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I've got les bleus

I don't talk much about football here, but I do in real life. Usually I have friends or family members around who I can tell stuff to, and wait for their patient reply: "Oh? That's great . . ."

But today I'm sad to report to the ether: Italy beat Scotland in their Euro 08 qualifier yesterday. Which is NOT nice, not for me, anyway. I was sort of hoping they would both be disqualified from the tournament. I don't know how that would happen, but let me have my dreams.

We (and by we, I mean France, my team) lost our match with Scotland in October. So far Group B standings have Ukraine, Scotland and us tied at 12, with Italy two points behind. The top two teams move on. I'm not worried about qualifying, and I'm not worried about having the most points. I just want to beat stinky, stupidy old Italy.

I don't hate all of the Azzurri. I even put Cannovaro on my Fantasy Football team. Why? Because he's a good player, he seems a decent fellow, and he's got nice eyebrows. But those other hooligans--Gattuso, Materazzi, I've also got my eye on Luca Toni--really make me uncomfortable. Yes, I'm still bitter about the World Cup. No, I won't be getting over it anytime soon.

The boys and I have only two real threats at this point. We have to hope Italy loses all their other matches, which they probably won't (but wouldn't it be sweet if they got whipped by the Faroe Islands?), so instead we have to hope that Scotland and Ukraine win all their other matches--except, of course, when we beat the snot out of Ukraine in June and Scotland in September. It would also be great to have all our currently injured guys--our noble captain Patrick Vieira, Franck Ribery (who I adore) and Thierry "Offsides" Henry, in particular--in full form when we replay Italy in September. And we hope nothing happens to Lilian Thuram in the meantime; honestly, he's no spring chicken, but he does seem rather indestructible.

Anyway, on the good news side, we won our friendly against Austria 1-0 with a very young lineup, some--like Karim Benzema, who scored the only goal, and Samir Nasri, who assisted--playing their first games. I wouldn't say they're inexperienced, though; the France U-21 team is quite good.

I can't get away with all this Bleus talk without mentioning my love for Raymond Domenech. He's brilliant. I may be the only Bleus fan in the world with a coach-crush on Raymond, but I don't care. He's got good eyebrows, too.

Les Bleus. Love 'em.

I also got a new wallpaper yesterday . . .Collapse )
From a pretty good article:

It's obvious in the book that Lethem truly cherishes these characters he's created. "I adore them," he says. "It's so funny, [somebody asked me] `Isn't the female bass player kind of a man's fantasy,' and I'm like `Yes, of course! I want to have sex with all these characters, they're all attractive to me!' There's something so appealing about unfinished people--in the way that when you're in your forties you have a crush on all the young people around you."


Open letter to Jonathan Lethem #2

Mr. Lethem,

I finished You Don't Love Me Yet. I loved it. Perhaps it was lack of sleep but I was giddy at the end, with a pure kind of happiness that feels most like waking up laughing. I loved the way you tried to compare--even to combine--the very different joys of love, sex, food, art and understanding, in a way that makes the reader realize these joys may all spring from the same source--something cosmic and unifying, perhaps involving a soul. And you're not even religious. How'd you do that?

Anyway, I'm sure the above is less than coherent, but since I learned you're signing books for our store, my train of thought, when it comes to you, is more like "alhjfjkdjslahfdlshfdjafkldjakljfldsjdaf."

I'll read the book again when it's officially out, when the presence of your signature on my copy might increase my giddiness just slightly. For now, I can't stop laughing at Lucinda's jealousy over Shelf the flyer, the lyrics to "Monster Eyes," and one of the Complainer's lines: "Also they have really good room service burgers at that hotel." Context, here, is everything.

Thank you, Jonathan Lethem, for making us laugh about love. Again.


Open letter to Jonathan Lethem

Happy Birthday, Jonathan Lethem!

So I'm about halfway through your new book, You Don't Love Me Yet. Truthfully, I've had the advance reading copy for months now, but I was too afraid to open it, too afraid that you would do something in it to undermine all my affection for you. I'm happy to tell you that's not the case.

The book is good. I'm enjoying it. It is not what I expected. I probably should have keyed in to the descriptive terms on the back cover: "affectionate," "romantic farce," "delightful echoes of A Midsummer Night's Dream." I never pay attention to this stuff, because I know who writes it. These descriptions are true, though; someone up there (at Random House) likes you.

Remember the days when I didn't even want to like you? I thought you were way too hip and I judged you by the company you keep. But something drew me inexplicably to you. Motherless Brooklyn forced me to like you, Girl in Landscape made me love you. Somewhere along the way I saw a picture of you, and that didn't hurt.

Then I read The Fortress of Solitude, and our honeymoon was over. Suddenly I could see all your flaws; at the same time I could see how good you were trying to be. But you had your main character try to hump a female prison guard while wearing a ring that made him invisible. It frustrated and saddened me. You tried to make it up to me with The Disappointment Artist, our 150-page couples' counseling session. I'd say we got about 3/4 of the way through our differences, but some doubt lingers in my heart.

You Don't Love Me Yet is an eerily prescient title considering you don't even know me. You're right, I don't, really. Not yet. But your book is so simple and sweet. It's a fistful of daisies you've given me after our bad patch. You even put your puppydog face on the cover, daring me not to love you. Nobody else could get away with that around me, mister.

So I'll finish your book and let you know where we stand. It's easy for me to be wildly optimistic. Just know that if, when I get done, there's been an invisible anything, I'm driving straight up to Brooklyn to yoke you.

