Friday, October 29, 2004

Redemption and some humble pie

I don't know what to say.

The events of the last two weeks have me flabbergasted and unable to think or write or speak clearly.

The Boston Red Sox

Are the


Read those last three lines again. I'll wait.

Did you read it? What do you think? It's unfuckingbelievable, that's what I think.

I finally read my last entry and it was pretty damn hopeless. The Sox had just gotten smoked, my uncle was dying (more on this in a bit) and I was in depression. A lot of stuff has happened since then. I'm not going to do it justice, but I am going to try and recap the last ten days.

Sunday, October 17:
I am determined to keep my crappy mood going. I don't go to the Pats, I don't go to the concert and I sleep real late. Aly and I meet my folks and both of them try to cheer me up. It works, to a degree. I decide that I'm not watching Game Four. Too painful, we're going to a movie instead. Can't find one we want to see. Whatever, we'll rent one. Aly's VCR is busted.

We watch TV for a bit, Aly falls asleep around 10:30, I start flipping between the game and something else. The Sox are down by one with an inning to go. What the fuck, I'll see how the last inning goes. Here comes Rivera. Millar is up first (easy strikeout I think) he walks. Dave Roberts pinch runs and steals second. Bill Mueller drills a single into center, the Sox tie the game.

The game continues until 1:30 am before David Ortiz wins it with a walk off dinger. Those fuckers, I'm back in. Just like that. I can't fall asleep because I am too excited. Game Five in 14 hours.

Monday, October 18:
For being down 3-1, people around here are pretty excited. The game starts at 5:00 and doesn't end until 11. In that time, I've gone to the gym, tried not to get too excited and then freaked out when they won again. On another hit by Ortiz. Something is happening in Boston. This is really fucked up. Especially considering they were down by two in the eighth and Rivera blew his second save in the row. That has never happened in the post season.

Tuesday, October 19:
They're in the Bronx and Curt Schilling is pitching. This is the same Curt Schilling who was absolutely rocked the week before in game one and is limping on messed up ankle. They actually sutured a tendon in the wrong place so he could pitch. Read that last sentence again.

ARod shows his true colors by trying to slap a ball out of the hand of Sox reliever Bronson Arroyo. Most bush league play I've ever seen. You suck dude, you're a complete and total bull shit artist. Everything you say is carefully scripted until now when you showed your true colors. You don't deserve to wear the red, white and blue of the Boston Red Sox.

And did he ever pitch. Six shut out innings and the Sox scratch a couple of runs off of Jon "Game two hero" Leiber. They win. The series is now tied at 3-3. Game seven tomorrow in the Stadium. There was a game like this last year, can't recall how it ended.

Wednesday, October 20:
Here is the thing, realistically I wanted the Sox to win game four to avoid the sweep.
Then I wanted them to win game five, so the Yanks couldn't celebrate at Fenway.
Then I wanted them to win game six, just so we could go to game seven and see what happens.
Now I wanted them to win game seven, to make history.

Boston is completely off the hook right now. The Yanks are reeling and our boys (they've always been our boys) are moving in for the kill. The Bombers start Kevin Brown we counter with Derek "Just happy to be on the roster" Lowe. Ortiz hits a two-run dinger in the first. Damon hits a grand slam in the second. Lowe pitches brilliantly, the Sox cruise to the win and the team has done something that has never been done before.

The Yankees have choked in amazing fashion. No MLB team has ever come back from being down 0-3 and won a series. None. Zero. Zilch. Until now. Yankee fans are dying, it's awesome. Now they're the cursed team. Couldn't have happened to a better franchise.

In case you forgot, the Sox are going to the World Series. The first time since 1986. Unbelievable. Ryan came over and Drew flew up from DC. We ended up getting completely shit faced and walked to Davis Square. Unfortunately not much was going on down there, but some girl flashed us. That was the second coolest thing of the night.

I had never been flashed before. The next day at work, I was luggage. This was the first time since New Year's Day that I've been hungover. Not fun at all. I showed up late and took a nap in my car at lunch, not good times.

