Monday, May 31, 2010


I must confess being rather proud of myself for amending the thick, sticky clay in my yard well enough to coax from it three dinners worth of produce this weekend. Previous land uses in my yard includ: tenants parking their cars in the yard, tenants jacking car bodies on concrete blocks for months on end in the yard, tenants trying to build a compost heap (I guess?) by mounding hundreds of cardboard boxes and thousands of newspapers all over the ground, and, during restoration of the bungalow, the yard was used as a trash dump for all of the darling clay tiles that once served as roofing materials.

But even more important than the bowls of broccoli, kale, chard, arugula, buttercrunch, and cilantro that I've hauled into the kitchen from the loess-clay backyard is the opportunity to spend several hours watching the bright orange clay courts at Roland Garros. The French Open ends this week, and now that all of the American men are knocked out because they each played hard court tennis on clay (can't do that and expect to win), the last days of the tournament should prove to be filled with great tennis. ESPN2 is broadcasting matches tomorrow and Wednesday from 11-4:30, and Thursday 7-noon.

If you live in a town like mine, one ruled by soccer players, soccer enthusiasts, and lots of people wanting to fit into either demographic by pretending to care about soccer, you'll likely have a hard time lobbying the bartender to switch one of the five televisions from the qualifying rounds of World Cup to the much more fascinating, deliberative, and skilled clay court matches.

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