Friday, June 4, 2010

Off Ice Reviews

I have now been off the ice for roughly three weeks. I did try to get back on, twice now, only to cause a nasty relapse of whatever bug has decided to replicate inside my body. I have been stuck at home for two and a half of those three weeks. I can only take so much commercial TV. Ugh. So what is an ice skater to do when she has lots of time on her hands and not much energy to do anything?

When running a fever watch movies:

Ice Castles (1978)
I finally watched this, mostly to see what all the hoopla was about. I am constantly hearing about how it is some skaters favorite movie. It was even nominated for an Oscar! Although I wasn't fond of it there was some decent acting and decent skating in it. The movie itself is very dated and I can see why they would do a remake. I would be interested in seeing the 2010 version. The original was slow in places and I still don't believe the premise that a blind skater can win nationals against sighted skaters. It was so exciting I almost feel asleep in the middle of it.

The Cutting Edge: Going for Gold (2005)
I saw the original movie, The Cutting Edge (1991), years ago and while schmaltzy I liked it. This one you can skip. Bad acting. Mediocre skating. These skaters aren't believable regional level skaters never mind Olympic level. While the guy is a hunk and there are lots of shots of him shirtless, it isn't worth sitting through the movie just for that unless you are into that sort of thing. I did fall asleep in the middle of this one and had to finish it up the next day.

Blades of Glory
While I didn't watch this movie while I was home sick this time, I did watch it while I was home sick over Christmas. It is a great fun fluff movie that takes the silly elements of figure skating to their ludicrous extremes.

New Moon (2009)
Okay. I had to come out of the closet sometime. I like the Twilight Saga. Again I watched the first movie last year to see what all the fuss was about and liked it a lot. When I was walking through Marshalls before Christmas I found the books on sale for cheap so I got them and got totally hooked. Stephenie Meyer is an amazing writer. She has based each of the novels on some classic romance novel such as Romeo and Juliet but with a vampire twist. Breaking Dawn was the only one I had trouble reading. Anyway, back to the movie. Loved it. The CG was incredible.

While running a fever watch Hulu or Netflix TV:

Robin Hood (BBC)
Yeah, I know it isn't skating but it was awesome. Love this show and I watched the entire series on Netflix. Too bad it got canceled.

The Tudors (Showtime)
Again no ice skating but an awesome series about the life of King Henry VIII. Not for kids though. Lots of sex, nudity and violence but amazing acting, complicated plot lines, fantastic costumes and sets. Wonderful to get lost in. I've gotten through two seasons so far.

The Prisoner (BBC 1960s currently available on
The effects are dated but the show is still very watchable. It messes with some complicated philosophical questions which I always love in a SciFi show.

When in possession of my faculties read:

Toepicks, Cadaver Dogs, and Sports with No Balls by Sherry Bosley
This is a book to take to the doctor's office with you. It is a series of vignettes not necessarily related to ice skating. A fun light read that can be put down and picked up at whim, i.e. no plot.

Ice Charades: Penguins Behaving Badly and Other Follies From the Road by Jenny Hall
By far my favorite ice skating book. It tells the mostly true tale of an ice skater's first year performing in shows. Great whit and a good story.

Primer of Figure Skating by Marible Y. Vinson
This was written by my coach's coach. I use it as a reference all the time since I am trying to learn school figures. Not something I can read cover to cover but great for looking up how to do stuff. While out of print it can still be found for a few dollars through Amazon private dealers.

Plato and a Platypus Walk Into a Bar... by Thomas Cathcart & Daniel Klein
What a great way to learn philosophy! Through telling jokes! This book is a hoot! Lots of great jokes and you learn something at the same time. You do have to have your faculties intact when reading since some of it can be confusing. Otherwise it is great for a good laugh and you can always reread the confusing bits later.

200 Sewing Tips, Techniques & Trade Secrets by Lorna Knight
I'm always looking for information on how to sew complicated stuff for my costumes. This is a great book. Lots of pictures and great explanations. Includes serger techniques, embroidery and beading. Lots of useful information.

Artisanal Gluten-Free Cooking by Kelli & Peter Bronski
Nutrition is difficult enough for an athlete without the complication of an allergy thrown in so I'm always on the hunt for good wheat free recipes. This is a great GF book. The previous "bibles" of GF cooking by Bette Hagman, while a great starting place, aren't for an advanced cook. Bette had to learn how to cook after her diagnosis of celiac. The recipes are basic, often missing steps and are throw-everything-in-a-bowl-and-mix variety, which often doesn't yield the best results. Artisanal GF Cooking is written by cooks. It includes pasta recipes!!! I'm going to make butternut squash ravioli! I can hardly wait! I haven't had any since I went GF. The recipes run the gamut from breads and muffins to entire dinners and desserts. Lots of really good recipes. Some fussy some not. Makes me look forward to being well enough to cook again.

When upright and bored with TV, etc, read blogs:
Life Skate
Ice Mom
Synchro Mom
Life on the Edge
Mahlzeit (food not skating)
Ice Charades
Ice Pact
Axels, Loop and Spins
On Thin Ice

Or for some real brain candy:
TED talks

Just got back from the doc. Tests are all normal which points to some weird viral infection possibly lingering Strep. Another week at home and crossed fingers are the doctors orders and no skating for a while. Yuck!! Guess I'll be doing some more reading.

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