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Marg-Ins - Getting Into The Games

POSTED July 31, 2012 10:40 p.m.

So I’m feeling a little out of the loop.

While I enjoyed a 2012 Summer Olympics Opening Ceremonies Pizza Party Extravaganza with some friends (who also happen to be co-workers) on Friday night, I didn’t realize that they were talking to each other with their smart phones during much of the event.

It was only when I got to work Saturday morning and logged on to my email that I discovered I was ‘tagged’ in several ‘posts’ by said co-workers, who both have phones on which they can log on to Facebook. My phone just calls and texts. It doesn’t send pictures, it doesn’t get me on to the world wide web, it doesn’t twitter with the fact that I just moved from the kitchen to the living room, none of that. It does help me stay in touch but not in the way that so many ‘smart’ phones do now.

Which is okay, because I really don’t want a phone that is smarter than I am. The one I have now probably is, since I don’t know what half of the symbols mean, but if I don’t use them, they can’t defeat me.

Regardless, it was funny on Saturday to see what Michelle Kendig and Teresa Hammond had been posting as we shared the experience of watching Opening Ceremonies together, with a variety of children ranging in age from 5 through 16.

Teresa and Michelle probably thought I was ignoring them Friday night, as they ‘talked’ back and forth from opposite ends of the couch, but truth be told, I just didn’t know they were talking to each other and about all of us. I thought they were watching the TV, just like me.

The older girls among the kids found ways to amuse themselves as well, having fun on the iPad in between watching snippets of the show. About the only time they were riveted to the screen was when a Ryan Lochte commercial came on and they admired the chiseled physique of the Olympic swimmer. Lol. Whoops, I mean, ‘Laugh out loud.’

I remember back to when I was a kid, watching the Olympics at home with my family and marveling at the strength and grace and perseverance and looking up to those older people that had trained for years to reach ‘The Games.’

Now I marvel at the strength and grace and perseverance and am totally in awe of the fact that so many of our Olympians are not even of legal age, they can’t even vote yet, but they are reaching the pinnacle of something they have already worked years to achieve.

I didn’t watch the Opening Ceremonies for the Beijing Olympics four years ago so to draw comparisons between those ceremonies and the ones from London would not be appropriate for me. And though I’m not sure I really understood the expansive history lesson that seemed to be the point of the London ceremonies, I can still appreciate the spectacle and the intricacies of having everything work as it was supposed to. Truthfully, even if something went wrong, there were so many scenes unfolding throughout the stadium, how would you even know?

Having 007 pick up the Queen and escort her to the Games via a helicopter and parachute was probably the best – though I had to assure Michelle that, no, the Queen Mother didn’t really skydive into the Olympic stadium.

Michelle is also a rabid Beatles fan so she spent the entire nearly five-hour marathon waiting to see Sir Paul McCartney perform. The Hammond family had to take their leave before that … it was getting late … but my daughter and I hung on until the end so we could watch Michelle’s reaction to seeing Sir Paul as much as actually getting to see him ourselves.

There are also over 200 countries represented in these Olympics, with a few of them having just a handful of athletes.

Some countries, I must admit, I had never heard of. And there seemed to be an inordinate number of flag bearers that will be competing in Badminton. Guess I will have to find that, because I have never seen it played on an Olympic level, it was just always something you played in the backyard during the summer.

Swimming, gymnastics, soccer, diving, track and field … there won’t be a shortage of sports to enjoy during the Games.

Hope you get a chance to watch a little history so we can share the experience. Just text me.

Marg Jackson is editor of The Escalon Times and The Oakdale Leader and assistant editor for The Riverbank News. She may be reached at mjackson@escalontimes.com or by calling 847-3021.

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