guingel: (really happy)
ahhhhhh, reading articles about the Davis Cup. :D And Schalke! God, this weekend really did its best to make up for last on the sports results front! Although actually last weekend I was like AUGH I'LL JUST FOCUS ON CURLING and the curling results this time weren't so amazing. Although I still like the teams in the finals (which are happening now) well enough, which is the key thing with curling.

But yeah, Schalke beat Bayern Munich 2-0!!! Raul was injured but I don't think too badly - looked like a split lip? (pretty bloody, but he walked off of his own power.) And Real Madrid managed to pull out a 2-0 win over Valencia, although they only scored after one of Valencia's players was pretty questionably sent off. I felt bad, it'd be a really tough match for a Valencia fan to watch. (and omg we need Pipita. D:)

I was at home for Hanukkah so we were actually eating latkes and I left open, it's a gametracking website (with gambling stuff as well I guess XD) and it makes a noise when someone scores so luckily there was a pause in the conversation and we hear this little noise from the computer in the next room and I jumped up and raced over to see what was going on.

So I got to combine delicious amazing latkes with a victory for Real Madrid!!! SO. GREAT. And Schalke won just before we started peeling potatoes, and that morning Arsenal won - not my EPL team but I like them well enough and they're the team of the guingeltwin so I'm happy when she's happy. She was getting really worried about them, they are not having the season the could be. Giving up some games they really should win and stuff.

And then today, Serbia won the Davis Cup!!! AHHHHH I'M SO HAPPY FOR THEM!! Serbia has never won it before and you could really tell how much it meant to all the players, I can't even tell you. I really get the feeling that winning this as Serbia means more to them than winning individual titles might. I know Novak Djokovic, world number 3, is so proud that he can represent Serbia in a positive manner to the world, and tennis in general seems like an important source of positive pride. And they've achieved this with a lot less resources than most of the countries they were competing against - there's almost no national budget for tennis so most of the players, their families have to really fucking work to help put their kids in the position to become top players.

So, I'm really, really happy for them. :D And the finals happened in Belgrade and I follow one of the players, Tipsarevic Janko, on twitter and when they made it to the finals (he didn't have a good match this weekend but he was vital in getting them there) he tweeted "I don't know what's going to happen (party wise) if we win the finals in Belgrade!!" and Katie and I have been saying "(party wise)" all the time since then. XD

Plus, today I went to this huge asian grocery store near my parents house and i was able to get rice because I was getting a ride home, AND I found these char siu pork buns that I've been looking for since i got back from Manchester 4 years ago. SO SO EXCITED!!! If these are half as good they will be amazing, the ones I used to make in England were pretty much my favorite food ever.

PLUS my mom got herself this ridiculously awesome lego set and she let us help her put it together and it was SO SWEET. omg it's amazing and i love lego. THERE IS A LEGO ESCALATOR!!! So, so great. I just love the way they use the limited medium of a few different types of bricks - with some specialty pieces, but really minimizing the variation - and then just design ways to use them to make really specific, realistic looking structures. So, so satisfying to take a bunch of little blocks and put it together to make an escalator or window washer station or cash register!!

Annnnd I finally ordered the guingeltwin her christmas presents and my dad ordered me a new coat as one of mine! I want to make my dad a print of this panel from All Star Superman that he loves but I don't really know how to do it. Plus I don't have any great ideas for my mom so maybe I'll wait til Dad's birthday to do that. . . in July. XD

So hopefully this evening I'll get some cleaning up done on my room and also public my craigslist ad for a new roomie. ::sigh:: My one downer!! I wish I could find the card reader for my camera so i could put the pics of my living room with furniture in, I just have the ones from when I first moved in.
guingel: (sllorente albiol)
I know, I haven't posted in forever and now I'm just doing an icon meme. If you're wondering what I've been doing with my time, I have been watching sports. Or hanging out at [ profile] ontd_extreme. I also went to the USA-Brazil match, which I actually did sort of write up but it's sitting in an email draft - it started as a comment and then I was like "what the hell, I'm going to write down everything I can remember!"

Of course, it being not only my first football match but also only my second major sporting event (I'd gone to a Mets game the week prior, before that it was minor league all the way) I think a lot of the stuff I wrote down was exciting to me but normal to most people. I was definitely fascinated by seeing everyone warm up before the game! Since that's what I don't get to see on TV.

And roomie!Corey and I did have a fun moment when we were waiting to leave - huge crowd of people waiting to get back on the trains to NYC (stadium was in New Jersey - but it was actually an easy trip, there were just quite a lot of people trying to leave all at once) and at one point we ended up right on the other side of a barrier from a train that had already loaded and was waiting to pull out. There was a very handsome man of maybe 35 years leaning against the door of the train, looking very solemn. We were staring at him because he was so poetic and fascinating, so he spotted us staring and we smiled at him and he smiled back and we waved and he blew kisses and we blew kisses back. It was fun, and I felt like we cheered him up - and it was hilarious because then after all of this. . . the train did not pull out. EXTREMELY AWKWARD SITUATION. XD Luckily eventually our line moved. This stuff does not happen in movies, I'm just sayin.

. . . I don't know what that's the anecdote I decide to share after several weeks of radio silence. I also saw a friend from my study abroad in Manchester last week, after a two year separation, and that was completely, completely awesome and deserves more of a write-up, really. And I saw some of Katie's friends from college that I like as well. It was fun, and a pretty eventful week actually. And my roommate is returned and her mom is visiting, so I've been worrying about that but of course they are being as unobtrusive as my roommate always is, and I am only left worrying that they don't feel comfortable enough using the living room.

Hahahaha oh my god I just got a phone call and I had my legs curled up underneath me and when I shifted to get to my phone I completely put my foot into my garbage can and almost knocked it over. Luckily it only had a kit-kat wrapper in it.

All right, there you go. Now this entry is pretending to be a real one. (Are you supposed to change the code words? I like these though :D)

1.) Reply to this post with the word PIRATES (or NINJAS) and I will pick six of your icons.
2.) Make a post (including this info) and talk about the icons I chose.
3.) Other people can then comment to you and make their own posts.
4.) This will create a never ending cycle of icon glee.

I made both [ profile] ktdone and [ profile] jobiegirl6 do this for me because I am greedy, so I have 12. Actually, 11. There was one hilarious duplicate.
icon party )
guingel: (oVancouver sled hockey)
Damnation! I never finished updating/refining this entry, originally posted in my beloved winter sports comm (I just learned way too much more about all the athletes and I didn't even know where to start) and tonight is the sled hockey episode of Ace of Cakes! I will just take a quick skim through and then post what I've got. Sorry it's so bulky and yet incomplete!

At the Paralympic level, sled hockey is a sport for athletes with lower limb disabilities (at a more casual level, anyone willing to be strapped into a sled can give it a try). All the same rules as stand-up hockey, same rink, same puck, same nets. But the players are in sleds (sledges if you're not in the US, we're the only people who don't call it sledge hockey) which have two blades on the bottom, and they have two shorter sticks that they use to propel themselves around the ice.

Team USA's adorable captain, Andy Yohe, and a player on the Japanese team model their sled hockey gear for you. ;) (Andy is sadly not featured in this entry, despite his endearing awkwardness in interviews.)

There are two blades but at the highest level I think they're about an inch or so apart so the balance involved is pretty prodigious. And the sticks are about 2 feet long and have a regular blade on one end, then pointy picks on the other end that are used to propel yourself. So players slide their hands up and down the stick to switch from moving to shooting. You can shoot with both hands or sort of dribble, and pass the puck underneath your sled, it's all really awesome. The puck handling just looks really, really cool. For me it definitely makes it even more fun to watch than stand-up hockey.

Although the two sports are pretty much the same - I think sled hockey might have a slightly different pace but it could also just be the teams I've watched. But yeah, apart from the sleds and sticks, I think one of the only rule differences is a new penalty: t-boning. The players check the living hell out of each other, but you are not allowed to drive the point of your sled into another player - no perpendicular hits in the sleds. It's a really physical game, though - and when you get checked in sled hockey, you're not going into the glass. You're being slammed right into the unforgiving lower wall of the rink. Also, very sharp picks.

Here, you can discover sled hockey alongside Rick Mercer (and Canada's 2006 gold medal winning team! yeeeah!):

Rick Mercer is my hero, by the way. He's the only way I get to see Paralympians get interviewed - he hung out with Brian and Rob McKeever and it made me so happy. I wish there was someone doing that in the US. . . (and just more people covering the Paralympics in general, obvs.)

Here's a sample of the game itself:

Normally I hate videos filmed from the crowd, and I don't like sports videos without commentary, but I think this one is really good. Of course it's Canada and Norway whereas I plan to focus on Team USA, but oh well! Try not to get mental whiplash or anything. (I initially focused on Team USA because I was heartbroken about team Canada, who didn't win a medal - and I still am heartbroken, but now I'm just absolutely, utterly in love with USA's sled hockey team. Actually thanks to the research I did to initially put this post together for _extreme!)

Team USA plays a hard, fast game of hockey. They like to send the puck out to open ice and have one of their team members race for it, because they know they'll be able to get to it first. They the youngest team in the competition. All but three of them were under 25 when they won gold, and 7 of them were under 21. XD

Team USA awaits you! Or, well a couple of them! )

Anyway, you should all tune into Ace of Cakes on the Food Network at 10PM tonight is what I'm saying. 9PM central!
guingel: (fwschackleton)
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OK, this is my first time answering a writer's block thing, but this one intrigued me a little bit.

I do think our society is celebrity crazy to excess, although perhaps not in the way implied in the question. I think the people who suffer from our excesses the most are probably the celebrities themselves. I'm speaking as someone who very much dislikes having her personality judged by strangers, but there does seem to be a high level of breakdowns and other unhealthy behaviors among celebrities. Then again, everyone makes bad choices, and maybe it's the resources and not the attention that leads to celebrities doing so on a larger scale.

However, I don't think that this is a sign that we're all sick or shallow or that society is falling apart. People are just attracted to glamour. We're intrigued by fame and wealth and talent. I think we need to adjust our celebrity culture - to recognize that they're people too, to minimize their power over matters that they aren't qualified to have influence on (such as when a celebrity endorses a cause or a candidate). But it doesn't mean society is going down the tubes - people have always been this way. We've just gotten better at disseminating celebrities' images.

So in terms of our cultural values, meh. I don't think it's the distractions of celebrity culture that are stopping me from writing poetry or taking up archery or whatever. I'm good at being a fan. I know what it's like to read quite inane things that are interesting just because they're being said by whichever actor or singer or model I'm into at that moment. Something about the glamour of their profession, their position in the public eye, and whatever it is about their personality or appearance that appeals to me makes them interesting in a way that they would normally not be.

I do think we also need to learn more respect and restraint, particularly when dealing with the personal lives of celebrities. I was just wondering over this on the phone with my sister - how are people distressed that Fernando Torres and his wife are having a second baby? Do they think he would have left his wife and one child for them, but the second one seals the deal? And how can people threaten to throw acid on the face of a young woman because she's rumored to have a relationship with a Japanese idol? So yeah. . . some perspective is definitely in order.

On the subject of celebrity wealth, I do think that the disparity of wealth in our world is just obscene. I mean, there's "being rich and living the good life" and then there's "more money than god". It's really out of hand and it disturbs me - not that I have a great grasp of economics or anything, but jesus fucking christ. It's like the difference between stabbing someone to death versus forcing family members to rape each other, then flaying them to death. Um, in my head that comparison makes sense - because we can't really just make the world perfect, everyone wants and needs such different things from each other, and I don't see a natural way to distribute resources evenly. But the absolute, obscenely, horrifyingly excessive things, those I'd like us to work to eradicate. Although I think a lot of the personal horrors are due to mental illness, whereas the absurd levels of wealth aren't really. . .

. . . That last part got a little off-topic. And into the realm of "Laura's Unified Theory of the Degrees of Shitty Things."
guingel: (OVancouver curling celebration!)
So I've barely had much time to myself over the past week - I have done something every single day since Thursday (I wrote this on Wednesday during the day, that evening I did just sit at home and FFA at _extreme and read tennis fanfic and watch TV. Tonight Katie is over to hang out but she's on the phone). I usually try not to be busy 6 days in a row, I like to have some days to chill out, but it's been fun and not too crazy.

Thursday my much beloved friend Courtney was visiting for the night! She just got back from a year teaching in American Samoa - one of the smaller, outer islands. And she was in NYC to take her girlfriend to the airport and thought she'd visit her friends in Brooklyn on the way out.

So on Thursday we met after I got out of work near St Mark's Place, because I already had plans with my friend Alison from work to go to this bar that has board games and play Sorry. Courtney & I got there first and it was really crowded, but they had ESPN on so I FINALLY actually got to see the end of the Isner-Mahut match. I feel like I didn't even get to watch any previous-day highlights Wednesday night, maybe I wasn't fully on board and I'd just discovered a new BBC West End casting reality series, that aired this spring and was casting Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz and was roaring through videos of those performances.

Well, the point is whenever there was tennis on screen I was just ignoring everything that was going on around me and gluing my eyes to it. Courtney was very understanding!

However, as the place was so crowded we couldn't play sorry, so once Alison showed up (with our friend Vivek who is the one who took care of me on the horrible alcohol day that I've named Vomitfest 2010) we head out and were going to go to our shuffleboard place but didn't really feel like it, I felt more like darts & Alison agreed. But on the way there we ran into a friend of Alison's who's a regular at the shuffleboard place and said the owner had another bar, closer to the subway, that was big and chill and had darts. AND IT DELIVERED!

I had some drama with the bartender who didn't believe that I'd paid and put my drink on Courtney's tab because of some confusion and then was obnoxious about it and finally bitterly paid me back out of her own pocket, even though I wasn't fucking lying about having left 6 dollars on the bar, for god's sake! Like, we went over and said "Oh, excuse me, did you put my drink my friend's tab? Because I paid for it in cash at the time." And she said "No, you didn't!" WHAT THE FUCK? Way to outright call me a liar, you turd. Maybe if you fucking picked up the money as people paid you would be on top of what was happening at your bar. Yes, I know we discussed me putting it on her tab and I understand that you were confused, it is totally understandable. BUT I PUT MONEY DOWN AND WHEN I SAY I DID, DO NOT OUTRIGHT SAY I'M LYING TO YOU. Ugh.

However, I won two games of darts after trailing all game and it was a really nice, chill place so we'll probably go back anyway. XD

Friday-Tuesday, with a detour to Torino 2006 )
guingel: (Default)

OK not really. Or not exactly. I'm not sure how I feel about the prospect of becoming a tennis fan, it's just so ridiculously preppy. I feel like I'd never fully trust the players to actually be likable. On the other hand, I randomly decided to say hey in one of ontd_tennis's Wimbledon FFAs and everyone was super nice and welcoming even though at that time I hadn't actually watched a tennis match (last night I was able to tune in for most of Nadal's match yesterday, ESPN2 was re-airing it woooo).

BUT. I did get INCREDIBLY EXCITED about last week's 11 Hour Tennis Match of Crazy Marathon Epic Awesome and Fretting! Between John Isner and Nicolas Mahut. I only noticed it because I was in a World Cup free for all watch post at [ profile] ontd_extreme and there kept being the occasional comment about "OMG IS THIS TENNIS MATCH STILL GOING??" and finally figured out that something epic was happening.

Then, of course, I got totally sucked in. This was late in the day on Wednesday (in England, at least) so there wasn't much of the game left that day, but I searched for articles about what was going on, learned about the players, joined tennis communities. . .

Something about, I don't know. I guess I got invested at first partly because I was just worried about their health. And then I wanted to know how it would end. And then I got so upset for Nico, even though I was vaguely pulling for Isner before the match. Plus it was just such a sports hero moment. Neither of them gave up, neither of them wanted to lose the game even after playing it for days.

I have come to adore both players. I keep doing French language searches in google news for Mahut and then translating all the pages so I can get a better feel for what's up with him. I've discovered that google translator will always make "court" into "short" even when it refers to a tennis court. Luckily I have just enough French that when I hover to see the original I can combine that with the auto-translate to get some kind of sense.

A (slightly edited for translation) quote: "I would like to be remembered that I went for it all the way, maybe even a little further, I was ready to die on the ground to try to win, I was brave, I respected my opponent and the values that sports conveys. For now, the experience of my life. I am very proud that young people take their lead from what I did."

Awwwwwwwwww Mahut!

Isner is adorable and I'm happy for him that he won and his ridiculous height (6'9" or 2.06m - if those aren't the same, blame the article that gave me the metric) but Nico was the lower ranked player who rose to the occasion in this incredible match and had to experience the tragedy of losing, but was still incredibly classy - and incredibly heartbroken - in the aftermath.

But really, everyone was classy. Each player talked a lot about how amazing the other was, stuff like that. Classy and cocky, but whatever. Plus Isner is 6'9", and I find ridiculous heights and height differences to be HILARIOUS. That's an inch taller than my monstrously tall cousin, who I miss now. XD He moved to the west coast years ago, but oh man. I was a short kid and he was VERY intimidating. 10 years older and 2 feet taller. XD (I'm still short, but within the normal realm of short. Whereas as a kidlet I was always one of the shortest in my class.)

