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Beginning of Winter Olympics ’10

Olympics – it’s honestly the only time every two years that I look forward to sporting events. In the summer games, my favorite are gymnastics and swimming (because of the last summer olympics)  and in the winter games – figure skating and ice dancing. The fact that the Olympics are being played in Vancouver, British Columbia in Canada this year is a plus — I’m from Ontario, Canada!
 
It’s kind of bittersweet this year because this morning Georgian luger Nodar Kumaritashvili passed away as he was practicing. International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Jacques Rogge said Nodar’s death just hours before the opening ceremony “clearly casts a shadow over these games.” I heard that it will be announced in the opening ceremony that this years games are going to be dedicated to Nodar, which is a nice gesture. At 21( my age!), he had his life cut tragically short… but he literally died doing something he loved. While that does not make it any easier, it is in a way some sort of consolation. 
 
There are so many aspects of the Olympics that I find so fascinating – like the fact that the best of the best from each country compete again the best of the best from other countries in all sorts of sports. I’m not naive – westernized countries obviously have better technology and opportunities because of what is available to them to  prepare and athletes from these countries are obviously going to win more… but the idea is nice anyways.
 
No matter whether you like sports or not, chances are you watch some aspect of the Olympics. It’s just one of those things that bring people together. I know I personally watch more sporting events during the Olympics than I do any other time. With everyone’s lives so busy all the time, the Olympics are one of those times that we slow down a bit to watch it together as a family. Even when we are all home, usually we are in our separate areas doing our own thing, but times like these – all five of us are sitting in the same room – and that doesn’t happen often enough anymore.
 
Now onto the opening ceremony – the ‘Parade of Nations’. Forget the spectacular show each hosting country puts on in the opening ceremony… my favorite part is the idea of all the athletes from each country walking in together representing their respected countries. It’s as if for sixteen days – all the differences are put on hold.
 
The opening ceremony is just minutes away now… so ENJOY! 
 

P.S. Don’t forget to leave me a comment below on your thoughts! As always, I’d love to hear from you.

Super Bowl Party

My brothers and I invited a bunch of our cousins from NJ and NY for a superbowl party tonight – with 30 people.

Here’s the party recap in pictures (of food):

My dad and mom got this table cover for us!

A closer look at the edge:

Some of the snacks:

My brother Faraz helping me bake off some of the cupcakes (for which he took credit for):

I made the batter, Faraz poured it into the cups, I put them in the oven, I made sure they were done, I frosted, and I decorated. But Faraz takes the credit.

(Some of) the finished products!

 blue and white for the colts; black and gold for the saints. 

Dinner:
Pizza

and Cajun Chicken Pasta

My cousin brought this (it looked like a cake, but turned to be more cupcakes):

A lot of our other cousins brought various snacks, but I didn’t get a picture of those. 🙁 Thanks for bringing them though!

What a fun night it turned out to be… even though I watched not even a minute of the game. 🙂
Oh yeah – in case you didn’t know… the score was Saints 31, Colts 17.

Did you guys do anything for Superbowl night?

P.S. Don’t forget to leave me a comment below on your thoughts! As always, I’d love to hear from you.

Snow Storm Forecasted

I don’t know about you, but i LOVE snow! Actually, i think that is the biggest understatement ever haha (and anyone who knows me can attest to that). Since i woke up this morning and read/heard that we were expecting a snow storm, i’ve been anxiously looking forward to it (and hoping it won’t dissapoint). My brother, Ayaz, was just teasing me some time ago that we’ll probably just end up getting an inch or two of snow (or less), but i hope not! All i ask for is one big snow storm a year… is that really too much to ask? 😉

I just LOVE snow as it’s falling, and the white blanket of snow on the ground with a storm/blizzard…. until it gets dirty and slushy. then, it’s not so cool. I could do without the incredibly cold temperature that comes with it though haha. I guess part of the reason i love it so much has to do with me growing up in Canada, but i don’t know about that since the rest of my family isn’t too fond of it (or most of extended family in Canada).

