10 things I learned over the past week

1) I like tennis again. When I was a kid, tennis fascinated me. I remember watching Boris Becker and John McEnroe and Martina Navratilova and Steffi Graf do battle at Wimbledon, and just being in awe of the game. I specifically enjoyed how quiet the game was when watching on TV, how I could hear every grunt from the players and the smack of the ball off the top of the net on a failed serve. I never played tennis when I was a youngster — there just wasn't a culture of tennis where I grew up — but I did watch a good deal of it on TV, in the few instances that it was televised. Well, I've fallen back in love with tennis again, in large part because ...

2) I've started playing tennis again. While it's taken me a while to shake off the rust — I hadn't played consistently in about a decade — I'm starting to get the hang of it again. And after this week, I now know that I can beat Donovan in tennis, at least in a short match. I was beginning to wonder about that.

3) I'm enjoying my new baseball trivia blog. You should, too.

4) My entire family visited this Saturday. While it was a bit overwhelming and M is a lifesaver, the entire process was less of a struggle than I anticipated. Much grilled food was consumed, horseshoes (damn my dad is good for someone with a replaced hip and knee) and bocce (the victors!) were played, and my brother even briefly rediscovered his old Clash records. I don't share much in common with my family, but I have grown to enjoy hanging out with them in small intervals.

5) Sophie the Cat did not enjoy the company. She had to share her loft space with sleeping guests, and that had her even more moody than usual.

6) I need to wear protective goggles or glasses while mowing the yard. Our woodsy backyard has too many small sticks, pine cones, and wood bark lying around, and those things do not feel good when they strike you after being spit out of a mower.

7) My back yard is tolerable in the 90-degree heat. The above mentioned woodsy feel has one benefit in shade.

8) People who light off firecrackers at three in the morning three days after the 4th should lose a finger or limb in the process so they remember the next time they consider repeating the process that it wasn't such a good idea.

9) I'm saddened that my baseline hook shot was not named to the updated list of the 7 Wonders of the World. Clearly, people worldwide need to get outside more often and experience all that the 30-something Champaign-Urbana elementary court basketball league has to offer.

10) Rick Ankiel needs to be freed. The AAA slugger now has 26 homers. Sure, most of those have come against lesser talent, but for the love of baseball, fans in St. Louis need something worthwhile to cheer for at the major league level. Bring him up already!

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