28 February 2007

it's not a two-for

Not much going on currently, so here's a list of things. This is not a recommendation, because I'd hate for you to spend money on something because I liked it.

Movies: The New World - I've seen the words "Tone Poem" thrown around in reviews for this movie, and I'm not sure who used it first, but it makes sense to me. It's a two and a half hour dream of a movie, one that left me with the similar sense of calm (wellbeing, warmth, happiness) I got when I read Siddhartha.

Marie Antoinette - If the ability to relate to characters is a determining factor in your enjoyment of a film, maybe this movie isn't for you. I don't know exactly what I got out of this movie. Maybe I just enjoy shopping.

Music: It's been a slow year or something. I'm still listening to The National, who have a new album coming out soon, and The Thermals, who sort of remind me of Bad Religion. I'd recommend their album The Body, The Blood, The Machine if I were recommending things. But I'm not.

I'm also listening to Strung Out on Ok Computer, for reasons I can't explain. But only at work.

Low's Drums and Guns is ok. And I listen to Sonic Youth at least twice a week.

we all suck

I've noticed a decline in the number of posts and comments at many of the blogs I read on a regular basis, especially those that are Indianapolis based. While this does make it a little harder to find ways to waste away the day, it also brings a warm feeling to my heart. Because I know what it is to have nothing to write about. And I'm no stranger to a lack of comments. And I've been running with it for quite a while now.

I wouldn't call this lack of material writer's block, because it's not like I'm having trouble with the writing. I think a better term might be material block. The strength of a good blog is focus, but moreso an unending sort of attention to your focus. Du Nord's focus is on soccer in all shapes and sizes, and the material never runs out. He does a fantastic job in covering pretty much everything soccer related, and he once called me an idiot in an email.

I'm still reading his blog.

Circle and Squares is going to work because of its focus on architecture (as long as the material doesn't run out). Inhabit works because of a focus on design.

Dooce works because everyone loves attractive yet attainable looking housewives. Ok, I really have no idea why Dooce works, but I think it's probably got something to do with the cussing. Shit cock motherfucker.

Anyway.. My point. I don't have one. (I'm trying out using bold today, feel free to comment. Except you, Dave.)

When asked to describe ridehorsey for the Indianapolis Bloggers page, I said it was about "normal 30-something white guy nostalgia". Seriously? How horrible does that sound? I should have said it was about horsefucking.

27 February 2007

it was asking for it

I just posted the following story over at Fat Cyclist, but after typing it out I thought I should share it here as well...

I’ve been lucky enough to not suffer any serious accidents since I took up riding again a couple years ago (knock on wood), but once as a kid I was out riding my bike, singing to myself, just sort of daydreaming like kids do… and that’s when I ran into the back end of a parked car.

Now mind you, parked cars don’t just appear out of nowhere, and I hadn’t just turned a corner or anything like that.. it happened in the middle of a city block, just me, my bike, and the parked car. I got up, looked around to make sure no one saw me, and then headed home to lick my wounds.

26 February 2007

indy soccer is dead, long live indy soccer

I've had it with the state of soccer in Indianapolis. I recently attempted to reach a bunch of teams through the Central Indiana Amateur Soccer Association, and even though I managed to come up with like 10 contact email addresses (for teams spread all over the place - I was willing to drive pretty much anywhere), only 4 responded, and none of them had any room on their teams. At least they responded though.

So what's a guy to do? I don't know 15 people in the city who play soccer, or at least I don't know 15 reliable people who play soccer, who would be willing to fork over the initial cash outlay to put together a team. I even considered throwing the money out myself in order to have a team to play with forever and ever. But I still don't know 15 reliable people.

I'm discouraged. I'd say at this point I'm almost completely beaten. I'm going to attempt to forget it ever happened.

* * * * *

Oh, Fulham lost to Man U this weekend by way of a Christiano Ronaldo goal somewhere around the 87th minute of a game that Fulham really probably deserved to win. Brian McBride scored. Of course. Clint Dempsey came on in the 70th minute and failed to impress. It really appears that he's not up to speed, or maybe that he's sort of stuck in slow motion. I don't expect much out of him yet this year, to be honest. I wasn't that familiar with him (aside from his World Cup performance) before the transfer to Fulham, and I thought he was probably going to be in a fight to get in games. Fulham has faster and more aggresive options out wide (the Canadian Tomas Radzinski), so Mr. Dempsey is going to have to be awfully creative to get work in. He hasn't started a game since coming over.

