redfiona99: (Thinking)
Glorious Austrian victory in the men's downhill

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/winter-olympics/26056243

Is he not just the most beautiful and lovely person right now :) (I am hideously biased. Ridiculously biased.)

I admit I'm more tickled pink because I'd totally written the Downhill off. I didn't even expect a medal, especially after I saw Graham Bell's ski-through yesterday. Because it looked very technical, especially the top section, and the snow looked like the hard ice you get on the Italian hills, which doesn't really suit the Austrians. Or so I thought, because I was thinking of Klaus Kröll and Romed Baumann who both belong to the Herman Maier school of "point skis down the hill, attack the mountin, win or bust" skiing*.

Because of this I was expecting Svindal and the Italians to do well. I think guessing 2nd and 4th place shows I wasn't too wrong, I was just working on out of date info about the Austrian skiing team.

Obviously this will be over-shadowed in the UK by Jenny Jones getting a bronze in one of the new events I refuse to acknowledge but I will spend lots of time on the Die Presse and Der Standard websites instead. The plus points of knowing other languages ;)

So far this weekend is going well sports-wise. Austrian victory in the men's downhill, Bjoerndalen victory in the biathlon (with an Austrian in second place :) ), Ireland beating Wales. All I want now is a Russian win in the team skating event and either a Kasai or A.N. Austrian victory in the men's 90 m ski-jumping. Scotland losing miserably to England has been the only thing that hasn't gone in a way that I could at least be happy with.

*Bodie Miller is also a member of this school. That was why he didn't like the look of the course. He was just getting his excuses in early.
redfiona99: (Default)
Or gala day.

My photos from this day weren't as good, so I'll mostly be relying on Youtube videos.

I finally managed to meet up with M. I turns out that, in many ways, it was probably good that we didn't meet up beforehand because one of the people I would have been with is a rabid Plushenko hater. Now, I am cool with criticism of him - he has all the artistic merit of a haddock and is given to advanced hamminess and is guilty of lame, sequin and glove-related crimes beyond measure - but he does have tech. merit, and if you're not willing to admit that, then, well, I'm going to think you're a fool. This was before she claimed Thomas Verner had artistic merit and Stephane Lambiel had tech. merit. I like Verner, and adored some of Lambiel's programmes, but bzuh?! what?!

She insisted that Gachinski's programme was better (it probably was) and that the only reason Plushenko won was because he got the former champion's bump. Which, hey, is also probably true. I think she was mildly put out by me agreeing with her on both these points. But I've always been perfectly willing to admit that Plushenko isn't the best, but he is my favourite so I don't care.

Also, and not related to any of the above, skate bunnies/skate rats/insert your choice of description here, I just don't get it.

Anyhow onto the gala itself )

Even if you don't like figure skating, you will probably enjoy Volosozhar and Trankov's routine, which is why it's not going behind the cut. It's both funny and clever.


The remainder was mostly miserableness )

So yes, I had a whale of a time, there's nothing quite like unexpectedly being there to see your favourite winning the Europeans.
redfiona99: (Default)
This time with added pictures (all clickable thumbnails) because I managed to get the distance right(ish) on my camera by the time the Ladies Free Programme began.

Details )

As you may have been able to tell, I enjoyed the women's more than the men's. I think it's the one that really does benefit from seeing it live, way more atmosphere.

So the skating finished for the day, quite literally the minute my last possible train home left Sheffield, which left me in a pickle, because I still hadn't made contact with the person whose floor I was supposed to be on.

But, I think, I have been to this part of Sheffield before, there are two hotels, right in the vicinity, and most of the people watching the skating won't be staying there surely. I was wrong, mostly because there was also a boxing match on. This leaves me without anywhere to stay on a bitterly cold night. I think on my feet. My old housemate D lives in Sheffield, she'll put me up on her sofa (I have incredible awesome ex-housemates). Unfortunately, due to the phone hi-jinxs, I didn't have her number. I did however have the number of one of her other old housemates (who is also a friend of mine). So I ring Z, ask her for D's number, which she gives me and I ring D, who is kind enough to give me sofa room in exchange for the silly story of my tribulations. She also lets me use her computer so I can get M's number and text her to promise I'm okay. Thankfully, M is very understanding.

