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The Olympics are ruining my reading time…

February 15, 2010


My cutie-pie meeting some goats for the first time. I'm sure the lady in the sunglasses thought they were donkeys...


I had the day off today and instead of curling up with a book, we all went to the zoo. Elliott is old enough to watch the animals — he had fun at the goat petting zoo, was mesmerized by the elephants, kept clapping for the wild dogs. (A woman next to me at the wild dog exhibit told her three young children, “Look at the hyenas!!” and then walked over to the cheetah cage and said, “Come look at the leopard!” That’s okay. Her Fendi bag and oversized sunglasses on an overcast Oregon morning might be a good indicator that she has never needed to be smart. But give the children a chance, at least. What? Too harsh? Nah — I could make people watching at the zoo into a full-time job: What about the father with his Sponge-Bob boxer shorts showing who warbled through his own version of “Hakuna Matata” during the entire Africa exhibit?)

Between today’s outing and the start of the winter Olympics on Friday, I must admit that I am only 50 pages into my Michener book. I am finding the book fascinating, but reading about how awful communism is/was is exhausting! Besides: It’s the Olympics! 

I had every intention of reading while watching moguls, short-track racing and the luge event…but I can’t do it. I love watching the Olympics and I’m a total sucker for every single human interest segment they air in-between sports. The Canadian mogul skier who won his country’s first gold medal on their own soil AND he was racing for his brother with cerebral palsy?? I’m was a wreck. I was pregnant with Elliott during the summer Olympics in Beijing — and during that incredible US win for the Freestyle Relay (where they won by .08 seconds?) I actually jumped up on to our couch! My little pregnant belly didn’t get in the way of a true celebration.

Of course, this is my first Olympics as a mom and let me tell you: It has changed the way I watch. Whenever the camera pans to a nervous mom watching their son or daughter, I immediately start crying. Maybe some moms are wired for handling the stress of watching their sons and daughters compete, but not me. I’m horrible. When my younger brother Bryce was wrestling for a district title in high school, I watched the meet on the verge of throwing up. And I’ve been known to get exceptionally cheeky with other spectators during Matt’s soccer games. The WORST part is this: I get invested in the teams that Matt covers for the paper. I don’t have a child who attends those schools, but if we’re at a game, I’m fully committed to rooting for them. Even to the point of writing an angry letter once to an Athletic Director for allowing his school to chant mean things to the underdogs. (I was pregnant for that too, by the way. I’ll admit now the letter might have been unnecessary — but pregnant women can be given some sort of leniency, right?)

At any rate, for the next two weeks my reading might not be quite as fast-paced. When you add the Olympics in with all the other shows I’m committed to, I now have A LOT of television to watch — I might love books, have a Masters degree, and know the difference between a leopard and a cheetah, but I’m not going to turn my nose up at a really good/awesomely bad show.

And with that said…I’ve got to make dinner while watching my DVRed Big Love in time for The Bachelor to start. Michener? Who’s Michener?

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