Tuesday, August 31, 2010

One Day I'll Fly Away

A few months ago, someone at lunch asked,
Would you rather be with someone who loved you more than you loved them, or with someone whom you love more than they loved you?
Everyone at the table said this was a very difficult question, but to me the answer was quite clear...

2010 US Open: Day 2

Today has two themes: Close But Not Quite, and Black and Yellow. It's also a little late, so this is kind of an uninspired post.

First in the close-but-not-quite category is Kimiko Date Krumm. I actually had the chance to hit a little with her quite a few years ago, when she was still solidly in retirement, so by that alone she's totally awesome in my book. She had the misfortune to be matched against Svetlana Kuznetsova, whose game is completely baffling me at the moment, in the first round. At first it looked like she might have a chance, as she opened the match by breaking Kuznetsova's serve, but alas things did not go like that and she lost the first set. Date Krumm then won the second and sort of seemed to be hanging in there during the third, but despite breaking serve various times and having break points in other games ultimately could not get through. Sigh...

I really thought that Novak Djokovic might lose. That would have amused me greatly, since it's recently come to my attention that I like nothing but upsets that put my disliked players in their places and leaves the path cleared for my favored ones. Djokovic losing would have been even more entertaining than usual, because everyone knows that he literally cannot take the heat and this would have simply been one more bit of evidence to that end. But somehow he pulled through. Oh well, I guess that makes sense. (By the way, Daren Cahill or some other reports that Djokovic is 6-0 in Grand Slam matches when he is down 2 sets to 1. Huh?)

Even though I'm happy with the outcome, I suppose Rafael Nadal's match against Teimuraz Gabashvili (yeah, I Googled that, so what?) is another close-but-not-quite. Gabashvili really played Nadal and made him work for his win, but I guess in the end the scoreline just goes to show how Nadal plays when it matters most. 7-6, 7-6, 6-3. A couple of points here and there, and the match could have been an upset or a 5-setter. Now I'm waiting for Nadal to not make this entire tournament a close-but-not-quite.

Apparently the theme for the night matches on Arthur Ashe was bumblebee and Babolat:

From the Archives: 09.08.2004 Oの嵐:野球 + フラミンゴ = 「打たせてよ!」








Monday, August 30, 2010

2010 US Open: Day 1 (Night)

After Roger Federer's between-the-legs winner:
"Well he already has twins so he doesn't really have to worry about that..." -John McEnroe

"If a tree falls in a forest, does anybody hear it?" -Patrick McEnroe
Dear Patrick McEnroe, that is definitely not the question.

Also, who knew that Anna Wintour plays tennis every morning?

And yes, John McEnroe, you should Tweet. There.

Allowable Ridiculousness


結婚式だけですもんね、こんなドレス着られるのは〜 I mean seriously, who wouldn't want a wedding dress as ridiculous as this?

From the Archives: 08.18.2004 Oの嵐:トイレマーク + 西郷隆盛







2010 US Open: Day 1

Hrmm, hrmm. I really wish I could go to this year's Open, especially, since many of my friends recently moved to the area, but alas apartment-hunting and life-planning comes first. Conveniently, ESPN's coverage of tennis picks up just as I need to not be running around Flushing Meadows, so I can more or less keep up with everything in real time. Yeah, technology!

Anyway, the first disappointment of the day came in the form of Francesca Schiavone [6] def. Ayumi Morita 6-1, 6-0. Normally this wouldn't be much of a disappointment, but a few days ago Jon Wertheim provided false hope by picking this match as the Blue-Plate Upset Special. Lies, Wertheim, lies. Oh well.

This was somewhat balanced by the reemergence of Kei Nishikori, who mysteriously disappeared after making the 4th round of the tournament in 2008. From what I saw on Slamtracker, he seemed to have a few ups and downs (he was up 3-0 in the first set before having to win it in a tiebreak), but sort of got a lucky pass when his opponent retired while down 2-5 in the second set. Unfortunately his next opponent will be Marin Cilic, which will be quite difficult...

Kim Clijsters, meanwhile, started with an 18-minute first set, followed by a streaky 7-5 second set. I guess all that matters in the end is that she wins the matches, but it was enough streakiness to convince 57% of online pollees that she will not successfully defend her title. I'm not particularly feeling it myself, but then again, I never really FEEL a Clijsters Grand Slam win. It's not that I don't like her--I do and I really do want her to win more major tournaments--but there's something about her that just makes me expect that she will fail to deliver when it matters most. I guess some reputations die hard.

The saddest match? Daniela Hantuchova [24] def. Dinara Safina 6-3, 6-4. I like both of them--in fact I have a free, large poster of Hantuchova on my bedroom wall--but I was really going for Safina here. It seems almost unreal that just a year ago she was ranked No. 1 in the world, but since then she's had injury after injury and has been struggling to find her form again. It's unfortunate that such a matchup had to happen in the first round, but that's tennis, I suppose. Keep at it, Safina!

During Andy Roddick vs. Stephane Robert, John McEnroe claimed that Roddick is a sure bet for the Tennis Hall of Fame. His reasoning? The credentials of those already etched in there. He does have a point... and therefore Roddick deserves to get his name in there... but Roddick is not Hall of Fame material. One Grand Slam, people!

As I write this, Robin Soderling vs. Andreas Haider-Maurer is in the fifth set. I would like nothing more than to see Soderling lose now, except maybe to see Rafael Nadal finally complete his career Grand Slam. Considering that Soderling is up a break, though, and Nadal in general, both seem slightly unlikely to happen. Sigh.

Also as I write this, the day's controversy has just happened. At deuce at 4-all in the fifth set, Gael Monfils may or may not have touched a ball that was called out. He's simply playing on, but Robert Kendrick's glare is not really having any of it. Ooh, drama. Even Patrick McEnroe can't tell. The crowd has suddenly started chanting "U-S-A! U-S-A!," which for some reason Monfils is enjoying immensely. Lol.

A tidbit I learned today is that there is a heat index rule for women, but not for men. What? If the heat index goes over 87 (degrees?), then if a women's match goes into a 3rd set the players are allowed to take a 10-minute break before the last set. There is no equivalent rule for the men, even though they play five-set matches. Why? And while the US Open is the only Grand Slam to offer equal prize money to both men and women, I feel like rules like these sort of nullify arguments that the purses ought to be equal. Heat is dangerous to both men and women, no?

By the way, this year's official US Open website is quite annoying to navigate. All of those scroll-over tabs? No thank you. ESPN also has developed an annoying habit of flashing its full-screen logo when it cuts between cameras on the same court.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

From the Archives: 04.17.2006 SMAPxSMAP: タモリ

Bistro SMAP, お久しぶり〜 今回は4年以上も戻って、タモリさんの来店を観たいと思います。



















Too late~


Saturday, August 28, 2010

鳩山由紀夫 vs.Daryl Sabara

08.26.2010 vs嵐:チーム純 + 持田香織











(嵐 100点、純 10点)





(嵐 280点、純 383点)







(嵐 130点、純 160点)




(嵐 160点、純 50点)





(嵐 160点、純 190点)



(嵐 830点、純 793点)