All in all, I probably got more sleep on the sofa than M did, and it meant I could catch up with D, which is something I'd meant to do for a while.
redfiona99: (Default)
My somewhat late comments:

So I set off for Sheffield at 9 in the morning, and for once it wasn't the rail network that caused the chaos, no, I did it. In a move which should shred any belief anyone had in my competence as an adult, I forgot to get the phone number of my friend with the ticket. She did e-mail it to me, but I forgot to check my e-mails on the Friday night.

So I arrive in plenty of time, but have no ticket. By the time the full level of my foolishness became apparent and I'd bought a ticket, the first group of the men's free had already been and gone. Thankfully, I was in time for the second group Which was good since it contained my favourite performance of the day )

Group 3 )

Being as I had not been following the skating news closely enough, and missed that it was just the Worlds, and not the Europeans and the Worlds, that Plushenko was missing, you can imagine that I was somewhat nonplussed to see his name come up. Somewhere between confused, elated and terrified. I mean, he's my favourite, my absolute and utter favourite, but I'm sure there are people who have favourites who don't make their hearts soar while their stomach sinks (or vice versa, my internal organs wish I'd chosen someone else).

The funniest thing was watching him and Gachinski skate in the warm up, because while I may joke about Mischin having a whole clone army of erratic blonds, it's only funny if it's not true. When he starts sending out two long, rangy, messy haired blonds in black and diamanté (thankfully, only one of them was wearing gloves), it becomes worryingly accurate.

Men's free programme, group 4 )

So yeah, that's how I unexpectedly got to see my favourite skater ever win his 7th European title live. It still makes me gleeful.

His interview before the medal ceremony was adorable. The interviewer asked how his knee was (he's done something to his meniscus) and he said it hurt and lot and he'd like to thank the crowd for giving him the inspiration to keep going. So the interviewer asked what his plans were after surgery, and he said that he hoped to be able to do the full season next year, and hoped to see us all at Sochi.

Now, logically, I know that he's unlikely to make it to Sochi. It'd be his 4th Olympics, and he'd be old enough to be the father of some of his competitors if he does make it. But there isn't an atom in me that doesn't want to see him get to Sochi.
redfiona99: (Default)
Just back from watch Evgeni Plushenko winning the European Figure Skating Championships. I am full of glee!
redfiona99: (Default)
So, thanks to Channel 5's CSI Sundays I've been catching up on CSI: Vegas flavour episodes that I've missed. And there's an episode 'A Thousand Days on Earth' (which is season 8 ep 13) which does so many clever things (like discussing the whole 'pretty victims get more pity' and the issues with sex offender registers that take no account of what someone got caught doing, and the whole thing being a trail and tragedy of misunderstanding, panic and miscommunication) that it annoys me that they don't do it more often.

~~~~

TNA is TNA which means ... well it means that I like individual segments but have issues with the whole.

Gunnar vs AJ )

Mickie James vs Madison Rayne )

My beloved X-division )

Misc. Others )

~~~~
Figure skating

Through methodology best not discussed, I have tickets for two days of the European figure skating championships this weekend. Any suggestions on how snuggly warm I ought to be dressed?
redfiona99: (Default)
Women's - You know, if you're going to skate your last ever competition, having it be the European championships on home ice and then winning, despite everything that takes some beating.

Winning performance - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lqh_eb2IpPQ&feature=related

~~~~

Men's - From his starting position for the free, I take it Joubert screwed up, again.

There is a Russian with two quads in his long programme. I must see it (note to self, his name is Menshov). Don't look at me in that tone of voice, I can't help it, I have quadraphilia ;)

Edit : Having seen the programme (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o2ryOSLb8yo), it's not artistically brilliant, but I approve of the quads. And the axel. And the finish.

Joubert's long programme was fun, especially the ending. He conducted the invisible orchestra, and somehow didn't get drowned out by the Ode to Joy, which takes doing.

Javier Fernandez's outfit is lovely, as is his quad toe-loop. He's not going to win, but if anyone actually has a better routine, I'll be damned. He had a step sequence, which everyone else is sorely lacking. And artistic merit above and beyond arm waving.

Routine is here - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wrbzd488Nhc

:D I think I have just found someone new to cheer for. Javier Fernandez is love.

The theme seems to be Hans Zimmer. Which is fine by me.

Less successfully than Javier Fernandez, but I'll grant Peter Liebers tried to do it as well (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f08Yd3--FjA).

One of the coaches has one heck of a moustache.

I am confirming terrible things about me tonight, like I'd rather have all tech merit and Plushenko levels of artistic merit than all artistic merit. Get your quads out for the lads, as it were. And your step sequences. I'd probably rather have step sequences than quads. I am aware I am everything that is wrong with figure skating.

Michael Jackson is one of the other themes, although at least Florent Amodio has found lovely orchestrated versions - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FqLD6f0t5aA

Poor Michal Brezina. He had, what I believe is technically called a 'mare.

Apparently Alexei Mischin has a factory of spotty blond Russian jumpers who dance idiosyncratically, Artur Gachinski is the most recent one - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s46msMOljr4 Someone may need to remind me that we have been down this road before and it lead to nothing but misery and nerves. I think I just have a fondness for Mischin's style.

Kevin van der Perrin is not only good at jumping, but also a good sport.

The judges are fiends.

More Michael Jackson. I fear that there will be yet more in the Worlds. If the rest of the world is dancing to Jacko with anything like the same frequency then ~ 2/5ths of them will be Jacko-related.

