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Re: Spokane Rapids' dragon is a daddy!

Posted: July 30th, 2014, 4:33 am
by Nasuella
29th July, 2014

I'm starting to wonder if telling Lokke about how I had to play small forward in the playoffs was a good idea.

Why? Because he's personally vowed to get me to learn how to play as a small forward. He's a shooting guard!

Re: Spokane Rapids' dragon is a daddy!

Posted: August 6th, 2014, 11:27 pm
by Nasuella
2nd August, 2014

Back in Finland now. The last few days in Umeå have been... interesting.

So, as mentioned before, Lokke decided that the best way to get me to improve my game was to start training me in the ways of the small forward (complete with acting like a stereotypical kung-fu old man - BTW Lokke, your Chinese accent is atrocious). I can see why he'd come to that conclusion - he's made a successful career out of knowing the rules extremely well and building a highly unorthodox and difficult-to-predict style out of it, to the point that some regard him as Sweden's reigning king of unorthodox basketball playing. He even changed his name after he got nicknamed Loki years ago; he took being named after his ancestors' trickster god as a pretty high compliment!

Thing is, while I can see why he'd decide to try and get me to learn how to play as a small forward, I'm not as adaptable as he is. Okay, I can play centre, but I haven't done so in years. (My last attempt was with the Minutemen, and that... kinda ended badly.) I've been playing power forward almost exclusively for most of my career, so it's what I'm used to. Maybe I'm getting too nervous about it and you can teach an old dragon new tricks, but... eh, I don't need or want to think about this right now. (Also, the differences between American courts and European courts threw me off. Again.)

On the plus side, I got to meet the kids Lokke's been training to play! There's a few schoolkids and some university students as well. There was a moose calf who I can already see growing up to become a forward or centre, a few sparrows (and a sparrowhawk), a jackal pup, a chimpanzee, and then there was the Terrible Two: Jakob Jr. and Saga. Lokke feels that those last two are nearly ready to go into the pro-leagues.

What fascinated me was how similar-yet-different Jakob Jr. and Saga were. Both of them had taken Lokke's philosophy of learning the game extremely thoroughly to heart, but they applied that knowledge to how they played in completely different ways. Jakob Jr.'s been developing a playstyle inspired by the Dutch concept of "totaalvoetball" ("total football"), which places a very high emphasis on versatility. (Admittedly, to properly translate it to basketball, you'd need to apply it to the entire team - a whole team of nothing but bigfurs and swingfurs, essentially.) He hasn't quite gotten there yet, but he's been making pretty good progress, and he's surprisingly good at rebounds for someone who isn't much taller than Lokke. Meanwhile, Saga places a high priority on creative thinking and unorthodox tactics. Admittedly she's a bit hit-and-miss at the moment, but when she can pull off her crazy ideas, it's a sight to behold. Unfortunately she also has some ego issues... which might be why Lokke stopped her from signing up for this year's FBA draft.

Anyway, when we weren't practicing - and the practice was much-needed, by the way; I've been getting a little out of shape - Axe, Jordan and I took the time to explore Umeå. A lot of local businesses are closed, since their owners are on holiday, but we still managed to have pizza and calzones for dinner at one of the local pizza places. (I had to spend a while picking meat out of my pizza, which was annoying, but I can live with it.) We also went for a walk around Nydalasjön, the town's local lake, and even had a picnic lunch nearby. Axe wanted to try and fly into the lake, but I said no... not that it stopped him. The irritated Spanish tourists did, though.

Eventually we said our goodbyes to Lokke and the group. He'll be going back to Finland soon for his last season with the Furikorisliiga. Curious; it's almost time for me and Jordan to go home ourselves. We did have a brief conversation which made me realise that there's something I want to do before I retire from professional basketball: I want my last season as a player to be back in Finland. There's something poetic about my career ending where it began, and I know not everyone can have that luxury.

We're back in Tampere now. We've already got a souvenir from Umeå: a framed photo of me on the day I graduated from university.

(Player notes: For the curious, Lokke is 5"10'.)

Re: Spokane Rapids' dragon is a daddy!

Posted: August 9th, 2014, 9:36 pm
by Nasuella
7th August, 2014

Well, this is it - we're flying home tomorrow. We've finished packing all of our stuff, and so Jordan, Axe and I are watching some old British comedy shows together. I know, some of it isn't appropriate for kids - Red Dwarf Elephant certainly has its moments - but that didn't stop us. And I'm sure anyone can enjoy the humour of a curry vindaloo monster. :P

It's hard to believe that it's only been a month - minor incidents aside, Jordan and I had a lot of fun here. I can tell Jordan's been getting homesick, though; don't blame her, since she can't speak Finnish very well yet. I'll have to work on teaching her. If her progress in German is any indication, she should be able to, so...

But yeah, it was great to see the family again (yes, even Axe), and it was great to see some old teammates again. I do wish I could've talked to Reija in person, or even Joshua, but I understand that they're busy with other things now. I still can't believe Joshua got MVP in the Euro-league.

From what I've heard, it's a bit hectic back in the US right now. This off-season looks like it's going to be interesting... can't wait to see what's in store!

Re: Spokane Rapids' dragon is a daddy!

Posted: August 9th, 2014, 9:38 pm
by Nasuella
9th August, 2014



Where's my agent?! I need to get traded ASAP!

