Archive for May, 2007

Kick ‘Em While They’re Down

Posted by rich on 30th May 2007

I promise I will actually finish the wedding blog stuff soon. There’s so much to cover and I want to do it the right way. I’m just bogged down right now, with all of this tournament stuff and I have to head to Pawtucket tomorrow to interview everyone’s favorite Red Sox prospect, Jacoby Ellsbury. Can’t wait for that.

Since there’s so much going on, I figured I’d give you all a little laugh. You might’ve heard about this already, A-Fraudbut I just found out about it tonight (again, I’ve been busy). Apparently Mr. Squeaky Clean, Alex Rodriguez, got busted by the good folks at the NY Post heading out on the town with an exotic dancer. Ummm, Alex, you’re married, right? Might as well kick him while the team’s down. As my uncle Steve said, if they were 14 1/2 games ahead of the Red Sox there’s no way that they’re chasing this stuff down. I tend to agree with that. If the Yankees owned the city, this stuff might get swept under the rug. It’s not exactly huge news that a baseball player cheats on his wife. It happens. It’s very, very wrong, but it certainly happens every day.

Here are all the details from the Post. Enjoy.

Also I found this one interesting. Apparently some rich dudes think they can compete with the NFL. I don’t care if they’ve already got Mark Cuban on board, unless they get Bill Gates and Steve Jobs involved I don’t think we’ll ever see them play a single game. Someone really ought to remind them of two little leagues I remember. They were called the USFL and the XFL. They thought they could compete too. In the immortal words of Glen Ordway, “how’s that working out for ya?”

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Family Wedding Weekend, Part II

Posted by rich on 29th May 2007

Since the story seemed waaaay looonnngg, I figured it was time to start another post about it all. If you’ve been with us up to this point, well, you’re a trooper, and you’ve read all of the pre-wedding stuff. The rest is the big day proper. If you missed any of the other stuff, just scroll down to the previous post.

Sunday, May 27 (A day that will live in infamy)

9 AM: Wake-up, no hangover, that’s a good thing, but I’m tired, really tired. Over the next 90 minutes I will down a whole pot of coffee and not even blink. Of course inhaling that type of caffeine will make it tough to blink anyways.

10:30 AM: Dan’s up, and seemingly calm. Rye and I jump in the car and head over to his house to pick up some things, like the wedding rings, the box for the cards, and the groom’s shaving kit. We also wait in line for more than a half-hour to get him a cup of dunkin’ donuts french vanilla w/ cream, no sugar. Rye has his first introduction to butternut doughnuts, and he’s quite pleased with them. He also tells anyone that will listen at the donut shop that his uncle Dan is marrying Jen today, and he’s the ring bear, yes bear, not bearer.

11:15 AM:
I put on Charlotte’s Web for Rye to keep him occupied and jump on the net to surf a bit. I quickly become bored with ESPN.com, since I had seen SportsCenter already, and decide to play some online poker. Not a bad session, I play .10/.25 NL and finish up about $14 in an hour. I’ll take it (and give it back the next time I play. I really need to stay away from cash games online, I’m a much better tourney player).

12:15 PM: Shower time. I’ve got a horrible sunburn on the right side of my face. This isn’t going to look good in the pictures. Thank God for photoshop.

12:45 PM: I’m dressed, for the most part, and looking dapper, minus the sunburn. Now it’s time to get Rye into his tux, which he’s not enjoying. For some reason he despises the vest. He doesn’t want to wear it and I have to convince him it’s important. He’s not buying, but I eventually coax him into it without threatening him too severely.

1 PM: We walk over to mom and dad’s to find out that someone has to go pick up the bride’s brother, Ryan. Best Man to the rescue.

1:10 PM: Ryan’s in the car and we’re off, but first we have to stop off at Kenyon’s to grab some refreshments for the limo ride. Now what was it they wanted? Hmmm, I forget, so I pick up a case of Lite plastic bottles (they stay nice and cold), and a case of Sam Summer Ale, my favorite, along with some Sambuca for toasting purposes.

1:12 PM: Ryan has the check for the limo, he put it on the dashboard. There it goes out the windown onto Route 28 as we pull onto the road.

1:14 PM: Ryan sure is quick, he’s dodging in and out of traffic pretty well for that thing. Finally, with a tire mark across it, Ryan has the check and we’re off.

1:20 PM: We tell of Ryan’s experience playing Frogger, for real, and I tell Dan what we got for beer — he snaps.

1:21 PM: “ALL I WANTED WAS CARONA. YOU CAN’T GET ME THE ONE THING I ASKED FOR!!!!”

Apparently I made a mistake. I tell Dan if he likes we can head back to the store and make an exchange on the way out. I chill him out and he’s back in a somewhat decent frame of mind. He’s apparently just come to the realization that this thing is for real. Well, duh, there’s a reason I’m wearing a tux.

2 PM: After taking pictures (my uncle Steve did the honors, and they’re looking awesome), we pile in the limo. Rye and Dennis, the two ring bears, seem a bit uncomfortable as they pile in with the seven of us. Bailey finally finds the AC controls, thank goodness because I’m sitting next to him, and then works the CD player.

The first song we hear is Kickstart My Heart, by Motley Crue, then Girls, Girls, Girls, so we’re off to a good start. That’s followed up by AC/DC, after that the disc, which was already in the player, switches to some average rap songs and all of our momentum is gone, in my opinion. The two kids are now freaking out, in silence. They look like hostages at this point.

2:50 PM: We’re here at the Beachmore, and the lot is beginning to fill up. My Aunt Kelly is the first one I see and she immediately requests a drink from our in-car pub. Apparently she’s a bit stressed out. It probably has something to do with having to see all of her relatives for the first time since her separation. I’ll leave it that. I’m not taking sides (maybe I really am, but I won’t print any opinions on that matter).