I've only watched 10 minutes of the Newcastle match, so I don't know how Gooch played. I've been trying to catch all his games now. I do know he started.

Is it April yet? I'm ready for MLS action.

23 February 2007

My thanks go out to Chris, Jason, and Jim of Hoosier Beer Geek for a nice evening of conversation and consumption. If they'll have me, I hope to make it a regular event.

Gina sends her thanks as well.

22 February 2007

Somewhere around day 5 of my trip out to Yellowstone, my beloved Canon Powershot 2.0 megapixel digital camera decided to go to the giant electronics store in the sky, or something. It turns on, but the screen just shows different shades of the color black. That would be fine if I were a photographer for Sunn 0))), but I'm not. I actually like my photographs to somewhat resemble the place I took the picture.

Yellowstone was quite some time ago, and I've been without a camera since. This has only slightly upset normality - I no longer take daily photos of my muscles*. But I'm going back to Vegas next month, and it's probably time to buy a new camera.

I figure I've got three options. The first would be to buy the cheapest thing I can find, and see how long it takes to break it. The second would to be to buy another Canon Powershot - I really did enjoy the last camera up until the day it decided to quit. And I could get a much better camera (6mp vs. 2mp) for less than I paid for my first Canon (well actually... mom paid for it. WAIT! I'm owed a birthday present! Well, not really owed, but.. yeah). The third would be to buy one of those really expensive SLR cameras, but that would take money out of my bike budget.

There's a fourth option: I can weild the power of the internet and ask if anyone can recommend a cheap digital camera. So can you?

* * * * *


21 February 2007

Go Go Gone

Rumor has is that RSL goaltender and international sex symbol Scott Garlick will be retiring from the team to pursue an outside business opportunity. I'd imagine it's probably something like filling the long empty roll of Jim Palmer in modeling jockey underwear.

This leaves RSL with draftpick Chris Seitz at number one in the nets, which is definitely not the plan. Not a knock on Seitz, but he's pretty green.

Suddenly I feel like I'm rooting for Columbus.

20 February 2007

a welcome respite from dirty melting snow

Sometimes you forget how good Bob Dylan is.

His last two albums have been perfect for putting me in a breezy summer day, seersucker suit, mint julep state of mind. Maybe some flowery dresses at a wedding under a tent. Or maybe we're at the Kentucky Derby - not the Kentucky Derby of Hunter S. Thompson*, something a lot more charming and civilized.

I've never had a seersucker suit, or a mint julep, and I've never been to a wedding under a tent, or the Kentucky Derby - but maybe you get the idea anyway.

* * * * *

*I had also forgotten how good this Hunter S. Thompson piece is... highly recommended reading.
Another problem was his habit of sketching people he met in the various social situations I dragged him into--then giving them the sketches. The results were always unfortunate. I warned him several times about letting the subjects see his foul renderings, but for some perverse reason he kept doing it. Consequently, he was regarded with fear and loathing by nearly everyone who'd seen or even heard about his work. Ho couldn't understand it. "It's sort of a joke," he kept saying. "Why, in England it's quite normal. People don't take offense. They understand that I'm just putting them on a bit."

"Fuck England," I said. "This is Middle America. These people regard what you're doing to them as a brutal, bilious insult. Look what happened last night. I thought my brother was going to tear your head off."

Steadman shook his head sadly. "But I liked him. He struck me as a very decent, straightforward sort."

"Look, Ralph," I said. "Let's not kid ourselves. That was a very horrible drawing you gave him. It was the face of a monster. It got on his nerves very badly." I shrugged. "Why in hell do you think we left the restaurant so fast?"

"I thought it was because of the Mace," he said.

"What Mace?"

He grinned. "When you shot it at the headwaiter, don't you remember?"

"Hell, that was nothing," I said. "I missed him...and we were leaving, anyway."

"But it got all over us," he said. "The room was full of that damn gas. Your brother was sneezing was and his wife was crying. My eyes hurt for two hours. I couldn't see to draw when we got back to the motel."

"That's right," I said. "The stuff got on her leg, didn't it?"

"She was angry," he said.

