Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Oktoberfest 2014

It's October! Time for German music. Beer. Cheers and toasts in German that no one understands!


Last year, we headed over to Ft. Belvoir for their annual festivities. We learned a lot:

Pee before you go

Bring cash - the brat stand only does cash

Dress in layers. Dress your children in layers.

Don't be scandalized by others dress or profanity. Honesty if you haven't learned this by now...

Bring money for the rides cause of course your children want to ride the rides.

Here we go!!!!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, September 29, 2014

A public service announcement from TFCL

On focusing on whether President Obama Salutes or not...

I'm not sorry for what I'm about to say: Can we sit down and shut up about the miscues? Can we focus on the issues that can and will affect all of us if we ignore them? Issues like an infectious disease running rampant in West Africa right now; or a group of extremists who are killing innocent people and have aims on our homeland? Or the fact that the government is partially funded through December of this year? Seriously yall....

here's the thing - President Obama has been an active support and fighter for our service men and women - more high accommodations, higher hiring and retention for prior military service than anyone else I can remember. Yeah he's for cutting down war theaters because he's an anti war president but he still gets things done in terms of protecting the US.

I go back to my original statement. This life RIGHT now is too much to deal with the trivial.


That is all...

Friday, September 26, 2014

The most terrifying hour on television

From time to time, I get the luxury to actually watch television. I try to pick decent selections:

The Roosevelts on PBS
Doctor Who - don't even judge
Downtown Abbey

Well a few weeks ago, I chose "Terror at the Mall" documenting the 2013 siege of the Westgate mall in Nairobi, Kenya.

Imagine that you're out with your family and then everything goes horribly wrong. Families were torn apart. Terrorists killed 67 men, women, and children. They were African, European, and Asian. They were Christians, Hindu, Muslim, and Jewish.

That night I had a hard time sleeping. A mall. It could happen anywhere. With this new threat emerging in Syria and Iraq, 9/11 isn't a frozen moment in time.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Fight Night




Me.  As much I love bonding with AA over mutual interests, me and boxing are in mutually apathetic part of our marriage (I'm married AA and now I'm married to football/basketball/boxing/EWTN).  This past weekend, AA did his once a quarter "but this is the only thing I want…" - this time in reference to a boxing match featuring Floyd Mayweather and Marcos Maidana.  

Me…eh.  I mean he's paying for it.  By the way, if you don't pay for boxing - its upwards of $80 per match on HDPPV.  Considering that I spend my money on clothes, bags, and books once a month - what harm can $80 do?  

Well a lot - While it isn't a widespread thing like…I don't know, Ray Rice - Floyd doesn't really lend himself to be a humanitarian, a man, or well human.  He beats the mothers (yes plural) of his children.  He acquires people (friends and girlfriends alike) like one would acquire songs in iTunes or worse like a sneaker head gets Air Force Ones.  Oh.  And he humiliates and public shames those that cross him.  Sound kinda of childish?

I can't really complain because I honestly would rather my husband be at home safe than stumbling around DC (he did that on the regular before we dated).  I can suck a fee even it  means paying Floyd tv rights.  

We have a complicated history and love/hate relationship with men who violate the rights of women:

  • Ray Rice…still has his supporters.  No really he does.  (I have an opinion and it is consistent with everyone else's).
  • Hell…Ray Lewis went on trial for murder…he still played.  It was a man he was accused of murdering but still you get the point.
  • Eminem.  
You get what I'm saying.  We forgive some but not all.  I can't really take a side on should we forgive and forget because I have been on both ends - watching domestic violence and trying to defend someone who was portrayed on several occasions as a man who assaulted women (he was defending himself in the first case while the second he was being an ass).  


Just for the record - I don't ask or give advice.  Nope.  Sorry if you're not ingrained in TFCL speak but I speak in hypotheticals.  

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Lunchbox Luxury

I'm working out getting folks off to school and work. Then get people home and fed. It's like tank maneuvers - in the summer I'm on autopilot because my kids have a single coordinated spot to be in.  During the school year, coordination is better but still hectic with traffic and schedule logistics (AA and I are soon to be doing annual close out that is drama filled and time consuming).

So lunch for me and the kids can be the last thing I consider. Just is. Takeout lunch - cheap takeout at that - isn't a feasible thing everyday. So I have been plotting.

Lunchbox Specific
Herbed Couscous
Turkey and Cheese on Wheat
Ham and cheese croissant
Dirty Rice with ground turkey
Egg and Gorgonzola salad on French bread
Tuna salad

Leftover Lunchbox
Tilapia on herbed couscous bed (see recipe above)
Get Yo Man Chicken
Veal bolognese
Taco Salad
Chili Mac
PW Beef and Snow Peas
Fast Spaghetti
Pulled pork and potatoes
Honey Mango Chicken
Greek pasta salad

The difference is that former requires additional resources. The latter is just our leftovers that we have made within the week or weekend.

For the kids it's even more strategic as their school is peanut free (it is the only nut the Fricker can eat) and the Ladybug is EXTREMELY picky about her food.

