Sunday, December 31, 2006

Louvre Atlanta

Atlanta's High Museum has entered into an unprecedented agreement with the Louvre in Paris, under which the High gets to exhibit some "treasures" from the Louvre. Apparently, the curator of the High and the curator of the Louvre are old friends, and when both took on their respective positions, they struck an agreement.

I went to Atlanta last Thursday and saw the first such exhibit, which is called the Royal Collections. The High has devoted two floors to the borrowed art - the lower level houses some "gems" from the drawings collection, and the upper level has some art works collected primarily by the last three Louis.

I must admit to some disappointment in the exhibit. First, it being the week after Christmas and schools being out, the exhibit was packed - to the point that I believe it was way oversold. The line crept through the drawings exhibit, so much so that we skipped them and went up to the second floor. This part held works of much more interest to me (for me, the drawings always seem to be torn out of some obscure artist's sketch book, meant to be discarded as too rough yet saved by some well- meaning soul!). There were several recognizable pieces here - works by Raphael, Rembrandt, Murillo.

This work by Rembrandt is called "St. Matthew and the Angel," and it shows Matthew getting some divine inspiration as he writes his gospel. I really like this piece - the whispy angel gently whispering in the Gospel writer's ear. Lovely.

I also love this one by Raphael. (Raphael is a real favorite of mine - I think because he died on my birthday - although a different year!). This is a portrait of writer Baldessare Castiglione. Castiglione (no relation to Red Sox announce Joe!) authored "The Book of the Courtier" one of the key works of Renaissance Italy. In some ways, both men - Castiglione and Raphael - are the Renaissance ideal - both epitomized that age.
Isn't it great?

I have to admit something - which will undoubtedly peg me as an art snob or something! - but one of the things I've discovered as I've traveled and visited many, many museums: you don't have to look at EVERY SINGLE PIECE! That was my frustration at the High - hoards of people who felt that had to look at everything in the installation. Me, I flitted through the drawings - jumping in when there was a break in the line and looking at a piece here and a piece there. The things I liked, I stood before, long after the audio commentary on the piece had ended. That is how I enjoy art - I've come to know what I like and what I don't, and there's no crime and saying, "Hey, that piece is horrid"! Just ask me about my Dan Flavin experience in London!

Friday, December 29, 2006

Review: Night at the Museum

I caught this movie today - a perfect, mindless flick for the Christmas vacation. Surprisingly, there were few children at the matinee. The basic story is Larry (Ben Stiller) has trouble holding a real job, for fear that it will interfere with his moneymaking schemes. His ex-wife convinces him that if he doesn't find a job, she'll have the custody agreement changed. So he gets a job as a night security guard at the Natural History Museum. What the retiring guards fail to tell him is that the museum "comes to life" at night. Larry's first indication that things are awry is when he catches the skeleton of the T Rex drinking from the water fountain!

The idea of inanimate objects having a "secret" life is one that has intrigued me since childhood. How many times have we contemplated our dollhouses, wondering if the figures inside continued to "live" when we left the room. And at the Natural History Museum - what intriguing possibilities, as Larry discovers. The tiny figures in the dioramas lead attacks on "Gigantor" - the monkeys wreak havoc - and Teddy Roosevelt harbors a crush on Sacagawea! The special effects are terrific, and the performances good. It was particularly nice to see Dick Van Dyke and Mickey Rooney back on the big screen - Robin Williams was palatable - and Owen Wilson a doll, as usual.

If you're looking for some lightweight holiday fun - a chance to catch your breath and relax after the onslaught of family - check out "Night at the Museum."

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Zito to SF

(Photo by me - July 2006, Orioles vs. A's)
Looks like Barry Zito is only going to be moving across SF Bay to the Giants. He's reportedly taking their offer of $126 million for seven years. So that gives them one good pitcher.

This is making that Matsuzaka deal look like a steal!

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Meowy Christmas

The Christmas aftermath being surveyed? That sweet Christmas kitty, Miss Agatha

Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas

Happy Christmas to all my buddies out in cyberspace! I hope you have a safe and merry holiday!

Sunday, December 24, 2006


You Are a Fruitcake

People pretend you're sweet and precious, but they know how weird you really are!

With thanks to Kelly the Yule Log

Thursday, December 21, 2006

My own Christmas carol

I love this! Try it yourself!

