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.

A Quick Update

I’ve been really busy, for obvious reasons, but here’s a quick update as to what’s going on:

  • We’re still go for both closings this Thursday.  Everything seems to be on track, all the repairs to our new place that we asked for in the Purchase and Sale agreement have been taken care of.  In addition, we have a verbal agreement with the seller to move our stuff in on Wednesday (but not ourselves), but we need to get that signed off tomorrow or else our movers will have nowhere to put our stuff on Wednesday morning.  =)
  • Speaking of movers, I’m packing, packing, packing… 

    has been working a ton lately, even this Saturday and today!  So I’ve been doing most of the packing, which is okay with me, especially since this will hopefully be the last move for many years..  I’ve pretty much got most everything except the bedroom packed up now…  Not sure if we will have enough boxes for everything, so there might be a last-minute scramble for boxes tomorrow.  Or, I suppose, we will just have to buy a few boxes from the movers and box up the last of the stuff while they are moving what we have boxed up.  We’ll see though..  Many thanks to


    for helping us out with the boxes.  They just moved into THEIR new place, and the timing just so happened that while they were emptying their boxes we were in need of them…  They were life (or at least wallet) savers!

  • For some reason I’ve started to sort of follow the Red Sox.  I’m not sure what happened, I think it’s

    ‘s fault.  Perhaps it was only a matter of time before I caught the local disease.

  • Yesterday we took a break from work and packing, and headed out to

    ‘s folks house for grilling and pool chicanery.  It was awesome, we had a great time as always…  It was a much needed break from all the adult seriousness the two of us have been dealing with lately…

Meme courtesy of Rory

“Once tagged by this entry, the assignment is to write a blog entry of some kind with six random facts about yourself. Then, pick six of your friends and tag them; no tag backs. This explanation should be included.”

  1. I am unable to wink.  When I try to wink, I manage to close one eyelid while the other lid mostly closes and flutters.  It almost looks as if I’m having a seizure.  Every once in awhile after lots of deliberate attempts I will pull of a vague approximation of a normal human wink.  This victory is short-lived.

    makes fun of this handicap.

  2. When I was young, I was out on Lake Hopatcong with my dad and Uncle Johnny in our 12′ fiberglass rowboat.  This boat happened to have a 10hp engine, which was likely way too much for such a small boat.  Anyway, we were cruising along at full speed when we hit a large wave, throwing everyone out of the boat.  The boat ran around at full speed in a widening approximation of a circle.  The boat kept passing me, getting closer at each pass..  Eventually a passing boat pulled me out of the water, and it was discovered I had a nasty gash on my ankle, going to the bone.  To this day, I maintain that the boat hit me while I was in the water and it was the boat motor which made the gash.  My dad thinks I cut my ankle on one of the fishing rod holders on the boat when I was flying out of the boat.
  3. When I first got to RIT, I had one of the small single rooms in Sol Heumann…   (TMI ALERT) I tend to prefer sleeping sans-pajamas, and since I had a private room, I did so.  One night there was a fire alarm in the building which I guess didn’t wake me up, and the female RA let herself into the room to wake me up.  I jumped out of bed, buck-ass naked, giving her quite a show.
  4. I had a Catholic baptism as a baby, went to church and catechism as a boy (

    even taught some of the classes), and was on track to be a good little fucked up Catholic.  But before my First Communion I mentioned to my mother that I didn’t want to bite god (receive the host), and my parents decided to remove me from catechism and let me make up my own mind when I was older.  Clearly, even as a child I recognized that eating the flesh of Christ was not only creepy but also dangerous!

  5. I can point my big toes directly towards each other (90 degrees from the way your feet are supposed to point) and walk forward.  My orthopedist told me I was “triple-jointed”, which I assume means “REALLY double-jointed”.
  6. I tried eggs again last weekend, I’m still not a fan.

