Today is Thursday, and Thursdays are for swimming. I always do the exact same swimming workout whenever I hit the pool (500 yards of kick and pull drills, then I swim a mile with about 700 yards of hard swimming sprinkled in fartlek-style) but it always manages to wear me out and put me in a good mood for the rest of the day. Because I started off my day with something I really enjoy, I thought I’d share two other things that have been liking lately:
1) Rosanne Cash
Rosanne Cash has a new memoir and a new album so she’s been making the rounds of the public radio programs I listen to. She always comes off as incredibly charming and down-to-earth in interviews. I downloaded a preview of her memoir to my kindle, but I haven’t gotten around to reading it yet (I’m still devouring Oryx and Crake). What I HAVE gotten around to doing is listening to her new album, “The River and the Thread,” every single day. It is SO GOOD. Every single song is incredibly catchy and poignant. I put a link up to “Modern Blue,” which is my favorite for this current moment, but the whole album is great.
2) Russian Oligarchs.
OK. Bear with me for a second. I did not conk my head on the bottom of the pool during an ill-advised flip turn. This is about the winter olympics. Let’s put aside for one moment the rampant corruption, blatant propagandizing, and general aura of sleaziness hovering around the winter games. It’s the olympics in Russia for crying out loud: corruption is what we signed up for. The overt homophobia coming from the Putin administration is alarming, upsetting, and warrants its own discussion. This is not a post about what I DON’T like. This is a positive post, and I am positive that I have learned something very strange and wonderful about the sentiments of the soviet super-rich.
First up: The oligarch Mikhail D. Prokhorov is funding the Russian Olympic Biathlon Team:
I love this. Biathlon might be my favorite Olympic sport (cross-country skiing and shooting? SO COOL). I think the athleticism required to skate-ski 10K then get your heart rate low enough to accurately sharp-shoot is more impressive than ANY football game. The russian biathlon team was in trouble, until Mikhail swopped in to save the day with a big old pile of rubles! Now they get flown to meets in private jets! It’s strange and wonderful….and because it’s Russia it is probably rampantly corrupt. For now I’m going to ignore that and fill my brain with positive images of Biathletes sipping Bollinger
Example number two why Russian Oligarchs are secretly awesome: Oleg V. Deripaska is funding a dog shelter to rescue the stray dogs in Sochi:
Apparently Sochi had a HUGE stray problem that was made MUCH worse during the hectic and rushed lead-in to the games. The government responded to the strays with a mass extermination campaign. Efforts to prevent the gruesome slaughter were ignored, and undercut by a lack of resources. Enter the Oligarch! He has financed an organization called Volnoe Delo (“Good Will”) to build a temporary shelter, provide much needed care, and attempt to find homes for these animals. I’m so glad that something is being done to stop the cruel and alarming mistreatment!
Now I fully admit that I know nothing more about these oligarchs than the content of those articles. I have no idea how they actually MADE their money, and something tells they didn’t get rich by holding bake sales. I have no idea how the people who work for them are paid, or if their companies are environmentally or socially responsible. However, even with those GIANT caveats, there’s still something heartwarming about russian billionaires stepping in to help out biathletes and puppies.
I hope everyone had a FANTASTIC thursday! Go give Rosanne Cash’s album a listen, you won’t regret it. Oh and leave a comment about things that YOU are liking lately. I want to hear about other cool stuff!
Disclaimer: All of the opinions expressed herein are mine and mine alone. I was not compensated by Rosanne Cash or Russian Oligarchs to say nice things about them. If Rosanne Cash or a Russian Oligarch is reading this blog all I can say is: Hi! I am so flattered, I admire your work! Please consider donating to my fundraiser for the Seattle Humane Society!