Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Lately: I've been meaning to write about many things recently, but time has been scarce. Roland Garros, for one: I haven't had a moment to watch, but I check the scores whenever I can. I was right when I predicted, a couple years ago, a coming renaissance of Russian ladies' tennis. None of them is a consistent closer yet, but any of 5 threaten at a given tourney. Henin-Hardenne still maintains her status as the best tennis player on the distaff side, but she's really no Steffi Graf, and I'm surprised her run has been this long. On the men's side, this Nadal kid has been a surprise, but the French is the home of the underdog. I bet he can give Federer a hard day, at least. Federer's experience may pull it out for him, but you're never wise to bet against a Spaniard here.

Deep Throat: I'd suspected, based on the better analyses, that it was either Fielding or Felt, but I don't think I'm alone in saying that I'd always hoped that one of the big names would end up being "the one": Diane Sawyer, Pat Buchanan, Al Haig, Dave Gergen, or, in a giant switcheroo, John Dean. I'd kind of even hoped for George Bush pere or (the big long shot) Gerald Ford, though neither one was really enough of a player in the Nixon White House. Any of those would have been a Story. An aged, ailing former FBI also-ran who had an axe to grind in the post-Hoover days at the Bureau, and who lived in shame for (in his mind) betraying the FBI? Poignant in a way, perhaps, but something of a letdown. Still, one less mystery to ponder in the darkest hours.

The new house is coming along. Lots of painting still to be done, and major electrical work after that. Plus, the movers arrive in a week, and I haven't packed squat.

Two months without a cigarette came to a close tonight. The urge hit halfway through my second Newcastle of the evening, so I gave in and went out for a pack of Pall Mall at the quickie mart. It reminded me of when I started the habit. The taste is so much different when you've been away for a while -- stronger, yes, but subtle in a way you forget when you're reaching for your umpteenth of the day. Goddamn do I love smoking.

Oh, yeah: Anyone else see the HBO adaptation of Richard Russo's Pulitzer work, Empire Falls? I've long been a Russo fan (think John Irving's quasi-Dickensian scope, but without the cartwheels), and I thought that Nobody's Fool was one of the best film adaptations of a novel I've come across. Falls attempted a similar coup (including casting Paul Newman, again, as the absent, ne'er do well rogue of a father), but fell a little short, allowing a ripped-from-the-headlines plot twist to take over the last hour in a pretty boring way. Still, the best TV I've seen in ages. Haven't read the book? Put it on your list, and move it up to the top.

No comments: