I’m Thankful for Turkey From A Bucket, Not Mansicles

It was two days of family togetherness that started with ice and ended with mansicles.

I’ve mentioned the amazing turkey recipe by Alton Brown that my husband was dying to try out on other people.  His cooking skills really go unappreciated much of the time.  And this was an awesome turkey.  The one off putting thing about this recipe may be the preparation.  The first step after removing the giblets is to put it in a bucket with ice and a lovely brine. Yes a bucket of turkey is NOT like a bucket of chicken from KFC.  I made the mistake of sharing this secret with the rest of the world.  I posted this picture on Facebook, encouraging people to guess what was in it:

There’s turkey in that thar bucket.

(Please ignore the grossness of my back porch.  It’s called a mudroom for a reason…)

This made my mother a little nervous.  She didn’t realize that this involved turkeys in buckets.  She wanted to know if it was safe.  Um… we’re all still alive after last year.  I’m not sure if this was really that reassuring to her.

They still came, despite fears of being poisoned.  Which was good considering they were the only ones who accepted our invitations.  We’re unpopular and stuff.  We don’t really have places to put sleeping people in our little house.  No beautiful guest rooms here.  Just a couch, a love seat, and a mouse contaminated air mattress.  However, if you really want to sleep in an actual bed or bedroom you can hang out with one of my kids who pee the bed.  Oh yeah, have we got a place for you!

Since the turkey was not put in the refrigerator early enough (um, forgotten in the freezer by the turkey chef) my husband had wrestled with it in a sink running cold water for over a half hour trying to get the giblets out.  This was quite humorous.  I really, really should have taken pictures.  Did you know that a wrench can get that stuff out?  POP!  Out came some sort of meshy thing.  As it turned out, he quite didn’t get it all.  What he thought were the giblets were something else, I guess?  I did not conduct an inspection, therefore I cannot offer an opinion.  After dinner my mother happened to notice the little bag of guts still in there.  I guess it’s a good thing it was in paper.  House fire avoided-you can’t make this stuff up!

Thanksgiving. Check out that beautiful green bean casserole.

I’ll be very surprised if anyone comes to my house to eat anything after reading this.

Dinner turned out quite well, despite the turkey troubles.  The turkey was delicious, as was the taters.  My loving husband forgot to make the gravy.  Therefore we decided on that yummy prepackaged chicken gravy.  That was ok with me, I hate turkey gravy.  The green bean casserole was AWESOME.  My one contribution to the meal was green bean casserole.  YEAH.  It’s famous.  I cannot divulge my secret.  If it weren’t for my taco soup and my green bean casserole, I’d have no awesome recipes.

My parents stayed over because Evil Genius had tickets to the game the next afternoon.  My husband was very excited about this because he could actually go to the game with someone who didn’t ask things like “What’s the pink upside down exclamation mark over there?” (that was me that asked that by the way).  My Dad appreciates football almost as much as Evil Genius.  I was excited about this because I could hang out with my Mom a little more.  Even with the kids along this can be fun.

When my parents arrived the weather was in the mid 60s and beautiful.  The next day it was 27 with wind chills in the teens.  My Dad wore his long johns, my husband wore his usual sweatshirt and kind of wintery coat.  Evil Genius thinks he has to laugh at the cold or something.  He has some sort of thing against wearing hats that actually protect his ears and head.   He scoffed at the convertible gloves/mittens that I told him to take.  I am so nice.  I changed my plans to take them over to the stadium so they didn’t have to walk the usual half hour over and back like we usually do (we don’t pay $20 for parking).  As it turns out, these two die hard football fans did not last the entire game.  I had to go back and get them early, like at half-time.  Weenies.  I dropped off two guys but picked up two Mansicles.  You know like icicles but human.  They were a tad bit cold.  Evil Genius had the heater in the car going full blast.  I was sweating so much that I had to take a shower after we got home.  I still don’t think he thawed completely for quite a while after we got home.

From a previous game where the temperature was pleasant. Why does my son look so scared in this picture?  My daughter does not always have a moustache.

I think they had fun, but Evil Genius was bummed that the weather didn’t cooperate so he and my dad could fully appreciate the game.  Like he controls the weather!  That’s my job-my children have actually accused me of making the weather work against them.  Next year they can go together and experience what a game is when it isn’t so darn cold.  No more mansicles, please.

Observations of a Band Geek, Take Two

This is all I found after searching for funny marching band stuff for hours. Wow. Apparently marching band is very serious.

