Tuesday, November 30, 2004

The first family Thanksgiving in 5 years

Fun things first:

The weekend after the holiday, The Husband and I drove up to Knoxville so that he could be introduced to the East Tennesseeans: Dust, Alestar, Devon & Aisling. We also saw Ford in Oak Ridge, which is consistantly rewarding.

We had dinner with Dust in Old City, which was so abandoned it might have had tumbleweeds blowing through it. This made me sad, because in the early nineties Old City was...well, what an urban center should be. Full of people and parties and clever things to buy. A decade after I first saw the Old City it is nearly abandoned by crowds.

Devon, Alestar, Ais and Ais' dad went with us to a big arcadein West Knoxville where I managed to pull a Darth Vader key ring out of a machine for The Husband. Ais' dad kicked my ass in air hockey hard enough to remind me that I'm only good at air hockey because I play people who aren't that great at air hockey. Alestar, per usual, said a few things I should pay attention to. Ais took home a light up spinning top, and I cashed in my tickets for wooden beads from China with chinese charaters stamped on them. I don't know what they say.

Knoxville was Knoxville; which is to say I like it there but it made both The Husband and I miss Atlanta terribly. And truly, whomever laid out the traffic plans there should be held accountable.

As in other years, the weekend after Thanksgiving was fun and relaxed.

The small handful of peeps that have been reading my blog for over four years now know that I like to spend Thanksgiving alone. Thanksgiving is a very personal holiday for me; I enjoy the lack of (too) rampant commercialism, and I like how the streets clear out. I usually enjoy a couple of days of quiet reflection around Thanksgiving, reading and playing with art projects.

All that personal time is gone. I'll never get Thanksgiving alone again. I'm married to an only child now, and it would hurt his parent's feelings not to be home. My parent's recent divorce requires extra effort from my sisters and myself to define ourselves as a unit. Holidays were something I could once easily ignore by working through them. Now I am obliged to work *at* them.

Thankgiving dinner with The Husband's family and mine blended together went very well. The party the Husband and I attended afterwards went even better. Tony and Andrew threw a Thanksgiving party and many friends were there; I saw Sue and Paula and a few other people I enjoy.

Later people from Andrew and Tony's party and I took food to the policemen on duty in Berry Hill. It was Andrew or Tony's idea, but I felt like I needed to help. The policemen in Nashville have had horrible behavior the past year, and I thought they could use some positive attention. Acting out is no way to get noticed.

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Bruises, Fire, and Family

I've been too depressed to write in my blog since the election. Instead of blogging I've ended up writing long letters to friends, rambling about the impact of my recent marriage on my views of gender and procreation and the future of mankind. It's navel gazing, all of it. Half the nation hates the other half.

I spent election night itself wandering in and out of bars around the neighborhood with Therm and a friend of hers. We started off at Manuel's, a historic liberal hangout. I wanted to start there because I knew, deep down inside, I knew there would be no regime change. I had let myself believe a little in the lie that it could happen because there did seem to be the possibility. We drifted from Manuel's to poker night down at the Yatch Club and finally to Vertigo. I came home to The Republican around 9:30, only a little drunk.

I needed that drunk to sleep, and it didn't help as much as I'd hoped. My husband woke up through the night anxiously checking the internet. The next day I closed my eyes to all media. The next few days I had a headache that wouldn't quit. I have only been cheered up a little by the purple map, showing how our country is not truly divided into red and blue but rather a shading of both those colors. Of course, right now the whole of America looks just like it feels: just like one big bruise.

The Sunday night after the election I woke to the smell of smoke and the sight of burning ash raining outside of my window. We have an arsonist here in my part of Atlanta, and a couple of weeks ago this person set a vacant building across from mine on fire. At first I was worried it was my apartment building, but no, it was a vacant crappy lot across the street. The noise from the firemen, police choppers, and the fire itself was amazingly loud. The building on fire was gutted. This is the fourth or fifth big hit by the arsonist in the past few months. They have not caught the arsonist, and I worry about leaving my cats over the holidays.

I drove the new husband to Augusta yesterday to meet with some of my father's family - the ones I could track down. Dad's family has never been what you would call close-knit, and now with my parents divorce I'm not that hopeful about seeing too many of them. They never called me when things were great, so I don't think they're likely to start holding family events now that things have become even more decentralized. I went to the Flea market and saw my Granny and my cousin Steven; I drove across the river and saw Keith and Nick and their mom. Then we drove home.

I wish I had big descriptive adventures to pass on. I wish I felt more motivated to write about how scary the fire was, or how the flea market in Augusta never seems to change. I wish I could find the time to tell you about the museum exhibit at the Bremen, or Halloween in Little 5. But there's no time and I lack the passion, this month. My job wears me out; talk of politics makes me want to hide under the bed; the holidays are coming, and I'd rather they not come at all. Call or write and cheer me up.