Quarantine Diaries – Patriot’s Day Edition

It’s Patriot’s Day here in Massachusetts, a holiday which commemorates the first battle of the Revolutionary War at Lexington and Concord. Every year, the battle is reenacted on Lexington Common, but not this year. Patriot’s Day is also the day that the Boston Marathon is run. After months of arduous training, folks run 26.2 miles from the suburbs to the greatest city in the world, but not this year. Marathon Monday will be held in September, the first time the race has been postponed in it’s 123 year history. On Patriot’s Day there is morning baseball; an 11:05 start, the only morning MLB game, but not this year. Fenway park is less than a mile from the finish line. The end of the game usually works out well so the baseball fans can watch the masses as they run by. The day is truly a Boston tradition. Sure, it’s be interrupted before. Seven years ago for the Boston Marathon bombing, two years ago it rained and there was no baseball (sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, sometimes it rains. Well the Red Sox went on to win the win 108 games and the World Series, so..) The weather is not always good, but sometimes it’s stupendous. The true start of spring, but not this year.

We miss the daily rituals, the meeting a friend for coffee or a cocktail, the ability to run to the store for that one ingredient to cook up a masterpiece, leaving the house on a daily basis. I so very much miss fresh produce when I want it rather than making do with what is in the house… so so much. But the big milestone days, the days of rituals past. I miss Patriot’s Day. I do not want to be sitting on my couch writing this, I want to be out in the world doing things, seeing things, seeing people. Today will pass and tomorrow we’ll be back to missing coffee with friends, gossip at the water cooler, going to a movie or a party. I know it won’t be easy. More than a few people have started to hit the wall from being inside, from not knowing when this will end, from job and health insecurity, from lack of the social contacts we are used to having. This really sucks. We’re all grieving for our old lives. And just like in any situation involving grief, everyone handles it in their own way. No matter what your reaction, it’s ok. You don’t have to be productive right now. If you want to take up something new, if that will make you happy, then do it. If you want to watch all of Netflix, do that. If now is the time to track down every dust bunny in your home, go for it. I’m exhausted from feeling sad. I just want to do something positive.. Someday we’ll think back and say: remember that time we all had to wear masks, stand six feet apart, crossed the street to avoid walking by a stranger, only waved to our neighbors and communicated solely on the phone or on ridiculous, insecure Zoom calls? That sure was crazy. But for now, we have to preserver. What other option is there? Stay home if you can, wash your hands. You know the drill. Please think of every trip outside: is this worth risking my life? Is it worth risking the lives of every other person I come in contact with? Is it? Be a a Patriot and do the right thing. Please ask for the help you need, financial or otherwise. People want to help, you would be amazed.

Gym Tips for Guys

Do not tuck your shirt into lycra bottoms

Do not wear short shorts

Do not wear short shorts with your shirt tucked into them


Pretty simple, and yet….   There is a man at my gym who breaks these rules regularly.   Granted he’s in great shape.  He is probably approaching 0% body fat, long and lean.  His workout usually puts the rest of us mere mortals to shame.  The things is his clothes, his workouts, his demenour give off a sense of arrogance and overt pride. 

So my amusement was great when I was walking out of a class tonight.  There he was doing some sort of athletic feat that most of us could only dream about in his short shorts with tight lycra t-shirt tucked in.  Suddenly I hear “oh, this asshole again”.  I turn to look at the woman next to med.  Her eyes are huge.  “Did I say that outloud?  Horrible”.    I tell her no, it’s what everyone is thinking. 

You really don’t want to be this guy… so don’t.

An open letter to the broken hearted freshman at UNC..




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I was once in your position.  I know the heartbreak… I feel your pain.  Losing on a buzzer beater is the worst of all ways to lose.  You will see that shot in your mind a million times.   I once sat in a crowded dorm room and watched my beloved Orange play for the National Championship… alas our One Shining Moment was not to be.   You would think a lifetime of being a pre-2004 Red Sox fan would have prepared me for such a blow, but no.  I BELIEVED, as I’m sure you did.   In fact, I think my heart actually stopped for a few seconds. 

