Tuesday, August 26, 2008

If the Olympics Were High School

Leryn Franco
This Paraguayan Javelin Thrower didn't qualify for her event, but self admittedly, it didn't bother her. Her main reason for attending the Olympics in Beijing was to get enough coverage "to make me famous". If her recent internet success is any indicator, I think she'll do just that.

Samuel Kamau Wansiru
This Kenyan Marathoner ran 4.8 minute miles for just over two hours. In the HEAT and POLLUTION of DOWNTOWN BEIJING. IMHO, every person who ran this marathon deserved a gold medal. I can hardly walk to the grocery and back!


Liu Xiang
It wouldn't surprise me if the PRC sent him off to a work camp somewhere.


Dayron Robles

Cuban Hurdler who can out hurdle anyone. Althouth he didn't break Liu's record from '04, he skipped away from the rest of the field like a gazelle.

He Kexin

Oops, too late. Already caught lying about age. . .

Kobe Bryant

Not only a hit amongst the Americans, but the Chinese LOVE him. Adore him. Have a huge fan club here for him.

Samiya Yuusf Omar

200m Runner from Somalia who finished a full 9 seconds behind in her heat. But dudes, she's from SOMALIA. And, she's only 16. If she can run like this, she should just keep on running until she hits Egypt.

HONORABLE MENTION: The Entire Iraqi Squad

Stephanie Rice
Australian Swimmer allegedly caught playing tonsil hockey with Michael Phelps. . . Think of the children they could have!


Usain Bolt

I don't care what the IOC says, this dude deserved some showboating. He only hurt his OWN chance at a BETTER World Record. Totally Irie, Mon!

Angel Matos

While Dayron brought nothing but fame to Cuba, Angel brought nothing but shame when this 80+ kg TaeKwonDo athlete kicked a Swedish ref in the face after disagreeing with a call. Nice.

And now, your King and Queen.


Michael Phelps (Uh, who did you expect?)

The most decorated Olympian ever.


Yelena Isinbayeva

If this Russian Pole Vaulter ever gets tired of jumping over plastic poles she can always take Brooke Shields place in the modeling world.

Monday, August 25, 2008


Unless you live on Neptune, I'm sure you know, our magnificent basketball team won the Gold on Sunday afternoon at the 2008 Olympics.

But, did you know we were there?

Oh, YEAH, Baby! It ROCKED!

Quite the game. You can read more and see other pictures here.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

You're Standing on My Last Nerve

Lately, I've been a bit of a bitch.

Okay, maybe I'm always a bit of a bitch and lately I've been a whole lot more.

But, man. People are really getting on my nerves. It was so bad Monday night I decided to stay inside and not interact with anyone on Tuesday. I needed a time out.

Yesterday I felt a bit better and did interface with a few people.

And then we went to Paddy O'Sheas to watch the basketball game. Besides meeting an awesome gal from Maryland and her son who kindly shared their table with us, everyone else in the place, including the staff was UNDER MY SKIN.

I don't know if it's Beijing, hormones, boredom, tiredness (is that a word?) or what, but I'm starting to think I'm about one idiot away from going postal.

It doesn't feel good.


The Veneer is Cracking

It's funny how actually living in a specific foreign country will change your perception of said foreign country.

Not really.

But, it IS funny how your perception of a foreign country morphs the longer you stay.

My feelings about China/Beijing have run the gamut over the last six months (OH MY GOD HAVE WE REALLY BEEN HERE THAT LONG AND THE END IS STILL NOT NIGH), mostly on the low opinion side of the poll.

It has been fun watching/listening to our friend Randy, who is a fairly well traveled dude. When he first arrived he was quite impressed with everything. I don't know if this was based on his pre-conceptions of what Beijing would be like or if he just saw things differently than we did upon our arrival. Granted, he was supplied with a driver (for work), which takes ALOT of the initial hassles out of the equation, and he was working with some highly educated Chinese folks proficient in English (that would be nice!).

But the longer he's been here the less enchanted I think he's become.

I would say the rose colored glasses he initially was wearing have become a tad polluted. Not to the point he's not enjoying himself, just to the point where he is able to see behind the curtain a bit.

