Wednesday, September 30, 2009


Copyrighted photo by Kelly O (

So we weren't able to celebrate on the field. And in some ways, it feels like we backed into the playoffs. But, still, WE WON THE WILD CARD! ON TO THE DIVISION PLAYOFFS!

In honor of the clinch, I give you the Crazy Closer! Dance, Pap, Dance!

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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Magic Number 1

That legendary wearer of the #1, Bobby Doerr, comes by to wish the Red Sox good luck tonight as they try to clinch that Wild Card berth!

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Monday, September 28, 2009

Down to 2

With our magic number now at 2, I give you one of the most beloved bearers of that number: Jerry Remy. We'll be back at Fenway tonight, with Remdawg in the broadcast booth. How can we NOT clinch?!

(I was going to post a photo of one of my other favorites to wear #2 - Doug Griffin. He was the fulltime second baseman, until the Sox acquired Denny Doyle in mid-1975. After that, his playing time was minimal. But he was awfully cute!)

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Saturday, September 26, 2009

Still 3

Awaiting the outcome of the Rangers game tonight, the Sox' magic number is still 3. And, yes, the RS lost, but I like to ponder some of the positives from today's game. Matsuzaka had 7 good innings - 6 hits, 1 run - who would have thought that this game would be a pitcher's duel? Victor Martinez extended his hitting streak to 25! The only other bright spot in today's game was the appearance of the newest Supreme Court Justice throwing out the first pitch:
Ignore that she's wearing that hated jersey!

And still a chance to salvage one game tomorrow. Here's hoping for the Yom Kippur mojo for tomorrow!

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Friday, September 25, 2009

An evening of sex and violins

Not so much sex as sexiness!

Last night, I used one of my free tickets to the Chattanooga Symphony. They featured Brahms' 2nd Symphony, and Beethoven's Violin Concerto. The guest artist was Alexandre da Costa, whom I knew to be a well-reviewed solo artist.

Little did I realize that not only is he extremely talented, he is also a real hottie! He and his Strad took the theater captive and didn't release us until after an encore!

Since I had missed my Wednesday night dine out this week ( I was subbing at a WW meeting), I took myself out for a pre-theatre meal. I tried out Hennen's in downtown Chattanooga, right across the street from the Tennesseee Aquarium. I had eaten there once before, when it had first opened almost two years ago.

My one complaint about the many wonderful restaurants in our downtown is the lack of parking. You either opt for on-street parking (if you can find it) or suck it up and pay $5. I lucked into a spot not far from the restaurant - yay! And there seemed to be a growing crowd as I arrived, which was good.

They specialize in martinis, so I indulged in a Lemon Drop. Yum! For my meal, I had a "BLT salad" (a basic Iceberg wedge with bleu cheese and bacon bits), and the Feta Chicken (chicken breast stuffed with Feta and sun dried tomatoes). A very rich dinner - but all was well prepared and very nice. They score extra points for my entree arriving piping hot.

I was also happy to see a large crowd there. I'm not sure if this is due to a later eating time, or to the fact that the restaurant is situated in the middle of a high traffic area. Whatever the reason, I always feel better about our economy when I see folks out eating!

So, a lovely meal, followed by a nite of culchah - great! What I love about our Symphony is the varied crowd. You see the stereotypical redneck (in well-worn cargo shorts and ball cap) next to the retired lady bussed in from the local retirement center in her sparkly top. The creme de la creme, mixing with those trying to become the creme, mixed with those who don't care. So refreshing.

As the lights dimmed, I was struck by the many ironies of my life. Thursday I'm out for a lovely, pricey meal and a night at the symphony. Sunday, I'll be a the "best dive bar in Atlanta" to see the Baseball Project play. What a contrast! But it's what makes my life so fun and fulfilling.

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Down to 3

There have been many wearers of the number 3 through the years. Jimmie Foxx, Rick Miller, Jody Reed, Pokey Reese, David Wells, Grady Little... So instead of choosing, I share with you instead one of my all-time favorite photos - from Mark Loretta with the walk off homer. The expressions on his teammates faces are priceless!

