My latest contribution to Red Sox Nation

Map of the streets surrounding Fenway Park, in which Yawkey Way and Jersey Streets are MislabelledI was using Google Maps the other day when I noticed something strange. Yawkey Way was mislabeled. It is my understanding (as it was before my time living in Boston) that Jersey Street used to run from Boylston Street to Brookline Avenue, past Fenway Park. In 1976, the stretch of Jersey that ran along Fenway Park (between Van Ness Street and Brookline Avenue) was renamed Yawkey Way, in honor of former club owner Tom Yawkey. But in the Google Map, these two streets are flipped over Van Ness, as seen in the photo here. I contacted GoogleMaps with this problem. This morning they let me know that I was correct and that the map will be corrected within a month. I’ll post again when the fix is made.

Now if only Google could go back and correct Tom Yawkey

Update: Google has corrected this issue.

Pay it Forward

Last year, at Matt & Casey’s anniversary extravaganza, we had a little car accident due to some really wet ice.  Nobody was hurt, and there was only a little bumper scraping which occurred, but the person driving the car on the receiving end of our car was very nice and didn’t even want to exchange insurance information.  We were quite grateful.

Last night, after leaving the CfA, Howard and I were trying to pass the Sheraton Commander hotel in Harvard Square, but there was some Fire/Ambulance activity in front. Because of the emergency vehicles, a MBTA bus, which runs on overhead catenary wires couldn’t continue down the road.  We got a green light but after crossing the intersection approaching the hotel we were stopped.  The cars behind us ended up "blocking the box" and were jockeying to get out of the way of the cross traffic.  The car behind me tried to pull up along side me on the right to get out of the way, but ended up tapping my bumper.  I could tell it was a fairly non-event impact, and seeing the terrified eyes of the woman who hit us in the rear-view, I decided to let it slide and just continued on my way.  When I parked the car I assessed the damage, and it was a small amount of paint removed from my bumper, which is already very battle scarred from years of parking in Brighton.

Do unto others, or something…


Ok, SCUL "pilots", it’s time to face facts:  You are LARPing.  

Sure, your kink is different from the traditional LARPer, but this does not change the fundamentals…   I was recently in aconversation with a few SCUL members, and somehow the topic of LARPing came up and both of them started laughing and poking fun at LARPers.  But this struck me as really hypocritical, because I’ve always thought of SCUL as LARPing.  

Be Loud, Be Proud, Be LARPers…   I promise I will continue to make fun of you just as much as I do other LARPers.

ALDS Game 2 at Fenway Park

Red Sox Nation sent out a dispatch last week about a first-come, first-served contest for tickets to watch Game 2 of the ALDS at Fenway.  This was an away game, so the party was being held in the State Street Pavilion, which are some of the more expensive seats in the park.  I replied right away, as did roryk , and we both got on the guest list.  coco_b  thought it’d be a fun night too, and so we all went over there on Friday night.

It was really a blast..  RSN was giving away some neat prizes, the ultimate being two box seats to tonight’s game (we didn’t win anything, but it was fun nonetheless).  The pavilion is basically a restaurant with glass facing the field, but when you’re actually at a game, you have seats on the other side of the glass to watch the game from.  There were TVs to watch the game all over the restaurant, and we were also welcome to go out and sit in the seats over the field (where there were also TVs).  The food was what you’d expect from a ball park, not great, but definitely a little better than the vendors in the concourse.  There was a full bar and table service, and there were probably about 150 people at the party.   We got pictures with the World Series trophies, but some of them are on Corinna’s camera, so I haven’t gotten them yet.  The ones I took with my phone are up, though.

The game was completely awesome, a little bit of everything..  Started out hot, Angels slowly crept back, the awesome jack by Drew to put the final nails in..  It was so great watching the game with such a group of hardcore fans…   Rory and Corinna really seemed to enjoy it as well, even though coco was pretty tired by the time the late night game ended…


When I watched baseball as a kid, it was a really simple affair which basically boiled down to “I hope the Mets win”.  My friend Matt Hansen and his father were WAY into baseball, and that’s where I became interested.  I didn’t know anything about statistics, rosters, or even the minor league (beyond it’s existence).  We’d watch a game on TV or listen to it on the radio, and occasionally go to Shea to watch a game.  At some point, though, I stopped paying attention to Baseball.  As an adult, I had convinced myself that I stopped caring around the infamous strike, but the math on that doesn’t work out, because the strike was in ’94 and I’m pretty sure I stopped caring much earlier than that.  Regardless of when it happened, it happened.

I managed to avoid Red Sox fever for many years of living in Boston…  When I moved here in 2001, it was amazing to me how serious Boston sports fans were…   The startup I was working for, Rovia, had it’s office right on the corner of Yawkey Way and Brookline, across the way from Fenway (and, troublingly for my waistline, directly above the Best Sausage Company).  It was a madhouse in the summer, you either had to leave the office at 5pm or wait until the 2nd inning or so before the streets calmed down enough to make it to the T.    I’d be walking to the office from the T at 10am on a day with a 7pm game, and I’d already be getting harassed by scalpers (“NEED ‘EM??  GOT ‘EM???).   This city breathes it’s sports, especially baseball..   You see team colors all over the city on game days..   Every bar with a TV is showing the game..   People simply assume you’re at least familiar with what’s going on with the team.

When I was working at Goodrich, I won two sets of tickets to the company seats.   The first was in August of 2004 in what would turn out to be the lead up to their World Series win.  I really enjoyed the game and got my first glimpse into what it is about this team and this park that made people crazy..   But it faded quickly, and even though the Sox were in the playoffs and ultimately the Series, I didn’t pay much attention…  Local friends had parties to watch some of the games, and I attended, and cheered on the home team, but it didn’t stick.

