POTUS – How would you use your power?

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Many of you have heard (or not… whatevs) or know that the President of the United States of America gets some pretty awesome perks. Beyond the obvious perks like the White House, security, Air Force One, and awesome wardrobe, he also gets to ask the head honchos over at HBO if he could get an early viewing of the new season of Game of Thrones, which doesn’t come out until April. He can pretty much ask for whatever he wants. That’s pretty awesome. So today we are going to throw out somethings that we would ask for if we were the POTUS. I’m confident this will be a topic we revisit every now and again.

We also included awkward selfies of us from work today.  You’ll note that Katie is lying on the floor.  At work.  

Our friend, Mr. Anon, will be joining in on the conversation as well. Everyone say hello to our guest! Today he gets top billing.

Mr. Anon:

  1. I would want the complete catalog of Who’s the Boss with Alissa MIlano and discuss her character development throughout the course of the show. One of the best episodes – Sam’s car. If you haven’t seen it – check it out.
  2. Receive a topless backrub from Kate Upton. Let’s be honest – we would both be topless.

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Lauren:

  1. Visit the set of Downton Abbey.  It’s like Pemberly!  
  2. Get free tickets to any Broadway show whenever I want.
  3. Have chefs flown in from my favorite countries to make a smattering of food that I love and have them teach the WH chef how to make them to my liking.  

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Katie:

  1. I would vacation in the most far away, spectacular locales. I’m talking Fiji  – you know those huts on the water? Yeah. That. And all the other cool places like that.
  2. I would shut down Disney World and invite all my friends and family and have a POTUS day. It would be awesome.
  3. I would ask for tickets to concerts and get to meet the bands. Best seats in the house!

What perks would you want if you were the POTUS? Let us know! 

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Fears. Irrational and Rational. And Spiders. **shudder

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After much discussion with Lauren, today’s musing is about things that scare me. As you have (most likely) gleaned from past posts, I have many fears – both rational and irrational. What luck – I’m going to share a few with you. Lauren knows most of these and will pipe in some thoughts, I’m sure.  

(L:  you’re welcome for the pics…)

IRRATIONAL FEARS:

1 – The ocean. There is nothing scarier than the ocean. I’m not saying I don’t enjoy a snorkel or swim. I’m just saying we have no idea what really is in there. It’s vast. It’s deep. Scary shit lives in there. I’m also convinced there are still dinosaurs among us. You don’t know. There is no way in hell that I would be caught near the Mariana trench. Still. No.

L: If the water is super clear and I can see what lies beneath, I am ok with it… when it’s murky or too deep to see….  There’s clearly a grindylow read to pull me down…

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2 – Pterodactyls. While at lunch today, we had a discussion about a hawk here on campus, which of course led me to think about pterodactyls. I realize they are not alive (unless, of course, they adapted to sea life and are currently swimming about in the depths. Again. You don’t know. This could be happening.). Can you imagine if they were still alive today and circling above? There are some that had a wingspan of 40 feet. Nope nope nope nope.

L: I want to ride one. Like a dragon.  

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3 – The Old Spice commercials. Ok. The commercials with the moms following around their sons is so creepy. I cannot stand them. I just think they are weird and so gross.

4 – When Pope Benedict stepped down and we didn’t have a Pope for a while. This may not seem like something that would cause fear, but it really did. Let me preface this conversation by saying I am not Catholic. I attended a Catholic college and enjoy many facets of the religion, including the ceremonies and certain beliefs. I am this close to sending my kid to a Catholic school. During the weeks after Pope John Paul II’s death, I waited (along with other Catholics and the world) to see who would be named his successor. When Benedict stepped down and another Pope had not yet been named, I felt an intense sense of uneasiness. It didn’t seem right. It made me feel end of the world-ish. I cannot explain in any other way than that.

L: Benedict.  I want some eggs.  And asparagus.  And bacon. 

 

REAL FEARS

1 – Spiders. This real fear has gotten much worse since I had a child. Pre-child, I could kill them with ease. Now, not so much. Except those tiny little wee spiders that hang out in the corners. Those, I’m ok with.

L: My mother, in her infinite wisdom, allowed my brother and I to rent Arachnophobia from Blockbuster many times as children.  This was a mistake.  I can no longer sleep in a house if I know there is a spider present.  Let me just say that even watching the Trailer to make sure it was the right link gave me heart palpitations and the sweats.  Thanks mom.

