Sunday, June 28, 2009

Green Team Speaks w/ its Feet... & its Elbows... & its Mohawk

Jules & Stella got hitched yesterday & an awesome time was had by all. We were running a little late & missed the ceremony, but the reception was really nice. It was quite an honor to be invited, Stephanie even got to here "I'm a Believer" > "I Saw Her Standing There" which made her really happy. The mojitos made me happy as I hadn't had 1 in quite a while. Congratulation Jules & Stella.

Congratulations also go out to Brasil for turning it up in the 2nd half. When the US was up 2 nil @ the half, I thought it was a lock... but it was not to be. Once the Brasilian central midfielder moved the the wing, he became sort of unstoppable. Of course, the fact that the US totally choked after the interval didn't help the situation. That brings us to the Visions of Ypsi Confederations Cup Finals Player of the Day: Kaka.Just as things didn't work out well for the US today, they didn't work out well for the Green Team either. We started pretty strong this season after an early slip up. By the Memorial Day break we were 3 & 1. We proceeded to go to 4 & 1 before finishing w/ 4 wins, 4 losses & a more than questionable draw. For the season overview, you can go to the Green Team's Home Page, but as for my quick reflections, I'll give 'em to you right now. After the 2 weeks off in the middle of the season, we suffered some injuries (2 broken ribs & a messed up leg), some vacations (Pat went to Europe for a week, & Dan & Elizabeth went to Europe for a couple weeks), & others just became less reliable. We may need to make a few acquisitions in the off season to press for any sort of championship style bragging rights in the fall. The injuries will be overcome by then though so I'll remain Arstemistic & say we've got 1st place locked up.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

What is this salty discharge leaking from my eyes?

I finished The Shadow of the Wind this morning & I actually brought a few tears to mine eyes. I've never squeezed 'em out over a book before so it was a strange feeling. As I manned up & realized it was ridiculous, I got to wondering a) why fictional stories make people cry so often b) why I'd never been effected that way before, & c) what it was about this particular book that did it to me. i said it last week & I'll say it now... read it! After finishing it this morning, I started The Moon Pool, a Sci/Fi book 1st published in 1919 by A. Merritt. it's another 1 from the Lostpedia book list. I know I'm a nerd, but it seems pretty cool so far.
In other Sci/Fi news, before we get to the Player of the Day Award, I'm watching a ridiculous Zsa Zsa Gabor film from 1958 called Queen of Outer Space. It's certainly calling out for some MST3K commentary, but I'm enjoying the Hell out of it none-the-less. A rocket ship get thrown off course when it's destination, a space station orbiting Earth is destroyed by a beam from Venus. They end up there only to find it's ruled by women. And as the crew well understands that women can barely drive cars, they must come to accept that these women are armed & dangerous... & fucking nuts!

While I nearly cried over a book, Jason was on the verge of losing his shit when Brasil barely squeaked by S. Africa on Thursday in the 2nd Confederations Cup Semi-Final. Not until the 82nd minute substitute found the back of the net in the 88th minute did they put forth anything noteworthy at all. I sort of forgot to watch the match as I was in the throws of getting my license plate tags renewed the day before my big 35th, so I had to defer to Jason for the Player of the Day. He claimed that no one really did anything good @ all throughout the match so only the 88th minute savior deserved recognition. That said, your Visions of Ypsi Confederations Cup Player of the Day is Barcelona right back, >Dani Alvez. His fantastic free kicked moved the Brasilians into the finals where they will face the USA tomorrow afternoon. B sure to check it out.

Thursday, June 25, 2009


Darkness falls across the land
The midnite hour is close at hand
Creatures crawl in search of blood
To terrorize y'alls neighbourhood
And whosoever shall be found
Without the soul for getting down
Must stand and face the hounds of hell
And rot inside a corpsey shell
The foulest stench is in the air
The funk of forty thousand years
And grizzy ghouls from every tomb
Are closing in to seal your doom
And thogh you fight to stay alive
Your body starts to shiver
For no mere mortal can resist
The evil of the thriller

A Bachelor, A Baby & An Award

Last night, we celebrated Jules' bachelor Party w/ drinks & billiards @ The Full Moon, formerly The Monkey Bar, formerly The Full Moon. The party was fun & we @ Visions of Ypsi want to congratulate Jules & Stella as they will celebrate their nuptials this weekend. Congrats also go out to the Josher & the Joshette as they brought their 2nd kid into the world yesterday.

