Monday, February 24, 2014

sochi sisters 3.

samkova sports 'stache for snowboardcross superiority.
20yo czech republic snowboarder eva samkova grabbed the women's sbx gold sunday, wearing a red-white-&-blue mustache drawn above her top lip. the faux facial hair is samkova's trademark & tradition, begun at the 2011 snowboarding world championships because she "wanted to have fun." mission accomplished.

williams becomes all-season olympic medal-winner.
lauryn williams, 30yo of pennsylvania – with the help of her bobsled partner elana meyers, 29yo of georgia – earned the silver wednesday in women's bobsledding, becoming the fifth olympian ever to medal in both the summer & winter games. williams, originally a star sprinter, also earned silver in the 2004 athens summer games in the 100-meter race, & won gold in the 2012 london summer games as a member of the 100-meter team.

sotnikova becomes russia's first gold-winning figure skater.
when 17yo adelina sotnikova was not included to compete as a member of russia's figure-skating team, it was a slap in the face for the first-time olympian. she had wowed in 2009 when she won a national championship at the age of 12, but now, finally in sochi at the winter games, she was being overshadowed by a younger teammate, 15yo julia lipnitskaia. lipnitskaia did help russia win gold in team competition, but faltered in individuals. not so much sotnikova – she defeated defending champion yuna kim of south korea to win the gold, becoming russia's first gold medalist ever in women's singles figure skating. #spoice!!

kostner becomes italy's first medal-winning figure skater.
meanwhile, 27yo carolina kostner of italy earned the bronze in women's singles figure skating, becoming the first italian ever to win an olympic figure skating singles medal. kostner had placed a promising 9th in her first olympics in 2006 in turin, but left the vancouver ice four years ago doubled over with her head buried in her hands following a devastating performance that put her in 16th place. she almost quit skating, but opted to try, try again – & this third time was the charm. learning to skate for "the passion & the pleasure" apparently made all the difference. "for me," quoth kostner, "this medal is absolutely worth gold. i will cherish it."

bowman's badass granny steals just a smidge of her golden spotlight.
maddie bowman, 20yo of california, friday won the first women's halfpipe skiing gold medal in olympic history ... & her grandmother, 78yo lorna perpall, won the attention of many with her proud & patriotic custom-made tees, touting her as bowman's "badass grandma." like grandmother, like granddaughter. & perpall's already got her next t-quip prepared: gold-medal grandma.

shiffrin practices ABFTTB, becomes youngest skier to win slalom gold.
fellow skier 18yo mikaela shiffrin of colorado has her own motto, an acronym emblazened on her skis & on her helmet: ABFTTB, which means always be faster than the boys. done & won. shiffrin, ranked as the world's top slalom skier, became the youngest skier ever to win the slalom when she got the gold friday night, besting austria's 32yo marlies schild by almost a full minute.

ukraine women win country's first gold in two decades.
24yo ukrainian alpine skier bogdana matstoska & her coach/father oleg matsotskiy thursday withdrew from the olympic games in response to the violence happening by authorities against protesters in their native nation. but the ukrainian women's biathlon team chose to stay & pay tribute to their home country by winning the gold in the women's 4x6m relay, over russia & norway. it was the ukraine's first gold medal at the winter olympic games since figure skater oksana baiul won at lillehammer in 1994.

chu totes the u.s. flag during sochi closing ceremony.
31yo julie chu of connecticut – a four-time olympian & the first asian-american woman to play for the u.s. women's ice hockey team – was chosen to carry the stars & stripes during the closing ceremony of the 2014 sochi winter games. the women's team suffered a heartbreaking defeat thursday, earning silver while canada once again cinched the gold. while it may be a kind of consolation prize, being chosen as flagbearer is considered a high honor; the position is determined via a vote of every sport's team captains.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

a curly top worth remembering.

her middle name was jane.
but she was just about the furthest thing
from "plain" you can imagine.

her career really began in 1934, at age 6,
with her starring role in "stand up & cheer."
within an hour of completing her first song-&-dance
number in the movie, 20th century fox upped
her two-week contract to a full year, @ $150 a week,
with an extra $25 a week for her mother care for her.

she made eight movies that year, &
won an honorary academy award.

her mother, gertrude, styled her hair for every movie,
curling it into exactly 56 bouncy, blonde ringlets every time.

she was the darling of the depression years,
a movie star more popular than clark gable,
receiving more mail than greta garbo, &
being photographed more than president franklin d. roosevelt.

