alexiscartwheel: (star wars - leia)
Brief update: It stopped snowing, finally. The city's still not really back to normal though. Also, after being cooped up with sick people for a week, I ended up with the flu and had to take an extra day off work. It's been a busy week and I'm beat!

Random question: Why does are all the figure skaters skating to Scheherazade? Don't get me wrong, I like the piece, but it's kind of repetitive—I heard it twice during pairs, and again now during men's. I don't know what the rules are about music, but everyone using the same classical repertoire is boring. It's an interesting contrast to the women's halfpipe competition, which was on just before this, where you could here the Black Eyed Peas playing in the background. (Fewer sequins in halfpipe too... but jumps and spins in both.)

New geek project: [ profile] d4ni and I were texting last weekend and we decided to start a book club with [ profile] chuunthor to re-read The Courtship of Princess Leia, our favorite Star Wars book. And blog about it. It's going to be awesome.
alexiscartwheel: (dw - rose)
I woke up this morning feeling awful. Mostly my back and shoulders were hurting, thanks to biking yesterday, but I was also feeling generally blah. As a result, I had a pretty lazy day. A little reading, a little TV, a little music. I did manage to fill out two job applications, which was on my to-do list for the day, so I feel like I accomplished something. (I really hate job applications. They're so tedious. I end up filling out one section, then I have to get up and wander the house for a bit.)

Good news today, though! My aunt went to the oncologist and was officially declared cancer free! We went out and bought a bottle of wine to celebrate. :D

And finally, cause I'm still digging the Olympics: Language Log reports that Christine Ohuruogu won the 400m in Beijing, "hence becoming the first British woman with a linguistics degree to win Olympic gold at this distance." Linguistics and the Olympics. Yesssss.

ETA: I saw the race on TV later, and after hearing the commentators pronounce it, I think Ohuruogu is a really awesome name. It's just got a really great sound.
alexiscartwheel: (dw - donna)
When did "to medal" become a verb?

It is tempting to say about a week ago - this ear-grating usage, as in "Romero is the only British woman to medal in two different sports", has disfigured the Beijing games - but, annoyingly, some dictionaries do accept "medal" as a verb, meaning "to decorate or honour with a medal" or "to receive a medal, esp. in a sporting event". It is, however, clearly an ugly Americanism - the earliest identified use of the word meaning to win a medal dates from 1966, in California, and the Washington Post was using it by 1979 - which needs to be stamped out. The sooner medal-obsessed Americans stop meddling with the English language the better.

Now while I agree that my countrymen do tend to be a bit medal obsessed, language change is just a fact of life, and should hardly be termed meddling. (Har, har, har. How very clever.) Verbing nouns--that is, creating a verb from an existing noun--is hardly a new phenomenon, and it's not going to stop just because the language pedants get all up in arms and "Wah, they're ruining our language!" about it.

Besides, who really wants to say "Michael Phelps was decorated with a medal eight times"? Sounds snotty and affected to me. But I'm just an ugly American.
alexiscartwheel: (alex drake)
Today I went riding on the Washington & Old Dominion Trail, and I definitely overdid it a bit. There's a trailhead several block from my house right around mile marker 10, and I made it my goal to get to mile 17. I ended up turning back two miles before that because I was already getting tired. The way back goes gradually uphill, so I was just exhausted by the time I got home. Apparently the fact that I could easily ride 15 miles last summer doesn't mean I can now when I'm all out of shape. Oops.

The trail is really nice though. It's paved and lined, and it's almost 45 miles long. In Arlington the W&OD trail hooks up with some other trails into the city. I'm nowhere near up to it now, but my goal is to get in good enough shaped that I can bike to the city and back. I should try to ride every day and work my way up to it... we'll see how that goes.

I do need to find a good bike shop around here. My brother is a mechanic, but I didn't get a chance to take my bike to him for a tune-up before I left. (My brother actually built my bike entirely out of spare parts. It's nothing too fancy, but it's a vast improvement on my old Huffy.) Of course, just the thought of looking for bike shops brings back bad memories of last years evil Dialog project. At least there won't be any spreadsheets involved.

NBC Fails

Aug. 15th, 2008 10:26 pm
alexiscartwheel: (dw - donna)
Who cuts to commercial in the middle of a live race?!?! Okay, yes, the 800m freestyle is a long race... but it's not that long. They couldn't wait for it to end? ("What? There are no Americans in this race?" Cause the Olympics are all about America winning, yeah? Not about watching some really awesome athletes, whatever country they may come from.)

But yay for Rebecca Adlington, even if they keep cutting away from her world record to show commercials and talk about Michael Phelps. :D

I was reading yesterday about modern pentathlon. They shoot, fence, swim, ride, and run all in one day. A complicated points system determines who gets to start running first, and the person who crosses the finish line first wins the gold. This is all sounds kind of crazy and cool, so I hope they'll show it on TV. Which means they won't. Alas.
alexiscartwheel: (josef says "om nom nom")
It's easy to do. Just eat everything. Then have some more.

Seriously. 12,000 calories a day. I can't even imagine. Of course, I don't spend my whole day swimming and working out. Michael Phelps is not normal.

"This man is in a very, very different place to the rest of us. He's 6ft 4in and 192lb of pure joy. From a female perspective, obviously. Though I probably shouldn't say that."


