Friday, May 13, 2011

Day 190 (5/13): TGFTR in MHK

Paula Deen, Sandra Lee, Rachael Ray, Guy Fieri, and Robert Irvine are frequent guests in my house.  They are there when I'm unloading the dishwasher, folding the clothes, preparing a meal, eating a meal, reading the paper and all sorts of mundane tasks.  OK maybe they are not there in person but they are constantly on TV as I'm doing those things so I like to think they are there with me.  So when I found out that Food Network would be coming to Manhattan, I was thrilled!  I had to go and check out Tyler Florence in his taping of The Great Food Truck Race in my own town.  He was practically in my living room....being so close to it...right?

I woke up in anticipation only to find I had a flat tire for the second time in two weeks so I knew that I needed to take it into the shop.  This dang tire was going to interfere with me watching my friends on Food Network.  Didn't the big man upstairs know my plans for the day?  I don't think he did since his weather plans were not cooperating either- chilly and cloudy.  Well I had to go to work for 3 hours - total bummer.  We have almost every Friday off except for the day that Tyler Florence was going to be visiting.  What is wrong with Barton - don't they know my plans?  Surely Tyler takes priority than the starving minds of my students (who am I kidding? - they are not starving for math knowledge!).
Well I raced home from work, dropped off my things and headed out to the autobody shop. They were going to take their time with the tire since they had fixed it once before and I was stuck waiting....thinking about all the fun stuff going on downtown with the food trucks. Mark picked me up and saved me from my truck food race envy and took me to the taping.
When we arrived, we couldn't walk down the block as they were filming the staging scenes of the challenge.  They filmed each team running down the block with grocery bags and then hopping in their trucks.  The camera crews peeked into each truck to film what the truckers were making for the challenge.  Tyler started pacing and yelling "5 more minutes, guys!"

And the truckies started carrying out their food.  First out was the Lime Truck, from California.  And they were very California looking.
And for those of you that know me I couldn't resist when one of them bent over and bared their drawers!  I think I have a problem and someday maybe I'll get help for it.  Until then...

The only truck food that I could recognize from my vantage point was a burger from Korilla BBQ, from New York. 
Chef Hodge from the Hodge Podge truck brought out a layered masterpiece that looked lip-smacking good. The vegetarian truck, Seabirds, brought out something that looked fried.  I still had yet to convince Mark to eat anything vegetarian but they were cute so I was hoping that would make him try their truck. He instead thought the "piglets" from Hodge Podge were more up to his liking.

There was probably an hour spent getting ready with the guest judge of the challenge with the contestants holding their food out in 40 degree weather.  I always thought I would want to be a guest judge but after realizing that the food would be cold upon eating, I'm rethinking that idea.  I have no clue who the guest judge was but he needed some serious help with his wardrobe.  So perhaps that's where I could fill in on the Food Network crew.  
The judge and Tyler usually only had one bite of the creation and then cleansed their palates with water.  I wonder if that food even tastes good after sitting out for so long??  Television, you just don't realize how much time everything takes.  The crew spent all day at the courthouse filming the challenge, the opening, and other shots.

Around to the side of the courthouse where they were filming was a crew that watched the film and would tell Tyler whether it was a good take or they had to redo.
I still can't wait to see the episode to see what they were eating and to see what shots they put in the episode.  It was fascinating to watch the cameras and see the production.  The crew was also very nice to all of us looky-looers.  Well I guess bogeys are what we are called in film crew.  I tried to find the video out there in cyber world of the crew having to redo since there were "bogeys" in the background stopping and gawking at the taping.  And NO it was not me surprisingly!  :)

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Day 189 (5/11): Field Day Fun

I spent the afternoon at Colton's school watching field day.  I remember back in the day when you had to walk 10 miles in the snow without snowboots to school and when our parents gave us those corny lines of how rough they had it getting up when the sun came up to milk cows before they went to school and how easy our lives were.  Ok I digress, I remember Grandview field days when kids ran the three-legged race and had eggs on wooden spoon relays.  Winners received ribbons and the weather always seemed to be perfect. 

It is different at Northview. No ribbons but the kids don't know any different. It is a day of fun and celebration.  I snapped photos and a few videos and put them together in a montage.  I'm a proud mamma and Colton ran the high jump so I give him an imaginary ribbon.  Enjoy the video and hope you think back to your field days.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Day 188 (5/10): Kids-n-Kups

Baseball. Batter Up. Boys. Bats. Balls. Boring. Maybe I should have left that last B-word off but the sport is boring to me. I try to make it to a couple of Royals and KSU BatCat games a year but I go for the atmosphere. When Colton was asked to try out for a traveling baseball team, I thought "How hard can it be?" A few tournaments on the weekends and then double-headers one day a week. Well it has been hard for me. The weather has been horrendous - 35 degrees for 5 hours outside is cold. Then throw in the rain and it makes for a very unpleasant night. Now add a dash of 20-30 mph wind and it is miserable.

I have to get my jollies somehow to make the walking and stealing fest of 9 year old kid-pitch baseball go a bit faster. I've been concentrating on taking pictures of the kids. You see a lot through the lens. Kids dancing in the outfield because they have to go to the bathroom or are that b-word. Kids mowing the outfield with their glove. Kids watching the game on the next field. Coaches have even asked me to take pictures of kids in the unready position. So it has made those baseball (insert other B-word here) games go a bit faster.

The one thing that is new to Colton is the equipment necessary for baseball. Most of the other kids wear a cup. Colton has refused to even try one on. I got him one. It has been sitting in the back of the car still in the package just in case. I was thinking the peer pressure of the other kids all having one would make him start wearing one. Mark has told me that when he gets hit with a ball there he will start wearing one. That has yet to happen. I finally wanted to see if it even fit so I forced him to try it on.

So he put it on. The conversation went something like this...
Mom: So how does it feel?
After a long pause...
Colton: It makes know what...look really big.
Mom: (trying not to laugh too hard) Someday you will want that thing to be that big.
(Mom leaves the room to cover up totally cracking up.)
Mom: Try moving around to see how it feels.
Colton: I can jump in this thing?
Mom: Yes you can run and do everything else baseball players do.

Oh my...what a memory. He'll probably kill me for blogging about it if this is still around when he gets a few years older. But kids are kids and they wear cups in baseball. They talk about cups in baseball.

The other night when I was standing in the dugout, a player came over to his dad who is also a coach and says, "Where's my nut cup? I'm going in as catcher." I, of course, start laughing but that is how I'm coping with baseball. Pictures and the funny stuff that kids say and do on and off the field.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Day 187 (5/9): Minute to Win It Couples Party

I have wanted to have a Minute 2 Win It party for a very long time and we finally had a free weekend so GAME ON!  Mark was not as excited as I was but he finally caved with all of my nagging and helped me practice some of the games to figure out what we would have at our party. I had this vision of a couples party so I had to con some friends into participating.

Ted and Angi aka the Jay Cats were definitely interested. They are very competitive and were scouting out the NBC website to practice. But we kept the games quiet so we had a chance to beat them.  Plus it is very entertaining to play Wii with them because they like to argue with each other so we were hoping they would entertain us at the party.  I think they secretly made a pact with each other because there was no arguing from them.
The argumentative couple was the Yankee Spankees - Jaime and Jeremy.  It was hilarious watching them do the ping pong toss. Jaime started pelting him with ping pong balls because he was telling her to get them higher.

The Homo Sapiens should have been more accurately named as The Cheaters.  They were always looking for ways to manipulate the games to win them.  I think they thought their age would be a disadvantage. ;)
Mark and I were the Sturgis Stooges. We thought of many names (Dynamic Duo, Minuteers, etc.) but could never agree on one.  Mark wore his shirt from Sturgis one day and I remembered I had one too so I came up with the Sturgis Stooges.  And boy did I feel like a stooge on some of those games.
The last couple to compete were the Dorks. I hope they enjoyed the party. Most of us knew each other and had met everyone else but they were new.  I was a little worried when they left and Deb said, "Thanks for inviting us. That was ......different."  The pictures showed they were having a good time and we enjoyed them so hopefully they will come back to the next M2WI Party!

Our list of games and some shots and commentary:
1)  Breakfast Scramble - We wanted to start off with an easy task and we figured the alcohol would not have been worked through to get people to go crazy.  The pics above of the couples show how the game works.  You have 60 seconds to get a breakfast cereal box cut into 16 equal pieces back together.  We all completed the task and earned 5 points.
2)  Paper Dragons.  The goal is to unroll 2 streamers as a couple with your arms interlocked in 60 seconds by just moving your arms.  The Homo Sapiens (i.e. Cheaters) started off by throwing theirs in the wind hoping it would unravel the whole thing.  I used 80 feet streamers and we all completed the task in 60 seconds.  I wonder how long of streamers they use on the real show - it did seem kind of easy.

This was a really cool game to watch - the streamers made it pretty!
3)  Penny Hose - The goal is to get two pennies that are at the bottom of a pair of panty hose out by not using your forearms.  Goals to this game - use your partner for leverage.  Mark and I didn't do this as I got so excited that I found my penny I left him hanging literally with panty hose on his arm.
4) Elephant Walk - The goal is to get your blindfolded partner to knock over 3 water bottles in 60 seconds. This was where the teams started to deviate in points. Mark and I and Ted and Angi were unable to complete the task.  We had to use a life-line and we switched rolls.  So obviously Angi and I can take directions and the boys can't!

Stay Back Girls!  This Stooge is ALL MINE!  :)
We caught the neighbors in the next cul-de-sac watching us from their windows on this one.  I'm sure they were wondering what the heck we were doing. Can you imagine their conversation?  Mr. Kravitz - look at these fools with panty hose on their head! Mrs. Kravitz - Wonder why their doing that?  Let's sit here and watch and laugh at them.

We interrupt this game night for a look at one of the cutest babies in the world. She got lots of love from all of us and was so good all night long!

5)  Nutstacker - No pics of this one. We must have really been into it.  The goal is to stack 8-10 nuts alternating partners using a chopstick.  We only used 8 because when you go past 8 it really starts to lean.  I'm sure it was because of the floor level or something...not because of our lack of skill.
6)  Junk in the Trunk - Not too many pics of this one either.  It was getting dark plus I was laughing way too hard.  There was some serious blur effects going on in the pictures due to some belly jiggles. I do have one showing you truly why the Cheaters got their names.  Notice Adrian just bending over so the balls would roll right out of the kleenex box.  The goal is to jump and pop them out using your booty.
7)  Ready Spaghetti - The goal is to transport 3 cans to make a pyramid using your mouths and a stick of spaghetti.  It was fun and took some real teamwork.
8) Face the Cookie - This was the funniest game watching others scrunch up their faces trying to move the cookie from their forehead to their mouth in 60 seconds. There were long tongues, short tongues, turrets-like twitchy eyes, wrinkly foreheads and belly rolling laughter.  Hilarious!  Next time I will video this one.

9) Tilt A Cup - Sorry no pics.  Might have to hire someone next time to take pics since I was obviously so into playing. The goal of the game is to have one player bounce a ping pong ball in a cup of their partners.  And to do this 7 times alternating cup/ball/cup/ball in 60 seconds.  Difficult but doable.
10)  Dice Balance- This was our tie-breaker game since we had two teams with the same score.  The player that could hold the most dice balanced on a popsicle stick was the winner. 
And the winners and second place:

It was so much fun and so much laughter.  We are definitely going to do it again.  So friends beware...I am thinking of new ways to compete and failure to participate will result in elimination!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Day 186 (5/8): 100 Things My Mom Taught Me

In honor of Mother's Day, I started thinking about all the things that my mom taught me....

