Bode Miller said in a Newsweek article that he really didn’t want to compete in the Olympic Games. Congratulations. You didn’t.
I’ve become fascinated by Miller over the course of these Olympic Games. I’m also fascinated by how I couldn’t avoid the Nike commercial promoting Miller and the JoinBode.com website when visiting Espn.com and how it mysteriously disappeared about a week into the Games. Hmmm....coincidence?
There are two parties of thought on Miller:
Party 1: Those who lauds and praises Miller for his flippant attitude, espousing the virtue of being true to self even when it flies – especially when it flies – in the face of conventional wisdom.
Party 2: Those who think Miller has unrivaled talent, yet only does enough to be known and not what it takes to be the best at his sport.
My views on Miller directly contradict everything his supporters say and some things his detractors concede.
Miller isn’t a good skier. Of course, he’s better than I am; but that’s why I haven’t chosen skiing as my livelihood. He can go fast. And that means what? Nothing. Why? The top ten skiers in the world are all fast. And if he's a little faster? So what. Skiing isn’t all about speed; it’s about speed controlled, manipulated. Going 100mph doesn’t matter if you don’t make it down the mountain 3 out of 5 times.
Miller is a scared little boy inside an athlete’s body. Of course he’s fearless on the slopes; but life’s not one giant ski run. He refuses to set expectations for himself. And that means what? No one can fail if they never set a standard to succeed at. Instead this person will hide behind the guise of self as his standard; therefore nothing is wrong or right because he has no purpose except to be himself. Risky when you don’t want to be anything.
Miller is selfish and self-deceived. He doesn’t believe in or care about structure or rules, openly mocking such institutions; yet, this brash man who doesn’t care about what people think is constantly back tracking and apologizing. Not very maverickesque.
Quoting Miller himself: “Look, a lot of the people involved with the U.S. Ski Team – the people that I'm representing – are unbelievable a--holes. Rich, cocky, wicked conceited, super-right-wing Republicans. But because of my morals, my principles, I can't judge them for that. The things they've done for me warrant respect, and I'm trying to pay them back."
A brash maverick with such devotion to his philosophies (and thus to himself) should really stick it to the man by bailin’ on these ‘a--holes…rich, cocky, wicked conceited, super-right-wing Republicans’, right? Oh yeah, his ‘morals’ and ‘principles’…
No. It’s his need for a way to support a lifestyle based on self and refusing to answer the call of consequence. Miller came up with a better way to stick it to the man: by showing up 20 pounds over his performance weight, boozin’ and philanderin’. And blowing every race with his trademark, self-indulging sticker of reckless abandon.
Fact: 5th. Disqualified. Did not finish. 6th. Did not finish
Fiction: Miller’s own statement the media after his DNF in his fifth and final event: “…I just wanted to go out and rock. And man, I rocked here!”
Prediction: By the time the 2014 Olympics role around, a 38 year-old Miller will be an afterthought. Why? He has no legacy setting himself apart. Miller’s fast and reckless lifestyle isn’t unique; drug addicts live it everyday. Miller’s lack of respect and care for others or himself isn’t revolutionary; punk kids are kicked out of school for it everyday. Miller’s if-I-can’t-do-it-my-way-then-I’m-not-gonna-do-it philosophy isn’t new; two year-old children put their mothers through it everyday.
He’s Bode’d his life.
Tuesday, February 28, 2006
Bode Miller said in a Newsweek article that he really didn’t want to compete in the Olympic Games. Congratulations. You didn’t.
Monday, February 27, 2006
What can you say about the woman who brought you into this world? Thanks, I guess. Somehow that doesn’t quite cover it all, nor is a blog the most prestigious of environments; additionally, a written text is a bit intimidating to a woman who graduated with a degree in English. Well, break or bust, here it is.
Mom (as she is known in some circles…one circle, but anyway…) was whisked away to Northern Wyoming a couple years after marrying Shane (aka, Dad), basically the kind of town every little girl grows up dreaming of. She gave up the world’s honor and toys for the unsung honor of staying at home, raise six children – at one point four of them boys 6 years old and younger – had cookies when after-school hunger attacked, values when the world attacked, tissues for when life attacked, and discipline when attitude attacked.
