Random Thoughts on the Winter Olympics

WinterOlympics2014Next week, the Winter Olympics start.  Yes, I know. Russia is evil.  But, the Olympics have been in other evil places too, I mean, do I have to say Hitler?

Now that we have Godwin’s Law out of the way, let’s talk about those awful outfits for Team USA.  Have you seen them?  They look like something Jean Bice of the Quaker Factory (RIP) designed, not some high end schmo…I’m looking at you Ralph Lauren.  What drug were you on when you designed those sweaters?  Or maybe you need to get back on the drugs? Were you ever on drugs?  I don’t know. I can’t afford nor do I like your clothes, regardless. My point is, what the hell?

You know what I enjoy aside from the opening ceremonies? The bobsled, the luge and the skeleton.  Those events are INSANE, especially the skeleton. Going down a bobsled run, headfirst on a tiny little sled? You have to be nuts.

There is one event I wish was in the Winter Olympics. It’s seen on the Red Bull Crashed Ice thingy.  It’s basically a race down a bobsled run…ON HOCKEY SKATES.  That totally rules!

If you couldn’t tell, the Winter Olympics are my favorite Olympics. The summer ones are kind of boring.  Seriously, what’s more exciting? Ski jump or gymnastics? Which one is the symbol of the agony of defeat?

Don’t get your panties in a proverbial bunch. I know gymnastics are tough. I’m just not interested in them.  Give me a slalom any day.

 

Review: Joanna Lumley’s Greek Odyssey

Joanna Lumley's Greek Odyssey_productThe other day, I received a copy of Joanna Lumley’s Greek Odyssey.  It’s a four episode travel show.  Can I just say that I love her voice? It’s so soothing and British.

I first saw Joanna Lumley as Patsy Stone on Absolutely Fabulous.  She is hilarious!  So, when I got the chance to watch a show with her touring Greece, I said, Of course, darling!

Greece is fascinating. As Joanna says in her Greek Odyssey, so much of western civilization began in Greece.  There is tons of history and culture to see and enjoy in that country despite its current financial state, which Joanna does bring up on occasion.

This series definitely romanticizes Greece, but I enjoy being swept away in its beauty.  There are also moments where the countryside reminded me of California. The beautiful rolling hills and olive trees made me remember warm spring days in Northern California.  Maybe that’s why I liked the video so much…

Also, I learned quite a bit about the country’s history during World War II. I didn’t realize just how much that war effected Greece.

It feels like one of those TV shows that gets shown on public television which I thoroughly enjoy.  It’s educational, entertaining, and soothing.   I’ve always said that if I didn’t have cable, I’d probably do nothing, but watch PBS all day.

I appreciated the animation that helped fill in the blanks at some of the ancient ruins.

It has really beautiful cinematography. The images of Mount Olympus, the various islands in the Mediterranean & Aegean seas are mesmerizing.

If you are looking for a nice break from all the “reality” TV and want to learn a thing or two, I highly recommend this four episode series. You can buy the DVD or watch it online at Acorn TV.  It might even be coming to a local PBS station…again.

I received no compensation for this review.  Opinions are my own.

Five Predictions for 2014

humor, funnyDid you know I have a crystal ball? Seriously. Mostly, it just looks pretty in our home, but today I put it to use. What does the future hold? What will happen in 2014? Yes, I made predictions!

1) A celebrity will do and/or say something stupid, ridiculous, and distracting. Come on, people haven’t you figured this crap out yet? It’s a public relations stunt. Someone somewhere is paying someone else somewhere else to talk about something. It doesn’t matter who it is or what they did. People of all types do and say dumb things all the time. It shouldn’t be newsworthy, but sadly it is. Stop paying attention to the shiny object.

2) Something will be at war that can’t actually be warring. Christmas is usually a good topic, but I think people are bored with that subject. I’ve seen cupcakes, Halloween, and storage lockers go to war on TV. What is it good for? Absolutely nothing. Apologies to Edwin Starr. Can we just stop having things battle that are not inherently at odds? Why can’t TV shows just teach us something? There are other plots aside from A vs B, even if they are manufactured through the editing process.

3) The government will do something you don’t like. Have you voted? If not, be quiet. If so, do something about it during the next election. Also, pick up a spy novel every now and then. These “revelations” about spying are not revelations to people who read that genre.

4) Some incredibly dumb woman will become famous and have no discernible talent. Unless of course you count the ability to create a sex tape a talent…maybe it is. I don’t know. Here’s a question, how come a man hasn’t become famous by releasing a sex tape?

5) A meme will appear on the internet (Facebook more likely than not) that was disproved 10 years ago by Snopes.com, but one or more of your friends and/or family members will think it’s true. Like this status if you love puppies and kitten, ignore if you’re a heartless asshole.

Bonus: I will assume a reputable news site has reprinted a story from theOnion.com (or other parody site) because truth is stranger than fiction. And in one case, I might be correct!

