Tag Archives: Vancouver Winter Olympic Games

DVR life

The Vancouver Winter Olympics are over…and I’m in withdrawal, as usual.

It was my first Winter Olympic Games with DVR, which helped.  I was able to watch all the coverage that I wanted, when I wanted….which turned out to be pretty much all of it at all hours of the day and night.

It was also the first Winter Olympic Games that competed with “American Idol” for my affections.

No contest there.

I skipped the AI audition episodes completely and watched last week’s performances at the Kodak Theater on hyperspeed.

But even speeding through the program on my DVR, I was able to select this year’s “American Idol”…after just one viewing.

It’s that blond guy who sang “Heaven.”

I checked out americanidol.com — his name is Casey James.  Seriously, he was the only memorable contestant of the 24 who sang…and not just because of the judges’ embarrassing display during his performance.

So, there you have it.

The amazing Vancouver Winter Olympics have sadly have ended.  And we can just fast-forward “American Idol” to the end.

Next up, the Oscars! (Better set the DVR now…just in case.)

To the tape

The Vancouver Winter Olympic Games have been a continuing source of inspiration.

Athletes facing injury, personal tragedy, and seemingly insurmountable odds have performed amazing feats of skill and courage, winning the the highest honor in their respective sport and a permanent spot in Olympic history.

Ya gotta love it.

But not everyone can be an Olympic athlete.  And that’s…okay.  There are other ways to express your skill, creativity, and passion to be the best.

I’m talking about the Scotch Packaging Tape art competition, of course.

The ‘free-form’ competition takes place in the United Kingdom, and features artwork made of — well, tape — and other materials to support it (like wire or cardboard), as long as the ‘other’ is less than 10 percent of the whole.

The photos are pretty amazing — jellyfish, a complete office desk, a lady on a swing — and all made with Scotch Tape.

Rumor has it Scotch Tape sculpture is being considered as a sport for the next Winter Olympic Games.

I’m kidding,  of course.  (It is so clearly a summer sport.)

Soooo local

When I first graduated from college, I worked for the NBC affiliate television station in Lexington, Kentucky — WLEX-TV, Channel 18.

I was a commercial writer and producer, but most of my friends worked in the news department.  Lexington was ranked 65th in market size in the country, and all the news reporters and anchors dreamed of working for a ‘major market’ station like Chicago, Los Angeles or New York.

I remember one of my college professors telling me, “Carla, local news is local everywhere.”  And he was right.

No matter how far up the food chain you go, local TV news can still be ridiculous at times.

Take today, for instance.  New York City got slammed with snow, and the local NBC affiliate station pre-empted “Today” to report on the weather around the five boroughs.

What did we see?

  • A reporter attempting to build a snow man on the side of a major highway — during repeated live shots — because he had a bet going with the cameraman over who was going to buy lunch
  • Another reporter hanging out with two guys shoveling snow in front of a government building. He tried to help them…and pretty much threw out his back.
  • A live shot just a few blocks from my house showing people getting out of cabs, sinking into the snow and ruining their shoes

I’m missing continuing coverage of the Vancouver Winter Olympics for this??

Wait — breaking news!  A street reporter in the Bronx has just stopped a motorist who was driving his convertible with the top down.  That woman has a nose for the news.

Reporting live from Manhattan, Carla Curtsinger, 18 Action News.

The other Brian

You are no doubt are familiar with “NBC Nightly News” anchor Brian Williams.

And if you have ever seen him on TV programs outside of the news — on “Today” or his now legendary hosting appearance on “Saturday Night Live” — you know that Brian has a killer sense of humor.

I think he may be the first and only network news anchor who is really funny.

Brian doesn’t take himself too seriously, and that’s key.  His work at the Vancouver Winter Olympics confirms that.

He’s still doing the news from Vancouver, but he’s doing some fun stuff, too.  In fact, there is a Canadian news anchor who is also named Brian Williams…and our Brian Williams did a piece to introduce Canadian Brian Williams to the US audience.

It’s indicative of Brian Williams’ sense of humor — that’s our Brian Williams…as in the “NBC Nightly News” anchor version.

Anyhoo, take a look.  It’s worth your time.  (If you go to the link, scroll halfway down the page for the video.)

NBC may be a screw up network these days, but they got Brian Williams right.

Universal language

Cabbies usually hail from other countries in New York City.

It’s part of the local charm.

And while some people might find that a hindrance to conversation, I’ve never let it stop me from chatting up the taxi driver on my way back and forth to the airport.

But last night, I was in Tulsa, the heartland of America.  I was expecting Billy Bob to pick me up on his tractor and drive me to my meeting.  (I say this with all due love and respect; remember, I grew up in Kentucky.)

But who was my driver?  Eni, from Jamaica, with an accent so thick, you would have thought he had arrived just that morning, even though he has called Tulsa home for eight years.

Eni and I exchanged only the basic pleasantries until he discovered I was originally from Kentucky.  Then he asked, with some excitement,

“Did you go to the University of Kentucky?”

When I said with great pride that I had, Eni talked non-stop for the rest of the long cab ride — with tremendous knowledge and enthusiasm, I might add — about the UK Wildcats basketball program.  He is a huge fan of Coach Cal and knew our record this season as well as if not better than I.

Eni knew a lot about basketball…and American football…and the Olympics.  In fact, our shared love of sports became our common language, even though we sometimes had to struggle to figure out exactly what each other were saying, since his English was a bit broken.

When Eni picked me up at the end of my meeting, he had updates on the Olympic women’s figure skating still in progress.  You can bet if I’m ever in Tulsa again, Eni will be the cabbie I’ll call.

Every two years, the International Olympics Committee brings the world together through athletic competition.  Last night, I experienced first-hand how sports can be a bridge.

Acting like a…

The U.S. Olympics Committee has just realized that snowboarders act like…well…snowboarders when they aren’t competing.

Scotty Lago, who won the bronze medal in men’s halfpipe snowboarding Wednesday, was photographed in the streets of Vancouver late Thursday allowing a woman to kiss and bite that very same medal.

And if her treatment of that cherished trophy wasn’t ‘disrespectful’ enough, guess where Lago was holding the medal when she took her liberties?  Can you say crotchal region?

Nice!

The news article I read called Lago “free spirited,” which is a nice way of saying, “He’s a snowboarder — a wild man!  Who knows what he was drinking or smoking when that photo was taken!”  (I’m just reading between the lines here.)

Lago was smart enough to apologize for his behavior the U.S. Olympic Committee and the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association.  Apparently all Olympians attend classes prior to the games to learn what is expected of them, and he failed his practicum in spectacular fashion.

Poor Lago.  He’s a snowboarder, a rebel.

You can’t un-teach that in one Olympic ambassador session.

Lago has voluntarily has left the Winter Olympic games early.

Multi-meltdown

I pride myself on being a multi-tasker, but last night, I almost fried a few internal circuits.

If any brain cells were lost in the process, I blame the International Olympic Committee and the Westminster Kennel Club and ESPN and February sweeps…not necessarily in that order.

Back in the day, when the Olympics were on television, all the other channels rolled over and played dead.  Showed reruns until the big show was through.  Had pity on the fans of their respective programs so they could give the Olympic games the intense focus they deserve.

Not anymore.

Now that TIVO and DVR and Hulu.com and channel-specific websites are out there, the other networks dare to run original programming during the Winter Olympics.  Which means — using last night as an example — I was trying to watch the Olympics and the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show finale and American Idol and the UK-Mississippi State game…all at the same time.

Now, technology was on my side.  I watched the Olympics live.  I DVR’ed American Idol.  I had the basketball game on my computer in an ESPN.com live window.  And I was able to track the dog show results on the Westminster Kennel Club website.

I could almost smell the smoke coming out of my ears.

This simultaneous viewing can be accomplished, sure.  But is it good?  Is it preferred?

No.

I just wanted to watch the Olympics.

Canada, aye?

Before the Vancouver Winter Olympics began — has it really only been four days? — I had an ‘acquaintance’ relationship with Canada.

I traveled to Nova Scotia on vacation more than a decade ago and loved it.  I have been to Montreal and Toronto on business and have found both cities beautiful.  But I’ve never spent any real time learning about the different provinces of Canada or their culture.

