Olympics are bad for my work ethic.

My roommate and I, like, can't stop watching.  Just a few thots:
  • Few things I've seen in the games so far can match the wondrous beauty of the China women's team doing synchronized diving.  It's like they are one person in two bodies.  Also--I'm happy Mexico landed a medal.  I was rooting for them too.
  • Michael Phelps talks like he's got cottonballs in his mouth.  My roommate, "he never closes his mouth, and it's not like he's singing along!"
  • We've been arguing about who's cuter.  She thinks Ryan Lochte (I think she's nuts) and I think Michael Phelps, despite his teeth.
  • The US women's gymnastics team is sooooo seeeeeeeeeeeerious.  They alternate between concentrating so hard they forget to smile, and looking outright pissed off.  A far cry from the sweet earnestness of Mary Lou Retton in 1984 and the playful perfection of Dominique Moceanu in 1996 (yeah, all her vids are up on YouTube).  I wonder if they could have done better if they had lightened up a little!
  • I can't help it, I really wanted China to clinch the gold in women's gymnastics, mostly because it's their home turf and because it was such a great follow-up to the men's team last night.  Plus, they are all so darn cute!  Little doll-girls!  And they brought a lot more personality and fun to the floor exercises and such.
  • Lastly, I just noticed (though I am denser than most) that silver medalists never seem that thrilled about it, but bronze medalists often are.  I realized this is because silver medalists are upset because they were in contention for the gold, while bronzes are usually just happy that they medaled at all.  How funny!

Not cute enough for the CCP!

CNN broke the news today: adorable 9-year-old Lin Miaoke, who captivated millions at the opening ceremonies Friday night, was lip-syncing to the voice of 7-year-old Yang Peiyi, who was deemed "not cute enough" by Politburo members during rehearsals and yanked from the program at the last minute.

What I want to know is, how did they find a "cute enough" girl so fast?  And why couldn't they have found someone who was both cute AND talented?

Looking at the diptych I just made of the two girls side by side, I can't really see why the first girl is cuter than the other, except she has longer hair, she's in pigtails, and she's smiling.  Oh, and she has slightly better teeth (but in kids, bad teeth can be cute).  Who knows.

What a nail-biter!

My roommate and I stayed up late (waaaaaaay late) to watch through the men's gymnastics finals.  What thrills!  What suspense!  And our boys pulling through in the end with a bronze!  * wiping tears *  I'm so proud of them, even if the dude from Fremont made a "disastrous" fall (someone, please shoot those retarded NBC announcers) and Raj fumbled on the pommel horse dismount.

That is to say, I was still rooting for China to win the gold...because a) their routines were way more spectacular and amazing than anyone else's, especially that dude on the vault and the other dude on the rings and b) they had to win it, on their home turf and c) most of us wanted to see it happen after Athens.  Really, really fantastic all around though... I haven't been this into the Olympics since the Magnificent Seven took on the 1996 Atlanta games.

Other highlights: women's volleyball and synchronized men's diving.  Those lean swimmers' bodies!  Dayamn!

Is it just me or is there a plethora of good-looking athletes all around this year, both men and women? Not that looks matter at the end of the day...just the game.

** Note to self
: don't let my son become a gymnast.  They may be cute, but they are pocket-sized!

Posting early: Early 90s Monday

I couldn't wait to lay on some more early nineties goodness.

Mr. Big, "Be With You" 1991
To me, this ranks almost right up there with "More Than Words."  (Don't worry, I'll be posting that one too, but I'm trying to start out with slightly lesser-known picks.)  Especially since both songs are pretty much the only songs from these two bands that any of us really know.  And both translate so beautifully to karaoke.  Just try not to belt it out, I dare you.

Mint Condition, "Breakin' My Heart (Pretty Brown Eyes)" 1991
I wanted to draw out the 1991 picks but there are just so many awesome ones.  This one, I think, is smootherific early-nineties R&B at its very finest.  Who knows what other songs Mint Condition actually released?

Sorry for the poor quality and lack of actual video... I couldn't find an embeddable version on YouTube, those Universal bastards.

Lastly, I just realized that no one could watch the "Indo Smoke" video because embedding was disabled (props to you if you actually clicked through to YouTube for it).  So here's just the song (no video, sorry):

Food from the week..

  • Breakfast at Lavazza: potato quiche, salad with vinaigrette, cafe latte
  • Pizzeria Due: we missed eating here by about 20 min.  Had a plane to catch.
  • Friday lunch at Oasis Cafe: Beijing style.  Sesame-sauce noodles with chicken & cucumber, yam noodles in broth with napa cabbage and lamb.  Pom-blueberry Naked Juice.
  • Garden Fresh Cafe: fake "duck" made out of soy.  Amazing, from the fake bones to the fake meat to the crispy-fake skin.  Followed by fake sweet and sour chicken.  Brown rice.
  • Omelette in the making: organic eggs, milk, portobello mushrooms, chicken breast, red onion, cottage cheese, pepper.
  • Home-fried rice: Brown rice (from Garden Fresh), frozen mixed veggies, chicken, adobo seasoning.

Debate: How many is "a couple"?

I'm really confused.  I always thought "a couple" meant just what it says.  Two.  A pair. One, and two.  Not three, not four.  In the past week though, I've had at least two people interpret "a couple" as more than two. 

In the first case, my friend said something was "a couple miles away."  15-20 minutes later, I was like, "Geez, this place is hella far.  It's totally more than two miles."  She was like, "who said anything about two miles."  I was like, "that's what a couple is!"  In the second case, I said "a couple of friends," meaning two, and was asked exactly how many "a couple" was, but by this time I realized that "a couple" did not unequivocably mean two.

So tell me if I'm wrong, but this is the system of numbers I've always had in my head:

"a" = 1
Ex. "I want a cat."  Means I want ONE cat.

"a couple" = two
Ex. "I had a couple of drinks."  Means I had TWO drinks.

"a few" = 3 - 5 
Ex. "I've visited a few cities around China."  Means I have traveled to FOUR cities in China.

"several" = 5 - 8

Ex. "John has had several partners in the last couple of years."  Means John is someting of a manslut, having spread himself around with approximately SEVEN women in TWO years =P

"many" = 8 - 15, depending on what you're talking about
Ex. "I want to do many different things when I go to Chicago in a few days."  This gets a little hazy, but I probably could come up with more than EIGHT things I want to do in Chicago in the THREE days I have left before my trip.

"a lot" = more than 10ish
Ex. "I have a lot of e-mails to send tonight."  You get the point.

Of course, interpretations of "a few," "several," "many" and "a lot" can differ depending on what you're talking about.  If it's cars in a parking lot, for example, "a few" could mean up to 10, "several" can mean up to 20, "many" can be up to 100, "a lot" can be like 500.  But, "a couple of cars" is still just 2 cars.

Anyway, just some thoughts for an unproductive Thursday night.

Home sweet California

One thing I love about California is how state law dictates that toilet seat protectors be available in every public restroom.  In other states, this seems to be a luxury reserved for the airports and a small handful of high-end hotels/restaurants. 

I don't know how you ladies (and guys?) in the rest of the country manage.  Do you lay down a bunch of toilet paper to sit on?  Do you just sort of hover over the seat and risk splashing/dribbling?  Do you (and yes, I've heard people admit to this) climb up onto the seat and squat on it, as if it were a squatty toilet in Asia?

This inquiring mind wants to know.