Thursday, July 30, 2009

Last week the Indomitable Drinky Crows lost a tough 4-3 match. The defeat left us in third place for the season with a 5-2 record. It also set up a rematch the following week in the playoffs. Tonight we avenged that defeat, winning 4-3, despite playing the entire match a man down. It was one of the most glorious victories in the eight-year history of the Indomitable Drinky Crows.

Unfortunately I seemingly did serious damage to my right knee in a rather violent second-half collision. I screamed some combination of fuck, shit and motherfucker for two minutes and then hobbled off the field. This injury is probably good news heading into the final as far as the team is concerned (since I am a grotesque liability on the field), but it's obviously not a particularly welcome development for myself. Perhaps it will magically feel all better come morning.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

This is pretty old news by now. But it's also timeless. Jack Hitt had a fabulous piece in last week's NYT magazine chronicling the bizarre underworld of alternative healers, charlatans and Serbian nationalists that Radovan Karadzic submerged himself in for more than a decade under the alias Dragan Dabic while on the lam. There's all kinds of interesting characters in the piece, so read the whole damn thing, but none can top this dude:

Around this same time, Dabic made contact with Savo Bojovic, a locally renowned sex therapist. A large, blockish man, Bojovic met me for coffee wearing a green suit, a green laced-up shirt and a green handkerchief (the bow tie was gold). His preferred color is forest green, he told me, because it reminds him of the rural Serbia of his childhood. The covers of his books match his suit. He inscribed for me his 1,043-page tome, the very chlorophyllous “Humana Reprodukcija,” in matching leaf-green ink from one of the special pens he carries.

Bojovic is a man of many inventions and theories, which is how he and Dabic connected. He explained that his current work is a study of his nation’s penises. Before he would discuss Dabic, he insisted on walking me and Tesanovic through a scrapbook with some 2,000 Polaroid close-ups of middle-aged, mainly Serbian penises. Bojovic said that he had recently proved that Serbian men can have active sex until the age 102 and Serbian women until 84.

He seemed especially interested in treating “strong-blooded women who cannot live without sex.” For them he has invented a special device called an aplikator, which can bring on a “gentle orgasm” and which can also be marketed (he insisted on telling me despite my best efforts to stop him) to “men who have problems with the colon or problems in the bathroom.” He does not ignore the active man, however. For womanizers, especially, he has invented the Spermosan. It is a small metal cup that attaches snugly to the testicles; through the cup, Bojovic detonates “a gentle surge of electricity that makes the sperm fall asleep, and then a womanizer can go womanize without being afraid of an unwanted pregnancy.” Even though this invention is “the one most deserving of praise,” he reported that the total number of clients for the Spermosan was “not many.”


Tuesday, July 28, 2009

I've been reading some good stuff lately. Here's what:

1. Brooklyn, Colm Toibin: This was on Newsweek's "What to Read Now" list, or somesuch hogwash. I fell for it. And am glad I did. Toibin's prose is sparse and exquisite. His tale of a young woman -- caught between the quiet rituals of her Irish hometown and the bustling rhythms of post-WWII Brooklyn -- never hits a false note. Shit like this makes me think I should just give up trying to write.

2. The Beckham Experiment, Grant Wahl: I pretty much said what I wanted to say about this over at du Nord. But here's the essential point: this is the best book ever written about soccer in the U.S. It's meticulously reported, provocative and often hilarious.

3. Indignation, Philip Roth: I've read more books by Roth than any other author except George Pelecanos. And I've only churned through about a third of his oeuvre. The old man is an absolute beast. My favorite Roth works ("The Human Stain," "Sabbath's Theater") are scabrously funny and a bit distasteful. Indignation is a bruising polemic about midwest piety, religious hypocrisy and academic intolerance narrated by a misplaced Newark jew (what else?) who also happens to be dead.

4. The Damned Utd, David Peace: Speaking of scabrously funny, Peace's novel certainly fits the bill. His fictional psychological profile of Brian Clough during his disastrous 44-day spell as the coach of Leeds United is a rip-snorting read. Peace takes you deep into the psychological bowels of Clough's crippling insecurity and paranoia. It's also a terrific portrait of top-drawer football in mid-70s England: the crappy grounds, the smoke-filled buses, the terrace fights, the table volatility. It makes you pine a bit for the days when more than four teams had a realistic shot at winning the league each year.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The whole Becks mess is hilarious. Hooray Riot Squad. Oddly the New York Times, which can't even be bothered to cover its own professional soccer franchise in a decent manner, has the best piece on Sunday's meltdown. Nice work Billy Witz.