Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Clean family fun

My mom is one funny lady... but sometimes I have to admit I'm simply shocked by her potty humor.

Case in point: My mom is staying with me through the holidays and Monday morning was the first time she's been at my place in a very long time. Knowing that the smallest little misfire can send her headfirst into a wild uncontrollable satanic-like fury, I decided to leave her a VERY sweet, VERY helpful little note reminding her that my coffee pot has a tendency to spill so pour over the sink. How awful would it be to be trying for a simple cup of coffee and wind up spilling half a pot all over the counter and floor? It would not be a fun way to start the trip! So clearly - I was looking out for her best interests.

Me = good daughter. Possibly best ever.

Here is the note with the response my mother left me....

The note says "Remember to pour coffee over the sink - it drips"

The kindly motherly response was "Remember to NOT poop your pants!"

And people wonder where I get it from...

Aw, mom - she's one of kind, that lady.

Saturday, December 20, 2008


I would just like to let everyone know, in case there were any questions or queries floating around in your brains right now.... that in fact, I am NOT roasting a hand-plucked goose for Christmas.

Just wanted to clarify that in case there was any concern, fear or wondering.

You're welcome kitchen.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Snow day! Has anyone seen my garden gnome....

YAY!! SNOW DAY!!!! I don't think I've experienced a full blown snow day in ... oh man.... FOREVER. I never had a true snow day in nyc - the one day it did dump a few years back, it was a saturday and then it just doesn't matter. It's like being given a pair of baby blue cashmere mittens and you live in Bermuda. Nice gesture but completely useless.

I have these little bobble head garden gnomes that live on my porch. I have three of them, but right now only two are living here. I believe the third one has taken a trip.... or perhaps - and it pains me to admit this - but perhaps he was gnome-napped. I prefer to believe he's just on holiday. It's easier than thinking of my little gnome being tortured by gnome-haters somewhere out there in the big scary world.

If you see my little gnome, please tell him I miss him. He carries an ax and goes by the name Lord Prissy Pants.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

little promo thingy

I threw together a little promo for the boot camp I've been attending to help them promote their January sessions... (hit the "watch in high quality" button - it's better that way)

the instructor in the blue shirt that's talking is the sandi that I refer to every once in awhile in this blog... notice how she seems super sweet and nice?? Yea - she APPEARS totally harmless. Be not deceived my friends.

be not deceived....

Like my cameo? I interviewed myself. That was way too easy... Like I don't spend half my days talking to myself anyway... I catch myself gesturing madly in my car sometimes as I argue with myself or explain to myself the events of a previous day. I wonder what that means?

I plead "only child syndrome"

Monday, December 15, 2008

my car tells me secrets

When I moved to Milwaukee, one of the things I was most excited about was the prospect of having a brand new car. Driving to work sounded like the most lavish luxury in the world after years of holding my nose on the subway. Now granted - me loves the subway at night when I'm drunk and it takes me home and I don't have to drive anything, but in the morning.... on my way to work... seeing feces is SO not fun. Which - weird, right? You'd totally think that would be party central time.

One of my favorite things about my car is it talks to me and tells me secrets. Like when the temperature drops below 39 degrees, a little ding warns me to bundle up and drive slower. When I have a flat tire, a lovely icon (that took me a few weeks to figure out what it meant) tells me I'm low on air. (I - on the other hand - am NEVER short on hot air. Ways me and my car are different) But the absolute best part is that it tells me when I'm down to a drop of gas. Which, unfortunately, is VERY helpful. I have not yet noticed when I'm low on gas until that helpful little light comes on.

How did I get so neglectful in the gas department? (snicker....) I am a fairly smart girl but my total disregard - unintentional disregard, but disregard still - for filling up my tank confuses me. I am so reliant on my car just telling me what it needs that I never bother to stop and ask it how it's feeling.

Dear car - how is everything today? Happy? Blue? Anything I can do for you?

