final olympic update

Sunday night: Saw the closing ceremonies. Quite a spectacle, bizarrely humorous at times (really, Kiss with Kristi Yamaguchi?), awe-inspiring at others (that fireworks show was life changing). Then went out with Juliet and Filip from the NY Daily News to P.F. Chang’s, which is apparently the only restaurant in downtown SLC that thought: “Hey, maybe we should stay open after the closing ceremonies are over at 9 p.m., even though it’s Sunday and this is Utah.”
P.F. Chang’s had also been celeb-spotting central at the Games — Gretzky was there all the time, I understand — so it wasn’t too surprising to see Katarina Witt walk in. Yowzers. Anyway, I’d had a total of one beer in SLC before Sunday night, a Bud at a hockey game, so it was my first real brush with Utah liquor law.
(Aside: One impact of Utah’s alcohol-free legacy is that there’s very little beer-pouring knowledge in the general population. When I asked the volunteer at the hockey game to pour me a beer, he just put a cup under the tap and let her rip, which meant I got roughly 50% foam, 50% beer.)
Anyway, I ordered a Tsingtao to go with my ginger chicken, then, when I was about 80% done with it, ordered another one. The waitress brought it over, then told me she could not put it on my table until the previous beer was all gone. Evidently, you can’t have more than one beer on the table per person at a time in Utah. So I drank up.
Then we went to Squatters, a brewpub across the street, for more alcohol weirdness. All the beer on tap was 3.2, although they had some bottles of regular strength. But last call for regular beer was midnight (!), with last call for 3.2 at 12:45. Saw Dave Barry again; I’m normally not the biggest fan, but he had some good Olympic columns.
Monday: Ran a bunch of errands, bought a lot of souvenirs, traded all the DMN Olympic pins I had for other crappy Olympic pins, then promptly lost them all on the bus ride to the airport. The airport, where I waited four hours for my flight. Grrr. Finally got home around 1 a.m. Tuesday morning, only to find that the key to my apartment door didn’t work anymore. It took me half an hour of pushing and prodding to get into my apartment, only to find it as messy as when I left it three weeks earlier.
Tuesday: Back to reality — a day spent at an educational assessment conference in the Dallas ‘burbs. Yes, I’m an education reporter, and I must be reminded of this fact. Then headed out to Jessica‘s birthday party. Then sleep. Sleep is good.
Don’t worry, everybody — I’ll soon realize that my post-Olympic life is much less interesting than my Olympic life, so you can expect me to transition soon from day-by-day accounting of my existence back into “wacky” links, snide commentary, and the other “features” that made “famous.”

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