Monthly Archives: June 2008

keep an eye on torres. again.

Dara

Like all good red-blooded Americans, I love the Olympics. The Summer Olympics have always been my favorite, since the days when my friend Anne and I set up a gymnastics course for our Barbies and got in big trouble for cutting off one of the doll’s hair so that she’d look more like Kerri Strug. I also love the Summer Olympics because I used to be moderately hardcore swimmer, and I’m pretty pumped because the Olympics Trials for swimming take place this week in Omaha, Nebraska.

I swam year-round for about six years, and looking back a couple years later, I’m shocked at my dedication. I was never an earth-shatteringly good swimmer; I was more of a solid member of a good relay team, and the closest I ever got to the Olympics was watching them on TV. Still, swimming takes a lot of practice, even for swimmers of my level. Back in the day, my summers were filled with two-a-day practices, which included about two hours of swimming each, plus some form of dryland training. Now if I manage to stay on a treadmill for 30 minutes I pat myself on the back. Sad, isn’t it?

The point is, after a mere six years of pretty consistent hard work, I was more or less burnt out and done with the sport. Which is part of why I’m floored by the story of Dara Torres.

The 41-year-old Torres broke her first world record in the 50 freestyle when she was 14, in 1982, and has been competing at the Olympic level ever since. That makes for about a quarter-century of really freaking hard work (with a couple of fake retirements thrown in). According to the New York Times’  profile of Torres, if she makes the Olympic team this year, it will be her fifth time on the team, making her the first American to compete in five Olympics AND the oldest female swimmer in the history of the Games. She’ll be competing against people who were born after she set her first world record. I’ll be lucky if I’m still able to stay afloat in a pool at 41. 

According to the article, Torres is crazy dedicated and super competitive, and it takes “a head coach, a sprint coach, a strength coach, two stretchers, two masseuses, a chiropractor and a nanny,” to keep her performing at an Olympic level. And did I mention she has a child? Just a few months after her daughter, Tessa Grace, was born in 2006, she raced at the Masters World Championships.

I’ll certainly be keeping an eye on Torres this week, along with her fellow old-timer, 33-year-old rebel Gary Hall, Jr. Both will be competing in the 50 freestyle, with the men’s finals on Saturday, July 5, and the women’s finals on Sunday the 6th.

Here’s a photo of Torres looking crazy in-shape with her daughter, Tessa:

Dara Torres and Tessa

 

And one of Gary Hall Jr.:

Gary

Good luck, you two crazy kids!

[Posted by Mallory]

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we’re talking brunettes, not fighter jets.

Beards and Glasses

My Australian friend Kate, whom I studied abroad with in Italy, recently wrote on my Facebook wall (when I am too old to not drop things like “Oh, she wrote that on my wall” in everyday conversation?) that I should keep myself entertained “with some good old kiwi (New Zealand) humour.” (She also says fun things like “bub” and “mad blog,” which I love.) Of course, she was talking about Flight of the Conchords, the musical comedy band that most of you have probably heard of. According to Wikipedia, they bill themselves as “formerly New Zealand’s fourth most popular guitar-based digi-bongo acapella-rap-funk-comedy folk duo.”

As Christian Landers points out, because I am a white person, I like musical comedy: “This style of humor involves a person or group singing a song but rather than singing about something serious, it has funny lyrics. It’s not any more complicated than that, but white people can’t get enough of it.” Landers cites Flight of the Conchords as a perfect example of musical comedy that white people like. And to anyone hoping to make friends with a white person, he offers the following sage advice:

If you find yourself at a corporate retreat where you have to put on a skit for the other employees in your office, it’s always a good idea to suggest doing a funny song. The rest of your group will get very excited and start work immediately on some clever lyrics. Do not worry about the music part, if you have more than two white males on your team, it is certain that one of them can play the guitar.

Wise man, that Christian Landers.

Anyway, on Kate’s recommendation, I started playing on YouTube watching various Flight of the Conchords videos, and naturally, in the process, I formed crushes on the two singers. (A bearded man and a nerdy guy with glasses? Who both can sing and play the guitar? Sign me up.) All of the videos are entertaining, although sometimes I feel like I’m just not getting the joke (wrong hemisphere, maybe?). The wannabe-peace-loving-hippie-with-a-sense-of-humor in me quite liked this one:

When I become president, this is going to be the foundation of my national security strategy: “If every soldier in the world put down his weapon, picked up a woman, what a peaceful world this world would be.”

