Sunday, January 30, 2011

"The Birth of a Red Sox Fan," by Aimee.

 "The Birth of a Red Sox fan," by Aimee.

When you grow up in New England, or in any of the states north of that state I won't mention because it makes my blood pressure spike, chances are your family has been there for a while. On my Nadow side and on my Reeves side, my relatives have been born, raised, living and dying here for six generations. I was born in Attleboro (Massachusetts) in 1985. I grew up in Attleboro and called it home for nineteen years, and I still spend about two-three months a year, every year, in Attleboro, (being a teacher) even though like millions of other transplants, I've relocated to Florida for the past four years. But it was my years spent living in the swampy fens of Boston at Simmons College, that I will reminisce about today...because if Tampa is where I live, Massachusetts will always be home.

The Pawtucket PawSox Years:

Carlen & Aimee at McCoy Stadium 2010
My love of baseball didn't begin with going to Red Sox games at Fenway Park. As any Red Sox fan can tell you, it ain't cheap to see a game at Fenway, and having grown up 8.1 miles away from McCoy Stadium, home of the Pawtucket PawSox, our AAA team, I spent many happy nights with my parents watching players like Mo Vaughn, and Roger Clemens' and Bronson Arroyo's rehabilitations, and the fireworks displays of the July 4th games. I remember winding up the circular ramps and seeing the paintings of baseball legends as you made it to the top for Kid's Night and were given a free poster, or tee-shirt, or collectible baseball. I remember how fun it was to collect autographs in homemade roped soda bottles, with a awkwardly cut 'window' and a permanent marker inside and how awesome it was when someone, anyone would sign it. It was an intimate ballpark, and last summer when I revisited it with Carlen during my summer trip home, I was tickled to see how much cleaner, more full, affordable, and fun it still was to see a game there. (Yes we were playing the Toledo Mudhens, and yes, we were defeated for the 11th match of these teams that I've seen. It's a running joke in my family that whenever we go see the PawSox, they'll be playing the Toledo Mudhens, and we will lose.)

"The Curse of the Bambino."

I started watching regular Red Sox games while studying for my AP Literature and AP French 5 tests my senior year of high school. It was the '03 season, the first season with our new general manager Theo Epstein, (then only 28 years old) and as any Red Sox fan can tell you after they groan at seeing that year mentioned, it was a great year to get into baseball, a great year to follow the Red Sox on N.E.S.N with Jerry Remy and Jim Rice all the way to the Playoffs, to the ALCS championship against the Yankees,when in Game Seven on October 16th, 2003 at the old Yankee Stadium, in the 11th inning, when Aaron Boone (NY) a pinch-runner, launched a home run straight over the left field seats. That game was said to be "one of the worst losses in Boston sports history," and after watching over a hundred games that season, the away games in the basement of my parent's house, over Ted's house, and the home games upstairs in the living room with my Dad, I had my first taste of the legendary Red Sox fan heartbreak. Undaunted, with the hard resolve of a seasoned fan, we told random strangers on the streets that, "We'll get 'em next year!" We gritted our teeth against the onslaught of Yankees shirts and hats seen around town over the next few days until we could quietly celebrate the Marlin's victory against the Yankee's in the 2003 World Series.

A few months later, in the cold grisly January air, I received my acceptance to Simmons College in Fenway, Boston, and I knew that the next four years would give me chances to finally see an actual game at Fenway Park and to hopefully see the Sox beat the Curse of the Bambino after 86 years. (But to myself, and fans all over the world, no one, I mean no one, saw 2004 coming.)  

2004: The Curse is Broken!
That fall I moved into my dorm in Boston, 853 steps away from Fenway Park, at the Simmons College Residence Campus, and watched the pre-season Ft. Myers coverage on Dana's 12"x12" t.v. in our dorm room. That April, I was able to go to my first game at Fenway Park with Dana (see photo right). Just as exciting, when we were leaving I ran into my best friends from Attleboro: Jenna & Randi! (See photo below). The legendary ballpark, almost 100 years old, is the oldest still used park in America. It is impossible not to be impressed by the history as you walk around the park.

That summer, in between shifts at Jaec's coffee, I watched games at Ted & Dan's and in my parent's basement again, with a renewed hope and vigor for our team that season. 

That September 11th, I was able to tour Fenway Park, during the annual blood drive and to sit in the Green Monster seats, and see the inside of the .409 club house, the steel beams of the underground ramps and hallways, the haunting image of the single Red Seat of the right field bleachers, where Ted Williams hit the ball 502 feet from home plate in 1946. It's daunting to think of all the personages and players that have walked these halls but it's fulfilling to be a part of that history.

