Friday, June 09, 2006

Red card

Who uses it: Soccer referees
What it means: A penalty -- an actual red card -- that ejects a player from a game, either for one violent foul or after the second yellow card (warning)
How you can use it: When sending someone away.

I don't care about the World Cup. Those ads with Bono's voiceover, showing the world coming together for the World Cup -- what are those ads even for? Mastercard? ESPN? Budweiser? -- make me misty-eyed, but so does that Joe Don Baker ad for the Army, and I'm not joining the Army, either.

All the same, I like to watch people watching the World Cup. It's always fascinating to see people get worked up about stuff, and I highly recommend Bill Buford's Among the Thugs to anyone who wants to learn more about the football hooligan subculture.

My sister Susan said last night that she'd noticed a certain testiness in my recent blog postings. I admit this, and I'm not apologizing. You'd be testy, too, if you were coming into the second straight week of rainy days.

Tomorrow I'm going to a handgun class in Massachusetts, if the weather cooperates. I feel certain that will raise my spirits considerably.

What I Read This Week

David Feige, Indefensible. David Feige is a career public defender who spoke at Jen's conference last week. This is his first book, an account of one day in his life as a Bronx Defender that includes memories from his entire career. It's a compelling and frightening story of what happens to people who get caught up in the system, sometimes through no fault of their own. Anyone who expects to serve on a jury should read it.

Boileau-Narcejac, Maldonne. At least once a year, I try to read something written in a language other than English. This 1960s-era French thriller is archetypically noir, and a company like Hard Case Crime ought to consider publishing it in translation. Jacques Christen is a drifter and struggling violinist who agrees to impersonate a missing playboy in order to secure an inheritance. His pretense at amnesia seems to convince even the man's wife -- but his ignorance about the missing man's secret past may prove fatal. Wildly romantic, relentlessly bleak.

Casey Daniels, Don of the Dead. I needed something kind of mindless, and this was a nice break. Pepper Martin works as a tour guide in a Cleveland cemetery; after a head injury, she sees the ghost of a crime boss who was murdered thirty years earlier -- and wants Pepper to find his killer. Not my usual kind of reading, but entertaining for a rainy day.


Tom Ehrenfeld said...

I agree with you so strongly on many matters but not one bit on the World Cup. I love the Cup. Soccer is a thrilling sport to watch, it's a sport where I enjoy the women's game as much as the men's (sorrry for any implied sexism), the event really is a great global gala and I love the way that quiet subcultures in my home town get suddenly very loud and unified. I love that we've finally found a real use for the Internet, which is being able to read the British coverage of the Cup with a click of the mouse. It's cool all around, and I heartily recommend that you find time to watch a game or two.

Among the Thugs is one of my favorite books, it's brilliant. Buford starts with somewhat of a detached reportorial tone, then utterly loses himself in what he covers. I just got his new book Heat, about working in the kitchen of a genius diva chef. A good bookend to Among the Thugs is Fever Pitch by Nick Hornsby. (And is it just me, but wouldn't you say the Colin Firth version is better than the Drew Barrymore one?)

Hope we can see you this weekend, only sans arms, please.

AnswerGirl said...

Uh, if I cut my arms off, I can't drive... oh, you mean FIRE arms. That's okay, I don't plan to be carrying, unless they give away free samples.