redfiona99: (Default)
The minute Serena Williams announced that she was pregnant, various journalists dusted down their "is this the end of (famous sportswoman)'s career" articles.

This is annoying for a variety of reasons.

The first is that it really is always the same article, with just the name of the sportswoman and the sport changed.

The second is that, if Serena chooses to come back, it's not the end of her career. Sportswomen can, do and have achieved after having children. For instance, Olympic silver in the heptathlon, generally regarded as the most physically demanding of the athletics disciplines. Or you know, being the Flying Housewife.

But I suppose they don't play tennis. Like oh, Kim Clijsters, who won the US Open after giving birth, and she's not the physical force that Serena is.

Those are sport or related reasons. The remainder of the reasons are more society based.
The social construct of "the perfect mother" appears to exist only to make all mothers feel bad. (Any mothers reading this, you are amazing.) The perfect mother, she does not and cannot exist.

More than that, the extreme self-sacrifice that this ridiculous construct demands, that a mother no longer has her own life outside that of the identity of mother isn't safe or healthy for the mother, her children or any attendant partners.

Reporters and journalists are intelligent people and shouldn't be buying into it or propagating it.

There's also this weird idea that Serena (or any other woman) will be so overcome by the awesomeness of having a child that she will not be interested in pursuing her career. I don't have children, but my mother would like to tell you that this is nonsense. I have her permission to quote her.

The interesting double standard is that it's assumed that no man would be so distracted by having children that he'd want to stop his career. There's no "will Murray stop playing tennis now that there's a second mini Murray on the way?" articles. If kids are so all-consumingly awesome, you'd think both parents would be affected.

Every woman's choice is different, and it is her choice.

I realise journalists have to fill up the column inches so how to earn their pay. Maybe next time though write about a British (change nationality as applicable) junior that's doing good rather than digging out the old "is this the end of (famous sportswoman)'s career" article again.
redfiona99: (Thinking)
My mother and I were right, if we didn't watch the final Murray would win. Apparently she came in for the last game, saw Murray starting to play like a banana and left. So then he got his act together and won.

Going to the gym might have been a mistake though ;)

(Also, if my friend who keeps insisting that the answer is cardio keeps saying that, I might well thump him with my lifting improved muscles. Apparently my training for fencing, a sport where we go all out for 3 minutes then have a minute's rest, would be improved by doing long distance running. Yeah, there's nothing to be done with that kind of stupidity. I suspect he's just pissed because I'm losing weight/building muscle and still eating, while he struggles along running 10k in the gym regularly and eating like a rabbit. I've tried to help, but there's none so stubborn as those who are wrong.)

Tour De France - I'm in love with Dan Martin right now. Despite him beating one of my Astana boys. Also, much love for Nairo Quintana.
redfiona99: (Thinking)
Tour De France - As you might be able to tell from the previous post, I missed a lot of the sport today. Switching my mobile on on the train back, I got a series of texts from L. He mostly wanted to know WTF happened with the Tour stage today. So I was expecting there to have been a real disaster, rather than just a new form of the traditional chaos.

BBC report here -

Basically the Orrica GreenEdge team coach got stuck under the finishing line, they moved the stage finish, then they managed to get it unstuck so they moved the finish back to the original place again. Also, entirely separately, all the of the sprint favourites had crashes. So yeah, to me that's just the expected first day chaos.

Cycling has spoilt me.

Tennis - In the men's tennis, I'm down to one guy I like left in, and that's Jurgen Melzer who I don't even like but he's Austrian, so I'm kind of obliged, because if he wins I get to point out to my mother that an Austrian has won a Slam more recently than a Brit. Yes, this argument is vital.


Moto GP - I think Lorenzo might finally have won the hearts and minds. Also Valentino won, and that's always good. This picture - made me smile. A lot.

Now, if only we could get Aleix Espargaro a satellite (or even main team) bike.



Well yes, Paul Di Resta will go faster if his car is underweight. I love how this is all some huge conspiracy according to some people.

Also, no, dear British press, he was never going to be the Webber replacement, because he's never beaten his team-mate's point total.

The 2011 year where he "smoked" Sutil, he finished with 27 points, compared to 42 points for Sutil. In 2012 he got 46 points compared to Nico Hulkenberg's 63.

Yeah, this year, he's beating Sutil, but that doesn't mean he's being spectacular. Especially not when compared to Ricciardo or Vergne or Kimi-Kimi (not that Vettel is going to let them pick up Kimi-Kimi but never mind). My guess is that it'll be Vergne because of Renault.


Fanfic Meme - Day 20 – Do you ever get bunnied from other people's stories or art in the same fandom?

Not really. Like sometimes, there'll be a canon event that causes lots of fic, and I try not to do the same thing, not out of peevishness but, well I like the quote [ profile] opera142 has on her profile page - "You have to be first, best, or different" (from Loretta Lynn). Other people write their own stories better than I could, so my stories have to be mine.

Other Days )
redfiona99: (Default)

Schumacher still has it, is still wonderful and now I have to hope for an amazing start thanks to the ridiculous verdict of the stewards.*

Also, David Coulthard continues to be a snot.

Not directly related but given they have promised an interview with Niki Lauda, and because they were doing a bit on 'Rush', have my opinions on said film.

I'm actually pleased that they've cast Chris Hemsworth as James Hunt because it means you all know that my issues with this are nothing to do with the cast. Or the director, because I know Ron Howard plans to be as respectful as he can be to the historical truth. That being said, I have all kinds of issues. Mostly that I don't get why. We have video footage. We have interviews. Niki, thankfully, is still around to give his part of the story.

I'm also a bit 'hmm' because an American film where there's the British king of the playboy racers, idol to all ** (without wishing to in anyway do down Hunt the driver who was a master) vs cold, calculating German-speaker who was already a grumpy old man when he was younger (Niki's original retirement was because he was sick of driving round in circles), I know who is going to get the most of the shades of grey. And it's the guy I like more.

I mean I could be wrong but ...

I'm especially worried about how they're going to handle the Suzuka incident. For those who don't follow F1, Niki Lauda was in a terrible crash at a very, very rainy Nurburgring, which almost killed him. Within a month, he was back racing. By the last race of the season, the title race was down to him vs Hunt. At Suzuka, there was again a torrential downpour, so Lauda stopped, to paraphrase, he decided his life was worth more than the world title. Generally held opinion, including that of James Hunt, was that it was the bravest possible decision. For people who don't know about that era of F1 - slightly better than the deadly years, but not much - I'm not sure how well that will come over.

Also, I saw the actor who'll be playing Lauda in the Edukators and I don't think he can convey Niki's Nikiness.
Later With Jools Holland:

Jools was as good as expected (Iplayer link here - The Hives were good, Esperenza Spalding (an Oregonian for the information tame Oregon bod I know) was good, Jimmy Cliff was amazing.

Paloma Faith is now a poor-man's Adele instead of a poor-man's Amy Winehouse, and even the peculiarly American sounding kiddie blues player from Nottingham (yes, really) was solid.

Funniest moment was Jools interviewing TV Smith (of The Adverts ( fame) about the BBC's new season on the punk movement, and they were both going, "how is this history? We're not old enough to be historical." My Mother is having similar issues, she has major issues with Dylan and McCartney being 70. She also objects severly to 'The Idiot's Lantern' being considered a historical because she can remember the coronation.

Actually pondering Jools and sound systems, Lana del Rey sounded fine on Jools. One of her videos was playing on a music channel and it struck me that she has a very unusual voice (for a pop singer) and I'm wondering if that's part of the problem, that it's hard for sound engineers to do something with the kit to suit her voice and to have it work for other people as well.

