Tuesday, August 8, 2017

This Station Signing Off: Well, There It Is

Brought garlic, a stake, a silver bullet, a nuclear weapon...
I’m hereby shutting down Conifers & Citrus. You see, I’ve got this other, much less-trafficked side project going on, so…

Yes, I kill blogs, literally, like they kill Jason or bankable stars on soap operas, but, in all honesty, this time feels different. I haven’t plowed through the all condensed games since well before the Gold Cup; haven’t listened to even one soccer podcast since, oh, March; and I stop reading halfway through the one or two articles I start each week. I sometimes sit through that show with Caleb Carr and Susannah Collins and…I don’t know, something about that feels sorta fucked up.

Anyway, yeah, broadly I’ve stopped giving a shit.

I’ll still watch some games, but I'll do it on my time and without talking about it - e.g., like a normal person. The desire to pick apart, joke about, or speculate on what I’m seeing snuck out the back door without so much as a goodbye (silent, deadly, and lightly tragic). I think I just ran out of new things to say. Just under a week ago, I was telling this guy that I know as much as I’ll ever know about soccer, like, right now, and, seeing as I’ve got no more interest in learning more, well, there it is. I tried to read a book on tactics once. I fell asleep looking at the cover.

For what it’s worth, I don’t think I ever brought anything more to the table than breadth. Watching the rest of Major League Soccer let me measure Portland against the rest of the league, to see what they had and that we didn’t. (And who noticed how rarely I used the word “we” in the posts? Never felt right, that’s why.) Take away that context, and I’m just another half-educated twit watching one team play a succession of other teams that I basically know nothing about. Without the other teams' “status” for reference, about the only way I could say anything truly novel would be if I watched games closely enough to the flag in-game tactical adjustments. Because I’ve never been able to spot that kind of thing in 20+ years of trying, well, there it is.

As recently as Sunday, I thought I’d gut it out the rest of the year, but, looking at what I’ve posted lately (actually, couldn’t be moved to do even that), I didn’t see the point. So, yeah, traffic’s slow, grill’s turned off, and both cooks have already started drinking. The shop’s closing early.

I’ll be adjusting my social media presence, replacing the “Conifers & Citrus” name on my twitter handle with something else, etc. (that “etc.” also includes blocking the 100+ porn bots that follow my twitter). I’ll direct things to the other site (A Project of Self Indulgence), going forward and shifting that will probably take a couple days, just so I can keep anyone who cares current. Keep following what I’m doing if you want to, but don’t feel obliged. It’ll be some mixture of politics, culture and music, and…something else. I’m still wrestling with what I want to fill the balance my idle hours.

God willing I’ll make it something productive. Then again, God’s dead, last I heard.

Thanks to anyone who ever read this – and a sincere THANK YOU to anyone who ever read this site regularly, or even told me they appreciated my writing. You never really know if anyone is happily receiving the transmission till that someone tells you, and getting positive feedback truly does wonders for overcoming writer's block. I’ve made acquaintance with a lot of good people doing this, and have actually met and got to know more than a few solid citizens. As much as I want to list a bunch of names and give everyone his/her due, I know it’d end in some boilingly misguided attempt to be acknowledge everyone, only to inevitably leave off someone both deserving and important, and they’d feel like shit, and I’ll feel dumb and like shit, and so on. With that, I think the only person I can properly acknowledge would be (to use his twitter handle) @shotboxer, aka, the human gateway drug, through whom I got to meet and talk to many, many good, smart and interesting people. I hope I run into some of you again, and not too many days from now.

It’s been fun, honest. Trouble is, it stopped being fun. And, well, there it is.

Oh, and if I told you the number of posts on this site that I’ve written blacked out, you wouldn’t believe me. And I’ll confirm neither numbers, nor percentages.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Portland Timbers 3-1 Los Angeles Galaxy: Rich Kids Slumming

Looking for LA in their current home...
So, how much did your stomach sink when the Los Angeles Galaxy equalized within minutes (a minute?) of the Portland Timbers early goal in yesterday’s early morning game? Per the cliché, all’s well that ends well, but not even having enough time to tweet out a caveat fantor (not actual Latin) did leave me wondering today about the thickness of Portland’s glass jaw.

Fortunately, the Galaxy, who have been shit lately, continued to muck around their Personal Hell Sewer (TM). By game’s end, they could barely play out of their own half, never mind out of pressure. They got buried time and again in their left defensive corner; the Timbers’ pressure didn’t even need to be thorough to throw off LA; the mere sight of an opposite colored shirt saw LA give away the ball.

I set out, here, with an effort to not roll into one of those posts, one where I shit on the parade and then walk before it in unembarrassed nudity. No self-flagellation is in order because, bad as the trends have been for LA (0-6-1 in their last 7; e.g., bad), Portland had a couple bad habits to shake off as well – e.g., no wins at home since June (are you fucking kidding me?), and with a mental meltdown shit-show home loss to Real Salt Lake in that same wretched mix. Still, the Timbers did win today, cruising to a 3-1, and that’s what they needed and what we wanted, etc. But, guys, c’mon. Playing a train-wreck of a team at home? I mean, what’s the likeliest thing to happen? (Psst…LA loses. And suck it.)

History aside, though, this game will probably always be about VAR…whatever the fuck that stands for. (What? How many acronyms do you rattle off every day without knowing the root words?). As anyone who watched the game knows, the Galaxy had a Gyasi Zardes goal called back – and correctly – but I’ll be damned along with a school of the most wholesome nuns if I ever would have spotted that infringement in real time. Hell, it took many, many slow-mo replays for the commentating crew to catch the actual infringement (Zardes’ goal-hungry hands getting in front of his head (why, kid, why?) on the way to knocking the ball down to his feet to poke home.)