Sunday, June 11, 2006

A SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT TO ANYONE WHO HAS BEEN WONDERING WHAT THE HELL WAS WRONG WITH ME (in terms of lack of posting) OR ANYONE WHO IS CURIOUS AT ALL ABOUT THE HUGE GAP BETWEEN THIS POST AND THE PREVIOUS ONE:

Back in December/January, I determined that I would write a letter to my brother. This determination was the result of a significant amount of pressure from my mother. My problem was that I didn't have the foggiest notion of what I wanted to say to the man. So I agonized over it. This turned into stress. The stress increased. I soon found myself unable to do much of anything writing-related because I hadn't yet written the letter. In no particular order, this cascaded into: me not writing some things I wanted to do for work; me staying off the chat program I was usually on; me not answering emails; me rarely checking emails; me not looking at this blog; me avoiding friends' blogs (because they might see my ip address and realize that I was online but silent and might get offended); me not turning to the telephone as a substitute for writing friends. I got it into my head that, after waiting so long to say anything, only a long and elaborate apology written on paper and mailed would be a fitting solution. Then I got into another spiral about writing that.

Blah, blah, blah, depressioncakes.

Long story short, I'm getting over it. I did write the letter to my brother, and have now sent out a few short emails and made a couple of phone calls.

Sorry.

NOW, however, I'm suffering from an acute case of footballitis. See, I live really close to three World Cup stadia (Gelsenkirchen, Cologne, and Dortmund [I work in Dortmund]). I really should blog about it.

I can't get blogger to cooperate at the moment, so a linkdump will have to wait (I've got some good ones), but I will tell you what I've been up to as far as the tournament is concerned.

9 June: Germany 4 versus Costa Rica 2 (in Munich), Poland 0 versus Ecuador 1 (in Gelsenkirchen)
I watched these games at my former neighbors' house. It was really nice. We sat out in the garden and watched and drank lots of beer (some nerds watched inside the house on the big projected screen, but smoking wasn't allowed in there). One of our hosts is from Scotland and I am from the US, and we were the foreign contingent (repri Zent!). A drunken old fellow sitting next to me learned, after a while, that I was from the US and decided he wanted to talk politics (or rather, he decided that he'd like to harangue Bush, the US government, the US, all Americans, and everything related to the US in any way [but he was careful not to actually shit down my throat, which was nice of him]). Mixed in with this were his variations on the theme of "I'm not really a soccer fan . . .", to which I was tempted to shout BUT I FUCKING WELL AM SO SHUT THE FUCK UP YOU STUPID OLD FUCK! Fortunately, I was Raised Right, so I managed to slowly steer him towards the notion that only an ignorant turd would think the way he does, and that he should realize that however much he may disapprove of certain things about the US, he should step the fuck off when it comes to condemning all the many hundreds of millions of Americans (living and dead and yet to be born) and all their works, lest he one day find himself sitting next to a drunk one who is trying to watch a fucking soccer game in peace. As far as the games are concerned: I correctly predicted that Germany would win and incorrectly predicted that Poland would win. I am now convinced, without statistics, that Germany scores more when playing without their captain, Ballack (he was slightly injured and sat out the game).

10 June: England 1 versus Paraguay 0 (in Frankfurt), Sweden 0 versus Trinidad & Tobago 0 (in Dortmund), Argentina 2 versus the Ivory Coast 1 (in Hamburg)
Two friends (Kirsten and Holger) and I went to Dortmund to hang around for these games. The city was slam full of festive fans from all over the world. I wore my Mexico jersey and was saluted for coming to Germany (heh). We hung out with a colleague of mine, Colin, who is English and lives in Dortmund (he wore a shirt and hat in support of his hometown Liverpool FC and bought an English flag to be provocative). Colin went home. Then we rode a ferris wheel. Then we watched the England/Paraguay game on a huge screen in one of the squares. Then Kirsten went home. Then Holger and I followed the red carpet which leads from the city center out to the stadium (around 2 miles walk). We watched the Sweden/Trinidad game on a huge screen in the Westfallenhalle (a big concert/basketball type arena) next to the stadium with hundreds of Swedes and Trinis. It was an awesome atmosphere and an awesome game. Much better than Eng/Par (which sucked, and England looks weak). Then we went back to the city center. We met some nice Swedish fans who had been in the stadium and were feeling low (Sweden should have won but didn't), one of whom gave me a button that reads "Vi är svenska fans allihopa" (which means, roughly, "We are Sweden fans, no matter what"). Then we watched Arg/IC on the city center big screen. Then we saw some Trinis performing a concert sponsored by Angostura (a Trini rum brand). We drank the whole day. Then we took the train home. It was a good day.

11 June: Sebia & Montenegro versus Netherlands (in Leipzig), Mexico versus Iran (in Nuremburg), Angola versus Portugal (in Cologne) SEE PREDICTIOINS BELOW
I am currently watching the live ticker on the Fifa website for the Serbia/Netherlands game (Netherlands 1-0 at halftime) and will watch the others at my local bar.

HERE ARE, BY THE WAY, MY FIRST ROUND PREDICTIONS. I'm only doing this round by round, and I don't predict scores (so I won't guess group 1st and 2nd). I made these predictions as soon as the bracket was set and filed them with a colleague. I would change them based on some things I've since learned, but that wouldn't be in the spirit of wild prognostication.

GROUP A
Germany defeats Costa Rica CORRECT
Poland defeats Ecuador INCORRECT
Germany and Poland tie
Costa Rica defeats Ecuador
Germany defeats Ecuador
Poland defeats Costa Rica

GROUP B
England and Paraguay tie INCORRECT TECHNICALLY, but it was an own-goal for Paraguay
Sweden defeats Trinidad & Tobago INCORRECT
England defeats Trinidad & Tobago
Sweden defeats Paraguay
Paraguay defeats Trinidad & Tobago
Sweden defeats England

GROUP C
Argentina defeats Ivory Coast CORRECT
Netherlands defeats Serbia & Montenegro
Argentina defeats Serbia & Montenegro
Netherlands defeats Ivory Coast
Argentina defeats Netherlands
Serbia & Montenegro defeats Ivory Coast

GROUP D
Mexico defeats Iran
Portugal defeats Angola
Mexico defeats Angola
Iran defeats Portugal
Mexico defeats Portugal
Iran defeats Angola

GROUP E
United States defeats Czech Republic
Italy defeats Ghana
Czech Republic defeats Ghana
Italy and the United States tie
Italy defeats Czech Republic
United States defeats Ghana

GROUP F
Japan defeats Australia
Brazil defeats Croatia
Croatia defeats Japan
Brazil defeats Australia
Brazil defeats Japan
Australia defeats Croatia

GROUP G
South Korea defeats Togo
Switzerland defeats France
South Korea defeats France
Switzerland defeats Togo
South Korea defeats Switzerland
France defeats Togo

GROUP H
Ukraine defeats Spain
Tunisia defeats Saudi Arabia
Ukraine defeats Saudi Arabia
Spain defeats Tunisia
Ukraine defeats Tunisia
Spain defeats Saudia Arabia

THE OVERALL WINNER, SIMPLY BECAUSE I SAY SO, WILL BE MEXICO.

I will update this from time to time.

2 Comments:

At 8:31 PM, Blogger Carlton said...

I can't believe it -- you actually wrote a letter?

No sweat, Greg -- just glad that you are all right.

 
At 3:50 AM, Anonymous Betty said...

yay! you're back, douchebag!

 

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