Geoffrey Boycott has just come out with 'he h'opens his bat wonderfully' which I believe stretches even the Yorkshire habit of adding miscellaneous habit of adding H's to words to it's breaking point.



I don't like the new England away strip. Or rather, I'm sure it'd be perfectly serviceable for ... well I can't think of anyone who black and blue (that particular shade of blue which is too dark to be Dutch blue but too light to be Azzuri blue) would suit, but watching tonight, I'm getting the two teams confused.

Also, Hodgson coaches like a German. And that's a compliment.


I've just flossed for the first time. It went about as well as expected. Which is to say, not very. It just feels weird and I live in constant terror of getting the floss trapped in a tooth. Not-actually-evil dental hygenist may be pacified however. See also my purchase of an electric toothbrush. I've gone for a Spiderman one. <- my inner 5 year old strikes again.

Really interesting documentary about the evolution of the British sitcom, using the example of sex -

To paraphrase, UK sitcoms are all about the frustrations of not getting any.



ITV4 have the French Open coverage, which means unfeasable numbers of add breaks, but they have given me Fabrice Santoro on commentary so I don't care and all is forgiven.

that First Lines writing meme )

* My mother wishes it to be known that I am somewhat biased on the matter of M. Schumacher.

** Kimi Raikonnen's helmet this weekend is a tribute to Hunt and when he entered a speedboat race it was Hunt's name he took as his pseudonym.
redfiona99: (films)
I will have intelligible Sherlock thoughts eventually that day is not today )

Sadly I fear those thoughts will come before my X-Men: First Class ones, which now take up 6 sides of A5, and I haven't even reached the stage where Xavier and Magneto meet. I can't help it, I have many, many thoughts about that film.

It should be helped by it arriving in the post any day now.


Both the snooker and the tennis results are annoying me. I think I'm already down to just Neil Robertson in the Masters and Dolgopolov in the men's in Oz.



Spoilers )
redfiona99: (Default)
I can't complain about the weekend at all. I've managed to buy a new dress for T's birthday party, a dress in which I look pretty fantastic, if I do say so myself, plus attendant bits and bobs. I also managed to find a copy of Faust Eric to buy (and have).

The sport has more or less gone exactly the way I wanted it, most importantly, Klitschko minor beat David Haye. It's not that I'm particularly a fan of either of the brothers Klitschko, it's more that I hate David Haye.

Happy that Djokovic won Wimbledon, if only because he has *the* loveliest smile. Meltzer and Benesova also makes me happy because yay! an Austrian winner. Also, what a weekend for the Czechs!

And Thor Hushovd is in yellow. (Makes with the muppet hands) Oh how very happy that makes me.
redfiona99: (tennis)
I may have been wrong about the music, we've had two Pink Panthers already.

We are not happy about the pairs result. I like the Germans, Savchenko and Szolkowy, and I know they had a one foul-up cushion going into the free, but that was one heck of a foul up and Kavaguchi and Smirnov skated so well. Let the judging-related paranoia commence.

For your delictation and delight, and for you to judge:

Savchenko and Szolkowy -

Kavaguchi and Smirnov -

It's not that I don't like Savchenko and Szolkowy, and Aliona Savchenko looks adorable with her Pink Panther cuddly toy, but it's just wrong.

Stephan Lambiel is one of the interviewers. He is disturbingly chirpy.

I also really liked the Italians.


In the tennis, I continue to be driven mad by trying to figure out what it is that Dolgopolov does differently with his serve. It is not a normal one, but I can't place what the difference is exactly. I think it's something mechanical but unfortunately, the Eurosport coverage is being no use. Any suggestions?
redfiona99: (tennis)
I have no idea what the household is going to do with itself during the women's final at the Australian Open, because we like both of them. I get vision of my Nan cheering for Djokovic even if Murray does get through. She is not a Murray fan and she quite likes Djokovic, well, for today at least.


