the circular runner

Posts Tagged ‘thanksgiving’

Thanksgiving Chronicles, part 3

In life, observations, writing on November 27, 2011 at 10:59 am



So, I’m coming to the end of my stay down here in LA, and I’m a little sad.  Continuing my neuroticosity, I was sad to leave my wife for the weekend on Thursday and put it off, and now, I’m sad to leave my folks, but I am not just putting it off.  Instead, I’m sitting here in a Starbucks a couple blocks from my parents’ suburban track house.  I’m doing this in order to fight the temptation of staying at home and I’m doing this because I don’t want to cater to this weird fear that one day when my parents are no longer here, I will feel this overwhelming guilt for not having spent as much time as I can with them.  That’s an awful way to think.  I know I should focus on the now–all that Buddhist stuff.  What can I say?  I remember crying as an 8-year old thinking about my mother dying.  Where does THAT come from?  No idea.  Absolutely not a one.

So I’m here listening to some kind of falsetto-singing mellowness on the Starbucks authorized soundtrack for this store, and just this second, a couple of teenagers are sitting next to me drinking one of those mongo-sweet drinks that Starbucks likes to peddle–it’s like a dessert with a scoop of coffee thrown in for Starbucks product-inclusion, and I’m putting off working on my script for my first short, The Unfortunate Brother.  If I can get it done by January, the movie will be coming to you at a theater near you as long as you are near San Francisco.  I don’t know why I’m putting my writing off, but that’s another issue.  This is about Thanksgiving–right?

So, how about Thanksgiving?: malls, which I avoided, though I did run into traffic around an outlet mall late on Thursday night–the pre-dawn I-need-to-get-shit-cheaply crowd.  I can tell you that only a few miles from where I’m sitting, a woman pepper-sprayed her way to her bargains at a Walmart (see picture above).  Stupid and awful!!  By the way, the teenagers sitting next to me are Mormons.  Not that that’s important, except that my folks live right next to a Mormon church.  They are talking about mothers working and still being good moms.

OK, so back to Thanksgiving and the lessons I’ve learned this weekend: my folks are nuts (knew that already) but I still can have a good time with them (knew that, too.  They are good people.  And we’re all nuts.  Everyone.  (I kind of knew that, three.)  So what did I learn?  Not much. But I’m glad I came down.

Now, the Mormon kids are talking about working in film, and I know that that’s God’s way of saying I need to go work on my script.  SO, I will and I’ll be thankful.  As should you!


Thanksgiving Chronicles, part 3

In life, observations, writing on November 26, 2011 at 12:47 am


It’s a little after midnight on Saturday or is it Friday?  I really never remember.  I also never remember if I’m a first generation American because I was born here or if my parents are because they came here.  Doesn’t really matter in the end, I guess.  There’s a stamp date if you’re curious–not on me or my parents but on the entry. You knew that.

I’ve been listening to Marc Maron‘s WTF podcast during my whole trip down here.  I’m a little obsessed, which is probably why I’m kind of all over the place, but I’m hoping you’re also obsessed with Marc, or short of that, that you’ll be patient as I channel my inner-neurotic.  It’s been 24 hours since I got down here.  My wife is up north because she’s a baker and bakers don’t get time off around the holidays, so I’m here seeing my folks by myself, and right now, at this very moment, I’m at a coffee place in Santa Monica, less than a mile from where I went to high school.  I’m here because I decided that I was going to actually do some work.  Lately, I seem only to be able to work after drinking a double espresso while listening to Radiohead/Beirut surrounded by other suffering, procrastinating writers who almost to the man and woman work on 15 in. Apple laptops.  I have a 17 in. because I didn’t listen to a good friend years back about the trade off of two extra inches for ten added pounds, but that’s not important.  I just got here and though the place is open 24 hours, I will leave in an hour because A. I need to get up tomorrow and not waste the day like I did today, not that hanging out with my mom is wasting time, even if she loves Judge Judy and Everyone Loves Raymond and makes me watch while she nervously wonders why I’m not laughing.  Here’s the reason: Judge Judy is a real BITCH and Raymond sounds like he needs to blow his nose.

