Monday, October 05, 2009
We had another fairly hectic week. Yesterday I went and met up with friends to watch soccer. We have a local pub that shows U.K. soccer matches and some others on weekend mornings. It's fun to meet our friends who travel over from Pilsen to watch futbol right down the street from us. I was looking forward to this weekend and watching soccer because I'd had a busy week. Time to kick back. Every now and then I get nuts and decide to do some household chores. This week I got quite motivated and not only did four regular loads of laundry but also five loads of bedding, with blankets and pillows. Now don't get some idea I'm a clean freak. The truth is I have no problem ignoring a sink full of dishes or sweeping or any housework if there is something else going on...and usually there is something else going on, har! I also got it in my head to clean, sort and organize my closet. Now I only have half a closet. Which is okay...considering I only came here with a suitcase. Stagg has three closets. 3. One of them is a huge walk-in closet. I joke that my full-time job is organizing Stagg's t-shirt collection and his hat collection. I'm not really joking. I have become quite anal retentive in how I fold his t-shirts in order to fit them into his two huge bureaus. (I don't have any bureaus I'd like it to be known). :) Anyways, I decided to organize my closet. I can't really be too hard on Stagg's hat collection as I've had a shoe and purse fetish so...I did somehing fun with my purses. I hung them up on the walls inside my closet. They had been tragically piled in heaps on the floorr. I also let go of a couple that needed retiring. But now my little area of closet looks so big and tidy with the floor cleared and purses hanging safe and sound. I had a lot of shoes..especially high heels and stilletoes and I donated them to charity a couple years ago...and am down to about 10 stilletoes and walking shoes. I haven't bought clothes for quite a while and it's a good feeling in many ways. I hate shopping but I love clothes. I did't buy any clothes in the last year because we still don't know where we're going to be living in the future so I don't want to get crazy and have to sort out a lot of possessions. Besides, whatever happens, if we move out of the country...or even to a new neighbourhood I will have my hands full with Stagg's collections ha ha. Plus, we've had to be really really careful with money this past year. Omg...I have no idea how this post has gone on such a tangent. I also cleaned out the refrigerator last week. It looks real nice. What the hell am I rambling about? Well, it's almost been a year since we ran off to Vegas and got hitched. People have said some adages like the first year is the hardest and I've wondered what that meant. I suppose it might mean different things for different people. Well, if it was the hardest then I'm feeling pretty good about the future. Stagg and I have had a hard year, but not to do with our feelings or our life together. But we have had a lot of financial challenges with making sure we had enough money for lawyers and rent and processing fees for the government. It's been a tricky year in that way. The good news is, we are both able to live with very little and I'm good at finding food in the city and great protein rich meals for not too much money. I also love making Stagg his lunch. So while doing chores I had three pots of soup on the go. A butternut soup, a tomato soup and chicken soup. I chopped up about 20 onions, six bulbs of garlic, two huge heads of celery...and other vegies including cabbage and green peppers. I'm a total animal in a kitchen! We've been careful with movies and been able to get a lot of passes to movies and free entertainment. it's amazing what you can do if you want to live thin, save money and also not add to the waste of living for the environment. So even though Stagg and I had some stressful moments during this past year...it feels like we kind of have come out the other side of something. We did it with a lot of help from our friends and family and a little thought to what we need and want.
I was really excited to meet up with Marty and Lil Guido yesterday and watch soccer. We haven't seen or gone out as much as we usually do and like to do this past year...and part of working on the apartment and house chores was to free up time for the priority of getting together with friends and family. It's time to turn the page on this past year. I feel like this weekend was a door opening and some kind of paradigm shift for me. I'm not sure why this week, or weekend, but I feel a page turning...It feels good.
Sweden is one of my favourite teams to follow in soccer. We have some very dear friends in Sweden and so I always like to keep an eye out for Sweden soccer. We spent World Cup 2006 in Toronto with the Swedes and our family, and here are some pictures. Soccer is a pretty big deal in Toronto. One of the largest populations of Italians, outside of Italy is in Toronto. So the pictures here are taken in the streets of Little Italy right after they won the World Cup. We had spent the whole week either pub hopping with the kids, or in the cool basement on bad humid days following the Cup. Our friends from Sweden and Scott and Jill are shown walking on the streets in the pics. I'm especially linking these photos for Marty to see. I suggested that we all head up to Toronto for the World Cup 2010. Toronto is an amazing place to be part of the World Cup games and celebrations.
Football is the third most popular sport in Sweden (behind skiing and ice hockey), with over 240,000 licensed players—of which 56,000 are women—plus another 240,000 youth players. There are around 3,200 active clubs fielding over 8,500 teams, which are playing on the 7,900 pitches available in the country. Football was first played in Sweden in the 1870s, the first championship was decided in 1896 and the Swedish Football Association was founded in 1904. Despite being a relatively small country population-wise, both the men's and women's national teams and the club teams have gained rather large success from time to time.