3 PM to 4 PM: Chaos. Pictures, seating people, saying hello, finalizing details and trying to convince my brother not make a run for it. It had the feeling of a locker room before a big game, mixed with the back of the airplane before the soldiers jump into battle in a WWII epic.

4:15 PM: Cue music, Dan walks my mom down the aisle, then Ryan takes his mom down. Me and Dan escort my Nanny and then well all line up in our spots.

Rye and Dennis come down before the ladies, and they look shellshocked, but get all the way down. The ladies smile as they walk with their flowers.

Then the first tear of the day hits me (I’m a crier, what can I say). I see my Leanna come down the aisle looking like an angel, and a million thoughts of 25-years from now go through my head. I pull it together.

Then it’s Dan’s turn. He sees Jen, who looks outstanding, top notch. He might have experienced an out-of-body experience at this point, because there’s no way that the brother I grew up with all of these years could possibly be moved the way the guy standing next to me was. He’s almost euphoric. Maybe this wedding was a good idea afterall.

4:25 PM: Rye looks up at me and asks if we can go home. Vows have not yet been exchanged. I tell him “i’ll think about it.”

4:30 PM: Lyra gives her reading, of course it’s out of the Book of Colossians. She nails it. Remember, I’m a wedding professional, i hear that reading all the time. This was simply the best I’ve ever heard. Tear number two for the day hits me. My wife looks amazing. How could we already be 10-years removed from doing this ourselves?

4:35 PM: Here’s my big moment, I nail the giving of the rings to my brother and new sister.

4:40 PM: The big kiss, the walk down the aisle, and — you guessed it — more pictures. Being a photographer at a Maclone wedding is like being the manager for Terry Francona’s Little League team, you know what you’re doing, but you also know that there are people out there second-guessing you and figuring they could do it better. Thankfully our buddy Jeff Kraus — my rich Jewish uncle from New Jersey, and golf partner from the day before — is more than up to the task. With Steve doing details work on the side, every angle is covered. Our family groups are a nightmare to put together, but they all get done.

6 PM: Reception time, that’s what I’m talking about. We’re all introduced into the room, and Dan and Jen have their first dance. It’s some sappy Keith Urban song … whatever. The first mistake of the day. I’m sure they like it, but I HATE country music. I once laughed through an entire Dixie Chicks show — Lyra was not too pleased with that one.

6:05 PM: …. and here to give a speech, the best man, Richard Maclone III.

6:06 PM: an excerpt “I sat down to write this this morning at my computer, but the machine shut itself off. I figured that was a sign that it should come from here (points to heart), so I’m going to wing it ….

6:14 PM: Winging it works, there are no dry eyes in the house. I will be complimented on this speech for the rest of my life. The best part, ending it with, a drunk-sounding, “I love you man.” That was the entirety of Dan’s speech to me on my wedding day. Anyone that was at both weddings laughs hysterically.

6:17 PM: Lyra tells me it was good, but the one I told her in the car yesterday was better. Wives are good for checks and balances, huh. So much for my natural high, guess I’ll have to start drinking.

6:25 PM: Missy finishes her speech, very strongly may I add, and I get the microphone back and announce that the Red Sox had just finished off another win, and the Yankees had lost. This gets a huge ovation, I’m also thanked quite a bit later on for the news.

7-9 PM: I’d like to say I remember all of this, but I don’t. There was too much going on, and no, i wasn’t hammered. Dances, hand-shaking, hugs, all of that stuff. I did get to dance with Lyra, which was awesome, but it ticked off my son. I danced with Lee Lee some too, and she had a ball.

9:45 PM: Best men are supposed to take care of the little things, like making sure that all of the presents get home. Good thing I spent all of that time cleaning out Lyra’s Rendezvous earlier in the weekend because there’s sure a lot of stuff to move. Jared helps me load up, which is good because I dump the heavy stuff on him (why not, he’s a contractor, I’m a writer/photographer).

We finish up pretty quickly, but then get hijacked by a guest into a conversation that will not end. The guest, who I will not name (not a relative, though) was hammered. People would be looking for Jared and I for about 15 minutes, but we were unable to escape from in front of the building. We tried, but sometimes you’re locked down.

9:55 PM: It’s time to sing, something I do very, very poorly. Dan, myself, Jared and Bailed grab the mic and pound out She Talks To Angels before the last dance. Four semi-drunk guys belting out a classic rock gem without any semblance of pitch. That had to be the longest four minutes of all the guests lives. Our DJ, Lionel, was laughing quite a bit, and I don’t think it was with us.

10 PM: Everyone’s ready to go, everybody except my parents, who have to make sure everyone left with all of their belongings. I don’t get out of there until Mom and Dad leave, so it’s a long meaningless wait.

11 PM: After getting home, kissing Lyra and changing my clothes I jump in the car and head to the BBC for one last round with the wedding party. They’ve been there for a while and are very upset with me for changing. They’re all still wearing the world’s most uncomfortable shoes, tuxes and dresses. Seeing Jen by the bar in her wedding dress is something I’ll never forget. It was classic. Dan and Jared end up disappearing for 15 minutes to catch a smoke outside, but I don’t miss them at all because the whole time I’m trying to get the bartender’s attention to order a round for the group.

Finally after about a half-hour’s wait, I get my 8 Carona’s (what else would I order) and two mixed drinks. It cost me about $50 and a half-hour.

11:30 PM: Apparently I didn’t need to order so many drinks. Only four of the beers are taken, and one is by me. I spot the crew from my local Starbucks at the end of the room and hook them up with some freebies. That was a smart move as I will not be paying for my Americano’s for a week. Good times.

