Just in case you weren't aware, Chipotle gives out free burritos to anyone who shows up on Halloween dressed as a burrito.
Translation wrap your arm in tinfoil and get down there.
Dave and I didn't realize they were so loose with their costume requirements. The first time we went we were wrapped neck to toe in tortilla colored linens, had a bed of lettuce balanced on our shoulders, and tinfoil covering every inch of our head.
We looked ridiculous compared to the other 50 people who had wrapped their pinkie in tin foil & called it a day. Not to mention it was hard to eat (and drive) as our arms were trapped by the costume.
Of course, the Chipotle burrito is worth any sacrifice.
I have a confession to make.
Yes folks, I too caught a degree or two of "Rockies fever". How could I not when everyone else in my family did (except the NYC crowd and I promise if they were here S would have been a staunch wagon jumper since she could get excited about the lawn being mowed).
I ended up watching the last innings (this being HOURS) of the last three games; however, I am sure I drove my fellow watchers crazy as I peppered them (okay TG Lewis) with questions like
1 - Does Matsui speak English?
2 - How long has he been in the country?
3 - Don't the hats of the Rockies look like they are a deep green instead of black? (keep in mind that TGL is colorblind)
4 - How old is Papelbon "the closer" for Boston?
5 - Have you noticed that all the players chew gum now instead of tobacco? Isn't that nice?
6 - Wow, they certainly spit a lot don't they?
7 - Look how young that little girl is? Do you think her parents paid $250 for her ticket?
8 - What age do you think they have to start paying? Maybe it's like the airlines that for fans under 2 they are free
9 - Can you imagine being the catcher and squatting for living?
10 - I think Ramirez has hair extensions. (following was an in depth explanation to TGL of how extensions work)
11 - It is crazy how much they pay these players. Think how many people in Africa it would feed.
12 - Who is A Rod? Is he related to Dennis Rodman?
13 - Looks really cold doesn't it?
At this point TGL said "I've got to get up and stretch for a minute". Other famous quotes by dad were:
"the problem is you know they are going to lose but you can't turn it off"
"I wish this game would end so I could get on with life"
"Laura, would you please shut up" - Okay he didn't actually say this but I suspect it crossed his mind.
Anyway, I have to say that this whole experience has taught me a few things:
- My brother Rand can and will get anything he wants for his family and loved ones. He truly is amazing and generous. Who else gets tickets to game 3 by just calling the Rockies phone number?
- My brother-in-law Dave is HARDCORE (Sara can provide the true definition of what that means)
- Colorado will rally behind any team further cementing the fact that this is the best state in the USA.
So I too feel a little depressed. There was just a certain feeling in the air, a camaraderie if you will. People were more likely to smile and say hello, let you in the lane on the highway, etc. It was a sort of "Christmas in October" feel.
Okay, enough about the Rockies already. Here is the post that will act as a salve to Dave's hurting wounds from the losing Rockies.
This weekend, another competition was taking place. A church in Westchester hosted it's 2nd annual Chili-Pie Bake off. Let's just put it this way: it was the world series for pie baking.
I knew the competition would be stiff, and I prepared accordingly. Following a strategy session with my next door neighbor Rick, who won last year's contest, I settled on a caramel pecan apple pie. I baked all day (along with putting the final touches on the kids' Halloween costumes) and took the pie out at 3.30. I desperately wanted the pie to still be warm when the judges tasted it. As we were driving to the church, I had a moment of panic when I saw the water that was sloshing around inside the pie. Why was it there? What had caused it to appear? Travis suggested I pour it off, and a dicey operation ensued. Luckily the pie survived the draining, but my hopes of winning were crushed. Who would want to eat a watery pie?
I was completely surprised when my pie was called as the winning one. I was so thrilled I ran up the steps to accept my apron, and then turned around and gave an impromptu speech to the crowd. There had been several winners for chili, but mine was the only speech. I must admit I'm a bit embarrassed about it now, but it was a rambunctious group so hopefully no one heard what I said.
