Behind the Episode - Top Chef DC @ Nats Stadium

My friend over at Just Another Day with MrsTDJ wrote a great synopsis of our Top Chef Adventure @ National Stadium. Check it out to get the full details.



Why I Should Probably Just Stay in a Hotel

My girl, CreoleInDC, wrote a great post on being a good houseguest - The HouseGuest Manifesto - which outlined some basics things that should be part of the good home training knowledge. I'm a pretty darn good houseguest and often stay with my friends (usually only the friends that also have kids - as mine is loud, messy & clumsy - ish happens), so no worries. I did comment that I might choose a hotel on occassion to avoid worrying about offending my host or my kids messing up. Everybody cool - we can remain friends without me buying new carpet or furniture - OR more importantly, having to beat my child into a coma all up in my hosts house.

This past weekend, The FireMarshall and I attended a Reunion and stayed at The Gaylord National Resort & Conference Center and there were several times her post came to mind as I realized I violated almost every one of the tips in the Manifesto. Go read it for yourself, but here is a smattering of my gross violations at The Gaylord:

1. Accent/Decorative/Throw Pillows - These are for decoration ONLY. ESPECIALLY if there isn't a zipper. A zipper indicates that the cover can be taken off and washed often. If the bed has these...please don't use them. >>>> There were some decorative pillows on our lovely bed. I not only used them, but I threw one on the floor in middle of the night when it was getting on my nerves.

2. When you get out of bed...make your bed. >>>> NOPE, didn't do it. But that nice lady did.

3. Don't eat full meals in your room. Crumbs and ish dude. CRUMBS AND ISH. >>>> We ate a full meal ,not only in our room (roomservice breakfast) but right there in the bed. There were crumbs.

4. Don't put food containers in the garbage can in your room. That goes in the kitchen garbage can. >>> We put food containers in the garbage can in our room. There was no kitchen.

5. Please make sure you pack "appropriate" pajamas if you plan on lounging in them. o_0
>>> I did NOT pack "appropriate" pajamas and I lounged. The FireMarshall was pleased though.

6. If you use the last of something in your bathroom that was provided for your use...please let them know so they may replenish it for the NEXT guest. >>>> I was real bad...I pulled that last bit of toilet paper of the roll and left that little cardboard thingy there. It was magically made anew upon my return later. I think that nice lady was in there again.

7. If you come in late after the homeowners have gone to bed...please make as little noise as possible. A homeowner shook outta their sleep by you singing in the rain while taking a shower over the noise of the television you turned on might drag your azz outta the shower butt nekkid and PUT.YOU.OUT! >>>> We came in plenty late and were down right loud - probably ubnoxious. SHAME.

8. If a mug says Monnie...it's MONNIE'S MUG. Let me repeat that. IF A MUG SAYS MONNIE...IT'S MONNIE'S MUG! >>>> The mugs said the Gaylord on it...and I drank out of them. *looking around*

9. When you get out of the shower or tub please spray some cleaning ish in it and at least RINSE it out. A tub going a week without some kinda cleaning gets ni-zasty quickly. >>> Oh, we were real nasty. We didn't rinse or clean nuttin out...but that nice lady that came by every day did. Thanks.

10. When you leave...don't leave a mess. Ask your hostess how they'd prefer you deal with the linen. >>> We left a mess, but I left a tip.

Now, would I do any of these things at someones personal abode...no. The FireMarshall and I; however, had a wonderful time and let the crumbs, plates & trash fall where they may. We are now on our best behavior cause we don't do any of that mess in our own home...now I just gotta keep on the kids.

...or get a live-in housekeeper.


Celebrate the History - Accept the Challenge

We kick off the Inaugural Black Service Academy Graduates Super Reunion tonight at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center. The FireMarshall and I have a hospitality suite and will be hosting our fellow comrades in arms starting this evening around 9:00pm. We hope to see all of you there!

Beat Navy & AF...
Coast Guard Academy & Merchant Marine are too intellectual to play...
but we welcome all for grins, giggles & cocktails.

Some People...

Some people just have way too much free time on their hands and...

Some people do waaaay to much. Just stop.

Some people are really, really genuinely nice people...like that old lady in the coffee shop that spotted me $1.00 to get a soda since I couldn't use my debit card (ya know I never have cash on hand) for $1.89. I hope I run into her again or I'll just pass it forward.

Some people focus on dumb shyt instead of the matter at hand and wonder why business isn't getting done.

Some people let my cute & fabulousness fool them into saying dumb azz shyt to me. It amuses the hell out of me they reel back in shock & awe when I tazer them.

Some people didn't listen when the FireMarshall said "She may be beautiful, but she was trained to kill. CAREFUL."

Some people are just Academy Graduates instead of Ring Knockers and refuse to associate with, network or leverage that diploma. You're loss.

Some people always gotta ask WIIFM (what's in it for me)...except when it comes to registering for some Frat/Sorority conference. Yeah, you know who you are...the ones that needed explicit examples of WIIFM when it came to the Service Academy Graduates Reunion and whined about the $200 registration, but then I saw you post pictures from the Conclave, Boule' and/or that Boy's Weekend in Vegas on Fac.e.b.00k. I know that ish cost more than $200 and you didn't ask WIIFM ('cept maybe if there was an open bar) AT ALL.

Some people are trifling. PERIOD.

Some people actually think that I take to heart their special brand of crazy. No, but I do enjoy coming to watch the train wreck and being secretly messy about it later. *Snicker*

Some people don't know that I have a front row seat on the Express Bus to Hell...sometimes I'm even the driver. No worries. Let me show your dumb azz around.

Some people surprise me. Like my sister, who has stepped up to the plate on several occassions lately to help me out, leaving her world of ghetto fabulous behind...at least for a weekend or two.

Some people REALLY need to edit their FB settings ensuring that NOBODY can tag you all random like in pictures...like my Pastor who got tagged on a picture of some woman straight out the club that features poles by some IGNANT, GOT NO SENSE, BOUGHT AN ADVANCED SEAT ON THE HELL BUS. De-Friend and then LOCK YOUR PROFILE DOWN.

Some people make me real mad & play too much. That ish ain't funny - AT ALL.

Some people feel much better when I sit here behind this desk sending emails all day requesting appointments, insisting that I copy them on every one instead of me going out and doing the business of SELLING FOR REAL. It's your dime. Just don't get all freaked out when nothing happens. Seriously. Sigh. *Clicking Send*

Some People...


DC Confidential - The Reveal

Rember this...DC Confidential...where I told you about something that I did that was HELLA FUN but couldn't say until August. Well, that day arrived tonight when the episode of Top Chef aired. I was invited by MrsTDJ to join her and some of her fabulous friends to be tasters and part of the crowd during an episode of Top Chef - Making Concessions. It was a long day, my feet hurt up to my knee caps by time it was all over, but IT WAS SO DAMN FUN.

Now, I've been watching all season knowing full well who the six were going to be by time they got to this episode. However, I haven't been very successful in predicting who would have to pack up their knives until about the last 3 episodes...and we ladies KNEW and were pretty sure that Amanda was getting the boot. We took one look at the Tuna Tartar and said, "Yep, she's done."

Seriously, WHO makes raw fish as a concession food. Hot Outside. Fishy. Grey. Didn't look fresh. Difficult to eat in a ball park. Didn't go well with the free beer either.

NOW TIFFANY'S MEATBALLS! SLAMMIN' - DELISH - MAKE YOU WANNA SLAP YOUR MAMMA GOOD! or at least fight the people in line trying to get another serving. I was a little disappointed that she didn't win the tonight but Ed's dish was on point too.

Angelo is going downhill fast. Best get it together mister, stop putting an Asian spin on EVERY.SINGLE.DISH and start COOKANG. That's all I got to say about that.

So, I only had a total of about 4-5 seconds of fame in tonights episode. When they were talking to the judges and you see some chick with white St. John (you can't really tell that they are, but I thought I'd just throw that in for showing off effect) pants with her azz all up in the screen...yeah, that was my broadside. Then when the judges all get up to go to judges table...there I am in the background for a hot second. Who cares - nobody but me - yet the food was great, the beers were good till they cut us off, and my Top Chef Mates were a blast.

Here is how confidential this whole thing was...I took pictures of the ladies with Tom and then saved them on one of these computers in this house. Just can't find it now. I did email them out so the parties involved do have their pic - I just don't have it here to share. BUMMER.

Thanks, MrsTDJ, for a wonderful experience.


Top Chef - Episodes - Making Concessions Bravo TV Official Site


Move-In Day @ Indiana Tech - Sophmore Year Begins

Today was move in day at Indiana Tech. Sigh. We drove the Prince out to Indiana and hung out at our friends house for the weekend, doing some dorm shopping and relaxing before we dumped his stuff off today.

