I am watching Skate Canada while I am writing about my attendance at Skate America last week. Both competitions are part of what is known as the Grand Prix figure skating series. The International Skating Union (ISU) sponsors this series of competitions each season.
Skate America was the first in the series and was held at the Skating Club of Boston’s beautiful facility in Norwood, Massachusetts. I was extremely excited to go to this competition for several reasons. My coach is on a synchronized skating team from Skating Club of Boston, so I was really interested to see where she skates every Monday.
I was also anticipating seeing such athletes as Ilia Malinin and Gracie Gold compete. Although it was a lot of days and sometimes the rink was frigid, I had a wonderful time. I saw Ilia complete his quadruple axle which was thrilling beyond words.
I found Gracie Gold’s performance very moving. She has shown such grace and determination in her brave attempt at a comeback. Gracie is really an inspiration to anyone who has ever suffered defeat, mental or emotional distress, or physical disabilities.
I also had several celebrity sightings and interactions which made the event even more exciting. The first day there I had a nice conversation with Jackie Wong from Rocker Skating about media coverage of skating and how the USFSA doesn’t always appear to be aware of the best way to maintain and grow its’ fan base.
I spoke to Ilia Malinin after he had finished his practice and before he went on to the ring to complete his competition which included his successful quadruple axle. I also had conversations with Ashley Wagner and Mirai Nagasu. I attended the 2016 Worlds in Boston in Boston and saw Ashley Wagner when she won her silver medal, I have always been a fan of Mirai Nagasu, and it was nice to have a brief conversation with her.
The last big competition I attended was Nationals in San Jose 2018. I went with my cousin Marla who died this past June. May her memory be for a blessing.
It is always inspiring to see skating in person and Skate America was no exception. However, it was very draining so I may wait a few months or maybe a few years to attend another big competition in person. Worlds will be in Montreal in 2024 and in Boston in 2025. Those two will probably be the next opportunities for me to go to something in person.
We came home from Skate America on Monday and tomorrow we are going on another trip. My next blog post will be November 11.
I completed my second self-initiated NaNoWriMo today. It is a little confusing because I thought I was going to stop yesterday when I set up the counter in NaNoWriMo, but I worked two hours today. NaNoWriMo will not let me add the two hours without creating a new goal, so I am not going to bother.
I worked for twenty-one days out of the twenty-seven because I had to take a few days off for the Jewish holidays, some other activities, and a personal matter. I worked approximately ninety-eight minutes a day for a total of over thirty-four hours.
I now have a second draft of all the chapters except one. I hope to complete the revision on the first chapter by the end of this month. I am not going to start the official NaNoWriMo until Nov. 9th or 10th and then will work the remainder of November.
Next week I will be attending Skate America which is in Boston so I will not have a blog post Friday, Oct. 21st. Tune in again on Oct. 28th.
My original plan for today’s post was to update you about progress on my book. However, on Tuesday, Angela Lansbury died,so I have decided to say something about that today. Tomorrow, which will be the last day of my latest self-initiated NaNoWriMo, I will post about that process.
As my faithful readers will remember, from the end of 2021 to the beginning of 2022, I watched every episode of Murder She Wrote and read a book by Angela Lansbury. More recently, I read a book that had Jessica Fletcher as the heroine.
When Angela Lansbury died this Tuesday, the New York Times ran an obituary which included a mini documentary about her life. It featured her speaking. Something she said was very meaningful. “I’m an actress not just a pretty face.”
She was a woman of character and immense talent, and I really admired her. You can read my post about Murder She Wrote here.
This past July, Steven Dettelbach became the first permanent director that the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and explosives has had in seven years. Dettlebach was not President Biden’s first choice, but he turned out to be the nominee who the Senate was willing to confirm. You can read about that here.
The ATF has always been a federal agency under attack from the NRA and the gun lobby. President Obama also had trouble staffing the Bureau. You can read my blog post about that, from 2013, here.
Dettelbach’s appointment pleased gun control and safety advocates who also had a victory with modest gun legislation passing this past summer. President Biden’s agenda for the ATF under Dettelbach includes cracking down on ghost guns and better oversight of federally licensed gun dealers.
This past week news broke that indicates Biden and his new director are making a difference. The revocation of guns has occurred at the highest rate since 2006. You can read more about the ATF’s work here. Hopefully, both the appointment of Dettelbach and President Biden’s commitment to meaningful gun control will lead to a reduction in gun deaths and mass killings.