Saturday, June 28, 2008

The Doctor

Long ago, in a galaxy far far away (is that how you'd classify Rhode Island?), I was a big fan of "Doctor Who." Oh, the day I discovered it on my local PBS channel... I loved Tom Baker. Not handsome, not even all that good looking, but so compelling as the mysterious Time Lord.

Now, I have re-discovered the Doctor on the Sci Fi Channel. I've been following the new adventures for three or four seasons now, and am totally enamored of David Tennant and the new gang:

(On the right, crouching, is John Barrowman, aka Captain Jack, now the star of the spin-off "Torchwood" - which I also love)

This week wrapped up a two-part episode, featuring former ER star Alex Kingston as a mysterious woman from the Doctor's future. The two actors have incredible chemistry! Never has Tennant seemed more compelling, more poignant, more sexy. Here's an early scene:

And this scene had me in tears:

Aren't they awesome together? I hope they bring her back for some further adventures - and an explanation of their relationship!!

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Thursday, June 26, 2008

Why I love Red Sox Baseball

It's exciting
It doesn't matter if we're down by four in the bottom of the 8th (like on Tuesday) or ahead by 5 in the top of the 9th (like Wednesday), the Red Sox can always be counted on to provide drama and excitement. Even when they're losing, you always feel like they're only one good inning away from taking back the lead. People are suprised to hear I've stayed up until the last out is made - even on a West Coast game - but I can't sleep until I know that game is really and truly over. It's rough on the digestive system - and on my tab at the local "packy" - but it makes for compelling viewing, both in my home and at Fenway (like Papi's walk-off homer above).

It's reliable
It's good reliable baseball entertainment. No losing streak is ever in a danger of dragging on too long. Not when you can rely on our Knuckleball King, Tim Wakefield:

to start every fifth day, and give our often taxed bullpen a break. And not when you can rely on having the Captain behind the plate:

Sure, he hasn't been an offensive threat of late. But the way he handles our pitching staff - well, it's the work of a maestro.

It's unpredictable
Whether it's Jonathan Papelbon and Manny DelCarmen helping us wait out a rain delay in this already classic video:

Or Mike Lowell cutting a rug at his charity event:

You can always count on the Sox to provide us with some quirky entertainment. And it's an old tradition, stretching back to the Bill Lee, Bernie Carbo, Kevin Millar. They're always are capable of surprising us.

It unifies usOne thing that has struck me in watching the Red Sox in their away games is the huge crowd that follows them. This was in Cincinnati two weeks ago, and this was the crowd watching the team warm up before batting practice! Waiting to get in when the gates opened were thousands of fans, all in their Red Sox gear - and very few home fans. When you walk on the streets when the Sox are in town, when you go into restaurants and bars, all you see are RS jerseys.

That common passion ensures you're never without friends when you're out of town or at a game. In Baltimore, I went into the ESPN Zone for a quick lunch and sat at the bar. Within minutes, I was in the middle of a lively discussion about the Sox with the folks around me. We talked about the players, games we'd been to, how our love of the Sox was born and when it became our passion. Last year, as we walked down the streets in San Diego, people would stop and give you a fist bump or simply say "Go Sox." It's so cool!

It's a part of us
I call this photo the Red Sox family. It's two generations of RS fans. We were actually in Boston for a game, and were on our way to Faneuil Hall to the Build a Bear Workshop, so that the kids could make Wally bears. When I talk to my family, it always comes back to how the Sox are doing, what they can do to improve. And my love spans the generations - my grandfather was a good amateur pitcher, my dad took me to my first Sox game when I was 8, and here I was taking these guys to a Sox game where we sat in the Green Monster seats. And my sister even got them out of bed last October to see the final out of the World Series. It's a family tradition, like it is in most New England households.

It's pretty

Whether it's Dennis Eckersley:Or Jacoby Ellsbury:

Photo by Kelly O
The Sox know how to provide us with some pretty scenery to look at. And the fact that underneath that pretty packaging is some incredible athletic talent, well, that's enough for me!

