ABC poem

An ABC poem has a series of lines that create a mood, picture, or feeling. Lines are made up of words and phrases. The first word of line 1 begins with an A, the first word of line 2 begins with a B etc. 

Another poem for Lance:
Before we once again
Count the days since   
Dawn has seen you dancing,
Energetic and full of voice,
First we should rejoice, and
Grant that whatever our
Hopes may be for tomorrow,
In your mere existence is
Joy. 
Keen as we are for 
Laughter to spring from your
Mouth, we cannot force
Nature to render you whole.
Oh, to be sure we pray for
Patience, but even in your
Quiet we will wait, 
Relentless, 
Strong, and
Tired. 
Unable to fix you, your 
Vigorous family is a troop of
Warriors, who will fight for
X number of days, months or
Years until you laugh again.
Zestfully yours, Trish
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Next project: poems for Lance

Dear Lance,

It’s been a good minute since I’ve written. I kind of explained why when I saw you at UK hospital a couple weeks ago, but sometimes I feel like the worst side effect of my drug regimen isn’t the nausea, lack of appetite or crankiness, but the blinders it puts on my creativity. While it’s a blessing to be able to focus on simple tasks and have control over my impulsivity, it’s much more difficult to think outside the box.  All the same knowledge is there, but it’s like the difference between ballet and running.  I want to tell you how I feel about Libya and Yemen, but I’m having difficulty stringing my thoughts together with flow or voice. It’s more than just mildly frustrating.

Happily, adding structure should help. My new goal is to try different types of poetry to see if that will aid me. These four websites have different examples of the various structures available to me. I think I’ll attempt to write them alphabetically by type.

Wish me luck,

yours, etc.

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Wait, he’s doing what?

Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Chad Ochocinco will undergo a four-day trial with Sporting Kansas City.


Best line: 

“Due to the NFL lockout, I’m excited to be able to follow my childhood dream of playing for a Major League Soccer team,” Ochocinco said.”

I know that MLS teams are doing all kinds of things (NSFW) to get attention, but this seems either really silly or really smart. Plus it looks like his number is available. 


Source: Avoiding The Drop blog

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I’m nine months late on sharing this…

…but I really enjoy these World Cup beer designs: Cheers! for the 2010 World Cup. The USMNT beer even has a pleasent micro-brew feel about it.

Thanks to everyone who signed up for the MLS fantasy league. I’ve already awarded a beer to Patrick Barker for best team name: Clever 25 Character Name. Should be a good season, there will be other random prizes handed out as they develop (best trade of the segment? most injured players in one week?). I haven’t read the rules yet, hopefully they aren’t too different from EPL…
Posted in ale, MLS, World Cup | Leave a comment

Fantasy football: where new fans are born

Do you like the idea of professional soccer in the US but just can’t seem to commit to it?

Here is your chance: create a fantasy team on ESPN for the quickly approaching 2011 season. It’s a great excuse to follow the sport, or at least learn a bit about the exciting players. Entries are due by March 15th (only 5 days!) and the top two finishers in the league will get prizes from me (likely a six pack of beer of the winners’ choosing, but could also be something sweet like a gift card or a hammock).  It’s free to play, I’m throwing in prizes so I have some people to compete with.

To enter:
1. Create or log in to your ESPN.com account
2. Create a team at the FC Manager game page. Have fun with the team name.
3. Join our group: Football and Ail    Password: baseball  (You can join other leagues too. For example I’m in the group “IDK Any MLS Players”)
4. Update your team every week or so to try to win.

Hopefully by the end of the season we’ll know a little more about soccer that’s within driving distance.

Posted in Fantasy, MLS | Leave a comment

For Lance’s Birthday

Lance turns 25 years old on Thursday (3/10), which normally we would’ve celebrated by going to the Beer Trappe or a movie marathon (or an actual marathon, ew), but this year is a little different. Lance is back home in Vanceburg and doing great, but he could still use everyone’s support. Here are a few things that you can do to let Lance know that you are still thinking about him:

1. Make a YouTube video. It doesn’t have to be elaborate or high quality, but let Lance see and hear you. Tell him a joke, sign him a song, introduce him to your cat/dog/grandma/spouse. With our crazy cool computers, this takes five minute to shoot and another one or two to upload. Heck, go to an Apple store and use their stuff. Then once the video is on YouTube, send the link to livethelion@gmail.com (and me!).