I returned to Simmons in the fall of '04, and watched, stupefied, as the Red Sox made it all the way to the ALCS, where for the second year, we would be playing the Yankees for the championship. The ALCS started with the Yankees winning the first three games. All of Boston had been covering their eyes with their hats and hands, imagining another insufferable defeat against the Yankees, cursing like sailors, while we sat and watched the horrors unfold on t.v.'s across New England. Then we surprisingly held onto a win for Game 4. Then Game 5. Then Game 6. It had come down to Game 7 and 2003 is flashing through the brains of Red Sox fans everywhere. Starting to "Believe in Boston" we scored 10-3 against the Yankees and won a chance to the World Series. Let the riots ensue. That night in Boston became legend. At colleges around New England the Police were out en force to stop the exuberant melee of the celebratory mob mentality raging all around. There was no place more so riotous than Brookline Ave and Fenway, which 853 feet away from my dorm room was hosting hundreds of thousands of college students loudly celebrating the recent victory over the Yankees. 
I made it into the paper with my "Get Well Soon Johnny! [Damon]" sign and proudly saved a copy.
(See photo right.)

  2004 World Series:

The next week brought the World Series (from October 23rd-October 27th, 2004) where in an unbelievable daze of four games the Red Sox sweep the St. Louis Cardinals to win the World Series. Mark Belhorn helped with in Game 1, Schilling pitched an almost perfect six innings with a legendary "bloody ankle" to win Game 2, Pedro Martinez redeemed his last inning of  the '03 ALCS by pitching a shut out seven innings to take the win in Game 3, and Damon, Nixon & Ortiz score in Game 4 to win the series. Luckily, I captured our immediate reactions on camera at the unbelievable victory of this historic moment (photos of Jackie & Aimee):

Like every other college student in Boston, I grabbed my video camera and my "Marry me Theo!" sign and ran with Dana, Jackie, Denise, Igor and Jacqui down to the growing mob at Fenway Park. The Pru[dential Buildng] was lit with the "GO SOX!" message throughout eighteen floors of the 52-story skyscraper. The trees on the streets of Fenway, Yawkey Way and Landsdowne, were shaking with collegiate rigor, the cars and taxis unlucky enough to be heading over the bridge from the Cask'n Flagon towards Kenmore Square were turned over or being used as step schools for better views, and everywhere I look, college kids are on their phones, yelling their excitement to everyone and anyone. Boston Police Forces are out with gigantic 'Prisoner Transport Buses' taking no chances after the death of Victoria Snelgrove the week before, who died after taking a rubber bullet to the eye in the Red Sox riot after a Yankees game, killed by a police officer. Mostly the crowds are subdued from the violence and celebratory the week before, and strangers are hugging, people dancing by with brooms referencing the sweep of the Cardinals, illegal fireworks going off a street away at Landmark Center, laughter, smiles and excited tears everywhere. Everyone is taking pictures of the '04 ALCS pennant, knowing shortly that a new red one would be added next to it for the first time since 1918. (I ended up putting all of my 'Red Sox Riot' footage together for my final project in Video Production that semester: I received an 'A'.)

Boston: City of Champions.

After the World Series, the Red Sox came home to what was one of the greatest parades of my life. Again, the streets were littered with fans from around the country, celebrating the return of our heroes, as they drove by to screams and cheers on the Duck Boats, culminating at the Charles River where they drifted into legend. (As did the fan that jumped in after them.) The cold, grisly weather didn't stop the 3.2+ million fans who came out in droves to line the 3 mile long route, standing on the road, rooftops and riverbanks to see the parade.

(Aimee, Tony, Jacqui, Randi & Jenna watch the victory parade.)

2007 and beyond... 
While I watched much of the '07 season as well, I missed most of the World Series, because my father-in-law died. Suddenly, baseball seemed so removed and faraway from my life, as I tried to comfort my family. I took a break from baseball (watching less than twenty games over the next few seasons) as the overdose of such intense and hugely watched seasons as '03, '04, '05. '06 & '07 overwhelmed me and I turned instead to the NFL. In 2010, I was able to share the experience of a private after-hours tour of the Red Sox Spring Training complex: The City at Palms Park Stadium in Ft. Myers with Ted & Carlen who were vacationing in Florida at the time.

