Analysis (Services and Self)

Koan Bremner's view on life as a database and data warehouse professional / addict and non-genetic woman

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

"What does three up, three down mean to you?"

One of the little pleasures that life throws my way is insomnia. It's much less of an issue than it used to be, but when it happens... 9.30pm last night and I nearly fell asleep on the lavatory, I was so tired. 12.30am and I'm awake with that sinking feeling that this could be a long one. Standard tactics employed (get up, do the washing up, make a cup of camomile tea) without effect. Turn on the TV (something I rarely if ever do at such times) and it's Game 3 of the World Series on Channel 5. And the years roll away...

Boston Red Sox at St. Louis Cardinals, Boston 2-0 up in the series. Boston's first World Series since 1986, in which year I spent the summer in Boston. The fact that I spent that summer cleaning cars was incidental to the fact that I wanted to experience life in a different country; and it was prophetic that the first night I was in Boston I spent watching the Sox play the Oakland A's on the TV in my room in the YMCA. The die was cast.

I knew next to nothing about baseball before then, but I will confess I developed quite a passion for it that summer. Especially sitting in the bleachers at Fenway Park. And it's the little things that I remember, like the group of Texas Rangers fans who steadfastly cheered their losing team without fear of getting smacked by the local fans. I've been to Old Trafford on three occasions, which is three more than most supposed Manchester United fans, and I was supporting their opponents (QPR, West Ham and Southampton) on each occasion (precisely *because* they were playing Man U) and trust me, I wasn't going to be so stupid as to cheer loudly while surrounded by Man U fans. Anyway, my point (such as it is) is that I never felt intimidated at a baseball or gridiron game, but have felt so at football.

Given my memory fun and games recently, I ask myself what trivia I can chain together from that summer. Well, I took a Walkman and two cassettes with me, REM's "Murmur" and John Cougar Mellencamp's "Scarecrow", because they pretty much epitomised what "America" meant to me before I went there. And I remember being blown away the first time I heard "Rain on the Scarecrow" from the latter album, on the radio in my room at college in late 1985; which wasn't the room I was supposed to have, but I'd wrecked my knee quite badly that September and couldn't manage the stairs up to my own room. In Boston, I learned to sail on the Charles River, progressing to sailing Lasers; four years later, I tried sailing a Hobie Cat and it was as if I'd never sailed before. For the flight back home I bought the recently-published "Hunt for Red October", by the then-unknown Tom Clancy, who went on to sell a few more books; so much so that he very nearly bought the Baltimore Orioles baseball team a few years later.

Yes, that's how my memory works.

Anyway, Boston lost that World Series (to the New York Mets), as they did in 1975 to the Cincinatti Reds, and 1967 to the Cardinals... so maybe this is their year. I'm not going to claim to be a rabid fan these days; it must be at least five years since I took the trouble to tape and watch a game, although I remember that in 1991 I used to have USA Today delivered every day just so I could keep up with the baseball... hey, the internet hadn't been invented! ;-)

As you may have gathered from this free-form rambling, I'm now seriously in need of some sleep, so I'm going to try to catch a couple of hours. Go Sox! Lay the "Curse of the Bambino"!

(And a prize of my own choosing for anyone who can name the film from which the title of this post is a quote.)

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