It’s been forever since I’ve blogged about baseball. Some might say that’s a good thing.
As a diehard Boston Red Sox fan living Downunder, I can’t let the year end without acknowledging the humongous achievement that was the Boston Red Sox winning the World Series. From bottom of the ladder in 2012 to top of the totem pole in 2013, we Red Sox fans rode the roller coaster with our team. Clinching their first World Series since 1918 at Fenway Park and their third this decade, it was six games of riveting, hairy baseball. The hair came from the lengthening beards of several Red Sox players who in a sign of solidarity and strength grew their whiskers as the play offs progressed and looked more like pirates than ball players.
Boston and Red Sox fans will be talking about the 2013 season for decades. In a year where the city was left reeling in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings and the Red Sox’s dismal performance in 2012, this World Series win represents tenacity, focus and kinmanship. Something that we won’t tire telling any Yankees fan. Apart from the win itself, there were many amazing moments – from Big Papi’s grand slam in Game 2, Victorino’s three run double in Game 6 and Kuji Uehara’s closing dominance – all will be remembered, all were uplifting.
Being so far from the action and on the other side of the world, I found out the result from my good friend, Cricket who is also a passionate baseball fan and American citizen transplant to our fair shores. She sent me a text at about 2.30pm our time, which I managed to peek at between work meetings. And this is what is so great about the Boston Red Sox win, because it is more than just baseball, more than just a game, it is a bonding experience. Cricket, a fellow blogger who blogs at Cricket’s Corner of Australia, is a huge Chicago White Sox fan. So huge that she also live blogs most White Sox games for an audience through MLB.com. And that’s quite a commitment from our Australia time zone! Cricket’s technical knowledge of baseball is vast and puts me to shame, but I definitely regard her as my own Cricketpedia on the topic. So during the course of the year, we have been swapping baseball stories, sharing the victories and the defeats in what we have termed our own Battle of the Sox Drawer. She of the white, I of the red and with a cross over pitcher in the form of Jake Peavy who was traded from white to red mid-season, we have shared in the fortunes of our respective teams. Cricket of course donned the red sox in the post season in what became the year of the drawer.
Apart from this little bonding experience the win gave me an opportunity to contact a friend in Boston, also a big Red Sox fan, to share in the spoils. We had lost touch for a couple of years, but thanks for the Sox we have now renewed contact. That opportunity itself is worth its weight in gold. And finally, there was the play by play post mortem with my eldest son and husband and watching the games on delay after our work days. It brought us together and made us reminisce about our trip to Fenway, about hearing the crack of the bats and roar of the fans.
The big news for Aussie baseball fans is that the Arizona Diamondbacks and the LA Dodgers are heading to Sydney for their 2014 season opener next March. Our whole family will be there for both games and we will be hosting Cricket and her hubby for game two. We will be decked out in all of our Sox gear and will make the very most of this unique opportunity. I will be adopting the Diamonbacks as my team for those games as I take in an MLB baseball game on Australian soil.There was an MLB photo teaser this week with representatives of the teams standing before the Sydney Harbour Bridge. This is about to get real!
So thank you Boston and thank you Red Sox. You have brought me more this year than just a world series win, you have brought me friendship and connection. And that’s a home run right there.
This is the last of my NaBloPoMo posts. I didn’t quite achieve the Challenge, but I posted more often that not.
Thanks for joining me on the journey.
If you are a turkey in the United States of America and are currently reading this then congratulations not only have you achieved a level of intelligence that is most fowl, but chances are you will survive the next twenty four hours.
As I write this most of you are catching your final moments of peaceful rest before Thanksgiving preparations begin in earnest and the feasting begins. And then when you finish saying thanks there will be yet more feasting and probably some football watching and/or discussion. At least that’s what Thanksgiving to a non American who is far, far away seems like.
Australians don’t have a Thanksgiving, but I’m not going to let that stop me getting with the programme.
So here are my tips for a trouble and calorie free Thanksgiving:
1. Purchase only fresh, quality ingredients
2.Be sure to review the nutrition information panel to ensure that you have bought the best for your family
3. Examine the produce and verify its freshness and suitability
4. Toil away for hours weaving your magic to create a memorable feast that your family members will remember for years
5. Admire your handy work which looks even better in profile
Enjoy. And don’t forget the accompaniments like I did. Next year, I’m definitely scouting for inflatable potatoes, gravy and the odd vegetable or two.
Happy Thanksgiving to all my readers.
