The Turkey Bowl

Victory hangs in the balance… every year.

Victory hangs in the balance… every year.

When we were young there were numerous times when we received a "Good job!" an "Atta boy!" a "Way to Go!" Kids are often heroes.

However, those opportunities for glory grow fewer and fewer. The chances to excel come all too rare. As adults, we have a job where we are expected to make the grade and when we surpass it, it may (or may not) be noticed by the highers.

But then there is Thanksgiving.

If the wife/mother/woman-of-the-house cooks the turkey, go ahead and stop reading this (probably sexist) drivel now.

Very few times during our family year do so many count on the successful completion of a task. The turkey must be good! Not overdone, not undercooked. Crispy skin. Don't burn it. Beautiful. White meat moist. Not dry. Get the dark meat right. Even the meat near the bone needs to be done. And then if it's perfect, carve it right. Do not mangle it!

The turkey is Dad's -- the old guy's -- chance to score the winning touchdown. Yes, the Dallas Cowboys may be 4th and goal on the Detroit Lions' goal line, but that is secondary to Dad pushing that 18 pound Butterball into the end zone.

The skin gleams like an Oscar for the Best Provider for His Family. It's the gold medal around Dad's neck, the top spot on the cooking dais. Like some ancient Olympian in the oven arts, master of the game fowl, a Dad who can produce a great turkey receives the adoration of all at the table and he knows that means the whole world. At least as long as dinner (and a few mentions while we're doing the dishes) you are the pinnacle of Dad-dom. On the other hand, a mediocre turkey means another year slaving away at the thankless task of being the oldest producer of testosterone in the room. A year of second guessing what could have been… what could have roasted.

What can happen in a second?

A very young Michael Crawford sang "It Only Takes a Moment".

He was wrong. I've been in and out of love to varying intensities several times in my life and it's never happened in a moment -- neither the falling in nor falling out of love -- but the whole romantic idea is cool. Hearing this beautiful song in the musical Hello Dolly… well… it's a feel-good moment.

Perhaps that's what only takes a second: achieving a feel-good moment; sometimes even approaching an emotional orgasm.

A Big Bang got everything started. And we've been all about big bang moments ever since.

There are a few happy things that come to mind. In one second I can be delighted in seeing a baby smile. A cuddle from my dog can fill me with warmth in a second.

As a seriously introverted person, I’m leery of things that happen quickly. And unfortunately, my experience is that moments aren't always good. In fact, they aren't even usually good.

At my house…

In one second my wife can hurt my feelings.

In one second I can launch a verbal attack back at her.

In one second she can get really mad at me.

In one second I can become self righteous.

In one second I can become indignant.

I can be critical in one second.

In one second I can become impatient.

In one second she can dig her emotional defensive position and so can I.

It takes a lot longer than one second for us to get over these hurts.

Just the fact that the negatives seem to flow to this list easier than the positives tells me something about moments and probably tells you something about me

Sadness and hurt happen faster than joy. They also last longer.

On writing and blogging...

I say that I am writer who doesn't write. I feel the urge. I even feel the talent. But beyond the occasional well-worded letter to the editor or a just-right level of snarkiness/wit/intellect in a Facebook post, few things ever make it down on "paper."

I have a renewed commitment to write. It may be therapeutic in a sweaty, physical workout, no-pain-no-gain sort of way. I need it to be therapeutic.

I'm presented with several challenges:

  1. Taking the time to do it. It feels like a trip to the dentist office sometimes. It's a necessary evil but hardly relished and looked forward to.
  2. The nagging preoccupation to write well. It doesn't matter if a reader would say "Damn, the next Hemingway!" It matters if my thoughts and feelings get dealt with BY ME.
  3. Getting in touch with my thoughts and feelings and then being honest with myself and the page about them. This is not something that is easy for me to do.
  4. Finally, publishing them here. I know many things I write will not be pretty and may reveal things about myself and what I think about those around me. These are thoughts I am inclined to keep hidden.

Why not just keep a private journal?

I'm already adept at keeping my feelings hidden. I am the master of doing what I'm told to do or doing what I am expected to do. I've done it all my life. And now I pay for that.

It is only by getting to know the real me and not hiding that person that the therapy will be successful.

On Ben Carson, Muslim ShariaLaw and Christian Biblical Law

I would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation.
— Republican Presidential candidate Ben Carson (9/20/15)

I get it. He's worried that a Muslim would place their religious beliefs and loyalties above the US Constitution. That's the same reason I worry about having a Christian in charge of this nation. Later, when asked to clarify, Dr. Carson said that he guessed it would be okay as long as the Muslim candidate renounced Sharia law. I had thought Carson was stupid, but he's on to something. It would be okay as long as the Christian renounced Biblical law.

Please please please intelligent moderate and conservative Republicans: Start throwing your voices, support, and money behind your other candidates who are less about hate, ego, and pandering to extremists and more about rational political debate and philosophy. I may not agree with your politics, but if your more rational candidates don't get more support soon, they are not going to be able to continue their campaigns and you're going to have a Bozo (or Bozette) representing you in the next election. That's a danger we just can't risk.

Everyday I vow again

I vow again to feel better. To be in a better mood.
But my vow is hollow -- hollow just like I feel.
Depression - One Person Stands Alone
I tell myself that I will force myself to do things, to participate, to act. I'll act not how I feel, but act how I am supposed to feel. I'll be better off. At least those around me -- the people I care most about -- will feel better about me.
Instead I spread my misery like an infectious disease.
Would I, would those I love, be better off if I was simply alone?

It's probably harmless.

My writer's prompt response:

It’s probably harmless, but when the boil on my hand started talking to me, it gave me quite a fright. Should I see a Dermatologist or a Shrink?


Writer’s Block

In one sentence is the spark of a story. Ignite.

Mission: Write a story, a description, a poem, a metaphor, a commentary, or a memory about this sentence. Write something about this sentence.

Be sure to tag writeworld in your block!