Thursday, December 7, 2006

Ridiculously Late Weekend Review

Saturday morning Arsenal beat the shite out of little sister Spurs 3-0. Another great performance without TH14 (beat Hamburg away in CL, beat ManUtd at Old Trafford, now this), who either has an injured neck, has has some sort of bust up & falling out with Arsene Wenger, or both - depending on whom you care to believe.

Later Saturday morning I walked downtown, jumped on BART, and headed over to Berkeley to take in my first Cal football game, which just happened to be the 109th Big Game. I met up with A10 and his crew for breakfast, and right away it was apparent that although there was a game day buzz in the air, we weren't in the deep South: the TV in the restaurant was tuned to one of the early games CSPAN2, where a dude was discussing his book on the socio-politics of Western Civilization in the 20th century. Awesome.

Quick breakfast and then over to a really cool bar called The Bear's Lair for pregame festivities. A few beers and then we walked up to the stadium. Unfortuantely we didn't see the people who climbed up the trees to protest their imminent destruction in the name of the soon-to-be stadium expansion. Berkeley-tastic. We made it to our seats, which were in the equivalent of the UGA student section, situationally that is. Memorial stadium is one giant bowl, no lower/upper levels, and I don't think that I had ever been in such a stadium before - I must say it was pretty cool, and the sightlines were very, very good from our seats that were 42 rows up. The seats were all deliciously old-school wooden benches, similar to what Orson Swindle described in his trip to Notre Dame earlier this year. Another interesting thing is that the students are given the most prime real estate - between the 40 yard lines on the sunny side of the stadium. Interesting, I don't think I have ever seen that at a football stadium. The students also pass people all the way up to the top of the stands after Cal scores, which looks pretty cool.

A beautiful 65 degree sunny day made it a really pleasant, and it turned out to be a much better game than expected. Cal were 29 point favorites, and although the game was against their big rival they clearly were still hungover from the back to back late season losses to Zona & SC, so they basically sleepwalked through the game while Stanford played way over their heads. In the end it wasn't enough, and Cal won by 9. We walked back down to town, ate some Indian food, and then watched SC shockingly lose to the baby bears at a pub. Walked back to BART, made my way home, and watched the 2nd half of Arkansas-Florida. Sorry no pics- I left the camera at home thinking A10 would have his, and he did the same. Next time.

Saturday night I went to see Ozomatli at the Fillmore. Fucking awesome: if they ever come to your town, go. Hard to describe, but basically a fusion of latin, funk, salsa, hip hop. Great music, and they certainly lived up to their legend of putting on an amazing show. High energy, very interactive- at the end they brought their instruments out onto the floor and played in the middle of the audience, then did conga lines through the audience for a while. Great stuff. The opening band rocked as well - a Brasilian samba band called I think Samba Da. And The Fillmore lived up to its legend as well - if you are ever in SF and have a chance to check out a show there, definitely do. I'm pissed at myself that it took me a year and a half to finally catch a show there.

Sunday morning FC Red Stripes wrapped up the regular season with a 2-0 win: Kanu even managed not to miss this time and finished off a nice team goal (with his left foot even), then celebrated at a Cuban cafe with a grilled chicken and plantain sandwich. Playoffs start this week, and Red Stripes are seeded #2 out of 16 teams, behind only Boutros Boutros Goalie.

The Amazing Race went to Barcelona, which reminded me that I still have not written up my trip there in March (not to mention Argentina in September). I need to get that shit sorted out soon. It is supposed to rain all weekend so perhaps I can finally knock it out.

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