Archive for June, 2008
Hey! I sort of called it. Two of my guys made it to the Euro 08 final: Spain’s foine Iker Casillas and German hottie Jens Lehmann. And wouldn’t you know it, they’re both goalkeepers. The last defence. The lone soldiers holding the fort. There’s something hot about that. And goalies are famous for being a leeetle bit crazy. Can you just imagine the hotness if it goes to penalty kicks???
So who’s it gonna be?
(He can read? Is he squinting from too much reading? Hot and an intellectual – what’s not to love!)
(Mmm, mmm gut! He looks nice in blue)
If you ask me, my money’s on Iker, I mean Spain. Plus, they have the best good luck charm ever. King Juan Carlos will be in the house. He’s the coolest monarch around. And he looks much better in a suit than Angela Merkel. So no contest.
Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa!
I know I shouldn’t be beating myself up about it but apart from the disappointment about Italy losing to Spain last night, I do feel like it’s in part my fault. Why you ask?? Because I didn’t post a sexy ugly list, that’s why! Laugh if you will but I’m sure it brought our boys a little bit of luck the last two times. And being the superstitious gal that I am, I believe in the power of the sexy ugly. But I had a super crazy weekend with the kids and so, I had no time to do the list. However, I did find the time to buy some red white and green maracas for my toddler to play with during the game. Never again!
In the end, Spain played much better than Italy and deserved to win. I could go on and on about the coaching mistakes, how much Pirlo was sorely missed and Toni’s godawful smarmy little moustache, but instead I will leave you with this picture of our boys in happier times. Alla prossima, ragazzi!
p.s. I’ve just read this excellent op/ed article by Vittorio Zucconi (in Italian). His Euro 08 report card is hilarious, esp. his description of Toni.
Well, my sexy ugly list worked. Sort of. But now I have to get down to work and post as soon as possible because time is a-wasting! Italy is playing France in a couple of hours to see who will go through to the quarter finals. But it will be an arduous task. Not only does Italy have to win but they have to hope that Romania won’t beat Holland tonight. As Holland has already qualified for the quarter finals and might not want to meet up with France or Italy in the later rounds, pundits here are expecting the Dutch to “fare il biscotto”, which literally means “do the biscuit” but actually means to lose on purpose to suit their diabolical needs. No I’m not biased ; )
Since our boys in blue need lots of moral support, and since you all appreciated the last one so much, here’s one last ditch Euro 08 sexy ugly list to bring them good luck. This list features some of the Azzurri who are going to play this evening. And no Bleus! So in no particular order, here’s the list:
Daniele De Rossi (midfielder)
Everyone’s favourite hangdog/horseface…Andrea Pirlo (midfielder)
Gianluigi Buffon (goalkeeper)
Gianluca Zambrotta (wingback)
And our saviour from the World Cup 06, Fabio Grosso
And for good measure, I’m going to throw in Jessica’s 10 Hottest Soccer Players with some FOINE pictures of our boys in their skivvies (scroll to the end) .
Come on ragazzi!!! May the force of the sexy ugly be with you!!!!!!!!!!!
*UPDATE: We did it!!!! Woo hoo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I’m soooo nervous right now. This evening Italy is playing Romania in Euro 08. If they don’t tie or win, our Azzurri are O-U-T out! Fingers crossed, or incrociamo le dita as they say here. Oh no! I just realized that today is Friday the 13th, too! Worse luck! What can I do to ward off the bad vibes? I know!! A special Euro 08 Sexy Ugly list!!!! It’s the only thing that will work. Here goes:
1. Simone Perrotta (midfielder – Italy)
2. Jens Lehmann (goalkeeper – Germany)
3. Iker Casillas (goalkeeper – Spain)
4. Thierry Henry (striker – France)
and last but not least, the sexiest ugliest of them all….
5. Gennaro “Ringhio” Gattuso (midfielder – Italy)
Special category: the sexy and the just plain fugly
The other day I found this cute clip, featuring soccer’s version of the Beauty and the Beast: Italy’s Luca Toni and Franck Ribéry from France. You couldn’t have put together two more different looking people, well, except DeVito and Schwarzenegger. But I just looove the way Toni carries himself. Just look at that swagger, the way he sits back on the seats in the stadium. So hot!!!
Let’s just hope this is enough for the Italian national team to get their mojo back. If it works, I’ll make another sexy ugly list, as painful as it is for me.
When I was in Liverpool last week my friend Val asked me if I remembered our “Master Plan”. I had no idea what she was talking about so she jogged my memory. We were major Beatle freaks in high school and way back in 1989, when we were about to leave for our school trip to Paris, we came up with a brilliant idea. We were going to have one free day in Paris where we could do anything we wanted. So we planned to go to the nearest train station, hop on a train to Calais, take the ferry to Dover and catch a train to Liverpool to finally make our pilgrimage to Beatleland! Then we were going to head back to Paris that night, hopefully before our teachers found out. Perfect plan, eh? Needless to say we didn’t follow through with our Master Plan and I think I ended up meeting my husband on my free day instead. Ah, destiny plays funny tricks sometimes!
