Thursday, September 28, 2006

Running a Moak

Granted, we don't know if it can actually be pronounced like "amok", but we do know that this Sicilian brand of coffee has given us quite a smooth and mellow cup of espresso. We are almost tempted to follow their advertising dictum, "Sweet without sugar" next time around. While the people at Moak apparently have been around for quite some time, they have recently launched an international rebranding campaign to capture a share of the young, sophisiticated Wallpaper-reading set. One look at their interactive website, complete with modernist furniture and casual pictures of people in crisp suits certainly helps to create a distinct sense of style around their coffee. We are very much intrigued.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Harper's budget reveals much

Prime Minister Stephen Harper's government revealed a series of government cuts designed to save $1 billion. It was announced that these savings will come from a reduction or elimination of programmes found to be wasteful, inefficient, better done by non-government agencies, or represented poor value for money.

Much is being made of the $4 million cut for research to medical marijuana, but the government's rationale, "We don't want to tell researches what they should be looking into" coupled with cuts to policy research, foreign policy research, and industrial technology research, creates an image of a government that does not have a research vision. To depend on private industry for research skews research to commerical interests. University research is often too underfunded or subject to too many personal whims. Only the federal government can set a national research agenda on something like climate change. Where would the American's be today without Kennedy's nebulous declaration that the US would set foot on the moon by the end of the decade.

Similarly, for all his talk of supporting children with his childcare and tax-based sports incentives, cuts to youth employment programmes, international internship programs, and the equality-driven legal reforms, his commitment to youth issues is somewhat questionable. In the same manner, the elimination of the visitor GST rebate, consolidation of various missions, reduction of monies for foreign affairs policy research, combine with the elimination of the international internships signal a slight retraction from international affairs.

These are just a few of the images the Harper's budget announcement reveals. Have a look for yourself.

Monday, September 25, 2006

A Moment of Our Youth, Gone Forever

Film maker Lock Fulton to the stage last night to introduce his film. "I started off filming it because it was what I was doing at the time. When I was done I was proud of it, because it captured an image of a Calgary that no longer exists."

One might excuse Fulton for a moment of poetic license - except in the case of is documentary, Breakfast at Rock Central, the director was speaking literal truth. Rock Central, the flophouse located at 322 12th Avenue, two blocks east of the parking lot that inspired Sean Marchetto's acclaimed late-night radio program, The 12th Ave Paylot, and across the street from our very own Wenzel lot, successfully held and defended ten annual Stampede Breakfasts, starting at high noon and featured anywhere from four to a dozen bands, all playing in the backyard. The Wenzel lot was the first to go, being the proposed construction site for the new Stampede Convention Centre, while Rock Central fell prey to Stampede bulldozers a few weeks ago. Only the 12th Ave Paylot remains, having doubled in size and now devoid of much of its character.

But character was what a Rock Central Breakfast had in abundance, from the bands and the hipsters, to the denizens of Victoria Park, Calgary's most destitute neighbourhood, to the Dude Bomb himself. The Breakfast had music, dancing, hay-wrestling, balloons, sing-a-longs, and one year, even a towering inferno. Most of all, it had pancakes.

Those of us at Wenzel, either having been to high school with the various members The Dudes, The A-Team, and the Infernos, the prime movers of the Breakfast, or simply by virtue of working across the street, would often wander over during a workshift to enjoy some flapjacks and music. Yes, the Breakfasts at Rock Central were wild. Hedonism mixed with nilism. Despite the drunkenness, however, they somehow managed to pull off a spirit of community that almost seemed to make the Stampede worthwhile again.

Last night, Lock Fulton gave all that a fitting send off.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Movie Update

With recent viewings of Poseidon and Take the Lead, the Wenzel offices haven't exactly been your local art house theatre, lately. However we did manage an excursion to go see The Last Kiss, a movie about relationships that questions the very feasibility of relationships in late twentysomethings (or more specifically, twentysomething men). Zach Braff's acting shows up as two-dimensional, but Casey Affleck steals it for the younger set. The real gem here is the work between Tom Wilkinson and Blythe Danner, who appear as the parents of Baff's girlfriend, played by Jacinda Barrett and are having marital problems of there own. Many of us found The Last Kiss is a difficult film to watch, and not necessarily because the acting was bad, but rather it hit too close to the bone. It does not help matters that the movie offers no firm resolution, nor a happy ending. Some characters resolve to get back together, others don't, and some we're not sure about. We're currently attempting to track down the original Italian film, L'Ultimo Baccio, to see how these character types manifest.

Another film that we are trying to track down is The Proposition, written by Nick Cave and starring Guy Pearce. Yet another film delving it the myths an archetypes of Australian history, Cave as earned some praise for himself as a screenwriter with this gritty western.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Stephen Harper, Boy Wonder

Canadian Prime Minister Steven Harper spoke in front of the UN yesterday, using his alotted fifteen minutes to make his inaugural address. For many in the Canadian media, this was a shining moment for the PM, as if the entire day's session in the General Assembly was building towards it, rather than a parade a delegates on a host of disparate subjects. Harper's speech didn't even earn a mention in the BBC's UN Round-Up.

So what did Harper talk about? Afganistan, using words that sounded remarkably like "stay the course". Prior to his speech, Canadian media asked him what he saw as the biggest threat to the international scene, and he replied "Iran" - even though European members of the Atomic Energy Commission recently published an open letter stating that the US is exaggerating Iran's development, threat-level, and non-compliance. Furthermore, Harper called on Canada to take a leadership role intenationally, even though one of his first international moves was to have his minister sink the Kyoto-related International Environmental Conference Canada hosted.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

TD Comes Onside

TD Bank analysts have recently come onside in regards to Canada's economic forecast for the upcoming year, following thinking published earlier this summer here at Wenzel. While this suprises us, as we do not pretend to be the deepest economic thinkers on the block, our only goal is to be in touch with the spirit of our times, economic, political, cultural, what have you.

To read their forecast, click here.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Music update

Another busy week seeing a lot of music pass through the Wenzel offices.

Starting with perhaps the best of the bunch, The Ghost is Dancing five song EP, features more of the orchestral Canadian indie pop so popular with bands like the Arcade Fire and Broken Social Scene. However, these kids manage to combine a wide-eyed sense of innocence and cosmic wonder with their jangling guitars. Re-released for global (alright, North American) distribution by Sonic Unyon, The Ghost is Dancing is prepping for the release of a full-length in January of 2007.

Ubiquity Records has done it again with two solid releases. The first being the party-friendly, dancefloor filling Spanky Wilson and the Quantic Soul Orchestra's soon to be classic "I'm Thankful". We don't know where Will Holland found her, as Spanky's been plying her trade in every lounge, club, stage from Hoboken to Holland, Los Angeles to Glastonbury, since the 1960s. Regardless, "I'm Thankful" merges 21st century style with 20th century soul. Meanwhile for those enjoying the more electronic funk offerings, the label has made available TM Juke's "Forward". According to rumour, Al Cowan had recorded an entire album's worth of material last year and then scrapped it in favour of this. Diverse, challenging, yet butt-shaking, Foward makes us wonder - if the songs Cowan chucked are half as good as these let's bring'em on!

For those quieter moments of the night, Wenzel has been favouring the organic blues-folk sounds of Bob Egan's "The Glorious Decline". Fans of Baudelaire, decadence, nighthawks, and cigarettes will enjoy this third album from a guitarist who's been in Freakwater, Wilco, and Blue Rodeo. Some may say don't judge me by the company I keep, but by that measure Egan turns out well.

Leeds' based quartet iLIKETRAIN's took some growing, but their ambient space-rock debut "Progress Reform" mixes equal parts Joy Division, Interpol, and Arab Strap to yield songs about chess, trains, and doomed voyages to the Artic Circle.

Why espresso?

People often ask us why espresso? Many people understand our love of coffee culture, but why not a latte or cappuccino they often ask, or god forbid, the ubiquitous Canadian double-double, which will soon rank right up there with the beaver, the maple leaf, and poutine as enduring symbols of Canadiana (if it's good enough for Peter MacKay and Condoleeza Rice it's good enough for you). More than anything else though, we here at Wenzel follow a philosophy of humanism and prefer things that are sized relative to human needs. We find the towering silos of coffee as unthinkable as the milkshake, coffee-laced confections used to lure children into the caffiene soaked world.

. . . and we're not alone in our thinking. Ever wonder about the nutritional value of that five dollar cup in your hand? Check out this report, Good Coffee, Bad Coffee: How to surivive in latte land.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Game On, eh!

