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A Thanksgiving Home

November 29, 2002

Here's hoping everyone had a great Thanksgiving yesterday. It was great for me; I worked the morning show at WTSP, then caught a flight on Southwest for Nashville. That meant I made it home for Thanksgiving dinner for the first time since 1997. You don't know how great that was for me. I've been fortunate in most years past to have friends invite me over for it (Melanie Shafer in 2000; Brian Kargus in 2001). In 1998 we had a Thanksgiving meal at Harlaxton College in Grantham, England (even though Thanksgiving isn't a holiday over there). By far the most depresssing one was three years ago. The day before Thanksgiving 1999 I'd made a trip to Huntington, WV the day before to interview at WSAZ. I literally worked overnight, spent the day on a whirlwind interview, then flew back in time to work that night. Brutal. Then Thanksgiving dinner was at Shoney's, as I had to work again the next day (it wasn't until later that I learned the value of taking the day AFTER Thanksgiving off on the morning shift).

The meal itself was delicious, with turkey and ham and stuffing and green beans and corn and this awesome sweet potato dish. Keep in mind that my dinner last night consisted of two tuna fish sandwiches. So I was a happy man today. Of course, then I had the ultimately post-dinner nap. The three glasses of wine and the turkey and the Dramamine and the whole not sleeping in the past 20 hours helped to ensure that. I slept from like 2 PM until midnight on the couch. Not quite what I had in mind, but wow I was tired. Still, I was home for Thanksgiving dinner. And there's something to be said for that.

Despite my planning, I didn't exactly pack enough warm clothes for the trip. The past 19 months in Tampa have changed my outlook on the temperature, I suppose. As I type this at nearly 5 in the morning, I'm shivering here in the family room (which for some reason has always been the draftiest part of the house).

Okay, I have a blanket now, that should help the situation a bit. I heard Sean Elliott talking on SportsCenter just now trying to gloss over Michael Jordan's comeback with the Wizards as a success. Please. I mean, if it made MJ happy to be back in the league again, then good for him. But I'll prefer to think of him going out with that jumper to beat the Jazz in the 1998 NBA Finals.

Ultimately, though, he is the all-time greatest, so I suppose he can do as he pleases.

After I whipped up on everyone else in my NFL pick 'em league last week, it's amazing how many of them followed my trend this time around of picking mostly home teams. What's that about imitation being the sincerest form of flattery? Of course, I switched it up on them a little this time around (so I'll laugh long and loud if Baltimore wins at Cincinnati this weekend). But it served me well last week, and it got me back to even money for the season. Everything else is gravy from here on out.

My FFL team is 10-2 and concluding the regular season this weekend. Of course my first decision of the week cost me four points (Vinatieri with 8 sted Hanson with 12). But I'll be the #1 seed either way, but I'd like to win and have momentum going into the playoffs. With the shortened schedule I can't have 12 wins, but I can at least tie the 1995 Punishers and 1998 Buck$ with only two regular season losses. But what I want to emulate more than that is the championship run both teams respectively had in those seasons.

It's funny seeing all the ads in the paper for the day-after-Thanksgiving sales going on today. I'm half-tempted to go out and get there when one of the stores open. But then the practical side of me says--- why??? Is it worth a battle through lines and scurrying buyers and what not to save $5 on a PS2 game? I remember one year waiting in line at Best Buy for an hour to ultimately save like $1 on one CD. Lesson learned? Don't give in to the temptation. Plus, those super-sale items invariably sell out within the first 2.4 minutes a store opens.

I remember the near mob scene I saw outside of the Wal-Mart in Catlettsburg, KY two years ago when the store's opening was delayed by a bomb threat. It was surreal when the crowd started cheering when I showed up in the WSAZ news truck. As if me being there with a video camera would make the doors open any faster...

My sister Mary Beth beat me yesterday in two straight games of WWF Smackdown. How can this happen? My video game wrestling skills must be eroding. Of course her owning the game and me only having played it a few times to her advantage helped, I'm sure. And as an aside, I'm thinking of buying the new WWE game for the PS2. Meanwhile, my bro Matt is all interested in the Metroid game for the Gamecube. From his description, it's like a hybrid of the PS2 game Hitman and the old Metroid series. Which sounds like a recipe for success to me.

If you're one of the folks braving the crowds tomorrow, good luck. Enjoy your wait in line... heh heh. I plan to do some shopping online, though last year I nearly got burned with items being shipped late and almost not arriving in time...

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