It was just resting, and not in that "pining for the fjords" kind of way.
Life got in the way of both my and the Brat's blog-keeping there for a while. Let's hope we've managed to fight it back into a corner long enough for something to actually happen.
And that brings me straight onto the World Cup. Of football, known to some as soccer. A game I used to play and the Brat still does, and a lot of fun to watch and speculate on whether the ref inherited his blindness from his mother or his father (whoever he is). And whether gross ignorance of the offside rule is learned or hereditary.
Sadly I haven't been watching a lot of it, because of the time zones (sometimes living in the South Pacific sucks fetid donkey balls through bendy-straws), but I do know that:
New Zealand drew with Slovakia, thereby scoring their first EVER point in the World Cup
If you point at the English goalkeeper and go "HA ha!" you can make him cry
If Argentina win, Diego Maradona has promised (threatened) to take his clothes off and run through the streets of Buenos Aires naked. Heck of an incentive there, mate. Cue Hand of God jokes.
And the other big news is that this weekend the All Blacks play Wales in the last ever test at Carisbrook. I'm going to be there, but not with bells on (I value my life) shouting at the Welsh with the rest of the rabble on the Terraces.
In keeping with our tradition of finding useful phrases in the visitors' native language, here's what I'll be yelling at them:
Ach hefyd 'n annwyl chan dafad!
You are too fond of sheep!
Pryd ewyllysia Torchwood bod 'ma?
When will Torchwood be here?
Pawb chan 'ch glo ydy berthyn i ni!
All of your coal are belong to us!
'ch fam anwyliannau Dan Certiwr hefyd!
Your mum loves Dan Carter too!
If you happen to see me at the test feel free to say hello, buy me a beer, save my spot while I make a run for Loth-loorien, whatever.
And if you know how to pronounce any of the above and/or bring me a towel (Welsh is a damp language), I'll be even happier to see you.
Unlike the Brat, I've not quite been ignoring the Olympics. Its schedule being from ohmygod o'clock in the morning until dinnertime rather meant that I didn't see much of them during the week, but it wasn't for lack of interest.
The weekends were different, and the Weasel and I spent hours watching people in full-body condoms zoom around tracks on ice skates, slide down hills with sticks tied to their feet, do aerobatics while attached to large tongue-depressers etc.
Which leads me to Yet Another List: Things That Are Fabulous.
Thing One: The Norwegian Curling Team's Trousers
Behold the magnificence
The sartorial equivalent of the loud drunk guy at your cousin's wedding, these bad boys (the pants, not the Norwegians) are available for sale for a paltry $US 89.95 per pair. If you can't quite stretch to that, you could always buy a "Respect the Pants" t-shirt for a much more accessible $US 15 or join the Facebook fan group, where you can learn to tell people how awesome their pants are in Norwegian.
And remember -- a man walks down the street in pants like those, you know he's not afraid of anything.
Thing Two: Johnny Weir
He's sparkly, he's outspoken almost to a fault, and he's ridiculously talented. Seriously. To the point where we can forgive him for being Lady GaGa's bestie.
No, really. Check it out:
As if anything else need be said. But sadly, it does. A couple of commentating velocipedes in Canadia made some crass remarks about Johnny's apparent
sexuality, including a suggestion that he should have to take a gender test.
WTF, CANADIA?? We thought you were immune to that kind of nineteenth-century homophobic bullshit.
Butanyway. Johnny, being the outspoken guy he is, had something to say about it. This is what he said:
And that, ladies and germs, is what a class act looks like. And why you, Johnny Weir, are fabulous. Long may you sparkle.
So, I say that I don't care about the super 14, then thanks to Corey Jane and the miracle of twitter, I kinda do. Might make it to the Canes versus The Force, but that'll depend on the weather and the state of my brain.
The rules around the breakdown are interesting, and I think the winners in the first few rounds will be the teams that concede the least ruck and maul penalties. Not sure if I like the new rules or not, once more it feels like just one step closer to league. Here at the Cheap Seats we regard league with contempt.
Not to mention if we get into a situation like last year where we get used to one set of crazy rules, then suck during the domestic test matches because we're playing under different rules.
