a99kitten’s Musings

I blog about a WHOLE LOT of stuff :)

I just took down all of the balloons from my Super Bowl party. Boo :( I love balloons! But more boo is that it means football is over for the season. I used to have the Pro Bowl to ease it out but no longer since they changed the schedule and put that on the week before the Super Bowl (genius…) So now my football season ends with a Super Bowl bang. I’m sad.

My fantasy team sucked this year. I almost made it into the play-offs. But that’s like almost winning Miss Congeniality at the beauty pageant. 10 teams in our league and 6 go to play-offs. I think I was 7. Whee! Meh. I was commissioner (have been for the past couple years) and I had one simple rule. You are not allowed to draft Michael Vick. He is off limits in my league. Don’t like it? Go play somewhere else. I’ll try not to cry over the loss of your team. So what happens? 2 different teams draft him at different points in the season. One of them the week they are playing me! Hellllooooooo. But both of those team managers had the good sense to realize their egregious error and not actually play him on game day.

Then the next genius to draft him (yes…a 3rd manager…what is wrong with you people?) does so on the weekend I was away in Florida dealing with the death of my little brother. I had other things on my mind than dealing with ass clowns so I didn’t do anything. I wish I did. The guy even sends a note saying how he will donate $5 to my favorite animal charity (I set that price last year…it will go up next year to $100) but it was worth the price to have the points. Hahaha. Yeah – that’s what he said. To me. One of the biggest dog/animal lovers he will ever know and the commissioner of the league. OK. Forever banned from my league. Seriously. Idget.

I did OK in the weekly picks. I think I won twice. Maybe 3 times but I think twice and tied another is correct. So I think I basically even out there? I am also the commissioner there and that is giant hassle as I have to collect the winnings each week and dole them out. I need to come up with a better system next year OR people pay a commissioner fee (other friends of mine who are league commissioners say their buy-in is paid by all the players for doing all of the accounting and work – wth?? I am being cheesed!)

Then we did the play-off/SuperBowl picks. Everyone had NE or ATL winning the Super Bowl. I had NE and GB in the Super Bowl as did one other person. We rule :) It came down to us and so we split the pot. My general personality is to let that money ride and winner take all. However, several years ago when PIT was the wild card 6th seed in the play-offs, that no one saw coming, they played Seattle in the SB. The pool was down to me and this same friend. I had SEA to win the SB and he had more points from previous play-off games (no one had PIT even going to the SB that year much like GB this year) so if SEA lost, he would win. He offered to just split the pot and said no – let it ride. Doh. I was not making that same mistake this year. Cash in hand is better than cash not in hand :)

Then we had Super Bowl Squares (no, we do not have any gambling problems, why do you ask?) I won the first quarter and Angelus won 3rd quarter. So I was even with my win there (versus the squares I bought) and Angelus will get some good treats with his winnings (that he will share with Storm!)

My Super Bowl party was super fun. It was a gorgeous day on the coast, all the windows and doors open, sun shining (and then beautifully setting), a super fun game and good friends. I made yummy food and people brought yummy stuff. We had bubbly flowing (I like that my friends go with the bubbly flow and don’t demand Bud!) One of my best friends, who knows me so well, brought food for the the buddies! Their own Super Bowl treats – giant ham bones! They got to eat them that night! Plus she bought other treats for them and me – a bottle of Veuve Clicquot Rose. Tasty!

Another friend brought a treat bag that I just took apart tonight – it’s filled with a bottle of Chandon Blanc de Noirs and Moet Chandon Imperial. Tasty X 2! Plus a bunch of Belgian truffles from Brugge (having just returned from Belgium and Romania that afternoon and coming over to watch the game.

And another friend brought a bottle of Prosecco that I can’t wait to try. It’s from the Famiglia Zonin and called DOC. When I saw the label I thought it said DOG and was like – WHOA! Best Prosecco ever! :) But not DOG – it’s DOC. But still excited to try it :)

So all in all a decent football season. I love the game and truly hope there is no strike. That will suck. What the heck will I do with my Sundays..and Mondays…and sometimes Thursdays from September through January??? :(

And now…well….time to stress about March Madness to take my mind off missing football :)

Well, I lost my fantasy week. Very sad about this. Especially since I lost to a guy who was trying to snake a trade in with another team manager which I felt was completely bogus. The league vetoed this trade but when someone comes to me to justify something that I feel is ridiculous. Well, I tell them so. Sucks that I lost to him. If Brees and Colston would have just been more productive for me I would have won – damn it! So now I will be 6-3…not sure where that will land me league-wise. At least Hines Ward got me 2 TDs tonight for more points cushion.

