On Friday night, two hours before the Olympic
Games’ opening ceremonies, my husband and I dug our tiny TV out of
storage and plugged it in, hoping beyond hope that somehow we would get a
Of course, we didn’t, since the thing is a relic from those analog days of yore.
Since a converter box and rabbit ears were going to
cost the equivalent of 12 pints of craft beer, we decided to get the
beer instead. Our Olympics-watching has thus been confined to stints in
local pubs and the limited coverage on NBC.com.
At first, I was dismayed. I am in awe of these
athletes, who demonstrate the incredible capabilities of the human body.
(I especially love the gymnastics, and I’ve decided that my favorite
American is Gabby Douglas, who has completely melted
me with that always-present winning grin.)
Two nights ago, my husband and I were at Turp’s
watching Michael Phelps race. We didn’t know anyone around us, but we
found ourselves joining in the audible reaction as the whole bar turned
the screens. There was cheering, there was sighing and a few chants of
And it occurred to me – THIS is the way to watch the Olympics.
For me, one of the great things about the games is
the camaraderie it builds among countries, along with a healthy
competition. For 16 days, we have a tangible common bond with people
across the globe. It seems like a celebration of being
human – that’s why I’ve been known to get a little choked up over
those VISA commercials that culminate in “Go World.”
Yeah, I think! Go world!!
And that’s why it’s really great to watch the
Olympics with a crowd of strangers. The Olympics are unifying across
class, race and political persuasion. For a moment, we can raise our
glass and celebrate our country with someone inclined to a completely different array of bumper stickers. Especially during
an election year, it’s good to find something that brings us all together.
July 30, 2012 11:14
By Maria Wiering
Last night I flew back from a whirlwind 11-day,
three state tour-de-Midwest. My husband and I attended friends’ weddings
in Milwaukee and Bismarck on the weekends, and spent the middle part of
our trip with friends and family in Minneapolis,
where we both lived for a long stretch.
As good as it is to revisit old haunts—including
the Blue Door Pub, which makes the best Juicy Lucies in the world – and
catch up with longtime friends, there is something SO GOOD about walking
in the front door of one’s own home after
time away, even if it’s 12:30 a.m., and you spent the day driving from
Bismarck to Minneapolis and flying to Baltimore. (And that does take the
So getting home last night was a treat – and to make it even better, my first issue of Verily was waiting in the mailbox.
Friends tipped me off to this new magazine via
Facebook a couple months ago, and I have been impatiently waiting for
the “teaser” issue to arrive. From what I can gather, the mag’s purpose
is to reach out to women whose experience doesn’t
fully resonate in the pages of Cosmo – women who are interested in
relationships, not just sex, and inward beauty as much as outward.
According to the website, “Verily
is starting a new conversation – one for those who want a fresh take on
life; an honest message that relates to their experiences which is
uplifting, affirming, and true.”
And so far I like what I see. It’s
well designed, and that is a huge plus. Sections focus on style,
relationships, lifestyle and culture. From the drama of Downton Abbey to
women’s reproductive health, the articles dovetail
with topics my friends and I actually talk about, which is refreshing.
(Image from VerilyMag.com)
It’s totally weird to page through it and think, this was made just for me.
Because that’s how it feels.
I ordered one for my lil’ sister,
too, and I haven’t heard her final verdict yet. The magazine fully
launches with its first actual issue later this year (probably WITH
advertising – the teaser was ad free). I really, really
want to see this venture succeed, because the image of women it
presents is brimming with integrity and wisdom and reality.
So, check it out. Really. It’s like the glossy manifestation of Saint Paul’s command to the Philippians:
“Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right,
whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything
is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”
July 23, 2012 05:45
By Maria Wiering