Friday, June 29, 2018

Macie Tuell Visits Section 36!

Section 36 has another visitor! Macie Tuell is a violinist, a diehard Dodgers fan, and the current Miss Lake Tahoe. She is currently
gearing up for the Miss Nevada competition on Sunday. In fact, she
was gracious enough to answer some questions after one of the rehersals for the event! I’m thrilled that she generously took time out of her busy schedule to discuss those topics, and a few more. I’m sure you’ll enjoy reading everything she had to say!

So, let’s see what happens when Macie Tuell visits Section 36!

How did you celebrate being crowned Miss Lake Tahoe?
I had my favorite guilty pleasure food: chicken quesadillas from Taco Bell. 

What aspect of the upcoming Miss Nevada competition are you most looking forward to?
I'm looking forward most to interview. I've always loved making connections and learning other people's stories. People won't always remember what you said, but they will remember how you made them feel. I love leaving an impression.

You recently went to Connecticut to join other local titleholders for a golf tournament. What was it like to travel across the country for an appearance?
It was the experience of a lifetime! I got to finally meet one of my good friends Miss Tolland County, Gina Salvatore and her family. Meeting Miss America and all of the other girls from Connecticut made me have a deeper appreciation for the sisterhood. They took me in and were just as excited to have me there as I was to be there. 

How did you select your platform, Memories Matter: Alzheimer's and Dementia Awareness?
It wasn't something I planned on advocating for, until I started
working at a nursing home. I worked one on one with Alzheimer's patients, where I quickly created bonds with all my residents. They became my second family. It killed me inside to see them suffer from a horrible disease. I knew I never wanted to see another person I cared for go through that. I began to work with three different nonprofits, The Perry Foundation, Alzheimer's Association, and The Youth Movement Against Alzheimer's. 

As a talented violinist, what is it like to play on stage?
I've been classically training as a violinist for 16 years. I've performed fiddle songs as well as even Michael Jackson covers, but nothing makes me happier than performing classical pieces. This year I'll be performing Czardas by Vittorio Monti. 

What is your personal fitness routine?
I love weight training. I've always been a petite person so gaining muscle is my biggest goal in the gym. Adding in yoga and occasional Zumba classes with healthy eating rounds out my fitness routine. 

How did Miss Lake Tahoe end up a LA Dodgers fan?
I grew up a competitive softball player so baseball is my favorite
sport. On my mom’s side of the family we have a cousin who was a player for the Dodgers in the 1980's. The beginning to our Dodger family fandom was born! Also, who doesn't love that Dodger blue?

Dave Roberts never has to buy a drink in Boston again following his Steal in 2004. After leading the Dodgers to the World Series last season, how are Dodgers fans liking him this season?
To be completely honestly I haven't heard enough to give an educated answer on behalf of all Dodger fans! Pageants have kept me quite busy and away from baseball news.

Who will have the better 2018 season, the Red Sox or Dodgers?
Dodgers all the way baby. 


I guess we’ll just see about that!

As always, I want to give huge thanks to Macie for doing this interview, especially since she has so much going on right. I also want to thank her for providing the pictures to accompany the interview. They always make interviews a lot more fun to read.

As Macie continues her time as Miss Lake Tahoe, I encourage you to follow her on the official Miss Lake Tahoe Facebook page. 

I also want to wish Macie luck this Sunday as she competes for the Miss Nevada crown! As the first visitor from Nevada, she’s the first chance for a member of the Section 36 family to take home that crown. How incredible would that be?

Thanks again Macie, and good luck!

Thursday, June 28, 2018

36 Pack Wax Match: Pack 23

The Stage has been set. The Match is underway. Who will come out on top? There’s only one way to find out.

Keep going, and open that twenty-third pack!

As we dive into this pack, 1990 extended its lead following a victory in pack twenty-two! Can it once again extend its lead? Let's see!

Yankees -2
 Well, not the world's best start. Not exactly the world's best Yankee either...if such a thing existed.

