Home: Hockey and The Wire

by aengelson | March 2nd, 2010

Woke up at 4:30 a.m. the other day to watch the U.S.-Canada hockey game for the gold medal. Wasn’t disappointed at all, even though I was rooting for the U.S.

Oh, Canada.

It’s rare when America’s the underdog in anything (even if not by much) so I took the opportunity to root for the USA. I’m no hockey fan, but that was a hell of a game–the stats during the break showed it was about as evenly matched as you could get. The goalies made some amazing stops–it really felt like everyone was giving their all to the game. And when the Americans tied it up with 24 seconds left–well, you knew then this was one for the ages.

Even though I was rooting for the U.S., it was great to see Canada get that gold, which I think they wanted more than world peace, economic recovery and an end to climate change. Couldn’t help getting goosebumps knowing the NHL’s top scorer and Canada’s most famous young star made that winning goal. Funny how the mood of a nation can hinge on one vulcanized rubber disc slipping through the gap between someone’s legs. Party on, Canada.

And enjoy that case of Yuengling beer, Mr. Harper. (Sound like some sort of Chinese brew, but apparently it’s the U.S.’s oldest brewery–who knew????)

The hockey game was about all I saw of the 2010 Winter Olympics other than some women’s curling (which I love…I mean, what other sport is there where a 41-year-old in mediocre shape can still dream of being an Olympian?). We did have Olympic coverage here in Vietnam, but the timing was a little off and we were on vacation in Hoi An for most of the games.

Which brings me to the topic of feeling connection to home. Even though we’re thousands of miles away, we’re still fairly connected to the zeitgeist back home. Thanks to online news and streaming excerpts of the Daily Show, I’m able to see how messed up politics still is in the U.S. We keep up with family and friends through Facebook, email and Skype. I sometimes stream the archived John in the Morning Show from KEXP during breakfast to make if feel a little like Seattle. We get current movies on DVD at the pirated shop on Xuan Dieu (I know, I know, but what choice do I have???). Plus we occasionally see arthouse flicks and foreign movies at the Hanoi Cinemateque.

And Joanie and I bought the entire five seasons of The Wire on DVD, and recently finished season one. Man, that show is good. If you haven’t seen it, I heartily recommend it. It’s our little taste of the hood right here in Hanoi. Here’s a little sampling (rated R for language and violence, spoiler alert…)

2 Responses to “Home: Hockey and The Wire”

  1. The Wire dips a little in the second series and then from the third season onwards it gets better and better.

  2. Pete Benmar says:

    I love The Wire. Love it. You feel me?

    I have a friend who worked at the Baltimore Sun and knew David Simon, the show’s creator.

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About This Site

Andy Engelson is a writer and editor who lives in Hanoi, Vietnam. He's currently working on a historical novel set in the Northwest United States during World War II. He's also a freelance writer, essayist and member of the Hanoi Writer's Collective. In a former life, he edited Washington Trails magazine for six years and before that was freelance journalist. He likes to hike, travel, and play with his family.


“I suppose I am dull about many things,” said Dorthea, simply. “I should like to make life beautiful—I mean everybody’s life. And then all this immense expense of art, that seems somehow to lie outside life and make it no better for the world, pains one. It spoils my enjoyment of anything when I am made to think that most people are shut out from it.”
“I call that the fanaticism of sympathy,” said Will, impetuously. “You might say the same of landscape, of poetry, of all refinement. If you carried it out you ought to be miserable in your own goodness, and turn evil that you might have no advantage over others. The best piety is to enjoy—when you can. You are doing the most then to save the earth’s character as an agreeable planet. And enjoyment radiates. It is of no use to try and take care of all the world; that is being taken care of when you feel delight—in art or in anything else. Would you turn all the youth of the world into a tragic chorus, wailing and moralizing over misery? I suspect that you have some false belief in the virtues of misery, and want to make your life a martyrdom.”
— George Elliot, Middlemarch


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