But I digress.

Here’s the question I have for you all: when you go home, do you feel the need to put everything off so that you can hang out with family who you don’t get to see that often?  I fel like the answer is yes. There’s more to life than work.  But on the other hand, Ray Romano is pretty hard to watch for long periods of time and his voice does not really facilitate mature family connection. Still, today, aside from talking and eating and napping, I really can’t say I got anything done, which is fine, but I waited for my folks to go to sleep so I could feel guiltless as I traveled mile after mile through the Los Angeles basin to hang with my sister for a couple hours so I could then get some LA in me and do some work. 212 Pier is tonight’s choice where old surfers are arguing about chess and a couple would-be novelists are facing Facebook.  Tomorrow, as part of what seems like my mini-tour of LA grungy coffee bars that serve charred espressos, I’m off to the Bourgeois Pig, an LA spot for suffering screeenwriters who I’m sure also look at Facebook or Tweet.  The only difference between the Pig and this place is that from what I’ve heard the Pig (not sure of they call it that, but I’m not sure if I’m spelling Bourgeois correctly) is across the street from Scientology’s Hollywood headquarters.  If I don’t get any work done tomorrow night, I guess I can join Scientology and drown my sadness in L. Ron Hubbard.  That’s not sad.  Not at all.

Stay tuned.

Thanksgiving Chronicles, part 2

In life, observations on November 25, 2011 at 4:32 pm

Sitting here in my parents’ house, my mom’s pet bird tweeting around and staying away from my father who invented some kind of rubber pipe that he thinks will give Chica, the bird, a sense of security.  Obviously, dad thinks that the bird is autistic and needs security at all times.

I will admit that I felt a little lazy yesterday to leave my house and my wife yesterday to come down to LA, but it’s been a while since I’ve seen my folks and I kind of know that this will be the last Thanksgiving I can come home for some time.  Starting next year, I assume it will be turkey with my wife’s people since they live in SF.  This means one less occasion for my family to get together.  It’s part of life, to go out on one’s own and create new traditions, but then again, where else can I be entertained watching a tiny bird flee my father’s well-meaning and insistent hands?

There’s no place like home, even though technically, this is my parents’ home and not my own.

Thanksgiving Road Trip, part 1

In life, observations on November 24, 2011 at 8:40 pm


It’s Thanksgiving night and I’m on my way down to see my folks in LA. No, that’s not totally true. Right now, I am pulled over at a Denny’s in Pismo Beach. I would’ve pulled over to Starbucks, but alas, even Starbucks closes on Thanksgiving. My reason for pulling over and writing is that this is a very momentous Thanksgiving for me. I imagine that at least for the next 18-19 Thanksgivings, I will not be able to catch up with my off-the-grid- brethren. I am going to have a child in May and I am getting more and more excited about that, but like in everything, there are trade-offs. A child fin exchange for my off-the-grid Thanksgiving experiences.
I’ve had some really strange Turkey Days, and I am thankful for that. The one I spent with a friend at a convenience store in Boston eating Turkey subs with homeless people—that might my favorite of them all. Let me say it now: I’m not looking down on the people around me. Part of the reason that I tried to avoid a place like Denny’s is that here, I’m surrounded by people who want to celebrate the day. It’s just that for whatever reason, Denny’s is as good as they can do. So I’ve got widower or divorced dad and his kids on one side and old guys with Mickey Mouse sweaters on the other. These aren’t the people I’m interested in. I prefer those souls who are just completely uninterested in the holiday and in doing what everyone else does.
Why do I care? I’m going to admit it: I’m interested in people who choose to go off the grid. They fly in the face of tradition because for whatever reason, they choose not to care about something that most of us thoughtlessly accept. That might seem heady, but there’s something to be said about those small moments when you fight against social norms.

OR, I’m just a screwball, an odd-bod. Either way, if you love turkey and this day, more power to you. But if you are one of those people who just doesn’t give a rat’s ass about this holiday, then please know I’m raising a lukewarm cup of shitty coffee to you from somewhere between LA and San Fran.

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