Any woman can have a child, not every woman is willing to be a mother. Glitz, glamour, gifts and gain forsaken for six children’s countless tears, laughter, scraped knees, broken hearts and rebellious adventures. No accolades, no prestige; just love, prayers and hope God fills in the gaps where mortality tripped you up.
So, here’s a shout out to Mom: friend, teacher, example. Paraphrasing one of the greatest songwriters of our time, Mr. Vanilla Ice, “Word to [my] mother.”
Thursday, February 23, 2006
There are not very many givens in this mortal existence. The cliché about death and taxes is accurate; I suppose there are a couple of other things you could throw in there like Will Ferrell being funny and Alec Baldwin being a raving lunatic. But anything else is a stereotype. Almost everything.
Thanks to the alertness of myself and the astute observations made by some of my associates, another given concerns the individuals that make up our commuters here in the greater Atlanta area.
As I weave through traffic on 285, making my way onto Peachtree Industrial Boulevard and merging onto Peachtree Corners Circle, I pull into the fast lane (because that’s where I live my life, much like Don Henley).
“What the….!!!” I yell, slamming on the brakes in my classic vintage Buick, immediately regretting I never hearkened to the constant naggings concerning the virtues of wearing a seatbelt (i.e., living). This thought is followed by another concerning the cursing I just did in my head and wondering if anything said in the split seconds before death is counted at the judgment or if I can get a mulligan.
With the smell of burning rubber overcoming my olfactory and the relief of realizing I have another day left to procrastinate my repentance, I look more closely as the perpetrator of my sudden new-found appreciation for life.
Can barely see the cranium of the driver.
Just as 1+1=2, the two factors equal the greatest menace our roads have ever seen.
Asian women drivers.
I’m telling the truth.
I’m not a racist; I support no bigotry; never in my administration have I condoned such acts. My track record speaks for itself and I stand by it.
Researchers don’t know what causes this phenomenon and their two random theories as of yet have no substantial evidence to support the claim.
The MSG Theory: The overwhelming amount of MSG used by Asian’s in their food creates a lapse in the synapses, producing a delusional visualization of moving faster than is actually the case.
The Humor Theory: Asian women can tell these side-splitting stories at nail salon’s about the sheer terror seen in the eyes of their victims though the rearview mirror during these events.
So, until scientists can find a cure for this unfortunate phenomenon, just beware when you see a car whose manufacturer came from any country with oceanfront property on the Pacific’s Westside, you can’t see the driver because their head doesn’t rise above the seat and they are going 2mph in a 45. Don’t hate, just get in the other lane ASAP and wave to the little Asian woman as you pass her at a relative warp speed. And say a little prayer for her. (Go ahead, break into the song...You know you want to.)
Wednesday, February 22, 2006
In perhaps the greatest film of any generation in the past million years, the Oscar caliber performer Will Ferrell spoke these immortal words through his immortal character Ron Burgundy:
“I'm a man discovered the wheel, and built the Eiffel Tower out of metal, and brawn. That's what kind of man I am."
Such words of wisdom resonate with crystal clarity throughout all of mandom, eloquently echoing a timeless truth about the essence of man: wise, proud, strong. Over the course of time and through happenstances of recent events, I have turned to the wisdom of Ron Burgundy to get me through the many tough times. A veritable treasure trove of insights into the intimate details of life, Mr. Burgundy’s wisdom can is practical enough for the minutia of everyday life, yet profound enough to use when delicate and fragile moments of life confront us and we are found wanting. I share some of these things with you now.
Advice you are given is sound: You're so wise. You're like a miniature Buddha, covered with hair.
First approaching an attractive woman: I wanna say something. I'm gonna put it out there; if you like it, you can take it, if you don't, send it right back. I want to be on you.
Trying to impress a lady: I'm very important. I have many leather-bound books and my apartment smells of rich mahogany.
You’ve lost an argument but don’t want to lose face: Agree to disagree.
A friend has killed someone (particularly with a trident): I've been meaning to talk to you about that. You should find yourself a safehouse or a relative close by. Lay low for a while, because you're probably wanted for murder.
Making idle threats: I'm gonna shoot you with a BB gun when you're not looking. Yep, back of the head.
You’ve had a bad day: The human torch was denied a bank loan. Intimidating a would-be attacker: If you want to throw down fisticuffs, fine. I've got Jack Johnson and Tom O'Leary ready for ya. You want to end a conversation and split: When in Rome.
