Thursday, April 14, 2005

Fenway, vacations and other junk

Originally when I envisioned this entry, I was going to post some of the pictures that I took on Monday, but fucking Comcast ruined any of those thoughts. For the second night in a row (and third of the last week) Internet service has been knocked out. What I’m going to do is write this as a Word document, email it to work tomorrow morning (when the net is back up) and up load it at work. After I come back from our mini-vacation, I’m looking into other Internet options. This is absolutely ridiculous.

As far as great days go, Monday may have been one of the greatest that I’ve ever had. I already told you a little bit about what I did that day, but after the guys (Jay, Skaus and Ryan) got here it really got moving. To start off, we drank a few beers then went to grab the train. For one reason or another it was late, which wasn’t the worst thing in the world. Why? Because we ran across this woman who was in her late 50s and completely sloshed at 12:30 in the afternoon. She was also going to the Sox game, by herself incidentally, and was packing contraband.

In order to save some cash, she was sneaking nips into the game. She showed us where they were hidden (in her bra). Then she told us about how she loves going to games by herself and last year she went to the World Series in St. Louis alone. After a while she got sort of boring, so we moved down the track.

As you can imagine, the train was completely packed with Sox fans who were all very excited to go to the old ball yard after a short winter of content. I never went to any of the Series games, but I can’t imagine a more palpable sense of excitement that you can almost touch. When the train finally dumped us at our stop it was like washing onto a sea of red and navy blue. People were everywhere, lines for even the diveyest of bars snaked around the corner. The sun was shining and people were happy, ecstatic, giddy even. Most folks had been waiting for this day for their entire lives and it was here. It was really here.

We made our way into the park about an hour early and we had some lunch, after a long winter, a Fenway sausage tastes like heaven. Add some fries and wash that all down with a beer and you’re talking edible utopia. Then it was time to go to the seats, we were in the bleachers and our seats were about as far up as you could be, row 49 out 50 rows. No matter, we could see and hear everything that was going on.

The Sox began the festivities with a retrospective of the past year, the most magical of years. Then it was time for the rings, they called out all of the 2004 Sox one by one, in order of how long they’ve been with the club. The roll call even included departed stars Derek Lowe, Dave Roberts and Ramiro Mendoza. The first two got some of the biggest cheers of the day and they all just drank it in. The last guy to get their ring was Johnny Pesky, who had been with the team in some capacity for over 60 years.

Then it was time for Pesky and Yaz to raise the 2004 World Championship banner up the flagpole. (I forgot to mention the gigantic banner that the Sox unfurled that completely eclipsed the Green Monster). After that four of Boston’s greatest winners; Bill Russell, Bobby Orr, Teddy Bruschei and Richard Seymore, emerged from under the banner (which was covered by a gigantic American flag) and made their ways to the pitching mound. All four men threw out the opening pitch. Because of what happened to Bruschei over the winter (a small stroke) he got a thunderous applause too.

Speaking of applause, the funniest moment of the day is when the Yankee players were introduced. Mariano Rivera received a standing ovation. Most times this sort of ribbing would cause an athlete to scowl and grit his teeth, but Rivera was classy about the kidding and doffed his cap and showed a big smile. You have to appreciate stuff like that.

The game was a blow out, for the Sox. They beat the Yankees 8-1, as the Dean of the Sox, Tim Wakefield pitched a beauty. A funny thing happened as we struck up a conversation with the guy sitting next to us, turns out he’s a SoSHer, ibrewbeer, who came to the Fens from Delaware. He’s a hell of a guy, he was saying that the Single-A guys at Wilmington were ragging on Kevin Youkilis and the good press that he’s been getting. According to ibb, most of them see Youks as a fat singles hitter who walks now and then.

So we saw what was once only a dream, watched the Sox bludgeon the Yanks and we hung out with a cool guy and my three closest friends. All in all a great day.

There was something that I wanted to add to my Drabble bashing from Monday, and this was the most important evidence that Fagan was directly copying Homer Simpson. Around the early 90s, Ralph became addicted to donuts. Fucking donuts. Why don’t you just change his name to Homer J. and be done with it? This guy is pathetic.

I meant to write about this on Monday, but I forgot, Saturday night Aly and I went out to dinner with Brownie and Cindy. We went to Brookline’s own La Morra, which is our favorite restaurant, and we had a blast. Brownie and Cindy are a lot like Aly and me in that we really enjoy eating good food. And this place has it.

We ended up eating everything in sight and ordered ourselves a couple of bottles of very good wine. Since they took us out a few months ago, we returned the favor. Then we went to Matt Murphy’s, heard a cool band that just did instrumentals and then returned home. We didn’t think it was that late, but when you have a great time with good friends, the night just flew by. We were all a little wasted and Sunday I was feeling it.

About two weeks ago Pope John Paul II died, which set off about ten days of mourning. I felt pretty bad that the Pope died, he seemed like a good guy, though there were a few things that I disagreed with, but he seemed like a decent person. The premise of this story isn’t that the Pope died, it was a story that I read following his death that captured my attention.

There is a parish in Attleboro which a year ago planned a trip to the Vatican for last week. There was the usual pomp and circumstance that occurred with the wake and funeral of the Pontiff. St. Peter’s Square was crammed with hundreds of thousands of pilgrims who wanted to pay their respects to their spiritual leader. It was an historic event, but it was so different. The question that I thought of was, if I was going on a trip such as this, would I have liked to be a part of history or would I have enjoyed just seeing the day-to-day living of the Vatican? I think I would choose the latter. One of the things that I appreciate about traveling is that I enjoy seeing how normal people of other countries normally live their lives.

I enjoy the mundane because that is what I think allows you to see how another culture lives. If I haven’t been there before, I don’t want to see a special day where people act out of the norm. For example, the times that we went to Ireland or the time I went to the Dominican Republic and Mexico, it wasn’t during a holiday (Cinco de Mayo or St. Patrick’s Day), they were just regular weeks in the lives of the natives. I learned a lot by viewing the daily hum drum of the lives of the natives. When I travel, I enjoy seeing the sites, but I most enjoy seeing how people live and comparing it to my life.

I guess it goes along with me loving taking a random Wednesday off and knowing that I’m the only one who doesn’t have to go to work that day. It’s cool to have Thanksgiving or Christmas off, but everyone has those two days off. Not everyone has May 24 off, you’re special and it’s sort of like your own holiday.

Speaking of holidays, Friday Aly and I are taking a trip to Washington DC for the wedding of our friends Johanna and Brian. Friday night we’re staying with Danna and Rick in New York, Saturday is the second leg of travel and the wedding, Sunday we’re going to the Washington Nationals/ Arizona Diamondbacks game with Aly’s friend Anne (whom we are staying with) and Monday we’re returning home. Unless I write on Monday, I probably won’t be talking to you all until next Wednesday (I have a Sox/Blue Jays game on Tuesday).

So if I don’t see you until then, have a good week and good luck to anyone running the Boston Marathon.

No comments: