I just got back to Chicago yesterday after spending three days in southern Indiana with my family for Thanksgiving. As I do during every trip back to my hometown, I brought a few lessons learned back with me:
1. I should really wear a "Nerd Patrol" badge upon arriving home: As always, the first thing I do when I get to my mom's house is fix something on her computer. I could complain, but I'm about to be fed a Thanksgiving meal so I happily fix the problem and move on to dinner.
2. Sirius is a necessity when driving through southern Indiana or southern Illinois: So happy we went for the rental car with Sirius rather than shuffling through non-existent radio stations in that area. And – yes – when I write 'non-existent,' I am including country stations.
3. Cauliflower is no substitute for potatoes: My mom and I are both watching what we eat so we decided to go for mashed cauliflower instead of mashed potatoes this year. It tasted like – well – cauliflower. Not quite sure what I expected, but I thought the mashing process might magically transform cauliflower into delicious. It doesn't.
4. You can eat 20 rolls without turning into one: Tested. Approved.
5. Ben Affleck is now officially an awesome director: Went and saw "Argo" with my wife and a hometown friend on Saturday. It was amazing. The Mayans really are going to destroy the world, aren't they?
6. Thanksgiving is better with chicken: I don't like turkey, so my mom roasted a chicken, as well. I was the only one who ate from it. It was my chicken.
7. At age 31, I'm still very spoiled: See above.
8. It's really weird to run into a kid you used to babysit who now is an adult: Aren't you supposed to be like 10? Did you recently run into that machine from Big or something?
9. Black Friday is evil: OK, so I already knew this, but it was confirmed after my wife had to wait an hour in a line at Express. Luckily, I was waiting in a line at Macy's at the same time in which every person had to complain about the pricing, so I was able to pass the time smoothly.
10. I have much to be thankful for: Great family. Great friends. Great food. Great fun. I'm a lucky, lucky man who just so happens to like alliteration.
• Going for Gusto is a blog by Joe Grace. Columns, videos, lists and quick thoughts posted throughout the week. Send questions, comments and blog ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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