(Ben Sargent via GoComics.com)
And it’s not even BLACKFRIDAYOMGSHOPSHOPSHOP yet…
To all Balloon Juice readers outside these United States: Right now I envy you so godsdamned much. And I don’t even have to cook.
Who’s already daunted by plans for the next four days?
Black Friday, eh? Where are the white peeps supposed to shop?
Pat Robertson: “What’s with all these shoppers crowding all the stores? What is it, a black thing?”
I’m a little daunted. I had to work a day shift today, so my brother went to Dulles to pick up my mother and my other brother late this afternoon. (They’re staying at his house.) Haven’t heard anything yet. It’s quiet out there. Too quiet.
I don’t have to cook. I just have to drive. And laugh at my mom going crazy cooking. :)
Went grocery shopping after work today so I could write a hot check for them. Funds should be in the bank to cover it all by Friday so maybe that will work out all right.
The house is dirty. The animals are quarrelsome and needy. Nothing is cooked. I fell Monday and planted my face in the sidewalk. Nothing broken but lots of swelling and cuts and bruises. I thought I had broken a toe but it seems to be okay, although I will probably lose that nail.
Thanksgiving, bah humbug!
On the other hand, I worked on several medical reports this week regarding people younger than I am who are already going straight to pot. Some are in serious trouble.
Yes, Thanksgiving. For a solid, peasant ancestry and frankly peasant upbringing that apparently gave me some toughness. And for Peace within the house. And for the furry monsters who accompany me everywhere.
Tomorrow will be a special day, doing different things; the rest of the weekend, meh, just regularish time and activities. Might go down to Liberty Plaza on Friday or Saturday.
One pie done, veg chopped for the dressing, the Nantes carrot stew about to start. Yet to do: salt the bird, apple granola crisp for brekkies made. May start on the choux de Bruxelles after that.
 Not really a stew, but Thomas Keller calls it that, the filthy fucking liar. It’s in the ad Hoc ckbk.
Short Bus Bully
I’m a chef so I’m stepping up to take over the food for this thanksgiving so it’s not such a clusterfuck of overworked and freaking out family members trying to do things they have no idea how to do. They try and be nice every year; “Let us cook for you today, you just relax!” but it inevitably works out to be a huge stressball topped with dry, overcooked bird.
Have it all swerved out to roll into my brother’s place with bird in tow and ready to cook off within an hour. Turn on the football, open a few beers, and everyone have a big gulp of CALM THE FUCK DOWN. Norman Rockwell did more damage to actual thanksgiving with his idealized “perfect family gatherings” than anyone can ever realize.
I’m in France and I don’t know what this is.
This is the first year my late stage Alzheimer’s addled mother won’t be at Thanksgiving. For the first 45 years of my life she cooked everything, and now she’s stuck in a wheelchair literally drooling on herself. Nursing homes on holidays are the most.depressing.places.ever.
I’ve baked my traditional pecan pie and squash/pumpkin pie to bring to dinner tomorrow, but there’s no going through the woods to grandmother’s house ever again.
I had the good fortune to marry a woman who hates shopping, trinkets, jewelry, and prefers to sit at home instead of going to the mall.
Which is exactly what we will do.
Not I. I’ll be driving down to Cape Canaveral with my five-year-old on Friday to watch an Atlas V lift a big honking robot off to Mars. Check out the rims on this bad boy!
Last year I was extremely ill on Thanksgiving and swore I’d never cook a turkey again, which is good because my husband is going to do it instead. For dessert I’m going to bake the Harvest Spice Roll from the King Arthur Flour cookbook since no one in my family except for me will eat pumpkin pie.
Siena on ESPN17 right now and Syracuse on in a couple of hours. A full slate of football NFL tomorrow and then rivalry weekend in college football and Auburn LSU. I am eating a trial recipe of Alton Browns Mighty Duck(not a turkey or ham guy) and my partner is in town from MN. I also have a growler full of 512 IPA. Could I be any happier?
