Tag Archives: Face Off

Olympic-Level Stupidity

by Richard

There’s talk that the Olympics, held alternating two years between winter and summer, are the epitome of sport, the highest echelon of sport in both skill and conduct. Yeah, well, so much for that.

As of this week, we’ve got some serious issues to discuss in, of all places, women’s badmitten.

Yeah, badmitten, dudes. Badmitten. That sport with the long rackets and the little plastic ball attached to a plastic feathering to make it hang in the air. The little ball thingy is called a birdie or a shuttlecock or something like that. Really. Too lazy to look it up so you know that’s pretty lazy. You’ve probably only seen it in movies about old-time rich dudes in their backyard parties. Or played it when you were really young. Hardly anyone plays it now.

Which doesn’t mean it’s not taken seriously.

In the final competitions of the group round, which determines the seeding for the single-elimination finals round, three teams were accused of trying to throw a game to get a better seeding. A late-breaking bit of good news: Those three teams were sent home for trying to deliberately throw the game.

China and Indonesia have one team involved, along with two from South Korea. The way it worked out was that all four teams were trying to lose so they wouldn’t play a very good China team during the first game of the medal round. All eight ladies on those four teams were sent home.

These teams played like nobody wanted to win. There were serves straight into the net. Often. Horrible misses. Just bloody obvious play showing the teams were throwing the games.

When I think about this, I’m saddened but not surprised. I’m sad that it’s come to this, when the Olympics really are supposed to be the last bastion of pure sport. We know that’s not the case, witness professional basketball players bulking up the teams for every country playing the sport. Still, there was hope that the smaller sports might actually have some integrity left.

I mean, what’s the point of watching synchronized diving if we’re not watching it for the pure, unadulterated joy of watching a bunch of folks compete at a goofy sport that is totally made up just for the heck of it? Seeing people bring the non-ethics of cheating into the whole thing, looking for a better seeding rather than playing who’s in front of you so you play and beat the best. . .

That’s just sad.

But, again, not surprising. It’s the inevitable endpoint of the 24-hour news cycle, where every person who stands out can become famous, at least for a little while, and can leverage that fame into money and prestige. That’s a lot riding on the swing of a raquet.

Now, even when the players hit it over the net, it might as well be a miss as far as the spectators are concerned.

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One Of Us, One Of Us

by Richard

Sorry for the interruption here, dudes and dudettes, but I thought I’d take a little time to let you know that The Dude’s Guide here isn’t the only place you can find us on the web. We’re everywhere in a couple of places that would allow us in.

Sorry. Pushing for a bit more honesty and a bit less hyperbole about now.

Okay. That’s done. Wow, thought it was the end of the world there for a bit.

Anyway.

The dudes are on a couple of different places and I thought I’d let you know about a couple of them.

The Dude’s Guide has a fan page on on a certain website the name of which I’m not allowed to mention. (Don’t ask why. It’s boring.) I know. Hard to believe. They’ve such stringent standards to uphold before they’ll let you set up a fan page.

We’re also on Twitter. Search for rjones64. Or you can just go right here.

We’re also down with a couple of newer formats.

Over on formspring, I’m answering all sorts of questions. Seriously. Go onto formspring.me and search for Richard E.D. Jones (my writerly name) or rjones64. You also can click here. Do either of those things and then you can ask me anything. Odds are, I’ll probably answer. Unless this is you Franko. You know I can’t talk to you about it without our lawyers present. Or the penguin. Either way, I’m not responding to you.

Finally, we’re also up on the google+ thingy, which is trying to beat the face off that certain social networking site that keeps getting hits about its privacy settings. It’s a nice enough platform and it might actually grow for now, but I think MySpace still is the king, as the kids all say. Right? Anyway, you can look for Richard Jones there as well. Or, to make it easier, just click here.

So, the next time you’re bored and surfing the internet, just click on a few of those places. It’ll probably be more of the same old stuff, but it will have the virtue of being on a different platform at least.

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The Way We Live It

by Richard

Mom continues to live her life according to a roller coaster, with the highs just a little bit less high each time and the lows a little bit longer each time.

On Tuesday night, Mom really enjoyed visits from a number of friends and family. They stayed until 10:30 at night with Leslie, talking and telling stories and laughing and generally having a great time. And so was Mom. Her eyes were following people around the room, she was smiling and nodding in all the right places and even managed to say a couple of words. It was a great night.

On Wednesday morning, Leslie had a difficult time waking Mom up at all. She just wanted to sleep and lay still in her bed.

And that right there is what makes this so difficult. We can see flashes of the old Mom, the old Catherine, the old Kaki (and she’d absolutely hate to hear me refer to her as old. She never thought of herself that way.), and then it just. . . goes away. And we’re left with the new reality.

We know that the best we can hope for is that Mom remains comfortable, happy in the knowledge that she made the world a better place just by being herself and that she can die knowing she is loved. And, yet. . . And yet. . . There are those flashes.

We can see exactly what it is we will be missing. And we know we’re don’t want to say good bye.

And this is beoming far too maudlin, dudes. Mom would hate this. Let me tell you one of my favorite stories about Mom.

This happened back in the days when dinosaurs ruled the earth and I had to walk five miles to school every day, uphill both ways, through the snow and avoiding alligators. I was in late junior high school, surely old enough to know better, and I was pushing all of Mom’s buttons. Every single one.

I can’t for the life of me remember what the argument was about, but it was ferocious. Finally, Mom had had enough. She reared back and was about to slap my face off. She tried. I, being the not-quite-manly man that I was, reached out and caught her hand. The blow never landed, but my smirk sure did.

I was about to make some joke about her not being big enough or tough enough to do anything to me and I was going to rule the place from then on out and I was going to —

Then Mom grabbed my wrist, turned around and flipped me right over her back and onto the ground.

I just lay there, stunned. I couldn’t believe what had just happened. Mom smiled down at me, shook her head sadly and then walked away.

Ever since, I’ve asked for a rematch. She’d just smile and shake her head. Heck, I even asked her for a rematch a few days after she went into Hospice. She just smiled and shook her head.

That’s my mom.

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