1.  Always eat a meal as a family - even if it is late after swim practice or band concerts.
2.  The seam ripper is your friend. This is something I haven't learned yet.
3.  You'll appreciate it more if you pay for it yourself.
4.  Butter is better than margarine.
5.  Establish a church family. They will be there when something happens, often with casseroles.
6.  Don't wear cowboy boots with shorts. You will look like the "dork of the century, Matt!"
7.  Family vacations bring you closer as a family.
8.  Don't keep the car door open when you are driving out of the garage.
9.  Always lick the beaters.
10.  Soap operas are a good thing.
11.  It's never too late to learn a hobby.
12.  You don't have to like it, just do it.  I still don't like cleaning although I do it...but not often enough.
13.  No matter how much you love your kids, you are going to bump heads with them.
14.  You can truly stretch a dollar with egg sandwiches and fried hotdogs covered in barbeque sauce.
15.  Dessert is good after every meal...or for breakfast.
16.  She taught me about religion  "You better pray that will come out of the carpet."
17.  You should engage the lawnmower. It will go a lot faster and easier that way.
18.  She taught me how to keep an eye on my neighbors...and yes I'm becoming a Mrs. Kravitz too.
19.  A little bit of chocolate can help get the greasy taste out of your mouth. And makes you feel better.
20.  Don't lie. Parents always know when you are lying.
21.  Coupon clipping can save money.
22.  You should watch the news to know what is going on in the world.
23.  Be good to others.
24.  She taught me about logic - "Because I said so, that's why."
25.  You don't have to wear a lot of makeup to be pretty.
26.  Homemade gifts are just as good or better than gifts that are store bought.
27.  Children are fun to play with.  So babysit other people's kids and love them like they are your own.
28.  When something is ugly on the outside it's nice on the inside.  My first car had an orange roof and I did not want to drive that to school because of the orange roof.  Her response - you can't see the orange roof when you are driving it.  I loved that car - very easy to find in a parking lot.
29.  She taught me that you can truly listen to about anything.  I'm sure listening to me practice the flute for hours every night was not the most pleasant thing. 
30.  Don't walk barefoot especially when there is a seamstress in the house.  Needles and pins hurt.
31.  You can never have enough bandaids in the house.
32.  Being smart does not make you a nerd.
33.  You can be frugal with the heating and air conditioner.  I'm not quite as frugal as she is - I can't wait until July 4th to turn on the air conditioner.
34.  Make your bed everyday.  I still haven't learned this one..but I do like the days I come home to a pretty made bed.
35.  Even though you don't always "show" love, people know you love..or at least I hope so.
36.  My mother taught me about stamina..."You'll sit there until you've taken 3 bites of liver and onions."
37.  Learn how to get gum out of everything - hair,carpet, clothes.
38.  It's ok to dump and pour when you cook.  You don't always have to follow the recipe.
39.  It's never too early to teach your kids to do chores.  Yes Colton has also learned that one!
40.  Be punctual.
41.  Be thrifty.
42.  If you work hard, you can then play hard.  I hope that I get to vacation as much as she does when I get her age.
43.  Laughter is the best medicine.  And you can laugh as loud as you want.
44.  Keep your hands busy. I think this is why I can't just sit and watch tv.
45.  She taught me to be self-reliant.
46.  My mom taught me about weather.  "Matt, your room looks like a tornado went through it."
47.  She taught me creativity and ingenuity.  You can create and make things when money is tight.
48.  You can never wash your hands too many times.
49.  She taught me about foresight..."Make sure you wear clean underwear. You never know when you'll be in an accident."
50.  She taught me to have an opinion.  Sometimes it's best to keep your opinion to yourself...but that hasn't always sunk in.
51.  You should listen in class especially when it is something your mom is not good at womanly things.  Sorry mom but "just stick it up there" doesn't help a teenage girl figure out how to use a tampon.
52.  Know your surroundings.  You might trip and fall if you are not watching.
53.  Everything will eventually be ok.
54.  Try to do the right thing- no matter how hard it is.
55.  My mother taught me about my my roots..."Were you born in a barn?"
56.  Wash your sheets once a week.  I hope my stinky kid appreciates this one.
57.  You can never have too much food.
58.  A good education is important.
59.  Tough love never killed anyone.
60.  She's currently teaching me how to spoil my grandkids!
61.  Save money for a rainy day.
62.  Encourage your kids talents and dreams no matter what they are.
63.  Naps are a good thing.
64. My mom taught me irony.  "Keep crying, and I'll give you something to cry about."
65.  Not only carry clean underwear but you might need to carry an extra pair of underwear.
66.  She taught me how to get up and go to work everyday, even when you don't want to.
67.  Traditions should be carried on- family dinners are important.
68. Always do the dishes right away.  Nope haven't learned this one either...but it saves you time if you don't wait until things get all gunked up and dried on.
69.  Never pass up a good deal.
70.  Appreciate your family and its history.
71.  You can never have enough chapstick.
72.  Clothes should be ironed and nails should be clean.
73.  She taught me how to bake.
74.  Responsibility. You are responsible for your own actions.  You are responsible for your own children.  Responsibility is important.
75.  Women can do a lot of things.
76.  Underbake your cookies.  Let them bake the last minute on the counter in the pan.
77.  You can reuse things or repurpose grocery bags for bathroom trashcan liners.
78.  She taught me a love of entertaining.
79. It's never too early to start planning for tomorrow...or the next 50 years.
80.  Farts are still funny when you are an adult.
81.  Enjoy what you have.
82.  Be kind to your neighbors - make them cookies.  You never know when you're going to need their help.
83.  Always take a jacket (and kleenex and cash)  - you never know when you're going to need it.
84.  Don't worry about everything.  Still working on this one but getting better.
85.  She taught me that not everything is fair.
86.  Bags of shredded cheese can be frozen.
87.  Do things right the first time.
88.  If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything.
89.  Kids should read and learn to love to read.
90. Women are strong - usually stronger than men.
91.  Everyone is welcome to come over.  She was always willing to have my friends come over and have slumber parties, tent parties and just hang out.
92.  Eat, you'll feel better. Maybe I learned this one a little too well.
93.  You can be in and out of a store if you know exactly what you want so make a list.
94.  There's always room to put one more thing in there....a little fancy maneuvering in the fridgerator or your closet.
95.  Breakfast for dinner is great comfort food.
96.  Spend time with the elderly.  You never know how long they will be here.
97.  Don't add too much flour - keep your dough sticky.
98.  Save your old stuff. It goes great in grandma's grabbag.
99.  Singing in the car is a great outlet.  My music may not be Sawyer Brown or Barry Manilow but I can wail like a pro!
100.  Motherhood is an unappreciated job. How often do kids really appreciate all their mothers do for them - the sacrifices they make, the early mornings, the late hours, the cleaning up vomit and poop? She was strict and we tried to be good kids.  For that I'm grateful - just took me a while to get here.

So for all that you've taught me, intentional or not....thanks MOM!  LOVE YOU!