Posted tagged ‘Red Sox’

“Birds are the eyes of heaven, and flies are the spies of hell.”

March 26, 2017

Okay, I am confessing that I watched shark movies yesterday. The worst, by far, was Avalanche Sharks. Supernatural sharks materialized in the snow after an avalanche. Their fins skimmed the snow as if they were in water. The victims knew what was coming. The sharks were drawn, I suppose, to the Bikini Snow Day contest. Even sharks couldn’t resist those bikini-clad coeds. The sharks, from under the snow, fed on the skiers. Many shots were of skiers screaming as the shark munched on the lower parts of their bodies. I was rooting for the sharks.  One line was so horrific I wrote it down. The speaker was describing the death of his former girlfriend, “There wasn’t enough of her to make a sloppy Joe.”

The morning was sunny and warmish at 44˚, but since then clouds have covered the sky. Rain is predicted for tomorrow; of course, it is. Tomorrow looks to be the warmest day in a while.

I’m so eager for baseball to start, I’ve been watching Red Sox spring training games. Yesterday I was thrilled to hear Jerry Remy back in the booth. He and Don Orsillo, the former play by play announcer, were amazing together. They called a great game though they did tend to go off topic if the Sox were winning in a rout or losing by the same. The pizza slice video was my favorite. I don’t remember why the two men in the stands started at each other, but it culminated in a pizza slice being thrown. Don and Jerry were laughing so hard they could barely talk. They showed that video several times. They always laughed. Don left the Red Sox as his contract wasn’t renewed. He went to San Diego. I still miss him.

Tonight is game night. We always have something easy to hold for dinner as we play through. This week I am the dessert bringer or rather the dessert buyer.

The first fly of the season is in the house. It is probably enjoying the heat. I usually chase flies with a rolled-up magazine, hoping to swat them to oblivion. This fly looks little, a small target. I’ll have to hope my skills didn’t rust over the winter. That fly is mine!!

“A trophy carries dust. Memories last forever.”

February 7, 2017

I am watching the Patriots and their duck boat rolling rally ride through the streets of Boston. Earlier it was snowing, and now it is raining, but the crowds don’t care. The fans are standing along the sides of the streets 20 or more deep. The players are having a wonderful time yelling, clapping and dancing. The confetti blowing all over makes it difficult to see but Tom Brady stands out. He is in the front boat holding the Lombardi trophy and waving, a huge smile on his face. The crowd loves him. Lots of school desks are empty today. Kids will remember this parade the whole of their lives.

Gracie is less reluctant to go down the back steps into the yard. She knows I’m there. I stand in front of her as she goes down front paws first one step at a time. She runs all over the yard glad to be off the leash.

When I was a kid, I followed the Red Sox and the Celtics. The poor Sox were hapless, and it was easy to get a good seat even an hour before the game. I remember sitting in a box seat behind the dugout, empty seats around me. The Sox, perennial losers, were not a great draw. I did see a moment in history when Bob Tillman, the catcher, tried to cut off Al Kaline stealing second and hit Johnny Wyatt, relief pitcher, in the head.

I listened to Celtics games on the radio. Johnny Most was the best announcer of them all. I used to hide my transistor radio under the covers so I could listen to the Celts play the L.A. Lakers, perennial foes. Even when the Celts were on TV we listened to Johnny Most. I still remember him screaming, “Havlicek stole the ball,” in the 1965 Eastern Conference Finals when the Sox were only a point ahead and Philly had the ball. I went to Celtics games as I could take the bus and the subway to North Station. They were often sold out. The Celts were perennial winners.

I have never seen the Pats live, but I have watched every game on TV. I’m okay with that. I get to stay warm and comfy. The kitchen and bathroom are both down the hall. I do love to go to Fenway especially for night games. It is a magical place with the green grass and all the lights.

My mother was not into sports and didn’t understand the rules of any game, but if we watched, she watched. I remember her cheering for the wrong football team, an easy mistake. We didn’t say anything. It was great to see her be a fan.

“You have to eat oatmeal or you’ll dry up. Anybody knows that.”

January 23, 2017

Today is not one of my best days. My mother would say I am not up to snuff. To give you a better idea: I woke up at 9:30 and never got my first cup of coffee until 10:15. I just didn’t have the energy. I have someone who does all my yard work, a factotum who does odd jobs and plows, and a couple who clean every two weeks. Now I’m thinking I need a barista.

My Patriots gave the Steelers a bit of a football beating last night. We were on our feet more than a few times cheering their heroics on the field. Now it is on to the Super Bowl. My first thought for the big game is the menu. I’m thinking a sort of tailgating in the living room. I really wish my Dad was around so he too could cheer for his Pats and nosh with us (nosh-another one from my mother).

