Friday, August 18, 2006

In which I come back from my unplanned hiatus

I gotta say, I'm wary of attending happy hours. Not happy hours per se - I'm cool with cheap drinks, uncrowded bars and getting sloppy before the sun goes down. That's the way life should be. It's what comes with happy hours that I'm wary of.

The last three or four times I've gone out for happy hour, the night stretched beyond the designated hours and recommended nightly intake of alcohol and calories.

But I chose to stay out, right? I can just decline the invitations, right? You'd think so, but no.

As strong willed as I like to think I am, when the forces of friendship (or rather, desperation to maintain them), alcohol and beer pong/Uno/karoke collide -at the risk of getting all David Hume on this shit- they form the perfect storm of soft determinism and free will ceases to exist. So I go. I drink. I stay. I drink more. The best I can do is to keep my pants zipped and my inapproprisms to a minimum.

That said, it was great meeting everyone I met last night. Sorry - I'm horrible with names and faces and URLs. Pants is much better in this regard, clearly, but I would be remiss if I didn't recognize some people (I know I've left people out - please feel free to point out any glaring omissions). I hope I can make sweet love to all of you some day. Why? Because sweet love is the only kind of love I make.

The revolution is Flickrd.

Anyway, before I sign off for the week, and possibly for the rest of the month, the English Premier League season starts tomorrow. I had planned an extensive preview, but my tendency to procrastinate being what it is, bullet points are all you get.

  • Oh thank god Simmons didn't pick Liverpool. There are enough bandwagon fans as it is.

  • I feel really, really good about Liverpool. As much as I hated to Djibril Cisse and his ridiculously awesome tattoos go, I like the way the forward line looks. There's God Fowler, Craig Bellamy, Dirk Kuyt and of course, Crouchinho.

    Granted, none of them is a Thierry Henry or a Wayne Rooney or a Andriy Shevchenko (though Kuyt might eventually become a star), I dare say it's the best group of forwards in the Prem and more importantly, it's a group that allows for a lot of tactical flexibility.

  • Chelsea is still the favorite to win, but good luck trying to play Ballack and Lampard in the same midfield.

  • Manchester United - better than a lot of people think.

  • Which is to say, I don't think you'll see Chelsea dominate like in the past two seasons. They've gotten better, to be sure, but the other teams have been much smarter, I think.

  • Lest you think I'm some Eurosnob, I do give a shit about MLS. I just can't get myself to support a New York team in any sport, ever. That said, I love that Bruce Arena is Red Bull New York's new head coach, if only because he's a monumental sarcastic asshole. His Sports Illustrated interview is a fucking riot. Some excerpts:
    Arena: (US Soccer president Sunil Gulati is a great guy. He's always been a good friend. I think he's a superfan who now is president... He's a guy... who wants to be important and be around the world of bigwigs at FIFA, and he's going to get that opportunity. You care about the U.S. team, don't you?

    Arena: Oh yeah. They're going to win the next World Cup, from what I'm told. So I wish them the best. Because we did so poorly over the last eight years, I'm sure they're going to win the next World Cup.
    Arena: The only reason I'm here is because of Red Bull. I don't work for MLS. I work for Red Bull.


  • Yet another reason why Clint Dempsey is my favorite MLS player - check his not-so-subtle dig at Landon Donovan for not playing in Europe:
    "I already told [MLS] if they paid me more than Landon Donovan I still wouldn't stay," he said, referring to Donovan's $900,000 salary. "I just don't want to be in this league anymore. It's not about the money. It's about me getting better and pushing myself to a higher level. I'll be able to live with whatever the consequences may be, but I can't live with never trying to accomplish my dreams, and I can't live with somebody holding me back from that."

  • Those headline writers at The Sun are so clever.

    Finally, this:

    "Hegel is arguing that the reality is merely an a priori adjunct of non-naturalistic ethics, Kant via the categorical imperative is holding that ontologically it exists only in the imagination, and Marx is claiming it was offside."


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