk sequences nor do I like the cheesy rap music that randomly begins playing.

I got this picture e-mailed to me from wherespmac-reader Brian. It's now my favorite picture of all time. Brandon to photographer: "Make it look as if I am talking to God, but at the same time make it understood that I am more important than God."

Props to Nathanial Butler/Getty/NBAE for the pic.

In college I never really understood the role of teacher's assistants. I still really have no clue what they did. But I do know that my friend Tyler and I would have never had "Summer Heights High" years before it aired in America if it weren't for one of Tyler's pseudo-teachers telling him about the show during my junior year.

Furthermore I would have never known about Diggable Planets collaborating with Tide laundry detergent to make this commercial if it were not for my former TA linking to the advertisement on Facebook.

And just to prove that I will buy anything rappers sell, I bought the coldwater detergent. And because it was on sale at Target.

Jersey talk

This is a couple years old in internet time, but this is my favorite promotion in the history of sports. The Nets' "10 gets you 10!" promo pack gives 8 games (10 if you count match-ups against the Knicks and Clippers) and 5 of the greatest reversible jerseys of all time.

I'm a pretty big NBA fan, which means I watched almost every playoff game and waited in line for 6 hours to get tickets to the NBA Draft. But I still had no idea who #22 on the Nets was. According to their roster (oddly sponsored by Haier) it's Jarvis Hayes, who averaged 8.7 points for the Nets last year. He's also now my favorite Net since his jersey is one half of the Lebron James jersey included in the package.

There are also these new Portland jerseys which are amazing and hideous at the same time. They are right behind Brandon Jennings' 3 Milwaukee jerseys on my list of "Authentic jerseys I talk about buying every day but will never actually buy."

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Conversations with Big Ra

Since I know most people now read this blog solely for a Big Ra anecdote, here it is. Big Ra told me Stack Bundles was his nephew. Big Ra is 36, Stack died when he was 24. I'm not quite sure how Big Ra is Stack's uncle, but there are a lot of things I don't understand in life.

While researching Mr. Bundles, I learned he only has a wiki entry in Deutch. And that is very reason many argue the European Union is ahead of us.

According his wiki (which I cheated and translated with Google), Juelz Santana, Jim Jones, Maino, Lupe Fiasco, Joe Budden and DJ Clue all attended his funeral. If each and everyone of those people are not at my funeral, then my whole life was a failure.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


I kinda work/write for Gelf Magazine now. It's a dope online magazine that covers everything.

I interviewed Shawn Boburg for the magazine. Boburg writes for The Record in New Jersey and co-wrote "Becoming Manny" a biography on Manny Ramirez. The book was good, nothing great, but it was solid and I know know a lot about Manny's life pre-asterisk.

I interviewed Boburg in Washington Heights, Manny's residence between the Dominican Republic and Cleveland. It's where Manny grew up sharing a two bedroom apartment with his mom and two sisters and later where he shattered every record at George Washington High School. To my understanding GW is the Lincoln High School of baseball.

Boburg is a good guy and nice writer. Manny seems like a crazy dude and is a pretty good baseball player. But the real star of the book was Macaco, Manny's mentor, and arguably the trillest dude on earth.

Macaco is a good 30 years older than Manny, he was raised in the DR, then moved to Washington Heights where he helped found a baseball league and at one point coached six teams at once. He became Manny's mentor from early on and still is close with Manny. Since he has lived in the States, Macaco worked the graveyard shift in the local hospital. He still lives with his mother and niece in subsidized housing in Washington Heights. He's never asked Manny, who has roughly 94 zillion dollars, for a dime.

He sleeps a couple hours a day and spends the rest of his time hanging out at Peligro Sports, a baseball shop two blocks away from Manny's childhood home. Macaco is not an actual employee but he is always in the shop advising kids on what cleats and mitts to buy. Everyone in the neighborhood knows that if your glove breaks, Macaco will fix it for free.

With his royalties from the book, Macaco bought baseball gear to give out to the kids back in the DR.

I met Macaco in Peligro Sports when I was with Boburg and he was the coolest dude ever. A short old Latino guy, leathered skin, wearing some baggy jeans, a white tee with a blue Dodgers fitted resting atop his head.

Read my interview with Boburg here.