ETA: Also, I moved today. It is more stressful with my mother along trying to organize things. But I am here now and am trying to relax.


Aug. 13th, 2008 11:12 am
alexiscartwheel: (aj reads the news)
It's LOL Bush from The Guardian. Wow.
alexiscartwheel: (kaylee)
I am such an Olympics junkie. (It's such a bummer that a lot of the live events are on overnight. At some point I have to force myself to stop watching and go to sleep). I could never do any of this, and half of these sports I hardly understand, but it's just so much fun to watch. I especially love when someone unexpected wins an event, because they're just so shocked and happy! What am I going to do on Thursday when I have to spend the day in the car instead of watching swimming? (How do they swim so fast? They make swimming 100 meters in less than a minute look fun and easy. They are secretly FISH PEOPLE.)

Today I met one of my college friends for lunch, which was a lot of fun. We met sophomore year when we had two classes--in two different departments--together. We had lots more classes together after that, so we were long time study buddies. We used to meet for lunch before Italian classes and watch the Oval preacher (which was always good free entertainment), so today was just like old times... except that since then we've both graduated, started grad school, and dropped out of grad school. : )

I'm getting more stuff replaced on my car--spark plugs and some other stuff I can't remember--before I move. Hopefully this is really the end of the car work for awhile. Except I think I still need to get my brakes worked on soon. But those aren't all that important, right? I'll just coast to a stop. Yep. I can haz metro nao?

I don't know what I was thinking, but since I've been in Columbus, I've checked out nine books from the library. In what universe did I think I was going to read nine books in a week and a half? (I think I read ten in the entire month of July, and that was more than usual.) So sadly, they all have to go back tomorrow. I finished a good one last night--The Monsters of Templeton--so I'll try to write up a quick review if I get a chance tomorrow.

One more day and then I'll officially live in Virginia! And I won't have to move again for another two years. Yay!!! And now... GYMNASTICS!
alexiscartwheel: (dw - bamfy rose)
Today was a bad day to be a spider at my house. I'm hardly the cleanest person around, so it kind of says a lot about the state of our front porch that I assigned myself the task of cleaning it this afternoon. It was icky and gross with lots of cobwebs in the corners (and even on the mailbox) and dirt and leaves on the floor. After some fun with a broom and a garden hose, it looks much, much better. After that I was feeling so inspired that I cleared off the deck and swept the sidewalk around the garage too.

Sci-Fi had a Doctor Who marathon today, and despite my best intentions to be productive, I did get sucked in a couple times. I ended up seeing "The Girl in the Fireplace" and "Army of Ghosts" and snatches of a couple others. (My brother came over for awhile while I was still working on the deck. He though the Absorbaloff in "Love and Monsters" was pretty funny.) I think I've probably seen "Army of Ghosts" more than any other episode. Every time there's a marathon, I always seem to catch that one, but then I don't see "Doomsday" because I have to go away and do things... like take the dog for a walk, return library books, or wash the car. (All of which, incidentally, I did this afternoon. Gosh, I feel so accomplished.)

This evening I watched the Olympic opening ceremony (on 12 hour tape delay for prime time) in it's entirety. I don't usually watch sports, but I do enjoy the Olympics. I remember back when I was eight years old I taped a lot of the events at the Lillehammer games because the prime time coverage didn't even start until my bedtime. (Looking back, I'm kind of amazed that I knew how to program the VCR when I was eight years old. Go me!) I really enjoyed the first part of the opening ceremony, which had some very cool performances. During the second half, the American commentators got pretty annoying. (I kind of wanted to go smack them every time they mentioned the "intersection of sports and politics" or they told us that the small African/Pacific Island nation had never won an Olympic medal. You mean countries with lots of moneys and 500 member teams win more medals than poor countries with 5 athletes? YOU DON'T SAY! Oh, wait. Yes you do. Repeatedly.) There were some fun and some crazy outfits though, and I did get a good laugh out of a bored looking George W. Bush tapping a mini US flag against his leg. How very dignified.

It's getting very late, but it's not as if I have a real schedule for tomorrow. For now, I can relish being a night owl, if only for a few days.
alexiscartwheel: (marie)
Maureen Dowd's columns have been pretty critical of Hillary Clinton, sometimes perhaps a bit too critical, but I think today she made some good points, particularly about Clinton's behavior at last night's debate in Cleveland. From her article:

"Hillary and her aides urged reporters to learn from the “Saturday Night Live” skit about journalists having crushes on Obama.

“Maybe we should ask Barack if he’s comfortable and needs another pillow,” she said tartly in the debate here Tuesday night. She peevishly and pointlessly complained about getting the first question too often, implying that the moderators of MSNBC — a channel her campaign has complained has been sexist — are giving Obama an easy ride.

Beating on the press is the lamest thing you can do. It is only because of the utter open-mindedness of the press that Hillary can lose 11 contests in a row and still be treated as a contender."

Watching the debate, I felt like this was one of several moments in which Clinton attempted to be clever, but instead seemed rather petty. (Another was her awkward, backhand attempt to make Obama look like an anti-Semite sympathizer.) Whether the media as a whole is unfair to Clinton isn't completely relevant in the situation. The debates are supposed to give viewers (voters!) insight about the candidates' policy ideas. Whinging to the moderators doesn't do that. It just makes the actual debate into a real, live comedy sketch.
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