Documenting life during the first attempt at restoring a vintage motorcycle.

Similar to the zen -like feeling that is realized through surfing,
motorcycle repair can elevate the mind to a meditative state that eludes time and space...
Meaning I obsess over it, get frustrated, yell, laugh at myself and overall waste a lot of time.


It starts tomorrow - The Beautiful Game _Guest Article

My sister (a certifiable genius/prodigy) happens to be obsessed with Futbol (soccer for you yanks), almost to the point of being a clinical problem. So since the World Cup starts tomorrow, she has generously blessed the Oil & Water Blog with a guest article regarding the World Cup, global futbol happenings and her predictions. Thank you Natasha. Please enjoy.

It starts tomorrow. The event for which, 31 days ago I broke out my coloured pens and crayons to create a special calendar. At the time I was officially declaring a 32-day countdown (one day for each participating country), when in reality my internal countdown had begun little less than four years ago, the minute the 2006 final ended. If you don’t know what I’m talking about (I should really slap your face off of your face if only because I don’t have time to explain sixty plus years of glorious history), the World Cup starts tomorrow; the time when my heart begins to beat to the rhythm of “ole, ole ole ole”, the moment when the Beautiful Game takes center stage, when the gaze of millions will be directed towards South Africa. For as much as I enjoy the game (and by enjoy I mean adore, obsess over, cry about, curse at, think about constantly and just plain f*cking love) I hate to talk about it. I dread social events where I’ll inevitably encounter the generic “so how about those *insert team name here*” or “who do you think will win *insert major tournament here*”. Don’t get me wrong, I love having an in-depth conversation about coaching techniques, transfer rumors, starting formations and the remarkably stupid tessera del tifoso with someone who knows what they’re talking about. The problem is the majority of people I’ve come face to face with don’t know what they’re talking about and don’t take this game as seriously as I do, and as someone much more qualified and interesting as myself once said, “some people believe football is a matter of life and death; I can assure you it is much, much more important than that.” I digress; my point is, on this rare occasion I will share with you my thoughts and predictions (and blame it all on a pre-tournament delusional high). My team is Argentina, la Albiceleste. That means that without a doubt I think they’ll win (warning: this kind of blind faith is reserved only for the footballing faithful). I love this team, from the golden wonder-boy that is Leo Messi, to the towering midfield and experienced back-line, all the way to the crazy, coke-addled, diet-pill popping, legend of his time whom we adoringly refer to as El Pibe de Oro, Maradona himself (see Diego’s promise to run around Buenos Aires naked if they win the title). With that said, I do have some brief thoughts on some select participants:

Let’s start with España. Recently they seem to be everyone’s favorite, everyone’s “oh, I’ve loved them for years” team. And while I don’t doubt the power of this amazing team [it’s hard to deny the strength of a team in which more than half the players come from either Real Madrid or FC Barça (the latter of which broke about every record and won about thirty-seven million trophies last season)], they have yet to prove themselves when it counts.

If France deserves any mention it’s to say they are one of the only seven countries to have ever won the final; I’ll leave it at that because their coach is a real “sac-de-douche” and didn’t select Mexès, whom I believe to be one of the best defenders in the world right now.

As far as Portugal goes, I admit I haven’t seen them play much recently, but if C. Ronaldo can translate whatever freak talent he seems to posses to the national team they should do just fine (and any country that beautiful deserves to have the trophy at least once).

A country that seems to have forced their name into conversations about potential finalists is Côte d’Ivoire. This will be their second foray into the tournament; one forgettable 2006 group stage performance past being World Cup virgins. With the likes of Kalou, Eboué, both Tourés and Drogba they could easily be the team that surprises everyone this year (given Didier recovers from his broken arm in time).

Next we move north to a rainy little island known as England, the birthplace of modern-day football. Riddled with scandal and intrigue recently (if only they were Italian and it didn’t really matter who slept with whose baby mama), they seem to have pulled it together and become a sort-of powerhouse lately in European football (let’s just hope it doesn’t come down to penalties).

Germany, Deutschland, National Mannschaft… one of my favourites. All German stereotypes seem to apply here, precision, strength, discipline, heartless murde- (okay, maybe not all stereotypes). However, with the recent injury to Ballack, the captain and backbone of the team, it might prove difficult for the boys to find a new leader to take them all the way.

Cameroon, I feel their nickname fits them well… Les Lions Indomptables. They seem to always pop up and fight for a place; and, this year could prove to be their year. Also, who doesn’t love a team whose controversies involve sleeveless jerseys and one-piece uniforms?

There’s not much for me to say about Italia, the reigning champions, because, for me at least, whenever I picture the team I see them sitting around the locker-room, smoking their Nazionali cigarettes and sipping their espressos (I also cannot bear the thought of not seeing my beloved Totti step onto the pitch this time around).

At this point I just say “them”… just that, nothing else, for as an Argentine fan there is us and there is them (they know who they are).

That’s it, a quick glimpse into my mind. I must say that it is still anyone’s game; to get all this way is a feat in itself and I can’t wait for the beautiful sound of the first whistle. There’s not much more insight I can provide that pundits haven’t already been talking about for months. There are no secrets, no back-alley whisperings or insider tips I’m savvy to. I only have hope, hope that the footballing gods will answer my prayers and forsake the millions of others. Saint Di Stefano, Saints Batistuta and Artime, I leave it in your hands…

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