Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Crazy Tennis/Coffee/Cocktail Tapestry Post

I know that sometimes this blog is a bit of a whirlwind, what with the myriad Civil War threads we're weaving, all the while hyped up on coffee, gravel-voiced from screaming at another Nadal-Federer tennis classic, and sticky-fingered from mixing some new concoction. All comes together to make one crazy tapestry.
I like it this way, I like having lots of different stories being told at the same time. It makes everything dynamic, unpredictable, and fun. You don't know if I've been reading some thick tome on Reconstruction, tinkering with my coffee roaster, playing tennis, or all at the same time; thus, you (and I) don't know what's coming next.
To honor this, I've got a few things to say on a few different subjects. So I don't step on my own posts by putting up multiples in one day (a costly mistake, some people won't scroll far enough to find the new stuff), we've got a crazy silly-putty-that-rolled-down-gravel-driveway amalgam for you to chew on.
First up is a favorite punching bag of this space, Starbucks. This monolith of coffee mediocrity, exploitation, and marketing is about to roll out a new gimmick: instant coffee.
I love the use of marketing terms like "innovation", "game-changer", and "value". Here's the bottom line, if you buy this stuff, you're getting a double whammy of being ripped off and screwing the farmers who grew the beans, they'll see maybe 5 cents on the dollar. Just remember, you have a choice, so don't buy this crap.
Speaking of choices, the United Arab Emirates made a poor one when it revoked the travel visa of Israeli tennis player Shahar Peer on the eve of the Barclays Dubai Tennis Championship.
Now there are international headlines blasting the decision, the tournament nearly got canceled and may get yanked off next year's WTA schedule, and the Tennis Channel made the courageous decision of canceling its television coverage in protest.
Many Gulf nations have had standing policies that Israeli citizens and those with Israeli visa stamps in their passports will be denied entry. I say "many" instead of "all" because nearly one year ago to the day, Peer broke ground as the first Israeli woman to compete in a professional tournament in the Gulf. Now a huge step backwards has been taken with this gruesome misuse of sport to make a despicable political statement.
WTA chairman Larry Scott had this to say on the issue, I direct your attention to the last sentence of the statement:
"The Sony Ericsson WTA Tour believes very strongly, and has a clear rule and policy, that no host country should deny a player the right to compete at a tournament for which she has qualified by ranking"
Then, Mr. Scott, you have a responsibility to enforce this policy. This issue did not come out of nowhere, and without an assurance that a host city can apply this policy, tournaments should not be awarded. When the policy is violated in this egregious manner and right before the tournament to boot, the event should have been shut down.
Peer's exclusion is sad and infuriating on many levels, and leaves me wanting to make a t-shirt out of the stamps from Israel I have in my passport. Next week, the issue will resurface when the men come to Dubai, including Israeli doubles player Andy Ram.
Man, all of this ranting has left me thirsty, good thing we've got a new refreshment coming down the pike. On Valentine's Day, The Jess and I made a beautiful fruit salad with winter strawberries, blood oranges, and navel oranges drizzled with some passionfruit juice. After inhaling the salad at brunch, there was a brilliant juice mixture floating in the bottom of the bowl.
After a few minutes of contemplation, the Fruit Salad HugYa was born...

Fruit Salad HugYa

1.5 oz Hangar One Mandarin Blossom vodka
0.5oz Noilly Prat sweet vermouth
1.5 oz fruit salad juice (I think fresh-squeezed OJ and passionfruit juice evenly mixed would probably suffice)
Add all three liquids to shaker filled with ice. Shake vigorously and serve up.
Whew, did you get all that? Take your time, because there will be another post tomorrow wrapping up my visit last night to the Orange County Civil War Rountable and tonight's SDCWRT meeting. Oh wait, I'm not helping, but you'll be fine, and back for more.

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