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Customer Reviews: 3
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Daniel Berger RSS Feed (New York, NY)

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adidas Originals Men's Superstar II Basketball Shoe
adidas Originals Men's Superstar II Basketball Shoe
Price: $60.00 - $100.00

16 of 36 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The One That Got Away, and the Sneakers That Pushed Her There, March 20, 2011
A few years back (though it seems like forever ago), I was in graduate school for anthropology. I was the studious type and had gone straight from college to grad school, so I'd never had time for a girlfriend. Sure, I'd had my dalliances, but when it came down to it my only sustained love was anthropology. It was Spring Break, and I'd gotten a grant to travel to the Oaxaca region of Mexico and study the indigenous Zoque tribe. Figuring I'd need a sturdy pair of sneakers and impressed with the rubber shell toe design, I ordered a pair of Adidas Originals Men's Superstar II Basketball Shoes (White/Black) on Amazon. They arrived the morning of my flight.

That day I flew to Mexico City and then took a bus to the city of Oaxaca, where I transferred to another bus to get to the base of Monte Alban. I then climbed Monte Alban to reach the peak, where I'd read the Zoque tribe could be found. At this point I'd been on my feet for nearly 16 hours, but I had nary a blister or even a foot ache to speak of. I was beginning to really like my Adidas Men's Superstar IIs. But they were caked in dirt and I was getting tired, so I decided to take a break at the summit. As I was about to wash my sneakers in a puddle of water, I heard a rustling of leaves. I looked up and all of a sudden 10 Zoque warriors were surrounding me, spears drawn. I knew a few Zoque phrases from my studies, so I told them, "Tuk'ay Tum," ("I am your friend") but perhaps my dialect was off because that only enraged the warriors more. Soon, the Zoque Chieftan had his spear within an inch of my throat. At that moment, I was certain I would die right there in my Adidas Men's Superstar IIs.

But just then, a female hand grabbed the spear and threw it on the ground. I looked up, and standing in the golden sunlight was the most beautiful girl I'd ever laid eyes on. Her tawny skin glistened like a lake on a cool summer night, her jet-black hair was so soft it made horses jealous, and her eyes were like two perfect almonds. "I Almika," she said, gesturing toward herelf. "I Dan," I timorously replied, awestruck by her beauty. "Why joo here?" Almika asked innocently. "Study," I answered. "Joo study Zuque?" Almika continued. I nodded in the affirmative. At this, Almika's eyes beamed with excitement. She said something in Zuque that made the warriors lower their spears.

Relieved and relaxed, I strolled with Almika toward the Zuque encampment. Between her limited English, my limited Zuque and some hand gestures, we were able to communicate with one another. I learned that she enjoyed weaving and playing traditional Zuque songs on her ocarina, and more importantly that she was looking for a man but was having trouble finding one in her tribe. It was important to her that a man be brave and strong, as many men in her tribe were, but she also wanted a man who was cultured and could show her the world beyond Monte Alban. It was clear to her that I was worldly, but in order to win her heart I knew I'd have to prove that I was brave and strong. So that night as I fell asleep on my straw bed in the encampment, my Adidas Men's Superstar IIs still caked in dirt, I resolved to show her that I was tough.

I rose early and quickly learned that the Zuque men were setting out to fetch firewood. I waved to Almika and then followed them into the woods. Fortunately, I'd had some experience gathering wood for the fireplace at my parents' country house in Massachusetts. So I quickly noticed the dry pieces of wood, which impressed the Zuque men. When we returned to camp at midday, I had a haul of firewood in my hands as I espied Almika roasting a cob of maize over a tiny flame. "Better fire" I said, and threw some of my wood onto the fire. The sudden burst of flames frightened Almika and she dropped her maize on the ground. Without flinching, I picked it up and held it near the enlarged fire. When it was perfectly crisped, I proudly handed the cob of maize back to her. Beaming, Almika bit into the maize and exclaimed "Ees tasty!"

The rest of the afternoon was spent helping the Zuque men fix up one of the elders' adobes. My repair skills honed on D-I-Y projects with my Dad at our country house in Massachusetts came in handy here. I impressed the Zuque men by patching up a small hole in the roof using some Trident chewing gum I'd brought in my backpack. When we returned to camp at dusk, the men relayed tales of my handiwork to Almika, who smiled and locked her piercing brown eyes with mine. She walked toward me and we sat on two boulders around the fire during the communal tribe dinner of rattlesnake stew, flirting and laughing all the while.