Speaking of black friday – its small business Saturday this weekend
@Short Bus Bully:
I hear you. One good thing about T-Day this year is that good friend and honorary bro’ man B.D., a CIA graduate, is stepping in to orchestrate the big meal. Ecstasy! I will happily clean up and wash for hours after that.
I don’t really immerse myself in the shopping aspect, but I do scan the ads. The food, the family, the fun of two nights of Jackie Green at the Fillmore.
What’s not to like?
Oh yea, that plus 4 days off in a row. Woo Hoo!
Arm The Homeless
Pear Cobbler is going to be a much better option than pumpkin pie this year. Otherwise I expect to end up enduring many hours of SyFy interspersed with yelling. Holidays are here again…
BBQ Lamb and futbal what not to like.
kindness, Fillmore brings back some great times in the late 60s & 70s
Joo go over the mountains today? Do you use Steven’s or Snoqualmie, and was it/is it open?
Driving could be worse than cooking.
Gin & Tonic
Not daunted at all. Drive tomorrow morning, get there before noon, open the first of many bottles of wine, and relax. Anon I will eat my mother-in-law’s feast, and will be half in the bag, so I’ll eat whatever she puts down. Everybody is happy that way.
Shopping on Friday? I’d rather poke rusty nails into my eyeballs. So, uh, no.
When Black Friday Comes
When Black Friday comes
I’m gonna dig myself a hole
Gonna lay down in it ’til
I satisfy my soul
Gonna let the world pass by me
The Archbishop’s gonna sanctify me
And if he don’t come across
I’m gonna let it roll
I would rather roll around naked in nettles than go Black Friday shopping. One of my co-workers years ago would actually plan to be up at 3am and co-ordinate shopping plans with her DH so they could both hit the sales at the same time. Stabbing my eyeballs with a fork would be a better alternative for me. There is nothing in the world that I want or need that I would be willing to get up at 3am for. Nothing.
We envy you. Your holidays have real food and probably less panic.
We have football, though, so maybe it’s a draw.
@Short Bus Bully:
I worked in restaurants for 10 years. I’ll cook for groups under 4 conditions:
1) get out of the kitchen
2) stay out of the kitchen
3) don’t come in the kitchen
4) see rule #1
The cooking isn’t so bad, it’s the interference, interruption and ‘helping’ that make it a hassle.
@kindness: Yeah I thought that until a “rich” client said that he couldn’t possibly come in to see the boss unless it was on Friday, right in the middle of my four day weekend. Wanker.
@RossInDetroit: I like to play executive chef. I like the supervising part of a busy kitchen. Only say “can I help?” in my kitchen if you mean it. Also, anyone who claims not to know how gets lessons.
I have a daunting dilemma.
I plan to bake a cherry cheesecake tomorrow morning. While sauteeing garlic for Morrocan-spiced spaghetti squash, I suddenly got the urge to make a chocolate-cherry cheesecake.
Which would be better? Plain cheesecake with a chocolate sauce to pour on top of the cherries, or a chocolate cheesecake with cherries on top?
This reminds me of the old plumber’s joke, which I adapted for my computer consulting business when I used to work on people’s machines:
My hourly rate is x.
If you want to watch, it’s x + $10.
If you want to help, it’s x times 2.
I am throwing everything in a big pot, covering with water, and after it boils, turning the damn thing on medium low. Check it in the morning.
I’ll put the pie crust on the bottom and throw some sugar and chopped apples on top. Then pile in the turkey. The taters will go near the top because I have heard they need to ‘breathe’ while they cook. Salad will go in last, since some people like it a little crisper than other food. Dessert is last, so I think the order makes sense, assuming everyone eats downward.
I don’t see what is so hard about cooking for Thanksgiving. I’m done in no time.
You for got to add if you comment are a bad customer it’s 15% more. I did that for my art business for yrs.
I’m sorry, dear.
