Obama Acceptance Speech

This is my attempt at live blogging.

I’m in the Daily Nebraskan news room, adn we’re all crowded around one of the tvs, watching Obama’s acceptance speech.

“I accept the nomination to your president of the united states!” (close enough)

we all started cheering – this was like 5 seconds ago… “and to the next vice president of the united states, I thank you!”

what a cool moment to be alive, to be watching tv. And for Ellie – my roommate – TO BE THERE! she and her family got tickets to this speech, and i have goosebumps watchin git on tv, so ic an’t even imagine what it’s like to be there, watching history.

“and ot the next First Lady, I thank you.”

“OH my gosh this is SO cute” = a guy int he news room. it really is. Michelle, his kids… they’re playing up the cheesy family card hardcore and they’re rocking it. “Theyr’e getting votes right now,” katie just said – our associate editor here at the paper.

“four years ago i stood before you and told my story – the brief union between a kenyan man and an american woman – their son could achieve whatever he put his mind to. it is that promise that has always set this country apart. through hard work and sacrifice each of us can pursue our dremas but still come together as an american family….. thats why i stand here tonight. because for 232 years, at each moment when that promise was in jeopardy… (people) found the courage to keep it alive. we meet at one of those defining moments…the american promise has been threatened once more. …. and the failed promises of George W. bush.” heck yes. i missed that part in the middle, but it was truth.

“we are a better country than this. this country is more decent…” AH!! he just made an anti-globalization statement – HECK yes, Obama.

this is just, i have to say it agian, such a cool moment in time. to watch him accept this nomination, to become the first black american to take this step, to start leading this country. this presidency, this elecetion, is going to change history.

“this moment is our chance to keep in the 21st century, the american promise alive. we are here because we love this country too much to let the next four years look like the last 8. on nov 4 we must stand up and say, ‘8 is enough!'” (changing in the background – 8 is enough! 8 is enough!… as we were talking about needing t-shirts right now with that slogan).

obama has refused to put out attack ads on mccain. he’s actulaly getting shit for it – his critics are saying it’s hurting his campaign… that he’s not tough enough, not a political shark enough, but i have more respecet for him because of it. it says somethign about the character and integrity of a person when they outright refuse to join in that kind of campaigning.

“the truth is, on issue after issue that would mkae a difference in your lives – on health care, education and the economy – senator mccain has been anything but independent.” thats about as close as he gets. it’s not attacking his character, his family or anything personal – it’s taking issue with his politics. and that’s the point of a campaign – to challenge each others politics.

i’m so excited to be living this.

And I’m so jealous that ellie is there! she texted me saying Oprah is sitting right behind her.

I asked her if she could check and see if Oprah would cosign a loan for me.

“8 is enough!” Amen, mister presidential nominee.

“it’s time for us to change america, and that’s why i’m running for president of the united states!”

heck yes. 8 is enough. i’m ready for 8 of positive change.

Published in: on August 29, 2008 at 4:28 am  Leave a Comment  

8 Months… and Betterment

I held African money in my hands tonight for the first time in months… and I felt the weight of time, of experience, of change in my hands. In those few seconds my heart flashed back over my life in the past eight months:  from saying goodbye to my Lincoln friends, to driving to Georgia, to heading to LA – then DC – scrambling for my Visa and passport, to saying goodbye to my Georgia friends, to packing when i should have been arriving at the airport, to getting my first boarding pass that said “world traveler,” to saying goodbye to my family, to landing in London – seeing Big Ben and Buckingham Palace, to landing in South Africa (so tired and weary I could barely stand), to driving through Cape Town, seeing the many, many black South Africans on the highways – feeling the racial tension for the first time, to seeing the vineyards, the mountains of Stellenbosch for the first time, to going on a safari – seeing my first giraffe and lion and elephant, to seeing Swaziland, backpacking in Cape Town and Mozambique, to making and then saying goodbye to my friends in South Africa, to not sleeping for 50some hours and finally making it to New York for the first time, to seeing Melanie in New York City, to exploring and backpacking and seeing the Bodies Exhibit and my first Broadway show, to seeing Times Square and meeting Melanie’s roommates in Boston, to making it back to Georgia and my family and friends, to roadtripping, making it to Los Angeles, to this summer, to living with Matt in a single apartment, to my random, amazing job working on an independent film, to watching years of gymnastics in weeks and to now – yesterday, today and tomorrow – saying goodbye… and heading back to Lincoln.