Peeping Tom

Last night

and I met up with

and Chloe at the Sunset Cantina for dinner and drinks, and to go see Peeping Tom at the Paradise Rock Club.  It was a sold-out show, and doors were at 7, but we decided to grab some grub as opposed to waiting outside in the cold..   After dinner, Corinna decided she was pretty tired and was going to bail on the show, so we sold her ticket and went inside..

The first opening act, Pigeon John, was real fun hip-hop, kinda no consequences fun “let me hear you say ‘Yeah!'” kinda stuff…  Everyone seemed to have a good time, especially for an opening act.  Second up was Miho Hatori, which I didn’t really enjoy at all…  Remember how in Alien: Insurrection they failed at several attempts at cloning Ripley, and ended up with a bunch of goobed out mutants?   Well, imagine if you replaced Ripley with Bjork, you’d have Miho Hatori.  She wasn’t physically goobed, but holy christ was her music awful..  It was as if someone making a commercial WANTED Bjork, but she wouldn’t sign off on the rights, so they hired someone to make a soundalike song..  Fortunately, this middle act gave me the opportunity to vote for Sanjaya 68 times. 

Finally, around 10:45pm, Peeping Tom took the stage…  I was disappointed to find out that Rahzel was missing from the line-up this time around.  Fortunately, we were introduced to Butterscotch, who you’d never expect to be a master Beatboxer, but boy does she have chops..  It was fascinating to watch this tiny little woman blow the fucking doors off the venue.  Also, this time around, Dan “The Automator” was able to make the tour (when Corinna and I saw Peeping Tom open for Gnarls Barkley last year, I believe Kid Koala was filling in on decks).  Anyway, the show was fantastic, and Chloe, who Rory kinda dragged to the show even really seemed to enjoy it.  It was crowded, but I think that the Paradise is my favorite area venue..  It’s shallow but wide, so you feel really close to the stage…

When we were leaving, I almost got into my first fistfight in years!  Some drunk douchebag behind me apparently decided that our egress rate was insufficient and shoved me forward.  I informed him that this was uncool (with my elbow into his ribs), and things got quite tense.  We screamed at each other for a few minutes and at some point Rory and someone who apparently knew this douche stepped in and separated us..   This ass kept screaming at me “all I was trying to do was pass you;  I’ll kick your faggotty purple-shirt wearing ass; yadda yadda”.  I kept trying to explain to him that he didn’t try and “pass” me, he shoved me forward and into the wall…  If you can’t handle your liquor, don’t drink in public…

Chick Tac Toe

 and I took a trip down to Foxwoods to play some poker this weekend.   I hadn’t played in about a year, and it showed, although I held my own…  Rory seemed fairly satisfied with my play, and he knows what he’s doing, so I guess I didn’t do that bad of a job…    Anyway, while we were there we saw a poster for a promotion the casino was having.  Each day everyone had the opportunity to play Tic Tac Toe versus a chicken.  If you beat the chicken, you get $10k.

A few hours later, on a break from the table, we were walking around the casino, and came across a mob of people waiting to have their turn with the chicken.  The chicken is in a little glass booth, and it’s selection panel is obscured from view.  I don’t know what the gimmick is, I figure there are a few possibilities:

  • The chicken is honest-to-god playing Tic Tac Toe
  • The chicken is trained to peck at a light, and a computer is actually making the decisions.  Chance ensues when the chicken pecks at the wrong light
  • The whole thing is theatre, and the chicken is just for show

I’m not sure about the 3rd option, there are all kinds of laws about contests and honesty within them…

Anyway, so I pretty much expected people to tie the chicken most of the time, since the only way to win is not to play.  There were three “big checks” mounted to the wall, and the promotion had been going on for a few weeks….

But just as we were getting ready to leave, we saw a woman actually LOSE to the chicken.  I had to run away because I was laughing so hard…  I know I am prone to hyperbole, but I believe this is the funniest event I’ve ever seen in my life.

Interesting Weekend

I get 12 free dialup hours through, which lets me check my email over weekends until the DSL comes through. So here I write…

When I got home from work on Friday, there was this cat kinda chilling in the stairwell, which was extrodinarily peculiar, because it was behind the second (locked) door to the building. I assumed it belonged to someone in the building, and thought nothing of it. When I saw it there a few hours later, I started worrying. I posted a note on the door, and asked around.

Friday night I had my first real get together-type-thing here at the new apartment, and Steve Bower, Adam, Molly, Rory, and Frances came over for food, drink, and B.S. It was cool, cuz I hadn’t seen Steve in about a year. Saturday morning the cat was still around, so Molly and Adam took it to make sure it was fed. It turns out that the girl in apartment 2 left for the weekend, and the cat must have scooted out past her when she was leaving. All is well now, but I think Molly was getting attached to the idea of owning the cat. :(

Saturday, I went out to Harvard Square to meet up with Jon Whitney and see Fellini’s Satyricon at the Brattle, which I had seen a long time ago, but didn’t really remember. It was allegedly a new print with the original un-edited subtitles, but the print seemed a bit beat up for a new one (tape, scratches, etc). The movie is definately out there, and it left me a little screwy for the rest of the night. After the movie I met some more of Jon’s friends, which was cool. I wasn’t feeling very well though, so I left early. I made it home in time to catch Walken n’ Weezer on SNL, both of which were great. The new Weezer album is growing on me more with each listen…

The Sopranos season finished tonight, and in retrospect I am very happy with this season. It was the darkest season of the three, but I think all in all it was better than the 2nd season, while perhaps a bit shy of the first. Rory came over to watch it with me, and we also watched the hit-man documentary afterwards.

This cold-illness-type-thing is waning, but it is still annoying. I want it to go away, so I am gonna hit the sack.

Original Document

I got my first “Report Card”, which is Graham-Family-Speak for “Pay Check”. It is about what I expected to get for one check, maybe a wee bit lower. I may have to re-evaluate my withholding situation after I do some math.

It is too damn hot in the place, so I am bugging out in 15 minutes. Adam and Rory are coming over for dinner after work today. It is nice having furniture now; people can come over and have a place to sit. :)

I’m going back to boston, to boston, to boston

Around 2pm today I am going to leave for yet another trip to Boston, this time searching for an apartment. I tried to call some of these places yesterday, but all of them were closed for “Patriot’s Day”, which is a holiday that is only celebrated in New England, apparently (I don’t care, I will get it off next year. :P). So I have to make some calls today and set up some appointments tomorrow to look at places. I found a few that I am interested in, but I have to see if they are available now and if they are truly as cool as they looked in phosphor.

I am charging up my MP3 player’s batteries for the trip, and doing some laundry so I don’t have to be a dirtball while I am crashing at Adam and Rory’s. :)

Wow… It’s now official…

I officially accepted the offer from Rovia today, sending back the letter signed and all. So I guess I am now committed to living with Massholes. :) I will make sure to watch alot of The Sopranos, however, so I don’t begin to develop some annoying accent. And also, never fear, a water fountain will never be a bubbler.

The letter said that my start date was May 1st, which I can stick to, but I will be busy these next few weeks finding an apartment and moving into it. I might live in Brighton near Adam and Rory, or perhaps somewhere else, but wherever it is, it will be near mass transit, since I don’t plan on having another car for awhile.

I am going to break Boston in right, though, by seeing a concert less than a week after I start work. :) I am going to go see Autechre at the Middle East, which I guess is actually in Cambridge, but whatever. I have been wanting to see these guys for a long time, so it will be cool to finally do so (and to see another concert, which is something I haven’t done since I saw Moby in Rochester). The concert is on May 7th, which is a Monday (odd, no?), and for those of you not in Boston, the 2 prior days they will be playing in New Jersey and NYC.