Well, NBC’s Olympic coverage has taken care of that.

And I have to say, I’m really starting to bond with Canada.  When they won their first Olympic gold medal in their history as a host country, I cried along side all the natives of the Great White North.

Plus, they have these charming little identifiers that tell the world they’re Canadians no matter where they are — “aye” and “about”  (pronounced “aboot”), to name two.

Which made me wonder: what tells the world that I’m an American when I travel abroad?  Or any American, for that matter?  Do we say or do anything that says to the world “American”?

(And if so, is it something positive?)

‘Cause I’m loving the Canadians!

Best of the worst

Sunday was Valentine’s Day.  Hope yours was loverly.

As you probably know, a movie of the same name was released on Friday.  Did you see it?

I didn’t get a chance.  Too much Olympics coverage to watch.  (I did see a preview performance of “Miracle Worker” on Broadway with Abigail Breslin, which was spectacular).

According to rottentomatoes.com, “Valentine’s Day” the movie is 84 percent rotten.  As one reviewer put it, “This has not a single ounce of the charm that you might find in ‘Love Actually’ or a number of other films revolving around romance. It’s just plain bad.”

Oh well…I still want to witness the carnage.   There are a lot of actors in the film that I like and, even if they suck, well, I’ll enjoy seeing that, too.

So, in honor of the suckiest things that movies have to offer, I thought I would resurrect the Top Ten Worst Movie Quotes of All Time, which were compiled in a survey by Warburtons.

Enjoy!

Top 10 Worst Movie Quotes

1. “I’m the king of the world!”
– JACK DAWSON (Leonardo DiCaprio) with young ROSE DEWITT BUKATER (Kate Winslet) in Titanic (1997)

2. “Nobody puts Baby in the corner.”
– JOHNNY CASTLE (Patrick Swayze) about FRANCES “BABY” HOUSEMAN (Jennifer Grey) in Dirty Dancing (1987)

3. “Is it still raining? I hadn’t noticed.”
– CARRIE (Andie MacDowell) to CHARLES (Hugh Grant) in Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994)

4. “I love you.”
“Ditto.”
– MOLLY JENSEN (Demi Moore) and SAM WHEAT (Patrick Swayze) in Ghost (1990)

5. “You can be my wingman any time.”
– TOM KASANZKY (Val Kilmer) to LT. PETE MITCHELL (Tom Cruise) in Top Gun (1986)

6. “I’m just a girl standing in front of a boy asking him to love her.”
– ANNA SCOTT (Julia Roberts) to WILLIAM THACKER (Hugh Grant) in Notting Hill (1999)

7. “Today we celebrate our Independence Day.”
– US President THOMAS J. WHITMORE (Bill Pullman) in Independence Day (1996)

8. “They make take our lives, but they will never take our freedom!”
– WILLIAM WALLACE (Mel Gibson) in Braveheart (1995)

9. “You had me at hello.”
– DOROTHY BOYD (Renee Zellweger) to JERRY MAGUIRE (Tom Cruise) in Jerry Maguire (1996)

10. “You’re a godsend, a saviour.”
“No, I’m a postman.”
– A BLIND WOMAN to the POSTMAN (Kevin Costner) in The Postman (1997)

Biblical proportions

‘John sinks James.’

‘Tearjerker takes down technology.’

‘Love kills the blue people.’

(Sorry…I couldn’t resist.)

Even I was stunned to see that “Dear John,”  the latest weeper from Nicholas Sparks , had taken over “Avatar’s” seemingly permanent Number #1 position at the Box Office.

It actually makes sense.  Most of “Avatar’s” target demographic was occupied with the pre-, pre-pre-, and pre-pre-pre-Super Bowl analysis, followed by the actual game and post, post-post, and post-post-post-game summaries.

And then, of course, there was the Super Bowl commercial viewing and analysis as well, both live and online.

The Super Bowl, if you do it right, can take a good three days.

Alas, “Avatar” was its victim…this weekend, anyway.  I’m sure its box office sales will bounce back for the balance of this week.

But beware, little blue CGI folk:  the Olympics are headed right your way.

And “Dear John” will be there, tear-stained tissue in hand, to pick up the pieces of your shattered audience.