12:15 AM: Everyone is exhausted and the party finally breaks up. I dole out countless hugs and kisses, tell my brother and new sister that I’m proud of them and love them, and I’m gone. I’ve had enough, and there’s still another party in the morning at my mom’s house as a send-off.

12:30 AM: First thing I do when I get home, mix up my “it-never-fails” hangover remedy, 20 Oz. of water mixed with a spoonful of celtic sea salt. It tastes like the ocean, but if you gulp it down it can almost guarantee a clear head in the AM. It’s actually better than Gatorade. You have to chase it with more agua, too, but it’s worth the work, even though you have to get up to go the bathroom constantly the rest of the night.

1 AM: I’m about ready to zonk out when my cell rings. The Caller ID says it’s my brother. “What the heck?”

“Dude,” he says, “where is the Palmer House Inn? We can’t find it, we’ve been driving around forever and it’s nowhere on Palmer Ave.”

I Google the place. Nope, it’s not on Palmer Ave, it’s around the corner.

I can picture them driving up and down Palmer Ave. with those cans on the back of the car making that annoying clacking noise. Then I realize that they’ve got the ultimate “Don’t Pull Us Over” device in the history of mankind. What cop would pull over newleyweds with the cans on the back of the car and a “Just Married” sign in the back window? This could make a great plot for a bank heist movie. Don’t steal that idea, it’s mine, all mine.

1:30 AM: Bed time. I’m beat, and if you’ve read this whole thing, you are too. I’ll spare you Monday’s breakfast stuff, it wasn’t that eventful and the bride didn’t come over because “she had a migraine” which means she was really, really hungover and didn’t want to put up with family. Who can blame her.

The newleyweds are off to St. Lucia, the rest of us, our boring lives. What a weekend.

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The Family Wedding Weekend

Posted by rich on 29th May 2007

Don’t even know where to begin with this one. It’s been a whirlwind of a weekend, starting on Thursday and ending last night. Let’s do this diary style. For skimming purposes, the wedding was held on Sunday, bachelor-party type stuff was Saturday (nothing too scandalous). There’s a lot. This may take a while to finish, but here we go.

Thursday
4 PM: So close to starting the crazy weekend, yet so far away. The final FHS baseball game of the year is supposed to be beginning, but of course it runs late and will not start until after 4:15. Every minute counts because it’s my dad’s birthday and I’m supposed to be at his birthday party at Bobby Byrne’s in Mashpee at 7 PM. That’s not going to happen.

6:45: Finally the game is over, and the Clippers win (Yay). Not a great year for the maroon, as they win only five times, but I think I saw all but four of them in person. While the record stunk, those kids are great kids. I will miss a bunch of them, especially Niko and Sarkis. Those boys crack me up.

7:15: So I’m a little late, but that’s okay. Dan and Jen seem very calm for two people about to be married before the week is out. Jen and I both are irritated when we find out that the mushroom raviolis with chicken marsala is unavailable. I’m very impressed with Jen as she’s handling everything quite well, and I appreciate that she is entertaining my brother-in-law, who is a few sodas shy of a six pack, if you know what I mean. He’s a good guy, but he can be irritating, but she’s a trooper.

Other than that, dinner goes off rather uneventfully until dessert. My mom breaks out a beautiful cake for my dad, and they will all love it. Everyone but me, that is. She forgot that I’m allergic to peanuts (in her defense, I’m allergic to just about everything that tastes good it seems). It’s a stunning peanut butter cup cake. I used to love peanut butter cups. Sometimes life sucks.

9:30 PM: Back to the empty Enterprise office to finish writing. This place can be really creepy when there’s no one here. I wish I had been able to get to Dino’s tonight to play cards, but that’s life. I finally finish up around 11:30 and day one of the craziness is in the books.

Friday, May 25

11 AM: People will be seeing the inside of our cars this weekend, so it’s time to stop living like hobos and clean them up. Lyra’s needs the most work as having two young ones constantly in the backseat can make for a disgusting environment after a while. There were honest-to-goodness science experiments back there. The funniest thing is that my hillbilly wife’s (she knows I think she’s a hillbilly. She raises chickens for goodness sake. I love her more than anything, but the girl has serious hick tendencies) back seat is full of hay, yes hay. The chickens like to graze it and sleep on piles of it.

Jeff, her brother, and I spend the better part of the next hour cleaning up the mess, and we do a sweet job. The thing looks good enough to sell when we’re done with it. That boy may not have very good people skills, but he sure can run a vacuum cleaner at the Car Wash.

12:15 PM: We’re supposed to be out on the boat at 1 PM as a gift to my dad for his birthday. Danny, my brother, is hanging out with his buddy Brian Bailey, who will be referred to as Bailey for the remainder of this blog, and his dad apparently went to lunch, by himself, at Liam Maguire’s. Someone has to pick up Gary Bailey, and as the best man, the job falls on my shoulders. This will be a recurring theme for the weekend: something needs doing, Rich gets the gig.

I find Gary because the description given to me by Bailey is perfect: older guy, sleevless muscle shirt and really tan. This guy is a hoot, I will enjoy the next three days approximately 7% more because Gary is the type of guy you have to have at your parties. He’s awesome.

As soon as I meet him I discover it’s like having an educated Forrest Gump in the back seat. He’s been everywhere, done everything (he was a travelling women’s shoe salesman, if you can believe that. A real-life Al Bundy) and he’s got the thickest Nor’Carolina drawl you’ve ever heard. It’s safe to say I loved Gary the second I met him.

1:30 PM: We finally get to the boat and my brother is enjoying life at this moment. He’s got his big brother, his dad, his best friend and his dad along with his boat. Basically it’s good times all around.

The next four hours will consist of everyone catching fish and the trading of stories that will make my father more and more uncomfortable as the day goes along. I can see it going through his mind (”where did I go wrong? Are these really my boys?”).

