April 15th is another eventful date

Well.  April 15th is another day that it seems like so many things happened throughout history.  And for the most part, it seems like it has been a date on which a lot of truly tragic things happened.  Honestly, I can only think of one really cool thing that happened on this date: it was the day that Jackie Robinson first debuted with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947.  And as big a fan of baseball as I am, and as happy as I am about how far my favorite sport has come since that time, I can’t help but contrast that event with all the other terrible, tragic things that have happened on this day.

Of course, the most immediate thing for me is that this is the 3rd anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombing.  Hard to believe it has already been three years.  But I am glad that Boston had really come together and bounced back.

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I thank God for our city council

The Cambridge City Council has voted in a policy order to make known that they are opposed to the 2024 Boston Olympic bid.   I get the impression that no one in the group to bring the 2024 Olympics to Boston thought to discuss their plan with surrounding communities to feel the waters, so to speak.

I cannot believe that any serious person would think that hosting the 2024 Olympics here in Boston is a good idea.  And with such a relatively small window to prepare, it is quite unrealistic.  In fact, it is hands down one of the dumbest ideas I have heard put forth in a long time.

Where would we put it all?

Yes, I know Kelly has talked about this already, but I have to throw in my own two cents worth, because this is something that has actually gotten me quite a bit fired up and angry.  It is yet another case of the privileged few dictating to everyone else.

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@MetroBOS thinks we’ve “lost the marathon spirit”

Twitter is hilarious.  It has the tremendous power for good and also the power to do some really horrible stuff.  Then stuff like this happens.

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All are welcome here

One of the pleasures of working for a church that is also a historic site is that I get to talk with a lot of very interesting people from all over the world.  Although we do get some rude people, for the most part it is a really positive experience, and today was no different.

Today, I got to have an extended conversation with a total stranger about faith, and about the commonalities of our two faiths, Christianity and Islam.

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More news like this, please

Yesterday I saw the news that Michael Clarke Duncan had died and I was SO sad.  His part in The Green Mile had really left me feeling like I knew him.  As an actor he’d stepped out of himself and let the character fill him.  In other words, he did a damn fine job and I really, truly respected that.  Geoff and I both, when we heard the news separately, felt like we’d been socked in the gut.

This kind of news, however, I could read all day.

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In honor of the 4th

I have some friends for whom the 4th of July is their favorite holiday of the year.  Other are more middle of the road about it.  Me?  I’m not into huge groups of people waiting for things to go BOOM over their heads or the tourists that flood the city decking themselves out in flag clothes and leaving their trash everywhere.  I grew up and now live in the two cities largely responsible for the birth of this nation.  As a result I’m over the Liberty Bell and the Pops on the Esplanade.

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A new tourist attraction

This article was published on Boston.com today.  It hit several other news outlets as well and was forwarded to us by a couple of friends.  As you can imagine, the general feeling was, “Don’t ever let Geoff go there now that this is law.”

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They’re baaack…

You know, it happens every year.  And every year I forget about it until they arrive.  And then I swear like a sailor Geoff and want to hide in my house till it’s over.  I hate them, I really do.  You’d think that having lived here for the better part of 2 decades I would be used to this by now.

I’m not.

It’s the annual invasion of the Smug Twig People.  Lord save us all.

The best part?  This time, Marathon Monday, properly known as Patriot’s Day, coincides not only with Holy Week, but also with Passover Week.  Somewhere in Heaven God is laughing really, really hard.  Or, God’ s a Yankee’s fan.  Whatever.  I’m going to check the Muslim and Buddhist calendars and see if they’ve got any major holidays this week because if they do, then I know something cosmic is going on and the joke is on us.

Anyway, if you haven’t experienced Marathon Weekend in Boston, don’t.  It isn’t worth it.  The city is invaded, quite literally, by people from all over the globe.  These people are of two types: there are the Smug Twig People (STPs), the “runners,” and then there are the STP Entourage People.

The STPs are bad enough.  They walk around the city in their Boston Sports Association track suits and t-shirts.  It doesn’t matter that it is, oh, 39 degrees fahrenheit as I write this.  They will wear any piece of clothing they can find that will identify them as a Boston Marathoner.  The older, the better.  Mind you, by and large these are not the professional runners.  These are not the people who might qualify for, say, the Olympics by running this race.  Oh, no.  These are people who run marathons and put 26.2 stickers on their SUVs to prove that they can do it.  Running for them is some kind of drug.  These folks are, for the most part, painfully thin.  They don’t have muscle mass like the healthy, winning runners do.  They pride themselves on being bony and sinewy.  They walk down the street and ride the train with a palpable hauteur that makes you want to get as far away from them as possible.  These are people who will finish with more or less respectable times, but these are also people who think that a slice of peach and 32oz. of water is appropriate for breakfast.  This is an eating disorder disguised as running.

The STPs bring their own Entourages with them.  The people who come with them are usually adoring family members and friends.  These people are of all shapes and sizes but they are absolutely Better Than You because they are a Friend Of A Runner.  Most of these people are from TheMiddleofNowhere, TX or You’veNeverHeardofIt, Europe.  They have no idea how to ride public transportation, no idea how to cross a street in a major city, and God forbid they ride an escalator properly.  They literally tie up traffic for blocks and they are completely fine with this.  Nearly getting killed by a Boston driver is practically a badge of honor or, probably, something to check off in their bright green “Stuff to Do on Marathon Weekend” guidebook.

The best, and by that I mean worst, is getting stuck on the T with the STPs and their Entourages after the race is over.  On Monday the race literally goes all day.  People cross the finish line officially till sometime around 8:00pm when they stop handing out medals and unofficially till about midnight or so when the 11:00pm news wraps up interviewing the last people gasping across the line and collapsing in front of the Public Library.  If you are unlucky enough to be stuck on, say, the Green Line with a pack of sweaty just finished STPs, woe betide you.  You might as well get off the train and walk.

First of all, they will get on the train with their Entourage and stand immediately inside by the door thereby blocking the entrance for everyone else.  Anyone who has ever ridden public transportation knows that this is the mark of 1) a jerk 2) a provincial idiot 3) an entitled blowhard 4) someone who needs a kick in the head.  Next, they are covered in sweat.  The Marathon folks provide the STPs with a silver “Astronaut blanket” to keep them from cooling off too quickly, so the STPs wrap themselves in it and, medal hanging rakishly, lean against whatever pole is closest to the door and try to look beatific.  Meanwhile their Entourage are usually on their cell phones, also standing in the door of the train, talking to anyone who will listen about how fantastic the STP was in the race.  As if they could actually SEE said person in the huge pack of other STPs.

The best part is when the Entourage decides that the saintly STP deserves a seat.  Woe betide you if you are occupying a seat and the Entourage decides that the STP deserves it.  They will do everything up to and including outright demanding that you get up and give it to the STP because, you know, they’ve just taken a bus out to Hopkinton and run back.  Because, you know, that’s the mark of a totally sane person.  Sorry, folks, but if I have a seat I’m not giving it up to some person who just punished him or herself by doing something that can actually be bad for your heart.  And giving me the, “you’re fat so get up” lecture won’t win you any points either.  Contrary to what you may think, Boston does not close down just because a bunch of runners show up and slog their way up Heartbreak Hill once a year.  The rest of us still have jobs, still have errands to run, and with the occasional exception, most of us don’t care at all who wins or doesn’t.

Is it Tuesday yet?