Friday, October 29, 2004

Comrades in arms

These are the people I talked to the night the Red Sox won the World Series. (Forgive my redundancy, but I will never ever ever grow tired of typing the words "the Red Sox won the World Series." Because, you know, the Red Sox won the World Series!!!!!)

1. My dad. For reasons I've already detailed, he deserved the first call. But I have no idea what we said to each other because both of our connections were terrible. Mostly we joyfully screamed at each other.

2. My friend Justin. For almost 12 years he has been my go-to Red Sox friend. Over this last season, we have exchanged thousands upon thousands of emails dissecting not only the minutiae of each game, but also the personalities of every single player on that team. Anyway, when I got him on the phone he could not stop laughing. I don't know if I've ever heard Justin so happy. No, wait, I do know. I haven't.

3. My mom. She is all emotion when it comes to this team, and this year she embraced the playoff hunt, and the Red Sox-Yankees rivalry in particular, with a fervency that suprised even me. She may not know the name of every player on the team, but she "gets it" 500 percent. All she could say over and over again was that she was "over the moon."

4. My sister. So once upon a time there were two sisters, one who followed Boston sports and one who didn't. The older one, the one who was a sports fan, always felt sad that her younger sister didn't care about the Boston teams, because it seemed to be the only preoccpuation they didn't share. But over the years the younger sister started to show more and more interest, until finally she found herself completely swept up in the excitement of this year's playoffs. When I got her on the phone, mostly she kept saying, "I am SO happy for you!" But I'm happy for her too.

5. My friend Ada. Ada was my best friend from first grade on, and she was also my best Red Sox friend. For most of grade school we were two little tomboys, going to Red Sox games together, playing little league together, petitioning for girls to be able to play on the boys' baseball team together. After college we lost touch for a long while, but Ada found me again a year ago. She came out to visit last month and it was like no time had passed -- we were both ready to throw up and punch a wall after we watched the Red Sox lose a tough one to the Yankees. She was my last significant phone call of the evening, and basically we kept squealing into the phone for a good 10 minutes.

Now, I may or may not have talked to a lot of other people. I was a wee bit drunk, so the memories are hazy. But my thoughts were also with:

1. Kate - former roomie, reborn Sox fan, and one of my all-time favorite people to watch a game with. For personal reasons, she temporarily moved back to the Boston area this fall, and I have to believe that serendipity was at play.

2. Leslie - a NE native and NYC resident, she's a very brave Sox fan indeed. We talked several times during the playoffs, but our conversations mostly consisted of, "Meaghan." "Leslie." "Oh my God." "I know." "Holy Fuck." "I know."

3. Jason - great college buddy and a Yankees fan. Heh heh. Sorry, dude.

4. Kim - she's gently laughed at my regular-season fandom, especially when it's made me scream obscenities and call everyone around me names, but come the playoffs she's as enthusiastic a fan as there is.

5. Amanda - a baseball neophyte who nonetheless understood that the ground shifted under our collective feet Wednesday night.

Thursday, October 28, 2004

Baseball porn

I am sitting in front of NESN watching a highlight program featuring the season's most exciting wins. My joy is unmitigated.

Malapropian Manny

"I don't believe in curses. I think you make your own destination."

Um, yeah. Pretty much the greatest Manny Ramirez quote ever. Manny who is, by the way, the MVP of the 2004 World Series, WHICH WAS WON BY THE RED SOX.







I'm watching the pigs fly by my window right now.
Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Deep Breath

Okay. Okay. The Sox are up 3-0. Okay. Okay. One more victory away from the World Series crown. Okay. Okay. I love this team more than any Boston team I've watched in my lifetime, and they are the ones poised to do It. Okay. Okay.

Okay. I can't say anything more right now, for I am an INSANE BASKET CASE.

Come tomrrow, let's hope all is more than okay.

Oh Petey My Petey

This was the performance we've all waited for -- for what, seven years? Seven shutout innings, baffled hitters, congratulatory hugs and hair-shakes afterwards. I love Pedro so much, always have, always will, and I have mentally begged and pleaded for this night for I don't know how long. (Oh wait, I do! Seven years.)

Some years ago, I lost a pool game to Dan, and my "punishment" was that I had to write a fan letter to Pedro. You can bet I'll be writing that letter at the end of this post-season.
Monday, October 25, 2004

Red Sox 6, Cardinals 2 (Insert Heroism Cliche Here )

What can you say about Schilling's performance last night that hasn't already been said or understood? The man is a soon-to-be Boston legend. For decades to come, we will pull our children onto our laps and tell them "The Tale of Curt Schilling and the Bloody Sock (Parts I and II)."

I've never been more cautiously optimistic about the Red Sox's World Series chances in my life. But I/we must continue to let caution trump optimism, at least for now....