The forecast has changed from 12 inches, to 1 or 2 inches, to currently being at 8-14 inches in the span of less than 12 hours… so we’ll see how that plays out. Currently, it is forecasted that the snow will start around 1 or 2 A.M. and get heavier around tomorrow evening, and end by Sunday 6 AM. We’ll see how that changes and progresses. It’s already started snowing in Virginia and the surrounding areas (even though it was forecasted to start tomorrow sometime), so the snow is definitely coming… just not sure how much of it!

anyhow… let it snow, let it snow, let it snow…

On a side note, things i’m looking forward to in the next few days: 1) tomorrow is the bowl game for the Rutgers football team (the last RU football game i’ll watch as a RU student); 2) monday is my last final for this semester (i hope the snow doesn’t mess with the exams schedule on monday since it is supposed to snow until sunday morning); and 3) which means winter break starts monday evening and i’m off from classes until jan 19, 2010 when classes resume (which will be my last semester for my undergraduate degree! :/ ). Not quite sure how i feel about that just yet – i’m excited about being done, but have mixed emotions about it as well… so we’ll see.

Snow, Classes, RU Football

It FINALLY snowed today for the first time this season! When i read in the newspaper a couple of days ago about the forecast for snow for today, i’ll admit i got super excited for it – but i didn’t really think it would end up snowing… or that if it did, it wouldn’t snow a lot and definitely not stick (considering it was almost seventy degrees two days ago).

the rain this morning, however, quickly turned into wet snow… and then snow that stuck… so we have a nice blanket of snow outside! I LOVE snow as it is falling and the blanket of white snow on the ground, until it starts getting dirty. it was only an inch or two of snow, but it was great nonetheless. I hate the cold temperature that comes with the snow, but LOVE snow – i guess because i grew up in Canada (actually i don’t know about that reasoning since the rest of my family is not so fond of snow).

On a different note, this coming week is my last week of classes – just days more days of classes! I also have two of my exams on thursday, and i will be done with exams and all on december 21st. As the semester draws closer to an end and the fact that i had my senior photos yesterday, the realization that i have only one semester left at Rutgers as an undergraduate is finally hitting me. I can’t believe how fast the past three and a half years have gone by, and i’m sure my last semester will go by just as fast.

Ttoday was also the last rutgers football game of the regular season ( the bowl game happens in a few weeks). i didn’t get to go to today’s game even though it was a home game, but it was a great game.  it would have definitely been nice to have gone, considering it was my last game as a student, but oh well. it may be just as well considering the weather and the temperature – risking getting sick right before finals would not have been too great. anyhow, we played against west virginia university (who has beat us every year since 1994, unfortunately). we didn’t win, but the game was close with the final score being WVU – 24, RU – 21.

Tiger Woods’ Fifteen Minutes of Negative Fame

Normally, I do not take the time to write about an athlete and his (wrong)doings… but for a week now, all i keep hearing about are the million variations in the story and it’s driving me crazy.

  1. first i hear that Tiger Woods has been involved in a “serious” car accident (near/outside his home).
  2. then i hear that Tiger Woods’ wife used golf clubs to break the rear windows of Tiger’s car to get him out of the car after the car accident.
  3. then i hear that Elin (Tiger Wood’s wife) was actually hitting Tiger’s car (aiming for Tiger) with the golf clubs after the two had been fighting about Tiger’s possible infidelity- and was not trying to get Tiger our of the car after his accident as earlier reported. news surface of Tiger’s affairs with two other females.
  4. at this point, Tiger has refused to speak to the police i think like three times. Suspicious? sure.
  5. more rumors continue to spread.
  6. then, five days later, today – Tiger Woods issues another statement saying he has let his family down, and regrets the “transgressions” among other things, but does not admit to an affair or offer any other information.

