Monday, July 30, 2012

Dominique Moceanu - Off Balance - Book Review - July 30, 2012

The 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta is something that most people are going to remember.  One of the biggest moments of that Olympic Games was the women's gymnastics team bringing home Olympic gold.  The Georgia Dome roared to life in support of the Magnificent Seven.  Dominique Moceanu, Amanda Borden, Shannon Miller, Dominique Dawes, Kerri Strug, Jaycie Phelps, and Amy Chow put up a huge charge on that final night of competition.  Dominique Moceanu has recently released her new autobiography, Off Balance.  She takes you through that night along with the ups and downs of her career and life in this new book.  I found myself having "the devil went down to Georgia" song playing in my head the whole time that I read the Olympic chapter of her book just remembering that song playing and the Georgia Dome crowd roaring to life in support of her.  Dominique has always been my favorite of that amazing gold medal winning team.  When I heard about this book, there was no doubt that I was excited to pick it up and read it. 

This book is hard to put down because it is a powerful story as you really get an inside look at her journey to her dream.  The big moments but also the bumps in the road and how her dream at times were a nightmare.  The book begins with the story of an amazing surprise in her life.  She receives a letter, documents, and pictures from a sister that she knew nothing about.  Dominique was stunned to say the least over this as she went through the emotions of processing this news.  The book gives us the story of how this all played out in her life with learning of another sister and the introduction into each others lives.  It really is an amazing story and her sister is an absolute inspiration with her life.

Dominique does not shy away from her opinions of her career growing up.  The troubles, the hurdles that she had to jump over, and the odds she faced.  Dominique gives all of us readers a close up look at just what all she battled just to get to the Olympics.  Often times, we just see the pay off with athletes winning in whatever sport but we don't see the journey except maybe in random soundbytes or video packages.  This book takes you through the struggle that she faced to get to her dream.  After the Olympics, we get to see that the hills for her to climb got bigger as she tried to continue in gymnastics after her and the Karoyli's split.  Trying to find another coach and the trouble that it caused not just in her professional life but also in her personal life.  I loved reading about her comeback at the 1998 Goodwill Games which I was very excited about at the time and love to hear what it meant to her in this book. Her personal life became a major struggle not long after with the battle between her and her parents and how it effected her personally and also in her career.  It is a powerful and inspirational story to read about with her overcoming so many struggles and battling back.  The great things that came into her life including the story of meeting and marrying her husband and also becoming a mom.  Also, a comeback into the gymnastics world. 

I highly recommend checking out this book.  Definitely an inspirational story from this Olympic gold medalist.  For more on Dominique, check out her website at: You can follow Dominique on Twitter, @dmoceanu.  You don't want to miss her tweets during competitions as she gives great insight on what she is seeing.  I look forward to reading her tweets during the rest of the London Olympic Games.

I also have to provide a link for this.  Dominique was very kind to do a Wrap Up Q&A for me for the website back in 2008.  I'm still very thankful to her for doing that and it was a lot of fun!  Check out the Q&A with Dominique from August 2008.

Take care and God bless!!

2012 Summer Olympics Underway In London - July 30, 2012

The London 2012 Olympics are underway and I am loving it.  Just a few days in and there have already been many major stories on the U.S. side of things with the competition.  First off, the opening ceremonies were amazing.  Danny Boyle did a great job getting that done.  I just watched in awe thinking how do you even begin to put something as big as this together.  The big thing that had everyone talking was the scene with Daniel Craig and the Queen jumping from the plane.  The history set up was very well done showing the changes in the country over the many years.  The lighting of the cauldron was good.  It has met with some criticism from tourists wanting to see it but unable to due to it being lit in the middle of the stadium out of public view from outside.  The athletes marching in was said to be faster than most had ever seen.  That is such a great moment seeing the athletes so happy and proud to be there representing their country.  I also laugh at myself getting a geography lesson hearing of countries that I've never heard of before.  Well, probably since the last Olympics anyway.  LOL.  Awesome to see these athletes so excited for their big moment.  Paul McCartney closing it up with a building singing along with him was the perfect ending for an Olympic games in London.  I have been watching a ton of the coverage.  The U.S. women's basketball team got a very competitive game in their opener but pulled out by a wide margin in the 4th quarter of play.  May and Walsh are back at it with beach volleyball and it was a very stressful match to watch including an amazing match point.  The U.S. Women's gymnastics team had their qualifying last night and the big story was the outcome in the individual all around.  Qualifying for it was Gabby Douglas and Aly Raisman.  That left reigning world champion, Jordyn Wieber on the outside looking in as the all around rules only allow two competitors from every country.  Women's all around team final will be tomorrow night.  The men's team final is going on right now which I am watching live streaming right now.  Don't worry, no spoilers here!  Speaking of spoilers, wow, it was impossible to avoid the news on Saturday of Michael Phelps not medaling in the swimming.  The news was everywhere including on NBC.  Avoiding spoilers for the Olympics should be an Olympic event cause it is tough!!  Phelps finished in fourth place while Ryan Lochte took the gold.  Phelps has medaled since and Lochte has another medal as the U.S. won silver in 4x100 freestyle relay.  It's a fun time to watch TV right now with the Olympics and it is all over the place to watch.  I find myself watching a lot of sports that are a lot of fun at Olympic level including badminton, table tennis, and fencing.  I just laugh at how I can't change the channel on some of these sports.  Can't take my eyes off of it.  LOL. 

