Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving Thanks

With all the...grumbleness...of the past few days, even with the amazing friends and the serendipitous moments, I am taking a deep breath and doing my annual* Thanksgiving blog early (except obviously that didn't happen). Because I fly off to Hawaii at the butt crack of dawn tomorrow and will, hopefully, not be pulling out the computer much (but am way too much of an addict not to take it with me) (and I'm now in Hawaii and awake too early and on the computer finishing this. Because you mean that much to me!). I need to appreciate all that is around me and this day, week, was set aside for that. So here ya go.

*you don't know it's annual because this blog hasn't been around for a year, but trust me, it is.

1. I am thankful for the constancy of sports, right now more than ever. A lot doesn't make sense. The Republicans in power, failing the bar, losing friends to the far corners of the earth, the uncertainty of the future in so many ways. But every Saturday ESPN's College Game Day airs, and a whistle blows signaling kickoff. I can rely on that. Even in the uncertainty of the outcome, I am certain Les Miles and his batshit insanity will make it interesting. I have waxed poetic about this so many times, you all should know it by heart, but good god I love college football. I am not a religious person but know that I am only half joking when people say something about the NFL and I respond, "My god plays football on Saturday."

My god also plays baseball all summer and I appreciate that. I appreciate the crazy cast of characters that were this year's Giants and their bringing this city a World Series Championship.

I know it seems silly but having something I am passionate about matters to me. I'm not into politics or world events or...any of the other seemingly "important stuff". But O'Bannon v NCAA and issues with academic eligibility get me going. And so does the sheer contest and the hard hits and the marching bands and the plastic cups of coke that have been half poured out and filled with whiskey. I like arguing why watching sweatervest coach a team is endlessly boring and why Tim Tebow is both attractive and important to football and why the Pac 10 is supremely inferior to the SEC and watching Army/Navy. Also getting me going: the crack of the bat, the run to the warning track, the catcher getting the guy out at second. East Coast Yankee bias arguments. Humidors in Colorado. Duck the Fodgers. Garlic fries. Midweek, day game baseball.

And for some reason the god that plays football on Saturdays and baseball all summer thought I was fit to handle all the last second cardiac inducing wins that the Les Miles era at LSU would bring in AND the hearbreakingly close 1 run games the Giants are notorious for playing.

I don't know if I thank crazy old testament god or peace loving new testament god for that, but either way, for sports I am grateful.

2. Friends. All of you. New ones, old ones, reconnected ones, meeting in real life ones, ones who are exclusive to the way we connect in this crazy world wide internet web. Even the ones I have loved and lost. Michael, Chuck, Andy, Beth, David and Sara, Irene... you all know who you are and just because I didn't name you doesn't mean I don't love you. Every single last one of you amazingly wonderful crazy unique individuals with whom I can laugh and talk and bitch and whine. For your truthful comments and new perspectives. For giving it to me straight and not letting me get away with shit. I love my close knit group of real true compadres and want to tell silly high school me that being popular is bullshit, having 800 acquaintances so not as important as having people who have your back in a knife fight. Know that I have yours right back. There is something to said for growing up and choosing your own tribe. I am totes down with my tribe.

3. But you can't always choose your tribe. You have family. They drive me bananas. B-A-N-A-N-A-S. But man. I have strong women on one side and compassionate and emotional men on the other. Repressed Irish Catholics and crazy half Jewish half Southerners. They gave me green eyes, dark skin and the most awesome mutt European background anyone could ask for. They, like my friends, love me in spite of myself. We argue, we bicker, I spent a lot of time trying not to scream at my mother or strangle my brother, but at the end of the day, they too have my knife in a back fight back in a knife fight. Or a gun fight. I also love my non-family family members. An ex-stepsister and a faux stepmom. Even the slightly ridiculous stepdad. Second and third cousins twice removed. Whoever these people are that I share a little blood with. They're pretty great too. You know, when I don't want to kill them. (Ask me about this in three weeks when I'm trying to study for the bar. Again.)

4. Since I am in Hawaii, a little materialism: I am thankful for first class upgrades and unexpected surprises (redundancy). I am thankful for hotel spas and island breezes. Mai tais. Omg mai tais. I LOVE mai tais. (I am not thankful for being charged for in room internet or using fitness equipment but whatever. Imma just gonna see about beach sprints. Which should be highly amusing.) (Or: just fall asleep on a lounge chair and worry about wind sprints later.)

5. I am thankful for good health and am going to be paying better attention to that. My brother has some mystery illness, spent the night before we left for Hawaii in the ER and was ordered not to fly, so he's not here. Whatever his illness is, it involves a catheter. Yeah. Let's pay attention to our health.

6. I am thankful for an ability to bake. Baking, believe it or not, keeps me sane. That and writing. It's sort of a zen thing. Mix, stir, melt, dip... And whenever frustrated I enjoy doing it. It's also the holiday season so I have an excuse to stand in the kitchen for hours and do it without seeming deranged. I enjoy giving the end product to my family and friends and watching them devour the goodies. I look forward to going home and baking baking baking. (I have to say, being in Hawaii, while AWESOME, is also bittersweet. I love cooking for the big holidays and it's weird to not be making turkey and sweet potatoes from scratch and endlessly stirring the gravy, a job only I have taken over from my grandmother who was the master gravy maker.)

7. Thankful I'm still here. (I heard this song for the first time the other night on Great Performances, A Birthday Celebration of Stephen Sondheim. And although not 80 or even 60 or 40, there's days where slogging through it just sucks. Then I heard this song and was like, she's AWESOME. Song is awesome. I hope to be rocking out like her when I'm her age.)

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