Today has been pretty much a total failure thus far.

First off: What the fuck kind of Thanksgiving is it if I can't watch football?

I mean, really?

I'm not the biggest football fan ever, but I enjoy the game quite a lot - and doubly so on Thanksgiving, since, like, they don't show much else on Thanksgiving except marathons, parades and the Lions and Cowboys. And I've spent nearly 29 years learning how to accept this fact. So, on that day I've come to look forward to because of turkey and gravy and ham and stuffing (all things I've learned to look forward to due to the fact that I have been conditioned to look forward to them), I also look forward to pigskin. And football. And this year, we're doing Thanksgiving at my sister's house (very very gracious of her to have it here - it's a beautiful house, and really, my parents' have done it for so long they need a break).

It's just that...

I dunno. I don't begrudge my sister at ALL for not putting football on the television by default. She chose a very classy and good jazz channel on the Sirius music channels on Dish Network to play. Very non-partisan, very equal-access. You don't have to like jazz to tolerate its presence (very much unlike football, where a lack of total and complete understanding about what's going on - every rule, every formation, ever team, every player and every square yard of field - renders the game unwatchable). And I actually DO like jazz.

But When my dad was in control and we had Thanksgiving at his house, football was on the TV in the living room no matter what; no matter who liked it or didn't; no matter if there was a national emergency or not. Fire could be pouring from the sky and Satan could be beginning his seven years of terror and reign over all the Earth and my father would stand up, point at him menacingly, and tell him to "knock that shit off until the game is over, will ya?"

Anyway. It's very jarring to be denied your conditioned traditions.

The other failure is that, before the game, I had planned to do something I've always, ALWAYS wanted to do.

Every year on Thanksgiving, my wife walks the Atlanta half marathon with her mother (she's run the full marathon as well, when her mom wasn't able to do the walk... Andrea loves to run. I don't understand it myself - man invented the wheel for a reason, I believe, and to run 26.2 miles in one setting without either a tiger chasing you or a message in your hand that absolutely MUST get to Caesar just doesn't make sense). Every year, I go and I support them with cheers and food.

Two years ago, I saw a group of cyclists riding through the city as I assisted Andrea. It occured to me - Thanksgiving is the ONLY day each year you can ride through the major streets of the city of Atlanta with absolutely no worry of being slammed into by a H3. I figured "Next year, I'll go and do that! It seems fun!"

That next year (last year to those of you non-timetravellers reading this now), my mother-in-law couldn't do the half, so Andrea ran the full. She needed full-time water and food support, and Andrea's mom wanted to be with me when I helped. Since I have a moral objection to putting her on the handlebars of my bike - not because it's unsafe, but because I really just don't want to stare at my mother-in-law's butt while pedaling my bike), I couldn't do the bike thing.

SO this year, I decided it was the year. I packed my bike, I got my clothing prepped last night, I made sure to include all of my gear - helmet, leggings, shorts, jersey, shoes, water bottle, food - and I went to bed. When I woke up, I realized that our alarm had never sounded and we were about 30 minutes late meeting the Team in Training group that Andrea and her mom were doing the half marathon with.

So, they darted out the door without me to make it as quickly as they could. I figured I'd get up, get out to the truck, and make my way to downtown and begin riding around like I'd always wanted... Except that Andrea was in such a hurry, she didn't have a chance to bottle-feed this kitten she's fostering, so it fell on me. Which I didn't mind - it's a sweet, sweet kitten. It likes to nuzzle up to the nape of your neck and purr and sleep and basically numb your brain to the point where you cannot help but take a little nap with it.

Which is what I did instead of riding my bike around the city. Because I am a total wuss.

I am a weak-willed big-hearted kitten-nuzzling footballless loser.

And now it's time to eat the turkey.