Tuesday, April 29, 2008

A Moment of Silence, Please


To mourn the loss of my Omron pedometer, Model HJ112. Alas, poor Omron, I knew him, Horatio, a pedometer of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy. I hath born him on my waist a thousand steps and now how abhorr'd in my imagination it is! My gorge rises at it...

Well, maybe my gorge doesn't rise, but my waistband is certainly expanding.

We had just recently rediscovered each other. I invested $4.29 (think of it as just a little over one gallon of gas) in a new battery. We were walking the dog, walking to the post office, wearing out Walmart on Saturdays. In fact, that's probably where I lost it. I was so excited last Saturday afternoon to check my total. I was dog-tired - we had soccered all over BFE, been to 4 different grocery stores AND walked the dog. But I'll never know how many steps we took that fateful day.

Because only one of us made it home.

Yes, I can go buy another one exactly like it, but it won't be the one I lost 6 pounds with. It won't be the one who was with me when we saw the possum. Or the box turtle. Or the one that made me feel brave the first time I walked to the post office (people stare when you walk around here). It just won't be the same.

Farewell, good and faithful Omron.

Monday, April 28, 2008

The Soccer Weekend: Rainbows and Lollipops, Sunshine and Roses



















It was good for me, too, Landon.

The soccer, people. The soccer.

Three goals for LD in a rout over Chivas, which makes me Fantasy Queen for this week. Red Bulls win 1-0 over the resurrected Earthquakes! Columbus beats Houston 1-0. Houston - remember them? MLS champs last year, and the year before that. Now, they seem to be stuck in a moment they can't get out of. A bigger person would feel their pain. Not I.

Because I am savoring the thrill of victory, basking in the glow of sweet success, tasting the intoxicating flavor of winning. Yes, friends and neighbors, I, too, am a soccer winner this week. On the Real Field, not just the pretend one. The Sevierville U-10 Hokies posted their first victory under my stewardship. It was a well-fought game and, to be fair, it could have gone the other way. But we showed grit and determination, fought the good fight and won. I'd like to think it was my deft touch in substitutions, but since Coach Tammy already had them all figured out, I'll cling to my belief in my own special skillz as a placeholder. I was the orange traffic cone around which the team revolved; it was my pugnacious stolidity the team needed, and my earnest direction. Big kicks! Big kicks!

Words to live by.

It is my most fervent desire to retire undefeated.

And, immediately.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Earth Day 2008

Well, I've done my part, bringing this little bevy* of beauty to the circus on this day ten years ago - (insert photo of Josephine here when blogger decides to cooperate)

And that's not all. I bought a reusable grocery bag. I can't remember to take it shopping, and maybe I need to get 12, but that's really a whole 'nother issue. When my mighty mighty Maytag bit the dust, I replaced it with a water-conservative front loader. I've been walking the half mile to the post office and I've been replacing light bulbs all over the house with the CFL ones as the standard ones burn out. In the bathroom, in the kitchen, in the bedrooms, etc.

How about you?

Confession: I don't care for the light that the CFL bulbs cast. It's cold and sterile and has the ambiance of a gynecological exam. I succumbed to the Dark Side in Walmart a few weeks ago. I bought an incandescent 3-way bulb for my reading lamp.

And I find myself worshipping that glorious warm golden light.

Years from now, when Antartica has melted, when the corn fields of the midwest are a barren dust bowl, when the only kind of tomato you can buy has been grown hydroponically, incandescent light bulbs will be outlawed. And only outlaws will have incandescent bulbs.








*shoutout to Elvis, not calling my youngest schizophrenic at all.

Monday, April 21, 2008

You Inspire Me...

It's Good Friday and we should be inspired. And music always does that for me.

Ok, full disclosure: I appropriated ('stole' is such an ugly word) this idea just before I went vacationing. I gave it some thought as we descended into L. A. - that's Lower Alabama for you travel freaks - I even managed to make a note or two on the back of our License Plate Game list, but I failed to follow up after 6 days of sun and fun.

My bad.

What does inspiration mean anyway? Merriam-Webster kind of wusses out, saying it 'moves the intellect or emotions.' Litter bugs move my emotions, but I'm not sure I'd say I'm inspired by them. So, I want to add a little asterisk to that: *in a good way. Which is to say, the music of Billy Joel moves me to madness, but I can certainly, unequivocally, forever and ever, live without it. (And with a bit of luck, I will!)

So, these are three songs that inspire me.

