What I’m thankful for.

This will be the last post before the holiday, because I will be a proverbial one-armed paperhanger until Friday, no, Saturday. I have moved-up deadlines on my writing projects, and my regular news-farming gig continues, because we cover the whole world, and Thanksgiving is not a worldwide holiday (but should be). Plus I have to make a pie and a Waldorf salad (secret ingredient: Cool Whip) and some tasty fresh rolls and that green-bean thing from yesterday. Alan trudged out of the house with one of those “don’t expect me before spring thaw” grunts, which every newshound knows as the thousand-yard Thanksgiving-week stare. I talked to another old newshound yesterday, who wisely took the week off, only to receive an emergency call from the newsroom to inform her one of her sub-editors had an alcoholic breakdown at the morning news meeting, just FYI.

I think all of us who are journalists in the audience can understand how that happens.

But still, I’m taking the time to be thankful, because I am, and because gratitude is a virtue, and virtue is my middle name. Also, because the longer I sit here blogging, the longer I can put off all that crap in the first paragraph.

So let’s get started with just a few of the things I’m thankful for this weekend:

…that my kid had a sleepover last night, and I slept until 9! hours and 22! minutes! into November 21. Virtually unprecedented.

…that it’s finally raining, even though it’s possible the rain will turn to snow and turn all our plans to shit. Still. Water in the streets means water in the lake, and just hearing the pitter-pat of rain on the skylight reminds me of how long it’s been since I heard it last.

…for my web host and great old friend and online guru, J.C. Burns, who has designed and encouraged and hosted and troubleshot this site since January 2001, at a total cost of $0.00 to yours truly.

…for all my great commenters, and for what they’ve taught me about the nature of online communities. I wish we could have some sort of slammin’ party at some equidistant point from all of us, but it would probably be someplace in South Dakota.

…for all the links on my blogroll, many of them tended by writers who daily remind me why the newspaper business is in such a state. (Please, stop before I lose my health insurance.)

Ah, the hell with gratitude. Gratitude is for losers. On to the useful bloggage!

My brother-in-law has used this method to carve the family poultry for years, ever since he saw Bryant Gumbel demonstrate it on the Today show. It works like a charm. Although, for reasons of better stories to tell down the road, you may prefer the comedy-of-errors method:

“One year the turkey took a long time to cook and I went to carve it after about 13 beers,” said Maurice Landry, who lives near Lake Charles, La. “The way I remember it, I bore down to take off the leg and the whole thing went shooting off the platter and knocked over the centerpiece.”

A question often asked in our household: Where would we be without newspapers to remind us to wear sunscreen? I just asked Google to rustle up that other dead-tree holiday staple — how to eat healthy at Thanksgiving. Immediate result: 398. More sure to come.

Detroit’s Metro Times throws bait in the water — 100 Greatest Detroit Songs Ever! — and, as usual, gets it all wrong. Why? There’s not a single song by J. Geils on it, even though the best live album in modern history was recorded here. And you can’t find “Panic in Detroit” anywhere. David Bowie is no local, but it’s a great song just the same.

OK, one-armed paper-hanging must commence. See you back here on Friday, mos’ likely. Happy Thanksgiving!

Posted at 11:56 am in Same ol' same ol' |

18 responses to “What I’m thankful for.”

  1. LA mary said on November 21, 2007 at 12:35 pm

    Don’t forget the article about how to make clean up after Thanksgiving easier.

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  2. Mindy said on November 21, 2007 at 1:24 pm

    I’m on for South Dakota. Let’s do it.

    J. Geils Live, yes! Get down to it! Whammer Jammer lemme hear ya, Dickie!

    Have a particularly happy Sunday.

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  3. Julie Robinson said on November 21, 2007 at 2:08 pm

    My Dad lost his left arm in a farm accident as a child. He really was a one-armed paper hanger! And darned good at it he was, as he was at just about everything else he turned his one arm to. Well, except marriage, but that’s another story.

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  4. Kirk said on November 21, 2007 at 2:20 pm

    Thanks for that link to the turkey-carving video. My sister became a vegan this year for health reasons and said she’d make everything but the bird, so I’m roasting a turkey for the first time tonight (though I have grilled one or two). It seems pretty simple, so I don’t have turkey anxiety. And the carving demonstration seems highly logical, with nothing tricky to remember.

    Have a great holiday, folks, and Nance, happy birthday. I admit that I can never remember the date but I do know that’s it around Thanksgiving.

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  5. Joe K said on November 21, 2007 at 2:28 pm

    I would be up for a party, but only if the J Giels band was playing. When I was flying home from Cleveland last night I was up @10,000ft to get above the clouds, the moon was about full and with the cloud deck below it was beautiful. I had my Garmin 496 gps tuned into xm radio and what came on?? King biscut flower hour featuring the J Geils band LIVE. Man for a hour I was just jammin. And before anyone panics, yes I was in contact with ATC at all times. At the times I usually fly, there is not a lot of other traffic up there.
    Have a Great Turkey day,

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  6. MichaelG said on November 21, 2007 at 2:54 pm

    Happy Thanksgiving to all!