Red Sox +2
 Well, right back to even. I know it's just a checklist, and the back of a checklist at that. But, there's still a Red Sox logo in the corner.

Red Sox +2
Boom. The big rookie of 1988 among a host of great Red Sox rookies that year. If I had pulled this from a pack all those years ago, I would have been thrilled.

And that's where the scoring ends, with two points for 1988. How will 1990 do?

Red Sox +2
The 1990 pack jumps right out with a two pointer. Have i mentioned how much I like the red border with the Red Sox uniform? Oh, I have? Every single time? Ok then...I like how Gedman is looking off towards the green monster. Wonder if he reached it.

Yankees -2
And the pack loses those two points. Boggs was better.

And that's where the scoring ends! 1988 starts to close the gap again with a victory!

Box Bottom: 1988 +1 (1-0)
Pack 1:  1990 +6 (1-1)
Pack 2:  1990 +4 (2-1)
Pack 3:  1988 +3 (2-2)
Pack 4:  1990 +1 (3-2)
Pack 5:  1990 +1 (4-2)
Pack 6:  1988 +2 (3-4)
Pack 7:  1988 +3 (4-4)
Pack 8:  TIE   +0 (4-4)
Pack 9:  1990 +2 (5-4)
Pack 10: 1990 +4 (6-4)
Pack 11: 1990 +4 (7-4)
Pack 12: 1990 +1 (8-4)
Pack 13: 1990 +5 (9-4)
Pack 14: 1988 +3 (5-9)
Pack 15: 1988 +2 (6-9)
Pack 16: 1988 +3 (7-9)
Pack 17: 1990 +3 (10-7)
Pack 18: 1988 +2 (8-10)
Pack 19: 1988 +3 (9-10)
Pack 20: 1990 +2 (11-9)
Pack 21: TIE   +0 (11-9)
Pack 22: 1990 +2 (12-9)
Pack 23: 1988 +2 (10-12)

What will happen next time?

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Red Sox Magic Number Still at 86!

When the Red Sox start their series against the Angels tonight, they will do so as the team with the most wins in the league. Amazingly, they will also start the game a half game behind the Yankees for the division lead. (Math is awesome, isn’t it?) This has made some people lose sight as to just how good this team has been. I’m not sure when that realization will come, but I hope it’s soon.

I say this a lot, but people sometimes don’t understand what it means to be a good team. They also tend to fall prey to the “grass is always greener” mentality. I don’t know if the Patriots are messing with people’s heads. Do they see the pats going 15-1 or even 13-3 and assume that’s what good teams do? Win 13 out of every 16 games? Because that’s just not realistic over a season. To be honest, I’m not sure why. I can only assume that the number of games in a season spread out like they are allow the cream to rise to the top more than in other sports? Take, for instance, a 10-6 Patriots season. That’s a .625 winning percentage. In baseball, that would win you 101 games and be close to the best record in baseball. In basketball, that’s a 51 win season which ranks you near the top of the league. In football, that might not make the playoffs. A 13-3 Patriots season? The Red Sox would go 132-30 if they won games at that clip. So, we need to stop thinking about the Red Sox in football terms. Going 5-5 over their last ten is not a sign that their weaknesses are showing. It’s just a sign that baseball is hard, and teams don’t go 8-2 over every individual 10 game stretch. 

The grass is greener problem comes when fans start comparing the Sox to other teams. The “good” teams. Every time the Red Sox lose a game, we’re told that if they want to beat “good’ teams, they can’t do this, or do that. Good teams, apparently, have no flaws and are consistently better than not good teams. But, the Yankees are leading the division and just went 5-5 over their last ten. They had the Rays, of all teams, beat them with a walk-off win. Houston has as many wins as the Sox, but are now 7-3 in their last ten coming off a huge winning streak. The Sox? Right in the middle with their 6-4 stretch. So, see? All good teams have bleh periods. Sometimes everything doesn’t click. Or, your number five starter gives up ten runs. Or one of the bullpen arms has an off night.

