Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Top on President Obama's reading list for summer vacation: George Pelecanos' "The Way Home." Nice choice, sir.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

I just finished reading Drop City. It's about Dirty Stinkin' Hippies. A whole commune of them in Northern California at the butt end of the Sixties. They're supposedly bent on following the enlightened path of living off the land and giving up all the materialistic hang-ups of the straight world and peace and love and whatever. But the reality, in T. C. Boyle's engrossing tale, is quite different. It's all about the drugs and the booze and the 'ballin.

By page 30, there's a teenage, wanna-be hippie chick being gang-raped by a multicultural crew of drugged-out punks.

Then there's the feces problem.

All the enlightened hippies are just too busy getting high and 'ballin to maintain a functioning septic tank. Instead they've taken to shitting anywhere and everywhere, turning their bucolic hippie nirvana into a giant, festering toilet. Ooh ooh that smell.

These problems -- coupled with a LSD-induced bus accident that leads to the grisly demise of a horse (and some unwelcome probing by the cops) -- result in the hippies seeking out a new redoubt. Welcome to Alaska!

And not Fairbanks or Anchorage or some other town offering at least a modicum of amenities generally associated with modern civilization. But rather bumfuck, kill-or-be-killed, savage nowhere Alaska. Where living off the land is the only option. The hippies don't adjust too well. By the time winter starts to set in, the brothers and sisters of Drop City North are in full-on Lord of the Flies mode: hoarding food, forming alliances, spreading crabs.

Then there's the bumfuck Alaska locals they encounter. These folks are certainly living off the land. But their ethos is more militia than hippy commune. The two cultures collide and combust in surprising (and often violent) ways. Some of the hippies survive, adjust and prosper. Others flee back to civilization. At least one dies a rather grizzly death.

It's entertaining stuff.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

That's right: you are looking at the Minneapolis Park & Rec league Thursday night champs. The Indomitable Drinky Crows avenged a brutal 5-1 defeat to Black Sheep earlier in the season to win the title. We knocked in three crackerjack goals in the opening 45 minutes -- and then held on desperately for a 3-2 victory. It is believed to be the third title in the club's illustrious eight-year history, although memories are hazy. We then celebrated at the Cardinal bar with beer and burgers and cheese chili nachos. With a combined age of 738 years on the roster, we are undoubtedly the oldest (and wisest) team in the league.
Who the hell would pay $29.99 for a Todd Snider bobblehead? I'm a pretty huge fan of his stoner folk rock. And I realize nobody buys compact discs anymore. But $29.99? Which reminds me of this typically excellent Dylan Hicks piece on Snider from a few years back.
The Bundesliga starts tomorrow. Which is awesome. But one coach has (hilariously) already gotten the sack. That would be Mainz 05 boss man Jorn Andersen. Sounds like he pulled a full-on Brian Clough. From Raphael Honigstein's marvelous Bundesliga preview:

Andersen, if dressing-room whispers are to be believed, had behaved increasingly erratic in recent weeks. He banned all family photos from lockers in order that players should "concentrate properly", spent more time golfing than on the training pitch and had turned into a bit of a caricature dictator.

Then there's this hilarious bit about jihad and Schalke:

A few days ago, a couple of Turkish newspapers somewhat belatedly discovered a curious passage in S04's club song that has been sung in Gelsenkirchen since 1963. "Muhammad was a prophet who doesn't understand football," the fans chant every week before kick-off, "but out of all the beautiful colours, he chose blue and white." (It barely rhymes in German, in case you wondered) "Out of thin air" (Frankfurter Rundschau), Schalke have received more than 200 threatening emails that demand an end to this practice. "Jihad on Schalke," wrote Süddeutsche Zeitung about a wave of protest that has been taken serious enough by the club to get the police and federal authorities involved. An expert in Islamic theology has also been consulted.
The Indomitable Drinky Crows will vie for the prestigious Minneapolis Park & Rec league title this evening. 6 p.m. at Fort Snelling. Please turn out in force. Wear white. Support local soccer.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

On the agenda for today:

1.Writing about the EFCA.

2. Cutting the grass.

3. Drinking milk.

4. Reading court documents about civil commitment of sex offenders.

5. Cleaning up the hairball that Chairman Mao spewed on the floor two days ago.

6. Watching NY Red Bull v. W-Connection.

7. Drinking box wine.

Monday, August 03, 2009

So last night I walked down to the Speedy Mart to purchase some coffee. It was roughly 8 p.m., the sun just starting to go down. As I arrived back home the kids that moved in next door a couple of months ago were pedaling their tricycles on the sidewalk in front of my house. I chatted with them briefly about their leisure activities and then was going to head into my house. But the little girl seemed to be having quite a difficult time pushing the pedals on her tricycle. So I helped push her along back towards her house.

Seeing this some dude who'd been hanging out with the young girl's mom, about 20 feet down the sidewalk, came rushing up to me. He glared at me and said he didn't want some "strange man" pushing his daughter's tricycle. Naturally I felt like telling him to fuck off, but instead I just laughed and walked into my house. The girl's mom then explained to this dude that I live there. Maybe if he spent a little more time at the house where his daughter lives he'd be aware of that fact. Then again, I probably shouldn't be hanging out with kids.