She's a Real Mother

Mutha's got eyes in the back of her head.

Monday, October 29, 2007


Jeez Loiuse! I knitted until my hands cramped. I thought I was having a stroke at one point. And then I cried for a half an hour.

My children will not go to school tomorrow (oh. I'm sorry. Today.) and I will not go to work. We will make our pilrimage to Fenway.

And why?

Because anything is possible.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Superstition in Culture and Sport

I attended a meeting recently in which the name of a person who had died was mentioned. Without missing a beat the woman beside me and I both murmured, "God rest his soul." We then looked at each other, surprised.

"Irish Catholic?" she said.

"Of course," I answered.

The other members of the meeting who had heard the exchange weighed in on whether they thought it was a kind, spiritual gesture to wish someone's soul rested or if it was simply old-fashioned and creepy. My cultural partner knew what I knew -- saying such a thing only has one explanantion: superstition.

Pushed to explain I would have to admit to all sorts of irrational thought processes that add up to the dead having enormous power to mess with the living. I would have to admit that I follow some superstitions to the letter and ignore others all together. I would have to explain how I am also known for responding to spontaneous superstitions in order to feel more at ease. I would have to effectively describe how this is different from an obsessive compulsive disorder.
And I would have to admit that baseball was the sport seemingly created for me and my kind.
The team I adore is in the World Series and is favored to win. Indeed, the first game, last night produced a lop-sided win for my hometown boys. So why am I making no predictions about the Red Sox? Because speaking of an outcome to the series, even the outcome of a single game yet unplayed is not something I can do. Thinking about it can even make me uncomfortable.

There are other conventional baseball superstitions I follow faithfully, such as not discussing a no-hitter while it is still in progress. But then there are the superstitions of the moment mentioned above, such as not being able to stay in a room while Josh Beckett pitches (because my husband will not stand for me turning the channel). Why? Hmmm...I don't know. I only know it was so. My husband follows some superstitions, but points out that there is no comparing his behavior to mine -- which I would have to agree with. When tickled by my compulsions, he will openly mock them, which left me with no choice but to insist that he could not talk to me or look at me for the second half of the fourth and final game of the 2004 World Series. A woman has gotta do what she's gotta do.
Now that it is a new World Series, I had to visit Fenway Park down the street from where I work, and perform my World-Series-only ritual of kissing the brick of the grand old place. You know...for luck. What if I hadn't done it? Well, it's not as if they could go 86 years without winning it again.
Shit. Did I say that out loud?

Monday, October 08, 2007

You Can Take the Punk Out of the Catholic Church, But You Can't Take the Catholic Church Out of the Punk

I *heart* the Dropkick Murphys.

After all, they are a Boston punk rock band that uses traditional Irish instruments and melodies alongside speed-metal drumming. So...what kind of chance did I have? The love was just waiting to happen.

But what sets these guys apart is that they don't sing about suburban angst or the old, tired Mom-and-Dad-never-loved-me crap. They sing about neighborhood guys dying in Iraq, brothers dying of "the drink," and hopes that maybe we can meet on the other side after we all die. LOVE IT! And the Irish melancholy doesn't end there. They sing about growing up with the Catholic Church wanting your soul, Department of Social Services taking your kids, and losing your leg in a freak pirate accident (I'm not kidding -- the chorus is about shipping up to Boston to get a wooden leg).

So check 'em out. They are loud and fast and full of good ole' Irish Catholic fun.

Monday, October 01, 2007

More to Read!

To anyone who has been following the story of Mac, Ellen and Charlie -- there is a whole 'lot more posted as of today at Scroll back to get to the beginning -- and thanks for giving a damn.

Do You Have the Crystal Balls for the Post Season?

Now that the Red Sox have won their division title, Red Sox Nation is off to another post season. It makes me think of the historic 2004 season, of course -- but also of a conversation that happened two years before that between a fellow die-hard Sox fan, a psychic, and me.
The fellow die-hard fan was my friend and co-worker, Juan. Whenever we saw each other, no matter the time of year, we would greet each other with a check-in on whatever recent news there was about the Sox -- the latest trade, the latest rumor, the latest standings, the latest game. The conversation I am thinking of started in much the same way, but then a new co-worker joined us and Juan suddenly turned to her and said, "Ellen, someone told me you are a psychic."
Ellen calmly replied that she was.
And so Juan jumped on the chance. "Can you tell me how the Sox are gonna do?"
Ellen didn't miss a beat. She soberly instructed him, "You have to ask me the question you want answered."
"Okay," Juan said. "Will the Red Sox win the World Series this year?"
Ellen looked at Juan for a couple of minutes in silence and then said, "Do you really want to know?"
Juan blanched a little. "No," he said.
And that is what being part of Red Sox Nation in October is like. The Boys look great, but they held a 12 game lead at one point in the season, that by the end had dwindled to a nail-biting 2. And the post season will be no cake walk.
I begin knitting each September in order to have something to do during these trying times. Depending on how the Sox do, I will have several Christmas presents finished by Halloween.