Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Say "No" to Beach Bums

I'm watching the Olympics, with all it's pomp and glory, and getting into it more than I have in years. What's different for me this time around is that China is the host, and I'm interested in the cultural/political background and how it will all play out before the world. And too, of course, there's the sport.

Ah yes, the sport. Hard work, determination. The training, the physical demands, the excitement, tension, drama, all leading to the one moment of decision -- Can she do it? Will he make it?

So why, then, are the Women in the Beach Volleyball competition practically naked?

You don't need to be in any way hormonal to immediately zero in on the fact that the women are wearing itty-bitty bikini bottoms. And I have no problem with women in bikinis. But as a world-class athlete competing in the Olympics, wouldn't you want -- nay, demand -- sports apparel that is practical and does not distract your attention from the game?

I wish to be tasteful and I wish to be clear, so let me present some facts: These women are fit. These women have worked hard to be in this competition. These women have glutes of steel and they look good.

But those bikinis, they keep riding up. On a normal woman, those little bottoms would be a thong. If those bikinis ride up on world class athletes, then the only thing to conclude is that the bikinis are poorly sized and they don't fit. Whoever chose these uniforms made a poor decision.

However, I could be wrong. Perhaps bikini bottoms are, in fact, the most reasonable apparel for this sport. That being true, one question: why aren't the men also wearing them?

I saw one of the women dive for a volley and go face first into the sand. She got up and examined her stomach, which was scraped up, and had to re-arrange her bikini, which obviously contained sand -- not part of any woman's Olympic dream. If she had been dressed like the men -- in T-shirts and shorts -- she would have been fine.

Ultimately, it's up to the athletes to decide what is the appropriate uniform for their sport. As an observer, I cannot help but note the obvious disparity between the men and women and wonder who really chose the costumes for the women -- because they sure didn't. The sports bra top? Infinitely practical. The bottoms? I can't think of any other event that requires the competitors to obtain a Brazilian wax.

Here at Café Tor we ask only for logic and fairness: put the women in boy shorts that offer some coverage, or require the men to wear Speedos. Let the athletes choose. One-sided sexist exhibitionism has no place at this level of sporting competition.

Besides, no one wants to pick a wedgie on the world stage.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Peach Panic

The peaches don't look so ugly now, huh?

I have been inundated with peaches. I have a surfeit of peaches. I have 18 jars of Pure Peach, Spicy Peach, and Very Berry Peach jam. I have given away over 5 pounds of peaches.

I have Peach Fatigue.

And you know, MP doesn't even like peaches -- not to just sit and eat. He enjoys the Very Berry Peach jam, but he digs the raspberries, and the peach just sort of tags along. He did approve this cake from the latest Martha Stewart Living Magazine, but only on the first day. I have to agree; sugar, fruit, high humidity, sitting on the counter... My advice is eat the whole thing at once with ice cream.

It isn't just the peaches, though. Summer's fecundity is thorough, and I have two pints of Sungold tomatoes. Daily. Every day. If the body can store lycopene, we've got it made. My sifu is more than happy to eat all the peaches, but down here, giving away tomatoes in August is like giving away kittens -- really sweet, but no thank you.

As for the Paul Robesons, MP is keen on perfecting his raw salsa. Unfortunately, the tomatoes grew so big that net doesn't quite cover the plants anymore, and there's this raccoon wandering around. Does he eat the Sungold tomatoes? Of course not! (Well, I wouldn't know, there are so many, he just may and I can't tell) But he finds a PR tomato that's maybe 2 days from ripeness, gnaws on it, then leaves it. So I have to cut out the parts with raccoon spit. I brought 6 in to let them ripen indoors, but with the peaches and tomatoes, I now have a fruit fly problem.

And to cap it all off, MP had to leave suddenly on assignment. Although now that I think of it, that may have been intentional...

Peach tomato ketchup, anyone?