November 26, 2004

Happy Thanksgiving, one day late! We're up in Chicago, celebrating with Michael's family. I've basically followed strong turkey day tradition by spending not just the ACTUAL Thanksgiving holiday, but most of the day after as well, lounging on the sofa, making a trip to the kitchen every half hour or so for more food, and napping while watching re-runs of Seinfeld and the Simpsons.

We also watched 'The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind' (is that right?) this morning. Interesting. I actually like Jim Carrey in dramatic roles, but there's something so comedic about his VOICE alone, that it's sometimes hard to remember you're not watching a comedy. He is funny without trying to be so.

Holiday tradition also called for a lengthy debate/discussion about politics, religion, gender issues and the environment today, but luckily most of it was punctuated with laughter and more gulps of beer, or wine, or cream soda, or coffee, or better yet a bite of cheesecake. Michael's mother is Italian and his father is Polish/German, so Thanksgiving dinner, while always including the pre-requisite turkey and stuffing, is actually more about lasagna, sausages, spaghetti, and other Italian or Polish dishes. I even learned the names of some of them while I was eating them, then promptly forgot what they were while digesting.

I spent three hours helping Michael's mom cook. I was pretty proud of myself, as it included some tasks I've never been responsible for before, and I might even have learned a family secret or two. The coolest was contemplating the irony of drying out several loaves of bread for the stuffing, only to re-hydrate them in water, bunch them up into little balls of dough, and add all the other ingredients to them, mushing it together with your bare hands like a kid with Playdough. Fun!!!! I can't believe I've never taken the opportunity to do some of this with my own mother, who's a great cook, and I vow to do this in the next year or two if we're with my family for Thanksgiving. I've got all of her great recipes in this huge family cookbook she puts out every few years (we're on the third edition) and yet there's something extra that goes into those recipes, beyond the list of ingredients and temperatures and cooking times. I'm sure everyone can attest to that 'un-nameable' something that guarantees that even if you follow your mother's recipe to a 'T', it never tastes as good as when she cooks it herself. SIGH!

I do miss my family, and phone calls aren't enough. We're looking forward to Christmas, which we will spend in Colorado, with my sister and other family members. I hope to downhill ski (watch out trees, small animals, and people in my way) and relax before the BIG PUSH which is going to occur in my music career with the ringing in of the New Year.

More to come...

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