Tagged: Cubs

My 2010 Thanksgiving Adventure At Rhonda’s

Oh, my. As I explained in yesterday’s post, I drive down to L.A. every year for Turkey Dinner at the home of my friend Rhonda, the Emmy-winning producer of “The Bold and the Beautiful.”
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Rhonda (Cubs fan) hosts about 15 people and the food is always to die for, but the experience can be fraught with peril for a Yankee fan. Among those present again this year were Mary Ann (Yankees/baseball hater), along with her son Antonio (Dodger fan). 
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Also in attendance were TV show host and interior designer Jennifer Farrell and her TV producer boyfriend Mike (Cubs fan).
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Two newcomers/innocents this year were Rhonda’s friends Alison and Gail, who read yesterday’s blog and thought it was hilarious but had no inkling of the truly bad blood to come.
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As in past years, Rhonda set a magnificent table for us.
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And the meal was better than ever – turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, candied yams, Brussel sprouts, string bean casserole, salad (and that was AFTER the hors d’oeuvres that consisted of shrimp cocktail, deviled eggs and all sorts of delicious cheeses, plus copious amounts of wine and champagne). I don’t remember ever stuffing myself the way I did last night.
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It was during the dessert buffet that things turned ugly. As I mentioned yesterday, I brought a chocolate fudge cake instead of my usual apple pie/tart/crisp because Mary Ann decided to make an apple dessert herself and one-up me. My cake was a big hit, especially with the side of whipped cream. But….well, let me show you.
First, Mike, the Cubs fan, irked me when he brought up Jeter in a taunting, thoroughly irritating way.
He did go on to say that he thought the Yankees should offer Jeter another year and more money, given what he’s meant to the team, but the damage was done; he had raised the dreaded Jeter-as-Red-Sock issue. And so I dragged him over to the dessert buffet, lowered his head into the bowl of whipped cream next to my chocolate cake and made him pay. He’s a nice guy, but a girl’s gotta do…
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I was back at the table, minding my own business and enjoying my dessert, until Mary Ann and I had a testy exchange. She has a lovely smile, but don’t be fooled; she speaks pure poison.
Since she liked my chocolate cake so much, there was only one way to punish her for her Yankees bashing.
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She retaliated by shooting some whipped cream AND chocolate cake at me.
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Even Rhonda’s cat Tooey looked a little frightened.

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Just another Thanksgiving. Can’t wait till next year, although I may not have to. Rhonda invited us all back for Easter. Oh boy.
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Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone

As I spend this Thanksgiving eve preparing for tomorrow’s drive down to L.A. for my friend Rhonda’s annual shindig, I thought I should give newcomers to this blog a taste of what went down in 2008. In a nutshell, Michael and I were the lone Yankee fans among a table full of naysayers and I got into it with…Well, take a walk with me down memory lane.
***

My Thanksgiving Saga/Yankees Brawl

My family lives back east, so my husband and I drive down to L.A. every Thanksgiving and celebrate at the home of our friend Rhonda Friedman. Rhonda not only takes in strays like us but prepares a fabulous meal and sets a very elegant, tasteful table – flowers, crystal, candles, the works.

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Rhonda is the supervising producer of the soap opera daytime drama, “The Bold and the Beautiful.” She is frequently seen walking the red carpet at Emmy Awards and such.
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Rhonda always presides over a really nice group of people, but occasionally, as on “The Bold and the Beautiful,” there is drama.
This year, along with her family members, we were joined by her friend Jennifer Farrell, who until recently hosted the TV show “Find & Design,” which was like “Extreme Home Makeover” without the “Extreme.”
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Jennifer’s boyfriend Mike was there too. He produces/directs a reality series called “My Big Redneck Wedding” on Country Music TV. I had never heard of it, so I made him say the name of it about six times. Apparently,
it is hosted by this man.
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Also in attendance was Rhonda’s friend Mary Ann, the ex-wife of actor John Saxon. Does anyone remember him from the movies or the zillion TV series he was on?
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So there I was, sipping champagne, eating turkey and minding my own business, when Jennifer’s mom, who was visiting from Florida, said very animatedly, “Jane’s got a book coming out about how she loves the Yankees! I went to my Books-a-Million in Gainesville to buy it, but they don’t have it in stock yet!”

I smiled, eternally grateful that I would have at least one sale, and said, “It doesn’t come out until February 3rd. Maybe you could go back to the store then.”

I resumed eating, this time diving into the stuffing.

“The Yankees are losers,” said somebody down at the other end of the table. It might have been Rob, Rhonda’s brother. Their family is from Chicago and they’re Cubs fans. Or it might have been Mike, Jennifer’s boyfriend, who also roots for the Cubs.

“They had a down year, yes,” I admitted, feeling my blood pressure spike.

“A down year?” said Antonio, the dashingly handsome son of Mary Ann and John Saxon. “They sucked.”

I laughed. Well, it was Thanksgiving. You’re supposed to laugh and be jolly and forgiving.

“Yeah,” Mary Ann chimed in. “What do you think went wrong with them, Jane? Besides the pitching and hitting and fielding.”
O.K. That was downright sarcastic! Never mind that she and her son are Dodgers fans. No excuse for picking on my team during a lovely holiday meal.

I set down my fork and eyed her. “We had a new manager,” I said. “And there were injuries. A lot of injuries.”

“Plus, they sucked,” said Antonio.

Everybody at the table laughed. LAUGHED. Including my husband, a Yankee fan, or so I thought. Would no one but me defend the Pinstriped Ones? 

“We’ll bounce back and be very competitive next season,” I said, my heart thumping now. I was trying to keep it civil. I w
as.

Antonio smirked. “How? You can’t even sign Sabathia.”

Uh-oh. I gripped my champagne glass tightly and said through clenched teeth, “Then we’ll sign one of the other free agents. Lowe, maybe.”

“Lowe?” he said mockingly. “You can have him. He’s garbage.”
“Face it, Jane. The Yankees aren’t what they used to be,” said Mary Ann.

That did it. How dare she? How dare any of them?

I should have attempted to calm myself, done some deep breathing, shoved more food in my mouth. Instead – I’m so embarrassed to tell you this – I threw my champagne at Mary Ann. In turn, she grabbed a handful of candied yams and threw them at me.
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In the blink of an eye, she and I were really going at it.
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Needless to say, Rhonda’s beautiful table was ruined. My apologies to her. I can only hope and pray she’ll overlook my boorishness and invite me back next year.

***

No, nobody got hurt. It was a “fun fight.” When we went to Rhonda’s last year, the Yankees had just won the World Series so you’d think everybody would have been a tiny bit more respectful. Instead, I got an earful about how the my team “bought” a championship, blah blah blah. Enough is enough. This year I’m going armed with the chocolate fudge cake I baked earlier today.
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It’s a recipe from my friend Diane Worthington’s cookbook, Seriously Simple, and it’s incredibly dense with a chocolate walnut glaze. If anyone at Rhonda’s says even one negative thing about the Yankees I’ll pull it off the buffet table, stick it in my car and take it back home with me – plus the whipped cream that goes with it!

Here’s hoping my Thanksgiving – and yours – is full of laughter and good food. (I’ll report on this year’s ad
venture on Friday.) Before I sign off, in the spirit of thanksgiving and gratitude, I’d like to give a shout out to Tom Kackley, the equipment/clubhouse manager for the Trenton Yankees. Tom emailed today to tell me about a fantastic auction he runs every year on eBay to raise money for the domestic violence shelter in his hometown of Canton, Ohio. Tom’s wife’s sister was murdered by her husband in ’97 and he felt powerless to help – until he came up with the idea for the auction. This year, it’s going on  until December 1st and there’s all sorts of Yankees memorabilia for sale. Check it out:


For more on the shelter he helps support, here’s the link for it. http://www.domesticviolenceproj.org/

 Enjoy!



Daydreaming About Tomorrow Night’s Game

With way too much time on my hands this off-day, I let my mind drift. That’s what vacations are for, right? Anyhow, I started to imagine all the excellent things that could happen during Friday night’s series opener against the White Sox. Here are a few.

Only A Few More Days To My Thanksgiving Throwdown

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Long time readers of this blog might remember last year’s Thanksgiving post, when I recounted the trouble I encountered as a Yankee fan at my friend’s Rhonda’s house in LA. (My family is back east, so my husband and I always spend turkey day at her place, where she hosts a beautiful dinner with all of her close friends and family members.)
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Last year, the Yankees didn’t even make the playoffs, so I got an earful from Rhonda and her brother, who grew up in Chicago and are Cubs fans. I also heard it from her friend Mary Ann and her son Antonio, true blue Dodger fans. In fact, just about everybody at the table decided to make the Yankees the punch line of their jokes, and I was stuck defending my team by flashing the tattoo on my leg.
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OK, I don’t have a tattoo but I wished I did. People ended up flinging insults at me and I ended up flinging food at them, and it got ugly.
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This year should be very different, given that the Yankees won the World Series while the Cubs and Dodgers were home playing golf, but will it be? I’m anticipating the following from the hostile crowd:
“They bought the championship.”
“All the umpires’ bad calls went in their favor.”
“Jeter’s old.”
“A-Rod’s a cheater.”
“They bought the championship.”
“Burnett’s a head case.”
“Damon throws like a girl.”
“Teixeira chokes in the clutch.”
“They bought the championship.”
I would prefer a peaceful Thanksgiving, but I just know I’m going to need ammunition on Thursday.
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So if anyone has any great comebacks, I’d be glad to hear them. I do have a weapon I didn’t have last year: the She-Fan Cam.
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If anyone says something malicious about the Yanks, they’ll run the risk of having their foolish remarks published on YouTube, not to mention on this blog. And there’s another reason they should be afraid: I’m in charge of bringing the apple pie this year. If somebody isn’t appropriately respectful, they could wind up with this in their face.
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I really hate to make other people cry, but if I’m pushed….
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Which Team Would I Rather Play?