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  7. Elaine said on November 21, 2007 at 3:14 pm

    May you all have safe travels and fabulous meals this weekend!

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  8. alex said on November 21, 2007 at 3:37 pm

    And good drugs, sex and rock-n-roll.

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  9. ashley said on November 21, 2007 at 6:41 pm

    Thought y’all might enjoy how this smartass with an iphone gets shut down, by an airline captain:


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  10. basset said on November 21, 2007 at 10:55 pm

    The best live album in modern history was indeed recorded in Detroit, but it wasn’t “Full House,” although that one was damn close… along with “Live at Leeds” and “Get Yer Ya-Yas Out.”

    The best live album in modern history would be… “Live Bullet.”

    meanwhile, I am looking right now at a poster from a J. Geils concert at Indiana U. in the fall of ’73, with Mark-Almond and Strawbs supporting… tickets $5, $4, $3, and $2. Hell of a show, too.

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  11. Danny said on November 22, 2007 at 10:42 am

    Great story, Ashley. We actually flew yesterday in spite of the doom and gloom of The-Busiest-Travel-Day-of-the-Year! stories. Southwest airlines. Non-stop from Baltimore (my home town) to San Diego. It was fine. Got in to San Diego at 11:15 AM.

    You all have a great holiday. We’re going to this restaurant. Here is the menu.

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  12. Ricardo said on November 23, 2007 at 12:11 am

    I mostly agree with the Top 100, I might order the songs differently. I would have substituted “25 Miles” as one of Edwin Starr’s entries, that song is my Motown favorite. I used to go see Jack Scott play in a lounge in Lincoln Park during most of 1969, and “Burning Bridges” should be on the list.

    Someone forgot Ray Parker Jr. is a Detroit, ex-Motown sideman and should include something like “Ghostbusters”. We were auditioning guitar players in 1972 and Ray showed up, but our manager talked us out of getting him. Good for Ray, he immediately got a job with Stevie Wonder!

    Also, it wasn’t mentioned that Barrett and Nolan Strong were cousins. “Mind Over Matter” should have been near the top of the list. Lastly, “Function at the Junction” by Shorty Long needs to be on the list.

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  13. Kim said on November 23, 2007 at 11:07 am

    Thanks for being the house mother to a group of folks who likely will never meet (tho SD is a beautiful place and I’d suggest Sylvan Lake Lodge for the festivities.) Hope everyone had a delicious Thanksgiving.

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  14. michaelj said on November 24, 2007 at 1:31 pm

    I’d have to say that as far as live albums are concerned, Kick Out the Jams beats the Who and Silver Bullet. But maybe you had to experience MC5 in person. And Bob Seger in ’67 at the Birmingham Teen Center was the best Bob Seger. Too bad nobody thought to tape that.

    If y’all go to South Dakota, just drive up into the Black Hills. Clean streams, wild blackberries, abandoned mines that look as though they’d been populated until yesterday. Stunning.

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  15. Ricardo said on November 24, 2007 at 6:29 pm

    More fires out in SoCal today. We are still having 75 degree weather. This is the first time I haven’t had to light my furnace pilot in November, I might get all the way to December before getting to that, and I am still leaving the windows open (a little) at night. The wood is piled up for the fireplace, but it is too warm for a fire (and now too windy). My neighbor, who likes to have a fire if it drops below 68 isn’t even having one yet.

    One of my favorite quotes from “Atomic Cafe”: “…That atomic testing has blowed us clear down to the equator…”

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  16. Jeff said on November 25, 2007 at 9:38 pm

    Note to Dorothy and anyone else in Ohio on Monday, 26 November —

    Deer gun season begins at dawn (defined by drowsy fellows in tree-stands, the very definition of subjectivity). Stay away from windows facing woodlots near the morning or evening hours, and the real danger — not kidding — is that all at once, the forests alive with trudging stout yeomen bearing firesticks, the deer that survive this morning’s fusillade will be absolutely and understandably frantic, and they are running every possible direction.

    Hundreds of thousands of them, all over Ohio.

    No better time to run into a deer at dusk, or midnight, or noontime, than during the week of boom-boom season. They run into coin-op laundries, used bookstores, barns, and office park lagoons. We have for a brief time both too many deer, and too many (newbie) hunters, and they’re everywhere.

    You’ve all been warned.

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  17. basset said on November 25, 2007 at 11:46 pm

    I was up in Michigan for the opening of deer season last week, sat in the blind for three days and part of another… didn’t take a shot but I just about got one with the rental car heading out of Big Rapids at night. and a Michigan out-of-state hunting license doesn’t cost a whole lot less than the deductible on the car, either…

    related factoid… I do some work for a hunting show on cable tv, the research they use says whitetail deer are by far the most popular topic. because they’re accessible to everyone, I guess.

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  18. John C said on November 26, 2007 at 7:45 am

    One of my favorite brushes with musical fame was just after college 0 mid ’80s. Some friends and I got together at the Tam O’ Shanter in Boston (Brookline, actually) and wound up in an extended drinking session with none other than The Magic Dick! (Unfortunately I must’ve (you know I MUSTA) got lost, ’cause that’s about all I remember.)
    Hope everyone had a good turkey day.

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