“All I want for my birthday is this guy’s hat.”

2. Send Lance a birthday card by snail mail. He is reading a little, so include a message (written fairly large, like size 20 font) that he can read. His address is:

PO Box 609
Vanceburg, KY 41179

3. Send Lance a present. Photos of yourself (and especially with him) are good. Send a CD of music or podcasts. Maybe he could use some sweatbands for all that biking and PT he’s going to be doing.

4. Send an email. His family reads him whatever you send, so go ahead and let him know that you’re out there, thinking about him. Try to make him laugh or get a rise out of him. Challenge him to get better. Send an essay or short story to keep him amused. Send those to livethelion@gmail.com

5. Keep thinking about him, include him in your prayers (if you do that sort of thing), donate blood, sign up for a 5k you’ve been considering, and keep on keeping on.

T

P.S. The O’Culls are making shirts which will be grey with red letters. If you guys want to order through me you can, otherwise let Chelcee know (chelceeocull@gmail.com) and she can leave yours with me in Lexington or we’ll figure out how to mail it to where you are. I guessing they will be $10 plus any shipping. I was thinking of wearing this at a few road races this spring/summer.

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Football Championship of minor importance: Shirts.

When choosing a sports team, uniforms matter. I’ve always been fascinated by sports uniforms: the colors, the logos, etc. I’ve long been a fan of the blog Uni Watch and can’t wait to share pointless tidbits about my teams’ fashion.

Over at Avoiding the Drop, they are having an excellent tournament of football shirts that you can participate in. Each head to head competition includes a picture and description of the jerseys with just enough snark. Personally, I don’t think there is a more elegant shirt than the 1960s Ireland national team shirt (though the current Man City shirt is going to be a strong contender).

What’s your favorite? Leave a comment.

Update: They’re onto the Round of 16!

Thanks to Brian for the link, even if he is a jerk about baseball.

Posted in Ireland, Man City, uni watch | Leave a comment

Thursday fun post: Obama’s progress

This site answers the question “What has Obama done so far?” though it uses slightly different wording. Caution: PG-13 language

I thought that was a nice answer to Dave Brockington’s post over at the Lawyers, Guns & Money blog (where they are aware of all internet traditions).  He is commenting on Obama’s plans to serve his own beer on St. Patrick’s Day.

Posted in fun link, Irish, political | Leave a comment

Ahhh. Spring.

I’m getting a hang of this soccer thing, college basketball is great, the NBA might be incorporating more defense than I remember, and hockey is in full swing, but man, I love baseball.

Source

I can almost smell the fresh-cut grass from here…

Posted in baseball | 2 Comments

Epic dream with Lance.

Lance:

You were in a dream of mine the other night. There was kind of a complicated plot.

We were members of a team of eight or so aliens that were sent to Earth to help out. The longer we stay on Earth, the stronger we become and each of us slowly gain some sort of power, be it super-strength, x-ray vision, telekinesis, whatever.

However, after about a year, the word gets out to the people that we are aliens and they hunt us down. Why they are so mad I’m not sure, but someone basically started a smear campaign calling for our deaths. There is a showdown on November 1st. We don’t want to hurt anyone, so we escape back to space because our leader (who I’m pretty sure was my Starbucks manager from Des Moines) is strong enough to create a wormhole that we literally climb up.

Pretty badass, right?

Except that by going though the wormhole, we not only lose what powers we gained, but can’t remember the past year and the disastrous ending. So we return to Earth, again with the goal of improving what we find, fighting some crime, tweaking technology, etc. We once again gain power and strength, but each of us now has a different ability than before.

Again people track us down and there is another battle on November 1st. The cycle continues twice more and is only broken because my newly acquired gift is the ability to locate our kind anywhere on Earth and we get a new understanding of how the energy of our team can work collectively.

During this cycle, you have the power of flight.

