No matter where you go, there you are.
Page last updated at 21:45 GMT, Tuesday, 8 June 2010 22:45 UK
Diplomats in London and Washington have raised the stakes over Saturday's US-England World Cup clash by wagering a meal over the game's outcome.
The bet was brokered in cables between aides to US Ambassador Louis Susman and UK Ambassador Sir Nigel Sheinwald.
"We will understand if you decline, given the outcome of the last such encounter," a US aide wrote, referring to the US defeat of England in 1950.
A UK aide said Sir Nigel took his steak like that win – "somewhat rare".
"Even for such an exceptionally optimistic nation as the United States, I am struck by the confidence with which your ambassador proposes this wager," Martin Longden, press secretary to Sir Nigel, wrote to Philip Breeden of the US embassy in London in an exchange first reported by Politico.com.
"It is testament, I assume, to the generosity of your great nation, since the British ambassador does not anticipate paying out."
Mr Breeden replied: "It is true that our soccer (a fine English word we have kindly preserved for you) history is not as long and illustrious as yours.
"However, as your generals noted during World War II, we have a unique capability for quickly identifying and advancing talent."
British embassy staff, their families and some US acquaintances will be watching the game on a big-screen television at the embassy in Washington.
Roughly one quarter of the embassy staff are American nationals, "so it should make for a lively crowd", an embassy official told the BBC.
"We're not doing anything more grand," the official said. "We'll leave that to the final."
I’ll call them ‘crisps’ for now just because I’m in England and that’s what they call it.Anyway, Walkers is doing this promotion timed to the World Cup (although they aren’t technically sponsors) where they introduce 15 new flavors, one for each of 15 countries. Yesterday on a picnic I had a chance to try a few: Spain’s Chicken Paella – Interesting, with a strong bell pepper finish
Friday night I visited another of the museums that stays open late. Suzanne and I met up at the Victoria and Albert museum. That place is crazy. It’s in a gorgeous building, and is a bit of a cluster in terms of artifacts. We spent about an hour there and only saw three exhibits – well, two and a half. There was one temporary exhibition we saw, and it was adequately creepy: Telling Tales. The fashion and jewelry sections were also amazing.
My alarm went off this morning to NPR, as it usually does. The first sentence that greeted me? “George Carlin, legendary comedian, has died at the age of 71.”
His book, “Brain Droppings,” is one of my favorites. It is the kind of book that I’ll pick up, open to any page, and laugh out loud. Or nod in agreement. He was great at pointing out common errors in grammar, or stupid turns of phrase. And so, in honor of him, here are a few choice sections.
“If something in the future is canceled, what is canceled? What has really happened? Something that didn’t occur yet is now never going to occur at all. Does that qualify as an event?”
“I know I’m fighting a losing battle with this one, but I refuse to surrender: Collapsing a building with explosives is not an implosion. An implosion is a very specific scientific phenomenon. The collapsing of a building with explosives is the collapsing of a building with explosives. The explosives explode, and the building collapses inwardly. That is not an implosion. It is an inward collapsing of a building, following a series of smaller explosions designed to make it collapse inwardly. Period.”
“A scary dream makes your heart beat faster. Why doesn’t the part of your brain that controls your heartbeat realize that another part of your brain is making the whole thing up? Don’t these people communicate?”
“You know what you never see? A really interesting set of twins.”
“Some people see things that are and ask, Why? Some people dream of things that never were and ask, Why not? Some people have to go to work and don’t have time for all that.”