1. Bob Marley (or Joe Strummer) - Redemption Song. Yes, I know that's soooo condescending of me - what do I have in common with oppressed Rastafarians, I hear you ask. Well, not a lot. I am of the female working persuasion, so I know a tiny bit about The Man. But what I draw from this song is a transcendent hope, that justice will eventually be served, especially if we work together.

2. Rancid - Radio. I've been dull and boring about this song before, so I'll try to keep this brief. Never fell in love til I fell in love with you; never knew what a good time was til I had a good time with you. It's about finding community, finding connections, finding kin in a hostile world.

and finally....

3. John Prine - Sweet Revenge. Because a girl has to be true to herself above all things. I'll keep looking for the youtube.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Soccer Saturday: Heartburn! Nausea! Indigestion!


But at least I didn't have my head up Saragosa's ass.

Or did I?

I had MY evening planned out one week in advance. San Ho and Chicag-o at 4:30 as a little snack. The Columbus/Chivas clash at 7:30 to get me hungry for the main course: Red Bulls at Dallas.

At least that's how it was supposed to work. Best laid plans, etc., etc. We had a friend in town. Who wanted to take us out to dinner (hence all these menu metaphors). It was a mighty conflict. On the one hand, soccer. On the other, dinner out. I get asked out to dinner twice a year, on my birthday and Mother's Day (and I generally say no to that one, because the kids - who are after all the reason I am a mother - are not invited). But of course, it was just assumed that I would be happy to go, and drive, to boot! This is where the indigestion comes in. I internalized the debate, rather than stand my indecisive ground - which is handy. You don't have to commit, so you can bitch about it either way. We were to meet at 8, smack dab in the middle of prime soccer, and they were late. At 8:15 I called Austin and asked him to record the Red Bulls. AT 8:45, when our host began calling the waiter 'bubbe', I gave up on live soccer.

Because sometimes life just throws you under the Experience Train, whether you wanna go or not. And this was an experience, fer sure.

I have never been in a more schizophrenic restaurant. I won't name names, because I actually feel pity for them. They're trying their best, after all, in their own peculiar way. I'm no decorator. I won't pretend to have Michelin credentials. But I'm not naming names, so that forgives a lot of mockery.

Three Points to Ponder:

1. Wait staff in black and white - good. Candles and cloth napkins but no table cloths? - bad. Very bad. Silk flowers instead of genuine? Worse. A pianist playing a Billy Joel medley? Hein-ous.

2. There's a difference between a vaulted ceiling and an indoor basketball court. Also, lights should flatter, not terrify!

3. Steak tips with peppers and onions are meant to be served ON a bed of rice, not beside it. And medium should have a bit of pink.

Two Strikes Against:

1. It took 20 minutes to get a beer. And a) there were about 7 people in this entire restaurant (including staff) and b) we were staring at the bartender as she dawdled and loafed. Our waiter, bless his heart, stood by the table and 'tried to get her attention', which I guess is the polite way to say 'tried to get her to move her ass.'

2. The 3 Points to Ponder above mean you ain't gonna charge me $18.99 for steak tips and a companion bowl of rice twice. In this case, not even once. Thanks, M!


The Straw That Broke This Camel's Back

They had a tv. But it was on freakin' HOCKEY. Hockey! That's just cold, man. Cold.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Feeling Wild and ...





speculative!



Let's play Foretell the Futbol.*



This Year's Brad Guzan, being all underpaid and over-acheiving: Will Hesmer. 2 games, 2 stopped penalties. Color me impressed, Ricky Bobby.




This Year's David Beckham, the Guy I Most Wanna See on a Wheaties Box: Duilio Davino. Watch this and see if you don't want to head right on over to Dick's and stalk the fitting rooms.




The Clint Mathis All That and a Bag of Chips Award, for the player most likely to succeed in spite of himself: Santino Quaranta. I'm not the only one who thinks so, proving once again that great minds think alike. Or that idiots run in herds. You decide.




Giddy Guesses and Indiscriminate Prognostications: Golden Boot - Christian Gomez. Who says he's not worth a 2 year extension? Supporters Shield will go to ... Kansas City! Houston will have a problem, and will not Threepeat. The Red Bulls, and I'm sober as I write this, will take home some hardware, either Open Cup or MLS Cup. Maybe both!

Stay tuned.






*version espaƱol.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Hitchcock|Lowe|Costello @ Grand Ballroom

Color me sick. Color me green. Color me having little pangs that feel a little like regret for living in The Sticks.

Nick Lowe, Elvis Costello and Robyn Hitchcock. On one stage. Ok, don't know RH enough to be thrilled at him, but jeez louise - Elvis AND Nick? My heart might not be able to take it, but I'd sure like to try.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Yeeeeeee Haaaaaaawwwwwwwww!!!