It's a strange place.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Bird's Nest is AWESOME

There's the Olympic Flame shining down on us while we're INSIDE THE BIRD'S NEST.


More later, but we are off to visit the Great Wall (again) with Randy.

Unfortunately, not as clear today as it has been the last two, but will probably be a little cooler.


Friday, August 15, 2008

I Dream of the Redeem Team

Thanks to our friend Randy who is working for NBC in Beijing right now, we scored tickets to the USA Redeem Team vs. Greece Olympic Basketball Game last night.

Awesome seats, to boot.


Today I'm a little hoarse from all the screaming and yelling and beer drinking and popcorn eating.

Much more exciting than the women's Russia vs. Belarus game we saw on Wednesday morning.

Tonight we will venture inside the Bird's Nest for some Track and Field excitement.

I love Randy.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Taxi Turmoil in Beijing

The Ten Commandments of Taxi Travel in Beijing

1. Thou shall not communicate in English with the Chinese taxi driver. He does not understand “Forbidden City”, no matter how loudly or often it’s repeated.

2. Thou shall not enter a taxi without your destination name AND directions written in Chinese. Plus a phone number, just in case. And possibly a map.

3. Thou shall not tip. I like this commandment.

4. Thou shall not expect to be delivered to the doorstep of your intended destination. You should expect to be close enough the driver can unintelligibly wave you toward an unseen location, causing you to wander around and absorb the local culture for up to twenty minutes. Or possibly take another taxi to your actual destination.

5. Thou shall not be surprised the driver is encased in a plastic barrier separating you from him. Still not sure if it’s to protect him from you or vis-à-vis.

6. Thou shall not cringe and gasp, nor make audible noises of shock and surprise as your driver maniacally turns left into oncoming Beijing traffic. He knows what he’s doing. I hope.

7. Thou shall not try and change large bills. This man, despite what it looks like, is not operating a business. You should preferably have small bills, if not exact change.

8. Thou shall not be concerned if driver drinks tea, talks on cell phone, drives with no hands, bangs on the steering wheel, curses loudly in Mandarin, or any combination while driving

9. Thou shall not react when, parked in traffic, the taxi driver opens the driver door and coughs and spits out half a lung onto the roadway.

10. Thou shall not attempt to flag a taxi in the rain. Due to the record amount of accidents that happen during adverse weather, Beijing taxi drivers will almost never pick up a fare during the first twenty minutes of a rain shower.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Grand Rapids Television Crew

Besides being 45 MINUTES late (and anyone who knows us knows WE ARE NEVER LATE! EVER!!!! How embarrasing) we did meet up with our hometown media talent in Beijing, China.

We took them out for Mussel night, because, really! It's Tuesday and I need my mussels.

And they were very cuil (get it? I'm so hip. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, look at Google's new rival, www.cuil.com) people. And didn't berate us too bad for being soooooo late, which was nice.

Nice to met you, Dan Limbaugh and Brian Sterling. And Happy Anniversary this month to Brian! 14 years with WOOD. CUIL.


Monday, August 4, 2008

Half a Head

We just got home from dinner and a few drinks at a HUGELY overpriced beer hall (196 Kuai for four beers, that's like $28US. WTF? Am I in the US????)

FM's watching "The Sara Connors Chronicles" or whatever, and I'm sending emails and reading blogs.

He gets up to take a leak and says, "That dude's okay, he only lost HALF HIS HEAD."

Me: (not watching because of above activities) "Dude, we only use 10% of our brain, he's fine.

FM: True

Me: But the bleeding can be bad news. Bleeding profusely from the head is always bad.

FM: Yea. That's a problem

He continues watching. I decide to blog about it.

Such is our live.

Oh yea. I'm drunk again.


Saturday, August 2, 2008

Drunk Blogging

Okay, it took everything I have just to sign IN to blogger right now.

But what I have to say, IS, I hate all these bloggers who TAKE SO MUCH TIME contemplating each word of their posts to make them such WONDERS.

Where I just sign on drunk and blog.

Where's the honesty here, people???