The umpire, by the way, Mohamed Lahyani, is also ridiculously adorable and apparently already has his own fan following and is known as Mo and has a rep for being very smiley. :D LOOOOOOOOOOOOVE. Also he said "Seven hours in a chair was nothing to me, I fly economy." Looooove so much. He also said he was so sucked into the drama of the game he didn't notice that he had to go to the bathroom.

However, since I've gotten into tennis almost no one that I've been rooting for has won. I mean, I've been making some of my decisions based on [ profile] ontd_tennis and who they seem to be rooting for but sometimes there's someone I've heard of or who seems cool. . . however random my decisions might be, the people I like seem to not be doing well. I should probably stop caring and they'll thank me. >.> Sorry, Andy Roddick! I was quite upset over your loss the other day! I am SO not cut out for this sports fan thing. Although I coulda told you that from the Olympics. So much triumph. . . so much tragedy.

Speaking of which, the World Cup! D: Awwwwwwwwwwww Team USA! It took me a little while to get going on the World Cup because I was in a full curling viewing frenzy and just could not process the depth of information needed for me to get fully invested. But I was able to slowly, eventually pick up bits and pieces (_extremers tend to highlight the good-looking players so I can be aware of them, but they generally assume everyone knows the names already and therefore sometimes it takes me a little while to figure who those players are. . . but I've been slowly collecting knowledge.

So by the time of the Algeria game I was totally invested in the USMNT! . . . And then there was the Ghana game. ::sigh:: At least I haven't actually watched any of the games from the group matches yet because most of them were on while I was at work (or before I was getting into it) and I think I SHOULD still be able to watch them at or something. They're a very good-looking and very lovable team. I like that we're all so proud of them for doing well and being such inspirations even though they didn't come home with a victory like America usually expects. I like when I get to feel good about my country.

Anyway, the US's exit did take the wind out of my sails a bit but I'm trying to reinvest myself in other teams. I know the names of good-looking players on most of the remaining teams, my favorites being Spain. They're very hunky. I'm going to try not to get too invested, though, so the Laura jinx doesn't take them out. In the meantime I'll just try to get a better grasp on everything. (I'm undecided about how much tennis terminology I want to learn, although hilariously Katie's boyfriend is a big tennis fan. He's very confused by my new interest.)

Even though I'm embarrassed by my total ignorance about all these things I'm becoming a fan of, I also love the not knowing, because it means there's so much for me to discover. I loved getting context for the Isner-Mahut match from tennis fans, finding out what (if anything) the participants were known for before and stuff like that.

So many sports. I still really don't want to get into the big time pro sports, though - MLB, NFL, NBA. Although I am going to a Mets game sometime this month.
guingel: (Default)
Had the stupid college student alcohol experience a couple years too late - drank a lot of really strong drinks in a pretty short time on Friday, ended up throwing up on a stoop for at least 2 and a half hours and needing to be taken home in a cab. Luckily a friend of mine stuck with me and a very, very new friend of ours really took care of me.

Thankfully, I remember very little of this, as it was my first time losing memory because of alcohol. I remember a bit of the stoop, a bit of the cab, and then pulling myself back together at the apartment. And apologizing a fair amount. . . oh dear, I feel so bad. I live really far away, I forgot to even ask about the cab fare! I need to do that tomorrow. At least I did all this early in the evening (I started with a long weekend party thing at work) so they could still hang out a bit after dropping me off.

Needless to say, I had a rough Saturday. I had a friend visiting me for the weekend but thankfully she caught a late bus and wasn't in til 5:45. I did nausea, I did headache, and I ended with extreme lethargy and trembling, but I was basically back in commission by the time I picked her up, and OK for an energetic day of walking around the city on Sunday.

Sunday - actually nice things! )

Anyway, the actual reason I posted was to share my first alcohol memory loss experience. Luckily I was with friends the whole time - the only smart thing I did that night - so it's just funny and not scary. What I've enjoyed is the random, treasure hunter feeling of these things slowly coming to light. A friend who was with me a bit earlier in the evening called to see how I was doing and said that maybe me and Becca shouldn't come over that night because his apartment wasn't clean. I had absolutely no idea that we had made any plans of the sort. Although I did get more evidence when I was checking my notebook on the subway this evening and discovered that he had written down his address.

I also remember that I was telling him about a couple of my weirder dreams (honestly not boring, my subconscious is kinda crazy) but I thought I didn't finish. I now know I did, because I apparently sketched the layout of my dorm room freshman year - pretty well. This was presumably used to explain the dream where a homeless person came into our room, spooned up behind me and bit me on the arm.

I also must have been slurring my words at that point, because I guess I wrote down an important line from my weirdest nightmare ever. What this lead to several days later was me, this afternoon, opening my notebook to the page where the pen is resting, and seeing "don't look at the white miner" scrawled across the page.

I almost pooped 'em. I honestly had a moment of horror. I didn't remember taking out my notebook, I thought I didn't finish talking about the dreams, I certainly didn't remember writing that. It opened right to the page like it was a message left for me. And in the dream, that was the message for me. I was told to make sure not to look at the white miner. (told by Charles de Gaulle while he was on break from being tortured, it's complicated.) But I couldn't help it! We were walking around this city and all of a sudden this horrible huge bloated pasty white creature lurches past a little ways away. He walked right in front of us! We were upset but we thought, well, they can't blame us - we didn't look for it, we just saw it, we couldn't help it! But when we got back to the rest of the group the other miners (who were covered in soot) had cannibalized them. Because we looked at the white miner.

So a moment later I pieced it together and started laughing, and I can definitely see myself being all "waaaait I'll write it down" because I honestly don't talk that clearly at the best of times, or maybe I was laughing too hard. But when I opened my notebook and just saw that staring up at me, I was alarmed.
guingel: (OVancouver curling celebration!)
Hiiiiii. It's been, like. . . a month? I fail. Before I was all sucked up into the Olympics and then it was the Paralympics and now it's a combo of sled hockey, curling, and [ profile] ontd_extreme-type stuff although to a lesser extent than before.

Actually, I have _extreme to thank for my more intense interest in sled hockey. I really, really enjoyed watching it during the Games. Sled hockey, by the way, is hockey played with the player in a little sled thing that has two blades on the bottom, and they have two shorter sticks. One side is regular, and the other side has a pick on it like a figure skate that the players use to propel themselves across the ice. Same rules and speed and intensity as stand up hockey. Lots of checking, etc!

I like watching stand-up hockey, but I really like watching sled hockey. The two-stick thing is awesome. You can pass it back and forth to yourself under the sled and dribble and just do a lot of interesting puck handling things. Plus, I don't know, I feel like maybe it has a slightly different pacing than stand up hockey? Not slower or faster, though, so I'm not sure what I mean. A different rhythm, maybe, in terms of movement from player to player, team to team, and one end of the ice to the other. (I'm sure there's a technical hockey term for that last one. I'm still a total newbie, but I have learned how to read hockey stats for the most part! Kinda!)

Anyway, I definitely enjoyed watching it during the Paralympics, but that probably would have pretty much been it, except I decided I needed to put together a post about it for ontd_extreme. It's mostly a snowboarding/short track speedskating community, but a few weeks ago people were showing interest in learning about some other sports. (Unfortunately, it took me too long to put the entry together - it is not at all easy to find information about sled hockey, sadly - and the comm had changed a bit by the time I finally posted it but oh well!) I decided to focus on Team USA because they won gold and the community has more Americans than any other nationality.

So I decided to start off focusing on a couple members of the team so the comm could feel a connection and get interested in individuals, since that's how we work. Well, it might not have worked on the comm, but it sure as hell worked for me! Having researched and learned about all these guys, I'm now totally invested and a huge fan. It makes a massive different for me, I need to be interested in individuals in order to fully enjoy something. I like TV shows if I like the characters, etc. So having learned all about the people on the team and read a lot about them, I got even more into the sport.

It helps that they're all so young. The average age of the team is actually pretty much exactly my age - 23.8 years old. However, one member was born in 1966 so actually a lot of the other guys are a few years younger than me. 4 born in 90-92, but still - 8 were born in between 1989 and 1985! (I was born in 1986, for the record.) So that's cool. Actually I plan on spiffing up my intro post and posting it here, because I want to update it with more links just for my own convenience, and I might as well post it for my friends! However, I will link to one video - the sled hockey gold medal celebration is one of my absolute favorite celebrations that I've seen in Vancouver 2010. There's so many of them, and they're all so young, so the video is all them being hugged by their parents and families and friends and it is the cutest thing!

Although I'm still a little more interested in reading articles and stuff than actually watching the games, but that's because I NEED to be able to multi-task, whereas when I watch the games on I kind of need to make them full screen or else I can't see enough. So then I can't do anything else while I watch it and I fail at that - I always watch TV with my laptop open, I'm crazy. So the fact that I'm watching as much of the actual games as I am really shows how much I love it. You can't always make out the numbers because of the video quality, but usually I can and it's so exciting to know who has the puck and to care about them and how they do individually, not just as a team or a country.