The second set of tickets was in 2006, and this time around things were a little different.  The first game I attended was with coco_b, and neither of us were particularly into baseball…   But when I got tickets to the 2006 Patriot’s Day game, Corinna suggested I bring roryk along, because he was into the team.  It was at this game that the flint was sparked, although it took awhile for the fire to take. 

It was after attending this second game that I slowly started paying more attention to the sport.  It was Spring of last year when I first started to recognize “the symptoms”, but the finishing blow was the new HDTV.  Rory, adamfletcher and friends started coming over to watch games all of the time, and I found myself checking the scores even when I was unable to watch the game. 

I’m fairly certain that the World Series win last year was what set the hook in my cheek.  This year, I followed all of the off-season dealings, watched a bunch of spring training games, woke up at 5am to cook pancakes and bacon for a bunch of guests for the Opening Day game in Tokyo, and have seen or listened to at least a few innings of almost every game this season.  I pay attention to scouting rumors and news, I have read books on the game, I read Baseball Prospectus and the local sports sections baseball coverage, i discuss player statistics, sabermetrics, and scouting rumors…  It has gotten completely out of hand.   And I love it.

Review: Transsiberian

The Independent Film Festival of Boston opened yesterday at the Somerville Theatre with the new Brad Anderson film “Transsiberian”. Anderson has a pretty good record so far, with Next Stop Wonderland, Session 9, and The Machinist, so I was rather excited to see his new work.

Transsiberian follows Jessie (Emily Mortimer) and Roy (Woody Harrelson) as they return from an aid mission in China. Roy, as a huge train nerd, wants to take his wife on a bit of an adventure, so they take the Transsiberian railway from China to Moscow. They share a cabin with Carlos (Eduardo Noriega) and Abby (Kate Mara), a couple who appears to have some secrets. As you may guess, some bad things ensue during this week-long journey.

The previous paragraph sounds makes this film sound cookie-cutter, but I’m happy to report that every time I felt I had the movie figured out it threw me a great curve ball. There were times where I felt the pace bog down a bit, but just as I started to think about it I would get surprised by a twist. These twists didn’t feel contrived, they weren’t bricks over the head, they were subtle surprises that drew you further into the story.

The movie wasn’t perfect, but it was really good. Mortimer was clearly the star, and she delivered a fantastic performance. The supporting actors were all solid as well, although Harrelson’s character was more of a caricature, being the comic relief in a rather serious film.. Unfortunately, his levity felt shoehorned in at times… When the film ended, my first instinct was that it needed about 10 minutes trimmed, but I think this was a kneejerk reaction. In all reality, if it weren’t for the moments of feeling slightly bogged down, I don’t think the payoff of the twists would have felt as special.

After the film, the director, co-writer, and Sir Ben Kingsley himself did a very nice Q&A session, even in the face of some rather rude audience members who were talking over them and getting up and leaving en masse mid sentence. But the three of them gave pretty good, considered answers to all of the questions asked.


and I headed over to the Orpheum to see Ween last night..  Neither of us had ever caught the band live before despite listening to them for years, and it was totally awesome.  They rocked out for 2+ hours, no opener, to a packed house..  The Orpheum is a lousy venue, but they made the best of it…  The crowd was totally eating up the show, and the band rewarded them with a good mix of new stuff as well as classics…   I would have loved the nostalgic “Pork Roll, Egg and Cheese”, but you can’t always get what you want… :)

Live Music Fiesta

For some reason after months of not really attending any shows regularly a bunch happened to occur all at once.  Of course, things were kicked off this Saturday past when


, and

and myself all had the extreme pleasure of seeing The Police at Fenway Park.  I was really excited about this show, but in the back of my head there was always this nagging fear that it would be a bunch of old guys who couldn’t quite play anymore pretending they were young again.  Beyond that, I generally avoid arena shows in favor of small clubs.  The odds of me seeing this band at a club are virtually nil, so I decided to make an exception to my rules…

As soon as they took the stage and kicked into Message in a Bottle, however, any fears were put right to bed.  They rocked so hard, it was such a great show, it has instantly jumped into the top 5 shows I have ever witnessed.  Their set list was great (I could have done without “Walking in Your Footsteps”, but you can’t please everyone), and hit just about every song I wanted to hear.  By the encore, I was thinking they were going to skip my favorite song, “Next to You”, but after the main encore they snuck back out on stage and kicked into it as their last song.  When they broke into it I probably jumped 3 feet out of pure excitement and adrenaline.  I actually for a split second considered trying to scalp tickets for Sunday’s show, but realized I’m not made of money.  =)

Last night I went out to Cambridge to see Negativland at the Middle East as part of their It’s All In Your Head FM tour..  It was also a great show, but in a completely different way.  The band was basically doing a live radio show from the stage, and if you’ve ever heard their Over the Edge radio show before, you know it can been a pretty crazy melange of samples, music, noise, and scripted weirdness.  They even handed out blindfolds at the ticket counter to enhance the “Radio Viewing” experience.  It was really enjoyable seeing these guys work, although by the 3rd hour of the show (as it approached midnight) I was getting pretty sleepy…

Tonight I’m returning to the Middle East and meeting up with a bunch of friends to see DJ Z-Trip.  His stuff can be real hit-or-miss for me, but his technical ability is simply astounding, so he at least possesses the chops to knock it out of the park.  I saw him a few years ago when he toured and it was a pretty enjoyable show, so hopefully he’ll pull it off again tonight.