American exceptionalism at the Olympic Games

As a kid I watched the Olympics a lot.  I remember being charmed by CBC profiles of gymnasts who escaped the USSR and shoeless Ethiopian runners who used cinder blocks for strength training. To be sure CBC highlighted Canadian achievement at the Games, but it wasn't the emphasis.  Presenting the Olympic spirit of nations coming together really did seem to be the primary goal of their programming.

I only realized this might be a uniquely Canadian approach after sitting through a two weeks of NBC's Olympic coverage. It struck me that they talk almost exclusively about American athletes and in particular, those who win medals.  
American Brit Jessica Ennis wins gold. This picture no longer makes sense--except it shows Canada losing. 
Every night it's the same thing: a celebration of American superiourity in the pool, on the track, in the ring. It is all evidence of the undeniable fact that America is still the best nation in the world. After all, they beat out China in the medal count. What more proof do you want Obama?

To be fair there was some coverage of non-American athletes. Usain Bolt (a legend in his own words) and Oscar Pistorius (the South African who runs with two prosthetic legs) did receive considerable airtime.  While both are impressive in their own ways, doesn't profiling world's fastest man and a guy without legs seem kind of, like, obvious? Well done NBC for getting the low hanging fruit. 

The games of full of athletes with incredible stories. People who have found their way to the competition in spite of injury, financial hardship, and political oppression. Tell us about them NBC! Help us see the world for a few minutes from other points of view.  

My distaste for the whole "America is the best" shtick isn't just about being annoyed by two weeks of self congratulatory programming. Only exposed to winners, viewers miss some of the messiness of athletic competition: the false starts, disqualifications, and utter heartbreak that comes from not performing your best. I think the public is actually harmed by this sanitized version of sport (and by extension life).  They make it easy to forget that failure happens all the time, and at the highest levels and gives the impression somehow that Americans are immune.  

But maybe the only people who want to talk about American failure are me and Obama.

And I should add--none of this stopped me from tuning in every. single. night.   


Fall Makeup

1 /  2 / 3  / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9 / 10 /11 

Notes: If you have any kind of darkness around your eyes you need to get 7. Buy it in the orange tint and it will totally zap any kind of dark blue or purple circles you have under your eyes. It works like a charm.  



just a random. blogs without pictures are boring.

now that i work from home/have no life/don't know anyone i have more time to devote to my one true love: cruising the internets. i'm reading, pinning and starring like a mad woman.

be the beneficiary of my wasted time.

eugina williamson tells this american life to grow up. she for one is sick of the way they "massage painful realities into puddles of personal experience" and their "preference for pathos over tragedy." zinger!

why buy the song when you get the music for free? wish i would have known about this site before i spent a small fortune in itunes for justin beiber songs. here's is a quick tutorial on how to get your free tunes. (full disclosure: it's probably not legal in the USA. fuller disclosure: i don't care).

i've been looking at this fashion blog all morning.  it is an new england wet dream. the author spends weekends in martha's vineyard, stays at the waldorf when in NYC and she personal friends with lilly pulitzer. did i mention she looks like kate middleton? she does.


AL is a'ite

the humidity is doing wonders for my skin.

unbearable heat is a good excuse for subsisting on real fruit popsicles.

i started going to the gym.

people are really friendly.

so i'd say things are a'ite.

but since i am feeling quite the grouch today let me level with you:

i'm annoyed with sources (for my job) who don't want to talk with me on account my employer's religious affiliation. someone told me the needed to pray before they would consent to be interviewed for a story. i'm told that is pretty normal here.

i'm exhusted because i stay up way way way too late watching the olympics. watching isn't quite the right word. this is not a passive viewing experience. i jump up and down, curse, and run around the room while i am waiting for results. maybe i am a little too invested in this.

then i went to church yesterday and the bishop went off on how it is NOT ok for people to be late to church and how it is also NOT ok for kids to get up and during sacrament meeting. this of course made me want to go off on him about how people are doing the best they can and perhaps if he is so worried about this he should step off the stand to help out those parents who clearly have their hands full.

dang i am self-righteous. i blame my bad temper on olympics/popsicle withdrawal. i mean it has been at least 45 minutes since my last reboot. i think i need s stronger drug. looks like i am headed to the store for ice s(cream).

mazel tov friends.  


Are you ready boots?

riding boots are practically perfect in every way. 
you could say they are the mary poppins of boots. 

first off, they look good with everything.  

dress? check. 
leggings? check. 
skirt? shorts? jeans? 
check. check. check. 

and to top it all off, these puppies are made for walking.

so you should probably buy some,  
because let's face it, we could all use a little more 
in our lives.

here are a few of my favorites.


1. Frye Melissa Button Boot $328
2. Ciao Bella Tabby Leather Riding Boot $99.95
3. Target Kasia Riding Boot $69.99
4. Frye Harness 12R Boot $238
5. Target Katherine Harness Boot $59.99
6. Target Magaska Riding Boot $39.99
7. Frye Dorado Riding Boot $458
8. Antonio Melini Elena Boots $149.99

mercedes buying tips:

buy the most expensive boots you can afford. that sounds really elitist, but they tend to be better made so they last longer. they are also less likely to make your feet stink 
(an important consideration if you have feet that smell like a bag of dill pickle chips after a day in cheapies).

if high quality boots aren't in the cards this year, order a pair of cheapies online. i can never find my size in the store but they've always got what i need at target.com.  that sounds like a paid endorsement.  in my dreams
(oh and if you go this route for the love of all that is holy, invest in dr. scholl's oder eaters.)

treat your boots to some weather-proofing spray. it's worth every penny. i know it seems like such a pain in the arse to spend 10 bones on preventative medicine... for your boots. It will do you both good in the long run so quit your belly aching and pony up.  

up next: boots made for night walking.


