Tags: olympics

*gen - tiffany

We're curling quite possibly beyond the limit.

While I'm pleased for the U.S. bobsled team's success, the coverage is very distracting. Every time the announcers say "Steve Holcomb", I hear "STEVE HOLT!"

Also: Virtue/Moir's exhibition program is totally The Cutting Edge. I'll admit that I just couldn't get into them during the competition, but I kinda love the hell out of them for this routine.

Otherwise, I'm lethargic and very easily distracted and playing way too much Spider Solitaire and obviously having a hard time coming up with things to say in these daily posts! So, I'll throw together a linkspam:

-- The Norwegian Alpine Ski Team Performs "Beat It". In full ski gear. Surrounded by beautiful mountains. Yes, it is as hilarious and awesome as it sounds. And the French team challenges them to a "Thriller" dance-off.
-- To complete the wacky video trifecta: Stephen Colbert presents the U.S. Curling Team's new theme song.
-- The Times has an investigative report about the skating kiss-and-cry area.
-- io9 interviews the creator of TV Tropes, which is indeed a huge timesuck.
-- The WaPo has an interesting explanation of why Toyota's president is named Toyoda. (It involves Japanese characters.)
-- Another reason why I love the magazine Mental Floss: "How do I hypnotize a chicken?"
-- The Guardian interviewed writers for a list of ten rules for writing fiction. I am quite guilty of #3 on Leonard's list.
*gen - tiffany

Skating junkies.

Look, I love Clint Mansell's soundtrack for Requiem for a Dream. Gorgeous music with an epic feel. I can see why movie trailer makers and skating choreographers would find it so attractive. But enough already with the gratuitous use of it during pairs skating! Good thing the majority of viewers have no idea where the music comes from, so they won't associate your routine with the reckless desperation of addiction. (ETA: Same could be said for music from Phantom of the Opera, but that has become an expected cliche by now.)

Also, what's up with at least three teams skating to American country music last night? As a southerner, I'm not the least bit indignant, and some of the routines were pretty cute. I suppose it's a safe choice for that type of routine. Some creativity would've been nice, though.

Finally: curling continues to be AWESOME.
*gen - tiffany

... with a curl in the middle of his forehead.

This afternoon I tuned into curling, knowing absolutely nothing about the sport but vaguely interested due to all the raves I've seen. And the U.S./Sweden match was utterly riveting. I loved it! All that strategy and precision remind me of a live-action version of Tetris or Snood. My complete ignorance of the sport was probably a good thing, as I had no idea that the American team has really sucked during the Games. ;) Eh, they were really interesting to me! When they won in the 11th end, I actually cheered aloud. So much fun! I'll have to track down more of the matches over the next week.

That's the most interesting thing in my life right now, so I'll do a linkspam.

-- The big excitement in Atlanta on Thursday was when a circus zebra escaped and ran down the highway.
-- Time has an interesting piece on McDonald's research-and-development chef.
-- Mental Floss has video of a J.K. Rowling speech on failure and imagination.
-- Heh. EW asks if we're finally ready to like Marc Blucas.
-- Slate gives me a sigh of relief by explaining that food expiration dates really aren't that big a deal.
-- Poniewozik is horrified by that '80s child robot gem, Small Wonder
-- Jez sings the praises of that gorgeous guy in the Old Spice commercials. He's on a horse! If you haven't seen it yet, watch now.
-- Cool quiz: What typeface are you? I am dot matrix. Huh.
-- Although the worst of it appears to be over (knock on wood), I got a kick out of these hilarious instructions for how to shovel snow.
-- And yes, I totally aced Mental Floss's quiz about This American Life.
*gen - tiffany

Dude.

Snowboarding is one of those sports that I'll admit I kinda roll my eyes at, since that particular scene is not my thing at all. Easy to forget the athleticism when the culture (as presented to the world) is of stoner party time. So I've enjoyed tonight's half-pipe finals a lot more than I expected. It really does take a ton of skill. They go so high! Shaun White is kind of amazing, even amid all the hype, and that last move on his second run is a world of "whoa".

Also, I rather like the U.S. team's whacked-out uniforms, and just once I'd like to see a rebellious male snowboarder with a crew cut.
*gen - tiffany

Three for Tuesday.

Without getting spoilery, I really liked tonight's episode of Lost, a show with which I have a love/hate relationship. The Locke-centric episode tend to be the best, or at least the ones I most enjoy. Also, one scene in particular made me smile. Those of you who know me will probably guess which one. ;)

Right now I'm watching skating, and I'm one of those uneducated rubes who just enjoys seeing the costumes and spins, like Johnny Weir for all the crazy Gaga-ish theatricality. And the costumes tonight do not disappoint. I also have to put in a good word for NBC's coverage. Sure, they tend to be pro-America, and I dislike how the broadcast jumps all over the place. But they've been doing a better job this year of spotlighting athletes from other nations and events that don't generally get as much play.

While googling last night, I stumbled upon this speculation about the third book in the Hunger Games trilogy. (The only spoiler is for the title of Book Three.) Some of the theories seem like a bit of a stretch, but it's quite an interesting read. And here's another about politics in the series.
*gen - tiffany

Keep me away from ski jumping facilities.

