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Guide To A Successful Thanksgiving

"Obviously, you are one of the nation's most revered 'foodies' and many, many people all over the globe love to tune in to see the wildly colorful photos of the most wonderful street food finds (a Lebanese food truck in Oklahoma City??!!) that you post on your Twitter or wherever. Congratulations ... you've arrived. Yet, unless you're the person who prepared most of the food spread out before you on Thanksgiving, by all means keep your highly valued thoughts about the gravy needing more salt to yourself. No one likes a know-it-all foodie. Not even other know-it-all-foodies. So, when you find yourself glancing at the turkey, and you begin to ask,"Is this a heritage hen?" do the right thing and just punch yourself in the cheek."

15 Conversation Topics To Avoid at Thanksgiving Dinner

"Look, when you're talking about cashing in on deeply discounted merchandise and there isn't enough for everyone, the harsh reality is that some people are going to go down. It's just a fact of life. Bodies will litter the proverbial highway upon the journey to the Checkout Kingdom. If you want to stop and help pick them up, you know, so they aren't trampled by the ruthless masses, then be my guest. But don't expect anyone to think much about your actions since there will be no witnesses at all. Everyone else will either be on their way to filling their carts or they'll be unconscious, knocked under a rack of Duck Dynasty nightgowns."

16 Tips For Black Friday Domination

Open Wide

It's like I was driving nonchalantly beneath a blue dome of sky and suddenly noticed a zipper. It'd been there all along, the zipper. I just hadn't had the presence of mind to really see it. And then one day I did. So I casually reached out and unzipped the whole fucking sky.

As the zipper teeth yawned wide I spotted the entire universe behind them. Planets, entire solar systems, asteroids, shooting stars all spilling out from behind the blue dome I've spent years looking at... but never beyond. But it was all there the whole time.

Autopilot. It's great for airplanes but when you flip it on in life it's bad news. One minute you're at attention; steering the wheel, handling the throttle like a fucking boss, all while expertly observing everything in front of you and making split second decisions - speed up, slow down, change lanes, flip the bird, courtesy wave...Other times you start awake and find your jaw on your chest and drool dribbling down your chin as you realize you've been sleeping at the wheel for hours while the plane was on autopilot. A tricky bastard, that autopilot.

I'm awake. I see the big picture. Or as much of the picture as I'm meant to see for now. It'll keep yawning wider and wider until I'm on my death bed, I guess, and only then will I truly see the 'big picture.' Then I'll reach up and unzip the universe in hopes of an even bigger view.

No, I haven't been smoking pot, you asshole. I'm seven months pregnant. I'd like a joint right about now, though. It's been years. Ain't nothin' wrong with a little weed every now and again so long as you don't also happen to be simultaneously creating life. It does the world good. All things in moderation, mis queridos amigos.

So, no pot, just thoughts. About me. Where I've been, where I am and where I'm going. And despite the universe revealing itself so sexily to me, I don't have any answers. In fact, I have more questions than I had before ever laying a hand on that beautiful zipper.



Get A Card, Jack!

The brilliant-ness you are about to behold is sponsored by the good folks at Hallmark whose way with words is almost as magical as mine.

How many ways can your 1,500 Facebook friends tell you Happy Birthday? About two, as it turns out. You've got your standard HAPPY BIRTHDAY and the more casual HOPE IT'S A GOOD ONE! That's right. Your brother's manifesto on the evils of Obamacare is clearly way more important than your special day. So is a photo (Hipstamatic Robot Glitter lens!) of his dinner including a detailed description of what he's about to ingest. Also? It's November so he's going to hammer you with updates that include everything he's most thankful for:

Day 7 of thankfulness: and my college Fantasy Football team. Football season almost over. The world will be a little less happy Sunday morning for me...Praying BYU can give me an early Christmas present and take down the Irish! Rise up Cougar Nation. It’s game day, and not just any game, this is the Holy War. Time for Taysom and the Cougs to shut down the Irish. #theholywar #taysomforheisman #taysomishandsome #iamahugedork #ihavenolife #stillwetthebed!!!

