Once again I love pairing disparate topics into a post title, mostly because this is REAL LIFE all at once in my little world!

We’re just about at the end of the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, BC and while I consider myself a die-hard fan most years, in truth I haven’t been following everything super closely this time around. Some of my hard-core hockey fan friends even joke that the Winter Olympics are “…Hockey…and a bunch of other stuff going on too.” Ha ha.

Who’d have thought the Norwegian Curling team’s pants would stir up such a sensation? Those red and blue diamond-printed pants drew nearly 500,000 Facebook fans for starters! Too funny. I admit I’ve likely watched more curling this year than I have in the past 15 years combined. I don’t understand it but I can appreciate the dedication and passion the teams put into scrubbin’ the stones!

I would have killed for a chance to attend a few events given I am just a few hours drive and a border crossing away, but given my Money Diet mantra of these past few months, I’ve stuck close to my stringent policy to “spend less than I make,” as much as it pains me at times.

Opening ceremonies? Normally I am a blubbery, teary mess…I just burst with pride knowing that, at least ideally, for a couple weeks all the nations come together in peace to compete no matter the state of our wars and disputes. And I usually am sobbing by the time all the flags have processed into the arena and the U-S-A, U-S-A cheers echo throughout.

THIS year, ahem, it was a tad different.

I have yet to see a single clip of the opening ceremonies. And from what I’ve heard I haven’t missed much. It was no Beijing 2008 apparently. Hmmm. And, as far as the flag procession was concerned, well, I was still in that “interlude” with a certain gentleman (see my earlier February posts for more on that) so I was uber-distracted. So uber-distracted that I saw only the late “H” and early “I” flag processions, meaning something like only Honduras, Hungary and Iceland. Hoo boy.

Hockey has not disappointed. I admit I thought the Russian men’s team would take Gold this year, as I literally broke out in a sweat after first reading their roster. The American men, meanwhile, I figured had their work cut out for them as total underdogs.

Women’s hockey? Amazing that it’s only been an Olympic sport since 1998 in the Nagano games. And while I would have loved the USA ladies to take Gold over Canada, they ended up with Silver after a 2-0 loss in that final game. It was such a downer to see sad faces while getting OLYMPIC SILVER MEDALS bestowed upon them, however I can understand the down and dirty drive they had to take it all the way, and how Silver in the heat of the moment would seem a ‘failure’ of sorts.

But trust me, ladies, you did your country proud. Remember the countless hours of blood, sweat and tears you toiled to get to this moment. And remember how many hundreds you beat out for a chance to wear your country’s team sweater and skate your asses off. And it was so entirely classy of the Canadian audience in the arena to chant “U-S-A, U-S-A” during the medal ceremony.

Men’s hockey? Well, I had the unique privilege of watching the USA/Canada men’s prelim at the wonderful Spitfire Grill in Seattle’s Belltown neighborhood…sitting smack dab in a sea of Canadians. Yes, my dear friend J (from Calgary) invited me as her guest to watch the game on a huge screen TV in a private backroom reserved by the Seattle Chapter of the Canada America Society. At first I tried to hold back and not cheer too loudly for risk of getting thumped on the head or getting beer or food thrown at me, but there was no holding back on a 5-3 USA victory!

Some people have tried to compare that win to the famous USA win over the Soviets in the 1980 Olympics at Lake Placid. Trust me, that 1980 win was the truest, purest UPSET of ALL TIME in sports, period. Nothing ever to this day compares. The USA and Canadian Olympic teams today are all professionals, and while fiercely competitve, each player has an innate understanding and appreciation of eachother’s playing abilities.

In contrast, the USA men’s Olympic team in 1980 was a bunch of college kids who went up against a Soviet team who could have defeated any NHL team at the time. Plus, there was zero respect for the Americans from the Soviets, not to mention the hostile US/Soviet relations at the time. President Carter was thisclose to boycotting the Summer Olympics in Moscow due to the USSR’s invasion of Afghanistan (which eventually happened). It was a completely different world 30 years ago and I hope people take the time to research and appreciate that who weren’t alive or old enough to remember. Major, major Kudos to the late great Coach Herb Brooks for molding that USA team into men who knew how to unify and go after the ultimate prize of Gold.

Other random musings: who was in charge of picking the music for the hockey games? A few of my friends were chuckling about this: “If you’re happy and you know it,” “Dueling banjos,” “Does your mother know [ABBA],” “Hava Nagila,” “Doo wa Diddy,” For crying outloud already?? Hilarious!

Amongst all this excitement I am still juggling my pro bono work and networking hard to land a new job.

So what happened today? In the midst of the excitement of the men’s USA/Finland semi-finals game I had 4 hours of what was to become absolutely wonderful interviews with six different people 1:1. This is called a “loop” interview by the way.

I’ve gotten pretty good at interviewing but would never consider myself an expert. However, I’ve been in the workforce over 20 years so I like to think I’ve learned a thing or two.

First and foremost: when interviewing, be comfortable. Yes, right down to the right bra, underwear and pantyhose. Don’t laugh, but it makes a huge difference. Before I really knew what worked for me I would literally do “dress rehearsals” suiting up in various outfits to see what worked and what didn’t.

You have to have a hair and makeup/grooming routine that is foolproof. Oh, and don’t forget a good, understated manicure. I am a makeup freak and have tons I admit, but when it comes to interviewing I go with just a few different tried and true looks I could put on in the dark and won’t fail me but still look polished. THAT’S the key. Note my jobs are more on the corporate scale so “less is more” works for me. My signature look is what I’ve coined as “corporate smokey,” using Stila’s original smokey eye shadow palette, a thin layer of black liquid liner on the upper lashes, black mascara (upper lashes only), a light layer of blush and subtle lipstick/gloss. I tend to be ruddy and blush naturally so just a light blush like MAC’s Mineralize in Moon River works great. If I’m feeling pale or have more prep time on my hands I might use a little bronzer as contour [props to NARS bronzer in Laguna].

But, you’ve gotta have a Plan B. Always. Right down to having a spare pen in your portfolio or a few extra hard copies of your resume ready to rock.

For some reason I woke up today a tad sluggish. And I ended up overdoing it on coffee to counteract that so I ended up more sweaty and jittery than I’d have liked. Given that, it was a no-go for anything corporate smokey on the eyes as my hands were a little shaky, so instead I put on just a light cream shadow on the lids and a no-fail black pencil liner on the upper lids. For the record, MAC’s Blanc Type shadow is great as an eye brightener as well as a softener for anything that might have been put on a little heavy handed.

Other routines as I head into an interview? Chew a piece of gum on the way and get rid of it before getting out of the car. Turn off the cell phone. And walk into the building like you own it! You never know if the person you pass by in the lobby or ride up with in the elevator ends up being one of the people you interview with!

About 2/3 of the way through the interviews today my friend K, who was on the interview schedule, pulled me into her office and immediately brought up the USA/Finland men’s semi-finals streaming on her computer – what a fun break!

SO…I now wait and wonder. Wait and wonder how the interview results will pan out, as well as how the USA men will do in their quest for Hockey Gold. The Slovakian team awakened and came back to life tonight vs. Canada in the semi-finals enough to where I bet lots wondered if the game would end up tied after a predicted 3-0 Canada blowout. Meanwhile, the USA men spanked Finland 6-1 earlier today.

It’s USA men vs. Canada v. 2.0 on Sunday for the Gold. No matter what happens, it’s been an incredible Olympics!

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