Monday, August 19, 2013

TRUE BLOOD Season 6

As I have mentioned in past posts –  June 12, 2012 – I LOVE vampires in general and TRUE BLOOD in particular.  The book series by the excellent Charlaine Harris is one of my favorite series, and the tv series based on those books is on my top ten list of favorite shows (along with DEADWOOD, GAME OF THRONES and ROME – HBO RULES!!!!!)
          This past season was over the top in more ways than I can count, seeing that I have only watched some of the episodes once.  I just watched epsisode 10 and before I type another thing I must say that there is no way that Eric Northman – my favorite vampire ever – has met “the true death.”  No way.  The producers, writers, you name it are jerking the fans around, but he is not dead. 
          For those of you who disagree with me please note the following:
1.     He didn’t turn into goo and all the truly dead vampires on TRUE BLOOD turn to goo
2.     He is a short hop away from full shade – watch in slo mo
3.     Pam, who would give her life and more for him, is on the way to find him

Nope, not dead.  A tad overheated, sure.  But dead?  Not my Eric.  J

We’ve seen a lot of blood, guts, brain matter and human “bits” that have been hacked off, sawed off, shot off or –  UGH – torn off.  Really, one cannot watch this show on a full stomach.  We’ve met the vampire/fairy person who killed Sookie’s parents, we’ve met Sookie and Jason’s Fairy Grandfather – played with a lot of enjoyment by the always excellent Rutger Hauer.  We have seen vampires die very very badly from a very nasty infection and we have seen wolves chew on human parts.  Quite over the top, as I said.
          But we have also seen some of the very best writing, some truly amazing scenes, and the best acting.  The cast does get better with each passing year, imho.  The writers have always surprised us, but this season has been one OMG moment after another. 
          Some fans and critics have not been happy with this season and I can see why in some cases.  The four Fairy children fathered by Andy Bellfleur were at least three Fairy children too many – but that got fixed quickly.  Warlo was not quite as horrible as we were all let to believe.  Jason was a tad too stupid, though he does manage to pull his shit together when he needs to, doesn’t he?  There was NOT enough of Eric to satisfy me, but then I would be the first person to buy a season of just Eric with a little Pam thrown in, so don’t take my word on this one. 
          Worst part of the season, Bill as God.  Right.  The whole “I drank Lilith’s blood and now I am a super vamp” didn’t work for me.  The way everyone else reacted to him, THAT worked.
          In any show, in any season, there are the good things and the not so good.  Overall, TRUE BLOOD does entertain and delight despite those moments that didn’t quite work.  Probably the best episode of the season was number 9 – the back and forth cuts from Terry’s funeral – very moving that – to Eric going all vampire crazy at the “camp” made for one hell of an ep.
          One thing that did stand out this season was the truly superb acting of Deborah Ann Woll who plays Bill’s vampire “child” Jessica.  From getting a tad carried away and drinking most of Andy’s offspring, to her devotion to Jason - no matter how he treats her - her love of Bill and her “humanity” towards everyone, Jessica is the best original character in this series – she is not in the novels – and Woll is simply terrific.
          It is nearly a year until we find out what happens next.  Will Sookie stay with Alcide?  I doubt it but a full seaosn of him would not be hard to take.  Will Sookie ever really forgive Bill for all the shit he caused?  Maybe just a bit.  Will Sam ever become just a bar tender again?  Let’s hope so. 
          And Eric.  MY ERIC.  Not dead.  So not dead.
           
