Sunday, September 23, 2012

Thoughts on September 22, 2012

(One) The best-looking men I’ve ever seen: (1) Berkeley, 2003: The Asian-American dude, handsome, tall, muscular, that I followed, wanting to take a picture of, who confronted me; (2) San Jose, 2005: The white A&F model, handsome, tall, muscular, that I unintentionally provoked, out of naiveté and unwitting thoughtlessness; (3) after I came out, at the swimming pool in Bukit Timah, 2010: The white guy, handsome, tall, muscular, who wasn’t great at swimming; (4) the National University of Singapore basketball court, 2010: the shirtless guy playing basketball while I was on my way to practice my tennis against the wall, who was handsome, tall, muscular, but leaner; (5) at Holland Village on September 21, 2012: The guy in pink, with the expressive eyes and, in particular, eyebrows, the handsomest, happiest smile, a beautiful shape of the face, and smooth, fair, skin. The first two were straight, the fourth unknown but probably as well, the third and fifth, uncertain.

(Two) For every one handsome, muscular guy on TV, or who is a model, there are a thousand handsome, muscular guys who are not. For every thousand handsome, muscular guys, there are a million plain-looking ones.

(Three) A while ago, as I was looking for pictures of beautiful places in Europe, I chanced upon a blog called Joel’s Cultural Learnings. A particular line in the post on January 19, 2008, quoting somebody else who said “you will come home a more cultured person, but also a much more militant American”, I did not agree with, though I understood the viewpoint. Perhaps it is a matter of a person’s background, experiences, temperament, and, maybe, acceptance of different behavioral norms, for lack of a better description.

(Four) I remember reading a New York Times article on political news, sometime in 2010 or 2011, whose particular content discussed tax policy. A conservative commenter said that the fairest way to tax was to have, if I recall correctly, the same rate across all incomes, because, he said, whenever he asked liberals if they were for a progressive tax structure, how much more should rich people be taxed, nobody could ever give an answer. I still haven’t found a clever answer to this, but I suppose Barney Frank would be able to find one.

October 7, 2012: Other handsome, tall, muscular guys of mention: (1) at Roland Garros 2007: very fair, short, cropped hair, white with a tinge of mixed features, sophisticated look; (2) Mark Napier, from Purdue; (3) at the Frederick Y: the Clay Comer-lookalike; (4) October 10, 2012: outside the Forum Galleria, the tall, fair guy, who looked handsome and muscular from afar, and who appeared to be white with traces of mixed features, somewhat reminiscent of the guy at Roland Garros 2007, and perhaps even more so of Vancouver; (5) October 28, 2012: I suddenly recalled the swimmer dude on St Croix in February 2009 (or was it in December 2008) at the 50-meter pool, fair, young, college-aged face.

Saturday, September 01, 2012

Tennis Aug 31, 2012

Photo from moo's tennis blog

Friday evening, I played tennis. My forehand and backhand were tentative, and I lapsed into my old habit of hitting without enough clearance at tense moments, especially on the backhand, even though I like to hit with topspin most of the time.

I've begun to adopt the following points to be better. Thursday night, I'll go to bed early so that I'll feel refreshed for tennis on Friday. On Sunday, I'll practice serves before the others arrive and focus on groundstrokes thereafter. Nights before bedtime, I'll play "shadow tennis", about 10 to 20 forehand, backhand and service motions. And on Friday, I'll practice my new habits during games.

My new habits are to hit forehands and backhands with enough clearance, making use of spin which I like, and especially to remember to do so at tense moments. Favor cross-court shots for more margin, remembering to hit with enough clearance. Change ball direction only when the pace of the oncoming shot allows (i.e., is slow enough). Remember to keep the body stable when preparing and hitting shots using the legs.