Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Back Forward Fast

Nick, Loyal, Nickie, Rosie and I got my tree up last night and I had Christmasafied my cute apartment on Sunday (complete with boy choir carols mind you) and I've completed my shopping list and I realized, with all the praises I sang to Thanksgiving, that I had yet to get a proper post done.
And since my head hurts too much from lack of sleep and anxiety to do any real work now seems like an opportune time.

Firstly - On my Thanksgiving;

Thank goodness for fathers that have a bit of sense. About 5 years ago he made a Paterus Familius decision: he infinitely prefers a happy wife on Thanksgiving than a royal spread and a spent and grumpy mommy. The rest of us couldn't agree more. So since then we've gone out for Thanksgiving. It cost less, there is no clean up, you still feel fancy and Mom is always in high spirits.

For the last 3 years or so we've been regulars a the Shiloh Suites Thanksgiving buffet and let me tell ya, we were thankful.

Firstly the live music is always awesome. Fast track to make Liz happy (and thankful) - live music. There is a big screen with the football game and the sound down for those that live for that kind of thing. And the food. OH the food. Growing up with the gourmet that my Bohemian mom is, it takes something special to make all of us go Ooohhh - but the Shiloh pulls it off. The sheer magnitude of the buffet is almost too much. In the main dining room they have a whole wall of desserts. Everything from marzipan petite fours (who was happy? Lizzie that's who. I almost did a happy dance but I contained myself. My heals were far too high) to lemon bars and warm chocolate chip cookies (on a warmer). There is a full on sushi bar with everything sushi imaginable, salad bar with everything salady imaginable, enough fruit to make San Franciscan blush, bagels and lox - the lot. And that is just the cold food.

They open up three whole suites for the hot buffet. There is the traditional Thanksgiving yummyness down the middle of the room with warm bread, honey butter and the works. They even had eggs benedict this year (who was happy? My Father that's who). There was a banana foster bar with a white vested and anxious culinary student ready to make your life banana fostered perfect. There was a pasta bar with an equally anxious and capable culinary student ready to make your life pastalicious. Then there were a couple of sides of cow that were being whittled at by passers by (Who was happy? My brothers- euphorically).

I had fruit and turkey and prayed that the gravy was made with cornstarch and not butter and flour and pretty much the only other thing there whose main ingredient wasn't butter, cream or some other form of happiness was the pasta bar. I think the particular rogue manning the mini frying pans and burners was a bit too amped because he used about 200% too much white wine for the flambe and sent a hurling cloud of smoke all the way through the entire buffet suite when he was working on my fettuccine marinara. It was pretty funny, I'm not going to lie. Official types started poking their heads in asking what was going on because the smoke had made its way through the main lobby and into the main dining room, and there we were. This freckly culinary student holding and pan looking sheepish and me standing as close to the open window as I could and trying not to laugh. The Mater D's face went from totally annoyed to instantly entertained and he started laughing. I was confused but too busy trying to keep my hair smoke free to ask questions. Nick informed me later that Pasta Boy was trying to show off and it back fired (no pun intended) and when the Mater D saw me he understood. I am honestly surprised he still had eyebrows. The flame almost hit the ceiling tile. What a sweet brother huh? Whatever the reason, it was a lovely Caddy Shack moment and sent me giggling proper to our martinellied table.

We were nestled quite comfortably inside the cornucopia of carby happiness with Bob Dylan and Joni Mitchell covers in the background.
We ate and laughed and ate some more. It was my parents, my older brother, Nick and I and it was marvelous. My older brother has been a retail slave for the last 10 years or so and its only been the last 4 months that hes broken free and hence has been able to shake off the Black Friday gloom that usually hovers over Thanksgiving day. I haven't seen him this happy in years and it really made the day that much more amazing.

So we went home expecting the turkey coma and it came surely enough. Four hours later we made our way to see A Bee Movie and it wasn't horrible. It didn't chage my life or leave me in stitches. It was an entirely adequate movie but a wonderful day.

Secondly - On being Thankful;

I am.

For a lot of things

My friend Anastasia and I exchanged a few thoughts on the realtionship that Gratitude, Happiness and Love have. She and I are both reading "Happiness is a Serious Problem" and Dennis Prager says

"Yes, there is a secret to happiness - and it is gratitude. Most of us are grateful for anything we have only after we are threatened with losing it or actually do lose it."

But the more grateful you become the easier it is to be happy and the happier you are the easier it is to love and the more you love the more grateful you become. Its a beautiful cycle and one I hope I can remember better this year.

Because I am grateful.
Very grateful.

Principally for my Family and everything that makes them up

The Gospel
best friends
text messaging
and very silly movies.

There is a myriad of other things; Professors, goddesses, art, the California coastline, new sisters in law, a college degree, a car that works, shoes that fit, people to call, music to love, lip balm, opposible thumbs, computer literacy, day planners, sales at Michaels, Jane Austen, purse size kleenex, Korean pens, farmers markets, contact lenses, blogs and everything else that peppers and colors my life.

At the risk of schmaltz, I am grateful to be me and to have my life and be at liberty to live it and if I can't proclaim that now then when? I mean honestly -

So happy retrospective Thanksgiving. I hope it was more than turkey to you too.


Liz said...

First, LOVED this post.

Second, you had a much better Thanksgiving than I. (Had to be wetnurse to sick sister and injured Dad while everyone else went to my grandma's.)

Third, LOVE the Dennis Prager book. Really, I make it a goal to read it every year because I just can't remember all the little gems of wisdom.

Quixotic Healer said...

Lovely, lovely, lovely. Felt like I was there.