My father will later tell me that I should start my best man’s speech on Saturday with the line, “this one time when we were hammered.” It does seem that a lot of stories that day began that way, or revolved around Dan and Bailey with scandalous women. It was fun, and that’s all I’ve got to say about that.

It was mostly bluefish that were biting. We nailed about 9 of those, and one schoolie Striper, which was about three inches too small to keep. The blues were everywhere, and we caught one of them at least twice. We knew it was the same fish because the first time my brother hooked the side of his face, and when we got him the next time it was obvious that he had already been through a battle. You’ve got to respect their tenacity.

7 PM and on: I honestly can say that I have no further recollection of this day. I have been trying to remember what we did after fishing, but I can’t. I know that I spent the time with my family, and that we ate at home. I have no idea what we ate, or if it was good. It’s all a blank, and I’m not being fresh. All of the sun beat me up and sucked out my brain cells. I do know that even though I was dead tired, I didn’t sleep well. This is because I knew I had to be up early. Whenever I have to be up for something I have the hardest time falling asleep. I refuse to take Ambien or anything like that. I’m not letting those butterflies anywhere near me.

Saturday, May 26

8:15 AM: It’s not normal for me to be showered and ready to go at this ungodly hour (remember, I’m a sportswriter, we work nights mostly. When you’re asleep, I’m in front of a computer pounding the keys). I zip to my cousin’s pad to pick him up and then grab my brother, Bailey and Gary, at Dan’s, to head over to Falmouth Country Club to play golf.

We booked the tee times in advance, and we’ve got four groups of four ready to go. When we booked it, it seemed like a great plan. Little did we know that it would nearly 90-degrees by the middle of our rounds.

9 AM:
I have not played golf in about a year, and that was on an executive course. Still, by the fourth hole, I somehow manage to begin to play decently. I will go on to card a 51 (plus-16) on the front side. Considering that I posted 8’s on two of the first three holes, this is very acceptable. I will par two of the par-3s on the front and come close to a couple of other pars on par-4’s that just miss. I’ve decided that if I could only hit my driver I might be decent at this game.

There is no such hope for my other playing partners. My uncle Steve, his friend Jeff (who is the photographer for the wedding), and my cousin Brad all are horrible. Should they read these words, they cannot get mad, because it is simply the truth. I’m right there with them, I’m horrible too, I’m just not nearly as horrible as they are. I stopped writing down Steve and Jeff’s scores after about seven holes, it didn’t seem worth the effort. They’d tell me to write down a six or a seven, and I’d just shake my head. I will say, though, that my uncle Steve had the shot on the day on 18 as he chipped to within two feet from about 55-yards out, and he made the putt to finish it off.

My round was the low one in our group, and it was a 106. As bad as that sounds, it wasn’t as bad as it could have been. The heat definitely played a factor toward the end of the day as my swing got lazy as I wore down. And the pace of play killed the back end of the round.

The rangers at the course got on us about playing too slowly around the sixth hole, forcing us to pick up the pace for the next six holes. We had had a nice little tempo going, but once we had to start playing George HW Bush-type speed golf, it stopped being as much fun. Of course we would catch up to the groups in front of us later on, which meant a ton of waiting around on the teeboxes.

The talk of the day for our group centered around the ending of the Sopranos, the wedding, where to get really good pizza, how much we stink at golf, and how much the Yankees stink at baseball (Jeff is a HUGE NYY fan, and we gave him an earful).

2:45 PM: Yup, that was a long round of golf, and it’s finally over. I head over to my parents house to pick up my dad and grandfather and walk into WWIII between Nancy and Dick. Mom bought a beautiful arrangement of fruit, which looked like a flower bouquet, for Monday morning’s brunch party. Dad thought it would fit in their camper’s fridge, she said it wouldn’t. Stress got the better of them and yelling ensued as my grandfather did his best not to laugh at the both of them. I love my grandpa Sandy, he gets it.

When I finally get Dad into the car, I am finally able to use a line on him that he used on my a million times growing up when I’d fight with my mom. “Just how stupid are you?” He laughed. We both know fighting with mom is a losing proposition at best.

(More to come later tonight, and tomorrow. Like I said, a lot happened and I’ve got to get out to the lax fields).

And ……. we’re back, sorry about the delay.

3:30 PM: After finishing up with golf, it was over to my brother’s buddy Jared’s house. Jared’s wife Deb, who would be one of the MVP’s of the weekend — just a nice girl that brings something to the table — prepared a toun of good food for a cookout for Dan. Shrimp kabob’s, chicken kabobs and plenty of steak tips. Good times.

Unfortunately not nearly as many people as we thought would show up actually did. In all, maybe 15 people or so were there. We were expecting closer to 25, but hey, more food for everyone else.

Dan, Bailey, James and myself engaged in a nearly to-the-death game of horseshoes while we waited for the food to be cooked. I nearly killed Bailey with one throw, just missing him, and James almost lost a foot to an errant throw by my brother. In our defense, we all probably had some form of sunstroke at this point, and we’d had a couple of beers.

We had to wrap this thing up in an hour, because the rehearsal was to be held at 6 PM at the Beachmore out in Buzzard’s Bay.

6 PM: The rehearsal, surprsingly enough, went off without a hitch. Almost everyone showed up on time and Pastor John (from my church, Falmouth Baptist) got right to the point and ran through everything quickly.

The only surprise was that we were short one groomsman. Even though he hadn’t played golf with us, and been exposed to all of that sun, the cookout apparently took a lot out of James. He fell asleep at his house and was a half-hour late for the deal.

James rides a motorcycle, and has a death wish. He would make it to the Beachmore in 15 minutes, after waking up. Normally that wouldn’t be all that impressive, North Falmouth to Buzzard’s Bay in 15 minutes, but when you throw in the fact that he was pulled over on the way, your eyes go buggy. He had to have been driving at least Mach 17 to make it that quick, and I’d later find out, that he probably was.

7:30 PM:
Lyra, me and the kids are on our way to the rehearsal when I see James coming up behind us on his bike. I spy him at the top of the hill, behind us, in my rearview mirror and he’s on top of us in the blink of an eye. He guns it to pass us and the noise of his motor made Lyra jump out of her seat, literally.

I will later ask him how fast he was going, speculating about 100. He simply laughs “nah, it was about 160.”

They don’t call them rice rockets for nothing.

8 PM: The rehearsal dinner was what rehearsal dinners are, good food, good conversation and a little relaxing. We had it at the Flying Bridge, and it was a good time. We would receive our groomsman gifts (top of the line Leathermen) from my brother. Other than that, I sat with my wife and the kids and had to eat left-handed because Leanna decided she wanted to sit on Daddy’s lap. No big deal, but getting a crouton on a fork with the off-hand is not the easiest thing to do. While I enjoyed the grub, I’ll be honest, i think I liked the kids chicken fingers better, and the french fries were awesome.

9:45 PM: It’s meltdown time for the Maclone kids. They’ve been doing a lot all day long, and now they’re ready to go home and sleep. Who can blame them, we’re all pretty burnt out.

Rye and I decide to share a chocalate bar that was on the table as a gift to all of the attendees. I don’t notice that the label says “99-percent cocoa.”

It’s one of the worst-tasting things I’ve ever eaten. I can’t get through the first bite, and spit it out all over the parking lot outside The Flying Bridge. I turn to Rye and ask him if he likes it and he says “no, daddy, it’s yucky.”

Now Rye is as polite a five-year old as you’re likely to find. Because it was chocalate, he tried to eat it all up. I told him, if you don’t like it, it’s okay to spit it out. Unfortunately I didn’t move my arm in time because he hocked a huge chocalate loogey at my right arm.

I laughed. What can you do, he’s a kid and it was pretty funny (I hope the stain comes out, I love that shirt). I took off the shirt and rode home in my T-shirt.

10:30 PM: Being the night before he gets married, Dan cannot stay in all night, so he asks me to pick him up so we can go out and get a drink at Chasers (formerlly McGanns). Sure, I’m the best man, he’s my little brother, I have to go. I pick him up and we get to the bar, which is ungodly empty. There are maybe 8 others in the bar, and it’s a Saturday night — they should not have gotten away from the Irish bar theme, it was a mistake.

We catch the end of the Sox game, meet up with Rob, James and his girlfriend Danielle, and leave for a more happening spot.

11:30 PM: The Boat House is hopping, but mostly filled with the 25-under crowd. I feel like a Red Sox fan in the Bronx, outnumbered and worrying for my safety. I’ll survive, but not without ducking a fight between two drunk and disorderly dudes on the way into the bar.

Rob’s brother Rusty, a mainstay on the Falmouth party scene for 15-years and running, meets us inside and decides to buy shots for the group. “What is it?” I ask.

Rob’s reply is classic. “Don’t worry. It’s delicious.”

He’s right. I don’t know what I had, but it certainly was delicious. Next time I go out, can I order a delicious shot and get what I had that night?

12:15 AM: Dan’s running on empty, as am I, and it’s time to go. No reason to stay and close the place when you can’t hear what the next guy is saying anyways.

12:22 AM: We pull off of Central Ave to make a left toward The Maclone Compound, and notice that our cousin Brad is still awake (his apartment is located at my dad’s studio, in the back). We pull in to find Brad has been cleaning all night long because his mom and dad are coming to town for the wedding and will be sleeping there the next evening.

Having seen the place pre-cleaning, I know he’s accomplished a lot. I also doubt that my aunt Donna will know that. It’s basically a dorm room, just a little bit bigger. What would you expect from a 20-year old.

12:55 AM: I drop off Dan at mom’s, where he’s spending the night (Jen has commandeered their house for the night). He looks at me and says “Dude, I’m getting married tomorrow.”

I look at the clock, then him, “Dude, you’re getting married today.”

It hits him.

This is going to be good.

(Again, gotta run for a bit, I’ll finish this up today or die trying)

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Booooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!

Posted by rich on 28th May 2007

Got in late on this holiday afternoon and was welcomed to a nearly vacant office. For the past several hours it’s been me, and just me, here at the Enterprise office.

I’m going home. Just finished up tomorrow’s tournament preview stories, and few other odds and ends. Tomorrow should be a great day of lax, with the FHS girls and boys both opening up at home. Thanks MIAA for two games going on at the same time. The girls start at 4, the boys at 5. Hopefully I can get over to the boys game for the start.

My best friend Matt, yup the Trooper, will be heading up the officiating crew at the FHS boys’ game. I love when Matty’s reffing FHS games because it allows me to boo him. Of course, with this being a tourney game, I’ll probably not get the chance to let out one of my famous boos. I am the best boo-er you’ve ever heard. To say that it turns heads is an understatement.

Quick story. Me and Darin were at a BC-BU hockey game at Kelley Rink a few years ago and we got to talking about booing, and how it was a lost art. We agreed that booing in everyday life would be awesome. Imagine if you saw someone get pulled over and it was acceptable to boo the cops. Or if someone at work was screwing up and you just booed him. The scenarios are endless.

Anyways, we then decided not nearly enough people in life are booed. That led to us booing the Zamboni driver for two minutes straight. He looked at us like we had seven heads between us. It was the highest form of high comedy. The only reasons we stopped were, 1) we were laughing hystericaly, and 2) it really is a strain on the voice to boo that long at a loud volume.

