Friday, August 8, 2008

You know what was free? The Olympics opening ceremony...

I successfully made it one full day without spending a single cent... despite being a moron and forgetting to bring my lunch to work with me.

Luckily, I had some Pop Tarts left in my desk from when I first moved to the city and was in a hotel rocking the continental breakfasts.

That took care of that.

As for the evening, rather than go out drinking, I figured a nice, free way to entertain myself would be to watch the much anticipated opening ceremony for the Olympics. Overall, it was pretty cool, but I got a bigger kick out of some specific things...

First and foremost, the announcer that was there as a China expert. This dude was totally in love with China. I think he was actually aroused by how "amazing" the opening ceremony was and how much it proved China was the greatest thing to ever grace this planet. I really think if he could find a way, he would probably gladly go down on China.

The ceremony did get a little cheesy at certain points...

I just kept thinking of "Hooray for Everything" from the Simpsons, especially when they started making a giant collage of children's faces toward the end.

It reminded me of their halftime "salute to the greatest hemisphere on earth, the Western Hemisphere! The dancingest hemisphere of all!"... though technically the opening ceremony was indeed a salute to the eastern hemisphere, which I assure you is not even close to being the "dancingest hemisphere of all." Heck, they aren't even number two. Take that!

The announcers pretty much had to say something about every country that was shown parading in, and they were kind of all over the place and reaching at some points. Here are just a few of the random things I got a kick out of as they paraded the countries in...

* Malawi is known solely for being where Madonna snatched up a spare kid to take home with her. That was there fifteen minutes of fame.

*Apparently the Cayman Islands actually e-mailed NBC asking them to not cut to commercials and not show their delegation. They did seem to show snippets of multiple countries right after each commercial break, but not early in the procession. So presumably, a select few countries were just not cool enough to be shown.

Don't worry though, powerhouses like Vanuatu and Lesotho got airtime. (They're real, I swear)

* Not surprisingly, there is intrigue surrounding Taiwan... or if you're China and/or the Olympics "Chinese Taipei"

In addition to not being allowed to be called Taiwan, they also have to use special flags...

So it looked like they were waving little souvenirs. Having to use a special fill-in flag to represent your country? That's cold.

* When Paraguay came through, the announcers kept talking about one of their potential gold medal winners, but the cameraman and producers just kept the shot this one cute girl on their team, even after the announcers commented that the wrong person was on the screen. She was pretty cute, but she was no...

* Samantha Paxinos - the flag bearer from Botswana was a cutie... she's competing in the 50m freestyle. It looks like I may have to catch the prelims if I want to see her again before she gets sent back to Africa though.

I like how on her official bio on the Olympics site, her picture looks like something you might see on the side of a milk carton. It definitely does not do her justice.

* Good thing Mauritania's democratically elected government was replaced with a junta via a coup the other day, or else the announcers might not have had anything to kibbitz about when their team came in. It was just in the nick of time too, that was a close one.

* They put the camera on President Bush about two hours in and caught him (trying to be inconspicuous) checking his watch, looking really bored. Little did he know he was only about halfway through the ceremony. Laura happened to look at her watch about two seconds later.

* Laos got a pretty brief mention where they basically just talked about how to say the country's name and mentioned, very matter-of-factly, that they were known as a "hub for eco-terrorism" and then just went on to the next country.

I'm sure Laosians are filled with an indescribable pride now that their country, which was not known for anything before, is now apparently known for being a "hub for eco-terrorism."

So it looks like I'm all set for this year's Olympics, I've got Olympic fever I guess.

Why not, right?... I mean we rule!

Just look at the all-time medal standings.

The rankings aren't set in stone for everybody though. It looks like if Australia has a good year, they may be able to finally surpass East Germany (that is, of course, if East Germany continues making a tremendously weak showing like it has at the past few games).

I'm rooting for the Aussies on that one. Heck, if the Aussies do manage to surpass the East Germans by the end of the games, I'll buy anyone who remembers about this a Foster's.

In honor of the Beijing Games, I'll end with an Overheard in New York from Chinatown:

20-something Chinese guy: You know what? Chinese people discovered America.
20-something Black guy: Bullshit.
20-something Chinese guy: It's true! There's an article on CNN showing we discovered America, there are maps. Chinese were here first before everyone else. Chinese people did everything before everyone else. White people take credit for everything, but now it's coming out that Chinese made all of these discoveries first. Don't you see a pattern? We're the shit.
20-something Black guy: The only pattern I see is that you motherfuckers pirate and resell every DVD, and now you're trying to bootleg history.


That guy kind of sounds like the NBC announcer who was sexually attracted to China as a whole...

1 comment:

Jen said...

Bootleg history...priceless.