Saturday Selects: The First is out of the way

Saturday Selects is a series of posts I write on the first Saturday of each month to discuss a topic outside the general bookish theme of the blog.

Early this morning the first gold medal of the 2016 Rio Olympics was awarded in the women’s 10m Air Rifle competition. It was awarded to Ginny Thrasher, a 19-year-old American from West Virginia University. I watched the medal ceremomy live. I also watched her win. I’ll never grow tired of seeing my fellow Americans on the podium at the Olympics. 

Now that the first medal is out of the way the medals will be awarded in quick succession.

PS: I’ve already watched five hours of coverage and it’s not even 1:00 yet. Can you tell I love this?

Today is the Day!

Today is the day that only comes around once every four years. A day anticipated by millions of people and thousands of athletes. It’s the Opening Ceremony of the Rio Olympics!

I know there has been tons of negative publicity surrounding the city’s preparation for the Games. And it’s mostly warranted, but sport is more important to me than any person I know who isn’t paid to know sports. And that’s no different today.

I remember the absolute elation that I experienced when I saw this relay. In my opinion, the greatest call in Olympic history. Even greater than the miracle on ice. 


I remember the Opening Ceremony of the 2008 Games in Beijing. I remember Gabby Douglas making history in 2012. And Usain Bolt dominating every Olympic track he’s stepped foot on. There’s so much I love about the Olympic Games I simply don’t have enough room to put it all here.

The thing is that it’s the one chance I get as a sports fan to root for these elite athletes in sports I may not get to see on a regular basis. And it isn’t because they’re playing for my hometown team, it’s because they share something with me that goes far beyond that. We’re American.

I mentioned in one of my DC videos that I got emotional when I saw the flag that inspired our national anthem. I’ll get emotional again over the next two weeks every time I see one of our athletes standing atop the podium with a gold medal around their neck and our national anthem playing. It is our chance to realize how important it is to them to get to represent this country. They may have money or fame or fancy cars or none of that, but in that single moment none of it matters. It’s about their journey to become the absolute best at their craft, and the people who helped get them there.

Happy Olympics!

What’s your favorite Olympic memory? Mine is the race in the video above. Jason Lezak doing the impossible.

Reading on a Plane

I just read an article about a woman who was detained and questioned by police after a flight crew member saw her reading a book. No. There’s no more to it. Tell me how absolutely ridiculous that is.

But there is more to it. First, she’s Muslim. Second, she was reading a book about Syria. I’d hope those two things on their own would not cause you to immediately think “terrorist” because then it probably says more about you than the person doing the reading. And the airline didn’t issue an apology or anything in their statement. It’s just one person being ignorant and the airline refusing to admit a mistake was made.

But the reason this got me thinking is because on my trip to DC two months ago I took three books with me. Two fiction and one nonfiction. The nonfiction was a book on Columbine. I’ve had it on my shelf for months and I thought I might have some time to read on the plane. I didn’t end up reading any of them, but what if I had decided to pull that book out? Would someone have noticed and immediately thought something was wrong? Would I have been detained simply for reading a book that made someone slightly uncomfortable?

I’m not going to sit here and lecture you on staying safe while traveling, but there is something I do want to say. The people who carry out terror attacks anywhere in the world want to evoke fear in us. They want to alter and attack our way of life. I understand that working on an airplane is taking a risk every day on the job because of could happen. But I can’t sit here and say I think this particular crew member acted appropriately. I believe the passenger was profiled. If she’d been a blonde haired, blue eyed American I don’t think anything would have been said. All I know is I will not live in fear of what might or might not happen. I’m going to live. And I’m going to respect every person I come across because we’re all human. There are some horrible ones among us, but they’re far outnumbered by the unknown heroes of the world.

This went into a different direction than I’d planned. But that’s okay. Do you have any thoughts on what happened with this passenger being questioned simply for reading a book on a plane?

On Harry Potter and the Disappointed Reader

I knew this would happen. I KNEW IT!

I waited a few days to see what the initial consensus would be regarding the newly released script. And guess what? The reaction has been less than stellar. I think there’s plenty of blame to go around, and every single bit of it should be placed upon the shoulders of the ignorant readers who expected something they were never getting in the first place.

Here are my full thoughts on the initial reactions to the script:

I know at least one of you all bought the script and immediately read it. Please tell me what you thought. I’m curious. No bending the truth!