Favorite Men of 2012 Monday, Apr 15 2013 

Earlier this year, I posted a few of my favorites of 2012  lists: favorite albums, favorite movies, favorite songs. One more that I’ve been meaning to post is a list of the men I started following online in 2012. Some of these have pages on Facebook that I liked. Others have YouTube Channels or Twitter feeds that I follow. And one or two are just men I now Google frequently!

In no particular order, my favorite men of 2012 were:

Andy Murray 

2012 was a breakout year for the Scotsman Andy Murray. He made it to his first Wimbledon final, won the Olympics, and then won his first grand slam tournament at the U.S. Open. I’ve liked Murray for a long time, but I LOVE Rafael Nadal, so I have to agree with tennis commentators who suggest that some of Murray’s success is due to Rafa’s absence. But when you get right down to it, Murray worked hard for his success and deserves all of the victories he scored last year. I just hope he’s able to keep it up and doesn’t fall back down to #4 by the end of summer. Tennis benefits when all four of the top players have a real shot at winning each tournament.

PJ and I got to see Murray play Federer in the semis of the 2009 Southern & Western in Cincinnati. Murray takes some heat from gay viewers, but I think he’s hot! He’s got the best legs in men’s tennis, and he’s competitive with Federer for best chest.

But more importantly than looks, he’s a great competitor on the court, and he’s fun to watch. I really do hope that 2013 brings him a lot of success (except for when he plays Rafa!).

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“Giving Up the Gun” by Vampire Weekend Tuesday, Feb 23 2010 

I’ve been hearing about Vampire Weekend and their new album for some time now but hadn’t paid any attention. Until now, that is. A couple of the blogs I read have featured their new video, which features the likes of Joe Jonas and Jake Gyllenhaal playing tennis against a very competitive female player. The video is for their new single, “Giving Up the Gun,” which is now my song of the week:

I love the video’s playfulness. Jonas is looking less twinkish, which is good. (I love the hand wipe after shaking her hand!) And the montage of players losing to the red head is great! The song is also really good. I like it’s upbeat rhythm. And the lyrics have real substance. My favorite lines are these:

When I was 17
I had wrists like steel
And I felt complete
And now my body fades
Behind my brass charade
And I’m obsolete

After listening to the song a few times, I purchased the new album on iTunes. I’ve heard it through once so far and really like it. Maybe I’ll write a review once I’ve heard it a few more times.

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Grand Slam Tennis for Wii Saturday, Oct 10 2009 

I love tennis. I’ve loved watching tennis on t.v. since the mid-1980s. When I first started watching, my favorite players were Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert. Their rivalry was amazing. Then I fell in love with watching Pete Sampras and Monica Seles. More recently, I enjoy watching Venus Williams, Roger Federer, and, of course, my one true tennis love, Rafael Nadal (Isn’t he lovely? I’m so glad he’s healthy again!).

Spains Rafael Nadal returns the ball to Croatias Marin Cilic during the semi-finals of the China Open tennis tournament in Beijing Saturday, Oct. 10, 2009. Cilic beat Nadal 6-1, 6-3. (AP Photo/Elizabeth Dalziel)

Spain's Rafael Nadal returns the ball to Croatia's Marin Cilic during the semi-finals of the China Open tennis tournament in Beijing Saturday, Oct. 10, 2009. Cilic beat Nadal 6-1, 6-3. (AP Photo/Elizabeth Dalziel)

While I love watching tennis, I’ve never played it much. I played with my sister a bit when we were young. And PJ and I hit the ball back and forth a little in grad school just for exercise. I wish I could play (and play well). If I thought there was any hope at all, I’d probably be on the court as much as possible.

But finally there is a way for me to play, or at least to imagine that I’m playing — and that I’m playing against the greatest players, past and present: Grand Slam Tennis for Wii.

I’m the first to admit that I spend most of my free times these days playing GST4W. I bought it over the summer, and I love it. After a long day at work, the last thing I want to do is sit and think about anything; playing GST4W allows me to get the blood pumping a bit and let my mind forget all of the day’s work and just focus on strategy — should I hit a drop shot, cross-court with topspin, or a lob?

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Men’s Semis at the Western & Southern Sunday, Aug 23 2009 

PJ and I spent most of the weekend in Cincinnati. For as long as I’ve lived in Ohio, I’ve wanted to go to the Western & Southern Tennis Tournament in Mason, OH. We almost went last year. I was determined to go this year no matter what.

So, we drove over the Cincinnati on Friday, had a nice time downtown, and then went to the men’s semifinal matches on Saturday. We also got to see the end of the first men’s doubles match, in which Daniel Nestor and Nenad Zimonnic played Mahesh Bhupathi and Mark Knowles.

Nestor and Zimonjic (above) won in straight sets, 6-4, 6-3. I only saw the last few games of the match, but it was fun to watch Nestor and Zimonjic work together so seamlessly. They seem an unlikely pair in some ways, Nestor is a little older than your average tennis player (he’s 36), and Zimonjic is beefier than most tennis players (the ATP website lists him at 200 lbs. whereas Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer are listed at 188 and 187 lbs.).

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U.S. Open Round-Up Sunday, Sep 9 2007 

Roger FedererThe last Grand Slam tournament of the year is over, and it’s left me feeling a little down. For me, the men’s final each year is the true marker that we’ve really entered the fall, that the quarter has started, and that the end of the year is just around the corner. I’m definitely sad that it’s over — I’ve spent way too much time in the past two weeks watching it. Now I’ll actually have to get to work!

One didn’t need much expertise to predict that Federer was going to win again. His 7-6, 7-6, 6-4 win over Djokovic wasn’t surprising, especially considering the fact that this was Djokovic’s first big final. When it came to the big points — five of them in the first set alone — he choked. So many of the players do in their first match of this magnitude.

What was kind of surprising is that Federer didn’t actually play all that well. Djokovic really should have been up two sets to love, and it seemed to me that, while Federer kept his cool and won the key points, it was really a case of Djokovic tightening up and letting Federer have them. I felt the same way at the end of the Wimbledon final — Nadal should have won that match, but didn’t take advantage of his lead in that last set.

What this says to me is that Federer’s reign is almost over. If he wins three of the Grand Slam tournaments next year, I think it will either be a miracle or, more likely, a disappointment. It’s been great for the game to have Federer at the top. He’s a great ambassador for the sport and really seems like a nice guy. (And he’s got the best hair ever!) But tennis is getting really boring. Why watch the big tournaments if we all know that Federer’s going to win them all? Why watch just to see the up and coming players give it all away each time they get ahead?

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