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Peggy Shinn Blog - The Doghouse

Aug. 09, 2008, 8:29 p.m. (ET)

It's Saturday morning, my mother-in-law's 83rd birthday, and I'm in the doghouse. My husband is in the kitchen making potato salad, and I can't seem to log off. Every time I try to shut down my computer, another bit of Olympic news pops up - Becca Ward has won a bronze medal in women's sabre, says nbcolympics.com lead story. So I click the link, then the video button, and up pops the final thrusts of the gold medal match between Mariel Zagunis and Sada Jacobson.

"How many eggs should I use with 4 pounds of potatoes?" asks Andy. He's a decent cook and can only be faulted for too much experimentation (Tabasco in turkey soup?), but his parents don't enjoy eating culinary risks, so he's trying to follow a recipe.

Zagunis wins!

"Uh, yeah, sure," I say without thinking.

I want to see Becca Ward's match but realize I shouldn't wait for her to come onto the video. It's live, so there's no fast-forward.

I click back to nbcolympics.com home page. Michael Phelps has set an Olympic record in the 400-meter IM prelims.

"Where's the egg slicer?" Andy asks from the kitchen.

"In the drawer," I answer as I click on the Phelps story.

"No, it's not."

I ignore the clattering in the kitchen and remember that the men's cycling road race happened while we slept. I click on cycling. Sanchez won. It's a good year for the Spaniards, what with Carlos Sastre winning the Tour de France and Rafael Nadal beating Federer at Wimbledon.

Did you see Rafa in the opening ceremonies last night when the Spanish team walked into the Bird's Nest stadium? Has there ever been a happier man?

The whole ceremony was a wonder of artistic vision and stagecraft. At home, we caught a glimpse of what must have been a full sensory experience for the 91,000 who witnessed the spectacular event - the fireworks, the music, the 360-degree projection on the scrim hanging over the stadium that the TV cameras caught occasionally.

But still, I sat on the couch with my laptop and with the TV on in the background, watched dressage and fencing, although I finally turned off my computer when nothing happened in the fencing venue. The video looked more like a webcam.

"How does this look?" Andy asked, bringing in the bowl of potato salad over to me.

"Oh, uh, fine," I lied. The chunks of egg and potato looked Jolly-Green-Giant-sized. "How does it taste?" I asked, as he sampled a huge chunk of potato.

But then my email dinged - a new message. Nbcolympics.com News had sent a medal alert - the Americans had swept the women's sabre podium.

At least when my in-laws arrive for lunch, most everyone in Beijing will be asleep. Except perhaps for Zagunis, Jacobson, and Ward. How could anyone sleep after standing on the podium with teammates?


Peggy Shinn is a freelance contributor for teamusa.org. This blog was not subject to the approval of the United States Olympic Committee or any National Governing Bodies.