Top Five Reasons Halloween is Awesome

pumpkin, halloween, fall, autumnNot to start a Halloween controversy, but these are the top five reasons why I love Halloween.  Your reasons for enjoying this festival of frights, magic, and possible Celtic rituals, might differ, but this isn’t your blog, so moving on…

  1. Candy. Seriously, this is really the main reason I love Halloween as a kid. Of course, now I can buy my own candy, I don’t have to go around the neighborhood and beg for it, but some really great candy choices are available in giant bags. If I bought a giant bag (or 3) of candy in the middle of July, people would think I’m nuts.
  2. Decorations. I love putting up all sorts of orange, black, brown, pumpkin, witch, cat, stuff all over the place. Oh, yes, and lights! I know, those are really Christmas-y, but I’ve fallen for the marketing and want to put up twinkling orange lights in my windows.
  3. TV Specials. OK, the only one I really look forward to is It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, but I also enjoy the occasional Halloween themed episode of a sitcom.
  4. No presents. All you have to do is give out candy to kids. They have those already pre-sorted in the store for you. You just have to buy the bag that you will eat after no one shows up at your door. You don’t have to fight crowds, stand in lines at 3:00 AM or search for bargains to do it.
  5. Costumes. I love to see how creative people get. Sure, there are the lazy ones who grab a black witch hat and call it a costume (me), but I thoroughly appreciate a person who put some thought and effort into their get up. Obscure early century cartoons, random historical figures, little known superheros (I’m looking at you Blue Raja), all wonderful.

Is it just me, or is it crazy out there lately?

Cartoon CussingYes, I know astrology is pretty much hokum, but I really have no other way to explain the crazy crap that’s been happening lately.

First a freaking train crashes in Canada practically blowing up a whole town…OK, maybe just a very large chunk of it, still…awful.  And why did this happen?  It looks like someone forgot to check the breaks.  THE…BREAKS!  How do you NOT check that on a train that was just on fire and carrying highly flammable contents?!? (Note: I’m not blaming the firefighters here. The people who know more about trains are the ones I think need to be inspected…)

Then a freaking airplane crashes because it looks like the pilot(s) screwed up royally. There’s no real blame placed on anyone from the NTSB as I write this post.

Speaking of the NTSB…are you kidding me with that? A summer intern confirms the names of the pilots which are CLEARLY a very poor joke.  I mean even Bart Simpson was going, “There’s no way anyone would believe those names.”  Heck, I have more clout than a summer intern at my job and I would never confirm anything to the media…not even my existence on this planet.  Why? Simple. I don’t want to get into trouble.  It’s pretty common in all organizations that only a select few people are authorized to talk to the media.

And then a freaking noon news program reported it as fact…FACT!  How does someone at said local channel not go, “Hmmm. I’m not sure those are real, plus ‘Georgie’ the summer intern was the one who spoke with me about the matter. He’s only been there for 2 days, so I’m sure he has the authority to be confirming things.”

Now, I understand that the 24 hour news cycle can make it hell for those in the media, but does that mean common sense is thrown out the window?

And let’s say for argument’s sake that it wasn’t REALLY a summer intern who confirmed the names of the pilots, but it was a higher up and said intern is the fall guy for the higher up… That doesn’t make things better. In fact, it makes them worse.  Own up to your mistakes as ridiculous as they may be.

Personally, I’d rather blame the position of the stars on the above chaos than on the possibility that people are just that stupid, lazy or apathetic.

Gird your loins, everyone.  We still have another week of this crap to go.

It’s National Martini Day, of course.

Some of you just went, “Isn’t every day National Martini Day?” and that’s why we get along.

Who wouldn’t want to celebrate what’s essentially a garnished fancy glass of vodka? Well, martinis are more than just a glass of vodka.  They have been for years.  I mean the Cosmopolitan is type of a martini made famous by Sex and the City…was that over 10 years ago when the show first aired?  Wow.

I will admit that the Cosmo and the Lemon Drop are my favorite types of martinis.  In fact, the Lemon Drop is a great drink to order if you are new to imbibing in liquor. When made correctly, it takes like lemonade…with a kick.  It was the drink I would order when I was a 22 year old woman just getting a taste for alcohol.

Vodka has certainly changed since then.  It comes in many flavors these days.  From what I remember, Absolut was the first brand that had flavored vodka.  Now, the field is broader and so are the flavors.  It’s not just fruit anymore. Some of them sound a little random, but I saw this Three Olives Vodka recipe for a Campfire Martini and was intrigued:

three-olives-smores-recipe-campfire

  • 3 parts Three Olives S’mores Vodka
  • Crushed graham crackers, chocolate syrup, marshmallows
  • Dip the rim of martini glass in chocolate syrup and coat with crushed graham crackers.
  • Pour Three Olives S’mores into martini shaker filled with ice.
  • Shake and strain into martini glass.
  • Garnish with a skewer of three toasted marshmallows!

It sounds like a fun drink to make when you are having a few friends over, especially in the summer time.