Sunday, November 28, 2010

The Unbearable Smugness of Carrying my KPCC Thank-You-Gift Travel Mug

I really don't know what that blog title means.  I just like how it sounded.

Well here's an annoyance... I go to ebay to look for some doc martens (in an attempt to regain some of the innocence I had when I was 17, I think) and the default search box seems to link you to the page to sell an item. So I keep putting in Green Doc Martens and it brings up a page walking me through the steps to sell my Green Doc Martens, which I can't do because I don't have them, because I want to buy them, but it won't let me.  It's a circle of ebay craziness!  I guess they're doing updates or something to prepare for Cyber-Monday (but seriously, how many Formally-Named Shopping Days do we need in this country?).

And on to more pleasant subjects.  England drew the first test in the Ashes (yes, you can play for five days and not have a winner).  This is a Big Deal because it wasn't  looking too good for them on Wednesday when one of the Australian bowlers got a hat trick.  And I actually know what a hat trick is, thank you (it's when a bowler gets three wickets in a row, I'm pretty sure).   I love the Ashes.  Even more, I love that my hubby loves it.  Because then I know what's going on without having to put in the effort of following it myself.  Cricket is confusing!  I don't have the time to figure out why Australia decided to declare at the end of the second day, or whether England avoided a follow on.

For those of you not hip to cricket tournaments, the Ashes is a tournament between England and Australia that occurs every two years, alternating countries - though it always happens in the summer in each country, which means it's not quite two years on the dot, with the whole southern-hemisphere thing.  They play five tests, and each test is five days each.  So that's a 25 day tournament, which will extend until January 7.  They play all five tests, even if one of the teams wins the first three.

There is a big controversy brewing in the cricket world right now between the purists who want to keep Test Cricket going exclusively - that's the kind where both teams wear white, they have tea breaks, and it goes on for five days involving a lot of long-term strategy - and the new 20/20 matches.  And no, 20/20 doesn't refer to an eyesight exam score.  In cricket, every time six balls are bowled, that's called an Over.  So 20/20 means that each team gets 20 Overs, and then that's it.  20/20 games last about 3-4 hours, rather than the five days of test cricket.  And there are no tea breaks, which is sad.  Tea breaks in sports are very civilized and I approve of them.

20/20 got its first big break a few years ago when the Indian Premiere League started - they got the best cricketers in the world, paid them a huge amount of money, brought over  Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders, and created eight teams for a month-long tournament.  The cheerleaders had to wear tights under their skirts, incidentally.  After the first game, too many people complained of the impropriety of the short skirts.  Sharu Khan owned the Kolkuta Knight Riders and created this kick-ass theme song complete with Bollywood-inspired over-the-top music video.  It was a month of cricket-craziness, and thanks to Dish Network, we got to watch every minute of it, direct from India.  The commercials were the best - Indian personals websites, calling cards, money-wiring services, and an upcoming field hockey tournament (apparently Indian men play field hockey - go figure).

Four years ago we went to England over Thanksgiving, when the first test in the Ashes was just starting.  J wound up getting sick and camped out for three days on Sandor's couch becoming entranced by the bowling and batting.  I'm not as into the strategy of test cricket as hubby is, but I like the Ashes because Shane Warne is one of the commentators for the Australians and I have a total crush on him.

Shane Warne is not a good man, though.  Same old story - hot wife, he cheats, everybody hates him, etc.  This week Sandor and Anna Louisa were over for Thanksgiving and we watched Skating with the Stars, which is hosted by a very cute man who sounds like he comes from Yorkshire called Vernon Kay, pictured.  The conversation went like this:
Them: "he's big in America, too?"
Me:  "I've never heard of him - maybe just for this show?"
Them: "he's trying to get big outside of England."
Me: "he's super cute."
Them: "he's an asshole."

Turns out that he was married to a very-hot Tess Daly, and then decided that he would send racy text messages to a Page 3 Girl (ie the girls who take off their tops for Page 3 of The Sun).  When he was caught, he issued this very heartfelt apology:

“Now this week you may or may not be aware that because of some stupid and foolish decisions I’ve made I’ve disappointed and let down a lot of people. To my family and everybody I’m very sorry. Right, let’s crack on!”

No wonder he wanted to get out of the UK to host an ice-skating-reality-show for 6 weeks.  I'd want to get away too.  

And in other news, Gran Turismo 5 has finally been released.  Hubby has been waiting for four years for this game.  In 2006 the PS3 came out, and it was announced that GT5 would be released in January.  We bought a kick-butt huge HD tv used on Craigslist on Christmas eve that year.  Hubby got surround sound hooked up so that he could really get into the engine noise.  We bought the PS3.  And no GT5.  They said July.  July comes.  No GT5.  In 2007 or 2008 they released some kind of prologue with a limited number of tracks and cars, and that was supposed to hold over the fans until the real game came out.  It was released on Wednesday.  Almost four years after it was supposed to have been released.  According to hubby, this is not just a racing game.  This is a driving simulation game.  I don't really know the difference, but he does.  The introductory video that plays when you start the game is pretty awesome.  Hubby said that even if the game was comprised entirely of only this video, he would have been happy.  

Me, I'm wondering why, with all that awesome programming and the physics that each of the cars have, and the reality of it all, and the general awesomeness of the whole thing, they couldn't have come up with a better soundtrack.  It's all Smooth Jazz, just like GT4 was.  I always know he's playing a Gran Turismo game because of the crappy Sad FM smooth jazz emanating from the speakers in between races.

I have to admit, I'm slightly jealous.  Hubby gets his GT5 game, and I'm still waiting on a new Oblivion.  

I guess that's it for now.  Life is going on, and I guess that's what healing is all about.  Hubby is racing just like he raced in GT4 when I first met him.  Five years later, and so much is still just the same.  Different house, same general geographic area.  Same job.  More cats.  And I lost a baby.  It's just always kind of there.  I wonder whether that's how it will always be.  I guess I've got enough time to find out. 

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