1) Thank You (my Thanksgiving list in no particular order)

A few moments ago, I had a conversation with my housemate R about Thanksgiving. (I must mention that he was standing in his blue towel, and that’s the only way I’ve seen him lately. I’m sure he wears clothes at some point in the day, but when I catch him at home, he’s never in anything but his towel).

Our former housemate M is having a Thanksgiving celebration on Sunday evening, replete with a tiny turkey, potatoes, wine, and friends around her kitchen island. I actually forgot about Thanksgiving until status updates on Facebook started to mention turkey, baked macaroni and cheese, and Black Friday. Last year for Thanksgiving, I was with my cousin RJ and his family at his aunt’s house in Mt. Vernon stuffing my face with baked macaroni and cheese, salad and rolls, and playing with his five-year old daughter. Last year, I was thankful as hell that my amazing cousin made the trip in the rain to pick me up, so that I could spend the day with family; I was even more thankful that I didn’t have a child (my god, it started with the kicking in the car).

I was saying to R, that unlike Christmas, Thanksgiving isn’t my holiday. Yes, there’s family togetherness, but where’re the songs, the presents, the glitter and tinsel? Where the heck is Paul McCartney’s ” Simply Having a Wonderful Thanksgiving Time?” Does Thanksgiving have even one song? Is it just a holiday to indulge gluttony and watch sappy Lifetime movies?– If that’s the case, maybe I can jump on board.

Turkey was never a favorite of mine, nor were sweet potatoes with marshmallows, or cranberry sauce (one year with ground walnuts); so, the last Thursday in November has held zero appeal for me, until I started working and got the two days off. Maybe, I came too late to the holiday? Since the only appeal was baked mac and cheese (and four days of leftover baked mac and cheese), then I didn’t really see the point, especially with Christmas nipping at its heels.

However, R made a good point. It’s not about the food at all, nor is it about the huge, roasted bird. It’s not about the potatoes, the mac and cheese, or the poor duped Native Americans and the conniving Pilgrims. It’s about giving thanks, being grateful for being alive in order to a) give thanks and b) be grateful.

So, here’s my Thanksgiving list in no particular order:

1) Thanks Youtube. Without you, I couldn’t go on, nor would I want to. In the last hour, without getting up, I’ve listened to Frank Sinatra, Marvin Gaye, Funky Green Dogs, Elvis Presley and Deneice Williams.

2) Thanks Berry Gordy. You were such a genius, and gave such gifts to the world. I heard you may be a bit of an egomaniac, but which genius isn’t? And who cares? Your legacy will live on forever and give joy forever.

3) Thanks Skintology Laser Spa. Thanks for reminding me that botox is never too far away, and can now be injected for less than $200. Useful information.

4) Thanks Paul McCartney. What would the world do without Yesterday?!

5) Thanks Porkie. God, I’ve loved you, but I must let you go now. You’ve been just too good to me… so nice on the tongue. This hurts me.

6) Thank you universe for putting the most wonderful people in/on my path, from the lifers (aka family) to the chosen ones (aka friends), to the strangers who make a difference… and are no longer strangers.

7) Thank you expat bloggers. You’ve shown me, and countless others, in pictures and words, how amazing life is in Belgium, the Netherlands, Sweden, Brazil, France, Ireland, Italy and South Korea. You’ve opened my inner eyes and strengthened my lust. (By the way, don’t get me started on lust again).

8) Thanks mum, for the most open, expansive love (but then again, you got lucky with such a sweet child).

Happy Thanksgiving All!


p.s Reasons, so many reasons to be grateful!


Ipie, my best friend and purple ipod, is dying. I’m afflicted with guilt, and struggling with the five stages of death: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. As I reflect upon Ipie’s life, I wonder why s/he has to leave this earth so soon. There are so many music-filled hours to give.

I first met Ipie in 2008 at the Apple store on 14th Street. In a room full of ipods and electronic gadgets, Ipie stood out. I don’t know if it was Ipie’s purple sheen, compact size, or sleek physique, but s/he caught my eye. I wanted Ipie, and there was a glint in Ipie’s screen that let me know that I was also desired. Owning something is a big commitment, and I wondered if I was ready. Could I give Ipie the care s/he deserved? Could I be responsible with charging, syncing, uploading tunes? After careful consideration, I decided that I would take the plunge; it was time to be an ipod owner.

We had great moments in the sun. Yes, it’s easy to revel in sun, “everybody loves the sunshine,” thus it was the winter that was the true test of our relationship. Walking to the Path train in six-inch snow, with the wind slapping my face, and icicles in my bones, I hit play. Ipie offered encouragement, told me not to “worry about a thing,” “here comes the sun;” told me that I “must go on standing;” made me believe that someone would “show me all the magic that a perfect love can make;” let me see that even when I had no heat, “I got my friends, got my liver, got my tongue.” When I was bored, happy, depressed, poverty-stricken, joyful, manic, ridiculous, Ipie had a corresponding tale to relate in English, German, French, Portuguese; I didn’t always understand what Ipie was pouring in my ears, but I understood Ipie’s sentiment that life is more than “just another manic Monday.”

Denial: Ipie’s fallen twice. Now every time play is pressed, the song on the screen and the one in my ears don’t correspond. Then, Ipie freezes, and blasts the tune. Sometimes Ipie doesn’t do anything at all. This isn’t my fault…and it’s not Ipie’s fault. Who’s to blame?

Anger: Apple’s to blame! These devices should be sturdier, they should be able to withstand drops on concrete, accidental dunks in puddles, banging around in a purse. The anger I feel sounds like DMX’s “Rarararraaaa!”

Bargaining: This period of mourning will go on and on “all night ‘til the break of dawn.” Maybe if I shake Ipie…maybe if I press play harder…..maybe if I recharge Ipie overnight….

Depression: “Yesterday, all my troubles seemed so far away, now they look as though there here to stay, oh I believe in yesterday.” When I thought Ipie couldn’t hold anymore versions of “Yesterday,” s/he opened up, “What about Marvin Gaye/En Vogue/Boyz to Men/Ray Charles/Bossa Nova versions?… We can do this all day.” There should be more time: “Time, time, time, what has become of [us]?” I don’t want to walk anywhere without Ipie in my pocket and ears protecting me from passers-by.

Acceptance: All good things end. I must learn to let go, and appreciate all the special moments that Ipie and I shared. There’ll never be another Ipie; if and when I go to the Apple store again, the ipod purchased will be green; Ipie may be replaced in my ears, but never in my heart:

In My Life (The Beatles)

There are places I’ll remember
All my life though some have changed
Some forever not for better
Some have gone and some remain
All these places had their moments
With lovers and friends I still can recall
Some are dead and some are living
In my life I’ve loved them all

But of all these friends and lovers
There is no one compares with you
And these memories lose their meaning
When I think of love as something new
Though I know I’ll never lose affection
For people and things that went before
I know I’ll often stop and think about them
In my life I love you more