Super Soccer Saturday: Everton v Liverpool, No Spoiler

What a match, for those who follow football & the English Premier League. I don’t follow closely enough to offer hugely insightful commentary, but it was a wild ride.

The keepers and strikers were all in nearly top form, with brilliant defensive plays, and some defenisive lapses. Everton gave up more chances with bad decisions to shoot and not pass, and with telegraphed shots to the nimble and quick Liverpool keeper, Mignolet, back-up to their starting keeper.

Everton also gave up a goal in the fifth minute of play. And nearly a red card in the 35′ as well. It took the ref a long time to decide whether to dole out red or yellow. This could easily have been a red card. Would it have been had it happened to a nicer guy? No issues with his play, Luis Suarez was brilliant today, sliding behind the Everton defense, putting a ball through a poorly constructed wall, and generally making life miserable for Tim Howard, who was not all that pleased with his defense, but has to accept some of the blame himself. Below is a photo of Suarez not diving. He was taken down.

Yes, that is Luis Suarez, by Circespeaks.

Yes, that is Luis Suarez, by Circespeaks.

To be continued, so I this is not a spoiler for those of you who recorded the early morning match and have not yet watched it.

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Waking Bad

You can’t expect me to like Mondays, rain, snow, and mornings, right?! So I confess: I do like Mondays, rainy days, snowy days, but I do not like mornings.

It’s not the mornings themselves, but the fact that I am a night person, and have a hard time forcing myself to go to bed, and an equally hard time falling asleep, and then always–without exception–wake up in the middle of the night for an extended period of time at least once. Are you with me? This condition has persisted since I was a small child. Some lucky people sleep soundly and steadily. Such nights are few for me. Sleeping late was never a problem in my teens or twenties, but it is now, and our neighborhood is very noisy, especially in the mornings. Yes, kids, it is all downhill from here!

Too bad I get that extra burst of energy right when I should be going to bed. And despite all this staying up late, I have never seen the highly acclaimed, or at least highly entertaining series, Breaking Bad.

The purchase of a new mattress–now starting to do the research–would probably be somewhat helpful, since the mattress is old, lumpy, and the box springs jiggly. This is not an exciting purchase, and I keep putting it off. I imagine that I would prefer a good old-fashioned cotton bed that is soft and doesn’t jiggle. (No metal box springs.) Does such a thing exist? Possibly hand made from an artisan in Vermont?

Yes, I have ear plugs. With planes constantly zipping overhead (from a small local airport) they are a must. I will not further embarrass myself by describing the ridiculous lengths to which I go in hopes of sleep. Just a little more, another half an hour? If I didn’t need the sleep to function and feel well, I wouldn’t care. Today I don’t have what a fellow WordPress blogger and fiction writer refers to as “brain fog.” She has much helpful advice and describes extraordinary coping mechanisms that may be helpful, whether of not you suffer from CFS (chronic fatigue syndrome), so here is a link to her blog: http://liebjabberings.wordpress.com/category/cfs-living-and-writing-with-mecfscfids/ Instead, I have a burning sensation behind my eyes that won’t get better until it is once again dark outside, and I start to feel great!

One of my friends suggested that I work on a farm, and make a routine of getting up early and working outside all day long. What I especially love about that idea is being outside all day. I’m not convinced that I wouldn’t rather be skiing, or an explorer, or anthropologist, or pilgrim, or doing something a bit less monotonous than farming, but maybe my anxious and active mind would thrive on the monotony. The gardening of spring and summer really elevated my mood and kept me outdoors no matter what the weather. But gardening and farming though related, are not the same. One solid day of picking apples might suffice.

I do not have a TV in the bedroom. Never have. Never will. But…I do answer email far too late at night, and sometimes even do productive work at my laptop until quite late. I definitely spend more time at a screen than really suits my mind and body. Working late–when I tend to be productive, since there are fewer interruptions at night–would be great if I were able to sleep just a couple more hours in the morning. So when I see that “bossy old sun” begin to rise, I tend to greet it with misgiving and bleary eyes.

Any and all suggestions welcome, but I would especially like to hear from people who have always been night people, but have managed to change their habits.

Waking Bad by Circespeaks

Waking Bad by Circespeaks

To Your Health!

Green Smoothie Ingredients by Circespeaks

Green Smoothie Ingredients by Circespeaks

With about half or a third of the total ingredients you see in front of you, and a bit of water, I made a green smoothie. The mango wasn’t quite ripe, so it will go into tomorrow’s smoothie. Nevertheless, the smoothie was absolutely delicious. I had about two cups of smoothie. However, it is now lunchtime, and I am famished, even before my daily workout. For me, green smoothies can be a supplement to my normal diet, and maybe a substitute for some less nutritious options. But on raw greens and vegetables alone, I would starve, and not very slowly, either.