When I was a kid, baseball was my sport to watch mostly because it was easy to understand. The game didn’t have all the positions or plays football has. My dad watched the Giants on TV. I never did. I was a Red Sox fan. My football knowledge is much greater than it was, but I still don’t understand a lot of the responsibilities of the many positions. I understand the fundamentals of the game, and I find that’s enough.

Winter this year is weird. It is warmer. Today the high will be in the low 40’s and the low will be 38˚. It’s raining which makes it feel colder. It is also going to be extremely windy. When I was young, it was always cold walking to school. I was bundled as much as my mother could fit on me, but I swear my cheeks often went numb. They were red the entire winter. I didn’t have many colds, but I had sniffles. My nose was not a pretty sight nor, sadly, were my sleeve and mittens. Kids never carried handkerchiefs or kleenex.

My mother made the best cocoa. I drank it every winter morning. She’d dissolve the Nestle’s cocoa in some milk then add hot water to the cup. The cocoa always had bubbles on the top.

I have eaten all sorts of foods on my travels. Sometimes I had no idea what I was eating. I didn’t know the language. In some countries, I was glad I didn’t know. When I was a kid, I ate foods I’d never touch now. I ate sardines, the ones out of a can with a key on the top. I ate Spam right out of a can, also with a key on top. Those keys took a deft hand. My favorite way, favorite here used with tongue in cheek, of eating Spam was after it was fried. My mother often made us oatmeal for school day breakfasts. It wasn’t the smooth instant oatmeal they now sell. It was thick, lumpy oatmeal out of the cardboard cylinder with the Quaker on it. I never liked the lumps, but I found out that milk, a little cinnamon and lots of sugar helps the oatmeal, lumps and all, go down.

“Our pets are our family.”

September 12, 2016

The den is my refuge from the summer heat. The windows face north and west so no sun hits the room until late afternoon. Until then, the room stays relatively cool. Today, though, the room was cold. It needed a bit of the sun. I had left the windows open, and the cold night air had lingered. My arms were cold so I put on my sweatshirt. I love needing a sweatshirt.

I have no obligations today, no chores and no lists. For the sake of hygiene, I will take a shower. I might even change my bed, but that may be going a bit overboard.

Yesterday was sit on the couch and watch sports day. First were the Red Sox who beat Toronto to go up 2 games. David Ortiz hit another crucial home run. I clapped and cheered. It’s a good think I have no neighbors. The Patriots were without Brady and were not favored to win. They did win 23-21, a squeaker. It was a good day for Boston sports.

I saw vultures in Ghana. They were big, and they were ugly birds. They used to walk around the open courtyard of the family compound. Nobody seemed to care so I didn’t. Once there were two of them. Toddlers walked around them and were totally unafraid. If I had gone near those toddlers, they would have screamed. They would have been totally afraid of my white skin. It gave me pause.

My pets are old. Fern and Maddie are almost 18, and Gracie is almost 12. They sleep a lot. The cats sleep the most as cats are wont to do. Gracie is the most active. She goes out her dog door, does her business then runs around the yard. She comes back with spit on her muzzle from opening her mouth when she runs. That sounds gross, but it isn’t or maybe it isn’t because Gracie is my dog. Boxers drool when food is around. Gracie makes bubbles. That takes talent.

“All holidays can be good times.”

April 18, 2016

Today is Patriot’s Day, a holiday in Massachusetts. It is also a big day for sports. The Red Sox began playing at 11. In Hopkinton where the Boston Marathon starts, the first wave of runners set off at 8:50 while the elite runners started just after 9:30. It is a beautiful day, warm and sunny. It is short sleeve weather at the ballpark, but it might be just a bit too warm for the runners. Right now the lead women are all from Ethiopia and only 2 seconds separate them. The men are close to the finish line, and there are two running side by side. As for the woman, one runner took a commanding lead and has just run across the finish line. Atsede Baysa, an Ethiopian, is the 2016 Women’s winner. Demi Hayle, also an Ethiopian, has just won the men’s race.

My cats have disappeared. One is angry because I gave her all her medicine, and the other is hiding to avoid getting any.

I live alone in a good size house, but I spend most of my time in the den on the computer, watching television or lying on the couch reading if I can get the animals off. The house where I grew up was smaller than this one. Three bedrooms and the bathroom were upstairs while a living room and a smallish kitchen were downstairs. We had an enormous cellar which held some of our toys, the bikes and the washing machine. The center of the house was the living room with the TV which was one of those models in a cabinet. You had to open the doors to watch it. You also had to walk to it to change channels. My father sat in the big chair while the rest of us sat on the couch. We eventually would start pushing for more room, touching each other just to cause trouble, complaining to my father and blaming everyone else. My dad was never tolerant of the noise or the shoving.

