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Happy Thanksgiving! Gratitude is Overrated [California Seething]

This Thursday we will celebrate Thanksgiving, or as the Native Americans call it “I can’t believe we gave those fuckin’ crackers turkey. What a bunch of schnooks we were.”  If you squint a little bit, you know, just enough so that you can’t really see all the truly terrible shit that happened on this continent after white people arrived (the way you have to do whenever you want to think something nice about America’s past), then Thanksgiving can be a wonderful opportunity to gather with family, watch football and eat pie. Especially pie — nothing goes with genocide like pie!

Liberal guilt, colonial attrocities and the pastries of oppression aside, Thanksgiving is neat. For one thing, it’s one of the few non-Jewish holidays that actually gives you a totally gratuitious second day off – unless, of course, you work for a bank or a retail store or a total cheapskate asshole or a theatre (Uhm, yeah, sorry about that guys — Go Team! I’ll be at home if you need me—don’t call before ten.). For one thing, Thanksgiving features my absolute favorite art project- the hand turkey. Even a complete art-tard like myself, a man so artistically inept that his four year old niece only allowed him to color with the white crayon so he wouldn’t fuck up a perfectly good Barbie Princess Pony coloring book, can trace his hand, draw a beak and sign his name in scrawling, kindergarten penmanship. It’s a wonderfully creative expression of holiday joy for the developmentally disabled, the hopelessly senile and me!

Thanksgiving also features my all-time favorite condiment- Canned Jellied Cranberry Sauce. There are those people out there who believe that Cranberry Sauce should be some type of “sauce” made from “cranberries”. Freaks. Thank god the rest of us understand that real, authentic Canned Jellied Cranberry Sauce is a smooth, cranberry-inspired, homogenous purple substance with no more visible trace of the fruit that bears its name than Bubblicious Grape or Watermelon Nerds. Neither fluid nor solid, Canned Jellied Cranberry Sauce exists in a perfect state of Non-Newtonian Deliciousness (in fact, it was recently voted one of America’s Yummiest Non-Newtonian Fluids on – right up there with the McFlurry, Taco Bell beans & cheese and Play-Doh. Mmmmm…Play Doh.) So keep your chipped little bowl of lumpy homemade bullshit at the other end of the table. I want the good stuff that wiggles out of the can like a zaftig burlesque dancer in a leapord-skin body-suit and lands on the plate showing all the curves of the inside of the can, quivering and beaconing me seductively to hack off a slice and smush it on my turkey. Oh yeah.

The only part that really sucks about Thanksgiving is having to be all “thankful” for stuff. I guess that’s what we get for putting the word “Thanks” in the title. If we had just called it “Happy-Fun-Fun-Food-Food-Day” like the Japanese Pilgrims wanted us to, then we wouldn’t be stuck going around the table every year awkwardly trying to come up with something that we’re thankful for — which, frankly, in this economy, is pretty depressing to listen to (“This year, I’m thankful for so I could sell my wedding ring to cover a mortgage payment and stave off forclosure for one more month” — come on, how the hell are we supposed to eat after hearing that?) I mean, don’t get me wrong, I know that I’m lucky as hell and have a huge amount to be thankful for, but, come on, we all know there’s nothing more boring than sitting here listening to me count all my blessings (blah, blah, wife and family, blah, blah, dental insurance, blah, blah, don’t have cancer, blah, blah, not quite bald yet, blah, blah, Darfur. Ick. Glad I don’t live there, blah, blah, dog never shits on the floor)- so instead of subjecting you to that, I’m going to share a short list of things I absolutely DON’T feel thankful for and you can figure that I’m either neutral or grateful for most everything else.

Grim Sports Related News Stories

Look, I don’t watch SportsCenter so that I can find out what’s going on in the world. I watch SportsCenter so I can hide from reality. Seriously, do you know how hard it is to watch as much TV as I do and stay totally out of touch with current events? I have to avoid all the following channels if I want to avoid learning anything about the world today (The Learning Channel is safe.):

CNN Headline News
Fox News
Fox Business
Bloomberg TV
C-SPAN 2 (Worst. Sequel. Ever.)
The Weather Channel
Comedy Central

It’s getting to a point where I can only watch shows about loveable bottom-feeders buying antique family heirlooms as cheaply as possible from borderline hoarders or vigorously trying to outbid each other for the contents of storage units abandoned by losers and old people who died penniless, cold and alone (It’s Must See Recession TV). That, Louie, and sports. So when I turn on SportsCenter in the morning expecting to hear the analysts passionately debating the BCS standings or rearranging the projected 2012 NFL Draft Order for the 10,000th time or endowing totally meaningless accomplishments with unwarranted historical significance (“This is only the third time a Freshman Guard in the Big East has scored over 18 points with 6 rebounds, 8 assists and 2 blocked shots since December 2010.” DUDE, THAT’S TOTALLY NOT IMPRESSIVE. It’s not even a year, for Christ’s sake.)

Instead I hear about horrific molestation charges and student riots, it’s a serious buzzkill. It’s like taking a spoonful from a bowl of delicious Peanut Butter Cap’n Crunch only to find out I got Kix instead — DISGUSTING. Look, I know the world is a shitty, horrible place and everything is always just getting worse — that’s why I watch ESPN, so I don’t have to hear about it. So when reality shoves its ugly face into the wonderfully vacuous world of sports broadcasting- where am I supposed to turn for meaningless babble? What am I supposed to do? I’m the real victim here! (oh, and, of course the children. Thoughts and prayers, etc.)

So, all you coaches out there, listen up. If you have the sudden hankering to start playing Uncle Touchy-Touch with your young players or students or ball-boys then please, do me a favor and go into politics. Or religion. Whatever. Just stay the hell away from sports. That way, when you inevitably get caught and arrested I won’t have to know a damn thing about it. You can quietly go to prison to get yourself ass-raped and killed while I go on watching highlights and analysis of last night’s Anaheim Ducks game, blissfully oblivious to your disgusting perversion, eating bowl after bowl of sweet, delicious Peanut Butter Cap’n Crunch and lying to myself that this is still a world I want to live in.

Election Year Sprawl

A lot of people bitch and complain about Holiday Sprawl. You know, when it’s barely the day after Halloween and all the stores already decorate for Christmas. Honestly, it doesn’t bother me. There are a lot worse places than a cheerful CVS stocked with displays of shiny wrapping paper and ribbons, decked out with animatronic Santas of various sizes and filled with that weird holiday cinnamony smell that all stores seem to take on at this time of year. Places like, for instance, a CVS at any other time of year, when it’s just a miserable dirty-red carpeted dump hawking cheap pint bottles of Christian Brothers brandy, stale bread and prescription drugs, filled with that gross “we can’t stop homeless people from coming inside here” Doritos like smell that CVS (in my neighborhood) seems to take on all the rest of the year. What I can’t stand, though, is Election Year Sprawl.

Honestly, the election is almost a year away and we’ve already had four million Republican debates. How many debates do we need to prove that they’re all a bunch of worthless morons who shouldn’t be trusted to manage an Arby’s in Stockton let alone run the second most powerful nation on earth (or is it third now? How’s India doing)? The only thing the voters need to decide about these guys is which one of them would be worth crossing the street and pissing on if his hair was on fire — and we only needed one debate to realize the answer was “none.” After all, if they want their hair to be on fire, then who am I to impinge on their liberty? How dare I presume that I know what’s best for them? John Galt wouldn’t want Big Government to piss on his head. He would wear his flaming hair proudly, as a defiant statement of his individual genius. Then he would burn to death, cause Libertarianism is stupid.

So I’m just gonna watch ESPN until next November, go out and vote for Obama, and then watch ESPN again til somebody tells me it’s safe. Maybe in 2016.

Getting Older

The problem with getting older is that you actually have to be thankful for it because the only alternative is death. I mean seriously- what kind out of outmoded business model is that? Who’s running this thing anyhow- Ma Bell? Microsoft? I mean, if I want to buy a vacuum cleaner I can go online and choose from like 4,000 of them. Hell, that British Dyson guy alone has come up with 50 (Seriously, dude- how dirty are your carpets? Maybe you should stop eating crackers in the living room or get a hairless cat — anything because your crazy obsession with suction is killing your staff. Literally. Your lead engineer just shot himself because he couldn’t figure out how to suck up a paper clip. Now his blood is on your hands (and your carpet).)

Anyhow the point is, I’ve got all the choices I could possibly want in every area except for the most important one of all- where I’ve got no control at all. I mean, sure I can take some control of the situation with fitness and diet and exercise and lifestyle, but all those things are really hard and if I’ve learned anything from the Millennial generation it’s that choices should be easy and I’m always entitled to everything I want and that everything in life should always be fair — isn’t that why they’re camped out on Wall Street? (Sorry, sorry- cheap shot at my own team. Fight the Power, guys! Keep up the good work. Pepper spray builds character! And it’s super delicious on Ramen- so it’s the perfect condiment for your broke-ass lifestyle.)

I know it may seem like I’m a little too young to be so concerned about aging, since I’m not even 40 yet, but, strictly speaking, I’m over a year past due for my mid-life crisis and since I can’t afford to buy a Porsche (and wouldn’t be able to drive it, even if I could), I’m going to have to double up on the angst and depression instead. Wondering how Jameson goes with Abilify? Find out in 2012!

There are loads more things I’m not grateful for, like:
NBA Lockout- Fuck you Derek Fisher! You were the only Laker I sort of liked and you totally stabbed all the fans in the back. At least now I don’t have to care if the whole team dies in a plane crash, except that it will seriously mess up SportsCenter the next morning. Why do basketball players need a union anyhow? Are we seriously supposed to believe that working conditions are that bad for them? Is it Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle out there with Escalades, groupies and bling? The NBA owners should just fire the players and replace the whole greedy lot of them with cheap Chinese labor. I’m sure they can find a bunch of Chinese guys tall enough to play, but as we saw with Yao Ming, nothing made in China is particularly durable.


Tim Tebow- Look you can’t blame Jesus. Everybody loves an ass-kisser. If I was Jesus, I would totally help some guy who was always telling everyone how great I was and getting down on his knees to thank me whenever he did anything remotely well. I’d be like, listen, those African children are still gonna be starving in the morning but Tebow’s playing the Jets tonight, and my baby boy needs me! Speaking of the Jets, maybe it wouldn’t hurt Sanchez to get off his lazy ass and go to church every once in a while so that he could get Jesus on our side for a change. Or failing that, maybe the Jets could stop playing like a bunch of USELESS FUCKING PATHETIC INCOMPETENT WORTHLESS SISSY GIRLS. If they do that, then Sanchez can yell “allahu akbar” for all I care after he scores- as long as they start winning.
A bunch of non-sports related stuff, including- LA geography, LA traffic, LA public transportation, trying to get anything done in LA, Happy Feet Two, evil corporations, corrupt politicians, Tea Party morons, the idiot bagboys at Vons who can’t seem to cope with reusable bags, every single automated customer service phone line, Whitney Cummings, male pattern baldness, irritable bowel syndrome, ear hair, back-ne, Islamic Fundamentalism, Christian
Fundamentalism, Jewish Fundamentalism, Hindu Fundamentalism? Kardashians, Braxtons, Jenners, Gene Simmons and all of his Family Jewels, Ice and Coco, all the Real Housewives of Wherever the Fuck, gas prices, food prices, the fact that a bunch of lazy Greeks can actually crash the global economy (Greece- really? Four words E.U.- Free Credit Check it out before you let in the Romanians), Ashton Kutcher’s sex life, Demi Moore’s sex life, Herman Cain’s sex life (actually, I’m pretty thankful for that. Why can’t Rick Perry be an ass grabber?), having to care about fiber, cholesterol, sodium, carbs and sugar, fat-free cheese, wholegrain bread, sugar-free pancake syrup and all the other annoying, inconvenient, offensive, unbearable, boring and hateful things about being a 39 year old guy in 2011 (and- oh yeah, all those starving kids in Africa. Thoughts and prayers, etc.)
So there you have it. It’s nice to think that even though I’m probably one of the luckiest people in the whole world with a job, wife, home, health insurance, dog, temperate weather, creative outlet, DirecTV, living grandparents, plenty of toilet paper and wifi, I still have plenty of shit to complain about. I suppose that’s one thing I can be thankful for this year. At least now I’ll know what to say when we go around the table. I just hope that the rest of those fuckers don’t take all the Canned Jellied Cranberry Sauce while I’m talking. I’m sure as hell not eating that homemade shit.

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featured image credit: dbtelford