Friday, October 06, 2006

Bob Ryan, the Patriots, and writing.

Bob Ryan's a great writer. Every once in a while, he proves it. Here's the end of an article about the Patriots from today's Globe:

They know they're a part of something special, but they can't dwell on it. The only way to produce an outcome such as last Sunday's is for each man to put aside extraneous thoughts and concentrate strictly on what he must contribute to this team effort, and that does not include thinking about fans, or history, or anything that would take away from the ability to concentrate on the task at hand.

``This is not the time to reflect," said Harrison. ``The time to reflect is when you're retired and sitting on your boat. Then you can tell your grandchildren about the New England Patriots."

That's a player talking. Now I'm talking. For you and me, the time to reflect has already begun. Be grateful every day that you've had, and still have, the New England Patriots are in your life.

Amen, Bob. And by the way, I do.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

It's a boy!

I couple of posts ago, I mentioned that my best friend and his wife are expecting. Well, they just found out it's going to be a boy. (Not surprising, since Robert has five brothers and exactly one sister.)

The little Curran's tentative name is Graeme Robert. "Tentative," because the wife isn't completely sold on Graeme.

(His name will be Graeme Robert.)

I don't know you yet, buddy. But I love you.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Defining class.

I've been a New England Patriots season ticket holder since the year before Bill Parcells came to town.

In other words, I remember the bad old days. Not just of bad players and bad play, but of REALLY bad ownership.

But since Bob Kraft bought the team, a couple of remarkable things have happened.

One, the Patriots have won three Super Bowls. (Which still, to this very moment, astonishes me to my core).

Two, the level of class the Patriots organziation exudes is amazing. From the gem that is Gillette Stadium, to the civic responisbility the players bring to our community, to the still-outstanding play on the field.

But yesterday just sealed the deal for me. And actually brought a tear to my eye. I received my 2006 season tickets in the mail. And guess who was featured on the ticket for the first regular season game?

Adam Vinatieri.

Yes, the same Adam V. who departed in the offseason to the arch-rival Colts.

But more importantly to the Krafts, and to every Patrots fan, the same Adam V. who drove a 45-yard field goal through driving snow and wind in the Snow Bowl. The same Adam K. who knocked home the winning field goal in the Pats' first Super Bowl win. And in their second.

The same Adam K., who will receive a prolonged and heartfelt standing ovation upon his return to Gillette Stadium this year.

An ovation sure to be led by one Mr. Robert Kraft.

Class stands on its own.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Dream baby got me dreamin’ sweet dreams the whole day through

My best friend and his wife just announced they're having a baby. It'll be their first. And I'm absolutely thrilled for them. Not just because they're the most wonderful people on earth and will make incredible parents, but because of what this child will become. Babies are like tofu: they take on the flavor of the people around them. That's why I predict:

He or she will be confident, but never arrogant.

He or she will have a sense of humor that alternates between the bizarre and the intelligently witty.

He (and I also predict that's what this child will be) will never forget where he came from.

He will have grandparents who poil him rotten.

He will be stubborn as hell, but never patronizing.

He will treat everyone with respect, from the garbage man to the senator.

He will be consistent in his political views, especially when it comes to the issue of life and death.

He will have his father's smile.

He will have his mother's laugh.

He will like potatoes.

He will tolerate odd food to please a friend.

He will cheer for the Red Sox and the Patriots.

He will be the favorite son of Section 39 at Fenway, and 118 at Gillette.

He will never want for love.

He will enjoy the occasional shot of Jameson (after he's 21, naturally).

He will play second base in Little League and high school.

He will lead the league in doubles.

He will have many girfriends, but only one love of his life.

He will read Joyce and Kerouac.

He will listen to Dylan and Cash.

He will play the guitar better than he thinks he does.

He will treat his friends better than they deserve.

He will often do well in school, because he loves learning new things.

He will sometimes do poorly in school, because he loves learning new things.

He will live in cities other than Boston.

He will move back to Boston.

He will be a champion of fairness.

He will hate the Yankees.

He will light up every room he enters.

He will have friends who would die for him.

He will try many jobs, before one is chosen for him.

He will disobey his father by accepting that job.

He will be the President of the United States.

Dream baby got me dreamin' sweet dreams.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

The revolution will not be televised. But it will be podcast.

"The revolution will not be televised." When Gil Scott-Heron wrote and pronounced those famous words, it was a indeed a revolutionary time. Ethic, racial, and sexual barriers were being broken down. And a president was about to be taken down.

Of course, Scott-Heron didn't literally mean that the revolution wouldn't be televised. Rather, he was saying to other activists that they couldn't stay home and watch it all unfold. They had to PARTICIPATE.

In today's new media revolution, that is more true than ever. Ad agencies can't merely talk the talk of weblogs, they need to embrace them themselves. See Hill Holliday for an excellent example:

The same's true of every marketing or communications company, and ever client that employs them. Each need to fully embrace the plethora of new choices available to reach and and communicate with their customers. And their non-customers. Hell, even their enemies.

Because if one thing is certain, it's this: the consumer will ultimately define what a company stands for. Ad agencies are losing the power to shape that definition as we speak, and soon it will be gone. They can either engage consumers in conversation and put their point of view out there for discussion, or they can ignore them.

If they choose the latter, their obituaries will surely be televised AND podcast.

Friday, February 17, 2006

The gentrification of Boston

I love Boston. Not just a little, a lot. I've lived in Los Angeles, Honolulu, Atlanta, New York (twice), and Providence. I've travelled the world over. And yet I will always come back to Boston. But lately, it's pissing me off.

I'm a fairly simple guy. I like beer and beef. (Well, I also like Daniel Boulud's 8-course tasting menus, but you get where I'm coming from). So while others flock to the trendy clubs and bars, I'm quite content to slug back a cold one at a place like Pete's Pub, near Boston's Haymarket. Or have a great burger at Tim's Tavern at the edge of the Back Bay. Now both are in danger of changing forever.

Pete's has been bought by The Sommers Group, the same people who owns the Green Dragon and the Grand Canal. I work directly across the street from the Grand Canal. A Bud is nearly $5. I don't drink there. Mr. Sommers is going to turn Pete's (a self-described dive and old man's bar) into a place called "Bunch of Grapes." I don't have to tell you what that means.

Tim's, on the other hand, is still Tim's. It's just not serving food. From what I understand, the trendy Back Bay/South End neighbors don't really want "that kind" of place in their midst. So for nearly a year since renovating his kitchen, the owner of Tim's has "failed" dozens of inspections. Hmmm, what a coincidence, especially consedering that Tim's is black-owned. I'm almost resigned to having Tim's close, and a bistro opening in its place. A bistro that also serves burgers, but for $25 a pop.

This is bullshit, people. One of the reasons I love Boston so much is its improbable mix of blue collar and diamond necklace. Where you can walk alongside John Kerry down Beacon Hill, and stop at a joint like the Sevens for a cheap beer and a bowl of chili. Where after shopping for Prada at Copley Mall, you can sit side-by-side with construction workers at Tim's and throw back a Jameson.

I don't want Boston to become Disneyland. In Disneyland, there is no Fireside Tavern, no Pete's Pub, no Tam, no Red Hat, no Tim's. In Disneyland, everything is ordered, and perfect, and staged. Funny how something that appears so right and shiny and polished can feel so wrong.

Change is inevitable. And generally good. But change merely for the sake of appearance and a few extra dollars is just shortsighted.

And with the loss of places like Pete's and Tim's, downright tasteless.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

The college roommate speaks out.

My old college roommate sent this email after reading about my broken toe on this blog:

//I'm trying to picture how you broke it...kicking the TV after your InDemand porno didn't work???...jacking off so hard you knocked your monitor off your desk and onto...
don't ask me how I could be so accurate.

Re: your blog's name- it's great & kinda funny; I've gotta get you a download of Henry (the 5 yr. old) singing that song (he LOVES the Heads...go figure...)//

Actually, the toe was broken in a black ice incident about five steps before I reached my office. However, I have proceeded to make the pain even worse by engaging in both scenarios opt forth above.

Looking forward to seeing Master Henry make like David Byrne. He certainly HAS to have a better voice than his father.