War, passion, love, hate, happiness and depression for Taysom Hill and his "Cougs" but for you? On the day you were born? Three words: Happy Birthday, bro.


I'm not saying your Facebook messages aren't special! I know Facebook reminded you that it was my birthday and it took you three - maybe four - seconds to type your missive but dammit Grandma! I thought I meant more to you than that? And who taught you Facebook?

Facebook birthday wishes are fantastic, especially if you wouldn't have acknowledged that particular person's birthday otherwise. But seriously, Grandma! What's happening to you? No longer do I get to look forward to a mailbox full of cards including the one card with Grandma's special old lady cursive scrawled across the front with the card inside that reads the same every year: Grandpa and Grandma loves you darlin. To be fair, that's because Grandma died years ago and if I got a card from her this year that really would be something special, but it's also because the Internet is killing sentimentality. I mean, I'm not asking you to dip your feathered quill into a bottle of ink and pen me an electrifying epistle, but a funny card? Maybe with Phil Robertson on the front and Benjamin Franklin inside? That would make me happy, happy, happy.

Speaking of Ben Franklin and his presidential posse, it's not just that Facebook has stolen my special birthday mail, it has stolen the twenty bucks Aunt Sherry used to send every year. Now Aunt Sherry posts a casual HOPE IT'S A GOOD ONE on my wall.

I want my twenty-dollars, Aunt Sherry! Resting delicately inside a card with a couple lines on what a delight I am penned inside. Sure the card was the crappy part when you were among the five and under crowd. Card schmard, let me open my gift! But around about the age of six, once you realized that those cards could also contain money, it was all about the card. And once you grow up, move out and comprehend that mail is a veritable smorgasbord of depression in the form of bills you finally understand that the sweet card (that Grandma spent an hour picking out while Grandpa grumbled under his breath and checked his watch) containing the scrawly cursive you can barely read is worth even more than the twenty dollars she's still sticking inside. I mean, seriously, Grandma, it's called inflation. You're on Facebook now, GET WITH THE PROGRAM.

And no, MOM. A birthday text is what they call a #birthdayfail.

You too, Dad.

What better way to say I love you than with the inimitable Uncle Si Robertson? Actually, I can think of a better way: just send Jase Robertson and his sexy beard right on over. With cake. Jase and cake. Happy Birthday, indeed.

ARE YOU LISTENING, AUNT SHERRY? CAKE, JASE, CARD AND $20. It's how civilized family members say I love you and Happy Birthday.

This post is sponsored by Hallmark. All opinions, as usual, are mine. Click the logo to see more of the very handsome Jase Robertson as well as a bunch of funny birthday fails.

Is This His Magical Way of Saying I'm Bossy?

Everyone should have a Serge around to write such nice things about them.


When The Night Takes A Deep Breath

I don't use my maiden name on Facebook. Never have. Mostly because I didn't really want to be found by old friends. Not that I don't have fond memories or that I don't love a whole bunch of people from my childhood, it's just that mostly I felt so judged while growing up that once I escaped Utah the liberation was so intoxicating I didn't need any pesky reminders of all the internal torment I felt growing up. Also, I was pissed. For a long time. At a lot of people who didn't know it and will likely never know. People who played a role in making me feel less than. Not worthy. Many of them had good intentions but just as many were so full of judgment it was leaking out of their ears. If I had to choose one word to describe my teen years I'd pick judgment.

Recently, after writing about my bisexuality (check out the comments after that post...yikes!) a high school friend who is also bisexual and married to a woman, asked me where I stand on The Kinsey Scale. The Kinsey Scale? Hadn't heard of it. I checked it out and pegged myself as falling somewhere between two and three. "2.5." I told another friend. "But if point-fives don't count, if pressed I would err toward 3."

Did you catch it? My Freudian slip? She did and immediately pointed it out. I subconsciously considered movement toward homosexuality to be an error. That Mormonism, it runs deep, even when you spend your entire life running from it.

