Thursday, November 24, 2011

The tur-KEY to gratitude

joy of joys! Thanksgiving is my Favorite holiday! ( I love Christmas time, but for happiest actual holiDAY, i must say that Thanksgiving is my favorite)

you begin with the watching of the parade. the Macy's Thanksgiving day parade of course.
you must be sure to wake up early, just in case it starts at 6:00 A.M. this year. when it doesn't (because, who are we kidding, it never starts that early) you get to flip leisurely through the thanksgiving specials, and the news channels which are all full of "Turky 911" tips.

the parade is a wondrous sight to behold. Big bird is taller than any of the sky scrapers, and famous singers are reduced to dressing up as candy canes and belting out "have a holly jolly Christmas. what a rush.

After Santa comes down the street ("because after that it's just guys cleaning up horse poop, and THAT doesn't throw ME at ALL" -miracle on 34th street) comes the bowling.

the "Turkey bowl" is a very competitive tradition with my dad's side of the family, and once you turn twelve, you're out of luck mister, because not more bumper rails! aunts, uncles, cousins, and parents all scrunch up their nose, wave their arms to the left and concentrate hard on their ball as they will it a li-i-i-ittle more to the other side. the sheer sight of their face is worth showing up in your jammies.

next comes the no, the ART of cooking dinner. the aroma of juicy turkey marinating happily in the kitchen, the sound of potatoes plopping into boiling water, and the occasional sneaking of pie crust is the picture-perfect-we're-a-happy-family kind of moment that everyone sees on TV.

when the relatives arrive, there are babies to be held, games to be played, and most importantly, food to be eaten.

if you've stayed with me this far, i'm going to cut you a break, and stop talking about my Thanksgiving traditions (even though it IS my favorite holiday, and i think i deserve a little indulgence) and skip to the real reason behind Thanksgiving.

Everyone talks about the pilgrims and how they were thankful for their food and habbledee-whoo-be-whatty. well, i would just like to take a moment of gratitude.

Even though i presume that the pilgrim story is largely inaccurate, i think that for whatever truth it holds, they are a great symbol for us.

i recently returned home from a humanitarian trip to the Dominican republic with the fam. in honor of thanksgiving, i want to share some things that i didn't even realize were such a blessing until i saw the contrary.

1. Clean water (as much as i want, and it comes right to my house!)

2. enough food to eat

3. the opportunity to go to school (all of you who skip class, these kids would do ANYTHING for an education.)

4. people who understand what I'm saying. (imagine being an immigrant and not having ANYONE understand your language)

5. smiling (the universal language)

6. air conditioning. (trust me.)

7. that people have to take a test before they can legally drive (this is not the case in the D.R.)

8. toilets that can flush toilet paper

9.sterile hospitals

10. that i don't have to worry about wild dogs every time i leave the house

11. the freedom to say whatever i want

12. a government that isn't corrupt (anyone who disagrees with me on this one, go to the D.R.
and THEN tell me that we have a bad government)

13. that i know how to read.

14. shoes

15. a better security system than bars on my window.

16. that it isn't socially acceptable in the U.S. for a married man to have a couple girlfriends

17. rice for breakfast

18. nice smelling laundry detergent. (or laundry detergent at all for that matter)

19. a toothbrush

20. people who are kind no matter what their circumstances.

so buenos nuches mis amigos, and remember to be thankful for all the little things from washable marker to opposable thumbs.

oh there's that soap box i was looking for!
i guess when it comes to turkey day, i'm a bit of a ham.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

On an awkward note....

Dear Awkward Moments,

I understand that we've had a lot of history, but I really don't think that we need to spend every minute of every day together. It's not you, it's me. I'm just not ready to be embarrassed every day.

I know that a lot of girls complain about their boys never surprising them with flowers or chocolates or whatnot. And although it's sweet that you try, when you come up and surprise me in front of my friends and family...I find it difficult to save face.

My point is: I think we need to start seeing other people. It's not that I expect to never see you again, but I was thinking that we might want to make our meetings a little less....frequent. there is a world full of people out there, and i know that you would be happy with any number of them!

I wish you the best, and if you want any recommendations, i have a few names and numbers of people I'd love to see you with.

Most Sincerely,

Monday, November 14, 2011

two posts for the price of one!

*o.k. here's the deal-io. so i was supposed to be writing my friend a letter while i was in the Dominican republic (from one humanitarian trip to another kinda deal), but after a few days i got really tired of writing his letters, so the following are the first two. yes, yes, i know. these aren't from the Dominican Republic, they are both from the New York airport. the D.R. ones will come later.....maybe. so enjoy! (name changed to protect the awesome)

Dear Peter,

there are two bird in here. two birds! in a New York airport! they seem to be quite at home, pecking at leftover Burger King egg-bagel specials. it is a funny thing to find refuge in a New York City cigarette-butt-stain airport. they seem quite relaxed, talking to each other in their New Jersey Accents

"Phil. Phil! i gotta bacon cheese sesame ova hee-ya"

"cool ya jets Penny, I gotta make a pit stop on da railin'......there we goes. bacon cheese ya say?"

perfectly content to feast on our processed, fatty cast aways.
after all, they fly for free.


Dear Peter,

Ok so i was sick of writing and decided to put this away, but that lasted all of about 74 seconds. instead i will paint a picture for you of the NYC airport.

people dressed in everything.
a man shuffling cards while he talks to his friends. a couple of hangovers, and even more on the way. clocks everywhere that scream 7:14.

pink luggage, grocery sack luggage, luggage with designer brands, luggage with wheels, luggage on top of more luggage, and pick-pocketed luggage everywhere.

the people are connected to iphones, ipods, ipads, and laptops, each on the phone, living in a world four states away. "yeah, yeah, i got here fine" and dropping a swear word whenever it adds emphasis, or meaning, or they haven't said it in a while.

a woman is unwrapping a fashion magazine and licking her fingers for every time she turns the page. a 69....ok, I'll be fair. a 64 year old woman is sporting a bright pink Hollister top, complete with rhinestones.

card-shuffle guy is creeping on a pretty girl playing angry birds.

there is a beautiful woman in African garb, looking completely at ease, and a man trying to read this entry as he sips down his 7:30 Pepsi.

the Starbucks has a longer line than any of the boarding queue, and all of this to the constant hum of "New York Morning News" with anchors who are somehow both chipper and cynical.

good morning, New York. the city that never sleeps.