Peachy Keen

Remember when I said I have peach hair?

I wasn't kidding.

I was going for pink.  To do that you have to bleach out your hair.  I was game. My hair, however, was not.  So I'm giving it a summer vacation.

Coconut oil on the ends.
Kerastase Chronologist treatments.
Argan oil for styling.

Its dry as the sahara--but with a little help from my friend "southern humidity" these locks will be ready for pink in no time.  

One of these days I will post something of substance.  Maybe.


My life is not as bad as I think it is

We are moving. 

To Alabama. 
I am ambivalent. 

I am excited to bomb around the South (Soul Food! Rosa Parks Museum! Gulf Coast!) .
But leaving this crazy state is going to be harder than I thought.  

I will miss: 
my dear friends, 
my job,  
my mountain home, 
and Winco (dude grocery shopping will never be the same for me.)

Some mornings I get anxious and depressed as hell. When that happens, I make a list of all the reasons the sky isn't falling.  

For example:
I still have my job, I'm just working remotely.  
We'll be living in a "foreign country."
My hair is peach....and so on.

But sometimes mental notes don't cut it.  Sometimes a girl need visual reminders--and when that happens (which is pretty much every day) I look at these and say out loud, "Mercedes your life is not as bad as you think it is because....."

1. you are not wearing this cone of shame. 

 2. this bird did not just poop on your head. 

 3. no one is making you eat breakfast. 

 4. your skin is not this saggy. 

 5. this evil child did not just pee on you. 

 6. you are not famous for being morbidly obese.

 7. you are still a woman. 

 8. your husband does not kiss like this. 

and so on. 
inspired by buzzfeed, a nice non-chemical alternative to prozac. 


Happy marriages

are alliances entered into by women
who must sleep with the window open 
 and men who can't sleep unless it is shut. 

I love you Mike.
Happy Anniversary. 



i love your generous heart and your adventurous spirit.  you manage to be firm in your convictions without being dogmatic.  i treasure your mothering and mentorship.  I wish I could be there to share this special day with you. happy birthday mom!


material girl

i don't know what is it about this spring, but i have the urge to blow the bank.  here's my list.  (i keep telling myself it is totally realistic if i either win the lotto or write the next great canadian oprah endorsed novel.)

1. house: the kitchen is atrocious.  the chicken coop horrifies me.  but the floors are perfect, the ceiling beams make me swoon, and the picket fence is just the right about of cliche.

2. dress: before anyone goes all taliban on me, i know it is too short to wear to church on it's own. i'm thinking jeggings and maybe a belt. weigh in. worth 200 bones? (pretend i am rich)

3. art: when purchasing visuals i go by the three C's: colourful, charming and cheap.  in my book, lullie wallace hits all the right notes.

other random stuff i will probably blow mike's hard earned wages on include: 
nail polish
easter candy
organic apple cider vinegar
new books (salvage the bones, so much pretty, the tiger's wife)
a plane ticket to japan so i can spend a week buying random hello kitty crap
vitamins that make your hair grow (do you think they work?)



i cooked and ate an entire package of bacon.  thick cut and peppered. dripping with grease. my morning vitamins were gulped down with a swig from a random can of day-old diet doctor pepper. i poured an entire bottle of tinkerbell 'white citrus' bubbles into my afternoon bath.  bathing in chemicals is my fave.

clearly i have some kind of death wish.

as i write this my arteries are hardening, the lining of my stomach is dissolving and in about twenty minutes i am going to break out in shingles. 

my back is already itchy.  so just in case i croak, here are a few pearls i gathered over the weekend:

listen to this:

read this: painful in the sense that you relive the worst parts of junior high school.  beard nails it, right down to the paranoia about getting your period at school.  i liked it, i have masochistic tendencies.

eat this: cheese like butter only better.  if you like it, 'you are a genius,' or so say the experts at murray's cheese shop in NYC.  buy it in SLC at tony caputos.

lather this: worth.every.penny. so good even michael aaron carey has been persuaded to use conditioner.


March comes in


Let's hope she goes out like a lamb...


P.Pink Soup

i'm sitting here wondering how the HELL people do it?  

how do people manage to:

have a job
clean a house
cook nutritious food
spend with their spouse
have some alone time
read books
spend time with friends

i'm barely holding it all together. my house is a disaster.  we've been eating peanuts for dinner because neither one of us has time to shop for food.  i have a list of friends i want to email that is growing by the day and a stack of books that i feel guilty every time i look at.  the only exercise i get is the walk from my car to my office. 

so i am feeling pretty down in the dumps about things.  i think part of the problem is that i want to be 100 percent in everything.  to illustrate: in my world cleaning doesn't mean running a clorox wipe across the counter--it means scrubbing the baseboards with a toothbrush.

but i can't do everything 100 percent. so i'm changing my expectations of myself.  one home cooked meal a week is my 100 percent right now.

so let me show you my hundred percent.  i made beet gazpacho.  i love beets and tomatoes and cucumber.  the recipe is from veganomicon, a lovely vegan cookbook if you are interested in plant based eating.

we cheated and added a little bit of feta cheese to our bowls