That’s it for today. I’ll have a full recap of a ridiculous weekend tomorrow. I’m far too tired to write about it right now. It would take far too long. Come back tomorrow for that, though, you won’t want to miss it.

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Dum-dum-da-dum

Posted by rich on 24th May 2007

No, not Schilling and his pitching. Go back, look at the headline, and hum it. That’s right, the wedding march.

It’s the big weekend, my baby bro, Dan, is getting married on Sunday. Unreal. Maybe I’ll post some pictures from the big day on Monday or Tuesday, in the meantime, though, here are some quick thoughts about that, and other stuff.

Get it? Other stuff. As in, Lost’s season finale last night. Holy Moly, what a sendoff until next time. Seriously, Jack’s flash-forwards are heart-wrenching. Charlie’s demise was tough to take. Hurley’s heroism made you want to stand up and cheer. Locke being Locke. Ben being Ben. Sawyer blasting Tom. Walt coming back, what the heck?

If you want real details, and some more info, check out Jeff Fischer’s site. He’s the best at it, and I never miss an update when it’s Lost-related. Good, good stuff, as always (hope he doesnt’ mind me borrowing the screen cap from his site).

*****

As for the wedding, I’m the best man — duh — and there’s so much going on, it aint’ funny.

Friday we’ll be taking my dad fishing for his birthday. The actual party was tonight, but me and Dan will be taking Dad and Dan’s buddy, and his dad, out to snare some stripers in the late afternoon.

Then it’s an early wake-up call on Saturday AM for golf with all of Danny’s buddies and some family. We’re teeing it up at Falmouth Country Club. Humor is certain to follow as I have not picked up a club in about a year. I used to play all the time, but it seems that once you have kids something has to give, and I had to give up on golf. Not that the sport is missing me, that’s for sure. My low round ever was 90, and I did that once. When I break 100 it’s a miracle. I just can’t hit it straight off of the tees, it’s a real problem. It’s gotten to the point, at time, when it makes more sense for me to aim waaaaaaaaay left and hope it will work its way back to the middle of the fairway. Of course, when I set up that way, that’s when I smack one straight. It’s really a maddening game. Thank goodness for adult beverages, because that will help me not get too mad at myself for duffing it all over the course.

After that we’ll be headed to Jared’s house for a cookout and horseshoes. Just what we need before the rehearsal, more drinking. This could get ugly. Personally, I’m going to try to stay away from alcohol as much as possible. I just don’t have the tolerance that I used to. Back in the day, I could handle myself like Frank the Tank, now, though, more than two and I start to slur my words and call my best friend occifer Croteau. It’s bad enough calling his occifer and instead of Officer, but he’s a Trooper and he hates to be called an occ … err … officer.

The rehearsal follows all of that, and then, you guessed it, more partying. The Boathouse on Saturday night seems to be the plan, so if you’re in the neighborhood stop on by sometime after 10, 10:30 and buy my brother a beer and wish him good luck. He’ll appreciate it, and so will I, since I won’t have to pay for every round that way.

Sunday’s the wedding, which I can’t wait for simply because it’s the first time that my kids have had a chance to really dress up. Leanna, my 3-year old, cannot wait to wear her princess dress as the flower girl. Rye could take or leave his tuxedo — he’s the ringbearer — but I know he’ll have a blast anyways.

And, more importantly, it’s a chance for me and my wife to actually dance together. We’re not dance club people, so we never go out to do that. We’re more like movie folks, we like to sit back with a tub of popcorn and watch a good flick. Still, it’ll be nice to slow dance with her and do the stupid white guy dance that I know for the fast songs. You know the dance that all guys are capable of. Feet planted on the floor, arms waving about a bit. The only other dance I do well is the Humpty Dance, and I’m sure that Digital Underground will be broken out for the occasion.

So it’s a big weekend on the horizon for me. I can honestly tell you that I don’t even know who the Sox are playing this weekend, that’s how involved I’ve been this week with getting everything done here at work and helping finish off the wedding stuff. It seems when you’re a wedding professional, such as myself, then you’re the go-to person for questions and such. Throw in the fact that I’ve been helping to coordinate what’s going on with the photographer (what, you thought I was going to shoot it myself?), and my head’s been spinning.

And it’s sure to spin some more this weekend.

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O(den) Well

Posted by rich on 23rd May 2007

I made a phone call yesterday afternoon to one of my dearest friends, Aaron. He’s the biggest Celtics fan I know, and has been forever. As much as I love the Sox, he loves the C’s. It’s his team. He was raised on Celtics green, it’s in his blood. Growing up one his most prized possessions was a Xeroxed copy of Larry Bird’s signature on a legal document.

So I called him yesterday afternoon to ask him if he was fired up about the draft lottery. “Yup, got on my hat, my shirt and I’m asking everyone to say a little prayer for the Celtics … I’m actually thinking about going over to St. Patrick’s after work to say one there.”

Apparently he didn’t make it to the cathedral because neither Greg Oden or Kevin Durant will be playing at the Garden for the C’s. As you’ve probably seen by now, the Celtics, despite a horrid, horrid season in which they ended up with the second-worst record in the NBA, wound up with pick No. 5 in the 2007 NBA draft.

I want to reach out to Aaron, and also Bill Simmons (who is probably on suicide watch at this point) and give them a hug. I mean, this is what they had, the chance of getting Oden or Durant. It’s what kept them going the last couple of months, the vision of watching one of those two guys wearing green and white for the hometown team.

It’s been 21 years since the C’s won a title (that alone seems sureal) and there is no apparent end to that drought coming any time soon. Celtics fans have been saying all year that throw one of those two guys into the mix and all of a sudden the Celtics are a playoff team. Aaron told me that had they landed the top pick, he felt that they’d be no worse than the fifth seed in next year’s Eastern Conference playoffs.

