hiatus (n.) — a pause or gap in a sequence, series, or process
Ever since launching “BlogOfTheCircle” as a stand-alone site in May 2006, it was intended to be a place to find an occasional spare thought or to launch a breaking news story.
Nearly 3,000 entries later, the blog has been integrated into the design of the site, and been updated more or less daily, on average, since September 2006. But as time has gone on, it has gotten more and more difficult to maintain the blog as an everyday feature.
A lot of it is because of life pressure.
A lot of it is because of work pressure.
Most of all, however, I don’t think I can maintain the standards that I’ve set for myself. The quality of what I’ve been doing has been suffering in recent months. You can see elementary mistakes in the videos, or the math in Statwatch. It has even gotten to a point where I accidentally uploaded an unfinished story onto the site that I’ve been working on.
In truth, however, there have been a pair of stories — one in field hockey, and one in lacrosse — for which I’ve not made much in terms of progress. They are good concepts, but the pressures of my current life have not allowed me to do much in terms of the long-form writing that I loved to do. I want to pursue these without the pressure of coming up with a new insight every day.
What are you going to see in this column from here forward?
I don’t know. I really don’t.
It’s just that the blog portion of this site is going to take a hiatus from daily postings. The site is not going anywhere, not being sold (heavens, no!) and not being integrated into another Web presence.
I’m going to keep up Statwatch and update any movements during field hockey and lacrosse seasons as long as I am able. I’m likely going to do the weekly Top 10s going forward in field hockey, and I was considering a girls’ high school lacrosse Top 10, despite the fact that there are a couple of rankings that are already out there.
You’re also likely to see some liveblogging of important games as well.
It just won’t be on an everyday basis.
And I hope now, as I did when I started this nearly eight years ago, that megabytes will be more patient than paper. Problem is, I’m not sure they are.
Until then, in order to guarantee that you get notification of a new blog entry here, use your Twitter account and add my handle, @topofthecircle. This way, you’ll know when I’ve published something.
If you happen to have your own WordPress blog, there’s an auto-notification system as well.
So, keep reading. You never know when I’m going to post something.
ADVISORY: If you’re a teenager reading today’s blog entry, you may want to read this with a parent or guardian alongside you.
I first met Adriana at a dance held in a ramshackle building in northern Baltimore. She was a dancer from the ballroom world who was eager to step out of her comfort zone to learn another form of dance — one with fewer rules.
She left the area when she finished her undergraduate studies, but we’ve remained connected through social media. She’ll come from her graduate school studies to a major event every once in a while, and I have felt fortunate to have been there to share a dance.
A few days ago, Adriana shared an extraordinary story on social media. She was raped by a man she knew, an experience that had affected her performance at school and relationships with friends and family.
Early this morning, during the late-night dance at the site of a local swing dance competition, I saw Adriana again.
As I saw her and her parner move to the song “Take Back The Night” by Justin Timberlake, I thought how appropriate it was. “Take Back The Night” rallies to raise awareness about violence against women have been held since the mid-70s, and I got a front-row view of such a rally during my undergraduate years in college.
I thought of her action words when she told of her ordeal on social media:
The only way to stop the spread of this poison is to throw it out into the daylight. … You are not alone. It was not your fault. You are still beautiful and special. Tell someone you trust. The only way to heal is to talk about what happened. You may not be ready. That is OK. But make sure you get the help you need so this thing does not destroy your beautiful life.
Here’s to love. Here’s to daylight. And here’s to never letting the monsters win.
Adri and I danced the next song, and we embraced. Monsters conquered.
Today is International Women’s Day, and it’s a good day to remind ourselves that despite the progress that has been made since the days where American women couldn’t vote or own property, there is a long way to go when it comes to all form of women’s issues — everything from reproductive freedom to opportunities to making a living, to legal issues, and to the ways that women are oppressed.
Especially when it comes to rape. It is a vile, violent act that is used as a weapon of war, and is also used as a weapon of power.
And I don’t want any of my friends to undergo what Adriana had to.
The week between the U-19 and U-16 National Indoor Tournaments in field hockey has been dominated by a debate in social media about, all things, the floor.
For years, the indoor game has had a hodgepodge of surfaces from plastic tartan flooring to wood. Most national tournaments of recent vintage have been played on snap-together plastic flooring with varying quality of friction.
The type used last week in Richmond and the one which will be used in Virginia Beach next week, according to many reports, is a very slick floor with a decal on it that yields the effect of playing on a large wooden court. The slickness has caused footing problems for both players and umpires, and has yielded a number of solutions to try to deal with it.
Contract that with the last day or so where there has been a kerfuffle about the uniforms that some NBA teams have been wearing since Christmas Day. A number of teams have been wearing jerseys reminiscent of old-time college teams in that they have sleeves on them.
