Tag Archives: Politics

Play Ball! How I Became a Red Sox Fan

WHOOSH!!! As the sound of fighter jets flew over my apartment, my heart leapt with joy (and fear—those things are deafeningly loud). I ran to the window to see those four planes head straight toward Fenway Park to do a fly over, marking Opening Day for the Boston Red Sox. I called my dad to tell him I’d seen and felt the planes, and we talked baseball for a few minutes as the ceremony continued. Ted Kennedy, looking weak but happy, threw the opening pitch to Jim Rice, and for once, the political divide between me and my dad didn’t matter. Even my conservative dad couldn’t begrudge an old liberal the chance to toss a ball. Sadly Dad had to get back to work, and so we said our “Go Sox!”s before I settled in with a cup of coffee and my knitting to watch the game.

People are often surprised by my love of baseball. Even here where almost everyone at least claims to be a Red Sox fan, I don’t fit the baseball “type.” I’m not athletic. I hate sports bars. Jocks bore me. I own nary a piece of Red Sox merchandise. My tastes tend toward “culture.” I could care less about any other sport going, but baseball just makes me stupid happy.

It wasn’t always this way. Although I’d been a fan as a kid, growing up with Yaz and the Boomer, my baseball fandom pretty much ended with the 1986 World Series. My dad had woken up my mom to watch what should have been the final out of the Series. “Oh, Mr. Sundry,” Mom said, rubbing her eyes, “these are the Red Sox. They are going to find a way to blow it.”

Sure enough, the ball went trickling through poor injured Bill Bruckner’s legs, and the dreams of a Sox win went with them. All my mom said was “See” to my stunned father and me. As I watched her pad off in her nightgown back to bed, I thought to myself that maybe my mother was right about just this one thing (I was thirteen at the time, so my mom was pretty much wrong about everything). And that was pretty much it for me and baseball for a long time. The next time the Sox made the Playoffs, I busied myself kissing my boyfriend’s neck, trying to distract him from the game. He didn’t appreciate it.

My indifference toward baseball would have likely continued if it hadn’t been for an autumn evening in 2003. I’d just arrived in Massachusetts to start my recently ended job, and I had been staying with some friends of friends in Salem. These guys were hardcore baseball fans, and apparently the Sox were having a great year. If I ever wanted to sit in the living room, I needed to be able to tolerate baseball. Despite myself, I found myself rather charmed by the sloppy looking Sox. They just looked like they were having a good time. That didn’t mean that I was interested in the game. Or wasn’t, that is until that fateful night.

We were at a party in West Gloucester. We’d had beer. Somehow the party wound up becoming two parties, with women dancing to cheesy pop music in the kitchen, and men drinking beer on the porch, listening to Game Three of the series against Oakland on a hand-cranked radio. However much my sister and I love to cut a rug, the music was a bit much, so we decided to join the guys on the porch.

I don’t know if it was the beer, the October air, the romance of the hand crank radio, or the general collective tension surrounding the game, but it took only a few moments before my sister and I were hooked. No one needed to tell us to shut up, because we were listening intently to the broadcast. The game was close, and error filled. It went into eleven, nail-biting innings. At one point, when the tension became almost unbearable, my sister and I looked at each other. “Oh no,” we said together. “We care!”

“I want them to win!” shrieked my sister.

“Me too!” I cried.

The injured Trot Nixon stepped up to the plate. Magically, or so it seemed to me at the time, he hit a game-winning homerun.

“TROT!!!!!!!!” all the guys yelled. Sister and I joined them, “TROT!!!! YAY!!!!!”

From then on, Red Sox fans we were. Now would we have become fans had the Sox had a mediocre year in 2003, I can’t say. But ever since that night, I’ve loved baseball. I might not have truly felt the heartbreak after Game Seven against the Yankees in 2003, or deserved the happiness I felt in 2004 and 2007, but I don’t care. My dad loves it that his daughters have crossed over to the dark side (my mother feels betrayed). It gives us something to talk about, even when other current topics make us quarrel. Baseball’s a game that brings an arch conservative and an ardent liberal together to rejoice in Opening Day.

So, yes. I love baseball. That the Sox won today makes me stupid happy. Play ball!

