Happy Tears

I was too tired to watch the end of the Olympic coverage last night, but that doesn’t mean I don’t care.  When I watched the last women’s gymnastics performance this morning, I was choking back tears with Aly Raisman.

Go, Aly! (photo from Trendwire.com)

It was so fantastic to watch those girls succeed at something they’ve worked at for most of their lives.  I know that’s true for all of the athletes–the commitment and the struggle to get to the Olympics–but they’re our athletes, and I’m so glad they were rewarded for their mental toughness and talent.

I’ve also been trying to get a few things done in my own little world, between Olympic ping-pong and water polo and tennis and gymnastics and swimming and diving.  You get the idea.

I’ve painted a few chairs and a table that were hanging out on our patio (forgot to get a “before” picture, but I’ll share after the patio is a little bit cleaned up).  I’m hoping to transform a few more pieces of furniture in the near future.  And I’ve cooked a few good dinners.

One of the dinners was a bit like this:  Bacon, Lettuce, Avocado, and Tomato Sandwich.  Only instead of a 1/2 cup of mayo, we used Greek yogurt.  It worked out really well, and I didn’t feel bad about the bacon with the omission of the mayonnaise.  Happy stomach, happy tears, much happier week than last week.

Grab and Go

I made a quick trip to the grocery store during my lunch break today and noticed that there’s a “Grab and Go” section near the cash registers.  It’s always fun to look at sections like that to see what people need to buy the most often.

It was a short list: milk, cereal in individual containers, eggs, and chocolate syrup.

Wait a minute.  Chocolate syrup is one of the top four items that people need in a hurry at the grocery store?  I’m skeptical.  Maybe you could be in dire need of some chocolate milk, and there you have the milk and the chocolate syrup right next to each other.  That’s semi-legit.  But isn’t there anything else you need more than chocolate syrup?  What about bread or beer?  Both are higher than chocolate syrup on a few lists I found for most purchased items at grocery stores (yes, I actually looked it up).

So maybe there’s a chocolate syrup admirer who works at this particular store, or they’re trying to push chocolate syrup because they have more on hand than necessary.  I guess I’ll never know.

And for a little bit more instant gratification, I hope you enjoy these pictures as much as I do.  Figure skating was one of my favorite parts of the winter Olympics as a kid, and I ran across these today in my search for an Olympic update.  Check out those facial expressions.  Granted, I’d probably be on the brink of death if I tried to do what they’re doing, but it’s still entertaining.

Olympic Dreams

Last night brought American Idol back into my life after a couple of years of separation.  It was a beautiful thing.  I watched hundreds of people willingly humiliate themselves and saw a few people get what could be a big break in their lives/careers.  I used to get a similar rush from watching the Olympics as a kid.

There’s a side of me that enjoys it when figure skaters fall after their big jump.  That’s the same side that loves to hear someone sing off-key in front of millions of television viewers.  Then there are the beautiful spins and jumps that take years of training to learn.  There are singers who just need someone to hear them and know how much talent they have.  It’s just wonderful.

You don’t often get to watch people in their big moments.  Businessmen make the deal of their lifetime without camera crews around, and big choices are made in private every day.  You do get to watch the Olympics live and share a tiny part of the glory or the pain that the athletes are going through.

When I was a little kid, I used to pretend I was a figure skater during their performances.  I would dance around the living room while their music played, trying to figure out how on earth I could do a triple Lutz on carpet.  My parents probably got pretty annoyed that little munchkin was dancing in front of the tv, but they were nice about it.

Last night as I was singing in the shower, I realized that I was doing the same thing I did all of those years ago.  Watching people try for something big made me want to try, too.  It made my shower singing at least twice as loud, and my mind was thinking through the odds of making it to Hollywood with a golden ticket.  It’s funny what things you hold onto as you get older.  I think my odds of getting Simon to say yes are better than my odds to land the triple Lutz, but I’m glad I haven’t lost my ability to hope for ridiculous things.  I’m not planning an audition any time soon, but I’m glad just the same.