As dinner was winding down, I had my arm around Almika and was about to suggest we take things to an empty hut on the periphery of the encampment. But just then, we heard the shriek of a Zuque child. I looked over and racing toward us was a gigantic jaguar galloping at full speed. Instinctively, I grabbed a bow that was lying next to me and loaded it with an arrow. I'd learned archery at day camp near my parents' house in Massachusetts. My parents didn't want me to go because they thought the camp was run by a bunch of ne'er-do-well Hippies, but fortunately I convinced them to let me go. I pulled the bow string back, and released. It was so dark I could barely see what had happened. But then I heard the noise - first a whisper and then a full-on chant "Dan! Dan! DAN! DAN! DAAAAN!" and when I looked closely, I saw that I'd hit the jaguar squarely between the eyes! Almika ran up to me and gave me a bear hug. I held her and just wanted to be with her, but jaguar blood was everywhere - on my arms, on my legs, and on my already dirt-caked Adidas Men's Superstar IIs. I told her I needed a little time to wash up, and she impishly replied, "No too long!" Zuque warriors slapped me on the back as I walked to the nearby stream. I washed my face and body, then drenched my clothes in the water, and cleaned off my Adidas Men's Superstar IIs until they were gleaming white like a full moon.

When I returned to the camp, nearly all of the Zoque were in their huts getting ready for bed, but Almika was waiting for me near a small fire. I ran to her and sat down on the boulder next to her. We held each others' hands. "Dan, joo thee man I wait for," Almika cooed. "Joo smart and culture but joo also brave as Zuque warrior." "And you're the woman I've been waiting for, Almika!" I exclaimed. We kissed passionately for what seemed like hours but was probably a few minutes. "Let's go somewhere more private," I suggested and Almika nodded in agreement. I took her by the hand and we walked to a fire further from the center of camp.

We sat on the ground and I whispered, "That's better." She giggled. We were rolling around in the grass next to the quivering light when she whispered, "Joor shoe hurt my foot." She was barefoot and my sneakers were hitting her toes. "I'm a little tired, why don't you take them off for me," I suggested. She moved down to my feet and delicately unlaced my first shoe. Then she unlaced the second one. She pulled both sneakers off. My bare feet felt amazing on the grass. "Put them by the fire to get them toasty," I directed Almika. Almika stood up and gently placed my sneakers by the fire. She was about to sit back down when she did a double-take. She was staring intently at my Adidas Men's Superstar IIs. I didn't think it odd, as it was first time she'd seen my sneakers clean and in enough light to make them out clearly and I figured she'd naturally be curious. But a moment later, Almika let out a blood-curdling scream that could be heard all the way in the Sierra Madres. "RUBBER SHELL TOE! RUBBER SHELL TOE!" she cried. "What?" I replied, "it's a very sturdy construction." "RUBBER SHELL TOE! Joo no Man! Joo a Boy!" she yelled. "No," I implored, "don't you remember - I gathered the wood, I fixed the house. I even killed a jaguar! I'm a man!" She screamed, "a Man no wear Rubber Shell Toe! JOO A BOY!" and I screamed back, "I'M NOT A BOY!" but it was too late. Almika was already running to the precipice of Monte Alban. "DAIRE EES NO MAN FOR MEEEEEE!" she cried and with that she threw herself off the mountain into the dark abyss below.

Though I was crushed, I quickly understood that when the Zuque realized what had happened they would roast me alive, so I hurriedly put on my Adidas Men's Superstar IIs and ran all the way down the mountain the fastest I've ever run, tears streaming down my face. I caught a redeye bus to Oaxaca, another bus to Mexico City, and then a morning flight back to America.

When I got back to campus, I was too depressed to get out of bed for a couple days. But eventually my female platonic friend Chrystal invited me to coffee and I agreed. I didn't want to wear the accursed Adidas Men's Superstar IIs but my idiot roommate had rearranged our shared shoe rack and I couldn't find my other sneakers and I was in a hurry. So I showed up at Caribou Coffee in the back of the campus bookstore and saw that Chrystal had already taken a table. I walked toward her and she stood up. "Hey Daaaaaan!" Chrystal chirped, "how was the triiiip?" I was about to unload my entire tale of woe on her when she offhandedly added, "Yikes - uh, Dan... what's with those sneaks? You're not a high school mallrat in New Jersey, you're like, an adult. Rubber shell toe - big No-No."

