In the middle of cooking Thanksgiving dinner last year in DC, the power went out, leaving a turkey half-raw and the ice cream in a perilous position. By the late afternoon light, we conferenced and decided our best option was to move our feast to our family friend's house which was far enough away, in the velvety confines of Dupont Circle, to be untouched by the outage. Once we obtained his permission, we loaded up our caravans, made it safely down there, and everything went remarkably smoothly after that.
Nothing so exciting happened this year. The family gathered in Westchester, ate, dropped in on the Met, watched Mad Hot Ballroom and, yes, All the President's Men -- remarkably, not on my suggestion. I guess it's been on everyone's mind. My older brother is usually the center of attention during such events but, busy being a 1L halfway across the country, he couldn't make it, so I had to step up from time to time and command the spotlight. Viz:
COUSIN: Hey, what happened to your brother? Something with the car?That's a true story, by the way. My little brother didn't mind that "Gatorade" instantly became the laugh trigger for the evening because he won around $600 playing internet poker one-handed and with his eyes closed. He was going to use some of his ill-gotten gains to take all us cousins out to see Walk the Line but right before we walked out the door, an insidious rumor spread that that was "a chick flick" and before you can say "vulnerable masculinity" my cousins & my little brother had decided they had better things to do.
LITTLE BROTHER: Yeah, he was leaving the gym, right? And he realized he forgot his ID. He turned around to go back to get it and he was also going to get a bottle of Gatorade, either a 12 oz or an 18 oz --
ME: He was in a car accident and he wasn't wearing his seatbelt and he ALMOST DIED.
Usually this is a weird time of year for me. The buildup to Christmas starts for real, which means I start feeling more and more alienated. Factor in the increasing absence of sun and warmth & I really have to struggle to keep cheerful. At least after the solstice, the balance shifts -- February and March may be hellishly dreary months, but you know while you're suffering through them that they're leading up to something better. December only leads up to ... January.
While I wait for them to roll around, I try to think positive! Here's an abbreviated list of things I'm thankful for:
- The astonishing beauty of my neighborhood and that I get to live in it, & the person I get to live in it with
- My residence at 2756 Unicorn Lane (1982 - 2005)
- Dogs on the street
- Not so much the dogshit on the street. But the dogs
- Election years and the potential they hold
- The New York Public Library system
- Whole Foods
- WNYC, WFUV, and public radio in general
- Jon Stewart
- My health
- My laptop
- Cobblestone streets