Saturday, 17 June 2006

This is one of those months with an extra paycheque, and even though we're saving up the cash for all sorts of stuff, including the drive back to Ontario and a place to live, Suzanne and I thought we'd go out and treat ourselves to some new shoes. I won't discuss Suzanne's footwear here, because there isn't enough room on the Internet, but I'm one of those people who buy a new pair of shoes once every two or three years and then wear them until they fall off. Okay, maybe that's a bit of an exaggeration, but I have very little in the way of footwear. My favourite shoes are probably my little Michael Owen Umbro footer boots but there is one shoe I've been seriously coveting for almost 10 years.

If you have a look at the cover of the Verve album 'Urban Hymns' you can see 'Mad' Richard Ashcroft and his glorious Clarks Wallabees. (Actually, I just went over and looked at it...they may not be Wallabees after all.....but whatever) I've wanted to buy those shoes since I saw that album cover, and today I finally did. They aren't the sand coloured low-tops, and mine are leather, but DAMN! they look good on. It's not quite in the same league as the day I got the scooter, but I love the feeling when you finally get something you've wanted for a long time.

Anyone want to rent an apartment? I know of one available....

Click here for the Craigslisting

The place obviously looks a little different with all of our crap everywhere, but you get the idea. Such a nice floor.

The first groups of prospective renters came through today, and I'd forgotten what it's like to have strangers traipsing through your home.

Wednesday, 14 June 2006

So the World Cup is underway, and for that I thank the Cosmic Brothers above. It's definitely my favourite time of the quadrennial, and even though I have the fever year round, it's nice to have it spread to my co-workers and the man in the street. So far we've seen some big performances from favourites like Spain, Italy, Germany, the Dutch and the Czechs, but everyone loves to see plucky underdogs like The Ivory Coast and Saudi Arabia do well too. I really enjoyed watching the Poles in their opening match, and at the time of this writing, they appear to be holding their own against Ze Germans. There have been the usual share of disappointments as well; in their opener against Paraguay, England looked 'too comfortable' in the words of one pundit, while France seems poised to self-destruct again. The USA fizzled against a blistering Czech attack, but it was Brazil who left the worst taste in my mouth. 'Everyone's favourite overdog', Brazil gets a lot of support in this country from Canadian soccer fans who enjoy watching really good players play the game really, really well. I unashamedly admit that I love the football-themed commercials that crop up at cup time, and this year's 'Joga Bonito' ads are some of the best ever. Eric Cantona is an awesome host, and I wholly support the idea of playing the better looking style of soccer that is usually exemplified by the Brazilians, stars of the ads. But watching their first game against Croatia, it seemed that a major weapon in the 'Play Beautiful' arsenal, was to run at full speed towards the goal and then trip over the 18-yard line. It quickly became obvious that the plan was to get as many free-kicks as possible from just outside the area, knowing that one of their many free kick specialists would have an excellent chance of scoring. The Croats were guilty of the easy fall too; but they aren't five time world champions and aren't supposed to embody soccer perfection. I found myself ALMOST agreeing with the hockey fans in the lunchroom at work who started up with the inevitable 'sure these guys are great athletes, but what's with the diving?' Croatia played well, only allowing a lone Brazilian goal, which was enough to win the game. But barely, it seemed. The players were smiling at the end, but underneath the smiles, you could almost see relief on their faces, and even a hint of fear, surely an unusual feeling for them. Are they that good? Time will tell. If I sound a little bitter, it's residual hooliganism from the U-20 match we saw Canada play against the South Americans a few weeks ago. As usual, there were far more Brazil fans in the crowd it seemed, so I thank again the Cosmic Brothers that Toronto FC starts playing in the MLS next season. It will be so nice to finally get to root for the home team, and I plan on doing some serious rooting. And of course, a top level professional team in Canada can only improve our prospects for World Cup qualification down the road.

In the meantime, I support England. I support England because I liked Liverpool when I was a kid, and I liked Liverpool when I was a kid because my best friend was from Liverpool and his family followed them. And as an England fan, I'm looking forward to the possibility of a match against Argentina. It's the 40th anniversary of the World Cup quarter-final game that saw the rivalry explode, when Argentina's captain was famously sent off for 'violence of the tongue', and England's manager called their oppenents, 'animals'. England went on, of course, to win that competition, and it was 20 years later, 20 years ago, again in the quarter-finals, that Diego Armando Maradona single-handedly got Argentina's revenge by eliminating England, when he scored the greatest goal in the history of World Cup, then it's most infamous. Argentina, of course, then went on to win that competition. In 1998 they met in the first knock-out stage, and eerily similar to the '66 quarter-final, David Beckham was sent off controversially when he was judged to have kicked out at Diego Simeone. The English lost on penalties, but Argentina were eliminated by the Dutch in the next round. This year they each have a good team, with some of the world's great players. A meeting between them would be mouth-watering.

Could this be the World Cup that they take the rivalry to the next level?

Fat Maradona thinks so! So does Peter the Robot!


June 14th, 2002

A day that lives on in near-Northern Ontario legend. Suzanne and Jesse united forever in a ceremony down by a river in Parry Sound. Today we celebrate four years
together, and we look forward to the day, so close now, that we will alight once more on her shores. I raise a glass to us tonight!

Happy Anniversary Suzanne and Jesse!

love always,


Wednesday, 7 June 2006

July 21

That appears to be the date we leave Vancouver.