Friday, July 13, 2012

Thoughts on Big Brother 14 Premiere & Spoiler on Nominations - July 13, 2012

My summer TV addiction is underway.  Big Brother 14 had its season premiere last night.  Just thought I would go over some quick thoughts and a little recap of the premiere.  Overall, I liked the premiere.  Definite potential with this cast.  We learned of the coaches twist that has been talked about with four returning houseguests.  To anyone that has been following this news online, the returning houseguests was not a surprise.  The 12 new houseguests entered and then learned that they would be coached this season.  Enter the surprises one by one.  Britney, Janelle, Boogie, and Dan.  Those are the coaches and each of them would get to pick three people.  It went in a school yard style pick.  After the picks were made, Britney's team consisted of Willie, JoJo, and Shane.  Dan's team is Danielle, Jodi, and Kara.  Janelle's team is Wil, Ashley, and Joe.  Boogie's team is Ian, Frank, and Jen.  The first HOH competition was held and the announcement was that the team that finished last would lose a houseguest.  First elimination on the first night.  Britney's team won the competition and Britney was given the right to name who on her team would be HOH.  That was given to Willie.  Dan's team finished last and he voted Jodi out.  Jodi eliminated before the game even really got going.  Wow, there is a twist.  Just some overall thoughts now on different people and different happenings.  My first thought when Britney picked Willie was OH NO!!!  LOL.  I didn't see that being a good pick especially with him already having a target on his back.  Many of the house were already seeing that he was a Hantz although Willie denied it when questioned by a couple of people about it.  Now, he is the first HOH which is going to put an even bigger target on him.  You never want to win the first HOH cause it gives you enemies right off the bat.  I actually thought that Ian and Dan would be a good pick to team up with Ian being a superfan.  Seemed like a good strategy pairing but Ian and Boogie is kind of interesting too.  It's still early to obviously figure out who has the better team.

Now, SPOILER ALERT!!!  If you do not want to know nominations, stop reading now.  The live feeds kicked on late last night after the show was broadcast on the west coast.  Willie has nominated Kara and Frank for eviction.  The veto competition is set to take place very soon as the houseguests are up and ready to go.  Really not optimistic about this pairing of Britney and Willie based on what I've seen so far on the feeds and on Big Brother After Dark last night.  They just can't seem to get on the same page at times.  Ashley has been hurting pretty bad after hurting her back.  She has been in rough shape.  Just waiting on the veto competition now. 

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Big Brother 14 Returning Houseguests Confirmed

One more day until Big Brother 14. The past week has been crazy and sometimes just bizarre with rumors flying. Rumors of who was in the house and what was going on. As always, you never know what to believe and the fact of the matter is, don't believe any of it until you see it. However, there were some rumors confirmed overnight. This is a spoiler alert so if you do not want to know the news on the returning houseguests, stop reading this now. Somebody leaked some live feed screen captures overnight which confirmed the four returning houseguests. They are Britney, Janelle, Dan, and Mike Boogie. This has been rumored for several days now so that rumor paid off. So, now we'll have to wait and see how this mentor thing works and what the rules of the game are for them. One day till BB14 and I'm ready for another Big Brother summer.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Big Brother 14 Cast Announced - 12 New Cast Members - 4 Set To Return - July 5, 2012

It's July which means it's almost Big Brother time.  The countdown to the premiere of Big Brother 14 is seven days.  This is a big week as we have seen the house pictures and now we have a cast announcement today.  CBS unveiled the cast earlier today which includes 12 new houseguests with one having a very familiar last name.  There is also word that there will be four returning houseguests but there has no official announcement yet on who that is.  This cast of newbies is a mix of all ages.  Let's get into the biographies of who most of this new cast will include.

JoJo Spatafora - 26 years old.  Bartender from Staten Island, NY.
Kara Monaco - 29 years old. Model from Orlando FL but living in Los Angeles, CA.
Shane Meaney - 26 years old. House flipper from Bennington, VT.
Will Heuser - 24 years old. Marketing consultant from Louisville, KY.
Willie Hantz - 34 years old. Tankerman from Vinton, LA but living in Dayton, TX.
Ashley Iocco - 26 years old. Owner of a Mobile Spray Tanning Company from Pittsburgh, PA but living in West Hollywood, CA.
Danielle Murphree - 23 years old. Nurse from Grant, AL but living in Tuscaloosa, AL.
Frank Eudy - 28 years old. Unemployed from Marion AK but living in Naples, FL.
Ian Terry - 21 years old. Engineering student at Tulane University. Hometown is Pittsburgh, PA but living in New Orleans, LA.
Jenn Arroyo - 37 years old. Musician/former bass player for the female metal group "Kittie" and from Brooklyn, NY.
Jodi Rollins - 42 years old. Restaurant server from Englewood, CO but living in Calipatria, CA.
Joe Arvin - 41 years old. Chef from Lexington, KY but living in Schererville, IN.

It seems like a good mix of people.  There is obviously one name in there that is going to get attention.  See that Hantz last name?  Willie Hantz is Russell Hantz's brother.  Yep, the Hantz crew is now invading Big Brother.  The press release says that the returning houseguests will be "four of the most successful players of all-time playing the game with their own agenda and for their own prize". 

Big Brother airs three nights a week as usual on CBS.  Thursdays at 8pm central time, Sundays at 7pm central time, and Wednesdays at 7pm central time.  Big Brother 14 premieres on Thursday, July 12th at 8pm central time.  The promo for the premiere says we will get "60 captivating minutes, four supersized returns, one game changing shocker".  It isn't Big Brother without the live feeds so head over to SuperPass at for info on how to sign up for the feeds.

Big Brother Over The Top - Week One Thoughts

I hope many of you have floated over to Big Brother Over The Top like I have.  Tonight, we will be one week into this game and this new plat...