This is also a major appeal of curling, my other new, passionate love affair. You really know all the players, get to see them, get to hear them chit chat on the ice. I feel very, like. . . Yankees fan-ish? Because my two favorite teams are the teams who won the Olympics and the Worlds this year. However! I am not just switching my love to teams that do well. In fact, I am just shallow! Team Kevin Martin and Team Kevin Koe (both skipped by bald men named Kevin out of the Saville Centre in Edmonton, at least I'm consistent) are two of the cutest teams in curling. I loff them.

So in addition to all the sled hockey research and viewing, I've also been watching some curling matches. Which take 2.5 to 3 hours.

And that is why I haven't been around much. My social life has taken a bit of a hit as well, actually! I need to pull myself together. XD However, this week I have managed to accomplish something around my house every night so at least I'm exerting that much effort. Monday I cooked, Tuesday I cleaned my bathroom, and yesterday I did laundry. This is a big accomplishment for me, sadly - I've been crazy lazy.

Anyway, previously one of the only types of nerdy that I didn't indulge in was the sports type where you know all sorts of statistics and stuff. So much for that, I guess! Now all I've got is my merely average level of computer ability and the fact that I don't roleplay. XD

If you read all the stuff about sled hockey and were like "I want to know more!" or just "i'm confused", fear not, hopefully soon I will be updating and sharing my awesome sled hockey intro post. :D

ETA: I forgot. I also went to Montreal for four days this past month. I should write about that sometimes, there was some happenings.

ETA2: By the way, the Buffalo area and upstate NY in general seems to be a bit of a hotbed for sled hockey. There's some stuff happening in New Jersey, but nothing seems to be really public transportation accessible from the city. I have never been more jealous of my beloved former roommate's hometown. She's always trying to get me to visit her tiny Buffalo suburb - she might be in luck!
guingel: (fwperssonwomen)
Arrrrgh, _skating drives me crazy in a lot of ways and I think one fo the big ones is something that seems fairly endemic among skating fans - if people's favorite doesn't do well, they immediately blame the judges and the federations for being biased and conspiratorial. I'm not saying it never happens, but it doesn't happen every time. And you cannot think like that, because it will drive you crazy.

Sometimes the judges might see things from a different angle, sometimes the complicated COP rules cause what looked like a strong program to have lower points, sometimes the judges can't appreciate the style of a particular skater but don't have it in for them, sometimes the good things about a skater you don't like might not be immediately evident to the casual viewer. There are so many reasons someone's score might not be what you think it should. And sometimes, that reason might be wheeling and dealing by the federations, but with so many other possible reasons I prefer to ignore the one that I can't verify and that will send me spiraling into a vortex of paranoia and hate.

However, if you're wondering why I'm still there when I'm so down on them, it is stuff like this Evan Day post. Btw, Evan's hobbies are cars, golf, and modeling. MODELING. That boy will never fail to crack me up.

Kate Beaton continues her rampage of awesomeness around the internet by addressing the way sexism plays into responses to her comics. She'd previously tweeted:

"I get two kinds of critiques on my work: The regular kind and the ones where I am either sexually attractive to nerds or I am not. #internet"

and then:
"I do, of course, make the comic hoping that I may go on dates with many nerds, for what other reason would a woman make a comic? #obviously"

I guess some people interpreted this as an attack on nerds but obviously I interpreted as an attack on male nerd sexual entitlement. I mean, I have a massive raging crush on Ryan North but when I've emailed him to tell him that Dinosaur Comics make me laugh, I have not mentioned this fact to him.

Plus, I was thinking a lot of the time when I read about sexist crap, people are like "Oh, that happens to guys" but you really can't just make these things analogous.
illustrated using short track, of course! )
guingel: (fwbearpocalypse)
GUYS. THIS WEEKEND. Specifically, this Friday, holy crap.

OMG I'm watching sled hockey now, though - I was totally off sled hockey after Canada did so badly but I've healed now and I'm back to loving it. I hope I'll be able to find more, but I guess the season is ending? Plus, much like curling, I think I like the really high level of sled hockey that I'm seeing, you know? Like I mostly just want to watch Team Kevin Martin curl. XD We'll see. It sucks getting into all these winter sports at the Olympics because now their seasons are ending - short track just ended, presumably sled hockey is going to end, curling is wrapping up. . . Gyaah. I wonder if Taylor Chace is on twitter. . . *_* (P.S. Japan's goaltender is named Nagase!)

ANYWAY! This Friday twin!Katie and I went to Foxwoods Casino to see the dress rehearsal of the figure skating special Thin Ice. IT WAS AMAZING. The whole thing was amazing.

I have to say, the trip to Foxwoods was, in itself, quite epic at a level nearly equal to that of the skating itself - which is really saying something. But oh man. So, Greyhound did not have any buses that would get us there in time, so we, um. We took the Chinatown bus. To the casino. HOLY CRAP EPIC. It was me, Katie, and 55 little old Chinese people. There was one younger Chinese woman and one white guy who just plugged in his headphones and sat at the back, and then us. We stuck out. A lot. The woman who was running things, who sold the tickets and everything, she was soooo nice though! So incredibly nice and really made a lot of extra effort to make sure we knew what was going on and where we needed to be for the return trip and everything.

Foxwoods )

And Thin Ice was AWESOME!! I love pretty much every single skater that was involved. I'm not crazy about Michael Weiss, and I don't like Elizabeth Hasselbeck, but other than that they basically assembled all my favorite people plus some of my second-favorite people. XD

Kurt Browning is just as awesome in person, oh my god. KUUUUURT. He was fantastic. It was so, so, so much fun because it was kind of like getting to see Battle of the Blades be filmed. Only without the hockey players. But Dick Button was one of the judges, and Kristi Yamaguchi and Katarina Witt were both guest judges, so seeing Kurt interact with them was giving me flashbacks. And oh my god, we got to see Joannie skate. Oh my god. And the fluff piece about how Joannie lost her mom? They showed it on the screens at the venue, so it's playing in the background while Joannie is right there warming up. D: I felt really bad for her. And she has to keep talking about it and everything - well, we already know she's basically superwoman. And she says that skating makes her happy right now, so skate away Joannie!

Oh, hehe, but while Joannie was warming up, oh my god. Really long pause to practice commercials. XD And so Kurt actually came out and skated with her a little. And she'd do a move and he'd pretend to do it really badly, it was so cute. She did a spiral sequence, he scooted along on one foot. She did a spin, he sort of turned himself slowly around and then pretended to stumble. It was the cutest thing. I was so, so happy and excited to get to see it! And Kurt told us after she skated that Joannie had JUST landed and hadn't been on the ice at all and just went out and skated for us - I thought we might not see her at all. I was so happy.

And also choked up - so was Kristi!! It was, awww, Kristi is the cutest thing, she was all red-eyed and red-nosed at the end of Joannie's skate. And the audience just wanted to clap for everything Joannie did and said, which I was totally, 100% on board with.

rest of live report from Fri dress rehearsal )

Actually one of the highlights of the skating that we saw last night - not just the skating before the event itself but out of everything we saw was Bert Cording and Oleksiy Polishchuk. They seem to be described as "ice acrobats". It was INTENSE. And crazy. And awesome. And adorable! Two guys doing lifts, but like. . . the one guy would be doing a handstand on the other guy's head and shit. It was SO HARDCORE. This is a great video of the program we saw, but it makes me sad because it's at a pretty empty venue and they deserve way better because they were unbelievable. I almost busted my hands clapping.

Let's see, was there anything else about being there live? It was just different! I'm really used to analyzing broadcast skating but taking in a live performance was so novel that I felt like I couldn't really judge. You aren't told were to put your eyes so you have to make decisions about what to look at and that affects my ability to simultaneously evaluate what I'm seeing. It was interesting! I clearly need more practice at watching live skating. :D

Oh also, when we were figuring out where to go Katie and I walked past the entrance area from the balcony, so we could look down and saw these people with a huge TV camera, and Katie realized they were interviewing Dick Button. ACES.

night two liveblog, since it's on while I'm writing this entry anyway )

OK so yeah. Anyway, the whole casino Thin Ice viewing experience was pretty much totally awesome. And everything went really, really smoothly. Our trip home went fine too, it was great. There were a lot of potential points for something to go wrong and I occasionally hear stories about those Chinatown buses flipping over and shit, but everything was great. I loved all the skating, and it was so cool to get to see it live!