Now, who knows. Maybe they get Al Horford, or some other decent big guy, and he makes a difference, but it won’t be one of the big two, and that stings.

Looks like another year of ping pong balls in 2008. Who knows, but it won’t be the C’s playing in the finals, that I would easily wager on.

This feels a lot like 1997 and missing out on Tim Duncan. Timm-ah just keeps winning titles, while the C’s make a playoff appearance about every other leap year. More of the same seems to be on the horizon.

The only silver lining, if this guy from China’s still available at No. 5, the C’s have got to take him on potential alone. They need a big man, and this could be the answer. Still, I’d rather have Oden.

***

On a happier note, the Sox stuck it to the Yankees last night, 7-3. The good guys got off to a quick start and then held on. There were certainly some scary moments late in the ballgame as neither Oki or Paps seemed dialed in, but they survived the walks and got the job done.

That was another big showing by Julian Tavarez. The Freddy Kruger lookalike seems to be settling into his role very nicely with the team and I can’t remember very many fifth starters that seemed to love their role with a team as much as he does. Julian may be ugly, but the man can do what you need out of a No. 5, no doubt about that. Throw in the fact that he’s Manny’s best friend on the team, and you know he’s going to stick it out at least the rest of this year.

Happiness seems to be something we see a lot with the Sox. I think it comes down from Big Papi, hugging everyone in sight after big plays. That kind of thing just makes you smile, and when you’re on the bench with those types of guys you want to be there. Tavarez, when he was in St. Louis, seemed like he might win the Son Of Sam Award from MLB. I can remember seeing him on the mound looking like he was in the mood to commit a homicide. Now, with the Sox, he seems to be enjoying baseball.

In contrast, do the Yankees look like a team that enjoys being there right now? Take losing out of the equation, the Yankees don’t seem to have a soul. Jeter is a great baseball player, but he’s not really fiery, nor does he seem to rally the troops all that well. A-Rod, well he’s just a A-Rod, a me-first guy. Johnny Damon is a walking injury at this point and doesn’t seem to have the joie d’vivre he had in Boston.

New York has always made a big deal about being a professional team that does things “the Yankees way.” I’ll take facial hair and a little attitude, thank you very much.

So here is where we stand. The Sox have already done what they had to do in NY, win at least one. Tonight, if Schilling and the boys get the job done, it will be up to 11 1/2 games, and I don’t want to say that it’ll be all over, but let’s just say that finding a place on Yawkey Way to line up for playoff tickets now wouldn’t be the worst thing ever. Sure it will be a long wait, but people lined up for the first Star Wars prequels for months. Let’s just hope that 2007 ends much better than Episode I.

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TV Doldrums Coming

Posted by rich on 22nd May 2007

All of my favorite shows are wrapping up on the tube, and now we’re headed to the worst time of year there for TV-watchers, the summer. Seriously, why can’t the networks come up with anything worth showing when the weather is nice? Why just re-runs and weird reality shows that aren’t worthwhile. The only summer show that I can ever remember catching on was the first season of Survivor, which went on to be a huge hit, and is still kicking. Other than that, though, it’s bad gameshows, worse reality shows, and re-runs.

Thank God that the summer is baseball season. There is no better reality programming than baseball. Coupled with the fact that I’m always at games in the summer (Cape League), and it doesn’t really matter that much anyways. Still, it’s fun to come home and catch up on stuff I want to see on the TiVo. There’s only so much SportsCenter one person can watch, don’t ya know. I’ll probably be spending my nights working on my sit n’ go games on PokerStars, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing as I’ve been playing really well of late and have had a very nice run this year. In fact, playing online I’ve been turning a decent profit of late. I made my initial deposit on the site of $55 back in November and I’ve run that up nicely. I cashed out $600 last week and still have over $250 to play with. You do the math.

Anyways, I’m just bummed that all of the good shows are coming to an end. Tomorrow night’s the last big finale of the season with Lost coming to its conclusion until next year. Heroes was good last night, but the fight between Sylar and Peter was a bit of a letdown. The 24 finale was better than I expected, I’ll admit. The season, as a whole, wasn’t the best, but the finale at least tied up the loose ends and gave a feeling of completion to the story. Although, we never actually saw Jack’s father die, and the boat was right there. I wouldn’t be all that surprised to find out that he got off with the circuit board, would you?

*******

Sox-Yanks last night, ho-hum. Wake’s knuckler wasn’t knuckling much and the Yankees put the Sox to bed. It was a pretty boring game, I thought. The good guys need to win just one of the next two to make it a worthwhile series. Just winning one is enough this time around.

No links today. I wasn’t able to find much worth reading today, and it wasn’t for a lack of trying. Hopefully something cool will pop up tomorrow.

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Lessons In Baseball

Posted by rich on 21st May 2007

I wouldn’t have liked being at yesterday’s Sox game, because the nearly three-hour rain delay would have made me nuts, but the late start time did better fit into my own plans, and for that I am always grateful. I used yesterday’s win over Atlanta as a chance to teach my five-year old, Rye, more about the game. This is the summer that he’s going to really start to begin to understand my favorite game, and I can already tell that it’s both starting to click and become important to him as well. Other than the fact that he hasn’t quite picked up on the fact that Tom Brady plays for the Pats, not the Sox, everything seems to be going pretty smoothly.

When we started his curriculum, he thought that baseball games had 100 innings. Now he knows it’s nine, and that there’s a top and a bottom to every frame. God forbid that we ever see a cricket game, because I think those games do have 100 innings.

He knows how many outs there are per side and what a strike, a ball and a foul are. He loves home runs. He hates the Yankees. It’s all coming around nicely.

His favorite aspect of watching a game, though, is the pitch radar. “That one was 94, dad. That was 89. Wow, 97 fast.” It’s fun, and I always know how well our pitchers are throwing because I always seem to miss the radar readings.