It doesn’t mean the team has a fatal flaw. It doesn’t mean that the team needs to desperately improve at the deadline. It just means that sometimes things happen. 

And sometimes you don’t like them.

Friday, June 22, 2018

Chrissy Sardano Visits Section 36!

Section 36 has another visitor! Chrissy Sardano is a violinist, a Red Sox fan, and the current Miss Freedom Trail. Right now she's
gearing up for the Miss Massachusetts competition next week. I’m so flattered that she was willing to take the time to talk about those topics, and a few more. I'm sure you’ll love reading everything she had to say!

So, let’s see what happens when Chrissy Sardano visits Section 36!

How did you celebrate being crowned Miss Freedom Trail?
I celebrated with my family and of course a great last cheat meal of mac and cheese. I didn’t have a lot of time to celebrate because the night that I won I had to rush back to Boston to study for a Capstone oral defense
project for BU the next morning--so my “obligatory sleeping crown photo” was of me wearing my crown, sitting at my laptop while pulling an all-nighter.

What did you learn at the Miss Freedom Trail competition that will help you at Miss Massachusetts?
The best thing I have learned from competing is to be proud of everything that you present and to enjoy the experience-- every moment of it. I remember coming out of the interview room at the Miss Freedom Trail competition feeling that regardless of whatever would happen later that evening that I already felt accomplished
since I was able to show the judges who I was as a person. In my winning interview, I was able to talk about every aspect of what makes me, me. I was able to talk about my passions, values, hobbies, and all other facets of my personality. Creating that connection with the judges is a feeling that is so necessary to bring to the interview room at Miss Massachusetts. After all, the state titleholder must be able to walk into a room and instantly connect with those surrounding her.

Is there a specific goal you’d like to accomplish during your time as Miss Freedom Trail?
I would like to continue raising money for Boston Children’s
Hospital, hopefully surpassing my own personal fundraising goal. As a MAO titleholder, we raise funds for the local CMN hospitals through the Miss America for Kids fundraising partnership. Learning that Boston Children's can apply the raised funds to wherever is most needed whether that be for medical equipment, or for art supplies for the patients, is the most rewarding part.  

How did you select your platform, “Peer2Peer: Creating Positive Interactions in Schools”?
As a titleholder I wanted to form my platform around something that I had a personal connection with and something that I could advocate for. I experienced severe verbal, emotional, and physical bullying, in addition to alienation and discrimination throughout
my years in middle and high school. I was bullied over the things that make me unique. I have been bullied on my physical characteristics such as my very petite hands and the distinct way I walk down the stairs, to my religion and my cultural heritage... and everything in between. I know first hand how debilitating it is to experience this as a developing child/ young adult, and the effect it has on self-identity and confidence. It is especially detrimental when the bullying manifests as “silent bullying,” which I define as discrimination, isolation, alienation, and cyber-bullying. Unfortunately, bullying statistics are exponentially increasing with time. And along with these bullying incidents, the rates of poor mental health, self-harm, and suicide are following suit. It is important to tackle bullying at a young age when children are impressionable and are developing their personalities and morals. If not ended early in life, the cycle of bullying just continues and manifests in other ways in adulthood. Grown child bullies are more likely to bully their work peers, cause unhealthy and abusive relationships, and end up teaching and passing down their bad traits of bullying to their own children. I created this platform because I want to be the voice for those who have been silenced by silent bullying. I plan to use my ability to fundraise for bullying prevention and victim coping organizations, to share my personal story of overcoming obstacles through finding positive creative outlets, and to encourage the acceptance of diversity in our peers.    

As a talented violinist, what are your favorite types of songs to play?
Thank you! I have been playing the violin since I was six years old and I have been trained in many different genres. I actually began as a classically trained violinist, but I am well-versed in  pop, bluegrass, jazz, Celtic fiddling, rock, broadway show tunes, and everything in between. I enjoy Celtic fiddling the most, and chose this style for my talent because of it’s danceable, joyful nature-- it’s also impossible to not smile while listening to it! Something interesting that I am bringing to the  Miss Massachusetts stage is the arrangement of my talent piece. It is a traditional Irish folk medley that I am combining with technology (a loop pedal) and a little vocal percussion/beatboxing to give it a new modern twist. 

