Week Six Picks: Being organized; that’s having it all!

I was interviewing a chief executive for a feature about female CEOs. During our conversation, she brought up the idea of “having it all”.

 It’s all boiled down to flexibility.

The woman, who owns a waste management firm, said it is up to the individual to know what “all” is. She also narrowed it down to organization. That got me thinking about my own memes of “having it all” and achieving general success.
Being organized is essential in my line of work. I wouldn’t know how to manage if I wasn’t in order. I’m at the point where I treat it as a game. I have an app to manage my time for certain projects. It’s a race to get as much done in a small lot of time. Add the obsessive urge of me making lists and folders, it’s enough to keep me motivated and efficient.
But not every day’s the same. There are roadblocks and detours to get around. Organization is a daily mission, a mission of flexibility that exposes whether we have a Plan A, B, C and beyond. It’s a skill.
One of my most influential bosses, whom the majority are women, have taught me the whole theory of organization and how to move on the fly. At the time, I thought it was a waste of time. One of my superiors had me make a list for every job responsibility bestowed upon me. Then, write a line-by-line description of every move . It was grueling as much as it was mundane.
The motto was, “write it as if a 12-year-old boy could read the instructions and do your job”. Not that my job was so pathetic that a pre-teen could do it (it wasn’t, it was awesome) but in short, the plan was to keep it simple.
I was doing it so much that before long I looked forward to chronicling my work. The decrease of stress and worry was immediate when I dove into work projects. I was engaged and wanting to improve. It lead to raises, more responsibility and job security. When my boss wanted to know what I did, all I needed was a chart or folder to put on her desk.
The ability to navigate my mission of flexibility has been one of my admiring professional qualities. I still have all the charts and folders I made along with other plots and procedure manual I’ve authored since then. It’s still helping me to find work and staying on top of workday.

What is your idea of “having it all”?

COMMENT BELOW, PRETTY PLEASE

WEEK 6

Last Week: 11-4
Season: 41-35

“I’m back in the saddle, again… I’M BACK!!”
PICKS ARE IN BOLD.
(BYES: KANSAS CITY, NEW ORLEANS)

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 9
INDIANAPOLIS COLTS AT HOUSTON TEXANS — 8:25 p.m.

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 12
CHICAGO BEARS AT ATLANTA FALCONS — 1:00 p.m.
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS AT BUFFALO BILLS — 1:00 p.m.
CAROLINA PANTHERS AT CINCINNATI BENGALS — 1:00 p.m.
PITTSBURGH STEELERS AT CLEVELAND BROWNS — 1:00 p.m.
GREEN BAY PACKERS AT MIAMI DOLPHINS — 1:00 p.m.
DETROIT LIONS AT MINNESOTA VIKINGS — 1:00 p.m.
DENVER BRONCOS AT N.Y. JETS — 1:00 p.m.
BALTIMORE RAVENS AT TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS — 1:00 p.m.
JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS AT TENNESSEE TITANS — 1:00 p.m.
SAN DIEGO CHARGERS AT OAKLAND RAIDERS — 4:05 p.m.
WASHINGTON REDSKINS AT ARIZONA CARDINALS — 4:25 p.m.
DALLAS COWBOYS AT SEATTLE SEAHAWKS — 4:25 p.m.
N.Y. GIANTS AT PHILADELPHIA EAGLES * — 8:30 p.m.

MONDAY, OCTOBER 13
SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS AT ST. LOUIS RAMS — 8:30 p.m.

Advertisements

The War on Thanksgiving

The war on Christmas has claimed its first casualty: Thanksgiving.

What was once the sacred time to enjoy family and be grateful for small and simple pleasures has now been replaced with strategic offerings on how to beat the Black Friday rush.

How did we get to this place? Well… it’s been here all along. I remember back when I was twenty-something enjoying the holiday with my family eating turkey, collard greens  and sweet potato pie all while watching Detroit and Dallas football games.

At that time, my immediate family was small. So, when the stuffing and conversation wore off, I headed for the meat market known as The Pub. That was the moment I realized the war was beginning.

When I walked through the bar’s front door, all I saw was a full dance floor and aisles cluttered with people filled with libation talking sloppy and poetically stumbling. My first thought wasn’t the usual “What chick can I spit game to?” It was “Why are people working?”.

I’d thought this was time to enjoy your parents’ company and catch up with the siblings. But yet, here I was in a club hunting for women and a buzz.

It wasn’t Thanksgiving anymore.

Another Thanksgiving-ish battle I recall was inside my 1996 Pontiac Grand Am. My wife and I were planning to buy a big screen television for a recently purchased home.

In previous times, we would use Black Friday to take advantage of the gifts we wanted to grab for our loved ones. But not this year. We decided to be selfish and get some of the big ticket items for ourselves.  In the midwestern part of the U.S., especially in November, it gets cold. Very Cold! On top of that stress, try having to get up three in the morning to beat any kind of rush to the big box appliance store.

The store, HHGregg, was open at 6 a.m. We “camped out” in the parking two hours prior. My car’s heat was something to be desired. It seemed more like two days while waiting. Finally, we got inside and grabbed our Hitachi 46″ that we still have to this day.

Our television

Our television

The only problem: It was too big for the car. We had to shell out extra dough for the delivery the following weekend. What made it so sick was the sales guy’s smirk.

I’ve moved lots of TVs and appliances… and THIS is not going into your car.

I hate smirking.

WHAT’S YOUR POINT, FREEZE?!?
The slow march to this new outrage is that we did it to ourselves. We are forever young, horny alcoholics that want the biggest, baddest, more gigabyte gadget cheaper and sooner than last year when we had to wait at midnight.  After the turkey dinner, Thanksgiving is no more. It’s just November 28. Companies are taking notice and have taken the “holi” out of the day.  While others blame Obama.

Wasn’t the overall purpose of Thanksgiving giving thanks? It’s been swallowed up whole and now a shopping day like the rest of days after it.  We can debate about the true origins of Thanksgiving and how we arrived at the modern rendition of it, but the commercialization of Turkey Day is on the rise as we continually whistle pass the graveyard.

R.I.P Thanksgiving. You will be missed.

TURKEY ON A PIZZA PIZZA
One small whole-wheat pita
One-fourth cup marinara sauce
One green onion
Two tablespoons part-skim mozzarella cheese
Three (or six) turkey meatballs

Heat the oven to 475 degrees, wait six minutes, it’s done.*

20131114_165759

*Not to be had on Thanksgiving.

LAST WEEK: 7-7
SEASON: 87-59

THU, NOV 14 TIME (ET)      
Indianapolis at Tennessee 8:25 PM   INDIANAPOLIS  
SUN, NOV 17 TIME (ET)      
NY Jets at Buffalo 1:00 PM   NEW YORK  
Baltimore at Chicago 1:00 PM   CHICAGO  
Cleveland at Cincinnati 1:00 PM   CINCINNATI   
Washington at Philadelphia 1:00 PM   PHILADELPHIA  
Detroit at Pittsburgh 1:00 PM   PITTSBURGH  
Atlanta at Tampa Bay 1:00 PM   ATLANTA  
Arizona at Jacksonville 1:00 PM   ARIZONA   
Oakland at Houston 1:00 PM   HOUSTON  
San Diego at Miami 4:05 PM   SAN DIEGO  
San Francisco at New Orleans 4:25 PM   NEW ORLEANS  
Green Bay at NY Giants 4:25 PM   GREEN BAY  
Minnesota at Seattle 4:25 PM   SEATTLE  
Kansas City at Denver 8:30 PM   KANSAS CITY  
MON, NOV 18 TIME (ET)      
New England at Carolina 8:30 PM   NEW ENGLAND  
·Bye: Dallas, St. Louis