Football, along with other organised sports, came to Sweden in the 1870s and was mainly exercised by gymnastics clubs which exercised most of the sports of the time. England and Scotland were the main sources of inspiration and it is thus not strange that football gained popularity fast, with the first agreement of rules made in 1885 by the clubs active in Gothenburg, Stockholm and Visby. The first international club match was played in 1890 and the first match with modern rules was played two years later in 1892.
The first association to administer a Swedish national football tournament was Svenska Idrottsförbundet, founded 1895 in Gothenburg, the dominating football town in Sweden, at the time. The association arranged Svenska Mästerskapet in 1896 which Örgryte IS won. The tournament was played until 1925 when the first national league, Allsvenskan, was started. In the late 1890s, the IFK associations began playing football, and by 1901, the first Kamratmästerskap (IFK championship) in football was arranged.
Football has grown since and there is currently around 3,300 clubs with 32,700 teams and with one million members, whereof about half a million are active players, altogether. From Wiki
One of the interesting things about soccer is so many teams around the world have their own special narrative and story arc. No, it's true, it's part of the charm of watching futbol. Yesterday was a huge game between Chelsea and Liverpool. In England many of the teams have stories that appeal to adopting a hero, or a bad guy. Liverpool is an interesting and sympathetic team in many ways and one of them is for me is their motto from a 1940's musical "You'll never walk alone"
I would be in big trouble if I don't mention the beloved teams of my blog friends Four Dinners and his beloved Oldham Athletics...and Total Perspective Vortex and his beloved Barnsley
In the past 30 years, they have been one of the most successful clubs in English and European football; they won four European Cups between 1977 and 1984.
The Heysel Stadium disaster made the club infamous in Europe; 39 Juventus fans died after a wall collapsed as they fled from charging Liverpool fans. The club was involved in another disaster four years later—the Hillsborough Disaster— which saw the death of 96 Liverpool fans in a crush against perimeter fencing. Flames were added to the club's crest in honour of the Liverpool fans who lost their lives at Hillsborough. Both disasters have had wide-ranging impacts on English and European football, and the club, to this day.
Liverpool remained highly successful to the end of the 1980s. Despite being banned from European competitions for six years after the tragedy at Heysel, Liverpool dominated the domestic scene under player-manager Kenny Dalglish who succeeded Joe Fagan in 1985. They joined the elite of clubs to have won the double of the league title and FA Cup in 1986, gained two further league titles in 1988 and again in 1990, and also won their fourth FA Cup in 1989.
The 1990s was a relatively unsuccessful decade by Liverpool standards. The 1990 league title was their most recent top division title to date, although they did win the FA Cup in 1992 and a record fifth League Cup in 1995, they never finished higher than third place after 1991 and in 1994 finished as low as eighth.
However, the 2000s has seen an upturn in fortunes for the club. They won three trophies in 2001 (the UEFA Cup, FA Cup and League Cup), finished second in the league in 2002 after 11 years outside the top two and won their seventh League Cup in 2003 under the management of Frenchman Gerard Houllier, who had been appointed in 1998. Houllier was succeeded by Rafael Benitez in 2004, and in his first season they won their fifth European Cup. Since then they have also won their seventh FA Cup as well as achieving another second place finish in the league. In spite of these success, they have still yet to win the league title since 1990. From Wiki.
I really like the sports teams scarves on the wall. This is a pub right down the street from us where we often go to watch soccer or have a pint. They make a great breakfast so it's a lovely way to spend a morning with good company, soccer and bacon and eggs and good hot coffee. You can order a pint at 9 in the morning too if you want! Sweet! That is Marty below.
I watched most of the Bears at Detroit game in the afternoon. Not bad! (My team are the Eagles, but I still care about da Bears) Meanwhile, Stagg had slept in so when I got home from soccer, he was heading out the door to show his paintings on the street during the Ravenswood Art Walk. He had a great idea because he sold 5 paintings in 3 hours! We started jumping around the apartment when he got home, he made me sit down while he showed me his big sales pile of cash, and then I just jumped up cheering and hugging him! I'm off to the grocery store today with the earnings, yippee!
Tricia, Stagg and I went up this afternoon for a beer then went over to Pilsen for a cook-out. Tony, our buddy from The Skylark Book Club and his wife made up a bunch of chili, Stagg brought some sausages and we hung out around a fire pit for a couple of hours in beautiful crisp October weather. The chili and chili dogs were excellent! Some guacomole and smores too.
Fires are so great huh? We had a bright moon, lots of stars and a lovely fire. I felt like I got so much fresh air I could hardly stay awake for the ride home on the El train. What a great weekend.