Hope you had a good birthday and you got lots of cake and presents. But could I ask you a favor? In the future, please don't put youthful, adorable pictures of yourself on the covers of your books. It's very distracting. Or, you could keep on doing it. You know, until I get used to it.


Paige's Luxury Feast

Happy Birthday To Me

I love this song.

Warning: rant ahead.

David Wu (D-Oregon) refers to Bush administration as "faux-Klingons."

While I appreciate the sentiment, this is a very inaccurate analogy. Klingons are obviously imperialistic and a little quick with the bat'leth, but more importantly a Klingon's honor must be satisfied by all their deeds. However, we can compare them to Chancellor Gowron, who placed his own ego and desire for power even above defeating the Dominion.

To quote poisonyoulove:
The White House is full of Klingons? You do realize that if our leaders were Klingons, Cheney would have challenged Bush for supremacy and killed him . . . within weeks of the election. No, sir, we are dealing with Ferengi. I hear tell Iraq is sitting on a cache of gold-pressed latinum.

Elsewhere, philosophy professor and author of The Ethics of Star Trek Judith Barad says Wu's reference was good but that the current administration are more like Cardassians--less concerned with honor and the well-being of their troops than Klingons.

These are both excellent comparisons. The Ferengi are known for being not only excessively greedy but also ugly and ill-tempered. However, it's latinum, not power, that drives the Ferengi. You'll note that Rule of Acquisition 34--War is good for business--is immediately followed by rule 35--Peace is good for business. A Ferengi would much sooner negotiate his way into all that oil money than kill for it.

As for the Cardassians? I'm sure I can think of more than a few Cardassians who would object to having Dukat speak for all of them, but to compare and contrast current situations to the occupation of Bajor, his views would undoubtedly represent at least the majority of Cardassian Central Command:

It would've been so much easier on everyone if the Bajorans had simply accepted their role. But no--day after day they clustered in their temples and prayed for deliverance, and night after night they planted bombs outside our homes. . . . From the servant girl that cleaned my quarters to the condemned man toiling in a labor camp to the terrorist skulking through the hills of Dahkur Province, they each wore their pride like some twisted badge of honor.

Perhaps that's a little dramatic, but--imagine becoming the proxy leader of a 60-year occupation in which millions of the occupied citizens have been killed by your government. There's an organized guerrilla movement attempting to overthrow your forces. Every concession you make toward the occupied nation is met with violence. Do you choose to respond with more violence and strengthen your hold, or get the heck out, even though you relinquish your control and leave the place in shambles?

The Cardassians chose the first option and were driven out anyway. As much as the Bush administration will keep pushing for that same level of control, the second option will ultimately be the only one left open to them. Also, you can call me a terrorist but I think referring to the state of Iraq when the US leaves as a "shambles" is extremely condescending to Iraqis. It reminds me of similar arguments about the Civil War defending the keeping of slaves because "it's what they're used to" and "they wouldn't understand anything else."

What do I think? I say the Bush administration is more closely aligned with the Dominion, the paranoid galactic power that seeks to "impose order on a chaotic universe." This is a perfect example of believing your own propaganda. Fortunately the current administration doesn't have lifetimes to unify and conquer the known world. And they're not made of shapeshifting goo--at least I don't think so.

By the way, if you ever want a crash course in the semantics of "terrorist" vs. "freedom fighter," there are seven seasons of Deep Space Nine. I recommend them.
So, I recently fell seriously in love with Eva Green. I'm talking Kate Winslet-levels of love. And I wondered why. Sure, she was amazing in Casino Royale. Sure, she's going to play my favorite character, Serafina Pekkala, in the His Dark Materials movie. But what is it, really? Then I found out:

Despite being a beautiful French model with, no doubt, limitless fashion resources, she somehow manages to dress like me in high school--a me that suddenly became famous and had to attend numerous movie premieres.

This could have been me, you know.Collapse )

Of course, in high school I was not required to be the middle of a Mads Mikkelsen-Daniel Craig sandwich. I'm not required to do that now, either. Why is that? Let's please reevaluate that situation, okay?

I've got to start wearing more eyeliner.
We are not a cool bookstore. Most of our customer base consists of middle-aged southern women who come in to be hit on by our owner and flattered into buying whatever new book he's trying to shill.

Recently a woman came in to pick up The Marvel Encyclopedia, and we had a short chat about the hotness of various superheroes, which ended this way:

Me: Wolverine is my boyfriend.
Her: Oh, no, that's my boyfriend.
Me: Surely there is enough Wolverine to go around? We can share.
Her: I just hope all his bones are made of adamantium, if you know what I'm sayin'.

Some customers make everything worth it.
Okay, y'all:

Since X-Play is all but dead to me and I really miss Unscrewed, I've been catching up on the Infected by Martin Sargent podcasts and I gotta confess something--I never thought Internet's Martin Sargent was attractive until I saw this picture:

Now I'm in looooooove!

The podcast is great. It's like a good version of A Prairie Home Companion. Note: the video "peep show" that goes along with the podcast is for mature audiences only. I also need to recommend to you Martin Sargent: Web Drifter.

In other news,

a) my parents' woods caught fire last night and as my mother ran out to help stop the fire, she fell in a hole and twisted her ankle. She's okay. The dogs were put away in the garage because it was so cold last night, but the fire got into the hay in the chicken coop. The chickens are okay, too. You guys may think I exaggerate about my parents; I don't.

b)Matt says my coffee pot has been recalled! This coffee pot has been great to me and I would have recommended it to you as well, but clearly it has some problems of which I have just now been made aware.


Bryant Haliday is almost smiling!
Mrs. The Great Vorelli

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