Fourth Thanksgiving in this city, fifth on this blog and maybe things are finally calming down?

AT_US_Southwold Bitter LABEL_AWThe greatest bar on the planet is closed for Thanksgiving. The nerve of these people, wanting to have holidays with their families. I went there last night and drank a goblet of North Coast Old Rasputin and a second one of Adnam’s Tally-ho Reserve. For me, an unusually English evening (I’d rather go Belgian), but I like ordering that because they have it on the old-style English pump handle and the bartender produces the head by dint of elbow grease. (Yes, I tip more for that.) I’d have gone Kiwi with a glass of Moa Imperial Stout Barrel Reserve, but the keg kicked while I was there. Wer zu spät kommt, dem bestraft das Leben. Family #1, check in. They remarked that they’ve noticed I’ve been around less, lately. True. The significantly lowered stress in my life means I’m drinking less because I feel the urge less. Beer kills the ambition, which was good in my last job, because it protected me from a lot of harmful stuff, but I’m getting friendly with my goals and dreams again. Also, I need to replenish my “six months of cash savings” account, which took a big hit this year with two moves and five months of no paycheck. (The tax return should be glorious. Here’s hoping.) I may go there tomorrow, though, as I see that after close last night, they put on some stuff I definitely want to try. Darwin’s Ayawasca, Florida Avenue Grapefruit Gose, I am looking at you.


(Old Servetus fanvid — Richard Armitage says “thanks.”)


I wanted dad to come here, since she who puts herself in the maw of Chicago O’Hare International Airport on Thanksgiving weekend and hopes to be back at work on Monday is delusional. He wanted to hunt, but apparently the fall was so wet that they couldn’t combine the corn and so shooting was a doubtful proposition. For reasons I’ve discussed before this news makes me sad for him but not generally sad for everyone else. So it was going to be a solo Thanksgiving anyway. I got the usual three invitations which I politely turned down, but my actual Thanksgiving plans fell apart rather spectacularly late yesterday evening when I found out that — contrary to what I’d been told beforehand — the activity to which I’d planned to devote my energy today wasn’t happening this year!

I’ll admit that I wasn’t hugely crushed, although I’d have liked to have gone, because I got to sleep in. I’m so ambivalent about the southern version of the Thanksgiving dinner. Greens and macaroni and cheese? Yum. But, although lots about southern food in general and Florida food specifically (guavas!! guavas everywhere!!) makes me happy, the southern variation of stuffing made with cornbread still leaves me cold. You’d think after years of living in the South and the Southwest (where jalapeños are often added), I’d have converted, but I’m afraid I still like white/wheat bread, sausage, onion and sage best.


Punny symbolic Richard Armitage video. You may only get this if you are American. My second year Thanksgiving vid contribution.


So this morning I had nova lox on a bagel — I felt so cosmopolitan even though this city is everything other than the usual meaning of that word — and read the paper and then headed to Starbucks, which is open all day today. The baristas are great. They decided to do a tasting of all of the new Teavana teas and invited me to participate and they also shared their vegan mac and cheese and mashed potato salad with onion and apples in it. It was tasty! In a second installment that just arrived but will be consumed later, we will be having Puerto Rican rice and suckling pig, which a former barista brought in for us to taste. (And this year I can try it!) Now they are dancing around the store, ironically, to a Christmas CD. Not much happening here coffee-wise, though they’ll be open till midnight. I guess this is my third place, or maybe I just like this particular group of eighteen to twenty-somethings. Or something. Second family.


My third Richard Armitage Thanksgiving vid. Note that Armitage has stated that he doesn’t believe vid of Cats on line is him, so the vid used to illustrate the Cats moment may be of Michael Gruber or someone else entirely. This dates from right before the first Hobbit film premiere.

Also, in the wake of the Ferguson stuff, I am feeling much less positive about the U.S. than I usually do — so there needs to be a chapter in here now about how, although I have been the recipient of tremendous blessings, not everyone in our society has.


Richard Armitage deserves another “thanks” vid from me — but I think after BOTFA. It’s time again.

So what will I say, this year, before I sit down to write something longer?

How much I have to be thankful for in this job. My lead pointed out to me that I dropped down into at the most stressful time of year and I am managing okay. That I feel less desire to take out my stress in harmful ways. That I haven’t had to spend all day today just coming back from work, only to feel sometime in the next twenty-four hours that I should start working again. For the measure of peace I have here. For work, and the transition, and the fact that I am in a position to save again. For the things I enjoy so much about this job — mainly the students, who never cease to fascinate, irritate, provoke, amuse, anger, inspire me.


Still hugely thankful for this.

BzMT4FQCMAE-Ck3Richard Armitage as John Proctor in Act Two of The Crucible. Tweeted by Robert Delamere, perhaps, or a cap from one of their advertising vids.


And for the major realization that’s been brooding for a while but which was brought home to me in the wake of seeing Richard Armitage work this summer — that it’s not about arrival per se or knowing specifically who I am, but about arriving somewhere for now, about inhabiting consecutive personae that work, not about being one thing for myself, but about being many things for many people. Not about taking on just one more identity battle, but about (as best I can) freeing myself and others from all of them.


Previous years: 2010 (how I spent Thanksgiving as a child, and my simultaneous love and discomfort for this most American of U.S. holidays); 2011 and a Thanksgiving / John Porter fantasy; 2012 (when I was thankful for the ceasefire in Gaza); 2013 (when I was still drowning in grief).

~ by Servetus on November 27, 2014.

10 Responses to “Fourth Thanksgiving in this city, fifth on this blog and maybe things are finally calming down?”

  1. I’d never watched your videos before. Thanks for the Thanksgiving post 🙂


  2. Sounds like you’ve head and peaceful and thoughtful day. Thanks for your heartfelt thoughts and the lovely videos! really enjoyed reading and watching x


  3. I’ve just read your post before getting ready for work. As you know our Thanksgiving/Erntedankfest is in october and it’s mostly celebrated in church. I am glad to see that you seemed to have had a leisurely, stressfree day. No idea whether you’re working today or whether it’s going to be a long weekend but I hope the feeling of contentment prevails 🙂


    • All educational institutions have the Friday after Thanksgiving off — we would have no business. It’s a nice break before the December craziness. Thanks for the good wishes!


  4. […] this summer while watching the flood of reactions to The Crucible, my own among them, and then after seeing the play myself: is part of the attraction of being an actor precisely the enhanced capacity it offers to abandon, […]


  5. […] from previous Thanksgivings are here: 2014 (includes the Armitage Thanksgiving vids), 2013, 2012, 2011, […]


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