¡Vamos la Naranja! It was a great pleasure to be at the stadium last night, with my son and some friends, to see the Houston Dynamo lift a trophy. Their 2018 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup championship, won in their own stadium, is the first hardware the club has won since the 2007 MLS Cup.
Single-elimination tournaments are tough. But so are the Dynamo players. As with the NCAA basketball tournaments, you have to keep winning or you're done. Through a combination of luck and labor, a squad that has had trouble winning in the league this year managed to win all five Open Cup matches. And I do mean luck: The draws before each round were rather generous, giving the Dynamo home field every time.
Despite the thrilling match and its more thrilling conclusion, I have a few grievances to air, some of them not for the first time:
* If the designation "EaDo" for Second Ward just east of Downtown offends you, I'm sorry. It offends me too, but it has become a ubiquitous usage.
This is a terribly mundane entry, having nothing to do with third-party politics or other Big Issues (although a Green comrade passed along a tip about some potentially big doings in our local Green Party chapter—nothing worth reporting yet). It's mostly about my own personal life. So skip this unless you actually know and like me—or think you might.
I'm still mentally surfacing, and resurfacing, from this past May the Fourth Be with Cinco de Mayo weekend. In many ways, the activities weren't all that unusual, but the entire time I didn't feel as though I was actually experiencing any of it. There must be a fancy Greek word for that dreamlike state in which you feel as if you're experiencing something vicariously, but it's really you going through it. Previously, I had felt something similar when taking anti-depressants, but I haven't been on those for years.
In the various Inner-Loop places I visited, I saw quite a few people I knew, because when I'm out & about inside the Loop, that's what happens. Many of these acquaintances asked me variations of "How are you doing?" If I were to answer with 100% honesty, I would have said, "I don't know."
What an up-and-down weekend. On a beautiful Easter Fools' Day afternoon, I got together with some beautiful friends for an Alice in Wonderland–inspired tea party amid the painted trees at Spotts Park. It's always uplifting when free spirits of various ages, ethnicities, and orientations can create and enjoy such harmonious vibes. It was one of those moments that make me reflect on why I am proud to call myself a Burner.
I went from that to Rudyard's, where several dozen friends joined Angie Hayes of Clinic Access Support Network on her first evening as Angie Hayes-Yousif. Yes, she and her beloved Amar got married on April Fools' Day, with her brother David officiating in a shall-we-say non-traditional ceremony.
Monday morning...back to depressing reality.
The news from Gaza is depressing even for Gaza, reminding us that the real Axis of Evil consists of Israel, Saudi Arabia, and the good ol' US of A. Today's Democracy Now! headlines also included an incident in which a sheriff's deputy drove his vehicle into a woman protesting against Stephon Clarke's murder-by-cop in Sacramento. It was not a love tap: Wanda Cleveland had to be taken to a hospital for treatment.
If you think that there's no connection between cops shooting an unarmed man in the back in his grandmother's back yard in Sacramento and Israeli soldiers shooting unarmed Palestinian demonstrators in the back, or that it's strictly coincidental...well, think again, my friend.
He Always Plays "Saint Patrick Battalion" in Texas
David Rovics, aka "the musical version of Democracy Now!" appeared at Dan Electro's Guitar Bar Friday night. The last time I saw Rovics perform, at a fundraiser for the Bernie Sanders campaign in 2016, I left the event profoundly depressed; this time he wasn't exactly a barrel of laughs, but the songs he chose and his presentation were more inspiring and upbeat. Torry Mercer's Deconstruction Crew also turned it a pretty good set.
Still, there were two intensely disappointing facts to relate about Friday night's event:
Consolation: I scored an Everything Ever Recorded by David Rovics flash drive for $30.
Soccer and Stainless Steel Sculpture
Even Saturday night's Dynamo match was depressing. Kayleen and I watched the Orange get dismembered by a relatively weak New England Revolution. USMNT left back Damarcus Beasley took a red card for the team, knocking down a Revs attacker to stop a clear scoring opportunity in the 35th minute. Four games into the season, this team has already lost more MLS home games than in all of 2017.
The Dash played a scoreless draw with the Utah Royals, the team that replaced the now-defunct FC Kansas City. Two home games, two points. The consolation there is that USWNT goalkeeper Jane Campbell continues to impress.
Meanwhile, echoing my post last week about the Dash's no-show Christen Press, Houston and Chicago find themselves in a good-natured war of words over who's giant stainless steel bean is more awesome. Well, it's mostly good-natured: Gray Matters blogger Cort McMurray, when he doesn't have anything nice to say, can be counted on to say whatever's on his mind. (NOTE: You may need a digital subscription to read the Chronicle online.) McMurray is also quite conscious of—and comfortable with—Houston's renowned inferiority complex.
Blogging Sporadically since 2014
Here you will find political campaign-related entries, as well as some about my literature, Houston underground arts, peace & justice, urban cycling, soccer, alt-religion, and other topics.