What is your personal fitness routine?
I strive to swim at least a mile everyday. From a very young age I
had adopted the nickname “otter” because I have always been naturally drawn to water (and I love the backstroke). In addition, I was also recently introduced to HIIT- high intensity interval training and strength training which I have found a new love for, mainly because it was something I never thought I would be able to do. I enjoy it because it pushes me past any physical limits that I believed I may have. It is always a surprise to me to learn how strong you can be when you put your mind to things— a great example would be last night when I accomplished 100 lbs on the leg press. 

Who is your favorite current Red Sox player? Why?
Andrew Benintendi-- he seems to be the fan favorite and I think he’ll be able to accomplish a lot this season. 

If you had an extra ticket to Section 36, who would you bring with you to watch the Red Sox play?
I would love to bring one of my friends that lives out of the state so that they can take part in the Boston Red Sox experience. 

How do you think the Red Sox will finish the 2018 season?
I have full faith that the Red Sox will go all the way to the World Series!!


Glad she has the faith!

As usual, I want to give huge thanks to Chrissy for agreeing to do this interview, especially since we were so close to Miss MA. I also want to thank her for providing so many wonderful pictures to accompany the interview. The pictures really do make the post!

As Chrissy continues her time as Miss Freedom Trail, I encourage you to follow her on the official Miss Freedom Trail Facebook page. You should also strongly consider making a donation on her personal Children's Miracle Network donation page. And, if you're ever in Boston on a nice day, might I suggest you walk the actual Freedom Trail. It's a wonderful walk through time!

I also want to wish Chrissy luck next week as she competes for the
Miss Massachusetts crown! There will be an incredible number of visitors to Section 36 joining her on stage for the competition. It’d be wonderful to once again have a prior visitor to Section 36 take home that title! 

Thanks again Chrissy, and good luck!

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Great Gear for Great Summer Weather!

I know what you're thinking! It's Summer! Schools are (mostly) out. The beaches are crowded. The parks are mobbed with joggers. People are outside enjoying the weather! But, there's one big question left.

What on earth are you going to wear while you're enjoying the outside?

Lucky for you, the Section 36 store can help you! As it happens, the store is in the midst of a sale! You can take advantage of the opportunity to stock up on wonderful gear you can wear all summer long!

So, head over right now and select something that you like. But, don't delay. The sale only runs through Sunday! That's right only a few days before prices go back to their regular levels.

And, as always, when you do get an item, send me a picture wearing it for me to share with the world! The blogFacebook, and even Instagram!

Like Kylee did to show off her amazing new tank top.

This tank is 27% off!

Or Holly did with her cozy new hoodie.

This hoodie is 21% off!

Or Nicolette did with her great t-shirt!

This t-shirt is 30% off!

But, first you need to buy something you like. There's a lot to choose from.

What will you get?

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

The Topps Monopoly

There has been some smoke in recent days about the possibility that Topps and MLB have extended their exclusive arrangement past the expected 2020 expiration date. That would continue to allow Topps to exclusively produce baseball cards with Major League Baseball logos. 

While many are calling this a monopoly, it's not really. Any company can produce baseball cards. The others just can't use the MLB logos. But, that's really just semantics when it comes to the real arguement.

Is this good for the hobby?