Parliament returns this week for fall action and political pundits are lining up to watch! The Harper government, a minority strutting like a majority, is out to jockey for position leading up to an anticipated spring election. The Liberals meanwhile are still trying to sort their house out, with a long-delayed leadership race finally coming to a head in Novemember, barely enough time to introduce the chief in the House of Commons before the Christmas break. Jack Layton meanwhile must be sniffing blood in the water as the Conservatives move more towards the right and the Liberals are no where to be found in the Centre. It will be interesting to see how the NDP attempts to lure voters away from the Liberals. The Conservatives on the other hand, have one eye on the re-emerging affluent middle-class looking to consolidate real estate and energy wealth and the other eye on Quebec, long predicted to be the main battleground in the next election. A side question's no one's asking here: if Harper's strength rests on Ontario sharing in the economic bonanza of the West, what happens if the dollar stays high but Central Canadian exports dry up as the US slides ever more slowly into recession?

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Cafe Spotlight

From time to time, Wenzel will be posting spotlights on various coffeeshops around Calgary, since we're rarely in our offices anyways. To begin our series, we've chosen one of the old grand dames of the Calgary Coffee Scene, Higher Ground. Located in the coffeeshop dense Kensington, Higher Ground is located across the street from the art house Plaza Theatre and this proximity has given Higher Ground part of its mystique. During the day the crowd is a healthy mix of business people, NGO-types, college students, artists and trendjumpers, nestled among its quiet corners. At night, crowds crossing the street from the Plaza stop by for a pre-or-post discussion and coffee. The arrival of Starbucks in Calgary in the mid-1990s precipitated a coffee crash, seeing the death of many independent shops, Higher Ground however was able to withstand not just Starbucks in Calgary, but the opening of one two doors down. In fact, Higher Ground has been able to renovate exensively, replacing it's old Victorian floorboards for tiles and a more modern colour scheme, adding a growing selection of wines to their coffee and tea list.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Maybe it's just a showmance?

Local media outlets are in a tizzy over a suspected romance between American Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice and broken-hearted Conservative bachelor and Foreign Affairs minister Peter MacKay after the two were observed going into a Tim Horton's in Atlantic Canada. The some media even called in "body language" experts to confirm that a Fall Romance was in the offing. Of course, no talk of the political implications of the meeting was discussed, the likelihood that Rice and MacKay were talking about the Canadian military presence in the Middle-East, a subject that seems to have other parts of the world talking too - the BBC has been running special coverage of the debate on their Americas website.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Marcello di Cintio

Sometime Wenzel contributor Sean Marchetto had a brief chat with Calgarian autor Marcello di Cintio at the Higher Ground coffee shop in Kensington. Di Cintio has just released his book Poets and Pahlevans, recounting his travels through Iran to explore its history, poetry, and wrestling. The official launch of Poets will be Monday and Di Cintio will also be appearing at Wordfest. During their talk, di Cintio mentioned that he is a fan of the classic Battle for Algiers, a look at the Algerian struggle for independence and rumoured to be required viewing on coutner-insurgency fighting for American troops headed to the Middle-East. Marchetto was surprised as the film is currently slated as part of Wenzel's office matinee series.

Wenzel Economic Forecasts on Target

In an announcement that caught us rather off-guard, IMF economists agreed with Wenzel's earlier economic forecast of trouble resulting from a high Canadian dollar and sluggish American economy. For our original thoughts, check out "The Curious Case of the Canada's Currency" attempts to spell out the problems mentioned in the third paragraph below.

http://www.cbc.ca/story/money/national/2006/09/14/imf-useconomy.html

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Many questions, few answers

By all accounts it was a stellar year for Barcelona midfielder Ronaldinho, having helped his club to the Champions' League title last year, earning himself a FIFA World Player of the Year. However, he'll be looking to put a lacklustre World Cup performance behind him. In Brazil's game against France, Zidane showed the young Brazillian that there were still a few tricks to be learned at the feet of the master. With Zidane's departure though, Real Madrid will be looking for increased output from David Beckham, who has recently been paired up with his Manchester United striking partner Ruud van Nistlerooij. The Flying Dutchman launched his promising La Liga career this weekend with a hat trick. Meanwhile back at Old Trafford, Ryan Giggs appears to be in fine form, and the team is off to a perfect start. Questions surrounding the relationship of young stars Wayne Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo seem to have been answered. Elsewhere, both Chelsea and Arsenal will be hoping that this will be the year that domestic league success translates into a European championsip. In Italy, disgraced giants AC Milan start their campaign off against AEK and would be happy to work their way back into favour with another title. Cross-town rivals Internazionale, the current darlings of Italian soccer, are attempting a ten year return to the winner's circle themselves.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Liberals Make Little Progress

The results of the Liberal leadership French debate did little to clarify matters in Quebec. While it is entirely likely that disaffected Liberals who voted for Harper out of distate for the Chretien/Martin Liberal Party scandals will go back to the Party in the next election (largely predicted for this summer), it is unclear what ground the Liberals are making in Quebec. That the Liberals are looking to re-invent themselves is clear, Bob Rae and Michael Ignatieff, the two front-runners, are Party outsiders with little connections at the Federal level. They were also the only two candidates who are reported to have been comfortable speaking in French. Unfortunately for the Liberal Party, neither of these two gentlemen have much to offer Quebec on the surface. Rae is tainted by his history of being premier of the largest Anglophone province in Canada, while Ignatieff's Trudeauist vision of Canada as a unitary concept does not seem to hold much room for Quebec as a distinct society. If the Liberals want to guarantee electroal victory they're next leader will need to make up ground at the expense of the Bloc Quebecois.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Harper drifts further from Liberals

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced further reductions in Canada's commitment to the Kyoto Protocol. This time, the cuts were aimed at international programs to assist developing countries in lowering emissions. Previously, under Paul Martin, Canada's contribution to the Clean Development Mechanism was among the highest of any developed nation. Harper's move not only helps to distant himself from popular Liberal support for the Kyoto Protocols and environmentalism, but also serves to alienate supporters of increased foreign and developmental aid. The move will increase support for Harper in his Western stronghold. Some elements of the mainstream media are now actively suggesting that Canada is working on behalf of the United States to undermine the Kyoto Protocol from within.

Eleven in a Row?

As Maria Sharapova showed the second set poise that commentators had been predicting for her ever since her Wimbledon win two years ago, we rushed to check if the bookies in Las Vegas were offering a line on a sweetheart bet. With her U.S. Open win over Justine Henin-Hardenne, many will be looking for speculated boyfriend Andy Roddick to win today over Roger Federer. However things will not be so easy for the American, as Federer is riding a ten-match winning streak over Roddick. We keep waiting for Roddick to offer his own Vitus Gerulitis moment with, "No one beats Andy Roddick eleven times in a row." Of course, like Andy's coach Jimmy Connors, Federer might just match Connor's sixteen straight wins over Gerulitis.

The moment, though, belongs to Sharapova. Many will be looking to point to this U.S. Open as her transition from up-and-comer to established winner. She has shown moments of remarkable maturity, from her elegant night match black cocktail oufit and post-match interviews acknowledging that a champion finds a way to win even on the day's she doesn't feel like playing, followed by immature ones, such as the little black bow in her hair, or more notoriusly, robotically following hand signals from her father to eat a banana or take four sips of water.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Fire another shot off, one more time

We tip our hats to James Blake as we down anothre round of espresso. As the time-delayed US Open creeps past midnight here in the Wenzel office we applaud Blake's ability to come back in the third set tie-break after a soul-crushing 6-0 second set against Federer, who once again is demonstrating the icy coolness that has kept him world no.1 for the last couple of years.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Roddick runnin' hot

With the wet weather hopefully behind us, the US Open rolls on, with several great matches occurring yesterday. Disappointed as we are with Safin's loss to Tommy Haas, Roddick showed great promise in his match against Hewitt, a hard-fought affair much closer than the straight sets victory would have you believe. Tonight's game featuring Federer and Blake, an Australian Open rematch should prove equally entertaining. The real story of this post-Agassi Open however, continues to be the stunning play of Mikhail Youhzny who upset Nadal yesterday. Ranked 54th, but coming off an impressive Davis Cup match for Russia, this could very well mark Youzhny's entry to Tennis' big leagues. His next match is a semi-final against Roddick and we'll be riveted.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Music Update

One of these nights
During one of these fights
We're gonna burn the whole place down

So sings Shane MacGowan on "Paddy Rolling Stone", perhaps our favourite song this weekend. We had forgotten how much we loved the affable, toothless, former Pogues frontman, until a friend of ours brought back Rare Auld Stuff, a collection of rarities and A-sides (though it's missing the version of "My Way" recorded for a Nike commercial with Williams S. Burroughs). Otherwise, its been a pretty slow week for quality.