But no - I just take, take, take from my car.

Car - I am sorry. I love you and your four wheels and your heated seats and your windshield wipers and your ipod dock. You make me very happy and I promise, from now on, to try and return the favor by filling up your gas tank without having to be reminded.

In an unrelated note - I am totally addicted to this boot camp thing I've been doing on and off since September. I got pretty much annihilated by Sandi, the "drill sergeant" this morning. We did sprints and all of a sudden Sandi is right behind me, chasing me, yelling "don't let me catch you!!!"

Let me tell ya - she did not catch me. She blames her shoes. I'm subscribing to the theroy that I was just wicked fast this morning. Hear that Sandi!! I was wicked fast this morning! HA!

(I'm sooooo gonna pay for that comment in the near future - but bring it on!)

The fun part about bootcamp is that I have noticed that my energy levels are out of control high lately - and I normally maintain a fairly high eneregy level so for me to say they're "high".... um, you've been warned. I also just signed up for a half marathon in May and I'm crazy excited about training for it.

What in the world has happened to me?????

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Not all games and fun

I mainly enjoy my job but filming long days is not all fun and games. I enter as evidence this incredibly heated conversation that recently occurred during a shoot in Richmond, VA. Proof that my job is nothing by stress-ville metropolis.

(actually - it may build a solid case for job-induced insanity....)

Saturday, November 29, 2008

What's that on your foot?

Thanksgiving at 54 Maidenhead.....

Mom: (looks over at Steven and sees a huge red gash) Oh my god, Steven! Did you cut your foot?

Steven: (looks down at foot confused, tests the gash by tasting it) No, that's just cranberry sauce.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Cafe Borgia! It's where we always go!

Today I spent time with 3 of my favorite human beings on the planet (behind my mom of course - and some other awesome people). Todd, Sonja and Jake. We worked together at a place that was 'more like Cambodia than you'd think' and formed a bond that I will forever be grateful for. These three people make me very, very happy - but mostly I'm thankful that I'm not nearly as ugly as Todd because that boy has one hideous mug.

Today we were walking along and we noticed a store across the street that was called "Big Bags". Todd said I should I go in and ask for the smallest bag they have. Sonja then nudges us all and goes "look, it's Chris Noth!" We turn and look and holy crap - there's Mr Big! Except he's looking surprisingly haggard... and hungry. If I'd had a sandwich, I would have handed it to him.

The four of us walk past him nonchalantly trying not to stare and also trying to find adjectives to describe his appearance when Todd says "Mr Big went to Mr Big Bags"

ahhhh....... awesome.

Later we were walking through soho trying to find a place to sit down for coffee - we're walking forever and finally I'm like, Todd, where are we going? And he says in his best bronx/Guido accent - "cafe Borgia! it's where we always go!"

I can't explain it except to say that we never go to cafe borgia.

A French guy sat down next to Sonja and asked her where to find the statue of the lady with ten pairs of boobs. He was French. He mentioned that he was French. I think we would have figured it out anyway.

Oh - and Jake knew where to find the multi-boob statue.

Sonja ordered tea but service in soho isn't always what you call A+.... she got the tea, but no water. (I suggested she simply suck on the bag)

Earlier in the day I was having a very special moment of realization when all that is wonderful in new york hit me like a train and I thought to myself, why in the world did I ever leave this place?

Five seconds later I hit a patch of ice and fell flat on my ass in the middle of fifth avenue.

I now have a giant swollen very ouchy bruise on my elbow.... oh lady manhattan, you wretched evil whore.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

made em cry

I keep a tally at work of the people that I make cry.

Not in the mean way like I punched them in the face or I called them slutty trannies.

It's on a blue post-it and it refers to someone crying either during an on-camera interview or if they cry during showings of videos I've produced. I'm very proud of that tally. It means I moved someone or I helped someone reach an intense place. If someone cries on me, it's my own personal gold star.