Some will say it's a matter of whether or not you happen to like Topps products. Just like the best form of government is a well run dictatorship, the best hobby is probably controlled by a single well run company. The reason people view those things as negatives is that you never know if the dictator/company is going to be a good one, or if you can even agree what that would look like. I'm guessing if you were guaranteed King Arthur would be King of England, and you'd never get a Prince John, most people would think that's a good thing. So if you're like me and always favored the Topps brands, you're probably excited about this possibility. If you don't happen to like the Topps brands...what exactly are you looking for? One of the reasons I collected Topps is that they had a little bit of everything. They had/have low end brands like Opening Day and Bunt. They have their flagship set. They have retro sets like Heritage and Archives. They have high end sets like Stadium Club and Finest. They even have some ridiculously high end sets if you have too much money. So, if there isn't something that falls into your niche...maybe you need a new niche? Sure, maybe another company would happen to hit on a design you enjoy. But, they're also likely to make garbage. Remember, the reason MLB went to the exclusive license in the first place is that so many companies were making so many sets that people couldn't keep up. Companies were slinging out products whenever they could, and the products were terrible. MLB had to put a stop to it.

In addition to a perceived lack of variety, people seem to think Topps needs the threat of competition to improve its product. Like Topps is just printing out whatever they come up with assuming people will buy it because there's no other choice. It's like they think Topps fired all its editors because, who cares if there are typos...they're the only game in town. But, I'm fairly certain companies made errors when there was competition. Lots of them. Topps still knows that if the product is terrible, people won't buy it. 

People also complain that Topps needs competition to drive to to new creative heights. Again, the theory is that Topps churns out the same boring, easy stuff over and over because nothing is stopping them. But, look at the designs from the last nine years. 

Are they particularly similar? Especially with 2015 thrown in there. ..a set almost nobody was happy with. What exactly would competition have changed? If there was another company making cards, would Topps have put the player's name at the top of the card once or twice? Is that what you're looking for? Is that what competition would bring? Because, again, there is in fact competition. They just don't put logos on their product. So, if Panini was putting out great cards with great designs, wouldn't people be buying lots of them? Wouldn't Topps see that loss of revenue? 

If MLB did, in fact, extend their deal with Topps, it means they're happy with the Topps products. Are there hits? Yes. Are there misses? Sure. But, how is flooding the market with products that have previously been inferior a way to make things better?

Other than your specific tastes, what should Topps be doing to make you happy?

Monday, June 18, 2018

Seattle's Good Though, Right?

I mean, people have to start believing in the Red Sox, right?

When the Sox got off to a fast start, people pointed to the teams they had been playing. You couldn't trust the record, because they hadn't played any good teams.

Then, they stomped on the Yankees. The excuse became, it's just the one good series. Wait until they play another good team. Of course, the way MLB is these days, it took a while for the Sox to face another good team. They split a series in Houston. Good enough? 

Not quite. The Sox then struggled a bit against some crummy teams. Of course, this wasn't considered a bump in the road. It was considered a return to the "norm". 

It was getting silly.

But, now the Sox just split a series in Seattle, against a previously streaking team with as many wins as the Yankees. 

It's time to think they're for real by now, right?

We're almost halfway through the season. The Red Sox have played good teams. They've played bad teams. They've played mediocre teams. I'm assuming half a season is a pretty representative sample size.

Do they win every game? No. Do they score every game? No. Do they lose to good teams? Yes. Do they lose to bad teams? Yes. Does every team in baseball do that? Yes. Have they scored lots of runs? Yes. Have they won lots of games? Yes. The most in baseball.

Here are the Red Sox current team rankings in MLB:

Wins - 1
Runs - 2
HR - 2
OPS - 2
ERA - 4

I'm not really sure what more we can ask from a team.

Especially halfway through a season.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Megan Sylvia Visits Section 36!

Section 36 has another visitor! Megan Sylvia is a lacrosse player, a Red Sox fan, and the current Miss South Coast. Right now she's in
the home stretch as we get closer to the Miss Massachusetts competition. I’m so excited that she was willing to take the time out of her schedule to talk about those topics, and a few more. I bet you’ll enjoy reading everything she had to say!

So, let’s see what happens when Megan Sylvia visits Section 36!

How did you celebrate being crowned Miss South Coast?
After the competition my heart was completely filled with gratitude and humility! I was so honored, I still am so honored, to represent the South Coast. That feeling of excitement and electric energy right after the crown was placed on my head still hasn’t worn off. I celebrated by heading out to dinner with my closest friends and family. And I chowed down on a huge dish of cheese ravioli!