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2 – Cartoon porn. This is pretty self-explanatory. I think the melding of these two genres is disturbing on so many levels. Especially since we regularly watch cartoons in our house. Don’t even get me started on hentai (NSFW – don’t google unless you are prepared to be horrified). Also, it is most important you don’t ask me how I know about this.

L:  Thank you for not linking this one.  We may have been shut down. 

3 – Personified food. If you haven’t noticed, I enjoy food. A lot. It is delicious. Social. Fun. I’m not a vegetarian, but I do think of my meats as something that grows and just happens. Like a tuber, if you will. I don’t want to know about slaughterhouses. I don’t want to talk about pink goo (Lauren). I just want to enjoy my steak. What I certainly don’t like is when food is personified. I have to say, when I drive down York Road and see the Ocean Pride crab with that little jaunty chef’s hat…shudder. I don’t want a face on my sausage and little legs with shoes. Nor do I want my Oreo to have arms, legs and a smile. I think I was most recently upset with the Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal where they are floating around in the bowl with their little faces and they eat each other. Side note – CTC is so good I could eat the entire box in one sitting. Now you understand why I don’t buy them anymore.

L:  Annoying Orange?  

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4 – Something terrible happening with my clothes in public. What? What could I possibly mean by this, you ask? Ever seen that episode of Friends where Ross is wearing the leather pants? That. Or falling down the steps here at work while wearing a skirt. Or my pants ripping. I’m not the most graceful bird. This is actually so real that I’m shaking.

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There. Now you know. You can share in my pain with me. Hugs!

 

And finally…

 

A few weeks ago, Lauren and I had a debate about dogs. She often shares stories about her adorable dog, Bella. (I actually have met and do like Bella.) Lauren tells me stories about her pup and sometimes, she does not sell me on the positive sides of owning a dog. After seeing this, I’m literally so tempted right now to go get a pup. It is so, so cute that it hurts.

L: Pic of Bella, for your cuteness overload.

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Challenge for you today: Use v. “to quell” in a sentence. I was able to do that once, but the second time Lauren made me laugh. 

On bad cafeteria food, local vs. grocery, and “angry seas”…

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L: Today we are discussing food (again), but in a different light than yesterday’s delicious brie post. It’s pretty interactive today.

K: Make sure to enhance your reading experience by clicking on the links. You won’t be disappointed.

L: Katie and I work at a place that provides free lunch for us.  I know what you are thinking, wow, that I a really nice perk!  And it is.  But wait, there is more.

Every day we walk the tightrope of free food and angry stomach, AND the effort to make and bring in your own, paid-for food.

K: Let’s be honest. I’m not going to be making my food as long as we get this perk. Ain’t gonna happen. I’m willing to allow for the seas to be angry that day, my friend.

L: We have a salad bar, sandwich bar, hot food, and a few pre-mades.  Sounds nice?  It is all tasteless, not fresh, browning lettuce, sweaty, plastic deli meats, chicken salad that is all mayo and honestly we don’t think it’s real chicken (pink goo…).  How can they go so wrong?  All it takes is variety, healthy food options (not just fried) every day, and fresh food from GOOD SUPPLIERS.

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K: Why, oh why, did you have to say sweaty? Please don’t ruin this for me. I’ll acknowledge the pink goo. But I don’t eat at McD or BK so I’m cool with whatever they do. I would also like to say that I am concerned that today’s guac may have come out of a squeezy tube.

L: I am a firm believer that no matter how fresh-looking food is, how much variety a place provides (or in our case, doesn’t), the most important thing is high quality ingredients to start with.  For example: McDonald’s vs. Chik Fil-A.  Chik Fil-A uses real chicken. McD’s uses chicken product, aka pink goo.  There is no comparison.

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L: Now, I am a sucker for natural, antibiotic free, free-range, grass fed, local, organic, etc… it is more expensive but it is sooooo worth it.

K: Agreed. It shouldn’t be difficult to order better food. The issue is also the cost of higher end food. This being said – there could be a market for some Ma & Pa organization to get in on this and lower costs. More people would buy. We would eat healthier. Think of the benefits. It could be so good. I’m going to let you spearhead that campaign.