We went to Wally World on Saturday to stock up on stuff that Prince Jordan said he needed...seemed reasonable to me right up until they rang all that stuff up. I nearly passed out when she said $500. Did we really have that much ish in that one cart? Guess so. I got a lot of questions about what in da heck did he need that would cost so much and that he didn't get last year, so here is a summary:

  • Laundry (detergent, stain remover, all fabric bleach & so on)
  • Toiletries (body wash, shampoo, conditioner, shave cream, razors, toothpaste, lotion, toilet paper, etc)
  • Kitchen (pans, utensils, plates, cups, can opener, etc)
  • Office (printer cartridges -$$$$, paper, folders, notebooks, etc)
  • Misc (trash cans, bags, xbox controller -SMH, extension cords - where did they go?, batteries)


College ain't no cheap undertaking. Take the hit at one time or get nickled & dimed every month. I could do it all at one time OR I could get a text every week with a list that I would have to SHIP (I'm gonna have to do that anyway - but perhaps I'll get lucky and not have to do anything till Thanksgiving). I just knocked it out...but my knees are still a little wobbly on that shopping trip.

We showed up at the school and were amazed at how nice the Warrior Row Townhouses were. VERY NICE. Prince Jordan's girlfriend, Joan, (who came with us & is working on becoming a future Princess - HUMPH - we will see) and I helped unpack & set up Prince Jordan's room while The FireMarshall went back to Wally World to get some last minute stuff that Jordan needed after we got to actually see the room (fan, shade for window, snacks, more hangers).

We said our goodbyes and are now on the highway back to Maryland.

Sophmore Year Begins!


At Home w/Victoria Interview - Inaugural Black Service Academy Reunion

Listen to internet radio with At Home wX Victoria on Blog Talk Radio

Would you like to learn more about the reunion? Please take a moment to tune in for about 20 min as we talk about the mission, purpose and events happening at the Inaugural Black Service Academy Super Reunion - August 26-28th at the Gaylord Resort & Convention Center, National Harbor, MD

I'm so excited about next weekend, I think I'm gonna burst.


Triathlon Training - Overcoming Fear, Doubt, Uncertainty

These past couple of weeks while training for the Nation's Triathlon on Sept 12th, I have had some moments of what I call - FEAR, DOUBT, UNCERTAINTY.

Fear that I am not training enough or training wrong.
Doubt that I can even do this thing. That I will even finish.
Uncertain that I have the stamina, the determination to charge through to the end.

That little hell bus driver that follows me around everywhere just in case I get real messy, sometimes decides that he wants to talk and get me all discombobulated, stressed and worried about this Triathlon. But I beat him back with my tazer & some of my own positive self-talk. GET THEE BEHIND ME, Spoiler of Accomplishments. HUMPH.

Sometimes I just cry and keep running/biking (kinda hard to cry while swimming - just mostly moaning in between breaths). Sometimes I curse & mumble while training. But I always surge through. Perhaps I am even just being a little drama queen while training. Perhaps.

Whatever, the case - When my training gets me down - Do what Dory, from Finding Nemo says...

AAAAANNNNNDDDD....When all else fails, call Becca up and train with her. Lawd, that chile, with that Cheshire Cat Grin can get you pumped to do just about anything. Monday, I met her over at the Wilson Aquatic Center for a swim. She had a plan and everything. Every time I wanted to talk a rest or complain or some bullshyt, she GRINNED! and said, "Let's JUST do another 400 meters. GRINNED.

And I did it.

Last night, we decided to attempt to do the Iron Girl 17.5 mile bike route. Well, we got off to a late start and the hills on that route would make a grown man cry out loud. We ended up turning around at the 5 mile mark (for a total of about 10 miles) because it was getting so dark. We barely made it back to the park to get our cars out. It was so dark. Yet - Here's Becca...riding right behind me most of the way...giving little tips...encouraging me...AND I could feel the heat of that GRIN all up on my back. I never pushed so hard to just keep up - cursing the entire way.

We get back and Becca was like, "Girl, you don't have to ride out here no more. Nation's is flat and you've been working those hills for how long? You got this. Probably gonna blow by us cause you are so strong."


Two days with Becca, Dory keeping me company in my head and some good 'ole ON BRAVE OLE ARMY TEAM bravado and I am no longer filled with Fear, Doubt & Uncertainty.

In less that 25 days...I WILL BE A TRIATHLETE.


Karate Kid

After the soccer fiasco that ended in a trip to the emergency room, we had to come up with something quick to keep Princess Cara's confidence up and get her back in the active saddle. We signed her up for an 8 week intro course to Karate and she LOVES IT!

My little mini-diva took to Karate like peas take to carrots and after 8 weeks (and another forking over of fundage) she is a white belt and had informed us that she wants to "Go All The Way! Mommie!" I guess that means Black Belt.