What aspect of the upcoming Miss Massachusetts pageant are you most nervous about?
As an athlete I focus a lot on what my body can do, and not so much what it looks like. I push myself daily in the gym to to gain skills that will help me be the best person and lacrosse player I can be, and I’m confident in skills pertaining to strength and agility. But, showcasing my fitness by strutting confidently in a swimsuit is something I haven’t quite mastered just yet! The swim category of competition scares me the most! However, after it’s over I feel fantastic and super confident, it gives me such a rush of adrenaline. But, the nerves leading up to that moment are real!

You’re a member of the Bridgewater State lacrosse team. What is that experience like, especially balancing it with your duties as Miss South Coast?
I love lacrosse, and I feel truly blessed to call myself a Bridgewater
State Bear. I definitely feel most at home and most confident on the field, it’s my favorite place to be. Lacrosse is truly apart of me, and I plan on coaching after I graduate college and continuing my love affair with this game for as long as I am able to do so. My teammates are so supportive of my endeavors on and off of the field. I feel so blessed to be apart of a program where we truly are a family. And I’m so lucky to play the game I love with people I love just as much. My Balancing school work with my duties as and athlete and title holder gets a little hectic at times, but it’s worth every second to be able to partake in two things I’m so passionate about while I obtain an education.

How did you select your platform, “Learning Begins with Literacy”?
My mother is a brilliant educator. She taught for about 20 years before making the transition into administration. She works in an urban school where 80% of her students are living in poverty. She’s very passionate about education, and literacy. And she’s always made sure I know just how valuable my education is. By volunteering at her school, I have seen first hand that the students entering pre-school or Kindergarten are behind the eight ball. It’s important to get them exposed to as much text as possible.  I felt that if I focused on literacy I could help give them a push in the right direction.

As a talented singer, which types of songs are your favorite to perform on stage?
As a performer I really feed off of the audience. I like to sing Pop
Music because its usually really well known. By singing Pop songs I increase my chances of getting the audience to join in, and everyone loves a sing along!

You’re currently majoring in criminal justice. Where do you see that degree taking you?
I’d like to attend Police Academy after graduation, and I hope to eventually find my way into a K-9 department as a K-9 officer. It’ll be a lot of hard work, but so worth it.

Which feature/aspect of Fenway Park would you most like to experience?
I’ve always wanted to sing the National Anthem before a Red Sox game. I LOVE baseball, and I’ve always loved the Sox. It would be such an amazing experience!

Which young Red Sox player are you most excited about? Why?
The young Red Sox player I am most excited about at the moment is Mookie Betts. He has all the makings of a true superstar both on and off the field. Right now he’s one of the best hitters in the game and he’s only getting better. He has already been an MVP candidate and I’m confident he’ll continue to perform at this high level and make Boston proud! He’s a great hitter, a gold glove fielder, and he has some of the best cleats in the game haha

How do you think the Red Sox will finish the 2018 season?
I really feel that the Red Sox have all the makings of a
championship contender. Their pitching is top notch and their roster is filled with a great mix of winning veterans and fresh young talent. If their pitching holds up they have a great shot at winning the Pennant and maybe even the World Series. If Sale, Porcello, and Price can all find their groove and pitch to their full potential at the same time the World Series could be over very quickly!


That makes sense to me!

As always, I want to give huge thanks to Megan for doing this interview, especially as we get closer to Miss MA. I also want to thank her for providing so many amazing pictures to accompany the interview. The went along perfectly with the interview.

As Megan continues her time as Miss South Coast, I encourage you to follow her on the official Miss South Coast Facebook page. 

I also want to wish Megan luck this month as she competes for the Miss Massachusetts crown! I'm so flattered by the number of visitors to Section 36 who will be joining her on stage for the competition. It’d be fantastic to once again have a prior visitor to Section 36 take home that title! 

Thanks again Megan, and good luck!

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