Monday, May 31, 2010

Talkin' Baseball

Back in October, TV won season tickets to the local Triple A baseball team. For his November birthday, I bought him a season parking pass. Our very first date, back in 1988, was to a baseball game in the old stadium. When the new stadium was built, we pulled Y-Chromo out of school and took him to Opening Day.  After that, we frequently took the Chromos to games. It was an enjoyable, affordable family outing.

Then things happened. We stopped going except for one or two games a season. Last season, TV rediscovered the joy of an evening at the park. He also found the best seats in the house. When he won his tickets, he knew exactly where he was going to sit. I took vacation time and accompanied him to Opening Day this year. I, too, became re-enchanted. So we've gone to most of the games so far this season.

As we were leaving the stadium on Saturday night, TV heard something that prompted him to say, "If I blogged, that's the sort of thing I would blog about." And he's right. There's a lot of 'blog fodder' at the stadium.

Take Stephen Strasburg. He's a young phenom pitcher, and he's currently with our team. Three of the four times he's pitched at home this season, the stadium has been packed to the rafters. Watching him pitch is a joy. His first game, he not only won the game with his pitching, but also hit the first two RBIs of the game.

We sit in the first row of the second section. Lots of leg room. Good vantage point. Except whenever anyone in the last row of the first section stands up. And during Strasburg's first game, there was a crew of partying young men in that row who wanted to stand the whole time Strasburg pitched. We nicely asked them to sit. They complied. After Strasburg left the game, the rowdiest of the young men came to apologize to us. We asked if he had someone to drive him home, and yes, there was a designated driver. He shook our hands, then spilled beer all over himself. He wasn't an obnoxious drunk; just a young man honoring baseball and a great pitcher.

And the press wanted to set up in front of us, too. One very tall photog with a very tall tripod asked a kid two seats over if he was in his way. The kid said no, but I spoke up. The photog repositioned himself so I could see the action.  Later that night, several media types leaned against the railing in front of us for a couple of innings so we couldn't put our feet up, which is my prefered way to sit.
Since the team is on the road until Friday, I'll play catch up on the season during this week.

Friday, March 26, 2010

NCAA Conspiracy: A Crackpot Theory

This blog should probably be under my Cranky Old Fuddy Duddy blog, but it's also a crackpot theory, so I'm putting it here.

The NCAA did not want Syracuse in the final game of the 2010 Division 1 Men's Basketball Tournament. Everyone knows that Duke got the easy round and shouldn’t have been ranked ahead of Syracuse. (If you don't know this, Google it. The pundits and experts have been having a field day.) But the NCAA took it even one step further.

How, you may ask, do I, a simple woman who'd rather cook than play a sport, know this?


KANSAS was a Thursday/Saturday team in the 1st/2nd rounds
Had they survived, they would have been a Friday/Sunday Sweet 16/Elite 8, giving them an extra day of rest.

KENTUCKY was Thursday/Saturday team in the 1st & 2nd rounds and remained as such in the Sweet 16/Elite 8 rounds.

DUKE Friday/Sunday, Friday/Sunday.

Anybody seeing a pattern here?

SYRACUSE was a Friday/Sunday, then switched to a Thursday/Saturday, not giving the team as much rest between games as the other number 1 seeds.

SYRACUSE should have remained a Friday/Sunday contender in the Sweet 16/Elite 8 rounds if for no other reason than Sweet 16/Elite 8 games were scheduled at the Carrier Dome (SU's home court) on Thursday/Saturday.Talk about a scheduling travesty!

Looks blatant anti-Orange to me. 

Now maybe you've have read this in the paper, on-line, or heard it in the broadcast media. I have not (because of that rock under which I live), but being a moderately bright old lady, I figured it out anyway.

Because it’s blatant.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Snow and Cooking

Yesterday, amid rumors of a winter storm hitting my neck of the woods, I took the check book and hit the supermarket. I loaded up on winter comfort food -- or rather, the ingredients for winter comfort foods. There is something about snow storms that makes me want to cook.

