Happy Birthday, Imoto! Otanjobi Omedetou!!

Imoto turns 8 today.  She’s an amazing girl.  She’s into so many things!

She’s working hard to get to Level 2 at gymnastics. Don’t know if down the road she’ll try out acrobatic gymnastics:

Or rhythmic gymnastics:

But right now she’s inspired by the Fab Five from the 2012 Olympics:


She also likes to play golf with me. I hope we can do a lot more of that this summer!

I’m really glad imoto likes to laugh.  We definitely share a sense of humor.  She loves watching How It Should Have Ended on youtube.  Here’s one of her favorites:

Yup, she loves Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, and The Hobbit!  Not to mention Frozen, Tangled, Brave, Powerpuff Girls, Pretty Cure, and Winx Club, to name a few more!

Best of all, she’s a hard worker, great student, kind friend, and loving sister!

So happy birthday, imoto!


Congratulations to Cristie Kerr and Natalie Gulbis!

I guess the late-December theme of Mostly Harmless is “transitions”!  Q-School results, Harukyo Nomura choosing the LPGA over the JLPGA for 2014, Paula Creamer‘s engagement, Ji-Yai Shin cutting back on her LPGA schedule in 2014, Momoko Ueda leaving the LPGA for the JLPGA next season, Lydia Ko leaving her life-long coach Guy Wilson as she relocates to the States….  In that vein, let me pass along my belated congratulations to Cristie Kerr and Erik Stevens on the birth of their son Mason (via surrogacy) and to Natalie Gulbis and Josh Rodarmel on their wedding!

[Update 1 (12/27/13, 7:57 am):  ‘Tis the season indeed!  Irene Cho is tying the knot on 2/1/14!]

[Update 2 (12/31/13, 9:03 am):  Mariajo Uribe recently tied the knot, too!]

Merry QSMS from Mostly Harmless!

QSMS is of course how onechan first tried to spell Christmas.  Speaking of which, we don’t celebrate it in this Jewish-Buddhist-not-very-religious Constructivist household–and imoto doesn’t like it.  So she hung up one of her socks by the fireplace and tried to stay up for Santa as long as she could.  I was glad for the company while I was up grading (she was paging through some Simpsons comic books I took out from the local library until they put her right to sleep, but before that we had a fun discussion on whether Santa is real).

Ah, I should call it a night so I’m fresh for Mongolian buffet for dinner tonight!  Hope your Christmas is going to be as awesome as ours….

Welcome to Double Digits, Onechan!

Onechan is 10 today!  Shocking.  It seems all the videos I found for her earlier birthdays have been taken off youtube.  So here are some more!


Recommended Reading: Hee Kyung Seo’s Wedding

Head on over to Seoul Sisters.com for a fantastic thread on Hee Kyung Seo’s wedding!  Here’s a nice video on how her fiance proposed to her:

Detroit 2, Constructivist Family 2

I’ve gotta admit I can’t tell a quad from a triple unless Skate America, NBC Sports, or every freakin’ skate blogger/tweeter on the planet points it out to me (just search #SA2013), but I can tell you a little bit about what the Constructivist family’s Detroit road trip has been like so far.

Like how we avoided another traffic jam on the 75 and got to the men’s practice session just about on time by freelancing it through some pretty scary neighborhoods on the way to the Joe Louis Arena (score 1 for Team Constructivist).  Or how we again enjoyed the Detroit People Mover and had another great dinner, but this one gave The Full Metal Archivist stomach trouble (score 1 for Detroit).  Or how cool it was to watch Adam Rippon and Jason Brown rock their short programs, then get smoked by Tatsuki Machida (whose name has been pronounced seemingly every way but right by the rink announcers), but how disappointing it was when our fave Daisuke Takahashi couldn’t bring his jumping to the level of his artistry on the ice right after Machida’s brilliant performance (score another for Detroit).  Or how much the girls enjoyed dancing around after the practice skates, riding the People Mover, and getting make-up done and pictures taken at the fake Puffs kiss and cry area between the men’s skate and the dance competition (score 1 more for the Constructivist family).

Instead, though, let me focus on how amazing Meryl Davis and Charlie White are.  So many couples skated so awesomely.  The Reeds got a season best and still ended up in 6th, while the Shibutanis did the same and looked to be in great position at 61.26 and 1st of 6 teams.  Until the Italians beat them by 8 points, that is.  Facing the same kind of pressure that Takahashi did, Davis and White made it look effortless, elegant, charming, sophisticated, romantic, and athletic.  Like Takahashi, they have a level of artistry and body control and musical interpretation that is truly their own.  Unlike Takahashi, their biggest rivals (Moir/Virtue) weren’t competing against them.  But sometimes it’s as tough being the favorite–especially in front of a home crowd–as it is being the most popular skater in the world who’s fighting for a spot in his 3rd Olympics against 5 other world-class Japanese skaters.

I’ll close with some video and some notes, first on Machida:

I was repeatedly impressed by how much air this guy gets.  I wonder if he can dunk…

Rippon:

Loved his reaction at the end! Maybe he can take a page from Adam Scott’s book and get a big win today!

Aaron:

Man, he practices hard. He was the only one going full-bore in the morning practice session. Hey, he’s young, he can handle it.  (Me, I’m officially in my mid-40s and walking like someone in his mid-80s.  I’m beginning to think my back won’t be better by the time we leave Detroit.)

Shibutanis:


I hope onechan and imoto learn from these siblings how to appreciate each other and work together!  Have I mentioned that imoto’s discovered moodiness and loves to needle onechan into overreacting and getting in trouble?  Seriously, I don’t usually like brother-sister pairs on ice, but these two picked some great music and skated their hearts out!

In closing, Jason Brown has it all:  flexibility, jumping ability, artistry, personality.  Don’t be surprised if he wins this thing.

Around the World of Women’s Golf in 4 Easy Links

No time for individual posts on the LPGA’s Safeway Classic and 3rd round of Q-School’s 1st stage, the JLPGA’s Nitori Ladies, or the LET’s Ladies Scottish Open, so I’ll just hit the highlights here today from around the world of women’s professional golf.

Lexi Thompson‘s 65 was the low round of the morning wave (capped off by an eagle on the par-5 7th–her 16th–hole) at Columbia Edgewater, but it got eclipsed by Pornanong Phatlum‘s afternoon 64 (which amazingly included 2 bogeys).  Others going low included Cristie Kerr, Lizette Salas, and Sandra Gal with 66s, a host of players with 67s, including Juli Inkster, Se Ri Pak, Stacy Lewis, Ya Ni Tseng, Ai Miyazato, Michelle Wie, and Gerina Piller, even more with 68s, among them Suzanne Pettersen, Ji-Yai Shin, Amy Yang (who had to WD today), Brittany Lang, Natalie Gulbis, and Chie Arimura, and 69s by such golfers as Karrie Webb, In-Kyung Kim, Hee Young Park, Anna Nordqvist, Morgan Pressel, Caroline Masson, Jodi Ewart Shadoff, and Momoko Ueda.  Other notables didn’t fare quite so well, among them Na Yeon Choi (70), Beatriz Recari (71), Angela Stanford (71), Mika Miyazato (71), Laura Davies (72), Azahara Munoz (72), Carlota Ciganda (73), and Moriya Jutanugarn (73).  As you can see, the scoring was low and the cut line would have fallen at -2 if it had been established on Thursday!

In Q-School, Mia Piccio fired a 65 to get to -10 pull within 2 shots of 2nd-round leader Laura Gonzalez Escallon.  Others in the hunt for medallist include Yueer Cindy Feng and Pinrath Loomboonruang at -7, and Cheyenne Woods, Erica Popson, Julie Yang, and Babe Liu at -6.  Notables in danger of falling or staying out of the top 100 and not advancing to Stage 2 in October include Kimberly Kim at +5, Kelly Shon at +8, Ki-Shui Liao at +9, Hwanhee Lee at +10, Tiffany Lua at +11, Izzy Lendl at +12, and Kyle Roig at +15.  The cut line, which I thought would climb to the neighborhood of +12, might only go to +9 or +10 when play is completed today.  Angela Park, Meghan Hardin, Jillian Fraccola, and Seema Sadekar will definitely fall outside it.  I’m still counting on Scooby Liu and Britney Yada to make it to the next stage, for obvious reasons.

Meanwhile, Lala Anai continues the youth movement on the JLPGA, as her 4-birdie, 1-eagle 66 left her 1 shot ahead of Ji-Min Lee, 2 shots up on Yuko Fukuda, 3-up on Bo-Mee Lee and Ikue Asama, and 4 shots out of the reach of defending champion Sun-Ju Ahn and 2-time winner this season Mamiko Higa.  Other notables include Mi-Jeong Jeon, Ji-Hee Lee, Bo-Bae Song, Teresa Lu, Kumiko Kaneda, and Megumi Kido at -1, Ayako Uehara, Na-Ri Kim, and Yumiko Yoshida at E, Sakura Yokomine and Erika Kikuchi at +1, Yukari Baba at +2, Young Kim and Jin Joo Hong at +3, Yuki Sakurai and Miho Mori at +4, Miki Saiki, Da Ye Na, and Natsuka Hori at +5, Soo-Yun Kang and Maiko Wakabayashi at +6, Shinobu Moromizato at +7, Mayu Hattori and Harukyo Nomura at +8, Yoko Ishikawa (Ryo’s imoto) at +11.  Money-list leader Rikako Morita is sitting this one out after several bad outings in a row, not unlike Inbee Park, who decided very late in the week not to play in Portland.

Over in Scotland, Cassandra Kirkland leads Lee-Anne Pace, Anne-Lise Caudal, and Trish Johnson by 1 shot, with Catriona Matthew only 3 shots off the pace and Ashleigh Simon 4.

For cute pics of Jeong Jang’s daughter on the putting green with JJ and Se Ri Pak at Columbia Edgewater, head on over to Seoul Sisters.com.  I think we all need a little dose of kawaii right about now….