What’s in a name?

It’s seriously amazing how much one can get done during the weekend when one does not go out. I stayed in last night, didn’t work or anything. Read my book (currently Burning Bright by Tracy Chevalier, writer of Girl With a Pearl Earring), did my 10 sit-ups, and went to bed at a respectable time of 11:17 p.m. Woke up today without the assistance of an alarm clock at 8:30 a.m., and promptly started my day. Put away my laundry (that I had done four days ago) and tidied up my room. I was supposed to go rock climbing with some girls from school, but alas it was not to be. So instead I convinced my brother to go bike riding with me around the neighborhood. We had to walk our bikes to the gas station to fill the tires up, then went on our way.

That was when I discovered I am so out of shape. I was out of breath in minutes and could barely get up the hill when we found the trail through the forest preserve by our house. Looks like I’m going to have to ease into this new “must-get-into-shape” routine I’ve adopted much more slowly.

In other news, other than watching the Olympics day after day, I’m trying to figure out plans for this domain. As it is, this blog is the domain. But now that I’m a fledgling careerwoman and writer, I would kind of like to create some sort of portal for myself and dissociate my real name from this blog. As it is, if you Google my full name this domain is the first thing that pops up. It’s kind of unnerving. (In fact, if you’re reading this after Googling my full name to see who the heck this person is…well, there you go!)

When I first started blogging on the Internet 10+ years ago, I was just a kid. I knew not to use my real name, of course, so I just started calling myself Raisy all around, on message boards and whatnot. When I got to high school, I wanted to be more “authentic” (truthfully I’m not quite sure what I mean by that) and started using my real name, sometimes even putting my full name on websites. When I bought this domain after my sophomore year of college, I put my full name everywhere in a bid to sort of establish myself as, you know, a personal blogger. But now that I’m more than a year out of college, I’m coming into contact with way more professionals that I ever thought. My real full name is now not just the name of a kid tinkering around with websites and HTML, but that of a real working person. I’m having to put more thought into how I want to really establish myself to the world. Years ago I was just a Final Fantasy and Charmed fanatic. Now, I have so much more weight carried on my shoulders.

Only thing I’ve managed to do today domain-wise is finally add a title header to this design. For a while I didn’t have the name of the blog up there, and I wanted it to stay that way, but then I changed my mind. And instead of updating the background image I just went with a regular text header. Other than that I can’t quite decide what to do with my online presence at the moment. I love this personal blog—it has sincerely become my baby over the past 3 years. But I’m starting to understand that I really need some sort of splash page to represent myself professionally. But should I buy a separate domain for that? This domain name is already too intricately tied to my real full name. Should I do some radical transformation of bumplum.com and relegate this blog to a subfolder? Whaaaaat do I dooooo???

Arise, Golden Gabby

My earliest memory of the Olympics was the 1996 Atlanta Games. I was 5 years old. Kerri Strug had just limped off after doing her second vault (back when it looked like a pommel horse!) and the U.S. women had just won gold for the very first time. All I remember thinking at the time was Ouch, that looks like it hurts.

When I started watching Olympic gymnastics, American women were in the conversation but not in the same fold as, say, Russia or Romania. And then in 2004 Carly Patterson won the individual all-around, the first American woman to win the gold on foreign soil, and in an Olympics that wasn’t boycotted. I was 13 and thought that was pretty rad. Four years later, Nastia Liukin won in Beijing. I was entering my sophomore year of college then. I thought her win was awesome.

Today Gabby Douglas won gold too, the third straight American woman to win an event that was previously out of reach to former U.S. Olympians. She’s the fourth American woman overall, and the first African American to do so. This time, I think it’s absolutely amazing. Watching her right now, on this tape-delayed broadcast, I feel so hearty and proud (have I mentioned this is the first Olympics where I’m feeling really really old, considering a good chunk of the competitors are younger than me and the same age as my baby brother’s?!). She’s also the first American to win both team and individual golds in the same Olympics.

Congrats Gabby!

No points for you, NBC!