L: Please take the time to watch this AMAZING video that demonstrates the real difference between regular grocery store produce vs. organic grocery store produce vs. local farmer’s market produce.  It’s 2:30 minutes.  Do it.

K: Do we need to bring up the pink goo thing again? This video horrifies me. Here is something that will help cheer you up.

L: That video is horrible.

Anyway …. Maybe we are eating more food because we aren’t getting nearly the nutrients we need from our food, since our giant agricultural farm colonies are raping the earth, using GMOs, too much pesticide, and shipping across the world.  Talk about a nasty carbon footprint.

K: Don’t even get me started on recycling.

L: But I digress.  My point was originally this:  why do I still eat the food at work, despite the one-hour-later gastrological revenge?  Because it’s free.  And it’s a mind block.  And I am lazy.

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K: We walk a mile up hill to eat lunch. I don’t think that constitutes as “lazy.” You get to socialize. Get out of your office. Get some fresh air. The benefits do outweigh the diarrhea.

L: You said diarrhea.  “The seas were any that day, my friend.”  Every day.

Could I change my ways?  Sure, but if lunch costs an average of $5 a day when you make it, I am saving a huge amount of money (where does it go?).

Anyway…  go local!

K: I agree with you on this one, Lauren. On a different note I have to say, dear readers, we finally reached the exciting conclusion of what curds and whey really is. Now, I know that you are wondering why on Earth we were even talking about this but the truth is: The More You Know.

To Brie or Not to Brie…Kidding! It’s ALWAYS to Brie.

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Today we talk about cheese. This is one of our very favorite things.  All types.  We find that most foods, snack or other, are really just vehicles for good dips or for cheese.

Now, while all cheese is good (except for that plastic square known as American cheese…  vomit), especially goat, today we focus on the king of cheese:  le brie.

Let me direct you to an excellent BuzzFeed piece called 23 Next-Level Ways to Make Baked Brie.  Below are our suggestions / feelings regarding each suggested brie pairings.

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1. With wild mushrooms and thyme melted right in:  while not a huge mushroom fan, the thyme and brie combo is A-OK by me!  I give it an 8.

K: Agreed. Although I’m not too keen on the twig of thyme getting stuck between my teeth.

2. Glazed with pumpkin butter and walnuts: Never had it, but pumpkin butter sounds delectable.  8

K: I’m going to go with 9 here. Lauren, I think we need to immediately make this.

3. Spiked with brandied cranberries and figs: While I am a peasant when it comes to shopping, I would ask the grocer where to find these ingredients to make this amazing cheese….  9

K: I question the figs. I’m not one to enjoy a Fig Newton, so I’m going to have to let you visit Wegman’s and make this for me.

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4. As a galette, with fig and pear:  I am not going to pretend to know what a galette is, but it looks good.  Fig and Pear, yeah, ok, I’ll accept that. 7

K: See above. I’m totally willing to try the one you will make me.

5. Dripping with maple syrup and pecans:  Dripping.  Yes please.  Maple syrup and brie…  do I see a scene from the next Super Troopers? 10

K: 10. Without a doubt. Now don’t spit in my brie.

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6. Smothered with blackberry compote:  Again, compote?  No idea, but with brie, the darker the berry accompaniment, the better!  9

K: I am going to give this one an 11. Sounds delightful and we could have it with some wine.

7. As bite-sized pastries, with rosemary and honey:  OK, while cute, that is just not enough brie.  And way too time-consuming.  Rosemary and Honey sound winning though.  I’ll make it as a whole brie, none of this bitesize nonsense.  8

K: I like bite-sized but I’m going to be honest. I’ll eat about 400. Bring it.

8. Pouring out of crisp, flaky phyllo dough with apricot jam:  flaky dough, nom nom.  Not a huge apricot jam person, but ok.  6

K: Don’t you think we could totally swap out the apricot jam for another? Methinks we could change this one to an 8.

9. In puff pastry, topped with cold figs, pistachios, and honey: This looks super work-intensive.  Worth it?  Sure, if you make it for me.  Also, figs…  only a few, ok?  7

K: Damn it. Stop it with the damn figs. It’s never going to happen. Fetch.

