Too many words on grapes

Apparently, according to my dad, grapes are in season in Germany right now so we’ve been eating them like crazy. Breakfast wasn’t quite enough? Let’s have some grapes. Wouldn’t mind a small dessert after lunch? OH I’LL JUST EAT THESE GRAPES LIKE A BOSS. (I don’t know how to use “like a boss”. It’s awkward every time I do.) And how about something to snack on while we enjoy this football game on TV? Well, are there any grapes left? (We continue to have grapes left. We bought ALL OF THEM.) Seriously. These grapes, you guys. I always thought grapes are just about as bland as cucumbers because usually they are. It turns out, if you buy stuff the time of year it’s grown locally instead of being flown in from Morocco, it tastes NICE. Like- these grapes- they’re all big and plump and a light purple/blue-ish color (GO AWAY WITH YOUR INNUENDOS, CHILDREN) and so sweet. So sweet. With just the right amount of tartness. I didn’t eat anything but grapes until 8pm today, at which point my body was like “Are you kidding with this? STOP WITH THE GRAPES.” But no. There can never be enough grapes. There can be enough words on grapes, though. So: moving on.

I’m reading Ken Follett’s “Fall of Giants” which follows five interrelated families through the dramas of the First World War, the Russian Revolution, and the struggle for women’s suffrage. It is fantastic, you guys. It is a difficult read, yes, mostly because I tend to read at times when history and politics are somewhat indigestible to me (like right before bed or when my eyes are too tired to stare at Pinterest pins anymore) and when I started it, I felt the same way I felt about “War & Peace” which is: too many characters, too many similar names, too many places I don’t know, too many parallel story lines, JUST STOP. But of course “Fall of Giants” isn’t quite as challenging as the Tolstoy classic and I’m actually really enjoying it now that I’m past the first 100 pages. The book is part of a trilogy, the second part of which was released this fall and I’m already impatient about the paperback coming out.

What else. I mentioned eating grapes (DID I?) while watching football. Football is important in this house, especially international matches – even if they’re friendly matches that don’t technically matter in any way. Germany played Holland last night and we watched it and it was terrible, just absolutely terrible, and it ended 0:0 and JFC wasn’t that a waste of an evening. BUT Sweden played England at the same time and THEY DELIVERED. My glorious Swedes, you guys. All royal-like and handsome and cool/collected and KILLING THE BRITS. Heh. I followed live match updates on a Swedish newspaper’s website while my dad refused to change the channel to what was clearly a better game than Germany vs. Holland, and only understood a quarter of what was being said, except GOAL over and over and over again. Long story short: they turned a 1:2 into a 4:2 – the fourth goal, scored in overtime, being especially delicious. To top it off, this was the very first match in Stockholm’s brand new sports arena, which made the Swedish win even more meaningful.

So, grapes and Swedish football and WW1 novels. That’s all I got. I don’t know. What do you usually do on Wednesdays?

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Spain vs. Italy was the best game so far. Germany vs. Portugal was painfully boring but at least Germany won. I still hate the Portuguese team because of the awful, arrogant Ronaldo. Russia, Poland and Denmark have played surprisingly fast and fresh and entertaining – good for them, I say! Good for them. France vs. England, a true classic, was only ok. Sweden is up next tonight: I hope they can beat Ukraine, just because. (Out of 11 Swedish players, only 7 are devastatingly handsome. Eyeroll. Whatever, Sweden.) All games so far have seemed unusually fair; though some referees need to reconsider their career choice – but what else is new!

Wait. You are not watching up to 5 hours of football a day right now?
But– HOW CAN YOU STAND NOT KNOWING?

This football business


My trip to Munich was a great success! I enjoyed seeing so much of the country driving down South: I never believed Germany was beautiful but now I’m thinking that maybe it is. The weather was absolutely gorgeous both days and speeding along on the autobahn was fun, especially since I hadn’t driven a car in months and months and don’t usually get much one-on-one time with my dad.

The game itself was a unique experience. Even though viewing numbers on TV were high, not many fans made it to the stadium as it was only a friendly match and Bayern Munich, the home club, had played a disappointing season. I don’t care about these things, though. I loved seeing those crazy good athletes perform and the media production behind a game such as this.

And sitting only a couple rows from German football legends Günter Netzer, Gerd Müller, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge and Ulli Hoeneß was oddly exciting. This was of course one of the pros of our VIP tickets. There were more pros: tasty catering with several courses, excellent wines, a fantastic view of the field, easy parking, and an army of professional staff tending to one’s every whim.

(The cons? The Bayern Munich VIP business club is, naturally, mostly frequented by people with business interests in the football club. Stakeholders, marketing managers, investors. Suits. I am deeply uncomfortable talking to people like that – but had to this time because I was representing the company I intern for (that was originally asked to sponsor the game). Football means jeans and beer and cursing to me, not makeup and heels and Blackberries. VIP tickets get you a great many things but none of the atmosphere and emotion that you find in the regular fan blocks.)

All in all a fantastic trip and certainly a once-in-a-lifetime experience for my dad! I still can’t quite believe all of it actually happened.

I’m going to Munich tomorrow. Not the city of Munich, I should add, but their football stadium. For my dad’s birthday I scored us two VIP tickets to the (friendly) match of Bayern Munich vs. the Dutch national team. It’s been a dream of his to visit the famous Allianz Arena so even though it’s a hell of a drive (7 hours each way), I obviously couldn’t pass up on the chance when the tickets were up for grabs at work. I’ve never been farther South than Cologne so seeing so much of the country – Munich is about as far South as you can drive – shouldn’t be all bad.

Since I got the tickets through work, I will probably have to network with the agency that sponsored them and small talk as though I, or the organization I intern for, care about what they do. I’ll have to hold wine glasses the right way and pretend I know marketing and act more grown-up than 23. I’m not looking forward to that at all. But everything else, I hope, will be a fun experience!