The Mission of Flexibility

I was interviewing a chief executive for a feature about female CEOs. During our conversation, she brought up the idea of “having it all”. She mentioned that it all boiled down to flexibility.
The woman, who owns a waste management firm, said it is up to the individual to know what “all” is. She narrowed it down to organization and flexibility. That got me thinking about my own memes of “having it all” and achieving general success.
Being organized is essential in my line of work. I wouldn’t know how to manage if I wasn’t in order. I’m at the point where I treat it as a game. I have an app to manage my time for certain projects. It’s a race to get as much done in a small lot of time. Add the urge to make lists and folders on any device I can get hands on, my little culture keeps me motivated and efficient.
But not every day’s the same. There are roadblocks and detours to get around. Organization is a daily mission, a mission of flexibility that exposes whether we have a Plan A, B, C and beyond. It’s a skill.
I actually learned it from a woman. One of my most influential bosses, she taught me the whole theory of organization and how to move on the fly. At the time, I thought it was a waste of time. I’d had to make a list for every job responsibility bestow upon me. Then, write a line-by-line description of every move I made. It was grueling as much as it was mundane.
The motto was, “write it as if a 12-year-old boy could read the instructions and do your job”. Not that my job was so pathetic  that a pre-teen could do it (it wasn’t, it was awesome) but in short, the plan was to keep it simple.
I was doing it so much that before long I looked forward to chronicling my work. The decrease of stress and worry was immediate when I dove into work projects. I was engaged and wanting to improve. It lead to raises, more responsibility and job security. When my boss wanted to know what I did, all I needed was a chart or folder to put on her desk.
The ability to navigate my mission of flexibility has been one of my admiring professional qualities. I still have all the charts and folders I made along with other plots and procedure manual I’ve made since then. It’s still helping me to find work and staying on top of workday.

What is your idea of “having it all”?

An Organized and Flexible Casserole
Six ounces of lean ground beef
1/3 cup diced onion
One crushed clove garlic
1/4 teaspoon cumin
One and 3/4 cup of cooked brown rice
3/4 cup salsa
One tablespoon diced cilantro
Two tablespoons of Mexican shredded

Doesn't it look organized and yummy?

Doesn’t it look organized and yummy?

LAST WEEK: 7-6
SEASON: 80-52

THU, NOV 7 TIME (ET)
Washington at Minnesota 8:25 PM WASHINGTON
SUN, NOV 10 TIME (ET)
Seattle at Atlanta 1:00 PM SEATTLE
Detroit at Chicago 1:00 PM DETROIT
Philadelphia at Green Bay 1:00 PM PHILADELPHIA
Jacksonville at Tennessee 1:00 PM TENNESSEE
St. Louis at Indianapolis 1:00 PM INDIANAPOLIS
Oakland at NY Giants 1:00 PM OAKLAND
Buffalo at Pittsburgh 1:00 PM PITTSBURGH
Cincinnati at Baltimore 1:00 PM CINCINNATI
Carolina at San Francisco 4:05 PM SAN FRANCISCO
Houston at Arizona 4:25 PM ARIZONA
Denver at San Diego 4:25 PM DENVER
Dallas at New Orleans 8:30 PM NEW ORLEANS
MON, NOV 11 TIME (ET)
Miami at Tampa Bay 8:30 PM MIAMI
·Bye: Cleveland, Kansas City, New England, NY Jets

I will not turn off my iPhone! I will not use Airplane Mode! Let’s have some pasta!

At this time, we request that all mobile phones, pagers, radios and remote controlled toys be turned off for the full duration of the flight, as these items might interfere with the navigational and communication equipment on this aircraft.

You-Lie-Joe-Wilson

What he said!

We request that all other electronic devices be turned off until we fly above 10,000 feet. We will notify you when it is safe to use such devices.

Cheap-Airline-Safety-Instructions--62282

Today is a victory for all air travelers. The BS lie we’ve been giving about our mobile devices and tablets has been destroyed. It’s no more.  The Federal Aviation Administration has finally listened to the ample amounts of studies stating that logging on to Facebook isn’t going scramble the plane’s communication and cause everyone to die in a fiery crash.

