Saturday, January 14, 2006

Pastimes of the ill and housebound.

It is literally pouring rain. I swear--there's this gutter over the porch that was incorrectly screwed into the porch, and it is known locally as the Mulch Fountain. I charge ten cents for people to stand under it, but I've had no takers yet.

I can't go outside because of the weather, and because I still sound like a cross between Boushh the bounty hunter and Marge Simpson's sister Selma, but there was solace in today's television schedule. Oh yes, something I watch habitually every year since 1992...the U.S. National Figure Skating Championships.

My history as a hater from the word go might make you think I wouldn't be into the magical world of sequins and string arrangements by Metallica cover bands, but there is just so much material in skating coverage. Not so much the skaters, because they do work their asses off to be the best they can--in their heads--and with the exception of twelve medalists, a lot of people bankrupt their families for nothing. But that's not funny.

What's funny is when the ABC coverage starts off playing Release by Sinead O'Connor and the Afro-Celt Sound System. It's a song about a dead guy. Jo Bruce, to be exact. I mean, yes, it's a great song, but as I recall, the ladies weren't all arguing amongst themselves because of the loss of Michelle Kwan. Or was that why ABC played the song? They seemed to be playing a lot of features that made it sound like Michelle Kwan was no longer of this earth, never mind that she'll most likely be given a spot on the Torino Olympic team, but no...Michelle is gone, what will we do?

I know what ABC did. They had the worst coverage ever. If I felt like beating you all over the head with my opinion, I'd be throwing lots of periods and EVAR into that statement. But I swear, the camera work for the first half hour showed me close-ups of parts of Sasha Cohen I really didn't need to see.

Also, because I caught the short program on ESPN only a half-hour earlier, I noticed ABC changed Emily Hughes' music. This wouldn't have mattered at all had the song she really skated to been anything other than Gershwin's Piano Concerto in F. Yes, the one we used to call "Piano Concerto in F...U" back in the day. Oh my, Barney the Dinosaur could skate to that song dressed like Disco Beethoven and I'd love it. ABC replaced Gershwin with the Celtic Death Song. It's not a big deal, but it is the kind of thing that eats at your mind after 7 hours of non-stop skating coverage, much like the damned Ore Ida microwave fries commercial. Share the damn fries with your sister, punk--you've had ten boxes.

It's not even the camera work and music that pissed me off the most, though. Rena Inoue and John Baldwin, although they may not be even passably good--I wouldn't know, I didn't see them--made history. Rena Inoue spun around a whole bunch o'times when John Baldwin threw her, and for some reason, ABC didn't think it was worthy of two seconds of air time. Instead, Katarina Witt and Kurt Browning discussed whether Michelle Kwan should go to the Olympics, and then they analyzed the pitch of the screams coming from an Ice Dancer whose routine was not shown on the broadcast. I shit you not. Why was she screaming? I don't know! She got high marks for something...I don't know what, ABC didn't show me.

Early on in the broadcast, Nan started checking out the football match between her two fleece blankets, the New England Patriots and the Denver Broncos. Phantom of the Opera was also on, and it even surprises me that I like that movie, and I enjoyed it better than heckling skating for a few minutes. The weather had different ideas, however, and knocked the satellite out, leaving us with the skating just long enough that we got transfixed by it again.

I don't generally root for anyone in sports, because that causes them to lose horribly, and I'm expecting Russians to win all of the Olympic skating events this year, but I hope Johnny Weir and Sasha Cohen do well, because they are so pretty. Michelle Kwan (also pretty, but as pretty as Johnny Weir? We may never know) has been put on the team to go to Torino, so the Olympics will give me more of a headache than this competition did. I will, for the third time, say that Michelle must win, or I am never watching skating again. Not that I mind who wins anymore, really. It's like when I found out the Broncos won tonight, I was cool with it, not because I just don't follow football, but because both of Nan's blankets are fluffy.

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