           

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The Borgias - No A Petition Does Not Work


 
     Just an update from my last post.  Seems that all the effort and work and money and posting all over the internet have not worked on the execs at Showtime - and did I not hint that this would be the case?  TV shows are expensive and the more expensive the more likely they are to be cancelled.  Look at HBO's ROME and DEADWOOD, two of the very best shows ever.  Well, IMHO.
    This week Showtime President David Nevins gave an interview to TV Line in which he said that Showtime thinks that the last episode of Season Three was a good ending for the series.  He also said he felt bad that all the fans were spending so much money.  Though he did not indicate that their efforts were in vain, it was pretty clear from the tone of the interview.
     On the other side of the issue of big money for really big cable productions there is GAME OF THRONES.  The folk over at HBO have indicated that they hope that George R. R. Martin will get on with the writing of book 6 in his massive series, and then hurry on to book 7 because they do not want to run out of material as the show progresses from year to year and they made it very clear that they do intend to show the entire series, no matter how long Martin's two remaining books turn out to be.  (Gosh, that is bad English, isn't it?  I'll have to work on an edit.) :)
     GAME OF THRONES is as good as ROME and almost as good as DEADWOOD - nothing ever on TV is as good as DEADWOOD.  And speaking of HBO, TRUE BLOOD is pretty damned good too.
     So what?  Well, HBO seems to have a better record than SHOWTIME when it comes to quality, though even they had to cancel expensive productions.
     We may not get the last promised season of THE BORGIAS, but hopefully SHOWTIME and TPTB on the show will put out a full series DVD set with all sorts of lovely extras.  There is surely a market for it - all those folks over on the Facebook page signing petitions and the rest of us who just knew it wouldn't work.


Edited July 31, 2013

Saturday, June 22, 2013

The Borgias Cancellation – Can a Fan Petition Really Work?




          On a variety of forums and social media sites a group of fans of the Showtime drama based on the infamous Borgia family are gathering “signatures” to try to convince Showtime to produce a forth season of the show that just ended it’s (truly excellent) third season.  Showtime has cancelled the show and to this viewer’s mind that was not a surprise.  THE BORGIAS was very expensive to produce – just look at the costumes, I mean seriously, they are gorgeous and cost a fortune – there were reportedly labor disputes with the crews in Hungary and the creator/main writer of the show, Neil Jordan, may have wanted to cut the forth season down to a two hour movie.  I say “may have” cause I haven’t actually seen Mr. Jordan interviewed and there are a lot of conflicting reports about him and his intentions for the show he originally planned on presenting for four years.
          Some of the fans are very upset; some cause they wanted a forth season and many cause the end of season three just did not feel like the end of a series.  “The Prince” was very good, but I have to agree that, at the least, one more scene to sort of put an end to things might have worked better than a scene that suggested some very interesting drama had the series continued.
          That said, I have to admit that I am not one of the fans who wants to see this series continue.  I like THE BORGIAS very much – the acting is superb, the sets and, as mentioned, the costumes are stunning, the writing was very good.  The history was off quite a bit but that is not unusual in “historical fiction” which is fiction based on historical people and events but fiction just the same.  And because it is fiction some of the characters portrayed in the show were not quite as despicable and the real people and some of the events were not as horrible as the actual events.  For one example, when Cesare Borgia took Caterina Sforza prisoner on the show he was positively gallant towards her – and the fact that they had had (fictional) sex in season two just added to the scene, imho.  But in reality Borgia treated the real Tigress of Forli abominably – he raped her repeatedly for weeks.  I am very glad the show deviated on that point, among others.
          Cesare as portrayed on the show is far more sympathetic than the real person could ever have been.  Yes he did some bad things – though killing his horrible brother was more a blessing than a sin, imho – but he was such a wonderful character, and actor Francois Arnaud gave such a brilliant performance, that I really don’t want to see him die as the real Cesare did.  Pope Alexander dying would have been ok.  Better actually since Jeremy Irons is one of the best actors on any size screen today and would have given us a superb death scene.  But to see Cesare – young, energetic, gorgeous – die in battle and to watch his beloved sister, Lucrezia – also very well portrayed by Holliday Grainger – lose the true love of her life, well.  I really didn’t want to see that.
          But this post is about the other fans, the ones who have an on-line petition and plan a blitz of some kind via Twitter and who have some very ridiculous plans to send sardines to Showtime execs.  Really?
          Do petitions to big entertainment corporations mean anything?  Especially on-line?  Do the big wigs at Showtime care how many people tweet?  I doubt it.  For one thing, one can “sign” an on-line petition more than once, using different email addresses or just making up names.  Even if it is set up with a lot of security – which costs money so I doubt it –  why would Showtime care if say ten thousand on-line people put their names on an on-line petition?  This show was very expensive to produce, there are obviously issues with the creator of the show and to my way of thinking there would have to be at least one million people emailing or sending snail for Showtime to even pay attention.  Serious attention, I’m sure they have looked at the Facebook page.
             According to the Telegraph web site - from the UK - the cost for each episode of THE BORGIAS was million British pounds or approximately 3.85 million US dollars.  That is a lot of money for any tv show, especially a show that has no advertisements on a network that is run on subscriptions.  According to sources on line the average viewing figures for the third season were 2.4 million per episode.  Match that to the average for GAME OF THRONES on HBO which averaged 5.4 million per episode.  The difference of 3 million viewers, thus subscribers, is significant.  IMHO no petition of even 500 thousand signatures will convince Showtime to dish out the millions of dollars to make a third season; they did not want to pay for a two hour movie to tie things up and that would have been much cheaper than even an abbreviated season.  Sorry to say that money is driving this decision, and this is not the first time a series on a pay cable network has been axed due to cost.
           At this point the actors and other artists have been informed that the show is over and they are thus free to accept new roles, jobs, assignments.  How difficult will it be to get everyone back?  In order to do justice to the main story, and the series as written, they would have to get Irons, Grainger, Arnaud, Whalley for sure, and Colm Feore - Cardinal della Rovere would become Pope Julius II and he was instrumental in the downfall of Cesare Borgia.  To get all of this set up would take quite a while, and the fans probably wouldn't see it until 2015 - maybe even later.
           But, about petitions - back in 1968 when NBC announced that they would cancel the original STAR TREK after two season the network and everyone else were very surprised to receive thousands of letters – snail mail folks – asking them to reconsider, which they did.  But that show didn’t cost a fraction of what THE BORGIAS costs Showtime, and those were simpler times.  And, I have to say this, a real letter, mailed is far more impressive than a petition on a social network site.
          I do wish the fans of the show well, but I hope they are realistic enough to realize that these actions probably won’t work.
          For me, I am waiting for the full series DVD set, with extras.  And though I know the history of the real Borgias very well – I am an historian by education – I will enjoy seeing these wonderful actors bring their fictional characters to life again and again.   

edited June 23, 2013 

Friday, May 24, 2013

STAR TREK: INTO DARKNESS

          
          I have been a fan of Star Trek since “the time of the beginning” as an ancient Vulcan matriarch once said.  I was there when Kirk, Spock and the crew of NCC-1701 first set out, boldly.  To this day there are episodes that I love to watch, mostly because I like the characters so much.  My favorites are Spock and McCoy.  The six films based on the original series are a mixed bag.  The only three I like are what I call the Spock Trilogy – WRATH OF KHAN, SEARCH FOR SPOCK, VOYAGE HOME - the last two directed by Leonard Nimoy.  In 2009 J. J. Abrams gave us back Kirk, Spock and the crew of the Enterprise and he did a terrific job.  Now, in the long awaited sequel, he has given us not just the crew and the ship but one of the two best villains in Star Trek Lore – Khan.  Note: imho the other great Star Trek villain is the Borg Queen.
          After the release of the 2009 film many fans, old and young, posted on the net that they wanted to see a remake of the Khan story.  I was not one of them because I would like to see new stories of the beginning of the five year mission, new insights into the characters I have loved for so long, not a rehash of a story that was very well done thirty years ago.  The identity of the big bad for the second film was rumored for two years and finally in a literal blizzard of spoilers – the film was released in the UK and other countries a week before the U. S. release – we all found out that the superb Benedict Cumberbatch was indeed a reboot of Khan.  And what a reboot he is.
          There are a lot of things wrong with this film – some minor things only a long time fan would notice and some pretty big.  There is the totally gratuitous and illogical strip scene involving Carol Marcus and Jim Kirk in a shuttle, there is the illogic of a huge ship being built in a massive facility behind a moon of Jupiter which even in the 21st century someone would surely notice, and there is the truly upsetting engineering mistake of placing the Enterprise at the bottom of an ocean.  Constitution class starships do NOT land and certainly do NOT submerge.  Happily, Scotty is there to voice the complaints of the chief engineer and the seasoned fans. 
          There are many critics and fans who are trying to compare the story with the original and find the new film wanting.  I am not one of them.  In fact, I am very impressed with what screenwriters Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman and Damon Lindelof have done with the old story.  WOK was the story of a villain for the 80s.  Khan was larger than life, played to the hilt by Ricardo Montalban, one of the few Trek actors who could over act more than William Shatner.  The film looked good, the crew was superb and the “death” of Spock hit fans where it hurt the most – one of our heroes had died. 
            Khan in this film is far more intriguing.  He is driven, deeply motivated, and a force that cannot be stopped without a great deal of collateral damage.  Not just a mean bad guy from the past who has a grudge against a single star ship captain, this Khan is a victim as much as a perpetrator and there are moments when one can almost feel sorry for him.  He is portrayed by one of the most amazing actors currently on film and TV, the superbly talented Benedict Cumberbatch who has thrilled fans with his portrayal of Sherlock Holmes on the BBC mini series.  With his deep voice and penetrating blue eyes this Khan is more disturbing than the original and the story is both darker and has deeper implications about what might be wrong in Star Fleet.
            The writers have used a lot of old Star Trek lore in the telling of this film – giving us long time fans little “Easter eggs” that make the experience just a tad more enjoyable.  They have reworked the story to leave out some of the dated bits and twist it in a way that will suit today’s audiences and, most important, focus on what is important: Kirk, Spock, the crew and the Enterprise.  The Khan story – interesting as it is – is just a platform for two young officers to get to know each other better through danger, adventure and death. 
