Tag Archives: vera zvonareva

Lame Adventure 98: Postponed by Rain

Since my plum seat assignment at the stage play that I idiotically volunteer ushered on Saturday was a choice between sitting next to the production’s director or an extremely intimidating theater critic, I decided that it was wise that I resisted the urge to tape a bulky radio to my person so I could discreetly listen to the men’s US Open tennis semi-final that was being played at that exact moment between Rafael Nadal and Mikhail Youzhny.

I also made the wise choice of sitting next to the director.

Fifteen minutes into the first act, I suffered an uncontrollable coughing fit that lasted about a minute, but seemed more like an hour.  If I could have pressed a  button that would have sent my seat freefalling through the floor, I would have done so in a heartbeat.  Had I experienced that embarrassing display of hacking next to the sour critic, he surely would have thrown me through the wall.

Afterward, I apologized profusely to the director.  To her credit, she was gracious about my disruption.  I was relieved that she did not ask me my opinion of the play.  This was probably due to the fact that I applauded it with the level of enthusiasm I would reserve for attending a taping of the Late Show with David Letterman if Jesus Christ were the guest; this zeal probably led her to believe that I thought this play was pure genius.  In actuality, what I was applauding with gusto was the fact that this painfully underwritten jumble of pointless scenes had finally come to an end and I was free to bolt and watch tennis.

Since Rafa had annihilated Youzhny in straight sets that took a little over two hours, by the time I was once again planted in front of my TV, Roger Federer was already halfway through his five set losing battle against Novak Djokovic.  Although I was disappointed with the end result, Novak played his heart out, and Roger fell short.  The guy that played better won, but it is depressing that the long anticipated showdown between Roger and Rafa has yet to happen in the US.  I imagine that some members of the GOP will blame Obama for that, too.

That evening, Milton and I were on the phone throughout the women’s final, the boring rout between Kim Clijsters and Vera Zvonareva, since Zvonareva failed to attend the match with her game.  Milton dryly observed that Zvonareva looks like the Grinch.

Vera Zvonareva flaunting her tan lines.

Vera Zvonareva's doppelgänger per Milton.

On Sunday, Milton and I were on the phone again, waiting for the men’s final, but CBS continued to broadcast football well past the scheduled 4 pm start time since it was raining steadily over in Flushing Meadow, the home of the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.  It would be a sadistic two hours before the USTA would announce that the match had been postponed.

Therefore, Milton and I were on the phone watching football and waiting in vain for tennis.  Milton hates football.  He thinks it’s the sport that epitomizes everything that is stupid about members of his own gender.  I grew up watching it, so I can easily get into it, but if you have never been a follower of this sport, it can appear to be twenty-two beefy guys crashing into each other all over the place as the ball is flung in the air or squirting around on the field.

Since the game we were watching was the Jacksonville Jaguars playing the Denver Broncos, Milton had a meltdown over a few Jacksonville players, specifically the cornerback Rashean Mathis and the guard Uche Nwaneri.  Both players have very long hair spilling out of their helmets.  Milton thinks it’s hypocritical that in a sport so macho that so many players have hair extensions that require primping.  Until that moment, I never put any thought into any NFL player’s hair other than that of Pittsburgh Steeler’s safety Troy Polamalu.  Since he’s insured his hair for a million dollars, I’m confident that his mane, which he has not cut since 2000, is genuine.

Don't touch the hair.

As for whether the crowning glory of Rashean Mathis and Uche Nwaneri is real or fake, considering how big and strong they are if I ever met them I doubt I’d pop that question.  I’d applaud them both with gusto and continue to hope for clear skies for Monday’s men’s tennis final.

Lame Adventure 97: Dilemma

Following the very disappointing US Open women’s tennis semi-finals where the two players I had been rooting for, Venus Williams and Caroline Wozniacki, were both eliminated by their opponents, Kim Clijsters and Vera Zvonareva, the resulting women’s final is one where I feel indifferent over the outcome.  Yet, I will tune in Saturday night and I will reluctantly cheer for Clijsters solely because I find Zvonareva’s attention-grabbing towel-head antics during breaks irritating.

Seriously, go to your room.

The entirety of my focus has shifted to the remaining members of the men’s draw – Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Mikhail Youzhny, but there is a wrench in my focus.

This Saturday I long to be in two places at once.  Although I am in general a very good anticipator, my crystal ball was fog-filled last July when I agreed to volunteer usher a Saturday matinee performance of an off-Broadway play staged by a name-brand theater company.  This theater company has been extremely generous to me these cash-strapped times.  In exchange for handing out Playbills and flipping up seats they allow me to see their productions for free.

Unfortunately, this commitment conflicts with the men’s semi-finals and I also long to watch tennis.  First up is my guy, Rafa, playing Youzhny, the last obstacle between the Nadal-Federer showdown I have been obsessing over almost as much as thought provoking sex acts I would deny ever thinking about to my family, but this falsehood might give them hope that I will end my career as an oversleeping underachiever and enter politics.  I expect to be home in time to catch the second match between Fed and Novak.  Novak is a player I like, but not when he’s playing Fed – especially if Rafa can get past Youzhny to the final.

If I had access to an iPad or iPhone those gadgets would allow me to watch this crucial match on the Open’s live Internet feed.  Considering that this theater company always gifts me with a terrific seat, my watching a tennis match during the play could appear remarkably unappreciative.  Furthermore, I am the one urging the audience members to please turn off their cell phones.

Since my dumb phone cannot play video, my mind has wandered in the direction of radio.  Last Christmas, my brother, Axel, gave me an emergency preparedness radio endorsed by the Red Cross.  Axel probably had 9/11 on his mind when he purchased this radio for me, but it offers a solution to today’s pickle provided I do not throw out my arm hand-cranking it half a million times.

How do you define emergency?

This device is bulky, but I could tape it securely to my mid-section.  If this rectangle-shaped protrusion raises questions, I would confidentially white lie that it’s a state of the art colostomy bag.

Once the lights lower, I will activate my emergency preparedness radio and discreetly slip in my ear buds.  When the lights raise I will attentively stare at the actors on stage as my head is filled with play by play tennis commentary.  The challenge will be to suppress cheering if Rafa breaks Youzhny’s serve.  What if that occurs when an actor is delivering an emotionally wrought soliloquy about being abused by her father at age six; the benevolent patriarch she adored who transformed into a diabolical stranger after her mother went blind following a diagnosis of brain cancer?

Whooping aloud with gusto at that moment might be construed as inappropriate.

What if this play, a play I know little about, is a hilarious comedy and I am surrounded by hysterically laughing audience members while Youzhny manages to make mincemeat out of Rafa?  This prompts me to emit a groan worthy of a dying antelope followed with tears of frustration as my gladiator falls.  How do I explain that outburst to the House Manager?  Do I claim I suffered a flashback of my benevolent father abusing me at age six after my mother went blind following a diagnosis of brain cancer?

What if this pack-of-lies explanation somehow gets back to my dear old dad?  I can imagine the fallout:

Dad:  What compelled you to say something so ridiculous about me and your poor dead mother?

Me:  Tennis!

Fortunately, my father is a sports fiend, with life-long ADD whenever we converse.

Dad:  Wasn’t that one helluva match between your fella, Nadal, and that Russian, Use-its?  I don’t follow tennis much, but that match was a nail-biter!  You must have gone out of your mind!

If Dad only knew …