April 2012


In between streaming the first 8 episodes of Wish Me Luck, I have been renting the 5-disc set of Tom Hanks’ epic series From the Earth to the Moon.  The series came out in 1998, and I honestly cannot remember why I never saw it before.  I will say that, as someone who was alive on July 20, 1969, it is a series I have always wanted to watch, but I somehow never got around to it.  Well, as they say, better late than never.

From the Earth to the Moon is a 5-disc set with 12 episodes plus a disc with bonus features, including a “making-of” featuring many of the actors and crew from the series.  It is, in a word, outstanding.  Some of the cast members are familiar (Tom Hanks, Peter Scolari, Tim Daly and Elizabeth Perkins, to name but a few), but the majority are people I have either never seen before or who are not instantly recognizable.  And that’s OK.  In fact, I really like it when movies based on real events have actors I don’t know because the actor’s persona doesn’t get in the way of the character he or she is playing.  I know this isn’t always possible to do, but I do appreciate it.

The stories aren’t always told in a linear fashion.  For example, one of the later episodes deals solely with the wives of the astronauts, and the episode shows us their perspective on events that have already been covered in other episodes.  So we see the Apollo 1 tragedy twice — once from the perspective from NASA and its employees, and then we see it again from the perspective of Marilyn Lovell, who was with Gus Grissom’s wife when she learned that her husband had died in the fire.  Another episode focuses on the lessons in geology that the astronauts received later on in the Apollo program. One episode is entirely from Alan Bean’s (Apollo 12) perspective.  It sounds rather hodge-podge, but it really works.

The bonus disc is also worth watching.  We get to see some of the real astronauts interacting with the men who played them.  We get to see how they recreated the scenes on the Moon.  This was a well-made, compelling series, and I cannot recommend it highly enough.

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The MLB Mets won their umpteenth Opening Day game yesterday. It was a 1-0 nailbiter against the Braves.  Johan was, for the most part, outstanding, but the offense is already in mid-season form.  They left the population of a small town on the bases, and only David Wright came up with a clutch hit to drive in the only run of the day.

The pre-game featured Ralph Kiner announcing the Mets’ starting lineup, and I got teary-eyed.  It got worse when I heard about Gary Carter’s family throwing out first pitches to Carter’s 1986 teammates.  Here is an article from Mets.com about the pre-game ceremonies, along with a couple of video clips.  I still say his number should be retired.

The FSL Mets lost their Opening Day game to the Bradenton Marauders.  This was a 3-2 nailbiter and went 11 innings.  Dad, KC and I were there, as part of an announced crowd of 4,000+/-.  I don’t believe that number for a minute, but it was a pretty good crowd just the same.  There were fireworks after the game, but we left in the 10th inning because some of us have to work today.  We were not alone.

Both teams made errors early on, and were lucky that these errors did not cost them any runs.  There were also some stellar plays in the field that prevented other runs from scoring.  It was a beautiful night, despite a few drops here and there, and I look forward to many more over the course of the season.

Mets box here.

PSL Mets box here.

Last year, I wrote about my evening at McKechnie Field as a participant in the Pirates’ Baseball Basics for Women.  This year’s camp was held on March 29, and I participated again.

I’m not going to bother giving a full account of the experience, because one of the campers provided a wonderful account of our evening of baseball in the Bradenton Herald.  The Marauders posted a video of the evening’s activities at YouTube,  and they also published pictures of the event at their Facebook page.  But I will say that I had a great time, and I look forward to the 2013 edition.

One last thing — the Marauders’ 2012 season starts Thursday…against the St Lucie Mets.  The Mets are in town for 2 games.  Game 2 is on Friday, and AJ Burnett will make a rehab start against the Mets — the team that originally drafted him.  He was traded away to the Marlins (in exchange for Al Leiter, who became one of my all-time favorite Mets) and never played for St Lucie, but he was indeed a member of the Mets’ organization for the first couple of seasons of his professional career.