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Friday, June 21, 2002
Her Name is Rio:
Unfortunately, both Brazil and Germany won their games today. I think I’ve made it very clear earlier that I don’t like Brazil, but in the match between Germany and USA I didn’t really have a favourite before the game. But once again the Germans played the most boring football ever and because of the incredible skill of Landon Donovan and the will to win displayed by the US team I started rooting for the Yanks (which as usual led to a defeat for my team). So it was a bummer, when the Germans scored and an even bigger bummer, when the ref didn’t notice that a German player standing on the goal line got his hand on the ball preventing it from going in. Oliver Kahn is a really good goalie and was the main reason the Germans won the game as their strikers barely created a chance in the entire game. My guess is that Germany will beat Spain in the semi finals and go on to play Brazil in the finals. But so far I haven’t predicted a result correctly in the entire World Cup, so I won’t be surprised if it’s South Korea and Senegal, who reach the final.

The English supporters must be very disappointed with the loss to Brazil today. This means that they won’t get to play Turkey in the semi finals, but more importantly it means they won’t get to hear a re-recording of the classic Duran Duran song Rio dedicated to the footballer Rio Ferdinand. Apparently, the fans have been creating their own tributes to the defender, who scored the first goal against Denmark, based on the Duran song. And this led Simon Le Bon to promise to re-record the song with new lyrics if the English squad beat Brazil. But now, unfortunately, this probably won’t happen.

- John Fogde 5:31 PM [+]

Tuesday, June 18, 2002
Red Means Go:
I don’t like driving. I have no problem with being driven, but driving is not something I enjoy. When I was a kid the guys in my class would say stuff like: “When I’m eighteen my license will be right there waiting for me”, because they found it unthinkable that you could legally be allowed to drive and not want to take maximum advantage of this right. I didn’t get around to getting my license until I was 20 or 21 and then only because of some technicalities I’ll spare you for. I had a harsh woman driving instructor and I didn’t do well at the driving tests, but I got my license and pretty much just stuck it in my wallet and forgot about it. My parents suggested that I take the car out once in awhile, so I wouldn’t forget how to drive, so I did that on occasion, but I never felt any real joy in driving. I always found it to be a burden that you have to drive safely, be alert, find a parking spot, drive while everyone else is talking, and stay sober (none of which you have to do if you ride on the bus). Also, I’d get really paranoid, because I was driving my Dad’s car, and I’d hate to have to explain to him that I’d banged up the car or let it get stolen. And because I moved away from home before I got my license I had to go out to my parents’ house to get the car, which was just too much of a hassle.

The fact that I’ve crashed two cars doesn’t exactly make me enjoy driving, either. I’d like to point out that because I’m an inexperienced driver I’m also a cautious driver, so the two crashes aren’t because of recklessness on my behalf. The first crash was in my Dad’s car on my way back from the movies. While we’d seen the movie it had rained and started freezing, so it had gotten quite slippery. I was aware of this and drove slowly, but after changing gears the car for some reason spun out of control and we went sideways into a traffic light. The whole right side of the car was banged up and there were pieces of glass all over the car. My brother was sitting in the passenger seat and after making sure he was okay I carefully drove the car back home, inspected it, and went to bed. My parents were in Tunisia, so the next day I talked to a neighbour and decided to drive the car to the shop, call the insurance company, and tell my parents when they got back unless they called. Which they did, but they were really nice about it.

The second crash was because I’d never driven a van before and had no idea how to estimate the length of the thing. I was about to move my stuff into an apartment and had to pull the van through a narrow passageway to get to the parking spaces behind the apartments. I made a right turn and got half the car through, when the right side hit a metal plate, which is used for when you close the iron gate in front of the passageway. The metal plate went into the van door and scraped all the way across the side and eventually came out of the wall. Because it was a rental I wasn’t too embarrassed by the event, because I have a feeling stuff like this happens all the time, but it cost me a fortune to get the damn van fixed. And because I’d busted to door we had to pull all my gear out the back of the van.

Why am I mentioning all this? Because my new job requires me to drive on occasion. The company car is a Volvo station car, which means it’s not the handiest car for trips into the city, but because most trips are to the printers we need a spacious car. I’ve driven it twice without accidents, but I always get that feeling of doubt every time I enter out into traffic. Like I have no idea what I’m doing and that I’m breaking laws left and right. I’m sure if I got more experience driving the same car I’d get better and more confident, but for now I’d prefer not driving at all.

- John Fogde 11:12 PM [+]

Monday, June 17, 2002
Caught by the Fuzz:
In all the commotion over the Danish defeat I forgot to write about the party we went to Friday night. I didn’t really know what to expect, but it was billed as a garden party with live music and several hundred guests, so it sounded alright by me. I had dinner with a friend first and then walked to the house, where this thing was held. As we were walking down the street towards the house we noticed a line outside the house and immediately got excited about the party. We got in line and noticed how well organized everything was. Everyone got a blue ribbon tied around their wrist and to the left of the entrance was a billboard divided into squares with numbers on them, where you were supposed to hang your ticket. The tickets would then form a huge version of the cover to the Sgt. Pepper album and it would be easy to see how many of the invited had actually shown up. In the garden was a stage set up beautifully between the trees with branches and leaves hanging down in front of the stage. Over the area in front of the stage were hung huge, white strips of cloth reminiscent of sails, which would prevent people from getting wet if it had started raining. And to the right of the stage were two large tents with tables and chairs and in the back was a large bar. All in all it was one of the most well organized parties I’ve ever been to.

We got in and hooked up with my brother and sister and a bunch of friends and started drinking and listening to the bands. But after about an hour we started hearing rumours that the cops had come to stop the party. Not only would that have been a bummer, but since the party was slated to continue the next night it would have been a double bummer. We’d been told that the people, who had arranged the party, had visited all the neighbours in advance and told them about the party and had gotten the go-ahead from the neighbourhood. So we didn’t quite understand, why the police had come, if no one had complained about the noise.

Finally, the guy who’d gotten my brother the invites explained the situation to us. Apparently, the arrangers had applied for a permit at the police station to have the party last year and had been told that they didn’t need a permit. They only needed permission from the neighbours, since it was a private party. So this year they hadn’t applied for a permit, but gotten permission from the neighbours. And since they didn't have a permission from the police, when the cops drove by, they saw the line in front of the house and got suspicious. They then came by claiming that this was a public party and because alcohol was served they’d have to shut the party down. The arrangers went on stage (no one actually saw the police in the garden) and said that there’d be no more music and that everyone would have to move indoors by 11. And that the second leg of the party wouldn't be held in the garden, but in a building by the harbour the next day.

Everyone got really pissed off, but what could you do but make jokes about having finally been to a party that had been brought down by The Man. So around 11 some people start moving indoors, but a lot stayed outdoors. And I actually stayed outdoors drinking until around 2, when we left the party, so the only thing the cops managed to do was stop the live acts and piss everyone off. It was just the most pointless act of power I’ve ever seen especially since they never came back to check that we'd stopped the party. Now I’m not one to quote Body Count, but it annoys me that they didn’t have something better to do on a Friday night than wreck a perfectly nice and peaceful party.

I try to work as much as I can these days, so when I was asked to fill in on Friday I gladly accepted. It wasn’t until I got home I realized that the quarter-finals are on Friday, so I started panicking a bit. I wanted the shift, but I didn’t want to miss the games, so I called one of the others who work there and traded shifts with him. So now I have to work tomorrow and he’ll cover my shift Friday. That means I still get the extra money and get to see the games at the expense of the two games tomorrow. I can definitely live with that although I'd love to see the Japan game.

While re-reading this segment I'm watching Parkie talking to James Nesbitt and it's hilarious. My mother is from Derry in Northern Ireland, so I always love hearing that weird accent. Nesbitt referred to a trip to Vegas as "a good crack" and says "coi-bois" instead of cowboys. I can sort of imitate it and will slide into it, when visiting family, but I haven't stayed long enough in the North to master it. But I still love hearing others talk that way.

- John Fogde 10:58 PM [+]

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Lives in Denmark/
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