09.08.09 – A Tuesday


Word

cull [kuhl] v. 1. to choose; select; pick 2. to gather the choice things or parts from 3. to collect; gather; pluck n. 4. act of culling 5. something culled, esp. something picked out and put aside as inferior

Birthday

Charles J. Guiteau (1841), Sid Caesar (1922), Lyndon LaRouche (1922), Peter Sellers (1925), Patsy Cline (1932), Ron Pigpen McKernan (1945), Maurice Cheeks (1956), Heather Thomas (1957), Aimee Mann (1960), Neko Case (1970), David Arquette (1971), Pink (1979), Jonathan Taylor Thomas (1981)

Standpoint

I’m completely aware that, from time to time, I get up on my blogging soapbox and fire off shots at the world of professional sports. And rightfully so. There’s a lot of things wrong with the conduct of professional athletes, coaches and owners.

But this past weekend I watched something that kind of reminded me, sometimes, a sporting event can actually inspire. Melanie Oudin, a 17-year old tennis player from Georgia (the US state, not the Eurasian nation), is staging comeback after improbable comeback in the 2009 U.S. Open.

Normally, I’m not a big fan of tennis. I’ve watched it occassionally with my Mom-Mom, but that’s been about the limit of my exposure to the sport. But I was flicking through the channels and it was the only thing that was on. That day, Oudin beat the 29th seeded player, Maria Sharapova. Yesterday, she beat the the 13th-seed, Nadia Petrova. She’s also beaten No.4 player, Elena Dementieva and former No. 1 player in the world, Jelena Jankovic. But I didn’t see those matches.

In any case, it was really kind of great to watch it all unfold. Oudin’s story is one of promise, no matter how the rest of it turns out. And we need more of that kind of stuff, people, because, whether you’re a cynical misanthrope like me or some sort of cock-eyed optimist, it’s important for all of us to know Oudin’s story is something we can repeat in one way or another.

For once, it’s nice to watch an athlete who still has a legitimate love of the game. Someone who isn’t looking at what they’re doing as a job. She’ll eventually become just like the rest of us and realize nothings good lasts for long. But she doesn’t know that yet. She is fist-pumping her way through one of the greatest times of her life. And we should all be happy be along for the ride

Plus, I really like Oudin because she doesn’t scream like some of these other banshees whenever she hits the ball. Seriously, ladies, every single time? Tone it down. There’s kids watching, for Christ’s sake.

Note: I know that’s not the kind of stuff you’re used to reading when you come here. If I turned some of you off with the sappy stuff, don’t worry. I’m sure during the course of today, something will piss me off and I’ll have it ready for you first thing in the morning.

Quotation

In everyone’s life, at some time, our inner fire goes out.  It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being.  We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit. ◊ Albert Schweitzer

Tune

Nate Ruess, lead singer of currently-on-hiatus The Format has formed a new band called fun. I always kind of liked The Format and fun. sounds pretty much the same. Try “All the Pretty Girls.”

Gallimaufry

→ We’ve all been hearing about the potential dangers of everyone getting a little too wrapped up in these social networking sites. Well, while I still maintain Facebook, Twitter and all the rest of them should be treated like everything else in life – mainly with simple common sense – there are some of us out there who need to get their heads out of their respective asses. Need an example? How about the two South Australia girls, aged 12 and 10, who found themselves trapped in a storm drain and, instead of alerting the authorities so that someone could come and find them, they decided their time would be better spent by updating their Facebook statuses. Luckily, at least one of their friends was not as dim as them, and actually got them some help.

→ Think your email is safe? Well, it’s not. At least not according to “Hacking Firms One Click Ahead of Law.” Sites like yourhackerz.com, if hired to do so, will break into your Gmail or Yahoo! account with relative ease. No matter how tricky and complicated your password may be.

→ I’m letting you know that I’m absolutely positive “How I Met Your Mother” is the funniest television show ever. I’m sure some of you disagree but, for the life of me, I can’t fathom as to the reasons why.

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