November 5, 2008
Oprah made an entrance in Grant Park on election night
On MSNBC, or as Rush Limbaugh calls it “PMS-NBC,” the correspondent announced, “We hear that Oprah has officially arrived, so that gives us an indication…”
News Anchor: “It’s been confirmed–Oprah has arrived. Whether or not she’s out mingling with the crowd is up for debate…”
The times, they are a changing…Bob Dylan
August 15, 2008
Shawn and Nastia are happy rivals
Hopefully. She was quoted saying, “I gave my heart and soul out there. Nastia deserved the gold.” But there was sadness in her eyes; maybe not for winning silver, but probably because the All Around Finals are over. Athletic rivals couldn’t ask for a better competition; both were healthy and performed near flawless routines. But leading up to the Olympics, Shawn Johnson was the headliner on the women’s team. She was to be the next Mary Lou Retton. It’s evident the media still wants Shawn in the spotlight because the pair has been called “The Golden Girls.” Well the fact is that there is only one gold medalist, Nastia. I can’t picture both Johnson and Liukin together on the Wheaties box. Honestly, if Johnson won the gold, I really don’t think they would be calling the pair “The Golden Girls” because Johnson had such a good story, and it’s the story that connects the athlete to the audience. Johnson won the last two national and world titles; she is 16; Beijing is her first Olympics; she is from Iowa; she trains only 4 hours a day and attends public school; her coach was born in Beijing and his gym was damaged in the flood. Then there is the legacy angle: Although Carly Patterson was the last American to win the All Around gold medal in 2004, Johnson has been touted as “the next Mary Lou Retton.” Why? Well both Johnson and Retton perform “explosive” gymnastics and both have that All American Smile, and as a bonus, both Shawn and Mary Lou’s smiles are genuine.
But Nastia is different: she is not cute, she is beautiful and has beautiful long limbs. Her artistic gymnastics style will not be compared to Mary Lou’s and this is a good thing in my opinion. Mary Lou said in her Today Show interview that Nastia came in as former World Champion and Mary Lou was “an underdog.” (Meow). What Nastia brings the the post Olympic story is an expanded definition of “All American.” Her parents are former Soviet gymnasts who came to America and opened a gym. More importantly, Nastia’s win puts more distance in the Karolyi dynasty. By not being the next Mary Lou, Nastia will in no way be associated with “Bela’s Girls.” I think it is time that Nastia’s father get some credit. It was wonderful to see the individual coaches encourage all the girls on the American team. They seemed so comfortable with each other. They looked like a real team! Marta’s role was that of manager, not coach.
Nastia and Shawn are both good role models, and hopefully they will become better role models as a pair. With a rivalry, only one person can win. From watching Shawn and Nastia I’ve learned that yes, one person will win, but both can help each other do their best. Although Shawn Johnson won the silver medal, she couldn’t ask for a more perfect Olympic experience.
August 1, 2008
The preview episode for Diddy‘s (aka Sean Combs formerly known as P. Diddy, formerly known as Puff Daddy) latest reality tv show I Want to Work for Diddy: The Man, the Myth reminded me a lot of a presidential campaign–with one exception: I understand what Diddy is talking about. Diddy presents himself as a no-nonsense boss that can get things done. I’m not saying that Diddy can navigate domestic and international political waters, but I haven’t heard much from either Senator McCain nor Senator Obama about what they plan to do. It’s always about what they believe–the rhetoric of beliefs. That said, the upcoming National Conventions will be pretty boring. (Exception: How is Hillary Clinton going to ask the Democratic Party to support Senator Obama when she argued so vehemently against him? Stay tuned!) Here are some quotes from Diddy that would liven up the conventions:
It’s a hard mother f****ing job, but somebody’s got to do it.
To succeed in anything in life you need a vision. If you can’t see the forest through the trees, you need to chop them mother f****ers down.
If you gave it you’re all, that’s the kind of performance I judge. I judge your heart. You got to go hard or go home.
I want my dreams to come true, but not in a selfish way. I want other people’s dreams to come true, too.
Sleep is forbidden. When I’m working, I’m a machine and I don’t look at other people like they are human.
You got to be able to make a way out of no way.
I sometimes feel sorry for people that don’t work for me, ‘cuz I know they not be having as much fun.
June 29, 2008
Artist (top left) wins over tough competition
Artist Knox became the first to win title Groomer of the Year on Animal Planet’s Groomer Has It. The final challenge was was a 10 hour marathon grooming session where Artist and Jonathan had to groom 7 dogs, one from each of the AKC’s groups: Sporting, Non-Sporting, Working, Herding, Toy, Hound, and Terrier. As usual, there was not an even playing field as the dogs were chosen for the groomers “at random” (with the exception of the first dog whom Artist got to pick). Although the final judging was set up to look like a dog show ring, Artist and Jonathan didn’t necessarily have to do “show cuts.” Judge Vinny taught me the new term “pet groom” as in, “The dog looks OK for a pet groom.” Artist and Jonathan both received help from Kathleen and Will. It was nice to see that Kathleen could be happy in a non dominatrix role, and it was fun to see Will annoy Jonathan. One of the highlights of the finale was to see Jonathan and Artist reunited with their loved ones (dogs included). I think what did Jonathan in was his dirty Labrador Retriever.
I really enjoyed the pre-view show which included a little “pop-up” Nemo who gave background info. Nemo always looked like such a well trained Yorkie, but lo and behold, Jai’s little pooch is not potty trained. Nemo also had an assistant who I hope was paid well. The never-been-seen-before scenes were funny. My instincts about the judges were right Vinny and Doc can’t stand each other. In one scene, they stopped rolling because of a noise that sounded like a helicopter, to which Vinny remarked, “There’s your broom” to Doc. Also, Jai is a scripted host, so scripted that at one point, he forgot the line “groomer of the year.”
I started watching this show because it was entertaining, but I also ended up learning a lot, too. I’ll definetly be back for season two!