The last time I saw my mom, she thought I was her mother. So I sat down and told her all the things that I’m sure that granny never told her. I told her I always thought that she was pretty and that I was proud of her. I told her she had always been a good girl, but then she started confessing to some childhood sins. Very, very mild of course. So I told her that I already knew about all of that and I loved her anyway.
At least she was happy when I left.
My mother, my mama, had left the building some time ago and would never return. It felt very, very final. And it was.
All alone as a couple on thanksgiving for the first time in fifteen years. Usually we have a misfits thanksgiving, but all the misfits are volunteering/working/traveling, and the prog is at his teatard grandparents’ house in fragrant Arizona.
The wife has prepared a bunch of traditional vittles in advance. We will probably go see a movie.
@Cat Lady: Missed your comment. Hope your Thanksgiving goes well. Even when you know something like that has to happen sooner or later, the first year a holiday is missing someone close, living through it is always tough.
My daughter had to explain the holiday to some online friends in the UK, so I’ll give it a shot here.
Thanksgiving is a harvest festival. For some reason, it happens on the fourth Thursday of every November. Lots of people get a 4-day weekend.
Many families travel to get together during this long holiday. So there is a feast on Thursday and the rest of the weekend to renew the family bonds. In principle, anyway. I think that most families actually renew a few family quarrels, too.
Lots of families spend Thanksgiving with one side of the family and Christmas with the other side. My brother, while he was alive, had grown kids/grandkids/etc. at his house for Christmas celebration during the Thanksgiving holiday. Everybody trekked off to the other set of grandparents for Christmas.
Retail companies try to take advantage of the long holiday and sell a whole bunch of Christmas stuff. A lot of folks participate in the practice and others stay home and resent the whole idea. It’s Black Friday because these sales will pull the companies out of the red and into the black [the profit side of the ledger].
@RossInDetroit: That’s my rule for working on the computers of friends and family. If you know so much about it why are you asking me to do it?
I of course have to work on Friday. Maybe someone will decide to purchase some big ticket item. A person can always hope.
Saturday afternoon dinner at friends. Haven’t been told what to bring or cook yet.
No thanksgiving deal. What little family is left is way, way to far to drive for one day.
I seem to be a bit ahead of schedule with my Christmas crafting, but that makes me nervous because that almost always means I forgot something. Ah, ADHD. So much fun.
Gonna stock up on mac and cheese!
Sociopathy in action.
I don’t mind the next 4 days, but the advent of Christmas with its shopping madness and annual 9 hour stint with the Christmas tree lights plus a full work schedule kinda sucks. And I have kids so I don’t get to opt out. Every year I wish Christmas would just FOAD.
I purposely haul back to the shop things that I could fix on the spot. I don’t want people trying to duplicate what I do and botching something up. For their own good. I’ve had to fix a number of ad hoc user repairs that were just tragedies waiting to happen.
Let’s not forget our outdoor friends. On holidays I put out fresh bird seed and suet blocks for the critters.
Just me and Jeff for a quiet holiday tomorrow, some decent steaks and trimmings. Last year I got a premade Cajun turkey from Kroger that ROCKED, but now that the NO SALT Demon has taken over my house that is not an option.
Been having a bit of an existential time with dogs. I’ve been thinking about getting an older dog from the local Pet Refuge to be a companion to Boo (who’s 10) thinking both of us could use the boost. But the past few days I’ve been remembering all the pets I’ve lost, the pain and the sadness. I’ve only ever lost the one dog, the unbeatable Scoob, and that truly was one of the worst days of my life. Ugh.
And this doesn’t make it any better- A Loyal Dog Guards Grave Of Deceased Master
Got my Thanksgiving ham and fixings ready, go to the mountains and play in the snow with the pooches on Friday, visit father-in-law on Saturday and relax on Sunday.
Oh, I’m still off work on Monday!
Going to watch Green Bay go to 11-0.
!! GO PACK GO !!
My plans over the weekend:
Day 1 – Have Thanksgiving with my sister, brother-in-law, and brother-in-law’s extended family.
Days 2, 3, and 4 – Play ‘Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword’.
So yeah, I’m looking at a rough weekend.
