Thursday, November 23, 2006

A Tale of Two Turkeys

On this Thanksgiving Day morning, as I watch Mr. Goofy begin preparing the turkey*, I think back to the first Thanksgiving we hosted together, as a new couple.

If I think back to how long ago this actually happened, it will make me feel old. Suffice to say, we were young and dumb. But, of course, we were very eager to make an impression on the family. And we did, but probably not the one we had wanted. Anyway....

We would be having all of Mr. Goofy's family (aka Fam Goofy), which is 6 folks. Plus ourselves for a total of 8. We cleaned the house, we rounded up serving bowls, and I think we actually went out and bought two more chairs for our dining set. We were eager to please....

Then, the night before, we went out to buy the food. Do you see the flaw yet?

I had calculated that we needed a 20-pound turkey. NOTE: Today I know that the Rule of Thumb is 1 pound per person for a whole turkey, so this was a little overkill, to say the least.

We got to the store and went to the turkey bin. It was almost picked clean! We managed to find two 10-pounders and quickly claimed them for our own.**

Boy, folks really buy their turkeys early. How strange! Who has that much room in their fridge to keep a turkey for a week?

Do you see it coming? Do you?!

We got the turkeys home and realized our error...THEY WERE FROZEN SOLID! This was why folks bought the turkeys there was time to thaw them.

We used the cold-water-in-the-sink method. But remember...we had two turkeys. And a small oven. So we figured we would cook one turkey for the family, then cook the other one for leftovers. Lemons from lemonade, you know??

So Mr. Goofy (not a morning person) got up at the butt-crack of dawn, figured out a stuffing recipe (the same one we use today!), prepared, stuffed and lovingly placed the turkey in the oven.

But, as luck would have it, Fam Goofy showed up 1 hour before the turkey was done. Starving. Whiny. Had we got any appetizers? No. Could they go get sandwiches? NO!

We kept the wolves at bay until the first turkey was done. But that hour was painful. It was like preparing a meal in front of 6 hungry tigers. They were actually pacing when the hour was up! But....

Tom Turkey was delicious. And Tanya came out in time for snacking later in the day. And everything else came out okay. I got some complaints about the pumpkin pie (Fam Goofy prefers apple, I found out), but they dealt well.

This year, it's just the 3 of us, since we are not traveling. And I bought a 13-pound turkey. Goofys never learn...

*Lest you think me lazy (ha!), don't worry...I continue to have responsibility for mashed potatoes, green bean casserole and any and all desserts (this year pumpkin-walnut bread and pumpkin pie). Mr. Goofy is simply better at the turkey/stuffing thing than I, hands down.

**I named them Tom and Tanya. This began my tradition of naming the frozen turkeys that we cook. What!?!? You don't do that? You're weird...

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Goofy in the Land of Goofy

So I'm down in Orlando this week for a conference. I'm sure you are jealous, as I get to learn everything I've ever wanted to know about Data Warehousing. Yes, my friends, it's an alphabet soup kind of week...ETL, EDM, ERD, CDI, MDM. Oh, I could go on, but I'm already feeling selfish by bragging.

I have realized that I have a, let's say "unique" style of traveling. When I travel to a place I've never been before, I have a routine of sorts that I go through, so I feel comfortable. It's kind of like a dog turning around three times before he lays down to go to sleep.

When I get to the area around the hotel where I'm staying, I don't directly go to the hotel. Rather, I drive around and get a "lay of the land". If I'm going to be going to a place other than the hotel, I go find that place, in relation to my hotel. I also find some yummy-looking restaurants and a Coffee-Place-That-Is-Not-Starbucks. And a Walgreen's or Target, just in case I forgot something. THEN I go to my hotel and check-in.*

Once in my hotel, I immediately unpack. I don't know why. I use the excuse of "wrinkled clothes", but I think it's more of a nesting thing.

Once "nested", I check out the propaganda in the hotel room (visitor mags, city books, etc.), then I go check out the hotel. I find the gym, the restaurants (man, you'd think I was worried about where my next meal comes from, huh?) and concierge. If there's a concierge, I go hit them up for area information (even though I've done research before even getting on the plane).

Okay, after putting this all out into the ether, I feel like a big dork. But it honestly just occurred to me that NOT EVERYONE DOES THIS! I felt like a travel agent today on a break giving several people directions to the hotel's best restaurant, the water taxi to the bar district (leaves every 15 minutes) and the pool. C'mon people, it's didn't even go check the pool out yet???

Okay, so I'm a Travel Freak. Or maybe a Travel Control Freak. But I'll never be a Lost Travel Control Freak.

*I typically only do this while traveling ALONE. Mainly because Mr. Goofy relentlessly makes fun of me for doing it. Until we get lost and I'm there with the "I told you so". Ha!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Self-Doubt and Peer Pressure

This post could be about me, but it's not. It's about my 3-1/2 year old son.

Today I picked him up from daycare and mentioned that tonight was BASKETBALL CLASS! Instead of the girlish scream of delight and the Jack Russell terrier-like jumping up and down, I got a downcast look and a frown.

"I don't wanna go to Basketball class," says Goofy Junior.

"Why not?" I inquire.

"I'm not good at it," he whines.

"WHAT?!?!?," I say. I am seriously shocked by this answer. Yes, he's not as good as SOME of the boys, but he's up there, considering he's a full six months younger than most of them.

I get down on his level, all serious and Mommy-like.

"Alex, I understand if you don't want to go, but that is WHY we go to get better at things. And I think you are very good at basketball!" I can't believe that he has seriously thought about this and decided that he is not good and doesn't want to be embarrased in front of others. Jeez! He's only 3-1/2! Guess that's not too young for self-doubt, obviously.

Another downcast look and frown. "I'm bad...." he says.

"You are not bad at basketball. You are good at basketball. But..." (thinking now of how I don't want to be THAT Obsessive Sports Parent) "if you don't want to go this week, we don't have to go. It's your class and it's your choice to go."

This appears to go over pretty well with him. He seems to relax.

"If you don't go to Basketball class, what will we do instead tonight?" I ask.

"Eat candy!" he exclaims.

Oh great.