10. With a thick layer of spiced blueberry sauce:  what did we talk about?  The darker the berry, the better brie-pairing.  Yes!  9

K: Win! I’m so excited about choosing the vehicle on which to place said brie.

11. En croûte, with sundried tomatoes and thyme:  Savory…  I am digging it!  Love me some SDTs!  8

K: I really believe the savory is under supported here in this brie overview. The savory can always be the clincher. Savory is delightful. I’m not going to lie, though. I can’t handle your abbreviation for sun dried tomatoes.

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12. In a ramekin with soft roasted garlic and honey:  Not going to lie, I have never seen the work ramekin spelled out before.  Garlic is always a yes.  So this is an 8.

K: I really love you. I also love ramekins. They are both adorable and functional. I am very interested in the garlic/honey pairing. Intriguing.

13. With grape balsamic compote and slivered almonds:  I believe in interesting balsamic.  Grape…  maybe.  Maybe more of the darker berry…  tbd.  7

K: I like it. I want it. Sweet. Savory. Crunchy. Seems like a win for me.

14. In a perfectly-browned pastry shell, with sun-dried tomatoes and capers:  Capers…  forever and always.  Though the black olives in the pic look tasteless and dull.  Get me some high end kalamata olives, and yes. 8

K: CAPERS ARE SO UNDERUSED. I want this immediately. Will you make this for me for my birthday? I just can’t even.

15. On a stick, with sweet cherry jam:  Cherry flavored things, what am I 5 and sick and you’re forcing meds down my gag-reflex throat?  I mean, I’ll try it.  But again, too small.  On a stick…  ppfft.  4

K: NO. I give this a 2. I’m not interested. And thank you for bringing up the gag reflex.

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16. Blended with cream, baked inside an artichoke:  Can we just say – ARTICHOKE GOOD.  This would probably kill me with amazingness.  Immediately.  Le nom.  9

K: Fire. BAD. This is great and also a good birthday contender. Way to sneak that little extra Frenchness in there, too, Laur. I up this to a 10 because of that.

17. Swimming in pecan praline sauce: Praline sauce is often overly sweet for me, but I think the right creamy brie may cut it nicely.  I’ll accept this as an offering, but I shall not make it meself.  (yes, meself.  Not a typo.  Suck it)  6

K: This one, I’ll make for you. I am also imagining you giving me the Friends “Suck It” hand gesture.

18. Topped with roasted strawberries, oozing from a thick layer of pastry:  Thank you for “oozing.”  Elicits both a delicious and a disgustingly anatomical image.  Strawberries…  kind of peasant for this fancy brie list, do you think?  6

K:  Pedestrian, if you ask me.

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19. With honey, lavender, and thyme baked into the rind: OMG.  Yes.  This might win.  Honey.  Yes.  Lavender.  Yes.  Thyme.  Omg yes.  Just cheese, no pastry.  “No, no, don’t hide them”  (SNL – if you get it, I heart you)  10

K: I get it. And it solidifies our friendship. Friendship is magic…and this one is a definite 10 in my book.

20. In a neat parcel of prosciutto, phyllo dough, and pear jam:  Again with the savory.  I am intrigued.  Not against, but worried it might be too much.  Like one bite in and I am ready for a 20-minute break.   7

K: I will eat all of this. The pairing sound delectable and I want this right now. There is a good chance I will hover above and prevent anyone else from having any.

21. As a rustic dip with crispy bacon, peppers, and thyme:  I mean, bacon and cheese dip.  Yes.  But not really within the theme of the baked brie.  I think this one is a delicious cheat.  7

K: I disagree. I think this sounds delish. And a fun change to the traditional brie exchange. Let’s try it and decide.

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22. Wrapped in a simple, thin layer of prosciutto:  Nom.  I’ll accept it. 7

K: Meh. Has no hutzpah for me. I’d rather just eat the brie. Make it TRIPLE CREAM BRIE and I’m totally there.

23. For the brie-averse, cream cheese baked with bacon and ranch is a delicious alternative:  No.  There is no brie averse. There is brie or brie not.  Choose wisely.    0

K: This is literally the most horrible thing in the whole wide world. I just can’t even. No. No. No. No. No.