"Yeah...well, okay...Let's just figure we fucked up about equally on that one," I said. "But from now on let's try to be careful when we're around people I know. You won't sketch them and I won't Mace them. We'll just try to relax and get drunk."

"Right," he said. "We'll go native."

19 February 2007

blah explosion

Gina left to visit her parents Friday evening, so I was left home alone for the weekend. Here's what I did:

1) Played Winning Eleven 2007. I'm using Club Brugge - in tribute to Brugge Brasserie, I guess. That's not very interesting.

2) Watched more of Season 3 of The Wire - I still don't quite get why the show gets such fantastic reviews. It's a good show, it's not a gold wrapped chocolate bar directly from the hands of Jesus*

3) Went to Key Cinemas and watched the 2007 Academy Award nominated short films (live action and animation). A good way to spend 3 or so hours, but the films were disappointing compared to my earlier Academy Award short viewing experience (The 2005 Shorts - available on dvd).

4) I did enough laundry to kill a horse.**

5) I went to spin class Saturday morning. It's fifty minutes of misery - at minute thirty I always feel like I'm going to vomit. And then the feeling passes and I finish up strongly.

Gina has taken the class with me and she did well. This should serve as nice prep before I can get back on the bike - hopefully sometime this week?

6) I cooked - Friday night I prepared a Sea Bass (bought from work) in a bath of whole tomatoes, olives, garlic, white wine, olive oil... I'm forgetting something. The recipe came from a recent issue of Men's Health. This was probably the best thing I've ever made myself. And I'd like to think I make some pretty tasty stuff. Now all I need to do is nail the presentation. The plate was a bit messy.

Sea Bass is incredibly fatty - but it's good fats, I guess. I'm sort of relearning dieting, thanks to a bunch of different resources - this Chris Carmichael book, Men's Health... more focus on whole foods, a divorce from foods with high fructose corn syrup (which is found in EVERYTHING EVER), a return to ice cream, peanut butter made out of just peanuts... as a result of this new strange philosophy we just gave away two bottles of ketchup. And a bunch of Nutrigrain bars.

I'm still eating too much chocolate.

Saturday, inspired by this post on the fat cyclist blog, I decided to use the crockpot to prepare a chicken curry dish that I made off the cuff - chicken breast, chicken broth, whole tomatoes, apples, sweet potato, white wine, an onion, a bunch of curry powder - a sort of cornucopia of things that taste well when roasted... this ended up tasting like nothing, really. Sometimes experiments go nowhere, I guess. Next time I'll try to find some sort of recipe to steal from first.

Sunday I went out to pick up my contact lenses and decided to pick up a Papa Murphy's pizza. If you're a pizza person (and who isn't?), I can't recommend Papa Murphy's enough. Ten bucks gets you a fresh made pizza with real ingredients that you can cook up in 15 minutes at home. I recommend the Cowboy pizza: Pepperoni, Italian sausage, fresh mushrooms, black olives and herb & cheese blend. And enough fat and calories to ruin any exercise you put in at spinning class.

Call me Mr. Excitement, I guess.

Back to spin class tonight.

* * * * *

*assuming this would be a good thing

**I'm well aware that this doesn't make sense.

15 February 2007

maybe i'm out of the loop

Aaron Rakers* is a Padre now? Anyone back home have any news?


Well, he's kinda a Padre. Non-Roster Invitee. Let's all hope this turns out well for him.

* * * * *

*A guy that went to my high school. And college.

14 February 2007

meanwhile, over at indy soccer

This is a link to my first post over at the Indy Soccer blog, a site that looks almost right, except the stupid code keeps forcing a bunch of stuff to the bottom of the page and if I can't fix it I'll have to go with a different template. Which I don't want to do, because it looks pretty nice right now.

We'll see how it goes over there. I'm gonna move the soccer stuff there, even if (like in the case of the RSL/Fulham stuff), it doesn't really fit "Indy".

13 February 2007

everything in its right place

I received my tax return last Friday, and I used the money to finally finish off a loan I took out two years ago to make a second trip to Japan - I'd do it again and would recommend the same to anyone. But it was nice to finally have the weight of the loan off me; I really should have paid it off much earlier, but it wasn't a very large monthly payment, so I let it linger.

