Saturday, August 9, 2008

Thoughts on the opening ceremonies

Geez, what am I doing awake at 3 a.m.? It’s not the hives and sneezing fits that roused me, but they are making it impossible for me to get back to sleep. I think I woke up a little worried because I never heard Kevin come in last night, so I had to make sure he was in bed. Now, if I had been in bed and needed only to roll over to verify his presence in the house, I might have been able to go right back to sleep.

However, I was on the couch in the living room, having fallen asleep watching the Opening Ceremonies of the Olympics. The girls and I decided to have a slumber party last night, and we all piled up in front of the TV, watching NBC in the dark, me on the couch, Nina on the love seat and Amelia on the floor (her choice). It was fun, something we’ve never done before, and since Daddy had gone to Jackson for Aunt Debbie's 50th birthday celebration, it seemed like the perfect opportunity. Nina and I fell asleep around 9, but Amelia and Hope (our beagle) continued to play until close to 10, which I know because they woke me up every 10 minutes during that first hour I tried to sleep.

Anyway, before we all eventually dozed off, we were enjoying the ceremonies. I had been telling the girls most of the day that we were going to watch the Olympics, and they seemed excited. We had taken our baths/showers, put on our pajamas and set up tray tables to eat in the living room, another rare treat. Once we were all settled, I turned on the TV on and started the show, which I had recorded on DVR. It didn’t begin well, as Nina and Amelia both began clamoring for their favorite movies instead of the Olympics. Can’t say that I blame them, as the show started off with a little too much history, background and narration. I found myself chiding Tom Brokaw and other members of the NBC team: “Show, don’t tell.”

Once they finally began showing the actual ceremony, though, we were all rapt. It was beautiful, spectacular, breathtaking—in short, brilliant. I think it was the single-best opening ceremony I’ve ever seen, though I probably say that each time I watch the Olympics (much like our latest Christmas tree is always the best one ever). Still, this ceremony is going to be hard to top, especially considering that the most impressive part was the synchronicity of thousands of performers.

Was it just me or did the broadcast team talk entirely too much? There were moments where it would have been nice to just watch and listen to what the obviously incredible producer of the on-field show wanted the audience to see and hear, but Matt Lauer, Bob Costas and Joshua Cooper Ramo—who was as times very interesting but even more often long-winded—seemed determined to share every bit of information they’ve gleaned on China in their years of research. But hey, maybe they, like me, were in awe.

It’s hard for me to pick a favorite part, but I know what the girls liked best—the Budweiser commercial with Hank the Clydesdale and his Dalmatian trainer. The beauty of the DVR is that you can start a show about an hour after it’s begun and then skip through the commercials, but I remember that ad from the Super Bowl and knew they’d love it, so I didn’t fast forward. Then they begged me to watch it over and over again.

They’ll almost certainly ask to watch it again when they wake up, hours from now. I decided to embed it here, so maybe they’ll find my blog a little more interesting.

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