Another WordPress blogger suggested I try adding green smoothies to my diet. She is a vegan, which I am not, but like me, also eats cooked food as well as raw. I agree with her that eating a vegan vegetarian diet is the best dietary course for the planet earth. Not only does she have an important message, but she conveys it with humor. Check out Violet’s Veg*n e-Comics! http://violetsvegnecomics.com/about/

I am on a middle path, attempting only to consume animal products from pasture-raised, organically and naturally fed animals. This includes butter. It is fairly easy to find milk from pasture-raised cows, but it is not easy to find local, pasture-raised butter, or any organic butter that is pasture-raised and not astronomically expensive. My imperfect compromise–though Ireland is not local–is to purchase Kerrygold and other European, pasture-raised, butter. I will pay more to buy local, but at some point that becomes unaffordable. For most of us, who do not have heated greenhouses in which we grow our own produce year-round, our lettuce will come from California during the winter months. What a sad waste of energy. Obviously the pineapple in my smoothie did not grow in New Jersey, either. Ideally, that would have been a locally grown,organic pear, but pineapples are a fruit I love, and I have now succumbed to purchasing now and then, and composting the top and hard outer scaly stuff. The pear wins on that score, too. There is almost no part of a pear that is inedible, nothing much to compost or toss. A pear is another one of those perfectly self-contained foods. Due to our unseasonably warm and dry fall, there are home gardeners in New Jersey still harvesting their own lettuce, kale, and beets without a greenhouse. I am still on the steep upward learning curve as a gardener. Next year!

Yes, I am yet another one of those folks who would like to cure herself with food rather than medicine. But I also really do love food and spices, and have no plans to turn eating into a job or duty. My basic approach is simple: it is to eat tasty, nutritious food whenever I am hungry. And yes, sweet potato fries are on the menu at times, not to mention my weakness for dark beer. So, I am not a purist. Just someone doing her best.

I include the link to a business designed around green smoothies. I have only looked at one brief video, and am not sure whether the author of a book on green smoothies–a lifestyle food, apparently–and her son subsist solely on green smoothies, or whether they eat other food as well. For those who wish to delve further into the green smoothie world, here is the link and short video. I neither know these people, nor have any business connection with them, nor do I stand to profit from any purchase or sales of books, etc. resulting from my post. I just found it interesting, good-tasting, and possibly a source of increased health and energy, so worth trying more than once.

http://greensmoothiesblog.com/abundance-of-proteins-in-greens/

http://www.rawfamily.com/how-to-make-a-green-smoothie

Slurp by Circespeaks

Slurp by Circespeaks

I can’t wait for my next green smoothie because the mango will be ripe tomorrow. In theory, you are supposed to use a different leafy green every day, and I do have raw spinach at home, but I love the taste of kale so much that I may just have to use kale again tomorrow.

If anyone is motivated to try, please let me know how you like it! Does anyone have a green smoothie recipe to share?

Ibrahimovic: ‘A world cup without me is not worth watching’ as Sweden succumb to Ronaldo’s heroics

I, for one, will miss seeing Ibrahimovic and Sweden in the World Cup! Furthermore, I’d rather watch a man than a pretty boy, but that’s just reverse sexism. I’m just jealous because Ronaldo’s eyebrows and hair get far more attention by stylists than mine do 😉 Okay, women do watch men’s soccer, in part, to see some amazingly fit and good-looking guys. It’s all a matter of taste, and there will be many women who will be thrilled to watch the pretty Christiano. Based on looks alone–not skill set–I’d rather watch Zlatan. Zlatan even understands soccer hair. Men’s soccer hair should look interesting, even unusual, and definitely unstudied. But then a lot of men would rather watch Maria Sharapova, whose tennis bores me to tears, than a less lovely, but more exciting player. No one can fault Ronaldo on his skill set. Yes, I will settle in to watch, as much as time permits, even with a little hole in my heart. And when the Women’s World Cup comes around, I will watch that, too. (Former recreational player on the left wing, mother of two GKs, and with divided national loyalties, how could I not?!)

Hej! Ville bara hälsa att det går bra med svar på svenska här i min blog på vilken sida dom helst, vare dig det gäller Sverige, eller ej. Då svarar jag också på svenska, och om jag orkar, på engelska med. Det får vara jag som gör bort mig med grammatiska o stavfel 🙂

ProSoccerTalk

At the final whistle of Sweden’s 3-2 World Cup playoff defeat at home to Portugal on Tuesday night, Swedish captain and global superstar Zlatan Ibrahimovic cut a forlorn figure as Portgual’s players celebrated qualification to the 2014 World Cup.

Zlatan, 32, knows his last chance to shine on the world stage had just been snatched away from him. And, perhaps sadly, the world may never get another chance to see Ibrahimovic light up the globe’s biggest tournament again.

This summers World Cup won’t be the same without him. In true Ibra fashion, he even said it himself.

“It was probably the last attempt to reach the World Cup with the national team for me,” Ibrahimovic said. “One thing is for sure, a World Cup without me is nothing to watch so it is not worthwhile to wait for the World Cup.”

(MORE: Ronaldo topples Zlatan – Real Madrid star’s…

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Hunter’s Moon

She stepped from the gloom,
Into the light of the Hunter’s Moon.
Why a Hunter’s Moon she pondered,
As along the path she wandered.
The moonlit path littered with leaves,
And sounds of exhalations as she breathes.
The scraping of squeaking limb,
She begins to hum a hymn.
Crack! A small branch falls down.
She walks more rapidly towards town.
And instead of hymn starts to chant,
“The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want.”
The moon shine is not yet obscured
By the eclipse penumbral so rare.
She wanders on without a care,
As one to nature’s ways inured.
The eclipse, penumbral, was it not?
Yet at that moment darkness fell complete.
Hands cruel; breath hot.
Wrestled to her knees, then feet.
But are these human hands, she thought.
Or did she fail the gods of yore,
Who rose up from the earth’s hot core?
As she gasped, an eerie laugh,
And voice, not spoken, telepath,
Rang in her ears, as every year.
It’s time to come, Persephone.
Three months you’ll stay below with me.

Martha Wainwright, sister of Rufus Wainwright, sings a poignant mother’s lament about a lost daughter. This song was written by Martha’s late mother, Kate McGarrigle.

Monday Morning Madness

And a bit of Monday morning mirth. It will wear off, as the day wears on, but starts with a bit of a pop like a Christmas cracker. Streamers and a little gift inside!

Mondays are my favorite day. Whatever went wrong last week is forgotten. I am new. The rough skin of last week is sloughed off, the bruises to the ego have faded, and I approach the week with optimism. A new and optimistic “to-do” list, electronic or paper–maybe both–awaits. There are ideas to be shared, and reams to be written in another chapter or two of my life.

Monday is a day for the inner and outer journey, as they say of Swedish pilgrimage. Mondays are good days for appointments, and they are also good days for slow steady rains, and working indoors, alone, and with focus. This is a glorious Monday, and appropriately busily scheduled. Were it gloomy and drizzly, I would prefer quietly working alone at home.

This is an illusion, but as I cherish it week after week, please permit me: I will pick up what I dropped. I will not have to “humbly repent” the things I have left undone next Sunday. Truth be told, I humbly repent what I have left undone far too often, and quite infrequently in church. I will work harder than I did last week. Disruptions will be fewer, and somehow dross will be turned into gold. And all that without visiting the now-closed Alchemist Brewery in Waterbury, Vermont. (Beer review coming up in another post, but the Brewery is temporarily closed, so don’t rush up there.) I will disregard health issues for today, and begin the week in unperturbed and uninterrupted by unwanted appointments. I do like Mondays!

When I take a morning walk down the path, I may see the small woodpecker, hopping from branch to branch in the neighbor’s bush, only an arm’s-length away. Though I continue on the path by the brook, I will never again see the albino squirrel my son and I saw one early morning as I walked him to grade school. We only saw it once, and we were the only two ever to see it. I don’t put it down to a shared hallucination. But if I had to guess years later, I’d say we saw the squirrel on a Monday.

Ode to Monday:

Monday, the week’s newly opened blossom.
Not shy, but bright and sturdy.
Brazen, unashamed.
Bustling Monday.
Busy squirrels hiding nuts.
Brisk breeze Monday.
Tree tops swaying gently,
Clouds not racing, but
Purposefully traversing the sky.

Fir Tree in Monday Mood by Circespeaks

Fir Tree in Monday Mood by Circespeaks

Remembering those who Perished in the Philippines

Remembering those who perished in the Philippines. Perhaps we all have a touch of empathy fatigue. This is a busy time of year with fall holidays for many of the major faiths practiced in the United States. Have we forgotten, or not yet truly absorbed, the terrible fate of many who perished and others who cling to hope–though there may be no help on its way–in the Philippines?

It is Sunday, a quiet day for many, whether or not they hold it holy. This music suggested by a friend who is a musician in Chicago, is a fitting tribute.

Just in case you haven’t taken Latin recently, or ever, and are not a musician, a requiem is “a hymn or dirge for the repose of the souls of the dead.”

May they rest in peace. May we. who have received some measure of peace, and some rest this Sunday, go into the world remembering that there are many among the living who still need our help. And if we are among those who need help–we all are at times–let us not be ashamed to ask.

And let’s hope I post something cheerful tomorrow! I can almost promise that I will do so.

Circe