When one lives in Sydney, one lives in the shadow of the Harbour Bridge and all of its lore.
And much of the lore of the Sydney Harbour Bridge or the coat hanger as it is also fondly known surrounds its maintenance. Spanning Sydney Harbour apparently requires lots of up keep, so much so that it’s painters are permanently occupied… with painting. To ensure that the Bridge is kept rust free, it is painted from pylon to pylon in Sydney Harbour Bridge grey. As the story goes, no sooner do the painters reach one end, they then have to immediately start painting again at the other.
Middle age has me feeling like the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
Now, I don’t mean I’m feeling grey or rusted. Rather my body maintenance has increased to the point where as soon as I have finished maintaining one end, I then have to begin the whole process again at the other.
No sooner have I just had a pedi, then I have to start tending to the tips of my roots and all of that regrowth. And the issue is not just cosmetic. On the way down from the top of my head to the tips of my feet are visits to the optometrist, dentist, skin specialist, mamographer, the doctor to check under the hood and the podiatrist. It’s getting to the point where I almost need a maintenance planner to make sure that nothing falls through the cracks so to speak or that a rivet comes loose.
So I’m dreaming of those days gone past when maintenance was a biannual affair. When hair cuts were seldom and ammonia free affairs. When I only needed one pair of glasses and not two – I absolutely refuse to surrender to bifocals – and leg hair grew at a slower pace.
Next year, I am really hoping for a couple of days when I don’t need to be closed for maintenance. Just a few days when no entry is made into my body log book.
Don’t get me wrong, I am grateful for how my body is holding up. It just seems I have to be a lot more mindful of it now than I have in the past. That’s probably poetic justice, given middle age is that time of life that gives you a window both to the past and to the future.
However, better preventative maintenance now than being closed for repair later on.
Do you ever feel like this?
Ah, the smell and excitement of a new car, there’s nothing like it. Or so my childhood recollections tell me, since it has been more than a little while since I have driven a new vehicle. The feint lingering of car paint odour mixed in with a hint of faux leather topped off by a smidge of detailing fluid. Just enough to lull you into a false sense of luxury, unless of course you have purchased a luxury car in which case please let me know if the smell lingers for just that little bit longer.
I remember growing up that new car adoption in our family was a momentous occassion. We would stand on the street admiring the new acquisition from every angle, exclaim over its beauty, sit in it acclimatizing to the new sensation and then finally take it for a spin. We would puff with pride at the showroom shine and the immaculate tyre black knowing they wouldn’t last beyond the first month. The paper foot print mats that came in the vehicle would also remain for some months until my parents would finally concede that paper was no match for dirt stuck to our shoes and that really they didn’t need a sign post of where to put their feet.
My mother was a fairly groovy car chick. She would always pick the best colours in vehicles. All the women in my family knew without any verbal form of communication that the only two important things about a new car behind the smell was how well the radio sounded and the colour of the paint. And so she never failed to deliver. Her first car was a metallic green, sporty number with black trim. A stick shifter and with an AM band only radio perpetually stuck playing classical music or Perry Como. Yeah baby!
Her next car was a bright orange number, one again with a stick shift and black trim. It looked like an orange on wheels on a sunburned day and only had two doors. You know who was always was the one who had to climb in the back, but by that time FM radio had made an appearance and when I could wrestle Perry Como off his perch, I had the wonderful strains of Abba to listen to. We had this auto until the doors failed to open from the inside and dad had to finally administer last rights.
The point was though that you could see this baby coming from miles away because of its colour. My mother passed on her wonderful taste in car colour to moi, when I purchased a bright yellow hatch notwithstanding that the sales guy was a condescending misogynist who asked me why I was enquiring about the tachometer and was hell bent in showing me the make up mirror behind the driver’s sun shade. I mean really, didn’t he know the radio was far more important?
Roll the film forward and we now have more cars on the road than ever before. It seems however that our innovation in car colours stopped somewhere around 1985. As I survey our roads all I can see is a never ending sea of white, silver, black, charcoal and beige. The homogeneity is occasionally broken up by the odd splash of navy blue, burgundy or red, but generally not a green, yellow or orange vehicle in sight. And nary a psychedelic purple on the horizon.
Have car consumers become more conservative and pragmatic as time has worn on? Has safety and the cost of a paint job overtaken the desire to make a personal statement?
Now, dear readers a small mea culpa. My current vehicle is not colourful. But in my defence, I have had it for more than a decade and when I bought it there were not many other cars on the road of that colour. So it was seriously rad or bad or whatever back in the day, but now it is one of the crowd.