Tomorrow at 4:30pm I’ll board a flight from California to Nebraska… and at 9:30pm, central time (the first time my voicemail on my phone will sound correct in so long), I’ll land in Omaha, my life coming full circle after the craziest, most intense and relxing, most unbelievable, life-changing 8 months of my life. Ellie and Vanessa will be there to greet me, and the emotion that shoots through my heart at even thinking about that moment – what it will be like to see them, the people that I have lived with, spoken to, cried to and done college with for the past four years, after eight months of complete and total physical separation, may well be indescribable.

I have no doubts or hesitations when I say that these past eight months have changed my life. They’ve challenged me, taught me lessons, given me mountains of new life experience and endless fodder for my writing. At the end of them, tonight at 2:38am as I’m writing this and looking at my disastrous apartment, my unpacked bags and clothes strewn on the floor, I’m proud to say that at the same time that I’m a changed person, I’m a changed person who is still fully and thoroughly, 100% still me.

What do I regret from these 8 months? I never used to believe in regret. It was Jacob’s and my motto, our solemn oath to each other, and to life I think, that we refused to believe in it or give into it, that we pledged to own our mistakes and our accomplishments, learn from them both, and at the end of the day, be satisifed with the knowledge that, good or bad, life happens for a reason.

I still believe in those statements. I still hold them dear to my heart, but I now see “regret” as a bigger word, full of bigger meaning, less black and white, less negative, and more all-encompassing. Regret, in itself, holds a promise of hope and change – it allows us to give advice, to tell others what they could achieve, can achieve, might want to strive for, that we missed out on. And for me – I have some of those. I wish I had made more African friends – not friends in Africa (I did well with that) but African friends. South African friends. I wish I had made more friends out here in Los Angeles. Oh, and I wish I had gone first on that 18 meter kloof, before the girl got hurt. Sounds silly, but that’s something I’ll remember for, well, maybe ever. I’ll remember the fear that overtook me, and I’ll remember taking a step back and letting someone else go before me, trying to get myself together. And mostly, I’ll remember the feeling of knowing that I could have done it, should have done it but let fear take the place of spontaneity and living for everything life has to offer.

I think that might be it, though. I Feel like I’ve done pretty well in these last 8 months doing exactly what i set out to do. I’ve lived, and I’ve lived hard and I’ve lived most every second to its max.

What am I proud of from these last 8 months? I think maybe … most everything. I’m so deeply proud that I went to Africa. I’m so proud that I made the choice to move to LA for the summer without a job or place ot live lined up. I’m proud that I took chances. I’m proud that I traveled ‘alone’ in Mozambique (I’ll never consider it truly alone after the friends I made along the way). I get a lot from a lot of people that they’re so impressed, almost inspired by the fact that I seem to be able to pick up and leave at any point, from any place. I get from a lot of other people that they think that means I’m not really ever that close to anyone, because if I were, I wouldn’t be able to leave so easily, at will. I don’t think either side is really right or, rather, really speaks to what I feel. I cry every time I leave somewhere. I fight my intense longing to be with those I already know and love every time I step on a new place, headed to a new place. I cry every single time I leave Georgia and have to say goodbye to my mom. I cry every time I leave everywhere, because I feel like I’m leaving a piece of me there. But I refuse to stop going. I can’t. It’s not within me. No matter how hard it is when I leave somewhere, the joy of meeting the people I meet when I arrive somewhere and of experiencing a new place, new culture, it drives me forward. Sometimes I do get overwhelmed. Tonight as i said goodbye to newfound friends out here, I couldn’t help but think that maybe it’s getting old – all the asying goodbye that I do. Right now, I have pieces of my heart in what sometimes feels like too many places – Georgia, Nebraska, Africa, camp, Los Angeles – but then I have to remind myself that while sometimes it hurts to miss so many people in so many places in this country, on this earth – it feels so good to reconnect with them again, and it keeps my drive and desire to keep going alive becuaes I never know who will touch me next.

I feel like I have so much to say tonight (obviously… cause this is really freaking long)… and so much that I haven’t talked about all summer. Where did this summer go?

My job just got more amazing as the summer went on. I got promoted from an intern to a project manager, I think was our title. It came with a nice pay raise, which was awesome too. But to know that I was doing good work – that felt great.

I’m not sure that I really made friends out here this summer that I’ll have for years to come, but I do feel like I put some roots down. I feel like there are a few people that I really wish I had had longer to get to know because I feel like we could have been good friends. But I think the biggest lesson I leanred this summer… is that I don’t always have to be around people. Matt helped me really learn that I can be content and entertain myself sitting right here in my apartment.

