Saturday, September 29, 2007

The Cincinnati Kids

A funny thing happened on the way to the women's clothing department at Nordstrom's today. My husband sauntered up and calmly says, "When you're done here you might want to go downstairs. Kevin Youkilis is down there and a line is forming to meet him."

What? A member of the 2007 AL East Championship team downstairs and I'm supposed to continue shopping? In retrospect, I suppose the poor man had difficulty deciding between my love of shoe shopping and my love of the Sox. But, I dropped everything and got in the rather short line. Kinda felt foolish without any Sox garb or children in tow, but I did have a camera and a notebook for him to sign.

So, what did Kevin and I talk during my approximately 90 seconds of contact?

Me: I have just one question for you: Skyline or Gold Star?

Youk: Skyline

Me: Eastside or Westside?

Youk: Eastside, Montgomery

Me: Where did you go to school? Moeller?

Youk: No, I'm Jewish. Sycamore

Me: My brother-in-law went there.

Husband drags me away...

Me: Nice job this year. Good luck!

Too funny for words. I had to wonder how the heck Youk managed to get to the Natick Mall at 1 pm after partying the night away. I know I was exhausted and I went to bed at a decent hour.

So, that was my excitement for today.

Congratulations, Red Sox! Bring on the Angels!

Just another note: One of my nieces may have been in Youk's graduation class at Sycamore High School. Beth, if you're reading this, let me know if you know Kevin, ok?

Friday, September 28, 2007

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Clear, Blatant Hypocrisy

Every once in a while you wonder when a reporter is going to show some balls. Here, at long last, is David Shuster taking on a Tennessee Congresswoman who came to the show with HER OWN agenda. But David took her in a surprisingly different direction. Enjoy!

Monday, September 24, 2007

Favorite Bumper Sticker

A trip to Provincetown is not complete until you see some tacky souvenir shops, some up-scale, New York-style boutiques, some sex shops, and typical liberal political shops. My kind of place? Sure, why not?

But the best bumper sticker? Here it is:

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Looney Dunes

If the first day of fall was an indicator of weather to come, we're in for a grand season. And, it was a perfect day for our day-trip to Provincetown. Took the "fast ferry" from Boston Harbor across the Bay with my group of women friends, and had a relaxing day shopping, eating, drinking and taking a tour of the dunes, which none of us had ever done before.

Although we have much to be thankful for, it was also a bittersweet day because this particular group probably won't be together very often in the future, when Susan moves to North Carolina at the end of October. But we figured out a way to celebrate that, along with Julie's graduation from law school and Joan's new job. The rest of us were happy to be along for the ride, saying goodbye to summer and looking forward to the future.

The picture below was taken on a high dune over looking the Atlantic Ocean:

From left: Rita, me, Susan (the NC-bound), Joan, Ethel, Susan (staying in Mass.) and Julie.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Rudy, Rudy, Rudy

Not sure if anyone I know is paying much attention to the political scene, but there's a small battle being waged between (yes, I'm a member), and Rudy Giulliani. Seems Rudy doesn't think this group of over 3.5 million Americans has a right to free speech about the Iraq War. Well, MoveOn is fighting back with this ad:

Rudy, like most of the GOoP presidental candidates, is a freakin' money-grubbing hypocrite.

Sunday, September 16, 2007


Lots of people get stress. Sometimes it's on the job. Sometimes it's from dealing with your spouse or in-laws. It happens sometimes when you're behind the wheel of a car or riding in an airplane. Your heart races, you feel sick to your stomach, you develop a twitch in your eyelid. You can't sit still or speak coherently.

Although I am anything but a Type A personality, I get highly stressed while watching baseball in late September and October. It's a terrible problem for me. The first time I remember it happening was in 1975. (Yeah, I'm OLD, get over it.) It was Game 6 of the World Series. I was watching the game with my college roommates in Amherst, Massachusetts. Carlton Fisk strode to the plate and hits his fateful home run. I was devastated.

Yes, I was then a Cincinnati Reds fan. I remember running off to bed, a complete sore loser, while everyone else cheered downstairs. The next night, I went to a bar to watch the Reds beat the Red Sox in game 7, allowing me to have the last laugh. If I had known then what I know now, I would gladly have wished a World Series win on the Red Sox.

Next time it happens is 1986. Again, game 6 of the World Series, except now I'm fully committed to the Red Sox. I'm fairly confident that the Sox are going to do it this time. That is, until a certain ball rolls through a certain first baseman's legs. I remember exactly where I was standing near the steps in our living room when this shocker occurred. I also recall not being able to face game 7, and trying to half-listen to it from the bedroom as the Sox went down to defeat.

It's now 2003. Sox are up by several runs in game 6 (what is it with game 6, anyway?) and a certain Red Sox manager won't remove Pedro Martinez from the game as the MFYankees tie the score. No, I wasn't in the living room when the winning run is scored by Aaron *bleeping* Boone in extra innings. I was in bed with a pillow over my head, trying desperately NOT to hear the cheering, right before my husband turned the TV off.

By 2004 I was burnt to a crisp on post-season baseball. I watched the Sox sweep the Angels in the ALDS. I watched the first two games of the ALCS, won by the MFYs. I skipped game 3 after coming in late and seeing the lopsided score. I was pessimistic on the morning after game 4, but woke up to see the heroics on TV. Papi wins the game in extra innings! Although still too nervous to watch game 5, I once again awaken to news of Papi winning the game. It's time for game 6. Had plans with friends that night, and they had the game on but we weren't in the room. We settled for getting scores shouted to us from the basement family room. Schilling was pulling it out! I drove home with the radio on and watched the last several innings...but not without stress, especially when Slappy took a swing at Arroyo. The next night? No problem. I stood in the exact place that I stood in 1986 and jumped up and down as the Sox beat the Yankees in the greatest comeback in the history of sports. By then it was no problem to watch the World Series - every game, every inning, nearly stress-free.