Then I spent significant portions of the rest of the weekend, or at least the mornings, watching the short track speedskating world championships through Chinese and Canadian (and briefly Korean) live feeds. Very exciting! I was really happy to be able to watch them live, and I'm really sad that the season is over. US skaters won three individual medals and medaled in both relays, which is awesome! So very proud of them! I don't know if JR is disappointed with his two individual bronze medals (against a really tough field) and a silver in the relay, obviously I don't think he should be. But either way, I think that much as I love [ profile] ontd_extreme and the awesome people who frequent it, I'm not sure if we really know him well enough to be able to cheer him up. Oh well, it's a nice thought. You'd think we'd also be cheering up the guys who didn't win individual medals at all?

To do tonight: eat dinner, vacuum apartment, clean bathroom. My room is a nightmare but that will wait.
guingel: (fwschackleton)
SUPER good Paralympics today! I was worried it'd be dull because it was all skiing and no sledge hockey, but it was giant slalom, which I like waaaay better than slalom, and biathlon and cross-country which I like better than alpine.

And I got to see Alana Nichols win gold!! She's one of my favorite competitors so I was really pumped. She was soooo happy, too, she started sobbing and cheering at the finish line. And another American, Stephani Victor, won her second silver medal of this Games and she's adorable! She had her hand over her heart for the entire anthem, and Alana had tears streaming down her cheeks. OMG so cute.

And in women's visually impaired biathlon (I don't keep rack of which length of race it was) the ONLY B1 skier, Verena Bentele, won the gold. She was amazing, really amazing shooting. (There are three categories of visually impaired skiiers, with B1 having no vision, B2 up to 5% and B3 up to 10%, I thiiiink.) Also with amazing shooting, Josef Giesen, a competitor in the Men's 3k pursuit (OK, i had to look that one up to get the spelling of his name). He has no arms, which affects his skiing, but his shooting was so great he was just .3 seconds out of third place.

I wish Universal had more Paralympics coverage, although I'm getting used to it a little more and am not left at 8 feeling quite so "WAIT THAT'S IT!" Plus without the sledge hockey we get to see more of the other events. Still no wheelchair curling, though. I'm going to have to just track it down.

I also wish Universal was covering the short track world championships this weekend!! :( They totally advertised short track during the Olympics but I guess they were just advertising Apolo and without him they gave up. DAMN THEM!! Currently they are re-broadcasting the figure skating from the Olympics, I guess as a run up to the Worlds. Normally I'd be pleased about this but now it makes me bitter. Also it's weird for me to want someone to show ice dance instead of pairs. Oh, Tessa and Scott, how complicated you make my life. XD

Speaking of figure skating, going to see Thin Ice the day after tomorrow! The dress rehearsal, though - we thought it would be kind of interesting, easier to get home from, and we'd be able to watch the real thing on TV. I'm excited! Kurt Browning and Kristi Yamaguchi in the same room! David Pelletier! David Pelletier skating with Elena Berezhnaya! Choreographed by Stephen Cousins, I don't know if i even knew that he choreographed. Wow, most awkward sentence ever. After that, I'm not sure if I'm most excited by Jamie with Patrice or John Zimmerman with Shae-Lynn. So intriguing!

Shuffleboard night tomorrow, hopefully things will go more smoothly this time. I will then have to stay up till 1 watching the 11-1 rebroadcast of the Paralympic coverage. And then up to get to Canal St at 8:30 to catch a Chinatown gambling express to Thin Ice. XDDD Oh man should be exciting!! The bus trip alone, I mean. They don't have an office or anything, the ticket person just stands in a doorway all day. And you have to pay cash! On the other hand, it's $10 so that's not really a problem.

Short track video chat livestream things are awesome, but they weren't sure when they would do it this week and it made me jerk around my friend for when we were going to meet for dinner. And then after they decided I realized it was the Paralympics and I wanted to make it home by 6 anyway so I didn't have to watch the 11-1 airing. So hopefully there will not be another chat on Tuesday of next week, which is when I pushed her off to, in the most spazzy, flaky way. DX I just don't get to watch either the Paralympics or the people I'm a fan of live and being adorable and interacting.
guingel: (fclilbarda)
Aww shit, freaking awesome evening! XDD Hahaha, epic in a hilarious and adorable and fun way.

So work!bff!Alison and I went to play darts because she needed to let off some steam. And we hadn't played darts in a while because we've been all into shuffleboard, but the darts place is way more laid back than the shuffleboard place and we had a stressful sb time last time (or Alison did) so we wanted to do something that would be easy.

So we're playing and all, and I had one awesome turn but Alison pulled through and won the game in the end. Then these other guys showed up with darts, and the other board was occupied as well, and we were in between games so they were like "Are you still playing?" And they were totally nice and chill about us playing another game. Which I won!! :D

So we told them we were tied, and they were all, "Well why don't you play another so there's an ultimate winner" which was really nice of them. They were like "hey, we got this pitcher of beer, we're chillaxing" (not their exact words). And the one that looked like Joseph Gordon Levitt bet on me, because he said I had good form. XD Aka they only saw the game I won but that's cool. (The other one was hunky too but in a less obvious way. Not sure who he looked like.)

Anyway, I did win the second game, woo hoo! Happy not to let that guy down. XD Oh man, winning at darts. We're not that great so we don't play a precision game, we're not trying for the triple 20s or anything, but you need precision to win b/c you have to get to 300 exactly, and it feels SO GOOD. Even if it takes a few tries.

Anyway, the guys were playing. The one who looked like Joseph Gordon Levitt turned out to be named Joe. And other hunky one is named Iggy. Ignatius. No joke. And they were really good. Especially Iggy. God damn. He aimed for the 19 because he felt like he had a better chance than the 20, and a triple 19 is still 57 points, so what the hell. And oh my god, he was good. It was hard core. Joe said they'd played 8 times and he'd never won. (He kept that streak alive.)

So they were so nice and Alison is very friendly, so we got to chatting and Iggy was saying he's a good clutch player, and I said "You'd be a great curler" and it turns out HE'S FROM CANADA AND DOES CURL AND IS A CURLING FAN. And when I said I was a fan of curling and Kevin Martin now because of the Olympics, he was like "oh yeah, K-Mart."


So like, they keep playing darts but I keep wanting to just talk about curling. XD I tried to restrain myself. Joe is from Detroit or something, I think, so he was like "I'm basically Canadian". And I asked Iggy who he was supporting at the Brier and he was confused for a sec because he was totally not expecting me to bring up the Brier. As if I would become a fan of something and not go whole hog, come on guys! So he said he's from Toronto and wants to support Ontario but they never ever win. And I was like "wait, that's Howard, right? He's totally going to win! Kevin's not there this year!" And Iggy was like "Ontario never wins" and I was like "I'm totally rooting for Koe." And he was like "Buh? . . . I can't believe you're a fan of men's curling, of all things! Not even women's curling?" And I was like "JOHNNY. MO." XDDD

OH MY GOD AWESOME. Then he said he's managed to curl a couple times since he's been here and I was like O_O And he said out on Long Island and Katie had just found this so I was all "oh yeeeah!" but I thought they didn't have dedicated ice and he said it totally was but he can't remember where exactly. OH MAN. I want to find him again so he can take me curling. (But he seemed even older than Joe and Joe just turned 30 - which is about Alison's age, I'm always so young at the places we go.)

Um, so yeah, eventually they were like "hey do you want to play teams, so you can do something other than just distract us?" (And I was all "could we play teams let's talk about curling?") And we agreed as long as it wasn't us vs them. So I ended up with Joe because I was the stronger player (hahaha.) and Iggy was the stronger player. And of course, he beat us - Alison got really psyched out and really annoyed at how badly she was doing, but I knew expectations were low, plus I was throwing right after her, plus Joe messed up a couple times so I knew I wasn't the only one. But I did manage to get some points, and we didn't lose toooo badly. XD

And Iggy wrapped up the game at 9, which was very important because I had to go to awesome Jordan Malone's awesome short track speedskating online streaming fan interview.

SO AWESOME. Such an unbelievably nice thing to do. Oh my god. I need to go to sleep except I'm still so pumped about how cute it was. I can't believe how nice and positive and generous that kid is - his teammates also, but him in particular. Travis Jayner helped out too, he's a fucking cutie. They all just seem like good guys, and the more they share of themselves, the more they seem like good guys, which is. . . not usual. OK, so Malone is a John Mayer fan but whatever. XD He's already been posting these amazing Olympics videos on his Facebook fan page and generally being precious and taking a lot of time to give back to his fans. But now he actually set up a Ustream live video chat thing, where we could message them questions.

Of course some of the fans were idiots and people kept asking for JR, which is the dumbest, most obnoxious thing ever. And yet, both Jordan and Travis kept incredibly good-humored throughout the whole thing, and never were sarcastic or anything like that, always with the positive attitude. So, so nice. I was just cooing. I was very happy I cut my darts evening short, well worth it! (Also, the subways cooperated with me beautifully, it was the best thing ever!)