            For me Star Trek has always been about the characters.  From the original series to Next Generation – and my beloved Jean Luc Picard! – to Deep Space Nine and beyond, even when the stories were less than stellar the interaction of the characters was enough to keep me coming back.  This cast is superb, and each one of them brings life to the franchise that might have died a long time ago.
            Zoe Saldana is beautiful and she kicks ass as only a Star Fleet officer can.  And she kicks the boyfriend with as much intensity as she kicks the bad guys.  Anton Yelchin is simply adorable, especially when he takes responsibility for “breaking” the ship.  And John Cho gives his all in one of the best short moments in the film.  Karl Urban is the comic relief – just as DeForest Kelly once was – and the voice of conscious for the captain and others on the crew.  He has this role down beautifully.
            What can one say about Simon Pegg?  He is simply terrific.  As in the first film he too provides comic relief – and acts as the voice of the audience on a couple of occasions.  But in this film he is also the voice of reason in a series of events that are running out of control so rapidly even the Vulcan doesn’t see the warnings.  If it weren’t for the two principals, he would have dominated this film.  Personally, I hope he dominates the next one.
            Then there are the supporting actors – well Peter Weller can do bad while pretending to be good better than anyone and his Admiral Marcus deserves just what he gets.  I’m not familiar with Alice Eve but the whole Carol Marcus story line could have been left on the cutting room floor and she would not have been missed.
As for Admiral Christopher Pike - so wonderfully portrayed by Bruce Greenwood – well there is a moment in a bar when he tells his protégé Jim Kirk “they gave her back to me” and he is again the commander of the Enterprise.  He never gets the chance to beam up, sadly, and I for one am sorry he didn’t get to command her just one more time.  His relationship with the headstrong and slightly arrogant Jim Kirk is one of the best in the Star Trek Universe. Takes a very good actor to make a very big impression in just a few scenes, as he did in the first film.  He will be sorely missed.  (HINT to JJ – maybe a flashback or two in the next film?)
In what was a bigger secret than the identity of Cumberbatch’s character, there is Leonard Nimoy as Spock Prime.  His appearance alone is worth seeing this film again and again.   
            Finally, this film is about Kirk and Spock and there simply are no actors alive who can portray these young, seemingly mismatched officers as well as Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto.  Pine is a better actor, and thus a better Kirk, than the original.  Quinto has taken the role immortalized by Leonard Nimoy – and with that great actor’s blessing – and made it his own.  These two bring new life to old characters and make Kirk and Spock more interesting, more believable, and more compelling than even Gene Roddenberry could have imagined all those many years ago.
            There is fun in this film, there are wonderful battle scenes, interesting characters, and a lot of heartbreak.  There is friendship, love, family and questions that have disturbing answers.  
            And there is the ship, our ship, NCC-1701, larger than life, beautiful as only she can be.  Abrams nearly kills her in this film and I hope he gets over that in the next one.  There are some truly wonderful moments – none quite as awesome as the view of her emerging from behind Titan in the first film – and some scary moments.  When Scotty tells Kirk that she is done, finished, lost, dead – well, you have to see it to know how much of a kick in the gut that is.       
            Abrams is going on to direct Star Wars.  I wonder if he can reboot that as successfully as he did Star Trek.  Doubt it.  How often can one director find the perfect cast, get the perfect legendary actor to return twice to a role he gave up many years ago, and make films that satisfy new fans and those of us who have been here since the time of the beginning?
            I just hope he will direct the next Star Trek cause he is the reason we have these two wonderful films and he is the one who can take us, boldly, into space to discover all those strange new worlds.
            LLAP.
           

