(Pre-blog side note; I am now on Day 10 trying to complete this report on my trip to bowl the USBC Open Championships - aka Nationals - in Reno. However in the interim, I've had to attend the high school graduation of (Sponsor's Name Here)'s Official Son, Mitten, as well as to throw his graduation and 18th birthday party. And in the tradition of his old man, the day after his 18th birthday he made me take him to Potawatomi to play bingo and get his birthday points added to his account. With any luck, this trip report will be completed and posted today.)
"USA! USA! USA!" shouted the middle-aged man from his easy chair at about 2:15 PM Saturday... Yeah, I know I should have been preparing for Sloppy's birthday party, but this IS the World Cup, you know... Love this clip, followed a little later by this one... Brilliant job with the version of the Star-Spangled Banner. They used an instrumental version that was quick and powerful. That kind of crap apparently wouldn't work in the States... Still bothers me that I didn't get to what could be the only World Cup held in the USA in my lifetime; I would have thought with the United States' marketing superiority over other countries that we would have been granted another by now... I did manage to fit into one of my World Cup '94 T-shirts... Absolutely must credit ESPN for their fine coverage of the games so far. They have removed the ubiquitous ticker that crawls along the bottom of the screen, the limited graphics are sharp and clear, and they have remarkably little advertising on the screen during play... The announcers, on the other hand - how do I say this? - If you are a Eurosnob and think that games can only be viewed with British, Irish or Scottish announcers, then you've gotten your wish... For me, I'd prefer me some John Paul Dellacamera... My Saturday actually started at 6:30 AM with the Greece v. South Korea game... I've seen all of two games and parts of two others, and I've actually seen five goals in the first two days... While in New York in early July, one of the stops will be at either Kinsale Tavern or Ship of Fools to watch a Final Four game. My-Sugar-Na actually didn't say no. We spent the opening weekend of World Cup 2006 watching the games from a bar in Ames, IA. Of course, the best part of those games was clearly halftime... Now comes the long wait until Friday's game when USA plays Slovenia.
Imagine a place....
- You have to qualify to travel
- When selected to travel, you can't leave your hotel
- TVs and newspapers are removed from the hotel room
- You are told what to wear
- You are told how to act; free expression isn't cool
- You can't sing
- You can't dance
- People will spot you if you look at others outside your group
- You will leave when told to
If you've ever read my comments on restaurants, you know that I far, far prefer locally owned restaurants over chains. All things being equal, the independent proprietor - with his life savings possibly invested in the business - will almost always get my business over even the best of chains (Side note; I understand that the free market dictates why an business will succeed or fail [and that's the way it should be] but I just can't get a handle on why Red Lobster's parking lot is always packed, there have been about four different restaurants on the corner on 76th & Forest Home in the past decade.)
Before I start (and get people all hosed off), My-Sugar-Na and I will be heading to New York City on Sunday for a couple of days away from
the kids work. This weekend, look for an update on what frugality I can pull off (like how the hell did I get this place for $99/night?) and what awe-inspiring sites (like Peter Luger Steakhouse) that I can see while you struggle to get your charcoal lit.