They talked for like 2 and a half hours - that is, Jordan talked, Travis was mostly there to monitor the questions coming in and ask them, which was a really great idea because he could be scanning and Jordan could just talk. And he can talk! Hahaha, so cute. The littlest question would get him off on a big tangent, which was fantastic - he was just sharing stuff, rather than just limiting himself to what people asked. Also at the end Travis spoke in French which was unbelievably hot. Oh, and we got to see Jordan's absurdly lovable dog, Oly.

It was great. I love being a short track fan. The sport is so much fun to watch, and Team USA are sort of. . . wholesome? But not in a manufactured way? Just in a way we're they're all a basically nice bunch, they all get along and are pleasant. And it's great to be a fan because Jordan (and others to a much lesser extent, although all the boys are on twitter - girls seem less active there) shares so much behind the scenes stuff! Makes me happy. Even though some of them are older than me I wanna be like "Aww, they're good kids" you know?

OK I don't think I got all the alcohol out of my system. . . or maybe it is pure joy running through me at my Olympics fandom run-ins this evening. XDDD
guingel: (fwschackleton)
OK, so I'm getting myself pumped up for the Paralympics. And it's working! But I'm trying to make sure it'll be broadcast and I thought Universal Sports was going to cover it, but now it doesn't look like that. Universal Sports are ass-morons, by the way. They seem to completely reject the idea that it might be a good time to capitalize on the Winter Olympics' popularity by showing some Winter Olympics sports and athletes. I guess they assume we all just want to see fucking alpine skiing all the time (my least favorite winter Olympic sport, although much cooler at the Paralympics. They also show a lot of sliding sports - my second least favorite) because that, cycling, and gymnastics seems to be all they're showing for the next few weeks. WTF.

However, I'm optimistic about Paralympic Sport TV. Usually I don't like to rely on live streams to watch big things because I always feel like they'll crap out. But hopefully it'll work. . . . And not make my internet crash like it did just now. XD

Anyway, Alana Nichols might have replaced Clara Hughes as my favorite Summer/Winter Olympics athlete. Although Clara is freaking adorable. But she competes in cycling and speedskating. Pssssht. Alana competes in wheelchair basketball and alpine skiing. Compared to those, cycling and speedskating are basically the same sport. There's an adorable video of her here but I haven't been able to link to the video itself. But she says she took up skiing because she thought it would be less intense than wheelchair basketball. XD It kinda makes sense, I mean, people do go on vacation to ski. But it's still cute. Multi-sport athletes are always impressive, but when the sports are so very different it becomes even cooler.

Ah, wait. Here we go. Hopefully this is accurate:
In the USA, NBC agreed to broadcast on the NBC Television Network a programme related to the Opening Ceremony of the Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Winter Games and a highlights programme of the Vancouver Paralympics, which will be published after the Games. In addition, NBC Universal Sports intends to broadcast a daily programme related to competition at the 2010 Paralympics. Universal Sports also has the intention to feature coverage of the Games on in the form of on-demand re-airs of its Universal Sports Television Network coverage, plus full-length event "rewinds".

Not great, I was hoping Universal Sports would cover it for real, but I'll be very used to watching event replays online by that point from all the curling I'm watching. Still, NBC covers things better than Universal, they do a better job at the human drama of the Olympics and stuff like that, the personal side, which is what I really love about the Olympics (also the international part, and I just like individual sports better than team sports). That site also mentions the Paralympic Sport TV, so fingers crossed. Still, need Costas! :/

Now all I have to do is make sure I can watch short track events going forwards. That'll probably be a web-only thing, too. Katie's got the curling aspect covered, hopefully. The Brier starts tomorrow!

On the subject of curling, Marc Kennedy is making a serious move on Johnny Mo as my favorite member of Team Kevin Martin. He is ADORABLE! Look at him holding his tiny daughter! And oh my god, all four of them have such amazing Canadian accents.
guingel: (Vancouver 2010 Mounties)
Johnny Mo, ladies and gentlemen!

If I had to guess, I'd say this is from when he was curling with a broken pinkie. Let's be honest, this is probably maximum badassery for a curler. He also curled two days after getting hit by a car? Oh, and he's a firefighter in his day job.

He looks best in action, as he is an exceptional curler, but I finally managed to find a few photographs that capture the hotness. Because oh my god, he is hot. He is so hot when he curls. Apparently someone at one of the matches shouted at him to take his shirt off. If only!!

Johnny Mo is causing me to lose a lot of sleep these days, largely because I stayed up until 3AM Saturday night watching curling videos and then slept all day Sunday. That's right, I spent my Saturday night watching curling videos. XD That gold medal match with Norway (and their pants - why don't I understand Norwegian??) has too many sexy Johnny takeouts to resist. If NBC doesn't keep up their Olympic videos for a little while yet, I will sob. (That's a 5 minute highlight clip that only has HALF of Johnny's multiple rock takeouts. If you have 3 hours and access to NBC's video thingie, here's the full game. Match? Draw?)

probably part of why he's so hot while curling is the contrast, but shhhh! )

Oh, John Morris, such a hottie. I've seen him referred to as a heartthrob and a hunk, and an LJ search for his name (LJ searching to see what people are saying about my favorite Olympians is my new favorite creepy hobby) shows others swooning about him too. XD I love not being alone in random crushes. Hence this post? Or maybe I just needed an excuse to write about him more and search for pictures.

Secret dream: curling to become massively popular in the US and Johny Mo to be the Tom Brady/Kobe Bryant/other athletic figure heartthrob of the sport (I am out of touch). Even though he'd probably hate that. >.>

I would settle for curling to become popular enough to be shown on Universal Sports though, and for the Martin rink to win a few more world titles and then have Kev pass the reigns (no sooner than he wants to! Curl forever Kevin! Come to Sochi!) to Johnny who continues undefeated for years and years while the Old Bear does broadcasting that I get to see on American TV. :D

Anyway, enjoy the Johnny Morris post. I am a ridiculous human being.
guingel: (Vancouver 2010 Mittens)
I'm really happy that the US chose Bill Demong to carry the flag in the closing ceremony. I think that's a good story to celebrate - I've been really proud of the nordic combined kids.

And Joannie looks beautiful carrying the flag, and adorable in the Canada hat. I keep looking at the google latest results for her and I get to see loads of tweets embracing her - just an outpouring of admiration and sympathy and positive emotion. (Speaking of emotion, I sobbed pretty heavily for Nodar Kumaritashvili. I don't think I had before so for me, at least, I felt a bit of release there. It was such a somber part of an Olympics that I enjoyed so much, I felt like I really owed it to him to grieve and fully process his death and not just move on and try to ignore it. Which is what I'm about to do now in this entry:)

And Shen and Zhao looked so cute and happy carrying their flag! Even though we only saw them because they were showing the Chilean flagbearer, so it was a very mixed feelings moment.

NBC showed a little montage of Canadian gold medals a while ago, which was really cute and classy of them! Even though there were several shots of Tessa and Scott, the one that got me the most excited and pumped up was actually curler John Morris jumping into the arms of teammate Ben Hebert. Oh my god, do I love curling. I stayed up til 3 AM last night watching curling videos.

some of this will make sense after the fact, maybe )
guingel: (Vancouver 2010 Curling)
Kevin Martin soothes the soul. Thank you, Old Bear! What an Olympics the Martin rink has had, my god. They are amazing. Kevin Martin is amazing, as the text I got during the 10th end from an unknown number said. (It turned out to be from the guy I went on a date with on Wednesday. I hadn't put his number in my phone but it seemed so natural that someone would be just texting a stranger about Kevin Martin at that point. I was like "Yes, phone. Yes, Kevin Martin is amazing.")

John Morris is amazing, too, my god. What a game he had! What a game! And I am NOT just saying that because I'm in love with him. The announcers called him "red hot Johnny Morris" at one point, and the crowds were going crazy chanting "Go Johnny Mo!" He was on fire. I saw him do a triple take-out, it was beautiful. And hot. Then he had three double take-outs.

Hoooooot. Watching curling for the eye-candy is probably one of the weirdest things you can do. Contrary to my dearest wish, Johnny did not get something spilled on his shirt, causing him to change on camera. HOWEVER, he did wink at the camera TWICE. And he is a quality winker, let me tell you. He also leapt into the lead's arms after they won, I kid you not. It was precious. . . . Wait. . . wait. Apparently in a 2001 match that didn't go his way, he ripped off his shirt and threw it in the trash. Now I have mixed feelings about their undefeated record! Why do I not have film footage of the 2001 Canadian Curling Olympic Trials? WHY??