@Linda Featheringill: That was wonderful.
@Paddy: We’re at the beach. Me, the bride and the pups. I’ll wake up about 4:30 because this joynt is central time zone. Couple of hours fishing at on the sugar white sand in alarmingly blue water of the Gulf of Mexico. Then I’ll make the traditional t-day din. We’ve spent the last 4 Thanksgiving either here or in the quarter with just us and the dogs. It’s very nice but seeing all the families does tug the heart a bit.
Then there are those of us who count not having football as yet another reason to envy you.
You know you want to be talked into it, or you wouldn’t post about it here. :-)
Yes, there will inevitably be pain later in the future if you get a new dog because that’s the price we pay for loving animals that have shorter lifespans than ourselves, but if it will make you happy and Boo happy and (presumably) Jeff happy in the meantime, that should be weighed in the balance, too.
Uh oh, plane crash in the Superstitions east of Phoenix.
@Mnemosyne: And when you get old like me you start trying to figure out how many you have left to go until you are up.
ABC News says that the commercial flights are all accounted for, at least.
@Mnemosyne: Click on the last thumbnail of the crash site. I’ve climbed up the canyon on that face.
@Mnemosyne: True dat. Sigh.
One bird in the brine already. Gonna get up tomorrow and get the grill smokin’ then monitor the other turkey a’roastin’ in the oven. Daunt-free!
ETA Happy Thanx Day to JuiceNation!
so, Obama wins. we get this, right?
Daunted? Not me. I’ve got my apple pie in the oven, which is the extent of my responsibilities. Then we leave for New York on Friday. Got the dogs packed off to the kennel already and it looks like the weather is going to be beautiful.
Whew! Looking at a relaxing next couple of days!
@Paddy: I know what you mean; losing a dog is extremely painful. I was really broken up when my last dog died. I didn’t plan on getting a new one for at least a year; I lasted 4 months before I NEEDED a dog again. I adopted a 3-4 year old sweetie from a shelter.
I hope you will continue to consider getting an older dog. I volunteered a lot at a city shelter a while back, and the saddest thing was older dogs, confused and depressed after being dumped at the shelter. Nothing made me happier than seeing one of our older dogs going home with someone. It didn’t happen often enough – everyone wants puppies, and the wonderful older dogs don’t get a chance.
My parents live in Fountain Hills, so I’m trying to figure out where the crash is in relation to that since that’s the area I’m most familiar with.
I’ll probably hear about it when we call them for Thanksgiving tomorrow. Assuming they turned the channel away from Fox News for five goddamned minutes, that is.
my dog is dieing. it’s taking such a long time, I wonder how I’ll feel when it actually happens. will it seem inevitable?
@Linda Featheringill: #32 +1 and then some.
A death watch for a pet is difficult on the surviving human. No matter what you do, you wonder if it is the right thing. And it is painful.
@Mnemosyne: It’s in the Superstitions over near Apache Junction. It’s only 15 miles or so as the crow flies but it’s a 40 mile drive from Fountain Hills. They probably can’t see it because they would be screened by the foothills.
I saw the news about your mom in the other thread — I’m so sorry. It always makes it harder to have it happen near a holiday when everyone else is celebrating.
@Little Boots: Will the dying seem inevitable? Of course. Just do your best and try to avoid self-doubt.
it’s getting to that point. when do you take them to the vet for that final kindness? if you can think of it that way.
@Little Boots: When they stop eating or drinking it’s time. Many of the other functions can be aided by their people. Dogs naturally mask pain so you will probably not be able to judge that. The biggest mistake I made once was not realizing I was keeping a dog alive for him but, rather, for me. I swore I’d never do it again and I haven’t.
Some people may be getting tired of me posting this but:
We who choose to surround ourselves
with lives even more temporary than our
own, live within a fragile circle;
easily and often breached.
Unable to accept its awful gaps,
we would still live no other way.
We cherish memory as the only
certain immortality, never fully
understanding the necessary plan.
