Apparently the next Rivers of London book has been postponed again, now to January 2017? That’s more than two years after the last release, Foxglove Summer. That’s a long time between series books for anyone not named George R.R. Martin. I can only hope The Hanging Tree will be better edited and more coherent than the last books, which could have used some serious editing and maybe some basic proofreading.
It has been a few years (3 maybe?) since I’ve gone to the tournament at Indian Wells. Skipped because moving, then for Paris, and then because I had hockey tickets for a back to back that weekend. So I missed all of the development that has gone on. And there has been a lot, thank you, Larry Ellison.
First, Stadium 2 with its restaurants – Nobu, a steak/chops place, and an Italian/brick oven pizza place. Each morning over the weekend, there would be a line of people to get in, because the seats are all good and the line up was excellent. [Rafa Nadal and Fernando Verdasco played the Bryan brothers Saturday evening, and you can be sure that people staked out seats WAY earlier that the “no earlier than” start time. Monfils, Mugaruza, a bunch of other good matches played there.]
Second, the Brita water filter stations at the base of both stadiums – best thing ever, far better than the limited water fountains I’ve seen elsewhere.
Third, the sheer volume of vendors is crazy. Last time I was there, there was a big awning with a Corona sponsored bar. Gone is Corona; now Moet et Chandon is in that spot. Of course, there’s a different beer tent, and a RumChata tent, etc. And the food vendors are better than average. Ice cream, iced lattes, deli, seafood, CaliMex, salads, it seemed like you could find anything you wanted. [Except maybe a ladies t-shirt in a size larger than XS or S.]
Actually, IWTG is the only sporting venue I’ve ever been to where the lines out the men’s bathroom are longer than the lines out the ladies’ bathroom door. Uniformly. More often than not, there was no line for the ladies at all. I don’t know if it’s because the tournament designed the buildings with more stalls for the ladies or what, but I was totally impressed.
I saw some random matches, just because. This time around, I went out of my way to see Inigo Cervantes, a Spanish player who was completely schooled by Raonic, just because I loved his name. And Bjorn Fratangelo, who took a set from Djokovic. Plus Venus and Serena and Andy and Rafa. So glad to see Juan Martin del Potro back, even if he looked a little rusty against Berdych.
Also, because I’m a dork, I was thrilled that I got to use a line from one of my favorite TV shows ever: “It’s raining in Indian Wells.” It did! Followed by a dust storm.
Actually, the dust was more noticeable than in the past because the wind was so high the whole time. In fact, it was so cold and windy on Sunday after the first night match that pretty much everyone left…so the scattered fans up in the Loge were invited down courtside to watch Halep’s match, which I appreciated. Driving back that night, I was confused by the haze in the distance that I could see off other drivers’ headlights; it wasn’t until I hit the highway and saw the dust/sand drifting that I realized what it was.
ETA: Anecdotally, the sentiment among fans there regarding Maria Sharapova’s drug ban/violation seemed *much* less forgiving or lenient than what I’ve seen on social media from fans, sponsors, etc. In short, most people seemed really skeptical about extended use of meldonium for a variety of reasons and not particularly sympathetic. Sorry she’ll be out of the game for some period of time, but not like she deserved a pass for failing the drug test.
ETA #2: on the tennis kits. Rafa’s kit looks less turquoise in person than on TV, almost like a baby blue with a hint of grey. The outfit Bouchard had was weird – the colors were fine but it looked like a babydoll nightie…or a maternity shirt. Serena looked amazing. When did Berdych leave H&M for Adidas? (Whenever it was, it was not soon enough.) That fluorescent Adidas shirt the men are wearing was tolerable when paired with brown/khaki shorts but awful when worn with red shorts. The ladies’ version with darker colors that Halep is wearing is not terrible.
Some less tennis-oriented observations:
- The price of gas at stations along I-10 covered a span from $2.23 to $2.89, with the highest being more than $1 more than it is where I live and the lowest still being $0.50 more. Is that all state tax? Ouch, especially given how poor public transportation seems to be locally.
- I meant to stop at In n Out since some people I know have raved about their burgers. But the only ones I saw were off the highway, at hours when either they weren’t open or I wasn’t hungry. Next time.
- The bright green and clearly foreign species of grass cultivated for golf courses and high dollar neighborhoods looks really alien. And confusing, given the long term drought; how is watering lawns a priority? I passed a billboard that read “Dejalo ir. El marron es el nuevo negro.” [Let it go. Brown is the new black.] Accompanied by a graphic of grass fading from green to brown. Nice
- The longer I live downtown in a city where good and sketchy neighborhoods commingle, the more confusing I find negotiating suburbia to be when I visit. The number of gated communities was perplexing.
- Pecan pie from Exquisite Desserts for Pi Day. Yum!
- Oh, I forgot that See’s stores are a thing in the west. I did not need to remember. See’s is dangerous for me.
Scrolling through the new release post for the week over at Dear Author, I hit one contemporary titled Full Disclosure and my brain made a full stop. I’m sure it’s a fine book and the title makes sense in the context of whatever the plot is. But all I can think of is “full and fair disclosure”, which totally kills any kind of romance or sexy vibe that it might have been going. [Unless maybe you work at the SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance. Which, okay, go you. But not me.]
A new comic book and gaming shop opened late last month. There has been a sign in the window since maybe November announcing that it would open; it took over the premises of what used to be an antiques shop. I stopped in today to see if they had any of the Rivers of London comics in stock. Not currently but an edition is coming out in two weeks, so they put me down for a copy.
I’m almost all the way through binge-watching The West Wing on Netflix. Man, all the male characters are prone to pedantic asshole behavior and constant disrespect for the judgment and expertise of the female characters. CJ Cregg is awesome, but she wibbles about men pretty regularly and is lied to and underestimated on the regular by Leo, Josh, Toby, and the president; only Charlie seems exempt. Donna stays Josh’s secretary way too long and he punishes her professionally because she decided she was qualified to do more than take his lunch orders – after she tried repeatedly to explain to him that she wanted more out of her job/professional life but he ignored it because it was inconvenient. Dr. Bartlett, who admittedly violated state laws, is punished far more and criticized more than her husband, the one who actually was the public official who failed to disclose his serious, life-threatening illness. Ugh.
Afterthought: I opened a book at random on my Kindle while on the elliptical. It was Magic Slays by Ilona Andrews, a series whose voice/tone I like but which is riddled with continuity blips and rather poor copy editing IMO. And a passage struck me in this book: Evdokia mentions Kate’s mother attending her own mother’s funeral. Except, wait for it, in the most recent book, Kate is told by her father than her maternal grandmother is alive and in Seattle. Now, maybe he’s lying. But the continuity blips have been bad enough through the series that I’m not willing to assume that they intentionally wrote him as lying rather than making another blip…again.