these dudes were not this chilled out in the 100-degree room at the bishop
--tons of the world cup--
i was lucky enough to have several days off during the first couple weekends of group play, and devoured all of the U.S. games, the latter two of which were two of the most incredible games i've ever watched. i think it was 14+ years of playing soccer year-round, thinking about the world cup, the US team, tab ramos (!!!), looking at jersey's in the eurosport catalog...i think all of that built up an emotional investment in the national team that i still retain. despite not having access to many soccer broadcasts (and sorry...i just can't watch MLS. to me, the MLS is like the last 30 minutes of the US-Ghana match: long-balls all the time. show me some possession, fer cryin' out loud!), watching the national team can still throw my nerves into a frenzy. keeping track of/watching the algeria game at work was roughly equivalent to downing 6 pots of coffee over a 2-hour period. just shredded my insides. watching the US-Ghana game with mostly bloomington peeps i hadn't met was still a great collective experience. i don't know of another sport that inspires such revelry, such archetypal human experience. ball + grass + goal. poetry.
--tortoise (live @ the bishop in bloomington)--
i'm somewhat familiar with tortoise's back catalog, and recently enjoyed quite a bit the monochormatically-covered Beacons of Ancestorship. bloomington is pretty much the best place to go in the state, and the Bishop is a small venue (150 would fill it out) with the 2 most important qualities of small, nice clubs. Good sound and good (and cheap!) draft beer selection! So, when I heard Tortoise was going to be in town, I had to buy tickets. Amelia couldn't go, so former Muncie-dude Lord Zed went with. Aside from the club being 90+ degrees due to how hot it was outside,,,it was a really great show. Sound was superb, band was in top form...totally awesome to see a band like that in such a small club. Although I heard earlier that day that Tortoise, "is good for 5 minutes...and then you get the idea," I found the opposite to be true. They're good for 5 minutes, and then my brain locked into the grooves, and they were pretty awesome the rest of their 90-minute-plus set. And! It ended before midnight. Which just goes to show---rock 'n roll with older dudes are the best shows to see. Last time I saw Dinosaur Jr., they also wrapped by 11pm! I mean, you can still party afterwards...no need to wait till 11:30pm to start the show (I'm looking at you, Bloomington).
--my homemade pizza of the summer (made with light wheat peasant loaf dough----makes totally bomb pub-style pizza crust): fresh whole milk mozzarella + fresh basil + tomato/basil sauce + thin sliced andouille sausage. !!! so good.
--cheap & juicy pork brisket sandwiches at the smokehouse on shelby. and sweet potato krinkle fries! had never even seen these before. now...if only the service wasn't so on-and-off. but still, 6.50 for the sandwich plus 2 sides...good deal.
--made the brother, wes, try indian food for the first time at the lunch buffet at shalimar. everything was fresh, garlic naan was pretty supreme. now that i have a dining card....i'll have to go back. plus, wes didn't eat himself into a hole like i did.
--some mole enchiladas (with great chips & salsa) at bloomington's el norteno. only about 8 bux, and the mole sauce, while not as rich as el sol's, and with a pronounced cocoa-heavy taste, was pretty tasty for being relatively inexpensive, and not to mention, plentiful. if only i'd have thought about how hot the bishop would be later that evening...
--AND, perhaps most importantly, after making an early-AM airport run, i successfully conquered the U-shaped bar at the steer-in. where i injected a pot of coffee and a diner breakfast coated in tabasco while still cracking on john dos passos' U.S.A. trilogy.