And now you’re all thinking:  I’ll send you an application for a) fat camp or b) heart surgery.  Hey man, don’t try this at home.  One a month will suffice.  Just remember, Brie is all you need.  Everything else is a menial substitute for cheese.

Happy Monday.

When in doubt, Bucket – Katie

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Earlier this year, I was charged with creating a bucket list. I have thought long and hard about this and I have a pretty good start. I thought you guys would like to see it! I mentioned it to the husband the other day and got a lot of comments like “Are you an 80 year old?” “You aren’t dying, are you?” “What the hell are you doing?”

Bucket List items:  (Lauren’s comments follow)

Fly a helicopter – Helicopters are awesome. I have flown in a helicopter three times. It was the most amazing adventure. You know how military men hang out of the side? I want to do that. But mostly, I want to fly one. If, in some bizzaro world, I become Lex Luthor or Bruce Wayne and have a shit ton of money, I would have my own personal heli. See? I already know the slang. I would fly that thing EVERYWHERE. It would be a grand entrance every single time.

L:  i see you as Rambo, dangling off the side, fighting a bad guy with weird teeth

Do a stand up routine in front of people – I know. I know. I like to tell you funny stories to make you laugh. What you may not know is that all of the stories I tell you are absolutely true. I know I make you laugh. *thanks for lying if I actually don’t make you laugh* I would like to see if I could do it in front of people. And, no, Colleen. Giving a MOH speech at your wedding while crying hysterically DOES NOT COUNT.

Go to France – Duh. This is a given and should probably be at number one. It is my dream to one day live in France, but I’ll start with a trip. I love everything about the Francophone culture.

Drive across the country – In addition to the experience, I would like to enhance it by visiting weird attractions along the way.

Put myself out there – This one is pretty open ended. I’m not exactly sure what I mean by this – taking a risk or trying something really difficult or new but I want to do it.

L: go to a nude beach.  that’d do it.

Help someone – Again, I’m not sure what to do with this one. But I want to help someone in some way. I cannot give you a tangible description at this time but I’ll keep you posted.

L: gimme your kidney.

Learn to drive stick shift – Yeah…I don’t know how to do this. I’m not sure if driving really fast and having to stall out the car at red lights and stop signs is labeled as being qualified to drive a stick shift. Something tells me it is not. I don’t know how to do this nor can I even wrap my head around it. At this time, many have tried. All have failed to teach me.

L: let’s go out to the parking lot right now.

Go zip lining – Come on. This would just be awesome. I’m not sure how much more explanation this one needs.

Drive 100 mph – I love to drive. I could drive all night just to get to you. And do it really well. I just want to do it really, really fast. I’m willing to do it on a track but will also travel to the Midwest to crank it out at top speeds. I’d be so good at this.

Pet a tiger – Not a dog person. But I love cats! A tiger is like a really big, scary cat but still. Also this would not be in the wild and would be in a controlled environment. A baby tiger would also check this one off the list.

L: do i need to send you a bouquet of “when animals attack” videos?

Karaoke – I do love me some singing. I have never sang Karaoke and would totally do it with enough beverages. Song potentially on the list – anything  by Journey, Beastie Boys, Jackson 5. I’m willing to accept song nominations.

Find something that i am really good at – Totally open-ended again but I would like to find something that I am really good at and do it.

Learn the “Thriller” dance – Lifelong dream for reals, yo. Can we all just learn this as a group and do it together? I’m totally willing to share the spot light.

L: watch 13 going on 30 a few more times…

Drive an 18 wheeler – My Big Rig would be black with really shiny chrome details. And flames. Lots of flames. I’d come barreling down the highway and honking the horn at every single kid that gives the sign. On that note, truck drivers that do not honk the horn when a kid gives them the sign is a dick.

Hopefully my list has inspired you to make one and I’d love to hear all about yours! Life moves pretty fast.

Lauren’s Daily LOLz:

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D’Olympics, Part Deux

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We are back! Sorry for the delay in updates – we enjoyed our snowcation. Nothing like feet of snow to force a Netflix catch up and food fest. I sent Lauren  message letting her know that I would immediately be enrolling in a fat camp upon our return as I used that time off to make epic meals and snacks for the fam. Hopefully you enjoyed the down time. Unfortunately, the time has come for us all to shower and put pants on and rejoin the world.

