Thanksgiving is my favorite American holiday of all. A big part of that, I suppose, is it's simple and attractive premise. It is not predicated on some weird mythological event, or anything that might require one to believe up to six impossible things before breakfast. It doesn't have a lot of ritual requirements or expectations. Instead, it is an abidingly secular day, situated consistently in mid-week, resulting in a four day holiday, premised on nothing more than getting together with friends and loved ones to cook and eat a massive meal of specifically prescribed but for the most part delicious foodstuffs.
One Thanksgiving 'tradition' I could do without is the whole dumb hoopla around the White House turkey and the annual Presidential pardon. Sure, it was funny and kind of cute when Bush 41 issued the first 'pardon' to the Turkey that was presented to the White House by the Poultry Association. But by now it's just become this silly, redundant hackneyed ritual without either meaning or honesty. On Thanksgiving, Mr. President, we cook and eat turkeys, we don't send them to zoos. Just stop it, ok?
For some reason the song of the day this bright, sparkling Thanksgiving morn is Smashing Pumpkins '1979'. I don't know why, exactly, but it's in my head while I'm making a couple of good old fashioned Kentucky Pecan Pies to bring to the feast. I ordinarily prefer to do something a bit off kilter for Thanksgiving, something unexpected and truly non-traditional (last year I did a Thai Roasted Butternut Squash Soup that was so good it made you weep), but this year the holiday is permeated by fear and uncertainty and an all too real awareness of the state of my declining resources, so it was hard to think in those terms. But on the upside, my sister makes really good Pumpkin and Apple pies for Thanksgiving, so there will be guests that welcome the old southern Pecan variety.
One of the reasons I enjoy watching pro football is that there can be interesting, exciting, captivating matchups even when they don't include the team or teams one regularly roots for. However, unfortunately, today has three games, all of which are ugly mis-matches that should between them, have no interesting or exciting moments whatsoever. Patriots at Detroit? Well, that ought to be good for Brady's stats anyway. Cincinnati in New York to play the Jets? Maybe Terrell Owens will do something weird. One can always hope. And the Saints in Dallas? Hey, it's never totally boring to watch the Cowboys get humiliated. In fact, that will brighten the day even more!
Obligatory Gratitude List:
• I'm grateful to Julian Assange and WikiLeaks for trying to make the world see crimes for what they are. America can't seem to live up to her own values anymore, so a little nudge now and then isn't such a bad thing.
• I'm grateful to Turkey, particularly Prime Minister Recep Erdogan for his unusually honest and principled stand against Israel's crimes. Again, a nation that has lost its way needs help getting back to its own founding principles, and despite the risks and costs, Turkey will provide that help.
• I'm grateful for the US Federal extensions to Unemployment Insurance. I can't even imagine where I'd be today if not for those funds. Oh sure, they'll come for their taxes, and when I can I'll pay them gladly.
• I'm grateful to the people who have helped me stay sane and upbeat through this foul, lost year. As above, I fear I DO know where I'd be without you, and that scares me. There are not many of you, and a good percentage I have never met in person, so I'll not embarrass anyone but know this - if you think you might be one of those people, you most certainly are. Thank you.