Where were you?

200You’ve been gone for a long while. Like almost… two years, dude! So much has happened since LeBron came back (your last post). So what have you been doing? You get a job yet? I mean…  a real job?

I know. You were doing your thing. Just joking. Is working from home all that it’s up to be? I bet it is.

Did you know we got new neighbors? Yeah, a young couple. They are home all the time. They turned that home around. New roof, windows, they even build a wood fence around the back. It looks amazing.

Also, I got me a new gig. Well… it’s not really new. I’ve been at it for a while and I really like it. It’s challenging and fun, and there is never a dull day. That’s good for a change.

So… you haven’t told me yet. Where were you?

We haven’t seen you in so long, we felt like you dropped off the face of the earth. Thank goodness you’re doing well. You look good too. Have you been working out? I’ve been doing some P90X3. It’s helping with only a month into it. My friends hate Tony Horton, but he kicks ass! Fuck what they say. He got me in the best shape of my life. With the 20 extra pounds I gained this year, I’ll need his help again.

You’re here now and the bummer is that I’m traveling again. I have to go across the Northeast for my job. I like traveling but not as much as I used to. I miss being home more frequently than usual. However, I love talking to people. Hell… I love talking.

I got to get going. It was nice seeing you again. And don’t be a stranger. Post more. Explore. Get after it!

But before I go… where were you?

 

 

 

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Week Eight Picks: I found success once I stopped worrying

There’s a passage that hangs on my office wall I read everyday after working. It allows me to take stock in the thoughts and accomplishments throughout the day.

Oftentimes you feel the need to sit down and take stock of the things in your life that you need to do better, that you need to improve, that you need to address, and this is not a bad thing.
But, when was the last time that you sat down as earnestly and as enthusiastically and took stock of all the things that you have done RIGHT?
The time you took to help others, the people you supported merely because it was the right thing to do, the right choices you made when no one was watching

There is always room for improvement in areas of your life, but there is nothing magical or superior about only focusing on the negatives, even if it is with an eye toward making them better.
Balance dictates that you look at the totality of your situation, and that includes giving credit where credit is due.
Today, take a moment to examine your life from the vantage point of what you have done right, and embrace the unique and beautiful wonder of YOU!

There are so many things that linger in my mind when decompressing from my work day. An idea pops in my head and teases me to get back on my laptop and turn it into action. I often found myself in that situation when I first started freelancing full time. I thought having this kind of routine would be beneficial of having a career that I could make my own hours and choose my own direction. Sure enough I was right, but it did come at a cost. I found success but soon learned that I sacrificed the free time I wanted to have in the first place. It was just work, work, work. What good is freedom when you’re always locked inside your Word document?

That was the time I stumbled upon that passage. I discovered that my desire for balance was lacking. It was insufficient because I didn’t have the balance of praise and criticism. There was always something to improve on or add to in my assignments. There was always one more person to call. One thought after another. And with my own fluid schedule, I thought I could knock out all of these notions and run my freelancing business smoothly. I was sadly mistaken. The one thing that I despised when working for “the man” turned out to be what I became. I was that boss that wanted more from the employee who was me.

Reading these sentences made me realize the need to have a stop and start button to my daily career hustle or else it would burn me out. Fortunately, it has made a better writer and time manager. Once I started looking at what I accomplished and not dwelling on what I could have done better or missed out on, the opportunities appeared more.  I was less stressed and not so overwhelmed when on assignment. The game came to me instead of me forcing things.

Now, my career has taken a great turn and I owe all to my change in thinking. I was always about my process as a writer and editor, but my mindset has really over the top. I’m thankful for that. I don’t know who the author of these words were but they’ve very helpful in my life. So, here’s hoping they’ll make good use for you.

Is there any passage you read daily gets you going? Comment below.

WEEK 8

(BYES: N.Y. GIANTS, SAN FRANCISCO)

Last Week: 11-3

Season: 64-40

Momentum is building… 

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 23

SAN DIEGO CHARGERS AT DENVER BRONCOS — 8:25 p.m.

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 26

DETROIT LIONS AT ATLANTA FALCONS (LONDON) — 9:30 a.m.

SEATTLE SEAHAWKS AT CAROLINA PANTHERS — 1:00 p.m.

BALTIMORE RAVENS AT CINCINNATI BENGALS — 1:00 p.m.

MIAMI DOLPHINS AT JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS — 1:00 p.m.

ST. LOUIS RAMS AT KANSAS CITY CHIEFS — 1:00 p.m.

CHICAGO BEARS AT NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS — 1:00 p.m.

BUFFALO BILLS AT N.Y. JETS — 1:00 p.m.

MINNESOTA VIKINGS AT TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS — 1:00 p.m.

HOUSTON TEXANS AT TENNESSEE TITANS — 1:00 p.m.

PHILADELPHIA EAGLES AT ARIZONA CARDINALS — 4:05 p.m.

OAKLAND RAIDERS AT CLEVELAND BROWNS — 4:25 p.m.

INDIANAPOLIS COLTS AT PITTSBURGH STEELERS — 4:25 p.m.

GREEN BAY PACKERS AT NEW ORLEANS SAINTS * — 8:30 p.m.

MONDAY, OCTOBER 27

WASHINGTON REDSKINS AT DALLAS COWBOYS — 8:30 p.m.

 


Week Four Picks: Come to Tristan da Cunha, the most remote island in the world

NASA image of Tristan da Cunha

NASA image of Tristan da Cunha

I’m a sucker for strange, out-of-this world stories. In this age of social media and limitless sources of information, you’d think there isn’t a tale that hasn’t been told already. But there’s always a nugget that surprisingly blows my mind.

For instance, the profile of the most remote island in the world, Tristan da Cunha piqued my interest since returning home from my vacation with beach sand still in my shoes. I thought St. Pete was secluded. This South Atlantic island, 1,750 miles from Cape Town, South Africa, isn’t sand and palm trees. It enjoys an obscene amount of rainfall (up to 26 days’ worth), has no hotels, no safe swimming locales while sitting on an active volcano.

If you’re feeling to get your über-travel on, you have to be prepared, for real. The island’s visitors web page keeps it 100 from the jump:

“You can’t just turn up in Cape Town and jump on a ship to Tristan da Cunha.”

Hikers at the 1961 eruption ruins.

Hikers at the 1961 eruption ruins.

First of all, you’d need to ask your employer for some time off, approximately 20-30 days at least, since it takes nearly a week to get there by boat (Oh yeah, did I mention there’s no airport on the island?). Plus, there are only a handful of sailings per year. You have to be serious about visiting. Some travelers stay for months at a time and become part of the community of nearly 300 people; time enough to explore all the trails and wildlife.

Second, you’ll need permission. The Island Council is Tristan da Cunha’s elected body. You want to visit? You literally have to ask them. They give the “yay” or “nay”.

Most who visit the island are of the medical, teaching or religious profession as well as avid hikers, writers and filmmakers. Suffice to say, if your “Why” answer is “To chill with my homies in a far away land,” you’re probably not making the cut.

You want on the island? You have to get through these folks: The Island Council. Source: Tristan da Cunha Government and the Tristan da Cunha Association

You want on the island? You have to get through these folks: The Island Council.
Source: Tristan da Cunha Government and the Tristan da Cunha Association

Stretching 7.5 miles in diameter, the island hosts many tours such as to the four neighboring islands, the Tristan Settlement and the island’s top, Queen Mary’s Peak.
Its most noteworthy event was its near demise when a volcanic eruption destroyed the island in 1961. All of the residents escaped then returned two years later to rebuild their homes. The event is even commemorated in Tristan de Cunha’s postal stamp.

The stamp in remembrance of the 1961 volcano eruption.

The stamp in remembrance of the 1961 volcano eruption.

Interestingly enough, Tristan is considered a lover’s paradise (it is nicknamed “The Love Island”). In the summertime at Queen Mary’s Peak, the summit crater thaws into a heart-shaped lake.

It is said that the islanders often return there to be married. The residents of Tristan were known to be shy. So, the way they’d show affection was toward the pastime of knitting “Love Socks”. If a man was interested in a woman, he would bring a gift and sit with her family. In return, she would knit him a pair of socks. The stripes on the socks would gauge how much she’d like the guy. Two large stripes were akin to “Yeah, you’re cute,” and two large stripes plus six small stripes were “I sooo want to get with you!” Love Socks and other interesting items are sold in the island’s souvenir shop.

The Summit Crater Tristan da Cunha Government and the Tristan da Cunha Association

The Summit Crater
Tristan da Cunha Government and the Tristan da Cunha Association

Want to find out more about this out-of-world place? Visit Trinstandc.com. If that’s not your cup of tea, well… it’s better than this remote island.

P.S. My good friend Chris Miller shares many tidbits of the interesting on his blog, The Lonely Typewriter. Check it out!

WEEK 4
Last Week: 8-8
Season: 26-22
“Same as before… stinking up the joint!”
PICKS ARE IN BOLD.
(BYES: ARIZONA, CINCINNATI, CLEVELAND, DENVER, SEATTLE, ST. LOUIS)

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 25
N.Y. GIANTS AT WASHINGTON REDSKINS — 8:25 p.m.

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 28
CAROLINA PANTHERS AT BALTIMORE RAVENS — 1:00 p.m.
GREEN BAY PACKERS AT CHICAGO BEARS — 1:00 p.m.
BUFFALO BILLS AT HOUSTON TEXANS — 1:00 p.m.
TENNESSEE TITANS AT INDIANAPOLIS COLTS — 1:00 p.m.
ATLANTA FALCONS AT MINNESOTA VIKINGS — 1:00 p.m.
DETROIT LIONS AT N.Y. JETS — 1:00 p.m.
MIAMI DOLPHINS AT OAKLAND RAIDERS (LONDON) — 1:00 p.m.
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS AT PITTSBURGH STEELERS — 1:00 p.m.
JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS AT SAN DIEGO CHARGERS — 4:05 p.m.
PHILADELPHIA EAGLES AT SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS — 4:25 p.m.
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS AT DALLAS COWBOYS — 8:30 p.m.

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 29
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS AT KANSAS CITY CHIEFS — 8:30 p.m.


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

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