10 November 2005

till Thanksgiving

Here is my last post till Turkey Day!! I'm taking a break from bloggage for now but am looking forward to emails.

Im so busy with family, events, school, birthdays and subsequent parties, housecleaning, shopping, chores, kids, holidays and plain ole' exhaustion. I'll still check my email.

So, Ciao Bella, for now! Have a super holiday, be thankful! and will see ya on the other side of the turkey platter.

Until, then, I have my favorite Dave Barry Thanksgiving column to leave with you. I clipped this out of the paper years ago....

Turkey Day by Dave Barry

Originally published Nov. 13, 1998.

So this year, you agreed to host the big family Thanksgiving dinner. Congratulations! You moron!

No, seriously, hosting Thanksgiving dinner does NOT have to be traumatic. The key is planning. For example, every year my family spends Thanksgiving at the home of a friend named Arlene Reidy, who prepares dinner for a huge number of people. I can't give an exact figure, because my eyeballs become fogged with gravy. But I'm pretty sure that Arlene is feeding several branches of the armed forces.

And Arlene is not slapping just any old food on the table, either. She's a gourmet cook who can make anything. I bet she has a recipe for cold fusion. She serves moist, tender turkeys the size of Arnold Schwarzenegger, accompanied by a vast array of exotic hors d'oeuvres and 350 kinds of sweet potatoes made from scratch. I'm pretty sure Arlene threshes her own wheat.

If you were to look into Arlene's dining room at the end of Thanksgiving dinner, it would at first appear to be empty. Then you'd hear groans and burps coming from under the table, and you'd realize that the guests, no longer able to cope with the food and gravity at the same time, were lying on the floor. Every now and then you'd see a hand snake up over the edge of the table, grab a handful of stuffing, then dart back under the table again, after which you'd hear chewing, then swallowing, then the sound of digestive organs rupturing. Some guests have to be rushed by ambulance to the hospital, receiving pumpkin pie intravenously en route.

The question is: How is Arlene able to prepare such an amazing feast for so many people? The answer is simple: I have no idea. I'm always watching football when it happens. But my point is that, if you want to provide your Thanksgiving guests with a delicious home-cooked meal, one approach would be to go to Arlene's house and steal some of her food when she's busy churning the butter. She'd never notice. She has enough leftovers to make turkey sandwiches for everybody in Belgium.

If you prefer to do your own cooking this Thanksgiving, your first step is to calculate how much turkey you need. Home economists tell us that the average 155-pound person consumes 1.5 pounds of turkey, so if you're planning to have 14 relatives for dinner, you'd simply multiply 14 times 1.5 times 155, which means your turkey should weigh, let's see, carry the two ... 3,255 pounds. If you can't find a turkey that size, you should call up selected relatives and explain to them, in a sensitive and diplomatic manner, that they can't come because they weigh too much.

In selecting a turkey, remember that the fresher it is, the better it will taste. That's why, if you go into the kitchen of top professional homemaker Martha Stewart on Thanksgiving morning, you'll find her whacking a live turkey with a hatchet. In fact, you'll find Martha doing this every morning.

"It just relaxes me," she reports.

Your other option is to get a frozen turkey at the supermarket. The Turkey Manufacturers Association recommends that, before you purchase a frozen bird, you check it for firmness by test-dropping it on the supermarket floor -- it should bounce three vertical inches per pound -- and then take a core sample of the breast by drilling into it with a 3/8-inch masonry bit until you strike the giblets. If supermarket employees attempt to question you, the Turkey Manufacturers Association recommends that you "gesture at them with the drill in a reassuring manner."

When you get the turkey home, you should thaw it completely by letting it sit on a standard kitchen counter at room temperature for one-half of the turkey's weight in hours, or roughly 19 weeks. "If you see spiders nesting in your turkey," states the Turkey Manufacturers Association, "you waited too long."

Once the turkey is defrosted, you simply cook it in a standard household oven at 138.4 degrees centimeter for 27 minutes per pound (29 minutes for married taxpayers filing jointly). Add four minutes for each 100 feet of your home's elevation above sea level, which you should determine using a standard household sextant. Inspect the turkey regularly as it cooks; when you notice that the skin has started to blister, the time has come for you to give your guests the message they've been eagerly awaiting: "Run!" Because you left the plastic wrapper on the turkey, and it's about to explode, spewing out flaming salmonella units at the speed of sound.

As you stand outside waiting for the fire trucks, you should take a moment to count your blessings. The main one, of course, is that you will definitely NOT be asked to host the big family Thanksgiving dinner next year. But it's also important to remember -- as our Pilgrim fore parents remembered on the very first Thanksgiving -- that two excellent names for rock bands would be "The Turkey Spiders" and "The Flaming Salmonella Units."

08 November 2005

the bright side of life

I've been working on staying positive. I do have a tendency to look on the dark side and I'm not talking about weilding a light saber either. I have promised myself to look on the bright side of life even though I find sick comfort in making fun of the negative. Its sooo much fun!

So with that I will blog on something postive and beautiful.

Sunshine..after the car is washed. Rhubarb pie, heated, a la mode. Ace-ing a final exam...without studying. Crisp fall days..with no yard work to do. The beach on a blanket...with your spouse at sunset. Big fat snowflakes..on Christmas day. 10 less lbs on the scale..after your birthday (cake). Sleeping kids..after buying your favorite movie. Winning the lottery...twice. Tax returns finished... and they owe you. Having your spouse check you out from across the room...then leaving together soon after. Stoping to help someone with a flat in the rain...and finding out it's your boss. Gorgeous flowers coming up in your yard...and you didn't plant them.
Taking a photo of flowers...and placing it on your own blog. (yes, I took that!)

