Monthly Archives: November 2006


I finally mustered the strength to throw away the Thanksgiving leftovers. The stuffing loses some of its original “oomph” after the sixth reheating. And enough with the cranberries, already.

Soup and salad from now til Christmas.

That is all.


Comfort and Joy

This morning, Hannah asked me if we could go to the mall and have a Girlie Fun Day, which involves strolling with our fellow shoppers, trying out lipstick samples, and buying stuff.

I hate the mall, even when it’s not the Sunday after Thanksgiving.

After I said no, my lovely and persistent daughters still tried to get me to drive there, because they didn’t buy it when I told them that there really weren’t any parking spots left.

I told them we’ll go another time.

That’s What I Get for Being All Smug About Being "Organized"

I was sooo proud of myself for getting all of my grocery shopping done early this week, so I wouldn’t have to deal with the lines and engage in pre-Thanksgiving supermarket warfare with all the scary ladies fighting over poultry, (“Mine! I saw it first!”) canned pumpkin, and the last bag of cranberries.

I hyper-organized on Monday and made sure I had hazelnuts, and fresh thyme, and smoked ham, and gingersnaps, and cream cheese, and french bread, and spaghetti squash…

But I have to go to the store this morning because I ran out of sugar, which I have never run out of, ever in my life. And cat food.

Dang it.

Death of a Michigan Man

I remember waking up on Saturday mornings in the 70’s and 80’s, hearing the distant sounds of the Michigan Marching Band as they practiced for the day’s halftime show. I had no appreciation then for how talented they were, or how lucky I was to have access to a season ticket in a stadium that boasted seats for 101,701 crazed football fans.

The Michigan vs. Ohio State game was always heavily anticipated by Ann Arborites — a focal point of every fall. It never occurred to me that there were people anywhere who didn’t look forward to toe-freezing, windy, sometimes rainy and snowy November days on Stadium Boulevard with the passion and fervor that we did. No question; that’s what you did on Saturday afternoons. It just… was.

While I can’t say that I have followed the ins and outs of Michigan football as an adult (I realize this horrifies my parents and my brothers; I’m sorry) I do remember many specific details from that glorious era. Bob Ufer’s emotional and hilarious radio color commentary, Rick Leach’s team leadership, Ali Haji-Sheikh’s clutch field goal kicks, the thrill of Anthony Carter’s many physically impossible, magnificent catches and subsequent game-winning sprints into the endzone, the emotional rush of being part of an excited, sometimes overzealous crowd.

My sports-fan energy is largely focused on the Boston Red Sox these days, but my roots are in Michigan football, as a freezing cold kid equipped with hand warmers and a wool hat, sitting in Section 20, Row 56. I didn’t really get the nuances of the game, but I understood the thrill of the competition, the commitment of the team, and the level of excellence.

Mom and Dad went condo a couple of years ago, and landed right next door to Bo. They had known each other for years, but it has been fun to visit them in their new house knowing that The Man was right next door. He was a friendly neighbor, often stopping to chat in the driveway. He offered my parents a VIP parking pass so they wouldn’t have to walk through the crowds to get to the football games that they rarely attend anymore. He even volunteered to help around the house, telling my mom that he could “still get around pretty good.”

I urge anyone who appreciates great writing and/or loves the college football tradition to read Mitch Albom’s article, issued today at 3:00 AM. He wrote Bo’s biography back in 1989. They knew each other well. Mitch was one of my favorite writers long before he hit it big with his wonderful book Tuesdays with Morrie — his Detroit Free Press sports columns were almost always my first-must-read at the breakfast table before trudging off to school back in the early 80’s. He has a rare talent for hitting raw emotional nerves, using clean, simple language. This article is a beautiful tribute to a man who lived his life with intensity and loyalty; passion and purpose.

I can’t say I’m a dedicated, knowledgeable football fan — my brothers would laugh at me if I did — but Bo’s death has affected me in a way that surprises me a little. It’s a personal loss for my parents, of course. But Michigan football was a prominent part of my childhood and adolescence. Those games were dominant topics of conversation at school and around the family dinner table for as long as I can remember. Bo’s death puts another chunk of that era squarely in the past.

Go Blue, and rest in peace, Mr. Schembechler.

Quotes of the Day

Abby (from the tub; exasperated tone): Hey, Mom? This shampoo says “No More Tears” — unfortunately, IT LIES.

Sam: I know what I want for Christmas. A dumbwaiter, and Comcast Digital Cable.

Hannah (after school, getting off the bus): I need a vacation.

It Took Four Months

… for her to realize that the pink leopard ears buried in the dressup box match her jammies.

What do leopards eat? Nacho Cheese Doritos, by the bagful, right before bed.

The Accidental Sammich

It’s a bummer to open the apple butter and find fuzzy, grey apple mold instead.


But this turned out to be a good thing, because I made an emergency substitute and came up with a killer sandwich today.

– 2 slices of bread (today’s selection, whole wheat)
– Many slices of Boar’s Head Ovengold Turkey
– A few pieces of brie cheese
– Romaine lettuce
– Thin slices of apple (that’s right, I said apple. I used Empire, ’cause that’s what was in the fruit bowl.)

Lightly toast the bread, then lightly butter it. Place brie slices on one piece of toast, and toast it again (in toaster oven or in a pan) until the brie melts a little. Layer turkey, romaine and apple slices.

Sweet mother of tryptophan.

The apples works with the brie, and the brie works with the turkey, and it all goes crunch.