Monday, November 29, 2010

Thanksgiving 2010

Good Afternoon Ladies & Gentlemen,

Well, here’s the rundown of this quickly adapted Thanksgiving trip back home. I left Wednesday after work (a little early) and made it in enough time to grab In-n-Out Burger on the way to the airport. The roads were better than anticipated. See, Wednesday morning… my thermometer in Gretchen (sounds dirty, I know) read -16 degrees on the drive to work. What does that mean? Even if it were almost 50 degrees warmer, water would still freeze. Anyway, the flight was pretty quick, like an hour, and when I landed everybody was telling me how cold it was at 10 degrees above zero in Slick City. I kinda laughed to myself thinking “Eh, it could be worse… like 12 hours ago.” Anyway, my dad picked me up at the airport and we watched a little TV and caught up before I went to bed. Nothing major Wednesday.

Thursday was Thanksgiving… and the first meal was with my stepmom’s family in Fruit Heights, but my brother and his kids were there too. Kairi & Vinny were very happy to see their Uncle $teve… and the feeling was mutual. We played a bit and had some great food with the family. Around sunset, I was getting ready to go when my brother said, “Hey, you should come hang out with me at Isaiah’s tonight.” “No thanks, I’m going to mom’s for dinner and spending the day with her, but I’ll be by tomorrow night.” “F**k her, hang out with me & your buddy.” See, I had to stop myself from saying, “No, f**k you… and everything you stand for, you’re lucky I don’t knock you the f**k out right here in front of your kids while everybody else in the room is jealous that they didn’t, you douche.” But instead I said something along the lines of “I’m going to hang out with my mother tonight… and I will hang out with Isaiah tomorrow. If you would care to join me in either case, you are more than welcome to.” Then I hugged the kids goodbye and Kairi asked, “Are you leaving again? I don’t want you to go.” She really knows how to tug at the heart strings. “Oh sweetie, I’m going to see grandma and then I’ll see you tomorrow night, okay? You be a good girl for daddy.” “Okay Uncle $teve, I love you.” I know I haven’t elaborated on why my brother and I are at odds (even though, I don’t think he knows it because I’m so damn nice & cool about it) but trust me, it’s completely founded. I’d like to say that I’ve forgiven him… but he makes it so difficult by being a douche to every single person he’s around & expecting everything without the least bit of effort on any level… and he blames it all on his ex-wife or having to watch his kids. I understand that being a single parent is tough… but seriously, what else are you doing? He even tried to get sympathy from my stepsister who has been raising a kid on her own for nearly a decade with a mother paying for everything, while she works and goes to school… and oddly enough, it didn’t work. Weird how that happens. Anyway, I love the douche… but he makes it very tough… and perhaps I will forgive him one day… but it really ain’t today.

That night, I went up to my mom’s and hung out with her and my cousin Alicia. We had another Thanksgiving dinner, checked the newspaper for Black Friday sales and she wanted to know what was on my wishlist, and then we watched “Little Shop of Horrors” starring Rick Moranis, John Candy, Bill Murray and the great Steve Martin. I had never watched it before… mainly because it’s a musical… but it was actually pretty damn funny (though Audrey’s voice bugged the sh*t out of me… but hey, I’m not from Jersey). For those who haven’t seen the movie (or the play), it’s about a quiet sweet florist Seymour (Moranis) who works in a basement of a floral shop and has a crush on a coworker named Audrey, but she has a dipsh*t boyfriend dentist who beats her (Martin). Anyway, Seymour discovers what he thinks is a new plant… and names it Audrey II… but he soon finds out that only blood is what makes the plant grow… and it’s getting BIG… and it needs “fresh meat” so… now he has to kill to feed his plant… but only douchebags… but then, what happens when he runs out of douchebags? (By the way, just… think about that world for a minute… go ahead, take your time… okay, back to the story) Anyway, I found it pretty funny so I would recommend it to anybody who needs a good laugh… and can deal with musicals. On that note, to watch the movie, we used my brother’s Netflix account (because my mom paid for everything anyway) and apparently over the weekend when I was gone, she watched a bunch of chick flicks… so I’m picturing a few days from now, my brother using it on his PS3… and it suggesting “Steel Magnolias” or “Playing by Heart” or “Fried Green Tomatoes” or something like that… and him going “Why the f**k would they suggest… oh wait, this one has Angelina Jolie! AND Scully! How bad could it be?”

