Friday, November 23, 2007


By Pauly
New York City

Ten years ago, I spent my first ever Turkey Day away from my family. I was in Seattle and did not have enough money to fly home to NYC. I also had to work that weekend afterwards so I didn't have any time off. Instead of sliding deeper into credit card debt, I saved a few vacation days for Christmas. I stayed behind and missed my first Turkey Day in 25 years on Earth.

Some friends were kind enough and invited me to a vegan Thanksgiving dinner. Only in Seattle. Fuckin' dirty hippies. Anyway, since I knew there would be nothing of substance, I decided to eat a huge lunch.

At the time I lived a big house in the University District and the house had a BBQ. I fired up the grill and made two of the biggest and fattest cheeseburgers I had ever made. Random people walked by and thought I was crazy for grilling up burgers on Thanksgiving.

I was glad that I ate the burgers because when I showed up to my first (and last) vegan Thanksgiving, I was greeted by a nut squash casserole and a tofu turkey. Fuckin' hippies.

This year was not so bad, unless you count the horrible performance from the Jets, on national TV too. My mother made a lasagna with sausage and meatballs along with a turkey. I ate two servings of the pasta and I could not have been happier. Usually the turkey is dry, but this year it was juicy and I had three pieces instead of just one. I'm not a fan of turkey. The cheesecake that my mother bought in Little Italy was tasty for sure. Derek bought some Russian cinnamon cake from the local bakery that was blah. I had one bite and never finished the rest.

Anyway, I expected to take all of Thursday off an not do any work and just relax. I woke up earlier than I wanted and could not fall back asleep. I went jogging for about forty minutes and realized that it was unseasonably warm, over 60 degrees. I walked for another half hour.

When I was in the shower, a couple ideas popped into my head for four future columns for one of my clients. I constantly struggle to generate original content, not just for my sites, but for my clients as well. Usually I'm out of ideas and have to force myself to write. However, all of a sudden I had a flurry of ideas. When I got out of the shower, I jotted down my four ideas. I wrote for an hour about something completely different. When I was complete, I looked at the list and decided to write up a first draft with one of the ideas.

I quickly finished one column (which would be due one week from today). I looked at my calendar and realized that I only had three deadlines left for this year for that particular client. I glanced at the list of ideas and cranked out not one, but two more articles inside of an hour. It was unreal. I had never worked at that frenzied pace. Pleasantly surprised for sure, especially since I only had to correct a few minor things. Talk about getting lucky. I was supposed to take the day off and ended up knocking off three columns before noon. I was in the zone for the first time in a very long time.

Ah, and the writing project is up to 12,300 words in about four days of real writing time. The first 10,000 words were crucial for me. I needed to get to this point before I made the decision to keep going forward or scrap the entire project. I have about six days to write before I fly to the Left Coast to hang out in Hollyweird/Las Vegas for a bit. Then I have another five or six days just before Christmas and that's it until I return from Australia in February. I'm shooting for 30,000 and praying that I'll still be passionate about the project in a couple of months. I'd hate to bust my ass for the rest of the year and end up shelving the project.

Late last night, I got to play poker with my brother and some friends. We had not done that in a very long time. As DonkeyPuncher joked, "This feels like 2004."

When I woke up on Friday morning, I put on Fordham University radio, and the first song they played was Loving Cup by the Rolling Stones. It appeared on Exile on Main Street which was released in 1972, the year of my birth. Hearing Loving Cup got me all fired up, especially since it was 35 degrees and the last thing I wanted to do was go running. But I decided to give it a try. The crappier the weather, the faster I run. Fifteen minutes I told myself. Any sort of exercise is good after Turkey Day.

Last 5 Flicks I Watched on Cable...
1. Rounders
2. Boogie Nights
3. Star Wars Episode I
4. Mean Girls
5. Thank You for Smoking

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