I'm so proud of my little Princess. Now, how do I get her to stop kicking, chopping and "HYYYYYAAAAAAHHHHH"ing everything around the house.

I don't need no stinkin movie. I got my own Karate Kid!

Do You Want to Play - Part 2

The wonderful people over at Ebeanstalk sent Princess Cara a new toy to try out and it turned out that it was right up her alley. Connecta Straws.

The Connecta Straws were something very simple but allowed her to be creative and make all kinds of stuff, creatures, creations. Of course, she had to lay every piece out and sort by color but then it was on. She made an assortment of flowers and "bugs". Nice.

I thought it would keep her distracted for a good while, but alas, she is easily distracted like her mother by shiny objects - "Look what I made - OH! - Shiny." - and she is off to the next toy.

We have been purchasing a lot of stuff from Ebeanstalk and have yet to be disappointed. If you got kids you really should check them out. Like I said before, looking for great toys for your kids at any age can be overwhelming! Especially if you let your kids watch Nog.g.in or Car.t.oo.n Net.w.ork and they are bombarded with commercials for useless toys or video games. I truly believe you will find great toys at reasonable prices at Ebeanstalk. Even better are the online reviews of all the toys right there on the website. Good and bad. Honest feedback on everything. I found that feature very helpful too.

With so many toys to choose from, it is hard to pick out the perfect one for
your kids. Ebeanstalk makes it easy. They always strive to chose the best toys around and could use your help. Head on over to Ebeanstalk and tell them what your favorite baby toys and kid toys are. Ebeanstalk wants to provide great toys by age and the only way they can make sure they have the right ones is by getting feedback from moms like you and me!

Don't you want to play?


Princess Cara's Garden - The Watermelon Harvest

Before we left on vacation, we picked one of Princess Cara's Watermelons from her garden - it looked like it was ready - what do I know.

She insisted that we cut it RIGHT NOW so she could eat her "personal pan watermelon". She did not want to share AT ALL.

Turns out that it was AWESOME. DELISH!. SWEET. Everything you would want from your watermelon.

We are definitly enjoying our little garden. Hope all the other melons grow some more so we can pick them when we get back.


Road Trip w/The Boys

Prince Jordan and his crew are this very minute (12:48am) on the highway - embarking on...


The crew wanted to do "The Big Summer Trip" and I hooked the boys up with a condo down in Orlando for the week. They decided that it would cost them more to fly & since none of them are 21 - they couldn't rent a car without forking over a tuition sized deposit. Thus, they are driving - the infamous party van - our Chevy Conversion Van.

I am up at 1am in the morning, the worried mother, fretting about safety, can they handle the drive, are they gonna be okay...blah, blah, blah. The FireMarshall is sleeping soundly. We got a call about 30 min ago from the Prince asking about the brakes on the van. I practically jump out of the bed frantic but The FireMarshall is handling the call with finesse and calm. I'm pacing the floor. The FM hangs up, lays back down and starts to promptly go back to sleep.

DA HELL. I want details. What's going on? Are they okay? Are they gonna make it?

The FireMarshall, in his voice reserved for idiots and the elderly, said "Woman, get back in the bed, lay down, calm down and don't fret yourself to death." Ummm, okay. How comez he all lah de dah bout the Prince - the Heir to the Empire - driving 13 hours (he is not doing all the driving-the boys are sharing the load) down I95? Why you all calm about six 18 year old boys on thier first long azz road trip? WTF.

He prompty put it in perspective for me. He said, "We send 18 year old boys to Iraq & Afghanistan, give them guns and send them out on patrol all day to Sunday. I think my son and his friends can handle I95. They were responsible enough to check in about the brakes, they are fine, we will check them when they get here. They know now to take their time & pay attention. They will watch out for each other - just like our kids overseas."

Ummm, well, err, yeah.

He then wraps himself up in this here heavenly bed (we are already in Orlando for vacation & a conference) binky and says, "Would you rather him navigate I95 or navigate IED's? Let the boy be a man. Now go to bed."

He then offered to help take my mind off of the Prince with a game of pocky-poo. Uh, Huh.

The FireMarshall has a valid point. I gotta let The Prince do man like stuff and navigate life on his own. I'm still his Momma - and I'm gonna worry, just a little bit.

I've said my prayer and asked God for Travel Mercies for The Prince and his crew. I ask that if and when you read this, that you throw up a prayer on their behalf.

Safe travels, my Young Men. Love you all - from the KoolAid Momma.

Hmmm...now let me see about this game of pocky-poo.