See that didn't hurt.

06 November 2005

Bah humbug!

I'm just going to get this puppy out of the way to leave room in November and December for Christmas spirit. Lights on the tree, buying gifts for a family in need, Frank Sinatra on in the CD player and roasting chestnuts by the fire.

Maybe not the nut roasting part because who do you know that still roasts chestnuts anyway? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

I have a love-hate thing going on with holidays. It's my favorite time of year, time for family, giving, sharing the spirit of Christmas. This time of year also manages to bring out the Grinch in me. I have to bring up some of my holiday 'Favorite Things'. (oh, pipe down, Oprah)

Bundling up with hats, coats and sweaters, dressed in layers and topped with winter scarves to head out to the store and shop.
Taming hat hair, spending shopping money at the pump on the way there. No parking within a football field of the mall even if you're going in just to get friggin' diapers.

Sipping a concoction of the most delectable mix of spice, pumpkin, coffee and cream from a busy Star$ while watching people shop and bustle about in downtown's Pioneer Square.
You do know this delight, as someone once said, also has crack as the secret ingredient. This is the real reason I end up forking over 4 bucks for this irresistible diddy while watching dim bulbs spend their mortgages on their kids. You see these shoppers would prefer to keep up with the Jones' Christmas spending habits than keep the power on at their house or instead sponsor a family that year. And they don't even like the Jones'. The Griswald's would be proud.

Family dinners filled with good food, Christmas music and talk about the kids, cousins, aunts and uncles and don't forget the grandkids.
Talking to immediate family (okay, not bad) that I haven't seen for a year, to the day, while trying to get my toddler to sit down to eat in a less than child-proofed house and listening to...oh, lord help us, Mannheim Steamroller so many times that it encourages self-inflicted gunshot wounds to the head. Hubby asks 1.4 million times if we can go now. Okay, good food though.

Cute Christmas Plays at Church.
Now I'm going to get reamed for this but PULEEZ! I
understand that many need the message of salvation, the manger depiction, etc....... I won't fight on that point. People need that!

I do, however, complain to being subjected to 2 hours of kids wiggling in their seats if they actually do sit down, SHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH repeated a billion times to then
have someone take the paint off my car blaring their horn when we leave because I'm apparently driving the wrong way out of the *field* they turned into an overflow parking lot. Yes, and that would also be a football field away from the auditorium. Nice fish on your car dude! Did that come with your horn?

I so have issues. Is the glass half full or half empty? Depends on what's in the glass, I guess. Maybe a trip back in time and around the world with Death would change me? Bah humbug.

04 November 2005

Going to the Hop-per-ra

If you are reading this and believe that Puccini is another kind of noodle shape and Alto is a kind of dog food, well, I would say this posts is not for you.

I. Emma Sometimes Have Hop-per-raa Tickets. (insert best Chico Marx immitation here)

The opera is Tosca and as you can see, it is just like another episode of America's Top Model.

***With characters larger than life, Tosca seethes with passion and drama. Trapped between the evil Scarpia's desire to kill her lover and his fiendish lust for her, Tosca lashes out in the only way that she can. Frantically. With a knife. And with that blood-letting, the audience is driven relentlessly to one of opera's most stunning conclusions.***

It's like Days of Our Lives on stage. Hey, like, DUDE! I'm there! What kind of jeans should I wear and do they serve hotdogs with 'kraut?

No really. I cannot wait.

Hubby and I don't get out much with four kids, but when we do, we go for the gusto. Giacomo Puccini = gusto. He wrote some of the most beautiful, captivating, pieces of music. I really like this guy. He wrote some quite famous operas or more commonly known at my house, Hop-per-ras! People, these are incredible to hear. Who likes operas anymore? I'll tell you. ME!ME!ME!ME!ME!

You listen toLuciano Pavarotti sing: Nessun Dorma..just really listen.

Or hear soprano Renata Tebaldi sing: O Mio Babbino Caro...fabulously, incredibly breathtaking. I think I cry every time I hear that. Hey, I'm a girl. I can do that.

You can hear snippets of both on the #1 Opera Album. I think when you listen to it, even your IQ goes up 10 points.

So, hubby and I are opera-ing next weekend and are you ready for this one...he can't wait. He was even happy about me buying tickets. Hubby loves classical which is stereotypically comical especially when he pulls up on a construction site and he pulls his solid frame out of his pickup truck. That's the truck with a big rack and box full of manly tools. He pulls out a lid for his shaved head. It's a camoflague cover (military style hat), of course, to match his trousers. He yanks the wheelbarrow out of the pickup bed like its a sack of feathers, grabs concrete stamps, finishing tools, etc., grabs his radio and turns on ........89.9 All Classical.org.

So to the Hop-per-ra we go. Will write more on this later....

03 November 2005

I Didn't Just Say That

Things I thought I would never say to my kids:

Pick up your blaster rifle. I’m not going to tell you again.

Don’t chew on your baby’s fingers.

Who hung Barbie from the tree?

Please point the Lightsaber away from your brother’s face before he gets hurt.

(And of course, what follows….)

That is IT!! Quit cutting off your brother’s head!

That’s what happens when you drink a glass of creamer!

We can’t go to Gotham City, honey, but we can drive to the park.

Those aren’t airplane stickers and they don’t go on the front window! They are mommy’s personal…um, things.

No, Sully won’t come out of your closet. He’s just pretend.

That’s why girls don’t stand up to pee. Now, go get the cleaner and paper towels.

No more jump ropes around your neck. Only real puppies have leashes.

That’s the last time I’m fishing in the toilet.

Take the hose out.side!

How would you like it if your brother farted on you?!

Is there anything you have said to your kids and laughed about it later?? Do tell!