Gilbert's Blog: Best Of '08
As both the Wash Times and the AP have reported, Gilbert seems certain that his blogging career is over. More certain than the other times when he's claimed that his blogging career is over.
"I started looking at it as, before, it was fun, and everybody has fun reading it," Arenas told the media last night, two days after he said he was done talking to the media for the season. "And then it's like everything I said, everybody started using it as firepower, instead of saying it's just entertainment. You know, people started using it, trying to take bits and pieces instead of enjoying the blog. So once I started seeing that, I just started visualizing, eventually, this is going to be the double-(edged) sword thing. It made me and it's going to kill me, so I might as well stop."
Ah yes, the deadly double sword. I've worried about that myself, in those times when I took hallucinogens. With Gilbert about to return to the floor, but potentially not to the Web, this seemed as good a time as any to do a best-of-blog edition.
Reading back through his archives is really an incredible experience, better than any diary I could have kept. "Congratulations! You get to go into the mind of me, Gilbert Arenas, of the Washington Wizards. Good luck," he wrote in his first entry. Feels like a lifetime ago. You should go read some; the first year is here, and the second is here.
You get the sense that half of what he "blogged" was complete fiction, as was the conceit that he typed a single word, but it never really mattered. Reading those weird fantasies of superhuman humor and deeply personal memories mixed in with current events on and off the NBA courts, all spiced with biting satire and affronts to various NBA stars and then weirdly accented with out-of-nowhere pathos and actual common sense.....well trust me, it's an easy way to move the clock. His '08 New Year's Resolution item remains the best thing I've ever read on the topic.
There were times when he seemed like a raging egomaniac, times when he appeared weirder than anyone I've ever met, and times when he could have been your childhood friend Ryan from up the street or the dude sitting in the back booth at the Tune Inn, the most regular guy in America. For all the massive publicity so many athlete Twitter accounts and blogs have gotten since Gil first started, I don't think anything else even approaches this.
NBC Washington has a list of its own; here are my favorite moments from Gil's final year of blogging. I just didn't have time to go back further, but I will. And seriously, put it all between two hard covers and I'd buy it yesterday.
Nov. 16, 2007: Gilbert continues to solicit audition tapes for a cartoon series that never comes into fruition. And he delivers a message to those who have already auditioned.
For all the fans who sent in their voices just wanting to say "Hi"; "Hi" back.....We're still looking. Finding the right voices is a process that you don't want to rush. This is something that I'm going to take my time doing. This is not something that I want to rush. I want to listen to the voices over and over and do it the right way. This is a longevity project.
Nov. 21, 2007: Gilbert announces that he needs another knee surgery, that he's broken up with his girlfriend, that his house is empty and that he's lonely. And just when you're ready to look for the nearest cliff, he discusses Thanksgiving.
Thanksgiving is the most confusing holiday because it doesn't have an actual date. It's just a Thursday. It's "this" Thursday, "the last" Thursday, "the third" Thursday ... so I was like, "Since we don't really have a date, I should be able to eat anytime during November." So I had mine last Saturday.
I ate with Nick Young, his girlfriend and his brother and Dominic McGuire and his little brother. We had Thanksgiving dinner at my house. Willie the Chef came out from Jersey and cooked for us. He was like, "Why are you eating Thanksgiving today?" I was like, "Because I can!" It's not like Christmas and Valentine's Day where you know there's an actual date. You can wing it on Thanksgiving.
I've already had my Thanksgiving, so tomorrow is just a regular day for me. I might just sit and watch American Gangster for the 14th time and just sit around and eat some leftover turkey sandwiches.
Dec. 22, 2007: Gilbert goes Christmas shopping at F.A.O Schwartz and attempts to buy a massive toy train display. Then he's confused by the small box he receives.
I was like, "Uh, I don't ... Shouldn't this box be a little bit bigger? Because I don't think those mountains can fit in this little box right here."...
"The mountains and the snow and all this stuff, that don't come with it. Just the train and the train tracks and then you just put it on your carpet."
Then I'm like, "Well, then it's not that attractive anymore. I mean the only thing that's attracting me is that it's going through the mountains with the little people figurines and the train station and the whole little get together. If I'm going to buy this, I want it to look like this. Exactly how it is here. So, whoever made this, right here, I want it."
Feb. 11, 2008: Gilbert thinks back to the time he shaved his nether regions, and the pain it caused.
Thinking back on it now, it was pretty funny. I remember we were in L.A. and we were playing the Clippers and we were trying as a team to find stuff to try to cool the flesh down and we couldn't find anything.
Everything hurt - putting tights on, no tights, jock straps - we tried everything and it didn't work. So what I decided to do was after I put my compression shorts on, I taped them to my leg around my thigh and I just poured a whole bottle of baby powder in there.
Against L.A. I remember driving to the hole and got hit by Keyon Dooling and all you see is POOF, a cloud of smoke of baby powder. That's what I'm saying, it's funny now at 26-years old to laugh at it, but it hurt then.
My teammates used to be like, "Oh, there goes Puff the Magic Dragon."
March 25, 2008: Gil is cleared to return, then uncleared. Then he throws his clothes out of his locker and says he's done. He leaves the arena and drives home to get dress clothes, and en route apparently considers the unthinkable.
It was just me and my car ... speeding -- something that I shouldn't be doing. Then I got that thought that I know everybody gets once in a while, I was like, "You know, what if I just ran my car into this pole right here?"
I don't know why I thought that, but I kept going with it. "Then I can jump off the road into this lake and just swim ... or drown. Whichever one comes first."...
But I listened to Young Jeezy's verse in "They Know" to get me past those bad thoughts ... plus, I'm sane. I'm a sane person, I wouldn't do that to myself.
Aug. 4, 2008: The first of several political entries. In this one, Gilbert explains why he doesn't vote.
There's another reason I don't vote - I don't want jury duty. If you're not registered to vote, you can't get jury duty. I know that campaign Diddy had a couple years ago, "Vote or Die," yeah if the alternative is jury duty, I'm going to die. I'm not going to get in one of these cases where they blow the jury members' houses up to get out of the trial, I'm cool. I've seen too many movies.
Sept. 29, 2008: The amazingly romantic engagement story, in which Gilbert tricks his girlfriend into proposing to him, and also tells a food poisoning tale. And then there was this.
The man law has been passed on by men regarding engagement and I just found out about it: You should prolong your engagement as long as you can.
I thought it was because the men were scared to get married. No. That's not it. It's because of life in the bedroom disappearing once you get married. Married men don't have that, so they figure the longer you can stay engaged, there's more love. So, I'll probably set the wedding date for 2027. I figure by then, I'm not going to be focused on the bedroom anymore.
Nov. 15, 2008: His post-election posting is actually a nice way to end things. There's heartfelt reflections on what Obama means for his generation, and what it means for their parents. And there's typical weirdness, with Gil discussing his Obama tattoo.
Since the tattoo message was all about change, it was a miracle when I went in to get it done. Instead of it hurting, it actually felt good like the needle was giving me a hand massage....
I'm lying, it kind of hurt a lot.
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