And Chrystal explained to me how it was a truth universally acknowledged among the women of the world (even in the remotest corners of rural Mexico) that rubber shell toe sneakers should never be worn by any male over the age of 17 under any circumstances. I learned my lesson the hard way - by losing the love of my life. But I write this review in the hopes that other men don't have to suffer as I suffered. And don't go out and get the Adidas Originals Men's Superstar II Basketball Shoe in Black - you won't fool anyone. It's sometimes said that women have a Sixth Sense. This is true - they can sense when a guy is wearing a rubber shell toe sneaker, and they will run away. Sometimes they'll keep running until there's no ground left and the only thing beneath them is 15,000 feet of air and a bottomless void of nothingness where dreams go to die.
Comment Comments (5) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 28, 2015 4:05 AM PDT

adidas Men's No Show Athletic Sock, 6-Pack
adidas Men's No Show Athletic Sock, 6-Pack
Price: $12.00 - $34.99

340 of 473 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars LIES LIES LIES, August 30, 2010
"No Show Socks"? More like "The Scarlet Letter of Betaness." This product just breaks my heart. I lived under the Ankle Sock-ocracy for years, decades, accepting that I was forever doomed to be branded with that glaring white material covering my ankle and upper foot, proof for all to see that I would never be "a cool, chill guy." Then I discovered No Show Socks.

No Show Socks opened up a whole new world to me. Suddenly I felt more carefree, more confident. I got better at sports, using all the energy I'd previously wasted worrying about my socks to focus on the game. Women who wouldn't have given me the time of day in the Ankle Sock era were all of a sudden striking up conversations with me, and I was bantering back effortlessly.

My first foray into the No Show Socks market had been a generic brand from my local department store. Drunk on the success of that purchase, I figured any product that had "No Show Socks" in the title would be similarly transformative. And when this 6-pack of Adidas Men's No Show Athletic Socks arrived in my mailbox, I tore the box open like a kid on Christmas. I ripped off the ankle-high socks I was wearing around the house (don't currently have enough No Shows to waste on sleeping) and put on a pair of my new Adidas socks. I was in such a hurry that I put my sneakers on as I was opening and shutting the door behind me.

Leaving my apartment building, the sun shone brightly and I paraded around the neighborhood like a peacock in full strut. But slowly I started noticing that people weren't treating me the same way as they had with my generic brand No Show Socks. Men my age ignored me instead of admiring my style. Teenagers giggled to themselves. And women studiously avoided eye contact with me, let alone conversation.

What was going on? I was baffled. And that's when an elderly gentleman shuffled by me and gave me a knowing look, as if we shared something, were part of the same club. I smiled and nodded at him, a bit confused. Then I looked down at his feet. He was wearing Adidas Ankle Socks - not only white, but emblazoned with a giant three-striped logo. OK, so he was wearing Adidas too, but how did he know that I was, or even that I was wearing socks? I was wearing No Shows. That's when I caught a glimpse of my own feet. Staring back at me was not a sliver, not a slice, but a WEDGE of white material stretching nearly to my ankle. How could this be?! I thought I was done with socks showing! And then, then I looked closer. And I discovered the coup de grace. Not only was the white of my socks showing, but so was THE BLACK ADIDAS LOGO! A logo showing on socks, the only thing that can one-up the horror of the white material itself.

Suffice it to say my psyche has been ruined by these socks. No longer do I consider myself a virile, athletic, confident young man. I now have more in common with the mindset of my grizzled, beaten-down-by-life fellow Adidas sock wearer - accepting the limitations of my existence, merely seeking the crumbs this world will throw me.

I looked into a class action lawsuit against Adidas, but was told that the lawyers usually take all the fees and you end up with nothing. How fitting. That's what you'll end up with if you buy this product - nothing. No money, no success, no friends, no lovers. Just the Scarlet Letter of Betaness, that white strip of material and the black stripes of the Adidas logo. Everything in this world is Black and White, and this product is no different. There's a bright line separating No Show Socks from Show Socks, and Adidas Men's No Show Athletic Socks are firmly on one side. The Show Side. The Dark Side.
Comment Comments (40) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 23, 2016 11:28 AM PST

Foul Lines: A Pro Basketball Novel
Foul Lines: A Pro Basketball Novel
by Jack McCallum
Edition: Paperback
Price: $20.99
67 used & new from $0.01

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Satire of the NBA, March 9, 2006
This was a really quick read that was funny cover to cover. It got the NBA satire down to a T. The bratty billionaire owners, the arrogant young players, the way Stern spins everything positive even though half the players are criminals. Some great specific jokes about A.C. Green, Doug Christie, and Stu Scott (names changed of course). It's also well-written and has compelling characters that make it a joy to read. I highly recommend this book to any NBA/sports fan, and even to readers with little interest in sports.

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