I love World Cup qualifying. It’s a huge, two-year tournament (well, really 6 simultaneous tournaments) in different formats and spanning the globe. In addition to Brazil, Japan, Australia, Iran, South Korea, Argentina, the USA (hooray!), Costa Rica, Italy, and the Netherlands have already qualified. More games are happening today - a few more countries likely to qualify. Big focus, however, has been on Mexico - who are currently in 5th place in CONCACAF, which is just enough for them to not qualify at all, not even for a playoff with New Zealand. As it stands, Panama and Mexico each have 8 points, 3 behind Honduras for the final
automatic qualifying spot. Their remaining games:
Tonight - Panama @ Mexico
Tuesday - Mexico @ Costa Rica, USA @ Panama.
Obviously, tonight’s match-up is big. Whoever wins between these two nations tonight is likely to grab that spot against New Zealand. While Honduras might fall to fourth, they’re playing Costa Rica at home tonight, and Costa Rica is no fan of Mexico, and likely won’t be starting a full-strength squad, and they play last-place Jamaica on Tuesday. What could make things interesting is if Panama and Mexico draw tonight (Not unlikely - Mexico has 3 draws an a loss at home so far this round.) If that’s the case, then Panama and Mexico will each have 9 points, both with -2 goal differences, and Panama in 4th place with 3 more goals scored than Mexico. They’ll be facing off against already-qualified teams - Mexico away, Panama at home. Games will start at the same time (thanks to Austria and West Germany’s 1982 shenanigans) - so it will be a very interesting night. Will the US put out a full-strength team? Will Costa Rica hold anything back? Equal results or anything better for Panama mean Panama advances, Mexico out. Mexico with a better result would help them, or the same result with massively higher goal scores (Mexico loses 5-4, Panama 1-0). Either way, we’ll see what happens over the next week. I’m not sure if I want Mexico in the World Cup or not - once in the World Cup, CONCACAF success means easier qualifying chances for the future in US. But Mexico’s been playing so poorly lately, I’m not sure they should be there.
Listening to a podcast lately (I think StarTalk with Neil DeGrasse Tyson), I had this thought - everything in the universe is reactionary. Within stars, within clouds, entire galaxies - all reacting to forces around them. The only exception to this is life - things that are alive can make choices, can alter their own paths. What is life? How did life begin? Who knows? Personally, I think that that’s the ultimate question of the universe. I’m not a person of faith, but I think that whatever causes or creates life is the key to everything. Because without that, everything just happens. What is he soul - that which makes me more than a collection of cells, but an entity unto myself? Or something more?
Wednesday nights I host two trivia contests at bars through a 3rd-party company which provides the questions and manages the agreements with the bars. It’s a lot of fun, and I really, really appreciate the extra money it gives me. The questions and format, however, leave a fair amount to be desired. I often find myself apologizing to the players for poorly worded questions, misinformation, or the 4th week in a row with the final question being “name this celebrity pictured here.” So I pose this question to you all: What is the ideal trivia format? I’m aiming for a 75-120 minute event, keeping teams in the game until the end, but also rewarding good play, and minimizing opportunities for cheating, if possible. Should there be music between questions? What type of questions? All open for discussion. But tell me, what is an ideal trivia format?
I’m getting my every-two-months medical infusion, which costs approximately $10,000. Have I mentioned how glad I am to have insurance? And how crappy the medical system in this country is?
Last week was the one-year anniversary of working at the place I work, though I spent the first 5 months as a temp. I feel confident at my job - which I haven’t in a long time. I was there until 11:30PM last night… but that happens sometimes. And hey, yay overtime.
A lot of good things going on. I still need to start Christmas shopping though. And begin my plan for world domination.