But I want you to know that things can get better.   It’s entirely possible that you experience your beloved team go on to multiple Final Fours and win a national championship (it’s possible you’ll cry like a baby when this occurs).  You may also see your hometown win 4 Superbowls, an NBA Championship and a Stanley Cup.  You may also watch your beloved baseball team come back from 0-3 down in the ALCS to win against their dreaded rivals who had won the World Series 26 times in the 86 you won nothing and then sweep the World Series, then go on to win 2 more World Series, including one in a year that terrorist bombed your marathon on Patriots Day of all days*.  Ok, you may never see that.  The greatest comeback in all of sports only happens once and I hope your city is never bombed on important local holidays, but my point is this:  things will get better.  You will smile again.  And your team will be back on day.  Of course, moving to Boston after graduation may help. 


*don’t fuck with us.  This is our fucking city. 

The Power of a Deadline

Today is MLB trade deadline day. Something to obsess over. Something outside your own life that feels important. One should spend time fixating on every rumor, every possibility. After all that fixation will have impact on what happens, obviously. Blockbuster trades will result emotions completely in proportion to the impact on your life, right? No. So why do we do it? Is it something out of our control that we can fixate on so we don’t fixate on our own lives for awhile? Or is it that sports personalities are a part of our lives, especially baseball players, as they are in our lives daily for up to eight months a year. Maybe there is something to loving something, being passionate about something outside of yourself that is part of being human. How much you react or don’t react, how much time you spend on the rumors, options are a function of the room in you have in your life for such things.Many will think the time spent silly. But you love what you love, and that can’t be wrong. So bring on the rumors, let them wash over me. I’m more interested in the end result. For me it will most likely be that one of the best left handed pitchers ever to play for my team will be gone, treated badly by the ownership group that treats us all badly by making baseball into a pure money making machine rather than the joy of a small child going to the park for the first time, or sitting watching games with a family member being their first memory. I love baseball, and all the shenanigans that come with it. At 4pm or so today, my team will look different. At 4:01 we start the next phase of our relationship. How I let that affect me is up to me. As an adult, I will understand what needs to occur, but the child in me will hurt, knowing you let a hero go for reasons that only adults consider. The child in me will hurt; hurt because the world isn’t the place I thought it was, and my friends the players need to come and go.

Bring it on, MLB trade deadline. I’m ready for the craziest day of the year.

End of the Year Wrap Up

I have been thinking about all the things to say about a whole year gone by of life, but none of them really sums it up like Steve Silva’s video of the Boston Marathon bombings. Watch it to see the joy of the day, followed by the horror, then watch as members of the Boston Police Department and other first responders run toward where the bombs went off. Toward it. Watch them manually rip down the barriers meant to keep the crowd off the street so the runners can run so they can get to them. Watch medical people run from the medical tents after the finish line back to the spot. And finally watch out Steve Silva doesn’t once try to take a salacious, graphic shot of the injured. Bravo.
Disclaimer, as in the Boston Globe: This is raw, unedited footage. It is not for everyone.


These poor Marathon volunteers who earlier probably thought the hardest part of the gig that day would be donning that hideous yellow jacket, not keeping journalists away and I have to imagine at some point, family members.

I was about a mile away, in Kenmore having just come out of the Red Sox game (and I would be remiss to not mention Napoli hit a walk off that day). We were SO happy, until the minute we went came out on the Comm Ave side of the Kenmore T stop and were walking by a line of parked police motorcycles. Suddenly one of the them yelled into his shoulder: major explosion.. everyone roll out. And the police came from everywhere. It was an impressive and terrifying display. We then watched police stream in from municipalities near and far. I asked twitter to tell me why and sadly, it did. In real, terrifying, time.