Turns out, the original reason for coming to Earth was to hunt down a rogue member from our planet, but he had a big enough head start on us that he was able to build up his power and shield himself, all the while directing the humans to drive us away. By now he has amassed so much power that he has several abilities at his command and is ridiculously strong. However, I am able to find him because of my otherwise pretty useless power, and by harnessing the whole team’s energy and abilities together we take him down.

And there was much rejoicing.

It was good to see you, if only in my dreams.

Love,

Trish

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Who to cheer for: USA or Brasil?

I’ve been asking my friends recently who they would choose to cheer for if their favorite teams (usually from different leagues) played each other.  If the USMNT  played Arsenal, who would Brewster choose?  If Tottenham played Barcelona, who would Diego choose?  When the US plays Brazil, who do I choose?

To most Americans, this would be an easy question to answer: support your home country.  But for me it wasn’t so clear cut.  I didn’t really start watching soccer until the 2002 World Cup in Korea/Japan.  It was perfectly timed because I could sleep most the day and watch the games live during the wee small hours. But then Germany knocked USA out and Brazil went on to win it all.  They were a beautiful, unstoppable team; Ronaldo won the Golden Boot and Ronaldinho was just beginning to shine.

Then I went to college, and other than a few Notre Dame games (our women’s team won the NCAA championship while I was there), I really didn’t have much exposure to the sport.  That all changed when I started learning Portuguese. As it would happen, the only thing that some Brazilians talk about is futebol.  Still, I might have remained a USMNT supporter if not for my stay Maceió, Brazil occuring at the same time as the 2005 FIFA Confederations Cup.  Brazil beat arch-rivals Argentina to win it, and the whole country seemed to celebrate go nuts.

After that trip I began to follow soccer a bit closer, attempting to keep track of where the Brazilians were scattered and how they fared in club play.  Robinho was my favorite, but I expected big things from Kaká too.  I was at a wedding during the 2006 World Cup game when they lost to France in the quarterfinals, and I think it ruined the reception for me.  I let soccer slip back to being slightly less important than hockey and enjoyed the Detroit Tigers’ World Series run.

Outside the odd international friendly, I haven’t watched my two favorite national teams play each other since I became a fan.  Though they could’ve potentially met in the semifinals at the 2010 World Cup, both US and Brazil were eliminated earlier in the knockout stage.

So I’m left asking: who will I cheer for when it matters?

Fortunately for the Yanks, the United States Mens National Team has this guy:

No, not that guy, and not the one on the left either.  In 2010, Brazilian-born Benny Feilhaber made his first World Cup appearance. And that, as they say, has made all the difference. 
Posted in Brazil, USMNT, World Cup | Leave a comment

Thursday fun link, a little late: Is Mubarak still president?

IS MUBARAK STILL PRESIDENT? 

Source: http://ismubarakstillpresident.com

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Squeaky Bum Time!

Well kids, it’s squeaky bum time. Here is lovely screen grab from ESPN to get you in the mood for this weekend’s derby.  I’m actually looking forward to getting up at 7:45 am on a Saturday.

Also exciting: only two days until the end of the Void.  My eyes will be on Lakeland, FL to see how the infield is going to come together. 
Posted in baseball, Man City, Man U | Leave a comment

A Pair of Books for Vday

Tired of the same old chocolate and flowers for Valentines Day? This year give your special someone something that will still be consumable come St. Patrick’s Day. Don’t be afraid to give something that could potentially outlast your relationship. To be specific, give her (or him) a book.

Here are a few on my wish list (hint, hint):

Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair by Pablo Neruda. This happens to be the duel language edition for murmuring sweet poetry to me in Spanish.

Snark Handbook by Lawrence Dorfman. Though I manage snark pretty well on my own, a little extra reference can’t hurt anyone.

The Walking Dead by Robert Kirkman. Nothing says “I love you” like zombies.

and, why not,

a Kindle. I’ll download the books myself…

***Update!***

I didn’t receive any books for V-day, but he did hunt down a song I kept hearing and commenting on during beer commercials. He also gave me a Curtis Granderson baseball card. I guess he knows me pretty well.

For Easter I bought myself a Kindle. The first book I plan on buying? Hounded by Kevin Hearne. Check out the first few chapters here.

