champions league starts today, people! thats right, the top thirty two teams from leagues all around europe begin the group phase today. eight groups with four teams a piece, each team in a group plays the other three home and away with the top two teams advancing to the knock out round which begins in february. and by next may, boom, a new champion is crowned. so dont get too excited or that enthusiasm will be peter out when youll really need it. and with the world cup fast on its heels next summer, well, you are likely to be wrung dry come next september when the cycle begins anew.

so what do we recall from last year? that the two top german teams, bayern munich and borussia dortmund roundly defeated the two top spanish sides, barcelona and real madrid in the semifinals. strangely three of those four teams have new coaches which speaks to the topsy-turvy nature of the game and the ridiculous expectations of the top teams. as it is one was let go because of advancing age (and the prospect of hiring a sought after coach), one was a cancer on his club despite his success and the other had cancer and resigned.

outside of those four teams there is the quartet of english clubs: chelsea, manchester city, manchester united and arsenal. that is probably the order most would suggest in terms of liklihood of success, though again, three of them have a new coach for a variety of reasons.   

teams outside those eight with any reasonable chance are athletico madrid from spain and paris saint-germain from france. psg are new to top flight competition (though the made it to the quarterfinal of the champions league last year) having been recently bought out by an ownership group that is splashing around big money while athletico fall into the category of savvy management putting together a team that compete with the big boys for a limited go round.

oh shit, i forgot italy. juventus and napoli are both in the mix with ac milan in the second tier. i havent actually watched any of the german or italian teams outside of bayern munich this year owing to the vagaries of broadcast rights but juve won the italian league last year going away and are rated among the top eight teams in europe.

even though im kind of partial to barcelona id wouldnt mind seeing dortmund win. they play an uptempo style and are not considered one of the giants of europe. at the moment they have a good coach who has been able to cobble together a squad that for now has managed to fend off the big money teams from coming in and picking them clean.

so 245 today and tomorrow is kickoff time. fox has the rights to the champions league, but in losing the english premier league to nbc they have folded their soccer coverage into the newly minted fox sports 1. today's primary game pits manchester united against bayer leverkusen about whom i know nothing except they are the third best team in germany which counts for something. the matchup of the week is tomorrow with napoli facing off against borussia dortmund.

if anybody is still reading here are the eight groups with group f considered the most difficult.

mythter and mythes artist
Feeley '57-'62

Just back from curious night for Michelle bday.....

Went to Alder on early shift,,6;00  (made res pretty late last week so...)  Certainly heard lots of different things abt it...all pretty good, but some disenters here an there... Anyway, had couple cocktails which never usually get, but these were great...Red Zeppelin was one with crazy combo of sumac and paprika powdering rim with gin and strawberry juice inside...awesome, great texture combo..  Other was called-- Dr. Daves Script Pad-- w rye, amaro and smoked maple as operative forces.  This was like amped up dark and stormy frankly, happily bringing back thoughts of RI.  Then from small plate type stuff got  Pigs in Blanket, cool chinese sausage in great lite crust with spicy stuff all around...coulda ate 40...Sun Gold Tomatoes w crab was only under whelmer..just not enough spark, but good clean flavor, must admit...Then had Clam Chowder...fuckin killed...Really impressive depth while being sort of light bodied..not mention those crazy freeze dried(?) oyster "crackers"  They split one order for us, was perfect...Oh, yeah, then in the middle of these a woman (manager turns out) comes over an says.."Here is the Foie Gras terrine on the house, I'm a big fan of your work"...???  I'm like huh,,,? oh great she thinks I'm that fucking actor again....But no, in fact we learn she used to work in galleries,,Boesky for one..(didnt go into that in depth tho)..Pretty nice, must say...Then we went for Fish and Chips which were great... not much of a twist at work powdered malt was cool in this....,And then the truly nuttiest awesome thing...Rye Pasta with Pastrami....This is a complete revelation of a dish...utterly unprecedented I'd say, tho not for everyone evidently,( like who cares?)..Really does taste like Katz's turned into pasta,,,except pastrami better here..Unexpected harmony of mustard and pasta....a new classic.  Had bottle of Irouleguy Rouge fr Ilarria...She brought over decanted which I said was nice to see and she said..."Oh thats Dewey's influence, he insists on it." Of course he doesn't exactly work there but,,,,, so we got to quip about him a bit....Finally had Rootbeer Pudding w smoked Cashews...genius...mellower execution of rootbeer/pretzel item I had at Momofuko Ko while ago, but amazing......Like, I'd go back here...and will.

So as we were finishing got text from gallery dude I know asking if we want to go hear a La Monte Young performance at his place in Tribeca...So yeah, sure, headed down there got on line, went up stairs, paid, took off shoes, sat on carpet, breathed ton of incense, staired at psych projections on wall while electro-drone played....waited.......Eventually Mr Young, and two woman emerged from hall and sang over drone for abt two hrs....long but great...

Cool to know these things still going on in NYC...



keep your eyes on the cross


LES-ers, have you been? yes, i love donuts... 

art of the spinoff

is this a joke? i really hope so.

numb nutz
This is my driving coach. I chose well.

thinking about changing the name of this page to Less Popular Than Plywood.

usa v. mexico just underway on espn. us got embarassed by costa rica last week and mexico fired their coach after losing to honduras (i think) and is in danger of not making the world cup if their recent run of play continues. 

break it down for me jim. i'vebeen waiting to upgrade my cracked iphone 4. i was going to get the 5 when the new one cameout, but since they're not discounting the old model, maybe i should just go for one of new ones...? 

Jazz era album cover art by David Stone Martin

model city new york

looks to be a good womens final. serena williams v. victoria azarenka. 1 v. 2. azarenka has beaten williams twice this year and might be the only woman who has the game to match serena's at the moment. tomorrow is 1 v. 2 as well for the men. djokovic v. nadal. 

Spy via Netflix

Grisly death at my regular bird watching park.
A guy flying a remote control model helicopter got the top of his head taken off by the rotor blades. I see these guys every week, and make a point of checking the field before they get there and scare off the birds (though I have seen falcons hunting in the same airspace with the helicopters.) And of course the NY Post can’t resist turning a tragedy into a joke; looks like they thought better of it online, but the print edition used the headline “Little Chopper Horror.”

Goethe's theory of colors
town bloody hall

Tom cited it on his blog recently / it's on Netflix
spacey speech

the black seed
MH2 455 episodes 38 DVD box set