It took me almost 20 years but I finally fulfilled my dream of seeing Liverpool. Since it is European Capital of Culture this year, I thought it would be the perfect time to visit. And of course there was the mother of all concerts, PAUL MCCARTNEY AT ANFIELD, that I wrote about in my previous post.
Liverpool truly is a wonderful city and the people were so warm, funny and helpful. And of course, there’s THAT accent. OMG! Now, I’m a sucker for English accents in general but hearing those unmistakably musical and adenoidal Scouse tones sent me into a tizzy!! I could go on and on but I think I’ll show you a few highlights instead. Pictures are courtesy of my pal Sue:
Here’s a view of Liver Building and the Town Hall as seen from Albert Dock. Albert Dock also houses the Liverpool Tate which has a very interesting Klimt exhibition going on right now.
Local treats! The sugar mice and the pink chocolate pigs look particularly inviting.
Bad Statues in Liverpool: variations on a theme
Bad statue No. 1: a “gargoyle” of Paul McCartney outside the Hard Day’s Night hotel. With that mullet he looks more like KC of Sunshine fame.
Bad statue No. 2: that’s me sniffing the statue of John “gianthead” Lennon on Mathew Street. My friend Val looks on in disgust.
Bad statue No. 3: Arthur Dooley’s famous statue celebrating the “Four Lads Who Shook the World”. I have to admit it gave me the creeps. I’ve seen cheerier statues in cemeteries. It depicts a sort of Madonna holding four cherubs who are supposed to represent the Beatles. The mysterious thing is that Baby Paul went missing in 1975. Luckily they found him and only need some mud to put that cherub back up there. Read here for the bizarre story.
Of course, I went on the Magical Mystery Tour and visited all the Beatle sites, from John, Paul, George and Ringo’s childhood homes to Strawberry Field and Penny Lane. I was in heaven!
The Cavern: before and after
Me and Sue about to enter the Cavern Club, a recreation of the place the Beatles cut their musical teeth in Liverpool. The new Cavern occupies 75% of the site of the original club.
Me and Val dancing to the Scissor Sisters (?!?!) inside the Cavern. Note the way the blue circles under my eyes match with the top. I planned that.
As you can see, we had a blast! There’s so much more I didn’t see (the Cathedral, the Pier Head, FACT, Sefton Park, etc.) so I will definitely go back to Liverpool. Who’s coming with me???
“I don’t know what to say. Every time I come up to Liverpool, all the memories come flooding back.” Sir Paul McCartney, Anfield Stadium, Liverpool, 1 June 2008
Well, Paul wasn’t the only one overwhelmed by the experience at Anfield. I’ve seen a few concerts over the years, The Stones, Bowie, Foo Fighters, Santana, the Who, to name a few. But last week’s Liverpool Sound concert in celebration of the city as European Capital of Culture was mindblowingly special. I mean, the fact I was seeing Paul McCartney perform in his hometown was incredible for me. As I mentioned in previous posts, I’m a huge Beatles fan so I just had to see him in Liverpool. But to see a musical genius at work was thrilling. He truly is going through his second renaissance. His voice was great, he played the bass, mandolin, piano and ukelele and he had a warm and easy rapport with the audience, telling stories as if he were sitting by the fireplace with old friends. You could also see how moved he was by playing in front of his fellow Scousers. It must have been incredible for the boy from Speke to see 36,000 of his people all there for him, singing his songs at the top of their voices.
It was also an historic moment for me personally as I was able to meet up with two of my best friends, one who lives in NY state and the other in Toronto. The stars must have aligned right on time because for all three of us to meet in Liverpool just for the weekend was a cosmic event. I never would have imagined when I proposed going to the concert as a lark in January that it would have actually happened. And I’m so happy it did!!
It’s hard for me to pick my favourite moments but one highlight has got to be Paul’s tribute to his old schoolmate George Harrison. It nearly moved me to tears:
I can’t tell you how touching it was to hear him sing George’s song. It was as if Paul was sending his old pal a message from home. And we all joined in, singing our hearts out. Major goosebump time.
Another great moment was when Dave Grohl (one of my faves!) joined Sir Paul onstage for an electrifying rendition of Band on the Run:
Ah, grungy Wings! Gotta love it. And gotta laugh at my friend’s description of Grohl as a modern-day Jacques Brel. His face not his singing, bien sûr.
Anyway, fantastic concert, wonderful man. Paul, I’m not single but if you’re ever in Milan and want to go out for a kickass vegetarian risotto, call me.
So much more to say about my visit to Liverpool. I loved the city and the people! Will tell more in the coming days.