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The Time Capsule

The holidays are officially upon us. Hanukkah is about to end, and like many people in December, I found myself scouring every nook and cranny of my attic for Holiday decorations. We found ornaments, and knick-knacks, and all sorts of Christmas and Santa material—so much in fact, that there was sensory overload. Shifting through these boxes took me back through the years, when, believe it or not, I was hell-bent to be on Santa’s Good List. We displayed the ceramic Christmas displays my grandmother made, which my family is particularly proud of—mostly because it’s a great memento of my grandmother that she bequeathed to us—but also partly because it is so beautiful. There were snow globes and nutcrackers, and everything else that reminds me of past great Christmases, those Christmases that will be the benchmark for successful upcoming ones.

It took a few days to set the house up and I found myself starting to get nostalgic. The Christmas movies started playing on television, the radio station I listen to started playing Christmas music just after Thanksgiving, so the hour commute added to my mindset. And if it weren’t enough, my family forced me to start a Christmas list of presents that I potentially would want.

Essentially, the holidays were in full swing.

The Cat Who Came For Christmas

When we were putting the empty boxes back into the attic, I stumbled upon a box of my belongings that anyone else would probably label “OLD SHIT.” Secretly, I’d been searching for this box. As I graduated high school, I stuffed everything I thought was childish and hastily stuffed it in storage where I didn’t have to see it everyday. I can admit that as I’m on the verge of finishing my last semester as an undergrad, I wanted a retrospective of where I’ve been, so I can accurately determine my future. I thought this box would unlock the mystery of who I really was, maybe even who I would become.

I was sadly mistaken.

In this box, I found many things. None of them tell me anything I didn’t know. For example, I kept a scrapbook. Normally, scrapbooks keep newspaper clippings about oneself—may it be the honor roll, or an achievement, what have you. Don’t get me wrong, my scrapbook did contain some of those things. However, it was also a litany of ongoing public disputes and general pop culture knowledge that is utterly useless for my quest for personal self-discovery. In hindsight, the All Star Celtic guard Reggie Lewis’ death from cocaine overdose was a great tragedy and affected me deeply. There was no plausible reason for me to cut out an article about his death (which happened to be on two pages, yet I still carefully taped them together) and paste it into my scrapbook. I also have the words “CLINTON IMPEACHED” across two pages, screaming for someone to read them, and headshots of George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and Abraham Lincoln(?).

No, I don’t know why either. Honest Abe was someone I admired?

I also have a scrapbook page dedicated to Roger Clemens in a Red Sox uniform. Seeing that I now see The Rocket as the spawn of the devil, this didn’t go over very well with the present-day me.

It seems like my life revolved around sports. In the box were all my youth league trophies and my Emmitt Smith and Ken Griffey Jr. posters. The scrapbook has my press releases: me rollerblading with a friend, every soccer goal I scored, my group’s photograph from Spain. There’s also my senior year profile from the sports section where I inexplicitly mentioned that Nomar Garciaparra was my favorite athlete, when everyone I know knows that this couldn’t be further from the truth. Emmitt Smith has always been my favorite. Also, apparently, my favorite band was Jimmy Eat World.

No, I don’t know why either. Maybe I wanted to Bleed American?

I did find my high school diploma, my varsity letter, and all my important Eagle Scout things; the letters from all the politicians and my medals in the smooth velvet box were stuffed in the attic where they could have been damaged! I was such an idiot.

What I learned from perusing through my old things is that I have always been impressionable. Judging from my Christmas nostalgia, I guess some things never change.

Happy Holidays!

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Boston Sports Saviors?

Jacoby Ellsbury

The Red Sox have been perennial playoff contenders this decade—but they have mostly achieved this through buying and trading major league talent. Just like in the late ’80’s and most of the ’90’s, the Red Sox have traded most of their minor league talent for big league help. In the last few years we’ve traded Clay Meredyth, Hanley Ramirez, Anibal Sanchez, Matt Murton (probably only Ramirez doesn’t have a ceiling for his potential) for other talents, mostly rent-a-players. I think Murton was in the Nomar trade that got the Sox Orlando Cabrera. Ramirez and Sanchez landed us Beckett, etc. It may seem like the Sox only kept “sure thing” prospects over the years, like Clemens, Boggs, Vaughn, Nomar, Youklis, and Papelbon. But think about all other talent lost in dumb trades. Brady Anderson, Jeff Bagwell, David Eckstein, etc. I just wish Boston won’t squander this homegrown crop: Lester, maybe, or Craig Hansen, or Jacoby Ellsbury. Mortgaging their future so they can win today, much like the Celtics are doing now.

Ray Allen

The Celtics basically traded for a 32 year-old All Star coming off surgery on both his ankles. I’m not saying Ray Allen isn’t good, or that we didn’t get good value with the 35th pick. I’m saying that we spent too much for a 30+ player and a second round pick. Wally can shoot, not as well as Allen, per se, but he makes considerably less money. Then there’s Delonte, who led the second team—not to mention being a solid one-on-one defender, and bringing unity in the locker room. Basically, Ainge traded a high prospect, in Jeff Green, a budding player in West (who shouldn’t be a sub), and Wally (probaby a throw-in to make the salaries work, the Celts didn’t want to give up there co-captain Ratliff even though he’s coming off an injury. Wally’s coming off an injury too!) Theo Ratliff needs to prove that he can play a full season. Then another team will have the added benifit of a big man and an expiring contract, then the Celts will get maximum value. Plus, no other star is coming to Boston through a trade this summer, most likely. It’ll have to be during the season.

And if another deal gets done, trade Ratliff and Green. They are expendable. Jefferson isn’t. The Celtics added all this young talent. They should take a lesson from the old Red Sox teams that lost to the Yankees for so long.