Thursday, August 7, 2008

Out of Blogness

It has been so great getting back into the blogging world this summer. From the French to Wimbledon to the US Open Series, all of it has been so much fun!

More than anything, I've enjoyed starting up my video posts, complete with off-color commentary and my attempt to sound smart on screen.

But, separate from the blogging (and vlogging) world, there's this thing called my life out there that I have to tend to. Over the next seven weeks, I will be dotting the globe with friends and family enjoying their company and celebrating my graduation from college.

I will be moving to New York City in late September, and hope to have the blog back up (in some form) come early/mid October.

Keep your eyes open around then, and check back in here every once in a while - I might just putting up some random stuff!

All my thanks for you who stopped by for a first, second or thousandth time.


Monday, August 4, 2008

Roger That: Technical Difficulties

Seems as though Roger Federer isn't the only one experiencing technical difficulties these days. I did a video for you guys last night and have tried several times to put it up today, but my camera just won't cooperate! Boo :(

In the meanwhile, here's the surprisingly competitive draw for the men's tourney down in L.A. this week, in which those non-Olympians are playing in.

More soon... I hope!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Yee Haw, Y'All!

I went to the rodeo this weekend. There, I said it. The rodeo. And me. Together, in one place.

I'd never been to a rodeo before. Although I was raised in Montana, we were a sports family growing up, so our nights and weekends were taken up by YMCA soccer and basketball games and every other sport imaginable.

So on Friday night, when I ventured to the Broadway County Fair in Townsend, Montana, it was not only my first time at the rodeo, but my first time writing it, too. My local paper asked me to do a little coverage for them of the event because they're short staffed, so I put my tennis slash soccer slash general sports knowledge to the test and went where no queer Seattle reporter has gone before... at least, not that I know of.

(Photo by Amdanda Determan, the Helena IR.)

Check out what came of the article here.

If you think that tennis is that far removed from the rodeo, then you better think again. This summer, a bunch of tennis vigilantes have been taking over both tours, ravaging the draws in US Open Series events and making the top players saddle up their games before the Olympics and the US Open are upon us.

Roger Federer has been the biggest cowboy to go down, but Andy Roddick, the Williams sisters, Maria Sharapova and Jelena Jankovic haven't been far behind.

Watching Rafael Nadal and Jankovic vault their way to the top of the game has been exciting, but nothing like an 8-second bull ride. Shouldn't there be a rule in place that if a player doesn't win a tournament, he or she can't be number one the following week? What a weird feeling that must be for Jankovic, especially.

On the cowboy's side, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray are each having a pretty good summer, and they'll meet today for the title in Cincy. Behind Nadal, these are the two hottest players on the men's tour. A new trivalry? Maybe.

Meanwhile, Sharapova is out of the US Open, and the women's tour continues to suffer from its own faults.

Video post soon, y'all! Cowboy's promise!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Behind the Story

A couple of weeks ago, after my first of several articles ran in my local paper, I had a family friend tell my in utter surprise how impressed he was with my writing. He meant it as a compliment and I took it as so, but I told him that the last four years of my life had been spent working on my writing, so hopefully I'm pretty good at it, right?

It was more of a joke than anything else, but as I look back at my few weeks spent in Montana this summer I will be thankful for many things. But one thing that will stand out is the opportunity to tell a few incredible stories to the community that I was raised in. So often the media gets branded as a fishing entity, one that only stirs up controversy and finds the worst in others.

Well, much of that is true, but on the same token, there are good stories to be told out there... actually, there are good stories that need to be told out there - because they're newsworthy.

Over the last eight days, my life has centered around soccer for the first time in 15 years. I had the incredible opportunity of witnessing recent high school graduates giving a clinic for at-risk youth, kids who suffer from all sorts of mental and emotional trauma.

I think we, as a society, oftentimes forget how impressionable other are. We take simple interactions for granted, never pausing to think how we impact one another. The impact on that morning was visible and nothing short of inspiring. Who knew that 30 minutes could make a week? Or, by god, a life?

This week, I got to spend time with a friend that I grew up with, talking with him and his family about his upcoming adventure to Africa, to work with the non-profit Grassroot Soccer. This is a humble, down-to-earth individual who genuinely cares about others not only in his immediate world, but in the global sense, too.

The story behind the story here is simple: this kid is the real deal. So often we are limited in writing by cliches and simple language, but to know and understand an individual and his or her 'cause' is to see them in their true light. His light will shine on others... how's that for cliche?

My hope is that these stories exist in the tennis world, as well. That stories like James Blake and his father, Andre Agassi and his school and Ana Ivanovic learning to play tennis in a pool don't have to be anomalies, but rather the fabric that makes up the world of tennis. Yes, you must find the good ones to make them worth writing (and reading) about, but they're there, it's just a matter of finding them.