Re: Otto Okkonen's Blog

Posted: August 15th, 2014, 10:17 pm
by Nasuella
15th August, 2014

Sorry I've been quiet the past while. It's been stressful ever since I got back to Spokane, particularly since I've made it very clear that Jordan and I are not going to Seattle. Haven't gotten any word on where else I could go yet, though.

On a lighter note, I've found out about Vera and Leonard getting engaged! Congratulations, you two! :D That reminds me, I've been meaning to visit Williamsburg sometime during the off-season. I do need to let Jordan spend more time with kids her own age, though. I'll have to think about this one.

Speaking of which... a certain monkey managed to get mud everywhere in the apartment today. It took the better part of two hours for me to clean it all up, with her help. =________=

Re: Otto Okkonen's Blog

Posted: August 21st, 2014, 6:57 pm
by Nasuella
21st August, 2014

Sorry for being so quiet lately. I do have some good news, though: after Axe talked some sense into me (normally it's the other way around) I had a lengthy phone call with Ms. Turner. She understands why I want to leave now, and she was sympathetic about it. So at least that's been resolved.

I still don't know where I'll be going or where I could send Jordan to school, but at least I should have time to pack our things and say goodbye to our neighbours. On the amusing and frustrating side of things, Jordan has decided that she likes to sleep in cardboard boxes. Jordan, you're not 4 anymore. =____=

(Player note: Depending on where Otto goes, I may start a new "blog topic" in the Eastern Conference forum. We'll just have to wait and see where he goes though.)

Re: Otto Okkonen's Blog

Posted: August 23rd, 2014, 9:56 am
by Nasuella
24th August, 2014

We've still been working on packing our stuff. Jordan's still been out and playing with other kids, but it's clear that our impending move is bothering her. She knows it's for the best, but she's still having trouble coming to terms with it. I don't blame her, really. All I can do is try to make sure we don't get moved around too much, for her sake. :/ The less times she has to go to a new school, the better, as far as I'm concerned.

She also had another nightmare last night. :/ When will they stop?

On a more positive note, Axe pointed me towards a certain international basketball tournament that'll start in about a week's time. And guess what? Lokke's playing for the Finnish team. :D He's past his glory days, alas, but it's great to see that Lokke still has what it takes to go up against some of the best in the world. So without further ado, GO FINLAND!

(Player note: Otto's referring to whatever the FBA's equivalent of the FIBA Basketball World Cup would be called. Thanks to Paul Shepherd for alerting me to the fact that the FIBA cup's on soon, albeit indirectly by retweeting the announcement on one of his RP accounts. ^^;;
Also, some of you might ask why Otto isn't on the furry-FIBA Finnish team - after all, it's the offseason; that's the perfect time for an FBA player to get involved, right? Well, I will be completely honest: I learned about it FAR too late for my liking to be able to get him into it in a believable manner. That's the real reason, anyway. As for the in-universe reason... I'll think of something.
And for the unaware (which probably isn't a lot of people), Axe has a Twitter account. It just makes more sense for him to have a Twitter account than for Otto.)

Re: Otto Okkonen's Blog

Posted: August 26th, 2014, 5:17 pm
by Nasuella
26th August, 2014

So, I just discovered what Axe did to get fired from his previous job. He decided to flush vermin from the basement very literally, by using a hose. Not only did this flood the basememt, but he managed to get pressurised water on and in the electricity box! I am astonished that he managed to avoid being electrocuted.

Seriously, you would think someone who a) spent 10 months in the navy, and b) is intelligent enough to earn a master's degree would know enough about water pressure and electricity to know better. =____=; Then again, he has a long and storied history of making bad decisions...

On a much-needed positive note (particularly in light of the awful news about Mr. Rouge - get well soon!), Jordan had more sage advice on how to play today. Let her enlighten you thus:

"Maybe you should tie banana peels to [the other teams' players'] feet!"
"Oh, so the caracal guy [Rocky Caracal]'s a ninja. Take away his shurikens and throw paint on him."

Re: Otto Okkonen's Blog (Rapids, June-September '14)

Posted: August 31st, 2014, 8:31 pm
by Nasuella
31st August, 2014

Huntsville, huh? I must admit, I wasn't expecting Ms. Turner to send me there - nor the fallout that would come from it. I felt bad both for her and her son when it happened. :/ Hopefully they can sort something out.

Still, I have to thank her for helping me - maybe I'll play in Huntsville, maybe I'll be sent elsewhere; but either way Jordan and I got to go elsewhere. We'll keep packing our things, and if all goes well we should be in Alabama by the end of next week. (Packing and moving can take a while!) I can do research on local schools there in the meantime. I must confess, it'll be interesting living in a warmer climate again.

Looking at the draft result and the Mayors roster, it's quite an eclectic mixture: the new shrike rookie (who's only a little taller than me but only plays centre, interestingly), the other dragon (if he's re-signed; holy pinecones he's huge), John Stoat (again, I play support to the big star; I'm noticing a pattern here), the sabretooth (I hope she won't forcefeed me steak...) and so on.

This is going to be an interesting season, that's for sure!

(Player note: Wendy Brown's pretty much already said that no, she's not gonna forcefeed Otto steak. Otto doesn't know that yet, though!)