Well, I won’t be playing, obviously, but you know what I mean. I’ve been thinking about the Twins-versus-Tigers question and it’s a really tough call.
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First, I start thinking I’d rather play the Twins because the Yankees have such a winning record against them. But then I start thinking maybe they’re due to beat us. And then I start picturing us having to show up at the Metrodome with the noise and the white dish towels and the hideous green shag carpeting.
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Verdict? I’d rather play the Tigers. They’ve been slumping and it’s doubtful Verlander would be available to pitch Game 1. Their roster doesn’t include Joe Mauer or Joe Nathan, which is a plus. And they play in Comerica Park, which is a nice normal stadium. Oh, and Miguel Cabrera might not have his head in the series.
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On the other hand, the Tigers eliminated us in ’06. They do have Verlander, as well as Jackson and Porcello. They also have Curtis Granderson, Magglio Ordonez, Carlos Guillen, Aubrey Huff and Placido Domingo.
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And to manage the team, they have that crafty, craggy, curmudgeonly Jim Leyland.
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Maybe I’d rather play the Twins after all. Their nickname makes them sound so benign and sweet and easy to digest, doesn’t it?
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I don’t even think the Tigers have a cute little nickname. It’s not the Baby Tigers. And it certainly isn’t this.
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So maybe I do want to play the Twinkies. Except that there might be a lot of confusion in the broadcast booth, since we have a Gardy….
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…and they have a Gardy.
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Also, the Twins have Cuddyer, Span and that Yankees killer Orlando Cabrera. Scary. And they have the powerful Jason Kugel too.
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But facing Carl Pavano would be a treat. Yes, he’s pitched well for the Twins but how cool would it be to have him back at Yankee Stadium with all the fans to greet him?
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So I guess my choice is the Twins. But they’ve been on such a roll lately.
No, it’s the Tigers. But they could get a huge confidence boost if they win Tuesday’s playoff.
Twins. Tigers. Twins. Tigers.
OK, I don’t care! Either team is fine! This whole exercise is exhausting!
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Yankees-Cubs Part 2: Either The Yankees Are Great Or The Cubs Stink

We won the Grapefruit League. We won Florida. And now we’ve won the Dress Rehearsal, mauling the Cubs 10-1 in a quaint, old-fashioned, Bronx Bombers-style display of brute force.

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Sure, it was windy and the balls were flying out. But they weren’t flying out for the Cubs, were they?
Up stepped Jeter: three-run shot.
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Up stepped Teixeira: solo blast, followed by a three-run jack. (So much for his slow start.)
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Up stepped Shelley: one-run dinger.
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Not that the pitching wasn’t impressive. Pettitte labored but escaped damage. AJ was brilliant over four scoreless innings. And Bruney and Coke looked downright nasty.
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There were things that bothered me.
* MLB.TV’s feed kept “stuttering,” which forced me to lower the quality of the video.
* YES showed clips of the perfect games by Wells/Cone over and over. I love a memorable Yankees moment as much as the next fan, but how about a breather?
* I don’t need to see any more images of people roaming around “the great hall” looking dazed and confused.
* If there are so many empty seats at the Stadium, why not lower the prices or give them away to aspiring she-fans?
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On the plus side…
* I was grateful that MLB.TV broadcast the game at all, since my Extra Innings cable package doesn’t kick in until tomorrow.
* I enjoy watching Brett Gardner play small ball, but I almost forgot how much I like big ball.
* I admit I derive a certain satisfaction when the opposition makes errors. So I laughed when that routine pop-up dropped between the Cubs players. I did. Forgive me.
* I roared when Michael Kay asked Paul O’Neill if he ever got under the covers with his wife on cold nights in Cincinnati and showed her his Yankeeography.
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Since the Yankees won again, I’ll be eating chicken for dinner again. And again – until the Yankees lose or I grow feathers. Whichever comes first.