Four days later my city, a major US city, went on lockdown. Lockdown. Amazing. Terrifying. I stayed up all night the night of the chase/gunfight. TV, laptop, ipad and cell phone going. I watched a gun fight on live tv. I watched tanks and men in swat gear walk down the streets of a place ten minutes from where I grew up. It was surreal and still somewhat unbelievable to me even now. That same we we had a reorg at work and my job was eliminated. It did not seem to matter anywhere near as much (it still consider it to be the least important thing to happen that week, though I did end up landing on my feet).

Boston is my home. Patriot’s Day is one of my favorite days of the year. I know much has been written, discussed, and analyzed about this event by people more eloquent than I, but this was personal. Not as personal as for the three lives lost that day or Thurs night, or for any of the multitude of injured, but it hurt, it really, really hurt. That hurt is only tempered by the site of those first responders going toward it, of the site of catching the guy and the pride in seeing the people who came out of their homes after being locked down all day to line the street to applaud the police.

Then there was Papi (I’m writing this wearing a ‘This is our fucking city’ t-shirt) and the Red Sox. The little, bearded team that could. These are the two things I will take away from this year. What others should take away is: This IS our fucking city, do NOT mess with us. I couldn’t be more proud, nor do I have any desire to live anywhere else (even though tomorrow we’re looking at 12+ inches of snow). I was on Boylston St. the first night it re-opened (and I have the picture of Anderson Cooper to prove it). I was at Fenway the first game we could get tickets for and will absolutely be back there for next year’s Patriot’s Day game.

These two of the three things I’ll remember most this year. The third was adopting the owner of this sweet face:
001 crop, who knows nothing about any of these things.

The Madness

Syracuse is going to the Final Four. Repeat that a few times to savor it (if you’re a Cuse fan that is). This, my friends, is what the tournament is all about. Who would have thought the team that allowed Georgetown to crush them, holding them to 39 points, just a few weeks ago and who bounced back from that in the Big East tournament only to implode in the second half of the championship game against Louisville could come so far. The Louisville loss especially said to me that this team isn’t mentally tough, that they let things rattle them, things they then can’t recover from. Well, one way to avoid having to deal with the mentally tough issue is to not get into situations where mental toughness breaks down.
Some stats may illuminate:
61 field goals allowed
67 forced turnovers
Holding Marquette to the lowest point total in a regional final and a shooting percentage of 22.6%.
Holding all opponents to just 37.2% shooting.

Defense baby. Though it could also be that I attended my very first March Madness game, getting to see the Orange play in the 1st round in San Jose (the ho hum victory over Montana. Hey Montana: passing the ball outside because you can’t figure out how to penetrate the zone for about 33 seconds a possession then throwing up a brick isn’t really a game plan), so perhaps my fandom inspired our Cuse.

In any case, there is now a possibility if Syracuse gets passed Michigan and Louisville passed the Shockers (and wouldn’t it be shocking if they didn’t) for a Syracuse – Louisville championship game. The undercurrents are plentiful: A rematch of the Big East tournament game, a rematch between two coaches who also coached against each other in the 1987 Final Four, a match between coaches where one was once the assistant coach of the other and perhaps most importantly a fond send off for one of hoops greatest basketball leagues. This must happen, don’t you think?

What does pure joy look like?

See you next weekend.


Sometimes a contest makes you rise to the challenge, sometimes a rival makes you better than you thought you could be, sometimes we get to go along for the ride and have the privilege of watching the content, the thrill of seeing other rise to the challenge give us hope for ourselves. Tomorrow afternoon something that has given me an enormous amount of happiness for a number of years, and I’m incredibly sad, missing it pre-emptively. Yes, tomorrow afternoon a thirty three year old rivalry, Syracuse – Georgetown, for me the second best rivalry in all of sports (nothing will ever really come close to Red Sox/Yankees) comes to a close. The teams move on to other leagues, all for the money, nothing about the sport and we are all worse off for the loss. But we have one more game to savor, a sell out, record largest crowd of 35,012 will be there and a national television audience.
Beat Georgetown.

Sat: 2/23, 4pm est, CBS