This history is one of the reasons why I so enjoyed the Sox-Yanks games early this season. They were completely fun, especially the night that Manny, Drew, Lowell and Varitek hit consecutive home runs. The MFYs were in free-fall and I could watch the games with utter composure.

Now, tonight is the last game between these two rivals this season. On Friday, I watched one pitch of the game and it happened that Sid the Sloth hit a double. *Click* I was off to a different TV station. I was able to follow along with the bad news of this game on the internet, with the good folks of Surviving Grady. Yesterday, I played jazz all afternoon while the game played and was finally able to turn on the TV about the sixth inning when the Sox were safely ahead.

What to do tonight? And more importantly, how do I get over the stress factor and actually try to enjoy these games? It's fairly certain that the boys will make the post season and short of getting a lobotomy, I want to watch the games. What do you all suggest?

Monday, September 10, 2007

Beyond 9/11

On Monday, September 10, 2001, one of my nieces was in New York City interviewing for a job at a company called Cantor Fitzgerald. It just so happened that Cantor Fitzgerald was a tenant of a building called One World Trade Center, located on the 102nd floor. If she had been there a day later, could she possibly have been a victim of the terrorist attack? Perhaps. But, it's a haunting thought, and luckily not one that our family has had to think about.

But as we approach the anniversary tomorrow, we're going to hear a lot of talk about revenge and Al Qaeda, and what the Chimp has (or hasn't) done to keep us safe from further attacks.

I had a passing thought the other day about 9/11 and the disappointment I have with our country's response to it. We went from immediate shock and horror, to actively seeking a payback, and now a generally blase feeling about - at least so far as I can tell.

What if our response had been different? What if we had simply done the necessary things to bring those responsible to justice? What then? Would we have been able to move on and focus on the bigger picture? Would we be able to commemorate the anniversary of these horrible deaths with a bit more...I'm searching for the right word...pride? What I'm trying to say is so long as that dingbat is in the White House, he will keep us psychologically stuck on September 11, 2001.

Imagine, if you will, a president that took us forward - and focused us all on a brighter future. Next year, we have the opportunity to put this horror behind us. At long last. It's time.

PS: After writing this post, I came across this post from Anna Quindlin in Newsweek. She says it better than me, but it's a similar message.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Cape Cod Wonderfulness

So, is summer officially over? For us, perhaps it is after our almost-a-week vacation on Cape Cod. We must have done something very right to experience the near-perfect weather. It was around 80 degrees every day, with almost painfully clear blue skies, and just slightly chilly evenings.

The best part of the week was our location at the Chatham Tides. We had an oceanfront room, with our own deck from which we enjoyed breakfast every day. Bobbers was smart enough to bring the portable XM radio, so we dined al fresco with jazz or blues accompaniment each morning, wearing sunglasses and going barefoot all the while.

Inspired by the soft ocean breezes and relaxed atmosphere, we didn't do a lot - we shopped some, enjoyed some short drives to the Cape's outermost points - like Wellfleet and Provincetown, topped off with some great dinners. The best were at the Nauset Beach Club in Orleans and Pisces, just up the road from us in South Chatham. If you find yourself lucky enough to be on the Cape, try them out.

Here's some pictures to remind us of what we're missing as the weather turns to fall and the days get shorter...Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Buckwheat sings a song

This is what we're laughing about this vacation!

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Labor Day Gratitude

The news is good around Casa Beckperson, so this post is merely a catch-up of miscellaneous happenings. Since I'm not clever enough to wrap it all up in some meaningful, profound way, let's just say that I have a lot to be thankful for this Labor Day. Here's some examples:

First, the Sox. The lead is up to six games in the AL East, thanks in large part to the rookies, which is rather odd considering the amount of money the Sox spend for big-name players. Last night's game delivered a most unexpectedly wonderful result in the form of Clay Buchholz, who threw a no-hitter in his second major league game. We caught the last six innings of the game and it was exciting as hell. Stood and applauded in the living room as he recorded the final out: a called strike three on a poor, hapless Oriole. Today, additional rookies (Jon Lester and Jacoby Ellsbury, Hideki Okajima, to name a few) provided the fireworks that led to another win. This news, coupled with the Devil Rays taking two of three from the MFYs, makes for a truly happy weekend.

Second, we had another unexpected delight on Saturday when we spent the day in Lowell, Mass. Unbeknownst to us, Lowell (an old mill town in northern Massachusetts that is frequently disparaged) has turned into an up and coming arts community. We went specifically to see the exhibit of the original "On The Road" manuscript being shown at the Lowell National Historic Park. But, we ended up having a great day of visiting some interesting art exhibits, buying some jewelry from local artisans and enjoying a nice walk around the Market Street area. We especially enjoyed visiting the "Revolving Museum," an arts collaborative currently featuring art from local elementary and high school students. If you're ever in the area, it appears that Lowell is becoming THE place to be. My sense is that many artists being pushed out of the high rent space in Boston/Cambridge are moving here - and it couldn't be better for all of us.

Finally, Bob and I are on packing tonight for 4 nights/5 days in Chatham, at the elbow of Cape Cod. And the weather is going to be spectacular: mid-70s to low-80s for highs and almost always pure blue skies. Although we could use the rain, I hope it waits for another 6 days before it makes its appearance. Looking forward to some good seafood, meeting up with a couple of friends along the way (I hope) and beautiful views at our ocean-front hotel. We are a coupla lucky people, that's for sure.

Happy Labor Day everyone.