....Today I made someone blush though and let me tell ya - that was just as fun! Normally it's pretty easy to shock and surprise people at work ... ok, well, basically I open my mouth here and I shock and surprise. But blush? That's not a normal reaction for me. Since, ya know - I'm so innocent and sweet and shy and all.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Things I feel ok about.

I stole a banana from the cafeteria today and I feel ok about that.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Running towards beer

Anything that ends with beer is pretty much guaranteed to be a good time. Especially coupled with the words "micro-brew" and "lasagna". (doesn't lasagna end with an 'e'?? Why is spell checker hating on me and telling me to end it with an 'a'? Screw you spell checker, except not really because I prefer to spell good)

Yesterday I went to boot camp in the morning; it was a 90 minute-er so I was prepped to get my butt kicked well and good and then spend the rest of the day recovering. As I'm dragging my very heavy backback from my car (did you know that putting weights in a backpack make it REALLY REALLY heavy? yea - weird) Sandi's husband Travis begins to taunt me by telling me about the race they're doing today and how if I did it, I would probably 'accidentally' do the half marathon (reference) HA. HA. HA. soooooo funny.

But then he said the magic words. BEER and LASAGNA. (ok, seriously - lasagna is a very difficult word to spell. Haven't gotten it right yet.)

I was in.

Ok, but on the reals - I was totally convinced after the mild taunting.

Damn me! So easily influenced!

The run pre and post activities were very fun - the run itself was completely miserable. 4.3 miles (a 1/6th barrel, marathon, ahh, so many meanings my head hurts - just tell me when the damn thing is over!!!!) Seeing as how I normally run 5 miles (when I actually run which lately hasn't been too often) and how 2 weeks ago I managed to complete a 15k, I should have been able to at least gracefully finish. Maybe not SMOKE the course, but at least look pretty at the end. Um, no. There is no looking pretty. There was discussion after the race that if only your running pants could at least TELL you that you look pretty - how awesome would that be? Can you imagine, you're huffing and puffing as you reach the 3/4 point in a run and from below your knees comes a sing song voice saying "oooh stacey, your hair has such a delicate golden glow today." Wouldn't that just feel amazing?


It was freezing, it was raining, it was windy, it was in Lake Mills.

Oh - and I had also done boot camp in the morning. I guess that made me tired? DUH. I swear to god - I've gotten a little dumb since moving to wisconsin. I guess not having to daily fend for my life by dodging taxis, homeless people, messengers, crappy bosses and rats has made me a bit slower.

But then the race was finally over and yay!!!! Warm tent! Beer! Lasagna dinner! Super awesome people! The running community is a new one to me and I have to say I totally get why people get addicted - the run is a high, but omg - the people freaking rock! It's like getting a gift and then another gift! Or - if you're AIG, it's like getting bailed out and then bailed out again!

(that Alanis Morrisette song just popped in my head for some reason - it's like Raaaii-ee-ain on your wedd-eeeee-ing day. It's a freee-eeeeee riii-ide and you've already paid.) Except that my point was not like that at all. totally different.

My point - I sort of love running now.

Thanks for the taunting!!

Monday, November 3, 2008

things that confuse me

#23 on the list of things that confuse me are adults that carry rolling backpacks to work.

You know - I see these people get out of their cars parked all of a block away from the front door at work, they pull their little wheeled bags out of their cars and then roll them into work and up the escalator and then into the elevator and then down the hall, all 15 steps. What in the world could you possibly be carrying in that bag? 14 twenty pound weights? A set of Brittanica Encyclopedias? A fat midget? My favorite is seeing the bags get twisted and don't roll properly and they tussle with the bag because it's so dang light it can't even roll properly.

Lazy sacks.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

The Rock that was Castle

Yesterday we were scheduled to finish up our shoot around 3ish and had decided that we would try and get some hiking in afterwards. But it was 3 and we had driven away from the mountains for the location so we were trying to figure out where to go and how to fit in maximum fun-mountain-y time with only 3 hours of daylight left over.

