Tuesday, April 3, 2007

I was so happy to have real live Red Sox baseball back in my life yesterday. For the first 4 minutes of that game anyway. My dad was already in midseason form, hating Youkilis ("I hope he strikes out next time up so he doesn't run into another out...I have never liked Youk. Never"), being thankful that the Sox didn't resign Curt, pissed the Yankees won ("now we are already a game back in the East"), planning a hit on Julio Lugo ("I could strike him out today...Good work Theo") and all the other negativity that I have come to know and love. I got angry IM's and texts and panic filled phone calls. The Red Sox were back and even in a loss where we couldn't get a hit off of Gil Meche, ran ourselves into two outs, and just generally couldn't get anything started, it still felt good. The Red Sox are back.

Anyways, all the refreshing and familiar pessimism yesterday reminded me of my favorite passage from Faithful, by Stewart O'Nan and Stephen King. Keep in mind that this is pre-World Series Champion.

But still...the gloom. Why?

Because the Reverend Dimmesdale-Hester Prynne jazz in The Scarlet Letter isn't just romantic bullshit, that's why. There is a very real streak of dour pessimism in the New England character, and it runs right down into the bedrock. We buy new cars expecting them to be lemons. We put in new heating systems and expect them not just to go tits-up but to do it stealthily, thereby suffocating the kiddies in their beds (but leaving us, their parents, to grieve and blame ourselves for at least fifty years). We understand we're never going to win the lottery, we know we'll get that unpassable and exquisitely painful gallstone on a hunting or snowmobiling trip far from medical help, and that Robert Frost was fucking-A right when he said that good fences make good neighbors. We expect the snow to turn to freezing rain, rich relatives to die and leave us nothing, and the kids (assuming they escape the Black Furnace Death) to get refused by the college of their choice. And we expect the Red Sox to lose. It's the curse, all right, but it has nothing to do with the Bambino; it's the curse of living here, in New England, just up that Christing potholed I-84 deathroad from the goddamn New York Yankees. (p.199).

(If you haven't read the book yet, I highly recommend it, and you can even borrow it from me. Although I bought it or $5.98, so you can probably get a copy.)

One more thing about yesterday's game. The announcers both on the radio on the way home from work and NESN sounded shocked that the it was a sell out in Kansas City. If you can't sell out Opening Day on a 80 degree day, then you should immediately lose your franchise.

A few random things...

*I'm going to start to try to review a book every few weeks, so if you have any books I should read and want to let me borrow, or if you want to leave a recommendation leave them in the comments. (I've read Feeding the Monster, Patriot Reign, An Education of a Coach, Now I Can Die In Peace, and Faithful, and I'm bringing Game of Shadows to Texas this weekend and will write something about that next week when I get back)

*I'm apologizing in advance for the lack of blogging over this weekend and into Opening Day. I get back from Texas after midnight on Monday night (assuming it is humanly possible to switch planes in 17 minutes in Atlanta's airport - prob not). I will be attending Opening Day on Tuesday, then going to a Patriots Charity Basketball game that night, followed by the Sox games on Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday. I hate when actually going to the games gets in the way of writing about the games. I am considering bringing my laptop to Texas but am leaning against it due to the fact that my laptop is owned by my company, and that I am an irresponsible drunk. Regardless, I will take lots of pictures and notes and hopefully have some good gossip for you about our local 9 on Tuesday.

I'll be back with the links later...

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