LeBron James, the NBA’s marquee player, issued a complaint last night about them.
“I’m not a big fan of the jerseys,” James said after a 6-for-18 performance in a double-digit Miami Heat loss. “Every time I shoot it feels like it’s just pulling right up underneath my arm. I already don’t have much room for error on my jump shot. It’s definitely not a good thing.”
For his part, Kevin Durant, a person looking to take James and the Heat off their lofty championship perch, doesn’t see the uniform as a distraction.
“I don’t mind. I play in T-shirts. I played in hoodies before. So it don’t matter,” he said .”Just give us a basketball. We’ll go play.”
I first met Wendy at a swing dance at the large vintage ballroom at the edge of town that hosts large events every week.
She needed a ride back home because she had taken public transportation to the dance because her old car was being repaired, but the buses stopped running after a certain hour on the weekends. She was able to find a ride through the available ride board.
The next week, she arrived at the dance in a full-sized Chevrolet Monte Carlo with a NASCAR-esque paint job, complete with numbers on the doors and the roof, and sponsor decals. It was a “show” car to promote the church she attended; she had borrowed it from the pastor.
She was a semi-regular at local dance events. We had good dances together over the years, but what was more meaningful were the conversations. We talked about all sorts of things, sometimes until 1 a.m. in the parking lot.
A few years ago, she fell in love and married a man who was part of a local dance team. They got married in mid-2011, and she seemed to be doing pretty well in her job as a personal trainer and with volunteer work at her church.
I got word today that she died last Sunday.
It’s hit me and my friends hard; she was barely 30 years old with a smile that could light up a room. She brought light and life to everyone she met.
Go with God, Wendy. You’re in a better place.
I saw this blog entry yesterday.
It’s an absolutely splendid idea to expose players and the public to the concept of boys’ field hockey. And it raises money for Oxfam as well (full disclosure: a college classmate of mine is currently Oxfam’s director of policy and research).
If you can help, please donate here.
A decade and a half ago, the American Basketball League decided to open up operations in its largest market to date: Chicago.
An ownership group led by the wife of former Chicago Bull Craig Hodges started a franchise called the Condors, and put together a roster which included superbly talented players such as future WNBA MVP Yolanda Griffith.
The Condors’ opening game at the University of Illinois-Chicago had Scottie Pippen and Usher in the audience of more than 7,000 — an enviable gate compared to most every other team in the league except the New England Blizzard, which had retained the services of a number of University of Connecticut players.
Only the league wasn’t on its firmest of standing. The WNBA had already started flexing its marketing muscle for its summer league, and there was a thought that the ABL would be going out of business even while a coaching staff was being selected in the fall.
The Condors used a lot of its own marketing, including the fact that Joanna McCarthy — sister of actor/model Jenny McCarthy — was on the team as a seldom-used guard.
The team lasted 12 games, winning four, before the league went under in 1999.
Fast forward to today, and the women’s basketball landscape in Chicago is much different. The WNBA team, the Sky, has perhaps the single most exciting player in the game today in Elena Delle Donne. The current Rookie of the Year averaged more than 30 minutes per game, averaged nearly 19 points a game, and shot a mind-boggling 93 percent from the foul line.
And yesterday in the collegiate ranks, the DePaul Blue Demons clinched its first Big East women’s basketball title.
Now, it was something not unexpected, with the split between Big East and American Athletic Conference teams. But DePaul and junior point guard Brittany Hrynko have come up trumps this season, winning the regular-season title and the No. 1 seed in the postseason tournament.
A tournament which will be held in Chicago.
Question is, with the likes of Louisville and UConn out of the picture from a competitive standpoint, what does DePaul have in terms of its resume if the Blue Demons don’t get the automatic bid that comes with winning the Big East Tournament?
Yesterday, as I was drinking down a cup of mixed coffee accentuated with some cinnamon creamer, I came across a baseball game on TV.
Live, from Florida.
I cast my eyes outside the window as the snow was falling.
Today is the first day of the spring sports season in many states, but with one of the harshest winters in 40 years having left record ice, snow, and cold temperatures behind, it’s also pushing back decisions coaches have to make when it comes to the composition of their teams.
Of course, if your lacrosse team is in one of the new pockets of the game such as Florida, Georgia, or Texas, you don’t have that problem. Indeed, many of the 166 Florida girls’ lacrosse teams (yep, 166) have played upwards of five games already this season.
The girls’ lacrosse intelligentsia have know about this for years, of course, and don’t spare the chance to head south to play lacrosse in Florida. Oddly enough, as good programs have gone to visit, they have shown their hosts a thing or two about how to improve their game. And the last few years, teams like Vero Beach (Fla.) and Milton (Ga.) are amongst the quickest-improving teams in America.
Once the rest of the country gets out of the deep freeze, we’ll see how well this year’s elite teams compete.