It's me

I got some flak from the family when my love for the Sox re-bloomed in 2004. A few sneeringly labeled me a "bandwagon" fan. The truth is, I had fallen out of love with the Sox after the heart-breaking loss in 1986. Up until then, I had been pretty rabid. But after that Series, I had a hard time recommitting. It's like when the boy you deeply love does something stupid to cause you to walk away, and then years later he realizes that you were the one. He comes back, courts you with flowers and woos you with seemingly sincere words, but it takes a while for you to trust him again, to allow yourself to forgive him. So it was for me and the Sox. But, they were persistent, and eventually they proved to me that I could trust them and love them again. And like that new commitment in an old relationship, it's proven stronger than ever.


Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Every Day is Remy Day - if you're lucky

AP Photo by Winslow Townson

Today, they are celebrating Jerry Remy's 20 years as a broadcaster with NESN. Some of us are old enough to remember him back in his playing days - another local boy who lived out every New England boy's dream of playing for the Red Sox. (You see another one who did it above - Carlton Fisk). As I recall, he was a fair player - no Hall of Famer, certainly, but a good journeyman player, one who played tough enough to earn the name "Rem Dawg."

But it's been in the broadcast booth that his place in New England legend/folklore has been born. It's a hoot to look back at him in those early days with Ken Coleman - with a voice not yet tainted by 20 years of cigarette smoking. He seems to have the gift of making his partner in the booth even better.

I wasn't able to see those broadcasts until recently, thanks to DirecTV and the MLB Extra Innings package. My enjoyment has been greatly expanded this year, as EI seems to be offering the NESN broadcast for every game - no more suffering through the home broadcasts when the Sox are on the road. Remy and DO make every game - even a blow out or a heartbreaker - a total entertainment experience!

I'm looking forward to many more broadcasts - although I get nervous that some national network will come to their senses and poach him. On the other hand, I think Remy likes being a big fish in a small pond, one who can expand his empire at will. As a matter of fact, I believe they are even opening a RemDawg Restaurant in Logan Airport later this year! Bon appetit, amigos!

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Sunday, June 22, 2008


Photo by Winslow Towson/AP

What a game today! The Sox dropped the first two to the Cards, two really depressing losses. Today, it looked like the game was well in hand - down to one strike to win in the ninth, Papelbon on the mound. But...the Cards tied it up.

Both teams had tons of opportunities to win this one, but couldn't do it. Top of the 13th, the Chris Duncan (brother of the MFY Shelley) tried to score from first. JD Drew grabbed the single, fired in to home, and Duncan was out by a mile. He tried to bowl over Tek - now that's not a wall I'd choose to run into! Out!!

Lowell led off the bottom of the 13th with a wall-ball single. Then up steps Youk. He'd already homered once in the game, and BOOM - there goes another into the Monster Seats!

A very exciting game. Plus Tampa lost, so our lead in the AL East is back to 1 1/2 games.

One week from today - I'll be in Tampa!

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Friday, June 20, 2008

Blame it on the Rain

All kinds of awesome goodness here!

Paps & MDC do the Nilli Vanilli thing

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Oh, Curt

Sad news today. Curt Schilling is going to have season-ending surgery on his shoulder Monday. Optimistically, he could pitch in 6 to 10 months, but it seems more likely that this is the end of his career.

He's 41, so the end was clearly in sight. Yet, there was part of me that hoped he could come back for a last hurray. It's probably what the Sox hoped, too.

Say what you will about his bloviating, his long blog entries, his love of the camera. Remember that Kevin Millar once dubbed him "red light" because of his love of face time. But for me, he was the difference in 2004. He was the warrior, or perhaps the mercenary. Yes, he was brought in to win a world championship. But he did it, didn't he? The bloody will always live in legends in Boston.

The surgery is no guarantee he'll pitch again. I really hope it will allow him to live pain-free. He deserves a happy, comfortable retirement.

Here are Curt's thoughts on the impending surgery. In the meantime, my thoughts and prayers are with Curt and his family.

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Thursday, June 19, 2008

Over and out, Tiger

Photo from the Back Nine Blog

I'm so over Tiger Woods, and have been for quite a while. He is a freakishly fantastic golfer, but once he gets into contention, all the excitement of watching golf (!) is gone for me. I don't enjoy his robotic determination to win at all costs - and apparently at the risk of doing serious injury to himself, as he proved this weekend at the US Open. Oh, how I would have loved to see Rocco Mediate turn the tables on Tiger and beat him soundly. I have to wonder, however, if Tiger had lost, how much he and his PR machine would have spun his injury...

I honestly have lost interest in watching golf since the Tiger surge. I know that isn't true for most Americans, who seem to only be interested in watching when Tiger does play. Me, I like to watch the Rocco Mediates, the Billy Andrades, the Bret Quigleys, the Brad Faxons. Okay, I'm showing my Rhode Island homerism - but so what.

So, now with the Celtics glorious victory behind us and Tiger out for the year, we can focus on what truly is most important in the world:

Red Sox Baseball!!

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Monday, June 16, 2008


Photo by Sittingstill, of course!

Would loved to have grabbed this photo, but was so stunned by him, I couldn't get the camera out. Thanks, Kelly! Gulp.


Home again

Blogger is acting sssoo bad! I can't seem to upload any photos, so you'll have to wait for shots of Jacoby, Lowell and Bronson...

But I had a great trip to Cincinnati! I took the ballpark tour - was actually the only one who showed up Thursday morning for it, so I had a personal tour. Saw the Sox lose Friday (boo), but then had two exciting wins on Saturday (10 innings, 6-4) and Sunday (9-0 baby!)

I got some great photos, I think Kelly secured excellent seats for us all three days - but the best were Sunday, 3 rows behind the Sox dugout. Plus, Justin Masterson walked by us on the street! Woo...

Now, only two weeks til I get to see the heavyweight rematch, Sox vs. Rays in Tampa!

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Sunday, June 08, 2008


I have to admit, I haven't always been JD Drew's biggest supporter. I've never been a JD-basher, but I just haven't embraced him and cheered for him. I know he had a lot of things going on last year - adjusting to a new league, a sick child - but I did question Theo's judgement a few times.

But JD has really stepped up his performance level - which we desperately need with David Oritz out of the lineup. Today, Drew hit his 8th HR - and he's been an offense machine this weekend.

And his defense --
AP Photo by Michael Dwyer
Awesome catch in today's game!

So maybe, maybe, we might make it through all these DL stints by our star-starters.

As for Cincinnati, I've been trying to figure out the pitching matchups. It looks to me like it'll be:

Friday - Harang v. Wakefield
Saturday - Volquez v. Masterson
Sunday - Bailey v. Beckett

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Lazy Sunday (& Sat. & Fri...)

Yes, I've been an idle blogger. I keep thinking I'll post a bunch of my Baltimore pics - as well as a trip report - but I can't get it together. And now I'm packing for another RS road trip - this time to Cincinnati!

Yes, I'll be at Great American Ball Park for the Reds-Red Sox series - Friday thru Sunday. I've never been to that park, so I'm psyched to see it - and see some friends who live in the area. I'm meeting up with my favorite baseball traveling pal, Kelly - as well as another SGer, Becks.

Good times, folks, good times!

(And there's no game tomorrow night - and nothing good on tv - so I'll TRY to post some stuff tomorrow!)

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Wednesday, June 04, 2008

David Aardsma is a doll

After the pitchers stretched on Sunday afternoon, and after most had headed in to the Clubhouse, David Aardsma stayed behind and signed a ton of autographs. But his instruction to those waiting: "I'll only sign for the kids." (I think a lot of MLB players try to do that nowadays, because of the resale market on signatures). He ran over to right where I was standing and started signing. Tex would have loved that someone made a derogatory comment about Texas (he went to Rice) and he quipped that he'd have none of that. I started snapping, and complimented him on his great pitching performance (and win) the night before - for which he thanked me. I asked if he'd been lonely out in the bullpen Friday night (he was the ONLY guy left out there at the end of that 13 inning marathon!), and he said no. They'd left him out there on purpose, to scare the Orioles!