Last summer (2010): I was lucky enough to be able to buy eight Red Sox tickets to Fenway Park's July 3rd & 4th games, from Melissa & Matt and took my parents to their first Red Sox game at Fenway. I also brought Maggie that night and then Nate and his fiancee Beth, and my cousin Josh the next day. It was one of the best weekends of my life!

Which brings me full circle: baseball has always been about sharing games with friends & family. Whether it's a PawSox game at McCoy stadium, or a rare seat at a Fenway Game, I find that it doesn't matter how far away from 4 Yawkey Way, Boston, MA 02215, I live: I will always be Red Sox fan.

Which brings me back to a new season: 2011 and all the hopes and dreams we baseball fans have for it. I'm starting live game watching early this year, with my first Spring Training game on March 20th: a game where in a repeat of the '04 Series, my beloved Sox take on the St. Louis Cardinals (my husband's team), and while I'll try to remain polite and collected, I have a feeling the 'feelings of old' will return as soon as I see an Ump make a bad call...

Have a good night folks!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

" A Review of the Social Media Guide," by Aimee., the self-proclaimed "Social Media Guide," uses a Wal-Mart type logo and a clickable tab bar to organize interesting articles on subjects such as: Social Media, Tech & Gadgets, Business & Marketing, Video, Dev[elopment] & Design, Media, Social Good and Startups.

The interface, looks like this:

When googling Mashable pictures, I saw the transformation of what Mashable used to be to what it has become today. The old user interface had links to the main social networking sites: twitter, facebook, myspace, etc... the new user interface runs more like a major news network, with categories of information, such as:

1. "The 42 New Social Media Resources You May Have Missed,"
2.  "Ten Creative Uses of the New Facebook Profile,"

1. "Futuristic VW to hit the Streets: Gets 260 MPG"
2. "Plug Hub that Makes Cables Disappear,"  (See photo: right)
3. "Angry Birds: RIO to be Launched in March"
4. "FCC GrantsGoogle Access to "Super Wi-Fi" Broadband Spectrum,"

1. "LivingSocial is Giving Groupon a Run For Its Money, Thanks to Amazon"
2. "YouTube Looks to Integrate Comments From Facebook & Twitter,"

1. "Our Favorite YouTube Videos This Week,"
2. "The 'No Pants' Subway Flash-Mob Rides Again!"

1. "Switching to Verizon? Sell Back Your AT&T iPhone/iPad at Macworld,"
2. "Google Previews its Tablet-Optimized Android Honeycomb OS,"
3. "Great Moments in Text Messaging," (A Comic)

1. "The State of Cybercrime,"
2. "Thousands of Horoscopes Mashed up to Create One Generic [and perfect?] Prediction." (See below)

1. "Kindle Books Now Outselling Paperbacks at Amazon"
2. "What it's like inside one of the World's Most Exclusive Conferences: The World Economics Forum,"
3. "Rupert Murdoch's 'The Daily' [tablet newspaper] Officially Launching Feb 2"

1. "E-Commerce Site Lets Users Buy a Better Life For Girls in India"
2. "E-Readers in Africa: Non-Profit Brings Thousands of Books to Ghanaian Children"
3. "4 Social Trends Impacting the Future of Online Fundraising,"
4. "4 Innovative Social Good Campaigns for Education,"

1. "11 Recommendations for the Entrepreneur's Bookshelf"
2. "New Android App Helps You Determine if a Product is a Good Buy."

THE VERDICT on Thumbs-up! I found a lot of interesting news articles and information that I hadn't seen or considered before on this website. It's easy interface makes it simple to navigate. (I'll probably even buy one or two of the cable organizer "Plug Hubs" for my OCD husband now that I've seen them!)

My Usage Recommendation for you: Add it as a 'Bookmark Bar' tab on your internet browser for easy daily/weekly new article check-ins if you like these topics...

Thursday, January 27, 2011

"Movies to Look Forward to in 2011," by Aimee.


February 2011:



March 2011:

Red Riding Hood


April 2011:
The Fast and the Furious 5: FAST FIVE

May 2011:


Pirates of the Caribbean 4: On Stranger Tides...

June 2011

Disney & Pixar Present: Cars 2


X-Men: First Class

July 2011
Dark Side of the Moon

November 2011
Puss in Boots: Website here...

 Breaking Dawn: IMDB listing here...
Breaking Dawn Updates: Blog here... 
and in 2012.....


MIB 3  

 Star Trek 2

Underworld 4: New Dawn

Carbon Footprint: Calculate your consumption!