Prior to the party, I journeyed to Livonia to watch the US play Spain in the semi-finals of the Confederations cup. It's back to business as usual for Spain: until last summer's European Championships, Spain was notorious for under-performing in major tournaments. They would be predicted winners & then stumble & it happened over & over & over... until last year when they won Europe & became the #1 ranked team in the world. People claimed they'd overcome some sort of "curse." Until yesterday, of course, when they fell 2-0 to the Americans in the Semi-finals. Spain played well & controlled the match but the US defense was unbreakable. The whole team put in great performances so picking 1 standout has been tough. I even considered Landon Donovan as he was fantastic. However, after much deliberation, I realized 1 person did stand out. Your Visions of Ypsi Confederations Cup Semi-Final Player of the Day: Tim Howard. The Spanish attack peppered his goal w/ 29 shots, but he stayed strong. Nice work!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

A Quick Player of the Day Award

As wee come up to the Confederations Cup Semi Finals tomorrow, I figured I should log in & say something about the final matches in the group stage. Brasil did exactly what everyone assumed they'd do.... they had their way w/ Italy. Surprisingly, so did the USA. As you all know, in order for the US to progress, they needed to beat Egypt 3-0 & Brasil needed to beat Italy by the same scoreline. By halftime, Brasil was up 3-0 & the US was up 1-0. While I'm sure you were still skeptical @ that point, 2 2nd half goals saw the US through to face Spain on Wednesday. Luis Fabiano ha a great game for the Brasilians, but for a change, I'm gonna honor an American. (Mark your calender... it could be the last time this happens.) As a central midfielder for Borussia Moenchengladbach in Germany, & the son of the US coach, he has been developing well over the last few years. I was impressed by him the 1st time I saw him play, & now he has certainly become an important figure in the squad. He controls the mid-field well & has great vision (in fact I think he'd work well @ Arsenal w/ Fabregas). Now, your Visions of Ypsi Player of the Day: Michael Bradley

Saturday, June 20, 2009

A Review & an Award

We watched the B movie Fanboys last night. I kinda sucks, but if you're like me (& I know you are) & you like the Trilogy, they you should give it a go. It centers around a group of Star Wars dorks who set out from Ohio to break into Skywalker Ranch in the fall of 1998 in order to see an early cut of The Phantom Menace. Along the way, the encounter many fun cameos which really make the movie almost worth it: Carrie Fischer dropping a famous Star Wars line, Billie Dee Williams as Judge Reinhold... a judge, not the actor, Ethan Suplee as a crazy Dork God, Kevin Smith & Jason Mewes referencing 1 of their movies, Seth Rogan in a great dual role, Danny Trejo of Machete fame, & Shatner as Shatner... & I also just learned that Ray Park... of Darth Maul fame made an appearance too.The Visions of Ypsi Player of the Day:
Thursday saw 2 matches in Group B as Brasil had their way w/ the USA. My 1st thought was that a Brasilian would get the award, but really, it was just a walk in the park for them. The US was so bad that no one really needed to rise above the rest. Which leaves us w/ the Egypt Italy match. Of course, I love watching Italy lose, but to see them lose like that was fantastic. They controled most of the game & kept the Egyptian goal under siege so Essam El Hadary really needed to stand up & be counted. And he did, so he get the nod today. We'll see how they do tomorrow against the USA; perhaps the US just don't deserve to be in a tournament w/ these other teams.
  • Confederations Cup
  • Thursday, June 18, 2009

    I'm thinking about a new career!

    Along w/ thins link, don't forget to check out the b-day links down on the sidebar!!!

    Wednesday, June 17, 2009

    Freeverse... not the poetry style (& the Player of the Day)

    Before the kids got out of school, we decided to let the cable/internet lapse for a while in order to get them off the couch & either outside or reading... or in Solstice's case, reading outside under a tree like Polly-freaking-anna (it's pretty awesome). Well, I decided to get it turned back on this week, mainly because the "Ypsi Wireless" free wifi is a bit unreliable so I called to pay up & have it turned back on. it turns out that after a couple weeks, the boxes need to be reinstalled so the cable guy came out yesterday to do just that. The internet is working fine, as is the DVR box in the living room, but the bedroom box wouldn't recognize the signal, nor could I log into my account on-line so he said he had to come back this afternoon.

