Still jazzed up as I write this, minutes after a fantastic women’s tennis match at the Australian Open Tuesday night. 19-year-old Sloane Stephens stunned the greatest player in the world, Serena Williams, with a three-set win in the Aussie quarterfinals. American tennis has a new star, and it’s about time. Look at that kid’s smile!
Sorry there was no blog post Tuesday; your humble correspondent was traveling back from a weekend trip to Florida, where new memories collided with old ones for me.
It was my first time back in the state since I left in the summer of 2011, when I chucked my career as a journalist to become a teacher, and Florida is also the place where my marriage ended.
So even though life is going awesome right now, with a new career and a fiance who I can’t wait to marry in a few months, I was a little nervous about going back to the Sunshine State.
We went down to see some dear friends who live outside Orlando, and I was afraid that every 10 minutes I’d see painful memories of what my life used to be there.
Instead, it was fabulous. My friends Jen and Greg were wonderful hosts, and their two adorable daughters showed us a good time. We went to Blue Springs State Park in DeLeon Springs, which I visited once before when I lived in Daytona Beach, and saw the manatees. The weather was great, I saw some of my old friends in Daytona, and only good memories came flooding back, not painful ones.
Plus, I got on a plane Friday and it was 35 degrees, and stepped off a few hours later into 68 degrees. Can’t beat that
Couple other airplane related thoughts, which I always seem to have after a trip:
— Is there a law that I’m unaware of that says I have to get the middle seat on every flight from now on? I swear I’m on like a 12 “B” seats in a row streak.
— Flying JetBlue > flying any other airline. It’s not just the TV that makes it better; more legroom, friendlier flight attendants, and always have an enjoyable ride. I love JetBlue so much.
**Didn’t get a chance to comment on Barack Obama’s inaugural address Monday. I thought it was terrific, as I expected, and I’m so glad he sounded so many liberal notes in it. It was powerful to hear him talk about gay marriage, and even climate change got mentioned.
I wish I could say I was real optimistic about “Obama the Liberal” getting a lot of major legislation passed on guns, climate change, poverty, and a ton of other progressive ideals.
But I don’t know. Hey, maybe this is a good sign: Mitch McConnell said the “era of liberalism” is back.
We can only hope.
**Finally, the world of sports seems to offer karmic payback every once in a while, but not without someone else getting hurt.
The good sports fans of Seattle had their NBA team ripped away by owner/hijacker Clay Bennett in 2008, an outsider who bought the team then drove them off to Oklahoma City right after drafting some kid named Kevin Durant (he ever amount to much, that kid?).
It was not quite as bad as Art Modell stealing the Cleveland Browns, but it was close. The Sonics fans supported their team through thick and thin, and now were left bereft of a hoops team.
Well, five years later, the Sonics are coming back to Seattle, in the form of the Sacramento Kings, who of course are another team that was once loved, once a civic institution, but fell victim to a bad arena deal and owners who couldn’t convince the city fathers in Sacramento to buy them a new building.
So Seattle gets a team back, which is only right, but now Sacramento loses out. On the karmic justice scale of sports, that’s still a win.