Thursday, January 28, 2010

Random Cool Things Thursday

Ummm, this has nothing whatsoever to do with writing, but I simply must make sure everyone knows about this. It is very important....
OK, it's not important at all, but it IS awesome. Check out the total kewl-ness one of our Olympic men's figure skaters doing an exhibition routine to Lady Gaga's 'Poker Face'.

Here's Johnny Weir!

Seriously, I LOVE Johnny Weir, and not just for that routine to Lady Gaga... He currently has a series running on the Sundance channel that I can't stop watching. He is obviously talented, but the guy is hilarious, ultra snarky, smart, and I can actually identify with some of his perfectionist tendencies. Now I am dying for the Olympics to start because I really want him to win!!

Some things you learn on the Sundance show:
He started skating just before the age of 12, after watching Oksana Baiul win the gold medal, and originally did so on roller skates in his basement, then on used ice-skates in the iced-over cornfield behind his house.
At 12 his mom was told that he had a real talent, and she was convinced to get him a real coach and lessons.
At 16(!) he won the Junior Nationals.
At 19 he won Nationals, after falling and having to withdraw the year before.
He has bursitis in the ball of his 'landing' foot, where his big toe connects, which pretty much makes it feel like he has a rock in his shoe every time he lands one of those jumps... yikes!
He doesn't quite get all the fuss over his skating style, which is far more lyrical and ballet-inspired than the typical, angular, athletic mens' routines. For some reason Russia and Asia get that style, but America is stuck on the idea of winning over football-watchers.

I know, I know, it seems strange for me to gush so much, but after you watch the sundance channel thing, you'll love him too.

UPDATE: One more reason I love him-- this was in his Q&A section on his webpage:
Q: Johnny, your skin is gorgeous. Not a single pore! What products do you use?

A: I am very consistent with my regimen. I use organic washes by Ren and creams from both Ren and Cle de Peau. Thank you very much. I get so into a routine with my products that when one has a packaging change or the company stops making it, I have a month long depression. I am currently in the throws of a deodorant disaster. They stopped making the only one that I liked that worked for me and now I walk around unsure if I smell like a flower or just smell period.

Hilarious. I so want to be his best friend.


Jonathon Arntson said...

Wow. Um, wow.

alkeith said...

That was a delight to watch. I now 'heart' Johnny Weir. Funny because I just read an article on him today. Now get back to writing!

ann foxlee said...

Ha!Angela-- I knew you were watching! I just took a break, I'm writing!

Lisa and Laura said...

I am all over that show! Sounds like it's right up my alley!

yokohamamama said...

Of course my sister likes the same skater I do! He was an equestrian before he was a skater. I *love* his style. Hot tip--watch Japanese skater Takahashi, also in the running for a medal and way cute (if Prince were Japanese, I think that's what he would look like). He also has a beautiful, lyrical style that doesn't look like the typical men's athletic, angular style. *Love* him! And Mao's going to get the gold this time, unless Ando hits her quad (only woman to land a quad in competion) or Kim Yu Na is on fire (she's Korean)...

yokohamamama said...

Sorry--I didn't watch the video before I posted. I've never watched him in exhibition before--Yappari! I've always kind of wondered how he would skate if he were just skating for himself, not judges. That performance hilights what I think differentiates Johnny Weir from other guy skaters-- he can *dance*. I could tell watching him skate in competition that he moved well. Most skaters are skaters, not dancers. He can do both *really* well. That he can dance is what makes his style look so different.
Anyway--thanks, thanks, thanks!! My favorite US skater!! ao.

yokohamamama said...

ooh, ooh--just one more little note, then I'll shut up. Did you watch all the videos? Did you watch the yukata party and the interview with him? He just said Takahashi is one of his 2 favorite skaters to watch (knew it!! They have a similar style). ao.

ann foxlee said...

No! I missed the yukata party and now I can't find it... email me the link!
I didn't know th part about him having been an equestrian too-- makes sense.

I totally agree, too, I love the way he skates because he can *dance*. The guy just moves well :-)

He learned how to do a double axel (I think that's the one) when he was 12, before having any training, just by watching TV.
I'm totally jealous of that ability-- my gross motor skills blow.

Southpaw said...

He is really good.

Stephanie Thornton said...

Wow! I wish I could move like that!

KayKay said...

That is just...incredible! I've never been very interested in figure skating but this video has made me a fan. The way he moves is amazing! That spin he does at the 3:23-3:25 mark left me completely speechless. This is a really awesome video! Thanks for sharing.

ann foxlee said...

KayKay: I love that spot too, but my fav is the kick ass slide across the ice at 2:58 :-)

yokohamamama said...

I said I wouldn't post anything else, but I'm a liar.
"But my fav is the kick ass slide across the ice..." --that and the sexy hand up the leg!
To find the yukata party, go up in your post to the video, there should be other video thumbnails along the bottom. Just keep going to the right. I couldn't get all the way over, but let the cursor rest on each one. The yukata party was all the way over to the right (I couldn't see the whole thumbnail), and the tag said "Yukata Party". I thought, Whoa!, I hafta see that. Johnny Weir in a yukata. He's so polite and well-spoken in the interview, too.

yokohamamama said...

i'm a liar again. Other than the Ice Capades, what have skaters ever done when they retire (young) from skating? Johnny Weir is the guy I think who could take skating in a completely different direction and make it really popular just to watch, like going to a concert.

Jen said...

A fantastic skater for sure!!!!

Awesome blog... look forward to future posts!!!