For those of you who asked (you both know who you are!), here is the recipe. I have some tips included too, if you're interested. The irony of it all is that I really don't like pie. I'm not a fan of any kind of cooked fruit... I'm just in it to win it. Any suggestions for next year's recipe?
CRUNCH CARAMEL-APPLE PIE
single pie crust
1/2 cup sugar
2 T all purpose flour
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp. salt
6 med. baking apples, peeled and thinly sliced
Stir above together until apple slices are coated. Transfer apple mixture to pastry-lined pie plate. Sprinkle crumb topping over apple mixture. To prevent overbrowning, cover edge of pie with foil. Bake at 375 for 25-30 minutes or till top is golden. Remove from oven; sprinkle pie with pecans, then drizzle caramel topping over. Cool on wire rack.
CRUMB TOPPING: 1 cup packed brown sugar, 1/2 cup flour, 1/2 cup quick cooking oats, 1/2 cup butter until crumbs form.
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup caramel ice cream topping
my tips: I always used locally grown apples. This year was honey crisp. After peeling I coat them in lemon juice, so they don't brown. I also used vanilla sugar, which was introduced to me by the lovely and talented Elizabeth. She gave it to me a couple of Christmases ago... it's basically regular sugar with a couple vanilla beans in it. You just keep adding sugar to the container when it starts to get low, and leave the vanilla bean in there. It adds a great flavor to whatever you're baking.
I know what you are thinking. When exactly did this become a baseball blog? Sara more than anyone has probably had this thought cross her mind as of late.
I promise. This isn't a baseball blog - and I do apologize for the excessive amount of baseball talk during October. You will be happy to know this is my LAST baseball update for a long, long time. I promise. (Unless maybe I run into one of the Rockies down town and he asks me out, or asks me to be his new best friend, or asks me to be his child's god mother, or asks me to get out of his way.)
I just thought you should know after all the drama, Dave and I did end up getting to attend a World Series game. My brother came through with 4 tickets to game 3 (Apparently the system allowed some people to buy 8 tickets on-line instead of the 4 ticket max. Those tickets were re-claimed and sold over the phone.)
We had a great time at the game. We yelled as loud as we could, we wore our rally caps all night, but the poor little Rockies just couldn't quite pull off a win.
After their last (and final loss) Dave and I were pretty depressed. I asked him what we would do with our lives now that baseball was over? He said in a hopeful voice "Well...the Broncos play Monday night..."
I don't think so Dave.
Yesterday I had had it. I told him to find a spot for the 3 towels scattered about the office or they were going in the trash can. 15 minutes later I happened upon the following...
Good news: Game 1 of the world series is tonight!
Bad news: My boss is visiting from out of town. She wants to go to dinner tonight.
Good news: After 2 more frustrating hours of "team world series" pressing "buy tickets now" Dave finally got past the first couple of screens! He selected 4 tickets to game 4, had them in his check out cart, and pressed "PURCHASE!"
Bad news: After he pressed purchase, the website timed out. He never got the tickets
Good news: Dave's brother, Chris, got 4 tickets to game 5. They are great seats: top section, row 1
Bad news: If either team wins the first 4 games, there will be no game 5
Good news: Chris gave Dave one of his 4 tickets to game 5. The dream of attending a world series game is still alive!
Bad news: I was not the lucky recipient of one of the 4 tickets. Apparently Chris is giving the 4th ticket to his wife, who turns out, he loves more than me. THE NERVE!
Although, if one more person says "once in a life time opportunity" I might lose it.
Good news: While we won't get to attend all the world series home games, we also won't have to sell everything we own to pay for the $250 a pop tickets.
Bad news: There is really no down side to that.
And one last piece of good news & bad news:
Good news: Halloween is 1 week from today!
Bad news: Dave and I don't have costumes lined up yet. Any clever ideas?
Today at 10am World Series tickets went on sale (on-line only).
Dave has been prepping for this moment all week. He recruited everyone willing to help him buy tickets. The more the press talked up the ticket sales, the more stressed Dave got.
To emphasize Dave's conviction to this cause consider the following:
1. Dave set up 4 computers for me to run from home
2. Yesterday Dave made me do several "dry runs" with the Rockies web site to ensure I was ready
3. Dave couldn't sleep last night. He was too anxious.
4. During our morning prayers he said "please help us to get world series tickets."
Poor guy, he wants it so bad.
We started bringing up the website at 8:45am. Even that early the site was so overloaded it kept timing out. At 10am sales opened, but when you would click on "buy tickets now" the browser would either time out, stall, or shut down completely. Dave instructed us to press "buy tickets now" over and over again.
At some point during the process Dave's company blocked the Rockies site on their internal network and Dave could no longer contribute to the cause. Around this same time his brother's company took down their server for an upgrade.
Unable to focus, Dave decided to come home and help me man the 4 computers at home. He called me from his work parking lot totally defeated saying "I left the lights on to my jeep and now my car battery is dead. Everything is working against me." I gave him a pep talk, he got his car started, and raced home.
Between family members we had 14 browsers going on 8 different computers. Minute after minute ticked by and no one got through. I made Dave a sandwich, but he was too stressed to eat. Here is a clip from the email exchange of team "operation world series":
10:27AM, Rob: Having trouble getting past the first tickets page. Will keep trying
10:34AM, Missy: I'm stuck on the countdown page
10:46AM, Carrie: I've got 4 computers going - no luck so far
10:57AM, Missy: how long do we do this?
10:59AM, Dave: Until we get them.
11:04AM, Carrie: He would make an excellent boss in a sweat shop
11:29AM, Rob: Dave I'm wearing a pair of depends so I won't have any reason to leave my computer.
Around this time my dad called me. Dave had asked him to help buy tickets, but I never would have dreamed he would hang in there for over an hour and a half clicking "buy tickets now."
He said "Carrie, I have a bloody nose, and the doctor thinks I need to go to the hospital to receive platelets. Unfortunately I'll have to stop trying to buy tickets for a while."
Have you ever heard anything cuter in your whole life? What dedication! I love my sweet dad so much!
Finally around 12:15pm the Rockies management came out with a statement:
"Due to the overwhelming traffic to the site, Major League Baseball's ticket vendor experienced a system wide outage. Less than 500 seats were sold before the outage. Tickets sales have been suspended until further notice."
And that is where we are now. Waiting for further notice.
Feel a little un-satisfied? Would you like to know if little Dave will make it to the World Series or not?
Join the club.
I need to buy a new washing machine.
There are about 50 other things I would rather spend a load of cash on, but I can't avoid this anymore. 8 months ago my washing machine declared war on my clothing. Back then 1 in 100 items would come back with small brown spots on it. Now it is up to 1 in 10. When I wash my clothes they are supposed to come back clean not newly dirty right? What am I supposed to do - keep buying new clothes? Darn washing machine. It always picks my newest, favorite item to ruin. Why can't it ruin the Araphaoe High school soccer shirt I borrowed from my sister-in-law 3 years ago?
So I need your help. What kind should I buy? How much do I have to spend? Should I go ahead and spring for a new dryer too?
I just finished Ashley's jump rope workout for the first time. First, a bit of background info about Ashley. She delivered her son one month before I had oz, and she is 5 lbs. less than me right now... and within 5 lbs. of her goal weight! She's an inspiration; she looks amazing and has dropped her baby weight so quickly. I've been much more motivated this time because of her.
So she invented this jump rope workout, and has done it for three weeks now (3 X per week). This is how it goes:
jump rope for 5 minutes
jump rope for 5 minutes
until you can't stand it anymore and stop. She is now up to jumping 10 minute intervals, which I can't imagine because just 5 minutes is hard. I set my kitchen timer and every time I thought it had definitely been 5 minutes and I was about to die, I'd look at the timer and still have 3 minutes left! I have a feeling I'm going to be sore tomorrow. But if I can drop some more weight, totally worth it. Plus I like it because it's quick. I was done with the whole program 35 minutes after starting.
And the sweat? I'm sweating from every part of my body!
As you know yesterday didn't start out great for me, but I decided to shake off my ailments and go to the game anyway. After all when you already feel like crap - why not get a little sicker?
My boss called yesterday afternoon with a last minute work request - so I was running late for the game. I jumped into the shower 20 minutes before the departure time and called out to Dave, "Pick out some warm clothes for me to wear tonight!"
When I got out of the shower this was laid out on the bed:
I love my mother's retro, purple, silk jumpsuit as much as the next guy - and there is no disputing its coordination with Rockies colors. But I just couldn't do it. Normally when I take a costume public I've got a side kick looking equally ridiculous. When Dave wouldn't even let me write "Go Rockies" on his face in eye-liner, I got a sneaking suspicion he was trying to play me the fool. Maybe I'll slip this one on for the World Series...
Before the game we ate dinner at Wahoos. Below is a picture of the group: Dave, 2 nephews (T & J), 2 brother-in-laws (Chris & Jim), my brother Rand, and my father-in-law Paul.
The Rockies started out down by 1, but then in a stunning 4th inning scored 6 runs including a 3 run homer!
The Rockies fans counted down and celebrated every last out until the World Series was secured. After the game the Rocks were presented with the NLCS trophy, and the whole city was in a unified state of celebration. Major intersections were shut down as people jumped in the center of them, brooms in hand, yelling "SWEEP, SWEEP, SWEEP."
This isn’t much of a surprise as I come from a long line of big headed people. My mom always used to placate her children by telling us things like “The bigger the head, the bigger the brains!” This is a theory I still cling to desperately – please don’t do any research and prove my mother wrong.
Actually I’ve never been ashamed of the size of my head. Even during our courtship when Dave looked at me in complete horror as I couldn’t quite squeeze on his father’s cowboy hat. I thought to myself “My head is big. So what?”
Well, my loyalty to the size of my head has come to an abrupt halt as of today. I’ve had it with my big head.
The problem is, when you have a disproportionately large head it is difficult to estimate how much space is required to move your head past a given object. I tend to dramatically underestimate the size of my head when moving it from one place to the next. Translation: I’ve banged my head into just about everything out there. As Dave explained to me today “It’s like you are trying to navigate an apple of a head – when really you’ve got a watermelon up there.”
Head injuries are common for me, but 3 in particular stand out in my memory:
1. Dave and I were hiking to a waterfall on our honeymoon. There was a low hanging branch that Dave elegantly ducked under. I walked my big old head right into it. The impact of the collision put me flat on my back.
2. After picking a Q-tip up off the bathroom floor, I stood up square into the corner of our hanging wall cabinet.
Yes folks. That is a solid wood cabinet that I dented, with my head. You can still see the indentation on my forehead if you look closely.
3. This very morning I was at the library returning books. After I was done, I managed to open the car door right into my head.
This gash bled like crazy. Blood got all over my clothes, purse, car keys, seat, etc. I was pressing a piece of notebook paper against my head, while blood ran down my face, trying to drive home with the help of only one hand and one eye.
I know. It doesn't make any sense. How does one go about opening a car door into their head? Dave asked me this question multiple times and I just don’t have an answer for you. But if it was going to happen to some one's head, we knew it would be mine.
Sadly - the fact that my head really IS too big is not the only realization I've come to today. In looking at the picture above I now see that my eyebrows are quite large & unruly, and my freckles are so light they look like a rash. Who knew?
The good news is I ran my first 1/2 marathon yesterday during a 42 degree downpour of rain. While the run was actually great fun, I'm now sick, I've lost my voice, my knees ache, and my legs are sore. Oh, and the gash on my head hurts.
I'm going back to bed.
Here is the deal: I just vacuumed it for the first time, and it's a little like velcro. I had to try three different attachments on my vacuum AND change the bag before I found something that would clean it. Then I noticed that there are 5 blatent footprints tracking across it. Already! This rug is such a SOLID color that there is no camouflaging capability.
So what should I do? Pay the 80 bucks it will probably cost me to send it back? Or just live with it for a year until I can find something to replace it with?
This presentation was originally created by a teacher at my husband's alma mater, Arapahoe High School (a local Denver school.)
Thanks to my sister in law for sharing it with me.
It's a good day here in New York.
For one, it's raining. Normally I'm not a huge fan of the rain, but after countless days of 86 degrees, 1 million percent humidity, I'm more than ready for a little fall weather. It's the perfect weather to do a mountain of laundry. Luckily, I have such a mountain in my basement.
Two: C is loving his new preschool. Today when we arrived, his teacher was filling a giant plastic tub with SHAVING CREAM. Yes, shaving cream. It nearly blew my mind. I had to really hold back from jumping in and playing with it too.
And most importantly, our new rug has arrived! After torturing me for a year, the beast it is replacing (AKA the rug that sheds more than 100 dogs) will be relocated to our bedroom. Hopefully not having 2-8 kids running across it all day long will cut the shedding down. I love the new rug; the color is perfect (and much needed, I might add), and when I put Oz on it, he doesn't end up with fistfuls and mouthfuls of fuzz.
Life is good.
They swept the NLDS and have advanced to the NLCS.
They have won 17 of the last 18 games.
If they win the NLCS, they are on to the world series.
I feel like I've been waiting for this moment my whole life...or, at least for the past 9 days when I became a Rockies fan.
If that doesn't mean anything to you, don't feel bad. I was numbered with you only a short week ago. It means the Rockies would go to the playoffs if they won the game. Put another way, they would have their first shot (in a long time) at winning the world series (they had won 13 of the last 14 games to become eligible for the wildcard spot).
I had a lot of questions like this at the game that shocked and appalled Dave. He would give me a stern look in response that said "keep your voice down! the other fans will hear you..."
We opted to ride our bikes to the game to avoid traffic & parking issues. The bike ride was uneventful until a F450 almost ran Dave over a mile from the stadium. Turns out road rage applies not only to Dave's driving, but also to his biking. He biked right up to the window of the truck and started yelling at the driver.
The driver of the truck lowered his window (in what seemed to be slow motion), and started screaming back at Dave. It was one of those "wow - I can see all the veins popping out of his head" moments. I desperately hoped Dave would back down, and said in a mousy voice things like "ha ha ha, ok, let's go Dave. Come on Dave." We had caught the attention of 200 fans crossing the street on the way to the game.
It wasn't that Dave was wrong. But there were other factors at hand. First off this guy had a clear advantage being in his massive truck. (Dave may as well have been on a BMX bike). In addition the guy made some excellent points like:
"I'M A SHERIFF" and "DO YOU WANT A TICKET? KEEP GOING MAN, AND I'LL GIVE YOU A TICKET."
These statements only infuriated Dave further. I was sure this would come to blows, but luckily the light turned green and the truck driver (who noticed our audience) decided not to kill Dave, but instead, speed away. Hallelujah.
After 10 minutes Dave was able to shake off the incident and get into the spirit of the game. 5 fighter jets flew over the field to kick things off, and we scored 3 runs in the first inning! The Rockies were off to a great start. You may be wondering why Dave is wearing head phones. Apparently watching the game wasn't enough. We also had to simultaneously listen to a radio broadcast of the game to ensure we didn't miss a single moment, or piece of commentary. At first I opted just to watch the game but turns out my husband isn't the best conversationalist while watching & listening to the game. So I got out the radio he brought for me and gave it a shot.