So the 2012 Summer Olympics opened today in London, as I’m sure all the world knows. I’m sure that more than a billion people saw the whole thing live, as the Queen of England and James Bond parachuted out of a helicopter and J.K. Rowling read a passage from Peter Pan and Paul McCartney blared out my favorite Beatles song ever, “Hey Jude.”

I’m also sure that none of those people watching it live were American or in America. At least, not through legal means. And yes I’m staring at you, NBC.

I was a little miffed to learn today that NBC had refused to air (or even stream online) the opening ceremonies live because it wanted to monopolize the event for its primetime broadcast. I mean, why are you going to pretend this giant event is NOT happening at the same exact time, 6 hours across the pond, they are going on? It’s bad enough everyone else thinks Americans are ignorant, arrogant fools who don’t know anything about the world they live in. Now you have to make it actually seem true? Seriously, it amazes me how many people I talked to today legit thought the Olympics started at 7:30pm CT. At 3pm on the dot today I promptly scoured the Internet for update feeds on the opening ceremonies. I read every tweet as the show unfolded. When I shared its highlights with friends or co-workers, the response was largely the same: “WAIT, WHAT?? BUT I THOUGHT THAT WAS TONIGHT!!”

Really? You thought the 2012 Olympic Games in London were going to start at the time that NBC had designated for its American viewers? Never mind the fact that they operate in a completely different time zone?

As it was, I managed to find some live streams of the BBC coverage online when I came home from work. And then later tonight when NBC aired its edited, time-delayed version, I did some quick comparisons. There were a few things I found disturbing:

  • Because they obviously had had the chance to edit up the show before airing it, NBC’s coverage of the Parade of Nations was pitiful. They basically skipped over the marches of lesser known countries or cut quickly to commercials as they came out. In contrast, the BBC coverage was live (duh) and therefore didn’t cut short the appearances of smaller countries, and sufficient commentary was given for each delegation of athletes (or at least, as sufficient as it could be). Most of NBC’s airtime was given to the U.S. delegation, which is of course to be expected. No equality whatsoever. I understand that NBC covers the highly coveted U.S. market, but there needs to be a change in how they present the Olympics. There needs to be less “Hey, here’s another chance for us to bully the world around because we’re the U.S. and we can!” and more “Here’s a chance for us to be a part of this truly global event with our fellow nations!”
  • Saudi Arabia is sending female athletes for the very first time, and in the NBC show they mentioned it very briefly and then moved on. In contrast, on BBC they actually cut to closeup shots of the Saudi women. This very occasion, the fact that every national delegation is sending at least one female athlete to the Olympics for the very first time, is so momentous and yet NBC treats it as a sidenote.
  • When Sudan marched across, NBC again mentioned briefly of the known troubles the country has experienced in recent times. But absolutely no mention of South Sudan or the fact that the world’s newest country doesn’t have an Olympic committee yet so its only athlete is running independently since he refuses to run for Sudan. Granted, I wasn’t able to watch the entireties of either broadcast, so I could be wrong on NBC’s part, but they still didn’t mention anything of the sort when Sudan made its appearance.
  • Bob Costas trying to explain why Great Britain, a nation known for its obsession with the sport, was fielding a soccer team for the very first time in years was just pitiful. I don’t even remember what facts he garbled up; all I know is that NBC sucked even more by showing its ignorance of the world’s most popular sport. This is why I love ABC/ESPN so much more when it comes to sports broadcasting (for goodness sake, ESPN at least airs World Cup/Euro/insert-international-tournament-here matches in real time!!). It’s so simple: in international soccer (FIFA territory), the four countries of the U.K.—England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland—field separate national teams and always have. But in the Olympics, there is only one Great Britain Olympic committee and hence, team. Undoubtedly, there has never been a need to field a GB soccer team because soccer at the Olympics doesn’t even matter anyway (at least for men). In fact, the British team that’s come together for the Olympics was really only specially created for these London Games, and each country had to be assured that their independent associations were still valid for FIFA play. Take THAT, NBC.

I love the Olympics and look forward to watching it. Just not on NBC.