Monday, August 29, 2005

Tennis Is A Love Thing

Met her at the French Open.

Dated her at Wimbledon.

Left her at the US Open.
Friday, August 26, 2005

US Open 2005

Women's Singles
Defending Champion: Svetlana Kuznetsova

Quarter I

Defending champion Svetlana hasn't been playing well, being upset early in her recent tournaments. While nobody expected her to win last year, she comes in this tournament
with that same expectation - perhaps she can squeak in a couple of rounds without being noticed. I'm looking at an all-Russian final four here, with Alicia falling by the wayside due to injury.

Maria faces Eleni (who slew Justine in the opening round of Wimbledon), and with that very suspicious chest injury, she just might bow out early. It's funny to be seeded #1 in the tournament where she has fared the worst. :D Still, the wishes of the papparazzi will be granted - Maria can stay.

QF Match: Maria vs Svetlana

Quarter II
Kim has just lost one match all year in North America. She already nabbed 3 Tier I tites, and why not add that Grand Slam (finally) to the list. Honestly, 4 years of wishing for a Grand Slam should make one tired for her, but she's just so nice, isn't she?

Two Williams sisters and a beauty named Daniela round up the rest of this quarter. This sisters have been on a decline, with Serena just not feeling it, and Venus, not following up her surprise Wimbledon crown. Daniela on the other hand, has the confidence, and momentum going into this Slam, but surely, that wouldn't be enough to beat any of the sisters.

QF Match: Kim vs Venus

Quarter III

It's about time that Mary Pierce prove her mettle with the young ones on court. With her best showing in recent years and a recent Tier I event in her trophy case, Mary has the
momentum, and finally the confidence and fitness to make it to the final 8. She's going to face Justine in R16, and it's going to be match of that round (next to the Williams Sisters Show, since this is going to be in NYC).

I will be repeating what someone said about Amelie in the previous Grand Slam: If she doesn't make it to the quarterfinals, she probably doesn't deserve her ranking. But sure would like to see Anastasia trump her in that round.

QF Match: Mary vs Amelie

Quarter IV

While Lindsay's back has been giving her problems, I'm sure she won't be complaining with her draw. Let's all cross our fingers and hope that she won't face any injury, or be
exhausted from playing the tuneup before Flushing Meadows.

QF Match: Elena vs Lindsay


Men's Draw
Defending Champion: Roger Federer

Quarter I

How can one bet against Federer? I mean, really. A promising match in 4R would be against Ferrero, whose form is improving, only to be unlucky with the draws. Well, that's the real challenge for him then - to produce a good upset to lift his rankings. Sorry, but it ain't going to be here.

Further down this quarter is either Davydenko or Nalbandian. The Russian bowed out early at Pilot Pen, so I do hope he gets some rest. Like we all know, Nalbandian is one of the few Top 20 players with a winning record over Federer, but has been playing quite spotty during the hardcourt swing.

QF Match: Federer vs Nalbandian

Quarter II

I would have to disagree that Hewitt has a tough draw; or at least his road to the quarters. His only probable roadblock would be Taylor Dent - should it be a repeat of the Wimbledon matchup, sure would hope that this would be exciting.

Safin's draw - now that's a tough one. Mirnyi (who probably is more keen on winning doubles), Henman, Ancic and recent AMS semifinalist Mathieu. Throw in Safin's very unpredictable play, then this would be one big circus.

QF: Hewitt vs Safin

Quarter III

Poor Robby Ginepri, there was a lot of room available on this third quarter and still he snags a second-round match with Roddick. Should he make another upset, there is Gasquet waiting at R16.

A different story waits on the upper half of this quarter where Coria, the highest seed has had poor results of late, along with Puerta and Lopez whose only string of wins came from their respective Slam breakout appearances. For picking's sake, I'd go with Lopez.

QF Match: Lopez vs Roddick

Quarter IV

Things don't come easy for tennis' new 'IT' boy Rafael Nadal. Rusedski, Blake (who will eliminate one or the other on the first 3 days of the tournament), Johansson and Grosjean.

From here on out, I will be cheering for Agassi. I hope he stays healthy and ga
rners enough points to make in to Shanghai by Nov.

QF Match: Agassi vs. Nadal
Thursday, August 25, 2005

Things I'm Going To Miss...

... now that I'm going to be working in Makati.

1. Waking up at 830am, then getting to work by 9am.
2. Conversely, leaving the office at 430, then getting home by 5.
3. Playing tennis at 5, and having the tennis court all to myself.
4. Going to work in sandals.
5. Going to work in sandals and shorts on weekends.
6. Free parking. All day, every day.
7. My parking slot is 20 meters from my cubicle.
8. No elevators.
9. No traffic.
10. Napping during lunch break. On a bed. In my house.
11. Cheap lunch. Heck, cheap everything.
12. The white sand beach is 10 minutes away.
13. A very spacious cubicle.

That's the list so far. I'll be adding more when I start work on Monday
Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Packing Up

While I write this entry, I am listening to Hard-Fi, James Blunt, The Myriad and Dashboard Confessional. What a fantastic soundtrack for today.

Having spent most of the afternoon cleaning out my shelves, dumping important documents in my going-away box, and not so important ones in the gone box also known as the trash can, it was only normal that I end up with nothing but boxes. My training manuals are in Box 1, my DVDs in Box 2, and my books in Box 3. Clothes and CDs will be for tomorrow.

Didn't know that last night was the last night I will be spending in my own pad. Tsk. Goodbye independent lifestyle. The next 4 nights will be spent in a hotel room, similar to how I spent my first 15 nights here in Davao City.

And what a coincidence. The only magazine available here is PAL's Mabuhay Magazine, featuring the town I'm leaving. I was running through their list of establishments, must-go places, and I'm so proud that I've been to all of them. Not bad for a 2 year stay.

Come to think of it, I don't have pictures to prove it. Now, that's bad.
Thursday, August 11, 2005

This Just In

Opened my email today, and found that I will be transferring job positions. I have about 30 days to go around my area, and say goodbye to my friends here in Mindanao. Tough.

I'm happy that I'm going home to my family, but extremely sad to leave my adopted province so soon. :(
Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Music: Something New, Something Old

Let's start with a music history lesson. It was (already) ten years ago that a few of the landmark albums of the decade were released. Their most commercial successes and critical acclaim were collected during these years. Alanis and Mariah respectively released Jagged Little Pill and Daydream in 1995 and later slugged it out for the year's best selling album.

A decade later, both are back, with new, or somewhat new offerings. (I wanted to do a whole entry on Emancipation, but I think I can say it here: it is Mariah's most satisfying album after Butterfly - this is how I envisioned her to mature. Glad that she made that turnaround)

Jagged Little Pill should be in your CD collection. I must admit that I don't have one (Note to self: must have one), since mine was in the cassette format. I missed out on "Your House", because the hidden track was available only on CD format. Nevertheless, it was filled with angst, and enough grit to institutionalise Alanis in rock history. Selling well over 14 million copies worldwide, this album was the mid 90s.

Now, the whole album is remade into an acoustic melodious version. The songs are there, and knowing that they were made in a different context, provides me the feeling of earned maturity, and an evolution of musical taste.

I can not help but smile when listening to the album. I still buy compact discs, as I view them as photographs of the years past. Here is an old picture, with all memories in tow, breathed into life again, by the same artist. Commercial ploy, or artistic whim? I'd go for the latter.

A sweeter pill this time around
Monday, August 01, 2005

Me and My Wrinkly Nail

I am writing this entry with an injured finger (see earlier post), in a boring meeting. Sneaky.

Anyway, my right pointer finger was healing quietly until two days ago when I peeled the nail off, unintentional, of course. Imagine your second nail being peeled off. Ugh - that hurts terribly.

While I have wrapped my finger in bandage, at the same time giving it air to heal. Will give this another month or so to fully recover, and 3 months for the wrinkly nail to move.