Thursday November 22nd, 2012 – Kenosha, WI
Here comes the holiday season, like it or not. I’ll be glad when it’s over, but I know millions of people love it so I hope it’s a good one for their sake. I just wish the whole thing wasn’t so damn omnipresent so those of us who don’t care to be reminded of it could carry on with our existence.
EVERY commercial on TV and radio has annoying sleigh bells in it, and I’m already tired of it and it’s only Thanksgiving. There’s more than an entire month of this torture ahead, and I’m just not up for it this year. Too bad for me. It’s not going to stop, so I better suck it up and move on.
I do like Thanksgiving though. The older I get, the more I realize that gratitude is a choice. It’s one I’m choosing to make as often as I can, and only good things come of it. It’s easy to focus on everything we don’t have – and I’m good at that too – but seeing what we do makes life livable.
One thing I do have is a fantastic group of world class friends scattered all over North America and beyond. It took a lifetime to accumulate them, and I’m grateful for every last one. I received at least a dozen invitations to spend Thanksgiving all over the country, and that was appreciated.
I have to be in Springfield, IL tomorrow to do this weekend at Johnnie B’s Comedy Club, so it was smart to keep it close to home. My friend Mark Gumbinger lives in Kenosha, WI and he had a “guys’ night out” theme this year. It was just him and his cousin Greg, and I rounded out a trio.
No offense to any of the other invites, but this was the right choice by far. None of us believed in the tradition of a turkey, so Mark cooked New York strip steaks on the grill that were about as delicious as any of us had ever eaten. Those alone made it worth showing up. Turkey shmurkey.
But there’s more. Mark has a giant screen TV in his basement, and it’s the perfect man cave for watching football or anything else. We had shrimp cocktail and all kinds of other delicious treats and appetizers piled high and football to watch, and nobody had to say a word. We were satiated.
Then it got better when Mark’s cousin Greg brought out a DVD of Led Zeppelin he bought last night and Mark popped it in his system. WOW, was that a treat. It was like we were attending the actual show. I’ve never been a big Zeppelin fan, but I also never hated them. This won me over.
I had no idea they even got back together, and I probably should have. Apparently they did this particular event five years ago in England, and they’re just releasing it in the US now. I’ll bet it’s a monster seller, as I know I’m going to buy one for sure. Jason Bonham was great on drums and those guys just tore it up. Robert Plant sounded amazing, and it was just an all out kick ass show.
After that we watched some Three Stooges and Beavis and Butt Head DVDs Mark had and felt like teenagers in a tree house for a night. I know it wasn’t a ‘traditional’ Thanksgiving, but it sure was fun and none of us complained. There was no pressure, and everybody went home full of red meat and singing a tune. Life is what it is – warts and all. I’m learning to be grateful for days like today and try to make as many of them as possible. This started the holiday season with a bang.