He and Kevin are just such a fierce team. And the sweepers! Equally fierce and a part of the team, as I believe it is sweeping that allows you to finely manipulate the rock after it's been thrown - it's just Kevin and Johnny have that weird buddy buddy crazy contrast thing going. The lead, Ben Hebert, is described here as a "powerhouse sweeper". XD (see also picture 21/24) They're all so strong, so good at what they do. Hebert and second Marc Kennedy are described here as "one of the finest front ends in the sport’s history" and also Kennedy is freaking adorable. And I've also seen him make some pretty sweet shots. The announcers were talking about how fit they are compared to the other teams, and Martin calls them his bulls. XD And yet, they're adorable. I love curling.

I know curling isn't a particularly physical sport, intensity of Martin's rink aside. But seeing people who really, really excel at what they're doing is exciting no matter what. And the Martin rink is exceptional, they're so good, so in control. They didn't make every single shot, but they won every single game they played at this Olympics. God, they're good. The announcers kept talking about how much respect all the other curlers had for Martin - and he really put together a strong team. I'm so happy he has his curling gold medal. And at home! And is the first one to be undefeated in the Olympics round robin! The crowd burst into O Canada in the tenth end again. XDD Johnny Mo waited til they were finished before making his shot.

I'm sad that I can't watch the CTV interviews with them. :(

Also, I need to make my own version of the "double facepalm" macro with Picard and Riker with this picture because it's perfect. XDD Except Morris is hotter than Riker.

In case it wasn't obvious, I love watching the Martin rink curl. Which is sad, because I'm going to have a really hard time doing so going forward. D: Hopefully I'll be able to find some more footage on NBC's website. The Team Kevin Martin website has exceeded its bandwith, btw. ^_^

However, while today was an amazing 3-gold medal day for team Canada, it was not without heartbreak. I am so, so sad for Brian McKeever, a Paralympic cross-country skiing gold medalist who was on the Canadian Olympic team but was not named to compete and will therefore not become the first winter athlete to compete in both the Paralympic and Olympic games. I just feel so bad for him, to have been so excited to be able to compete and then have this disappointment. I'm not blaming anyone, but the guys that do compete had better bring the goddamn house down.

The Olympics is so full of highs and lows.

I will console myself by watching curling videos on youtube. That's right, I am now someone who watches curling videos on youtube.
guingel: (Vancouver 2010 Curling)
Cheryl Bernard broke my heart last night. Oh god. Oh my god. It hurts. I hurt for her, you know? Curling gold medal match against Sweden, just had to make one fairly easy shot at the end of the 10th end and she would have won. Just had to take out the Swedish stone. And it. . . man it's like a blur. Things bounced wrong and she took out her own stones instead and the Swedish one wasn't removed? Oh god. Then it had to go to 11 ends and Katie said they kept taking out Sweden's guards instead of putting up their own (it's the announcer Colleen, who we love, who suggested this strategy - not Katie herself). So they lost it. ::sigh::

They're a new team, they don't have the international experience, and they still did fantastically - silver medal, only lost two games the whole tournament. The thing is, they defeated what seems to be a defending champion, very popular team, and a lot of the supporters of that team have been bitter at the Bernard rink, and have been saying she shouldn't have been there and that her success is just because other teams messed up. WHATEVER. Obviously she was supposed to be there, SHE WON SILVER. I think it's their first international competition and they did great. I'm very proud of them. (Plus, Canada has won bronze the previous two Olympics so. . .)

Oh god, they're repeating it. Why are they repeating it? I CRIED THE FIRST TIME. I cried bitter, bitter tears.

But i see on the CTV website they have an interview where she eats cookies with the crew so I guess she's doing ok. I'm like. . . if I have so many regrets about it, how must she feel? But I also see people defending them in the CTV comments, too, so that's good - there was still negativity, but it's good that others realize that they played well and did a great job to get silver. And it's totally natural and understandable that she would get excited and not be able to make the exact shot needed at that point in the game - with gold so close! Of course, it's that closeness that KILLS ME!

Thank god for the Canadian 5000m men's relay team. The 500m was kind of weird with DQs and not DQs and questions. But the relay was a GREAT race. Canada got the lead, and they kept it, and just skated a great race. Giant Short Tracker was there (Olivier Jean) as was Brett from Flight of the Conchords (Charles Hamelin). There might have been shenanigans behind them - it looked like South Korea took out China but there was no call. . . oh, short track. I've decided that every single call or lack thereof is going to be questionable and ot just try not to let it get to me.

I love it, though. I hope Universal Sports shows it, shit. First off, I need to see more JR Celski. *_* I think he might be my hottest Olympian. I have a bigger crush on Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, but for sheer hottness, it's Celski. So pretty. So fucking pretty. I hope he does massively well in Sochi and becomes one of our Olympics celebrities because he is the most fun to look at. (Presumably he'll still be pretty at 23.)

Annnnyway, three short track medals yesterday for Canada, which is great because the men's speedskating has been really struggling - it's a pretty deep field. So now they've redeemed themselves. And I'm going to consider the torch to have been passed from the Canadian women to the Canadian men. The women have won most of the medals so far but I think almost all of the medals left in contention are up to the men. ::sigh:: NOT THAT I'M NERVOUS OR ANYTHING.

Sweden and Switzerland are playing the curling bronze medal game, btw - so much fun and so much more relaxing when I'm not incredibly concerned about who wins. Colleen and Don are hilarious, btw - the two Canadian announcers. There's also an American, Andrew, who's there to keep the audience informed about the basics and to elicit information from the more knowledgeable announcers. Anyway, I'm one of those people who will often misspeak with Swiss and Swedish so this is a very confusing game. I am glad I am not announcing it. God damn, that was a good shot!

So, right, short track relay. I am almost positive that someone came up with this sport as a prank on the athletes. It's the most ridiculous and hilarious thing. Like 20 guys on the ice skating around each other shoving on each other's butts. It's like a weird dance. But not a graceful dance. Like a dance that you would play goofy circus music for. (Katie thinks the race is too long for goofy circus music.) Sooo much fun to watch. I love short track. Even though the rules are unfathomable, and as far as I've been able to tell, the announcers for NBC really don't want to explain anything. They'll say "That might be a DQ" but don't let us know the rules that lead to one thing being off but not another.

All my love and all wishes of good luck to Kevin Martin tonight! You can do it, Old Bear!!
guingel: (Vancouver 2010 Mounties)
Tonight I did manage to hold it together watching Joannie Rochette skate, but I'm glad Scott Hamilton let loose with his emotions. I love them both.

I'm so amazed by Joannie this week. Really, my god, what an incredible young woman, to go on and do what she came to the Olympics to do - and to perform so well, so beautifully, after such an immense tragedy. Her focus and composure while she skated showed so much incredible strength. To be able to go out there are hold it together and be amazing - by any standard - the thought of doing that after facing such a loss, of doing it without one of your primary supporters, and of doing so completely alone and having to be emotionally vulnerable in front of so many people who know what she's been though (harder to me, at least, than pulling yourself together in front of people who don't know that you're struggling). . . it's so truly astonishing. I think she's really helped put the Olympics in perspective for everyone, to realize that it's about strength and greatness and inspirational moments and not about medal counts. The whole country has really come together in support and love for her regardless of her chances at a medal. I am truly in awe of Joannie and am sending all my love and good thoughts her way.

It was an intense day of Olympics - Canadian women continue to bring home the medals with a hockey victory! One of Canada's four potential team golds in the Canadian sports! I'm very happy for them. And the crowd chanting "USA! USA!" as the American team got their medals was such an great Olympic moment. Truly, truly classy. So tough getting hockey silver, because you've just lost one of the biggest games of your life.

Tessa and Scott were at the hockey game, btw. They met Michael J. Fox. If that's not a butt-load of positive Canadian energy and good luck, I don't know what is. I hope they were able to head on over to the skating after the game, it ended an hour and a half or so before the last flight of skaters.

I'm so happy for Yu-Na, too, by the way. She was truly able to meet the incredibly high expectations that the world had for her. So relieved! The stakes were really high for her, she has so much pressure on her at home. And hey, Orser got his gold in Canada! XDDD ORSERRRR.

All of the figure skating competition results were incredibly satisfying for me, and also quite close to what I'd predicted. I actually didn't realize how good Joannie's chances were for bronze until I saw Miki Ando's short program score, and I didn't realize how shallow the women's field was, but I did think she had a chance. I didn't quite see Pang & Tong coming either, although I knew they were one of the top teams and am so happy for them!

But yeah. So, so happy that Shen & Zhao got their gold, I love them dearly and really wanted them among the Olympic gold medalists, because they deserve to be there. So happy that Plushenko did not get gold, as negative and horrible as that is. Really happy for Daisuke Takahashi, who I think had the two best programs in the competition, minus the fall - and he's so happy to have bronze, and it's so great for him. He was amazing. You all know how I feel about the ice dance results (watched their press conference today, god damn is Scott good at talking to the press). And today I really wanted it to be Yu-Na, Mao, and Joannie. Truly fantastic. And they all did it with great skating. They were really the only part of the ladies' competition that I watched, as I'm not a particular fan, but they were awesome.

