Monthly Archives: February 2011

Redemption: Thy name is bowling

The bowling competition officially began this week! The cut-throat campaign will be raged Wednesday nights in Mar Vista. Come down, only if you’re not squeamish.

So I’m still unsure how the scoring goes and what the deal is with the average handicap. I’m assuming I just need to worry about improving each week. To be determined.

What I do know and what the photo above proves is that somewhere, deep deep down, lies the capacity and potential to rock the lanes. Full disclosure—the frames above were not from the first game of the season, but rather the warm-up a week earlier.

I was third in the line-up. My bowling game—Cousteau (misspelled above)—is marked with record gutter balls, but also has a total of three strikes, including two back-to-back Xs. If memory proves, I’m pretty sure I came back from behind to win this game. The ultimate sand-bagging ninja!

This is all a long windup/preface because I’m about to share my scores from the first official game on Wednesday. I felt the need to preemptively justify myself.

Game 1… 85

Game 2… 80

Game 3… 38!

38!! I was that abysmal. My bowling endurance can’t yet go the distance. And because Game 3 was a complete failure, now my average hovers around 68. Or maybe it was all part of my low-bowling strategy that will surely pay off in the long run… muahhhahahaahha

For now, there are more pressing issues. Like coming up with a team name, shirts and deciding if I’m ready to make a shoe commitment.

PHOTO: Shot of the scoreboard during a game last week where I bowled back-to-back strikes.

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Mini triumphs

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What a red-letter morning!

I was able to wear my new Asics, the ones I bought in October.

And I ran! Little bit.

Today was the Chinatown firecracker 5k/10k and I signed up to walk the 5k. The goal after forfeiting a “personal best” attempt was to finish in less than an hour.

Not only did we meet that goal but we decided to run it in…. the last few yards.

Oy.

Let’s just say I’m typing this while icing the ankle. I’ll deal with the PT consequences next week, but today I’m relishing the triumph.

PHOTO: My brand-spanking new Asics GT-2150 in purple!!

We don’t need no Iker

In case you missed Wednesday’s friendly between Mexico and Bosnia-Herzegovina, here’s a recap. Mexico won. Chicharito scored. A streaker stormed the field. And Cruz Azul goalie Jose de Jesus Corona was named MVP.

If you want a recap of the game, go here, here or here. And this link will take you to video of the  streaker.

I’m leaving the analysis to the experts who get paid to talk about how great or disappointing little pea was. That’s not what this post is about. This is about Corona—Jota Jota not the beer.

What I came away with is that Mexico may have dropped in standing worldwide, it may not be able to show better than quarterfinals at a World Cup, but it remains consistent in its streak of good-looking goalies. Those are really the stats that matter, right? And that’s the reference the title of this post makes… Iker being quite smashing.

MY EVIDENCE:

A.)  Starting in the 1990s, Jorge Campos, goalie during the 1994 and 1998 games, was one of the most eccentric goalies who loved to play outside the box (likely residue from his other field position when not in goal—striker). But if you could just peel away the distracting elements of his, umm, ‘colorful’ attire and the voluminous ’90s haircut, you’d realize… not too shabby.


B.)  Oscar Perez overlaps with Campos, especially in the late-1990s. He was called up to the 1998 games in France and 2002 Japan/Korea with him. And, again, in 2010 as one of the oldest mo-fos playing. (I’m looking at you too, Cuau!) I’m not saying it was easy finding a suitably attractive photo of the man. I will say there is some value in that shaved-head, no nonsense, tough guy, goateed look he sports. You be the judge.


C.)  With Oswaldo Sanchez, we return to the pretty boys of the goal. The Santos goalkeeper has been called up for three World Cups, beginning with France in 1998. It wasn’t until Germany 2006, that he became the top guy between the posts. His one flaw—and really could it be considered a flaw?—is that he’s dangerously close to a unibrow. Personally, I think that’s needed to keep him from being too pretty.


D.)  Luis Michel was the third goalie that Javier Aguirre took with him to South Africa last summer. The Chivas goalie became captain of his team last year and oversaw their historic 8-0 opening run and he was the talk of the town in last summer’s Copa Libertadores.


E.)  Here we have Memo Ochoa. One of The Faces of the Mexican national team. Anywhere you turn you see this guy with his bouncy curls—commercials, billboards, etc. Too bad for all that hype you didn’t see a minute of him in South Africa. Aguirre preferred the more experienced Conejo to this baby face of Club America. Now, he’s the national frontrunner…


F.)  I say ‘now’ because after Wednesday night’s performance and what seems like an incredible work ethic. Jota Jota Corona from Cruz Azul could take the top spot. He’s got the qualifications—called to the national team, called to a World Cup (No. 2 in Germany), quick reflexes, impressive saves… chiseled features.

PHOTO: Corona blocks a shot during Mexico’s 2-0 win over Bosnia-Herzegovina; pics of Jorge Campos, Oscar Perez, Oswaldo Sanchez, Luis Michel, Memo Ochoa, Chuey Corona

And they’re off!

It seems like another lifetime ago when World Cup fever held my blog hostage. All I wrote about was Mexico and Mexicans, Chicharito, South Africa, vuvuzelas and “puuuuutos“.

Well, rewind because it’s back.

The road to Brazil 2014 is on today with a friendly game against Bosnia-Herzegovina held at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta. Game starts at 8 p.m. EST, and as always Univision will be there to make what will likely be an interesting matchup that much more dramatic. Breathless commentary has that effect. Their coverage begins at 7:30 p.m. EST (4:30 p.m. out here on the West Coast).

This is a debut for Mexico’s new coach—José Manuel “El Chepo” de la Torre—so we’re expecting a talent-heavy roster (site in Spanish). Nothing like that bunch of third-stringers the U.S. played against Chile last month. Bosnia hasn’t stepped down either. It looks like their coach has called on the country’s biggest talents.

“The fact that I invited our best players is very telling that this match must be taken very seriously. I am very familiar with the game of [the Mexicans], there are no friendly matches where they don’t give their maximum,” Safet Susic said on the Football Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina website.

PHOTO: Chicharito celebrates after scoring during 2-0 victory over France in Polokwane, South Africa/ June 17, 2010

PT cruisin’

Any progress I had been showing in recovery from my ankle injury is now moot.

After last week’s wonderful fashion disaster, I have been relegated to the walking circles. I told my physical therapist about my attempt to wear heels and she asked if I had been equally idiotic in attempting to run.

Of course, I said no.

But truth be told… I lied.

Last week, I also attempted to “jog.” If you could really call what I did “jogging.” In reality, I moved a little faster than walking speed for about 10 strides. Then, I went back to walking. And again, when I got bored with the walk, I crept up the speed once more… again for 10 or 15 strides.

Honestly, that’s not running. It’s not even jogging. It’s testing my threshold.

I stuck my foot in the fire. Got burned. And backed off.

And in case that wasn’t enough of a blow, I was ordered to do more PT—a minimum TWICE a week until the end of March!

PHOTOS: The electrical stimulation machine at UCLA Rehab that’s been easing the pain (top); and my foot hooked up to it (bottom).

One Month check-in

It’s February = time to check in on New Year’s resolution progress

Revisiting 2010

  • GOAL: Read 30 new books. As of today, I have read 1.5 books, loads of magazine articles and too many stories about protests in the Middle East. But, because not much of this counts toward my goal, the official tallY is 1. 29 to go.
  • GOAL: Run 500 miles. I knew this was going to be hard since I started the year unable to jog and with no clear deadline of when I would be able to. I have not run a single mile since October 2010, but I have walked briskly a respectable 2 miles in the past month. I’m counting that towards my goal. Again, official tally stands at 2. 498 to go.
  • GOAL: Eat more kosher meals. I’ve done fairly well but haven’t been able to string together a few days’ worth of kosher eating habits. AMENDMENT: Kosher Mondays. I’ll post my Monday meals here so you know what I’m up to.

My B4-30s

  • Started accordion lessons on Saturday afternoons. More to come…
  • Arabic studies continue. Watched Al-Jazeera in recent class and could make out a few things. Progress!
  • AHHHH! Even before I write it, while I’m thinking of writing it, I’m peeved. I had booked my trip to Egypt and Jordan almost two months ago and now, because of obvious circumstances, that trip is on hold. I sympathize with all those people protesting and find it exciting that such changes are unfolding across the Middle East. But, I’m also bummed that I might not be able to go. How awesome to be in that midst and witness history?! If I’m forced to change my travel plans, then I likely won’t see those World Wonders before my deadline.

Purging

  • Total failure. Life remains as cluttered as before.