I also love this one, “The Most Beautiful Girl in the Room”:

I’d like to think that I’m in the top three most beautiful girls on the street. Depending on the street.

[Posted by Mallory]

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youtube clip of today: great song.

So this is a video of Joe Cocker singing his famous version of the Beatles’ “With a Little Help From My Friends”. He is INCREDIBLY high and has to be translated…which is when it gets funny. Please note his “dancing” and air guitar skills. Seriously some of the translations had me laughing out loud.

Can you imagine being one of the backup singers…

“Sounding good, Joe!” “Love the new lyrics!” “Great dance moves!” “Please don’t OD during the middle of this song…”

[Posted by Kathleen]

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no surprise that mccain lives here…

The price is wrong, bitch

According to the Phoenix Journal/NYT, controversy is erupting in Phoenix over the men’s-only grill at the Phoenix Country Club. There is a separate, far less comfortable dining room for women, and a main dining room for both men and women, but it’s closed between meals. Women can’t grab a beer after a round of golf, or talk to a client over drinks, in either room. (Come on, people, ladies like day drinking too!) Women and men alike have been speaking out against the archaic rule that forbids women from so much as entering the men’s grill, and as a reward for their progressiveness, they’re being harassed:

The targets of [the harassers'] ire were the women, and some men, who have dared to speak up against the club’s policy of forbidding women in the men’s grill room, a center of power dining in Phoenix.

Barbara Van Sittert, one of those women, said her husband, Logan, 73, has been heckled while playing golf and once found his locker defaced.

“They hooted and hollered at him and called his wife a whore,” said Mrs. Van Sittert, 72, a petite, quiet woman with an elegant white bob. “It was not warm and fuzzy.”

Wait, seriously? SERIOUSLY? I suppose I’m not shocked by the rule itself. My family belongs to a country club that still has separate dining rooms, and I’ve always thought that the old-fashioned rules of a country club are a little…extreme (for instance, cell phones are prohibited on the premises of my country club).  But it’s the reaction in this case that really shocks me. That a grown man would deface someone’s locker like an angry 9th-grade boy, or set up a website with the names and numbers of those speaking out against the sexism of the men’s grill (as one member did), is appalling.  

A lawsuit is in the works, but in the meantime,

the club’s board has not found the attention or legal proceedings enchanting. First, it amended its bylaws to state that any member who makes “derogatory or otherwise injurious comments in the media” is subject to suspension and legal fees, and ditto for those who sue. It also warned that spouses of dead members would no longer automatically maintain their privileges.

That’s great, isn’t it? Sorry your spouse died, and please don’t come back to the club again. Lord.

My sister also told me that one of the country clubs in Kansas City, near where she goes to school, still does not accept black members. As in, neither Tiger Woods nor James Blake could join the club.

Just a little something to think about. (Apparently, Saturdays are for anger here at SWTCTW.)

[Posted by Mallory]

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just six words and a picture.

Here is Coldplay singer Chris Martin (looking a little too dirrrrrty for my liking but that is easily overlooked…rawr!) during the Today Show yesterday.

I need my bra back, Chris.

[Posted by Kathleen]

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i epitomize number 101 on SWPL.

This is a mini rant. You know how sometimes you read something and you just get so angry? Well that happened to me as I was perusing USA Today. Get this: according to a study, black people don’t all think the same and see the world differently! WOW. This is a revolutionary thought because…all white people do? Haha well I guess they do if you ask Christian Landers of stuffwhitepeoplelike.

But seriously, there are just some things you don’t need to have a study for. And it’s sad that we have to waste money scientifically proving that members of a group have individual thoughts.

And by the way, number 101 on the list of stuff white people like is being offended. (My brother cites this as the most accurate post to describe me). Haha. Maybe he’s right, but somebody’s got to do it.

[Posted by Kathleen]

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who the hell is kit kittredge?

Oh man, I used to loooove American Girl dolls. Love love love. I had Samantha and Kirsten, and my sister had Addy and one of the Bitty Babies, and then once shit got modern, I got one of those dolls that was supposed to look like me, but actually it just looked exactly like Molly. All of my friends and I were obsessed with that stuff. Getting the dolls was awesome enough, but if your parents were SUPER cool, they would buy you a bedroom for the doll and more clothes and you would be the envy of the neighborhood. (I distinctly remember one Christmas where my dad was saving some special presents for last, and even though they were clearly shaped like large framed artwork, I convinced myself that it was somehow a whole bedroom set for Samantha that had just been flattened down for shipping. Surprise, surprise, the present was some kind of large framed artwork. For my mom.)

