Friday, November 29, 2013

Thanksgiving Part Two… It's a Family Affair.

And one helluva photo op….

The day, of course, begins with an examination of the back deck ceiling.  Which is dad and Uncle Tom's specialty.

It's also a brilliant way to get out of the kitchen and out of the way of the women in said kitchen while they bake turkey, stuffing, potatoes, pies, etc… etc… etc.

Holy Bananas, food.

Holy Bananas, avoidance of responsibility and masculine duty (until of course, the 24 pound turkey needs to be pulled out of the oven, then man-power is a necessary evil.).

Which brings me to another point- WTF- I'm totally capable of handling a bird of that girth… how come nobody asked me?!?!

 Meanwhile- Dad samples Pepe Nero (a rather fetching and absolutely delicious pepper brew from the Goose Island Brewery)- in yet another attempt to avoid the kitchen.  The Bob is a wise, wise man.

And so the day goes on… with such an epic degree of familial love and debauchery.  Mom decides she's a pirate (or reprobate as Uncle Tom put it)… Aunt Dee decides she's a movies star of old Hollywood proportions…

Several thousand pounds of food, drink, and merriment later, it was the end of the holiday-day.

Thank the powers-out-there because I was plum tuckered out by 6:30, curled up on the outside couch, snoozing in the happy mellowness of tryptophan.

And literally have no memory of the rest of the evening.

Happy Thanksgiving.

And then today rolled around- which means the post-Thanksgiving Day picnic.

Much like the Pre-Thanksgiving Day Pub Crawl, the picnic involves goodness, great conversation, too much food, and just enough of the white man's fire water.

There is something so special and so charming about family time.

And at the same time… so absurdly and so deliciously nonsensical.

Especially this family… And this time.

So Much Love to You All.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thanksgiving Part One- or- The Pre-Thanksgiving Family Pub Crawl


It really happened.  How it happened..? Who knows- but a new tradition of nonsense and debauchery has officially begun in for the Cleerdin/Seyfried Clans.

Let me begin at the beginning...

One never knows where one may find oneself in the days leading up to Thanksgiving- even when knows where one is, errrr, physically.

Hence the day before Thanksgiving I found myself wandering around Vero Beach, Florida, with my parents, aunt, and uncle…. and we were drinking.  Heavily.

Sitting ocean-side on the Atlantic coast, watching a dog bound in and out of the water, we began the evening at Waldo's- apparently the Last of the Great American Hangouts.  This, having been to Chilkoot Charlie's in Anchorage, Alaska, is a debatable claim.  Perhaps the last of the great Floridian hangouts.

As we sat and shot the … ahem… shit, raising a glass to my grandfather (whose memorial may or may not be part three of these Thanksgiving blogs), the Bob pondered the merits of Waldo Sexton and his inability to tell the same story twice (see below).

Everything changes all the time.  Details weave themselves in different patterns.

Next up was a spot called Mulligans for some truly terrible wine and, much to my diet's dismay, truly delicious sweet potato fries (if you are ever in the Vero area- check out the cinnamon-honey dip served with the fries.  Two words: Holy bananas.)

Needless to say a fire was going to happen at some point yesterday evening.  Because, perhaps in a cosmic nod to my desperate desire for chill weather on a fall holiday, it actually dropped to 40 or so degrees.  Sitting on the back porch, flame gently crackling in the fire pit (which is another blog for another time because pit implies something sunken in the ground and this contraption most definitely sits above-ground) we polished off more wine, beer, and conversation.

There is a certain merit to being an adult in your own family.  You gain rights- rights to talk, fight, and engage in other most wonderful activities which you lacked before the rise in aged stature.

Not that my 'adulthood' within the family implies any respect from the family at all.

No indeed: I'm still pretty much the black sheep.  But this sheep can officially say that she found Waldo.  And that good times abound when you let them.

Until Thanksgiving Part Two, Or, A Whole Lot More Family Time…

Happy Thanksgiving.

Friday, November 22, 2013


I assume that it comes as a surprise to absolutely no one that I love words.  I love spoken and written language.  I love communication- both explicit and implicit.

I love WORDS.

And I love being a wordsmith.

I wrote a yoga class today which revolved around the idea of (and word) "presence."  In terms of the yogic practice presence means being totally into and with your practice, your moment.  In terms of the big world, the big yoga, presence is something intangible and tangible- real and surreal.  It is a physical, emotional, and temporal word.  It reaches beyond Websters and into the spirit of every person who is capable of experiencing it.  Presence.


What a beautiful idea- that one is so completely and utterly here, for both themselves and for others.  It is alarmingly perfect.  To be present is to be aware, engaged.  To be aware and engaged is to be utterly given unto the universe.  Your spirit graces the wider world; it communicates on a basic, base level with everything and everyone else.

I reiterate that when you are present, you are aware.  I refuse to use the term 'alive' because it is cliche and boring.  Awareness is so much more significant, anyway.  Awareness implies a sense of consciousness that is true, honest, and magnificently powerful- because when you are aware, when you are present, when you are here- you let go.  You can let go because you realize the profundity of your surroundings.  And those who accompany you in those surroundings.

Life is present.  Be present.

Until next time…

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

What is, After it All, Love?

Last night I was exposed, for the first time first-hand, to "love" gone wrong; gone mean; gone putridly bad and sour.

Let me explain.  I feel heartbreak, heartache, and heartsickness.  I have experienced all of them intimately and not necessarily romantically.  I know the pain of love lost and love never again to be had.  I know how lonely lovelessness is and how wonderful the warmth of love is when it wraps around you like a blanket.  I have trounced on hearts and had my own heart trounced upon in return.  I get it.

But never have I known the pain, shame, and brutality of someone claiming to love you and then twisting that love into an excuse.  I was used as an excuse for someone to hurt himself.  My feelings were used as an excuse for someone to hurt me, to wound my spirit, soul, and trust.  Badly, and with vigor, confidence and ultimatums.

What kind of love is that?

How can love be defined with 'Either…Or'?

Until next time…