I did win our weekly picks pool! For the 3rd time this season!!! This is a record!! Very happy about this :) I just found my cash from my last win in another purse yesterday :) I am keeping it aside for my shoe/bag fund! I think for the time invested – I am doing VERY well in the weekly pools compared to my fantasy team.

And I survived our weekly Survivor too. With a Seattle pick. Holy hell I was stressing into the 4th quarter of that game! Just 2 players survive – both girls :) The only 2 girls who played Survi. Hehehe…But now the picks will just keep getting more stressful! I’ve used most “sure thing” teams. While realizing no team is a sure thing…I’ve used most of them except for Indy. But really…Any Given Sunday…

And my Gators won! Yay!!! Of course I read more gator-hater articles and crap. But meh…And my Bucs won!!! They are sad this season but yay for them winning against Green Bay!! Was a great game! Oh! and I did order my Peyton Manning jersey! To go with my Joe Montana, Ocho Cinco and Alex Smith jerseys :)

I really do love football….

Wheee!!! My Gators won!!!! Great game! And I got a football fix :) And having 3 TVs on in the house to make sure I don’t miss anything while doing chores is NOT an overkill :)

So I’ve just finished setting my Fantasy team (although will make a check Sunday AM as well), made my Survivor pick and made all my pool picks. I did all of this early because…dundundun….I will not be home to watch football tomorrow…ARGH!!!!! I will be able to catch Fox pre-game stuff and maybe 45 minutes or so of the morning games but made plans for an event on Sunday (while thinking it was on a Saturday – doh!) Plus we have to leave the house early due to our local Pumpkin Festival taking place this weekend and the 2 ways in and out of our little coast side hamlet become clogged with insane tourists looking for pumpkins, crafts, pumpkin-themed food and photo ops for their kids. They do have live bands all day long too.

Don’t get me wrong – I love the festival actually. It is quite fun once you brave the drive. But man…the traffic is actually mind-boggling. If you are coming over the hill from the peninsula or south bay, you are looking at a 2 hour sit in your car on 92 at the peak (12-2) to get into downtown to park. For pumpkins. And ponies. And arts & crafts. Yikes. But a lot of pumpkin-themed food which is quite good…

Anyway – due to this, locals usually either bike,  stay ensconced in their homes with provisions procured on the Friday before the festival, or they leave and are over the hill by 10:30-11:00am AT THE LATEST before the masses really clog the place up. And no coming back home until after 6:00pm (festival ends at 5pm on both Sat and Sun.)

BUT – on Sunday we are going to a very fun sounding event! The Champagne Tent Event at K&L Wine. And it benefits Pets N’Need – YAY! Here is a sample of what we will be tasting:

2003 Louis Roederer Vintage Brut Rosé Champagne
Fleury “Carte Rouge” from Magnum
Pascal Lallement Reserve (being shown in the USA for the first time)
1998 Pommery Brut ‘Cuvee Louise’ Champagne
Ariston Aspasie Cepages d’Antan Champagne (being shown in the USA for the first time)
Gosset Grand Reserve
Phillippe Gonet 3210 (being shown in the USA for the first time)
2002 Taittinger Millesime
Bruno Michel 2002 Vintage (being shown in the USA for the first time)
2000 Moet & Chandon Cuvée Dom Pérignon Brut
Ruinart Blanc de Blanc
Baron Fuente 1996 Vintage (being shown in the USA for the first time)
1998 La Grand Dame
Bonville Belles Voyes
Charles Heidsieck Brut 2000
2000 Cazals (being shown in the USA for the first time)
Tarlant Cuvee Louis
Krug Grand Cuvee

With producers direct from Champagne, France here (yes, I will be polite about the whole champagne/sparkling wine thing…unless they are snooty first:) ) Here is what sold me on the event (besides the above list)…