As with men  – well… my absolute, unwavering, stubborn objection to being in a relationship, to being tied down to someone, something, at 22 years old, isn’t going to change anytime soon. My love and passion and just zeal for live wins every time, and you now – I think even more than that, this summer I’ve realized that my friends… I’m passionate about them, and I think at this point in my life, no matter how old or boring it may make me sound, I would rather be having a cocktail or two with a girlfriend or guy friend and laughing, talking about everything and nothing, than out with someone that I’m frankly not going to care about in a few weeks time. I’ve realized I don’t have time, or rather, don’t want to make time, for that. I want to be around people that make me infinitely happy and joyous, and those people are my friends. I’m not anti-dating or meeting people (i’m very pro-having fun), and I’m sure that I will meet someone at some point that will change my mind about relationships and giving up my complete autonomy, but until then – I’ll take my friends.

In the past 8 motnhs, I’ve also both… ‘calmed down’ and become more ‘wild,’ I think – almost simultaneously. I think more of what it is is that I’ve become much more settled in who I am and what I stand for – I feel less of a need now to blurt it out, scream it and shout it from the rooftops, make sure that people know that I’m ME. I feel now like… like I can just bask in who I am and enjoy it, instead of making sure everyone knows it. With feeling more comfortable in my own sense of self, I’m also, honestly, just ready to take this last semester and just hit it hard and hit it right. Ellie and I are going to make a list of all teh things we want to do before we leave Lincoln, put it up in our apartment and make it our goal to cross them all off before the end of the semester. I’m looking forward to it.

I think I’ve reached the end of my rambling. These past 8 months have been incredible, and I don’t think in a million years I could have really thought or assumed (I definitely could have imagined them) they could actually happen. My life did change, and it feels great to say that I made it change. My life is different becuase of Africa and because of New York, Georgia and Los Angeles.

Tomorrow when I get back into Nebraska, it’s going to feel surreal and maybe even unreal. I’ve been gone for so long I wonder if it’ll really ever feel real again. But really – I have no doubt that when I step foot back in Lincoln, I won’t be able to stop smiling. I’ll hop down O Street, eat at every restaurant I’ve missed for so many months now and, mostly, catch up wtih friends whose beautiful faces I haven’t seen in 8 months.

Coming home feels great, and I’m so privileged to have so many places to come home to.

Published in: on August 20, 2008 at 12:04 pm  Comments (1)  

Gymnastics Judging WACK.

My heart is breaking for Nastia Liukin. Our brilliant, beautifully artistic all-around champion competed last night on the uneven bars final (by far her best event), and she tied in her score with He Kexin, one of the Chinese gymnasts that has been reported as being 13 in Chinese newspapers in the past. Even with a tied score, somehow He was awarded gold. The system is effed up, the judging has been bunk through all of the olympics – especially coming off of Chung Fei receiving scores higher than Alicia Sacramone on the vault finals, giving her the Bronze medal over Alicia, even when Fei landed ON HER KNEES on her second vault and Alicia landed both of hers and had great form. Judging has been contentious and debated, but now it’s time for something serious to happen… Both Nastia and Alicia were robbed of medals they deserved – Natia gold on bars and Alicia bronze on floor. A lot of talk has also gone around about how Shawn Johnson has been docked in scores simply on the style and look of her gymnastics being “inferior” in the judges eyes to more artistic gymnasts like Nastia. While gymnastics judging has always had an element of subjectivity in it, it is evident in these Olympic Games that the new system of scoring is inadequate, unfair and seemingly biased at times.

I came across this article – and it’s great:

Scoring Unfair… Alicia, Nastia ripped off

Published in: on August 19, 2008 at 12:19 am  Leave a Comment  

The Start to a Daily Nebraskan Semester

This semester must be getting under way, because I was up at 10:30 yesterday morning and worked until the same time in the PM. I’ve had thoughts, if even fleetingly, of being Opinion Editor since my second column went to print. Every time after that first, terrifying, column, that I’ve seen my byline, I get filled with a bit of a high, a buzz on life. Everytime I get attacked for what I write, everytime I get applauded for what I stand for – all of it, the good the bad, my mistakes and my triumphs, fills me with a high. The process of my writing, too, fills me with a dread and a hate for words that absolutely stimulates my brain, my senses and my passion for the printed word that, in the end, makes me love it all the more. And now – now – finally, I’m editing, and it’s such a different high but a high nonetheless. My years and years of being an English nerd shine through when I see grammatical error – whom vs who to spelling and punctuation. My years of getting caught with a book hidden under my desk at school, staying up past my bedtime with a flashlight under the covers, helps me find the mispelled words and incorrectly used words, phrases, euphemisms. And my years as a student of all subjects, as a university undergraduate trying to find myself, figure out what ‘education’ is really about – helps me find flaws in logic, point out weak ethos, pathos, logos; helps me ask questions, find answers, challenge my writers to stretch themselves.