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The Sassy Sundries: My Week in Review

Happy Friday! Quite a week here in Sassyland. The Sassy Sundries, my weekly tally of things political, personal, and nonsensical, seems like a good way of telling you about it. So, without further ado, here are the week’s Sassy Sundries:

Well, holy shit. The IOWA Supreme Court just ruled in favor of same sex marriage, striking down a law restricting marriage between a man and a woman. Let me repeat this: IOWA will allow gay marriage. Enlightenment comes to the Bible Belt. Of course, this could energize the homophobic base of the Republican Party in 2012, but for today, let’s just celebrate. Plus Five

My nephew is walking all over the place, and he let me hold him for the first time since he was six months old. He also attempted to say my name. I am now Auntie “Assy,” or something like that. Plus Ten

New unemployment figures came out today, and the figure is grim. At 8.5% unemployment is now at a 25 year high, with 633,000 jobs lost in March. That brings this year’s total to 2,000,000. Now I’m really not alone. Minus Eight and a Half

Last Friday I had a great date. Our conversation was by turns witty, silly, and intelligent. There was a spark of something. Alas, however, I haven’t heard from him again. Pity. Other fish, blah blah. I have another date next week. Even

I’m looking at a Homeland Security camera as I write this. Grrr! I am encouraged, however, that the city’s Aldermen are taking the issue seriously. I hope the people of this city fight this until these cameras come down. Minus Ten

President Obama traveled to Europe for the G-20 meeting. People in London took to the streets to protest the financial shenanigans that led us into this mess. I don’t know entirely what to think of Obama’s proposals, but I do know that I’m glad that it’s him and not John McCain representing us. Even

This week I actually made good on my resolution to have a little more structure in my life. I got things done. Yay me! Plus Two

A forty-two-year-old lone gunman in Binghampton, New York, went into a recreation center where people were taking a citizenship class, and shot and killed 15 people and took 40 hostages before taking his own life. We don’t need security cameras. We need better gun laws in this country. Minus Five

Yesterday I met up with an old friend who is living in California. We had a fine time tromping about Boston for a couple of hours before she left for the airport. Unfortunately I also picked yesterday to go sockless the first time this year. My feet are chewed to shreds. I have blisters where I never thought possible. Here’s to a week of flip-flops! Minus One

Total Plus: 17
Total Minus: 24.5

TOTAL FOR THE WEEK: -7.5

Last Week’s Total: – 5,559,999

Thinking about Security Cameras

UPDATE: Well, this little post seems to have generated a response. It’s been great to see the comments, some of it positive, and quite a bit of it informed dissent. The debate has been great, but a matter has come to my attention that I feel I must address. While it wasn’t clear in the small photo of the cheesy sports car I included in the post, the location of the vehicle was clearly visible in the full version of the photo. Since the small group of regular readers of this blog do not live in the Boston area, I didn’t think to obscure the location. To the owner of the Mustang, I apologize. Your camera pisses me off, but I should have done more to protect your privacy. The photo has been edited.

 

Tonight I’m going to a Somerville town meeting to speak out against the installation of Homeland Security cameras in our fair city. These cameras represent a gross violation of our right to privacy, and giving into their presence without a fight will contribute to a Big Brother culture not only in Somerville, but in the rest of the country.

When I heard about the meeting, though, I got to thinking about other security cameras. Although I can see the point of having cameras at ATMs, I don’t like them. When I’m feeling prickly, I sometimes extend a friendly gesture. Same with cameras in stores. However, there’s one security camera in particular that really pisses me off. It’s this one:

DSCN4973

I first noticed this camera a while back, and it really creeped me out. At first I had no idea why someone would train a camera on East Broadway. To catch people running away screaming from Taco Loco, having stolen some hot sauce? To gather material for some strange art project? To create a view on the world for some lonely shut-in?

Gradually it dawned on me that the ever-present camera was trained on this car:

Mustang

Seriously. It’s a Mustang. Sure, it’s not exactly an economy car, but it’s not like the guy’s protecting a Lamborghini or something. Is it really worth it to constantly film the sidewalk, hoping to catch some whipper-snapper keying it? If the person didn’t think the neighborhood was good enough for the car, the person shouldn’t have moved here.

Anyhow, I’m sure I’m not the only one extending a friendly gesture at the camera. Someday I would love to see a group get together and do a kick line in front of the building. Or maybe a team of videographers filming surveillance of the camera. Something to let that asshole know in no uncertain terms that that security camera is not welcome. We’re watching you, pal.