I love that he wears the high socks - I have a special fondness of that retro look. And are those killer eyelashes or what??

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Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Review: Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

Catching up on my recently viewed films! School ended Thursday, and I snuck out to an afternoon matinee to celebrate. And I chose the new Indy film.

I'm a big fan of the whole Indiana Jones series. I remember seeing the first one, and falling in love with Harrison Ford (of course, the crush had already started with the Star Wars films!) I just loved the old movie matinee feel of the series and the stories were rapid fire and really fun. My least favorite was the second in the series - "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom" - it was way too dark. I think the first was my favorite, though.

My best advice about this fourth installment - do not try to understand the plot. My buddies and I looked at each other as the credits ran by, and literally said, "What in the hell was that about?!!" Seriously, just accept that it makes no sense and enjoy the ride. Ford is terrific, although it kills me to admit he's looking a bit old; and young Shia LaBoeuf is charming as Mutt. It's great to see Karen Allen back as Marion, and Cate Blanchett and Ray Winstone give serviceable performances as the villains.

The real stars are, of course, the special effects. They're pretty amazing. And like "Raiders," the story is basically one long chase scene capped by a spectacular scene of fx. So, go with no expectations of understanding the plot, but high expectations of a fun ride.

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Review: Sex and the City

I must begin with a disclaimer - or maybe, just an explanation. I was never a fan of the "Sex and the City" tv series. Partly it's because I didn't have HBO while it was being broadcast - and couldn't see subscribing for the amount I'd watch the other stuff on the channel. I also have to admit to being a bit embarrassed at times by some of the stuff in the show. Some of it got a bit dicey for this little Catholic girl.

However, in 2006, my buddy Holly asked for all the seasons on DVD for Christmas- she loved it. What she didn't get for Christmas, she bought herself, so she had them all. And over the course of the next few months - mostly over Christmas and Winter Breaks from school - I watched the whole series. And really enjoyed it. I can't say I really related to any particular character, but I found the whole basis for the series - the friendships between women - to really resonate with me.

So today, Holly and I caught a matinee. And I loved the movie! I knew I'd laugh and nod my head in recognition at times. But I was caught off-guard by the poignancy of the story - and hadn't anticipated needing all the kleenex I did. These comfortable friends are still having their ups and downs - Samantha is unhappy that she's in a happy monogamous relationship; Charlotte is blissfully enjoying marriage and motherhood; Miranda is trying to juggle it all and losing her husband in the process; and Carrie is planning her wedding to Mr. Big.

I don't think I'll be spoiling anything by saying all ends well. It's great to see all four find themselves again - to reconnect with the women they were at the start of the series. Older, perhaps a little wiser, yes, but no longer feeling like they need to fill a niche, to be something they're not. All four leads slip easily back into their characters, and it's fun to see some of the familiar supporting players (including Mr. Big!). Jennifer Holliday is a neat addition as Carrie's assistant Louise, just delightful.

If you weren't a fan of the series, you will probably be lost at first. They give a quick overview of each character and where they are three years after the end of the series. Should a guy see it? Perhaps under the category of "know they adversary", maybe. But I think your gal would be much happier to see it with some of her close pals!

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Monday, June 02, 2008

Oh Hai!

I've gotten back from seeing three of the four game series in Baltimore. An absolutely fantastic weekend - good weather, good friends, cold beer - and three wins! And top that off with Manny hitting home run #500 - awesome!
I was going nuts when Manny hit the homer Saturday night, knew I couldn't really capture it, but here he is crossing home plate. The stadium absolutely exploded - not only the Sox fans, but the Orioles' fans really showered Manny with love. The ovation continued non-stop thru Lowell's short at bat, and as Manny came back out to Right Field. Chill inducing.

I'll have more later - share some photos and anecdotes. Here's start - when I went thru security in the Chattanooga Airport, the TSA guys were kidding me as they looked at the xray. Hmm, two cameras, binoculars...are you a bird watcher? I said, no, but I was going to watch the RS kill some birds this weekend!

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