I also found out that my uncle died. My dad took it very well, but he is sad. I could tell he was sad because he didn't say much. Graveside services were held on Monday. It was weird seeing my uncle and aunt, both of whom I haven't seen in almost 20 years. We went out to lunch with them afterwards and it was really awkward. Thank God for Aly, she is really good at talking to people and did a tremendous job at smoothing over the rough spots.

Saturday, October 23:
It feels like Christmas. Everywhere you go people are asking, "What are you doing tonight? Where are you watching the game? Are the Cardinals that good?" Aly and I started our evening at a really nice Italian restaurant near her house. It was so good we were thinking about using them for our rehearsal dinner next year. Don't think we're going to, they're very expensive.

We ended up going to Keri and Byrnie's house. Aside from Keri, her friend Heather, and Byrnie, I didn't know anyone. Which was cool with me. They had three TVs showing the game, so I grabbed a couch and started watching. The one problem, it was the "girls'" room, so while I sort of looked like a dork as they talked about weddings, dresses and other stuff, I just zoned in on the game.

The Sox beat the crap out of Woody Williams, but the Cards (especially Larry Walker) smacked around Tim Wakefield. Mark Bellhorn, smacked a game winner two-run dinger off the Pesky Pole. One down, three to go.

Sunday, October 24:
Went to Aly's parents for a nice, home-cooked meal. Saw most of the Pats game, they beat the Jets to improve to 21-0 over the last year (that is unbelievable) and was home in time for the first pitch of game two. It's just me and Aly for this one, no on else is around.

The great Curt Schilling was on the mound again. Another six innings of shut out baseball. This guy is Jesus with a glove. The Sox jump all over Cards start Matt Morris and win again. This seems too easy. As Bon Jovi once said, "Oh, we're half way there ..."

Tuesday, October 26:
We are in St. Louis, where we have been told for the one millionth time that they have the best fans in the world. Ok. Whatever. They are very polite and give Sox starter Pedro Martinez a warm welcome. The Sox score first, and thanks to some base running blunders by Walker (thrown out at home by Manny) and Jeff Suppan (forgot to run home and ultimately doubled off), the Sox win 3-1. Pedro was dominant, setting down the last 15 batters who saw him. Keith Foulke gave up a meaningless homer in the ninth and it's one more win.

I watched this game with Aly, Sara and Sara's new boyfriend Chris. Kind of sucked because Sara was getting pissed when I'd get excited about the Sox. That was really fucking annoying. But, whatever, it's her house. She makes the rules, I guess.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004:
This is it. This is the big day. The Sox are looking to do a bunch of shit tonight. One: be the first team to win eight straight. Two: be the first Red Sox team to win a World Series since 1918. If they do it tonight, it's an end to the curse talk, the 19-18 chants, the highlights of Buckner, Bucky and Boone. Basically, it's a new era for Sox fans. If they win tonight, next year and every year after that is a tabla rasa. Clean slate.

Ryan, Andrew, Eddie, Josh, Keri, Byrnie, Skaus, Sara and a bunch of the latter two couples friends meet up at Olde Magoon's Saloon. We get a table in front. Eddie is to my right, Ryan is to my left, Skaus is two seats behind me and Drew is just about in front of me. I'm drinking, but I'm not going to get drunk. That was last week, this is serious business now. I want to enjoy it.

The first guy up, Damon, laces a homer. 1-0, Sox. Derek Lowe comes out and pitches awesomely. Another seven shut out innings. Trot drives in two more in the third. We're up 3-0. The Sox blow a couple of chances to score, which freaks some folks out (Hi Eddie!) and the Cards strand a few. It's the seventh inning and we're counting outs.

At zero, we go bananas. I mean, the entire place loses their collective shit. Champagne is flying everywhere, I'm hugging everyone in sight, my eyes are misting, Ryan is crying, Drew is crying, I bet Eddie crying. The entire bar is a mob scene, people slapping five, yelling, screaming, dancing, shouting, rejoicing. It is like a scene from a movie. I can't believe it. I'm numb. This is not supposed to happen to the Boston Red Sox. They usually only take us so far, and then they kick us out the door. But they did it. They brought it home. I am in love with everyone I see. I can't believe it.