A serious issue is brought up you want to sweep under the rug: I thought you were kidding! I thought it was a joke! I even wrote it down in my diary – [Person’s name] had a very funny joke today. I laughed about it later that night!
Needless to say, this wisdom is universal, omnipresent can be used in diverse ways. A great burden has been taken from me now that I know this is available for everyone. So, in parting, I’ve one thing to say:
You stay classy, Planet Earth.
Tuesday, February 14, 2006
Well, I've decided it's time to reveal something to the masses (okay, they aren't really masses) who peruse this blog. It's not so much a revelation as an expounding on the obvious.
I like to write, as evidence by this blog. I've always been a bit nervous letting people know this, thinking it somehow damages my masculinity. Well, the revelatory news is over the past while I have been working on book, a novel. It's a little science fiction, but not like Star Wars or Lord of the Rings; more realistic. It amassed over 130 pages and I've had a lot of fun with it. I work on it when the creative juices are flowing and it had been very thereputical for me, and while I hold no illusions of granduer, it isn't too bad.
I'm plugging in an exerpt and would appreciate feedback. Some background: Luke (our hero) has met his nemesis; he teters on the edge of failure and resolve, both physically and psycologically. It's something I think we all face at times. Anyway, hope you don't fall asleep;-)
Hurt, anger, pain. These emotions course through me, threatening to overflow a once calm exterior. Frustration rubs reason raw, friction wears down formerly strong resolve. Emotions exhausted; reserves nearly dry; the debilitation of not knowing what else to do shutting down the will to go on. Heart and will rip apart, mortal fiber and eternal hope shredded, its electric current shooting through my being until it finds and destroys all hope hidden in the darkest corners; my soul is experiencing the painful result of a word which has followed every step of my existence:
“It is what you are,” the darkness hisses, its tone mocking, sneering, loathing. “When have you ever been able to finish something meaningful? You’ve nothing left to give, nothing left to be. This is another example of your inability come off conqueror. You are a failure.”
Now on my knees, will seeps out of my body, pooling with the crimson blood on the ground around me. Fear begins to encompass a deadened soul, void of purpose and will. Ghosts of failures past emerge from their graves; they circle heart, body and mind, penetrating through a shattered armor of resilience. Succumbing, it is time to acknowledge the darkness is right: another failure, like so many before; this one, however, is public, pronounced, permanent.
From knees to face I fall, landing in a pool of rotting will. The fight is done; I choose to quit and be done. No more failures. Enough.
The darkness laughs insidiously as it has triumphed over an incompetent foe.
Eyes close; it is done.
A whisper. It is barely audible, from a deep recess surviving the destructive force which encompasses me, it speaks. The words are distant, buried and muffled; yet they press on until coherent.
“Only the strongest will survive...”
The words are too late; damage done, fight over…
“Only the strongest will survive…”
The darkness was the strongest; it will survive…
“Be the strongest. Survive…”
I’ve been beaten. I’m not the strongest….
“Be the strongest. Survive…”
Tired of failure, of mistakes; no more…
“Survive. You will be the strongest….”
No more failure. This is the last….
“Survive. You will be the strongest…”
Many failures; many tries; always stronger…
“You’ve survived before; survive again…”
Eyes open; it is not done.
The darkness laughs insidiously, thinking it has triumphed over an incompetent foe. Hello.
From face to knees I rise, gathering up lost will. The fight must continue; I choose to continue. No more failures. Enough.
Now on my knees, will continues to grow inside of me. Pain declines, hope pulses; fear is chased from a revived soul, filling with purpose and will. Ghosts of failures past flee back to their graves as belief, hope, will find again their place. Soul, tattered and torn, mends as will purges and cleanses until the shattered armor of resilience is once again intact and whole. Renewed, it is time to confront the darkness’ error: another failure, like many before; this one, however, is public, pronounced, but not permanent.
Now on my feet, eyes lift to confront the darkness. “I am no failure. By continuing forward, I’ve always come off conqueror. There is enough left to give, more to be,” a voice says, sure, convicted; it is mine. “I will never give up. It is what I am.”