It's the European Championships, and I am enjoying watching it. So far many strange things have occured:

1) There is a British couple in the Pairs competition.
2) There are, in fact, two British couples in the Pairs.
3) There was a Russian pairing, where he was twice her size, that featured the beginnings of artistic merit. And one of the best finishes to a program I've seen - I prefered the Germans - but it's very much a personal thing.
4) The Kerrs are in third in the ice dance, after the short programme (it's a smooshing of the compulsaries and the original dance) - I want to swap the UK commentators for the Russian ones. I might not be able to understand a word, but at least they're quiet during the performance.

So far there's not been any major themes in the music, unlike the year where half of the men danced to Riverdance, or the year where folk music was the chosen music for the original dance so a third of the couples danced to Kalinka. It's the men's short programme, and I've just checked and it looks like the Russian Skating Federation are still not speaking to Plushenko. I am intrigued by the new Russians, not least of all because Alexei Urmanov coaches one of them.


I also saw the Under-23 Men's Cross Country Skiing 15 km from the Nordic Skiing Junior World Championships in Estonia. Russian 1, 2 and 3. There was a Brit in 6th, a Brit who has previously won in Norway in the Norwegian Championships. But no, lets fund the alpine skiiers and the snowboarders instead (argh!).

I have great love for the third Russian, Shakirzianov, who on being given his finishing blanket (cross-country skiiers, they're like horses in a way) lays it on the ground and then collapses on top of it with a look of delight and satisfaction.
redfiona99: (tennis)
If I hear one more thing about Wozniaki not having won a slam and being world number one, I may well explode. She has more points that her opponents, hence she is the world number one. If certain people (Venus, I mean you) can't, for perfectly good reasons, be bothered with smaller opens, then that's going to happen. It is a problem with the system. Or rather it's not, unless you want to over-value four competitions a year, which would be fine, except it really messes up your system. I know of what I speak, the UK fencing rankings work in a similar way to the tennis ones, and because one competition is so massively over-ranked, it makes it bloody hard to get into the top 20, even if some of those people only go to that one competition a year.

Also all players were, at some point, someone who'd never won a slam. For the spaghetti monsters sake, I can remember when Federer and Nadal were good young players who'd never won any slams. I can remember when Sampras was a good young player without any slams. My point, other than I am ancient, is that everyone starts at zero, and some of those people on zero go on to win them. You can't tell if they will until they do, but you can't say that they won't either.
redfiona99: (tennis)
I have been quiet because I've mostly been watching the snooker. Which leads on to tennis. And kindoftrouble was right about the Eurosport commentators being horrible. But not quite as horrible as Wozniaki's outfit yesterday. The only excuse for it would be if she were four months pregnant.

Caught a very small bit of Smackdown. Drew McIntyre in no way made my heart go thump, even though I suspect him of being up to something.
redfiona99: (Default)
There's a secret in the last edition of [ profile] fandomsecrets (number 123 - which states that the secret writer thinks that Michael Schumacher would have been sorted into Slytherin.

I have to say I totally agree, so I've been thinking where I'd sort other people.

Gryffindor )

Hufflepuff )

Ravenclaw )

Slytherin )

Personally, I think sports people are going to skew to Slytherin just because being sucessful in sport involves being determined and ambitious.

Anyone want to suggest anyone?
redfiona99: (cycling)
So, in tennis, Richard Gasquet tests positive for coke, and his whole career is in jepoardy. In cycling Tom Boonen has tested positive for cocaine for the third or fourth time and his team, in preparation for the Dauphine Libere ask if he can ride.

So why can he ride because "Out-of-competition use of cocaine is not subject to sanctions from the UCI, although the sport's governing body said earlier this month it could ban the rider for up to six months."

Is it rather sad that I prefer cycling's attitude to not-performance enhancers? Although I wish to high heaven that Boonen would get some help.
redfiona99: (Default)
I take it I'm to assume that Tips got injured and that's the reason for the bizarre scoreline, or is the BBC just being useless again?

Also, the umpires appear to be conspiring against the Brits.

In the rugby, why in hell's name has Warren Gatland dropped Dwayne Peel from the Welsh squad. Admittedly, I think it's probably partly a personality clash but there's no way that Mike Phillips is better than him. That's about the only problem with Gatland, he's an exceptional coach but once you cross him, he stays crossed no matter what.
redfiona99: (Default)
Eurosport have a really cool Sports Photos of the Year thing up. The best one is probably this of Federer, which some how makes me feel sorry for him.

Other good ones include this one of the Tour De France -

There's also this immense one of the fencing

(That would be ladies foil going on, if I'm not mistaken)

The footie slashers may well like this one of Adebayor and Van Persie -
redfiona99: (tennis)
So I caught the end of the Austria v GB Davis Cup tie and as I predicted, Austria won. Normally this would make me happy (and I did indeed giggle and gloat down the phone at my Mum, who as per usual declaimed that Julian Knowle should be playing for GB and not Aut) but it's so not happy making to know that the main reason your team won is that the other team is managed by a moron.

So not only does John Lloyd stick Alex 'I crack under pressure' Bogdanovic (I love him dearly, but the boy does not cope well with pressure) on for the last, deciding game of the rubber, he has also shown himself to be woefully lacking in knowledge about his players. Because, post the wonderful and amazing Austrian coach doing his bit about, yes it was a close match, yes the last match could have gone either way, he gets interviewed and he says that he realised it was going to be a close match but that at the start of play he would have said that Bogdanovic was the favourite because of the surface.

Would this be based on Wimbledon (both out in the first round this year and last year) or their career head to head (2-0 to Peya). The only thing I can maybe find in Bogdanovic's favour is that he's played in one more grass tournament this year.

Dear John Lloyd, just because none of the Austrians are grass-court specialists, doesn't mean they can't play. None of them are any kind of court specialists. They just play.
redfiona99: (vino)
I must say I didn't give too much of a damn about the Wimbledon men's final - Swiss chap, who much though I'll admit he plays lovely tennis, that I can't cheer for because he's Swiss v a clay courter.

I'm very happy about the F1 result because, well, no matter that Lewis Hamilton is a sweetie, I will always be a Ferrari girl at heart.

As to the cycling - OMG Vino only lost 30 seconds on the timetrial. There is hope, much hope.

And also a cycling/Vino icon.
redfiona99: (Default)
The snooker is upon us yet again, so I am enjoying a fair few hours of green baize action here and there. I am happy with the results so far, if not with the draw, because seriously people, please not to be drawing Mark Williams and Joe Swail against each other, and also putting John Parrott up against Steve Davis was cruel and unusual.

Trying to figure out which tennis players Lossi's msn sig referred to lead me to Eurosport which lead me to this -

Discovery having to suspend Ivan Basso because he's been dragging into the Operation Puerto affair again. Truly joyous news. I am not nice, not in the slightest and I plan on enjoying this to the full.

I also have tickets to see the Manics. I plan on also enjoying that to the full.

It's about the only happy, happy, joy, joy thing in the news recently, what with President Yeltsin dying (I am never sure what to refer to ex-Presidents as so I tend to just go with that honourific, anyone who knows please tell me.). It's strange, because he was one of those larger than life characters who you felt really, really weren't ever going to die.

And then one of the '66 team died. I wish to complain about various news outlets because that got more attention than Yeltsin dying which is just strange and wrong.
redfiona99: (tennis)
Tennis-slash fandom, for Lossi.

These are actually unpopular. And possibly incendiary. I have a strange urge to x-post it, but I'd also like to keep my head and sanity.

Here be unpopular opinions )

That was so much easier to write than the wrestling one because I know these are unpopular and several of these have annoyed me for quite some time. Particularly number 3, if you can't tell.


redfiona99: (Default)

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