Laying tile

Memorial Day marked the mid-season break. I spent the long weekend laying a cork floor. Cork is often touted as a “green” building material because it’s harvested from live oak trees, which then grow a new layer of cork. But I don’t know if the environmental assessment accounts for the carbon dioxide produced by the construction crane that had to climb my driveway to hoist me off the floor after my knees had turned to oatmeal.

By the end of the ordeal, my fingers looked like balloons. As I applied the final coat of urethane–hunched over, too stiff to rotate my torso–I was tormented by one all-consuming question: Would I be ready come match time next Saturday?

Roland Garros

I’ve caught bits and pieces of the French Open’s rain-plagued first round. The television feed is excellent. Compared with broadcasts from the other majors, you get a good sense of how hard these players strike the ball. In his first-round victory over Guillermo Canas, wild card Wayne Odesnik could have been driving masonry nails into cinderblock with his forehand.

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