Debut releases abounded this week, with J.R. Writer's "History in the Making", a self-titled release by Six Pack Jacket, Saddle Creek's Ladyfinger (NE), and something called Various Productions. Add onto this new stuff from Priya Thomas, DJ Slip, and the Basement Jaxx and it makes for a busy week in music. Surely, something good must be in this pile.

Both Six Pack Jacket, a cowpunk band from Calgary but ranging all over Western, and Priya Thomas, an agitpop provocateur from Montreal now living in Toronto, are about the best on tap. Six Pack Jacket are not going to win any songwriting contests anytime soon, but their songs about drinkin', drivin', fightin', shootin', wooin', and shotgun weddinin' are a lot of fun. Think Ramones with cowboy hats (or most likely, Supersuckers). Thinkin' meanwhile, is exactly what Priya Thomas wants you to do on You and Me Against The World, a feisty exchange with the powers that be. Her fourth release, Thomas is coming off the recent festival circuit to rave reviews, and enters the studio with yards of taped, programmable loops, samples, and razor blades. Dense, lyrical, literate stuff akin to PJ Harvey.

Razor blades also come to mind with J.R. Writer's History in the Making. Like Six Pack Jacket, JR Writer is workin a genre for all its worth, but without the tongue in cheekness. After almost twenty years of gangsta rap its hard to find the same old ideas exciting. Writer borrows a lot of themes from Ice T's Rhyme Pays. Unintentionally perhaps, but nevertheless interesting, are the four to six bar synth loops that Writer uses to back his vocals. Very low-fi, very basement quality, very interesting.

Again, sticking with the genre theme, Ladyfinger (NE), from Omaha, Nebraska and the vaunted Saddle Creek record label, falls a little flat with their debut Heavy Hands. Ladyfinger follows the mid-nineties grunge riff with a lead vocalist who waffles between screamo thrash and Morrissey like warbling. The band themselves are solid, but not exceptional.

Where are we? Yes, Basement Jaxx are releasing Crazy Itch Radio, a hyperkinetic, style jumping dance album. With only a few listens under our belt, its been hard finding a common groove. Dj Slip meanwhile, has mustered an good old fashioned techno freak-out with She's a Time Traveller. At times it sounds like kinky, awkward, leather-clad sex with primitive androids. But in a good way.

Finally, the most intriguing is something called Various Productions. With no track listings and decorated with simple black and white drawings of a topless dancer astride deer antlers, it caught us completely off guard with its captivating blend of folk/electronica.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Back to School

As thousands of kids get board buses or tread wearily along sidewalks aimed at heading back to school, its back to business for many of their parents. We here at Wenzel are no exception and to honour the daily grind we've put away the Kimbo and pulled out the Lavazza d'oro, our favourite brand du jour. While Illy is perhaps the world's best coffee, Lavazza, according to our numbers, is the world's best-selling. Their campy, sexy, advertising campaigns don't hurt either.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Harper loses ground

A few weeks ago, we discussed the idea that Prime Minister Harper would have to find a way to maintain the loyalty of disaffected Liberals, fleeing the corruption of the Martin party. We suggested that an appear in Toronto at the International AIDS Conference would have allowed him to score some of those political points. It appears that our prediction was right; according to the results of a new Ipsos-Reid poll, Harper's no show cost him among Liberals, youth, and Quebecois, a place where the Liberals suffered the biggest losses.

We are academics, we are hard-core!

Yes, it's true, the people behind Wenzel, are nothing but a bunch of pencil pushing geeks with advanced high school diplomas and more than one university degree to each of their names. We admit it, so the following BBC article gave us pause for thought: just how rampant are the "soft subjects"? We keep hearing talk of American college courses on Elvis Presley or philosophy of the Matrix, and the ubiquitious film studies. We also have a tendency to look down our noses at Faculties of Education and Management, faculties we sometimes think belong more at the community college level and less at the Ivy Tower (with apologies to our own Sean Marchetto, who daylights as a school teacher himself). Our belief is still that in our current social state, education should be a process oriented affair, encouraging critical thinking and further study. Do people dismiss so-called "soft subjects" on the basis of "content" or "skills"?