There's also some cricket on! Yay! Unfortunately the cricket is rubbish. A one sided pasting isn't much fun, nor is the flat crawl that the Hamilton pitch seems to have turned into. I'm putting money on a draw, because wickets seem like a complete bugger to come by.
Not to be ignored of course are the wonderful inningses by Brendon McCullum and Martin Guptill. Definitely worth the price of admission (or a sky subscription) for that one. I think the most impressive part was the way they powered through the "nervous nineties."
I have so far ignored the Winter Olympics. Apart from the ice hockey, which is so much fun watch even when you don't understand it. They remind me of gorillas on ice-skates with all the padding. Not that I have ever actually seen gorillas on ice skates.
Right now I just wish Tim McIntosh would stop running more exciting players out and hit a few boundaries.
I recently saw someone on the 'tubes describe Danica Patrick as "The Anna Kournikova of [motor] racing." (To be fair to him, I don't think he really believes that, but rather threw that statement out as a point of discussion. Well, it worked.)
To which I say BOLLOCKS. And this is for the following reasons:
(Yes, it's another list. Deal.)
1. Danica Patrick has actually won something.
2. The rules of Ms Patrick's sport were changed to make it harder for her to win things.
Neither of these applies to Anna Kournikova -- the first because she's not actually that good, and the second because there's no need.
Now, notice what's just happened here.
I've had to defend a sportswoman for actually being _good at her sport_ rather than mere eye candy. And, rather alarmingly, in order to do so I've had to denounce another sportswoman as mere eye candy, which made me more than a little queasy.
Now, as much as we on the Cheap Seats are partial to a bit of eye candy, I doubt very much that most professional sportsmen have to put up with the same kind of comparisons, at least, not on a regular basis.
As far as we've come towards equality of the sexes, sportswomen are still judged more for their looks than their ability, and the amount of training and effort they put in is seen as largely irrelevant as long as they look good doing whatever it is they do.
And even beyond that, it doesn't matter if Danica Patrick was the greatest Indy car driver the world has ever seen -- she wouldn't get a look in at an F1 race because... she doesn't have a penis.
F1, much as I love it (and I do, oh how I do) is probably the most macho professional sport on the planet. There are no female F1 drivers. No woman has even been given a trial (at least a serious one -- Red Bull gave Danica Patrick a trial as a PR stunt). And such is the machismo surrounding the sport, it's unlikely that any woman will drive in an F1 race for quite some time.
And you know what, that's just daft. Like any other discrimination it's judging people on criteria other than how well they do the job. And that's just stupid. For all we know there's a female Lewis Hamilton out there, but she'll never get a chance to show the world what she can do.
For fuck's sake, people. What century is this, again? When sportswomen are paid less than men for the same work, judged on their looks rather than their ability and outright excluded from the most prestigious and lucrative sports out there, one could be forgiven for wondering.
That's what I'm dressing up for the Sevens as. Given that the last time I went to this awesome amalgamation of a rugby tournament and the 48 hour party the standard response to "I'm going to the sevens" was "Cool!" and not "What are you going as?" it's safe to say it's been a while.
The parade yesterday was a good way to check out the teams, from the delightfully awkward English team, to the Argentines - Who were using the water bottles they had been given to squirt each other and the crowd. (note: all the players seemed to be really short, what's with that?)
Free random air NZ beads completed the experience. I'm all set for an awesome, if hideously spendy, weekend.
P.S. I wanted to dress up as a zombie, but that was vetoed. Bah.
2. Ricky Ponting. Yes, he's Australian and yes, he is a bit of a prat, but he's still one of the best opening batsmen out there.
3. Brendon McCullum. Yes, he is that good-looking. And from Otago.
4. Ishant Sharma. For godsake just LOOK at him. Oh, and also he's a pretty good fast bowler in his own right. Might end up truly world-class if he keeps going at this rate.
5. They're named after one of the cheesiest television series EVER MADE. We at the Cheap Seats are easily amused and think that's fantasmic.
