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My Three Thanksgivings


It’s December! Oh my god. Time is just slipping away. 2015 is the scariest number I’ve ever seen.

I hope everyone reading this (in the US anyway, or those of you outside the US that wanted to celebrate it) had a lovely Thanksgiving and avoided the pitfalls of Black Friday… I read that Black Friday sales overall were down this year.

My Thanksgiving break was interesting, to say the least. I was away for nearly a week, but I brought my computer home and I worked every day except for Thursday. Wednesday was filled with copyediting, Netflix, and making an excellent cranberry sauce. In this case my anti-recipe philosophy paid off, and I made my best batch of cranberry sauce ever! It was delicious and the texture was perfect. I’m certain it was due to guesswork in the amounts of water and sugar to add.

Thursday was the old standby extended family dinner. I wore a fancy outfit, caught up with some family members, and possibly ate more shrimp hors d’oeuvres than turkey. The dinner, the cocktails, and the company were all pretty good for me!

Friday, my mom and I had the backup turkey that had been acquired in case of inclement weather keeping us from the big family dinner. (My mom’s wife is vegan, so she had some kind of tofurkey instead.) Leftover cranberry sauce and stuffing, some potatoes, peas, and probably other things I can’t remember made a nice Thanksgiving dinner #2.

I spent Saturday night with my dad. We had leftovers from his holiday meal–turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes, and then some serious chocolate for dessert.

And I’ve been eating leftover turkey ever since… I’m not complaining. I’m glad I haven’t had to go to the grocery store yet.

Monday Madness: Why Do I Holiday


Madness indeed. I don’t really feel like writing anything. Everything’s just a mess, there’s no time to do anything, and I’m off to the family Christmas traditions tomorrow morning. All I’ll have time to do between now and then is pack and eat breakfast. Maybe some reading.

It’s strange how stressful work can get when there’s any more than a day or two off in a month. How am I supposed to finish my work? AAAAAGH!!!!

Today was weird, and almost bad, but I had a really nice time at lunch and tasty food. Just about made up for the unfortunately icky weather.

What is there to say? My mind is already on vacation. Anything I type right now is going to be mediocre at best. That’s the Joy of Christmas, folks!

Fingers crossed that my train tomorrow won’t be too crowded, and that eggnog will cure my silly brain. Eggnog inspires productivity, right?

Monday Madness: If I Only Had a Car


(to the tune of “If I Only Had a Brain”)

If someone gave me a car, for free, I still couldn’t afford to have one. Gas alone I could probably deal with, but no way I could also afford insurance, maintenance, and parking in Boston.

One of the perks of living in the city is that you don’t have to have a car. There are always ways to get where you’re going. Even though the MBTA is inexcusably flawed, in a lot of cases driving probably wouldn’t be much faster. I probably would still drive to work, because then I can leave when it’s convenient for me, rather than according to the bus schedules.

The real reason I want a car is for getting out of the city. Yes, there are trains and buses that will take you pretty much anywhere you’d like, but they can take forever, and if your real destination is five miles from the train station, well, tough luck. If you’re unfamiliar, figuring out the schedules and pickup/dropoff areas can be rather stressful, as well. Once I took a bus to New York with a friend, and we had a great time, but it turned out we didn’t know where the bus left New York to return to Boston. We wandered around for two hours or so, I called a friend to try to figure out where we could catch a bus home, and finally we came across one that, luckily, had empty seats.

I think of all the places I could go, whenever I wanted to, if I had a car. I could drive out to visit my parents for a day, and probably see them much more often. I could get myself down to my grandparents’ house for holiday gatherings (instead of having to take the train to my mom’s to get a ride there). Day trips to Providence, Plum Island, even New Hampshire or Vermont could happen. I would be able to go to Shalom Mountain, an amazing retreat center in upstate New York, without having to stress about how I’m going to get there–a large part of the reason I never end up going.

Like I said before, I don’t really want a car. I don’t want to own one and I don’t want to risk that I would end up driving everywhere, and give up walking, which is the majority of my exercise. I don’t want to have to dig it out of the snow in the winter, either, or be one of those people who keeps a trash can or a piece of furniture in “my” parking spot to make sure no one else can use it while I’m gone.

But it would be nice if there were a car available to me so that I could get anywhere beyond Boston without having to rely on other people to get there. Mainly because asking for a ride always seems like a big deal, for some reason.

Monday Madness


I was hometown-bound this weekend for the wedding of an old friend, someone with whom I was very close in my teen years. The wedding was very lovely. The ceremony was outside and, luckily, the weather was perfect. The reception was in a hall, very nicely arranged, good food, fun dancing.

I spent some time with family, puttering around town, having lattes and pizza and such. It was an enjoyable time. Since I knew I wouldn’t be able to get anything done anyway, I wasn’t worrying about being unproductive, so I was pretty relaxed and unstressed.

Then I got home and all the things I don’t like about my living space were there to greet me. I am so fed up, but I really don’t think there’s anything to do about it…

I’ve been thinking about what I want in life and wondering how to get it. From what I can tell, there are some people who are really good at getting what they want. I don’t understand them at all. I can’t figure it out. If getting what I want requires the cooperation of anyone else but me, it usually doesn’t happen.

Time always seems to be the biggest problem. I need more time in the day that’s open for sleeping, and longer breaks from real life to relax and try to organize my life into schedules or routines that actually make some sense. Instead, everything just piles up until I have no idea how to sort through all the wistful wishes and necessary chores and get anything at all done.

All I can do is rant about it on the internet. How productive and healthy.

It’s On


(Which, incidentally, is the name of a great song by Baby Strange.)

 

Better than Old Turkey, I guess…

 

This is the first time I’ve bought a turkey. I did help make the turkey one year. Tomorrow I’m lugging it over to my friends’ apartment and then it will be cooked and consumed along with many delicious sides. I made the cranberry sauce this past weekend. It tasted perfect when I tried it, right between cooling to room temp and sticking in the fridge. I’m sure it’s still going to be tasty tomorrow.

Let’s get one thing straight here: Thanksgiving is not about being thankful. Maybe that’s what it’s supposed to be, maybe that’s how it’s named, but that’s not what it is. It’s a day for overeating, obligations, and feeling lonely and/or pathetic if you don’t have plans.

I’m sure there are people who don’t have plans and don’t feel that way, but I sure would.

For me, I was always more interested in the food than anything else. All the earlier Thanksgivings I can remember involved a gathering of everyone in my extended maternal family. She has four siblings, and with that large collection of people I always had to sit at the kids’ table. I felt left out and a little lost in that big group, and then we’d always watch that stupid B.C. holiday cartoon, which is not the type of thing I would have chosen to watch every year. I was never allowed to go and read because that’s “antisocial.” But it was still nice to have somewhere to go, to know that the food was going to be great and that these people cared about me.

At one point, I stopped going back there every year. It made more sense to stay on campus during a few of my college years, and, my parents being divorced, I discovered that it was nicer in a way to go have Thanksgiving with a smaller group of people (just the two of us, sometimes…) and to see him a little more.

This year, as I only have Thursday off for the week, I’m sticking close and doing the holiday with some friends who also are not leaving Boston. Turkey, stuffing, potatoes, cranberry sauce, alcohol… A small group of people I really like being around and no one’s going to make me watch that damn cartoon again. Can’t complain.

I also have decided to wear a fabulous pair of shoes I have.

 

Bordeaux Ruffled Oxford Heels 

 

Happy Thanksgiving! If anything interesting happens with the cooking, I’ll post about it.

 

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