Thursday, November 24, 2011

The Trifecta of Fabulousness

I love Thanksgiving for many reasons, including the fact that I was born on Thanksgiving Day. Growing up, I didn't often appreciate that because I was rarely in school for my birthday, and all my friends were off doing their Thanksgiving stuff and it didn't seem like I really got to celebrate. Now I think it's kinda cool, and this year November 23rd is 1) my birthday; 2) Gwensday, the best day of the week that's not a weekend day; and 3) Thanksgiving Eve. Here are some tales about Thanksgivings/Birthdays Past:

When I was born, the story goes, my dad (an avid hunter) convinced the hospital to keep my mom and me there an extra day so he could go out and try to shoot Bambi. Try doing THAT in the age of insurance anarchy. He told that story at our wedding, though not quite as crassly as I just did.

Dad and me

My 21st birthday fell on Thanksgiving Eve. I had finals but my mom picked me up from college and drove me home so I could celebrate with my friends Kim and Cathy. My dad took us out to Duffy's Tavern for my first "official" drink, then he dropped us off in town and we walked all over creation, finally ending up at my house. I seem to recall falling out of the Shelby and tearing my jeans, having a hard time unlocking the door to the house, and Cathy hugging my dog while she sat in front of the toilet. Ah, good times.

Lucky for Cathy, I couldn't find the picture of her with Sugar, but here's the dog.

When Aaron and I got married our parents decided that we should host Thanksgiving dinner, which has worked out pretty well for us. Both sets of parents come to our house, so there's no discussion about whose family "gets us." Over the years, our siblings have gotten married and have families of their own so they're not with us every year, but our niece and two nephews are traditionally with us every single year, which I absolutely love.

All six of the nieces and nephews

I think it was our first Thanksgiving that sparked the great potato water debate. We had boiled the potatoes for mashing and I then drained them, pouring all the water down the sink. My mother and mother-in-law acted like I had done some criminal act because of COURSE I was supposed to save some of the water to make gravy. Now, everyone knows that I'm not the cook in my family, but I swear to this day that I never remember that even from my growing up years. And the next year... I did it again. From then on I stopped touching the potatoes.

For the love of all that is holy, don't drain all the water.

Last year's Thanksgiving was pretty great. We had almost all our family there as well as our neighbors Christin and Martin. Our niece Kate was baptized by my dad right there in our house, and as it turned out, that was my dad's last official act.

Aaron and I are proud to be Kate's godparents.

This year we're changing things up a bit. Being the first holiday without my dad, we wanted to make it a little different so we're going out to Buca di Beppo for our Thanksgiving meal (and yes, they're doing a traditional feast as well as their full menu). We'll probably eventually go back to having it at our house, but I think it will be a fun switch.

And on Thanksgiving Eve, I celebrated my Gwensday birthday with neighbors and friends. Colin made a pumpkin pie pudding shot in my honor:

Happy Thanksgiving!

The Gila

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


Recently my mom commented on my use of the word "really" and how it can mean so many different things depending on my tone. Mostly I use it with sarcasm. Today I'm writing about pet peeves, or things that make me go "hmmmmm," or things that make me say "really?"

Disclaimer: it's entirely possible that you commit one or more of the following, and that's OK; I don't hate you. Similarly, I recognize that there are things that I do that many people probably find completely annoying. For example, overuse of the word "dude," as in "Dude, really?" Also, it drives Aaron completely nuts that I put my dirty socks in the laundry inside out. Ponder that for a moment and it may lead you to another thing that pisses you off about me in that I have a husband who does laundry. But I digress...

Right Turn on Red Etiquette (or lack thereof)

Dear driver behind me at the red light, do not honk your horn at me to turn on red. You do not see what I see, and you honking your horn makes me more likely to just wait until the light turns green.

Dear driver on cross street, if I have a green light and I'm stopped in the middle of the intersection, it is NOT so you can turn right on red and bog up the intersection even more.

Dear downtown driver, if you are going to turn right on red, make damn sure that no one is coming. This is especially true if you intend to turn right on red and then immediately move three lanes over to the left.

And while you're at it, pay attention to these signs!

Shopping Carts Strewn All Over Parking Lots

This is mind-boggling to me. If I am capable of taking a shopping cart to my car, I'm certainly capable of getting said cart back to a cart corral. And while there may be a FEW exceptions to this rule, there are not enough exceptions to justify the number of carts I see throughout the Target or Kroger lots.

A Certain Insurance Company's Radio Commercial which a woman's voice identifies herself as a single mom, "so I have to watch every penny." Then we hear Patrick Dempsey's voice saying, "we all do." Really, Mr. Star of Stage and Screen? When's the last time you had to watch every penny?

Yes, McDreamy, I know that's you and I'm not buying it for a second!


Anyone who's ever been in a choir rehearsal or a presentation with me knows this well. Yes, I'm the one constantly shushing. It's simple, really. If someone else has the floor, shut up. It's incredibly rude to both the speaker and to the others in the group who just might be trying to listen.

Stay tuned,

The Gila