Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Good Soccer Times in Switzerland

Occasionally the global obsession with soccer proves to be quite enjoyable from a distance. Check out this warning regarding the Euro 2008 match between Germany and Turkey later today:

Diplomats particularly cautioned against public viewing areas in Berlin, Frankfurt and Munich.

"At a minimum, post-game celebrations will likely result in traffic congestion in larger cities," read the embassy statement. "Crowds celebrating previous German and/or Turkish victories have blocked streets and rocked vehicles attempting to pass through them."

In other words, stay on your toes, or you could get rocked.

"Beer: the cause of and the solution to all of life's problems" -- H. Simpson

The embassy's statement makes downtown Berlin sound a bit like Falluja or the Gaza Strip, but DW-WORLD has learned the potential threats run far deeper.

Many of the viewers at the so-called fan miles, it turns out, are hopped up on a liquid intoxicant known as "beer."

This substance has been known to lead to outbreaks of mirth, loss of equilibrium and unintended and later regretted coupling among users.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Concerts are good - part 3

As you may now suspect, I went on a bit of a concert ticket buying rampage a few months ago. I do have reasoning for this because after nearly every concert I attend, I leave asking myself "Why don't we do this more often?" Thus, we attended two shows in four days' time.

Wednesday night held a show of: The National, Modest Mouse, and R.E.M. I appreciate some of R.E.M's stuff, but I mostly wanted to see The National and Modest Mouse. R.E.M. was ok, as the first half of their concert was mostly a performance of their new album and a bunch of Michael Stipe's rantings against George W. Bush. However, they interacted with the crowd a bit more and played a wider variety of stuff in the second half of the show. As I had hoped, The National was very good. I highly recommend their new album "Boxer," they have a full sound that is, at the risk of sounding like a fugazi music critic, "grand."

With that said, I must admit some tension in my recommendation of The National (not just because most recommendations come around to bite me because they end up offending folks, or are sometimes simply lousy recommendations) because the band has been around a while and the only stuff I know is their newest album. I like tracking a band, and seeing their progression. So there is my "I'm a bandwagon jumper" disclaimer.

Ok, enough with the rambling post. Here is a picture of an unexpected highlight of the show, when Eddie Vedder randomly joined R.E.M. for a final song:

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Concerts are good - Part 2

A and I hit up our second concert of the summer on Saturday night. Our Jimmy Buffett concert was slightly delayed by an apocalyptic thunderstorm, but fun began once the rain passed. The concert was at Citizen's Bank Park, where the Phillies play ball. Here are a couple pictures for your enjoyment:

This is a small slice of the parking lots, and the partying therein. We had an hour to kill before the show and cruised around and made some friends:

The revelry above creates long lines for the bathrooms, as seen over the shoulder of the (two) lovely parrotheads below:

We had an additional treat, as G. Love and Special Sauce were the opening act. Good times all around, in the words of Jimmy Buffett:

Stay in touch with my insanity really is the only way
Its a jungle out there kiddies
Have a very fruitful day

Monday, June 16, 2008

A Ballpark Full of Frauds

I have a fun opportunity to go with a friend to see the Phillies game tonight. The only bummer is that they Phils are playing the Red Sox. Aside from the silliness of interleague play, I am also a bit bummed that I'll have to put up with a bunch of frauds known as "Red Sox Nation."

These folks claim that they have been life-long Sox fans, even though neither they, nor any of their relatives, have ever set foot in New England. They know nothing about pre-1986 Red Sox history - if that. Additionally, I feel they take away from the true tortured Sox fans (like my friends Kevin and Rob) who walk around still shaking their head in disbelief about what happened in 2004 - let alone the numerous other championships that have come to Boston.

The video below is of one of the classic Red Sox of all time. This guy is even crazier than he appears in the video, and he is funny. I'm currently reading his book. He broke his shoulder in a fight with Graig Nettles of the Yankees (another fact for those fraud sox fans: the Sox/Yankees rivalry has been around much longer than 5 years).

Lastly: if you think these are just the jealous, "hater" rantings of a bitter Philadelphia sports fan, there is a slight chance you may be correct...

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Back Around

It's been a while. We've been off having a great week with friends at the beach, and then A and the boys went to TX for a week while I came back home and worked and started regrettable projects on our house. But now we are back at home with our new house guest, named "stifling heat." We've had really hot weather, and our thermostat in our third floor bedroom read 92 degrees yesterday. Our first floor read 88 at 9pm last night. In spite of all this, I still believe that central air is overrated. A, however, has quite an affinity for that beloved 65-75 degree range known as "room temperature."

Lastly, I would like to call attention to a comment in a previous post where an anonymous poster noted that Rocky's defeat of Ivan Drago was significant in ending the Cold War. This is a very good point, so I sent my family off to pay homage to the man who, along with Ronald Wilson Reagan, helped save the world from Communism: