Fishing, Fenway and Fantastic Jazz

Yesterday I took a break from Blogging to remind myself that there is a "Real
World" out there somewhere. Bobbing
on the Atlantic off Nahant
at dawn
after the delicious, elusive "stripers", baking in the bleachers
of Fenway
watching Pedro pitc
h an afternoon start against the hapless Tigres,
and mooning over Marta Gomez latin jazz at the Regatta Bar, I overdosed on
reality (and sun) and have hastily retreated to my air-conditioned corner of

I was out on the waves (well, swells) with my bud T.J.
the chiropractor
, indomitable
sportsman and man-about-town, enjoying the pregnant calm on the still waters
of Boston Harbor in the early AM hours before the city and its waterways fully
wake. It was clear that the day would be a scorcher; the temperature and humidity
were already climbing through the 80’s hand in hand; only a slight breeze kept
the fish gut encrusted Boston Whaler from becoming insufferably stuffy. A few
lobster boats and early-morning sports fishermen were scattered across the
water, eager to get early out of port.

Would that I could report catching more than a solid start on a nasty sunburn,
but alas, the sights, sounds, and smells of the sea, and of course the excellent
conversation of my companion, were the highlights of the cruise this time.
T.J. caught a couple stripers, one of which he kept, and a couple of flounder,
which he threw back.

The game, Red Sox, vs. Tigers, was my first of the season, and the luck of
the draw sent Pedro Martinez, considered by many to be the premier pitcher
on the planet at this point in time, to the mound for the home nine. Afternoon
game. By the second inning the temperature, humidity and Pedro’s fastball were
all in the low 90’s. From the bleachers the field was distant and dim through
the haze. Only an afternoon breeze which kicked up in the nosebleed seats kept
the temperature from being intolerable. Martinez didn’t pitch particularly
well, but the Tigers are this season’s league laughingstock and a mediocre
Boston performance was somehow exceeded in incompetence by a disastrous Detroit

But hey, it was the first time I had ever seen Pedro pitch live and in person.
Once I had held a ticket to a game he was scheduled to start, but as luck and
lack of foresight would have it, the game fell on the same night as the high
school graduation of my oldest son. Consider me a failure as a family man or
a fanatic as a baseball fan, but the decision took more than a few minutes
in my case. I consulted with friends and moral authorities. Of course, I sat
down with the lad himself (who unfortunately could care less about pedro martinez
or baseball in general) and confessed my misgivings.

In a less than Solomonic solution I decided that I had to be at the high school
graduation of my firstborn son. At least until the Mayor of Cambridge actually
placed the proverbial sheepskin in his hand. After all, the kid may never graduate
from anything else for the rest of his life. Depending on how long the ceremony
dragged on, I figured I could make it to Fenway by somewhere in the middle

The day of the game, and the graduation, I arrived an hour early to stake out
a prime parking spot near the high school, pointing towards the river and across
it the ballpark. Imagine my chagrin, as the ceremony began, to find that the
commencement speaker was that inspirational poster girl for affirmative action,
the questionably Honorable Judge Maria Lopez, recently canned/resigned over
the infamous Charles "Ebony" Horton case, and that like any respectable
Latin asked to give a speech, didn’t know when to wind it up.

I stood in the back with my other son and a small gang of their disreputable
non-graduating classmates, the same kind of kids I hung out with in HS, wanting
to be near the exit to make a quick getaway for a smoke or other nefarious
activity. Finally, they began the roll call, alphabetic order of course, but
BY HOUSE, and of course my son’s House was the last one….Finally his turn
came. I pushed my way to the front of the aisle to capture digital proof of
my presence. By butting in from of an aged oriental woman I managed to get
my son and the mayor in the same frame, and simultaneously caught my son’s
eye and gave him the thumbs up. I was free.

I sprinted to the car and raced across the river. Parked in a BU lot and sprinted
again to the park. Unfortunately Pedro was done for the night, having given
way to closer Derek Lowe after pitching 8 inning of 3-hit ball. So yesterday
was the first time I actually got to see Pedro in action.

Then, last night I took the wife to Reggatabar to see Colombian songstress
Marta Gomez, a recent Berkeley graduate and prot