Life on the Pro Circuit: Orange Lakes in Elephant Skies

Sunrise was beautiful today – orange lakes in elephant-colored skies.


It reminds me of tennis matches – inside the amassing clouds of indistinguishable greyness, the radiant glow of tactical brilliance shimmers.  At the pro level, a few pivotal points determine the victor.

Thirty-three person draws are awkward, as only two people have a match today, while everyone else sits around and practices beneath a more-than-tepid sun.  Tomorrow, round two of qualifying starts for the second tournament. The kid will play another American girl, and if she wins, a Russian who spends most of her time ten feet behind the baseline retrieving shots.  Already I’ve seen improvement in her game, the increased second serve speed, the ability to attack with more efficient movement, and the belief that she can win these events soon.  Like a sunrise, growth comes slowly and ends in illumination.   These next few days will tell if she is on the right path to proper development.  If she attempts to play the right way and loses, it may be better than playing the wrong way and winning.  If she wins playing the right way, confidence in her own game grows and she’ll continue working toward proper goals.  So much depends on maintaining a proper balance between competitive will and player development.  Alas, tomorrow we’ll see if this week’s work has elicited any positive changes.

As to my continuing resort issues:

With all due respect to Dining Service Representatives, I’ve reached my breaking point.  An overview of “the system”:

You (hotel guest) enter the buffet area and are directed to an appropriate seat, where a DSR will offer you water and place your napkin on your lap, after which, you will rise and make your way to gustatory exuberance.  You’ll return to your table and eat, return to the buffet for food, and then sit again. The DSR’s will then clean your table and that’ll be the end of it.  Sometimes, however, extraneous factors intrude. 

To wit: Today I procured a healthy set of pancakes for breakfast –golden brown, fluffy, the kind you wouldn’t mind sleeping on.  Upon returning to my table, I realized I had forgotten the syrup.  So I got up to retrieve it. When I returned, my pancakes were gone, the table had been cleared and a new folded napkin rested where my plate had once been.  I called a DSR over and he apologized and said “I just doing my job, Sir.”  Leaving the syrup on the table, I made my way back to the buffet for more pancakes, noting the mosquito-like DSR’s hovering just outside of slapping range.  When I returned, now salivating at what was sure to be a gastronomic windfall, my syrup was gone and there was another new napkin, folded and mocking.  Once again, I called the little annoying fella over and explained my process for acquiring breakfast, and, leaving my plate on the table, asked the DSR to keep his bloodsucking fingers off my food. I trudged back for the syrup.  When I returned, my plate was gone, AGAIN!   I reached for the neck of the nearest DSR.  He pointed accusingly toward another little ferret of a man who promptly ducked behind a serving cart.  We shared some tears – him for the rant I laid upon him, and me because I really just wanted to eat my damn pancakes and now the buffet pancake tray was empty.

I think there’s a moral here for both athletes and buffet frequenters.  In critical moments, focus on the details and don’t rely on others to help you. You may go hungry, but you’re more likely to shine like those orange lakes I thought this blog was going to be about.

New word of the day: Bluffet (def) when you think you’re going to get food and you end up with nuthin’!

By ccxander

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