Monthly Archives: July 2012

TRIumphant Olympic return

The Olympics 2012 opening ceremony is this Friday night, but any soccer football fan worth their salt knows that the road to the medal podium started today. The women’s teams got the ball rolling, and men follow suit tomorrow.

Tomorrow, Thursday, Mexico plays its first group game. Mexico hasn’t been to the Olympics since Athens, and they’ve never medaled. But they’re peaking at a great time — steam-rolling their way to London with key victories in international tournaments (CONCACAF, Toulon, WC U17).

Since NBC realized you can’t “Spoiler Alert” the Internet, it smartly decided to air The Games live, regardless of your position in relation to the Prime Meridian. So for a California girl, like me, that’s an eight hour difference. According to my calculations, that’s 6:30 a.m. I’d normally be pissed at such ludicrous timing. This time around, I’m looking forward to it.

I can get up. Go for an early-morning run. (Who isn’t inspired to get off their fat asses watching Olympians?) Watch the game. Get ready during halftime. And be at work by 9:30 a.m.

Barring any North Korean-style protests, that could be my most productive morning in months.

PHOTOS: Players training in London, and dressed in their Olympic uniforms.

Cool doesn’t live here no more

When I travel, I usually like to wratchet up the cool. I walk around tourist traps oozing snark (albeit secretly enjoying myself). That’s how the cool LA kids roll.

I see a pretty vista or a point of interest. I snap its photo from a safe distance, waiting for the tiny window of opportunity when all the other tourists move out of the way. Not in ATL. My recent trip to Atlanta disoriented me.

fa shkeef

I got excited at CNN and Turner Field and the World of Coca-Cola. And I was a Pepsi fan growing up! Makes no sense. I needed to stake my claim and made sure I was snapped at all those photo ops — real and imagined.

NERD ALERT: Me posing in front of cardboard cutouts of Anderson Cooper and Soledad O’Brien

NERD ALERT: Me sitting on CNN en español bench… because I watch CNN en español *all the time*

NERD ALERT: Reporting on the extreme weather conditions

NERD ALERT: Posing at fake CNN anchor desk. My accomplice has been pixelated for his own protection.

NERD ALERT: Showing off my dippin dots in a souvenir helmet

NERD ALERT: Showing off my commemorative penny. Anyone else still collect these or am I the only one keeping them in business?

NERD ALERT: Me and the worldly Coca-Cola bottles

WEIRDNESS: Posing with the lip-puffs

NERD ALERT: Just in case I didn’t have enough pictures of coke bottles

NERDS: Took this picture from a friend’s FB album. Toasting with Coke founder. Again, pixelating the innocent.

PHOTOS: With the exception of the last one, you can find these and other pics from trip to Atlanta at my flickr.

Bowling’s second-class citizenry

To be filed under: I have other interests besides soccer

There’s a sick, sad reality unfolding in SoCal’s bowling alleys. Frankly, I’m surprised no one has alerted the ACLU about this prevalent and blatant systemic racism, this miscarriage of justice, this deep-rooted inequity that privileges the few at the expense of the many.

Yes, I’m talking about bowling.

If you’re not in a bowling league, you’d might as well forfeit any desire or wish to play during the week. Of course, you can seek out other alleys but you’d have to pay top dollar for them (Lucky Strike, anyone?). And who really has that kind of money to spare these days?

This is how ex-leaguers bowl during the week.

Many times I’ve tried to go bowling during the week only to be foiled by The Man The League. The last time was a few weeks ago and when we struck out at all the lanes, we ended up “bowling” at a bar.

I get it. I really do. I was in a league. You’re playing for money and pride and don’t want rowdy assholes who don’t understand proper lane decorum standing in your peripheral and getting in the way of your quest for top scorer, top handicap. Proper manners should be enough to keep you from yelling at Dude to SIT THE EFF DOWN and WAIT BEFORE  GETTING ALL UP IN YOUR GRILL.

But, know what? Being in a league doesn’t assure you a private bowling alley. You  must still SHARE THE LANES.

And that brings me to the impetus of my rage: Why are there never any open lanes during the week? Not until 10 p.m., 10:45 p.m., 11 p.m.

Really? not a single one!

Unbelievable. Inconceivable.

What’s worse is my realization that I was part of this problem, this privileged elite. Last year, when I was in a league, I strutted along the alley like I owned those lanes. (Go Spare-ta!) Damn, I was the same stuck-up punk who booted an innocent fun-loving non-leaguer from the game until 9 p.m.

Mine eyes are open. Blinded no longer.

I’m standing up for bowling’s second-class citizens everywhere. What’s a girl got to do to get a lane at a decent hour on a Wednesday or Thursday night??

PHOTO: from OhioHistoryCentral.org  and from that outing of non-bowling.

SPAIN: The Holy Trinity. The Mighty Triumvirate. The football version of Qarth.

Wow! I should dream big more often, voice my desires to the cosmos.

Spain is officially the best team there is and ever will be. (In my mind’s eye, there’s an ascending Mexico so I l have to leave some wiggle room.)

On Sunday, Spain won its third consecutive national championship — Euro Cup ’12. It was a decisive 4-0 show over Italy.  No “boring” Spanish play on display.  La Furia Roja came out attacking and went to halftime up 2-0.  The third goal came late in the second half from substitute extraordinaire Fernando Torres.

And there’s more!  Minutes later he manuevers a brilliant pass for his Chelsea teammate Mata.

So if you’re counting, that’s three goals and an assist for Torres for the tournament.

In the end, what catapulted Torres to the top of the leaderboard was what handicapped him too:  He had been benched for much of the tournament. Playing far fewer minutes than the other top-scorers.

That Spain won wasn’t a big surprise, but that freaking Fernando Torres took the Euro Cup 2012 Golden Boot award was.  I couldn’t dream that.  I just wanted him to get a chance to play in the final.

All who thought that would happen, please raise your hand. Bend at the elbow. Pat yourself on the back. And go buy a lottery ticket.

The cosmos are on your side.

PHOTOS: Spain celebrates in Kiev, and screenshot of UEFA Golden Boot website.