The people we were interviewing recommended this place called Castle Rock and without really asking a lot of questions (that one’s on me) we headed off to find it. They had said there was some climbing and a bluff and a castle that was shaped like a rock. I mean, that’s all I need to spell out a good time.

I didn’t really know how to get there so I just started driving down a highway (with vinnie and rich following) and then when we got to the tollbooth, I asked directions. Oops – needed to be going south, not north. Gotcha. Turn around, pay the toll again.

So we drive for awhile, we’re not really seeing anything, getting a little discouraged but feeling mavericky and discovery. Annmarie was playing cracked out dj, flipping the station every 5 seconds in order to fully engage our rocking out abilities over a wide spectrum of musical choices.

We finally reach the town of Castle Rock and smack in the middle there’s just this random giant rock. We circled the thing twice to figure out if this was the actual Castle Rock and then circled two more times to figure out how the heck to even walk up it. It was basically a bluff with a rock – we had just driven almost an hour to find this darn thing and this is it??

Whatever, we’re here, let’s do this thing.

We were wearing far more appropriate footwear this time.

We park and start walking up and it’s a nice walk, nothing fancy - and then we start feeling a little frisky. First of all, Vinnie decided that he wanted to grab the camera so he runs back down to the car but tells us not to wait because we’re girls and we’re slow and he’ll catch up before we reach the top.

So that prompted Annmarie and me to start running. We came to this little cut off that was pretty steep but was also kind of sandy and slippery. Annmarie climbed up it first and we took some pics and then I ended up scrambling all the way to the top of it for some unknown reason and of course felt all proud of myself. Like – REALLY proud of myself.

Little did I know that little climb was just the tip of the iceberg for the day...

So we all make it to end of the path eventually; there’s not really anyone around so we’re not quite sure what people do up here. We can see the top of the rock way above us, but there’s no clear way on how to get up there.

Maybe it was the mountain air that was making us high, maybe it was just that we were all feeling great because this shoot has been so easy or maybe we all just went a little crazy because we’re all a little crazy. Whatever it was, Vinnie started scaling the rock to get to the top and one by one, we all followed suit.
It was incredible.

And holy crap!!! We scaled a giant freaking rock!

At first Vinnie went up and I followed him up but then kind of chickened out because I couldn’t figure out for the life of me how I would get back down. (my first attempt)

So I come down and Rich goes up after Vinnie. Annmarie and I kind of stand there trying to figure out how we’re gonna join in the fun too when Vinnie starts heckling us to climb up by saying “there’s like a THOUSAND people up here!”

Sure enough, this pack of high school kids appear at the top of the rock to climb down. Two of the girls are wearing flip-flops – which, talk about inappropriate footwear! I made a crack about the flip-flops being very silly to wear while scaling a mountain and the girls just kind of smirked at me.

That is until she broke her toe on the way down!

We were climbing up when we heard some commotion right below us and sure enough, she had caught her toe, bent her nail back and broke her big toe because of the flip flops getting caught on the rock. Vinnie and Rich, being all chivalrous and stuff, immediately climbed down to help her. It was such a typical high school scene. Her girlfriends were all concerned and the bonehead boys she was with just stood there looking dumb and being very unhelpful.

Annmaire and I decided to follow the bonehead boys suit and leave the ER scene behind us. We climbed right up to the top .. ALL BY OURSELVES!

Omg – totally worth it. It was just stunning. We decided to celebrate with a few yoga poses.

And then being total video geeks, we proceeded to take a slew of pictures to document our journey…. And create more awesome album covers.

Ok - so going down was way scarier than climbing up....

Who knew Castle Rock would actually rock?!?!