her most successful on-screen partnership was with
the legendary entertainer bill [bojangles] robinson.
she was the first white actress to hold hands
affectionately with a black man on screen.
they made four films together.

she first married at 17yo, to army airman john agar, jr.
they had a daughter, susan, but were divorced within four years.

fewer than 60 days following her divorce, at 21yo,
she met 30yo charles alden black, who claimed he had
never seen a shirley temple movie. they were engaged
twelve days later, wed in 1950 & were married
almost 55 years, until his 2005 death.

she retired from film for good at 22yo.
she & charles had a son, charles, jr., &
a daughter, lori, who became a grunge-band bassist.

she became a high-profile republican fundraiser.
in 1969, president nixon appointed her as a delegate to the united nations.
in 1974, president ford appointed her as the u.s. ambassador to ghana.
in 1976, she served as ford's chief of protocol.
& in 1989, president george h.w. bush appointed her as the u.s ambassador to czechoslovakia.

in 1972, she had her cancerous left breast removed.
she spoke openly about the episode,
one of the first prominent women to do so, &
is credited with helping make it ok to talk about breast cancer.

in 1998, she was a kennedy center honors recipient, &
in 1999, the american film institute included
her as #18 of the 50 greatest screen legends.

we lost her february 10th at the age of 85.
she left behind her two daughters & son,
as well as a granddaughter & two great-granddaughters,
& a grateful america.

the shirley temple "mocktail" was created by
hollywood's brown derby restaurant. it's made up of
ginger ale + grenadine, garnished with a maraschino cherry.

it's bright, fizzy, innocent sweetness is a fitting tribute
to the gifted little girl with the curls
whose sparkling personality & sunny optimism lifted
the spirit of a nation during some of its darkest days.

cheers, mrs. shirley jane temple black. godspeed, & thanks.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

sochi sisters 2.

usa’s hendrickson becomes first woman olympic ski-jumper ever.
sarah hendrickson, 19yo of salt lake city, knew she wasn’t going to win the gold, thanks to a torn acl & mcl injury late last year. nevertheless, she still went down in history tuesday by wearing bib 1 at the first women’s ski-jumping event ever at the winter games. hendrickson came in 21st; 22yo carina vogt of germany won the gold.

usa’s hamlin becomes first american to medal in singles luge.
erin hamlin, 27yo of new york, achieved something no other u.s. athlete has in the half-century since luge was introduced as an olympic sport: she captured a medal in singles luge. the bronze win also makes hamlin the first-ever american woman luger to medal. a three-time olympian, hamlin had finished 12th at the 2006 winter games in turin and 16th at the 2010 winter games in vancouver. of the 81 medals awarded in singles luge since 1964, 54 had been won by germany – who still took the gold & silver at sochi.

usa’s kate hansen loves her some beyonce.
21yo california luger kate hansen has a pre-race ritual she’s been sharing all over the media: she dances. to beyonce. big-time. quoth hansen, “she just gets me fierce, & i get stoked, & i just have to (dance). i have good mojo going on, so it’s just how i roll. i’m completely in my own world, and it doesn’t matter who’s staring. i’m still gonna dance.” hansen came in 10th in women’s single luge, but her olympic spirit sure is winning!

maze & gisin share downhill skiing gold.
30yo tina maze of slovenia & 28yo dominique gisin of switzerland raced to a gold medal tie in the women’s downhill skiing event wednesday, the first time olympic gold was awarded to two skiers in an alpine skiing event. gisin began in 8th position, maze in 25th, and both crossed the finish line in 1:41.57 to share the spot atop the podium. this was only the eighth time ever that two gold medals were awarded for one winter games event.

kowalczyk wins cross-country gold with a fractured foot.
31yo polish skier justyna kowalczyk is just plain hard-core. kowalczyk won the women’s cross-country 10km classic thursday with a foot fracture she sustained last month. kowalczyk completed the course in 28:17.8, gaining her second olympic gold; she won the 30k classic women’s cross-country at the 2010 vancouver games.

vieira pinch-hits for costas & makes media history.
meredith vieira became the first woman ever to anchor nbc’s primetime olympic coverage solo. filling in for bob costas, who has been suffering through the sochi games with a nasty, lingering, double eye infection, 60yo vieira hosted friday night’s coverage, giving three-day substitute matt lauer a necessary rest. costas was sent to the anchor bench tuesday, ending a 157-appearance streak as nbc’s olympics primetime host – his first missed olympics broadcast since 1988.

