While biking through northwest Berkeley today, I was telling Shannon about a memorable Thanksgiving in my life. I was 6 years old, I guess, and my mom was married to the evilness that was Ernie Hayton, abusive husband and step-father extraordinaire. He always expected my mom to be the perfect little homemaker, so she had everything all ready for Thanksgiving -- this was the day before, so everything was set to be cooked and such, including a gigantic turkey, since we were a family of 6 -- when she and Ernie had a massive fight. Yelling, screaming, threats of bodily harm, the works. So my mom grabs my brother (then 4 1/2) and me, we all hop in the car, and we get out of Dodge. She drove us to Carlsbad, where one of my aunts owned a cabin, and we spent Thanksgiving walking on the beach with our pants rolled up to our knees. For dinner, we had "Happy Stars" at Carl's Jr. Unfortunately, we returned to Ernie's house a couple days later, but that stolen Thanksgiving away from the tension and drama is a happy memory.
Shannon and I had a nice Thanksgiving today, done *our* way, which means we went for a bike ride, hung out at the dog park, watched some "MI-5" (British spy series), read some Harry Dresden, and relaxed a lot. Oh, and there was quite a bit of eating in there, too.
We had a great time at the dog park, though it was less crowded than usual (unsurprisingly, since it's a holiday). Also, we noticed that there was more of a trend toward single individuals walking the dogs, rather than couples or families. Presumably, everyone else was at home, cooking the turkey and mashing the potatoes, and they sent the most expendable person off to walk the damn dog so s/he would stop barking.
We sat on our usual bench and watched all the canine antics and laughed our fool heads off repeatedly at dogs (and occasionally owners) who did funny stuff. There's always a lot of wackiness at the dog park ... and even if there wasn't, Shannon and I would produce some with our efforts to read (aloud) the minds of the dogs around us. Puns always abound.
Then we biked over to Ilah's house (she has no LJ, as far as I know) to check up on her cat, Caruso, because we are cat-sitting while she and her husband are out of town for T-Day. Caruso was acting rather strangely -- we've cat-sat for him before, so we know him reasonably well and could immediately tell that something was wrong -- and we found ourselves in one of those animal communication situations that always remind me of the old tv shows: Bark. Bark bark! "What's that, Lassie? Timmy fell down the well?" I seem to remember such scenes on "Flipper," as well.
After much discussion (with each other, but also with the cat, who responded verbally only with yowls) we realized that Ilah had for some reason blocked Caruso's usual routes for entering/exiting the house. Usually an indoor/outdoor kitty, Caruso had been grounded, and he was clearly *very* displeased about this fact. So I phoned Ilah to make sure this hadn't been an accident, and she verified that she had been keeping him inside because of the cold weather, but since he was freaking out we could free him as long as he had a way to get back inside.
So tomorrow we will let him loose upon the world, and he will -- one hopes -- eventually return, even after being unfairly imprisoned for *days* at a time. The horror! Will he find it in his little feline heart to forgive? Well, I dare say Ilah's house is warmer and drier than the other places he hangs out, and there is tasty kibble just sitting there in the dish all the time, so I'm betting he'll be back.
Speaking of kitty cats, our beloved Cobweb hasn't been eating much lately. We've been trying to tempt her with this and that and the other -- mostly various kinds of canned food -- but she usually takes a few bites and then walks away. We're worried she might start (or might have already started) losing weight again, so I'm planning to phone the most excellent folks at Pet Food Express (who have always given us the best service and help imaginable, even when it didn't involve selling us anything!) to see if they have any suggestions. I'll also phone our vet to see what she has to say. The only food Cobweb seems particularly interested in is *people* food. Any time I eat cheddar cheese, she's right there at my elbow, sniffing and closely observing. Doritos seem to emit a siren song, as well. And coffee ice cream.
In the evening, Shannon, Cobweb, and I watched an episode of "Glee" that was clearly inspired by The Trevor Project, and I liked the episode a lot. (Okay, so Cobweb slept through most of it, but she was right there with us.) I feel like "Glee" this season has been hit-or-miss, but this episode was a hit. But, then, it had lots of Kurt, Kurt's dad, and Finn's mom, and that's a recipe for goodness.
Tomorrow we have tickets to the "van Gogh, Gauguin, Cézanne and Beyond: Post-Impressionist Masterpieces from the Musée d’Orsay" exhibition at the de Young Museum in Golden Gate Park. We're both really looking forward to it. We were at the de Young only a few months ago for their "Birth of Impressionism" exhibition, so we don't really need to see most of the museum again, but the website indicates there's a new photography exhibit, so we'll definitely check that out. Really, we're mostly going for the van Gogh, though. I've never been a big Cézanne or Gauguin fan -- I mean, how many apples and naked island girls can you really want to see? But maybe this exhibition will change my mind.