When we stopped making the turkey last year, we had the best thanksgiving ever. We had it catered from Wakonda from the inimitibable Chef George. In fact, when you take in the food costs and time, it pretty much is a draw. We were having our front door neighbors over. It was our first Thanksgiving without blood relations. At around 5 in the evening, I drove over and picked up 6 neatly packaged bags in cardboard boxes. Driving home, the smells were otherworldly. We unpacked, put out our good (and only) china, and popped a bottle of wine. The neighbors came, and we had the best Thanksgiving meal that I have ever had (except for a visit to my college roommate’s family in Philadelphia in 1987, where I ate enough for three, and then lounged around for five hours alternately watching football and a Star Trek marathon, before eating AGAIN).
There was no Star Trek last year, but there was homemade cranberry sauce with perfectly tart fresh cranberries in a jammy gel that had never had the shape of a cylinder. The stuffing could have been a main course by itself. I could have lifted the gravy boat and guzzled the brown ambrosia. The mashed potatoes were really smashed with the evidence quite clear from the non-uniform pearls of pure earthy flavor. Washed down with a Gewürztraminer, followed by pumpkin pie a la mode and serious fresh ground coffee. Oh, the turkey was perfect.
The clean up involved putting away the leftovers in the packages they came in. No hours of back breaking labor for a 5-15% chance of a turkey mishap (observation from about 25 Thanksgivings as an adult). That bad luck turkey is a mofurkey which in its many manifestations is alternately unevenly cooked, over-done (usually due to relying on the popup signal designed by lawyers), or generally associated with some misfortune (this year, a nephew with second degree burns, have heard stories of houses burning down). No, we completely avoided the mofurkey last year by outsourcing. It wasn’t just the meal we outsourced -it was the stress and the work on a day that no one should work. We could concentrate on the giving of thanks and enjoying each other’s company. What did we do for Thanksgiving this year? We ate jja-jjang myun at a seriously great place in Bayside, Queens. No mofurkey!
Grabulosity - The Exhilaration of Getting the Easily Distracted Parent's Attention
The holidays are upon us, and like other belief systems, golfism has its holiday. It falls on any particular day of the year when you realize that you deserve something amazing and fabulous. It may be simple like that tiny laptop that’s burning an image in your mind’s eye. Or extremely portable, like that shiny black and tiny digital camera. Or sociable, like a golf and poker trip to Scotland with eleven of your closest buddies. Or visible, like a 112 inch flat panel TV. Or practical, like a Porsche 911 Turbo in Darth Vader Black. Self love is the basis of self-confidence, and the true golf swing reflects that. Like my good friend, W.A. Hamilton IV from high school once said: “if it’s worth doing, it’s worth overdoing.”
When I was five, I was in the back seat with my cousin Eugene who was also five, and he started whining about the car ride. I told him in Korean, “Nahmja neun ch’ah m’uh ya deh,” which loosely translates to “A man must persevere.”
The Korean phrase doesn’t refer directly to perseverance but to a kind of bloody mindedness involved with smiling at someone while they rip out your fingernails or holding your pee until you are about to burst. My mother has told this story repeatedly to where I now believe it.
That I have to bring it up reflects how much I have changed since that bloody minded 5 year old. At that age, I didn’t mind so much pulling out loose teeth and even not so loose teeth just to prove a point. At seven, after we had immigrated to the US and ended up in Cleveland, Ohio, I made it a point to start rolling a snowball around the apartment complex repeatedly to make it the largest one ever seen. I made it around one and a half times, before I attracted the attention of older kids who then joined in. At that point, the snowball was taller than me. At the end of the day, it was taller than the cars, and we left it in the middle of the driveway up to the main entrance. I had no gloves on, and I couldn’t feel my fingers or ears for a week.
I’m much less hard core now, but still have that Sisyphean bloody mindedness when it comes to getting something done my way. I would hope to have the wisdom to pick and choose my battles. In golf, it’s called course management when you avoid the hazard by taking two strokes, and it is bloody mindedness that has you going for it in one, dropping balls and trying over and over until you do.
A reinterpretation of a familiar story of the indomitable spirit of clones.