2004 Summer Olympics: Women's Fencing
I think 19-year-old Mariel Zagunis is supercool. Miss Girl Power won the United States its first gold medal for fencing in 100 years! Kudos to her also for getting admitted to Notre Dame — where they're big on fencing — even though she's deferred for a year to focus on her swashbuckling skills. But one question comes to mind: Why do I even give a fig about this Oregonian girl's triumph in a fringe sport? My best friend Troy (who's one of the Fighting Irish himself) says: "Everybody I know is crazy over the Olympics this year. It allows us to take pride in being American without having to involve the government or election drama. It's totally nonpolitical." Troy's definitely on to something there. This is the good kind of reality TV, unlike...

Big Brother 5
Marvin is mouthy in this episode! He's not "pandering to the marketplace" for votes to keep himself in the house, he says. And Adria's bitching and moaning about something, but she's so ignorant I can barely understand her. These trashy BB5 people could not express themselves articulately if their lives depended upon it! I can't be bothered to listen to these fools when the Olympics is on. But I will say I'd prefer Will be voted off on Thursday instead of Marvin. Will bores me, while Marv's at least funny. Click.

Olympics Quote of the Night
"In wrestling, strangulation was not only legal, but encouraged!" — An NBC reporter recalls unnecessary roughness in sports back in ancient Athens.

2004 Summer Olympics: Men's 200-meter Butterfly
TV Guide cover boy Michael Phelps, 19, clearly wiped the floor with his competition. He was like a fish, keeping a steady, powerful lead over all the other swimmers the entire time. But one of the idiot commentators couldn't resist saying, "There was a moment there where it looked like Phelps might break down." Well, I'm no expert, but when the hell was that?! Phelps was perfect. By the way, he looked perfect in that low-slung, state-of-the-art Speedo, too. No, that's an understatement. The man looked magnificent!

And I'm gonna stop now because Troy is threatening to hose me down if I don't chill.

P.S. Wasn't it sweet to see Phelps listen to that super-romanticized version of "The Star-Spangled Banner" and then put the crown of laurels on his head? And his mommy weeping with pride and joy? I know it's schmaltzy, but I ate it all up like chocolate-chip ice cream.

Nip/Tuck
Here's what I knew would happen: Last week, when Julia was stressing herself into a case of shingles over Matt's Big Paternity Secret, I knew she'd clumsily blurt it out to Sean. I knew Sean would fly into a rage and freak out on both Julia and Christian's asses. I knew he'd consider terminating his plastic-surgery partnership with Christian, but I also knew he wouldn't ultimately do that because there'd be no more Nip/Tuck show.

Here's what I didn't see coming: While the surgeons were out of town, Sean decided to hire a blond hooker named Renee and bring her back to his room as "revenge" for Julia's infidelity 17 years ago. Then he starts calling the hooker "Julia" and invites Christian to join them in a three-way sex romp! Now there's an interesting way for Sean to work out his feelings about sharing his wife's love with his best friend. Y'all know I'm game for a bit of kinky TV fun, but I found this pornographic scenario rather gross and uncomfortable. I had to check the remote control to make sure I hadn't accidentally switched over to the Spice Channel!

As for Rose and Raven's story, the separation of conjoined twins (who couldn't survive without each other) made a clever metaphor for Sean and Christian's partnership. Although the surgery scenes — featuring those fakey-looking conjoined-twin dummies — just looked silly.

2004 Summer Olympics: Women's Gymnastics
I felt bad for silver medalist Carly Patterson having to face the "How did it feel to watch the Romanians beat you?" question. Ugh! Earlier on, Russian gymnast Svetlana Khorkina looked ticked off. She was probably stressed about defending her world-champion status. Or maybe it's because the poor child is skeletal and needs to be fed! Her skinny legs were scaring me. The mean commentators were also noting Svetlana's modeling in "magazines of dubious quality" and how none of the other girls liked her enough to hug and kiss her after her performance. Not nice. What is she, the Shannen Doherty of women's gymnastics?

Somehow, I don't mind dissin' celebrities, but these Olympic athletes are genuinely accomplished, talented youngsters under a lot of pressure. So it's hard to derive quite as much pleasure from roasting them as I would, say, Julia Roberts — that egomaniacal home-wrecker. But I digress....

2004 Summer Olympics: Women's 200-meter Individual Medley
The only downer about the Olympics is how the female athletes have bigger muscles than I do. My guy friends and I agree: Ukranian swimming gold medalist Yana Klochkova looks like she could whup our butts!

The Amazing Race
Wow! Who knew an African ostrich egg is the equivalent of two dozen chicken eggs? That eating challenge made for a helluva hearty breakfast. My man Chip predictably handled it fine, while Colin just had to be dramatic about it. Clearly, this goon never cooks at home or he'd know that overcooking eggs only makes them tougher and more unpleasant to eat. The sad thing about this spectacle was the confused African onlookers, who watched the Race contestants gorge themselves to the point of illness. One of those freakin' ostrich eggs probably feeds a family of five! Gluttony is one of the seven deadly sins for a reason, kids.

On the bright side, the Philimination of Charla and Mirna was cute. Phil got all choked up!

2004 Summer Olympics: Men's 4x200-meter Freestyle Relay
Michael Phelps' U.S. team beat Ian Thorpe (aka the Australian Thorpedo). Watching Klete Keller just barely edge out Thorpe was absolutely riveting! How I'm supposed to get to sleep with my heart pounding like this, I just don't know.

The Olympics highlights mentioned in today's column were merely my personal faves from Tuesday night, so please don't send hate mail if I neglected to mention something of vital import to you! For more comprehensive Olympics coverage, visit our new Sports section.