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.*

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*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
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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.
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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).
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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

What makes me happy? (cryptic message ahead)

You know what makes me happy?

Going 9-7. Having a winning start. Getting off on the good foot. Football is back and I’m ever so glad. I LOVE simple pleasures.

It was a very good day for that exact reason.  Today, my friend Amy posted a link about reasons why you shouldn’t send your daughter to college. Needless to say, I was so shocked reading it that I began to read again. And again.

And again.

It was like Rebecca Black’s Friday. My anger turned into giddiness. It was a very fortunate moment that I was able to witness the most crackpot of a blog post ever. I can sit down with my kids and tell them about a time when someone shamelessly attempted to put women in their general place.

Bravo! 1950s man, Bravo!

Well, all this misogyny has gotten me hungry.

To my lovely friend who once shared a lunch table with me in high school, I will propose a dish that has NO MEAT.

White Sauce Pita Pizza
(1) small whole wheat pita
White sauce = 1/4 cup part-skim ricotta cheese + 1 teaspoon olive oil + 1/4 teaspoon dried basil or oregano
(1) sliced green onion
(1) tablespoon part-skim mozzarella cheese
(3) slices of tomato (for Shakespeare In The City) or 1 ounce of smoke salmon or 1/4 cup of precooked chicken (Personally, I never buy that because of the boatload of sodium. So, I bake it in the oven, then chop, chop, chop…)

Spread your white sauce evenly on the whole wheat pita. Top it with the aforementioned ingredients and put it in the oven (475 degrees) for about six-eight minutes. Then, DONE!

White Sauce Pita Pizza

We are eating and laughing at the stupid guy from Fix The Family.

254 calories for my fish & chicken brethren and 231 calories for the professor at San Francisco State University.  I hope she is happy now. I am.

Until next time…

MY PICKS (Sorry, dbmeow 😦 )
LAST WEEK: 9-7
OVERALL: 9-7

Week 2
THU, SEP 12 TIME (ET)
NY Jets at New England 8:25 PM NEW ENGLAND
SUN, SEP 15 TIME (ET)
St. Louis at Atlanta 1:00 PM ATLANTA
Carolina at Buffalo 1:00 PM CAROLINA
Minnesota at Chicago 1:00 PM MINNESOTA
Washington at Green Bay 1:00 PM GREEN BAY
Miami at Indianapolis 1:00 PM INDIANAPOLIS
Dallas at Kansas City 1:00 PM KANSAS CITY
Cleveland at Baltimore 1:00 PM BALTIMORE
Tennessee at Houston 1:00 PM HOUSTON
San Diego at Philadelphia 1:00 PM PHILADELPHIA
Detroit at Arizona 4:05 PM DETROIT
New Orleans at Tampa Bay 4:05 PM NEW ORLEANS
Jacksonville at Oakland 4:25 PM OAKLAND
Denver at NY Giants 4:25 PM DENVER
San Francisco at Seattle 8:30 PM SEATTLE
MON, SEP 16
Pittsburgh at Cincinnati 8:30 PM PITTSBURGH

Immigration Debate

Newsweek and The Daily Beast’s David Frum and Michael Tomasky debate immigration reform from the conservative and liberal perspectives. These two men are the last of a dying breed: level-headed political thinkers.


Oh, the irony

Angry Twitter Guy to John Fugelsang: “Your a idiot”

I’m always wary of Internet/Twitter beef. A discussion about policy and point of view can quickly escalate into a war of insults. But if you ever catch yourself in the middle of a scuffle, please make sure your grammar game is on point:

1) Any amount of anger generated from social media or a comment post is not worth the beating of your keyboard to incoherentness.

2) If you can not formulate sentences in a reasonable structure or at least a fourth-grade level, leave the complex ideas for someone else and stick to easier things like posting picture memes.

3) And please, if your adversary is a political pundit and veteran stand-up comedian, your heckling, trolling ways will be persecuted and ridiculed to the fullest extent of Twitter law.


We All Love Election Day

This is a musing from November 2010 about the results from the midterm elections.

We all love Election Day.

It’s the only time we can ACTUALLY keep score. The only day politics is a sport. There’s a running tally and a final score with all the analysis you can handle. At the end of the day, conservatives are taking their victory lap just as liberals did two years prior.

Today, conservatives will dream of long dominance and fantasize about limited government unless you’re a gay man or pregnant woman; or spending cuts unless we’re going to war and giving a tax cut to the richest two percent of our population.

Whether you think the aforementioned paragraph was off base or not, we both can agree the next 24 months will be interesting indeed. There is still a Democratic president and Senate that will have to work with a Republican House that has to show and prove with its new Tea Party-backed members.

A lot of the tea party principles will face major tests in the first two months of the new session; raising the debt ceiling, an actual attempt to bring a repeal of the Affordable Health Care Act to floor to name a few. At that point – if we are still paying attention – we will know who is real and who is fake.

Nonetheless, I’m excited because I get a daily diet of politics. But I’m in a very thin minority of the country. The rest of the country is wondering why Bristol Palin is nearing the semifinals of Dancing with the Stars and patiently waiting for American Idol in January. If they’re not paying attention (and unemployed or underemployed as well), they’d probably wondered why Obama didn’t make all the bad things go away yet.

For them, this is not so much a game as it is another reality show. Yesterday, that person just noticed everything we’d been talking about for the last 18 months and decided to punish whomever was in charge. Then, he and she “voted Boccieri and Strickland off the island.”

Yes, conservatives are running wild chanting “We Won,” but there was never a “we” or a “them” to begin with. The problem with that fallacy is it’s only “we” vs. “them” until we become “them.” And we are all one catastrophic event away from being a “them.”

That’s the difference between politics and sports. There is a zero sum winner and a loser in sports. And us fans go about our lives afterward. In politics, we have this one day that we can get into the game. But there are no winners and losers, just consequences. And sadly, today is the day after and it’s not a game. This is real life.