~~~~

As a brief pretence that my life consists of more than sport, I bring more of the film meme:

Day 19 - The most hilarious film you've seen

I like comedy films, I just have issues with a lot of modern comedy. Most of the time the comedy of embarrassment does not do it for me. It can do, for instance Fawlty Towers is hilarious, but that's because the characters are designed to let you enjoy that. Basil is a pompous git who mis-treats his servants, is rude to his customers and is (possibly understandably) mean to his wife. When things go badly for him, it's not so bad.

American Pie, for instance, is not so bad, because the various ups and downs (apologies for any accidental innuendo) are done with an affection for the characters.

Therefore a lot of my favourite comedies are old. And when I say old, I mean, made before I was born.

Clue - which features a stand-out performance by Tim Curry, which is entirely responsible for my ability to rabbit on for ten minutes without an obvious pause for breath.

The Producers - proper version, which means Zero Mostel. And Gene Wilder. And Liebkind.

Blazing Saddles - it's the brilliant mixture of satire and slapstick.

Any version of His Girl Friday/The Front Page.

Several of the Carry On films. Some of them are very bad, but some of them are very good indeed, and given that comedy, like horror, frequently relies on surprise, they stand up well to repeat viewings.

The Plank - 15 minutes of slapstick genius.

The Ghost of St. Michael's - Which is getting a link because I feel a black and white comedy/thriller/horror/farce made in 1941 needs the publicity. It is deeply, gloriously and ridiculously funny http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Ghost_of_St._Michael%27s

I'd include The General and Modern Times etc, but I tend to find them more adorable than funny.

The Other Days )

Sport

Jan. 29th, 2011 04:25 pm
redfiona99: (Thinking)
Ice Dance

I like one of the Italian couples (Testa and Mior), who I feel have been hideously undermarked, even if I think I know why. People may also be pleased to know that Maurizio Margaglio was not murdered in his bed by Barbara Fusar-Poli after Turin. He's coaching Testa and Mior.

Saw the short programme - really like the Frenchies in the lead, and feel v. sorry for the senior Italians.

The less said about what Zhiganshina and Gazsi (senior German couple) were wearing, the better. Even if I really liked their routine.

I muchly like the Hungarians. I have suspicions that Nora Hoffman used to skate with the poor, maligned Attila Elek. It was not Attila's fault that he was less muscular than his dance partner. It tended to go horrible wrong at least once a routine.

Well, we now have proof that you can't skate to the Rolling Stones, but you can skate to Muse.

I am aware of how subjective it is, but I love the baby Russians (Ilinykh and Katsalapov) who were dancing to Don Quixote. And I know it really is me liking the old fashioned style, but them I really did like.

Totally think the Frenchies were the right winners though.

