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April 21, 2009

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    Column Archive

  • Re-Market-able Products That Weren't

  • The Drunken Uncle of Invention

  • Call It a Scare-cation

  • Economy Stripped Bare

  • What Are You Going to Do, Call the Cops?

  • Designer Babies-R-Us

  • Fishing Around

  • A Future in Damage Control

  • It Adds Up

  • Hair That Just Lies There

  • Keep Spending, Rich People

  • Four Super Bowl Party Super Rules

  • Vapor Rubbed the Wrong Way

  • Now Batting Cleanup, Barack Obama

  • Just Call Mii Lii

  • The Hits of 2008

  • Mincing it Up

  • Don't Mince Words, It's Exercise

  • High Flying Economy

  • The Ripe Stuff

  • Turkey Meals Done Dirt Cheap

  • Thar She Blows, Snot and All

  • Lights, Camera, Wicked Action

  • One Last Thing: Vote

  • Walk on the Wild Side

  • Carving Out a New Economy

  • One Less Windbag Politician

  • And Into the Homestretch They Go

  • Financial Crisis for Dummies

  • How Do I Love Thee? Let Me Text the Ways

  • When Particles Collide

  • Teeing Up More Parental Guilt

  • Daily Noodle Fix

  • Let's Go to the Replay

  • What the Candidates Did Over Summer Vacation

  • We Grow Up So Quickly

  • Olympic TV Ratings "Ad" Up

  • NASCAR in the Air

  • I survived a Japanese Game Show

  • If Guys Planned Weddings

  • Fill'er Up, Unleaded Pinot

  • Carlin Was a Standup Guy

  • Celtics Midnight Magic

  • Staying Cool

  • A Real Computer Virus

  • Miles per Smile

  • Taking Time Out for Celtics

  • Bowled over by Campaign

  • Mmmmm, Mmmmm, Ghrelin

  • Fescue Folly

  • You From Around Here?

  • Play Ball

  • Sick Day

  • Economic Plunge

  • Free Roger

  • Roll Over, Beatles

  • Naming Rights

  • Vacation Took Its Toll

  • Feeling Blu-(ray)

  • That Answer is...KABOOM!

  • Proud to be an American

  • Turn the Page

  • Super Duper Tuesday

  • We Have This Super Bowl Thing Down Pat

  • It's the Official Licensed Apparel, Stupid

  • Signs of Change

  • And They're Off!

  • This Was the Year That Wasn't

  • Santa, One Last Thing

  • Don't Get Bent Out of Shape

  • Mascots More than Giant, Grinning Faces

  • With Sports Drinks, I'm Colorblind

  • Lee's ThankChristmaYear Shopping Guide

  • Parade Around this Thanksgiving

  • King of the Airwaves

  • Can't Wait Until Next Year, Again!

  • Common Sense, R.I.P.

  • Digging the Past

  • Time We Get Tough with Celebrities

  • Goodnight, Sleep Tight

  • Don't Call Me, I'll Call You

  • The Outlaw Betty Perry

  • Bird Brain, But in a Good Way

  • Rock and Roll Heaven

  • Bend it Like T-Rex

  • Caution: Made in China

  • Cheaper by the Gross

  • Jaws Still has Teeth

  • Tapped Out

  • Into the Wild Blue Yonder

  • Rockin' the Vote, American Style

  • Idaho or Bust

  • iDiots Guide to the iPhone

  • Hot Diggity Dog

  • Thou Shall Not Pass on the Right

  • Life is a Hallway

  • Bob Barker, Come on Down

  • Good Vibrations

  • Mommy Oldest

  • Road Rage Survey Has Us Looking Up

  • M-I-C, K-E-Y, A-K-47

  • Living Like It's 1995

  • Space Invaders

  • Donny Osmond Has Soul (No, Really He Does)

  • Your Call Is Important to Us, Not

  • Are You Smarter Than These Contestants?