I initially had a post written about my new found friend INSOMINA. It was so well written, witty and thought provoking. But guess what? I scrapped that to rebuttal my dear Lauren’s Olympics post. Grrrrrr on both. And cut me some slack, Woman. It’s been crazy after being off so long. Like you haven’t been busy….

First, I would like to point out that I LOVE AMERICA. I am a true blue lover of all things USA. Conservative, patriotic (I started off my younger days reciting the Pledge. Every. Day.), homegrown – yup. That’s me. I love politics (mostly) and have stayed up to watch THREE of our fine nations’ terrific presidents win the election – starting in the early 80’s when I was a wee tot. Don’t even get me started.

I think the Olympics are terrific. I, too, love the back stories and as noted many times in my previous posts, I completely enjoy when people overcome hurdles (if I even have to point out that obvious pun – we are in a fight). I think it is impressive. I often am the one rooting for the underdog. I like the little guy.

I am actually jealous of the athletes. To be in that kind of peak physical condition? I literally dream about that. Ok, I don’t. But I totally wish I was. Frankly, it’s totally bad ass. Unless it is doing damage to your body or you are achieving those standards in an unhealthy or illegal way, I’m totally cool with it.

I am also a sports fan. I like golf, tennis, football, occasionally soccer (not always my thang), bow hunting, hockey, and basketball. I even have favorite players. Phil Mickelson, Roger Federer, the Redskins, the 1990 Chicago Bulls team. See? I even know who plays on the GD teams. Do I always watch the whole games? No. Do I read stories about them? Yup. Do I check on the scores? Why yes I do. I can even carry on a conversation about what happened in said match/game/etc.

Here is where I get hung up on the Olympics. I feel sad watching these young kids have one shot. And lose. It crushes me. I hate watching their dreams shattered. I realize that is not the point – they are among the best of the best. They are the elite. They deserve to be there and it is pretty freaking amazing that they did it. But it is overwhelming to me. What is next for them? It’s too much for me. It depresses me. Stop judging me.

I HATE the commentators. They are HORRIBLE. I hate watching sports on tv in general. Why do they get the loudest, douchiest, idiots to talk for hours? Ugh. They usually are the tipping point for me.

As for exposing Rigby to the Olympics? Of course I do that. But please also realize that when we have dinner, we talk about it. We see a little bit of it on the television. But honestly, I see my kid maybe two hours in the evening. He goes to bed at 7:30pm. That is a pretty hectic evening. I’m not going to be sitting in front of the tv with him. It’s not my thang. Will we watch tv? Sure. But I honestly be focusing on the Olympics? No. Do we watch sporting events? Yes. But he is 5. He will have many opportunities to watch them. They will be on again in  a few years and he will be more aware of the world and sports and the such. Sports are important to any child’s development. He plays lacrosse. He plays soccer. He has done this since he was about 2 ½. We have recently started swimming with him.

So, yes. He is involved.What is important to me at night is to spend time parenting my child. Spending time together as a familial unit. Showing him what a loving, supporting family is. As he ages, will we spend that time in the car on the way to practice or a game? You bet. But right now, we are with our little guy enjoying these few moments we get with him each day. Soon he won’t have baby teeth. Soon he will be in school and not as sheltered as he is now. Soon he won’t want Mommy to hold him and cover his face with kisses. Right now, John and I listen to music with him. We dance. We laugh. We snuggle. And you know what that is doing? Letting him know that when and if he chooses to become a brain, an athlete, a basket case, a prince, or a criminal, he will have two parents who dearly love him. That doesn’t mean I’m unAmerican. It means I’m a parent. That is about as fucking patriotic as you can get right there, baby.

*end of rebuttal*

To follow up on Lauren’s “are these really Olympic sports,” here is my opinion:

Dressage is fucking beautiful. If you don’t know what that is, look it up. Horses are beautiful (albeit scary) animals. You try that. See how you do.

Handball – Ain’t nobody got time for that.

Table tennis – come on. It’s Beer Pong. It’s fun. Stop being a hater.

Trampoline. Come on. Can you think of a sport that is more fun? They are yelling “WEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE” the whole time.* That is awesome.

*Please note that I’m not sure that they do that but in my head it’s totally legit.

