Saturday, 26th July '08
Nobody Told Me You'd Be So Beautiful...
By popular demand. Isn't he lovely?
The Crib. Looks kinda big now, eh?
First night at home. This peaceful picture belies all the psychotic wailing done that night.
He quickly figures out the art of "Gee, I'm so cute, how about a hug / bit more food / tummy scratch?".
Dog with the gigantic umbilicus.
Pictured here a little blurrily with plaything du jour, this yellow smiley-faced ball. The ball didn't last long as he chewed it so much bits of it started to fall off. Have since traded this item in for a hardier version of vulcanised rubber (or something).
This is about 2-3 weeks later. Has grown a lot already. Figured it was time to start getting a collar on him. Even Dad thinks this makes him pretty darn handsome. Sometimes the clothes do make the dog. So, like, whatever, George Michael.
One pensive pup.
Mum doesn't really appreciate the snuggling, but does he care?
Guess not. This is how he has trapped her more than once already. No one ever has the heart to wake him up to move him.
[3 photographs developed.]
Tuesday, 15th July '08
Ooh, Stephane Lambiel. Check out the birthday, hurhur.
I don't really know how I have failed to string these links together for so long. I knew he existed since that Olympic silver in Torino 2006. I knew Federer gave him a phone call the day after the 2005 Worlds, shocking the poor Lambiel out of his socks.
I just never quite had the opportunity to watch his full programmes. What a mistake.
So sorry man, Federer isn't going to be the coolest Swiss athlete around as long as Stéphane exists. His form's a little down of late, but right now there isn't someone I'd rather see take the gold in 2010. I have my wonders about the move to NJ to train under Petrenko and competing with Johnny "Flambouyantpouffy" Weir for ice time, but, well.
I have spent every free moment over the last 3 days (read: any moment not spent scooping new puppy poop, being nose-deep in due diligence or being a dreamy wedding guest) watching and re-watching these videos. And they're still enthralling.
(Tzo, happy watching, I've collected yet another bunch of ways for you to waste time.)
Exhibition programme circa 2006, this performance is at the Torino 2006 Gala. My first Lambiel video, and I was floored from the get-go. Perfect triple flip-triple toe at the opening, and that just progressed on to an effortless triple Sal, and That Spin Combination. I've honestly never seen a men's competitor with such beautiful spins. Most guys do spins as a matter of necessity, and jumping has always been more their game. But Lambiel has such exquisite sit spins, perfect knee angles, flawless centering... and the lines of each change in spin so pleasing to watch.
Capped with an inspired footwork sequence at 2:45, which sat dead on the music, and that huge death drop, this goes down in the books as one of my favourite programmes of all time.
Most young skaters don't really show this kind of performance maturity even if they're amazing technique-wise. There are some with so much technique that don't know how to fit it to the occasion. This is a true case of understanding how less is more. I'm taking my proverbial hat off to him.
I Don't Wanna Be
If you want to see a ridiculously versatile skater, this is it. I don't know how you follow James Blunt with Gavin Degraw and THEN with Vivaldi, but he somehow does it. Everything the commentators say is something I was thinking during the programme, but here you go.
Another stupendous spin combination. Watch for 3:20, it may be the longest sustained spin combination ever. Seeing is believing.
Something about the smoothness of the stroking and three turns too. Very special.
Gimme More Sexy Back / Staying Alive / Billy Jean
Need I go on about versatility any longer? He's also King of the Fluff Items. Such conviction in the most potentially embarrassing of roles, what a show-stopper.
I have to say the zazo thing with the Gimme More was a bit shocking. He's always struck me as a squeaky clean sort of fella (you just need to watch the "A Cote de la Plaque" episode to see that), and this one smelt a little bit like too many Bobby Newberry youtube videos. Like watching Jim Carrey in the Truman Show for the first time, you can see it takes effort to pull off a piece totally out of your character. A valiant go at it, nonetheless, and who could really ask for more?
Bath robe! Haha.
Yet another right on the money footwork sequence in this one.
Just to prove my boy is not all that fluffy, this is the Short Programme from the Torino Olympics. Tops for musicality and expression as usual. Blah to the doubled Axel. But as was later commented by someone, perhaps Dick Button?, this is the only guy who could medal in the Os without a triple Axel. Though I'm sure the quad toe-triple toe-double loop helped.
And if you want a true classic, here's some Vivaldi. The Long Programme from the Torino Olympics. Hate the costume, love the guy. But the programme as a whole is a bit dry, as most Olympic free skates tend to be, what with all those rules about there being no lyrics.
I'm tired now.
[1 photograph developed.]
Tuesday, 8th July '08
And these, my friends, are the reasons I keep my autographed Kurt Browning photo on my nightstand.
These performances are everything that's right about professional skating. Professional skating gives you so much room for free expression that eligible competitions don't. Some skaters abuse that, and technique gets compromised so much, especially in recent days. *dreamy sigh* They don't make professional skaters like they used to.
[well, the pictures aren't going to take themselves!]