Thankful To Be Thankful

How can you not get all melancholy around Thanksgiving?  People tend to think of things they are thankful for.  Most people are thankful for family, friends, having a job, a new flavor of Doritos being test marketed or whatever.  This year is no different for me – I always try to put a list together in my head and gee, I am thankful for so many things.  Let’s take a second to look inside my skull and see what’s in there for Thanksgiving 2012.

C’mon in – There’s a comfy chair over there in the corner and a soft light on.  Kick your feet up on the ottoman if you’d like…

This year I am first and foremost thankful for recently joining the ranks of the unemployed.  Hold on, don’t feel badly for me, this is a good thing.  Legally, I can’t say anything about anything to do with my last job without getting my pants sued off of me.  But let me just say the last month and a half working there was the most stressful period of my life and I have lived through some pretty stressful times, my friends.  Having this time off allows me to heal from that experience and get things done around the house.  Financially, I am fine and this unemployment thing won’t cause me any hardship.  I am truly thankful for this time to decompress and realign my strategies.

Now to the really serious stuff.

I am thankful, of course, for Gary Bettman and his inability to do his job right.  Because there is no NHL hockey, I have all kinds of free time to spend thinking about how great the game of hockey is, or rather, how great it was until he came along.  Let’s hope hockey’s Board of Governors wises up and ships his ass out.  Otherwise, all we’ll get is the end of the NFL season, basketball and maybe some water polo matches from overseas.  In case you didn’t see the last summer Olympics, water polo is about as close as you can get to hockey without going to Russia to watch the KHL.  Unfortunately, there is no fighting in water polo.  Maybe there should be?

I am thankful the presidential election is over so we can all just get back to business as usual and the normal complaints about our government.  The fiscal cliff will come and go, the budget deficit will continue to grow and maybe we’ll get some white, fluffy snow if Dr. Seuss says it will be so.

I am thankful for news of the Kardashians being very limited these days.  In fact, I haven’t heard much lately about Paris Hilton or Lindsey Lohan either.  Screw Thanksgiving – yes Virginia, there IS a Santa Claus!!

This year I am thankful for my brand new, shiny cell phone.  Only in America can you get an $800 cell phone for $99.99 and then sign a two-year contract that will guarantee the phone company won’t regret selling you that cell phone for so cheap.  And I put all kinds of faith in my ability not to lose, damage or drop my cell phone in the toilet by not getting the $10 per month phone insurance plan.  Once I drop the thing into the toilet I get to pay full price for my replacement phone!  That is pure genius.  Thank you, Verizon!

I am beyond thankful for sweet tea vodka.  My sister-in-law turned me on to this when we were on vacation at the Outer Banks in July.  Mix this stuff with lemonade and you have one exquisite drink that you just can’t put down.  Make it as strong or as weak as you like and you can’t go wrong.

I am thankful to once again be able to watch the Detroit Lions make fools of themselves on national television on Thanksgiving Day.  Every year they wear their ridiculous throwback uniforms and they throw themselves right into the face of embarrassment by coming up with a new way of losing.  If the league is going to continue giving them a game every year on Thanksgiving as part of NFL tradition, they might as well hire Gary Bettman as their commissioner.

I am thankful for all the stories I will be reading in the coming weeks about mangers and other religious scenes placed in public areas that offend people and make local officials make decisions about whether they should be allowed or if they are offensive to someone.  Every year it’s the same thing, to the point where we all come to expect it.  In a country where religious freedom is a cornerstone, that stone is just a nub after all the special interest groups have chipped away at it since being politically correct has become so fashionable.  Give me a break.

I am thankful for my dog learning a little more each day about how to let me sleep in longer.  Now that I’m not working, I appreciate not having to get up at 4:45 every morning.  Now the dog has to appreciate that, too.  He’s used to eating at 6am when I would walk out the door to go to work.  I have to give him credit, he is learning to sleep a little longer every morning.  I was actually able to sleep until 7am the other day before he started groaning at the foot of the bed.  Good boy, Cheli!

This year I am thankful for once again going anti-turkey on Thanksgiving.  I’ve never been a big turkey fan.  The only thing I ever liked about it was deep-frying the bird and just eating the crispy, greasy skin.  That was as good as it got for me.  The past few years we’ve done ribs, and one year we even made hot dogs.  This year, remaining anti-turkey means a beef florantine flank steak stuffed with cheese and spinach!  I can’t wait for it!

Yummy.

This Thanksgiving I am particularly grateful to the Walmart union employees who are threatening to walk off the job on Black Friday or what is becoming Dark Gray Thursday.  First, let us all realize that Walmart runs a sweat shop and they treat their employees like garbage.  If an individual complains about how they are treated, their employment is terminated.  If an entire store complains about something to corporate, the store is closed.  Second, Walmart is owned by some very greedy people who don’t respect your right to enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday without having to either get up early the next morning to go buy crappy stuff OR even keep an eye open to see what time they might open on Thanksgiving Day!  C’mon, corporate America, are the few extra hours you’d be open on Thanksgiving Day really going to make a difference in your bottom line?  When the dust settles from all the people being trampled to death and the fist fights are over, it really comes down to the fact that you don’t know how to effectively market your products during the other 11 months of the year.  Really now, come on.

I salute all workers who exercise their right and their need to stand up for themselves and thumb their collective noses at greedy corporate America.

Along those same lines, I am also thankful for a lifetime of Twinkies, Ho-Hos and Hostess fruit pies.  For those who were also planning to go anti-turkey for Thanksgiving this year and planned their special meal around Hostess products, I offer to you my condolences.

However you plan to celebrate your own Thanksgiving, I hope you are able to give thanks for the people and things in your life that make it all worthwhile.  For me it’s a relaxing day at home with my wife and my dog, the two breathing things I am most thankful for.  And as we kick off this holiday season, please remember those less fortunate than you are, and give something of yourself to their cause.  Most of those people aren’t less fortunate by choice.

Happy Thanksgiving!!

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