I’m not sure that I’ll be the best editor or even come close – but already, after only planning, producing and editing material for one issue of the paper (5 pages of opinion!), I feel my entire self being immersed. I’ve spent hours and hours over the past month and summer – sending out emails about the opinion world, great writing, poor writing, humorous writing, cartoons, etc. I’ve only ever felt myself so fully and deeply, whole-heartedly immersed in two other jobs/passion my entire life: camp and gymnastics. And both – I know through and through, poured my heart into and love. And this job, I can feel it already going the same way. I can’t wait to be able to really sit down and edit with each columnist, learn from them as well as try to teach them the little bits and pieces I’ve learned along the way. I can’t wait to finish the Opinion Manual, have our first meetings, meet my writers and my cartoonists. I can’t wait to keep writing, force myself to produce. When I sat down to write my own column, my first in a year and a half, I found myself terrified, unsure whether I still had it in me. I can already feel an easy pull towards editing – for me, the teaching and correcting comes easily and less-fear filled than producing. When you write, you pour yourself onto the page and you expose yourself for so many to read, to laugh at, to tear apart. It’s definitely part of the high in writing, but it’s also the hard part. When I finally finished my column, re-read it, took a deep breath and realized that I still have it… and felt that intense rush of energy, I realized that for me, I can never just be an editor, no matter how much I end up loving this job. I have to keep producing – always.

Anyway, here’s my first column. It’s not my strongest, but for not writing for so long, I’m happy with it, and I feel much more comfortable in my ability to quickly get back into my groove. I used what I’ve learned from the summer to welcome students back, introduce myself as opinion editor and encourage students to get involved with the paper this semester.

I also worked with art department for this Back to School Edition of the paper, and they did caricatures of each of the columnists, that are going to run with short bios that each writer wrote about him/herself. My picture is with the column. The art staff did a phenomenal job – I’m not quite sure this looks like me… but it’s still an amazing job, and I can’t wait to see everything in print when I get back to Lincoln.

Cyndi Waite
Senior English and Film Studies

Who controls the world?

I’ve spent the last three months asking this question and, perhaps more importantly, trying to answer it. At the beginning of this Quest for Truth (on par with the magnanimity of the Holy Grail, I assure you), I thought, without a doubt, that I already had the answers:

Brangelina?

Bill Gates?

Oprah (er, God?)

Yes, it must be Oprah.

Knowing the answer, I smugly contented myself to doing the daily tasks at work.

After documentaries, news stories and hours of interviews from environmental, human rights and political experts, I finally began to see our world and global leaders in a different context. – one that opened my eyes to the gravity of those four words.

This summer has been filled with protests, with activism and also with corruption and abuses of power. I started to question where power lies, how its used, and who really does control the world.

Is it China? With the Olympics being hosted in arguably the world’s most notorious country for human rights violations and shady governmental decisions and cover-ups, there has been an onslaught of media attention on the country, but it hasn’t seemed to phase the Chinese government.

Protesters have filled their streets, marched with the torchbearers for the past several years; Students for a Free Tibet (www.studentsforafreetibet.org) formed, and has become a national and even international movement and force; experts have made statements on China’s wrongdoings, giving reason to how and why they need to clean up their act (and streets and air), and still, China has yet to respond.

Is it the presidential candidates? With no talk of campaign finance reform in the future, John McCain and Barack Obama continue to raise millions of dollars, put out attack ads against the other and play the ambiguous-on-the-issues political game. America is stuck in the midst of a molasses filled political sphere, unable to move either way, to find truth or reason.

Is it George W. Bush? With his newest attack on womens’ rights, trying to argue that Viagra but not birth control should be covered by health insurance (backed by McCain), he once again is proving that perhaps too much power is in the hands of the president.

Is it the World Trade Organization? With the collapse of the Doha talks this summer, millions around the world celebrated, positive that now power will be shifted amongst global financial institutions instead of almost solely in the hands of the WTO.

But WTO talks have collapsed before, and still the WTO has unprecedented global power. How do we create a system of checks and balances for these global institutions?

On our very own campus, is it the Chancellor? Is it ASUN? Is it the Athletic Department? Recently two wrestlers were kicked off the University of Nebraska-Lincoln wrestling team for posing nude. Without formal NCAA rules regarding the situation, the decision came down to UNL officials who decided that the two men did not represent Nebraska well enough and, I guess, therefore didn’t deserve to continue to wrestle.

