The Sochi Low-Down, Part I

Olympic_Rings_SochiTodd Copilevitz of Now Wait a Minute… has asked me to be a guest blogger for his coverage of the Sochi Winter Olympics. I will be posting my Olympics updates here as well. Todd is a digital marketing guru who posts in-depth analyses of stories and issues that have been missed, or intentionally ignored, by NBC Sports and the mainstream media.

I, on the other hand, claim no such lofty credentials or goals. Those of you who already know me from this blog and have read my ‘Superficial Movie Reviews’ are already well aware that there are few things I enjoy as much as overanalyzing miscellany for my own amusement. (And, hopefully for yours as well.) I guess the best way to differentiate Todd and me would be to say if we were in a book club together, Todd would be the one who read all of Proust’s Swann’s Way and had pertinent observations noted for later discussion and I’d be the one who only got through fifteen pages, but baked some delicious madeleines and brought two bottles of wine for the group in hopes that no one would notice.

usa_sweatersSo, without further ado, I bring you MommyEnnui’s random thoughts about the 2014 Winter Olympics thus far. First, and most importantly, what the hell was up with the U.S. athletes opening ceremonies outfits!? Ralph Lauren, designer of the questionable garb, used to be the final word in chic, classic, old-money, American style. What we saw at the opening ceremonies was Ralph officially jumping the shark and it wasn’t pretty. The athletes’ sweaters were reminiscent of those proudly worn by crafty-Grandmas everywhere. The ‘more is more’ aesthetic did not exactly say ‘sleek, modern, young, athletic’ or any one of a million other adjectives that could best describe the U.S. athletes. Instead, Ralph Lauren and his band of esteemed designers went for crazy-quilt cardigans, ill-fitting cream colored pants and hiking boots. I could go on, but there’s no use beating a dead polo horse.

sochi_open_flying_girlOverall, I’d say the opening ceremony was the spectacular, elaborately choreographed event that we’ve come to expect from the Olympics. I do have one little bone to pick, however. Is it absolutely necessary that each opening ceremony must begin with an adorable young girl, floating around in a nightgown or sundress, dreaming about the history of whatever host country happens to be planning the party that year? Is there maybe a fresh, new way of telling that same old story? Aren’t the worlds’ most creative producers paid approximately a bajillion dollars to plan these things? Just some food for thought.

My very favorite part of the opening ceremony, though, was when Vladimir Putin’s “rumored” girlfriend, former rhythmic gymnast Alina Kabayeva carried the Olympic torch in the final leg of the torch relay. Kabayeva who is now a member of the parliament, is believed to be one of the causes behind the Russian president’s divorce from his wife Lyudmila. The other cause is rumored to be his apparent inability to rinse off the goddamn dishes before putting them in the dishwasher. (Or so I’m guessing.)

vlad_alinaI’m aware that Putin (or as my daughters like to call him, “Poo-tin”…always while giggling maniacally) has not asked for my opinion on the matter, but it’s clear that his buddies in the Kremlin are giving him some seriously bad advice. So, Vlad, if you’re reading this, here are a few tips for you in case, hypothetically, you’re trying to keep your relationship with some young hottie on the down low. Don’t have a life-size, nude, ice sculpture made of her and display it prominently at your big winter bash. She can’t wear your letterman’s jacket or your class ring. And–I can’t stress this one enough–she can’t vote in favor of every single one of your pet projects in parliament. It’s just common sense, dude. You must have people who can quietly whisk her in and out of the Kremlin for booty calls, right?

Olympic officials did show some restraint by not giving Kabayeva the highest honor of lighting the official Olympic torch that will burn for the duration of the games. No, that honor was awarded to two other Russian athletes, one of whom was another member of parliament, Irina Rodnina, former three-time gold medal winning pairs figure skater. If Rodnina’s name sounds familiar, it’s because she’s the Russian politician who posted an obviously doctored, racist photo of President and Mrs. Obama on Twitter last year. Charming.

In response to the controversy, Rodnina was quoted as saying, “Freedom of speech is freedom of speech and you should answer for your own hang-ups.” With similar qualities of diplomacy, discretion and subtlety as her boss, Vladimir Putin, Rodnina should have a great future ahead of her in the Russian government!

