Monday, August 11, 2008

Why can't I just watch the Olympics?

Like millions of others, I tuned in on Friday night to watch the opening ceremonies of the 29th Olympiad in Beijing, China. I was in awe of the beautiful spectacle! The performers, lights, fireworks, and effects were dazzling beyond description (even if skeptics in England claim some of the fireworks were fake). I was excited for the weeks of competition ahead but now I find that once vibrant glow beginning to diminish. There are a couple factors presented that keep me from having the perfect olympic experience. I shall name these flies in the ointment:

1. The Blah Blah Blah Factor - I really don't like annoying commentators. Yesterday I was watching one of the heats in women's swimming. A Chinese girl had won. So why weren't the commentators talking about her? Why hadn't they noticed that she was in the lead? Because they couldn't stop talking about the American girl long enough to notice who was in the lead. What good are they as commentators if they have no idea what is going on? And if the Chinese girl won the heat, why are we still talking about the American girl? I understand we're in the US of A, but can I please hear about some of the other athletes like, hmm, maybe the ones that won?
As annoying as this is, it's not as bad as some of the other things said during the swimming events. Since when did the Olympics become synonomis with Melrose Place? I kid you not, during the race I was not getting a play by play of who was leading or who was catching up, no I was getting the "Maury Povich Olympic Edition" of who had been dating who but broke up with him to date someone else's coach. Or something to that effect. Disgusting.
Lastly, while Michael Phelps was breaking yet another world record I actually heard one of the commentators say "Now I don't need to be giving Michael Phelps advice, but I really think he needs to hold back here..." You are right sir, you do not need to be giving a man who holds 8 olympic medals advice and if he has no need for it then neither do I. Please take your own advice and just don't say anything. Unless you're going to actually comment on the status of the race.

2. The Oprah Factor - "Stay tuned for more news on the men's gymnastics qualifying round." Only more footage never came. Why? Because we had to hear Little Jimmy's sob story about growing up in the projects with eight other siblings that were raised by a single mother. So Little Jimmy got a job at age 10 to support his family and befriended the rats at home so he would have company (because eight kids isn't enough). Pretty soon he had his arm nawed off by a rogue cockroach and turned to violence and drugs to create an outlet for his anger and frustration. Then his mother enrolled him in sports and he worked hard and became so good at it, he's now a world reknowned athlete. Now he's a motivational speaker at youth functions and schools. And last but not least, Little Jimmy dedicates this victory to the woman who raised him and who just passed away from some kind of rare illness, his mother. Ugh. Please, if I really wanted to hear exaggerated sappy stories accentuated by the dramatic music in the background, I would've turned on Dr. Phil. It should be a crime that they do it while actual events are taking place. Seriously if I wanted to know that much about an athlete I'd just google him later.

3. The Communist Factor - Last time I looked, America was still a free country so that means I have the right to watch whatever I have legally paid for, hence I am watching the Olympic Games. People say we shouldn't watch it because China suppresses freedom and China is communist. So because they're communist means I can be told what I should and shouldn't watch? Sounds a little strange to me. While I know many people are boycotting, not just the Olympics itself, but also Coke, NBC, GE, and Mcdonald's for supporting the Olympics, I am choosing to watch the games of the 29th Olympiad. So please, let me do it in peace!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Abbi and Ethan

These are pictures Stefanie, Ryan's sister, sent me. This is Abigail Grace, born in May, and Ethan Dean, he'll be two in October.

Aren't they cute? I think they're sweet!