I also got to see the top 3 in the ladies short programme, Kiira Korpi's routing is lovely - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YnU_j_ZA-tc

~~~~

I disapprove of the new 'speed snooker'. I know what they're trying to do, but it won't work. 20/20 Cricket, the founder of this rush for mini versions of sports, has stopped being such a big hit now that the rush of shiny new-ness has gone.
redfiona99: (tennis)
I may have been wrong about the music, we've had two Pink Panthers already.

We are not happy about the pairs result. I like the Germans, Savchenko and Szolkowy, and I know they had a one foul-up cushion going into the free, but that was one heck of a foul up and Kavaguchi and Smirnov skated so well. Let the judging-related paranoia commence.

For your delictation and delight, and for you to judge:

Savchenko and Szolkowy - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7bCF58op8rY

Kavaguchi and Smirnov - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IF9B5xsmAEg&feature=related

It's not that I don't like Savchenko and Szolkowy, and Aliona Savchenko looks adorable with her Pink Panther cuddly toy, but it's just wrong.

Stephan Lambiel is one of the interviewers. He is disturbingly chirpy.

I also really liked the Italians.

~~~~

In the tennis, I continue to be driven mad by trying to figure out what it is that Dolgopolov does differently with his serve. It is not a normal one, but I can't place what the difference is exactly. I think it's something mechanical but unfortunately, the Eurosport coverage is being no use. Any suggestions?
redfiona99: (tennis)
I have no idea what the household is going to do with itself during the women's final at the Australian Open, because we like both of them. I get vision of my Nan cheering for Djokovic even if Murray does get through. She is not a Murray fan and she quite likes Djokovic, well, for today at least.

~~~~

It's the European Championships, and I am enjoying watching it. So far many strange things have occured:

1) There is a British couple in the Pairs competition.
2) There are, in fact, two British couples in the Pairs.
3) There was a Russian pairing, where he was twice her size, that featured the beginnings of artistic merit. And one of the best finishes to a program I've seen - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2akoWLhuKp8. I prefered the Germans - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BtwsMSiAgDs but it's very much a personal thing.
4) The Kerrs are in third in the ice dance, after the short programme (it's a smooshing of the compulsaries and the original dance) - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RjFCsrKlono I want to swap the UK commentators for the Russian ones. I might not be able to understand a word, but at least they're quiet during the performance.

So far there's not been any major themes in the music, unlike the year where half of the men danced to Riverdance, or the year where folk music was the chosen music for the original dance so a third of the couples danced to Kalinka. It's the men's short programme, and I've just checked and it looks like the Russian Skating Federation are still not speaking to Plushenko. I am intrigued by the new Russians, not least of all because Alexei Urmanov coaches one of them.

~~~~

I also saw the Under-23 Men's Cross Country Skiing 15 km from the Nordic Skiing Junior World Championships in Estonia. Russian 1, 2 and 3. There was a Brit in 6th, a Brit who has previously won in Norway in the Norwegian Championships. But no, lets fund the alpine skiiers and the snowboarders instead (argh!).

I have great love for the third Russian, Shakirzianov, who on being given his finishing blanket (cross-country skiiers, they're like horses in a way) lays it on the ground and then collapses on top of it with a look of delight and satisfaction.
redfiona99: (winter sports)
I am just going to assume that Plushenko was robbed. Because he frequently is.
redfiona99: (winter sports)
I love you lots Evgeny Plushenko but not at 1 am on a work night. Well, maybe that much but not when my boss is on a rampage.
redfiona99: (Default)
So, for various reasons, I spent New Years at home watching Jools on the box avec Mum and Nan. The thing I love about Jools is that he makes it all seem so very homely, even as there is chaos all around him.

I enjoyed it immensely, the grown ups not so much. I loved thingy from the Noisettes version of 'Don't Upset the Rhythm' and I think I'm more than slightly in love with Dizzee Rascal.

After that I watched the highlights of this year's Glastonbury, which I enjoyed immensely. I think my favourite one was Bruce Springsteen randomly tuning up to play a song with The Gaslight Anthem, who I'd never heard of before, but will now have to look into. Anyway, the lead singer of Gaslight Anthem was grinning ear to ear because he was playing with Springsteen, but, and this was the best of it, so was Bruce. He looked just as happy to be playing with them as they were with him. I <3 Bruce!

There were lots of other things I liked too. One of the more interesting ones is the rise of nu-folk. Admittedly, most of it isn't my thing, it's all a bit too high pitched whingy boy for my liking but my favourite of the bunch is Little Lion Man by Mumford and Sons - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lLJf9qJHR3E (Not safe for work due to swearing.)

Other than that there was the Christmas Gala from Obertsdorf which featured the still ever so mighty Elvis Stojko which made me very happy.

