Swimmer, Pilot, Astronaut, Spy: Why I Am None of These Things

I think it is perfectly silly how, once every two years, for about two weeks, I suddenly find sports all riveting.  But at least I’m not the only one, right? :-)  I guess I’m not surprised by my interest in the gymnastics and ice skating, but it does startle me when I get all woooo snowboarding or yippee trampoline (seriously: best sport ever).  And then all of a sudden this year it’s all about the swimming.  The SWIMMING! 

You know what I think it is?  I mean, apart from the ridiculous adorability and mad skills of Michael Phelps?  I think it’s that green world record line that keeps chasing the swimmers up and down the pool.  It makes it all so urgent!  I’m over here yelling at the TV: "SWIM!  THE LINE IS COMING FOR YOU!  SWIM FASTER!!!"  And when they’re like a whole body length ahead of it, it’s extra-super-mind-boggling…they’re not just racing those seven other swimmers, they’re racing THE WHOLE WORLD!  Awesome.

I was trying to figure out why looking at the gymnasts makes me go: "Man, I’m glad that’s not me!" whereas I totally want to be Michael Phelps, and I thought, maybe it’s because he seems so nice and humble and smart and he has a FABULOUS dog (Herman! AWWWW! did you see him?  in the bio video? adorable bulldog! snuggling and snoring!).  And then I realized it’s really because in that same video Michael revealed that he has to eat between 8,000 and 10,000 calories per day. 


For some perspective, that is literally about five times what a normal person eats.  FIVE TIMES!  Think of all the ice cream!!!  OMG!  He literally spends the whole day eating, swimming, and sleeping.  And snuggling with his dog.  (I’m not kidding, you guys, this dog is really cute.)  Which I guess is kind of like my life, if you substitute "TV watching" and "writing" in for swimming and take out the gold medals and world fame and extra-long torso and ridiculous amazingness.  😉

We even got to watch the Olympics from our nation’s capital this weekend, since we were visiting friends there, so that felt all patriotic and stuff:

Important things happen here!  So I am told!   

The coolest thing we visited was the International Spy Museum.  OH YES, there is an International Spy Museum!  And it has this interactive spy adventure you can do called OPERATION SPY where you get to SAVE THE WORLD!  Hello, I’m so there!

I liked seeing all the women who were spies, like in the Civil War and stuff (cool!), and also…authors!  Authors as spies!  Ian Fleming (who wrote the James Bond books), for one, which makes sense, but also Daniel Defoe (Robinson Crusoe) and Noel Coward (lots and lots of plays) and possibly Christopher Marlowe (Shakespeare’s playwright rival).  Who knew?

I’m afraid I’d be a terrible spy.  I think I’d be OK at making stuff up, like, if I was caught rifling through an important person’s desk ("er…just looking for a pencil!  La la la…"), but I have the worst memory, so even though I think I could make it in and out and back to base, by the time I got there I’d be like, wait, what was that guy’s name? who did I just spy on? what country are we in? and my handler would be like: "what did you find?" and I’d be like: "…a pencil?" and it wouldn’t be very impressive at all.

We also went to the National Air and Space Museum, which is pretty totally amazing.  I remember it from our visit when I was, like, eight or something.  I loved it so much that I decided I was going to be an astronaut, and I seriously hung onto that dream for like ten years, until I found out there was, you know, math involved.  Also science.  Also physical fitness.  Really, it turns out the only thing that would qualify me to be an astronaut is how tremendously excited I would be about being in outer space.  ("STARS!  SPARKLY!  WOOOO!")

The museum has this interactive flight simulator where two of you get into a suspiciously small machine and then one of you is the pilot and the other is the gunner, and you have to fly around and shoot other planes.  I thought Adam should do the shooting, until I found out during the training that (a) you get heat-seeking missiles (score!) and (b) I drive planes even worse than I drive cars.  So Adam was the pilot, but I’m not sure that was much better, since we were seriously upside down the entire time we were in there.  And I’m pretty sure I shot a lot of trees, since we were pointed at the ground most of the time.  But we did somehow accomplish our mission (shoot five enemy planes), so maybe flying upside down is the way to go.  🙂

Anyway, I highly recommend both museums, especially the interactive bits.  I also recommend a movie called Om Shanti Om, which I started watching when I got home from DC because I was too tired to do much else, and it is HILARIOUS.  It’s kind of a loving parody of a Bollywood musical, I think, and I’m only about halfway into it (fair warning: it is almost three hours long), but there’s a lot of dramatic music and fire and singing and dancing and hilarity and I LOVE IT.  I hope there will be this much singing and dancing in actual India! 

All right, if I don’t go to bed Adam is liable to catch me still on the couch watching Olympics when he gets up in the morning.  Man, I wish more sports had an ominous green line chasing the athletes around.  And also more Michael Phelpses.  I’d maybe even watch football with Adam if they were all that cute and that menaced by inexorable green lines.  And if they all had cute dogs.  :-)  I know, I don’t ask for much, right?

Quote of the Day: 
Ray: (showing Hancock his uniform) For when they call.
Hancock: I ain’t wearing that, Ray.
Ray: Yes, you are.
Hancock: Oh no, I’m not.
Ray: No, you are.
Hancock: Actually, I’m not, Ray.
Ray: You think you’re not, but you are.
Hancock: I will fight crime butt-naked before I fight it in that, Ray.
Ray: You know, you have fought naked. We got that. That’s on YouTube.