Friday, February 26, 2010

Moving Moments

I stayed up to 12:30 last night to see all of the ladies' figure skating finals, and I'm really glad that I did! Kim Yu Na of South Korea won, and thank goodness she did. Apparently the poor girl was actually worred about her family (and her entire country) turning their backs on her if she didn't win gold. Good grief. Anyway, her performance was absolutely amazing - and she broke all records for the highest score ever in competition. That's an Olympic moment!

Then there was another Olympic moment last night - a very different one. Joannie Rochette of Canada, won the bronze medal just three days after her mother died very unexpectedly of a heart attack. I'm not going to lie - I balled like a baby the whole way through her performance. Scott Hamilton even got choked up afterwards. I can't even imagine...

So, the 2010 Olympics have not failed in providing us with some very memorable moments that no doubt will be part of video montages for the next 30 years, and there's still more to come. The big final hockey game is on Sunday afternoon - its always the last event of the Winter games. Of course, we don't know who will be in it, but I think everyone's hoping for another USA/Canada showdown (well, except for the Finns and whoever it is that the Canadians have to play today). It shoul dbe a great weekend in Vancouver!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Historical Note

It was 30 years ago today that the Miracle on Ice took place at the Lake Placid Winter Olympics. I was not quite a year old at the time, so I don't actually remember it happening, but like everyone else in my age group, I have heard the story a thousand times and seen the movies and the documentaries, etc. over the years. Watching the US Hockey team defeat Canada last night was exciting and exhilerating to be sure, but I can only imagine what it must have felt like to see the US beat the USSR back in the day - one of those moments when everyone watching knew they were witnessing history. I've said it before, and I'll say it again - those are the best moments!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Olympic Update, etc.

We're a week into the Olympics now, and I have some thoughts. First of all, I was somewhat under-whelmed by the opening ceremonies last Friday. I mean, visually, it was very pretty, and I liked the general concept of the projected images on fabric that moved (the Orca whales moving across the floor was very cool), but mostly I thought it was a little slow. I love the song "Allelieuia" (and I did not know it was written by a Canadian!), but I don't think having k.d. Lang (who's Canadian -who knew?) sing it at the opening ceremonies strikes quite the right "yay athletes! go get'em!" vibe. For me, it was a bit of a throwback to the '94 (I think) Barcelona games, when everyone generally had no idea what was happening during the opening ceremonies. But, in general, good effort Canada!

I've pretty much watched all of the prime time coverage since then, and my top moments so far are definitely Evan Lysacek winning the gold medal in figure skating and Apollo Ono winning his silver medal. This probably isn't a very politically correct thing to say, but I really miss the '80's, when the USSR was our arch rival in all things, and every athletic competition turned into a contest for the fate of the world. So, when Evan Lysacek had to go up against Evgeny Pleshenko (sp?) to win the gold, it just felt like the good ol'days! I'm really looking forward to seeing more hockey as it gets into the more competetitive rounds, and they just started Skeleton yesterday - still in my opinion the craziest of all winter sports - so I'm looking forward to that. Today I plan to pretty much park myself on the couch and watch a full day of coverage! Why couldn't the Olympics have started during the Snowpocalypse two weeks ago, when I was desperate for something to watch??

In other news, I have broken my vacuum cleaner. This is a major crisis, because I vacuum a lot. Like every day. Its genetic - my dad does it, too. I accidentally ran the vacuum over a cat toy and sucked it up, breaking the rubber belt thing that turns the motor. So, before I settle down for the Olympics, I have to go in search of a vacuum repair shop that hear tell actually exists in the local area. Here's hoping a cat toy extraction is cheaper than buying a new vacuum!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Operation Peep Rescue

There is a bird in my house. Not an accidental "eek, a Robin just flew down the chimney" kind of bird, but rather a tiny, neon yellow cage bird named Peep. I think I may have mentioned before that we have a pet bird in our office at the museum. Normally, Peep can survive just fine on her own for a couple days, along as she's stocked with plenty of seeds and water and her radio is tuned to her favorite top 40 station. However, this snowstorm is pushing the limits of her patience with being left alone, and they are now predicting another 6 inches of snow tomorrow.

So this afternoon I mounted Operation Peep Rescue. It took an hour of shoveling to finish digging my car out, some assistance from my neighbors to get out on my still unplowed street, and then some serious white-knuckling to get across the bridge into the downtown area and up a couple treacherous hills to the museum. Upon arrival, I found literally a 10 foot high mountain of snow piled around the entrance to the building. I managed to climb over it, and with the assistance of a co-worker we were able to carry Peep, cage and all, out to my car for the ride back to my house.

Peep is now safely ensconced on top of the bookcase in my living room, where she is happily chirping away. However, she has attracted an audience of two very curious cats who are making increasingly bold attempts to get a closer look. It won't be long, I'm sure, before I have to close her up in my spare bedroom to keep her safe, but at the moment there is peace in the animal kingdom.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Huh? The Super What?

What's that you say? There's some sort of super football championship game tonight? A bowl of some sort? Well, I don't know anything about that - between the Storm of Doom and the fact that my beloved Steelers are not in said championship game, I simply don't have the time to care about it...

Actually, I'm totally joking. I did forget completely about the Super Bowl until this morning, and I really have no vested interest in who wins, but I'm so completely and insanely bored from being stuck in the house that I'll probably watch it anyway.

Sigh. This time last year my cousin Beth was headed over to my house for homemade Primanti's and pierogies. Still one of the most exciting Super Bowls ever in my opinion. Good memories. Almost enough to erase the depressing memories of the '09-'10 season...

Well, since I have no Super Bowl excitement this year, I guess its time to move on to my other favorite sporting event: THE OLYMPICS!!! Yes, yes, hard to believe, but its been two years since my awe-inspiring coverage of the Beijing games in '08. This Friday, the "youth of the world" will be gathering in Vancouver - you can bet I'll be parked in front of my TV with some sort of Canadian-themed food for the event.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Obligatory Snow Pics

Yes, I've taken more pictures of my yard in the snow. Who knows if this area will ever get this kind of snow again - I want to make sure my little house is well-documented! Plus, this snowstorm is a little different than the last couple we've had. This snow is very heavy and very wet, and its doing really funny things to all the trees in my yard. Unfortunately, its also causing the pine tree by my driveway to droop onto my power lines, directly above my car. Needless to say, I'll probably be worrying about losing power the rest of the day. Not really sure where else I can park my car at this point, though, so I think I might just have to keep my fingers crossed!

Which reminds me - guess what happened to my car last Monday after our last snowfall (of only a few inches)? A city snow plow hit the front bumper and tore out the headlight while the car was parked on the street in front of my museum. Actually, I don't know for sure that it was a plow - no one left a note or anything - but last Monday plows were about the only thing out on the local streets. So, that was fun. I guess if a tree limb falls on the car at this point, it won't make a huge difference!

Well, I guess I need to quit procrastinating and get to shoveling. Wish me luck!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Broken Record Anyone??

Not that this is news anymore, but its going to snow again this weekend. Another Big Snow of possibly 18-24 inches. I'm not sure what we'll refer to the Big Snow back in December as if this prediction comes true - perhaps we just won't care to discuss it ever again. This snow stuff was fun for a while, but I get the impression the novelty has worn off for most people. A police officer had to step in and break up a fight over a snow shovel at a local hardware store yesterday.

I have to admit, I'm getting cabin fever myself. I honestly don't have a plan to keep myself occupied for the next 2-3 days. I guess there better be some good stuff on TV!