Posts Tagged ‘London 2012’

Olympic People Meeting Tip: Revolutionary ConTEXTing Haiku — Update: aka How to have an EPIC final day at the London 2012 Olympics OR How to Hang with Olympic Medal Winners

August 10, 2012

Norwegian women on a London 2012 Double-Decker busHow to meet people/
at the Olympics: Wear a/
bright orange shirt. Smile. Ask.

A Follow-Up on my last day at the Olympics
Taking my own advice, I made it a goal to talk to 100 people my last day at the Olympics. What’s the result? EPIC DAY!
1) Met 4 Norwegian women on the top of a double-decker bus.
2) Chatted with a group of “Bobbies” outside of Hyde Park, where I learned the women don’t wear the rounded hats because “they are too heavy for our pretty, dainty ‘eads!” London Bobbies outside Hyde Park, London 2012 Olympics
3) Going to the Hyde Park Men’s Open Water Swim 10k Marathon, met a USA-flag drapped flight attendant who traded me a RARE United Olympics pin for an 2006 glow-in-the-dark EFY ring and an Arizona pin
3a) Amy also gave me some AMAZING advice on going to the Chase/VISA card “House” on Pall Mall (more on that later).
4) Met some women from Oz whose friend was racing that day.
5) Met the roommates of the British racer, Fogg
6) Met the mother and family of the Equadorian (I think)
7) Met some guys in cool Norway shirts who actually knew the place (Nordfold, Nordland, Norway) where my grandfather Karlsen was born
8) Met the mother, aunt, uncle and babysitters of USA Swimmer Alex Mayer, who asked “Can you cheer loudly?” (BTW, I have the LOUDEST “U-S-A!” cheer at the games!)(More on that later.)USA open water 10k swimmer Alex Mayer's babysitters

9) Met some crazy-hatted Danes
10) Met a flag-drapped Hungarian and her French friend (by the way, my classic intro line: “So, where are you from?”)
11) Was asked by the babysitters to come and cheer next to them and their families. As a result,
12) Stood next to the family of the USA coach. He came over to talk to them, so I snuck into a photo (during the 10k race) and got to found out A LOT about Alex Mayer and open-water racing
12a) Met a couple from the USA: One grew up in South Milwaukee, and the other has a house in Ahwahtukee, where the back yard backs up to South Mountain, (just like my sister’s), and his kids went to ASU AND to the same high school as my nieces. Small world.
13) Met women’s 10k open water swimming silver medalist Haley Anderson ( and got her autograph USA Women's Open Water Swim 10k Silver Medalist Haley Anderson

14) Made a couple of Dutch women (1) wonder if I was Dutch (because of my Orange shirt) and (2) laugh when I told them my friend’s thoughts: “If she ain’t Dutch, she ain’t much!”
15) Started the “U-S-A!!” cheer several times as Alex swam by.
16) Gave out more glow-in-the-dark rinks to United flight attendants.
17) Met several British families who brought their kids “Just so we could see an Olympic event.”
18) After the race, was walking down the street. Saw a McLaren store. Asked if I could come in (“By Appointment Only”) Liked how the orange one accessorized my shirt. Met a Russian woman and her son: Took their photo, and they returned the favor. McLaren Orange London 2012

18a) Saw the women’s beach volleyball team outside Buckingham Palace. They were “late for an event” so I didn’t get to talk to them much.
19) Went to the VISA/Chase house. When I checked in, they told me “you can either go downstairs to the lounge, or, if you want, we can get you into a meet and greet with a couple of USA Olympians from the past”. Guess which I chose?
20) Talked to a BUNCH of Americans, including
21) A dad and his son from Seattle. SOUNDERS ‘TIL WE DIE! He plays back for Shorewood High School (no, Dad, not the same one YOU went to!)
22) Setting this up: In the world of women’s sports, there is an iconic image of a joyful Brandi Chastain after she scored the final PK and won the women’s World Cup (1999). It’s even at the entrance to a sports bar in Salt Lake City ( As I approached her and Olympic swimming Gold Medalist Summer Sanders, they commented “WOW! That’s a BRIGHT shirt!” I told them I would trade it for her jersey, but wouldn’t take it off there, and then (because I have a Chase VISA card) I invited them to help me use it over dinner. They laughed and declined… but I did get a bunch of autographs for my swimming and soccer-playing kids! Brandi Chastain, Summer Sanders, Dave Kuhns -- wearing gold (or Orange). Thanks VISA!

23) Traded an Arizona pin with a security guard for his cool VISA Olympic pin.
24) Went down to the lounge, where I learned that you could get a free dinner if you’d signed up. “However” (said the person I’d said hello to) “there is a queue if you want to see if you can get in”. It was only an hour wait, so you know me and free dinner! While I was there, I met a nice dad and his two daughters. I taught the daughters about pin trading (they were admiring my lanyard with a dozen pins), gave them some Arizona pins.
25) Met another person in line from Philly who told us that, if you went to the coat check, the people there would GIVE YOU cool VISA pins. So I got some, then taught the girls how to get some, and some extra, and trade with the female “bouncer” who kept getting mad at us because we were getting out of queue.
26) When Brandi came out of the free dinner, I took some photos of her talking to the little girls, Brandi Chastain signs autographs, London2012
who were SO excited! (I only mention this because Brandi took probably 10 minutes to chat with them, and it was obvious that she and they both loved their “chat”. Great role model!)
27) As I was waiting, flight attendant “Amy” (the one who told me about the VISA/Chase house in the first place) came by with 4 other flight attendant friends. We chatted, and she said “Can you get us in with you?” I said “no”, but… Iron Chef dinner with United Flight Attendants at the VISA/Chase lounge

