Thank Yew: My Thanksgiving

photo of turkey pictures
So, I’m not going to rant about how half of the history that they teach in elementary schools is horrifying lies. Or even really complain about how when Lincoln founded the US’ Thanksgiving as an official national holiday with a specifically prescribed date, his statement of the subject makes it sound like a holiday for Americans who are of Abrahamic faiths.

Because, you know what? Unlike more official religious holidays, Thanksgiving is really just an American holiday, with its religious undertones purely optional. Even if, as my family did, you only celebrate the Santa-and-getting-what-you-want side of Christmas (I refer to it as “Santamas”), you still probably call it Christmas and may have noticed what the first six letters of the holiday are. You still hear crazy people who believe that any cashier giving them a generic religious greeting rather than one specific to their own religion is contributing to the collapse of America and dooming the world to catastrophe. Thanksgiving is just, well, Thanksgiving.

And speaking of Thanksgiving, have you heard this nightmarish song from the same total weirdo who produced Rebecca Black’s Friday? Patrice Wilson’s latest victim . . . I mean “client/star,” is Nicole Westbrook. I had it in my head all day on Thanksgiving—until I listened to Songs For An Evil Queen, a two-disk playlist which my best friend recently and painstakingly assembled especially for me because he is the best person ever.

I do not really like Thanksgiving food. I mean, cheese does not really factor into the meal very much. Or at all. I like cranberry sauce (but mostly I love the cranberry sauce that I used to get from Boston Market. That stuff was the best and way better than canned or homemade cranberry sauce, though I have not had it in a decade), but until I was in my early teens, I just did not see an upside to Thanksgiving. Sweet potatoes? No thank you. Stuffing in which my mother has hidden mushrooms and who knows what else? I’d rather die. Green bean anything? Don’t insult me.

And then I discovered that Hidden Valley Ranch dressing is a magical serum that transmutes uninteresting meat like turkey into a delicious food. Specifically, a delicious vehicle with which to ingest ranch dressing. It can’t be just any ranch, though. Hidden Valley. Other ranch dressings are … nightmarish imposters.

I should know. At this point, I am an expert in ranch dressing.

After the meal, usually cooked by my mother (this year, it was the two of us, my grandmother, my eldest aunt, and my mother and aunt’s cousin who is delightful but whom I see much less frequently). This was the first Thanksgiving since the family dog died (she passed away on the fifth of October of this year), and the fourth Thanksgiving since my youngest sister died (e. coli at the NC State Fair; fortunately, the livestock are now separated from where children are allowed to go. It would have been nice if they had done that before 2009). My youngest sister, Jaime, died on 2 November 2009 and would have turned fifteen on the twenty-eighth of November of that year, so Thanksgiving often falls on an awkward time for my family.

This year, I had a wonderful time with my relatives. I drank a bit too much delicious wine and the pies were not opened until it was just me with my mother. When I am done writing this post, I am going to go eat a slice (read: one quarter of the entire pie) of blackberry pie, because hot damn pie is delicious. After I was done visiting family, a wonderful friend of mine came over—after having more than one Thanksgiving—and he and I watched Justice League because it is an awesome show that we both missed out on when it first aired.

Also, Disaronno, my favorite beverage on the planet, was involved. On the rocks, of course. I did not make it into an amaretto sour like some kind of . . . monster.

And, of course, I considered the things for which I am thankful. No one at our table prayed openly or anything like that; that has never been a part of my Thanksgiving experience, though my grandmother and aunt, at least, are Christians. We mostly exchanged stories, most of which we had all heard before. Old people are adorable.

I considered the things for which I am thankful. A non-exhaustive list? I am thankful for my magnificent friends who are the only reasons for which I have not given up, moved to as cold of a place as I can find and found some life-sucking job that will pay me enough that I can play video games and, in all likelihood, reach five-hundred pounds through simply no longer having any motivation to interact with other humans in person. Even just keeping in contact with them online is enough to keep me sane. Or close enough.

I am thankful for my wonderful and absolutely out of her mind insane mother. She is all kinds of weird but she cannot help it.

I am so thankful that I have a computer that works, and works well. Computer troubles leave scars in your soul.

It has been such an honor to write for Zelda Lily and I absolutely love doing it. Even on weeks like this one when I almost forget until the last minute because my schedule has been crazy.

I am writing a book (the first part of a series). I am so thankful that it is coming along nicely, that I have a detailed outline of the book’s events already assembled in order and a clear idea of where the series is heading. I am especially thankful that my unreasonably awesome best friend is my collaborator. He is so brilliant and, while I would be writing even without him, the stories and characters and settings would not be the same without him. Plus, he’s often the voice of reason when we are blamestorming, and that is all kinds of necessary. I hope that, next year, I am thankful that we are done writing this book and that we have found a publisher.

I finished the first draft of another chapter just before writing this, in fact.

I thanked the Gods for being awesome, but I did so in private.

I am especially thankful that President Obama was reelected. Thankful that I will never have to say “President Romney” unless I write a story about a gloomy alternate universe.

Happy belated Thanksgiving, you beautiful people. I hope that you enjoy your delicious leftovers if you still have any.



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An Open Letter to Girls Who Are Dressing Up for Halloween

photo of sexy halloween cat pic
Hey Girl,

I know how exciting Halloween is; it’s my favorite holiday. I know that sometimes you want to feel sexy and you want attention but I implore you …don’t dress like a hooker this Halloween. If you want to be a bumblebee—be a bumblebee … bumblebees don’t wear mini skirts. Let’s be honest, anything you dress up as this Halloween: a cat, a witch, Bo Peep, a referee, a vampire, Alice in Wonderland, that Hunger Games chick … it’s all really just a hooker in disguise, isn’t it?

Also, please don’t ever dress up as a cat and go out in public over the age of five. Why would you do that? Why would you wear a costume that actually allows people to come up and say, “nice pu**y” or “can I pet your “p***y” or any variance of that? You’re better than that. You need to know this.

And before it gets out of hand, I’m not slut-shaming. I’m not. I’m worried about you. October is an autumn month, and that’s the season that leads into winter. That means it’s cold (because we live north of the equator) and you shouldn’t be wearing less fabric than a washcloth. You don’t need to be a sexy criminal, a sexy Santa, or a sexy mad hatter to get noticed. If you really want to get noticed, wear pants. Trust me, this works. I wear pants every Halloween and everyone notices me. I stick out like a sore thumb.

Really, Halloween has grown and evolved into a scary holiday to include ghosts, ghouls, goblins, demons, witches etc. None of that should be sexy, because sexy is not scary. Halloween is made to scare, and the only thing scary about you is the fact that you will very probably contract HPV or herpes that night. Stop trying to turn Halloween into a whorish holiday. I won’t let it happen. I won’t stand for it. You can dress like Courtney Stodden any other day of the year and I won’t say a word (to your face) but not on Halloween. Unless you are going as Courtney Stodden (though it’s in poor taste to go as a victim of child molestation), then there’s no excuse. Although, come to think of it, she is terrifying so I guess that could be your loophole.

Think about it.

Happy Halloween,

Nicole



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Preface.

I’m an atheist. And my attitude towards my atheism mirrors my beliefs on vegetarianism: just because it makes sense to me, doesn’t mean it should make sense to you. I strongly hold that people will never change their opinions by having others’ opinions forced on them. So I am not going to argue for atheism. If you want to …

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