I Shit You Not

This is an excerpt from a memo we received at work this morning:

"Rainy Days: General Awareness"

Follow these tips to prepare for wet conditions at home and work:

1. Wear shoes with good traction (rubber soles) and remain aware of walking surfaces.

2. Report leaks, clogged drains, and pooling of water to your department’s facility manager. Be especially careful by doorways where pedestrian traffic contributes to wet surfaces.

3. Avoid shaking or storing umbrellas near high traffic areas.

Prepare for rainy days!

Baby's First Title

I am caught in limbo this morning, waiting to hear if I have to go to a photo shoot with (gag) a big-money donor and (gag gag gag) a horse. It's too difficult and boring to explain further. I'm hoping the rain washes out the whole thing.

It's a soft rain this morning, one that hasn't deterred the birds from chirping. But another "storm" is approaching, apparently, one that warrants a "severe weather" advisory from the Weather Service. People, you don't even know.

So catch my new title feature. I resisted adding it for a while, since I write headlines for a living and am notoriously bad at it. But the blog felt empty without. So, so. So there you go.
Friday, October 22, 2004
Where have I been the last day and a half, you ask? Trying to catch up on the puddles of work I've neglected this past week because I've been so nervous and distracted and then finally SO DAMN ELATED I haven't known what to do with myself.

I'll write more later, but all I can say is that Wednesday night rivaled the night I got engaged as the happiest night of my life. Red Sox win the ALCS 4-3 over the Yankees. A more beautiful truism has never come to pass.
Wednesday, October 20, 2004
There is an outrageously touching thread going on at Sons of Sam Horn, in which members are explaining who the Red Sox should win this game for. Their fathers, their mothers, their friends, their children, themselves. Some deceased, some alive, all still desperately yearning for that elusive, defining victory.

One True Reader threw his hat in the ring and wrote about why the Sox should win this one for his late grandfather. So I'm chucking my (admittedly fraudulent) veneer of indifference and plunging head-first into the pool of sentimentality.

Win this for my dad.

My dad who taught me how to throw and catch and bat and field.

My dad who took my sister and me to our first Red Sox games, plunking us in the bleachers amongst the drunks and the freaks.

My dad who told a televised Rich Gedman, "Uch, you're terrible," after he dropped a foul pop-up during a regular-seasn game in 1980. I'd never heard him express disgust before.

My dad who encouraged me to play little league ball even though I was practically the only girl on the team, and who then bragged to everyone about my 11-for-12 start.

My dad who found me crying in my bed after the Red Sox went down three games to one in the 1986 series against the Angels. A smile kept creeping into his face as he comforted me. He was bearing full witness to what he had wrought.

My dad who helped me finish a fan letter to Roger Clemens and encouraged me to send it.

My dad who finagled me the chance to throw out the first ball at a Red Sox game in 1987 (long story, but it's true). I threw it to the aforementioned Gedman, who told me if I kept throwing like that, I'd be joining the Sox in a few years. (In theory I was about five years past believing him, but, well, you know....)

My dad who, a few years ago, admitted to me that when he can't sleep at night, he still imagines himself a member of the Red Sox, at the plate in Game 7 of the World Series, the bases loaded and the Sox down three runs. He hits the grand slam to win it and then goes to sleep.

My dad who, when I finally got up the nerve to call him after Game 7 last year, said, "Meaghan, I've been lying here on the couch for the last hour trying to get up the nerve to call you, telling myself, my daughters love me, my family loves me... these are the things that are important." He was half-convincing.

My dad who has refused to get his hopes up all season long and all post-season long despite my encouragement. He wrote me this email during the divisional series: "What I love about you, Meaghan, is that you are always ready to open up your heart again. I hope you'll always be a believer and not a skeptic as I have become in my older age."

Make him a believer again. Win this one for my dad.
I was a pillow-biter tonight, in the literal, G-rated sense of the term. I chewed on one of our couch pillows from the fourth inning on of this game. The Sox have sucked me back in. I succumb.


1. A.Rod is a sissy. He tried to sweep the leg and failed. Pathetic. But I love that he showed his true colors tonight.

2. Have I ever thought this before? All my love goes to the umps for putting integrity above ego.

3. Throughout this series, Dan and I have been bitching about Joe Buck's tendency towards oratory premature ejaculation. He calls the end of an inning while a potential third out is still in the air; he calls home run balls while they're still in an upward trajectory. Well, tonight he finally got called on it, thanks to the wind knocking down the Posada fly ball. "He's about to contribute a lot more..... oh wait." Maroon.

4. Schilling is a God. He's also a big God man, which I never really knew. I'm completely good with that. Whatever it takes.