“We hope that you will join us in welcoming eight great producers from Champagne along with representatives from ten other houses at this exciting event. We will taste well over 40 different Champagnes (including eight for the first time in the USA) at what we promise will be the Champagne event of the year. Joining us from Champagne will be Paul Vincent and Caroline Ariston of Champagne Aspasie, Bruno Lemoine of Fleury and Pascal Lallement, Chantal Gonet of Champagne Philippe Gonet, Bruno Michel of Champagne Bruno Michel, Eric De Brisis of Champagne Baron Fuente, Olivier Bonville of Champagne Franck Bonville, Delphine Cazals of Champagne Claude Cazals and Melanie Tarlant of Champagne Tarlant. Representatives of Krug, Pommery, Gosset, Feuillatte, Ruinart, Veuve-Clicquot, Moet & Chandon, Roederer, Charles Heidsieck and Taittinger will also be on hand to pour their Champagne (many of which are rarely poured at events!) and answer your questions. A portion of ticket sales will benefit Pets N’Need. The event will also feature a silent auction with 100% of the proceeds going directly to this worthwhile charity.

I’m going to try another slow-cooking chicken dish for Sunday as well.  I’ll start it before I leave so I do not have to cook when I get home and can watch the night game! I’ll see how I like it and post the recipe tomorrow night or Monday if I like it :) Will also depend how sleepy I am after bubbly tasting all day ;-)

I am quite excited for it. Very, very sad to miss my football and RedZone Channel though. But I should make it home for most of the night game. All but 2 of my FF players are in the 10:00am games so oh well…what are you going to do :) If I’m losing that badly – I’ll know early to drink more bubbly :)

Well, it was not quite the relaxing Tahoe weekend I had hoped for…

Saturday AM I took the huskies on their morning walk (in the 24 degree weather!!) and they had a good time. Storm wanted to come back after about 30-40 minutes so I dropped him off at home and took Angelus back out. Angelus always wants to be out investigating!

About an hour later as we were walking down our drive-way back to the house, I see that I have 2 missed calls from home.  Weird. Call husband and he answers the phone saying he needs to rush Storm to the vet. WHAT?  Storm apparently got up on the kitchen counter and found his Cushing’s Disease medication. His current daily dose is 20mg and he ate the entire pack of pills equaling of 150 mg.

My husband wanted to know how could *I* be so dumb. Hmm…it was pushed back next to all of their treats (which were untouched.) If I answer you, I will yell at you. So I choose to ignore this stupid question, and your “anger” at this, and work to find a vet for Storm right now.  It was early (8ish on a Saturday) so our “normal” vet in Truckee (actually only been there once but they were great) wasn’t open yet.  But the nearest one was 40 minutes away in Reno so we just went to the regular one, who opened at 8:30am, and were there as they opened.

Got him to the vet and explained what happened. They gave Storm medicine to vomit it all up and wanted to monitor his vitals for a bit.  When we went back to pick him up, the doctor said that in addition to vomiting up his breakfast and the medicine he stole, he vomited up 3 peach pits. We had a box of peaches in the office kitchen this past Thursday and Friday so apparently Storm stole the pits out of people’s garbage cans. I’ve asked people not to throw food away in their desk trash cans because one of the symptoms of Cushing’s is the dog thinks they are completely starving to death. So Storm searches out trash cans every day. I put them on up people’s desks when I see they are gone for the day but during the day, people just forget. I might have to reconsider bringing the buds in. First the box of truffles (that was a scare) a few months ago and now this. Who knows what else he is getting or could get. Sucks though – they have been coming in to work for 9 years (Angelus) and 7.5 years (Storm) with no incident.

Anyway, the vet said it’s a good thing we got those peach pits out as they will clog up a dog’s system and then surgery is required as they are not small enough for them to “pass”.  Hopefully those 3 were all he ate :( I guess we will see over the next few days…but I saw this as the silver lining or upside on the morning as we wouldn’t have known about the peach pits.

By the time we got home, I was tired. I didn’t get to bed till late the night before and woke up early. Then throw in some upset and stress…pretty much took my energy for the day. So I bagged my plan of a hike and did a couple things around the house and watched an episode of Bones (David Boreanz can always cheer me up!) Did go out to our favorite sushi place for dinner. Was very yummy as always. And a very nice family wanted to sit at the bar so we offered to move down a seat so they could squeeze in. The father sat closest to us and was very funny to chat with. He loved his sushi :) The best part though was when we left it was snowing! I was very excited :)  Went home, took the dogs out in the snow fall for a bit, then turned the fireplace on (LOVE gas fireplaces) and read more of “The Lost Symbol” and went to bed.

Sunday morning means football!!! Got up early and took the buds out into the snow. They both had a great time! The snow left a thin cover over everything – certainly not a ton. But enough for the buds to enjoy it! Along with the 22 degree air. They were finally not “baking hot”. And Mom had 3 layers of North Face on :)

Then it was home and football time!!! I made a couple changes to my team this past week with BYEs and injuries happening. Dropped Jamal Lewis (CLE sucks – period) and picked up Glen Coffee (RB-SF). According to the fantasy “experts” this was the genius move of the week. Eh – I guess so. He got me 26 points which is OK but not great for an RB. I should have picked up Mendenhall. That was just dumb on my part not to. At the end of the day, I do not have any RBs that just break out and go crazy and rack up points. Plus as soon as the fantasy columns praised Coffee as the best thing this week, I knew he wouldn’t be. Somehow it always works that way.

But I did drop my non-performing WR Berrian and picked up the SF Defense. My PIT defense hasn’t been playing well at all this year (Troy Polamalu is out and apparently they can’t get anything done without him) and SF was at home playing STL. The fantasy “experts” ranked other available defenses higher for the week but I went with my gut here and it paid off – I got 85 points from them!! YAY! If I would have been able to pull out a win this week, it would have been due solely to these guys. I would have worn my Montana jersey to work tomorrow! But nope, no jersey-wearing. But they kicked ass :)

My gut betrayed me with my WR move though. I benched Hines Ward as he was up against the SD D (what D?) plus he hasn’t done much this year. I also had other WR’s up against more “pourous” defenses. Uhh…yeah. Hines got 38 points for my bench compared to 8 for Colston, 10 for Walter and 17 for Cotchery. I. Am. Idgit.

My top-rated QB? 20 points.  :( Sigh…oh well. I finished the night with 213 points. Not bad but not great. My FF opponent this week finished with 126 points but has his QB, a WR and DEF still to play tomorrow in MNF (writing this Sun night but will post/update after MNF.) So I am pretty much sunk this week. I would have had a 50/50 shot but the PIT Defense that I rightfully benched couldn’t stop Antonio Gates (my opponent’s TE) from scoring a trillion points (and SD STILL lost?!?! Ugh) He got 61 points from his Tight End. Ridiculous. Serves me right for barely winning with (my TE) Dallas Clark in MNF 2 weeks ago I guess.

Mostly sad in my losing because in looking at my team – they kinda suck. No one is a solid points getter. Don’t get me wrong – they are all good real life football players but fantasy-wise they are inconsistent.  So week to week – they are undependable. And now I am playing the much harder/well built FF teams in our league. So I am anticipating losing at least the next 2 weeks as well :( Brees is on a BYE next week (along with Colston) so I have to add waiver wire fill-ins. I haven’t even looked beyond that yet.

So…I was highly stressed about my Stormy, didn’t buy the purse or shoes I was going to get (was debating which), am sad about my fantasy football team BUT very happy the Niners won so handily! :) And I survived one more week in Survivor with my HOU pick (but everyone else survived too!) My weekly picks…ummm…we don’t need to talk about that…I had 10 correct picks (along with 4 other people.) But the winner had 11 so 10 just means 2nd place loser.

Oh well…on to week 5…at least the Gators will be playing (LSU!) on Saturday. I sure hope Tebow is cleared (and healthy!) to play by Saturday….

It’s that time of the year…when kids go back to school, the leaves will start changing colors (ok, not really where I live but I like to think about it happening), weather cools off (umm..see prior note), and people start thinking what to dress up as for Halloween. But most importantly – IT’S FOOTBALL SEASON!!!!