But don’t grab your iPad just yet (but we will anyway). The rule doesn’t go into effect until the end of the year which isn’t a long wait. Since the rule has been around for more than 20 years, the many among us have been scratching our heads. Although, the airline had their reasons to protect us. You wouldn’t want to catch a laptop upside your head in a crash.

•••

Turkey, Noodle, Pasta
Enough Ground Turkey to fix up 12 little meatballs
Two cups of diced tomatoes with sauce
1/2 crushed clove garlic
1/2 teaspoon dried bail
Four ounces of whole-wheat spaghetti/noodles
Two tablespoons of shredded mozzarella cheese

Roll up the ground turkey to the meatball size of your choosing. You can mix the garlic and some tomatoes for a twist. Heat in the oven at 350 degrees for less than 10 minutes.
DSCN2623
While that’s going on, heat up your noodles in a pot (medium-high), drain your noodles (Tip: If you shake your noodle more than three times, you’re technically playing with yourself).
DSCN2622
Stir your noodles with the sauce and/or tomatoes if you like. Make yourself a bowl and add a tablespoon of cheese (for each bowl). Enjoy the meal and thank you for flying MichaelFreeze.com.

LAST WEEK: 9-4
SEASON: 73-46

THU, OCT 31 TIME (ET)      
Cincinnati at Miami 8:25 PM CINCINNATI    
SUN, NOV 3 TIME (ET)      
Kansas City at Buffalo 1:00 PM KANSAS CITY    
Minnesota at Dallas 1:00 PM DALLAS    
Tennessee at St. Louis 1:00 PM TENNESSEE    
New Orleans at NY Jets 1:00 PM NEW ORLEANS    
San Diego at Washington 1:00 PM WASHINGTON    
Atlanta at Carolina 1:00 PM ATLANTA    
Philadelphia at Oakland 4:05 PM OAKLAND    
Tampa Bay at Seattle 4:05 PM SEATTLE    
Baltimore at Cleveland 4:25 PM BALTIMORE    
Pittsburgh at New England 4:25 PM NEW ENGLAND    
Indianapolis at Houston 8:30 PM INDIANAPOLIS    
MON, NOV 4 TIME (ET)      
Chicago at Green Bay 8:30 PM GREEN BAY    
·Bye: Denver, Detroit, NY Giants, Arizona, San Francisco, Jacksonville

151 is a good number, but fish is good.

On the way home today, the recent construction was taking its toll on my street. What would usually take five minutes took nearly two hours. The slow crawl of traffic led me to the woman with the “Slow/Stop” sign.  The saving grace was the day that was as warm as her smile.

You must be loving this day, right?

Once she heard my voice, her face turned to stone. The sign in her hand transformed into a weapon.

Love is too young to know what conscience is, Yet who know not conscience is born of love?

Ahhh… okay.

My first thought was “Holy virtuous resolutions. She must be having a bad day with her man.” But ultimately, I understood her situation. Love is so complicated, especially in the beginning. And definitely, if you’re doing someone you’re not supposed to be doing, ya dig?

The construction lady was on the wrong side of it, I guess. Like the child Cupid, love is too immature to know what the conscience is. But everybody realizes it’s born of love, right? That’s how I see it.

Are you going to move, buddy?

Honking horns and slight obscenities later, I realized it was time to move on. Goodbye, my new friend. Triumph in love. Until we meet again tomorrow.

Tilapia Talk Back for Two
Two tilapia filets
Two tablespoons mustard
1 egg
1/2 cup chopped pecans
Honey to taste

Use a tablespoon of mustard on each filet.
Dump in the egg in a baggie. Shake it.
Take your pecans. Smash them. Roll the egg-soaked filet in it.
Preheat the oven for 350 degrees.
12 minutes in the oven. Then, drizzle it in honey.