Somehow the planets aligned themselves for a second time this weekend and my husband and I were able to go out.  We got to attend yet another college football game.  Alone.  No kids.  How fortunate are we?  I’d say we pretty much rock.  What’s not to like?  Tailgating with free fried food and free beverages, free entry to the game, great seats, all compliments of my husband’s employer.  I’d say that kinda sorta makes up for the fact that he drives almost two hours a day.  That and having insurance, and the fact that they pay him to be there.

The previous game we attended we were able to take the whole family.  That was an experience.   I think the kids enjoyed themselves, but I am quite convinced that The Professor doesn’t really care what’s going on, as long as there is a big screen to watch.  At one point Evil Genius leaned over and said to him, “You know, there’s also a game going on down there, on that field.”

The last time just the two of us went, I believe I made some random observations when I wrote Observations of a Band Geek.  You see quite a bit of stuff when you’re not really watching the game.  It sure started out as a miserable cold and rainy day, but ended up being pretty nice.  We started out in lots of layers and ended up in short sleeves.  We only got rained on a little bit, when the pregame stuff was going on.  Thank goodness.  We may have melted.

This is what happens when you take an ADD band geek to a football game:

  • You know your husband loves you when he uses his own butt to dry off your bleacher seat.  I must remember to turn that sentiment into a greeting card someday.
  • As the rain started to fall, most people’s thoughts don’t turn to the band.  Unless you’re me.  I let out a gasp and cried, “Oh no, that’s not good for those band instruments!”  Well, it’s not.
  • I found myself explaining to my husband just how many notes the flute part had in some of the songs.  I don’t think he cared.
  • The line for the men’s room was waaaaaay longer than the line for the women’s room.  That never happens!

Maybe this is why.

  • I felt like throwing a bit of a tantrum.  It was the 80s and 90s when I was in band and we didn’t get to play any of that cool 80s stuff.
  • I wondered aloud at one point, “Do you really think Maroon 5 planned on “Moves Like Jagger” being used for so many things?  Do you think they have heard their song played by a marching band?”  I did not receive a response.
  • The piccolo section had their own fan club.  Really!  As we were getting ready to go in to the stadium the band came by.  I actually heard someone say, “Here come the piccolos!”  And then scream and yell enthusiastically.  I am not making this up.  I have a witness.
  • I experienced jealousy at half-time.  When I was in college and in the band, we didn’t really get uniforms.  We had sweaters.  We didn’t get to march either.  No wonder I wanted to transfer.
  • I was very happy due to the fact that the dance team had their midriffs covered this time.  The yoga pants didn’t look quite as weird.
  • Who decided that the cheerleaders had to wear really ugly bows on their heads?  And why?  Did they lose a bet?
  • There was also a bunch of guys throwing a ball around on the field.  I think it may have been football.  I heard they lost.  I don’t know, I wasn’t paying attention.  I guess I paid a little attention, because I spent a lot of time trying to figure out who had the ball.
  • When the basketball coach gets up and leaves, so does everyone else.  I’m thinking he may have an inside scoop on something.
  • Apparently the guy who has the Captain America garb attends more games than the stormtrooper guy.  I was a little sad not to see him.  This particular game was seriously lacking in any kind of Star Wars references.
  • You may not wear a shirt, and paint letters on your chest, but if you’re not head to toe sparkly then you’re just not cool.  I saw this on a game on tv recently.  We questioned the effect this massive amount of glitter on one’s body may have on the person’s health.  If you’re willing to risk your health for your school, then you are truly a fan.

You wish you were this cool.

Don’t worry about being subjected to my random observations of college football again for quite awhile.  I think we’re done going to games this year.  We’ve already subjected our very nice friend to more of our children than most people can stand.  We owe her dinner, maybe even a movie at this point.  I’ve really enjoyed spending time with my husband though, even if football was involved.  I must admit it is a little more interesting in person than on the tv.  Don’t get your hopes up, this anti-football band geek isn’t changing her tune.

Observations of a Band Geek

Sadly, there was no grill like this… but it was still good tailgating.

I attended my very first college football game this weekend.  The very first one that I wasn’t in the BAND, that is.  This is very sad considering we live near a college town, lived in the area for 13 years, and my husband attended this very school up until the end of last year.  I went to a basketball game there once years ago, but the only thing I really remember is the fact that they had great ice cream.

I not only got to go to the game, I got to tailgate.  I got to do it all without children.  All of this because my brother in law couldn’t get a ride from my husband’s hometown in time (about two hours from here).  That’s ok-I don’t mind being the back up choice.  Once he found out his brother couldn’t make it, Evil Genius walked down the street with the kids while I was walking the dog and made the arrangements.  He went down to see a  friend of ours from church who lives down the street.  She was more than happy to watch the kids.  That was awesome-not only do they like going to see her, she likes to have them come.  By the time I had returned from my walk, the kids had their bags packed and were ready to go, though we weren’t actually leaving for three hours.

This whole thing was through his work.  They have tickets for every game that people can sign up for.  If more people sign up than tickets, it’s a lottery thing.  They not only have the tickets, but they have a very fancy tailgate vehicle complete with a deep fryer and beverages galore plus two big tvs.  It was a good time-I like getting to put names with the faces of all of these people that he works with.

So you’re thinking, “Wait a minute, she hates football.  Why did she agree to go when it goes against her principles of being against the sport?” Let me clarify, when I get to go somewhere with my husband with no children, I’ll agree to most anything.  We don’t get out together much.  And it was a good time.  I’d do it again if he asked me.  I’d even go with the children.  I still don’t like football, but it is more interesting when it is live instead of on tv.

That being said, since I was there without distraction, here are some random observations I made as a non football fan, band geek, and anxious ADD person:

  • They may think the cannon is cool.  I didn’t.  I have a thing about loud noises.  Every time there was a touchdown, I about hit the deck.  We left early because it was a blowout-the last field goal we witnessed they decided to shoot the cannon.  I thought I had been shot!  Does anyone else feel this way about large weapons at football games or is it just me?
  • Speaking of the cannon-how does one get the job of shooting the cannon?  I would like to see the application for that.
  • Do what everyone else does in your section.  I had no idea what was going on most of the time, I just tried to figure out who had the ball.  I stood when everyone else stood.  I clapped when everyone else clapped.  They kept yelling some first down thing.  I never did figure out what that really was.
  • If your entire dance squad is going to wear yoga pants, wear a top that covers your stomach.  Not flattering at all.  Wish I had been part of that meeting.  That is NOT how you wear yoga pants.  You’re supposed to have a frumpy shirt to go over it.  At least that’s what Moms do.
  • The down markers are not big upside down exclamation marks, or lowercase “i”s.  I asked Evil Genius what they were, and he explained it to me.  I remember they were called down markers.  The rest went over my head.
  • If you wear a stormtrooper helmet and a cape, you get on the big TV.  A  LOT.
  • I got reminded why I don’t drink to excess.  I saw a lot of REALLY REALLY drunk people.  And you can’t even drink inside the stadium there.  I even was flirted with by a really drunk creepy guy when I got up the one time I went to pee.  I’ll stick with my little bit of wine, thank you.
  • People get really irritated with you if you have to pee.  Thank goodness I only had to go once.  I think I was the only one who went to the bathroom so I wouldn’t miss the band perform at halftime.
  • The best hat I saw was a coonskin cap.  A REAL coonskin cap.
  • Silver tubas have to be one of the coolest things I have ever seen.  Even if they were in the opposing team’s band.
  • It’s best to put your memory card in your camera.  Hard to take pictures without it.  I forgot mine.  I took a couple of pictures with my phone, but I couldn’t get it to take a picture of Evil Genius and me together.  No proof we were there together.  How sad.
  • Band music has evolved quite a bit from “Land of a Thousand Dances” and “Hang on Sloopy”-the standards that I had to play back in the day.  This band played Metallica!  I would have given about anything to play Metallica in marching band!
  • Another fashion police comment:  Who decided that off the shoulder on one side shirts were back in style?  That’s not symmetrical.  If you see me wearing one of those, it’s because someone has ripped off that part of my shirt.  And that shorts that are so short that they show your buttcheeks are tasteful?  Nobody wants to see that.  I know I didn’t.
  • Park far far away.  And walk.  It’s worth it.  Not only do you get an hour’s worth of exercise in, you can get away much faster than if you parked close.  We parked clear on the other side of campus and hoofed it.  It was great-I made up the extra calories I burned with the cinnamon ice cream I still had in my freezer.

I had a good time.  I had some really good mozzarella sticks.  It was perfect weather and I got to see the band perform.  I even found a shiny penny.  Maybe it’s a sign.  And the best part was that my kids were good for our friend for that long of a time.  She even said she’d like to watch them again.  This is good news.  The last time we left them with someone else who wasn’t my parents was Evil Genius’s family.  (They said never again, something about them peeing too much.)  It’s always good to know that your children are wanted.  They had a good time, but were happy to see us when it was over.  I’d like to say that maybe Evil Genius and I will get to go out together again very soon, but I won’t hold my breath!