3 more! And on to the Yankee Stadt


Thursday, September 24, 2009

Down to 5 photo
My fellow Rhode Islander, Rocco Baldelli, shows what our "magic number" stands at now.

(I know others will comment that their favorite #5 is Nomar, but I have to go with sentiment and say Rocco is my fav!)

One more game tonight against KC - here's hoping Buchholz can help us split the series. Then on to the Bronx!

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Wednesday, September 23, 2009


In honor of our Magic Number now at 6, I give you a glorious six-pack from Gabe Kapler!

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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Jennifer Garner is cool

I stole this from Surviving Grady. I know Ben Afleck is pooh-poohed by a lot of hard core Sox fans, but I've always liked him. And it's great to see what a positive impact he's had on his wife! Check out her reaction to the Jeter picture!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

And the number now is...

The Red Sox beat the Orioles this afternoon - and finish the season 16-2 against them. Poor Os

Meanwhile, the Rangers were beat by the Angels. And the Yankees are playing in Seatlle - right now they're losing 7-0 (Chamberlain has 50 pitches in 2 innings!)

So, maybe the Division IS in reach. That would be cool - especially if it's due to a Yankee meltdown. But no matter how we get there, I'll be happy to see us in the PostSeason!

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Saturday, September 19, 2009


Magic Number down to 9!


Friday, September 18, 2009

Magic time

Yes, we've gotten to that magical time of year - the countdown to the playoffs. Prior to tonight's games, the magic number for the Sox is eleven. Any combination of RS wins and Rangers losses that equal eleven mean the Sox have the Wild Card. I think our chances are good!

Meanwhile, we've landed in Baltimore for three games - the start of the last regular season road trip. We've not played as well on the road as we have at Fenway -we need to get that straightened out before the playoffs. And our pitching? Looking very solid now - more so than at any other point in the season.

I like our chances!

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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

That Girl 21st Century Style

Today was one of those days when I felt as though I'd stepped into the 2009 version of "That Girl." You remember the show with Marlo Thomas - the first tv series about a single woman, living (and making it) pretty much on her own. Sure, she had the requisite handsome boyfriend ("Oh, Donald"), but her independence is what made an impression on a younger me. She had her own apartment in New York City, she was chasing her dream to be an actress, she wore cool clothes, and she had tons of kooky adventures!

In the Beth version, here's what TV Guide would have said about tonight's episode: After a busy, fulfilling day at work, the cool, independent chick takes herself out for a lovely meal at a hip and hot restaurant.

Continuing my Wednesday night Dine Outs, tonight I made a return visit to Alleia. It just opened in the spring, and is part of a restaurant group that includes the Meeting Place (where I ate two weeks ago). This part of the empire has zeroed in on a nouveau Italian cuisine - wood grilled pizzas as well as pasta dishes with a little twist.

I have actually eaten there before, at the beginning of the summer with friends. They all kept going on and on about much they loved it - and they've all been back several times since - but I was not impressed. I thought it was beautiful inside, but my food was, well, just ordinary. But since they all loved it, I was determined to give it another try, and to choose something a little more exciting than the pasta bolognese I'd had the last time.

I started with the arancini. I had tried this dish for the first time when I was in NYC in March, and I'd been trying to find a recipe to replicate it at home. Well, I don't need to look any more -I'll just go here! Arancini are deep fried rice balls - traditionally, risotto from the previous night is used. It's shaped into balls, a hunk of mozzarella is inserted, they're breaded and deep fried. Yum!! I followed those bites of heaven with a simple salad of field greens, apples and Gorgonzola. For my main course, I decided to go with one of their specialties: pizza cooked in their wood fired stove. I opted for the arugula, smoked mozzarella and prosciutto - their prosciutto is smoked on the premises, and was so good! A really large thin pizza - too much for me. I would have put a little less arugula on it, but...

It was a wonderful meal, I was so glad I tried Alleia again. The one thing that bothered me, though, was the absolute lack of other diners. I arrived at 5:30 - they had opened at 5 pm - and I was the only person in there besides the wait staff. A little before 6, two women came in and sat in the bar area; a little after 6, two businessmen came in and sat in the dining area. But by the time I left around 6:40, there were only 4 tables occupied. I hope this isn't a typical evening for them, because they surely won't last. Admittedly, it was a little early - but, on a weeknight I presume most people eat earlier than a weekend. One of the features of Alleia is their "community table." It bisects the dining room, a long table that seats 32. It would seem the perfect spot for a single diner to sit - you could meet and chat with other lovers of good food. As I sometimes worry about being a solo diner, imagine if I'd planned to dine at the community table - me and 31 empty seats!

When I left, I ran by the grocery store to pick up a few things for lunch. Being the new Ann Marie, I of course grabbed a bunch of flowers for myself. I like to think I was the envy of all the other shoppers - the cool chick treating herself to something pretty. Ahh...

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And he did!

Wow! I didn't expect THAT! I mean, I hoped Daisuke Matsuzaka would have a good comeback last night. I hoped he wouldn't be too rusty. I hoped we could get four or five innings out of him.

But - 6 shut-out innings? A performance that makes our pitching staff look awesome again? A game that got me even more fired up over the possibility of post-season (and deep post-season) play?

Just do it indeed!

Monday, September 14, 2009

The Softer Side of Pap

I don't have much to say - but I had to get that picture of Jeter pushed down farther!

So to cleanse the palate, I offer this absolutely adorable picture of RS closer Jonathan Papelbon and his daughter, Parker. Aww.

Day off today - the last off-day of the regular season. Which means the season is winding down, which I find both hard to believe and depressing. BUT, we do have a 4 game lead in the Wild Card Race - so hopefully the Sox will be playing deep into October.


Friday, September 11, 2009

Jeter.....but maybe not

Okay, I REALLY had the intention of posting something positive about **shudder** Derek Jeter today. My hatred of all things Yankee - and, especially, of Derek Jeter - is well documented. But, his achievement Wednesday night - tying Gehrig's record for most hits ever by a Yankee - is really something. I planned to give a shout-out to an admirable adversary, a true competitor, one of the great players of this era, someone you begrudgingly admire.

But, that was Wednesday. Today is Friday. Good feelings quickly fade...especially after I saw a Prime 9 special on the MLB Network this morning while working out. The 9 greatest comebacks in MLB history. Number 1? Of course - 2004, RS come back and kick some Yankee behinds.

How quickly my benevolent feelings dissipated.

And I began to think about the 2009 edition of the RS. Do you see some deja vu? The Rockies are charging thru the NL - on an incredible tear. 2007? The Yankees have dominated the AL East, and it seems that the Sox might clinch the Wild Card. 2004? Our bullpen looks poised to be pretty damned unhittable in the post-season. 2004? Our offense seems to be awakening from their nap. 2004?

So, screw Jeter and screw the Yankees. I really, really, really want to see Mike Lowell holding up that WS trophy again this year. I want to see that dancing fool, Papelbon, performing. I want to see how Victor Martinez reacts to his first WS ring. I want to sit, mesmerized, in front of my tv, ignoring McCarver & Buck, tears streaming down my face, while I watch MY team, MY Boston Red Sox be triumphant.

Tonight, the march to October begins.

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Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Wednesday Dine Out: The Acropolis Grill

My second Wednesday Dine Out Night plans were adjusted and re-adjusted several times. Several weeks ago, I had made plans for tonight with a group of "gal pals." We try to go out to celebrate each person's birthday month, and three of our group have September birthdays. So, we planned to try out the new microbrewery in town, the Terminal Brewhouse. However, late Tuesday, two of the three birthday girls had to cancel due to work commitments. So we rescheduled for later this month, still at the Brewhouse.

I was kind of bummed out. I'd been dreaming about that beer sampler I had the last time - yum. But, since I'll be going there in two weeks, I didn't want to go tonight, too. So, I ran thru my list of restaurants. Hmm. Mexican? Italian? Chain? Local?

I finally decided on the Acropolis. (Actually, I decided on it, changed my mind, then ended up back at that choice!). It's run by a local family of Greek immigrants, and has been around for decades. Their boys all went to my school, so we feel a connection to it - although I haven't been there in over five years. Time for a return visit!