Posted in reading material | 1 Comment

More Trash Talk for Lance

Also talkin’ trash: Carleton Scott

Dearest of Lances, my stalwart friend,
I’m taking my chances pursuing this end:

Louisville is about to take on number seven Notre Dame
and the Cards can expect a discouraging game.
They won’t get a win, just the Victory March ringing
for hours in their ears from the Irish home crowd singing.
Just look at our team – how are they gonna fight us?
We have Atkins, Nash and Tim Abromaitis. [ab-row-‘Might-us]
And have you watched the sophomore Jack Cooley?
He plays like Gody [go-dee], and is just as unruly.
And don’t get me started on Mr. Ben Hansbrough,
He’ll outrun your team and sink every free throw.
To round out the Irish there is Carleton Scott,
Who you’re sure to notice as he blocks your shot.
To top it off, no other team controls the clock
like the University of Notre Dame du lac.

Though it hurts me to see you take a beating,
It helps to know that the pain will be fleeting.
(With apologies to your family, I’m not often this brash,
It’s just nice to have a reason to talk a little trash.)
Feel free to speak up, it’s alright if you stumble,
but, as they say in wrestling, get ready to rumble!

If you want to watch it, it’s on ESPN-U,
but as not everyone gets that, it’s live online, too.
I’m really excited, we have such competitive teams;
I’m quietly entertaining Big East Champion dreams.
(Though as I say that, I’m knocking on wood,
Getting my hopes up won’t do any good.)
What’s that, Six-Lane? Enough of this sport?
Okay, but on Thursday expect a report.

As always, keep your chin up. You look bad with a pout.
From the chilly Bluegrass, this is Trish and I’m out.

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Talkin’ Trash to Lance

Lance,
Another day, another rejection letter.
You’d think I’d be sad, but I’ve never felt better.
I’m listening to “Beautiful Day” by those Irish U2
and I can’t help thinking of all we’ve been through.
Right here in Lexington, I’m beginning to thrive,
and you, despite the odds, are coming alive.
(I’m humming a little, it’s a catchy tune.)
I think it’s good that you’re coming home soon.

It’s hard to describe what’s going on in the world,
All seemed right in Tunisia, a new flag unfurled;
In Egypt, the process isn’t nearly so neat.
Some think the revolution is just an Iranian repeat.
I’m not too worried about the potential power vacuum,
Even with the Brotherhood, democracy’s in the room.
Sadly the Egyptian economy will be negatively affected,
But with foreign assistance, it hopefully won’t be neglected.

South Sudan successfully voted to secede!
From Omar Al-Bashir they’re finally freed!
It’s not everyday we get a new nation;
July will mark the official state formation.
The vote was peaceful, favored by 98%,
Even Bashir himself had to consent.
The whole ordeal is incredibly sweet.
I’ve attached a picture of dancing in the street.

Last night was the Super Bowl, the Packers won.
As a Lions fan, it didn’t matter in the long run.
I had a beer, then spilled the second in my lap,
which I’ve done in five different cities (I keep a map).
Also this weekend, I threw Torri a shindig.
Her birthday is Thursday. She had fun, go fig…

Oh goodness, oh no, now I feel all abash.
This whole time I should’ve been talking trash.
Our basketball teams play this week
and Notre Dame is lookin’ sleek.
I hope it won’t be a big issue
if your first words are to ask for tissue
because after this game you’ll be crying
and your Big East hopes will be dying.

Sorry.
Love ya.
Murph

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Choosing an MLS team, or When David has no Goliath

I think it’s pretty weird that I settled on an English soccer team before one in my own country. Maybe it’s because Detroit doesn’t have a team, or because I’ve never seen a single MLS game, even on TV. Or maybe, as Leander Schaerlaeckens points out, the format of our professional soccer league doesn’t lend itself to rabid fandom. There isn’t a Yankees to hate or Cubs to love for their losing-ness. None of the MLS teams make me want to create profane fan chants or hope that an obscure, bottom of the table team will take them down. For reasons that I don’t entirely understand, I hated Manchester United even before I watched a single EPL game.

With almost every sport in the US, you can quickly identify the team or teams that draw the most emotional response: Yankees (and now Red Sox), Red Wings, Tiger Woods, Duke basketball, Notre Dame football, Lakers, and Cowboys (and sometimes Patriots, but mostly just Brady’s hair).  Why is MLS the exception? The most damning statement I’ve heard against most teams is when a club picks up one player that a fan doesn’t like.

Of course, it’s possible that I’ve missed any animosity between MLS clubs because I’m not paying attention. It’s difficult for me to view our soccer as much more than a minor league. It’s where great soccer players go to retire and young players come to gain experience before being signed by English, Spanish or Italian teams. That isn’t to say that there aren’t some damn good players in the MLS. What I am saying is that people who were turned onto soccer by the World Cup last summer were probably disappointed by the dearth of familiar faces in our country’s professional league (assuming they could watch it).

Oh, whatever. I’m enough of a nerd to look forward to putting together a spreadsheet similar to what I did for the Premier League before the start of the 2011 MLS season. I might not find my next Lions or Tigers or Irish (oh my!), but maybe I’ll find a reason to buy a new scarf.

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List for Lance.

You know what I miss, Lance? 
Other than just you in general, being a friend to call on?
Other than your smile and laugh? 
Other than knowing you’d be there to fall on?
I miss the way you start conversations, 
how you’d jump straight into situations. 
I miss the way you say, “Hey, you know what’s crazy?”
And get me feeling fresh as a daisy. 
It’s not like we spoke on the phone everyday, 
but when we talked, we’d have so much to say. 
And when I ranted, you were content to just listen, 
or when we shared music, how your eyes would just glisten. 
What we had, what we have, it’s something like love,
To call you a friend is a fact I’m proud of. 
So, I’m making a list of things that we’ll do
when you get back, if you’re down for them too: 
Go on walks, climb tall trees,
Finally fly my kites on a breeze.
Eat Indian, Korean and chinese,
Listen to records and mp3s.
Help the Bessins steal honey from bees,
Breathe the salt wind off the seas.
Grab a couch and watch dvds,
Roll down hills and skin our knees.
Paint a picture, tie-dye some tees,
Throw a party with wine and cheese.
Drink a slushy just for the brain freeze,
Collaborate on some mix cds.
Learn a new language (like japanese),
Perfect our international expertise. 
High fives, low fives, hugs with a squeeze,
laugh, smile, debate, frolic and tease. 
That day, Lance, will be ours to seize,
So if you would, come back to me, please.

T

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Corn for Gas

The following comic has a point, but like most economic and energy issues squeezed into a four-panal drawing, it tends to simplify the issue:

Gas prices are a getting higher, there is turmoil in the Middle East, food prices have increased and we do use corn for biofuel. You can’t argue that the father is lying, but he is leaving out several other facts that would help his child have a better grasp of the situation. It might has well have read like this:

Child: “Why are gas prices so high?”
Father: “Oil companies cashing in on turmoil in the Middle East” or “High sugar tariffs” or “Hubbert’s peak fears” or “I don’t know what you’re talking about, compared to Europe we’re getting a deal.”
Child: “What started the turmoil in the Middle East?”
Father: “Global unemployment and corruption” or “Lack of reliable infrastructure” or “People with satellite phones”
Child: “Why are food prices so high?”
Father: “Because we use our corn for every kind of food imaginable” or “Transportation issues of getting food to hungry people” or, hell why not? “Global warming”

I don’t know why this one bothered me so much. Maybe it’s because the kid has a funny haircut.

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A Glorious Invitation: into to Kenwick Fantasy Football

Welcome one, welcome all
to the greatest fantasy league of all,
but this is soccer, or footy,
not your father’s football.

You see before you a creation
of true divine inspiration,
a union more self-important
than the United Nations.

This is the unification
of the Blog of the generation,
and a League so exclusive
it requires invitation

You’ve followed rumors and rumblings,
to a website so humbling
it makes Shakespeare’s great folios
seem a lunatic’s mumblings

And like a train on a rail,
or a cross from Gareth Bale,
you’ve arrived at the target
for whose shore you set sail

So hang on to your trousers
as your eyes meet your browser,
be you Gooner, Red Devil,
Hotspur, Citizen, or Scouser.

What so proudly you hail:
The blogosphere’s Holy Grail,
F and A, EFFIN’ A!
Kenwick’s on Football and Ail!

Continue reading

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