Chloe M. O'Connor | Layout, Illustration, and Freelance Design

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Picks Of The Week: Olympics Edition, Part 2

Obsession of the week: Closing Ceremonies

Spice Girls

At my sixth-grade birthday party, a bunch o’ girls and I dressed up as the Spice Girls and danced around in my basement. The carpet was blue and made a great stage to showcase our incomparable talent.

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Boy, am I glad I created my British music playlist earlier in the week; the title of Sunday’s show is “A Symphony of British Music.” I had no idea, I promise!

Entertainment Weekly reports the Spice Girls will reunite! The magazine also says Muse will be on hand to perform their gosh-darn-awful Olympics theme song. I’ll be sad to see the Summer Games go, but it sure has been fun, London.

The best part of the Closing Ceremonies? I get to watch them with Dad and the littlest sister, who will be arriving for a short visit after a road trip to Indy.

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Music stream of the week: Olympics Training Playlist

Speaking of playlists, the roomie created an excellent one to pump you up as you train for the Olympics (or, you know, workout). Included in the list is a Carly Rae song, so this is obviously a Chloe-approved mix.

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Inspiring female athletes of the week: Aly Raisman, Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh Jennings.

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  • Raisman, 18, shocked us all by beating out Jordyn Wieber in the women’s gymnastics all-around qualifiers. We probably shouldn’t have been surprised, though. Raisman captained the team at the Summer Games. She helped the Fab Five win gold. And this week she competed individually in the balance beam and the floor — on the same day! — taking home the bronze and the gold, respectfully. It took a last-second petition to convince the judges she deserved a medal on beam, but her floor routine was so perfect, I was moved to tears. It also helps Raisman never has a sour look on her face like a certain team member of hers. You better click that link. It’s hilarious!
  • The beach volleyball duo that was May-Treanor and Walsh Jennings ended on a super high note Wednesday night. The ladies won their third consecutive Olympic gold, dropping only one set in the last three Games. If that’s not amazing, tell me what is. I’ll be sad at their absence come Rio, as they are retiring from playing the sport together, but as my mom put it, “They were a great team who really put beach volleyball on the map.”

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Picks Of The Week: Olympics Edition

Obsession of the week: Daytime, nighttime, all the time Olympics madness!

Hanging out with Ryan Lochte late at night. Scandalous.

Hanging out with Ryan Lochte late at night. Scandalous.

No surprise, the Olympic Games have taken over many people’s lives. I am in full obsession mode, staying up late to watch NBC’s encore (and hour shorter) presentation of prime time since I work nights, and waking early to do everything I need to do before work in the afternoon/evening, all while avoiding spoilers.

Need convincing of my London 2012 addiction? Wednesday morning I watched Team USA win gold in women’s gymnastics and saw Michael Phelps become the most decorated Olympian while anchoring the men in the 4×200-meter free relay, which the USA won for the third time in a row. I skipped out on the medal ceremonies (sorry America!) and rolled into bed around 3:15 a.m., at which point I took what can only be classified as a long nap, then made it to a last-minute 8 a.m. dentist’s appointment. This is what I get for being frugal. But it was absolutely worth it!

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Music stream of the week: “London 2012” AOL radio station

Craving your favorite British hits? Looking to discover new songs by artists from the Olympic host country? AOL Radio has you covered with this awesome station, playing tunes from The Beatles, Oasis, Kate Bush, ELO, Florence + The Machine, Coldplay, Radiohead and more. Oh, and one of my favorites — Spice Girls. I’m holding out hope for a reunion performance at the closing ceremonies.

Muse’s “Starlight” just came on the station. I love that song. The band wrote this completely lame and uninspiring anthem for the London 2012 Games:

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Good tip of the week: Olympics workout game

As someone who likes to play bingo during the Oscar telecast, I was glad to find this Olympic-themed workout game from SparkPeople! I commented to the roomie on Sunday that I would be fat by the end of the Games, what with all the sitting around I did watching sports on the weekend. But with this fun set of I-Spy exercises, I’ll probably become as buff as the athletes for whom I’m cheering. Who am I kidding? I’ll definitely be as ripped as them!

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Inspiring female athletes of the week: Jordyn Wieber, Missy Franklin, and Helen Glover and Heather Stanning

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  • Wieber, a 17-year-old gymnast and World Champion, came off a heartbreaking miss at competing in the women’s all-around and helped her teammates triumph over Russia and Romania. Team USA took the gold for the first time since this.
  • Also just 17 years old, swimmer Franklin is racking up the medals, including her first individual gold in the 100-meter backstroke.
  • Great Britain’s 2,000-meter rowers Glover and Stanning shot from the starting line and didn’t let up, winning the race by a boat-length, securing their country’s first gold of the Games and the first ever for British female rowers.

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Picks Of The Week

Obsession of the week: XXX Olympic Games hosted by London

I refuse to use the super ugly London 2012 logo, so all you get are the always amazing Olympic rings ...

I refuse to use the super ugly London 2012 logo, so all you get are the always amazing Olympic rings …

... and this photograph of the British Women’s Olympic swimming team, shown the day before the official opening of the Olympic Games in 1948. This was the first time the Games were held since Berlin hosted in 1936, as they were canceled because of World War II. It was also the second time London hosted the worldwide gathering, the most recent hosting gig until today!

… and this photograph of the British Women’s Olympic swimming team, shown the day before the official opening of the Olympic Games in 1948! This was the first time the Games were held since Berlin hosted in 1936, as they were canceled because of World War II. It was also the second time London hosted the worldwide gathering, the most recent hosting gig until today.

After the Academy Awards, the Olympics are my favorite television spectacle. Maybe it’s the fact it only happens every two years. Maybe it’s because it switches from sun to snow each time around. But mostly I think it has something to do with the most elite athletes on the face of the earth gathering to compete in their specialized sport.

Emotions run high. I know this because I watched NBC’s top 30 greatest moments special Saturday and cried tears of joy over about 93 percent of the selections. When someone wins — especially if their story is a particularly moving one — you feel like you have won.

 

I can’t wait to cheer on Team USA. And watch Ryan Lochte, since he managed to do this at the Olympic trials. I am very much looking forward to seeing the 16-year-old flying squirrel fight for the women’s all-around gymnast title.

To kick it all off, and since I work tonight and do not have a DVR, I will catch the rerun of the opening ceremonies at 1:30 a.m. For those of you keeping score, I love the Olympics so much, I will be staying up until 4 a.m. just to watch the start of the festivities!

 

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Song of the week: “She’s So Mean” by Matchbox Twenty

I’m on a new-songs-from-old-bands kick. I was in love with Rob Thomas my senior year in high school, and I bought his first solo album with euros. So of course I’m over the moon that the band is writing new tunes! The new album, “North,” releases Sept. 4. I also just saw Thomas is mentoring with CeeLo Green on Season 3 of “The Voice.” Ahh! Photographic proof.

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Video stream of the week: Marcel’s Quantum Kitchen” on Netflix and Hulu

I don’t have cable and “Top Chef Masters” started Wednesday. Thus my stumbling upon this show starring an ex-Top Chef contestant.

Molecular gastronomy chef Marcel Vigneron was a big ball of crazy on “Top Chef” Season 2, as seen in this mildly funny, fan-made rap video. He’s still crazy on this show, which aired six episodes on Syfy in 2011. It’s easier to watch Marcel on “Quantum Kitchen” because he is in his own element, making his style of food with a couple of his friends.

The premise is Marcel runs a catering company, so there are clients and party planners with whom to deal, equaling a bit o’ drama. But the real drama happens in the kitchen when Marcel and Co. test the wacky dishes two days before events. Spoiler alert: Everything always works out in the end and the dishes are magical creations everyone loves.

Here’s one of the kitchen test fails:

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Remix of the week: “Cameo Lover” by Kimbra, remixed by Sam Sparro and Golden Touch

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You already know I love Kimbra. She’s my new favorite artist, and her debut album is the best of the year (so far). My littlest sister and I are going to see her and Gotye in concert come October. Until then I will play her record on repeat and download this remix. For free!

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On a side note, if you haven’t voted in my “I Quit Sugar” giveaway poll, hop over and give your input! I’ll be gifting one lucky commenter with something wondrous in an upcoming post, but first I need your help deciding what to give you!

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Picks Of The Week

Obsession of the week: “The Bachelorette”

Emily Manyard, "The Bachelorette" Season 8

Emily Maynard, “The Bachelorette” Season 8

I’m only a little bit embarrassed this show is my weekly obsession since I already admitted to you guys I’m watching it for the first time. Love-huntin’ Emily Maynard is about to meet her top four gents’ family members and I can’t wait to see how they influence the way she feels about each guy.

The reason I am obsessed with this silly ABC reality show is because of the leading lady. She is Southern sweet, pretty genuine despite the demand to fall in love on camera, and it’s clear she really does want to find a nice man for her and a great dad for her daughter, Ricki. And I’ll tell you what, three of the final four dudes seem like darn good catches (go home, Chris!).

I like Jef… and Arie and Sean … but mostly Jef. I hope Emily doesn’t marry him so I can snatch him up. The roommate and I loved the scene below. I want to meet his family after hearing him talk about them!

Video stream of the week: “Battle Royale” on Netflix

If you liked “The Hunger Games” for its dystopian story, you will love this Japanese film from 2000. Based on a book — which, by the way, came out long before Suzanne Collins’ megahit — the movie follows a ninth-grade boy grappling with the death of his father. By government decree, the boy’s entire class of 42 students is dropped on a deserted island and are forced to battle to the death. The boy and his classroom crush team up in an attempt to survive, even though there can only be one winner.

What makes “Battle Royale” more successful than “The Hunger Games” (film and book, both) is the children don’t know about the yearly killing event. There is no time for the kids to prepare for what they face on the island. It is a terrifying concept, an ultra-gory flick, and so enjoyable you forget you are reading subtitles.

Carly Rae Jepsen news of the week: “Good Time” by Owl City featuring Carly Rae Jepsen

I can’t go a week without mentioning my favorite Canadian! Her featured role on Owl City’s first single from his new album, “The Midsummer Station” coming out Aug. 21, is summer-worthy. It has that driving-with-the-windows-down feeling. And the flash video is super cute. Being a design junky, I love that lyrics videos are the new thing to do before making an official music video.

Big ole bummer of the week: NBC fires Ann Curry

I have been an NBC fan for a long, long time, but after the showdown with Conan O’Brien in 2010 and now the ousting of Ann Curry — decisions directly tied to ratings — I feel my loyalty thread fraying. Curry has so much journalistic integrity, more than anyone on “Today,” and she deserved a lot more respect than she received from NBC after 15 years on the show.

As for her apology to viewers? No need for that, Ann. The only person who should be saying sorry is whoever kicked you out the door without tact.

Check out her heartbreaking goodbye on Entertainment Weekly’s site. I cried, of course.

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