Friday, November 28, 2008

Deep-fried Thanksgiving

A slow computer and post-Thanksgiving wipeout has delayed this entry a few days.

Nonetheless, we had a good thankgiving with good food and family.

Dave deep-fried the turkey, which came out very well. (Here is video evidence that no fire department was needed. Narrated by our nephew Jacob.)

I got to use all my silver stuff, which included stuff from my wedding, stuff from my grandmothers, and some special silver from a friend's mom. Since we didn't have a dining room table, it was all served up on a picnic table, which is something we'll remember for a long time I'm sure.

I went a little Martha on everything... with everything homemade, from the cranberry sauce to the yeast rolls. I was especially proud of my apple pie. It was the best I've ever done. The only thing that flopped was the spin I tried to put on sweet potatoes... the baked chips turned out too mushy.

Even the Razorbacks pulled off the impossible the next day... but this year I didn't go hoarse from yelling at the game.

Everyone left by 3 pm Saturday, and I permanently cemented myself to the couch until Monday morning when I started the post-Thanksgiving workout with a 3-mile run. I am tired of food, but I'm sure that will change before Christmas.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Mr. Let's Play Hockey!

Dave led the "Team of 18-thousand" on Monday night in "Let's Play Hockey."
For you non-hockey fans, this is the hockey equivalent of thowing out the first pitch in baseball.
Since he represented Channel 11, he got a jersey with his name and number 11. The local station showed it on the news, and they introduced Dave by talking about his growing-up years playing hockey in Upstate New York. He definitely did a better job than the last "Let's Play Hockey" person--Miss Minnesota. Or so they said.
Since Aunt Peg and Uncle Jim were around for Thanksgiving, they got to attend their first hockey game. Between offsides, high sticking, icing, and power plays, it's actually a tough game to pick up on right away. They did very well cheering along with the rest of the Team in the packed Xcel Energy Center. They understood the basic point--the best part of the game is when your team scores.

The Wild looked to win the night handily by winning 4-0, but the Capitals came back with 3-goals at the end of the 3rd period to make the game look a bit more competitive. We weren't impressed with Ovechikin, but we definitely were with the Wild's new player Cal Clutterbuck. Two goals.
But our favorite part was definitely getting the 'Team' going with Mr. Let's Play Hockey.

Friday, November 21, 2008

My list at 30

If you know me, you know I collect experiences. I am all about experiencing the new and different. In honor of 30, Dave and I compiled a list of what I've done that's different or unusual or just me. Here's what we came up with... there are lots of stories here.

Dug for diamonds.
Took ballet.
Won a beauty pageant. Waved in parades.
Elected a state 4-H officer.
Starred in a play.
Played shortstop.
Had knee surgery. Twice.
Elected Homecoming Queen and Class President. On court in College.
Reported and anchored at a TV station.
Taught College.
Got Roses from 2-different guys on Valentine's Day.
Had my heart broken. Broke someone's heart.
Hung out in Alcatraz.
Slept in a jail... in Canada.
Tasted wine in Napa and Sonoma Valleys.
Attended a sock hop at Graceland.
Had picture made with Elvis in Vegas.
Been on the "dam" tour.
Made maple syrup.
Went through sorority rush.
Was a Sorority House mom. Got involved in a Whip Cream & chocolate fight there.
Been rejected from a Masters and a PhD program. Been accepted too.
Been Baptized. Twice.
Attended Baptist Church camp. Sang in a Choir.
Debated in national tournament. Beat Rice.
Drank on Bourbon Street.
Waited tables. Was the RA for the volleyball team.
Cheered for the Hogs and Seminoles.
Cheered for friend at Miss America Pageant in Atlantic City.
Watched fireworks on the 4th of July from the Mall in Washington DC.
Ate chocolate in Hershey, PA.
Lived on the North Carolina beach.
Tasted fresh Budweiser in St Louis and Ben & Jerry's in Vermont.
Ate a hot pastrami sandwich at Katz's deli in New York.
Ate Reindeer in Alaska. Saw a glacier.
Rode in the Clinton Presidential Motorcade. Covered the White House.
Saw World Trade Center. Saw Ground Zero.
Drove through the Bridges of Madison County.
Hiked in Swamps, Marshes, and Mountains.
Rode to the top of the Arch in St. Louis.
Sat in a Redwood tree.
Rode the roller coaster on the Santa Monica pier.
Put my hands in Rita Hayworth's in Hollywood.
Rode on the Maid of the Mist at Niagra Falls.
Caught Mardi Gras beads in Louisiana.
Watched the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in Times Square.
Drank a margarita on spring break in Cancun. Drank a Hurricane at Pat O'Brien's.
Snorkeled near a reef and through a jungle. Swam with sting rays.
Participated in FFA National Dairy Judging Competition. Placed second.
Showed a bull at the County Fair.
Won a Grand Champion ribbon at County Fair. (baking)
Skinned an animal. Plucked a chicken. Gathered eggs.
Learned to make yeast bread. Competed in sewing contest.
Jumped off a cliff.
Learned to clog.
Saw a taping of a show in L.A.
Seen 3 presidents. Met 6 governors. Many senators.
Attended one National Convention.
Covered Hurricane Katrina. Saw Columbia shuttle wreckage.
Toured both ends of the Mississippi River.
Shopped at the Mall of America.
Held a Civil War canonball. Rode in a WWII Tank.
Met a World War I veteran. Shook hands with a Holocaust survivor.
Figured out a way never to split Christmases between families.
Rode a NY subway by myself.
Been "armadillo stomping." Played "rabbit."
Lived in a trailer park. Lived on a farm.
Chased down a celebrity in a car (Sorry Steve Carrell).
Raced for the Cure.
Had a Race horse named for me.
Went hunting for the Gurdon Light ghost. Got scared.
Attended a Rosh Hashanah service. Attended a Ramadan break-fast.
Had a big wedding with all the trimmings.
Been a bridesmaid. Toasted someone.
Eulogized my grandmother. Spoke at High School Graduation.
Attended an AA meeting with friend.
Won a media shooting contest at a Police Academy.
Participated in an eating contest.
Sent packages to Iraq.
Collected stamps. Scrapbooked.
Freelanced. Blogged.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Brush with the Tiger

Dave's brush with Tiger in Tampa Bay. The other guy is his photographer, Ben.

So, Tampa Bay had Tiger, great Sushi, hotel on the Bay, sportscar for a rental, beautiful weather, good friends.... the only thing that didn't go right was the Vikings.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The REAL Presidential Race

Many of you may not be aware of the REAL presidential race that rocked a fifth grade classroom in upstate New York.

Our Congratulations go out to our nephew, Jake, won a hard fought race for President of his entire elementary school.

Jake started the race with impressive qualities of a good candidate. He's cute, he's bold, and he's got good rapport his classmates and teachers. He is a leader with a vision.

Plus, the Schwartz family has a long solid history with the school, which includes proven leadership experience. After all, his pop-pop used to be superintendent. That has to count for something.

As an athlete, everyone expected Jake to win the playground vote. As an academic, he could appeal to the smart kids as well. Since he's cute, he had the girl's vote.

From what I hear, it was a well run campaign and his family celebrated with a special dinner out on the town.

Election 2008: We have a winner

Whether you voted democrat, republican, independent or Nader, this years election has already crowned a winner....the American public.

I know I am a sports reporter and that politics is well outside my domain, but I was proud to wait in line 45-minutes to vote.

Ballots are expected to be cast in record numbers this year. People might be better informed about this year's Presidential candidates than ever before. Which means that at least for one election, we have defeated the toughest incumbent of all -- voter apathy.

Maybe "generation x" has finally grown up. Maybe people just realized that they can't complain about a system that they don't take part in. Maybe voters wanted to participate in an election that is going to be historic.

Voters are increasingly gathering information from unlikely sources. You could watch Comedy Central's Indecision 2008 or perhaps compare candidates with the Colbert Report. Maybe you watched Obama girl or saw Palin on YouTube. SNL surely helped out as well, emphasizing the character flaws and guffaws (as good as Tina Fey was, for me no one can top Darrell Hammond's Bill Clinton impression). For me (Shannon this time), Amy's rendition of the Sarah Palin rap complete with eskimos and the first dude was about the funniest thing ever--and America agreed as it was the top rated SNL in 14 years.

In the Schwartz household, we routinely cancel out each other's ballot at the polls. But we still go vote.

Whatever the reason for the long lines, getting people involved in our democratic system is a good thing. One that so many before us have died for our right to have.

To me that is the coolest part of all. (Dave)

Now back to sports..... since Shannon's going to be at work until way, way late.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Demon Squirrels

I have heard a story about ancient Rome.
The senators decided that it might be a good idea to have everyone under Roman rule dress according to class and station. That way, the senators and upper class would be distinguished from the merchants or the slaves or the religious sects or whomever. After much discussion, the senate decided against this law demanding a 'uniform' rule. They were afraid the slaves would look around and realize--hey there are significantly more of us than there are them--and revolt.

I believe if the squirrels in my neighborhood ever realize how many of them there are, we humans are in serious trouble.

One weekend, after I planted 90+ tulips and daffodils in my yard, I noticed the little buggers digging them up. I chased them away several times, but there's only so much of that you can do. I followed a neighbor's advice and sprinkled cayenne pepper over the bulbs. Maybe I'll turn them into cajuns. After the massive blisters I had on my hands from planting day, I was mad enough to consider staking out the door with a pellet gun.
The 39 trick-or-treaters that came to my door closely looked at my pumpkin, probably wondering what the heck it was. You see, in the course of a week, the squrriels ate its face off.
It makes me wonder how crazy they will be this winter when there's nothing to eat. There could be the beginnings of a cheesy horror movie here somewhere.

Halloween at the Landing

With stars shining and pumpkins glowing, it was a great weekend for Halloween at the Landing.

Visitors at the Ghostwalk got to walk through the lamplit village to hear about various 1800 traditions associated with the curious or the dead.

We had a fortune teller with a curiousity shop and also Victorian-era seance and magic show.

We showed how people would pay respects to departed souls in the homes of the dead.

A wise woman mixed potions to cure illnesses or to attract love or perhaps good fortune in today's times.

The 5th Minnesota set up camp and told ghost stories around the bonfire.
I was a prairie ghoul, who lost my baby on the wagon train coming west. I have to say I failed miserably at this. I'm not good at scaring people, and I really don't like doing it. My compeition was immensely better at screaming and spooking. Anytime I started to scare anyone, I would just start laughing and they would hear me coming. There's no room for a friendly ghoul on the prairie. I'll have to work up a better bag of tricks for next year.