Forgive me for not having funny snark to write about tonight. I’m afraid I’m dreading the week ahead, full as it is of a 50% troop escalation in the graveyard of empires. Lots more dead Afghanis and Americans in our future. Of course, President Obama’s escalation might crack our country wide open, especially if our party leaders can’t stay on-message regarding the GOP-off-balance war surtax.

Also ahead this week is the ponderous “beginning” of debate in the House of Lords on health care reform. We’ll see whether the vast majority of our party’s representatives can impose their will on recalcitrant corporatists who seem determined to deal President Obama a setback on his primary domestic initiative. It’s entirely possible that in the next two months a lot will be accomplished and President Obama will have a wonderful first State of the Union. Not that the Union is in a great State, but he may have much to tout, and much to energize the base. We’ll see.

Also, apparently Liz Cheney wasn’t joking. The idea of a Cheney presidential run is being written about by Very Serious People.

So — what did you do for Thanksgiving? Any new traditions to report? Any old traditions laid aside? Any radical new ways of celebrating the most American holiday, full as it is of the redolence of cooked fowl and Manifest Destiny? Any fun travel stories? Any awful travel stories? Any grotesque stories of simply staying put?

Did you, like Justin Long and friends, have a Canadian for Thanksgiving dinner?

Our Thanksgiving was simple and great, a repeat of the past two years: in San Anselmo at Patrick’s sister’s and her husband’s home, along with their children and friends, as well as his other sister and their mom. Only about 30 minutes from home, with a bonus scary-foggy drive back home across the Golden Gate Bridge! Things I learned this year:

1. Companies have a creative HR trick for newly hired college graduates: they employ you for eleven months, then lay you off before their benefits kick in. After a month or two, they re-hire you. In many fields, all the companies operate this way now, so you can’t really go to the competition; they’ll treat you the same way.

2. Attorneys specializing in employer abuse of wage-and-hour, workers compensation and benefits lawyers are seeing their business increase in the financial downturn, as companies abuse the remaining California laws that protect workers. Bilingual is especially important, as Spanish-speakers are getting the short end of this deal every single workday.

3. Vegan cupcakes taste just as good if not better than “real” cupcakes; brined turkey is absolutely swell.

What did you do this weekend? What did you learn? What don’t you care to repeat? What are your newly discovered Thanksgiving traditions?

Teddy Partridge

Teddy Partridge

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