Unfortunately our Teeball game from Saturday was rained out, it was supposed to be our first game. We’re going to miss this weekend’s game because my brother’s wedding is this weekend and we’ve got a million other things that have to be done.

Still, we’ve got the Sox games to keep us busy, and it’s nice that they’re playing the “yucky Yankees” this week.

It’s funny that this series doesn’t seem to be carrying much of the hype that usually surrounds Sox-Yanks series. With NY 10 1/2 back, there’s just not a lot to worry about. If New York were to sweep, which is highly unlikely, the lead would still be quite comfortable, although I’m sure the sky would be falling on the airwaves at WEEI. If the Sox sweep, well it’s basically over already and the rest of the season will be a long coronation of the AL East championship and we’ll just be hoping they can get up for the postseason and stay healthy until then.

The most likely scenario is that one team takes 2-of-3. If the Yanks do, no biggie. If the Sox do, it’s up to 11 1/2. Either way I won’t lose any sleep.

If the Sox sweep, things will be fun in NY this week. Brian Cashman will probably be looking for a new job if that happens, and Joe Torre might not be far behind him. And, you know what, that wouldn’t really be fair.

The Sox have been awesome so far this season. You can’t argue with a nearly .700 winning percentage. The Yanks have stunk, but don’t you have to cut a team a little slack when half of their games have been started by rookies. The injury bug is not a bug in the Bronx, it’s a plague. I’m fully enjoying it, of course, but there is a reason for New York’s ineptitude.

My favorite moments from the Yankees-Mets Sunday night game. A-Rod comes up in the third with two runners in scoring position and one down, and his team down 1-0, and he fans. Then, with his team up 5-1 later in the sixth, he homers to left. That’s A-Rod, he’s the best when the pressure’s off.

LINKS
Gee thanks Coach. I know that you skipper my son’s Little League team on your own time, and you don’t make a dime off of it, but I think I’ll sue you because my kid got hurt. WOW. If the coach had done something wrong, I could understand this story, but her kid didn’t slide correctly. Have you ever watched kids try to slide? They either do it correctly, or horribly wrong. Maybe her kid simply wasn’t very coordinated, but when you’ve got a chance to make a buck, go for it, right? If it was plagiarizing toward SI, I’d say that this is this week’s sign of the apocalypse.

Randy Moss is already making a good impession on his teammates. This is a good thing.

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Hinske The Hero

Posted by rich on 18th May 2007

Eric Hinske lived out every little boy’s dream last night at Fenway Park. Hinkse made one of the greatest diving catches you’ll ever see, going into the corner in right to take away at least a triple. It basically saved the game.

The Sox fifth outfielder then came up in the seventh and hit a game-winning two run jack into the bullpen. Hinske, who was a Rookie Of The Year with the Blue Jays, rounded the bases and came to the Sox dugout with one of the biggest smiles you’ll ever see on a ballplayer.

Who wouldn’t want to be Eric Hinske last night? He may not play a ton, and there’s a chance when it’s all said and done he may not even be with the team come postseason time (you never know, although I’d guess the outfielder that gets moved before the deadline is Wily Mo Pena), but last night he came through and had the adoration of 36,000 screaming fans.

Being the hero, even if its only for one night, is very, very cool.

LINKS

Hatin’ on the Yankees is always fun to do. Might as well kick them while they’re down, right. In this column Rick Morrissey, from Chicago, has a ton of fun at New York’s expense. Always good times. I love the stuff about Suzyn Waldman. By the way, if you haven’t heard her ridiculous account of Roger Clemens announcement, then go here, it’s surreal.

For those of you that miss when aiming for your face, fear not. The five-second rule IS TRUE.

Have a great weekend ….

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Baseball Cards, yay

Posted by rich on 17th May 2007

I stopped in at my local 7-11 last night to pick up a bottle of water after the Falmouth Clippers’ baseball game (a 1-0 win, what a gem Jesse Hamilton pitched) and my buddy Anish was behind the counter. He’s a big-time Yankees fan, and I’ve been giving him a hard time on a daily basis (he never takes a day off, that guy) about the standings in MLB.
Well, I then had to give him a hard time about the new merchandise he was tagging to put out on the shelves. While the Sox may not be good enough to root for, they certainly are good enough for him to make some money off of. He had a bunch of Sox paraphenalia: fuzzy dice, coozies, lighters, etc.
I then noticed an untouched box of 1989 Fleer baseball cards. That’s about the time I stopped collecting cards (I was 16 by then, and they were no longer cool), but I couldn’t help myself to throw down the $2 for a pack, just for nostalgia’s sake. Here’s a few of the winners I got.
I love the first one, Paul Gibson, just because his goofy glasses kill me. The next one, Rafael Ramirez, made me laugh for two reasons. One, his pose is hysterical, and two, every time I bought a pack of cards I got a Raffy Ramirez. I must have had 3,487 cards, of various versions, of one of the most mediocre players in the history of the game.
The next one, Canseco, Terry Steinbach, and Big Mac is a scream for the unintentional comedy reasons. Back then they were viewed as heroes, guys that hit the ball a mile and were great all-stars. Who knew that Canseco woul write a tell-all about roids and that McGwire would duck a million questions thrown at him about the subject in front of congress. As for Steinbach, he faded away.
I threw the Larry Parrish one in for comedy’s sake as well. I mean, it just goes to show how many players play for your favorite team that you A, have absolutely no recollection of, and B, made no real impact whatsoever.
The last one, Andrew “Hawk” Dawson, I had to put in there because it was the only real good player in the pack I bought. The Hawk was awesome, and like Parrish, had a pretty uneventful stint later on with the Sox.
I also got a Yankees card. I gave it to Anish.


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