Often sung when I visit my family --

Joy to the world,
The Beth is come.

Joy To The World
from the Christmas Song Generator.

Get your own song :

Oh, I could do this all day --

Jingle Beth, Jingle Beth,
Jingle all the way.

Jingle Bells
from the Christmas Song Generator.

Get your own song :

Too true --

O Beth of wonder, Beth of might,
Beth of royal beauty bright.

We Three Kings Of Orient Are
from the Christmas Song Generator.

Get your own song :

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

RS Christmas Carols

If you haven't seen today's Soxaholix, go there right now. HB has the kids singing "God Rest Ye Merry Red Sox Fans" - it's classic. And be sure to read the comments - some other readers have come up with some spectacular take-offs. This one by "Rick V" is fantastic:(To the tune of Jingle Bells)

Dashing to the mound,
Blowing hitters all away--
Nice and hard he throws,
Racking up each K!

Bats on shoulders stay,
Frozen there in shame--
Oh what fun to watch him pitch
And contemplate his name:

Pap-el-bon! Pap-el-bon!
Sub-one E.R.A!
Who can tell if he will shine
When he's starting each fifth da--ay?

Pap-el-bon! Pap-el-bon!
In the pen no more.
Let's just hope this experiment
Doesn't make his shoulder sore!

Ho, Ho, Ho!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Dangerous words

Tonight was our faculty Christmas party. As a background, I'm on the faculty of an all-boys school here in the Scenic City, which means the majority of my colleagues are men. They really get a kick out of the fact that I'm a RS fan, and are always engaging me in baseball conversations. So tonight, I found myself engaged in a baseball conversation with two colleagues, one a huge Cubs fan and the other a die-hard Orioles fan. They were baiting me about Dice-K, and I found myself saying some dangerous words. "Baby, just look for us in the 2007 World Series. Because the Sox will be there." And instead of feeling instant remorse and fear that I had jinxed it, I realized I truly believed it. At this moment, I think we look sssoo awesome!!

And on a totally unrelated note, this site is a totally awesome link to nearly every media adaptation for Christmas. Links to Charlie Brown's Christmas, hundreds of videos - even the infamous Star Wars Christmas special!

How do you solve a problem like Manny?

Caught this in Bill Simmons' mail bag - I think it's a very creative solution to our Manny situation:

Q: The Sox should just tell Manny he got traded to Boston. He won't know the difference.
--Mike H, Noxen, N.H.

SG: I love this idea. They could go all out with this: Call him up, tell him he's been traded to Boston, have him pack up all of his stuff, fly him in circles in the team jet for five hours, then drop him off in Cambridge and tell him he's on the West Coast. He might fall for it. By the time the season starts, it will be too late for him to complain. I really think this could work.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Review: The Holiday

Today I indulged in a total chick flick. You know, people use that term "chick flick" in derogatory terms - but to me, it's like a comfort food. Sometimes you just need a light weight romantic film to fill a few hours on a Saturday afternoon. And this film totally fits the bill.

Cameron Diaz and Kate Winslet are two love-challenged singletons, who decide to swap houses for Christmas vacation. Winslet has a lovely, quaint cottage in Surrey, and Diaz has a fantastic Malibu mansion, complete with pool and gym. Of course, romantic complications ensue - Diaz meets and falls for Iris' brother, and Winslet meets a movie composer. The typical complications follow until the happy ending, of course.

All of the leads are attractive! But the stand-out is Jude Law as Graham. I don't think he's every played such an attractive romantic lead. Okay, he's totally hot. Hot to the point that I've already been on-line looking for a house swap of my own! He was charming, handsome,! (Of course, I have to admit in the interest of full disclosure, that even Jack Black looked pretty hot in this movie! I must be in a mood).

Oh, and I must mention an outstanding supporting role by Eli Wallach. He plays an old Hollywood film writer who takes Iris under his wing. A really lovely character - although, as my friend Holly said to me half-way through, "I thought he was dead"!

So, in the midst of this hectic holiday time, if you're looking for something to divert you and entertain you, drop by the movie theater and take in this lovely confection.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Tommy & D-Mat

I love this from You Tube - saw it a while back and couldn't stop laughing!

