Tag Archives: Thanksgiving

My iPod Has Issues – Way Too Much Food

24 Nov

Man, Thanksgiving was rough. Food, food and more food. Sitting around trying to get over all of that, I decided to look into the mind, or stomach, of my iPod to see if it is hungry.

“Stoned Soul Picnic” by The Fifth Dimension

“I Want a Little Sugar in My Bowl” by Nina Simone

“Cheeseburger in Paradise” by Jimmy Buffett

“Rock Lobster” by The B-52’s

“Catfish Blues” by Big Jack Johnson

“I Want Candy” by Bow Wow Wow

“Sugar Foot Rag” by Merle Haggard

“I Heard It Through the Grapevine” by Marvin Gaye

“Old Turkey Buzzard” by Jose Feliciano

“T-Bone Shuffle” by B.B. King

“Brown Sugar” by The Rolling Stones

“Money Honey” by The Drifters

“Life is a Lemon and I Want My Money Back” by Meat Loaf

“Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” by The Beatles

“Green Onions” by Booker T and the MG’s

“Old Dogs, Children and Watermelon Wine” by Tom T. Hall

“Candyman” by Cornershop

“Orange Blossom Special” by Benny Martin

“Blueberry Hill” by Fats Domino

“Lady Marmalade” by Labelle


My iPod Has Issues – Post Thanksgiving Post

29 Nov

I ate way too much, and that means my stomach is way more full than my brain. When my brain isn’t working well, that’s when we take the easy route and explore the mind of my iPod, that bipolar instrument that shoots sounds out of the speakers.Speakers

My iPod is suffering from all of the Thanksgiving festivities, as well. That’s why this issue of “My iPod Has Issues” is dedicated to those songs that have food or drink in their title.

Shuffle up and play!

“Catfish Blues” by Big Jack Johnson

“Jack & Coke” by Lynda Kay

“Margaritaville” by Jimmy Buffett

“Blueberry Hill” by Fats Domino

“Buzzard Pie” by Rudy Green and His Orchestra

“Big Rock Candy Mountain” by Harry McClintock

“Mountain Dew” by Willie Nelson

“Jack Daniels, If You Please” by David Allan Coe

“Old Turkey Buzzard” by Jose Feliciano

“My Mama Made Biscuits” by Jerry Clower

“Sugar Foot Rag” by Merle Haggard

“John Barleycorn” by Traffic

“Drunk Chicken” by U2

“Candyman” by Cornershop

“Strawberry Letter 23” by Brothers Johnson

“Orange Blossom Special” by Benny Martin

“Strawberry Fields Forever” by The Beatles

“T-Bone Shuffle” by T-Bone Walker

“No Sugar Tonight” by The Guess Who

“Green Onions” by Booker T. and the MG’s

That’s it. Now, it’s time for leftovers.

The Weirdness of Thanksgiving

27 Nov

Thanksgiving is a weird holiday. Now, don’t get me wrong. I like Thanksgiving. In fact, it is my favorite holiday. It is just weird to me.

Unlike other holidays, it is not a religious festival. It doesn’t have a patriotic meaning like Independence Day, Memorial Day or Veterans Day. It doesn’t represent a new beginning like the first day of January. It’s as if the Powers-that-Be decided to create another holiday and stick it in the middle of the week to create a long weekend.

“Hey everybody, take the day off and eat as much as you can. Oh, don’t worry about buying gifts or fireworks or anything. Spend all of that money on food.”

It’s the holiday that celebrates pigging out. I have no problem with that, but the timing of it all is also weird. Like I said, they put it into the middle of the week.

“There are not many holidays scheduled for Thursday. Let’s go ahead and put it there.”

Also, it is very close – too close – to the end of the school year. We are working our way toward the end, and, BAM, it’s time to take a few days off. That means that we have one week left before exams. I like a break as much as anyone, but it would be nice if it came sooner. Thanksgiving being this late causes issues. Mainly, it’s too late to have the entire week off. Instead, we get a couple of days in October and a couple of days in November. If Thanksgiving was in October, then we could get an entire week like Spring Break. Unfortunately, the Powers-that-Be didn’t take my schedule into consideration.

In a related matter, Thanksgiving is awfully close to Christmas. When the Powers-that-Be created Thanksgiving, they probably didn’t realize that future people would begin Christmas preparations in August. They can’t be blamed for this, but Thanksgiving’s closeness to Christmas has made it a shopping and decorating launching pad. Instead of focusing on giving thanks, people see the day as the beginning of the next holiday. I just read that stores are getting the jump on Black Friday by opening on Black Thursday. Soon, we won’t even be pigging out. We will be making out shopping lists for Christmas.

All of that is weird, but, in my mind, the weirdest part of Thanksgiving is this pilgrim thing. According to various online dictionaries, a pilgrim is someone who travels to a holy place. In the United States, we look back at the Pilgrims who traveled on the Mayflower to Massachusetts. Since when is Massachusetts a holy place?

The people we know as Pilgrims were Puritans who didn’t like how things were working with the Church of England. I guess that thought they were going to a holy place where they wouldn’t have to listen to the archbishop, but I still don’t think pilgrim is the right word to describe them. I would go with colonists.

We have attached these colonists to our celebration of Thanksgiving because they were supposed to have had a Thanksgiving meal of their own. You see, they were struggling to survive in a harsh land, and the situation was looking bleak. Then, Native Americans came to the rescue. They brought food and helped the colonists survive.Pilgrims

That’s another weird part of Thanksgiving. I never understood why the Native Americans in the region did that. Why help out a bunch of trespassers who are dying off? In the tradition that has been passed down through numerous elementary school pageants, the Native Americans were Adam’s and Eve’s in a Garden of Eden who helped God’s people thrive in paradise.

I guess that’s what the colonists believed. I guess that’s what a lot of people still believe. Maybe, that’s why pilgrim was applied to the Puritans. They really did travel to a holy place in Massachusetts.

When I was a kid in those pageants, I never bought that, and it took a long time to get the real story. I will no chronicle the entire saga, but I will tell you a good place to find it. Charles Mann’s 1491: New Revelation of the Americas Before Columbus provides a great description. You will need to buy a copy to get the entire story, but the simple version happened like this.

The Puritans landed in the middle of a conflict between two native groups. One group had been devastated by diseases that had moved up from the Spanish colonies and found themselves in danger of invasion. When they saw the Puritans struggling, the leaders of this group had a decision to make. They could let the newcomers starve, or they could help them and gain allies against the stronger native group. Looking at a quick fix to the problem, the leadership went with the second option.

The Puritans did not travel to a holy place filled with Adam’s and Eve’s. They traveled to a complicated place filled with enemies and allies.

As we gather on Thanksgiving, we need to remember what we are giving thanks for. We are giving thanks for having a holiday in the middle of the week. We are giving thanks that we have a day to Christmas shop. We are giving thanks that some people got mad at their church. We are giving thanks that it got so bad that they decided to leave. We are giving thanks that a Native American leader found his people in such dire circumstances that he took a chance and allied with a bunch of outsiders.

In the long run, that decision didn’t work out very well. Are we supposed to give thanks for that, too?

Boiled Custard, Dead Hogs and Black-Eyed Peas

3 Aug

Every Friday, a group of us guys has lunch together. Same restaurant. Same table. Usually, the same meals. Through the years, some people have taken to calling us the Mafia. We don’t get anything accomplished, but we think the world would be a better place if people listened to us.

One member of the group of full of old-time ideas about such things as the weather. For example, he says that if you hang a dead snake over a fence rail, then it will rain. It has rained a lot lately, so, today, I asked him if he had been killing snakes. His reply was that he hadn’t seen any snakes. Maybe, they knew it was about to rain, so they stayed out of his way.

Since lunch, I have been thinking about superstitions and traditions such as this. I have heard them all of my life, and they sound like something that you would find in the Farmer’s Almanac. I wonder if people in different parts of the country have different things like this. I mean, is the dead snake idea universal, or is it a southern thing?

There are a lot of southern things that have come down through the generations. Prominent in my family is the idea that you should eat black-eyed peas and hog jowl on New Year’s Day.Black Eyed Peas

If you do this, then you will have good luck for the rest of the year. When I was a kid, I hated the idea of eating black-eyed peas, but my dad insisted that we do it. Surprisingly, I liked the hog jowl. Overall, I suppose it works. As a family, we have had pretty good luck.

Another tradition is making boiled custard at Christmas. When I say boiled custard, I don’t mean egg nog. This is completely different, and it is completely good. I don’t know what’s in it, and I don’t know why people only make it at Christmas. In my mind, anything that good is worthy of year round consumption. Being a strange child, hearing people talk about boiled custard always made me think of George Custer.George Custer

There is another tradition that is dying out, and I want to experience it before it does. In these parts, people have always killed hogs on the day after Thanksgiving. In the old days, my grandfather had a hog-killing on his farm. Obviously, it involves a lot of blood, but it was necessary to have enough meat for the winter. Also, they needed the hog jowl to put in the black-eyed peas for good luck.Hog Killing

Few people still do it, but the family of one of the Mafia members continue the tradition. This year, I’m taking part. The day after Thanksgiving is known as Black Friday. I bet the hogs wish they were out shopping.

These are all traditions of the south. Are they also traditions in other places? What’s the old-timey way of doing things in your part of the world?