The aftermath:
Here is the thing about Wednesday night, I have been dreaming about this moment for my entire life. And the funny thing is, is that it came out exactly how I thought it would. I knew I'd be in a bar in Boston (or close to Boston), I knew that Ryan would be to the left of me (that's just how I remember it) and I knew that there would be unbridled joy. Ryan, Eddie, Andrew and myself must've hugged and danced for 15 minutes straight. It was that awesome. I've never been so happy for something in my entire life. Just mind-blowing.

But like I said, it didn't sink in until yesterday. During lunch, I went to the beach like I always did and I was listening to the radio ... one of those tributes that has bits and pieces of the season interspliced with a song. I just started to bawl. And cry hard. Baseball is such an important part of my life, and the Red Sox are especially. From February through October, I'm with these guys every day. It feels like I know them, so when they do well I feel great. When they suck, I'm both pissed and sad.

I found out that a lot of my friends cried, including Jay and Brownie, which surprised the shit out of me. Emotional is not a word that I would use to describe either of those guys.

On SoSH, they had a "Win it for ..." thread and I posted in it as well as a thread about 1986. I am going to cut and paste them in here for posterity:

Win it for my mom. The person who taught me how to be a Sox fan and never give up hope.

In a bizarre twist of role reversals (not seen in our home since), it was my mom who told my brother and I to wait out Game Five of the 1986 ALCS, while my father wanted us to come to the table and eat the steaks he cooked. Dave Henderson rewarded our faith with a homer tastier than any steak I've ever had and my mother is the one who started it all.

I remember watching my mom cry when we watched the 1986 Red Sox highlight video in February and coming to the World Series part. I want to laugh with her when we watch the 2004 Red Sox highlight DVD in February and come to the World Series part.

Thanks mom.

I called my mom on Wednesday and thanked her for making me a Sox fan.

Here is the 1986 thing, it is very similar:

1986 was my year too.

I remember really starting to collect baseball cards that spring/summer and wondering why Clemens' Topps card wasn't more "exciting". Riding to Cumberland Farms with $2 in change has never been more fun.

I remember collecting those goofy cartoons of the players that the Globe used to put in the middle of their Sunday comics page.

I remember my mom and dad bringing my brother and I to our first real game as a family in July against the White Sox and marveling at how at ease my dad was in "the big city".

I remember clipping every article, every mention of the Red Sox from three different newspapers in September and pasting them in my scrap book.

I remember my buddy Mike coming to school on Monday and telling me before the doors opened how awesome it was that his uncle took him to Fenway that Sunday so he could watch the Sox clinch the AL East.

I remember thinking, "What the feck" when Schiraldi and the bullpen had their first meltdown in the Angels series.

I remember being hopelessly elated when Hendu hit his dinger.

I remember exactly where I was sitting when the Mets won game six.

I remember being mad that I couldn't stay up to watch Game Seven.

I remember watching my mom cry when we watched the 1986 Red Sox highlight video in February and coming to the World Series part. I remember crying too.

I guess I'm just a sentimental fuck. =)

BTW, there is a reason why I didn't write for 10 days, check it out:

Let me preface this by saying that I don't believe in curses, but I do believe in good mojo. That being said, I did five things since Oct. 17 that I feel were instrumental in this championship.

1. I wore my 1986 Seattle Mariners hat on every game day. Even if it was for three minutes, it worked. During the Yankee series I cycled through my Red Sox hat, my ASU hat and going hatless before settling on the Mariners cap. Don't ask me why it worked ... the ancient Greeks believed that an upside down trident was bad luck. The ancient Greeks never ran into the 2004 Boston Red Sox. 8-0 baby!

2. I wore the same blue windbreaker until today. It was phucking freezing out on some days, but I still wore that stupid thing. Clinging to summer, I suppose.

3. I wore the same black gym shorts all month. No explanation for this, I guess I'm just gross.

4. I didn't write in my Blog since after Game 3. I was so frustrated and tired of them then, that I just didn't want to deal with them. Of course, then Sunday came. I plan on writing a bit tonight.