DSCN2611
Rice not included

I love seafood. It’s brain food. My wife hates seafood. But I still love her. Boo! Enjoy.

LAST WEEK: 9-6
SEASON: 64-42

Carolina at Tampa Bay 8:25 PM CAROLINA
SUN, OCT 27 TIME (ET)
Dallas at Detroit 1:00 PM  DALLAS
Cleveland at Kansas City 1:00 PM KANSAS CITY
Miami at New England 1:00 PM NEW ENGLAND
Buffalo at New Orleans 1:00 PM NEW ORLEANS
NY Giants at Philadelphia 1:00 PM PHILADELPHIA
San Francisco at Jacksonville 1:00 PM SAN FRANCISCO
NY Jets at Cincinnati 4:05 PM CINCINNATI
Pittsburgh at Oakland 4:05 PM PITTSBURGH
Washington at Denver 4:25 PM  DENVER
Atlanta at Arizona 4:25 PM  ATLANTA
Green Bay at Minnesota 8:30 PM  GREEN BAY
MON, OCT 28 TIME (ET)
Seattle at St. Louis 8:30 PM  SEATTLE
·Bye: Chicago, Tennessee, Indianapolis, San Diego, Baltimore, Houston

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MOTHER!!!

October 18 is my mother’s birthday.

More than my mother, she’s my friend. She’s one of my wife’s best friends and talks to her more than I do.

For her last birthday, we took her to Disney as part of her bucket list. It was also the first time she rode a plane. Moving about with two new knees, Mom wasn’t too keen on being active at the airport until she learned of wheelchair assistance. I think she didn’t lay one foot on the ground while at Orlando or Akron-Canton.  It makes me long for the day that I’m elderly. But movement was not a problem that week. She was ridin’ dirty in her scooter.

Back to the plane… As we were boarding from Akron-Canton, I had to tell the closest attendant that this was my mother’s maiden voyage via sky. He then gave my mother a slight sigh.

Honey, you get to go First Class!
WHAT!!!
Yes honey, that’s how we do it around here!

Mom thought she won the lottery. Leather seat in a row all to herself; she felt like a queen… until takeoff.  As the plane marched unto the runway, my mother’s face was covered not wanting to take a peek out the window or anywhere near the cabin. She noticed a slight tilt that steadily increased. Looking at the window, she saw I-77 get smaller until her focus was on the horizon. I didn’t hear any screams, so I assumed she was still intact.  One hour in, I asked how she was doing.

How fast are we going?
Very fast.
Like 55 mph?

Once she had gotten over the shock of our speed, she had one more question.

What are those white things outside?
What things?
The white puffy things.

Happy Birthday, Mom!

MOMMA’S MORNING MOUTHFUL
An egg
A cup of milk
3/4 cup of oatmeal
1/2 cup of strawberries/blueberries or any berries
A tablespoon of pecans or almonds
A teaspoon of whey protein or isolate
”       ”               ”  ground flaxseed
A teaspoon of yogurt
1/2  sliced banana

Mix the first six ingredients in a bowl and nuke it for about two minutes. After it’s not so hot anymore, slap on the banana slices and dap the yogurt on it.
BOOM!
Momma's Morning Mouthful

Who needs coffee? You got energy for the day, right there.  Let’s run some laps around Magic Kingdom!

MY PICKS
LAST WEEK: 11-4
SEASON: 55-37

THU, OCT 17 TIME (ET)
Seattle at Arizona 8:25 PM SEATTLE
SUN, OCT 20 TIME (ET)
Tampa Bay at Atlanta 1:00 PM ATLANTA
Cincinnati at Detroit 1:00 PM CINCINNATI
Buffalo at Miami 1:00 PM MIAMI
New England at NY Jets 1:00 PM NEW ENGLAND
Dallas at Philadelphia 1:00 PM PHILADELPHIA
Chicago at Washington 1:00 PM CHICAGO
St. Louis at Carolina 1:00 PM ST. LOUIS
San Diego at Jacksonville 1:00 PM SAN DIEGO
San Francisco at Tennessee 4:05 PM SAN FRANCISCO
Cleveland at Green Bay 4:25 PM GREEN BAY
Houston at Kansas City 4:25 PM KANSAS CITY
Baltimore at Pittsburgh 4:25 PM PITTSBURGH
Denver at Indianapolis 8:30 PM DENVER
MON, OCT 21 TIME (ET)
Minnesota at NY Giants 8:30 PM NEW YORK
·Bye: Oakland, New Orleans

