Sunday, July 9, 2006

Paris... Rome... Boston?

Anyone who was watching the World Cup final today probably saw a live feed from the site of where this photo was taken. But for those of you who didn't watch the game, if you had to guess where this photo was taken during the world cup game between France and Italy.. where would you guess? Paris? Rome? No, it was taken in Boston, Mass. Unbelievable!! America has soccer fans?? I mean.. die-hard fans that are standing in afternoon summer heat, watching a game on a distant projection screen between two foreign teams. Well done New England!! With that kind of support, maybe we can rally behind the U.S. national team in the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. Italy's win today though makes the U.S. team look strong, because we were the only team throughout the World Cup to tie them in a 1-1 draw in the first round. So in a sense.. I saw the U.S. hoisting that trophy today. Well, that's a stretch, but anyways.. I really wish it were us up there. I will say though if you get a chance to go overseas during a world cup you will realize international soccer fans are crazy about their soccer, even if their team isn't in the world cup. This will be my last blog about the world cup for 4 years.. so for those of you (like my sister Lisa) who read my blog, but are disinterested in soccer, this should be good news for you. Hope everyone has a good week. I start my summer job at Coyne Beahm tomorrow, so I'll be sure and post about how that goes this week. And, if anyone wants to go see the new Pirates of the Carribean flick, which I'm stoked about seeing, John Kiser and I will be hitting that up sometime this week, so drop me a line if you are in the 'boro.

Tuesday, July 4, 2006

World Cup Recap

In today's anticipated world cup semi-final game between Italy and Germany, all of the allotted time, including two 15 minute overtime periods were needed to decided a winner to play for the championship this weekend. In the 119th minute, only 1 minute before the ref would call the game and force the game to be decided by penalty kicks (in which Germany was heavily favored to dominate in), the Italians came up with a beautiful goal.. set up by an even more beautiful assist. Then to top it off, the Italians ran the ball back down in the stoppage time of the second overtime to seal the deal, and earn a spot in the championship match between the winner of Portugal vs. France, in tomorrow's second semi-final match. Both teams of these teams have played well recently. France is coming off of a decisive victory over the heavily favored Brazilian team; however, they had a slow start to the tournament with two ties, many wondering if they would make it out of group play. However, Zidane is playing well, and Henry has been a reliable scorer this tournament. They happened to be the two that came together in France's only goal in Saturday's win over Brazil.. as Zidane played a beautiful ball from a set piece to hit Henry as he made a cut to the far post. Portugal won all three of their group matches, defeated a tough Netherlands team in the second round, and held off the English on Saturday in penalty kicks. Portugal had an easier first round, and proved worthy opponents to the Netherlands and English, so we'll see how they match up against France. My pick is Portugal tomorrow, simply because I think France won their world cup over Brazil on Saturday. However, if Zidane controls the midfield, and Henry can get open for a header off a corner kick, or free kick, than France could very well be playing Italy over the weekend. Anyways, enough talk about the World Cup. My brother and I have been obsessed with it though since I've been back in the States. Anyone who watches 119 minutes of scoreless soccer non-stop, is truly a fan in my book. Alright, I'm headed to bed. I hope everyone avoided the storms, and got to enjoy some fireworks tonight.

Sunday, July 2, 2006

World Cup Semi-Finals

Tomorrow at 2:55, US Eastern time, World Cup host Germany will play Italy in the Semi Finals of World Cup Germany 2006. We will find out if the host country can pull off another amazing victory, after Friday's penalty kicks win against Argentina (who I was pulling for to go all the way), against this year's solid Italian team. The Italians took care of a difficult first round group that consisted of the United States, Ghana, and the Czech Republic. Deep down, I'd like to see the Italians be victorious this year, only because the American squad gave them their toughest match yet (1-1 tie) in the qualifying round, so that makes the U.S. team look good. I think the Italians will ultimately be defeteated by a scrappy German home team though. The home team has done well in my lifetime of World Cups. For example, France won the tournament in 1998 when it was played on their home pitch, and then South Korea made an amazing run in 2002 when it was played on their home turf if I recall correctly (however, my blog is by no means This year has been an exciting World Cup, even though I was in China for the first 3 weeks of it, where the games came on at 11 p.m., and 3 a.m.. Tonight I'm in Apex, hanging out with my brother and Melissa, getting ready to drive to Raleigh to spend the night with my sister Lisa and Josiah. My brother and I are going to spend Indepence Day morning hitting some golf balls on the Driving Range, before I head back to Greensboro in the afternoon. Two of the coolest people I know, Turner Krebs, and Hannah Page are coming back to Greensboro this week.. so I'm definitely looking forward to seeing them. Alright, I'm out.. hope everyone has a great night.. and support soccer in the U.S. by watching the World Cup tomorrow.

sequal to 13 reasons

For fairness, and in return for the six amazing weeks I spent there this summer, I will now post the sequal to the "13 Reasons post" from a few days ago, with "Book the next flight: 13 Reasons I want to go back to China".
1. I bought 8 bottles of water for $1.00, and 3 cokes for $1.00.. I was rarely thirsty.
2. Riding bikes is not recreation.. it is a test of coordination, fitness, and agility on the bike. Closest American comparison: Dodge Ball.
3. Thursday night International touch Rugby league.. I will do my best to make it catch on at ASU.
4. Practicing English with Chinese friends
5. Conveniant transportation: 1 yuan bus ride; 3-5 yuan rickshaw ride; 5 yuan taxi ride (8 yuan = $1.00 U.S.)
6. Speaking Chinese (not conversationally), just every now and then to impress Chinese friends
7. Carre-four (French supermarket).. Everyday shopping crowds like it's the day after Thanksgiving
8. slippin, slidding, and hooping it up on a DIRT court with International Fellowship peeps on Sundays
Jiaozi (fried dumplings), Banana Pancakes, Peter's Tex Mex Grill, and my favorite: Jenny's home cooking.
10. Watching World Cup matches with the rest of China in the middle of the night
11. Eggs and Testosterone: Men's Thursday morning breakfast.
12. Alex, Jenny, and all of their co-workers over there.
13. Being Wendy Jane's bodyguard

I thought about doing 22 reasons, simply because China has 22 provinces; but, the concentration of 13, as I did with America may lead to better, funnier reasons. I'll let you be the judge.

We'll it's nearing 4 AM Sunday Morning, and I feel like it's 10 in the morning.. or atleast sometime during the day. I went to bed at 12.. woke up at 2.. got out of bed at 2:30.. and am definitely awake. Jet-lagged am I. Oh well, atleast you get to enjoy another blog as a result. Hope everyone has a good weekend.

By the way: Jenny, Alex, and Wendy Jane arrived safely in Uganda Friday. They will be there through the entire month of July. Be praying for Jenny as she and Wendy serve with high school students in an orphanage in Kampala, and for Alex, as he provides leadership for a team of high schoolers.