Thursday, November 28, 2013

thanksgiving report

a cool, blue-sky day here, drying out and pleasant, and everyone is home with their turkeys and football, this being texas, the two big games cowboys vs. oakland, and texas tech vs. u-t austin down there in austin. they're pretty used to football on the big day, which means that the football fans are pretty close to the television for all or most of several games, and the grocery store was packed, land-office business, yesterday, while people stocked up. the fact is, football mattered a lot.

but was i the only one worried that china was sending war planes to the east china sea after the us, japan and korea all brazenly flew in the face of its orders? it looked like a showdown, a game of chicken, a brazen display of both sides being unwilling to back down, leading to an international war drawing in all the major powers and causing apocalyptic destruction throughout asia. other people were pretty much unaware of it. my son hadn't heard of it, didn't know what was going on. an old friend, esl teacher who makes a living teaching hundreds of chinese, her life would be totally altered, she was unaware of it. it's under their radar, so to speak. not even the top line on google news.

top line, of course, being lines at stores for black friday, which hasn't even started yet. here we were, thinking of driving across the plains of new mexico to las cruces on friday, which we will still probably do (tomorrow), but, black friday being what it is, people are actually camping out hoping to get better deals, in general consumerist frenzy. as the clock grinds past thanksgiving and into the season, i try to focus on the things i like: the holiday music, the stuff i make (cards, calendar, books, etc.), traditions like luminaria and the tree, getting the house ready, etc. it's hard, actually, we're academics, and it's a busy time at school too. my books are published and ready to send out, at least i have a present for folks this year. the calendar is ready; i'll take it to las cruces. things are looking better.

then, i'm hanging around facebook, turkey in my tummy, fire in the fireplace, and the news cycle comes around that, no they don't think china would blow up any of the big planes that are violating its space, it just wants everyone to know, it claims that space, it's got the word out on that, and it's got its warplanes zinging around menacing everyone. i can certainly understand how people would get nervous in this situation. they try to put someone on this lonely old rock, out in the middle of the sea, i'm sure he'd be pretty nervous now too. this game of chicken, it's kind of a metaphor for stress itself. everyone thinks these countries, being world powers and all, would be too smart to engage in a game of chicken. true? we'll see.

our turkey was smoked, it was the market street variety, prepared beforehand, to keep down the stress on my wife's part. it took a little away from it, ok, but anything that keeps her stress down, more than ok. i don't need to kill the bird myself. the boys are not big fans of the turkey, it was all they could do to behave until the pumpkin pie. the fire eventually died down. my wife said: don't put the huge log on it, unless you're willing to stay up all night watching it. that's sensible. the night dies away, it's quiet, traffic has died down.

the dogs are strangely unsettled, with most of us hanging around the house all day, it's way out of usual, and of course they can't have their big naps, if we're all up all the time. the cats too, they're very leery, because the other day we took them for their rabies shots, and they did not like it, to be out on the town, in the cold, not knowing when they'd come back. now they're home, hanging in their usual places, catching up on their sleep. the boys are watching movies or television. i'm still checking the news. nothing blew up, over there in the east china sea? so what's the score in the football game?

people from around the world, are aware that it's thanksgiving day. my students all wish me, happy thanksgiving, wherever they are. they know the profound meanings we associate with it, mostly, in my case, family, way too much food, staying home at all costs, enjoying the weather, frigid and wet as it sometimes is. this commercial stuff, i don't really go for, nor the football. i'm glad i'm in reasonably good health, i'm happy when, in my own neighborhood, there's a little less traffic noise. & a happy holiday to you all, and a wonderful holiday season, as long as it may last.

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