Thursday, August 28, 2008

YES WE CAN!!!!!!

I really don't know where to start about Obama's nomination acceptance speech tonight, so I'll just say 1) I got rather emotional--still am, actually--and b) if this man does not inspire you, then....well. That's another issue entirely.

I watched MSNBC entirely tonight, which I don't normally do because, although I adore Keith Olbermann, I generally want to stick a sock in Chris Matthews' mouth. But tonight I stuck with them and was not disappointed when, at the conclusion of the speech, they immediately began comparing it with Aaron Sorkin's brilliant writing, specifically in The American President. I had totally picked up on that--first in the phrase "the better angels of our nature," which President Bartlet (on The West Wing) used and which, of course, came straight from Abraham Lincoln--and also when he said, "Well that's a debate I'd like to have" and "It's not because John McCain doesn't care. It's because John McCain doesn't get it." ("Bob Rumson's problem isn't that he doesn't get it. Bob's problem is that he can't sell it!" ~Pres. Andrew Shepherd) Anyway. Sorkin-esque rhetoric at its finest.

And, lastly. Charles Babington of the Associated Press will not be getting a job with Keith Olbermann anytime soon. Did you HEAR him lay into Babington's AP article? It was fabulous. Talk about biting contempt.

Wishing I was in Denver tonight

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Oh, hell.

There are days when you feel awesome. Unstoppable. "I am grand! I am a force to be reckoned with! I am a magnificent pearl and the world is my oyster!" Other days...not so much.

Today is one of those Other days.

Few things are worse than walking into work and immediately having a Situation to deal with. A big one. One that is ultimately my problem, my "fault," even if it isn't entirely. I find myself longing for my days as a lowly editorial assistant, where the buck stopped elsewhere. "With great power comes great responsibility," said Peter Parker (or his grandfather or somebody....whatever). Truer words were never spoken. I mean, I wouldn't say I have great power, or really any power, but the responsibility part is true.

I guess, technically, a more apt quote would be "With responsibility comes responsibility." Which, if you think about it, is really no fun at all.

Anyway. I'm having a bit of day, is what I'm saying.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Heard..... (100th post edition!!!)

In honor of the 100th post on this here blog, I offer you... some sisterly advice. And some profanity. You've been warned.

....while chatting with G at work today.
Me: There is a violinist playing in the conference room.
G: Hmm.... Watch your back. Violin music is always in the background when shit goes down.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Final Olympic thoughts (for this year, anyway)

Further thoughts on the closing ceremonies:

1) I'm not gonna lie, I got a tad teary during the Kenyan national anthem as they awarded the gold for Men's Marathon in front of 90,000-odd people.
2) Yao Ming is TALL, ya'll. I get tickled every time I see him standing head and shoulders all the other athletes.
3) The replays of various big moments of the games that they're showing at all the commercial breaks are pretty cool, actually. I got all scream-y AGAIN when they showed Jason Lezak winning the men's 4x100 free relay.
4) Well. That was quite a waste of David Beckham's time.
5) Um...please explain how Plácido relates to Beijing or London? I don't understand.
6) I am a sucker for a good montage, I tell ya.
7) Not nearly as good as the Opening Ceremonies.

Two other things I've been wanting to say:

One: Rhythmic gymnastics. I DO NOT GET IT.

And finally, the US men's basketball team. I am not an NBA fan at all, but I have fallen a little in love with these guys over the last two weeks. For all the crap that America's professional basketball players typically deal out, the US men were so poised and supportive of the other athletes and seemingly happy to be there that it was just a little endearing. One of my favorite moments was during one of Michael Phelps' races (I think the final one where he broke Mark Spitz's record) when Kobe and several others were in the stands, waving the American flag and cheering Phelps on with everything they had. So anyway, props to them for a) winning, and b) doing it with class.

Well, Bob Costas is signing off from China "this one last time" (ooh, final montage!!). Tomorrow it's back to my regularly scheduled blogging, so no more rambling about Aaron Peirsol.... Actually, I can't promise that, but significantly less, anyway.

Can't wait 'till Vancouver in two years!

UPDATE: They're using the theme from Remember the Titans! And I'm a little worried that I know that.

Three months ago the papal mass, and now this

And in this installment of Random Places My Former Boss Turns Up Around The World we have....the Closing Ceremonies of the Olympic Games!

I'm sitting here half watching, and I hear, "And now, singing [something something], Plácido Domingo and [somebody]."

He sounds pretty darned good, though.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Heard.... (typed, actually)

...on G-Chat, while discussing wording on wedding invitations
Jules: you can do just the bride's fam
Jules: "Doug and Sue invite you to Pannie's wedding to Aaron Peirsol on XX date"
Jules: Can I tell you if you marry Aaron Peirsol and use the words Doug and Sue and Pannie that I will pay for the invites?

Dinner party update!

Hark! I have added a third name to my "Five Famous People I Would Invite to a Dinner Party" list. Drumroll, please.....

Garrison Keillor!

The man is a genius, of course, and completely hilarious. He could regale us with his fabulous "O Captain, My Captain" monologue and then ease quite nicely into a "You Know You're An Anglican When" discussion with Desmond Tutu, and then he can compare notes with Neil Patrick Harris about the great blessing/burden of being expected to be witty and funny on command (which I, too, will naturally require of them at various points throughout the meal).

It occurs to me that I probably ought to come up with at least one female for the remaining two spots.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Worst. Girlfriend. Ever.

Oh, the shame. I have been spelling Aaron "E-before-I, in this case" Peirsol's name wrong. Now going back and fixing all previous entries...

Phelps, Murphy, and Pepe

Well. It's Monday, yet, oddly, I am feeling a great deal of relief. Because, ya'll, it was a WEEK. And then a WEEKEND. And today is the first day in eight that swimming and gymnastics aren't on until the wee hours, so I can go to bed at a reasonable hour. I'm not really sure what I'm going to do with my evening.

After my sleepless (yet fulfilling! go US gymnasts and swimmer-people!) week, I had high hopes of catching up this weekend, though that was not to be. Hence, YAY, it is Monday, and I can go home and go to bed. All week! No late nights!

Anyway, it was a Big Fun weekend. Saturday night were pre-birthday festivities night, including dinner (oddly, even though everyone I know moved this year, this birthday had the highest turnout of any I've had in DC) and post-dinner Olympics-watching. And let me tell ya, there is no better place to watch Michael Phelps break the all-time medal record (and Dara Torres almost win the 50M freestyle) than in a sports bar. People went BALLISTIC. It was like being there live, with the yelling and the GO GO GO!!!" and the "USA! USA! USA!" Big fun. Many thanks to Ed, Val, Brian, Shelley, Nick, Ryan, Becky, Angela, and Harris for the birthday funness.

Then, yesterday, B and I went on a Virginia wine country excursion, sponsored by Murphy and his infamous law. It was a beautiful day, and the view were spectacular, but darned if it didn't take us three tries to do anything. By the numbers:

Vineyards visited: 3
Vineyards attempted to be visited, but lacking visible signage: 2
Random dirt/gravel/one-lane roads traveled due to worthless maps and/or lack of visible signage: A bazillion and four
7-Elevens visited for pitstops: 3
7-Elevens with broken doors (photo to come) and/or toilets, requiring visits to additional locations: 2
"Recommended" restaurants closed upon arrival: 2
Restaurants dined in: 0
Minutes spent in Whole Foods (back in DC) waiting for B to decide what to put in the pasta sauce: 42

That said, we had an enjoyable day, and I have a whole new appreciation for the geography of northern Virginia, which is quite lovely. I'm now looking forward to a nice, uneventful ten days, followed by impending insanity of having Ash, Jules, Miguel, and Jason ALL HERE AT THE SAME TIME. Hilarity will ensue! Madness! Also, probably lots of Pepe. I can't wait.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

MY age, in Celsius, is -4

Upon further examination of the aforementioned Dave Barry column, it turns out that he is also blogging about the games (surprisingly not as funny as I expected) and writing daily columns, which ARE, in fact, quite amusing.

This, for instance, sent me into gales of laughter for a good five minutes today:

"China is still winning. The big heartbreak Wednesday was that their women's gymnastics team beat ours, and in the spirit of Olympic harmony, I will refrain from pointing out that, even though the minimum age in that event is supposed to be 16, some of their women appeared to be more like 7. Maybe the Chinese calculate ages in Celsius. Or maybe it's like the Silk Market bargaining system, where the official minimum age is viewed as merely an opening offer. In any event, I see no need to make allegations of cheating, so let's just forget about this whole thing and move on." (From the Miami Herald)

It was the ages in Celsius thing that set me off, although--by the double-and-add-30 rule, that would make their age in Celsius something like -8. It's also possible that my threshold for funny is significantly decreased by the (also aforementioned) sleep deprivation, but I don't think so.

wtf, ya'll?

James Blake beat Roger Federer in STRAIGHT SETS. And I think a pig just flew by my window.

(By the way, I initially typed "James Black beet Roder Ferer." The sleep deprivation is starting to affect my motor skills.)

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Heard... (work edition) work today
JK (my boss):
So you stayed up late watching the Olympics again last night, huh?
Me: How did you know?
JK: You just...look a little...
Me: Exhausted?
JK: Well...yes.