Belief, hope, faith. These emotions course through me, overflowing a once shattered, haggard exterior. Calm binds up reason; peace builds up a formerly weak resolve. Emotions renewed; reserves nearly full; faith in the future inspires the will to go on. Heart and will mesh, mortal fiber and eternal hope coming together, soothing balm flowing through my being until it finds and destroys all despair hidden in the darkest corners; my soul is experiencing the healing result of a word which has preserved every step of my existence:
Brought to you by Mr. Roberts at 2/14/2006
Monday, February 13, 2006
It's hard keeping up with the Olympics over in Torino because of the time lapse; I see on the net what's going on, then try to watch it, already knowing the results. I've still enjoyed watching some events, like the halfpipe yesterday and the 5000 meter speedskate.
So, Bode Miller. Bode is a renegade; self proclaimed, so I've no problem making the statement. He has a problem with authority and is determined to do his own thing. Up to this point he's become a legend of sorts, being able to pull success; however, it's caught up with him on the biggest, brightest stage. Ouch.
From what I've read, the men's downhill is like the summum bonum (that's Latin, kids) of skiing, the granddaddy of all skiing events. If a person is going to make a claim to greatness in the sport of skiing, this event is it. And Bode pooched it. Pooched it bad.
Ouch. Reporters saw Bode with out with his buddies and a six-pack of family members until late Saturday night. Sunday, Bode didn't emerge from his room until less than an hour before his time to hit the slopes. Why? I don't know; let's speculate. Two words: hang over. According to him, nothing new; but this time he couldn't pull out a performance validating his anti-confirmatory behavior. And it cost him gold, silver, bronze, 4th place...skiing immortality.
Part of me is glad he didn't get a medal. I don't think he deserves it because he didn't treat the sport with respect; and in accordance with universal law, the sport didn't respect him. Additionally, the nature of the Olympic games - and his reckless lifestyle - prevent Miller from a chance of being the greatest at his sport.
Part of me is disappointed because I am an American; Miller is an American. See the correlation? The Olympics garnish individual recognition at the highest level, the only place in sports that produces a true World Champion; however, it is also the ultimate team sport. And Miller let me - and 250 million other people who call America home - down. To fail while expelling ultimate effort can be painful. But it is respectable and I applaud sincere effort against the best in the world. But Bode blew it big time.
Instead of Miller time it's Deneriaz time! Frenchman Antoine Deneriaz exemplified the Olympic spirit, coming back from a torn ACL just 13 months earlier and winning this event by almost 3/4 of a second. I don't know if Deneriaz is alcoholic beverage, but if it is, Antoine should have a glass.
Just not all night before competition.
Thursday, February 09, 2006
So, I didn't watch the Grammy's last night. But on the radio into work I heard that U2 pretty much cleaned house. I like U2; and while Bono has some views I don't agree with entirely, I really respect the way he approaches the issues. It shouldn't be argued there aren't any big-named entertainers more active in pursuing issues than U2's lead singer. But he does it very well, very tactifully, very appropriately.
Then there's Kanye. Mr. West (not Adam West from the original Batman series on TV) was also up for Album of the Year. He didn't get it. I'm glad. I ain't saying he's a worth-e-less; but he ain't playin' with no full decka.
If the cards don't line up for him or how he thinks they should be, boom, blame the man. From his own words, Kanye's the guy everyone hated in high school because he was always whining about how bad things that happened were someone else's fault. A couple quotes from Mr. West:
On July 1, 2005, West appeared in Philly as part of Live 8 and used this global venue to say AIDS is a "man-made diseases placed in African communities,". This quote is in reference to the belief that AIDS was introduced to Africa by the U.S. government through the polio vaccine.
He has accused American politicians of insensitivity, claiming they "...[ride] home in their Benzes and Bentleys while poor Africans starve." The ironic thing is Kanye has sweet cars himself and isn't exactly intimately familiar with being poor or black America's economic struggle. In actuality, his mom was a distinguished doctor and Kanye was born into a family that is rather prosperous.
And of course, who can forget the episode at the Concert for Hurricane Relief (a joke in and of itself, in my opinion) when he uttered the infamous lines "it's been five days (without federal help) because most of the people are black...America is setup to help the poor, the black people, the less well off, as slow as possible I mean" followed by "George Bush doesn't care about black people."