5. I never told anyone about anything (I did about the hat, because I had to explain why I'm wearing that to the clinching game of the World Series). This includes reading anything in this thread up until now.

Now let me end this entry with an email from my buddy Reddish. This guy is not a sports fan. He doesn't hate them, but he just doesn't have time for it either. Here is what he said about where he was (the Grand Canal in Boston) on Wednesday night:

the scene was just crazy - but not in a destructive way.
i hive fived about 200 people. everyone you walked by was high fiving each other. everyone flocked to fanuiel hall area. there was no road, just people. everyone was just friendly and really happy. as someone here said "it was all love" i didnt go all the way into the madness, i stood on the wall by the jewish memorial. i was already covered in beer from the bar. i thought the bar was gonna be torn apart. just madness when they won.

it was so fun. i so would not have gotten the same experience watching it on tv at home. since im so fairweathered. im more happy for the die hards like you.

That about sums it up.

Sunday, October 17, 2004

Saturdays some times suck

As far as weekends go, this was supposed to be a good one. Today Aly and I were to get up early, go check out a photographer, come home and eat lunch, go to the Harvard/Northeastern football game, go out to dinner with Nick and Debbie and then watch the Sox beat the Yanks. Tomorrow I was supposed to go to the Pats game and either watch the fourth game of the Sox/Yanks or see Public Enemy and Living Colour.

There's always a fucking monkey wrench.

We got really lost this morning and the photographer pretty much blew. On the way to the corner store for some milk I found out that my uncle is dying and will be gone within ten days. Apparently he has been shitfaced for the last 30 years and his liver finally gave out on him. His skin is yellowed from jaundice, he's bleeding from every orifice and they just took him off his pain killers.

This is my dad's brother, and he's been a bit estranged. The only time he would call the house is when he was drunk and then it was a 3:00 am ramble. At first it used to freak me out because he was sort of scary, just that bizarre vocal vomit that alcoholics spew when they don't know better. And it's frightening because they're capable of doing anything.

After a while, the fear melted and it turned to a laughing matter. "Who called last night?" "Oh, it was your uncle Chris." "Yeah? What did he say this time." These were the type of conversations my parents, my brother and I would inevitably have the day after the midnight calling.

But, it's really serious now. I haven't seen the guy in probably 14 years (since my grandmother died), but I still feel really shaken up by it. It was all I thought about tonight. He was (what the fuck? he's not gone yet) he is a good guy, he always made Jay and I laugh. He's sort of like a big kid, a lost soul who really didn't do any damage to anyone but himself. However, by messing up himself, he's messed up the people around him.

I don't know. I went to a bar tonight to watch the Sox get clobbered by the Yankees tonight and I couldn't bring myself to order any sort of drink. Not even a beer. It just seemed really disrespectful. I had a sip of Aly's and it tasted like poison.

Then I called Jim around 11:30 pm and told him that I couldn't go to the Patriots game. It was a dick move. If someone called me at 11:30, I would be pretty pissed, and honestly, I feel awful. But here's the thing, I was supposed to get picked up at 7:30 am, and I bet we'd get to Foxboro around 10 or so. The game starts at 1:00. What do you do before a football game? You drink. I couldn't do it tonight and I can't do it tomorrow. I just can't. Us Magranes have to be careful, we can easily fall into the trap baited with alcohol.

Another reason is because I have to be close to my family. What if something happens to him and I'm in Foxboro goofing around like nothing is the matter? I'd feel awful. One day I may look back and wonder what the hell my problem was. If I look at it from another's perspective, I might think: who cares, you barely knew the man. And what you did know of him it was either through fear or ridicule.

But it's not that I feel bad for him. It's my father. This is his brother. He's losing another piece of his family. A family he may not have been close to, but a family nonetheless.

So, the Harvard game was ok. I really wasn't in to it though. Then Aly and I came home and we got into an argument. We rarely fight, but when we do it gets pretty intense. I really don't feel like rehashing it, but it fucking sucked.