Mostly we watched what he wanted to watch. On Sundays my father watched football. On Sundays I usually stayed in my room reading or listening to the radio or doing both at the same time. I do remember some programs. The one afternoon program I will never forget is Queen for a Day. I still remember the chosen queen wearing her robe, her tiara and carrying an orb of royalty as she stood and listened to what gifts she had been bequeath. You Asked for It was a favorite. Skippy Peanut Butter (or some other peanut butter) was its sponsor, and the person asking would have his/her name on the jar label. I always thought that show was interesting. Just like everyone else I knew, we watched Ed Sullivan. I remember his introductions of well known people in the audience. I also remember many of the women wore hats and mink stoles. I’ve always felt blessed that my father didn’t like Lawrence Welk.

 

“No game in the world is as tidy and dramatically neat as baseball, with cause and effect, crime and punishment, motive and result, so cleanly defined.”

April 4, 2016

It’s snowing again with that wet, heavy snow. The roads are clear but the lawns and tree branches are covered. I’d guess January if I had only what I can see out my window as a hint.

Today is opening day for the Red Sox in Cleveland. I wonder if they have boots with cleats. Are their gloves flannel-lined? This is a game to be watched on TV in the warmth of my house.

Baseball is my favorite game. Even when I was young, I loved baseball. I think it had to do with how easy it is to understand. Football has too many positions and too many plays. I get the gist and know a few of the infractions which is more than enough for me, but with baseball I even get the nuances and can understand the lingo like around the horn, Texas leaguer or hitting for the cycle. I can even explain the in-field fly rule. A pitcher’s duel is the most boring game of all despite how mechanically good the game is. A rough and ready game with lots of hits, a few silly errors, steals and maybe even a manager ejection are the most fun to watch. The Sox have several young players so I’m going to have to learn the roster. David Ortiz, hated by some but loved by many, is starting his last year. It will be strange to think of the Sox without Big Papi. I have high hopes for this season but then I had high hopes for last season and look what happened. Red Sox fans expect to suffer. It’s in our DNA.

I watched some of Sarah Palin’s Wisconsin speech for Trump. At first I thought it was a Saturday Night Live parody as they do her so well. “What the heck are you thinking, candidates? What the heck are you thinking when you’re actually asking for more immigrants — even illegal immigrants, welcoming them in,” Palin said of Trump’s opponents. “Even inducing and seducing them with gift baskets: ‘Come on over the border and here’s a gift basket of teddy bears and soccer balls.” Imagine the stampede of illegal aliens hurrying to the borders before the gift baskets are gone.

“Nothing compares to the simple pleasure of riding a bike.”

April 11, 2015

When I woke up, I noticed the sun, subdued and wan. I figured it had been so long since the sun last shined it had forgotten how to wow us, to make us squint in the light. The streets were still wet and were waiting for a bit of warmth to dry three days of rain, and I was hopeful the sun could finally hold sway. After getting the papers, I stood outside to check my garden. Green shoots are everywhere. They are the start of my spring bulbs finally growing and budding. Gracie has been in the yard most of the morning. She is my barometer. The warmer the weather the longer she is out.

When I was a kid, this was a bicycle day, a spring jacket sort of day. It was freedom from layers of clothing and from looking wistfully out the picture window. It was time to fly my bike down the hill with my hair blowing and my arms raised in a funny sort of triumph. It was time to pedal as fast as I could hoping to leave winter behind me.

I loved riding all over town on a sunny Saturday. Sometimes I’d bring lunch and put it in my bike’s big front basket. Once in a while I’d hit a bump and my lunch bag would bounce in the basket. Sometimes it bounced out. I usually brought Oreos for dessert. They were the cookies of choice for all of us. I remember my sisters would eat the middle and give the dog the rest. My method was a bit different. I’d open the Oreo, eat the plain side then the filling then the other side with streaks of filling still left.

Last night I watched the Sox beat the Yankees in a game which seemed interminable. It lasted 19 innings, 6 hours and 49 minutes, and is now the longest game in Red Sox history. I’d tell myself I’m going to bed after this inning, but I just couldn’t bring myself to turn off the TV. What if I miss the winning run after all this time? Both teams were horrible last year. The Yanks didn’t make the playoffs and the Sox were last, but they seem to play each other as if a championship is on the line. During extra innings, when a Sox player got on base, I’d beg for someone to hit him in so I could go to bed. Finally a Mookie Betts sacrifice fly knocked in the winning run. I cheered then held my breath during the bottom half of the inning. The Yanks didn’t score so I let the dog out, waited for her to come in, turned off the lights and went to bed.