The other thing good thing about a tax return is that it allows me to sort out my finances. Sadly enough, I'm not the type of person who saves money. But I'm working on it, using a device I've come up with called "separate temporary undercover pretend imaginary dividers" (STUPID), in which I set up imaginary separate checking accounts in Microsoft Money, and then make undercover imaginary money transfer into these accounts. Currently I've got accounts named Checking, Gina, and John Based Savings, aside from two real life checking accounts and a savings account with Regions.

I try to keep a balance of $1000 in the Gina account, though it's been running a lot closer to $400 as of late. But by eliminating the loan, and using the remainder of my tax return, the balance is back to $998. While this money actually exists in my regular checking account, I pretend it doesn't actually exist. This allows me to constantly overdraw my (once again, sort of imaginary) real checking account, and never really worry about it. Every time I recieve another paycheck the money goes toward paying the arrears overdraw. This served as a pretty good system when I had no money, but now that I'm finally starting to feel pretty stable, I think it's time to simplify.

Sorry if this is sounding like an accounting class. I hate accounting.

Anyway(!) - All this imaginary banking means that I haven't actually balanced my actual checking account in years. And now I'm not sure how I can ever get caught up, unless I just stop using my debit card for a couple weeks (and I use it constantly to pay for everything).

I guess this serves as a message to potential theives - I will be carrying cash soon, and a lot more than I probably should. All in the name of eliminating STUPID.

* * * * *

First person to post something about how I'm giving the government an interest-free loan by getting a tax return gets a black eye.

09 February 2007

man, you've got mental problems

I'm currently having an email discussion with a friend in Chicago (codename: D) about a regularly occurring phenomenon in my (and her husband's) life: the inability to purchase underwear. Here is a recap of my inner dialog, taken from an incident that took place last night while shopping at Wal-Mart:
"wait these are $10. how come. oh there's five of them. this is three for $6. wait maybe i don't want white. I want gray. they don't have gray in a three pack. grey is a two pack. wait, it comes with black. i don't want black. oh there's gray over here. those are $5 each. that's too much. this is two for $6. maybe i should just get the white. $10 is too much. but it's five. wait, i don't even want one white t-shirt. i want gray. i don't need five white t-shirts. but three is $6. these are nine. what brand is this? wait. i should get these. i need to leave."

"oh i could use pajama pants. i don't want that material that gets all the static. wait i have a 33 inch waist but the top goes to 38-40. that's gonna be uncomfortable. oh whatever. what color do i want. wait maybe i should just get the pants big. what material is this? why is that old woman behind me hyperventilating? oh i don't want blue. i don't like this green. wait these are $12 and i need t-shirts."

The only way I can alleviate the pressure of buying underwear is to not buy any; after a 5-10 minute inner conversation I'll ask Gina to help me leave the underwear section.

Is it a male-only problem? D says that it works exactly the same way with her husband, and that "needless to say, it drives me up the fucking wall."

My question is this: Does this happen to you? Does it happen to someone you know?

So it's Real SALT LAKE after all...

And so after months of debate and the very real threat of the team moving to St. Louis, RSL have a stadium deal. Congrats to Steve Pastorino and the rest of the fine folks at RSL - I'll be visiting in 2008.

While this would appear to be a bad thing for St. Louis, according to reports the process has actually advanced St. Louis' prospects for a team. They're talking about a team in 2008, which would be pretty amazing.

* * * * *

If you read my previous post, then you know I've considered breaking the soccer out of my blog. Today I'm not so hot on that idea. It's still up in the air.

The other blog does look nice, though.

The other thought I had was to just quit blogging.

07 February 2007


This seems like a pretty good idea. (link) You might be thinking "hey, didn't someone do that already?" - and the answer is yes. But they didn't have the free time I do. And I bet they don't think that playing with layouts for hours and hours is a good way to pass time. And I bet they wear pants.

This isn't the official announcement - but there's a good chance that one is coming. In addition to a nice resource for local soccer info (which is really hard to find, actually), I hope to have a guest column here and there - perhaps a preseason write up on the prospects for your favorite MLS team, or stories about how you came to love the game, favorite players, or stories about how you came to love the Adidas Tango soccer ball (it's the only ball I'll buy, and I have no idea why).

And I might move the Fulham and RSL stuff there too.

Stay tuned.

06 February 2007

nobody home

No one has left any comments about the US/Mexico game, so I'm just going to assume you've all decided to become Mexico fans.

* * * * *

Dear Indianapolis area Chicago Fire / Columbus Crew fans:

Prepare to have your teams destroyed by the multifaceted Cerberus-like attack of Real Salt Lake on the dates of Sunday, May 27th @ 3PM and Saturday, July 7th and 5:30PM. I am currently planning to make road trips to both games, so if you're interested in making the voyage in the company of a fan of the greatest football club to ever grace the planet*, leave a comment. It's never too early to start planning.

The MLS schedule is out, for those interested. Man is Kyle Beckerman ugly.

* * * * *

*not necessarily even close to true

05 February 2007

fulham 2 - goochi-toons 1. and a superbowl

Fulham got the win this weekend, McBride scored again. Gooch played well for a lackluster Newcastle side. Dempsey got on in the 80th or so minute and played confidently. All smiles at my house.

One of these days I'm going to readdress Carlos Bocanegra.

Superbowl viewing at my house was underwhelming. I wonder if I was alone in thinking that there was no way Rex Grossman was going to lead the Bears to victory - he looked like a boy among men out there.

It was nice to see Beckham in a commercial.

* * * * *

I've been wondering who I'm writing this blog for for a while now. I think that perhaps I'm in a similar boat to the one Jim (formerly 11 am Air Raid, now He Writes About Words) found himself in... lack of direction or lack of audience or lack of motivation or lack of... lack of something. I could be totally off with the Jim reference, but I kind of got that vibe by reading his new stuff - which is just as good as his old stuff, just with a little more focus.

Anyway, I'm considering starting a different blog, but I don't really have any direction for that, either. Other than I could move the Fulham/RSL stuff there. And that'd leave me with this. Where I could post pictures of funny monkeys.

02 February 2007

anyone caught leaving a comment will be shot

While I'm sure most folks who read this blog are excited about the big game Sunday, I find that I'm actually a little more excited about Saturday's big game, when Fulham, featuring Americans Brian McBride, Clint Dempsey, and Carlos Bocanegra, take on Newcastle, featuring new signing Oguchi Onyewu. Hopefully Gooch gets some minutes in.

Wednesday the national team takes on Mexico at 9PM Eastern (I think)... for those Indianapolis locals reading - where's the party at? Anyone know the guy at Radio Radio well enough to suggest a viewing? It appears that their calendar is open for Wednesday... either way, it would be good to get some folks together to watch the game in a proper environment. If you're up for it, leave a comment. I was just kidding about the shooting.

* * * * *

Oh, and in other news, it's either Sandy, Utah or Collinsville, Illinois (a sort of suburb of St. Louis) for Real Salt Lake. I'm leaning towards Sandy - and the same team ownership - instead of St. Louis.

As much as I'd love St. Louis to have a team (and MY team would be even better) - it doesn't seem right to take someone else's. When St. Louis gets an MLS team, I'll be first in line to buy season tickets - because MLS season tickets are pretty much dirt cheap, and I can always let someone else I know use them when I can't. My concern about the St. Louis ownership group buying the team from Dave Checketts lies in what direction the new ownership would go with the GM - I've got a pretty good friend in Utah.

And when Indianapolis get its own MLS team, I'll still be rooting for RSL. But I don't think I'll have to worry about that for a long long time.

01 February 2007

next week's ad stunt: glenn danzig and blood sprinklers

I'm not sure this is really worth the uproar. I suppose you might think it's a bomb... but look at it.


Although it might have been a little stupid, I'd say it's also kinda funny.

Update: Now I'd say it's really funny.

In a news conference, Rich told reporters he had advised his clients not to discuss the incident. Stevens and Berdovsky took the podium and said they were taking questions only about haircuts in the 1970s.

When a reporter accused them of not taking the situation seriously, Stevens responded, "We're taking it very seriously." Asked another question about the case, Stevens reiterated they were answering questions only about hair and accused the reporter of not taking him and Berdovsky seriously.

Reporters did not relent and as they continued, Berdovsky disregarded their queries, saying, "That's not a hair question. I'm sorry."

Sounds like they think it's pretty funny too.

Edit: Don't forget to check it out on Ebay.

* * * * *

Here's the Danzig/Blood Sprinklers bit for those out of the loop