Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Champions League Final

Ah, the joys of underemployment. Here I sit on the couch, listening to iTunes, posting here AND watching the Champions League Final on ESPN2. (Yet I still can't get myself to post every day--alas.) AC Milan's up 1-0 at the moment, with 24 minutes gone by, and I can totally see this being the final. At least it's not two Italian teams, though--nothing against Italy as a whole, but football-by-attrition isn't my favorite. Makes the beautiful game a bit less beautiful.

So, uh, about those Suns. Beaten on their own floor at their own game--twice!--by the Spurs. The dream, methinks, is over. Four out of five against the Spurs (who are rolling) might be a little too much to ask. (And is it just me, or does it get increasingly more apparent that TNT's NBA coverage absolutely KILLS ESPN's? The halftime show is a given, but even the game broadcasts are night and day. Bill Walton yesterday suggested it was do-or-die time for the Suns--which it may very well have been after the fact--but this was at the START of the second half! With the Suns LEADING! Jumping the gun a bit, Bill?) On the other side, the Pistons sure did look like champs. I think the Heat take one back tonight, despite the fact that Shaq is probably at D+ level, but the Pistons (sigh) get back to the Finals.

And don't be fooled by those 100-plus games going on out in the West. Ain't gonna be none of that if the Spurs play the Pistons. Breaking 80 may be a cause for celebration--and the style might be one that only AC Milan's supporters can understand.


Well, in the interest of going beyond hoops, I figure I'd share five things with which I'm enamored (jeez, awkward phrasing anyone?). Random, unrelated things.

1. BMX: Yep. I'm 34 years old and I ride a little kid's bike. Still. And I probably won't stop until my limbs literally stop working. Besides being the one thing (OK, along with my broken elevator) that keeps me from weighing 300 pounds, my bike presents a near-daily physical challenge (whether it be jumping onto something higher than I think I can get, or outrunning some overweight and underpaid security guard). And it's fun, dammit. That's never changed, and probably never will. I've met countless friends through riding, and done things I never thought I could do. It's also been my most consistent love. (I partake in virtually all other forms of bike riding as well, but BMX is No. 1.)

2. The iPod: Mentioned it last week, but it bears mention again. I don't leave home without it. I'm on my fourth one--a gold 4 gig Mini (my original 5 gig's battery died, I lost my 3rd gen 20 gig, and the 4th gen 40 gig--well, I explained that)--and like any other fantastic invention, now I can't imagine living without it. (Incidentally, it's 2-0 Milan before the half. Great cross.) Since I've been a Mac user for damn near a decade now, the iPod was the no-brainer MP3 player. The interface is friendly (and intuitive), and the design is a lot more organic than some of the others out there. It's hard to believe that I rode for years with a CD player.

3. The New Yorker: If I had to pick a favorite magazine, this would probably be it. No photo-heavy spreads (hardly any photos at all, for that matter), no useless fashion advice (a $35,000 watch would look good with that shirt--oh really)--just lengthy, engaging stories on anything and everything. The magazine edged dangerously close to celebrity-oriented when Tina Brown was in charge, but she's gone now, and everything's OK again. Not interested in a 10,000-word piece on UPS, you say? You'd be surprised. (3-0, Milan at the half. My sincerest apologies.)

4. Nike Dunk SBs: For the record, I only skate (VERY infrequently) as transportation. I've never successfully pulled an ollie, let alone a kickflip. But the Dunk SB may very well be the perfect shoe. Classic design, slim fit (unlike the bulky Air Force 1) and with the Zoom insole, near perfect comfort. And for all the rare styles that sell for beaucoup bucks on eBay, there are others that are plentiful and reasonable. I've even played ball in them, although it's not entirely recommended.

5. http://jameshowardkunstler.typepad.com/clusterfuck_nation/ : Had to get one website up here. After reading Kunstler's last book, "The Long Emergency," which details the coming end of cheap oil, I decided to seek out some more of his writings, and found his blog (which he updates once a week, Lang). Some might look at him as a paranoid--with his musings on the coming death of the suburbs and American car culture--but I rather think he's onto something. Unfortunately, you and I might get to see first-hand how right (or wrong) he is.

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