I have been a Blazers fan since I knew how to walk. I have a running list of reasons Robin Lopez is my favorite player, and five or more may or may not be related to our shared love of Powell's City of Books. This is bigger than my favorite number being three from the time I learned it was Cliff Robinson's number until I read The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. Guess what number RoLo wears? That's reason #2 on my list of why he's my favorite. I love Sideshow Rob more than Robinson, more than Sabonis, more than even Derek Anderson - the only athlete to ever make it up on my bedroom wall in poster form. I mean, have you seen Fropez dunk? This guy is unstoppable in the key, and his greatest aspiration is to have a cameo in the sequel to The Goonies. He never says die.
My mother, well aware of my desperate need to match my headband to the color Cliff was wearing every game I watched since I was three, was delighted to tip me off to the best Blazer news in over a decade. I woke up yesterday to a message from my mom that said, "Watch the last .9 seconds of the Blazer game." Knowing that I created and colored posters for players each season as a child and forced her to save them in the coat closet in case I got to go to a game, she wouldn't tip me off to a bad play. Friday night, the Blazers took on the Houston Rockets for game six in the round one playoffs. We were up by a game in the best of seven, and would advance to the second round of the playoffs for the first tine in 14 years if we won. My mom's message was the first clue, and I went to my newsfeed on Facebook, sure the team would have posted any stellar play on their fan page. My news feed was nothing but celebratory statuses from everyone I know in the PNW. I found a link to the buzzer shot, and my jaw dropped as Batum passed the ball in to Lillard, and without hesitation Lillard shoots a three for the win - the one point win - that puts the Blazers into round two. Naturally, like any citizen of Rip City, I lost my mind when I saw Lillard's legendary shot. I rewatched the video about twenty times.
Now, my love for this particular sports franchise is not a secret though you might need to know me more than a single season to see how deeply my childhood was formed by running down the hallway with my headband chosen to match Cliff Robinson or how I considered a career as a Blazer dancer so I could go to every game as my job. I love the Blazers (but I couldn't care less about the rest of the NBA - in fact, my sister has doubted my love of basketball because I only care about one team rather than the whole league). However, I don't go around introducing myself saying, "Hi, I'm Laura. I love the Blazers, I'm passionately opposed to all things Bronte because of my unwavering devotion to Virginia Woolf, and I plan my summers around Discovery Channel's Shark Week." Some things just take time to learn about people. Even if I did use that as my opening sentence when meeting new people, it still leaves a lot unknown; I'm brilliantly fascinating, and I can't be contained in three random facts (though they can reveal a lot about me).
I learned some fascinating things about other patients this week, and it got me thinking about what I choose to share about myself and what I learn about others. I've been having meals with the 2011 Badminton world champion for weeks and didn't know until yesterday. What I knew previously was that she's fluent in German, Swiss German, French, English, and Swedish, plus conversational in Spanish. Every individual is a never ending source of fascinating - including you who is reading this. Yes, you the individual, not the nameless masses.
I've shared before how weird it is for me to write so much about myself and know so little about the masses reading it. Well, I've come up with an idea that doesn't balance the scales, but it will provide me with ample amusement and encouragement. Plus I'm a teacher who hasn't given a homework assignment in over three months; I'm withering away.
I'd like to ask every single reader to share some things with me:
First, who the heck are you? Some of you I know, some I don't. Please tell me your name and how you heard about my story or how you met me. For example, I know someone reading could write, "I'm friends with your roommate's parents, and I've been following your blog since you started." My sister could write, "Grandma Janet bribed me with Oreo cookies to get out of bed to meet you the day you were born. I liked the cookies more at the time, but now I think you are pretty swell and care about what you do in life."
Once that formality is done, add three random interesting facts about you. If I do know you, make them ones you don't think I know already. All the better if they make me laugh, and please don't try to make me cry. I have enough to cry about without your help; I won't make it to the Berlin early release of the TFiOS movie in June.
Second thing, why the heck are you reading this? Why is my story important to you? A stranger might tell me, "You seem like such a weirdo, and I'm fascinated by your strange response to life's rotten move to you. You're like a train wreck; I can't stop staring at the oddity." Thank you, kind stranger; that's high praise. My previous roommate could say, "I read this because even though I love you and complain to Kara that she gets to talk to you more, I consistently ignore your FaceTime calls and have no other way to stay informed on your condition because of my insistence upon not answering probably because I'm working."
Whatever the reason, I'm desperately curious to know why you keep listening to what I have to say; it's a conundrum that baffles me and my sister. We don't understand why people think I'm so interesting. I beg of you, tell me why.
Finally, what's one thing that made you smile today? Or yesterday if you're reading this in the morning. I want to hear about happiness and beauty in the world. I think joy is worth sharing. One thing that made me smile was hearing Emily tell me the story of buying my Stumptown coffee at Bipartisan. Little things can brighten a day, so it doesn't have to be watching Damian Lillard's shot live (though I do know some people who were at the game and may have relived it all weekend on YouTube).
I can't expect you all to be willing to share in comments though you are welcome to use that platform. For those less public, I have a gmail account I used just for student teaching that you can send your responses to. I won't reply, and please know this isn't my personal email. I'm not giving you a direct link to me; I have a hard enough time replying to messages from family members. I won't check it again after the next few days. I also won't open them unless the subject is "RipCity" in case any of you are meanies who sign me up for spam. Nevertheless, I'm begging you to fill this inbox with these responses. Send them to [email protected]