Tonight, NESN is rebroadcasting the World Baseball Classic championship game from March 21st. The pitcher is Dice-K - and is his MVP performance. Can't wait to see it!

From "Inside Track"

I wish I could feel sad about this news:
“Bridget Moynahan and Tom Brady amicably ended their three-year relationship several weeks ago,” the actress’ rep told yesterday. “We ask for your respect and consideration of their privacy. No further comments will be made.”

Thursday, December 14, 2006


That's all I can say after the intensity of yesterday. So much news in Red Sox Nation - but the apparent signing of Daisuke Matsuzaka is on everyone's front page this morning, or at least the front of the sports page everywhere. Well. Almost everywhere, except here. It's on the back page...

I could barely break myself away from the computer all day. When it became known that the gang was on its way from LA to Boston - and that a deal was nearly made - I was ssoo psyched. I became mesmerized by the flight tracker link posted on SoSH - you could actually follow the progress of John Henry's private plane as it crossed the country. Then they landed - and headed to Mass General for Dice-K's physical. Once he passed that, the deal was inked right there in the hospital room!

Of course, I love that Boras seems to have been beaten at his own game of chicken. I think he really would have sent Mats back to Japan rather than accept the Sox' best offer - but everyone seems to think Mats stepped in and said, make a deal, I'm not going back to Japan. Mike & Mike this morning were comparing the whole negotiation to a card game where the other guy's cards are face up - we all knew that Boras HAD to make the deal. There was not way Mats was going back to Japan - no way he was going to try to challenge the posting system, which is what I suspect Boras wanted him to do. And Theo and Larry (once at odds now united in this glorious cause) held their ground. I do think going to Boras was a brilliant move - it made them look earnest and serious in the negotiations and made Boras look like a stubborn ass. Which he is.

And the fact that the Sox are getting him for basically the same money they're paying Matt Clement is fantastic. Yeah, they have to pay the $51 million to Seibu, but look what we're getting for less than $9 million a year!

Check out this starting rotation: (Graphic from

This is a pitching rotation that could see us winning for YEARS! Mats, Beckett and Papelbon are all 26 years old - just hitting their primes. And if we can Lester back and healthy, wow.

And for further comfort, the Sox yesterday re-signed old Doug Mirabelli for a year. Yes, he's not the greatest back-up catcher around - but he does seem to be the only one who can comfortably catch Wakefield. If his presence will help Wake perform to his maximum, it's worth $750,000

Finally, as if all this wasn't enough, there was a press conference yesterday to formally announce the signing of SS Julio Lugo. He's a guy I never warmed to - maybe because he always seemed to play his best AGAINST us. But watching his presser, I think I could like him. And I love that David Ortiz made a special trip to Boston to see his friend sign - Big Papi is THE BEST!!

On a personal note, I got up at 5 am this morning to go online and put my Direct TV account back up to the full package. I HAD to have my NESN for the next few days - just to see today's press conference at 5pm announcing the signing is worth the extra $! And you gotta love that DirectTV - I literally pushed "submit" for the changes and NESN popped right on. I was almost happy to see "the Haze" again!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

The face of the enemy

Yes, that spawn of the devil, Boras. Only two days left to negotiate, Scotty, and already doing spin control. Red Sox Nation is abuzz. Will the deal get done? I still think it has to.

Consider: what if no deal is made? Dice-K goes back to Japan, after he burned a lot of bridges. He did a farewell tour, saying how much he wanted to play American Major League Baseball. If he goes back, it looks like he didn't want to play enough to take the money offered. He comes across as a money-grubber - and I don't think that sells well in Japan.

Boras probably loses any gains he made in the Japanese market - who'll want to work with him after he's screwed over the Seibu Lions? He was on "Cold Pizza" this morning, spinning. Saying that if the deal isn't made, it's the fault of the posting system. Right - because he can't play the Yankees and Red Sox against each other, as he usually does. I love this from Gordon Edes:

But according to another long-time Boras watcher, this is classic Boras MO.

"Scott doesn't like to get engaged until there is high anxiety. But Scott's a little uncomfortable, because he doesn't have the leverage he normally has. And you also have to remember, there's a different culture involved here. In Japan, they might not appreciate that beating-the-hell-out-of-management, kill-the-hostages approach.''

