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Is Winter Finally Over?

May 2, 2013

OK, it has been over 60 degrees Fahrenheit in Boston for 5 straight days, so I’m fairly confident in declaring today, Thursday, May 2nd, as the end of winter! What a long and horrible winter it was. You may remember the historical blizzard that led to Patrick’s turkey soup? Anyway, winter in Boston is bad, and I hate it. Global warming has lied to this fair city, and it’s a mean lie. I’ve always said, the only silver lining to the harsh New England winter is just how happy it makes our summer, as short as it may be. In Florida, or California, a day that is 70 and beautiful is just another day. But in Boston, if it reaches 45 and is only partly cloudy, people are out in shorts and t-shirts, running along the Charles, and more or less celebrating the realization that life doesn’t have to exist in a snow globe.

I’m looking forward to this summer. I have my book coming out, I have a chef, and I have a couple of fun and exciting projects that should make it a memorable season. I’m also quite excited that my Red Sox are off to such a great start, after the horror that was the last year and a half in Boston baseball! Summers at Fenway hold a special place in my heart, and I intend on going to a few games now that the fake sell-out streak has ended. Sitting in the bleachers at Fenway is more of a spiritual experience than it is a traditional ballgame. The smell of the grass, the sound of the crowd roaring, the feeling of a fading sun on your skin. Ahhhh, it’s a happy place of mine, for sure. And of course, you can’t forget the tastes of Fenway. The famous Fenway Frank is a hot dog that I will challenge Patrick to replicate this summer, with an ice cold $400 watered down beer, you can’t beat dinner in the stands. Sometimes, though, Fenway Franks can be distracting.

The image in this post is from a game I went to last year, where I sat on the field with my friend Dan. I was enjoying my meal, when I heard the crack of the bat. As I looked up from my hot dog, I realized that the ball was coming directly at me in the stands! I reached up to try and catch it (and protect myself) and the ball landed right in my hands! As I jumped around looking at those around me, a sinking feeling hit the pit of my stomach. I had interfered accidentally with a home run ball that was hit right at me by the opposing team. The right fielder reached into the stands to try and grab the ball, but me being clueless boxed him out as I reached my lanky arms up. Moments later, with the right fielder yelling at me, I stood with the ball in my hand realizing what had happened. The entire crowd was screaming at me, chanting in unison, “Throw it back, throw it back!” What else could I do, it was my first souvenir ball but one that was tainted. I wound up and chucked the ball back onto the field, then was immediately escorted out by security. My friend Dan was more excited about the whole experience than angry, and eventually they allowed us back on the field. But by that time, kids had stolen our seats, and I was not about to kick them out and deal with the wrath of the bleachers again. We finished the game in two empty seats far up in the stands.

Not one of my finer moments, and I was mortified. Getting angry texts from friends who had seen me on television was so upsetting. You see, I am a devout fan, I know all the players, all the stats, I even cried when Aaron F*ckin Boone hit that home run in 2003. But you know, ultimately, the Sox lost by 8 runs so I don’t think I made much of a difference. And, I DID get to finish my hot dog. I think this year I will go back to the park, sit away from the field, so that my appreciation for the food won’t interfere with the results of the game.

– Fin

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