    Upon his return, it turned out that they couldn't activate the account because I don't have a credit card (my bank card wasn't acceptable to them). He had me talk to someone who didn't seem able to solve the problem. I said, "But the internet & the other box are already working...." To which she responded, "Well, that must be a glitch in the system." I was starting to get pissed, but let it drop & said I'd call back tomorrow w/ a credit card #. After I hung up, the cable dude explained that since they weren't able to activate the account, I'd never actually get a bill if I just settle for the living room w/o the bedroom since as far as their system is concerned we don't technically have their service... SWEET. He then said that if it ends up getting turned off @ some point, I should just call him & after I get the credit card # he'll take care of it... DOUBLE SWEET. To sum up: free high-speed wifi, free cable, free DVR, free pay-per-view... FREEDOM!

    As it stands, we no longer have Gol, Setanta, HBO or Skinamax, but that's a small price to pay for not having a price to pay. And just in time for the Confederations Cup, no less, which brings us to the player of the day.
    For those of you unfamiliar w/ the tournament, here's a quick overview. It features 8 teams: the champions of each of the 6 Confederations (Europe: Spain, Africa: Egypt, Asia: Iraq, Oceania: New Zealand, N & C America: USA, S America: Brazil) plus the winner of the last World Cup (Italy) & the host nation which is also the host nation of the next World Cup (S. Africa). I wasn't able to watch any of the matches until today, but based on the reports, I'm not afraid to award Players of the Day awards retroactively.

    14-6-09: Fernando Torres... a hat rick in the 1st 17 minutes against NZ is pretty sweet.
    15-6-09: Mohamed Zidan: 2 goals for Egypt against Brazil in a tight 4-3 injury time loss ain't bad @ all.
    17-6-09: Mohammed Kassid: He gave up a goal against Spain today, but made a shit-load of saves to keep the Iraqi hopes of a semi-final berth alive. Even though Spain will certainly go & Iraq was out of their element against the sweet sweet Spanish side, they looked pretty good. it's too bad they've already been eliminated from the 2010 World Cup because I wouldn't mind watching more of them. In the end, however, I'm sure the finals will be Spain v Brazil. That said, I was under impressed by David Villa... he squandered many a chance... like his name was Bendtner. Capdevilla, on the other hand, looked really strong on the left side. If Arsenal didn't already have Clichy & Gibbs, I'd be hollering for him to transfer to Arsenal.

    Don't miss the USA v Brazil match tomorrow, & be sure to pay attention (as if you could miss them) to the ridiculous buzzing horns in the stands. They sound like a swarm of bees & I'm sure we'll be treated to them again next year during the World Cup.

    Tuesday, June 16, 2009

    Another reason to drink a Guinness today

    Thanks to a couple of Facebook status updates, I was reminded that today is Bloomsday so put on your eye patch & go for a really really long walk. There had been some talk of a party to celebrate, but that never really got off the ground; however, if anyone wants to stop by tonight, drink a few Guinness, & maybe read a passage from Ulysses, that might be a great idea. I haven't read it in a few years, but I suppose I should give it a quick once over this afternoon.

    In other book news, I need to report that since I finished The Time Traveler's Wife, I've knocked off a few other books on the list:
    Three Bags Full: it's a great little story about a heard of sheep whose shepherd would read to them every day which made them really smart. When they find him murdered by the barn, they decide to solve the mystery themselves. It's sounds ridiculous, but it's really good but funny references to classic mysteries & animal tales like Animal Farm. This is also a fitting book for today because it takes place in Ireland & 1 of the sheep is hooked on Guinness.
    If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things: This is a fantastic novel. I think I may teach it this fall. it was nominated for the Booker, but for some reason didn't make the short-list. It's about a young woman in Nottingham (or maybe London... it's not clear) who witnesses a boy get hit by a car & then 3 years later gets knocked up during a 1 night stand. It flashes back and forth between the day of the accident & her pregnancy... & you all need to read it.
    The Secret of Morel: A cool novella by Adolfo Bioy Casares from 1941 about a fugitive on an deserted island where all sorts of crazy shit starts happening. It's yet another cool book I learned about via the Lostpedia book list.

    After that, I diverged from the list & picked p a copy of The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón. He's going to be @ Nicola's next week, & I'd heard so much about the book that I figured I'd take a look... it's sweet! It's like Borges meets Eco w/ a little Paul Auster thrown in for good measure. A kid finds an old book which turns out to be the last copy of anything by the author because some dude has been traveling around Europe setting all of his books on fire. At the moment, the kid has just been approached by the book burning dude. It's cool... read it.