These two men have been given little room to fight back, the decision being based in subjectivity and impromptu rule making, not to mention their talent and skill being tossed to the way-side for the purpose of exercising power and control on the part of our supposed leaders.

Everywhere we turn, we can see this kind of corruption in our leaders. And while all this exists, and it exists within institutions and leaders we want and hope we can trust, the truth is that at the end of the day, none of these people or governments or institutions controls the world.

At the end of my searching, I realized the answer to, “Who controls the world?” had been within myself the entire time.

In fact, the answer was myself. And you.

As individuals and together as the collective, unified voices of dissent, disagreement and agreement, we have the power to change the world, no matter how daunting that task may seem at times.

This year as Opinion Editor for the Daily Nebraskan, I will use my voice, my talents, my skills to take back control of our world. I will present you, reader, with an opinion section that represents a variety of interests and political beliefs, and mostly, your voice.

I encourage you to take control of the world. Make your voice heard.

Become an activist for the causes you support, whether it’s on your dorm hall or starting a national movement.

Vote in the November election – take part in choosing your President.

Challenge corruption and governmental authority by writing letters to Congressmen and women.

Utilize the Daily Nebraskan. Write letters-to-the-editor. When you read something you disagree with, I encourage you to find the errors, point out the flaws and tell us why you didn’t like it. Challenge us to be better writers, and in turn, we will work to provide you with material to engage with, to agree and disagree with.

Whether big or small, your actions can and will make a difference because the truth is, Oprah can only buy you (and your family) if she wants, but you control the world.

Published in: on August 18, 2008 at 9:11 pm  Leave a Comment  

Congrats, America’s Angels!

I couldn’t feel more fulfilled by tonight. A few scores were questionable…. Chinese ages are still not being challenged enough… but in the end – my absolute, unwavering trust in the integrity of the sport has been maintained. Nastia had an Olympic night and she deserved that first place win – that All-Around Gold Medal. And Shawn had a great night. I made a mention in my predictions that she, on vault, was almost consistent to a fault… if that’s possible, and by third rotation, I found myself thinking – she’s consistent to a fault on everything. It’s both her biggest strength – she always hits, she always has an ON night, but she looked the same tonight as the did in Nationals, at Worlds – fantastic, but she didn’t go above and beyond that. She didn’t have Olympic moments where she sailed above what she’s ever done before. Nastia did that. Shawn did it on floor – that routine had me crying (not that that’s hard watching this stuff) and cheering. THAT was an Olympic moment. She knew what she had to do and she did it… and so much more. It was fantastic.

The little bit of rivalry that Matt and I built between each other was as erased as the tension between Shawn and Nastia themselves. I was crying my eyes out the moment Shawn got her score and Nastia knew she had one. I was crying as Nastia performed that final floor routine – an event she’s never been particuarly amazing on that she just killed. She went out and just gave the performance of a lifetime.

And seeing Nastia on that platform, only the third American woman in history to win the All-Around – after Mary Lou Retton and Carly Patterson.. .was magic, it was pure magic. Her smile, her absolutely infectious, rarely seen gigantic smile and her tears. She was so moved by her own accomplishment. When she saw the final scoreboard, knew she won, all I could think as she cried, hugging her father, was of the Amerian Cup in 2007 and of Nationals – where she was plagued with injuries, probably shouldn’t have been competing, had lost her status as the nation’s best gymnast. I saw that and then saw how much she has come back, fought through it and shown the world that she’s Nastia Liukin, and nobody can count Nastia Liukin out.

As for Shawn, I hope she’ll come back. I think she will. You can see it in her face – the fierce competitiveness, the humble joy she felt for Nastia at her deserved win, but also the intolerance of not out-performing herself. She wants gold, and I think she’ll fight for the next four years to stay at the top of her game. I think it’s safe to say that in London in 2012 we’ll be seeing another showdown between Shawn Johnson and another top gymnast.

Tonight was Olympic magic. In an interview, Shawn and Nastia said that since they started competing with each other, they’ve dreamed of going to the Olympics and taking 1st and 2nd place together – going 1,2 in the All-Around. They did it, and tonight, like the great Svletlana Khorkina said to Tim Daggot – was America’s night.

Congratulations Nastia Liukin and Shawn Johnson. Tonight and this Olympic season and for years and years to come – you really will be known as America’s Angels.

Published in: on August 15, 2008 at 10:52 am  Leave a Comment  

Women’s All-Around … Predictions!