just a moment between friends.
noelle pikus-pace, 31yo of salt lake city, clinched the silver in the women’s skeleton event friday night, following huge disappointment in vancouver, retirement, two kids, one devastating miscarriage, de-retirement, & a blackout wreck/concussion during training last week. her teammate, katie uhlaender – 29yo of vail – meanwhile missed the bronze by four-hundredths of a second. silver for supermom, heartbreak for katie read the headline. but before pikus-pace moved on to a medalist’s celebration, she turned, found her friend & they embraced – one sad for the other in her happiness, one happy for the other in her sadness. a perfect olympic yin+yang.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

the sochi sisterhood.

normally, i love me some olympics.

but what with all the putin smarminess, homosexual persecution & dog slaughter,
i’ve been struggling with getting into the 2014 winter games.

sochi sisters to the rescue.

all i needed were a few infusions of awesome womanly athleticism –
& the norwegian men’s curling team’s pants
& i’m hooked on russia. for the olympic duration, anyway.

here are some highlights from the first few days of the 2014 sochi winter olympics, grrrl-style:

irina rodnina co-lights ginormous olympic cauldron.
figure-skating legend irina rodnina co-lit sochi’s jurassic-scale olympic cauldron during friday’s opening ceremony with great goaltender vladislav tretiak. rodnina won three straight gold medals with two different partners at the 1972, ’76 & ’80 olympics. she also won ten consecutive world pairs titles, matching the spectacular sonja henie. tretiak won gold medals with soviet hockey teams in ’72, ’76 & ’84, & was the first russian-born player to enter the hockey hall of fame.

canadian [literal] sisters take top two spots in women’s moguls.
19yo justine dufour-lapointe beat the world’s best moguls skier to win the gold – while her 22yo sister chloe earned the silver – in saturday’s freestyle skiing ladies’ moguls finals. their other sister, 24yo maxime, finished 12th on her birthday eve.

ashley wagner’s “oh no you didn’t” face becomes huge sochi meme.
us figure skater ashley wagner, a 22yo virginian, gave a good performance in saturday’s team figure skating event, & she knew it. but apparently, the judges didn’t. the fourth-place score of 63.10 they gave wagner left her, well, a little disappointed. still, the us team earned bronze, & wagner earned a spot in internet history alongside us olympic gymnast mckayla maroney’s “not impressed” expression.

ireen wust is first openly gay athlete to medal.
dutch speedskater ireen wust, 27yo, became the first openly gay athlete to medal at the sochi games, winning gold in the 3,000 meters sunday. wust, who also won gold in vancouver and turin, is one of only seven openly gay athletes competing in sochi. wust will also compete in the 1,500 and 1,000 meater races.

jamie anderson wins gold in inaugural women’s slopestyle.
us snowboarder jamie anderson grabbed the gold in the first-ever women’s slopestyle event sunday. the 23yo californian joined fellow american sage kotsenburg, who had earlier gotten the gold in the men’s slopestyle.

Saturday, February 1, 2014


i expected the holidays to be intense. they ever are, especially when you’re the mom of the holiday-hosting household, which i am.

but january? i expected it to be full, but fresh. The calm beyond the storm of The Season. the reset button called A New Year.

not so much for me this time around.

my january was two trips to dallas, my mom’s 80th birthday, two science fair projects, three bouts of stomach virus, one car accident, one big goat show [with one blue ribbon!], & one Mother of All Migraines [surprising? um, no].

plus, you know, Daily Life. seriously, y’all, we just returned our christmas tree to the garage yesterday.

all of which is to say, for me, in 2014, february is the new january.

so … happy new year [it is the new lunar year, after all]!!

since 2008, i’ve adopted a new year’s tradition [begun by artist & designer ali edwards] called one little word.

i choose one word for myself for the year – a word i can focus, meditate & reflect upon as i go about my Daily Life. i invite it in, live with it, let it speak to me & follow where it leads.

my past words have included embrace, hello, full, clear, light & shine.

for 2014, i’ve decided my one little word is [drumroll, please] … up [applause, please].

up | ready, eager, open, awake, into a happy mood

last year, i moved forward from several spots where i had been stuck for years.
this year, i intend to keep moving forward, but upward, too.

i’m moving on up, turning it up a notch, taking it to a whole. ‘nother. level.
just call me Ms. 45-Degrees 2014.

it’s a new year, everyone. what’s your one little word going to be?

image available via poster inspired @