I've also been watching the recent remake of Knight Rider. It doesn't quite work, but it's fun in parts.
redfiona99: (Default)
Evgeny, not that you didn't make my night or anything, but why are you on Eurovision? I mean, I'm happy that you won (I voted for Latvia and Finland), and cheered on Russia when it looked like Greece would win (I fear I am immune to the charms of the young Greek lady) but still - Eurovision?!

My top 5 would probably have been:

1 - Iceland
2 - Latvia
3 - Ukraine
4 - Azerbaijan - terrible song but I give them props for their props.
5 - Georgia - see also props.
redfiona99: (winter sports)
Apparently, amid dissertation madness last year I managed to miss that Denkova and Stavayiski got the world title.

Consider this to be me cheering from a year ago. Which apparently really couldn't have got any better than it did from a sports point of view. Seriously, with the exception of Vino not winning Le Tour (and he won the Vuelta, so I can't complain) everyone I like won something.
redfiona99: (Default)
The fencers are trying to kill me. Mostly with overwork.

Other than that, I don't mind Japanese ladies winning the ladies figure skating half as much as I would have objected had an American won. I am well aware I'm biased in Slutskaya's favour, and I'm still pissed about Sara Hughes winning in 2002.

Also - to Frala- Eurosport is really bigging up Daniel Alfrederson. Thought you might like to know.
redfiona99: (Default)
And I'm very happy about that. Admittedly it was a lousy performance, but he didn't fall and it's the only time I've ever been able to watch Plushenko without having fits and kittens that he's going to fall. It was wierd, it was like he knew he didn't have to push it to win, so he didn't. So he wasn't going to do anything ridiculous. It was like the coronation of a king.

To all his opponents various - seriously, the guy does make mistakes, you just have to push him. Being able to land your own jumps might help in that regard.

The medal table makes for fun reading - USA, Russia, Germany - big powerhouse countries, followed by Austria and Estonia - tiny little countries. This makes me very happy also.
redfiona99: (free free as the birds)
2 was in the men's luge pairs. Which was unexpected because normally the Germans win that.

3 was in the Nordic Combined Team event, where they won, although that might have something to do with the Norwegians not competing due to flu. Not that I'm complaining.

But tonight's the one. Men's long programme.

Unfortunately I have to go to fencing, but if I time it right, and Plushenko isn't the first on the ice, I should be back for most of it. (Crosses fingers, toes and everything else crossable).

Mother is the only one who doesn't think I'm mad.

Also

I'm free, free as the birds, I'm allowed out of the lab. Now as someone who wants to be a lab monkey I know this is supposed to make me sad, and it does a little, but it does mean I will have the time to write the bloody thing up.
redfiona99: (Default)
Sorry, this entry was going to be all about the men's short programme but then I found out that Michaela Dorfmeister won the women's downhill. Please excuse me while I do the silly dance and wave my Austrian scarf about.

I'm extra pleased because she's retiring :( and hadn't won an Olympic medal of any colour before.

Anyway, onto the men's short programme. I watched the men's skating and started to feel certain that technique is slipping, people are missing triples for goodness sake.

Other than that I would have had Joubert at least 1 position higher, and I don't even like him, as usual I loved his costume, the boy, or his coach, has style and brains and a sense of ideas. I may have misjudged him when I said he had American style, he's getting more French i.e. bonkers brilliant, as he gets older. Actually that's the worst thing, with him, Plushenko and Lambiel I don't just see what they look like now, I see what they looked like when they were wee young things. With Lambiel it's the worst because when did that boy get good looking.

Johnny Wier definitely also looked damn good, ditto Matthew Savoie.

Not sure how I feel about Plushenko's short programme other than relieved. Barry Davies came out with a corker of a comment '[Plushenko] is sometimes a little dramatic when you are watching'. No shit Sherlock. I can barely watch him waiting for the thing he will screw up that he could normally do in his sleep. But yes, it wasn't as good as I know he can be.

It's worse than watching the men's combined! Sorry, joke on my part because I knew Benni Raich would throw it away before I watched it, because he always does. Yes, had Dorfmeister not won this would be a very depressed Red.
redfiona99: (Default)
If Zhang and Zhang had actually landed that quad they should have won. I don't think they would have done, but they should have. As it is I'm perfectly happy with their position. Mother isn't. Her point, and it is well made, was that the Russians were lacking a certain something on the artistic side.

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