Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Brazil: Joga Bonito

Brazil (or, Brasil, for you purists): they have all the makings of a team you could hate. A boat load of past championships, stacked teams, over-enthusiastic fans, always a favorite to win the cup. They could very well be the Yankees or Lakers of the soccer world.

But they're just so much fun to watch. And they have fun. And they're not major cry babies (yeah, I'm talking to you, Cristiano Ronaldo). And they help the other team up when they fall. And they're creative. And they're really, really good.

So while I'm not necessarily rooting for the Brazil team this year, I'm not not rooting for them.

Oh, and by the way, I'm loving the World Cup this time around. Having all the games streaming online relegates just about every morning to just watching beautiful soccer.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Pictures: A Weekend in Review

Well I don't usually write "update blogs" but I'm more than sufficiently bored and I like the idea of a picture blog detailing the second half of my week.

First of all, Jorjette came to visit (Wednesday-Sunday):
We hadn't seen each other in almost two months so it was nice to have 3 1/2 days to do whatever we pleased. We decided to go to my subdivision's fantastic beach. Besides getting burnt (by the sun) and bitten (by gross lake-bugs), it was a true beach experience.

Later that night, we watched Shutter Island.
Although Jorjie fell asleep, I was spellbound for the first hour and a half. Scorsese is a master/genius movie maker. Although the plot line felt a little tired (especially as things progressed), the way the movie was crafted made the experience (and $1 at Redbox) totally worth it.

On Friday night, Jorjette and I made a little trip to Ann Arbor (our usual hang out spot) and made our first trip to State Theater for the movie The Secret in Their Eyes.
Turned out to be a fantastic little Argentinian thriller/romance/drama/thinker. Thoughts were provoked... and I think that's why indie/foreign movies should be made.

Saturday held my little brother's graduation.
I was impressed with a couple things. Namely: the quantity of beach balls students are able to sneak in, one of the valedictorian's fiddle skills, the elected speaker/teacher's vocal similarities to the Simpson's Mr. Burns, the fact that Green Day is still being played at graduations, and the lack of preparation on the student body president's part while simultaneously able to entertain a few thousand people.

Later that day, the USA's World Cup journey began.
Thank-you Mr. Green. We owe you one.

And today, I finally had a chance to return to Hope Community Church.
While I usually have an internal debate on whether or not to make the trip into Detroit for the Sunday morning service, I always come away encouraged that the body of Christ is alive.

That's my weekend. Oh, listen to this song by The Drums. It served as our melodramatic theme song.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Zeitoun; a few words

I just finished Dave Eggers' latest piece of nonfiction, Zeitoun. I thought the book deserved more than my standard Facebook-notification of recommendation.

The book gives an account of New Orleans residents Abdulrahman and Kathy Zeitoun as they experienced the events of Hurricane Katrina. The Zeitouns are devout Muslims, have four children, and are respected contractors in the New Orleans community.

Throughout the first third of the book, I quickly bonded to the Zeitoun family while also forming a connection to the city of New Orleans and the Syrian culture from which Zeitoun came. Written in a chronological, journalistic nature, the impending natural disaster creates a certain "impending doom" that is hard to ignore but once the brunt of the hurricane comes and goes, the crux of the book arrives and gave me a picture of post-hurricane New Orleans and all the mayhem that came with it. While most of the book's criticism of the country's reaction is told in a pure story format, the following quote nicely sums up much of the book's thesis:
This country was not unique. This country was fallible. Mistakes were being made. He was a mistake. In the grand scheme of the country's blind, grasping fight against threats seen and unseen, there would be mistakes made. Innocents would be suspected. Innocents would be imprisoned.
A quick note on the author, Dave Eggers. Although certain friends of mine (cough*Goodrich*cough) have a distaste for Eggers' popular book, A Heartbreaking Work Of Staggering Genius, calling Eggers a "narcissistic tool" who thinks that he is "...so special and no one gets it," I have enjoyed his writing. While writing some decent memoir-ish stuff, he has also written a good amount of social justice related books (most notably, What Is The What), with profits usually going directly towards charities involved with the subject at hand. He has also started a writing and tutoring center in his hometown of San Francisco and been involved in similar operations around the country. Basically, it's nice to see a talented, successful author use his craft to highlight more substantive issues (read: not narcissistic).