Sunday, April 21, 2013

BOSTON STRONG



The events of the past week in Boston have dominated my life and the lives of many people close to me, though some of us are far away – in miles, in time zones, in years.  I have always said that you can take the person out of Boston but you can never take Boston out of the person.  At no time since I left Boston has that been more true.
          Watching the events unfold, watching the explosions, the first responders, the lockdown, the manhunt and the capture was the worst single thing I have had to endure since I almost died in the 1989 earthquake in San Francisco.  But watching from afar is far different than being there, in more ways than may be obvious.
          It is hard to explain what Boston means to those of us who come from there, who have lived there, who still live there.  Boston is not just a city, Boston is a state of mind and there is no where else on earth that can quite capture the uniqueness of this amazing city where the American Revolution started – and is celebrated around almost every corner – where sports is so important that fans are called “the faithful”, where politics is the only topic that can supersede the latest game results, where one can walk anywhere, any time of year, easily.  Boston is a beautiful historical artistic academic athletic Heaven on Earth.
          And Boston was attacked on Monday, April 15, 2013.
          Patriots Day is a Massachusetts holiday.  Every year the citizens of the Bay State celebrate the battles of Lexington and Concord.  The “one if by land, two if by sea” and “there the embattled farmers stood” events in American History.  Boston celebrates by the running of the Boston Marathon, a grueling race that starts in the suburbs and ends almost right in the middle of the city nicknamed the Hub of the Universe.  Hundreds of thousands of people line the 26 plus miles from Hopkinton to Boston, celebrating the runners, celebrating the American Revolution and, most of all, celebrating everything it means to be in and from Boston. 
          As the marathon runners begin their awesome trip, the best baseball team in the history of the game begins the day’s celebration early.  The Red Sox start early cause after the game many of the thousands of fans will walk the very short, less than a mile, distance to the end of the race to cheer those who have the stamina to finish. 
          And that is when the attack happened.  Not some other time in some other crowd.  It was planned for that day, that place, that time.  The timing of the attack was deliberate; they wanted to hit Boston, all that we love, all that visitors come to love, to celebrate, to experience.  That attack was PERSONAL.  It was an attack on so many things that mean so very much to all of us who love Boston.  As I said, Boston is a state of mind.
          But, defying everything that the terrorists tried to do, defying everything that any terrorist may think of doing to us, Boston showed to the world something that all of us know but don’t often talk about – Boston is one of the strongest cities on the planet.  We do not have to celebrate it cause it is just us.  It is just who we are and what we are.  We have always been this way, from the moment Paul Revere took off on the horse, we have been STRONG.
          The response was overwhelming.  The First Responders, the onlookers, the runners, all headed to the blast sites to tear down the barricades, to help the injured.  So rapid was the response from so many that one has to slow down the images to see it all.  And that response just kept growing and growing over that day and the days to follow and ended in the best way possible - crowds of residents in Watertown cheering the police who had captured one of the terrorists alive. 
          It will take a long time to deal with the horror of the attack on Boston.  It will be a long time for the families of the four young people who were killed – the little boy, the young woman from Medford, the young MIT security officer, the young woman from China who was studying at BU for her Masters.  It will be a long time for the injured, many of whom are badly scarred for life.  It will be a long time for the people of Boston.  It will be a long time for all of us who love it.
          Slowly the strength of this city will grow to be even more amazing than it was this week.  Living through any disaster is life changing, but living through a terrorist attack is a life changing thing that has no equal.  Hard as it is, shattering as it is, the strength that got Boston through this past week will sustain not just the city but this country and any in this world who will not allow the monsters to gain ground.
          President Obama gave a fine speech at the memorial service; in it he said two things that will ring out from the Hub of the Universe.  “You picked the wrong city to do this” is the first.  Damn straight.  Pay attention out there. THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION STARTED IN BOSTON.  Got it?  The second comment was even more true. “What happened on Monday was personal.”
          When Boston was attacked my friends were at risk, my family was at risk, my Goddaughter who was at the Red Sox game was at risk, and the city I come from was at risk.  And that is PERSONAL for all of us who love it.  So, pay attention who ever you are out there, BOSTON STRONG is EVERYWHERE.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Gun Control, North Korea and the Tinges of Insanity