So I again have to plot:
Greek Pasta salad
Momma's lunchable - meat/crackers/cheese
Fruit pizza
Turkey and cheese sandwich
Hummus and veggie dippers
Turkey and cheese wrap
Fruit skewers - for Frick, we use cookies as granola would have tree nuts
Ham and Cheese rolled sandwiches

In terms of product placement and presentation, I put a note in each of the kids bags - something funny or sweet.  For the Ladybug, she gets her food in this:
For the Fricker…He got Iron Man

I found this on ebay for $20 bucks - I picked my son's for $4 at Target during last year's shutdown.

Note:  All of these recipes have been linked to their original sources

Friday, September 12, 2014

Daddies doing work...

This year, I gave AA a task: read.

Not kidding. Reading doesn't happen - at least not for him if it isn't a Catholic blog. So in order for him to get his birthday present next year, he is going to have to read a book - actually several.

The first book on his list just got published this month "Daddy Doin Work". It's a play on the author's name. Considering that he is writing for an audience with a short attention span, it's a great book. It is an amazing book without that caveat. Basically, he is saying mothers can hold our husbands, boyfriends, and sperm donors accountable to our children.

Before you start "Hey we shouldn't harp on our babies' fathers" they should be held accountable. I have lived with a father who was a hybrid of DDW classifications (Daddy Doin nothin, daddy doing something, and daddy Doin work). Here I think Chris Rock can best explain my dad:

Yep. He kept the lights. Don't get me wrong - he did that well. But when it came to emotional support - that didn't happen. I can vouch that is just as important as keeping the lights on. My dad rarely made time to attend our games, concerts, I actually had to convince him to come my high school graduation (I honestly don't believe he came to my baccalaureate ceremony). Did I mention that I'm his oldest child?

I see my brother and I honestly think that he suffered worse than me. That guidance a young man needs, in my regards wasn't there and it did occur - it happen too late.  With my sister, she actually tried making the effort to get on his level - taking him out to eat, calling him specifically, and other stuff. It yielded mixed results.

Growing up I remember people asking my dad at church how he was related to us. Funny, as our mom made it a point for us to attend EVERY 11 am Sunday service. To make matters even funnier, she would shame us into walking to the third pew from the front weekly (especially when we were late). And yes, my mom believes that proximity to the pulpit correlates to proximity to God.

I look at AA and his dad and I know that is genuine relationship. In fact, AA's dad actually has relationships with AA's brothers (they aren't his biological sons and are half brothers with AA). Me and my dad - I typically do a cursory gloss over conversation because I just rather avoid deep conversations with him. If I have deep issues - I go with momma.

Anyhoo - that went dark fast - the book puts out the myth that dads can't do anything with children. So wrong. When AA started talking marriage and children, I knew I had a man who takes fatherhood seriously or as the author would classify him a DDW. Perfect he ain't - he once fed the kids Doritos for dinner - but he tries. Always helping with cooking (the only time we fight), diapers/potty breaks, bath time, and takes the kids to the park to get them to calm down. Did I mention that during Scandal, he does bedtime? Those jokers are passed out when I come upstairs.

What makes this book remarkable is that there tangible proof out there that men can totally handle their shit when parenting.

Bottom Line: Guys - go get this book, it's a good pre-game pep talk because when your babies are born, you are on.

You can find out more about the author, Doin Richards, here.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

On Ferguson...

I have no doubt that this kid has made mistakes in life. Does that entitle someone, even a cop, to shoot him without an arrest? Without due process? No. I know a lot of young men who are seriously bad asses. Sometimes I just want to wop them myself but I honestly believe they deserve to live their lives. This young man didn't deserve to die. 

His neighbors, family, and friends, don't deserve to be or even feel marginalized because of their anger and grief for his loss. His town doesn't deserve this black mark on its reputation. Do you get where I'm going?

Its not about just a black or white thing. There are always many dimensions. I have a son, I have a brother, uncles, cousins, and friends and even I worry about my father because someone labels them a threat because they are dark brown, light brown, speak Spanish, or worse. What makes this case so upsetting is the fact that the police went radio silent, geared up and took an adversarial tone. All sides have issues and that's where we need to start - what happened, what could have been the course of action. Instead we are fighting and picking a side. You should listen to the NPR Story I heard this morning about a teen protesting, and a minister, had to restrain him because he understood his frustration and anger. What I'm saying is that we are not really looking at our history and moving toward a place where empathy prevails. Instead we are repeating our past.  If you need a further breakdown, watch this film by John Oliver.  

What I find disturbing is the trend to act first and reconcile later. We teach our kids the opposite.  Maybe we haven't learned the lessons of our grandparents who had to witness the murders of Emmett Till, Medgar Evans, James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, Michael Schwerner.  All killed by cowards.  While I can't equate Michael Brown to these matyrs of the civil rights movement, his murder and coverup and response exposed the raw nerve from fifty years ago.

It won't go away any time soon.