The last I checked the Sox were losing by 12 runs. It was like 19-7 or something like that. It was just a terrible game. This depressed me too. Not as bad as the events earlier in the day, but I was looking forward to this game and the Sox climbing back into the series, but it's not to be. See you next spring, Sox.

This is what I hate about the end of baseball. It's the end of warm weather and the summer and you have to go through a long winter of cold, wet, dark weather in order to see your favorite team again. And then it's another year gone by, you're a year older and you still haven't seen a World Series championship. It's just too depressing to think about.

I hate them. I hate the hold that they have over me. I wish I could just be an unattached yahoo fan and not care. That's the problem. The caring. The heartbreaking. The love of the Sox. The absolute hate of the Yankees. It's blinding. And maddening. All at once.

As for the Public Enemy/Living Colour show. Fuck it. I had too much to do this weekend, now I have nothing. And that's fine. I want to go into a cocoon and never come out. This has been a trying weekend, and it's not even Sunday yet. How much do you want to bet that I get a call from work tomorrow about a show? I'd lay even money that I do.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Just a few quick observations

The Yanks are beating the Sox, again. 3-1 in the bottom of the eighth. It's probably over for the Red Sox. I hate feeling like this, but it's probably true. I just wish that New York didn't make it look so easy.

Pedro has pitched pretty well, the bats were kept silent by Jon fucking Lieber. When you get beat up by Jon Lieber, you know it's not in the cards. Whatever. I'm just too depressed to even think about it.

I saw an interesting bumper sticker yesterday: "My boss is an Austrian painter." It took me a few seconds to realize what this jackass was talking about, but it was Hitler. I was actually sort of shocked for a few reasons: one the out-and-out brazenness of it, but the car wasn't a shit box, the guy had on a shirt and tie, regular haircut and it looked like he was driving to work (it was 7:45 am).

It looks like the Aryan race has gone above ground. Aside from his Hitler bumper sticker, he also had one that touted the International European Brotherhood and a double-headed eagle. It's been two days and for some reason, I still can't stop thinking about this. It should be a sick joke, but it didn't seem like one.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Wrapping up last night

Turns out I was worried for nothing. Yesterday's booth mishap truly was not my fault. In fact I spent over two hours trying to track this stupid thing down and it can not be found. The guy at the warehouse was cool, admitted that it was his fault and said that we should put in a claim so we can get a new booth.

Moni was cool about it and tomorrow I'll be making the claim. What a pain in the ass though. Lots of melodrama for naught. But it's better than this being my fault and being in the soup.

I found out some good news on Friday afternoon. Looks like I don't have Grave's Disease after all. On Thursday night when I was talking to the doctor, he asked again if I have lost weight, had any shakes, etc. I told him no. He remarked that this was odd and told me to get another blood test just to be sure. This time my test were really good and he said not to go on any drugs and to see him in two months.

Not only was I pretty psyched, but my mother thought that this was the greatest news ever. I think she thought that I had one foot in the grave (pun intended).

This afternoon on, I wrote this:

I'm nervous.

I'm very nervous.

First-date nervous.

And it's all about a situation 500 miles away between a group of 18 men that I have zero control over.

I have an intese hatred of the letters N and Y, so much so that when I see it interlocked on a field of dark blue, I want to puke.

The Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees are playing tonight and I can't concentrate on any work that I have in front of me ... which is a shame because I have a lot.

My roommate asked me to watch the game at a local bar, but I don't know if I want to do that ... I'm that nervous.

When I get nervous, I use the same words a lot.

Here's the thing though: I wouldn't change this feeling for anything in the world. I love baseball and I love the playoffs, and I especially love when the Sox and Yankees collide for seven out of the next ten nights. It's a cliche, but it is the pinnacle in sports. Two vastly different teams with contrasting attitudes on what it means to be a "professional" are duking it out for bragging rights.

Think that the Yanks don't care about the Sox, ask a Yankee fan to give you their favorite moment of the World Series last year. They can't. And it's not because they lost either. It's because they didn't care who won or lost. The World Series ended early on October 17.

