Happy Thanksgiving!

Well, it’s not even 7:30 yet, but I’m already giving thanks.  I’m thankful for The Guys From The Internet and their new hit, F*ck A Kitten Up.

And, eternally, grateful for ‘aluminum falcons.’

I’m also grateful that I learned basketball from Michael Jordan, not Jesus.

Oh… and I’m now using Thanksgiving-inspired color schemes.  Apparently the light blue hurts female eyes.  Thanks for the feedback – this is more festive anyway.

New Package, Same Great Taste

Let me know if you hate the new colors… if you don’t feel passionately enough about it to tell me, I don’t care if you don’t like it.

In other news, tomorrow is TURKEY DAY. We’re headed to the Smiths for the day, bringing the sister with us. So far, the menu items and their contributors are as follows:

Turkey – the Smiths
Ham – the Smiths
Stuffing (of the sausage & herb variety) – other friends of the Smiths
Scalloped Potatoes with Bacon – other friends of the Smiths
Green Bean Casserole – the Hansens, a holiday classic
Corn Pudding – the Hansens, a new family favorite for sure
Seven Layer Bars – the Hansens, a family favorite AND holiday classic
Apple Cake – the Hansens, but only I will be eating it; I love this frikkin’ cake. Much more exciting (& fiber-filled) than pumpkin pie.
Wine – all of us, because we all plan to be completely snockered by 12pm (dinner’s not ’til like 5pm)
Wii – the Hansens; even though we can’t eat it, it’s still worth bringing to the celebration. Here’s hoping those wimpy little wrist-leashes don’t break & wreak havoc on the Smiths’ flatscreen.

My personal goal is to eat eight to ten thousand calories, and drink another one to two thousand. Seriously. By midnight Thursday, I should be roughly 4 pounds heavier. Then back to fighting weight by noon on Friday (thanks mostly to the apple cake & the magic of fiber).

SO FRIKKIN’ EXCITED. I’m heading home in an hour to bake the dessert stuff; we’ll cook the rest of our stuff at the Smiths whilst we down a few bottles of BevMo’s finest. If you come here looking for me, you probably won’t see a new post until Friday, but I’ll probably twitter every so often. Five points to the first person who recognizes the first drunk twitter!

In breaking news, things have deteriorated with Dad. Long story short, he’s insane & needs help, but he’s betrayed my trust to the point where I can barely bring myself to care. But it’s weighing me down a little. Without getting into it completely, let me just promise to have a good time this weekend & write more about this later. It’s tough stuff & I’m still not sure how to comfortably memorialize it here.

… sorry. No more heavy shit, unless it’s heavy shit covered in gravy or accompanied by large flagons of wine. (Yes, I’m bringing back ‘flagon’. It’s a cool book-nerd word.)


First Official Burger & Trampoline DaY

Note the Twitter above. I don’t know what it is about the day right before a long weekend, but I ALWAYS wanna play hookie or somehow make that day go away. The last day of my high-school career, I wore a plastic grass skirt & sandals and flirted with girls I never even see any more. The last day of class in college, I took a flask of Uncle Jaeger with me and flirted with professors I only see on occasion.

Today’s not even the last day of anything. It’s just the day right before I get to have a three-day weekend & take a break from this exceptionally long project I’ve been working on. And a three-day weekend isn’t even all that exciting – it’s no Christmas in July, it’s not Thanksgiving weekend, it isn’t even a day off to go take motorcycle lessons in South SF (best birthday gift ever, given to me by the lovely Wyf; slightly outranks the awesome screenplay softward I got from her stepmom and the new man-purse my Mom & sister got me. Dad got me Bose headphones I’m just not sure about yet, but don’t tell him that.)

So that means today is special in some way but for no good reason. What I really want to do today, instead of wrap up a few loose ends on one part of this Project That Won’t Die, is to spend the day jumping on a trampoline and then eat a really huge Garbage Burger. Nothing else. I don’t wanna feel productive, I don’t wanna catch up on the phone with my friends, I didn’t even want to blog. Bouncing on a huge rubber table and clogging my arteries while simultaneously pleasuring the buds o’ taste. That’s all I want. (Note: I think our arteries and our buds o’ taste are in a constant feud; they may even be arch-nemeses. Which reminds me that I don’t even want to check “Meet arch-nemesis” off of my to-do list today.)