  • Feeling Buzzed About Opening Day

  • Noses Smell, Rotten Sneakers Stink

  • Easy Bike Rider

  • Quick Pick Ticket to Paradise

  • Talkin' 'bout the Me G-G-G-Generation

  • The Long Season, Democrat Style

  • Survivor: GOP

  • We Won't Get Fooled Again...Five Things We Fell For

  • Hasta La Vista

  • There's Always the Sound of Silence

  • Smart Cars an Unparalleled Driving Experience

  • What's Next, Rachael Ray in Oh-Eight?

  • It's Ten O'Clock, Do You Know Where Your Newscast Is?

  • Peering Into My 2007 Crystal Ball

  • Have a Happy (or is it Merry?) ThankChristmaYear

  • Pomegranates are the New Red Menace

  • O Shop All Ye Faithful

  • From Unababy to Teenager in 13 Short Years

  • Hunting the Elusive Holiday Parking Space

  • Latest Pilgrims Progress a Monumental Task

  • Ask Yourself, Punk, Deal...or No Deal?

  • What Would Yuppie Space Aliens Do?

  • Pig Pile on Any School that Bans Tag

  • Muscles Happy to Return to Desk Job

  • Check Your Codpiece at the Door

  • What, Another Democratic Moment Already?

  • iPod People Have Special Dance Maneuver

  • Selective Cloak of Invisibility

  • An Epidemic of Epidemics

  • Textbooks on Steroids

  • Picture This: Camera Phone Hurling

  • Hardware Stores Hard at Work Breaking Rules

  • Our Solar System: A Dirty Dozen?

  • Getting Ahead (Butt) in Today's Online Office

  • If You Can't Stand the Heat, Stay Near the A.C.

  • Drawn to it Like Fleas to a Dog

  • Swearing in the President

  • Summer's Here, And Being Bored is Easy

  • Back in the USSR, If Only in Our Dreams

  • World Cup Fever Only Mild Rash in U.S.

  • Weathering the Green Splotch of Dread

  • Students, Parents Bid Mr. White Adieu

  • Parents Brace Themselves for Braces

  • Clothes Call for Summer Wear

  • The Medium is the Message Board

  • Cruising Along the (Vinyl Covered) Miracle Mile

  • The Yin? It's In the Shed Behind the Yang

  • Tennis Anyone?

  • Born to be Wild in Aisle Five

  • Chinese Buffets Follow Laws of Physics

  • Rite of Spring: Goober Lawn Envy

  • Can You Hear Me Now? Too Bad

  • The Great Parental Challenge

  • Boltin' Johnny Has Gone Away

  • Remote Chance I'll Learn New TV Tricks

  • Kids Take Up Another Collection

  • Walking the Walk

  • Toast of the Town

  • Curling? I'll Stick to the Twelve-Ounce Variety

  • The Good, the Bad, and St. Valentine's Day

  • And Those Who Can't, Write Assembly Instruction Sheets

  • The Best of the Olympics is Heading Downhill

  • It Figures, Skating Will Suck Us In

  • Thermostat is the New Battle of the Sexes

  • Son's New Guitar Leads to Jamming...Earplugs into Ears

  • New Year's Resolution Solution

  • No Offense, But Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

  • A Generic Festive Carol, Fo Shizzle

  • New Parenting Trend: Commando Baby

  • Holiday Parties are a Balancing Act

  • Red Light, Green Light, But I Can't Go, Go, Go

  • Food for Thought

  • SquareBob SpongePants: Cultural Ambassador

  • The Wonderful World of XP-Land

  • But If Disco Returns, I Give Up

  • Rocky Finish for a Movie Sequel

  • Real Championships Are Won in June

  • Weighty Scientific Study Has Heft

  • Shutting the Door on the Energy Crisis

  • About Face

  • Attention Parents: It's Fundraising Catalogue Season

  • But, Seriously

  • Helpful Guide to Growing Up

  • Your Number's Up: Sudoku-Mania Sweeping Nation

  • School Supplies and Demand

  • Al Gore TV: Have It Your Way

  • Red Sox Nation Flight 2005 Ready for Playoff Approach

  • If I Buy a Car, Do I Get Two Weeks Vacation?

