The Weekend Wrap-Up Edition

I’ve been battling a cold all weekend, which has really limited my productivity and sadly prevented our semi-planned trip to London today, but that doesn’t mean the weekend didn’t have any highlights.

-  Even though I wasn’t feeling so great Saturday morning…I managed to get up early and head down to the end of the CRASSH conference.  I’m sure you’ve all read my stirring review by now.  After that, I made my way over to the university tennis club because there was an introductory “social tennis” event.  The journey over was interesting as the weather alternated from sunny to downpour. I almost turned back, because I figured the courts would be too wet if nothing else.  How wrong I was.  Turns out that they don’t stop playing for rain over here…which I guess makes sense when you think about it.  The court surface is rather bizarre.  It’s called an “artificial grass court,” but is basically a very porous hard court.  Hence, the surface is rather soft, doesn’t puddle, but seems to always be rather slick (so, I guess the artificial grass description is pretty apt after all). 

Anyway, you can probably guess what my general attitude toward “social tennis” (or “social” sports in general) might be…in short, I think it’s an oxymoron.  I avoided such events like the plague back home.  However, I figured this was my only possible avenue into the tennis scene over here.  Turns out I was pleasantly surprised by the level of play.  Some of the girls there were quite good (better than most of the guys) and I could at least have some good rallies.  I was the best player there, obviously, but it wasn’t a waste of time.  We played for the better part of a couple hours (including a fun period when a squall came through with cold rain blowing sideways). 

Also had the pleasure of playing with some highly misogynistic guy against two young ladies in a doubles match.  He punctuated nearly every point with some variation of, “if you were a man…I would have done (x, y, or z).”  Just to clarify, these comments were directed at our opponents not me, I think.  I could only sit back and think what would happen to him if he made such comments to my mixed doubles partners back home…would not have been pretty.  However, he wasn’t afraid to slam easy sitters directly at the girls’ chests…so all in all he was a real contradiction.  Another interesting note, while we were taking a brief break from the Nor’easter that was sweeping through, I tried to ask this guy when they used the grass courts (which were located right next to the faux-grass courts…but didn’t have nets up or lines drawn).  I asked twice actually…but he never seemed to understand what I was asking...think he might have said something about how he hoped women weren't allowed to play on them...not sure.  Interesting fellow.

When we finished, the guy that organizes the social tennis club said I needed to stick around and have a hit with the “Thirds” (i.e. the University Third Level Men’s Team) to see about joining them…because I was so awesome, I guess.  To make a medium length story a little bit shorter, I dismantled one of the members of the Thirds in an impromptu try-out…embarrassing him 5 points to zero in a mini-tiebreaker that included two aces and culminated with a big-time knockdown on the last point.  The captain welcomed me aboard without hesitation.  Now, I have no idea what this means…but I figure I can put University Tennis on my resume as an extracurricular activity whether I ever play with them again or not.

-  Weird day in college football yesterday, I noticed.  Annoyed that UCF lost the two games they should have won as they very well could be undefeated and surging towards the BCS mix.  Yes, I realize this is UCiF at its finest…but I don’t care.

- I don’t want to go to school tomorrow.