The menu represents three cuisines: Greek, Italian and American. I opted for all Greek, of course. Spanikopita, Greek salad, and Greek Lemon Chicken. Yummy! Maybe not the best waistline choices - lots of Feta cheese, and the chicken was breaded and fried. But...

One thing I really liked about the Acropolis was their "Waist Watchers" menu. They had a special insert which had lo-cal options, all with the Weight Watchers points estimates listed. A really nice feature. (Although in the interest of full disclosure I must admit that I ordered nothing from that menu. But it was nice to know I could!) They also have an incredible array of desserts displayed as you enter the restaurant - but, again, I resisted!

One thing that struck me tonight. I tend to eat dinner early - I eat lunch early, so by 5:00, I'm hungry. So I feel like I'm going at the early end of the dinner rush - little or no crowds thus far. One of my dearest friends is a late eater. He usually heads out right after Jeopardy at 8:00 - and often remarks how few diners are still lingering. I hope that there is more business during those in-between times at these local eateries.

I'm loving this new Wednesday night tradition. I got to school last Thursday with such a positive attitude - it made the rest of the week so much more pleasant. I sense the same this week.

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Monday, September 07, 2009

Last weekend of the summer

Sad, but true. Labor Day Weekend always meant the end of summer to me. Last chance to spend mindless days at the beach, that last hamburger eaten at the beach cookout. Sigh.

Of course, "back in the olden days," it meant school was starting the next day. Not now. We've already been back in school for two weeks! Not that I'm complaining about a four-day week or three-day weekend!

The start of September also means the impending end to baseball season. Sigh. Although there's still plenty to go in the season - we're only a few games ahead in the Wild Card Race, which seems to be our only option for post-season play at this point - it's still sad to look at the schedule and see the number of game dwindling.

However, we have had an" interesting" weekend of baseball in Chicago. Friday night was a disaster - a complete blow out. I have to admit to not seeing the worst of it. I stretched out on the floor to cuddle with my kitty - and fell sound asleep. So I was spared that. Saturday's game was telecast on Fox - and my local affiliate chose to broadcast the National League game. However, I did get to watch - on the Fox Sports En Espana! It was actually kind of fun - I had no idea what the announcers were saying, but they still were more entertaining and informative than McCarver & Buck.

Sunday, we won!! Yeah!! Jon Lester seems to be making the case that HE is our ace, capitalizing on Beckett's struggles of late. A nice victory. Today I'm watching Buerhle out deal our supposed ace Beckett. Okay, Beckett looking pretty good - but our offense is squandering opportunity after opportunity. I hope they get this out of their system soon - we need those bats if we have any hope of getting into the Divisional playoffs.

And finally, I have to do a little political rant. In an absolutely unbelievable move, the right wing fringe is protesting President Obama's plan to address the nation's school children tomorrow. They claim that he will use the opportunity to "push his socialist agenda" on unsuspecting innocents.

I'm sorry, but no matter how bitter you are that a black Democrat beat your boy, get over it! He is our President, our leader, until you can come up with a better candidate. The last time a President addressed schools was in 1991, when the old Bush did it. My question is not why is President Obama speaking to kids, my question is why did it take 18 years for a President to do it again??

Instead of operating in ignorance, read his address - and tell me what is so subversive about it. Stay in school, listen to your parents, study hard... Wow, radical stuff

/end rant

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Thursday, September 03, 2009

The new Betty Ford Clinic?

John Smoltz and Brad Penny. Both aging, both injured, both trying to come back -- and both pulled out of the recycling bin by Theo Epstein in the off-season. Both committed themselves to doing everything they could to return, so they signed on for the Red Sox Rehab Program. Mike Reinold has developed an incredible rehab program for pitchers - and Penny himself said he thought it had saved his arm.

Unfortunately, our reclamation projects had little success with the Sox. They were continually knocked around by American League hitters, and the Sox eventually released them both. Well, they did offer them the chance to continue in the bullpen, but both declined.

As noted previously, Smoltz was picked up by the Cardinals, and has twice pitched well. (Today not so much - 6 innings so far, 4 earned runs, including a 2-run homer). The Cards claim that Smoltz was "tipping his pitches," meaning he was giving off some clues in his delivery that gave away what pitch was coming. I don't buy that - with all the high-tech gadgetry the Sox have, someone would have picked up on that. Wouldn't they?

