One of (if not the) best parts of Thanksgiving is the leftovers. Having a big-ass turkey sandwich with stuffing, cranberry and gravy piled on is a great half-time snack for Monday Night Football. But it depends on getting good leftovers.
Last year we realized that we never really take home enough of the right kinds of leftovers. It would be easier if we hosted, but we never do. We get our little container, filled with a little bit of everything (typically too much green bean casserole and not enough turkey, ham and stuffing!), just like everyone else who converges on my parents' or uncles' house. We remedied that by buying a turkey breast and roasting it up with all the fixin's that weekend. Voila - leftovers galore! As an aside we never wont for desserts; my wife is an awesome baker and dessert is never scarce at Thanksgiving; so we almost always return home with plenty of her cake and pie to gorge ourselves on.
This year we absconded with the remaining half of the huge bone-in ham that my dad contributed, with the promise that he will get some split pea and ham soup out of it. The soup will come, but for the time being we've been frying it up with eggs, or just baking up a batch of homemade biscuits and having ham, biscuits and coffee for breakfast. He smokes a good ham. He doesn't make good pies. This year he tried to emulate a lemon pie recipe my aunt makes. I'd never had it before this past week, but I hope she makes it better. The filling is whole, sliced lemon with the rind zested off and part of the sweetened filling. The lemon pulp wasn't bad. Biting through the rind was too bitter. And the crust was thick and hard to cut. I believe he rolled it out with a Panzer III. To be fair, good pie crust is not easy to make. Unless you're my wife.
So we took a big-ass piece of ham and skipped the pie. But otherwise the container of leftovers was pitifully small. So we did it again - buy more turkey, stuffing, veggies, roast it all up with potatoes, gravy, hot rolls. Don't forget the cranberry sauce. We named it "Bonus Thanksgiving".
Bonus Thanksgiving is about one thing - maximizing leftovers. The logic is distinctly American (or, maybe 'murrikan) - consume more up front so it will go farther. Spend more so you can get bonus points and spend even more. Hell, it's even more American than the original Thanksgiving.
On a less sarcastic note, it's also a good thing; it's a chance for my family - I, my wife and my kids - to sit down and just enjoy each other over a meal without the additional ten people who make dinner a quasi-stressful event, without dad spending endless minutes detailing how he carefully constructed a Lemon-Panzer pie and describing things like "letting the dough rest in the fridge" as though he just discovered this long lost ancient trick before he shovels down huge mouthfuls of it while making "yummy sounds".
So yeah, Bonus Thanksgiving will be a Chef Cthulhu family tradition. I'm willing to bet Bonus Christmas will, too.
There are now two prayers that I actually like (well, maybe three if you count the snarky drivel I wrote yesterday). The first is Lord Nelson's Prayer, penned by the Viscount himself before Trafalgar, where he met his fate. I like it purely for its historic value, rather than the glaring example of someone justifying his desire for victory in something as amoral as battle with an appeal to a higher moral authority. A couple of years back I visited HMS VICTORY and got to see the paper on which it was written. It was rather moving.
This morning, my cousin posted a prayer on his blog. This one I also like, a great deal. And I'll leave it at that.
Well, it's almost time for tryptophan with all the fixin's washed down with the alcohol of your choice, but that doesn't really change the fact that, like the last post I wrote, I have no earthly idea what the hell to write about. It kind of sucks. I started writing here again because I wanted to, but the dearth of motivation is preventing me from really making an effort.
Well, motivation is not really the word. I am motivated to write. I tried doing NaNoWriMo and got all of 400-odd words done. Yay, it says I win just for trying. There are about 6,000,000,000 things I read every day that I'd love to comment on or analyze, but I can never keep my thoughts straight.
I've thought about crazy-ass things like how globalization has made it easy to travel and pass money around, and consequently has made it easier to spread pathogens throughout the globe as evidenced by Max Brook's excellent book World War Z, a zombie book that is about anything BUT zombies. And then I read about things like the Stuxnet Virus that brings to reality crazy things that Angelina Jolie could stop with her youthful collagen duckface just 15 years ago, when she was only just beginning to make shitty movies. After putting 2 and 2 together it seems that this computer pathogen could spread globally along similar vectors as zombies, or pandemic influenza, or whatever, given a motivated enough individual to start the process.