  • New Motto for Guys: Exfoliate This!

  • When Harry Met Da Vinci

  • Big Wheels Keep on Turning

  • Supreme Makeover of Court on Docket

  • Wide Universe of Sports: Wait Until Next Bleepmate

  • Trial (and Tribulations) by Jury

  • No Mocking This Reign of Terror

  • Future Shock Starting to Set In

  • Star Wars Fans Forced to Get a Life

  • Caution: Poignant Moment Ahead

  • Stop Monkeying Around with Evolution
  • Column from the Week of April 20, 2009

    Third Monday in April
    by Lee Ostaszewski

    Every year on the third Monday in April, called Patriots’ Day around here (everywhere else it’s known traditionally as “the third Monday in April”) we commemorate the beginning of the Revolutionary War and the famous “shot twittered ‘round the world.”

    On this day, people from all walks of life gather together in the pre-dawn hours on a quaint New England green in a quaint Massachusetts town to do what people around here have been doing for as long as anyone can remember: Running a marathon 26 miles into Boston.

    Meanwhile, another group gathers in Lexington, Mass. to watch a reenactment of the British march into that town more that two centuries ago and the ensuing skirmish that ensued when the patriots, fed up with being woken up so early by the British, especially on a holiday morning when they could sleep in, fought back.

    The reenactment would be incomplete were not every third spectator, including infants, drinking a specialty coffee purchased on their drive over. After the minutemen and British reenactors finish skirmishing, the spectators then descend, like over-caffeinated vultures, on the traditional pancake breakfast; the same way our forefathers descended on the traditional pancake breakfast that fateful morning in 1775.

    As for the Boston Marathon, this is my 20th year living in Massachusetts, and I can proudly say that, while it wasn’t always easy and there have been many sacrifices and close calls along the way, I have managed not to run in it a single time. I have a perfect 0 and 20 marathon record.

    God willing, I will live long enough to see 0 and 60. I am the Opposite Johnny Kelley. He was the consummate marathoner, having run Boston a record 61 times before being forced into retirement by his death in 2004. When someone moves to this area, Kelley is one of those local legends they teach you about in New England citizenship classes, along with how to work the word wicked into a proper sentence, what ordering a regular coffee means, and why the eggs around here are brown but the cheese is white.

    When I say it was difficult not running in a Boston Marathon for 20 consecutive years, I don’t mean to make it sound as if it was the hardest thing to do. For instance, actually running the Boston Marathon is probably much harder. For one thing, there is more training involved, and then comes the part when you physically run 26 miles.

    But I will tell you it is hard for someone like me who once upon a time did run long distance on purpose, as a form of exercise, not to have this faint voice in the back of my head say, “Meladfmlafp.” Then I ask the voice to speak up, because I can’t make out what it is saying on account of it being faint and way in the back of my head behind my cerebellum.

    Any way, the faint voice then moves up closer to just behind my eyeballs and says clearly, “We should run the Boston Marathon. It would be awesome. We can so totally do this.”

    Then I realize that the voice is the part of my brain that still thinks I am 19 years old. It is the same voice that convinces adults my age to try snowboarding for the first time, or attend a Cold Play concert instead of the concert of a mega group from the 1970s, whose members are all in their 60s now and whose 19-year-old voices told them they could go back on tour: “It would be awesome. We can so totally do this.”

    Not that our 19-year-old voice is always wrong. Some middle-aged people enjoy Cold Play concerts and don’t kill themselves snowboarding. And running a marathon might take rigorous training and be a struggle, but many people my age and older do it and seem to love the experience and the sense of accomplishment it provides. Also, most run for a charity and feel it is really a worthwhile event to participate in.

    See what I mean? It won’t be easy going another 40 years without running in one. But I’m determined to see it through, mostly watching it from my sofa every Patriots’ Day. Or as we fondly called the day in Arizona: the third Monday in April.


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