Okay, I’m going INSANE sitting here on the West Coast not being able to see Shawn and Nastia and all the women live. I keep imagining them there in Beijing… walking into the arena… getting ready… chalking the bars… warming up… and I see the competition starting – RIGHT NOW they’re performing. They’re running and tumbling. They’re scared out of their minds and nervous and so excited. They’re entire lives – even if only 16 years – is at the pinnacle of everything they’ve dreamt of RIGHT NOW. This very second that I’m typing this. And that is the essence and joy of the Olympics. For just tonight – Shawn Johnson, Nastia Liukin and 22 other women get a chance to smile at their biggest fans, there in the stands and at home wathcing tv, and say to themselves – “I made it!” Win or lose, these girls are in the Women’s All-Around competition at the Olympics, the single biggest gymnastics comeptition in the world. The biggest of dreams will be won and lost tonight, and I am going crazy knowing that it’s happening, that people all over the east coast are seeing it right now, and I have to wait another 2 hours and 22 minutes.

So… to make use of some of my nervous anticipation and excitement, I’m going to blog what I think the night is going to look like. I’m going to visualize it, see the routines in my head as you’re seeing them live and hopefully be right on target when I get to see it live.

Here goes nothing.

As the first two qualifiers into the all-around, Nastia and Shawn will be on Olympic Rotation, meaning they will start on vault, then move to bars, beam and floor – in that order. Both Shawn and Nastia compete well in this rotation, although it favors Shawn’s strengths slightly.

Shawn goes into the All-Around with 9 world medals and as the 2nd place qualifier

Shawn goes into the All-Around with 9 world medals and as the 2nd place qualifier

Rotation 1 – Vault:

Shawn:

  • Start Value: 6.5 – She’ll do a 2.5 twisting yerchenko, the hardest in the competition and one of very few in the world who do it.
  • Execution: pretty solidly always between a 9.0-9.3. She has a tendency to take a cross-over step to the right. My DREAM is that this one night in the Olympics she sticks that vault for the first time ever in major international competition. I know that she CAN stick it, but Shawn is consistent (in this instance) almost to a fault. I predict she will take a step, albeit a small one to the side. She’ll get a .10 deduction for it.
  • Score: 16.125

Nastia:

  • Start Value: 5.5
  • Execution: limitless – when she hits this vault, she is beautiful and really rocks out even that low start value. I’m predicting she WILL hit – she’ll be absolutely mentally and physically focused. She normally scores between a 14.5-15.025
  • Score: 14.975
Shawn goes into the All-Around undefeated in her first senior year and as the current World Champion and 1st place qualifier.

Shawn goes into the All-Around undefeated in her first senior year and as the current World Champion and 1st place qualifier.

Rotation 2 -Uneven Bars:

Nastia:

  • Start Value: 7.7 – gigantic!! She has the hardest bar routine in the world, matched only in start value by 2 Chinese gymnasts.
  • Execution: Nastia is near flawless on this event. If the 10.0 system was still in place, I wholeheartedly believe this is the event and the gymnast we would see the first and perhaps only Olympics ’08 10. She has amazing lines, hits every handstand and keeps her legs glued together – her form is nearly flawless. She generally gets around a 9.4-9.6.
  • Score: She scored a 16.9 in team finals – the highest score yet in gymnastics. She’ll stick her dismount, hit her handstands, not be too close to the bar on her pac salta (release from high to low), and I believe she’ll match that again tonight – 16.9.

Shawn:

  • Start Value: 6.4 (I believe) – her lowest scoring event.
  • Execution: What she does here she does very well. Great form, great height on her releases. Hardest dismount in the competition.
  • Score: 15.325

Rotation 3 – Beam:

Nastia:

  • Start Value: 6.7
  • Execution: Usually in low 9s – she’s beautiful here. Her lines and unique moves, especially the Liukin make her the girl to watch on beam.
  • Score: She got a 15.975 in the prelims and she was underscored. I think tonight she’s going to hit and hit hard… her form will be great as usual and she’ll end up with a 16.125

Shawn:

  • Start Value: 7.0
  • Execution: Shawn is generally a complete rock on this event. She literally tumbles on the beam – a two backhandsprings into a back layout pass. She also does a standing back with a full twist. She is constantly jumping and tumbling on here. She makes it look like she’s on floor. Her dismount is incredibly difficult, as well. She usually gets around a 9.2-9.5S
  • Score: like Nastia – she got a 15.975 in the prelims and was ROBBED. Her routine was about as near perfection as it gets – literally not one balance check. Tonight she’ll be rock solid again, and she’ll get the fair sore of 16.475.

Rotation 4 – Floor:

Nastia:

  • Start Value: 6.2
  • Execution: This is definitely not her best event. She’s fallen several times on her second tumbling pass. She won’t tonight. What she does, though, is have a unique, beautiful look about her. She’s almost awkward on this event – she’s lanky, but it makes for the most enjoyable watching. She pulls you in. When she hits it’s great. Not her highest in execution scores, typically and fluctuates a lot.
  • Score: She’ll hit tonight… 15.4

Shawn:

  • Start Value: 6.3 Shawn is World Champion (in general) and World Champion on this event. She loves to tumble and she FLIES when she does. She hits those tumbling passes HARD, and you see the joy in her face when she does it. She has said before that the entire US team loves to fly and they struggle staying in bounds. In the team final, she went out of bounds – first time I’ve ever seen her do that. Her first tumbling pass is a double twisting double back and it’s absolutely breathtaking.
  • Execution: Shawn is …. you-get-goosebumps good on this event. Her form is amazing, her smile is contagious, her jumps are sky high, and her choreography compliments her insane difficulty. She usually gets in the 9.2-9.4 range here.
  • Score: Shawn is going to end tonight on a massive high. She loves what she does, and she’s going to go out there completely determined and remind everyone (not that we need to be reminded) of why she’s World Champion here. She’ll rock this routine, and get a well deserved 15.775 to end her night.

Now I have to discuss the Chinese gymnasts. They’re super talented (albeit too young – there, I’m with Bela – I’m just going to say it!). I have a HUGE problem with breaking the age rule in this sport, but that’s another rant for another time. One of the biggest arguments in gymnastics this Olympics has been that a lot of people think that the Chinese have been consistently overscored. The anouncers are often baffled when, even after major falls, the Chinese gymnasts still get amazing scores.

I love this sport and I refuse to believe in anything but the integrity and authenticity in it. I may think differently after tonight is over, but regardless of whether these gymnasts are overscored, Juang and Yilian (spelling?) are both fantastic gymnasts and have insane difficulty. They are going to do ridiculously well.

Now, for the standings, my final predictions. Who will win tonight in Bejing? Who will take home the coveted gold medal in Women’s All-Around in gymnastics?

Gold: Shawn Johnson
Silver: Nastia Liukin
Bronze: Juang and Yilian will battle this one out – I don’t know enough about them individually to guess which will win.

Okay it’s 9:35… only an hour and a half… I feel a little less jittery. I’m so excited.

Congrats to all the women who made it into the all-around!!!

Good luck Nastia and Shawn – we know you’re going to represent the Red, White, and Blue with pride, grace and absolute class!

And Shawn??? – GET IT GIRL!!!!!!!!

Published in: on August 15, 2008 at 6:43 am  Comments (1)  

Let’s Talk Olympics

I’m almost tempted to create a new page on this blog just for Olympics talk. Matt and I have filled our tivo with Olympics. From the Men and Women’s gymnastics pre-lims to the team finals to the American women fencing sweep astounding victories of man-fish Michael Phelps, we’ve been captivated by the 2008 Olympics.

I love this time of joy, harmony and pretend peace. For 17 days every four years (or whatever it works out to in other Games), the world seems to calm down. Well, I lie. This year with the Russia/Georgia conflict, it’s hard to believe in even the pretense of peace and harmony the Olympic Games brings, but at least personally, every four years, I put aside all those deep-rooted political beliefs – I forget it all and I fall in love with sports like the Trampoline and Fencing and synchronized diving.

I’m going to keep posting stuff – and I have a TON to report on gymnastics so far (of course!), but here’s one of my favorite cheesy NBC video packages so far of these games:

Michael Phelps Daily Diet –> becuase of where the video is hosted (http://celebrity.pixie-search.com/michael-phelps-daily-diet-video/) I can’t make it appear as a video on here. Bummer. But click the link and watch it. It’s fantastic. Phelps consumes between 8-12,000 calories a DAY!

Seriously – maybe all Americans should be swimmers! We’d all be so fit and be able to eat ANYTHING! Then again…… we may end up with a massive food shortage…

more of my thoughts on these olympics later! (especially the chinese gymnasts age controversy!)

Published in: on August 14, 2008 at 1:16 am  Comments (1)  

We Call Them “Ex” for a Reason

I feel like the word “EX” translates nicely into the ever-useful strikethrough editing tool:

Knowing you.

Liking you.

Enjoying your company.

Wanting you around.

Being a part of my life.

Allowed to communicate with me.

All things “Ex” related.

The point of this rant? An email from Editor Guy this morning:

“I was going through my facebook list, trying to catch up with everyone I haven’t had a chance to talk to in a while and you were not on it anymore. I hadn’t heard from you in a while so I figured you were busy too. Is everything okay?”