But then ... yawn. Maybe I'll burn the brain cells doing something more inane like configuring my fantasy football lineup for the coming week to keep my 4-game winning streak alive.
But I digress. Back to Thanksgiving.
Yes the white man came, across the sea, and brought them pain and misery...because, you know, they were already living in harmony and hadn't already been trying to slaughter each other for their land, food and women for the last however many centuries simply because the other injuns lived over the river and through the woods and not here. Doesn't justify shit, but face it - homo sapiens = bastards whether you have rifles or rocks tied to sticks.
So the Europeans prayed to God and used him as a convenient conversion sham to conquer and when that had petered out they shrouded expansion under his will. The natives prayed to the Great Spirit or a pile of sticks or whatever and it did them a whole shitload of good. At least in Innsmouth they pray to Cthulhu and once you get past the fish transformation you get to live forever.
So I found it kind of amusing when yesterday, at the office just stuff yourself and believe you have it good Thanksgiving potluck, a fellow of mine suggested "Let's have the biggest atheist here say grace." I snerked. That would have been him, because I'm still an atheist in denial holding on to what vestiges of his agnosticism can still get him by. But the reason I snerked was because he was standing behind my boss; a good guy, but a dyed in the wool Christian through and through. Which is probably why he said it.
So when we had broke to eat, I suggested he try this at his table this Thursday:
"Oh Universe, thank you for big-banging and expanding in such a way that your physical properties developed in such a way that I can experience and enjoy the life I have right now. But you can't hear or understand this, so why am I even saying anything at all..."
But alas, in the end, I will always be a sort of middle-of-the-road guy when it comes to beliefs. So enjoy the weekend in whatever way gives you the most benefit.
But this place has been idle for 9 days and you told yourself you were going to keep maintaining it better.
Oh, all right...
It's amazing how you can get caught up in the whirlwind of the mundane, just doing shit as it comes. The problem is November. R'lyeh gets little done between now and Decemberfest I mean Hey Buy Shit It's Winter no wait Put the Porn Back in XXXmas and Hey Let's Get Smashed On This Night That Happens To Straddle An Arbitrarily Determined Important Day wait that's New Year's (I'll keep that because I actually like getting fucked up once in a while) so in anticipation of that all the little shit that can wait until after the holidays gets front loaded so you have to deal with it all early when it can certainly wait until later. So you end up working long days on the relatively mundane and insignificant stuff that would be perfectly suited to occupying those first couple of hung over days back in the office. And in the process, you have little time for anything else like writing shit or reading what other people write. I thought maybe this would go somewhere, but it doesn't. So kill it.
Whatever. I wrote something. Can I go now?
But I need to. I have to pack for a trip to Atlanta tomorrow. And I really have nothing.
Fine. Whatever. At least you know your limitations, as mankind should. So just post a video or something.
No, dumbass! Something with less talent. And more boobs. And big Flinstone puppets.
For tonight, I toast the Great Cthulhu's lordship over the icthyarchy! I beg your pardon? You refuse to serve me? Then you had best obarmate against my imminent pugnastics by which I shall immediately and impudiciously pudify thee in his great and terrible name!
No, "obarmate" does not mean to ruin the country, so you Tea-Tards keep that word off your signs.
Besides, most of you are obarmated enough already!
Won't you please donate just a few minutes of your time, and save the words?
(Heh, heh! I've finally figured out how to use "Randal words"...)
Today and tonight will determine what sort of spin the media puts on the abject legislative failure that is Congress agenda will govern the American body politic in the next two years. My prediction?
At least there is a small group of people that aren't crazy and the stupid Tea Party c*** who won't touch her own because she can't find "separation of church and state" on her labia the Republican lady from Delaware is (reportedly) getting trounced. Ultimately, it won't change much.
So, while you count percentages and wait for the world to be exactly the same tomorrow as it was this morning I might as well offer this item, brought to my attention by a Facebook friend, as a salve for whatever wounds you may be suffering tonight.
Pattern by King-Reaper at Deviantart. My wife (who is much better manipulating printers and programs than I) got it to print out the right size so we could get it on the pumpkin. I used an Exacto-knife and a crab-picking tool to cut out the pattern and scrape it to about 3/4" deep. All in all about 3 hours of work but worth it.
Here's a pic of Jack O'Thulhu, Jack Skellington, and two more Jack O'Lanterns guarding our doorstep this evening.