From bananas to soda, car mileage to milk, every human creates their own carbon footprint. Learn more about your own at the link below:

Calculate your CARBON FOOTPRINT here...

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

“American Politics: A Spoonful a Day Keeps the Ignorance Away.”

In light of tonight’s State of the Union address by President Barack Obama, I thought I’d take a moment to reflect on how technology has changed America.

The Politics of Technology:

I remember when Ted and I sat in a common room in the dorm at Wheaton College and watched Bush and Kerry win in ’04 (and now he's blogging the "State of the Union" live from the House chamber in D.C. for WPRI News) and how this was the first election where major campaign contributions were made through the internet. Fast forward to 2008: Obama's grassroots internet campaign outspent McCain's 3:1 and secured enough swing vote states to take the Presidency. Technology shaped the outcome of these elections and by implication, our country. 

Technology also shaped the outcome of our national response to disasters. After the earthquake and disaster fall out in Haiti last January, $1.4B was pledged in funds through cell phones and the internet. (Although only 38% of that money has been spent.) Even though money was pledged with the right application of technology for Haiti, just six years ago: the technology was lacking, with the infamous mishandling of funds and supplies to the devastated Gulf coast after Hurricane Katrina. Even yesterday, people are still asking why Katrina victims aren't getting any press anymore or enough funds for fixing the city, such as the water systems, that are currently estimated to be leaking 50% of the water that flows through them. Has Katrina become a taboo topic? Does apathy overtake concern in the minds of Americans who are in the grind of the Great Recession? Or do people just not know where to start to begin helping? If it's the latter: I can help. 

Using Technology: No Excuses in the Present:

To get started: I checked out information on the current situation of New Orleans, L.A. here. I skipped to a link called which is outdated and useless. The blogs are full of people trying to help donate things but with nowhere to send them to or responses at all. More recently updated is the Charity's list of "The Best Ways to Help Victims of Hurricane Katrina." Which grades the charities (Red Cross, Habitat for Humanity, Salvation Army, etc... as they respond to the needs of the areas. 

While this might seem like a place to start: I am inundated with thoughts of other natural disasters, and events that also need our attention: the oil crisis in the Gulf of Mexico and the tar balls still rolling up on the shores of Mississippi today, and the Chilean earthquake/tsunami of '10. The earthquake in Haiti which sits front and foremost in my mind as one of my students just returned from Port au Prince yesterday and in tears related to me the horrors of the living situations, the diseases such as cholera (nearly 4,000 people have died of cholera, in Haiti since last October) running rampant, the displaced orphans, the lack of construction or clean up. She has bravely been fundraising for money to build a playground there for her Bat Mitzvah project, and has been traveling to aid her mother who is also helping the area.

Technology: No limits for the Future:

Tonight President Obama said: "What comes of this moment will be determined not by whether we can sit together tonight but whether we can work together tomorrow." So while you may be reading this article and this quotation, and deciding how you feel about it, and how you feel about our President by default, I want you to consider this: when you associate with a political agenda in a negative way, you disassociate from some of your colleagues and peers, and as a result close doors to relationships that could help you, us, or our country find solutions. "We will move forward together or not at all -- for the challenges we face are bigger than party and bigger than politics." -President Barack Obama, from tonight's "State of the Union Address." Full transcript here...

"How to Survive a Wolf Attack,"

According to this article, you should blast bad music at them...but definitely, I mean definitely, do not run away.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Fashion Forward: A Look at Fashion and its Impact on the World.

Dior Runway Show:  Jan. 24, 2011
It's Paris fashion week, and in light of the Haute Couture fashions shows: today's showcasing Dior (click link to see the runway show pictures, photo below) and Giorgio Armani Prive,  and tomorrow featuring Chanel and the scary models of Givenchy, and on Wednesday Jean Paul Gaultier and Valentino, I thought I'd take a moment to think about the impact of fashion around the world.

I'm constantly examining the labels in my clothes to see where they came from. Most commonly I find Sri Lanka (an island nation with a population of 20M) where just this week there was an article in the UK Telegraph about how Sri Lanka is recycling fashion from waste materials "on an industrial scale." Although only a few years ago, embroiled in illegal sweat shops, workers (mostly female) were being paid less than $40.00 U.S per month. Now, these thoughts are front and foremost in my mind, but this wasn't always the case...

