Author Archives: escherx

In Brief

Not much ten­nis news. Nadal wins the Rio Open, Venus takes the Dubai title. Wake me up when the clay court sea­son arrives. Last week­end, I went down a Break­ing Bad, Sea­son Five, Part I worm­hole just as Sea­son Five, Part II was down­loaded to Net­flix, thank god. That’s ecsta­tic tele­vi­sion, the most riv­et­ing I’ve […]

Losing It at the Movies

In the first chap­ter we pick up our ini­tial the­matic line: the lay­ers or layer-cake theme. This is the fall of 1828; Charles is thir­teen and on his first day in school he is still hold­ing his cap on his knees in the class­room. ‘It was one of those head­gears of a com­pos­ite type in […]

Readings Recap

Writ­ing this from my stand­ing desk, and to all my desk-bound friends out there, if you can switch to one, do. I’m a hap­pier, more refreshed per­son at the end of the day, and I attribute it to this change. Mean­while, I’ll be appear­ing at the fol­low­ing uni­ver­si­ties over the next cal­en­dar month: Jan­u­ary 28, The […]

Whatever Happened to Crazy?

As it turned out, yes­ter­day, before I’d heard any news of the Sandy Hook mas­sacre, I’d decided, upon return­ing home from an errand, to have lunch with my first grader, Mar­got. Her school is under a half mile from our house, also a  neigh­bor­hood school. She eats at 10:30—what with Julia Green being over­crowded, they […]

This Is How You Blog

I’m a ter­ri­ble blog­ger and a good friend recently harangued me for this, so I promised him I’d ded­i­cate a few min­utes a week­day to writ­ing a post. The last five books I’ve read: Gilead by Mar­i­lynne Robin­son Bat­tle­born by Claire Vaye Watkins A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jen­nifer Egan The Big Miss by Hank Haney This […]

And the Winners Aren’t…

Who hasn’t weighed in on the Pulitzer committee’s fail­ure to give a fic­tion award this year to either Denis Joh­son (Train Dreams), Karen Rus­sell (Swamp­lan­dia!), or David Fos­ter Wallace’s posthu­mously assem­bled novel The Pale King. There’s an excel­lent piece of report­ing in the HuffPo explain­ing the inner work­ings of the non-decision, Nashville’s Ann Patch­ett (bookseller […]

Game Plan

Nashville’s stormy spring is as dan­ger­ous as it is beau­ti­ful.  You won’t catch me watch­ing the Indian Wells men’s final between Fed­erer and Isner. My boy Nadal was knocked out by Fed last night, 3 and 4, a rain-delayed match played in swirling, com­par­a­tively cold con­di­tions that recalled Fed’s five-set, two-day long, U.S. Open quarterfinal […]

In Praise of Failure

It wasn’t one of my New Year’s res­o­lu­tions but I’m com­mit­ted to blog­ging more. I did, how­ever, resolve to read a story a day (on top of my other read­ing) and am two tales into Alan Heathcock’s Volt. Two pas­sages I’ll share. After all, why not let a book rec­om­mend itself? They’re both from the […]

Dead Week

Two-thousand and eleven gives us this neatly pack­aged dead week, the last of the year, a Sun­day to Sun­day, Christ­mas to New Year’s Day, dur­ing which time it seems next to noth­ing gets done while the things you never seemed able to do are finally accom­plished: draw­ers are lined, the garage is orga­nized but still […]


If you have any doubt that this is a golden era in men’s ten­nis, watch this video. Next, watch what Rafa does at 2:35 in this other video. It’s worth it for two rea­sons. First, the dis­play of absurd ath­leti­cism; sec­ond, Kim Cli­jsters’ mini-swoon after­ward. Mean­while, here, left, is the Piper’s cover for Ladies and […]