Kanye's reminds me of the kid in high school on the football team who, because he never got any playing time, was sure the coaching staff, players, parents and even administration didn't like him; and that's why he wasn't getting any PT. It due to the fact he never worked out in the off-season; or that he dogged it in drills; or that he didn't memorize the playbook; or that he smart-mouthed the coaches; or that he missed practice sometimes; or that he violated training rule. And, in spite of his complaining and accusing, that kid never got any PT.
If Kanye reads this, he'll probably think President Bush put me up to it.
W and I are tight like that.
Friday, February 03, 2006
Here's Mark at work. That's a weak way to start a post. Marky Mark Brandau probably has a lot of nicknames, but I chose 'Pound It' because it's a fun little inside joke.
What can I say about Mr. Brandau? He's 24 years old - I remember because I gave him 'The Longest Yard' for his birthday. He's going to Perimeter and will be attended Tech in the fall. The man can wakeboard like it's nobody's business; we share common threads. In addition to being good looking: Mark was uninsured when he had to go to the emergency room and so was I!! We both enjoy sports, Seinfeld, Anchorman, french-cuff shirts, cuff links, and girls. Yeah, we're practically brothers.
Ha ha ha. I've made an interesting discovery: My rantings and ravings receive little acknowledgement when concerned with the observational or philisophical; however, if I start naming names the comments begin to flock like the salmon of Capastrano. I mean swallows. Is it possible I'm not as wise as I think I am? No, that can't be it....
Entry '6 Degrees to My Biznas' was written with a two-fold purpose: recount a tale I found (in retrospect) humorous and try to get to the bottom of the story since Natalie G is being tight lipped about her sources. (thanks future sister-in-law) The latter purpose is going well. Someone identified only as 'The Alleged #5' (I can't figure out who it is) offered a large variety of possible tattlers and I highly recommened reading his theories as found by clicking on the 'Comments' link under the afore mentioned posting. Hilarious and a very good read.
I guess I'll have to mention actual names more often because the commenting is most enjoyable. Like there was this one time when Dave, Jesse and I were out on the town and the liquor started flowing like water. Well, we sent to this strip club and
Two games: First, telephone. People sit in a circle and someone says a phrase in one person's ear and it passes on and on and on; the conclusion is finding out to what length the message was diluted. Second, six degrees to Kevin Bacon. Name any actress or actor and link them to Kevin Bacon in six movies or less. Well, sit right down and I will tell you a tale of a real-life occurence.
There was this one time, when I was a little younger (two weeks ago), when my fiance and I were a little miffed at each other; details are not important, but suffice it to say when we arrived to meet a group of friends for dinner it was apparent something was awry. Then we made a mistake: telling the group.
My sweet fiance started and revealed trespasses I committed, some of which I was unaware. I went on the defensive and when my time for self-defense arose I trumped her insensitive comments with harsh words of my own; from this point some other events transpired to make the evening memorable for all, but for unpleasant reasons.
These details are sufficient for this blog; happily, the issues were resolved before parting to our seperate residence at the end of the night and valuable lessons were learned. Paula, in her maturity, refrained from telling her parents or family members of the event because it was no longer relevant. On a side note, I am grateful for this; I have several friends who married and one party (generally the girl. No offense, just a fact) did not follow a steadfast rule - resolve issues between yourselves and don't include in-laws. Involving family in silly disputes creates hard feelings lasting much longer than the argument.
So, two weeks later Paula gets home from work and her mother asks her if we'd had an argument in public. And then Momma K used exact dialogue from our exchange in referencing said disputation. Paula was amazed (and so am I) the information was relayed back so accurately. What amazes me most is how it maintained it's accuracy through several sources, the chain of which I am going to reveal - in reverse order - in a game I like to call '6 Degrees to My Biznas':
Momma K was told by her oldest daughter Natalie1 ; Natalie G was told by her friend Natalie D2 who recently became engaged to Jesse3 - Natalie G and her husband had the newly engaged couple over for dinner; Jesse rents a room in a house owned by Dave4 (who's real name is Quentin); Dave was at Max and Erma's when everything went down5. Five degrees, message perfectly preserved. Congratufreakinlations
Wow. I'm not really suprised the issue surfaced; we made the mistake of arguing in public. What blows my mind is the clarity in which the event was relayed and that it was started, with crystal accuracy, by a man and not a woman.