Olympic Addendum and Other Stuff

Arriverderci, Turino; Bonjour, Vancouver. Ok, that was an interesting (if not weird as usual) closing ceremony. Clown noses, a carnivale thing; and Vancouver doing a little ice fishing demonstration to kick off their 2010 Olympics. Umm, okay. Their mayor, Sam Sullivan, taking the flag – that was inspiring – a paraplegic since age 19, he’s working on getting the goods for his city. Seems to me that NBC’s just hoping for better ratings with Vancouver’s being in the same continent and therefore better opportunity for actual live coverage.

NY Rangers Jaromir Jagr is back from Turin and the Olympics break, and he’s past the whole Olympics thing – he’s pretty certain he won’t be playing for the Czech national team anytime soon and now, he’s aiming for the Stanley Cup. Hmm.
Ok, so I was just reading this in passing, but thought that the headline was kind of odd: “Court nominee lightly grilled, not roasted” – wherein Reuters reports on how the Canadians were taking some kind of step towards American-style Supreme Court nominating:

Canada took a small step on Monday toward the U.S.-style practice of vetting nominees to the Supreme Court but the result was more of a love-in than a rigorous interrogation.

As part of a desire by the new Conservative government to make the process of appointing top justices more open, a parliamentary committee was allowed, for the first time ever, to question nominee Marshall Rothstein.

Legislators were warned they could not ask about his stance on controversial topics for fear this would compromise him once he made the top bench.

The opposition Liberals, who had expressed dismay about the idea of questioning judges, gushed with praise.

“I would characterize you as a brilliant jurist, as having a remarkable intelligence, a prolific writer and a man of the highest integrity,” said Irwin Cotler, formerly the Liberal justice minister.

The committee had no power to vote on the candidacy of Rothstein, 65, a veteran of the Federal Court of Appeal. The final decision will be taken by Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

Gosh, don’t the Canadians know any better than to imitate the Americans at their worst? Or, maybe Members of Parliament really are just as screwed up as their counterparts in the American legislature. Eh.

The passing of sci-fi writer Octavia Butler. I noted this, even though I’ve never gotten around to reading her work yet (I’m really so not a big sci-fi geek) , she is notable for being an African-American female writer in what has been a primarily white male domain.

Some recent reading I did:

A strange and lyrical book, “Spies” by German writer Marcel Beyer (translated by Breon Mitchell). The nameless narrator is not a very reliable narrator, as he pieces to the reader the mysteries of his family’s past and secrets. Grandpa was a German Air Force pilot during the Spanish Civil War (and may or may not have committed atrocities) and fought during World War II; Grandma died, but the memory of her haunts Grandpa, their children, and later the grandchildren who never knew her; Grandpa’s second wife is a lunatic (or is she?) who cut the kids off from their father and the grandchildren never meet their grandfather; or maybe Grandpa is complicit in the estrangment, because he likes his secrets, and later, so do the grandkids, who barely become functioning adults who stop speaking to each other – the three siblings and their cousin, the one who especially hasn’t given up on the idea of Grandma, a former soprano with “Italian” eyes.

Seven Steps on the Writer’s Path: The Journey from Frustration to Fulfillment, by mystery writer Nancy Pickard and writer/therapist Lynn Lott. A spiritual/therapeutical self-help book for writers, but more than that – I think it can help anyone get a perspective on things. I’m not even into self-help books, but I found this one to be a good read – and it was light enough to read in the subway and it was a bargain from Barnes and Noble.

This week, Newsweek has an interesting issue on India, in time for President Bush’s trip to India. But, more notably, it has interesting stuff in Indian-Americans. Writer Jhumpa Lahiri writes on what it means to be hypenated. And, young Indian-Americans are moving beyong medical careers. Well, I suppose Asian-Americans are making progress when we get to have a movie like “Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle” – still a movie I haven’t seen yet (I’m just not a big movie person, I guess).

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