Let me get this out – i do not think athletes/celebrities/politics, etc. owe us (the public) anything about their private lives. If Tiger Woods had done something in his athletic field or something that would directly effect athletics (like steroids), by all i means i would be pressing for more information or an explanation. However, it is not.

Famous or not, your actions have consequences for not only you, but for your family members too unfortunately. While it saddens me that yet another person has not only let their own family down but embarrassed them publicly, i still do not think it is the right of the media nor anyone else to press on this matter for the sake of his family.

If Tiger Woods is indeed guilty of what is claimed, you can not honestly tell me that Tiger did not know he would be caught. Politicians, athletes, celebrities are hounded every minute and every thing they do is released to the public (from what they are wearing and eating to anything extraordinary), so it was only a matter of time before such news would come out. nonetheless, it is hard to fathom why people do the things they do. I’m sure this is what Woods will be remembered for (unless he does something worse in the future), so i don’t understand why he would risk all of his success.

And another point, I don’t know why he denied the claim/lied (only to later confirm it). Like we weren’t going to find out ? Come on people, in this day and age of technology, we find out things the instant it happens in so many cases…. so lying is only making it that much worse. Like i said, they owe us nothing… and they don’t have to say anything or release statements to the public, but lying to the public on their free will… is ridiculous.

The bottom line is – What politicians, athletes, celebrities, etc. do in their private sphere should be their own business. Until it effects or comes into their public sphere, it should be left alone. And no, i am not naive – i don’t think this will ever happen… but it is wishful thinking.

I do not know the complete truth of what Tiger did or did not do, but i’m sure i’ll find out soon – simply by opening a newspaper or reading the news online. Why such things are “breaking news”, i will never understand.

Oh well, happy Wednesday everybody! Until another (and more intriguing) story breaks…

Week in Review

First of all, I want to wish you and your family a very Happy New Year. I don’t know about you, but it doesn’t feel like a new year is beginning because time is literally flying and no special events seems to have that much of a significance anymore because of what’s going on everywhere in the world.

Other than that, things have been pretty busy here. My dad’s sister and her family were visiting last weekend from Canada and today my dad’s brother and his family came down from Canada as well – so it’s been a lot of family time. During that time, we celebrated my aunt and uncle’s and my cousins’ anniversaries too – so that was a lot of fun (Happy Anniversary Javed Chachoo and Anna; and Shakil Bhai and Popi Baji).

Monday was the Rutgers Football bowl game, and it was a good and very close game – but we pulled off a win 🙂 . Now the football season is really over for the year. 🙁

We got more snow yesterday, and even though it is not sticking, it is still fun and really pretty to look at it… but the cold and wind with it is too much!

As you can guess, I’ve not been getting much studying for LSATs, so I really got to work on that for the remainder of the break.

Summer ’08 Olympics Medal Count

Olympic Medal winners at NBC Olympics.com!

U.S. has more medals overall, but China has a lot more gold medals in the end.

Olympic Highlights

The highlights of the Olympics from my point of view so far:

Men’s 4 x 100m Freestyle Relay Final in swimming: in what was a very exciting race, Jason Lezak helped secure another gold medal at the end of the race. According to the Yahoo! Sports Blog (I know – I can’t believe I was on it either!),

“When he dove into the pool as the anchor of France’s 4×100-meter relay team, [Alain] Bernard had a .60 second lead over American Jason Lezak. Even though the 32-year old Lezak is one of the best sprint freestylers in the world, the .60 lead held by Bernard should have been insurmountable. Bernard held the world record in the event. A world record holder with a sizable lead… you do the math.”

And of course in my favorite sport – gymnastics:

In the women’s team final, the U.S team finished with a silver medal as the Chinese dominated the game throughout. My favorite was undoubtedly the Chinese performance on the last rotation in the floor exercise as it was incredibly great and they had so much fun with it. It was absolutely amazing to watch. In the Women’s Individual All-Around Final: American Nastia Liukin won the gold, American Shawn Johnson won the silver and Chinese Yang Yilin won the bronze.

Then, in the individual competitions:

U.S. gymnast Nastia Liukin and her rival He Kexin get the same exact score on the uneven bars, but of course this is like the one sport that only awards one gold. With the IOC tiebreaker rules, Kexin won the gold medal, leaving Liukin with the silver medal. I read in an article that the reasoning was that: “Both scored 16.725, but He got the nod because her execution marks were closer to a perfect 10 than Liukin’s.” I found that pretty unfair – if they both got the same score, they both should have received the gold medal, like in most of the other sports. What is even more wrong is that Kexin had more visible mistakes!

Throughout the gymnastic competition, there was talk if He Kexin was even old enough to participate and it’ll be neat to see what comes out of that report. Several reports have He being as young as 12 years old.

And now onto specific people:

Michael Phelps: Outrageous. Wow. Incredible. I don’t even know where to begin with him. 8 gold medals, 7 world records.. what a week for him! With the eighth gold, Phelps eclipses Mark Spitz’s record of seven gold medals and seven world records set at the 1972 Munich Games.

Earlier this week I read something on the Yahoo! Sports blog (I know – I STILL can’t believe I was on it either!) that I found to be so true:

The biggest accomplishment for Phelps might not be the eight golds, or the seven world records or the $1 million bonus from Speedo. The greatest feat for Phelps was that, for one week, he turned everyone in America into a swim fan. People who couldn’t tell you the breaststroke from the butterfly were hanging on each of his races, cheering on Phelps like they were lifelong fans.

I mean I am definitely not a sports fan in general, except for watching Rutgers Football games and the Red Sox here and there, but I got really into swimming this week. The excitement was incredible.

Usain Bolt: Jamaica’s 21-year-old Bolt breaks own world record to win the gold medal in the 100m dash without even trying finishing at 9.69 seconds.

Constantina Tomescu: a 38-year-old Romanian runner, won the marathon with like no competition. Her closest competitor at the end of the race was 22 seconds behind her as she held a steady and large lead for a good part of the marathon– and for sometime in the race she was even leading by over a minute. At 38, she is the oldest Olympic marathon winner.

Dara Torres: Proving that age is but a number, 41-year-old Dara Torres, lost the gold medal and won the silver medal by one-hundredth of a second — the same margin that helped keep possible for Michael Phelps to break Mark Spitz’s record. Torres won the silver medal in each of her three races this week.

And finally, Bob Costas himself as the host. He is incredibly funny and such a great host. I’ve definitely enjoyed his remarks throughout.

The idea of the Olympics is so incredible: to watch the best of the best from each country compete with one another. Even people like myself, who aren’t into sports at all, get so into it.. it’s amazing.

What I love even more is how for two weeks it’s like a bonding time. With each of our increasingly busy schedules, it’s been neat to make time to sit as a family every night to watch the Olympic events together.

And Now You Know: Why Divers Always Shower

As we have watched the Olympics, we’ve all wondered why the divers always take a quick shower with their clothes in tact (in front of oh so many people) immediately after getting out of the water. Like many, I had come to the conclusion that they do so because of the chlorine in the swimming pool. I just read an article, however, on Yahoo! that informed me that the divers do so:


“to keep their muscles warm after getting out of the pool. The temperature of the pool water and the air are usually different (the pool is usually around 80 degrees, with the air temperature between 68 and 72 degrees). This difference can cause muscle tightness. To combat this, divers warm up in either the showers or a hot tub.”

And so now you know.

Click here to read the original article.

Summer ’08 Olympics

The Olympics have began! It is mostly only during the Olympics that I actually find myself enjoying watching sports… and it’s definitely the one time every two years that I look forward to sports. They are just a lot of fun and carry a lot of excitement. My favorite part is gymnastics, hands down, but Michael Phelps going for eight gold medal has me interested as well, so it’ll be neat to follow that.