Sunday, November 30, 2014

Enjoying the Thanksgiving Afterglow in a Good Pair of Pants

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Everything is better when overpowered by wafts of voluptuous Thanksgiving turkey roasting nearby. Especially my new pants. I purchased these pants at REI on Wednesday, full price. Although no one would admit it, we all piled in the minivan and hustled off to REI because we knew if we continued to lush about the house, Grandma would connive us into raking the yard and digging up Azalea bushes. She’s a 99-year-old Type A gardening machine.

My new pants came with a small instruction booklet because they have so many features. For example, a pulley system stowed in the cargo pockets runs down each pant leg so I can hike them up while fording streams or showing off a really bold sock. It was all good until Samantha caught me rolling up my pant legs old school and I had to admit that operating pulley system exceeds my capacity for mechanical engineering and/or fashion. Plus I’d already chucked the instruction booklet in the same garbage can as all the turkey gooplets.

If you must know, I purchased these pants to lift weights at the YMCA. Everybody knows if you lift weights in spandex you look like an unacclimated immigrant from the cardio room. I will refrain from all but a minor comment on my sneakers. Although extremely comfortable, they are pink and black. My only other color option was pristine white. The young hipster who sold them to me at Paragon favored the white, but I told him, “If you aren’t cool enough to pull off a white sneaker, you will look like an octogenarian power-walker.” Unfortunately, I’m not cool enough to pull off a white sneaker.

After my aunt, uncle and cousins showed up on Thanksgiving Day, we indulged in several longstanding holiday traditions. First, we played brutally cut-throat Chinese Checkers. Tom did not participate. He quit the tourney after Granny kicked his ass in the exhibition round.

Next came a spirited game of blow-ball. Newcomers are always a tad scandalized but we force them to play anyway.

Thanksgiving has always felt to me like it exists in some kind of welcoming, light-rinsed microclimate where time is hand-cranked and lulling. It’s peaceful and wistful and requires a quality trouser.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Buffets and Tiny Forks and Skid Row

Just because you can find the best buffet line doesn't mean you can operate it. I learned this at the Health Information Technology conference last week. I was inordinately pleased with myself for spying a little annex buffet nestled behind the interoperability booth. No one was over there. Meanwhile, the main buffet suffered a line out the door. 

I took a plate and attacked the olives. Slippery little suckers. It was hard to hold a plate, a napkin and brandish a tiny fork like a spear. I became deeply involved in the attempt to capture a medley of olives. A time check boomed over the PA system and everyone started to filter back into the session room for the next speaker. Obviously I couldn't be bothered. I would not let the olives win. 

Finally. I pinioned 4-6 olives and grinned like I'd caught lightning in a bottle. I tossed a couple of pita chips next to the olives and grabbed an attractive blue bottle of fizzy water on my way into the session which had already started. The room was packed. Earlier, I'd seen a guy who was late get himself a seat in the back row by simply pulling back one of the chairs instead of crawling over everybody. I decided I could be just as debonair.

Except when I pulled back the chair all those scheming slithery olives rolled right off my plate and bounced across the carpet amidst a topple of pita chips.

Although he kept his eyes locked on the speaker behind the podium, the gentleman on my left nudged his chair away from my insta-mess. I could tell he was thinking that the back row used to be a very respectable part of the seating area and I'd turned it squalid in a nanosecond. He pretended not to notice when I began to kick pita chips under various nearby chairs with my shoe.

Meanwhile, the lovely woman on my right smiled kindly and patted my hand. I felt like I'd just joined a support group. Maybe I should try to get VC for an app to track suboptimal buffet outcomes.