    Friday, June 12, 2009

    Man U to sign little girl w/ skinned knee & shit

    I promised 1 more soccer post so here it is. Not that I'll never write about soccer again, but as far as wrapping up the spring goes, this is it. (I'm sure @ the end of the month I'll need to wrap up my season w/ stats & so forth too, but I don't want to get ahead of myself so here it goes.The Under 9 Panthers finished their spring season in top form w/ 4 wins & 2 draws. Obviously, ensuring that they have fun is my main focus, but seeing as they have gotten more & more competitive as the years have rolled on, these little kids have developed a different goal: namely, winning. W/ 7 minutes to go in their final match, we were losing 5-3 so I asked myself what Arsene Wenger would do if he were allowed to make unlimited substitutions switched things around a bit which enabled them to score 2 more & end w/ a draw. A few were unhappy that they weren't able to tally up another W, but as the ref blew the final whistle, 1 of the kids shouted "All we needed was a draw! All we needed was a draw!" He meant that 14 points was enough to clinch 1st place; he would have been right if the league was actually keeping track of some sort of placement table. Of course, @ U9 they don't but that doesn't stop the kids from paying attention to that stuff. All in all it was a fun season, the kids really developed their passing skills & vision, & a few of them are coming along as goalies too. We even worked on headers for the 1st time, & for fun, I introduced them to the glories of European Cup... an everyone for him/herself game in the penalty area revolving around the grand Libertarian ideology of self-centered individuality... & it's fun too.

    In European Footie news, I finished in 3rd place in the Fantasy League, my lowest finish ever. I'll have to come hard next fall to secure my place @ the top of the table. Arsenal will need to do the same thing, but the exit of Cristiano Ronaldo from the Premiership yesterday won't hurt Arsenal's chances. Man U were paid a record-breaking 80 Million pounds for that dude. Unlike every Man U fan around the world though, I'm not going to pretend it's "all good." 80 Mil is a lot of salad, but having a player of his caliber in the league was always good for the league. He'll be hard to replace, but odds are that Sir Alex will look in 1 of 2 directions: a crying little kid (as per the title of the post) or someone like Tom Daley... he looks like Arsenal wunderkind Jack Wilshire, & as an Olympic diver, he'd be able to fill that gaping hole left by Ronaldo @ he top of the D where he so often goes to ground (you can insert your own "Ronaldo Gaping Hole Joke" here... that sort of thing is beneath us here @ Visions of Ypsi). Now, w/o further ado, a little tribute to the FIFA World Footballer of the Year, on his way to Real Madrid: a little 4 minute montage of his more recent dives (after watching it, you can go here to keep abreast of the other Premier League transfers over the summer):

    Tuesday, June 9, 2009

    My Top 5 Overhyped Celebrities

    I took a ridiculous quiz on Facebook last night regarding my inability to take on Chuck Norris in a street-fight which got me thinking about his odd place in American pop-culture. Why has this douche become such an icon? Brain-dead right wing propaganda + shitty acting ability = cool? I think not. And I'm pretty sure I could take him in a fight. In fact, even if we threw in Jack LaLanne & Johnny Weissmuller & turned it into a steel cage match, I'm pretty sure Norris would break a hip before I broke a sweat. Weissmuller would probably come in 2nd (& he's been dead for 25 years). I don't imagine the kids who are loving him have ever even seen a Chuck Norris movie... & why would they? I tried to watch Missing in Action 2 for a paper hen I was in Grad School & finally just changed the paper topic. Or perhaps they were lovin' Walker, Texas Ranger... I doubt it though; it was a really bad show.

    Another celebrity who deserves none of the love he gets is Keef. Through the mid-60s he was probably cool, & between Beggar's Banquet & Exile he may have been one of the coolest people on the face of the Earth, but what has he done for me lately? Nothing! A drunk fashion designer banking on his out-dated image for 30 years? No thanks. The X-pensive Winos were alright... in the same vein as The Juju Hounds, but the love he gets is certainly unequal to the love he deserves.