Because I don’t know WHY this day feels like it should be special but it can’t be, and because I don’t know WHY I only want to bounce around & fiend on animal carcass, the two are inextricably and undeniably linked. That can only mean that, when these forces combine, they are… Burger & Trampoline Day! July 3rd, 2008. First official one. Aren’t you glad you were here? T-shirts to come shortly. No, for reelz. I’m designing them and then taking them to Mingle to have them printed. But not today.

You might be thinking that, by the time I’ve designed, printed & purchased these shirts, there will be at least 350 days until the next B&T Day. Ahh, but that’s what makes this holiday so special – it happens five times a year!

1) The day before Memorial Day weekend starts.
2) July 3rd. (Red Dot = You Are Here)
3) The day before Labor Day weekend starts.
4) The day before Thanksgiving Weekend starts.
5) The day before Christmas Holidays start.

AND, this is a holiday for the masses. While it will officially go down in the record books as Burger & Trampoline Day (because I said so; First-sies!), you can make this holiday anything you want. You pick one non-productive activity, and one cardiac-arresting type of food (unless your non-productive activity is eating, then pick as many as you want), and that’s ALL YOU DO THAT DAY.

It makes you feel special, but you didn’t need a card or flowers or a present or a stuffed bird (unless you want one) to make you feel that way. All you needed was Official Endorsement of your impulse to Slack (with a capital S, because Capitals Are Under-Utilized. EspeciallY capital Y’s, because theY alwaYs look so excited to be here.)

Consider this your Endorsement Capital E. HappY Burger & Trampoline DaY, everYbodY.

Crap on a Cracker

I ate a half-cup (ish) of the new Dulce de Leche that the guy put in the bunker today. Thought FOR SURE it was the light version based on how soft it was. Guess what? WRONG. Checked the Flavor Finder website, and they don’t MAKE a light version of DdL. Fine, now I know. But the really shitty part is that the light Strawberry that I thought I was eating probably wasn’t the light version at all. According to Flavor Finder, though, the non-light version is called “Real Strawberry”, whereas the light version is just called “Strawberry”, which is exactly what the label on the bunker says. But I’ll never know.

I think the lesson I’m learning is that, unless the frikkin’ thing says Light, Sherbet, or Skinny Cow, I can’t frikkin’ eat it every day. Which is tough to swallow considering it’s a cheap (a.k.a. free) treat at the end of lunch or in the middle of a grueling afternoon, and I’ve used it numerous times as a break to get through the day. Probably explains why my belly button has been getting larger recently. I was hoping I was pregnant.

PS, while my sister was up for Turkey Day, we also celebrated Consumers Have Ridiculously Indulgent Shopping Tendencies Made Apparently Sacrosanct Day, or CHRISTMAS for short. She gave me this book on insights from stand-up comedians (by Franklin Ajaye, go look it up yourself cuz I’m too lazy to link to it) which I started reading today on the train. I like it a lot. Definitely looking forward to getting further into it – I was kinda hooked even at the introduction part. I’m even tempted to blow off my afternoon just to read it. Bad idea, self, BAD I DEA. Wait until you get back on the train. Eat some prunes instead.

Special shoutout to Steve the Volunteer Coordinator Guy, who commented on the Thanksgiving post – we were happy to help! Thanks for giving us the opportunity to do so!

Our New Thanksgiving Tradition

First, a few ground rules on the ideas of Thanksgiving & traditions.

Thanksgiving is defined as the whole holiday weekend in November when you spend LOTS of time with a lot of people you care about. Sometimes it’s too much time, but that’s all relative to the people you’re hanging out with.

Traditions… well, there’s a fuzzier shape here, but I’m defining tradition here as anything that you do consistently for two “annual” events, in this case, the annual Thanksgiving weekend.

That being said, let me tell you the Turkey Tale of the West Coast version of the Hansen Family Thanksgiving Traditions.

We decide on our menu and buy the supplies days in advance. Because our festive crew only amounts to a max of four (so far), we do Cornish game hens instead of a big turkey. (Plus the torture these hens are put through is by default on a smaller scale than that of turkeys, because they’re smaller birds. Perfectly logical.) But we have all the other traditional fixins. Green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, stuffing, corn, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie. Makes me hungry just typing it. Oh, and we also buy at least 6 bottles of relatively cheap wine.

As far as the group, my sister comes up from L.A. This year it was just the three of us, last year Shorty had just moved in so he was here too… but the group is small enough that we can all be in the kitchen & dining room at one time, we can all chip in on the feast-making, and we have just enough people to make board games and drinking games interesting.

On Thursday, we got up and volunteered. This year was the Thanksgiving Day Turkey Park Trot (which is usually a Beach Trot, but because of the oil spills, it got moved to the Polo Field in GGPark). Got up at 5, I got us lost trying to find the south end of the park (I swear Lincoln Way doesn’t go east all the way to Stanyan, but whatever) so that we arrived about 10 minutes later than the official volunteer show-up time of 6:30. Made no big difference, except that I was quite nervous that I had already tainted the day of celebration – the whole race thing was my idea, I was responsible for getting everyone up & getting us there & making sure we had fun & felt like we made a difference. No small task. But in spite of R’s discontent with my bad directions, we arrived bright-eyed & bushy-tailed, ready to help.

We met a girl named Robin (a significant first name for us) who was there setting up the t-shirt tables, and Steve The Volunteer Coordinator Guy said we could help her finish setting up & then our group would become the T-Shirt Distribution Hub, complete with the authority that comes with a big black marker to mark off bibs, which dubs them as Those Who Hath Receive-Ed Thine T-Shirts. At this point, we were very excited.

Our excitement shone through in SPITE of the chilly temperatures and brisk breezes that were quickly numbing our hands, fingers, toes, even as we deftly maneuvered all of our body parts to set up tables, break open boxes, break down boxes, and expertly display The T-Shirts in corresponding Piles Of Cottony Girth.

Our Newfound Friend Robin was from Beaverton, Oregon (a HUGE running locus and yet another significant characteristic of our fellow Angel of Apparel). She joined us in dancing clumsily to the tunes bursting forth from the DJ’s Spire of Sound, which consisted of Rat Pack Classics, random holiday carols, and tunes from the Father of Christmas Sound himself, DMX. As all these elements came together into our Volunteering Valhalla, we knew we’d be in for a special experience.

The Time When The Siren Wails & The Turkey Trots was approaching, and our first supplicant arrived to retrieve her garb, in a Size Medium variety. She was 60 minutes early for the race, and was stereotypically an Asian woman. (A brief note on the applied stereotype: when there’s free sh!t involved, such as aluminum cans in recycling bins worth a nickel, Asian women of San Fran are typically the ones who will get up / arrive earliest to claim the free wares and clutch them closely in the name of providing for the family of which she is so proud.)

We donned upon her our T-Shirt from the Pile of Cottony Girth, variety Size Medium, and we witnessed the first of what would be many Appreciative Countenances. They came in many shapes & sizes, and some even came costumed as a Gravy Boat, as a Turkey, as Santa, and my personal favorite, as a Deviled Egg. It was a joyous group of Those Fit To Run/Walk. Some donned their T-Shirt, some carried it as a Proud Badge of Involvement, and some took it home to Those Too Fat To Run/Walk. But all left with Appreciative Countenances, and usually with a parting Grateful Remark.

As the Turkey Trot finished and the volunteers, full of woe that their opportunity to Serve Thy Community had ended as swiftly as Those Fit to Run/Walk could Run/Walk the 5K, began cheering themselves up by partaking in the leftover Bounty of Free Crap Bestowed By Frivolous Corporations (BFCBBFC). Clif Bars, craptastic Vegetable Waters, and completely non-Semitic bagels, all free for the partaking, and they partook with great fervor.

Laden with our leftover BFCBBFC, we hustled back into the Holiday Hybrid, warming ourselves with fumes from the non-polluting batteries. We arrived safely back in our nest, where we basked briefly in the glow of having Served Thy Community.

We then proceeded to make lots of food, get wasted, and continue eating lots of food. And it was good.