Thanksgiving Lessons


over dessert:

J1: did you know that one time a guy ate a whole automobile?
M: an automobile?  no way.  that’s not possible
J1: yes!  it’s true!  he broke it down and ate it piece-by-piece
M: but…why?  why would you eat a car?
D: well because then when someone would introduce you to their friends they’d be like, ‘hey, this is my friend, the one i told you about who ate a car.’
M: why would you want that to be the way someone introduces you?
J2: why eat just a car?  why not go for something bigger?
E (joining the table): are you guys talking about the guy who ate the school bus?
M: well, there you go. he totally one-upped the guy who ate the car
J1: it wasn’t a school bus, it was a car
E:  no! it was a school bus. his name was hamish mctavish.  when i was teaching there was a book called ‘hamish mctavish eats a school bus’
M: they teach that to kids at school? that it’s ok to eat school buses?
J1: i don’t believe it
E (getting up, heading towards the computer): look, i’ll show you. i think he ate everything except the tires
J2: of all things to stop you from finishing a school bus…

Screen Shot 2014-11-28 at 9.27.08 AM

E: someone ate a 747!
D: how long did it take him to eat it?
E: it doesn’t say
J1: i wonder if his doctor asked him if he gets enough iron
M: who gave him a 747 to eat?
J2: that would be a bummer, you eat a bus and then find out someone else ate a 747
D: especially because then when you’re friend introduces you as, ‘hey, this is my friend that ate a car’, someone else can say, ‘oh yeah?  well my friend ate a 747’

Update: there’s a book about the 747.  it is fiction.  but apparently some french dude did eat a cessna.

A Memorial Day Moment

I have a million things happening right now and no time to do anything, especially write on here, and sappy stuff isn’t really in my wheelhouse (as you’ll see).  But, for me, it’s important to slow down for just a second and take a moment to remember why I get to spend this amazing free Monday outside in the sun instead of sitting in my cubicle participating in my daily battle with Microsoft Outlook.

NPR’s Story Corps is always good for a cry on the way in to the office. This past Friday they played this story a WWII bugle player told to his grandson.  It’s an amazing story to hear first-hand.

Thank you to all those who serve, soldiers and civilians alike.

my grandfather, arlington national cemetery


Then, of course, there are the things that just plain make you glad to be alive. Aside from the smell of garlic simmering in olive oil, what and whom am I thankful for?

Things I have been particularly thankful for this weekend include:

  • Living near the in-laws, who provide us with weekly food and dog-sitting and a particularly amazing Thanksgiving dinner (thank you, Bernie and Marsha)
  • The sun (I think I got burned on my run this morning…in late November.  Yesssssss)
  • Breaking Bad, for getting me through my 2 hour ride on the trainer Thanksgiving morning
  • Paul, for running out to CVS when, 30 minutes into the above-mentioned ride on the trainer, I experienced a minor meltdown because I realized that a.) the batteries on our Wii controller had died, b.) there is no other way to move onto the next episode without a Wii controller, c.) we were out of AA batteries, and d.) we don’t have cable
  • The group that swims at the early morning practice, for really attempting to race backwards freestyle at 6am just because I told them to…even though I am pretty sure they knew it was solely for my own entertainment
  • And, of course, for all the people in my life, near and far. Wish I could see you all every day.

Happy Thanksgiving weekend.

Side-note (but not totally off topic), great article by Mark Bittman in last week’s NYT that, in the midst of all the bad news about food today, finds the good (and a shout out to Alix who is one of those that has started a small farm in the past 5 years. Woot.)

Holiday Review

…and we’re back from the Lull.

A summary of what’s new:

We stuck around town for the holidays, Christmas Eve was our one year anniversary (Paul took me out to dinner and his brother Karl was nice enough to be our chaufer).  We woke up to fresh snow Christmas morning for our walk over to the inlaws.  

Paul and Spike in the front yard, Christmas day

Paul got me a pink Wicked Witch of the West commuter bike to ride around town, which has been great because I can now ride to work instead of walk.  Cuts my commute down by like 20 minutes.  Awesome.   Paul got P90X, which he has started doing every day, but because he refuses to let me see him do it (he just stops cold if I walk in the room and yells at me to get out…I guess it involves a lot of jumping and weird positions or something?) I still have no idea what it is.   Spike got a huge stuffed dog with squeakers in both hands, which he carries around the house with him all day long.

We rang in the New Year with my friend Kristin, some pizza from Mello Mushroom, and Paul and Drew.  I discovered the Fx Camera App on my phone (a little late, I know) and promptly became obsessed.

new years eve

new years day



rainy day walk

With the new year also came a new wave of motivation to figure out exactly what I am going to do here in Kentucky for the next few years (besides cook poorly and try not to get shot by hunters while hiking.)  While my current job at the University is great for the short term and I am truly grateful to be gainfully employed, I am still looking for something more permanent.  

Onward and upward!

30 Days of Thankfulness

“I feel a very unusual sensation – if it is not indigestion, I think it must be gratitude.”
~Benjamin Disraeli

I serendipitously stumbled upon a random blog post this morning (even though I don’t really understand paying $70 for a felt tree),  but I found it appropriate given the time of year and serendipitous because I was thinking along these lines just this morning.

Many friends (including myself) have experienced some major life changes in the past few months: getting married, breaking up and finding themselves single for the first time in almost a decade, having babies, losing old jobs, getting new jobs, re-evaluating current jobs, moving far away to strange places, and, of course, turning 30.   And while change is good, it is can be disruptive and not necessarily in line with your grand life plan.  And for me, too often (way too often) I let small defeats and frustration get the best of me.

So, in the spirit of the upcoming holidays, being exactly 30 days out from Thanksgiving, and entering my 30th year of life, I am going to embrace the aforementioned blogger’s suggestion and follow in her footsteps (though I will be using pieces of paper and a jar).  I know this isn’t a totally novel concept, but making an effort to really be aware of everything we do have and stop obsessing about the things that we don’t…every day…just for a month…it can’t hurt.

“We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.”
~Thornton Wilder