Three Thoughts on the US Open Draw

I’m sorry, but Andy Murray landing in Novak Djokovic’s quarter just isn’t right.  Except that maybe it’s the tennis gods demanding a bit of payment out of Nole for his so often getting the cakewalk.  But then again, given their recent records, I wouldn’t assume they both make the quarters anyway, especially with poor Mandy having to get through Tsonga first!

My first reaction on hearing about the Serena-Taylor matchup was, of course, “Poor Taylor,” but now I’m reconsidering that.  Even after all else we’ve seen you can’t imagine Serena going down in the first, especially after doing so well in the US Open series, but at the same time, it doesn’t seem impossible.  At the very least, I think Townsend’s got a good shot at taking her to three sets and having a match she can be proud of.

Though when it comes to which first-round match will provide the most drama, my money is on Berdych-Hewitt.  Though Cilic-Baghdatis has potential too.

More dancing Groot!

Apparently as of early this month Marvel was “discussing for months” actually releasing a commercial toy. They’d be utter idiots if they didn’t. I’d buy one. Though one wonders if they fully realized just how popular that first stinger was going to be; they probably figured it would be loved, but did they anticipate this utter creative deluge?

More observations

In Quebec and Vancouver both, the best thing has been the ice dance. Although a year after spearheading the admittedly inevitable march of Love Never Dies into figure skating, it’s arguably daring of Nicole Orford and Thomas Williams to open up a Titanic free dance with a version of “My Heart Will Go On,” even if it’s a pretty piano one.  Although the opening of their free dance was when they were best, before they started to show fatigue, and if they can get their stamina up, the program will still be a treat to watch.

Speaking of Phantom of the Opera, also was able to watch Vancouver’s men’s free, and good to see Ronald Lam doing fairly well after what happened to him last year.  Did not see the other senior singles events at Vancouver, but if the scoring protocols are any indication, it doesn’t look like I missed much.  With more bad than good at Quebec last week too(though Balde was awesome), seriously hope for better in the singles at Thornhill.  It’ll be interesting to see whether Suguri shows anyway, though I’m afraid we can’t expect much from her.  A pity there’ll be less couples skating, though the two senior ice dance couples in Ontario should both be very much worth watching.

Canadian skaters continue to eschew their new vocals options.  Though while I haven’t watched much pattern dancing, I have noticed the lack of individual music choices, so I’m starting to wonder if the Canadian rules are different.

Another one!

They say they always die in threes, but I don’t think a day after losing Robin Williams, anybody was prepared to lose Lauren Bacall too! Currently rewatching clips of The Big Sleep, which I saw in film studies class and loved:

Loved her in Murder on the Orient Express too, but YouTube doesn’t seem to have the same kind of clips from that one.

Don’t want to think who might turn up dead tonight…

An Observation

Spent the morning watching a lot of young female Canadian skaters be mostly less than impressive at the Quebec Summer Championships; I went between the pre-Novice and non-International junior groups, and at times there didn’t seem to be much difference between them.  Except for when Selena Zhao pwned all the rest of them, begging the question of what was doing there and not in the International group, especially considering she already has a JGP assignment; it does not help that she would’ve won that group too, with a margin not much small than the huge one she won the non-International competition by.

But another thing I noticed is that of all the junior women through this entire event, although there might have been others I didn’t see, I watched only one whose programs involved vocals; she was skating to “O Mio Babbino Caro” and there was a segment where this was sung.  For the rest, it was not only mostly the same old music standards, but even instrumentals of songs like “You Raise Me Up,” where you would think they would give a vocal version a spin(though I did hear a new violin-and-harp Phantom of the Opera medley, which was actually pretty gorgeous too).  The junior men in the International competition did use more vocals in their free programs, though the non-International senior men’s shorts, which have just concluded, had none.

Given that a lot more skaters at the top are dabbling in vocals, I suspect this may be the result of many of the younger skaters not necessarily choosing their own music, and their coaches and choreographers who are making those choices are being extremely cautious, at least this year.  Though given how common vocals now are at the lower ice dance levels, perhaps it’ll simply be a matter of time

I Am Groot!

Guardians of the Galaxy was a fun movie.  It was a well-done movie too; maybe a bit cliche on some of the aspects of the characters, but the actors mostly worked their way past that.  Also good at introducing us to the the outer space side of the Marvel movieverse, a place that seems great and vast but inhabited by beings not unlike us at base, and a society with turmoils not unlike our own(although at least we don’t have infinity gems to worry about).  And finally, it had Groot.  I must admit, I’ve never gotten the best impression of Vin Diesel in the past, but that was probably because he kept starring in a pair of franchises of the kind of movies I tend to hear too much about and not find appealing.  Which wasn’t really fair, because he really is a delightful man:

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