Wednesday, August 18, 2010

One Off

If you're not in an airport and reading a USA Today, chances are you stayed in a hotel last night. Keep this in mind next time you're casing a target as part of your part-time detective work.

Monday, August 16, 2010

The Losing Season

This is the face of men's rec-league soccer through the Philadelphia Sport and Social Club, where my team of free-agents (the proudly named 'PSSC Adidas') put the finishing touches on a winless regular season last night by scoring an own-goal to break a 3-3 tie late in the second half. Crushing defeat and we finish a sweltering season of abasement 0-7. Yes, thank you, we dreamed the impossible dream and dared to underachieve completely, submitted to rampant old man strength and it was awesome. Chalk it up to character built.

*Special Note: props to Sean last night for taking it like a man and smiling through the pain while I MacGyvered a medical dressing from napkins and athletic tape.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Fat Birds

We live behind an Italian restaurant in Old City and most of the time people think hey, what a sweet thing to live so close to this cute BYOB that always smells like garlic, you must eat here all the time. 3 times total, and that's counting the chance encounter 8 years ago when I dined with my cousin visiting from Idaho on our mutual first trip to Philadelphia, so that's really like twice, which is to say living behind an Italian restaurant is more of a mixed bag than anyone not living behind an Italian restaurant realizes.

In 2007, or the last time I was in Italy, I heard some crazy shit was going down in Naples where the civic authorities somehow had failed to pick up the garbage for a stretch of about six weeks in the midst of the sweaty Mediterranean summer. Something about a feud with the mafia and their claims on the waste-removal business, but by and by the normally quaint and can't-miss tourist town slowly filled up to waist-deep in most places of fetid, stinking garbage and while that's about the worst of it (with tourists and residents alike walking around, half-drowning in their own stench-induced vomit) there's also the proliferation of trash-loving vermin like roaches, rats, centipedes and bums.

Here in the Ill it's not so bad, but with City Hall enforcing 'brownouts' on non-essentials like the Fire Dept, we're always a little nervous that waste-removal might be the next furloughed public service if the stimulus continues to wear off.  I'm merely highlighting the worst case scenario of too much Italian unconsumed or undisposed. At present, our trash is removed weekly and our local vermin, consisting of the occasional mouse, are held in check by the neighborhood semi-feral cat whose taste for Italian isn't much.

But the birds, those little nameless brown and gray jobs that you see everywhere (I only want to say nuthatch because it's fun), can't get enough Italian food and are raiding the trashcans continuously for clam shells, pancetta and bathes of alfredo sauce. As a result they've grown as round and fat as hamsters and spend more time on the ground hopping about and squabbling amongst the crumbs than they do soaring in the clouds.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Sights, Sounds and More from Chromeo at the Troc

Last Tuesday night the Missus and I stepped out for an evening with Montreal Canada's hottest electro-funk pop duo, Chromeo, at the Trocadero and I wanted to report back on some of the the notable sensations that comprised the experience.

-The sign on the door warned entrants that Chromeo's show features intense strobe lighting effects. This is no joke and so I'd have to conclude that Chromeo in concert is not for epileptics. Sorry guys.

-There were 3 opening acts, the last of whom was an aspirational MGMT with decent musical chops, but like zero charisma. I think that makes all the difference in the world.

-Chromeo got the crowd rocking - particularly the 35 year old dude next to us in the balcony viewing area. We may have been dating ourselves, chilling up there in the balcony with its u-shaped, padded vinyl benches, but I'd have to register a minor complaint about the size of this dudes dance moves. Way too big, like 6-7 feet in lateral distance. Sure, it's cool to get on your feet and shimmy around a bit and clap in time (the 2 and the 4 white folks), but when you're elbowing, kicking and crotch-thrusting into your neighbors with each gyration its time to reign in it a bit. The ground floor in front of the stage is a more apt environment for sweaty shenanigans like this, not too mention that they're generally better left to young, attractive women.

-But mostly shame on the couple behind us too for their equally disturbing interpretive dance. Ignoring the exclusively up-tempo beats, said couple spent the night in a middle-school slow song tangle, complete with awkward pre-coital embrace and aggressive sucking of face. I didn't think the show was 18+,  ( or maybe they had good fake IDs) but who else needs to sneak out of the house just to French kiss for two hours? Making matters worse, our twinkish male-lead in this PG-13 love scene, was actor and director - filming the action for significant stretches of time with the video capture on his smartphone.

-Chromeo's set was short and sweet. They took the stage late and played their most beloved tunes in quick succession, sparing the audience too much of their new or lesser-known work. I for one applaud the lack of bullshit and getting to the point of delivering the goods.