Sure enough, the storm hit. This photo is the view from my back door at about 9:30PM tonight.Those big white circles are actually snowflakes. X-Chromo had her first snow day of the year. I went to work, but came home bitten by an urge to cook. Fortunately, I work less than 2 miles from where I live, so getting home tonight wasn't bad. And I had a fridge, a freezer, a pantry cupboard full of ingredients. (Except for the chili, but that's another story.)

I decided to make lasagne. My lasagne. One of my Italian-American friends insists that what I make isn't real lasagne, because it contains veggies, but she's wrong.

I use (Molly-fy) a vegetarian recipe for stuffed shells as the filling for my lasagne. Unfortunately, my grocer has stopped carrying my favorite sauce-in-a-jar for making lasagne, soI had to use the sauce we generally eat on spaghetti. TV commented the lasagne wasn't as 'flavorful' as it usually was. The sauce is why.

I put on the water to boil the noodles, then opened a bottle of merlot to breathe. Yes, it took a long time to cook dinner tonight, but TV usually works late (and he wants to get out early tomorrow so we can see my niece in EDWARD SCISSORHANDS at a nearby theater, weather permitting), so between the weather and my mellow mood, it was the perfect night for lasagne.

The house smelled heavenly. Dinner was scrumptious. It was the perfect night for dinner from the oven.

I have lots of interesting meals planned over the next few days: Meatloaf with beets & sweets (sweet potatoes); a chicken and avocado crock pot recipe; chili.

I need to hit the supermarket again, because TV took all the chili stuff and worked with me to make chili at 10PM last night for his workplace chili cookoff.
He (we) came in second. After what I did at 10PM last night, I deserved first place if for no other reason than being "a good wife".


Sunday, February 21, 2010

Celebrating My Birthday with Wild Turkey

My family and I went to my parents house in rural Upstate New York for dinner this weekend. As TV parked in front of the garage, we both saw a wild turkey under my mother's clothes line. X grabbed her camera and dashed out of the car to snap photos. By the time I took out my camera, the turkey had waddled around the side of the house.
My dad led me to my girlhood bedroom and there, where the house forms an "L", right next to the bulkhead leading to the old cellar, I found the turkey.
You can see the window sill at the bottom of the photo. Yes, this lady turkey was that close to the house.
I'll bet you thought I meant another kind of Wild Turkey. Shame on you! I drink wine.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Saturday Soup

I'm still here! Really. Life just gets busy around the holidays, but I'll bet you didn't know that. HAH!
Plus I've had some computer issues. My wonderful nephew EJ has been helping me a lot. More than a lot. I owe that young man. Now if only I could find all my music, but that's another story.

This morning, this sunny, wonderful Saturday morning, I decided to make soup. I was sitting on the living room sofa, laptop in lap, enjoying my solitude while everyone else was still abed, and decided to make soup.

There was a small container of leftover chicken broth in the freezer and two chicken sausage links leftover from last night's dinner. I had the starters. I chopped up a small onion and minced a couple of cloves of garlic, which I sauteed in the chicken broth. I chopped up the sausage links, too, then tossed those into the pot. I found some ancient parsley in the produce drawer. Some of the leaves weren't at all slimy, so I chopped up some that, too. Then I raided my food cupboard and found a can of black beans and a large can of crushed tomatoes with basil.

It smells wonderful.

I really want to get back into cooking again, a beloved pastime I abandoned while my children were younger. Fussy eaters added to working all day followed by after-school events just wore me out. But now only X-Chromo is home on a regular basis, and she isn't at all afraid to try most 'new' foods. In fact, a couple of weeks ago, I made a recipe I found on the back of a can of chicken broth which contained sweet potatoes. X tried them and loved them, then ate the meal and asked me to make it again. I like that kind of attitude.

One of my friends mentioned Sweets & Beets the other day. I'm familiar with the Terra Chips by that name, but that isn't what she meant. She'd cut sweet potatoes and beets into small pieces, along with an onion, drizzled them with olive oil and roasted them in the oven. I decided I want to try it (although other than Terra Chips, I've never eaten a beet in my life). Just thinking about the juxtaposition of the colors boggles the mind.