Sadly, my mate who lives in Bangalore has refused to go to the Royal Challengers Bangaluru vs Kolkata Knight Riders game holding up a sign saying YOUR MUM LOVES BONDY TOO on the grounds that it might get him beaten up.
Ah well, can't win 'em all. But hopefully the Knight Riders can.
So, who else is excited that Andy McKay got into the Black Caps?
Okay, that'll be me, his fiancee and Cameron Merchant (who seems just bizarrely excited about everything.)
I've been watching lots of twenty20, because I apparently have no life. But it has been rather good this year hasn't it? I love the way the Black Caps are actually getting to play on the domestic circuit, the way the games have been marketed, and the way it's no longer just a slog-fest with the bowlers going regularly for ridiculous RPO's.
Went to a thing for Wellington members and listened to Owais Shah speak. Sounded like a bloke not dead from the neck up, and quite nice to boot. He did provide more info about the food at Lords than I ever needed to know (it's really really good.)
Am I turning into a twenty20 convert then, you might be asking. Well, no, not as such. Any form of the game would gain an upswing in popularity having been marketed as aggressively as the HRV cup has. Free mini-bats make everything more awesome.
I'm the only member of Mustelid Manor remotely interested in sport. The DH just doesn't give a rip and the Weasel herself, while she plays lots of sports (we've had to limit her to two per term so she doesn't get burnout, and they've included variations on rugby, netball, water polo, hockey and softball) really doesn't care much about professional sports or the perfectly-formed individuals who play them.
So imagine my surprise when I got a text from the Weasel this morning on my way to work saying that Shane Bond had got an IPL contract.
The WTF here is twofold.
Fold the first: Shane Bond. IPL. So far so good. Maximum bid. WTF? He's good, but is he really _that_ good? (Kolkata Knight Riders is not WTF. It's where we pretty much expected he'd go. Where he gets to be teammates with Ishant Sharma and Brendon McCullum. Which means I may actually have to watch some IPL this year.)
Fold the second: The Weasel knew I was keeping an ear out for how the auction had gone, due to my hoots of laughter regarding Chris Cairns sticking his hand up for it. What I didn't expect was for her to go that bit further and actually tell me what had gone on.
Clearly I am being an influence here. But is it a good one or a bad one? Comment and let me know.
Some of you will have observed that I am at home updating the sports blog rather than attending the hit-and-giggle game between Otago and Wellington at the University Oval.
That is because Dunedin has failed to have a summer and it is currently 6C and raining. And the weather's not too bad today, compared with, oh, the thunderstorms and hail we had on Thursday and Friday.
Maybe at this rate the sun will come out by March, but all the cricketers will be off at the IPL by then.
1st. Chris Cairns. Why did you put yourself on the IPL list, other than gratuitous money grubbing? You are old. Really old. And it serves you right that your arse has been yanked from the list. How about coming back and playing a bit for your province before chasing the dollars? Chris Harris is doing it, after all.
2nd. Why can't I get an SH size bat (for those not in the know, it's sized between a harrow and a full size, for people of about 5'9". Like me.) for less than a hundy? Don't make me resort to trade me.
3rd. Why are CCC making our uniforms even more ugly? And why do I still want to buy one? And why, for the love of Ghu, will I be forced to buy a kid's size to get one that fits? Surely there's money to be made in bringing out a women's cut. It's worked for Adidas after all.
Well, Yeah. Kinda. Maybe I'll actually get my arse into gear now that summer actually appears to be doing it's thing.
We're having some twenty20! Yay! (and my God I am desperate because I'm only being a little sarcastic with that.
Northern have their fugly fugly pink uniforms, and even more fugly pink wickets and owned Auckland in their baby blue. I swear watching it on TV was like watching one very long Baby Factory commercial.
Then Otago stuffed them the next day and I am steadily getting greater and greater respect for That Other McCullum. (and he's not bad looking. But I'm not alll about that. Honest.)
And now I have to wait till the 6th until I can head back down to the Basin and watch Canterbury play the Firebirds. Let's hope in that time Michael Papps has decided that being a miniature santa claus isn't a good look for the new year.
And, that's me. I'd have kept up better if I wasn't in the gym all the time. No, really.