I remember in high school, my dad threatened to "throw out anything I bought from Ralph Lauren," because of the accusations of sweat shop labor. This message has always stuck with me throughout the years as I became a consumer and was able to purchase any label I wanted.

In my two years at Saks Fifth Avenue at the tender age of eighteen and nineteen, I became more brand-savvy, partially because I was trained and tested on name brand (pronunciation too) recognition. I became somewhat of a brand snob as I purchased a collection I've since discarded to consignment shops to another customer's delight, thinking that the brand or label made the woman or man. I've since learned that it's not what you wear, but how you wear it, that matters. (Thank you for teaching me that lesson: Natalie.) Always harking in the back of my mind were the thoughts of: how much money it was costing and how much waste it created when I got rid of it after it wasn't fashionable. I've since reconciled my 'wasteful fashion sense of youth' with the tried and true mantra, "The Classics Never Go Out of Style," and tried to stick to solid colors (not prints that go out easily) and the basics: pant, skirt, blouse, sweater, blazer/jacket.

Beyond the basics of clothes: I think it's important to think about our carbon footprint on the world. Think about this: since you were born, how many things and how much "stuff" JUST for you has been thrown away? Clothes, shoes, food trash, paper, etc? You can see the stats for an average human lifetime footprint here but the average weight of your lifetime (~77.9 years) of trash is TWENTY tons. That's about 22 elephants. Or three school busses PER PERSON. Multiply that by the current global estimated population of 6.9 billion people.

How can we begin to educate ourselves about responsible companies, such as the Brand Names of the Fashion world? With sites such as They outline how to live green, discover fair trade and the benefits of supporting fair trade companies, how to buy sweat-free products and what to boycott to send a message home to a company. It's not the only company out there leading the charge, but it's a start. I hope you'll take a minute to check out their site.

Have a great night!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

"Top Ten Cars for the World...and YOU," by Aimee.

Update: 1/26/2011: Yahoo just published the "Top Cars for Generation Y," today...

Here is my list of the "Top Ten Cars for the World and for You!" The list weighed cost, mpg, emissions, company ethics (human rights, environment protection, community involvement, social justice) and fuel source availability. None of the popular 'natural gas' or ethanol cars were included, due to the limited fuel pumps for these vehicles.

1. The 2010 Toyota Prius V
Cost: $21,000-$28,000.
Emissions: Less harmful than the flatus of a sheep. (89g/km)
MPG: 48/51
Company Ethics Grade: (Toyota) A

2. The 2010 Honda Civic Hybrid CVT AT-PZEV
Cost: $27,000+
Emissions: Partial Zero Emissions Vehicle (PZEV)
MPG: 45/40 (2 mpg higher than the 2011 model for city driving).
                                  Company Ethics Grade:  (Honda) A-

3. The 2011 Honda Insight
Cost: $23,000.
Emissions: 109g/km
MPG: 43/40
Company Ethics Grade:  (Honda) A-

4. TIE: The 2011 Ford Fusion Hybrid / 2011 Mercury Milan Hybrid
       (Similar car costs, mpg, and company ethics.)
Cost: $28,240+ / $28,000+
Emissions: Unavailable/ unavailable.
MPG: 36/41 and 36/41.
Company Ethics Grade:  (Ford) D- and (Mercury) D-

5. The 2011 Toyota Yaris
Cost: $12,00-$15,000
Emissions: Under 120g/km.
MPG: 36/29
Company Ethics Grade:  (Toyota) A

6. The 2011 Ford Fiesta
Cost: $17,000.
Emissions: Same as Yaris. (Lowest for a U.S. automaker.)
MPG: 37/28
Company Ethics Grade:  (Ford) D-

7. The 2011 Toyota Camry Hybrid
COST: $26,000
Emissions: unavailable.
MPG: 34/33
Company Ethics Grade:  (Toyota) A

8. TIE: The 2011 Ford Escape Hybrid/ 2011 Mercury Mariner
         (Similar car costs, mpg, and company ethics.)
Cost: $32,000 /$30,000.
Emissions: Unavailable/Unavailable.
MPG: 31/34 and 31/34.
 Company Ethics Grade: (Ford) D- and (Mercury) D-

9. 2011 Mazda Touring
Cost: $15,000.
Emissions: unavailable.
MPG: 35/29
Company Ethics Grade:  (Mazda) B-

10. 2011 Chevy Aveo
Cost: $15,000
Emissions: unavailable.
MPG: 35/27
 Company Ethics Grade: (Chevrolet) F

Foreign emissions Stats: