Thanksgiving: By the numbers

Plates of turkey/stuffing/mashed potatoes/carrots/cranberry sauce eaten: 2
Slices of pie: 3
Brownies/Congo Bars: 6
Leftover turkey sandwiches: 2
Cups of tea: 2
Number of Everybody Loves Raymond Thanksgiving episodes watched: 4
Discussions about the election: surprisingly, 0.

That zero could have easily become a one if I had spoken up at one point. But I didn’t want to go against my own rule for this holiday season. So I held my tongue and said nothing.

I figured out this Thanksgiving why Christmas is the superior holiday: Christmas is exactly like Thanksgiving, only with the addition of music and gifts. And who doesn’t like music and gifts?

Speaking of: I was going to put together a new Christmas playlist this year but a lot of the songs I already put on last year’s list, so why don’t I just link to that and use it for this year as well? Here you go. (I still haven’t done what needs to be done to embed music on the site but I’m working on it for 2017.)

Also: new column up.

I’ve been one poor correspondent, I’ve been too, too hard to find (but it doesn’t mean you ain’t been on my mind)

Remember I was going to send out the next Letter just before Halloween? Then it got pushed back to mid-November? And you didn’t get it then either? Good times.

Life got in the way. It always gets in the way. Maybe a little laziness too. But it’s coming. I’ll do a big “holiday” edition and make sure it gets out in early December.

Have a great Thanksgiving. I’m making carrots.

Holiday Mode

Over the weekend I bookmarked a bunch of articles about the election I’ve been meaning to read. I just deleted every single one.

That thinkpiece on why Clinton lost? It’s fantastic and I agree! That analysis of why Trump won? You’re so smart, and I agree with that too! The argument you made on that cable news panel show, the one with all those other panelists? You made some great points!

Thinking about and talking about this election is sooooooo 2016.

I’m sick and tired of the whole thing. It’s supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year, not the most irritating.

I’ve put myself into holiday mode. Some years you get into the Thanksgiving/Christmas spirit quickly and easily, other years it has to be forced on you. This year I’m making a conscious effort to put myself into holiday mode. There’s a certain cruelty foisted upon us by the political gods by having a presidential election right before the holidays. But that doesn’t mean you have to let it infest and infect your head, your heart, your soul. If you feel like celebrating what happened, there’s plenty of time for that (at least four years). If you feel like fighting, there’s time for that too. Why would you want to ruin your life with politics? (Note: This is also something I ask every day of the year.)

You’ve got your love to keep you warm. You don’t need retweets. When Nancy Wilson asks “What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve?” the answer should never, ever be “reading Nate Silver’s post-election analysis and what it means for 2020.”

An election is an important thing, sure. But are you going to let it affect everything else right now? Are you not going to buy a gift for someone this year because they disagreed with you? Do you refuse to watch the Macy’s parade because you don’t want to deal with people who voted for someone you didn’t? Will your fill your kid’s stocking with coal because of what happened in the rust belt? Are your Christmas gifts going to be addressed “TO: That Person I Thought I Knew But Now I Hate.” FROM: “I’m So Disappointed In You?”

If you want to obsess over the election for the next several weeks, be my guest. Argue with your family, read that big feature in the newsweekly, watch pundits yell at each other on cable news channels, share that funny political GIF everyone’s talking about, spend hours blocking and muting everyone you disagree with on social media, and watch reruns of John King’s Magic Wall breakdown of how every county voted on an endless loop. Me, I’ll be over here, drinking a warm alcoholic beverage, listening to Dean Martin, writing out my Christmas cards, doing everything I can to make spirits bright.

16 thoughts on ’16

Took a walk downtown this morning. Everything has changed but everything is the same. The birds were chirping, the traffic bopped along, a dog barked in the distance, and the clerk at the supermarket bagged my groceries incorrectly, just as she aways does. Everything’s going to be OK.

Some random, hazy thoughts on the election, jotted down around 2am…

Chachi was right.

In the end, nothing mattered. Not the polls, not the pundits, that Access Hollywood tape, the debates, the speeches, SNL. He was going to win the moment he descended from that escalator.

Polls and pundits got it wrong (or at least the interpretation of those polls). Massively wrong. Something has to change (but they won’t go away).

This wasn’t about Republican and Democrat, it was about class and race and economics and culture. I don’t think a lot of people, especially in the media, understood that.

Also, I wonder if even after all of this, it really came down to one thing: one party rarely controls the Presidency three terms in a row.

Twitter was an extremely important force on this election. Really, imagine the election without it. I deleted my social media accounts a while back and I think you should think about it too. Mixed in with the fun jokes and links and memes is a massive amount of misinformation, hate, and even in the best circumstances it’s just too much and can make how you view the world just a bit askew.

No, she didn’t lose because she’s a woman.

Right now it looks like she might win the popular vote, and that’s not nuthin’.

I’m pretty sure John King wanted to throw Wolf Blitzer through his Magic Wall several times tonight. I flipped around to every single cable and network covering the election and found myself drawn mostly to CBS because the networks seem to be more thoughtful, calmer, not as crazy with the graphics and music.

This was “Dewey Defeats Truman,” only without the newspaper headline.

I’m an American, so yes, he is my President.

Four years of White House Press Secretary Ann Coulter could be…fun?

Boy, the handshake between the Obamas and Trumps on January 20 is going to be awkward.

It never ceases to amaze me that even after millions and millions and millions of votes are cast how unbelievably close some states and even final national vote tally can be.

The books that will be written about this election are going to be fascinating.

In the end, nobody gave a shit what Lena Dunham and Jon Bon Jovi thought. This is a good thing.


‘Twas the Night Before

Happy Election Eve everybody! You’re probably busy with your last minute Election shopping and cooking and decorating your Election tree. Maybe you’re going to Election mass at midnight and then going home to wrap all of the Election gifts while the kids are in bed, visions of Jake Tapper dancing in their heads. Now Ohio! Now Michigan! Now Pennsylvania and Florida! On New Hampshire! On Nevada! On Utah and Georgia!

Yes, Virginia, you do have 13 electoral votes.

Whoever is elected, I have a feeling that on November 9 a lot of people are going to want to return the gift they got.

Fire and rain

I’ve been wondering why Billy Joel hasn’t updated “We Didn’t Start The Fire.” It’s been, what, 30 years?

I was going to write an epic Election ’16 update to the song but all I could come up with quickly was the ending.

Donald Trump, Twitter rants
Tony Weiner, without pants
Billy Bush
Gone away
He’s no longer on Today!!!!

Eh, that’s all I got.

Cold, raw and rainy today. This is not a complaint. Since I’m not a construction worker, a mailman, or homeless, why should I get irritated or depressed that it’s cold, raw, and rainy? This morning I put the winter pane in the front door, I have a cup of tea in front of me, and I’m listening to the rain hit the windows. No roaring fire but I do have electric heat.

The Letter is coming. I had hoped to have it out before Halloween but it will have to be a Thanksgiving Letter instead, out the middle of November. Happy Halloween anyway.

I haven’t gotten a trick-or-treater in years so I guess I’ll have to eat all this candy myself.