On a separate note, earlier in the day, we took a lunch break during our video shoot and Vinnie tried to convince us that there such a thing as a blueberry shake. Annmaire wasn’t buying it.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Me Heart Denver

I'm in Denver for the week shooting a series of interviews for work. I've actually never been to Colorado so I was extremely stoked. I haven't been out west since I left Sun Valley, Idaho over 6 years ago.

6 years... man, it's amazing what changes in 6 years!

I love the mountains. I love the mountains so much I want to marry them. Me and the mountains are heading off to Vegas and we're a gonna get hitched at the Elvis chapel of the bells. I get to be Elvis though, I'd look way fly in a cape.

After our shoot on Monday, which, btw was easy like Sunday morning, me, my client Annmaire and my crew decided to head up into the mountains to check out Red Rock amphitheater. We were planning on just walking around a bit and maybe buying some crap at the store since my legs were still a bit sore (ok, lots sore) and Annmarie was wearing heels. Totally inappropriate footwear for the mountains but my adorable gold flats weren't much better.

But the camera dudes being macho dudes decided to run down to the bottom of the ampitheater - probably wanted to 'feel' the acoustics' or something similarly male.

Annmarie and I sat at the top of the theater all princess-y and superior and watched for a bit and then finally got super jealous and ran down to the bottom to join in the fun too.

One in heels and one with a bum leg. Very rock star of us.

There was some blatant rule breaking going on at Red Rocks.... damn hippies.

Mile High stadium is a very distracting stadium. I have a GPS and the british lady who talks to me from it rarely leads me astray. But apparently Denver confuses her and she keeps giving me the wrong directions. For some reason though, those wrong directions always happen to occur when we're admiring the stadium. I have now made about 4 wrong turns (in all of 2 dys) right by that stadium.

Damn you and your distracting wavy forms!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

In the shocking news category ... after yesterday's awesome error, my legs are sore!

I even took an ice bath yesterday to help the legs and in further shocking news, an ice bath is really, really cold.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

the accidental awesome runner

So this morning I accidentally ran a 15k.

Let's start at the beginning.

My super cool trainer, Sandi, had told me about a 5k coming up that sounded fun. It ended at the Milwaukee Ale House, so by 'sounded fun', I mean it sounded WAY fun. I tried to convince some other people to run with me but my convincing powers were on hiatus. I was going to try and meet up with Sandi before the run, but it was going to be kind of disorganized and crazy at the start so we knew that might be hard - no problem, we'd run into each other at the Ale House, and really, that's the most important part.

So the race begins and it's disorganized and crazy, just as expected. There's a dude hollering into a megaphone about the bag drop and the starting time and the turn-off for the 5k and I kind of vaguely hear it but I'm not really listening because sometimes I forget that directions are helpful for a reason.

The race begins and I crank the tunes on my ipod - jamming to the Killer's 'Human' and Chris Brown's 'Forever', a little britney spears, a little t-pain. I was aiming for a time of 27 minutes for the 5k - I love to run, but I'm not very consistent with it. I don't ever try and pace myself. I just run and see how fast I can go and then I get tired and I walk and then I say to myself, run, dummy! and so then I run and then I get tired and I walk. See a pattern? The first 5k I ran a few weeks ago, I got a time of 28:28 and me being a bit crazy, decided that I would try and beat that time by 1:30. 27 just sounded like a fun time.

About a half mile into the race, there's the great fork in the road. Pretty much everyone was going straight. When I went to pick up my race packet, everyone was in the 5k line so I assumed that the 5k was the popular route - the prom queen of the race. So there was some logic behind my mistake. I heard a girl in front of me ask the guy with the orange flag which way the 5k was and he pointed straight. Well, apparently, my headphones filter "15" into "5" - I went straight and holy crap - did you know that a 15k is way farther than a 5k?

Yea, who knew!?!

It wasn't until we got to the 3 mile mark that I realized my mistake. We just kept running farther away from downtown - I kept thinking, hmm... maybe there's a shuttle? Maybe there's another Milwaukee Ale House? Didn't occur to me that I was in the 15k route until I passed the 3k sign and heard no joyous yelps for the finish line.

