Excuse me while I kiss the mattress
...Egad, is that the time? So this week I began my new work schedule, which is on the one hand is grand because I'm now working only four days of the week, but which is bad because I'm now working four 10-hour shifts starting at 6 am. Which takes a little getting used to. I generally like working early rather than later (no 3-12 midnight morning paper shifts for me, thank you) but it's still been rather a shock to the system to get up at 5 am in the morning these days. I'm starting to adjust but the first week there's been a lot of yawning and excessive coffee consumption. It is swell to get off while it's still light (and the clockwork chirping of the tui birds lets us know it's nearly spring), and, the main reason for this schedule, it allows us to put Peter in day care less of the week. So if it gets me greyer and wrinklier (a 10-hour shift is a little like a mini-marathon I think) it's worth it in the end.
And of course New Zealand has gone mad for the Rugby World Cup right now and I've been doing a lot of work relating to that. I know about as much about rugby (and well, sports in general) as I do about Swedish tax systems, and so I admit I've had a lot of baffled moments as I try to sort out the difference between the scrum and the pitch and why the Wallabies and Springboks are such bastards. Which doesn't help when you're trying to edit copy about the game. (Which I realized to my utter astonishment lasts something like 40 days. Eat that, Super Bowl!) NZ is pretty sport-mad in general, even more than the US I think I'd say. Not all New Zealanders but Joe Kiwi (if there is such a person) is pretty well into the rugby and the cricket and so forth. I've never really been anti-sport, but neither have I been particularly into it ... too much time spent on books, music, comics and movies, and, oh yeah, family. But with American sport, you at least just sort of pick up some of it in the culture and I know the general workings of football and baseball and the like just through osmosis. However, rugby and the rest baffles me and I have to play catch-up just to get what I'd otherwise have picked up growing up here. I will say these players are sheer giants who put wimpy US football (with its padding and helmets) to shame. Never get between a 400-lb. Tongan and his ball. It's unhealthy.