1. Raise your hand if you watch ski jumping and think, "Oh, yeah. I could totally do that."

2. Being sick is expensive, such as when you go to Publix and buy tons of comfort food because "chicken soup and cocoa and orange juice and popcorn will make me feel much, much better -- and hey, there's the humidifier that Indi insists will help!" :)

3. Today's random entertainment: Romance Novel Yourself. So, who else plans to paste in screencaps of their favorite characters?

4. I got a kick out of a sociological study of the NYT list of most e-mailed stories, given that I find a lot of linkspam fodder there.

5. And some good news from the Times: Lt. Dan Choi, who was dismissed from the NY National Guard for coming out as gay, is (hopefully) in the process of returning to service. Good for him!
*gen - tiffany

Sad news.

Bernie Mac died this morning of complications from pneumonia. Wow, this is a shock. I watched the first few seasons of his show, and something about his humor really appealed to me.

Right now I'm watching the women's weightlifting event, which is far more interesting than I'd expected. I like these lesser-known events. If you have HD, then it looks like UHD is showing many of the non-marquee sports -- even those in which Americans aren't competing. Imagine that! I know I probably should've put that tax refund in savings, but I can't feel too guilty when I'm loving the hi-def TV. (Oh, and TiVo has just added a feature where I can watch YouTube on my TV. Very, very cool.)

And now a long-overdue linkspam.

-- Slate celebrates the Lifetime Original Movie v2.0, and one of their writers found many stunning examples of plagiarism in a small Houston-area paper. (Now with a wank report.)
-- Two from my flist: Scarlettfish found the 10 most worthless college majors (I'm #4!), and Zorb linked to "You might be a fan if...." I recognized quite a few of those.
-- Nerve lists the 40 best celebrity rumors ever.
-- From The Daily Show last week: Samantha Bee - The News Better Run.
-- Two from Mental Floss: Red Hot Library Smut (not what it sounds like), and some gorgeous topiary in Beijing.
-- Jezebel asks, should women stop using the word "douchebag"? I concur. And they interview Mathlete Danica McKellar. I need to buy her books.
-- Wired asks, could a little indecency save network TV?
-- Project Runway news: Ladybrille has a cool interview with Korto.
-- A Salon writer is conflicted about Conor Oberst. Another is blown away by the awesomeness of Patti Smith.
--And making the rounds of my blogroll: The A.V. Club isn't thrilled about Manic Pixie Dream Girls in movies.
*gen - tiffany

*waving United Nations flag*

I'm appalled by China's human rights record and oppression of Tibet.
I'm annoyed by NBC's jingoistic "live"-on-tape-delay coverage.
I'm not all that interested in sports overall, and couldn't tell you anything about most of the athletes.
I'm supposed to be a jaded GenX'er and borderline BoBo who is "above" all this crap, right?

I don't care. I'm having a grand old time watching the Olympics Opening Ceremony. They're just so darn pretty and fascinating! And they look gorgeous in hi-def.

I love watching the Parade of Nations, especially when they're wearing traditional outfits instead of the near-ubiquitous blazers and slacks. All the athletes look so thrilled to be there -- I keep smiling.

I know I'm PMSing in a big way because on the way to work this morning, I listened to NPR's story on Lopez Lomong, and I nearly started crying. I know that when he marches into the stadium with the flag last night tonight, I'll start bawling. ;)

The next two weeks are going to be fun.
*gen - tiffany

EW thinks we're stupid.

Just got the new Entertainment Weekly, which has been redesigned. I'm all for change, and the new version's mostly fine, albeit a bit too style-over-substance. But one thing is pissing me off. The reviews and news stories now have bold-print sound bytes -- a sentence or two as a pull quote from the review. The editors apparently feel like their readers don't bother, y'know, reading and need them to tell us the important stuff through handy-dandy bold type. Oh, come on. I've been a subscriber since 1992 and always read cover-to-cover, but I'd rather them not underestimate their readers' intelligence.

Though I'm not into sports or the Olympics, I've been watching the Trials out of boredom -- and WOW. Swimming looks absolutely gorgeous in hi-def. Thank you, Mr. Tax Refund, for my fancy TV! I'm quite amused when the male swimmers unzip their unitards down to their waist, showing just how far down they shave. ;) Too bad that the official U.S. athlete uniforms are so dreadful. Love the huge Ralph Lauren Polo emblem, though I suppose that's appropriate since the guys look like they're about to hit the country club with a horse and mallet. On the opposite end of the spectrum, I got a kick out of the Canadian uniforms. A bit too irreverent for the Olympics, in my opinion, but I gotta love how they look like they're going to strip down and play beach volleyball on skateboards. ;)

While watching the trials, I saw a dreadful "The More You Know" PSA, featuring Ali Larter of Heroes. It's about domestic violence, which is a very worthy cause, but she stands in front of a mirror (like Niki) then turns around and says, "Heroes don't look the other way." Eye-rollingly bad.

Knitting friends: I finally decided to be more ambitious, so I'm making this sweater. While it's sized according to my measurements, I want to make a few adjustments to compensate for my boobs and belly. If y'all have any experience with that, especially short-row shaping, I'd love some advice!

Some links while I'm here:
-- MediaBlvd interviews Natalie Morales from The Middleman. (Please watch it!)
-- Consumerist offers 15 easy ways to save money at the supermarket. #3 is a good idea.
-- wickedgillie linked me to this webcam of the sunrise over Stockholm.
-- Here's a really cool post about the visual effects in the last scene of the BSG season finale. (Apoca-Beach! I've been there!)