Wednesday various

  • Warren Ellis on the 2012 Olympics’ closing ceremonies:

    It was as conservative, hidebound and bland as the Opening Ceremony was ambitious, demented and eccentric. It played almost as an attempt to zero out what Danny Boyle and Frank Cottrell Boyce achieved and said in the Opening.

    I have to admit, I didn’t watch it. By that point, my Olympic fever had waned a bit, and I didn’t really feel like putting up with NBC’s ridiculous editing and inane chatter to watch the closing. (“Our viewers may not know this, Meredith, but the Pet Shop Boys are in fact actually now grown men!”)

    But the opening ceremonies were mad and brilliant.

  • It’s bad enough they’re planning an Expendables 3 — shouldn’t last hurrahs, y’know, end? — but now they have to talk about dragging Clint Eastwood and others into it?

    “We’ve already begun reaching out to the bones of Steve McQueen and the John Wayne hologram”—Avi Lerner, The Expendables 4 interview, 2014

    Although, honestly, that might finally get me to watch one of these things.

  • Amazingly enough, a campaign to turn an abandoned Detroit neighborhood into a zombie apocalypse theme park has fallen through. [via]
  • Are young people really using “yo” as a gender-neutral pronoun? Fascinating.
  • And finally, the Best Scenes From Insane Old Star Trek Coloring Books:

“I bet you told her all your trees are sequoias.”

Another unpleasantly hot and humid day. Even at seven o’clock this morning, when I drove with my father to Mineola so he could get his car inspected (and could, unlike me last month, get a ride back home), it was muggy and the sun was beating down.

That kept up pretty much all day, but it wasn’t all bad. I kept to the house, read, and watched some of the Olympics. I’d forgotten that trampoline was a sport, despite having had a fitness instructor in college who had been a trampolinist at one point. She said the sport had taken a hit in the 1970s, after one too many accidents and injuries because of unsupervised children on backyard trampolines. Which I guess is why stumbling across it in the online coverage was a little like discovering that Hula Hooping was a sport. But it remains an actual thing, and, from what I saw of the women’s finals, takes a fair amount of gymnastic athleticism.

Then this evening I watched the lovely To Catch a Thief, with Cary Grant and Grace Kelly. It’s maybe not overly suspenseful by Hitchcockian standards, but it was thoroughly enjoyable.

And that was Saturday.

Lighten up

If there’s one thing I like about Wednesdays, it’s how much lighter my bag is at the end of the day than at the beginning. Most Tuesdays, including this past one, I work from home, which means taking my laptop home with me every Monday night and returning with it to the office the next day. It’s not ridiculously heavy, even with the battery, but my bag does feel wonderfully lighter at the end of the day.

Also lighter — check out the dismount on that segue! even the Russian judges are impressed! — is my musical mix for July. Only four songs total:

  1. “Guggenheim” by the Ting Tings
  2. “Calabria 2008” by Enur
  3. “When I Write the Book” by Nick Lowe
  4. “Abide With Me” by Emeli Sandé

I think that “Abide With Me,” from this year’s Olympics opening ceremony, is just too beautiful not to share:

NBC, of course, didn’t agree. They cut it out from their (overall pretty lousy) coverage of the opening ceremonies in favor of an interview with Michael Phelps. As I wrote on Twitter: Anyone who could listen to Emeli Sandé’s stunning “Abide With Me” and think, “let’s replace that with Ryan Seacrest” has no soul.

Just a day

Today was just a day. Hot and muggy, turning to rain. I read a little. I went and picked up a propane tank for the backyard grill. I watched some of the Olympics — although I think NBC is, counter-intuitively, trying to discourage that kind of behavior with their coverage. I took a nap.

This evening, I watched the pretty mediocre Lockout.

Just a day, you know.

Let the games begin

Dark and ominous clouds notwithstanding, last night’s thunderstorm turned out to be a whole lot of nothing. Oh sure, it rained, but not a lot, and considerably less than last week, and I don’t remember hearing any dire warnings before that storm.

This evening, I surprised myself by watching most of the Olympics opening ceremony. Here in the States, NBC decided not to air them live but starting at 7:30, some three hours late, with a whole lot of inane chatter over them by Matt Lauer, Meredith Veira, and Bob Costas. Despite that, however, most of it was actually quite moving and well produced. I’m surprised to discover that I actually have some small amount of Olympics fever this year…which I think just means I may watch a little of it now and then, as opposed to ignoring it altogether.