— Irving Townsend
yeah, she still eats. and is not completely out of it. but definitely heading that way. think you’re right. not quite there yet, but just a question of time.
@Little Boots: You care, she knows.
that is truly beautiful, Raven. thanks.
I rescued an older dog that had been in a kill shelter. He is now about 13-14 and the vet and I figure he probably has 1-2 years. If he makes 2 more that will have been 4 yrs he didn’t have, that I get to share with him. He is a great pet and I will miss him very much when he goes. But I have been losing pets and humans since I was 10. And that’s a long, long time ago. I have learned to enjoy their company when I can, miss them when they are gone and keep putting one foot in front of the other in the meantime. We have a life, then we don’t.
they’re so funny. they do nothing but love us, okay and eat and poop and sometimes make a nuisance of themselves, but damn, they are all so awesome. I will miss her so much.
We will all have a nice meal tomorrow, no fuss. Then truck on down to Skid Row to help make up gifts bags and serve turkey dinners to all. Even the little ones love handing out the dinner rolls.
Every single member of the family has inherited my Dad’s I-hate-to-shop DNA (Lord rest his soul) so no worries for Black Friday. My Mom, at 86, is in fine fettle after serious surgery and hospitalization (first since 1953) this year, so we are very blessed this year, and thankful for her recovery. Even more thankful that she goes to the alienated brother’s house for thanksgiving, where they make more of a fuss.
Around July 2003 I wrote a letter to the rest of the family to the effect that I was determined to remove every shred of the commercial aspect of the Xmas holidays entirely from my life. So no cards, no gifts, except for the little ones, and spend the day down at the homeless shelter. They put on a good spread and generally a band or two will come play some tunes. We serve food and help clean up and whatever else needs doing. A good and joyous time is always had by all.
They take each of those steps with you.
@Little Boots: Wow, you know our Lil Bit!
@Mnemosyne: tyvm…. it’s definitely a more melancholy holiday season for me. Appreciate the kind thoughts.
oh, damn, what a honey. like them all.
Bud looks like what Lil Bit might look like in a few years.
I realize this makes me a bad person, but you immediately made me think of a David Sedaris quote:
I’ll admit to pulling the quote a bit out of context. It’s from his classic Christmas essay, “Six to Eight Black Men.”
@Ruckus: Aw look at that dude! Lil Bit was dumped in a box in the middle of the night at our vet 4 years ago. We don’t know how old she is but she acts like a total pup. She’s anemic, has had cataract surgery on both eyes and is, generally, a mess.
We did early Thanksgiving in London last week. Noe back home for rounds two. I always tell my English friends that Thanksgiving is the best holiday because it’s impossible to commercialize. This Black Friday BS is starting to challenge that a bit, but being abroad we don’t have to deal with the annoying ad blitz. Looking forward to another epic meal tomorrow. Also, football. And turkey sandwiches.
thanksgiving in London? heh.
Well, when you’re down on your luck,
and you ain’t got a buck,
in London you’re a goner.
Even London Bridge has fallen down,
and moved to Arizona,
now I know why.
And I’ll substantiate the rumor
that the English sense of humor
is drier than the Texas sand.
You can put up your dukes,
and you can bet your boots,
that I’m leavin’ just as fast as I can.
I wanna go home with the armadillo.
Good country music from Amarillo and Abilene.
The friendliest people and the prettiest women
you’ve ever seen.
raven, you are too awesome.
@Little Boots: Nah, I’m just trying to stay awake and maybe not get up at 4:30!
in an awesome way.
Yeah Bud get medication once a day for his liver and twice a day for his thyroid. Last Nov he had liver failure that almost got him but the meds worked.
This one has to be in the same room as me all the time or he freaks out, starts howling.
Oh well, I wanted a dog, got a basket case. Good dude though.
@Ruckus: Our dear departed Raven’s brother Smokey was like that. If he woke up and there was no one near he let out blood curdling howls.