5. The eighth inning, the eighth inning, the eighth inning.... for much of the game I was freaking out in anticipation of the eighth inning. I was so afraid that with a three-run lead, we were merely setting ourselves up for a Game 7 repeat. But if we made it through, I thought that would prove to be our final major hurdle. We made it through. That's all I'm going to say.

6. I owe Bellhorn a Papi-sized hug. I'm so sorry I ever doubted you, dude (and you are a complete dude).

Monday, October 18, 2004
Honestly. I have no words.

No, wait, I do. David Ortiz, a.k.a the mom from "Good Times," is not just my favorite player ever, but one of my top 10 favorite people ever.
Three weeks ago I got fitted for a contact lens. Yes, one lens. Only one of my eyes is bad, but it's very, very bad. And because of the vision discrepancy between my two peepers, I often get headaches, even when I wear my reading glasses. I didn't want to succumb to the Mr. Peanut look and sport a monocle, so a single contact lens was the next best way to go.

I could write a 1,500-word post about how it's going so far (at least one of those words would be "terribly"), but suffice it to say, I now have oodles of admiration for contact-wearers. Oodles.
Oh my. Well, hey, we live to see another day. At Fenway. With Pedro pitching.

And if memory serves, I'm supposed to go to some moronic meeting tomorrow that falls smack dab in the middle of the game. Even more unfortunuately, it's a meeting about community involvement, so it's pretty hard to beg off.
Saturday, October 16, 2004
Omigod, the guy who just sang "God Bless America" was INSANE. Like, Vincent D'Onofrio in "Full Metal Jacket" insane. What if he had shot Jeter and Matsui after that performance? Does the game still count?
Okay, while this game develops into an eight-hour affair that will be lost when Dale Sveum, the seventh Red Sox pitcher of the evening, gives up a 12th-inning grand slam to the miraculously reappearing Don Zimmer, I'm going to ruminate on other afffairs.

Today I did something a million other people have done before me: I tried on wedding bands at Tiffany's. But the process charmed me anyway. We're not buying our bands there; my bestest friend, Stacey Lorinczi, is designing them. But we needed to be sized. Anyway, seeing Dan with a ring on his finger was, dare I say it, moving. moving that I'm not compelled to throw up all over my coffee table as I watch this playoff game disintigrate into "Why the 2004 Red Sox Were a Complete Fraud 101."

Sorry. I can't not vent my vitriol.
To Do List for Sunday, Oct. 17:

-Go to dry cleaners
-Get watch fixed
-Do laundry
-Watch Patriots game
-Upon pain of death, do not watch Game 4
-Burn all Red Sox paraphenalia
Okay, I take it all back! Because we are the awesomest team ever!!!! (3-3)
Besides myself, there are two other people close to me who are blogging during this game. So far, there is a consensus among us: The Red Sox can fucking suck diseased donkey balls.
Hee hee hee hee hee hee hee hee. Down 3-0 bottom of the first. Hee hee hee hee hee hee.

(These are giggles are madness.)
Friday, October 15, 2004
My heart remains hardened towards the Red Sox, I'm sorry to say. Sure, if they win the next game my interest will rise again, but my love for them remains on the wane. If these players can't show up for the biggest series of their lives, they're gonna be hard-pressed to keep my affections.

My sister called a little while ago and was crushed to hear me speaking so brusquely about the team. I agree, it's sad. But I've spent decades being the eternal Sox optimist, and all that's given me is a good cry or two.

Yes, sigh, I cried after Game 7 last year. An embarrassing lot. I'd had a crap summer and crappier fall and needed something to go right, and made the crucial error of putting all of my emotional eggs in the Boston baseball basket. Stupid, stupid, stupid. I will not be burned again. Never again, I tell you!

(go Sox!)
Wednesday, October 13, 2004
And yet more....

This is the first presidential debate I haven't watched live (or almost live – I love you, Tivo!) since before 2000, and so far it's okay. I'm reading coverage, I'm listening to recaps, and I feel confident that Bush made no inroads and Kerry held his own. Moreover, I don't have that knot in my throat that comes from watching the event live. So I'm thinking, Friday night, I read coverage of the Sox game, maybe I listen to coverage afterwards, but other than that.... whee! I'm free!

By the way... I'm robbing this from an e-mail I wrote to One Loyal Reader (remember him?) but five minutes ago, but Terry Francona looked beyond hapless. He was rocking himself like a toddler waiting to be rescued from a burning building. Stop, drop and roll, you moron. Any preschool nimrod knows that.