A week or so ago I posted a bunch of photos from junior high and high school on Facebook and tagged several old friends. I've never done that kind of thing, preferring to lie low, as mentioned. And by lying low I mean not announcing myself to Mormon acquaintances from my youth. It's always awkward. You know how I am. Nearly every opinion I have seems to run contrary to those of almost everyone I grew up with so I end up censoring myself out of respect for them...Or do I censor myself out of fear of their judgment? I don't know. Either way, negotiating a friendship with Mormons from my past is always an awkward dance of sorting out where they stand on the spectrum. Are they Ann Coulter fans? Do they think that Bill O'Reilly fella is just the bees knees? Does my tendency to glory in usage of the word 'fuck' bother them? These are things I need to know in order to ascertain just how much Monica to give them in a conversation.

"Oh, your husband is the Bishop of your ward? How wonderful!" 10% Monica can be unleashed here.

"You go to church every week but you want to meet up for coffee?" 25% Monica is acceptable in this case.

"You were against that whole Prop 8 thing that went down?" 50% Monica is okay in this scenario.

You get the idea. It ends up being either completely superficial because everything is kept so light or the dance becomes so draining that it's easier to just take off my tap shoes and go home.

Last night, after a week of getting reacquainted with old friends via Facebook, I was lying in bed thinking about The Kinsey Scale and Mormonism. I wish there was a Kinsey Scale for Mormonism with 1 being totally devout and 6 being recovering Mormons like myself. It would make it all so much easier to communicate. Ah, he's a 4, so he can probably tolerate a couple curse words here. She's a 1 so she's probably going to be horrified by 90% of what comes out of my mouth.

For the longest time I wouldn't friend my favorite aunt on Facebook because she's as devout as they come. I didn't want to offend her but also, if I'm honest with myself, I was embarrassed for her to see me as I am. Embarrassed. I didn't want her to know I like the word 'fuck' or that I think girls are sexy as hell or that Facebook scripture quoters make me itchy as hell and that I'm really excited about Obamacare, website failure notwithstanding.

I finally friended her the other day and right before I put up the post about my bisexuality I noticed that she had updated her status with something about how tired she was of being called intolerant because she doesn't want gay people to have the right to get married. After hesitating, I posted the link anyway with a quote from the article.

And then it hit me as hard as a visitation from the Holy Ghost ever hit any Mormon: I'm not embarrassed about any of it anymore. All that residual Mormon guilt is gone. Finally, at 36, I can say that I'm really fucking proud of the person I have become. What I am embarrassed about: anyone who thinks being a good person is based on whether or not you have sex with the one you love before or after marriage, anyone who thinks it's okay to discriminate against anyone else because their leaders tell them instead of feeling deep down in their guts that something's wrong with that. I'm embarrassed for anyone who denies someone complete equality in the name of God. I'm embarrassed for anyone who judges anyone else based on who they love or who they're attracted to. And don't tell me you're not judging or you love all people you just hate the sin or any of that horseshit. If you think someone else shouldn't have the same rights and freedoms as you do based on who they love then you're judging.

Does it need to be said again? One look at the comments after my bisexual post on Yahoo hands you that answer on a silver platter. Yes. Again and again and again until there is no need to ever say it again.

Just let it go. Step back from that tree you've had your nose pressed against for your entire life and see the forest. Look at it! It's fucking glorious. Lush pine trees, spruces, hemlocks, maple trees, birch trees. Can you see those birds singing?

So many different kinds of trees and all of them are beautiful, all of them made by your god or his god or her god or the big bang or a mad scientist who looks like Bob Ross the painter guy on PBS.

Go outside, take a deep breath with the night, look up at the stars in the sky, open your arms wide and let in all of that love because that's all it is. That's all we're talking about here: the right to love and be loved and to celebrate that love by exchanging vows and receiving the same rights and benefits as others who love and are loved.
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