My boss is one of those people who sends emails at 2:46 am, complains (boasts?) that he didn't get to bed till four, chain-drinks coffee all day, and always has several dozen urgent unread emails on his phone. I'm not impressed, nor am I particularly sympathetic. There are other people in the office, including me, who are willing to help him, but other people are all muppets. He's a smart guy, but he's deluded about his own importance and that of his work. (As I wrote last year, perhaps a certain level of delusion is healthy.)
Yesterday I took Julie to have a look at some apartments. She needs to get out of that rest home in Newtown that she's in now. It's a pretty awful place and it has a rather creepy black Siamese cat called Speep, which isn't a very nice name. After looking at the apartments, which I don't think Julie was interested in, we had a coffee. Two songs from my favourite album came on in quick succession, one on my car radio and one in the café, but Julie talked all the time, dammit, about this or that person who said this or that. I told Julie that rehashing all of that isn't helping anyone.
The World Cup kicked off on Friday amid plenty of negativity and cynicism. Brazil won the opening game, but were given a helping hand by the man in the middle, succinctly dubbed Referinho after the game. It wasn't a good look. I saw the FIFA "fair play" flag and thought, yeah right. But since then we've been treated to some remarkably open and exciting football, with goals coming at the breathless rate of 3½ a game. Half the teams have now played their first match, and all but two of them (Cameroon and Greece) have scored. Unusually every game has had a winner, and even more unusually, half those eight winners came back from a goal down. I've watched three games so far. Holland's 5-1 win over defending champions Spain was a joy to watch, not that I've got anything against the Spanish. Towards the end I was willing Robben, who seemed to be everywhere on the pitch, to add even more goals. Costa Rica sprung a surprise with their well-deserved 3-1 win over Uruguay this morning. Then, in the same group, England lost 2-1 to Italy despite (I thought) playing pretty well in an excellent game. The Costa Rica result doesn't help England's task in getting out of their group; they may well have to win their next two games. Kevin watched part of the England–Italy game; he regaled me with tales of his exploits on the football pitch - this surprised me because I find it hard to imagine him doing anything remotely sporty. I must say I really like the "vanishing spray" the referee uses for free kicks. It keeps the defensive wall the required ten yards from the ball, and stops the attacking side from stealing ground. A very simple and effective innovation.
It'll be interesting to see the teams from the bottom half of the draw over the next three days. Bosnia anyone? How about Iran (who, I seem to remember, beat the USA one time)? In fact I just saw this on Wikipedia about that match in 1998:
They crushed the united states in a stunning second goal, ending the tyrant rain with 2-1 loss. The Iran vs US game was predicted by Max Lowsen II (First King of Camelot) as being the "Da Best Goal". Er, what?
Last night I spoke to my parents. It was Mum's 65th birthday. They seem to be enjoying themselves; they're going to France on Tuesday.