Sunday, August 16, 2009

triumphant return

back from a week at the beach. good vacation, i didn't even get burned except for the first day which was my mom's fault anyway. also, i was elected king of the beach. i've realized that part of the problem with blogging is that i usually spend a long time discussing these things in person before i end up deciding to write about them. and so then i have to redo the whole thing, only it takes a lot longer because i type slower than i talk. but anyway, here's what's been on my mind lately.

1) i was looking up stuff on sam cooke and i saw that Rolling Stone had him as #4 on their "100 greatest singers" list. i thought that was pretty cool, only to then actually look at the list and realize it was all crap. they had aretha franklin at #1....that is so outrageous. first i should point out that i do not like aretha franklin, but no one should like her that much, volume does not equal quality. what was most ridiculous though, was that bob dylan was at #7. he should not even be on the list! it's crazy because the list was based on actual singing talent and quality, not influence. at least that was the impression i got from the blurb explaining his position.

2) i went to legg mason on friday, we had awesome baseline seats about 10 rows back from the court. i was both impressed and encouraged. we saw tommy haas and gonzo, and then sweet doubles, including the #2 team in the world, nestor and zimonjic. two funny moments from doubles...first, on a second serve, and seemingly without telling his partner, zimonjic did a dink underhand serve. everyone was kind of confused, but then gonzalez simply crushed it down the line for a winner. afterward, gonzalez and his partner robredo thought the serve was the funniest thing, to the point that robredo wasn't ready to return serve 45 seconds later because he was still laughing so hard, and then he fell down to his knees. secondly, at one point gonzalez uncorked an 85mph forehand that nailed nestor in the chest, and then bounced back over the net. gonzalez and robredo were confused about if nestor had got it with his racket, and when they looked over at him to find out, he simply raised up his shirt to show them the huge welt. doubles is much more relaxed, they clearly have a lot of fun.

3) in re the singles match. first of all, they are extremely consistent and have excellent control of the ball. but it was also interesting to see, for the first time thanks to our great seats, how often they don't hit the ball cleanly. the key is that they don't think about, and just keep on playing. but they definitely had just as many hits that weren't in the sweet spot as i typically do. so that was cool to find out.

4) espn has a thing up about what's the hardest high school sport. now i have been lobbying for years that tennis is one of the, if not the hardest sport, period. it involves incredible endurance as the matches can easily and without warning go 3-4 hours, sprinting ability for that whole time, incredible hand-eye coordination, footwork, good fast muscle twitch for volleys, arm, leg, wrist and core strength to get good power and spin on shots, and at no point are there substitutions or coaching. one example that i think is pretty good: a tennis enthusiast scientist recently showed that federer has 27 different forehand strokes that he uses (as in typical slice and topsin, and then also while on the run sideways, forward, off the back foot, heavy spin, lob, etc.). and that's just for one stroke! he probably has the same number for backhand, easily 5-10 for a serve, for an overhead, for a volley....and he's practiced all of those. what other sport requires the same versatility, on top of the extreme athletic prerequisites? i say none. but it was funny to see on the website how everyone would come up with the same litany of skills for the sport they had clearly done in high school, and how it is a fairly fiercly and emotionally charged debate. also funny to see how everyone was angry about how high up football was.

5) i just watched juno for the first time. i'd give it a b. it was pretty funny, especially michael cera, who i have come around on in a big way. used to not like how awkward he was in arrested development, but now he actually tells jokes (granted, they're awkward), but it's less painful. my main problem with it was juno's character. why was she such a weirdo, i guess "hipster", with her indy music and gore movies and counter-culture blah blah. that got old. also, no one talks like she does, it was like a weird midwest version of cockney rhyming slang. but overall, i liked it.

6) who do you think is the best known living person in the world? as in, the most number of people can identify their picture? and then the same thing for best known person, period, including the deceased? i'm really curious about this. i bet for living it's something like a position like the pope. and then i bet for dead it's something depressing like hitler. but how exposed are people in secluded places, like tribes in africa or rainforest pygmies? i was thinking about this because part of my reason for wanting to live forever is that i think immortality in the sense of being remembered forever is total crap. that's why i need to be alive 10,000 years from now. first of all, it's going to be so cool. but more importantly, there is no such thing as living on in memory. except for scrisbee, the namesake of this blog. i will carry him with me forever.

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