Oh, how the wheels of progress have turned to mute us all down. Bring back the colour on our roads.
New car ma’am? Certainly, would you like that in white, off white, cream or oatmeal?
Have you noticed a blending of the car colours where you live? What car colour would you choose if money was no object?
Sunday, the 17th was my last NaBloMoPo post and I have to confess after writing that post my week turned to crap. So there is no way I am going to succeed at this challenge, but I’m going to at least try to post everyday to the end of the November to make up for last week.
Over the weekend a wonderful article appeared from Jacinta Tynan, a local news reader and newspaper columnist. The article talked about the importance to Jacinta of speaking out, or in her words “speaking her truth” and the price she has paid for doing so. Jacinta explains:
My intolerance for insincerity, inequity and just plain bitchiness is palpable. I try to let it slide, making my dissent clear by keeping my distance. But that’s followed by uneasiness. By my silence, have I not contributed to the problem?
I have learnt the hard way that there are consequences to being candid. Although there is never any malice on my part, I have copped it for speaking my mind.
You can read the article here.
Dear Jacinta, I know exactly how you feel.
It’s not that I think the world is entitled to my opinion. In fact, it is no hardship to keep it to myself. Rather, it is the need to prevent further bitchiness or injustice from occurring. I just don’t understand the need for either one. There are better ways to deal with disagreement, frustration and issues in general and we should be doing what we can to build bridges rather than blowing them up.
There is no doubt though that this is the harder road to hoe. And not only is it harder, it is also far more sparsely travelled. And like Jacinta, more often than not I don’t see the broadside coming, simply because I don’t act that way. So it does cost to speak my truth, and I have the scars to prove it. I acknowledge that my truth is not absolute and that everyone has their own truth, but for resolution or advancement someone, somewhere has to start with speaking their truth.
I have noticed that there are more than a few people who lie in wait to pounce on those that speak their truth. They don’t actually speak their own, but rather just spend their life countering or commenting on other people’s truths and in this way they let others, like me, step on the land mines. But I have never been a follower and I am not about to start now.
So for all of you who speak your truth, I salute you. Whilst it comes at a cost, the personal cost of not doing so is much higher. So like Jacinta, I have to conclude that:
As wounded as I’ve been by the occasional fallout from my frankness, I would like to keep being that person. One who speaks her mind. It might be risky – not everyone will love you – but it’s the only way to generate a meaningful connection, something not on offer if it’s all smiles and watching your words. To speak from the heart with empathy and compassion is a contribution, however small, to a more meaningful life. You don’t leave much of a legacy by keeping mum.
Wisdom is teaching me compassion and empathy and the journey will only ever be complete when that final land mine decides to explode.
Is this something you grapple with also?
Ever wondered what it would be like to have special effects, close-ups and other show production techniques at your disposal in real life? Here’s what I’ve thought about:
- Fade to Black – definitely useful for when that accidental clanger is dropped or when you need an opportunity to digest some piece of information before responding. The fade to black button would come with two options, one for freezing time so that the fade in would start at the time as the fade out was triggered or one for continuing in real time so that the fade in comes in a time suitable to you. No more awkward moments… ever.
- Time Lapse Photography - for all those times when patience has run out and you just want to cut to the chase of the consequences of your decisions. Time never has to wait for no man ever again.
- Makeup! – having a professional make up artist on standby for all those shiny moments. Excuse me please, I just need to call for some makeup. After all, confidence is everything,
- Mood Lighting – for when your makeup artist is otherwise disposed or you absolutely cannot handle sunlight.
- Background Music – to warn you of danger up ahead, mirror your mood or just to make sense of the world around you. The Jaws music would definitely come in handy on a trip to the beach or the Close Encounters of a Third Kind theme when meeting someone green.
- The Close Up – definitely useful for all those WTF moments when appropriately combined with the Fade to Black technique. Also helps when one of your children ask you something painfully obvious that you have told them multiple times before.
- Cut! – for all those times you wished you could do it all again or when you knew you were pushing something uphill.
- Preview – a private screening with a select focus group would come in very handy for all those “Does My Bum Look Big In This” moments.
- Wardrobe Department – possibly in lieu of number 8, although much higher maintenance than a screening room.
- Applause and Canned Laughter – I mean who doesn’t want these, seriously?
With just a little help we could all be the Oscar winners in our own life production.
What would you add to this list?