Can you guess which one is my mom? Circa 1974

Friday morning, my mom, Alicia & I woke up at the crack of noon (okay, 9-ish) for some shopping… which was basically me watching my mom buy presents for Kairi & Vinny for a few hours… and then we went to Kohl’s and found a pretty good sale of dress shirts, so I got to pick out a few fly selections. I also did some shopping… but I won’t tell you where or what or for whom. Around sunset, I said my goodbyes and went to my buddy Isaiah’s house… and as mentioned before, he’s basically my brother… and he turned THIRTY two days earlier… so after giving him some crap for that (the few months I can) we caught up, stopped by the liquor store, and basically between he, my brother & myself, we drank a half gallon of some of the absolute worst rum you can imagine (the cheap stuff) with Kool Aid chasers (cuz that’s how gangstas do) and just having a good time.

That evening, I was sleeping on the floor (the house was already at capacity with three large adults & four kids in a two-bedroom apartment) and I was pretty faded. Well, in the middle of the night, I feel my brother who is lying on the couch, roll over on top of me and I see the blanket cover me… and he is no spring chicken… so I try to throw him off… and he’s heavy… and I’m drunk… but eventually I’m able to and I come out screaming “Get the f**k off me!!!” and then… I realize that apparently it was a dream or something… and I had just yelled that in the middle of a living room… and my brother’s still asleep on the couch… and now the dogs are staring at me. Nice, right? Thought you might enjoy that.

I want to take a moment to recognize a truly remarkable woman… and that is Isaiah’s wife Arwen. You see, I know my brother is not easy to live with. Nor is my buddy Isaiah at times (usually when he’s drinking, which is often). She’s also taken on motherly duties of his children (ages 9 and 6) and works two jobs while my brother continues being unemployed… and her husband is laid off from his last job last month. It obviously stresses her out quite a bit… and I made sure to thank her about a dozen times for putting up with both of my brothers. However, that being said, all the apologies from me in the world have little to no effect when my brother’s constant douchery is paired up with a drunken husband’s misplaced unsubtle comments… and that can cause drama… and it did. Enough to where, last I heard, Arwen is taken some time away from them staying with her brother. Sigh… I just don’t understand my brothers sometimes. It’s like they love this drama stuff… and they don’t think before they speak.

Anyway, so that was Saturday morning, then in the afternoon I met up with a friend that I hadn’t heard from in a while… K-Fish!!! We met up at Chili’s for some free chips & queso and a few beers and caught up on happenings in our respective worlds. That evening, I also met up with JL Clyde for some sushi and a few adult beverages at the Urban Lounge with live entertainment… and some dancing. Good times.

Sunday, I watched “Expendables” and some football with my dad as it snowed outside… and then he took me to the airport… and a few hours later, I was back in Truckee. Basically, it was a great weekend… and I did a lot of thinking about things during it… as I often do. You know, the whole “What is my purpose? Why aren’t I happy all the time like I used to be? Where did my goals go? Am I focused on the right things? What really matters to me? How did I get here? How can I help my family & friends? How is me being out here in this paradise in the middle of nowhere helping to achieve any of it?” kind of thoughts. I also drove through some of the old neighborhoods… and memories came flashing back… and how things have changed since then… and how blessed I am… but it doesn’t really mean anything if I don’t have somebody to share it with, right? If I’m not living with a purpose, then what’s the point? Just to get by? That ain’t me. At least I hope not. I want to regain that fire that I used to have as a young man and a kid… and I do at times… but then other times, I don’t know, it’s just not there unless I really try hard at it… but then I think “what’s the point?” and it fades. There are a few things that still burn like back in the day… but yeah, I guess I just have to figure out what my goals are, what’s important to me, and get back on track towards a life that I want. Not that my life is horrible by any means… but I guess I just have an insatiable appetite to help others & myself… and I get bored easily. I think too much… and it has its advantages and disadvantages… but hey, it is what it is. So yeah, great weekend… and I’ll be back there in four weeks for Christmas too.

Have a great day everybody!!! Hope your Thanksgiving was amazing as well!!!

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