74 entries categorized "TV"

Rio-cap, days 0-2


Some events had technically started by the time the games formally opened, but Friday was all about the Opening Ceremonies, y'all. The world waited for Brazil's show like you wait for the dinner your children have volunteered to cook for you: it's exciting, but so much could go wrong, and who knows what a mess will be left behind. Fortunately,  the show exceeded expectations and did a lot with its modest budget. ("Modest" relative to London and China, not relative to what anything else costs, anywhere.)
I did not watch the whole thing. I would estimate I caught about two of the four-plus hours. This is still a decent go at it for a program that literally recaps the entire history of a country as an INTRODUCTION to the entire world walking by. That left room, and time, for a lot of song, dance, and color. So much color.
5240Every Brazilian.
The Parade of Nations was next. This is always a favorite of mine because, outfits. I love any event where the dress code is evenly split between track suits and blazers. More events should adopt this dress code. Consider it for your next brunch. The blazered-up guests will lend the event an air of classiness, but individual guests can still opt for an outfit that will let them break into a light jog.
Speaking of understated, I liked this year's torch, which was smaller than previous years' torches and backed by a giant THING that looked like a 1000x scale version of those metal wall hangings I always pick up at HomeGoods and then put down because I don't want to go to all the trouble of hanging something the safe way.
5568Nobody doesn't shop at HomeGoods.
With that, it was time to head home, put those windbreakers back in their duffel bags, and prepare for the first day of full blown competition.
Thanks to the NBC Olympics app, I was able to watch table tennis on my iPad before even getting out of bed on Saturday. It was terrifying. But also kind of funny, because by all appearances, the players are using the basic red ping pong paddles that come with the table.
The only sport where the paddle comes free with the table and the ball can be purchased at the liquor store register, next to the limes. 
I'm sure they're not.
All that aside, table tennis is fascinating, not least because a lot of the ping pong players are noticeably older than other Olympic athletes. This is nice because the Olympics have a way of making you anxious that you have ROCKETED past your physical prime and oops, you didn't do much with it. Even the most secure person will be browsing caskets online after hearing gymnastics announcers comment on a 28-year-old competitor's extraordinary ability to remain competitive despite her decrepitude. ("Her grand kids must be thrilled!") This article examines the age dynamic in table tennis and why many athletes peak well into their 30s and compete into their 40s and 50s.
I caught plenty of other coverage including, Women's Handball pool play, men's gymnastic qualifiers, archery, and some rowing. Regrettably, I did not catch the U.S. Women's soccer game due to being at the mall (I know), but I know there will be other opportunities.
I watched pretty much the entire prime time broadcast. Thoughts:
  • I really enjoyed the U.S. Men's 4x100 relay win over France (and, you know, the rest of the planet).
  • The U.S. Women's Gymnastics team is so dominant that a huge part of why I support the search for life on other planets is to find these girls some dang competition!!!!!! (Sidebar, omg, will Interplanetary Olympics happen in my life?! And what will we wear????)
  • Katie Ledecky!
I can't even do this.

As you've probably heard, Leslie Jones is the best Olympic commentator out there, so we'll let her close this out.

An Ultimate Grand Supreme GIF Wall for My Favorite Toddlers & Tiaras Contestant Ever

I don't know if you watch Toddlers & Tiaras or if you have some other way of being Horrible that's more personal and special to you (pshh, bet your vice doesn't let you make up cool words like Toddenfreude), but Alana from last week's episode is a must-see. She is an outlier even in a population where being average means having been born during the Obama presidency but already wearing makeup, fake eyelashes, and prosthetic beauty teeth on a regular basis.

She is my new queen.

This video, provided by Best Week Ever in an early contender for Public Service Journalism Act of the Year, will change your life forever: 

I watched this vid about 20 (coughmillioncough) times late last week and discussed it at length with several friends, including my bud/GIFsmith Matt. Matt proceeded to make a gorgeous batch of Alana GIFs, which I am sharing with you the best way I know how: in an ALANA GIF WALLLLLL!

You can also click on any gif to open the (slightly enlarged) source version to download, link, or print out and burn.

