Life is Life.

La la la la la.

As you no doubt may have heard from the one person you know who obsesses over soccer [and heartfelt apologies go out to those for whom that person is me], Diego Maradona was hospitalized recently for ill health, though he is apparently recovering nicely.

"It wasn't an imbalance in his blood circulation or with his heart, but was a product of an incoherent regimen of excessive eating, drinking and smoking," his doctor, Alfredo Cahe, told reporters in the doorway of the Guemes clinic in Buenos Aires.
What, you may ask, constitutes an "incoherent regimen of excessive eating, drinking, and smoking?" Or a better question: what constitutes a coherent regimen of excessive eating, drinking, and smoking. [Insert bad comparative celebrity joke...now.]

Apparently this: "He is smoking three or four Habanos (Cuban cigars) a day. For him, who didn't smoke, it's too much," Maradona's doctor said [emphasis added].

M had supposedly decamped to Switzerland to chill back in a no-doubt sleekly-designed, though still rather heartless (sort of like the Swiss themselves) teak sweat-lodge, or some other form of intense weight-loss clinic to drop some of the pounds he'd gained back after the gastric bypass surgery that had helped him slim down a few years ago. Perhaps the Swiss treated him as the Germans did at last year's World Cup.

Ether way, he seems stable, and suitably feisty again. Some more updates from his Doctor:
"He woke up at 0230 and he insulted me, he didn't want to be there. They sedated him again and he fell asleep," Dr Cahe told a local radio station.
Perhaps we should all want the kind of relationship Diego has with a Doctor like Dr. Cahe, as perhaps HST had with an Attorney like, erm, "Dr." Gonzo.

And just as you suspected, this post is nowt but a poorly disguised excuse to post some admittedly pretty awesome YouTube clips of Numero 10, the first of which, for some reason is scored, rather appropriately, to an instrumental of that Mos Def, Pharaohe Monch & Nate Dogg tune "Oh No" off the last Lyricist Lounge album. This cut came more or less at the apex of Nate Dogg's glorious (?), ubiquitous hook-dropping stage, the veritable Akon of his era. Anyway, Maradona:

The thing to take from these clips (incl. the one up top) is how much fun it is to watch footballers warm up. The tricks and routines seen here are often more impressive than the ones actually employed during the game. Former England striker Gary Lineker thinks so, especially after watching one particular Manchester United winger recently. More on that later, perhaps.

The Double R.

Get your pipes.

Last time Don Rodriguez was lost in a rainy Paris for seven hours waiting for the TGV to take him to Milan (only then to, according to him, smoke other people's smoke in a non-smoking cabin on an Inter-city "express" to Rome Termini) he visited the Centre Pompidou. He remembers liking it, and more than he thought he would. Having assumed it would be one of those buildings that seem theoretically cool when your arch. prof. runs through the, um, theory behind its structure (it's "inside out!" "form follows function!" "service becomes externalized!" "look at the pretty colors!") it's actually quite pleasing to be inside, especially the tube-scalators. And you might not think it, but if you approach it from the right (i.e. wrong) angle, it can sneak up on you, though that might be due to Don's dampened memory of the (un-)airiness of Paris streets.

That's not even Don Rodriguez's best story about architecture, or even about architecture in France. On a more-than-random day-trip to Bordeaux that ended back on a beach in Biarritz, with newly purchased bottles of wine and the openers to open them and the ingredients of some never-written Hemingway short story you remember liking as a teenager then feel really embarrassed about liking when you come back to it with years behind you all-too-obviously present, Don and Friend "found" the law courts. They were deserted -- just completed, actually -- and thanks to the laissez-faire (ha!) attitude of French gendarmes there was not a guard in sight. So Don and Friend proceeded to walk in and out of these pods-that-were-courtrooms, sit on the judge's bench, voir dire the witnesses, and object strenuously to that line of questioning. And this was all before the wine, apparently.

This is Don Rodriguez's roundabout way of big-upping Richard Rogers on winning a Pritzker. Rogers deserves Pritzker props not merely because he's made it to his early 70s and found much success along the way without having found it necessary to resort to wearing a pair of Corbus for 'tect respect. For instance, there's rarely been a bad -- or maybe I should just say uninteresting -- photo taken of his Lloyds Building in London, where one of the more iconic, futuristic exterior staircases on the planet hangs as fodder for flash photogs everywhere. But it's more his consistency, and consistently intriguing designs that prove his worth as this year's laureate.

The 2007 Pritzker Laureate Photo Kit is really worth taking a look at, if just to see something called his "Shanghai Masterplan" and "London as it could be, 1986." There will be some Rogers coming NYC way "soon" too.