Reading the Sochi Olympics I: Bode Miller

Yesterday, self read an interesting article about Bode Miller in the Los Angeles Times.  Seems he came up medal-short (8th place) in the men’s downhill.  He’d done spectacularly in the training runs, but there was a 15-minute delay while he was up in the slot, due to a malfunctioning gondola.  And this 15-minute difference, the Times seemed to imply, was enough to melt the hard snow a little more, and make it less than optimum for Miller’s type of skiing.

In addition, the Times article was the first self had heard of Rosa Khutor, the name of the particular mountain on which the downhills were run.

Today, self is reading the on-line magazine Grantland.  She isn’t quite sure yet what it is.  It seems to have articles on movies, sports, and everything in between.  So it’s like the Village Voice?  Or The Brooklyn Rail?  Anyhoo, self bookmarked the site last week.  This is only the third time she’s perused it.

Rhosa Khutor, says the Grantland writer (Louisa Thomas), “is a hungry God.  Ten of the 55 skiers who participated in the final training run on Saturday didn’t complete the course.  One of them, Rok Perko of Slovenia, smashed his face and left blood on the snow.  ‘If you’re not paying attention,’ said Bode Miller, ‘this course will kill you.’ ”

On training runs, Miller was superb:  he clocked first on two of the three training runs.  He was supposed to medal, dammit!

In other words, if you want to see the best performance ever by a man described by Thomas as “the best American skier of his generation,” you’d have to view Miller’s training runs.  Which don’t count for anything.

Ah, but note how Miller did not have a clean sweep of the training runs.  One of the three runs was won by a 23-year-old named Matthias Mayer, and this was the man who eventually won the gold.

Oh, the Olympics.  So much fun to watch, so many stories to tell.

Self could go on and on about how writers are similar to athletes, how writers have to write every day, how dailiness is as essential to the writer’s craft as training runs are to downhill skiers.  Etc.  But she will not inflict such thoughts on dear blog readers today, not when she herself is so bleary-eyed and hasn’t written much of anything (yet) today.

Stay tuned.

Quote to Begin the 2nd Tuesday of February 2014

Travel Resolutions 2014:

“I’d love to take Ken Kesey’s novel Sometimes A Great Notion and head to the southern Oregon coast.  It’s perfect reading country:  quiet, stunning, and off the beaten path.”

—  Foster Huntington, co-founder of travel blog, in the January 2014 issue of Condé Nast Traveler

And Still More Selfies: WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

Self in Happy Mode:  San Luis Obispo, August 2011

Self in Happy Mode: San Luis Obispo, August 2011

Self in HAPPY Mode Again! An editor of Rogue Magazine (Philippines) wanted self to send a "recent" author pic to accompany the publication of her story "Island" in the special issue on Bacolod.  So self took one of her first selfies ever.

Self in HAPPY Mode Again! An editor of a magazine wanted self to send a “recent” author pic to accompany the publication of a story. So self took one of her first selfies ever.

November 2013:  Self and The Man were in Miami's South Beach. Self took this shot with her cell phone.

November 2013: Self and The Man were in Miami’s South Beach. Self took this shot with her cell phone. It was warm, and self was possibly the only person on South Beach wearing a black, buttoned-up shirt.  Did you know you can have a huge margarita in South Beach for something like $5?  At 9 a.m.?

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Women’s Review of Books, vol. 51 No. 1 (January/February 2014)

Self really loves the Women’s Review of Books.  She devours each issue passionately.

The latest one to arrive in her mailbox is vol. 51 No. 1.

Here are a sampling of the books reviewed:

  • Book of Ages:  The Life and Chronicles of Jane Franklin, by Jill Lepore:  Reviewer Martha Saxton describes it as “original, affectionate, and smart.”
  • The Riddle of the Labyrinth:  The Quest to Crack an Ancient Code, by Margalit Fox, a book “about the writing on tablets unearthed in Knossos, Crete, in the first years of the twentieth century and about the crucial contribution of Alice Elizabeth Kober, a classics professor at Brooklyn College, to their eventual decipherment decades later.”  The review is by Susanna J. Sturgis.
  • The review by Mako Yoshikawa of two new collections of linked stories: Horse People, by Cary Holladay and The News From Spain:  Variations on a Love Story, by Joan Wickersham.  Yoshikawa describes Horse People as “beautiful” and “engrossing,” and calls The News from Spain “wise and wonderful.”
  • The Girl Who Loved Camellias:  The Life and Legend of Marie Duplessis, by Julie Kavanagh, is about the life of “the Parisian courtesan” who fled “poverty, abuse, and the depredations of old men” and whose genius lay in always presenting “the beautiful appearance, the polished surface, the opera box, the pink champagne, the fine sensibilities and insatiable appetites.” The review is by Carole DeSanti.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

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