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Andre bids farewell

It was a match that nobody but Andre wanted him to play. Too tired and too hurt after the fantastic marathon against Baghdatis Thursday night. Agassi's father himself said that he wished his son had retired directly after that match, to spare him the pain of having to play relative unknown Benjamin Becker, a collegiate player making his first U.S. Open appearance. To many, a loss to Becker would be a letdown after Baghdatis, and with Andy Roddick lurking in the wings. An Agassi-Roddick setup would have been a passing of the torch, old king versus young prince, though it was not to be. There were moments as the fourth set wore on where it appeared that Becker's conditioning would allow Agassi to creep back into the match, perhaps forcing things to a dramatic fifth set victory for Agassi, but Becker's serve did not waiver. Unable to capitalize on a breakpoint at 4-3, Agassi allowed Becker back in, finally losing 6-7. As Agassi shook hands, tears were in his eyes, and the crowd rose to their feet. Sitting his chair, trying to compose himself enough to address the audience, even Becker remained standing, cheering. Barely able to hold the microphone, Agassi gave an emotion farewell, and tennis' prodigal son walked off court for the last time.

Agassi v. Becker

it was the best of time, it was the worst of times . . . Watching Agassi, our hearts burst and then break as he takes the second set tiebreak, and then is broken on opening serve in the third.

Tuition Blues

September means back to school and another round of school fees, either parents paying for items on an ever increasing list of required materials (materials once provided by the schools themselves), or post-secondary students trying to come up with scratch for tuition. Here in Alberta, tuition has been on the rise since the early 1990s, and after fifteen years finally appears to to be slowing, as the University of Calgary actually lowered tuition by 0.2%. Also, the province no longer ranks in first place as the province with the highest tuition rate, that honour goes to Nova Scotia. However, what is not mentioned, is that with the lowest minimum wage and tightest rental market, the University of Calgary is still one of the most expensive universities for out of town students to attend. It is not unusual for undergraduates earning $8 - $10/ hr to have to pay for a $1000/month one bedroom apartment. Many are still working two jobs on top of their full-time studies, despite Calgary's booming labour market.

The expense of education has hidden consequences for the U of C, which expresses it's anger again this year at the MacLean's University Rankings. Part of the criteria that MacLean's uses is the impression that a university's graduates have in the workplace. University of Calgary students, working multiple jobs, tend to be over-worked, sleep-deprived, and under-perform while actually in university, resulting in lower GPAs on transcipt records, another MacLean's measure of quality.

**links to follow**

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Boffo for Bardin!

Currently, Wenzel is enamoured of Spanish artist Max's bound collection featuring Bardin, the Superrealist. Having visited the Dali museum in St. Petersburg, Florida earlier this summer, the office staff are passing around the lovable adventures of the big-headed Bardin, heir to Luis Bunuel's Andulisian Dog, against his psyche and ultimate truth.

Brother Andre, we pray for you

Somone in the Wenzel office joked just before Thursday night's match, that the only way Agassi was going to beat the younger, faster, and stronger Baghdatis, was if Baghdatis fell in the tunnel walking out to the court and broke both his legs. Little did we know how close that prediction would be . . . Andre started off in fine form, the forearm errors from the Pavel match were gone, and he was able to control the match from the baseline. Perhaps Baghdatis was too overwhelmed by the moment, but Agassi took the first two sets 6-4, 6-4. It was a different story in the third however, as Agassi appeared listless and Baghdatis ran down balls and fired them back with authority, using a wicked drop shot that forced Agassi to run and crouch towards the net. With three consectuive breaks of Andre's serve, Baghdatis took the third set. Marcos Baghdatis, the young Cypriot with a bright tennis future, looked ready to end Agassi's career as he cruised through the fourth as well. For Agassi, the well seemed empty, and he stopped making cross-court runs to return balls. Then, early on serve in the fifth, it happened. Baghdatis started cramping in both legs. Watching Baghdatis hobble around on court seemed to rejuvenate Andre Agassi, but Baghdatis wouldn't go away carrying the match to the verge of tiebreak before putting a return wide to end it all. The 23,000 New Yorkers who had stayed well past midnight went wild and Agassi prepares to meet Benjamin Becker later today.