Sunday, February 12, 2006

ah michelle...

poor you.

your olympic dreams are shattered now aren't they?

but really, come on. weren't they actually shattered as soon as they put the new scoring system into effect, that rewards skaters for what they DO, rather than the old one which pretty much only reflected whether or not they screwed up? because you are pretty good at doing a technically-mediocre program and not fucking it up, but you are not very good at doing anything beyond that.

didn't you sort of know you weren't really going to be cut out for the olympics, considering you hadn't skated in a competition all season?

and really, when you got to turin by way of medical petition and tried to go out and practice, wasn't it sort of embarrassing hanging out with kimmie meissner, who has landed a triple axel in competition and may do it again? didn't it sort of suck seeing rena inoue land a fantastic throw triple-axel and knowing you can't do that, injury or not?

you know what i think? i think it's suspiciously convenient that you are "injured" again. i think you just chickened out because you can't compete with the real olympians. you can't compete with sasha cohen or irina slutskaya anymore, and you didn't even try this season. hell, sasha cohen even has a better SPIRAL than you, and that's supposed to be the one thing to your credit. those skaters have been getting progressively better over the years, while you have kept your skating at the same level of (non) difficulty. face it: in 100% health you still would have had no chance.

so, f you, michelle kwan. this injury bullshit is robbing everyone of the chance to definitively beat your has-been ass, and it is robbing me of the chance to enjoy it. i guess i should have realized that even if you had competed and ate it (which was my original prediction), you could have just gone back and chocked it up to your injury. so i guess you win either way.

oh wait a sec, you don't win. you're not even competing! i guess that is good enough for me.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Why I Want Michelle Kwan to go to the Olympics

Michelle Kwan is injured and cannot compete in the national championships, but is petitioning for a spot on the US Olympic team anyhow. Basically, she cannot skate in the competition that determines who gets sent to the Olympics, but she feels that they should just send her along anyway. This should come as no surprise to anyone who has even remotely been following figure skating over the last decade - America's little darling, the oh so graceful and elegant skater who has won the US title more times than I can remember, but never fails to come up short at the Olympics. The only thing she doesn't have is a gold medal and she wants it. Like really really fucking bad. She has persisted in competitive (amateur) skating, rather than turning professional, like anyone in her position who has a scrap of dignity or respect for the sport would have years ago.

Michelle Kwan is the ultimate professional skater. And that is definitely not a compliment.

Amateur skaters are the ones who compete in the nationals, worlds, Olympics. Professional skaters were either never good enough for competition or else are retired amateurs, and they skate in exhibitions, tours, things like Disney-on-ice, or the lamentable Brian Boitano skating spectacular that seriously exacerbated my post-NYE nausea last Sunday. Professional skaters maybe have to do a jump or two in an entire program; triples aren't even really necessary as long as you have enough funny props or are skating to a really "rock n' roll" song or are wearing a costume to make you look like a leopard. Professional skaters don't have to get better. They don't have to do big combination jumps or hard spins. All they have to do is cultivate their showmanship.

Which is exactly what fucking Michelle Kwan has been doing for the last ten years. Perfecting her dreamy, dopey-eyed expression for the camera as she skates along in her "trademark" spiral (that's the thing pictured above, where you lift one leg in the air; it is not difficult whatsoever and it is one of the first skills that a young skater would learn, once she is able to skate on one foot). Seeking out the sappiest, most bland classical pieces to accentuate her drab personality. What she has definitely NOT been doing is improving her jumping skills, or pushing herself whatsoever, or trying anything new or risky. Technically, she is one of the least talented skaters who competes at such a high level, which is why it is so easy for the underdogs to sneak up and beat her out. If you have read any of my entries before on this matter, you already know my opinion: Michelle Kwan is everything that is wrong with figure skating.

After the godawful Brian Boitano tv exhibition on New Year's Day, I went to hang with a friend of mine who was in town. I mentioned I've been skating a lot lately, and somehow we got on the topic of how male figure skaters are always gay, and it's surprising if you meet one who is not, whereas while most male hairdressers are gay, if you meet one who is not, you might not necessarily be surprised. I said it was a shame that so many male skaters are, in fact, gay, because skating is a serious athletic sport and it might be taken more seriously if all the dudes weren't acting so damn gay all the time with their little stretch tights and Robin Hood costumes and whatnot.
He said "What do you mean?"
Confused, I said "What do you mean, what do I mean?"
"How is it a sport?"
Not really sure how to answer a question that seemed so blatantly obvious to me, I tried to explain. "Well, you start out doing simple spins, and single jumps, and then once you can do those you move on to the harder spins, the spins on the opposite foot, flying spins, double jumps, then triple jumps.."
(Makes flapping motion with arms) "Yeah but don't you just sort of go along and like twirl around and stuff?"
"No! No!! You don't understand. That is just what you see on television. It is unfortunate that the program-to-music is the medium for competition, because it makes it look so fucking fluffy. All that shit with the costumes and twirly arms and footwork is NOT what figure skating is really about."

But that is the problem: that IS what it's about to Michelle Kwan. Young up-and-coming skaters are doing triple axel combinations, quadruple toe loops, and people like her still futz around and give skating a pansy reputation.

But not for much longer. She is getting old and this is surely going to be the last Olympics for her, whether she wins or loses. This writer acknowledges that her skills are really not up to snuff compared to today's skaters, and is worried about how the poor dear might take another disappointment, but claims she deserves the spot on the team because she is just such a gosh darn national icon. And you know what? I agree, fucking let her. I hope she goes, I hope they knock a more qualified skater off the US team, because for once and for all, I want her to experience the full onslaught of her irrelevance and outdatedness in comparison to the real athletes of the world who are doing difficult new things, who are pushing the sport forward, who are creating new standards. She will get completely massacred, and I will delight in every minute of it.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

inappropriate use of good songs in commercials

i just saw a commercial for some furniture store in which they start playing roxette's "the look." this is a good song. it should not be in a commercial. other songs that i have heard recently in various commercials and are being ruined for me, off the top of my head:

roy orbison - "it's over" - in blockbuster's "no late fees" commercials.
elvis - "you were always on my mind" in maybe some cell phone commercial?
bobby darin - "beyond the sea" carnival cruises
tchaikovksy - one of the pieces from sleeping beauty (possibly the intro) in some car commercial
franz ferdinand - "jacqueline" - again some car
nilsson - "everybody's talkin" - another cell phone commercial
iggy pop - "lust for life" - carnival(?) cruises
the sonics - "have love, will travel" - land rover
shocking blue - "venus" - gilette venus razor
led zeppelin - "rock and roll" - cadillac or chrysler or something
the kinks - "you really got me" - chevy trucks

i will add to this list as i hear more good songs in bad commercials. feel free to add as you see fit in the comments.

Monday, January 31, 2005

alcohol is not sexy

"Alcohol not only affects judgment, it also affects memory. It impairs neither short-term recall for what just happened nor existing long-term memories. Rather, it disrupts the processing of recent experiences into long-term memories. Thus, the day after being intoxicated, heavy drinkers may not recall whom they met or what they said or did the night before. This memory blackout stems partly from an inability to transfer memories from the intoxicated to the sober state. Blackouts after drinking may also result from the way alcohol suppresses REM sleep - recall that people deprived of REM sleep have difficulty fixing their day's experiences into permanent memories. Prolonged and excessive drinking can also affect cognition by shrinking the brain, which MRI scans show is especially striking in women, who have less of a stomach enzyme that digests alcohol.

Alcohol has another intriguing effect on consciousness: It reduces self=awareness. Compared with people who feel good about themselves, those who want to suppress their awareness of failures or shortcomings are more likely to drink. Losing a business deal, a game, or a romance will sometimes elicit a drinking binge.

Alcohol also focuses one's attention on the immediate situation and away from any future consequences. This facilitates urges that a person might otherwise resist. In surveys, over half of rapists acknowledge drinking before committing their offense. The effect reaches onto college campuses. Sexually active university students are less likely to use condoms when intoxicated. University women under alcohol's influence find an attractive but sexually promiscuous man a more appealing potential date than they do when sober. It seems, surmise Sheila Murphy and her colleagues (1998), "that when people have been drinking, the restraining forces of reason may weaken and yield under the pressure of their desires."

same source as below

Thursday, January 27, 2005

sleep is sexy

"During REM sleep, your genitals become aroused and you have an erection or increased vaginal lubrication and clitoral engorgement. For example, the common "morning erection" stems from the night's last REM period, often just before waking. Except during very scary dreams, genital arousal always occurs, regardless of whether the dream's content is sexual. The phenomenon has been studied mostly in men, from whom measurements are more easily recorded. In young men, sleep-related erections outlast REM periods, lasting 30 to 45 minutes on average. A typical 25-year old man therefore has an erection during nearly half his night's sleep, a 65-year old man for one-quarter. Many men troubled by "erectile disorder" (impotence) have morning erections, suggesting that the problem is not between their legs."

-Psychology, David Myers

Thursday, January 06, 2005


24 premieres this sunday! can't wait, fuckas!