Oh, and also.... does anyone else think Tim McCarver wants to have sex with Scooter the talking cartoon baseball?
I must add to this. I am so disgusted with this team right now that I WANT to see it broken up next year. Let Pedro go to the National League and regain the run support he's never had with us. Let Varitek go find out what it's like to play for a well-managed team. Let Cabrera channel his fire and success from this last half-season and land a fat contract with the Mets. And let the hapless, victorious-desite-himself Francona be fired so we can finally hire a ballsy, cutthroat skipper.
Call me a jinx, a fatalist or a fair-weather fan, I don't care. Take note of this: as of the middle of the seventh inning of Game 2, I'm done. This is not what I signed up for. If the Sox had shown any sign whatsoever of, you know, wanting to play baseball, I would watch every last inning of this series. But save for Pedro tonight, who showed determination and resiliency during six tough innings, these players have given us nothing to hang our hats on. Absolutely nothing. I'm embarrassed for them, I'm sorry to say. I will not be watching Friday.
Tuesday, October 12, 2004
(Middle of the seventh)

Dang nebbit. I care all over again. Let me just give all my love over to Varitek right now and say that if we get to Rivera and tag him for a couple of hits, I consider tonight a moral victory. And despite what Joe Dumb Fuck would say, moral victories do mean something if you're trying to split a pair of games before heading home for three straight.
(Sixth inning of Game 1)

Ha ha. Guess what I'm not doing? Watching any more of this travesty of a game. I'm going to read fashion magazines and drink wine instead, and remember that sometimes life is much less complicated when you're a sports-ignorant girl.
The locusts have arrived. And by "locusts" I mean "pistachio shells." Twenty-four hours before the first pitch of the first game of the ALCS, Dan started dipping. No matter what the outcome, I anticipate an eviscerated living room by 9 pm PST.
Sunday, October 10, 2004
So yeah, who are we kidding? This will pretty much be a baseball blog for the next 1-2 weeks.

Update #1: I didn't bring beer home the other night because Dan had already bought some. But the apartment stayed intact, thanks to those gritty, gritty performances by Pedro and Tek and Manny and all the other usual suspects.

Update #2: Friday's game.... It says everything about this year's team that even when Vlad hit the grand slam, panic remained at bay. There's a difference between optimism and confidence, and I don't know if I've ever felt so much of the latter in regards to a Sox team. And oh yeah, I want to marry David Ortiz. Or adopt him. Or be adopted by him.

Update #3: The Indian take-out just arrived. Goodbye.
Wednesday, October 06, 2004
This time last year, I returned home from a 24-hour jaunt to Oakland to see the Sox lose Game 1 of the ALDS in the most aggravating manner possible. Entering our apartment, I found no direct evidence of Dan but plenty of evidence as to his state of being the night before. The coffee table and floor were covered in pistachio shells, the kitchen was strewn with empty beer bottles, and in the bathroom, the towel rack had been ripped from the wall (Dan claims he grabbed at it too heavily while peeing, but I still suspect unmitigated rage).

I tell this story because I'm debating the merits of bringing home some beer for the game tonight. Can our apartment take another beating?
Red Sox win. Yankees lose. The season finale of Nip/Tuck rocks. Curt Schilling begins another game thread on Sons of Sam Horn. And now I'm watching a Butters-themed "South Park" episode.

Sometimes my pleasures echo those of a 12-year-old boy.
Monday, October 04, 2004
Twenty-four hours until the Red Sox begin another playoff run, and so far mine is a state of serenity. Whether forced or organic, I cannot tell, but either way, logic is trumping emotion at the moment. And logic is saying that I can't take another heartbreak of the Game 7 variety.

Still, check in with me tomorrow when I'm obsessing updating my ESPN game tracker.
Sunday, October 03, 2004
I'm a dog person but I love my cats. I particularly love the fat one who's crashing against my legs at the moment. Being fat and distinctly un-feline in her grace, Trout doesn't caress my ankles, all smooth and seductive-like -- she repeatedly bonks into me like a wind-up toy trapped in a corner.

Friday, October 01, 2004
Update: I ate the dumpling.
You're not supposed to eat before a yoga class, and I'm off to one such class in about 15 minutes. But I desperately want to eat one of the leftover potstickers I brought into work today.
WWPD -- What Would Poland Do?

As a Red Sox fan and a Democrat, I usually watch the presidential debates the way I watch the baseball playoffs: with eternal hope and an impending sense of doom. But last night's debate was a relative joy to behold. I really felt Kerry eviscerated Bush, especially on the style front. And nothing made me laugh harder than when Bush gleefully rebutted Kerry's discussion of our (lack of) Iraq War allies with, "He forgot Poland!!!" OH NO! NOT POLAND!

In other news, I'm itchy. I've been itchy all week, and I'm starting to wonder if there's some kind of workplace pollution going on in my office. Our entire workspace was constructed in like five days, so I'm thinking that maybe they cut some crucial corners and that itchy toxic stuff is leaking through the walls. The question now is, who do I sue?