1) I unadded him on facebook months and months ago (that convo with Matt went as such – “No seriously! I  even unadded him on FACEbook!!!” Matt: “NO! You are SUCH a hardcore bitch!”) Yeah yeah so it might just be facebook, but it was a step to exing him out of my life.

2) he just noticed that i unadded him. that’s… nice…

3) I like that he acts like – oh i’m just concerned about you – are you okay? What he really means?? “I know I treated you like crap, but you’re Cyndi and so friendly and always eager to stay friends with people that I’m going to take you unadding me as an insult to my clearly fantastic personality and pretend to wonder how you are while all the while really trying to somehow get back in your life so we an start this completely assinine cycle all over again. ps – I’m probably single again which is why I suddenly have time to go through my facebook friends and, for sure, have time to email you! pps – you still in LA?”

4) I’m also at least part female – so I’m probably at least being part crazy here. This I acknowledge.I also acknowledge that he and I have been “friendly” this summer – as in we met at the Coffee Bean once and pretended to have a decent time, and one time I was even bored on a weekend night and texted him and asked if he wanted to see a movie.

There have been moments I have clearly considered the possibility of us being “friends,” but the moment has passed. And that email – somehow, someway – really got under my skin. Perhaps it’s nothing he did, maybe it’s just the completely even mix of dread and intrigue that fills my gut when I see his name in my inbox.

My conclusion, on exs?

I dont like exs. I think they’re useless. and pointless, and frankly, better off moving to some far away land like Montana where they can just ride horses and die there and, essentially, never be in the same city as you are or capable of contacting you in any way. …. Until 3 years later, if they’re decent people, when the harm of the relationship has subsided on both parties and friendship can ensue. Until then – go move to Montana. Ride a horse, Editor Guy.

Published in: on August 11, 2008 at 10:39 pm  Leave a Comment  

Olympics Countown: 90 Minutes!!

Shawn has 8 million sponsors and a gazillion Olympic Commercials out right now. Every advertisement and commercial for the Olympics she pops up in, even when it’s not one starring her. This one is undoubtedly my favorite:

“It’s crazy to think I’m being compared to Mary Lou… I mean, it’s Mary Lou!”

(knock on wood) this girl is destined to win gold. She’s got it all – technique, form (FORM!), consistency, competitive drive, difficulty, style, and the personality.

And Nastia – our other love. I love this commercial. She’s being compared in her gymnastics to Nadia Comeneci…. AHH! It’s so exciting. This is beautiful:

Congrats to the entire Women’s Gymnastics Team!!!!

Chellsie Memmel
Alicia Sacramone
Bridget Sloan
Samantha Peszek
Shawn Johnson
Nastia Liukin

Published in: on August 9, 2008 at 2:11 am  Leave a Comment  

Strange URLs

Ever wondered how people name their websites? WHAT exactly goes through their heads when they come up with a particular phrase or question or set or seemingly completely unrelated words and then buy that domain space?

…I haven’t.

But some people have! So I decided to jump up on their interests and find the most fun ones I could. And tragically enough – there just isn’t much on google (that I could find) with lists of cool URLs. So I, being the expert (BAH!) blogger I am decided to fill this void in the googleisphere. (yes, I also coin words).

Here’s my list (cough cough – perhaps try to avoid checking out the last two…)

www.pointlesswasteoftime.com

www.whorepresents.com

www.campaignforliberty.com –> that one’s Ron Paul’s. Man terrifies me. *shudder*

www.itsgettinghotinhere.org – climate change

www.operationsnowhite.com –> I typed in URLs of my own crazy thinking trying to find some that exist, and after seeing this one I was determined to find like a “www.weputhumptytogetheragain.com” or something, but alas – no one has taken THAT gem of a name.

www.whoismccain.com

www.whatisdemocracy.com

www.smellsliketeenspirit.com

www.sunshineandhappiness.com

www.passthesalt.com

www.soyouwanna.com

http://www.whocontrolstheworld.com (that would be YOUR MOM… mom, do you control the world? hahah)

http://www.whosyourmom.com

http://www.whosyourdaddy.com (now come on. Of COURSE that’s dirty!)

http://www.penisland.com –> teeeheee I actually read it as “pen island” for the first while and I couldn’t figure out why it was on the list it was on… and then I got it and was like OHHH. I lose.

That’s all I got. I’m uploading a bunch of pictures today, so I’ll post some actual stuff from this summer soon.

Happy Opening Ceremonies day!

Published in: on August 9, 2008 at 12:53 am  Leave a Comment