Weightlifting. I mean. Ok. Do it. Just don’t crap your pants.

Curling. WTF. I would be the best curler out there. Could it get any weirder? That shit is crazy awesome.

The Olympic Blog — Lauren

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**Dereliction of Katie 

So, since Katie was supposed to do a blog like Monday, or Tuesday, or any time this week..  and she hasn’t…  I will do it.

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The Olympics

As a kid, I loved the Olympics; I watched every event.  If I missed an athlete’s performance who I had been following, I felt so out of the loop.  Now, I like the Olympics.  I watch, if I’m home, and an event I like is on.  I don’t DVR, check the schedule, or check online. I used to know all of the names of the America athletes competing that summer or winter.  Now, if I am watching two nights in a row…  I might recognize them by their face. 

 

I think the magic of the Olympics boils down to this:  real people accomplishing dreams.  The best of the best.  Way to go!  You got there!  And as a kid, even if you have never stepped foot on an ice rink, you watch the Olympics and think, “I could totally be an Olympic figure skater.”  It’s every kid’s dream.  At least for 2-3 weeks every couple of years.

 

Let’s be honest, how many of us think about curling between Olympics years?  Or handball?  Hockey, sure, some.  Ski jumping?  No at all. 

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What do Olympic athletes do between Olympic competitions?  Sure, they train and compete on smaller scales.  Some of them work at Home Depot, I hear…  (a proud sponsor of Olympic athletes everywhere)  They can’t have real jobs.  Or real lives.  I would love to interview someone for a teaching job who is an Olympic snowboarder.  Not a former Olympian, a current competitor. 

Best moments of the Olympics:  we all love when the American golden athlete wins, preferably after a long struggle to the top, a near miss, someone else’s fall/error, and maybe a family history wrought with pain, struggle (Katrina, death of a parent, born without one ear…). 

I love the moments when someone unexpected, or younger, or inexperienced wins not by others’ errors, but by their own perfect performance.  That moment when they are on top of the world. 

They don’t have to be Americans.  Yes, of course, I am proud of my country and the athletes we produce, but let’s be honest, half of them train here anyway and then compete for their home country.  Russian and Chinese and American ice dancers all have the same coach and practice together at the same rink in Minnesota?  Ok, sure.  The lines aren’t very clear anymore.   It almost makes me wish that the best of the best in the world, not just two from each participating country, would compete in the Olympics.  Yes, they can still represent their home countries.  But I think it would be nice if they had to actually live in their countries.  At least 6 months a year.  Come on, Ovechkin, you should be playing for the USA hockey team and we all know it. 

Now, Katie hates the Olympics.  She doesn’t care, thinks they’re boring, and doesn’t know who is winning.  I doubt she would know they’re in Sochi, Russia, this year if there hadn’t been so many funny pictures about Sochi not being ready, construction half done, the water being yellow, etc…  on social media. 

But I think it’s a mistake for her to not expose her 5-yr-old, Rigby, to the excitement, patriotism, and accomplishment exhibited both by the athletes and all of the supporters.  I think it’s a rite of passage for kids to see these enormous accomplishments, made by people with incredible commitment to their chosen sport, who have given most of their time and money to the perfection of one thing.  Whether you care about javelin throwing or not, I am invariably impressed by their prowess.  Do I want to take it up?  No.  But I will gladly hug and congratulate you for being a BAMF.    And I think all kids need those real-life athletic icons.  Idols.  People who have really done it.  Not in the movies or video games.  Shaun White is a snowboarding god.  And he inspires kids all over the world to try snowboarding for the first time each winter.  That is huge. 

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So when a kid plays a sport, whether traditional or not, for them to see the pros, the best, to see friendly, world competition…  I think can only lead to positive life lessons and teachable moments. 

Ok, I’ll stop ragging on Katie.  And I will leave you with this: 

Are the following Olympic “sports” really sports (and yes I looked at the full list, and I will admit I have never heard of some of these)?  Opinions welcome.

  • Equestrian Dressage (if you wear a top hat, it is not a sport)
  • Handball (don’t get me started)
  • Shooting
  • Table Tennis
  • Trampoline (yes, I was surprised, too, to see this on the official list of summer events)
  • Weightlifting (I mean, it’s impressive, but not a sport, so to speak)
  • Curling

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