HOLY CRAP!!! I'M RUNNING A 15K?!?!?!?! I've never run farther than 6 miles!

Ok, frick - what do I do? I could turn around, but I'm already 3 miles away so I'd have to run back 3 miles anyway - what's another 3? There's all these other people doing it - hey, there's a 90 year old woman running! Well, dang - surely I can do this too.

So I just decided that I was going to run this darn 15k and FINISH this darn 15k. There were about 3 places along the way that I could have jumped off the course and taken a shortcut to the end, but all I could think of was, oh man - Sandi will be so proud if I actually finish this! And I'LL be so proud if I finish this!

But mostly I'm crazy stubborn and I hate failing at anything so I just kept running.

Which was really awesome when my knees starting to hate me... and was also awesome when my Achilles starting screaming obscenities at me.

Dude, I'm such a moron. Apparently, you are supposed to TRAIN for a run like this.

I finished under 1:30 - ok, only by 5 seconds, but still!! I had made my goal of 27 minutes for the 5k - right before my life flashed before my eyes as I realized my mistake. I had been hauling and super smugly passing all these other runners somewhere around the 2 mile mark. Well, all those runners just as smugly passed me around the 6, 7, 8, and 9 mile mark. CRAP!

It all paid off in the end as I crossed the finish line, stuffed a bagel in my mouth and realized I had just finished and actually ran the whole thing! Yay me!

I finally made it to the Ale House and met up with Sandi and her husband who actually ran dressed as a scarecrow - very impressive - they were with a crew of people who run triathlons on purpose. Whoa! I was greeted with appropriate and rewarding reactions of horror mixed with hoots or laughter and disbelief.

And then I downed 3 beers to dull the pain.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

catching up on sleep

I left Beijing but my luggage decided that they loved China too much and wanted to stay. So my bags took an extra day of vacation much to my chagrin.

"Chagrin" - that's such a weird word. To me it means "lacking-grin." Maybe that's what it means to posh british people who use it all the time too. If that's the case, 'cha' can also be used in a sentence like this: "I got home cha-luggage."

I am pooped. So pooped that I fell asleep in the middle of composing an email last night. Sitting up in a chair. Fast asleep. Maybe the email was really boring - I took it as a hint and deleted it immediately.

Getting home was actually wonderful - we had a charter flight for NBC and got to watch my all time favorite show "30 Rock" on the flight. And then because I just can't get enough - me and my friend Jeff watched the BBC coverage of the men's finals that he'd downloaded before we left. Ahh - the thrill of watching gymnastics when it's not just the americans getting covered.

Yes - after watching nothing but the Olympics for two weeks, I watched the Olympics on the way home.

I feel like I need a few days to really process what I saw in China - all I know right now is that I saw and heard some pretty weird stuff but I have no idea what to make of half of it. Of course, I still don't know what day it is, so I need to first work on that - then genius observations of world politics. Good order.

Good news - sad-berry is about to become replaced-berry and then I can begin texting again. PHEW!!!!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

RG thoughts expanded

I had to borrow a few ideas from my blog for nbcolympics.com regarding my impressions of the freak show that is rhythmic (which I can totally spell now!)


Saturday, August 23, 2008

China loves Shawn; hates my knees

CCTV is the government run tv network here - they have about 11-12 different channels (one is in English and the morning anchor is straight out of 'Anchorman'). So CCTV 3 has a nightly show where a guy interviews Olympic athletes on stage with an audience - sort of like China's version of Bob Costas, except taller.

I catch snippets of this show all the time and I've never seen an American - or really, anyone that's not chinese on it and last night I caught the highlight reel that they did for the conclusion of the games and AWWW!!! Shawn Johnson is the one and only American and non-Chinese athlete that was on the show! I'm sure it had a lot to do with her coach being from Beijing but China just loves Shawn Johnson.