         Though the two hot topics in the news may appear to be unrelated, I am having a hard time separating the debate on background checks for prospective gun sales from the threats, rants, raves aimed at the United States and our allies from North Korea.  Not that I think either topic is simple, or properly covered in a sound bite, but looking at both topics makes me very uncomfortable because just the thought of someone with serious psychiatric problems is scary and the current leader of North Korea seems to fit that description very well.
          Taking the gun control debate first, how can any one, any senator, congressperson, NRA member truly believe that we do not need to limit access to firearms by people who have serious mental and/or emotional problems?  I watch the news, I read a very good on line newspaper (Christian Science Monitor) and I am very well informed about gun laws across the country – especially my two states California and Nevada – and the Constitution.  I do not see anyone who is proposing restrictions and background checks as advocating a change in the rights we all have as Americans to “keep and bear arms.”  I do see the call for protections from those who are mentally ill or unstable. 
          Most of us who own firearms are responsible, sensible citizens who take safety precautions, keep firearms out of the reach of children, know how to safely use our guns.  Many of us train for this, take classes, join clubs that offer us training and safety tips.  We know how to handle guns just as we know how to handle cars safely.  Actually, we probably handle the guns better since there have been, to my knowledge, no fatalities due to texting while shooting – but I will accept corrections if that is a misunderstanding on my part.
          I digress.  The point is that people who have a history of mental illness should not be able to legally buy a gun and that in order for any kind of gun control to be affective we must have an up to date data bank of those who have such problems.  A mentally ill person in Nevada should not be able to buy a gun in Texas, etc.  Anyone who does not approve of this is, simply stated, nuts.
          Have you ever had to work with someone who is bi-polar or have such a person in your family?  Have you ever seen that person off their meds?  Suddenly lose control?  And were you afraid that s/he would harm you or your co-workers or family members?  Imagine that incident, that person going off their rocker, with a gun in the equation.  That, is fear.  Now think of all those people out there that you do not know, who don’t take their meds, who are just like the crazy person at work or the nutty relative.  Add guns.  Scary. 
          And that brings me to the current crisis in North Korea which, as I said, doesn’t seem that far removed from the scary person off their meds buying a gun at the next gun show.  Who is in charge of that country?  Are we really expected to believe that an inexperienced young man is telling highly experienced military men what to do?  And they are, as a group, just doing whatever he says even though it makes no sense what so ever, does not help the people of the country and has effectively eliminated any respect they might have had?  I just don’t get it.
          The ranting and the raving and the threats remind me of the Cold War – but during that time there were adults in charge of the weapons.  Most of these rants are just words and not very intelligent words either.  Do the people of North Korea believe this drivel?  For surely Kim Jong Un isn’t expecting the people of the United States of America to cower in fear.  Or is he?  See that is the thing about North Korea and it’s leader.  It’s like a bi-polar person off the meds.  And that is very dangerous.
          Surely something else is going on here.  Are they so far off from the world at large – and Asia in particular – that the generals believe that North Korea will get respect?  Even China has criticized the current rants and raves and they never criticize the problem country they helped to create. 
          Tinges of insanity can become lethal very quickly.  Let us hope that the Congress of the U. S. of A. passes a background check bill and then puts tools in place to build a useful database.  And let us hope that the adults come to their senses in North Korea.

Monday, April 8, 2013

FENWAY PARK – Opening Day

         



          Every April there is an event that is celebrated all over the U. S. of A. and other parts of the globe.  We may be far away by distance and time zones, but all fans of the BOSTON RED SOX live for Opening Day at Fenway.  Fenway Park is a National Treasure, an “Historic Site” and possibly the best loved baseball park in the history of baseball. 
          Fenway hasn’t changed much over the years.  There were some innovative improvements a while back to add seats and make the comings and goings of the fans a bit easier.  And the menu has changed to meet the times.  But the score board is still changed by hand, the hot dogs are still the best in the world and the Green Monster is there dominating the field and giving Fenway it’s unique edge.
          Fenway is not out in the boonies or the suburbs or tucked away on the outskirts of Boston.  It is literally right there, a really good home run hit from the Massachusetts Turnpike – hence the saying “that one is on the pike” – walking distance from downtown on a good day, in the same neighborhood as the Museum of Fine Arts.
          I am about as far from Fenway as one can get and still be in the U. S. of A.  And I miss it.  I miss going to games whether the Red Sox win or lose.  I miss the intimacy, the camaraderie, the shared moments of joy and sorrow.  I miss driving by in the evening and seeing it all lit up.  In a recent film directed by Ben Affleck, THE TOWN, there is a truly beautiful aerial night shot of Fenway all lit up.  Brings tears to my eyes every time I see that.
          Red Sox games aren’t broadcast out West that often so I don’t see it “live” very often.  But, thanks to the internet I do get to see it quite a bit more than in pre-internet days – photos, live shots on the MLB GameDay site mostly.  And my beautiful God(dess) Daughter sends photos and Tweets and keeps my Fenway fever raging.   
          There really is no way for a Red Sox fan to explain the life long devotion to this team to the rest of you.  We the Faithful understand – what else is needed?
          Opening day is the beginning of the new season, new hope, new excitement.  The disappointments of the past season(s) do not matter – all is fresh and new as the grass in the outfield.
          GO RED SOX!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


EDITED to add - Red Sox won 3-1!!!!!!!!!!