Now, I wasn’t always this into football. My Dad made me watch Sunday games with him all the time. We had football parties, definitely play-off parties and of course a Super Bowl party. It was OK, but I have to admit I didn’t care all that much until play-offs and the Super Bowl.

I grew up in Buffalo, NY and then moved when about 11 to the Tampa Bay area. BUF has gotten close to winning a Super Bowl…4 times actually. But alas, they are still first place losers in all 4.

TB won a Super Bowl! But not until years after I moved away. Growing up – they were the worst team there was. Awesome. Plus they had the most hideous uniforms of ALL time. But I have been rooting for them for years and now that they are decent AND have better colors and uniforms – it’s not embarrassing to say that out loud :) I was actually the ONLY person in our office pool who picked them to beat the Oakland Raiders and win the 2003 Super Bowl. And I was the only person at the Super Bowl party that year rooting for them. That was super fun :)

I definitely got more into football when I moved to the SF Bay Area. We had the 80s/90s San Francisco Forty-Niners. And Joe Montana. And Jerry Rice. And then Steve Young. You had to be a pinko dirty hippie to not care about SF football back then :) I went to plenty of games, went to and threw plenty of football parties and play-off and Super Bowl parties (ah…back when the Niners were good…)

But not until I got into Fantasy Football did I REALLY get into football. And boy – I am hooked! The great thing about fantasy football is that you get into other teams and players that you wouldn’t normally even know existed or care about. Typically you root for teams from places you have lived or do live, where you grew up, etc. But now I root for so many teams and players!! I have never been to Indiana. Can’t say I’ve ever given it much thought other than knowing where it is on the map. But I LOVE Peyton Manning!! So I care about the Colts. I cared when Tony Dungy’s son died and when he retired last year. And I’ve had Dallas Clark on almost all of my fantasy teams since I started playing. And I loved watching Peyton beat the Bears when everyone was screaming “Defense wins Super Bowls” and I loved watching Peyton be a proud big brother when Eli beat Tom (yes, I was rooting for the Giants HARD!)

A couple years ago I got the Season Ticket package offered by DirecTV so I can watch ALL the games and not just the 2 broadcast in my area (and we always get stuck with the OAK game and that’s just a waste of broadcast space.) And of course with the season ticket package you need the Red Zone Channel. I swear, this channel is made by and for people with ADD. But I love it!! This will be my 3rd season with the package and I cannot live without it.

On football season Sundays I have a ritual: wake up early, take the huskies out for a good walk, come back and do a last minute check on my fantasy team, my weekly pool picks and my Survivor pick. The stress this causes is both ridiculous and insanely fun :)

While I do this, Fox Sports is on and no one is allowed to touch the TV. And I watch all the games and yell at the TV and scream at my laptop which has my Yahoo Stat Tracker (free this year-yay!) up along with my leagues and pools. I’ll do laundry, pay bills, do my stepper/exercise, chores around the house, etc. But nothing that takes me out of the house. If I didn’t get to shower before the games started, then I turn the bedroom TV on and take a quick shower during morning game half-time!

At the tail-end of the afternoon batch of games, I take the dogs out for another walk (unless I have players in and it’s an exciting/close game – then they have to wait!) This is a brief respite before the NBC Sunday Night game. I will usually make dinner right as the game is starting and settle in to watch the game. Unless I have no players in, have no hope of winning the weekly pool and it’s 2 teams that I am not all that jazzed about…then we can watch or do something else :)

And this occurs every Sunday. Without fail. There is no socializing on Sundays during football season. My husband is a football widow.

Very importantly, I just finished my live draft for this year’s office Fantasy league!! In order of my drafting – here is who will help The Running Huskies (always my team name) win this year :)

Brandon Jacobs
Drew Brees
Marques Colston
Derrick Ward (always need 1 Bucs player!!)
Hines Ward
Dallas Clark
Kevin Walter
Rob Bironas
Bernard Berrian
Jerricho Cotchery
Jamal Lewis
Tim Hightower

So, I will likely blog more about football. Although with all my yelling at the TV and computer (and they HAVE to have a good iPhone app I need to find!) maybe I’ll just be too tuckered out to talk anymore about football…….Nah!! :)