My blogging impulse has been light of late (clearly). No reason, really, but I'll blame it on my wife's international itinerary. She zips out to some exotic locale, then staggers back in the grip of some exotic bug. She's just returned from Dusseldorf, Germany. You wouldn't expect her to come back with anything but a touch of World Cup Fever. Alas, it seems drinking the tap water in Dusseldorf is akin to drinking the tap water in Quito, Ecuador (not recommended).
To make matters worse, despite her proximity to real, live football and thousands of real, live football fans, she was unable to actually darken a stadium turnstile -- she was there to work, after all. She insists that physical attendance was a moot point, given how it was impossible to walk more than two metres without navigating around a Jumbotron or some other large-screen outdoor television. And she and an Aussie co-worker spent a pleasant afternoon in a biergarten, sipping pils and watching the Aussies beat Japan.
Which is more than I can claim. I've been reduced to catching the odd game on one of the city's "ethnic" channels, and talking soccer with my father in law (he loved watching the Czechs route America, even though his Montana background usually prompts him to cheer the home-team). I'm also thoroughly enjoying football commentary by Darko, whose beloved Croatian team "has character", as American sports-casters like to say. Also worthy of note, DV has managed to provoke commentary from the unusually taciturn F.C. Bearded, a Scot expat who hates the "fitba". Gouts of that beloved Scottish bile is expelled upon the subject, here.