Guess what? It’s Monday, and I am distracted from the usual long list of must do’s today.

A local social media expert told me that any blog with Kittens and Puppies gets lots of hits. So…. without further irony, here you have it:


November 26, 2012 at 9:48 am Leave a comment


Happy Election Day!  Here’s your How-To Guide for Getting a Grip on Politics:

November 6, 2012 at 2:30 pm 1 comment


Follower response to last week’s Friday post. I really can’t add anything else to this…


October 26, 2012 at 12:42 pm 1 comment


Short posts this week as I am being a road warrior!


What’s your line call???

October 19, 2012 at 2:54 pm 2 comments


I am always distracted on Mondays… Here’s how I spent this Monday morning:

“I win, I really mean it. Swag out this world, you should call me Venus. That’s my sister. My name is Serena. On the court I serve ’em up, no subpoena!”

love it or hate it, it’s just for fun… some of the lyrics are hilarious! You gotta love Serena. I’ll post my dance moves soon.

October 15, 2012 at 12:53 pm Leave a comment


Protect and Serve

A typical match in Greater Portland City League Tennis, where the competition (on and off the court) can be fierce.

Published Sep 21, 2012 in Portland Monthly Magazine reprinted with permission by Michaela Bancud, Image by Nick Iluzada

IN RESIDENTIAL Lake Oswego, the Mountain Park Racquet Club typifies an architectural style best dubbed Supreme ’70s Resort. I am here to play in City League, as players call it—a metro-wide women’s tennis alliance that fosters friendship, competition, and an unsettling mix of the two.

City League stretches from Portland proper into the suburbs, and includes teams from publicly owned facilities—the Vancouver Tennis Center, for example—and squads fielded by private establishments like the Multnomah Athletic Club, the Irvington Club, and West Hills Racquet Club. Public or private, the league was not exactly designed for the working class. With matches in the middle of weekdays, September through May, City League attracts women with flexible, or minimal, schedules, for whom tennis is a primary passion and pleasure. Most players are in their 40s or 50s; younger players breastfeed post-match. The woman who won a track-and-field Olympic gold for Russia looks younger than her age.

At season’s end, City League’s best teams move up in a tiered divisional structure; the worst move down. No one wants to move down.

Today, as my doubles partner and I trade hits with our opponents during the warm-up, one rival smacks one ball and then another high on my right side. Perhaps she hasn’t noticed I’m a lefty. “Could you put it on the other side of me, please?” I ask in a friendly way (I think).

“Oh my God, I’m not trying to do it!” she shrieks. “Tennis split-personality disorder” is a common City League affliction. “She’s a nice person off the court” is one way of saying that she’s a barracuda when it’s game on. (I admit that it takes one to know one.)

In another match, an opponent who works in law enforcement disagrees with one of our line calls. (City League players generally officiate themselves.) She tosses comments across the net our way and to her partner the rest of the match. We hear: “It’s too bad. They’re better than that. They don’t need to play that way.” When someone questions a line call, they’re basically calling you a cheater. I imagine the Taser in my rival’s tennis bag and keep my mouth shut as my partner and I lose.

School pickup is in 20 minutes, so we skip the lunch the home team traditionally provides. Lunch can be serious: when I once found myself up at midnight making pear, goat cheese, and walnut sandwiches on sliced Como, I knew I had to get a grip. And while the food can be worthy of a Martha Stewart holiday feast, the conversation between rival players is usually stilted at best.

We hit I-5 North, where the white lane markers look just like the tennis court’s boundaries, and we barrel home, always staying just inside the lines.

October 10, 2012 at 9:41 am Leave a comment


Last night, a pal was making fun of my ‘back curtain special’ when I try to put topspin on my forehand, but end up with the racquet face too open… so, i am dedicating this post to her.

First, a little definition for you beginners:

What exactly is topspin?

Topspin is the word used for forward rotation of the tennis ball. The tennis ball can rotate forward, backward or sideways. When hitting slice shots for example, players usually make the ball rotate backwards and sometimes also sideways. With topspin shots from the baseline the ball usually rotates just forward. Very rarely do players add additional sideways rotation to their topspin shots.

How do you create topspin (the real kind, not the back curtain kind)?

Topspin is created very simply through the strings brushing up the back of the ball.  This motion should be straight up and down in order to develop true topspin. Looking at high level players in super slow motion you will see that around contact the racket almost always moves straight up the back of the ball and forward depending on what type of ball they are hitting! And, no, there will be no video of Deb attempting topspin.

Check out this slow motion clip of Nadal creating topspin:

Bonus: Nadal’s backside (You’re welcome Dawn)

October 2, 2012 at 10:33 am Leave a comment

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