The CCTV sports channels do nightly montages of the days greatest moments and it's usually the gold medal winning Chinese (lord knows they've had plenty to feature). When Nastia won I think I saw maybe one of two clips of her but when Shawn won her beam medal, she was prominently featured. I'm sure blonde hair and megawatt smile doesn't hurt.

For me the biggest gymnastics star of the games has been Nastia Liukin, but I think that Shawn Johnson has been just as big - it's hard to judge sitting in the middle of it. I'm really curious to see what the response has been and who's gotten more air time. ... I still can't look at the pics of Nastia on the podium without getting a little teary. By far my favorite Olympic moment.

I thought that America had a lot of repetitive commercials but it's nothing compared to the commercials on CCTV. I think I've seen a total of 5 different commercials since being here. Tsingtao beer, Haeir air conditioners and refrigerators, China Mobile (most annoying song ever), Adidas (creepy commercial where the chinese people first lift their sports stars on their sidewalk of hands and then bow down to him), an ad for Korea called "Sparkling Korea" ... I think there's one other one but I have no idea what the product is. I just know the theme music drives me nuts. Can't wait to get home and have the luxury of at least TEN different commercials in rotation! Whhhheeeee!!!

Jamaica is a very fast country.

Went to the rhythmic finals last night for the all-around and I ended up sitting with a former Chinese rhythmic gymnast who is the Chief Liason Officer for gymnastics here at the games (have no idea what that is but the title is impressive... might have to put that on my business cards). She was sitting right in front of me and turned around at some point, saw my name tag with my NBC card and asked me if I worked in tv. I told her that I was there writing a little thing on rhythmic and how I was trying to understand it (which, should be writing right now) and she immediately got up and said, 'Oh! I will teach you everything!' and she proceeded to give me an rg lesson!

She wasn't much help in my political/gossip questions like why does russia hate the ukraine so much and what's up with the crazy russian coach, but she did have really helpful info like how much is taken off in deductions for turns and ribbon drops, etc. So, ya know, helpful but I want the dirt!!!

A couple of Russians were sitting behind me and it took every ounce of my strength not to turn around and steal their jacket. I'm very proud of myself for holding back my urge to be a thief.

My knees totally hate China. The shuttle buses here are not tall people friendly. Everytime I ride them, I'm uncomfortable and my legs hurt when I walk out - I knwe it was crunched but never really gave it much thought. Well, last night I was wearing a skirt which made my life more difficult on the bus - I looked down at the seat and thought, hmmm, I wonder how much leg room there really is. I put my arm down thinking for sure my hand to elbow would fit ..... umm... I put the heel of my palm to the seat and my finger tips crunched up against the chair in front of me!! There's not even 6 inches of leg room.


Best video ever

Video link
Compliments of the overworked highlights factory back at 30 Rock. Hooray for no sleep!Link

Lost in a hutong

I only have a couple more days left in Beijing and one of the things I've been dying to see is the Drum tower. I have no idea why. I don't know what is there, I don't know why it's famous, I don't know where it is, but I dig the name. A whole tower just for a drum? Must be some drum.

Ok - well, also the tour book said that it had amazing views of the hutong after you climb up the steep stairs. And since I haven't touched a treadmill since I got here, I thought it would be a nice way to get a little workout in before I go back to my merciless trainer Sandi who quite ruthlessly kicks my ass.

Well, the dumb thing was closed! A rickshaw driver was trying to convince me to jump on the back of his bike and after I politely declined, he told me that the drum tower was closed during the duration of the games for security.

Total bummer!

Oh wait..... the Drum Tower! That's where the incident happened during the Opening Ceremony where the American was murdered and the Chinese guy threw himself off the top and committed suicide!! I totally thought that happened in T Square. I didn't figure out that it was the Drum Tower until I got back and people were like, oh well, yea - it's probably closed because of the incident. Ummm.... hmmm..