Also Gelf hosts a speaker series every Thursday night in DUMBO Brooklyn. If you live in the area come check it out. If you don't live here you can watch videos from the event online. My favorites of the events I have been to: New York Times writer Bruce Weber and Brooklyn Brewmaster Garrett Oliver.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Nice places

The person who buys this condo wins the game of life. That simple. Thanks to the New York Times for the article and pictures. Thanks to Sep for the link as he reads the Times much more thoroughly than I.

The condo is in my favorite part of the city, DUMBO, where my favorite eatery, Front Street Pizza, and my favorite park, Empire-Fulton Ferry State Park, are located. If anyone buys this for me I'll give you control of wherespmac.com, the rest of my Google account and I'll throw in a few pairs of sneakers.

Art: Part II

I needed some art to accompany the Willy Northpole promo poster on my walls. Unfortunately I did not have a uterus I could wrecklessly abuse, so my artistic options were severely limited.

Somehow I was able to expand my mind out of the hackneyed fetus-killing spectrum, and I decided to roll with an project I started a year ago. Back in the good ol' days I lived in Buenos Aires as a blissful 21-year-old without a care or responsibility in the world. Each day I would wake up, and look out my window to the gorgeous urban backdrop de mi barrio de Palermo. All was right in the world.

I should note that my life now is not that much different. I'm a year older. My neighborhood's dominant language is Puerto Rican Spanish instead of Argentine Castellano. I have very few responsibilities. I have a nice room with a nice window. However, now I spend most days freaking out about what the hell I am doing in life and why I have the same shitty job I had when I was a senior in high school. I am going to defer all blame for my unhappiness not on my own mind, which I could change easily, but on the American rat-race lifestyle. ¡Qué quilombo!

Back to the art talk. So I had a grip of photos from my Palermo window, all like the one above, except time-lapsed over three months. I was going to put them all together and blow minds in the process.

I printed all the pictures using Winkflash, which cost me 99 cents because Winkflash is dope. I built a base for the pictures out of wooden bed slats my roommate found on the street. I put it all together over a week because I was lazy. 42 pictures (queer art symbolism: Jackie Robinson) affixed by 84 small nails (queer art symbolism: Tip Drill 84).

Done deal. Final product.

Only problem. It looked better sans pictures.

So I kept the pictures on for a week, until I could not stand the artistic disaster any more. Then it hit me. Fuck all that remembering-the-greatest-time-of-your-life-in-Buenos-Aires stuff, why not just put a funny picture of Greg Oden on the boards? And since I happened to have my Greg Oden 8x10 I bought at the NBA store for 99 cents, I threw it on there and everyone lived happily ever after.

While I am on the subject of home improvements (Jeezy ad-lib: Tim Taylor). I am going to post the work I did on my floor. My bedroom floor was messed up because the previous tenants were wastes of life who should have been part of Ms. Shvartz's art project (Jeezy ad-lib: aborted).

I wanted to support the local ma-and-pa store, but they did not have what I was looking for (Jeezy ad-lib: like that U2 song). So I decided to go Home Depot, which I actually prefer to a ma-and-pa store because I like thinking that my purchase puts money directly into Mike Vick's pockets (Jeezy ad-lib: Arthur Blank). And I really like Mike Vick. Plus my dad worked on Arthur Blank's house, so by shopping at Home Depot I am indirectly putting money in my own pa's pockets.



I ended up only using an ounce of the $30-gallon of finish the schmuck at Home Depot said I would need (Jeezy ad-lib: I'm gonna return that shit). Sorry Mr. Blank, my dad and Mike Vick.

Monday, August 10, 2009

A buck twenty

Art: Part II will come, and surely disappoint, in due time. In the mean time I felt compelled to show some love to my boy Patrick Kane. In that sense "my boy" means "favorite player on a team I barely support of a league I barely follow" and "love" means "exploit the hilarity of his recent arrest."

Now I have a new reason to be a Patrick Kane fan. This incredible off-season police blotter.
The 20-year-old Chicago Blackhawks star and his cousin, James Kane, were arrested early Sunday morning after an alleged incident involving a cab driver in Patrick's home town of Buffalo.

A report in the Buffalo News said the Kanes paid for a $13.80 cab ride with $15 around 5 a.m. The cab driver claimed he didn't have the coins to give them the full $1.20 in change. The driver alleges that the Kanes then took the $15 back, punched the cab driver in the face, grabbed his throat and broke his glasses, according to police.
I really respect Kane for going above and beyond the trite star-athlete-gets-a-DUI story, which would have been too easy for Kane since he's under 21. Let's just all pray this was premeditated. For the record Kane makes $875,000 a year before bonuses and sponsorships.