28) When the dinner people gave me a “buzzer” and asked how many in my party, I told them “6”. Then I went and got the flight attendants.
29) Met “Mr. Kim” and another guy who work security details, and who invited us to have “Drinks with the Beefeaters” (because they do) on a Tuesday next time we’re in London (I’m certain that was directed more toward the flight attendants than me!)
30) Went to a FANTASTIC buffet dinner. Met bartenders, etc. etc.Flag-wearing Amy and her United Flight Attendant Friends at the Chase/VISA house before sushi dinner

31) When Amy was commenting on how good the sushi was, I told her “You should go say thank you to the chef. Let’s go.” She said “Who is he?” I pointed to my badge and said “This guy: Master Chef Morimoto” (who is famous on TV’s “Iron Chef”.
32) Took Amy’s photo with Morimoto-San and laughed as she cried with excitement. I also got his autograph, although I’m neither a big fan of Iron Chef or sushi. Still…
33) Met several other people (mostly Americans) as I waited for the flight attendants, who’d invited me to go on the Thames Water Taxi to see the London Eye, London Bridge, the Tower Bridge, etc.
34) Guided the flight attendants to the Water Taxi at the Embarkment (since I knew where everything was, having walked most of it!)
35) Took the water taxi too far downriver, so finally got off at Greenwich. Met several people from various places, including a GB guy and his wife. It was his birthday so, of course, I sang Louis Armstrong’s “Happy Birthday” to him.
36) As we got off at Greenwich, I wondered, since there is a Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), where the GNT (Greenwich Nice Time) is.
37) Saw a large multi-masted sailing ship. Everyone wondered what it was, but our boat was coming back to take us back up-river. I of course had to go see… and saw the Cutty Sark, one of the greatest sailing ships ever.
38) The Olympic Rings on the Tower Bridge were lowered (they’d been raised as we went by the first time), so saw those.
39) Got off at the London Eye station. Lead the group back across the river so we could take a bus at nighttime up to our hotel(s). (Their hotel, it turned out, was one stop away from mine).
40) Learned that one of the flight attendants was from German, and she was SEHR surprised at how good my German was.
41) On the bridge, met some Asians who were wondering why there were two orange cones in the middle of the walkway. I showed them: I picked one up, put the large end on the bridge railing (everyone thought I was going to throw it into the Thames), put my mouth to the small open end, and started yelling “U-S-A!!, U-S-A!!!” into the Thames night. I think Big Ben could hear it. It wwas LOUD!
42) Stopped at the Sherlock Holmes pub as Amy needed a “loo break”, and talked to a couple more Brits about what type of maple trees the large trees were. Found out that one of the flight attendants was from Seattle’s Eastside (she’d never seen a maple tree that big), and the other one lives in Mesa, about 1/2 mile from my sister.
43) Went to Trafalgar Square, where I learned that one of the buses (23?) runs all night up to Paddington Station (where my hotel is).
44) Took a night-time London bus (sitting on the top front) through the city. Gorgeous way to do it.
45) Said goodbye to Amy and her group, and as she thanked me for getting her into the Iron Chef’s dinner, I thanked HER for telling me about it! She reminded me “It was all because you smiled, said “Hi!” and traded pins with me!
46) Went to dinner by myself at an Italian restaurant. While there, ordered fizzy water. (Selzer). They brought me a bottle of flat water by mistake. When I discovered it, I gave it to the Finnish family sitting at the table next to me. They were a bit surprised, but I noticed they drank it!
47) Ended my day talking to the night clerk at the Mina House hotel (he’s from Egypt).

Epic day. I’m going to try it again some time!

Moved To Rock: Revolutionary ConTEXTing Poetry

August 8, 2012

We Will Rock You: Queen Musical, London Theater DistrictYou inspired me
to go see
more than I wanted to.

Oh! You kid!
I’m glad you did!
We Will Rock You!

It Rains On Sundays In London: Revolutionary ConTEXTing Haiku

August 5, 2012

London conundrum:/
Keep the Sabbath or buy an /
umbrella near church.

Being Parents Of Olympians: Revolutionary ConTEXTing Haiku

August 4, 2012

If you’re parents of /
Olympians, you still have/
to wait for your kids.

Hanging out with Swiss, USA, and other parents and relatives after the women’s triathalon, London 2012 Olympics, Hyde Park

Wonder In London Book Maze: Revolutionary Haiku

August 3, 2012

Wandering In Wonder At a London Book Maze, 2012
I, wondering, still/
wonder and am yet amazed/
at where books can lead.

Running My Personal Olympics: Revolutionary Blogging Haiku

August 3, 2012

Olympians should/
appreciate me running/
around to see them.

Olympians should/
appreciate my long, pained/
walking to see them.

Olympics Shades of Yogi Berra: Revolutionary Blogging Improv Haiku

August 2, 2012

The Olympics are/
so popular, nobody’s/
left here in London.

Is Dressing Well An Olympic Event? Revolutionary ConTEXTing Sonnet

August 2, 2012

He voyaged far across the sea
To the isle of Her Majesty.
He sought assistance in how he dressed.
(He wanted to show his very best.)

His slacks were pressed, sharply creased.
With care shirts were ironed on top and beneath.
Unlike what he’d done so often before,
This time he thought about what he wore.

In the parade of nations he’d never be
The typical American, rude and ugly.
Instead he’d wear matched clothes with pride,
Reflecting what he felt of himself, inside.

Except for his athletic shoes: such a sight!
He’d taken from two pair one left, one right.

Remember To Experience Life: Revolutionary ConTEXTing Rhyming Haiku

August 2, 2012

There’s so much to do,

I hope I don’t forget to

experience it.

Famous Dad But They’re Just Kids: Revolutionary ConTEXTing Haiku

August 1, 2012

537 pm est their dad is famous,/ an Olympic champion./they are still just kids