Sunday, June 11, 2006

Break time is over 

The new gig starts tomorrow and, wouldn't you know it, I'm due at work right when the US kicks off their ominous World Cup campaign. Nuts. This weekend was full of soccer and little sleep, but first, damn y'all. Mayday was the goodness.

The screening on Friday was just awesome with perhaps only 1-2 movies out of 12 stinking up the joint. I'm telling you, it's the best crop of Mayday films to date. Team Lower Gatsby (that'd be me and the dudes) claimed three prizes: most erotic (which we tied for), best interpretation of title (which we owned because, damn, a movie titled "23" could only be about a guy who has to tell the 23 people that he has slept with that he has VD), and best performance for our star, Trumbot. Then Cell Fone took the stage and he did not disappoint. The boy was a menace to Norf $cott$dale if ever there was one. The one thing that bothered me about the evening was the exodus of about 80% of the crowd before the Cell went on. I guess they had anything else to be doing. But fuck 'em. No one cares about those people. And those who stuck around got a treat. They were the ones that mattered, anyway, and "C Finny" knew it all too well. I was actually kind of nervous for him, having never seen him perform and him being my brother and all. But he laid those fears to rest once he grabbed the microphone. Also, my senses were numb because I was drunk. A bottle of cheap wine ended up in my hand as a result of the awards. It was empty by night's end. I was wrecked. And just to prove how damn smart I am, myself and a couple others woke up to drive to a bar for a soccer game at 6 a.m. I mean, what a great idea that was.


Actually, it was a disaster. I got maybe two hours of sleep and was terribly hung over after finally being awoken by the phone. I guess I slept right through my alarm and the first four times that Trumbo tried calling me. Then, we finally get to the bar, only to endure what will surely be the dullest game of the tournament. England beat Paraguay 1-0, but I assure you, no one -- not even the half-dozen English ex-pats at the bar -- cared. How stupid of me to forget just how painful it is to watch Paraguay. But England looked bad, too! Raucous crowd? Nope. We were very much among a group of 15 or so people who were all too aware of how fucking early it was. Plus I was dying. After the game mercifully ended, it was back home to sleep for another 90 minutes or so before watching more World Cup.

Last night, I caught a film.The Heart of the Game is an excellent little movie. It's a documentary about a high school girls basketball team that focuses primarily on the relationship between a star player and her coach. One of my favorite films is Hoop Dreams and while The Heart of the Game will inevitably draw comparisons to it, the two feel like fundamentally different movies, though on the surface they have similar themes. Instead of the despair prevelant in Hoop Dreams, the new entry is more a tale of perseverance and inspiration. Great stuff. Highly recommended.

Then, up at 6 a.m. again for more World Cup. This time, sober. It was a much better experience. Iran decided it would be more fun if they quit for the last 15 minutes and just handed the game to Mexico, which I was fine with, poor Angola look absolutely clueless despite only losing 1-0, and man, the Dutch look good. Also, huuuuuge mad love to Trinidad & Tobago for getting shock draw against the Swedes.

Coach Arena hasn't named his starting lineup yet for Team USA, but if it was me, the eleven Americans on the field tomorrow would look something like this:
Goalkeeper - Kasey Keller
Defenders - Oguchi Onyewu, Eddie Pope, Eddie Lewis, Carlos Bocanegra
Midfielders - Claudio Reyna (c), Landon Donovan, DaMarcus Beasley, John O'Brien
Forwards - Brian McBride, Eddie Johnson

Steve Cherundolo could very well start in place of Bocanegra, Pablo Mastroeni is a perfectly capable replacement for Reyna should anything happen to the captain, and Bobby Convey likely spells John O'Brien because O'Brien is unlikely to play the full 90 minutes. Team USA is historically lousy on European soil, but that shouldn't affect this team. We've got the speed to give the older, more physical Czechs problems. 6'8" Czech forward, Jan Koller, scares the crap out of me, though. It'll be all we can do to shut him down.

NBA Finals. It's halftime of game 2 and Shaq is still nowhere to be found in this series. What the crap? Shaq AWOL in the Finals? Miami doesn't have a prayer.

Before wrapping this up and waking up again at 6 a.m. tomorrow, I'm psyched about the return of both Deadwood and Entourage tonight. Thank you, HBO. Hopefully both are more satisfying than this latest season of The Sopranos. Man... what happened there?

I really enjoyed having my brother in town for the weekend. Especially being able to watch World Cup with him. It's something I've missed, watching the event with family, so it was nice to recapture some of that nostalgic feeling.

Okay. Bring on the job!

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