    From the guy who played Jack Sparrow's father, we go next tot the guy who played Jack Sparrow. Johnny Depp is a bit of a 1-trick pony (& I should know... we can smell our own). Runny the gambit from A to A, he's been banking on Edward Scissorhands since Edward Scissorhands came out. I admit that I dig pirate movies as much as (& probably more than) the next guy, Willy Wonka, Sweeny Todd, John Wilmont, Jack Sparrow, The Mad Hatter... how many times can he play the same roll... he's akin to Shatner w/o the irony. It must be said that the Don Quixote & Lone Ranger films in production could be pretty cool... & I'm sure I'll have to see Pirates 4. He's also listed as being in some forthcoming Happy Days film. I'm sure he'll be playing Fonzie, but @ his age, Mr C would be more apropos. It'd be nice to see him push himself & go for Potzie... or maybe Jennifer Piccolo.

    From Jack Sparrow, we move to Jack White. I know it's a local boy makes good story (not unlike Ted Nugent & Bob Seger), but like Nugent & Seeger, White is highly untalented. He seems to be a sort of low-rent Ryan Adams. I imagine White could take RA in a boxing ring, but I bet Adams is scrappier 7 wold kick his ass in a back alley.

    Finally, we have a character who seems to have jumped right off the pages of a Hanif Kureishi novel. I have no problem w/ Buddhism nor w/ the teaching of peace & love, but when a dude uses this as a way to build some sort of financial empire based on selling the same book to 40-something bourgeois American women over & over (simply repackaged under different titles) so they can claim to be @ 1 w/ the universe while driving their ridiculous kids around in their ridiculous cars in order to get their ridiclous pets groomed quickly before their ridiculous coffee gets cold & they need to get back to their ridiculous McMansions. I really don't like Thich Nhat Hanh.

    Honorable Mention:
    Tom Robbins
    Scarlett Johanson
    Christopher Walken
    Penelope Cruz
    JK Rowlings
    Ira Glass
    Jack Black

    Tuesday, June 2, 2009

    A Librarying We Will Go

    Until the Bookmobile broke down a couple weeks ago, we hadn't been to the library in ages. Having everything dropped off almost literally on our door-step was nice, but browsing again has been fun. W/ a million books sitting around the house that we have yet to read (I finished The Time Traveler's Wife & Three Bags Full since the last book post), Stephanie & I have mainly been getting CDs & DVDs.
    Bob Dylan: Together Through Life
    It's rare that I get CDs the year they are released, but I'm always excited to hear about new Dylan discs. This 1 doesn't disappoint. It might not be as good as Modern Times (& certainly not as good as Time Out of Mind), but it's better than Modern Times. While his last couple albums have had a early rock n roll sound w/ nods to traditional blues & folk, this 1 is rooted in Tex-Mex & Texas Swing. Mike Campbell is on the guitar & David Hidalgo is on accordion which gives it the nice Texas flavor. It's like Bob Wills meets Waylon Jennings w/ Dylan's raspy drawl. To top it off, all but 1 song were co-written by Robert Hunter... Awesome! I read today that there's also a new NRPS CD coming out for which he wrote the lyrics.
    here are a couple interesting reviews:
    Rolling Stone

    The Executioner's last Songs Vol I
    I was lucky to stumble upon this thing. I hadn't heard of it, but it's sweet. It's an Alt Country collection of people like Neko Case & Steve Earl covering old murder ballads & prison songs to benefit the Illinois Death Penalty Moratorium Project. I know nothing about the project other than that it's fighting capital punishment, but the music is great.

    Bill Cosby: Fat Albert
    I hadn't heard this since I was a kid. It's still hilarious & the kids are lovin' it too.

    Levon Helm: Dirt Farmer
    I wanted to hear this when it 1st came out, but I'd forgotten about it. It's him, his daughter, Larry Campbell, & Theresa Williams. I imagine if the band were still around this is what they'd be doing. Great stuff. Great rootsy acoustic stuff.

    The Flash
    Aiden is watching this right now. The Flash is fighting some group of hippies who want to dose the city. There's another episode where Mark Hammill plays a bad guy named The Trickster. It's pretty fucked up. Kind of like Lois & Clark w/o star power.

    6 Hammer Film Noir movies
    I watched Bad Blonde last night while Isaiah would sleep @ 2:00am. It blows. Well, that might be a bit harsh... on people who actually suck cock for a living. I can't imagine they'd ever want to be associated w/ this filth.

    The Office (British version)

    Jason & the Argonauts
    I don't know that I'd ever seen it all the way through before. Ray Harryhausen's effects are sweet & the plot holds together pretty well. Solstice was a bit bored, but Aiden grudgingly seemed to like it. It's maybe 1 of Harryhausen's best films.