And there were so many firsts, so much mixing up the results, which I also adore. Lysacek less so, because American men have quite the medal tradition, but there was definitely a hardcore Russian streak going on with the men. But nothing compared to the pairs and ice dance streaks! So fantastic to see teams from other countries take those. This way skaters from every country can feel equally inspired, equally able to reach the top. Shen & Zhao got the first gold medals for China, Yu-Na the first for South Korea, Takahashi got the first men's medal for Japan. And Tessa and Scott got the first ice dance gold for North America, Canada's fourth figure skating gold. I like seeing streaks broken. (OK, I was happy to see the Canadian women's hockey streak stay alive, at least for this one more time in their home country.)

What an Olympics!

edit the next morning: I completely forgot to say, last night after Mary Carillo did her awesome little getting to know Canada fluff piece (this time it was on LOGGERS! Oh, Vancouver Olympics, I love you so) my mom called me to ask me who the woman who did the piece was. Because she thought she was awesome and hilarious. This the funniest, best thing, because Katie and I ADORE Mary Carillo and also think she is awesome and hilarious! Now we know - it is genetic. We are genetically predisposed to love Mary Carillo.
guingel: (Vancouver 2010 Curling)
K-MART! BRING IT HOME!! They're playing Sweden right now, possibly for Bronze. Um, this is curling. Katie tells me that Kevin Martin, the skip of the Canadian men's team, is known as K-Mart. So much loff.

Gyaaah, curling is so stressful. No way can I watch the whole game. When your team doesn't have the hammer, and only has so much control. I am just going to lust after Johnny Morris some more.

DO IT K-MART! HURRY HARD! AGH! OH MAN SECOND SHOT ROCK. Not bad. . . but. . . could have been shot rock. But then, Sweden would have a chance to push it out anyway. (There's probably a. . . mmm, Johnny. . . technical curling term for "push it out" but I'm a beginner. Take it out? I think maybe that's it.) Sweden keeps using a lot of time, which is interesting. Oh man, I love when there are so many rocks in play. Oh, K-Mart. ::swoons::

Haha, kept Sweden to 1, although Sweden tried a crazy shot. Oh no, but then Sweden kept us to 1 in the fourth end. ("Us" being Canada in this case. I think my loyalties are clear.) [I missed the fifth end but Canada apparently stole a double!]

Apparently K-Mart is also known as "the old bear" and Canadian fans will chant "Don't wake the bear!" when he shoots. And "Johnny Mo" when Johnny Morris shoots. What a hottie. (I'm sorry for being repetitive but he is.)

One of the things that's been bothering me about both the CTV and NBC Olympics website is that they have athlete profiles, but no team profiles. I desperately want to read little summaries of who's on each time, how old they are, how long they've all played together, stuff like that. The way it is now you have to filter through everyone and try to track down the members of the team you want and read about them individually.

Canadian women are playing for gold tomorrow night. Against Sweden, I think? They don't have the same high expectations on them as Kevin's team, so I'm really proud of them and think their chances are fairly good. Sweden are the defending gold medalists, they've been inconsistent here so far. Canada are underdogs, they've had some good games and some gimmes. Could go either way. I'm happy that Canada are in it for gold or silver, though, that's already great!

Clara Hughes is becoming one of my favorite Olympians, by the way. Canadian speedskater, long track. She won a bronze medal last night in her last Olympic race. She's won 6 medals and is Canada's most decorated Olympian - she's also the only one to have won multiple medals in both the Summer and Winter games - two in cycling, four in speedskating. AWESOME.

I'm watching her press conference and it's pretty adorable. She's very smiley and likable. Also I laughed and laughed because it's all Canadian press and then this one Dutch guy. THE DUTCH LOVE LONG TRACK SPEEDSKATING. LOVE IT. Hahahaha. It was so cute.

Terry, the Universal Sports guy on the Figure Skating review/preview show, is totally growing on me. But it looks like today's is going to be all about the women's competition. ::sigh:: I keep forgetting everyone loves that part. And expecting them to keep talking about ice dance because it was such a big deal to me (and Canada). (Also, today's just got posted and I still haven't managed to see yesterday's or the day before's, which worries me)

Dick Button is so smart, though. I almost always, always agree with Dick Button (he has more of a warm spot for the Americans than I do, but that's about it). I can't figure out if it's because we're both classy and intelligent and have good taste, or if it's because my mind has been sculpted by Dick Button when it comes to skating. :D

See? He just said Virtue/Moir and Davis/White's free dances were his favorite skates we've seen so far.

OK, let's see what Sweden does with the hammer in the sixth end, then I need to try to do some more work. . . . OH SHIT good shot, Sweden. Their skip has been pulling out some really good shots. Is it their skip? AW MAN though he just messed up. Poor kid, so ambitious - so many crazy shots. XD 6-1 for Canada going into the 7th end.

I'm chatting with a friend from Manchester that I haven't spoken to in a while and she's like "So what's up?" And I'm all "OH MAN SO EXCITED ABOUT THE ICE DANCE RESULTS" and we chat, and I show her how freaking hot JR Celski is, and then she's like "So what else have you been up to?" And I'm just. . . "Uh. The Olympics. Pretty much. Is it." (Well, and a boring date last night, but it wasn't bad enough to be interesting talking about, just meh.)
guingel: (Vancouver 2010 Curling)
So I'd heard of Mahler before, but didn't know anything about him - I probably could have told you he was a composer? Maybe? But now, looking at responses to Tessa and Scott's free dance, there's a lot of "omg they used Mahler!!" sort of things. So I said this to Katie, like "So, I guess. . . Mahler's a pretty big deal?" and she laughed at me! ::sigh::

JR Celski. Way too hot. I don't even know. Such a cute, pretty face and such a rock solid body. Albeit disproportionate. XD Oh, speedskaters. Oh, thighs. Anyway there's this amazing picture of him posing in little black boxer-briefs but I'm too lazy to find it.

Other Olympic crush: Canadian curling John Morris. MMMMMMMM yes. Katie told me he was hot, I thought she meant hot for a curler. She also told me he was on some "most eligible Canadian bachelor's" list but you know Canadians will spread their legs for whoever's got the hammer. In Canada, "shot rock" has a whole new meaning. (Sorry, I'm still working on my curling innuendo. It'll come.) But no, no, Johnny Morris is legit hot. He is a firefighter! (OMG curlers, I love you so much.) Check him out second from the left, right behind Kevin. Not that Kevin isn't a sexy bitch as well. ::paws bald head::

US curling is also full of sexy boys, btw. Named. . . John, Joe, John and Jason, I think. Oh, Jeff, not Joe. Dammit. John, Jeff, John and Jason. And Chris. The alternate. Chris is probably a badass curler but had to be benched because he didn't match. :( Whatevs, he's a total dreamboat. But Katie and I are all about Jason Smith, aka Smitty. (Well, we know that Katie really wants a piece of Kevin Martin, but of her countrymen it's Smitty.)

Poor Team USA curling, btw. So cute, so not having good matches. Draws? I love the ladies too. Debbie is awesome!! It is just not their Olympics. But Katie and I are now huge fans of both teams so if any of them have a google alert or something and come across this, we think you're awesome! And we know you were just having some rough matches and are going to try to figure out how to watch more curling so we can see you guys at your best!

Also, Katie just emailed me the following: "So, I was reading about the previous Canadian Men's Olympic Curling team, who won. And apparently the skip was the first Newfoundler to win a gold medal and they closed all the schools in the province at noon so everyone could go home and watch the final match." Whaaaaaaaaat so adorable.

On a much, much more serious note, and I'm sorry for the abrupt transition from whimsy, I fell apart during Joannie Rochette's short program yesterday. Full on sobbing by the end of it. Usually emotion doesn't hit me right away, stuff like that, but god. I can't even begin to imagine going through what she's had to this week. I have no idea what's going through her head but I wish her all the best in the free skate, if she still wants to continue in the competition. Absolutely mind-blowingly amazing and inspiring that she's positioned so well for a bronze medal. If I couldn't manage to watch her skating, I don't know how she managed to actually do it - and perfectly.

By the way, apparently NBC was not showing her dad during her program. They had the wrong seat. Which, wow, that guy looked so, so sad. That's part of what set me off! I'm actually pretty glad they didn't have her dad on camera, because I don't think he needs his grief broadcast to the world - his poor daughter is already having to go through that. But now I'm worried about the guy they did show. Maybe he just really felt for Joannie - totally possible, of course. The crowd's show of support was emotionally moving as well. She skates second to last tomorrow. Madness.
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