Thanks for Seppy for sending me the original link.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Art: Part I

It's not ideal, but I have a silly restaurant job again. I hate working in the restaurant industry and I would prefer a job where I use my brain and possibly my college degree. But it pays the bills and it was the location for the following story.

I was forcing small talk with my coworker today who is 23 years old and has a lame mustache. He asked me what I do. This is an appropriate question because if you have white skin and work in a restaurant in New York City there is a 99 percent chance you are an "actor" or "musician," using both of those terms loosely. If your skin is not white and you work in a restaurant in NYC there is a 90 percent chance you are an "actor" or "musician" and an 8 percent chance you are working in this country illegally while being paid under the table.

I told him I am not sure what the hell I am doing in life and I guess that's why I am back in this silly industry. He told me he is musician, came to NYC in a band, they broke up, he still plays guitar, etc. He lives with his girlfriend, who is an performance artist. He told me his girlfriend was getting paid to get her performance artist graduate degree from New York University.

"Is she having any luck finding gigs?" I asked.

"No, she's a performance artist, not an actress, she does not do theater," he responded.

"What does she do?"

"For example a performance artist will sit in a museum and starve herself for seven days. That's not what my girlfriend does though. My girlfriend is actually kinda famous."

"Cool. What is something she has actually done?"

"Don't tell anybody in the restaurant this. I don't want people to know. Her last project was having nine abortions." (note: What I wrote above was the extent of our small talk, excluding the standard 'Where are you from?' 'Did you go to school?' I do not have a clue why he felt he could confide his secrets with me.)

"Wow," I said with the same deadpan expression I use whenever anybody says anything that ridiculous. "So you got her pregnant nine times?"

"No this was before we were dating," he calmly replied, acting as if nine abortions were the equivalent of twisting your ankle. "Her senior thesis was that she would get pregnant and then purposely take medicine that would make her miscarry."

"Oh, cool man," I said. Then I decided that was enough for today and I found an excuse to walk away.

I thought about his ridiculous story for a while. I'm not wildly pro-life or pro-choice, but I am pretty sure nine abortions is crossing some line.

I didn't tell anybody at work except for my friend Big Ra, the dishwasher, who happens to be the only person I really talk to at work.

In Arizona all the dishwashers were Mexican and spoke little, if any, English. I understood this as most of them were living in the country illegally and with a heavy communication barrier, washing dishes was the best job many of them could get.

I have no idea why able-bodied, English-speaking African-Americans wash all the dishes in my current restaurant. I keep waiting and hoping for them to make an ass out of me and tell me the entire history of BMW a la Jamal Wallace.

"Nine abortions! I ain't never heard of anything like that. Man that pussy must be tow' tha fuck up," Big Ra said.

"It's gotta be," I responded, withholding my it's-not-your-fault-but-society's-fault-for-raising-you-in-centralized-poverty-with-an-terrible-education-system-that-never-gave-you-a-fair-chance diatribe for yet another day.

I walked out of work thinking that perhaps my abortion-freak-dating co-worker was just an incredible bullshitter with a sense of humor far more deranged than even my own. Maybe the kid was just as bored as me, fabricated the grossest story of all time and laughed at me the whole night for actually believing it.

I got home. Googled "nine abortion performance art." The motherfucker was telling the truth.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Classic, shoulda went triple

My little brother Cameron aka "Ninny" was in the city last week and while we were walking around Allah blessed us with the gift that keeps on giving, Willy Northpole promo posters. The above picture is Cameron in front of a building hyping Arizona's greatest rapper while mean-mugging the camera. Not that Willy needs much hyping as his first album almost went platinum in its first week, and by "almost" I mean it sold 2,496 copies.

Below is a picture of me mean-mugging and repping Phoenix in front of the shrine to a lesser known artist.

Then we took the posters to their target audience, the guests of the Waldorf Astoria. As you can see in the pic I had to cover Willy's face because 50th Street and Park Avenue is the type of place where people will seriously fuck you up for a Willy Northpole promo poster that you ripped off a wall in Harlem.

Ninny also took these dope pictures.

Me mid-Diddy-bop.

This guy painting.

A green car (I took this one).

A helicopter (This is a Ninny masterpiece).