Friday, November 29, 2013

Just Like On The T.V.

Have any of you ever seen that show "Parenthood?" You know, the one based in Berkeley where a beautiful, interesting, and intelligent 3-generation family lives, learns, laughs, and loves together? Well, that was literally my Thanksgiving. Except, do you remember that uncomfortable-looking weirdo who just sits in the corner and shifts every once in a while to indicate that she's still alive while everyone around her laughs uproariously about shared memories of the past? Oh, right. That character doesn't exist. And there's a REASON that character doesn't exist: that character is a wet towel. She's lame, yo.

I think you know where this is going. This Thanksgiving, I was that wet towel.

This may not need clarification, but my Thanksgiving plans didn't actually include crashing someone else's dinner. I was supposed to spend Thanksgiving with my grandparents. I won't go into details because it can pretty much be summed up by "poor health ruins everything," but when I walked into my grandparents' kitchen after a 9-hour trek from Eugene, my grandma very eagerly informed me that I would be "spending Thanksgiving with the _____ family this year!" I think she thought her peppy tone would confuse me into being excited about it. In her defense, it almost worked. But then I paused to take it in.

Excuse me? The _____ family? Who are these people? Oh, twenty generations ago so-and-so's brother adopted a son whose birth cousin got divorced and then married the milkman's stepdad, who happened to have the same surname as your great grand half-mammy? I'm glowing with family closeness right now.

Joking aside, it really wasn't that bad. But I had only met one of the attendees before, and that was when I was 8. The only shared memory we had to reminisce about was "Weren't you the sibling that read a lot?" Dinner was uncomfortable, certainly, but I survived. Shit happens, and they were very kind to take me in.

So that pretty much sums up what I've been up to, right? Oh. No? You guys are a tough crowd. Here are some pictures of California to placate you, along with a promise to write more in the (hopefully not-too-distant) future.

From a hike on (around?) Mount Diablo this afternoon.

View from I-5. Not too shabby for a highway, eh? 

Shasta, you looker, you. I want your snow.

Everybody loves goats. At the Lafayette Reservoir.

Don't ask me what that is, because I don't know.

This post brought to you by the RWH clan, Professor Amy and Coach Holly.


  1. Jean-O! I've missed you! Looks like we bother were the wet blankets of Thanksgiving. My in-laws decided that NO alcohol should be served on Thanksgiving to prevent my mother in law from drinking too much. So I had to endure a holiday with family...completely sober. Do you know how HARD that is? I thought I was going to have to run to the corner store and down a 40 ounce just to make it to dessert.

    I'm sorry your day was a bust, but 'tis the season for awkward family encounters! Was there pie, at least? I hope there was pie otherwise your day really sucked.

    1. So nice to "see" you again!! I feel your pain - I had to endure Thanksgiving with strangers AND sober (had to drive back to where I was staying). The worst. But yes, there was a ridiculous amount of pie so all was well.

  2. Good to see you, Jeano! That would be an incredibly awkward Thanksgiving dinner. I am glad you survived to tell the tale. Mount Diablo and the mountain goat pictures are my favorites :) You have placated me, for now.

    1. Thanks, Meagan! The goats were awesome - I still have NO idea what they were doing there. Eating the poison oak? My grandparents had never heard of goats being there in the 60+ years they've lived nearby.

  3. YAY!!!! So glad you are back, but sad to hear about awkward family encounters after long drives to see the family. I love my rule of not going out of my way to make TG plans because it is never really worth it and someone is always making a TG dinner that I can crash that night. Yep, I have been to some interesting ones in my time in CO. I can only imagine how beautiful your drive was; I love Northern CA so, so much. Please come back soon with new tales of grad school!

    1. Honestly, my favorite Thanksgivings have all been spent with friends. I'm not sure what that says about my family, but having a bunch of random people come together and make whatever they want usually makes for a good time. But whatever, it was still nice to see my grandparents!