If You Don’t Like The Olympics, You Might Be A Terrorist.

As I watch The Today Show this morning, I can’t help but get a little excited. Yes, it’s stupid, I know. But I LOVE the Olympics. Summer, winter–doesn’t matter. This hasn’t been a lifelong thing for me. This all happened four years ago at the last summer Olympics held in Beijing. I was 22, and I think you have to be a little older to really appreciate the value of the Olympics. Or it coulda been the fact that I was old enough to drink for those Olympics, thus, making them much more interesting and fun to watch. Either way, there’s something about watching these athletes that compels me like no other sporting event.

She's awesome, you know it.

Don’t they make you proud to be an American?

I don’t like watching sports on TV. There’s a disconnect that happens there. For me, anyway. The idea that these people get paid gajillions of dollars to–well, what amounts to throw balls around–doesn’t sit well with me. Yes, they are good at what they do. They can run, and catch, and swing bats, and whack balls and all that jazz. There are doctors in the world. They save people’s lives. And nurses. And truck drivers.They get paid fractions of what professional athletes get paid, and they make the world go ’round. Just sayin’.

Aaanywho, Olympians pour their heart and souls into representing their countries in a fight to the death tournament to see who is the best in the world. How can other sporting events compare to that? These guys practice for years just to get the chance- to get the chance- to get to the Olympics. I don’t understand how anyone could NOT watch. Even the most boring of the boring sports–like synchronized swimming–is awesome when it’s to decide which country can do it better.

During the previous winter Olympics, we got hugely into curling. Like, bordering on obsessed. I remember going to see my Dad, and saying, “You’re not watching CURLING? Turn that shit on, Dad!” And then we proceeded to get HIM in on the curling action…once we explained how those granite stones worked, and the object of the game–once you see the actual strategy and talent that goes into it–simply awesome.

Canada’s got this one–For Now…

My point is this–the Olympics rock. Whether or not your country wins, you feel a swell of emotion for these athletes. You see them standing on that podium and you can feel the pride, you can see the emotion and the hard work they’ve put in, and you know they deserve their moment of awesomeness. Well, that’s what I feel, anyway.

It never stops amazing me how many tears I have to hold back while watching the Olympics. They should plan them around my menstrual schedule more accordingly, so this doesn’t happen as much.

Rekindling an old flame by playing video games

I must say, when I first started playing first person shooter games, all I could basically do was look at the ground, and throw grenades. That was about 3 years ago. My husband would have friends over, and they would sit and play Call of Duty for hours. I just didn’t understand the appeal. I couldn’t wrap my head around how someone could sit there for so long just pressing buttons on a controller. Then, one day, I realized there was so much more to it that that.

I remembered how, since I was 5 years old, I had some sort of video game console in my house. I was an only child, and my Dad used to play Nintendo before I could even grasp the idea of controlling a character on the screen. Mario on Nintendo gave way to Sonic on Sega, which eventually evolved to Crash Bandicoot on PlayStation. I had them all. I used to love playing video games. What happened? What events took place in my life that made me break away from the amazingness of watching Sonic roll at high speeds through a course, and that sound when you picked up those shiny, golden rings?

As I sat on my couch, pregnant and bored, I decided to see what the fuss was all about. I just had to see what was keeping husbands and boyfriends around the world up until 3am. I put in Modern Warfare 2, and jumped directly into a multiplayer game. Bad idea.  I think I went 2-24. Awful. Just Godawful. I quickly decided that campaign may be a better starting point. As I sat in front of my TV and PlayStation 3, tongue sticking out the side of my mouth, pulling my controller from side-to-side, fixated on this game, it all came flooding back. All those memories and feelings from my childhood. All that time I spent saving my progress in Doom and entering passwords my Dad had written on paper plates to beat the final stage–it was still there. Why had I ever stopped playing games? I had no idea. I finished single-player mode that day, and was feeling a little more confident.

I went back into multiplayer and gave it my all. I was still awful. But I didn’t care. I started to realize and remember how it felt to do something right in a game. How it felt when you practice and put time in and actually get good at a game. How triumphant you feel when you have tried the same mission, level–whatever you wanna call it–40 times, and you keep getting hung up on the same point, then you finally get past it. YOU are now the master of this game. You are no longer a noob.

Looking back, I still can’t really answer the question of why I stopped playing games. In my later teenage years, I was more focused on drugs, sex, drinking, and having “fun.”

I realize now, that perhaps if I had spent more time on video games, and less time doing the things I was doing, I most likely would have been lead down a completely different path. Some people may say video games cause you to be lazy, are a waste of time, or promote violence. If I had spent more time on video games when I was a teen, perhaps I would have said ‘no’ to drugs. Maybe I would have went to college sooner. Maybe I would be the first female president. Probably none of those things would have happened, but you never know. All I know now, is I have a wonderful life, nonetheless. I have an idiot fabulous husband (love you, honey), the cutest kid in the world, and we’re surviving. And we play a lot of games.  Not to mention, practiced my way to Expert in every RockBand instrument.

Which brings me to another point– wives and girlfriends are always pushing men to be interested in things they want to do. How about popping in some Duty and playing 2nd player? If your man likes games, give ’em a try. You never know, you could be ‘pwning noobs’ in no time.