Penny pitched for the first time last night for the SF Giants, his new team. He pitched EIGHT innings - he never went more than six for the Sox. No earned runs. Of course, only 2 strike-outs, so he had some good defense behind him.

What is going on?? Are these aging arms using the Sox' expertise on shoulder issues to come back, then tanking so they can move on to something more lucrative? Are the Sox not giving these guys enough time to come back, enough time to pay off on our investment?

Or is that the National League is a far inferior league? These two got battered all over the place by AL hitters, yet seem to be stupifying the NLers.

Of course, they both have a lot to prove. They're professional athletes and, therefore, proud. They clearly want to continue to compete at the highest level, so they've come out strong, come out with everything. They both put a great deal into the starts with their new teams. Time will tell if they can keep it up over the next few weeks, the last of the season, as both of their new teams seem headed to post-season play.

It's unfortunate that the two teams don't meet again in the regular season. I would love to see them head to head. I guess it would be too much to hope for that both of their arms might fall off.....

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Wednesday, September 02, 2009

A New Journey

For over six years, I've had a set routine on Wednesday nights. I leave work at 4:15, and drive across town to the Weight Watchers Center north of the river. There, I facilitate the 5:30 pm meeting each week. Weigh-in, meeting, new member orientation, home around 7:15.

This was the very first meeting I ever led. Just finished my training, I took over from a woman who had led the group for several years and was much loved. I was incredibly nervous taking over, but within a few weeks, the group and I realized we were a good match. I let the vocal long-time members contribute, but also encouraged the newer ones. We saw each other through a lot - one member had two pregnancies during the time, one lost over 100 pounds, another has struggled to almost reaching her goal this month. They've been great!

But over the summer, I began to consider the possibility of letting someone new take over. The Center is on the complete opposite side of town from where I live and work, and since I also facilitate a meeting on Tuesday, it kind of kills the middle of the week. And, frankly, the numbers in the class had dropped enough that I was just about breaking even on gas. I talked to another leader who was happy to have a regular class, and the change was made.

So this week was my first free Wednesday in a long time! The only Wednesdays I've had off, I've been on vacation and out of town. What a luxury! What would I do??

One of the things I love about traveling is the opportunity to try new restaurants, to really treat myself to some pricey meals. When I go to Boston annually, I spend hours researching the hot new restaurants in the Hub, and manage to have several really fine meals. Being out of town, I don't feel intimidated about dining alone - I feel like the sophisticated woman of the world.

Yet here in the Scenic City, I don't eat out very often. Maybe only once a month, when I can free up some friends from other responsibilities. And it would never occur to me eat out alone. Why? I guess that on some level I'm afraid that I'll run into someone I know - and they'll think I'm a loser for being stag! I know....stupid.

Hence my new resolution. I am going to use my Wednesday nights to try out some new (and old) restaurants here in the Scenic City. Weds seem a perfect night - mid-week, crowds are smaller, and I can enjoy a meal before any baseball starts!

I began my journey tonight with a visit to the Meeting Place Restaurant. I actually ate there with friends two weeks ago, but I wanted to go on a Wednesday night to enjoy their evening special: macaroni and cheese with chorizio sausage. I had tried it over a year ago, and it really made an impression on me. And the memory was clear and true - it was OMG awesome!! So rich, cheesy, creamy. Wow! When you're solo, you're tempted to eat quickly, so I forced myself to slow down, enjoy each bite. I admit I cheated and brought a book - it's so easy to feel invisible as a solo diner when you can disappear into a book and not meet questioning looks from your fellow diners. And I did read it - only because there were few other diners to watch. (Plus the book I brought was Dustin Pedroia's autobiography - which is awesome!)

A lovely meal - and a great start to my "single gal's tour of some of the Scenic City's finest restaurants." Next week: the Terminal Brewhouse, a new micro-brewery that just opened next to the famed Chattanooga Choo Choo. OOO, I predict the beer sampler!

[And, no, the irony does not escape me that while my class was weighing in and discussing weight loss, I was out blowing the week's points bank!]

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