Acronyms, Masks, and Half-Assed Musings

It’s a LittleYellowBall smorgasbord today. A tennis tapas, if you will. A buffet of thoughts, none of which merits its own blog post but which together just might add up to a crunchy and satisfying blog salad.

The Acronym Contest Winner

Remember the acronym contest? I challenged you to come up with an acronym to describe the specific pressure that arises from wanting to please other people on the court. The winning entry would have to beat my own acronym FOPOP, or Fear Of Pissing Off People.

The winner of the acronym contest is Kathy, whose entry “FOOEY” earns high marks on my personal rubric for acronym excellence:

  • The acronym is a bunch of random letters (earns an “D”)
  • The acronym is pronounceable as a word (earns a “C”)
  • The acronym actually is a word (earns a “B”)
  • The word relates to the acronym topic (earns an “A”)

Kathy’s FOOEY (pronounced “phooey”) stands for Fear Of Overthinking and Embarrassing Yourself. FOOEY, though not a word, is a homonym of a word that conjures that on-court angst. According to my grading rubric, FOOEY scores a solid A. My entry, FOPOP, though fun to say, is only a grade C acronym.

Somehow I managed to lose a contest that I both invented and judged. So I don’t get the upgraded prize of a new tennis outfit. That’s disappointing, but who really suffers here? Me? Or is it the public at large, forced to endure more weeks of looking at my tired tennis togs? If I look like a schlub when you see me on court, blame Kathy.

Kathy, email me your address, and your can of tennis balls will be on its way!

The Masks

We’ve had to start wearing masks on the tennis court here in Massachusetts. It’s not quite as bad as I feared. I can breathe, which seems important. And I actually forget about the mask once a point is in play, something I wouldn’t have thought possible.

The problem I have, though, is the build-up of perspiration and exhalation under the mask. With no way for the moisture to evaporate, I feel like my face is enclosed in its own steamy tropical biosphere.

I’ve started cleaning my face with a disposable wipe on change-overs. That helps a bit, but I think there’s probably some collective mask wisdom out there that I can tap into. How are you dealing with the mask issue? Is a surgical mask more breathable than a cloth one? Is there such a thing as a moisture-wicking mask? What’s your go-to brand when you’re exercising?

The Half-Assed Musings

Musing #1. I’ve been sidelined again this week with an angry knee. I suspect it has to do with weakness somewhere other than the knee—the glutes, quads, hips, core—because my injuries always seem to come down to that. And, of course, the cure will involve lots of tedious exercises like squats. How come the cure is never more time on the couch playing pinochle? (I’m in a pinochle phase right now. Just before this, I was in a Schitt’s Creek phase that lasted a few weeks. And before that… well, I forget what that phase entailed, but you can be damn sure it wasn’t squats.)

Musing #2. This week, the top eight men are competing in the ATP Finals, including our man Rafa. And I hate to say it, but he looks terrible. A forest green shirt paired with purply pink shorts with a green side stripe? Have we reached the bottom of the color-combination barrel? What’s next, lilac and tan?

Embed from Getty Images


Musing #3. This weekend, I’m watching the movie “First One In” on Amazon Prime. Here’s the promo blurb: “Thrown off a popular reality show in disgrace, unemployed real estate agent Madi Cooke teams up with a group of misfit tennis players in a do-or-die match against Bobbi Mason, an overachieving, tightly wound real estate shark, and her tennis-playing minions.”

I know—I can’t believe I’d never heard of this gem, either. If you get a chance this weekend, watch it for yourself. We’ll be discussing/trashing it next week.


Fear and Acronyms, Part 2

The first match is over, and that monkey is off my back. (Crap. How am I going to gracefully transition from the monkey metaphor to the ball-striking machine metaphor? I’ll just have to start a new paragraph and hope no one notices.) Continue reading “Fear and Acronyms, Part 2”

Fear (and the Acronym Challenge)

Tomorrow’s the day. My first tennis match in a year. Butterflies? Maybe one or two.

I shouldn’t have any butterflies at all. My league has decreed that this strange, once-(hopefully)-in-a-lifetime pandemic season won’t “count.” A year from now, when the 2021-2 season begins, it’ll be like 2020 never happened. Don’t you wish you could say that about all aspects of this year? Continue reading “Fear (and the Acronym Challenge)”

The Rafa Blues

If you’ve been watching the French Open—and if you haven’t, why not?—you’ll have noticed that most of the players are wearing the same outfits they wore at the US Open. A few aren’t, and a few didn’t play the American major, but in general there’s too much overlap to warrant a Fashion Face-off for the French.

I do have a fashion-related question, though: What color is Rafa’s outfit? Continue reading “The Rafa Blues”

The Fearlessness of Naomi Osaka

In Friday’s “worst dressed at the Open” post, I flippantly claimed credibility as an arbiter of tennis fashion. Of course, anyone who reads this blog knows I have little credibility in fashion, or anything else, for that matter.

One of our blog readers, however, does bring some serious cred to the topic of fashion: Robin Hauck, founder and editor of the sleek and chic Misstropolis magazine. Robin may well be the coolest person I know—so cool she once landed on the list of Most Stylish Bostonians in The Boston Globe.

According to Robin, I was wrong (!) to nominate Naomi Osaka in the worst-dressed poll. Normally I brook no dissent on my blog, but seeing as I’m still waiting for my own Most Stylish nomination, I decided to ask Robin to elaborate. Man, did she ever set me straight. Continue reading “The Fearlessness of Naomi Osaka”

Friday Fashion Face-off: The Worst Dressed at the 2020 US Open

This year’s weird but still wonderful US Open is behind us. The only thing left to do is award the prize for most fashion-challenged. Let’s get right to it! Continue reading “Friday Fashion Face-off: The Worst Dressed at the 2020 US Open”

Friday Fashion Face-off: Best-Dressed Woman at the 2020 US Open

What does it mean when someone keeps giving your tennis outfit side-eye? Can’t be good, right? But I was wearing a white top and peachy orange skirt. What’s wrong with that?

Nothing, that’s what. I looked perfect. Woman needs to get her eyes checked.

Speaking of looking perfect, feast your eyes on our best-dressed woman nominees for the 2020 US Open… Continue reading “Friday Fashion Face-off: Best-Dressed Woman at the 2020 US Open”

Friday Fashion Face-off: Best-Dressed Man, 2020 US Open

The plaintive calls have become impossible to ignore: “We need a Fashion Face-off!”

Actually, only two people said that, but I think we can safely assume these desperate voices represent just the tip of the iceberg. So let’s steer this titanic blog into the perilous waters of men’s tennis fashion, shall we? Continue reading “Friday Fashion Face-off: Best-Dressed Man, 2020 US Open”

“Tennis” Tomorrow

In case you haven’t heard, a tennis tournament is starting tomorrow. Well, sort of. It’s a virtual tournament featuring top players, including Nadal, competing on PlayStation. Sixteen men and sixteen women will be taking part.

Action begins tomorrow at 9 a.m., ET. Supposedly will be streaming it live here: Continue reading ““Tennis” Tomorrow”

My Review of “Different Strokes”

This morning, my husband, daughter and I were puttering around the kitchen, each of us foraging for breakfast and wearing that glass-eyed, slack-jawed expression that I’ve come to call Quarantine Face. Quarantine Face is what you get after far too many hours looking at the same walls with far too many hours still to go. A whole day’s worth of hours stretching out ahead of you, only broken up with food and dog walks.

But not even dog walks today because it’s raining and my dog detests the rain.

So…just food then. Continue reading “My Review of “Different Strokes””

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