A new cast of characters only makes the rivalry more intense. I love it. I can't wait. But I'm still nervous.

Go Sox.

Right now, I feel sick. The Sox are getting their asses kicked 8-0, Mike Mussina is throwing a PERFECT GAME, and the Fox announcers are acting like their old obnoxious selves. It's literally a hat-trick of suckatude. Oh yeah, Schilling's ankle is really bugging him too and he left the game after three craptacular innings.

This is what happens with the New England fans (including me): the Sox do something really cool (let's say sweeping the Angels) and everyone loses their shit. I mean completely. Their expectations are so high, there is nothing realistic about them. The Sox, being humans, can't reach the heights that the fans set for them. This sets the pendulum in the opposite direction. People are on the brink of suicide and the next few days are as terrible as the previous days were glorious.

At least Mark Bellhorn broke up the no-hitter. And Ortiz got a hit.

Right now, I'm obviously watching this game in my bedroom, about an hour ago Eddie invited me down to this bar about three blocks from the house called Olde Magoun's Saloon. It's cool, typical Irish bar, serves Guinness has a few nice TVs, etc. I was there with Mark (my old roommate) and Josh. Unfortunately I had to sit next to Josh.

I've known this guy, hell I've lived with this guy for almost two years and you would think that I just met him. He's such a fucking stiff. Never says anything. You try to start a conversation with him he answers with one words. I'm not looking to yak it up with Jay Leno, but I mean show some kind of personality. I figured that since the Sox were getting their ass kicked, I was paying for beers (the bar tender had a shitty Guinness pours) and wasn't talking to anyone anyway, I might as well go home.

Mark is a cool guy, I would've been happier (and probably stayed longer) had I been able to sit next to him or Eddie. But Josh ends up pissing me off. I've spoken to Ed about it here and there and he said, "That's just the way he is" and Josh has even said that he isn't very good socially. Whatever. If you know you're being a dick and you still act like a dick, then you're just a dick no matter how intellectual you think that you are.

Another reason why I left is because I'm fucking exhausted. It wasn't just the uncertainty of my job and the booth stuff, it was something else. Another something a bit smaller, but just as much as a pain in the ass. We have a mouse in our house. And last night, that little fucker was as loud as a brass band. In fact, while I was typing this Blog, that little shit ran into Eddie's room.

It's a black thing about an inch long.

But I'm going to get it. I bought six "cartoon" traps and set up four in my bedroom, two in Ed's room and I also have two poison pellet traps in my room. That piece of crap is leaving this house in a mini body bag.

BTW, the Sox have scored five in the seventh. Now the Yanks trot out their tenor to sing "God Bless America". Basically they freeze the opposing pitcher under the guise of patriotism. This is such a bullshit Republican move, it isn't funny. I fucking hate the Yankees, their false patriotism and everything about them.

Monday, October 11, 2004

The loooooooooooooong weekend

This was one of those weekends bookended with disappointment, but with a lot of fun in the middle.

Thursday night Jay and I had a bit of a fight. He doesn't want to go to the concert with me on Sunday night. He has to work on Sunday night and Monday morning. I asked why he couldn't take two hours off on Sunday night and meet me at Avalon at 7:00. He said that he couldn't, then he started to complain about working "12 hours in a row" on Monday. I don't why he can't take a few hours off on Sunday, or go to work a few hours early.

I do understand about working the next, it sucks, but I'm going to have to do it too. What I don't think that Jason understands is that I never see the kid. At all. He's always busy, no matter what time of the day I ask him to hang out. When he said that he wanted to hang out, I was pumped. It wasn't just seeing the show, it was spending time with him.

I don't want to just see my brother on holidays and passing him in the halls of my parents' house when I go home. I get sad about that.

The other shitty thing that happened this weekend was that my job is really starting to eat at me. Sunday Penny called me up from a conference in Washington. Apparently, the booth was never delivered to the conference. I know it was sent to the DC area, I double checked this on Friday morning.

But because of Sunday and today's holiday, the earliest time that they can get the booth is Tuesday. I think that the conference people lost it or misplaced it. This fucking blows because I'm going to have to take a raft of shit for this. I'm sick of it. I'm sick of having to count on people to do my job properly. I check and double check my work every day and still things go wrong.