Our Christmas Letter Is Better Than Yours

holiday_newsletterMommyEnnui has quite a few readers from outside of the United States, so today I thought I’d provide a little cultural lesson about a beloved American holiday tradition…the Christmas Letter. The origins of the Christmas Letter go way back. I’m pretty sure the first letter was sent by one of my Dutch ancestors, but don’t quote me on that. The purposes of the annual Christmas Letter are to update those whom you haven’t seen in a while as to your family’s many successes and occasional health issues over the past year and to give a shout-out to the Christ child. The following is a compilation of every Christmas Letter I’ve ever had the pleasure of receiving. (Well, except for my friend Ed’s. His are actually pretty damn funny.) Only the names have been changed. 

Dear Friends and Family,

The time has come again for our yearly Christmas letter. First, I’d like to start by quoting the Bible extensively…[Bible verse, Bible verse, Bible verse, Bible verse…]

Last year, a few of you brought to my attention that there are people of other religions and ethnic backgrounds who also celebrate holidays at this time of year. While I strongly feel y’all are just trying to steal the spotlight from the baby Jesus, the Bible teaches us that everyone deserves love and forgiveness. So, I forgive you for your attention seeking. Anyway, I hope you enjoy lighting your Kwanzaa wreath this year.

With that said, I’d like to fill you in on all the details of our family’s busy, busy year. We are just so blessed. I can’t believe our baby, Sienna Brianna is in preschool already! We actually had a bit of a challenge finding the right school for her since, as I mentioned in last year’s letter, she had memorized the Periodic Table and was conjugating verbs in Mandarin and Latin before she was 2 years old. We didn’t want to rush her right into middle school though (where she rightfully belongs) because that would disqualify her from the Junior Miss Mensa Brains and Beauty Pageant. We’d hate to deprive her of one more first place award she could add to her college applications next year.

Kiffany Mackenzie is still reeling from the IOC’s denial of our application for an exception to the minimum age requirement so she could compete in the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. The committee ruled that, at 12, she is just too young. We, of course, know better, but rules are rules I suppose. The good news, however, is that we’ve built a regulation Olympic-sized bobsled track on our property, just behind the pool, and a guest house for her live-in coach and tutor. So, you know she will be working hard to take across-the-board gold medals in 2018!

The twins John Thomas and Harry Willie are, not surprisingly, taking the college world by storm. While it has been an adjustment for them being at two different schools (Yale and MIT, respectively), that hasn’t stopped them from building their software company together via Skype. They got a call from Microsoft’s attorney recently, but they’ve decided to put the sale of the company on hold while they spend a year overseas on a mission to help train orphans to make microchips for minimal-to-no pay. Their dedication to helping the world’s children learn a valuable trade is just so inspiring.

Bob recently took a bit of a sabbatical from the firm after 23 years without a vacation. It was so sad always seeing our yacht just sitting in the harbor with no one to take her out for a spin. That is, except for when the boys’ high school friends tricked them into bringing those underage girls and illegal drugs onto the vessel and disappearing to Catalina for a week. We’re blessed to have such kind and trusting sons. Anyway, Bob took out the Golden Parachute and has been sailing around the Caribbean and down the coast of South America for the last six months. He is scheduled to return home just in time for Santa’s arrival!

Sadly, I could not take the time off from my extensive volunteer work in order to join Bob in his travels. After all, the Junior League doesn’t run itself! I also didn’t want to leave my tennis partner in the lurch especially since we recently took first place in the All-Star Tennis & Rackets Association’s All-Region Tournament and are on a 47 match winning streak.

We did endure a pretty terrifying health scare this year. Bob’s mom Marjorie had been feeling a little out of sorts for the last few months. She had severe diarrhea, a sallow complexion, her hair was falling out in clumps, her urine was a shocking shade of safety orange, she had one droopy eye, excessive earwax, a tweak in her neck and recurrent toe fungus. Well, she finally went in to see the doctor and received a devastating diagnosis. She is gluten-intolerant. We were all shocked, but she’s been so brave. The person who has taken the news the hardest though is our cook Winnie. She is just beside herself trying to rework our traditional holiday menu to accommodate Marjorie’s disease. Please pray for Winnie as she adjusts to this difficult change.

And so my friends, as 2013 draws to a close and we look upon the dawn of the coming year, let us all turn our hearts into pools of golden sunshine and praise the Lord for our many blessings. In closing, I would like to share the remaining portions of the Bible not quoted above…[Bible verse, Bible verse, Bible verse, Bible verse, Bible verse, Bible verse, Bible verse, Bible verse, Bible verse, Bible verse, Bible verse…]

We hope you are blessed with all the blessed blessings that we’ve been blessed with this year!

With love,
Coralee, Bob, John Thomas, Harry Willie, Kiffany Mackenzie, Sienna Brianna and Barkley (woof, woof!)

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