Olympic withdrawal and a trip to Mexico

While my mother-in-law de-panned my cake (People.  Never de-pan anyone’s cake unless requested specifically by the baker to do so), the girls and I nursed our Olympic withdrawal.  So many weird and inspiring stories were exposed!  So many questions were left unanswered!

Here is my very short list of thoughts, if you could responsibly call them that.  Keep in mind I can’t do a single spike, somersault or underwater flip:

Cameroon Opening Ceremony togs.  Best ever.  Read on for the p.s. to that:  http://abclocal.go.com/wls/story?section=news/national_world&id=8764751

Jamaican accents, South African accents, Scott Ostler’s coverage (SF Chronicle) of sight-seeing around London, the audacity of doing a handstand on the high platform before you even look at the pool, and why is Hungary such a water polo powerhouse?

Would so much rather see the pregnant air rifle shooter than anyone playing beach volleyball, especially those with hyphenated names.  News for you Misty: your husband is a back-up catcher.  But go ahead and keep cheering.  Same goes for trampoline, rhythmic gymnastics and synchronized swimming.  I respect them as superior athletes but aren’t these more like, well, theatre, rather than competitive events?  And there is no softball?  A sport where it’s possible to have a normal body and be on the lower economic rung?   I wonder if Gabby, Mikayla and Aly cheer on their ribbon-waving counterparts or they secretly think it’s all nonsense.

Oscar Pistorius.  Eloquent, charming, good-looking and probably able to leap tall buildings.

Those cameras that follow the track. I can never go back to any other view.

The Korean fencers.  I am too scared to say anything else about them.

Michael Phelps.  Sorry, dude.  You are really talented but a mind-numbingly boring interview.  Nice back and shoulders though.

Hope Solo.  Love the competitive fire, but I want to witness the day some 20-year-old phenom is bad-mouthing her.  Hurry and mature, Hope, and you can probably avoid that mistake again!

The end of summer vacation brings…the cheapest seats available for the much-hyped Lincecum/Strasburg match up.

Trying to deal with the bad news about Melky.

Finished The Hummingbird’s Daughter, by Luis Alberto Urrea.  While it’s a novel, it’s based on the author’s 20-year research into the life of his Sinaloa, Mexico-born great-aunt Teresita, a healer before the Mexican Revolution.  It’s a rare and secret window: luscious, grimy, filled with violence and pure love, and – surprisingly – really snappy dialogue.  I often find fabulous and intoxicating descriptive passages in these types of books, but they usually fail to capture everyday conversations, or characters’ responses to events in which a reader can see themselves or relate in some significant way, particularly when it comes to weaving in spirituality, and enormous historical events.  This book does it very well.  It’s a fine and careful mix; the author is clearly comfortable in both realms.  Carry it in your vehicle or in your purse and read when you can – it’s a bit like having an exotic pocket journey.

All dressed up but just realized there are no other young people at this wedding.

We were standing at the Genius Bar the other day to discuss an iPod issue.  Please someone invent a case for iPods that can withstand a 16-year-old boy with no motor skills.  Mr. Halfstory, having moved away from the 6-year-old who was methodically sneezing on all the sample iPads, observed several middle-aged guys wearing the Apple golf shirt, helping other customers.  I thought it was societally responsible to have middle-aged employees, mostly because I am eternally grateful for the fact that there are at least two people who want to keep me as an employee.  Halfstory remarked, “You know, when I come to the Genius bar I don’t want the Old Guy Bar.  I want young, sharp kids who know what they’re doing and know this stuff in their sleep.  If I wanted Old Guy Bar I would fix it myself.”  He has a point but I think he was under-caffeinated.

Just received Nick Hornby’s More Baths Less Talking, where he promises ruminations on “football, family and time itself.”  I’ve read a few of these essays in The Believer magazine and they give me hope for my deeply-embedded, yet hopeful, cynicism.  Give it a shot!

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~ by alicetownsend on August 18, 2012.

2 Responses to “Olympic withdrawal and a trip to Mexico”

  1. OMG, LA. Firing on all cylinders with this one! Agree with Cameroon (was working in Dallas that night where people were stealing high rise air conditioners… no lie… it was that hot! But the ceremonies…. very cool.)

    Hummingbird’s Daughter – people need to read it, roll around in it, relish it, swim in it!

    Almost back to school and you’ll have all your chicks in one place, right?

  2. I was about to give up on Hummingbirds Daughter, but based on your review, I keep plugging away at it. It’s wonderful and breathtaking now that I am past trying to figure out who every one is.

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