Red Bulls 2, Columbus Crew 0. Osorio becomes the first coach in team history to open with a win. I don't want to get crazy confident (because after all, this is *still* the team formerly known as the Metrostars), but maybe the spell is broken.

Anyway, it was a long cool drink of water - nay! a case of really nice beer - maybe some of that Sam Adams October brew - after an arid desert of soccer that was RBNY-less. (In case you're wondering - and maybe you aren't - I'm trying to set a personal best in dashes today). There's the ole turf still there, hopefully for the last season. There's the TV people and Giants stadium people doing something like cooperating by putting ALL the fans together, more or less, instead of allowing them to randomly dot the seats in the stadium. Good crowd, good crowd noise. FSC had Christopher Sullivan (yay!) and Max Bretos (boo!) - but I'll give Bretos a half a thumbs up just for the game show host enthusiasm he brings to every game. Please consult the game guides provided by the league, Max. They include pronunciation guides!

But honestly, I can't complain. It was Old Home Week, or something virtual-ly like it. Damn, I'm glad it's back.

Friday, April 04, 2008

I Am Here to Live Out Loud

Emile Zola had the right idea. Easier said than done however. My life sometimes feels like the Talking Heads song Once In A Lifetime, in the 'my god, what have I done?' and 'same as it ever was' refrains. But today is better than yesterday, Rock Bottom has a population of 4 now - the more the merrier, I suppose. But to keep us (the Rock Bottomites) on the straight and narrow, let's take to heart the immortal words of Rockpile and never be a fool too long again.

Check out how Nick doesn't play that acoustic.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

It's Robbie Fulks Day!

I am having one of those days. You know the kind, where you're just one step behind everybody else, where you're just not quite in sync with The Real World. There I was thinking I was being witty, charming and sociable, and apparently I was being boring, obnoxious and loud. Only not loud enough, because no one seemed to hear me. It was like waking up naked in your backyard with an empty bottle of Jack Daniels in one hand, a strange pair of boxers in the other and a meter reader peering over the neighbor's fence. Ok, maybe not that bad, but certainly one of those god-what-was-I-thinking moments, only without the excuse of alcohol. Friends, never let your ego tell you what to do.

Anyway, here I am in Rock Bottom, population 1. Well, 2 if you count Robbie. Spent a few minutes (hours) on youtube hunting up good stuff for you.




Don't forget that I'm Countrier Than Thou...



Holla if you out there, people!

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Did You Miss Me?

What?

You didn't notice I was AWOL?


That's cold.


Anyway, I am back from vacation with a few thoughts. Thoughts may be too strong a word. Nebulous, fuzzy impressions maybe?

First off, USA 3, Poland 0. RESULT! Ok, it's just a friendly. Ok, Poland had a lot of youth and inexperience on their side. But, woo! hoo! Big ups, handsome fellers!


I am liking the red and grayish black.

Next thing of note: MLS is back, baby!

What, you hadn't noticed it missing either? Cold, man. Cold.

Some interesting results, the most surprising (or embarrassing?) was Colorado Rapids 4, L.A. Galaxy zilch. It was the altitude. Altitude! Not the defense. Because L.A. didn't actually *play* any defense. Kansas City 2, D.C. 0. I thought this was being played in D.C. in the Nationals'-vacated and reconfigured RFK - the field looked tiny. I wuz wrong. Played in KC at something called Community America Ballpark. Someone might want to get them to point the cameras toward the crowd next time, not to the vacant lot opposite. New England 3, reigning MLS champions the Houston Dynamo, a very pathetically played 0. My favorite result (because the Red Bulls were not playing), Columbus Crew 2, FC Toronto 0. I really wanted to see this one, but traveling kept me from it. Looked like a fabulous atmosphere. How 'bout those Canucks? They get around. There they were in Charleston with us a few weeks ago ( a smaller contingent, yes) and, presto chango! there they are by the hundreds(?) in Columbus. Homeland Security might want to be checking them out.

Non-soccer related observations: I love love love writing with Flairs. It's been a long time since I wrote much more than a grocery list with a pen, and during our highly competitive game of License Plates, I was just amazed watching my pen move across the page making blue letters out of thin air - it was like *I* was the cursor or something. Magic!

Also noted: this was the first vacation I can ever remember that kind of went by slo-mo. NOT because it was spent with A LOT of family members, and not slo-mo in an unpleasant way. It was relaxed with shape - enough structure to keep everybody happy, plenty of room for Plan B.

Wish I was back on it.

But, I'm back and back at it. And this is the proof. ;)