Procyon (procyonid) wrote,

Thanksgiving 2016

Crossing the Atlantic for Thanksgiving alone is a bit of a stretch: the family-centric feast is night, but two days of travel and two days of jet lag is a pretty big price to pay. Furthermore the holiday conflicted with the Paris workshop, and of course it's less than a month before the big Christmas holiday.

Nevertheless I made the trip anyway this year, for two reasons: first, although the holiday is always adjacent to my parents' birthdays, this was a major decadal one (my father was turning 70) and it seemed like it would be nice to be there for that. Plus, the holiday directly precedes Midwest Furfest, and if I was going to be coming to the US for that anyway, well, the Thanksgiving holiday wouldn't be too much to add on top of that.

However, with the Paris workshop running until Thursday, my family agreed to "defer" the holiday by a day on my behalf, such that I first flew to Chicago to spend the official Thanksgiving night there as a layover, continuing onto Albuquerque on Friday morning to have the big feast one day late. This strategy actually got rave reviews from my parents, since it allowed for an extra day off before having to do any cooking preparations and ensured that the grocery stores would be open in case of any last-minute needs. My dad's birthday was the very next day, and my parents celebrated it in their typical style by inviting over 40 of their office friends (yes, they have that many friends) for a huge but casual party, which was fun for everyone involved.

Things settled down after that: I mostly stayed at home getting caught up with work. This fortunately wasn't too tough, with few to no pressing deadlines or other major committments to take care of. This autumn has felt unusually relaxed thus far in general, work-wise. It's not hard to figure out way: for the first time in four years I'm completely off the job market, and the ritual of whoring myself out to a dozen or so different institutions (each of which I am obliged to praise effusively in my application, regardless of their degree of scientific irrelevancy) is thankfully completely unnecessary. Before the election, I'd been considering tossing in an application or two to some of the higher-level US departments just as a little bit of "insurance" in case something funny happened at LJMU or if they ended up giving me the offer of my dreams. But considering what happened, coming back to the US seems like an unacceptable career risk at this point.

On that note, Thanksgiving is a time to reflect on things that we're thankful for: so, thank goodness that my immediate family generally shares my political views and I was spared any conflict on that issue over the holiday season. (Extended family is another matter, but thankfully they live thousands of miles away.) Considering that even thinking about Donald Trump is enough to send me into an apoplectic meltdown internally I have no idea how I would handle dealing with political conflicts over a major family holiday. Of course discussing politics at some level has been unavoidable and inevitably depressing: this is my first time back in the country since the election, and the headlines are impossible to avoid, not to mention the disturbing continuation of the "winning" candidate's bizarre twitter rants.

Well, anyway. On a less gloomy note: next up after Thanksgiving is MFF, where I'll be off to tomorrow. As my first in-residence con since BLFC and my first fursuiting opportunity since March (as embarrassing as that is to ponder!) this will be hopefully a more positive few days before I head back to Denmark.
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