Always. Do I think that Monica is going to understand? I sincerely doubt it. She'll wonder why it wasn't delivered. I'm not going to have a good answer. That is what I'm going to have to think of tonight. This just sucks.

For the entire weekend, Aly and I were at her parents' house taking care of her dog Murphy. That was fun. I felt like I was on vacation. Friday, we drove there through the back roads and in Dover we saw a deer. It ran out in front of my car, stopped, looked at us and darted in the woods. It was really cool.

The only other time I had ever seen a deer is when I was in high school and saw one in my backyard. It was just chilling out, saw me and jumped over the fence. It was amazing, so graceful, so poised. It really is one God's beautiful creatures.

Saturday and Sunday were wedding plans days. On Saturday we went to Cranston, RI to speak with a videographer. He was pretty cool, had some pretty good ideas about how to video a wedding. The one thing we were a bit concerned about was that there was a lot of shots of the back of peoples' heads. That might not be so good.

After that we went to the Federal Hill section of Providence. There was an Italian-day festival (which makes sense since this is Columbus Day weekend) and we just walked around, listened to a few bands, ate some grub and went home. Later that night we went to Joe's American Bar and Grille with Lauren and Bob. Bob was completely shit faced. It was sort of funny because Lauren was getting mad at him. We also carved pumpkins. I got into it so much that Aly didn't even have a chance to make a cut. I felt sort of bad about that when I was done.

Though we did have two cool pumpkins: one was a normal one with a funny face the other had the Sox and Yankee logos. That one took a lot of time, but like I said, I did a good job.

On Sunday we went to see a photographer in Franklin. He seemed cool, except that today we found out that he's already been booked on our day. Complete waste of time. After that we went to Lauren and Bob's house for dinner and football. The Patriots won their 19th game in a row. That rocks. I see them next week when they play Seattle.

Today we registered for more stuff at Crate and Barrel and then went to my parents' house for their anniversary. Nina was there, so it was nice to see her. I guess Jay and Vanessa were there too, but they were gone by the time Aly and I showed up.

I haven't been talking about this very much because I don't want to jinx them, but the Sox swept the Angels on Friday and tomorrow night they play the Yanks in the ALCS. It's going to be a nerve-wracking 10 days. New York has set a record for the most come from behind wins in a season. The Sox are just playing awesome. Something is going to have to give.

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Bienvenidos a Miami

Memo to Will Smith, Dan Marino and Sonny Crocket: you can keep Miami. That place sucks.

Beginning Sunday, I had to spend three days in Miami Beach for an American Health Care Association conference. It wasn't fun from moment one. On Sunday morning I went downstairs to meet the car that was giving me a ride to the airport. I litterally live about 15 minutes from the airport and I was going to be there an hour and a half before my flight.

Not bad. I don't mind being at the airport early. So I get in the car and I know this guy, he's picked me up before. He's a cool dude. We shoot the shit and I notice that he's not going the normal way through the Callahan Tunnel into East Boston.

"Where are we going?"

"Through the Ted Williams tunnel (in Southie)."

Whatever. Maybe it's a short cut. He's the professional. He should know. We get to wear we're supposed to make a left into the tunnel and there's marathon going on. A fucking marathon. We stay in line for over 15 minutes before he decides to drive around. Everywhere we go, we are met by the marathon and throng of people running on a beautiful Boston Sunday morning.

It's now 10:50. The driver, I think his name is John, is swearing and driving around in circles. We end up in Chinatown. Stuck in traffic. We drive around some more. It is now 11:05 and we're in Quincy. At 11:15 we finally end up at the airport. My flight is at 11:27. The ticket lady says I'm already too late. I realized my second worst traveling fear ... I missed my flight.

I wait around for three hours and get on another one. I touch down in Miami just before 5:00, any hope of doing any sort of work is out the door. I end up grabbing a taxi to my hotel, the Wyndham Miami Beach. Not a bad hotel. It's like every other Miami hotel though, it was probably once really nice, but it has deteriorated and no one has spent the time or the money to fix it up.