(Warning: this may take a fewwww seconds to load.)











Annnnd we'll close on an appropriate note:

Tip of the hat, bitches. I'm OUT.

A Tina Fey Story

I'm a pretty big Tina Fey fan, so when I heard she was going to be in DC to do a reading/signing for her new book Bossypants, I snatched a ticket up on the ASAP. Tragically, though, the day of the signing ended up colliding with a huge work meeting that I couldn't miss. (Meeting topic: "Business Business Businessy Things That Are Sure As Hell Not Tina Fey.")

Emily and I had bought tickets together, so I asked her to give mine to someone else and still get a book signed for me. I also told her to ask Tina to write "Dear Lauren: Sorry you'll never be the funniest person born on May 18. Love, Tina Fey" in my book, because Tina and I have the same birthday.

A bit later, Emily texted me from the event and broke the news that sadly, the organizers were telling people that Tina would not be personalizing books as she signed them. Oh, well. So much for that, right? No! Because Emily is a champ. As Tina was signing the books Emily handed her, Em mentioned that one was going to someone who had the same birthday as her. And that is how I got the only book that was personalized at the entire signing:

 May 18th, indeed.

(Thanks, Em)

I Am Confident That This Is the Best Thing Ever

Sooo, I'm reading through an "America's Next Top Model: Where Are They Now?" slideshow that I am not even going to link to here because I'm too embarrassed, and where one of the models is now is here: maintaining a Joey Fatone/David Arquette fan blog. Tagline: "A fanpage for all things Arquette- and Fatone-related."


Better Vocabulary Through Horrible People

So, a long time ago I signed up to get these Word-of-the-Day e-mails from Dictionary.com. I've never unsubscribed, because getting a new word sent to you each morning is great. One of two things happens:

  1. You already know the word, and you get to feel smug and smart (best outcome!); or
  2. You learn a new word (consolation prize).

I also watch the various seasons of Bravo's Real Housewives franchise a lot. I know most people think the housewives are awful and the show is terrible, but they are only half right: the housewives are awful and the show is awesome. The current season (Beverly Hills) may, in fact, be the most awesome yet (although New Jersey Season 1 is tough to top). 

How do these two topics relate? Well, at some point in the past week or so, I decided I could better justify my enthusiasm for this awful, superficial show if I could also use it to learn my daily vocab word. So now, each morning when I receive my e-mail from Dictionary.com, I try to make myself use it in a valid, Real Housewives-themed sentence. Here are a couple of examples:


 \ shuh-TOI-uhnt \  , adjective;

1. Having changeable lustre; twinkling.

 2. (Of a gem, esp a cabochon) displaying a band of light reflected off inclusions of other minerals.

SENTENCE: The chatoyant tinsel extensions in Adrienne's hair cast a reflection on the wall as she argued with her plastic surgeon husband about whether to order turkey chili.
\ KAT-suhn-jam-er \  , noun;

1. The discomfort and illness experienced as the aftereffects of excessive drinking
2. Uneasiness; anguish; distress.
3. Uproar; clamor.
SENTENCE: Camille's cuckoo friend Allison must have been experiencing some serious katzenjammer the day after the infamous dinner party from hell.
\ sok-DOL-uh-jer \  , noun;

1. A decisive reply, argument.
2. Something unusually large, heavy, etc. 
3. A heavy, finishing blow.

SENTENCE: Kyle seemed to have the upper hand in her fight with Camille, until Camille issued a real sockdolager: a text message with the news that Kelsey Grammer would no longer be using Kyle's husband as his real estate agent.


This method has significantly increased my retention of new vocab words over the past several days. I encourage you to give it a try.

This Is How the Favorite Things Episode Would Go If I Were Oprah

(Sorry to disappear. It's been an insane two weeks. But I am back now, I swear.)

So, every year Oprah does this favorite things episode where she gives the audience all the things she likes to wear and eat and stuff, like cashmere sweaters and $300 shoes and things that smell like vanilla and wealth. Then everyone gets a car and pretty much dies of happiness. Today I was thinking about how The Lauren's Favorite Things episode would go . . . a little differently. Here is how I picture it.

"Get ready, everyone, because today we are doing LAUREN'S FAVORITE THINNNNNGS!"




"Awesome! The first thing I want to share with you is totally awesome--just great. I think you know what I'm talking about. You're all getting TRISCUITS!"

"That's right, you're all getting a box of America's favorite cracker that's not Wheat Thins or Ritz. But that's not all! You didn't think I would just give you crackers, did you? No way! We're going bigger--WAY BIGGER. ARE YOU READY?"


"What? I didn't hear that. Anyway, I know this seems to good to be true, but I'm gonna sweeten the deal. Get ready--maybe sit down. YOU'RE. ALL. GETTING. DIET. COKE!

[End of episode]

The Internet Always Comes Through

OK, please don't tell me I have reached my Saved by the Bell-referencing quota for the week, because I have something else to share. This all started last week when I was watching Part I of the Top Chef finale (don't worry, no spoilers). The finale took place in Singapore, and for the elimination challenge they had to cook and serve food at a place in Sentosa called the Tanjong Beach Club. While the challenge is going on, we see the waiters for the challenge all lined up like this:
Top chef singapore

(screencap grabbed from bwe)

And I was like, "WHOA. Is 'Tanjong' Chinese for 'Malibu Sands?' Because between the striped polos and the beach club situation and the standing-in-a-line, I just got the strongest SBTB-ja-vu everrrr." I wanted to point this out, but unfortunately, after some Googling, I could not find the exact SBTB screencap I was looking for to complete my visual analogy--that is, until today. This morning, I was randomly browsing the Internet and came across this list of funny Saved by the Bell screencaps, which were sourced from this blog, LOLSlater. And after scrolling exactly halfway down the page at LOLSlater, what did I see? This:

The missing link
THE EXACT SCENE I'D HAD IN MIND exactly one week ago when I was trying to make my Top Chef-SBTB comparison! I was/still am extremely mentally soothed to be able to close the loop on this comparison. All I had wanted was to be able to put those two pictures side by side, chuckle lightly to myself 2-3 times, and go on with my life. And now I can.

Our internet is a kind internet.

Spawned by the Bell

FYI, Mario Lopez and his girlfriend Courtney had a baby this weekend. Her name is Gia Francesca Lopez--or, as I will call her, Italian Italian Lopez.  She is the second baby to be born to a Saved by the Bell cast member this summer (remember?). Friends, please take out your "Saved by the Bell Actors Who Are Now Parents" Bingo Cards and mark them accordingly.

(Note to self: Must make a "Saved By the Bell Actors Who Are Now Parents" Bingo Card. Tomorrow.)

Anyway, this all is really just background for my main point, which is that I have found my official favorite thing on Earth: this baby picture of Mario Lopez:
It was (for some reason) in one of the articles about his new baby. Is it not the most hilarious picture ever? It cracks. me. up. I can't even really figure out why I think it's so funny, but I have a few theories:

  1. The arms are so SO CHUBBY.
  2. He's so happy, and he doesn't even know he's Mario Lopez yet!
  3. Baby Mario Lopez looks SO undeniably like Adult Mario Lopez. I feel like I just unlocked him in Mario Kart.
  4. The concept of Mario Lopez every having been a baby is, in and of itself, hilarious.
  5. Baby Mario Lopez has, like, the most sensible and businesslike hairdo ever. It is simply impossible to believe that this infant would one day give birth to the Slater mullet.

Anyway, I hope we get a picture of Baby Italian Italian Lopex soon, so I can put it on the other side of the locket I now keep my Baby Mario Lopez picture in. (Maybekidding. You hope.)

Olympic PantsWatch 2010

Crazy pants continue to be an awesome Olympic feature.  In addition to fake snowboarding jeans, we also have the following to admire:

Azerbaijan's Opening Ceremony Pants

If I had three wishes, I would use all three to ask for three separate pairs of THESE PANTS.

Czech Republic's Opening Ceremony Pants

I have a slight preference for the wacky Azerbaijani paisley print, but these are also spectacular.

Team Norway's Curling Pants

I think if curling qualifies as an Olympic sport, so should pants-making.  And this design is in medal contention right now.