Funny funny

"We'd Never Win the Name Game" by Dave Barry

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Aaron Peirsol makes me nervous

Well. Banner day yesterday for the Americans, that's for sure. I was all prepared to stay up until midnight--past my bedtime!--to see the men's gymnastics team final, but it wasn't over till 12:30! But the boys were doing so amazingly well, sticking landings right and left, that I couldn't abandon them! So I stayed up, and, consequently, I'm about to fall asleep on my computer keyboard.

Big night for the swimmers, too, with the US collecting three golds, a silver, and two bronzes. My boyfriend Aaron Peirsol (see? isn't he pretty? don't you think we'd have beautiful children??) handily defended his gold in the 100m back and set another world record while he was at it. He's so laid back, however, that he makes me nervous--EVERY time, he's the last one on the starting block (or whatever the thing is that the backstrokers hang off of under the starting block, and EVERY time he's the last one to get into starting position. He just takes his sweet time, not an urgent bone in his body, and I'm yelling at the TV, "DUDE! You're going to MISS the START of the RACE!" And then I smile like an idiot during the medal ceremony, every damn time. I am a loser.

Anyway. It occurs to me that if you're not interested in my (obsessive?) musings on the results of various sports, you may be a tad bored with me for the next couple weeks. The Olympics have taken over my life, and I don't see that changing much until they're over. Just warning you now.

Monday, August 11, 2008

2.5, 1, and .25

Because I'm sure you're wondering, those are the numbers of:

a) books I finished while at the beach, which is low for me, but one of them was 700 pages [completed: Outlander (D.Gabaldon) and The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (Shaffer/Barrows); halfway through: Neither Here Nor There (B. Bryson)]
b) the number of audio books completed on the drive [Comrades (S.Ambrose)]
c) the number of cassettes-worth of The Lord of the Rings that I made it through [specifically, one half of the first side of the first cassette; there were 20 in all, I think]. Thus, UTTER FAILURE on the Tolkien front. I shall give it a go sometime with the actual book.

I would just like to say this now...

...before the primetime coverage begins tonight.

I love Aaron Peirsol. I do. I have loved him since Athens. He is my favorite of all the US swimmers and possibly the entire US delegation.

We are the same age. He has a delightful Texas drawl, is involved with environmental preservation, and owns a house in Costa Rica, but I just found that out ten minutes ago, so it doesn't factor into the reasons I love him. I think we could be very happy together.

I am just saying that now, in case he wins the 100m backstroke tonight (or either of his later two events) and I am accused of only liking him because he won.

And THAT is why I love the Olympics

HOLY MOTHER OF PEARL, did you people see the men's 4x100 freestyle relay???? I was yelling like a crazy person.

I am thrilled that most of the swimming finals live, but I am going to lose so much sleep staying up and watching all this stuff over the next two weeks!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Opening Ceremonies, via the wonders of text messaging

On Friday night, my family watched the Opening Ceremonies at our beach house in South Carolina. True to form, my sister kept us entertained--via text message--despite the fact that she was 500 miles away in Charleston, WV.

Me (to Jules): omg, es bob costas, ohkeh!
Jules: ewww, no me gusta! (Jules, as you may be aware, does not like Bob Costas.)
[five minutes later]
G (unprompted): I love bob costas!

Following the Budweiser ad where the dalmation trains the horse to become one of the famous Budweiser Clydesdales, we were all sitting around talking about how cute the commercial was
G: I love beer commercials!

During the tai chi section, featuring thousands of Chinese men forming perfect concentric circles
G: this is like the world's biggest marching band show

When Sarah Brightman appeared (looking like the undead, as is her usual look) to sing the Official Song of the games from atop the giant globe thingy
G: well i agree, nothing says China like a stoned Sarah Brightman

When the French delegation appeared in the parade of nations and they showed Sarkozy in the stands
G: I have a crush on the French president
G: too bad we couldn't communicate with each other (French was the one subject she nearly failed EVERY YEAR in high school and part of college)
Me: are you kidding??
G: no he is funny

Monday, August 4, 2008

Three very exciting (to me) pieces of news:

1) I am leaving for the beach To! Mor! Row! I know you are as pumped as I am. I went to the library yesterday and stocked up for the trip (3.5 day vacation? 6 books, not including audio for the car ride). This year's Book En Route for my 18-ish hours in the car? The Lord of the Rings. I will either be enthralled or I will reeeeally regret it. Time will tell.

2) The Olympics start in FOUR DAYS, folks. Opening Ceremonies are on Friday night, and I will be taking time out from my packed schedule of reading and hammocking to watch them.

3) Washington Post sportswriter Dan Steinberg's Olympic blog, the Beijing Sports Smog (get it?) is up and running! (You may remember that I wrote about his Torino blog a month or so ago.) If the Torino blog is any indication, the Beijing Sports Smog will not disappoint (unless you're looking for actual coverage of the sports, in which case you may want to look elsewhere).