She's a Real Mother

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

Friday, August 07, 2009


In ballparks across the world fans hold their collective breath waiting to see if players will make the catch. In a nifty parallel, many crowds will also cheer when fans catch foul balls and home runs. There are exceptions of course -- you better be sure it's foul or "outta there" before you go for it. If you don't it gives birth to infamous moments in which a Cub fan is hated forever or Sheffield decks a guy in the stands for getting in his space. With that in mind, if you're in the right and you catch it -- the ball is yours. A moment of glory and a souvenir that the management will let you take home. Nice. Unless you find yourself in Fenway -- where, in addition to your moment and your ball, you better be ready to be handed a critique of your catch.
What gets the biggest hand? A kid catching a ball.
What gets booed? If you drop it after catching it of course or spill your drink/hot dog/popcorn while trying. Also, if your drunken ass falls on the field while reaching for it.
Then there is a middle ground I had no idea of until I heard a discussion of the subtleties of the craft. An adult will not be given a hardy cheer if he catches the ball in a glove. At a game once, I heard fans give the raspberry to this. Apparently, for adult males -- it is bare-handed or nothing.

Having revealed the rougher side of the critique -- I must, in all fairness say that Red Sox fans will also defend their own in these moments. The night John Lester pitched his no-hitter, I was sitting way down the third base line and saw a man hit in the face by a singing line-drive foul. Another fan caught it in rebound and held it up for the cheer. He was booed. The fan-catch-code clearly rules that if a fan gets hit in a face the souvenir belongs to him/her. The rebounder would not give it up -- and everyone in my section agreed -- that was some cold shit.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

You Are Who You Date

Like so many women who grew up listening to the radio in the 60's and 70's, I have been a fan of female singer/songwriters for as long as I can remember. So, I was excited to read the biographical piece by Sheila Weller, entitled, Girls like Us: Carole King, Joni Mitchell, Carly Simon, and the journey of a generation. Ambitious to say the least, Weller tells three life stories, packed with juicy tidbits and sometimes endless side story footnotes. I was so intrigued by the three different routes these women took in order to get their music heard, and then to be taken seriously. What was less intriguing was the nonstop stream of bad relationships these women pursued. The lists include drug addicts, women beaters, mentally ill guys, embarrassingly young guys, tepee-dwelling mountain men, and just plain too many guys named Rick. Then there were the occasional guys in common -- including James Taylor, Jackson Brown and Warren Beatty -- which can get...awkward. I found myself the least interested in this element of the book and even cringing a bit now and then. I started to feel embarrassed that I knew about so many of the guys they chose to date. But why? Why the cringing?

The reason for this became more clear when I attended a recent college reunion. A dear college friend and I toured the campus and reminisced -- and even though we did not run in to any old beaus that day, the conversation did often wander to the men we pursued during those four years. In order to cushion the blow of memory -- and also to make it more fun, we opted for code names describing type when speaking of the gentlemen.
There was Tony Soprano,

The Lizard King

and Gentle Ben.

The guys were far easier to appreciate in these characterisations -- an interesting cast of characters rather than a string of lousy choices. But it also pointed to why I found it so painful to hear Carol, Joni, and Carly's list of men. I would find it unbearable to think that was one of the way I was judged (as if anyone besides me would care). Let us all be grateful that in the end we are not who we date.