I’ve lived abroad four times, never missed a Thanksgiving. People are fascinated by it – ‘What do you do, sing songs? Exchange gifts?’ they ask. ‘Nope,’ I say, ‘just eat a big meal and watch football and maybe a parade.’
@Ruckus: Thank you.
This crazy lunatic will fall asleep and if I leave the room before he wakes up so he can follow me… the howling begins. He is getting better, it’s not every time, now that he’s been here almost 2 years. Oh well, he’s not been the craziest member of my family, just of the one’s still breathing.
@Ruckus: Yep, that was the Smokers MO!
ya’ll take care up in here
you too. and thanks for all your comments
Well, my feet are finally up after cooking all day,my better half made me an excellent whiskey sour and just went to pick up my kitchen slave (uh, college-age daughter) at the airport.
I’m hosting my last Thanksgiving (16 people, sigh) for my husband’s family tomorrow before I move out West. It always knocks me out, but he loves it and appreciates it, so it’s all good.
This year I won’t even get leftovers because I have a 7AM flight Friday to AZ to work on my job transition.
The doggie talk is hitting home, the two beagles are sitting next to me on the couch — SNORING, as per usual. The younger one spent the entire day driving me nuts in the kitchen as she loves butter more than anything. Silly doggie. My husband’s relationship with the older one (his first dog) mirrors John and Lily. I dread the inevitable slowing down, but she is a rescued lab dog, so her life has been a good one.
Meanwhile, I have to live by myself for 6 months in a freaking trailer without any pets. I am completely dreading this, but I travel too much to adopt a couple of kittehs (my original plan). July can’t come too soon.
Well, I’m in Canada. We had our thanksgiving last month. This weekend I’m playing a couple of shows with a woman named Jenny Macdonald from Antigonish, N.S. here in Kingston and an hour down the highway in Picton. She’s great; a really good singer, good guitar player, good songwriter, and a super nice woman to boot. I love playing with her when she rolls through this part of the country.
This is the holiday I miss the most (have lived in Aus for the last 9 years). Food, football and family (the quality of each can vary slightly from year to year, but generally pretty good). And nothing else. Just four days off to get fatter.
So I am taking tomorrow (Friday here) off and cooking as close to a “traditional” Thanksgiving meal (Turkey, stuffing cranberry and veggies) as I can and having the in-laws over.
Still a bit weird that it will be hot as hades, but at least with cable TV here US football will be on while I cook.
But I do miss it.
Is there a nearby rescue org that would let you foster some kitties while you’re in town? They might not be willing since you’re there for such a short time, but if you start climbing the walls, it might be worth looking into.
@Mnemosyne: I never thought of that — I’ll check it out, what a great idea! Thanks!
@Raven: It’s very sad. A small plane from Falcon Field in NE Mesa, with three kids and three adults aboard. I have many loved ones flying out of Phoenix today, so I was concerned. A friend of mine lives near the foot of the Superstitions, and she said she saw the fireball. Very sad.
I’m going to an American-owned microbrewery for a prix-fixe turkey dinner including all-you-can-drink. It might just be the best of all possible worlds.
Then Friday morning I’m serving a pancake brunch on my rooftop.
@MikeJ: Went over Snoqualmie, which was fortunately wide open though just starting to go downhill as I was crossing. The big issue there now is the contractor didn’t paint the lanes yet. I was in the shoulder for a good mile before I figured it out. Now curled up in bed in the guest room watching my cat bounce everywhere.
So sad, it looks like a loss for Detroit. I haven’t watched football in years. I was at my folks for Thanksgiving years ago, my dad had the Bronco game on–he was a huge Bronco fan–and I remarked, ‘oh, the Broncos got new uniforms, eh?’
he said, ‘three years ago…’
@Cat Lady: I am sorry….
@jo6pac: They still have good shows. The touring industry has changed in the Bay Area. Used to be you could see A & B bands in the smaller clubs. Now it seems only the Warfield, the Fox & Paramount and the Fillmore have any big name acts. I miss seeing bands in the Great America Music Hall & Slims. I miss the old Stone (& Keystone).