The Parks of Fenway and Durgin (#TBT: Aug. 2 2007)

As I mentioned earlier this week, I wanted to give a Throwback Thursday post based on “Before You Were Born.” This post corresponds to ten years and four weeks ago, good buddy!

Thursday, August 2, 2007

I woke up at 630 (yay for regularity!)  I journaled partially from yesterday while the others slept.  I didn’t get very far—I only got to Eagle’s Deli.  I’ll try again later!  Everyone was up and ready by 800.  We all headed down to breakfast, and I got made-to-order pancakes and some bagels.  I didn’t listen very heavily in on the conversations.  We left about 915.

Like always, we walked the Park toward the Blue Line and took it to Government Center.  I love having fun on the T with the ding-dongs and the voices on the PA.  The word “Aquarium” makes me chuckle each time—I wonder why I think it’s so funny?  We then took the Green Line to Park Street and headed toward the park and the pond with the swan boats.

We saw Heidi [Pitlor] on a bench near the swan boat pond with her two babies.  They are really cute!  We chatted about the babies for quite some time.  We told her that we were going to the game, and she warned us that there may be very difficult Red Sox fans.  I think we’ll be fine as long as we’re on our guard!

As we sat, several camps came for boat rides, including Boston ROCKS and an Asian expedition.  Mom and I discussed our family’s experience with summer day camps: the YWCA, Bright Lights, and the park programs.  What else can I say?  Oh, yes: we moved to another point in the park because everyone thought that we were in line for the boat rides

The family discussion started then!  Mom shared her experiences with raising me, how Grammy put all of Mom’s child-rearing books in the recycle bin [don’t know whether that was figurative or literal].  The motto here is “Do, don’t think.”  Those kinds of books only seem to be effective on the “average” child, but what is average anyway?  She also touched on my autism.

Of course, pacifiers also entered the conversation.  Tying the pacifier to the bed and kicking my thumb-sucking habit were obviously mentioned by Mom.  It would be interesting: is there a link between smoking and thumb-sucking?  I suppose that thumb-sucking may be normal to some extent: look at Linus from Peanuts!

We chatted about age as well.  Mom talked about how some families go to exotic locations when the kids are very young.  Our first large-scale “vacation” [i.e. excluding trips to places where family rendezvous was the primary objective] wasn’t until Levi was 6, the girls were 8, and I was 10 [ED: It was the AAFP convention in Chicago.]  I still remember it fairly well—the museums, the hotels, and Levi getting his shirt caught in the escalator.  If I have kids, the only places I would go would be Lincoln or family places until they get older.  No exotic places too early!

Some miscellaneous conversations ended, and we made leaving noises upon boarding a Green Line.  It took a few trains to find the “D” branch that led to Fenway, and other cars were sardines as well.  We stopped at a nearby McDonald’s to get some Coke and (tap) water, and it was also a restroom break (go figure).  A little further down the road, we found StubHub and successfully obtained our tickets.

We walked toward Fenway Park, and found an apparel shop.  There was nothing that I wanted, and nobody else got anything either.  We found Gate C, and Levi got a hot dog en route.  Mom also got bottled water for Casey, which made Dad explode in rage (he deems bottled water a waste of money, and I have developed the same aversion due to him).  We continued to the gate, and security checked my sports sack.  Upon having a band attached to it, I was let in.  The concourse wasn’t like other places I’ve been to, except maybe Memorial Stadium.  Concession stands lined both sides, with pillars, and lots of people mingled about.

We ascended a ramp to Section 43, and Row 3 was right in front.  We were in right field, where a berm would be at Haymarket Park.  Around the field, I saw the old-style scoreboard on the left-field wall.  Advertisements were on the Jumbo-tron and scattered throughout.  The words FENWAY PARK were on the top of the clubhouse, along with what were either pennants or retired jerseys.

While Mom and the others looked for food, Dad and I talked about traditions, heat, and several other things.  At about 1250, the ceremonial first pitch was thrown and a ceremony honored Doerr, a previous manager of the Sox, who retired from baseball this year.  It wasn’t until 1310 that the game started.

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It wasn’t too exciting at first!  The Orioles went 1-2-3 in the first.  Although the Sox led off with a walk, two fly-outs and a ground-out left the score zilch-nada.  One interesting thing: Youkilis (#20) gets a “Yooooou!” chant, much like “Ruuuuud!”  In the second inning, the O’s led off with a hit, but then grounded into a double play and then struck out to keep them off the board.  The Sox got a hit and a steal, then a strikeout, and although there were 2 walks afterward, we had 2 outs.  The crowd cheered, “LET’S GO RED SOX!” but the next batter was fanned and he threw his bat to the ground in frustration.

In the third, the O’s once again went down easily, even though they had a hit and a walk after 2 outs.  It did get scary, especially the fly ball that wasn’t necessarily a given out.  On the Sox side, a groundout was followed by a double, RBI single, and then two fly-outs.  We’re up 1-0!

The O’s were retired in order, and then our 7th and 8th batters belted back-to-back homers, putting us all on our feet, screaming in excitement.  However, the inning then ended quickly with a few ground-outs, if I recall correctly.  The O’s responded with a triple, a sacrifice RBI, and several hits.  We stopped them before they could steal a lead, but it was 3-3 at the end of the inning.

Some fun things (not necessarily in chronological order) At the end of the 3rd, they had a reel of Baseball Bloopers, which included bad defensive dives, wild pitches, erroneous catches, tripping over, etc.  Throughout breaks, trivia questions, greetings, and other random things appeared.  The 7th Inning Stretch replaced the words “home team” with the words “Red Sox.”  I think a lot of teams do that if it’s easy to fit in.  Then, at the end of the 8th, the stadium did karaoke to Sweet Caroline.  Another thing: The Sox have outsold-out the Husker football team—Boston is on a 363-game sellout streak! (Granted, that is comparing apples to oranges since Husker football gets 6-7 home games a year, and the Red Sox get 81.)

Back to the game: The staff shut down the O’s offense by going through 9 batters in three innings.  In the sixth, a hit turned into the end of the inning—it was caught and then an attempt to steal home was foiled.  This was considered a 9-3-2 double play!  The seventh inning was an explosion for the Sox, with a hit to lead off.  However, then a 5-3 and a FC left us with two outs.  The Sox then stole base and had four hits in a row before flying out to center field.  We’re up 7-3!  In the ninth, our closer gave strike-out-looking to the first two batters, but three hits in a row made it interesting.  The final batter flied out, and so the SOX WIN, 7-4!

We were all suffering from the heat, and looked for somewhere to relax after the game.  We ended up at Boston University, and eventually ended up at a local coffee shop.  I got sparkling blueberry juice, and others got other sparkling drinks.  The tables were neat—they had comics painted on them.

It was too hot to even think about finishing the Freedom Trail, so we T’d it back to the hotel.  I took the Forbidden Actions which actually felt good.  Then, I managed to catch up on yesterday’s journal before too long.  Fast forward to 20:00, when we decided to head out to dinner.

We took the T to Government Center, and then walked the Quincy Market to Durgin-Park.  We looked at the bar, but figured that we had to go upstairs to order.  It was STEAMING HOT, so the waitress directed us to 3F, which looked much nicer (it was the Faneuil Dining Room).  Our waiter arrived with cornbread, but had no bad times to give.  We were not sure what to think—supposedly the staff is supposed to act mean.

Our conversations were sparse, because of the heat that we endured earlier.  In fact, let me just talk about dinner.  I got baked scrod with bread crumbs, with a baked potato.  The former tasted like chicken.  I think I’m really branching out for my culinary tastes, and that’s a good thing!

Afterward, we walked toward Aquarium, and found a Boston Pedal Party—the odd bike that we saw yesterday.  The conductor took us around as we pedaled on each side.  This thing is a NEAT machine—the driver pedals like a bike but steers like a car.  We had pedals that we could use as much or as little as we wanted.  Oddly enough, this thing is closely related to the Porsche, so… yeah!  It was a lot of fun—that’s for sure!  Back at the hotel, I crashed—tomorrow could be a long day!

>>> TO BE CONTINUED…

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Semester Kickoff: 6 days

Green Bay/St. Norbert: 64 days

Minneapolis: 71 days

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[O.C.T.O.B.E.R. IV-17] Fried fish link (#FBF: July 29, 2007)

On Fridays, many restaurants in Wisconsin have fish fry as part of their menu year-round. I enjoyed it a lot, and it reminded me of one of my “culinary adventures” for my family’s Boston trip, eight (!!) years ago.

Even more astounding, my parents are now in Boston for my cousin Kendall’s בת מצווה (bat mitzvah). I wish I could have gone, but I would not have been able to commit to it at the time, particularly since I had also planned to be out the following weekend and was not yet secured with my Stout job by the RSVP deadline.

But, I will flash back to one of the days of this Boston trip: July 29, 2007!

Sunday, July 29, 2007

I overslept until 715, and Molly chewed me out because she wanted to get up at 700.  I’m sick of her intolerance and ratting on me.  Levi and I walked down to the atrium and there was an omelette bar, bagels, and bacon, among many other items. [We] chatted about omelettes, vacations, and periods before returning upstairs.

I continued journaling when we got back to the room.  I finished yesterday’s journal and then the power went out.  Molly said, “This definitely rates as the worst Embassy Suites ever.”  I, unfortunately, have to agree.  But, it can only get better from here.  Casey was still showering, and we heard the pipes.  This is crazy!

We took the stairs down to the exit and walked over to Hertz.  I stepped on the Severe Tire Damage spikes and didn’t get hurt.  After we checked out the car, we found Space 313… with no van there!  We returned to the office and found Space 114—a six-person goldish-colored van.  Go figure—this is a Weiss vacation!  Since we won’t get lost due to the GPS, something else must go wrong!

We drove the Big Dig and it didn’t collapse on us.  It’s so cool to drive with tunnel vision and that walkway and the doors alongside the road.  It’s much different from Nebraska, but then again, it’s more expensive ($3.00 and then another dollar for the tolls).  We saw Fenway Park, the Prudential Building, the Charles River, and other salient landmarks.

On the Mass Pike, we passed under a hotel and a supermarket.  It’s even neater than the Archway Monument [in Kearney, Nebraska]!  The scenery really started to change as we moved away from the urban area.  We chatted about driving, city sizes, navigation, and all sorts of other things too.

In the Wellesley Woods, we saw all the trees and houses.  It’s not like the neighborhoods in Lincoln—the houses are closer and it’s just…oh, what was it?  I forgot what I was going to say… but we didn’t near the college—we instead turned into a neighborhood and then snaked around blind driveways, eventually reaching Cousin Margot’s house.  I remember this area only fuzzily.

We saw Margot, Lewis, Kendall, Delaney, and Julia.  The latter three have grown a lot since I last saw them almost three years ago (wow; feels like a long time!)  It is so interesting to meet (re-meet) family members from far away.  Of course, there are in-laws, nth cousins, etc.  It’s so confusing!  A little bit later, Heidi and Neil appeared, and (re)introductions ensued.  I have not seen her before, to the best of my knowledge!

Mom and Heidi were trying to help Margot get breakfast ready.  Of course, she was fine.  We had Dunkin’ Bagels for breakfast, with fruit salad, coffee, and pop.  I was adventurous—I tried (and liked) lox with a toasted bagel [yes, maybe I should have counted this as one of the things which improved my status of cultural Judaism]!  More conventionally (snicker), I had root beer and fruit salad.  There was schmoozing all around and I enjoyed listening to everyone.  There was too much going on for me to discuss it too much!

I got to chat with Heidi, Margot, and Neil for a while.  It started by me reading (looking at) the proof copy of the 2007 American Short Stories.  I chatted about my experience with copy editing from my high-school yearbook class.  I found out about Heidi’s education—she went to a local university and majored in political science.  How things can change!  We chatted about music—I should look around for [James] Swearingen or [Bruce] Pearson CDs.  Supposedly Neil played Wind River Overture when he was in school!

Family time is so much fun!  As a Jewish family, some inside jokes abounded.  They had a book called Yiddish with Dick and Jane.  Of course, it’s a parody on the children’s book, and it’s really funny.  I got great news too: WE HAVE RED SOX TICKETS!  Lewis managed somehow to find tickets through StubHub, a scalping site.

We chatted with the family like always.  We played the Name Game, where we guessed each person’s middle name.  I didn’t keep track of it all, but oh well.  We chatted about everything from sports sellout streaks to life in different places, pro versus college, AFV [America’s Funniest Home Videos], and miscellany.  I hate to say it, but it’s sort of a blur—I was oversensing!

We left and returned via Route 30.  In response to the nice greenery, Mom said, “This is New England.”  We got lost trying to find Concord, and took some really dangerous turns, wanting to avoid the Mass Pike.  On Interstate 95, we saw a river, Polaroid’s headquarters, lots of trees, etc.  We turned on the Lincoln exit (how ironic) and turned at a Mobil On The Run (even more ironic! [The gas station at 48/Highway 2 in Lincoln is a Mobil On The Go.])  This route took us to downtown Concord.

We stopped at a kitchen store of which I didn’t catch the name.  There were many interesting items, and an old smell of stone permeated the store.  A sign said, “Free ride in police car if you shoplift from this store,” which made me laugh.  A conversation about logic ensued and how I could logically get a free ride in a police car without shoplifting.

We walked out of the downtown, and ogled all the old houses.  They had plaques that told the age of the house and the famous face(s) that had lived there.  One of them was John Adams’s house!  We saw the Wright Tavern, which is where the Provincial Congress met prior to the Revolution.  I was amazed and excited with the walk, but others were complaining, especially Molly.

We turned into a graveyard, and it had several hills.  I joked, “Does this park close at dusk because the dead walk at night?”  The others were not amused–come on, lighten up!  It took a while, but we found Author’s Ridge, where the graves of Henry David Thoreau, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and others were buried.  Transcendental blasphemy! [I just had to say that.]

After exiting the graveyard, we continued walking about.  We stopped at the Colonial Inn to look for ice cream, and instead were instructed to keep going to Bedford Farms, about 15 minutes away on foot.  We first stopped downtown to get a smoothie in order to use that establishment’s restroom.

Before going to Bedford Farms, we looked around downtown more.  Perceptions, a jewelry/clothing store, caught our attention.  Interestingly, the cashier’s great grandfather was the first Homesteader, so we found ANOTHER connection to Nebraska [a la the Grand Island person in Tijuana two years ago]!  We headed to the corner for the Toy Shop to look around, but we were forced out five minutes before they were supposed to close.  That’s not a smart business tactic!

We decided to drive to Bedford instead, and saw a commuter train pass by.  The ice cream here is homemade, and I had Mud Pie and Green Monster mixed.  Each had fudge and Oreo mixed in, but the former was coffee and the latter was mint.  It was very filling, but I enjoyed it.  Dad said it even beat the old Harold’s (sic)!

On to Walden Pond!  We went through a forested area, and saw parking on the left and the pond and cabin on the right.  We didn’t stop at all, because we couldn’t find parking.  Anyway, the others implied that all they wanted to do was to merely see it.  That blows a great photo opportunity!  Further ahead, we found where Uncle Joey’s old house was: a tree-lined rural neighborhood.  The street reminded me of the route past the Fort Dodge Apple Orchard!

We got lost!  Despite having a GPS, we were essentially wandering about aimlessly.  Since I’m writing this the day after, I’ll give the bullets of the car ride:

*Saw the capture site of Paul Revere

*Natick was all over the place

*Casey’s period kicked in but good!

*What else can I say?

We found a strip mall with the sushi bar Minado, but we pressed on to gain hunger.  We got lost (Yay!) trying to find Shaw’s, a grocery store.  There was a Brazilian section of the town that we drove by, and it was interesting—each culture has such different areas!  We found Shaw’s without too much trouble.

We found interesting items (rib chips, bubblegum pop, wasabi nuts) and Dad found the Moxie cola that he was after.  It was nearing 2000 and I was starting to get first signs of hunger-induced anorexia.  We got a set of Massachusetts Lottery tickets to scratch at dinner.  The car ride returned us to Minado, but since it was a buffet, we decided to cancel after all (it would close in 30 minutes or less).

We drove back looking for restaurants.  We all joked about the omnipresent Dunkin’ Donuts, but nothing else in these areas appealed for dinner.  Fast forward to downtown, and we saw the giant CITGO sign and searchlights at Fenway Park.  It certainly WAS something—it was The Police’s concert!  I couldn’t hear what they were singing, but I know that was it.  We struggled to find parking, but Mom found a spot that she successfully squeezed into.

Along the strip, we found a few restaurants that had no wait or some appeal.  Dad told me about the wind and the John Hancock Center—it had a Tacoma Narrows-like problem.  Along the street, there were many people, porches, and some beggars.  We turned around after one of the restaurants had a 45-minute wait for us, and we ended up at Globe for dinner.  I split Dad’s fish-and-chips, and enjoyed them—I’m now 2/2 on adventures this trip!  The rest of the night, we chatted and such, but I faded by 2245.  I crashed upon arrival at the hotel, needless to say!

>TO BE CONTINUED…

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Today is the seventeenth day of the fourth round of O.C.T.O.B.E.R. That makes two weeks and three days.

Memorial Stadium: 7 days.

Thanksgiving Day: 40 days.

Joint Mathematics Meetings: 81 days.

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[O.C.T.O.B.E.R. IV-8] Attrition (#TBT; Sept. 19, 2007)

I may be in trouble by posting this as a plagiarist, as this is a transcript of my favorite lecture from PSYC-350 in Fall 2007. (Granted, does that mean that since more than 7 years have passed, I won’t get audited?)

I suppose I’ll post it and if I get a Cease and Desist, that will be the case. All right, here we go. I’m going to go put on an orange polo and short khaki shorts… and NOT show the picture because I own neither of those. Ha!

In case you’re wondering, this is from September 19, 2007, and indeed happened right around the time of this post being scheduled to publish.

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