Again, I'm not very smart in China. I wanted to visit a murder site.

I figured if I couldn't get a good aerial view of the hutongs, I might as well wander through. And so I went and got myself lost in a hutong. I figured I'd get out eventually so I just kept walking. And yay - I did find my way out eventually.

Hutongs are basically narrow alleys and streets where people live - they resemble a corn maze without the corn.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Shiny stuff

Last night I went to discover the joys of the sport of rhythmic gymnastics (RG). Well - mostly just to figure out what the heck it was and why it was so popular in Europe. Yes, apparently RG is huge in Europe. Much like David Hasselhoff

First off - I was completely blinded by the overwhelming glare from the sequins.

There is a very sad housewife in Oklahoma who can't bedazzle her jean jacket because rhythmic stole all of the worlds sparkles.

I was looking forward to a match-up between Russia and Ukraine as apparently they're death rivals. RG has a lot of drama. The Russians (with all their awesome jackets that they won't share - jerkbutts) were out in full force with the flags and the chants of "Rush-ee-AH! Rush-ee-AH!" ('russia' said like U-S-A - copycats.... give me your stuff!!) They were very loud for their people - but they were also extremely supportive for the girls that train in Russia, like the two girls from Azerbaijan. Who even knew that place had sequins? I believe the two girls who compete from Azerbaijan were actually born and live in Russia, but because it's so hard to qualify for the Russian national team, they compete for Azerbaijan instead. And they are still ranked top ten in the world!!

You can only send two girls per country to compete in the Olympics and the third ranked girl in Russia was actually a gold medal favorite in RG in Beijing.... and didn't even qualify. Russia is a great place to be a super flexible freak - and since the mafia is heavily involved in RG, when you retire, you can marry a mob boss! ... I'm only half kidding.

I was sitting next to a couple of media dudes from Azerbaijan (which is really hard to spell, btw) and they were these grizzly old, giant-mustached, Borat-wannabes totally into the RG performances. Literally on the edge of their chairs when the group was performing, practically about to pass out from the nerves.

Again - huge in Europe.

So the poor Ukraine girl who's one of the gold medal favorites, Anna Bessonova, had to go immediately following this stream of Russia-love-fest. It was back to back russians and then the Azer girls and then some other random country that they were cheering for and then Bessonova enters the arena and the Russians all jump to sit on their hands and stare stone faced at her willing her to either drop the hoop, drop the rope or better, just drop dead. So since the Russians hate her and also hate me - she's my favorite.

I actually don't have access to the arena that the RG event is held in so I had to borrow one of intern's credentials who had access. You know how American's can't tell Asians apart? Well the same in reverse for Asians. Honkeys have been swapping credentials left and right to sneak into events because the volunteers can't tell us apart. hehe

so rhythmic - what an awesome freak show!!

Those girls are flexible beyond what is even human. I wonder if they miss their spines?

I actually really, really enjoyed the group routines. 5 girls, 5 ropes, one very complicated game of cats in the cradle. It was almost more fun to watch the teams that were less skilled because you could kind of get an idea of how they were getting their ropes in the various places. With the really good teams like Belarus and Russia, you couldn't see any sort of set up! Just, whoop - 5 ropes in the air! whoop - 5 ropes being flung off 5 leaping girls' feet! whoop - 5 ropes spelling out the complete word "orange".... wild stuff. I highly recommend going to nbcolympics.com and watching the rope group routines.
Group video

A gallery from last nights competition

One kind of wild thing about Chinese sporting events is that no one really eats in the arena. I wasn't sure if they even sold food in the place so I took a walk to see. Well - they do sell food but ummm... anyone up for a 'spicy beef stick'? Or perhaps a 'biscuit'? Maybe a piece of 'bread'? Well, now I guess I know why no one chows down in china.

Also - the arena smells like feet.