Canine Confessions #1: Crazy Humans

“Willa” from Cincinnati:
“I love to hang around the house. I roam freely with no worries. You have the occasional moving objects and occurring smells, but it comes with the territory, you know. There’s a light-brown pillow I rest on near our fireplace. More like MY fireplace. It’s comforting. My philosophy in life is that stress is my enemy. It’s best not to have it near me. I’m a screamer when I’m stressed.
Which brings me to my mommy… she’s not too bright.
For instance, there’s this S-shaped thingy-mick-jiggy I like to chew on from time to time. I’m so at peace with that thing, it’s like we’re one. But every now and then, my mommy comes up and tries to yank it out of my mouth. First time, it scared the shit out of me.
She’s fucking crazy, I thought to myself.
And she just keeps doing it. Crazy!
Oh… the thing that really gets me going is her obsession with sticks. We often go hiking in this wooded park. She’ll rub me as we walk, and that feels SO GOOD, but she’ll rip off a branch from a tree and, for no reason, randomly throw it off the trail.
I’m thinking she’s obviously crazy, but I figured I’d run and get it for her since she likes branches (and balls) so much. Then, out of the blue, SHE THROWS IT AGAIN!!!
Can you say “loopy”?
Ah… yeah… there’s this one time… when she had this hose out and I was really thirsty too, right? She had the hose hanging above me with the water flowing everywhere. I tried to get my tongue on the water, but she kept moving it. I was screaming but she just laughed like a crazy person.
It drives me nuts.

Something is wrong with her.

It sounds like I’m complaining but… Yeah, she feeds me, lets me me shit anywhere I want and hugs me A LOT.
But I think she’s not sharpest human out there.

But what human is?”

WILLA BEAN WRAP
One whole wheat tortilla
¼ cup of black beans
One or two tablespoons of tomatoes
One or two tablespoons of feta cheese
Two nuked eggs
(Optional) Two slices of turkey deli
Hot sauce to taste

So good. So good.

So good. So good.

Crack your eggs into a bowl. If you want to, put the black beans in the bowl. Microwave for 2 minutes. Put everything on the tortilla. Roll and there you go!

You got protein and some energy for the afternoon (or fourth meal time).

MY PICKS
LAST WEEK: 8-6
SEASON: 44-33

THU, OCT 10 TIME (ET)
NY Giants at Chicago 8:25 PM CHICAGO
SUN, OCT 13 TIME (ET)
Cincinnati at Buffalo 1:00 PM CINCINNATI
Detroit at Cleveland 1:00 PM DETROIT
Oakland at Kansas City 1:00 PM KANSAS CITY
Carolina at Minnesota 1:00 PM CAROLINA
Pittsburgh at NY Jets 1:00 PM PITTSBURGH
Philadelphia at Tampa Bay 1:00 PM PHILADELPHIA
Green Bay at Baltimore 1:00 PM GREEN BAY
St. Louis at Houston 1:00 PM HOUSTON
Jacksonville at Denver 4:05 PM DENVER
Tennessee at Seattle 4:05 PM SEATTLE
Arizona at San Francisco 4:25 PM SAN FRANCISCO
New Orleans at New England 4:25 PM NEW ORLEANS
Washington at Dallas 8:30 PM DALLAS
MON, OCT 14 TIME (ET)
Indianapolis at San Diego 8:30 PM INDIANAPOLIS
·Bye: Atlanta, Miami