I was lucky enough to get a few of the accessories for the dolls, and my favorite was the hair curler set. You could set your little doll up like she was at the hairdresser’s, and painstakingly roll pieces of her hair into the rollers which NEVER WORKED, BY THE WAY. Ahem.

The point is, I used to love the American Girls, and I think the last new one to come out while I still cared was Josephina, a New Mexican girl growing up in 1824 (or so says the website). But now, there are like a million new dolls, and tons of new accessories and outfits you can buy, and there’s even a movie, starring that great little girl from Little Miss Sunshine (who, by the way, looks really different). The movie’s about one of the newer dolls, Kit, who grew up in the Great Depression and probably has some sort of scrappy best friend who helps her through some sort of life crisis that they confront even though they’re like seven. There’s a New York Times article that talks about how great this is for girls to have such a good role model and blah blah blah and I didn’t actually get through the whole article, but I’m sure you get the idea.  

Anyway, I guess I’m kind of freaked out that this essential aspect of my childhood has gone so…modern. (Although while trolling around the website, I did see that there’s a new hippie doll who grew up in the ’60s in Berkeley and wears one of those crocheted hats and probably got into drugs too early, and I’ve got to admit, that’s pretty cool.) I hope this all dies down by the time I have kids, because at $90 a pop for the dolls, plus hundreds of dollars for the bedroom sets, plus a trip to NYC to visit the American Girl studio, I may have to forgo all this nonsense and just get them Slinkies.

[Posted by Mallory]

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will she be called mrs. peepers?

Dear Sunshine Tutt,

Do you realize that you are marrying Mr. Peepers today? MR. PEEPERS.

xoxo,

SWTCTW

ps- In case you didn’t know, you are a model and Mr. Peepers is not.

Okay, I wish I could have sent that note. Five bucks says at least one of her friends did, probably her parents and the rest of her family too. I just have visions of Chris Kattan going all Mr. Peepers on their wedding cake.

UPDATED: Here is a picture of the new Mrs. Peepers:

Rawr! It has also come to my attention that she should be commended for marrying Mango.

Double rawr! This is starting to look like it rivals White Owl and Julia Lee

Congrats to the happy couple!

[Posted by Kathleen]

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another glass of cleavage creek, please.

During my semester abroad in Greece, I learned a little bit about wine…as in it’s cheap and tastes better than beer. Fortunately for me, my friends all learned the same thing. Now, instead of looking like frat rats, we get to sit down and have a glass of wine (or four) together. Because we’re just that classy.

When reading the news this morning, I found a headline mentioning Cleavage Creek wine. Clearly, I had to read about this. It’s about wine and cleavage! (Two things I know about). I don’t know exactly what I was expecting, but what I read was not it.

Budge Brown owns a ranch and small vineyard in Pope Valley, California and created the wine as a tribute to his wife, Arlene, who died of breast cancer. Some of the proceeds to go to research to fight cancer. One of the more amazing things, however, is that on each label is a woman currently fighting breast cancer. Pretty powerful.

I learned an importantly lesson today-don’t judge the wine by its label. Sadly, I was looking for a story about some gross dude that named his wine after boobs. Instead, I found something that I would like to be a part of and I’ll feel proud for supporting it.

So there is your morning glass of feel-good! Good morning!

[Posted by Kathleen]

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speaking of natashas…may i rant?

So Saturdays are super slow at the place where I’m receptionist-ing this week, and so they let us watch TV. As a throwback to my middle school days, when I religiously watched every VH1 Top Ten Countdown, I decided to watch some sort of VH1 countdown this morning. And it reminded me of something I’ve been needing to get off my chest: Natasha Bedingfield drives me nuts. Now, I know that everyone is obsessed with “Unwritten” and “Pocketful of Sunshine,” but I think they are crappy, irritating songs, and I’m sick of hearing them on the radio. (It’s like with my friend Anne, who hates the Beatles…if you sort of don’t like something, and then everyone else LOVES it, you’re bound to hate it even more.) Natasha Bedingfield’s songs are made for all-girl a cappella groups and middle schooler’s away messages (today is where your book begins, the rest is still unwritten…OMG LUV my GiRLaS…can’t wait 4 Jason’s party 2nite!), and that’s all. If they stuck to those forums, I would be safe.

And um, since when do the New Kids on the Block have a new song? It was just number one on the countdown, and I had no idea that they were back. I thought one of them was Ricky Martin.

[Posted by Mallory]

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