Sorry I haven't written in a while. Finished up a script I've been working on, on Monday, and haven't had too much interesting going on since I guess.
Watched the U.S. Olympic gymnastics trials on TV yesterday, just flipped it on while eating lunch, and found it a lot more interesting than I expected. Was really kind of taken by the human interest stories -- these 13 or 14 gymnasts, training all of their lives for the Olympics, and six make the team and the rest don't... and their lifelong dream is pretty much done, since it's not like there's an Olympics every year, and the window of opportunity is pretty small. One of the gymnasts, Raj Bhavsar, was named as an alternate in 2004 and it really crushed him, he took a couple of years off, but then came back and was making a real push to make the team this time... the scoring system at the trials -- they had to explain this a few times -- is that if a gymnast finished in the top 2 overall, and in the top 3 in at least 3 of the 6 events, he was a "lock" and automatically made the team. And the rest of the team would be chosen completely at the discretion of some U.S. Olympic committee. Bhavsar came really really close to qualifying as a lock -- mere tenths of a point away, based on a tiny hop at the end of his last landing on floor exercise. And I felt really bad for him while watching -- he seemed like a nice guy, seemed like after his failure to make it in 2004, right on the cusp, this would be his year. And then when he missed qualifying as a lock yesterday -- no one ended up meeting the criteria, so the whole team was picked by the committee -- I assumed he'd be a shoo-in to be picked, since he was so strong in most of the events. But then they announced the team today -- and again he's an alternate! His profile on the telecast was really effective TV -- made me feel really bad for him! In any case, here's a NY Times profile of Bhavsar, and then an article about him not making the team this afternoon. I expect this is just a fleeting interest in watching Olympic coverage, since I've never really gotten into it before, and I tried to watch some diving coverage this afternoon but it put me to sleep on the couch very very quickly.
The other day I watched a British documentary called Mum and Me, about a woman who filmed her mother's struggle with Alzheimer's. The mother lives in a nursing home, and the daughter would visit every few weeks and bring the video camera. Two articles about it here and here. It was a very sad film. The mother was in good spirits for the most part, but didn't really know what was going on. I thought it was perhaps in poor taste to keep dwelling on the mother soiling herself in various places. Once would have been enough to make the point, I think. But it was a compelling film, worth watching although probably not right before bed, since I think it gave me some un-fun dreams.
Cool Newsweek article about accurate political prognostications being made by Nate Silver, who developed the PECOTA baseball projection system for Baseball Prospectus. I was in a fantasy baseball league with Silver for a year, but never met him. I think Baseball Prospectus does pretty great work, and I think it's cool that he's been able to translate his system into another field. I expect Nate's probably a really smart guy who'll end up doing a bunch of neat things before too long.
I've been told this Vanity Fair article about Cuban Baseball (written by Michael Lewis) is a must-read, but it's been in my browser window for a week and I still haven't read it. So check it out, maybe.
I'm getting way too into the wedding web page that I've assigned myself to make. My fiancee gets to deal with the fun stuff like checking on caterer prices, while I do the real work like writing photo captions. :)