Of course, the Sox are trying to come off rosey-smelling now, too. Theo and Larry have flown out to California to confront Boras on his own turf. They're getting the press involved, which they've avoided up til now. They're claiming Boras hasn't responded to their first offer, basically blew it off. But they're out there, waiting, with John Henry's plane, to whisk Dice-K (and Devil Spawn) out to Boston first thing Wednesday for a physical and press conference.

Does it get done? A Nation awaits. And on the next episode of "As the Stomach Turns..."

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Sunday night

So, the Matsuzaka watch is down to 4 days, and 3 hours plus. Will they get the deal done? I think so. All of the parties have a LOT to lose if the deal isn't made.

But I'm too full of the Christmas spirit to obsess about the Red Sox tonight. I got my Christmas tree yesterday - wrestled it successfully out of Lowe's - and got it up and decorated today. I love having a "real" tree. I know it would be much easier to have an artificial one - and probably a lot prettier if I had a pre-lit one - but there's something about having that piney smell in the house. The cat loves it, too - she sits right under it as if she was out in the forest!

My favorite part of putting up the tree is getting out all my ornaments. Some people do theme trees, some of my friends actually decorate by color (like all red and white ornaments!) - me, I have tons of ornaments I've collected over the years in my travels. I've got Santa climbing the Eiffel Tower, my Fenway and Bo Sox ornaments, a poker chip from Atlantic City, and several from Block Island. First on the tree is the Christmas Pickle; second is the Jimmy Fund Fenway; third is the Christmas spider. I love to see them all.

I'm going to be cooking Christmas Eve dinner for some of my friends - I'm already working on the menu!

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

I love you Tom

This makes me love Tom Brady even more. (From MLive via Deadspin) :
Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, who starred at the University of Michigan, was asked why he believed the Wolverines -- and not Florida -- should be playing Ohio State for the national championship. Brady didn't pull any punches.

"Anyone who has seen (Florida) play realizes it is a no-brainer. Florida is not very good. I watched that game (Saturday) night and that other (Arkansas) quarterback completed like three passes the week before. They have 18 guys out there throwing passes for Arkansas," Brady said.

When a reporter countered that Michigan already had its shot at beating the Buckeyes, Brady said, "But that's not the way the BCS works. It is supposed to be the two best teams in college football. I would vote for Michigan to play Ohio State if I had a vote."

And let me say about all this talk that the SEC is the strongest conference, etc. - I've lived in SEC country for 20 years, and I still think the Big Ten is the best! And come January 8th, when Ohio State butchers Florida, I finally won't have to hear any more talk about that!!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Some really good news

(Picture stolen from Kelly! - she took this at the Atlanta series)

This was posted on Fox Sports not long ago - and confirmed on several other sites:
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - Red Sox pitcher Jon Lester has been cleared by doctors to end chemotherapy.

"He's going to have one more treatment and then he's done," Boston manager Terry Francona said at baseball's winter meetings. "So, from where I sit, the meetings are already a success."
I'm sure it's insanely optimistic to think he might be back for Spring Training (his dad in an interview this weekend said that was "Jonathan's" hope) but what a great omen for the Sox and for next year. If he can face down cancer and come back triumph, well, there's no stopping us!

Monday, December 04, 2006

Review: Wordplay

I finally got a chance to see this documentary - I bought the DVD weeks ago. This doc focuses on one of my favorite time killers - the New York Times crossword puzzle. In the interest of full disclosure: I am an avid and rabid solver. I solve at least two puzzles a day - in addition to the Jumble and the Crytoquote. So this doc is right up my alley.

In addition to a history of the puzzle, it introduces us to Will Shortz, the current editor. Shortz has an army of solvers, who create the puzzles and send them to him. He then massages them - adding or changing clues and answers. The "easiest" puzzle is on Monday, with the puzzles getting progressively harder until the hardest on Sunday. The film also shows the annual puzzle solving competition in Stamford, CT.

