Some random thoughts collected during the first seven days of Olympic competitions and observations:

BUT CAN SHE SKATE? You know you've been spending too much time writing about the Winter Olympics and not enough keeping track of national and international news when you can't even keep track of the headlines.

For example, a recent front-page headline in USA Today blared: "Lewinsky's mother may appear before grand jury."

The first thought is: Why would the mother of a figure skater need to testify?

Wait a minute - Monica Lewinsky is the former White House intern; Tara Lipinski is the American figure skater.

HOUSING AUTHORITY: In Japan, most city dwellers live in tiny apartments referred to as manshons.

FISHY SPELLING: The cafeteria at the Main Press Center has an adjoining bar, serving alcohol and food. The bar's wall menu is written in two languages, and one misspelling is rather obvious in English (we haven't been successful in proofreading the Japanese listings yet).

The menu selection in question: "Smoked sermon."

Obviously prepared in fire-and-brimstone fashion.

Perhaps the Nagano chefs are merely preparing their Olympic guests for when the Winter Games are hosted by Salt Lake City in four years.

DRINK IT UP: One of the most popular sports drinks in Japan is called Pocari Sweat. The name alone seems to turn off a number of English-speaking visitors.

But foreign travelers who come to the United States and want to quench their thirst certainly ask themselves: "Gatorade? Why drink the juice of alligators?"