I'll admit it was a great combination. At first I felt a little sheepish, but looking around I realized I most likely wouldn't stand out. After all we were standing near this guy:
Actually I soon learned my radio gave me credibility with the rest of the fans. They thought I was hard core. I would go so far as to say, we were minor celebrities. Everyone wanted to ask us questions: "What did they say about this pitcher/batter match up? When was the last padres hit? How many pitches has this guy tossed?" I quickly embraced my stardom as the Rockies fever started to set in.
After an exciting couple of innings I turned to Dave and said "Man this is SO FUN! I wish we could go to more games!" Dave smiled and said "Well Carrie, this is your LUCKY day!" Turns out he bought tickets to ALL the upcoming games (assuming they continue to win) on-line today. He was just waiting for the "right moment" to tell me. Little punk. I'm not going to give you a dollar figure, but let's just say we could have taken a small vacation for the price of all these tickets. He assured me he would "scalp" one set of tickets to pay for the rest...but so far I haven't gotten him to commit to parting with any of them.
Things were neck and neck during the course of the game, and by the 9th inning we were all tied up. The Rockies prevented the Padres from scoring at the top of the 9th, but then didn't score themselves at the bottom of the inning. So the game went into extra innings. A lot of extra innings. Some of the fans started to tire (after all we were pushing 5 hours of hard core cheering and clapping.) Each time some poor old chap would try to sit down for a second a near by fan would scream "GET UP!!!!!!!!!! GET UP!!!!!!!!!!!! HOW CAN YOU BE TOO TIRED TO CHEER? WE HAVE WAITED 12 YEARS FOR THIS! WOULD YOU RATHER WAIT ANOTHER 12 YEARS AND CHEER THEN? GET UP! GET UP YOU LAZY $%*(#*$&!"
Yes things were intense. Another fun moment was when the one padres fan in our section got booed by about 500 people & eventually ejected from our section.
At the top of the 13th inning the tension was palpable and in a devastating few moments the padres scored 2 runs. You could feel panic set it. Even I could feel a headache rise from keeping my muscles so tense, for so long. The Rockies had last bats, but it didn't look promising. They hadn't scored since the 6th inning, and had only one hit in between the 6th and the 13th. Dave had me wear his cap "inside out" for luck (otherwise known as a Rally cap).
Finally the Rockies got a hit!
And then they got another hit.
After two more hits the winning runner slid into home, the catcher trying to tag him out dropped the ball, and the crowd went wild. I hugged several strangers and high fived too many to count. The Rockies were going to the playoffs, winning the game 9-8!
This was the most exciting event I have ever been too. As we biked home Denver was in total pandemonium. Everyone was cheering, yelling, and clapping. When we finally got home Dave whispered in a scratchy voice (he had all but lost it due to excessive yelling) - "lets take some vitamin C, and wash our hands. We touched a lot of strangers tonight."
Some people, it seems, can learn lessons the easy way. I am not one of them.
We learned several expensive lessons while redoing the house. I'd document them here, but you'd never visit this blog again, and that really wouldn't be fair to Carrie. I recently learned an expensive lesson when my darling S was playing Webkinz.com on my computer and spilled her lemonade all over my laptop. The laptop is now dead.
Today I learned that it's very, very bad for your son to drink juice. Apparently, he has 6 cavities. Because he freaks out at the mere mention of visiting a dentist or doctor, I postponed taking him to get his teeth cleaned for a long, long time. This summer I took him for attempt #4, and while he was screaming bloody murder the hygenist got a look in his mouth and said she thought she saw some cavities. So I had to take him to a special pediatric dentist here in Scarsdale, where you pay through the nose for features like flavored gloves (so it tastes like bubble gum when the dentist puts her hands in your mouth), fish tanks and video screens everywhere, cool sunglasses to wear while they shine the bright light on your mouth, and more stickers than you've ever seen. You get the idea. I'm basically paying for a 3 ring circus, with dentistry on the side.
So above is the photo I took of our receipt. They charged us over 300 buck for each cavity (they only fill 2 at a time) and 250 for the gas they had to give him to mellow him out. And we still have 4 cavities to go! Unreal.