I loved the interviews with some of the puzzle's famous fans. People like Mike Mussina (boo), Bill Clinton, the Indigo Girls, and Jon Stewart. One part that I found fascinating was the puzzle ran on election day when Clinton beat Bob Dole. There were two side by side answers, with the clue "today's headline." The way the puzzle was constructed there were two possible and correct answers: either CLINTON ELECTED or BOBDOLE ELECTED. Cool

If you are a puzzle fan, you MUST see this film! Thumbs up

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Review: Casino Royale

Off-season - time to talk movies! I say the newest James Bond film today, "Casino Royale." When I first saw the photos of the new Bond, Daniel Craig, I wasn't impressed or enthused. Well, still photography does NOT do him justice. I think he might be my favorite Bond - he's athletic, macho, cool, beautiful blue eyes...He also is probably the sweatiest Bond so far. But he brings a totally new, raw edge to the character - you can really believe he could cold-heartedly kill for the Queen. And did I mention that he is the hottest Bond? I loved that Pierce Brosnan from his Remington Steele days, but Craig is way hotter....

It is also one of the strongest Bond flicks in ages. The most recent ones relied on a lot of special effects and chases to create excitement - and the lates provides plenty of both. But it also has heart - something definitely missing from any of the previous installments. When the female lead, Vesper, pegs him as someone who sees women as disposable, interchangeable, - you say, yeah! You just know she will get to him. And the story is exciting. I was on the edge of my seat at some points. And I don't think the card playing was boring - it was exciting in a more subdued way. A male friend who saw it warned me about the "horrible" torture scene - but I didn't find in nearly as upsetting. Of course, if you've seen it, you'll understand why a GUY would be much more undone by it!

Special props to the SFX department. The scene of the villa in Venice imploding was incredible! Having just visited Venice, I'm assuming it was all FX - didn't see any empty lots on the Grand Canale!

So, a huge thumbs up! If you love action and a hot guy - and who doesn't?? - go see "Casino Royale."!

Friday, December 01, 2006

Finally back

Yikes - I just realized I hadn't blogged in over ten days! Between the Thanksgiving break and getting back into the swing of things, wow.

I spent Thanksgiving up in CT - enjoying family, food and NESN! It poured rain on turkey day - 2-5 inches! - but the rest of the weekend was lovely. We spent two days on Block Island - so beautiful and desolate in the off-season.

The hot stove is heating up! The Baseball Winter Meetings are next week - and already rumors of deals, deals, deals.
  • This week, the Sox signed Hideki Okajima - a left-handed reliever from the Japan leagues. A wing man for Matsazuka?
  • Speaking of - only 13 days left to negotiate. Gammons said this morning that he's convinced a deal will be made - but it might not be inked until the very last minute. I must say that I am really in favor of this deal. I know it seemed ludicrous to bid so much for the negotiating rights, but if it gives us another ace pitcher, it could be worth it. It certainly is adding a dash of diversity to our team!
  • Today's Globe says that Trot is going to accept arbitration from the Sox - meaning he'll probably be back next year. I know he's not very reliable, and injury-prone - but I love that Dirt Dog. I can't picture him anywhere else.
  • Millar signed a one year deal to stay with the Orioles. Yeah!
  • The Sons O'Sam have an hysterical thread right now called "The urge to post anything." Some funny stuff - I love this one from "Oil Can Dan:"
How about a rotation of:

Sundays - Clemens
Mondays - Matsuzaka
Tuesdays - Schilling
Wednesdays - Papelbon
Thursdays - The 100th person to enter the park that particular game gets to start, but must have the pen ready for relief. Either this or sign Zito.
Fridays - Beckett
Saturdays - Wakefield

As for the rotation - it's unusual, but these guy should be able to get into the 8th innings seeing as how they're only pitching once a week. And if there's no game on their day, they get two weeks off. Huzzah! That'll be especially good for Papelbons' shoulder, right?
What a fantastic idea - except for Thursdays...

  • Oh, Manny. You know, I think the guy is awesome - Hall of Fame bound. And I have enjoyed him so much over the years. But this fall, I hit my limit. We all know how he dogs it sometimes, and plays up the Manny-being-Manny angle to his great advantage. But the way he shut down in September just about killed me. If he WAS injured, then maybe we need to act fast and ship him out. And if he WASN'T really injured, then maybe we need to act fast and ship him out. There are some outrageous contracts being signed out there (Soriano?), so maybe someone would make a deal for some pitching. And if we can't ship him, what can we expect from him, from someone who clearly doesn't want to be in Boston or to play in Boston - and who has maybe said it one too many times for the average fan to tolerate? Look what happened to Burger King boy Foulke...I wonder how the Manny show will play in Kansas City or Tampa Bay?