That's all Miami Beach is, a bunch of run down, buildings that were hollow and souless when they were new. Now they're relics of an era where Jim Crow still ruled and Miami Beach was THE place to hang. I was lead to believe that it still was. I guess I was wrong.

The one cool thing about this trip is that I literally had to work for three hours a day. That's it. But those three hours sort of sucked, I really had to put on my happy face and pretend that I actually loved everyone. "Come to our booth and win this camera!" "Yes sir, are prices are too but, look at the value you get!" "Please take a look at our catalogs." Whatever. You either want to buy this shit or you don't.

One woman in the booth next to us who was hocking maniucures-at-home was an overachieving power saleswoman. She'd try to take people that we were talking to, until I said something to her. What a pain in the ass.

The two people I went with were pretty cool: Paul and Chris. Chris and I didn't really hang out that much, she's a 50-year-old lesbian who has a kid, so we didn't have much in common. She was interesting to talk to though, she lives in Machester and used to commute every day to Leominster. She's really psyched that she doesn't have to do that any more. Now that's a crap-ass commute.

Paul and I had more in common. He's about my age, so we ended up getting a couple of beers after the conference and went out on Tuesday night. We were originally going to go to this place called Dellano. He went there with a bunch of chicks who picked him up on Sunday night while he was having a beer alone in his hotel bar.

He said this place Dellano is amazing. Lots of hot chicks and it's an outdoor bar that has a pool in the middle. Around the outside of the pool are a bunch of beds. He said it was very "decadent". In any event, when we went there on Tuesday, I saw probably one of the hottest chicks I've ever seen in my life leaving the bar (which was in a hotel). Smoking body, beautiful face, this was shaping up to be a good night.

Wouldn't you know that the bar was closed because it was a party for hotel guests. Ah well, I probably wouldn't have fit in very well there. That's a brie crowd, I'm more cheddar.

I went to the beach on Monday and took a stroll to the water. As I was coming back to my seat, I noticed a plastic cylinder. It was a hypodermic needle (sans needle). Nice place Miami. Beside needles on the shore, it was humid. Had to be 90% humidity every day. I was literally sweating my ass off just breathing.

On Wednesday, I was about to go the conference when Monica called up. Apparently something went wrong at a conference on Sunday and she was pissed. She didn't know what exactly went wrong, she was to meet with the complaint giver at 3:00, but for some reason she wanted me aware of this. You know me. I don't handle this sort of stuff very well. For the next five hours, I was freaking. Badly. I honestly thought I was going to be fired.

I called her around 4:00 and it turns out it wasn't my fault. Did she call to tell me that? No. So I completely got myself bent out of shape for nothing. Thanks. That fucking rules. It's definitely time for a new job.

Today I went to the doctor's about my Graves' Disease. Looks like I have it. I'm not worried though. I just have to take two pills every day for a year. AFter that I should be cured. If I'm not, I will get radiation treatments. My doctor is convinced that since the disease is so slight, the pills should take care of everything.

Am I a bit nervous? Of course I am a little, but I just have to have faith that I will be ok. If you were to ask my mom, I officially have inopperable brain cancer. That's what mothers do though. They worry. That's a pretty shitty job, but if your mom doesn't worry about you, no one will.

And yes, I get the irony of me getting pissed about my mom over worrying, while getting angry at someone else for causing me to over worry.

Last Friday Aly and I went to Ryan's new house. It's really nice. Big, old and has plenty of rooms for him, Kristen and the boys. This is THE house that you live in for the majority of your life. He must be very happy and content with it. They really had a tough time finding a place, but I'm sure it's all worth it now.

On Saturday, Ryan's folks invited us down for dinner with Aly's parents and my parents, Byrnie and Keri and Ryan and the boys. We had a good time. Bill cooked both turkey and ham and we played bocce. I love days like that, drinking, goofing around, hanging with family. It was a good Saturday.

I'm pretty tired right now, so I'm out. I have some other things to say, but I'll wait until either tomorrow or Saturday.