Tuesday, December 17, 2019


Can we pretend we're back at the end of Thanksgiving and not actually a week out from Christmas? Because then this post wouldn't be so very outdated.

I think I mentioned in my last post (or maybe I didn't...I don't remember) that my brother had the idea to go to a buffet for Thanksgiving, then afterward, see the Tom Hanks movie about Mr. Rogers.

I was all on board for the movie, but uncertain about a buffet for Thanksgiving. I know this is Vegas and all and we have some pretty good buffets, but...for Thanksgiving? I was skeptical.

But we decided to try it anyway and you know what? It wasn't bad. Not as good as home cooked, but pretty dang good. And the nice thing is that you don't just get the traditional Thanksgiving  stuff, you also can have Chinese, or barbeque, or Italian, or whatever other food you have a Tom Hankering for.

The best part is since we ate early they still had free brunch champagne available, so hello cranberry mimosas (which I must say were the perfect libation to accompany turkey).

After stuffing ourselves, we walked across the casino to the movie theater and lay in recliners and saw A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood. How not one of us fell asleep, I don't know. I guess because the movie was captivating enough to hold our attention.

What a genuinely kind man that Mr. Rogers was.

As I watched the movie, I decided two things.

One, that I would speak more slowly, more succinctly, and with intent. He was the master of that. He took his time to make his point and he didn't ramble.

I started applying this with people I don't know. Not that I walk up to people I don't know and just say succinct things because that would be weird. What I mean is, with people I just met. Because I tend to feel anxious around people I have to interact with, but don't know well. I always feel like I'm saying all the wrong things.

But if I slow down and think about the moment and what absolutely needs to be said and just say that, I feel less awkward.

Obviously, I don't apply that advice to blogging.

The second thing I decided is to give my attention fully to the person in front of me.

When Fred reads this (not Fred Rogers, my husband Fred), I know he's going to look at me like...

Because I still need to work on applying this with him. My husband says fascinating things, really, he does. But sometimes he starts saying them when I'm already reading a fascinating post or article on my phone and I know I need to put down the other fascinating thing and listen intently to his fascinating thing, but I don't always do that.

I'll work on that, honey. 

But back to Mr. Rogers. When he spoke with someone (even strangers), he was fully invested in the conversation. Listening more than speaking, asking questions - he was present. 

I'm a good listener, much better listener than speaker, actually. But when I'm pressed for time or the talker is telling a long story or saying the same thing, just in ten different ways...I start showing the body language of someone who wants to escape. You know - looking around, turning my body half away from the talker - things like that.

I'm going to try not to do that anymore and just listen. If I have to cut them short due to time, then I'll just say that, as kindly and Mr. Roger-ly as I can.

After our turkey buffet and Tom Hanks movie and life lessons, Fred said we should dub the occasion, TomHanksgiving. 

Those are the kinds of clever and fascinating things he says.

The day after our TomHanksgiving, we had a regular Thanksgiving at my brother's house because even though he said he wanted a hassle-free holiday this year, the truth is, he loves to cook. 

So he made a turkey and ham and I brought side dishes and we had a second Thanksgiving.

I was happy to cook on our supposedly hassle-free holiday though, because my brother had a stroke in October last year, two weeks before his 60th birthday. By Thanksgiving, he was still recuperating and was in no condition to cook. 

We weren't sure if he would ever feel like cooking again, to be honest.

But he slowly got better and began to feel more like himself. We were grateful enough to warrant a hundred Thanksgivings, so two was perfectly acceptable and I gladly cooked for him.

My brother had a Tom hankering for ice cream. And that's even funnier this time around because my brother's name is Tom. But then...it's possible I'm the only one who finds this blog funny.
In between TomHanksgiving and now, my sister had a birthday which we celebrated very low-key at her house, by watching Girl's Trip and Kidnap and trying peanut butter flavored whiskey.

It was delicious! We decided I would bring over my Raspberry Chambord when she hosts Christmas eve dinner, and we would have peanut butter and jelly cocktails.

I'll let you know how that turns out. Meanwhile, here's the birthday card I gave her.

Also, the other thing that happened between TomHanksgiving and now (and can I say that too many times? I think not), is I traveled wayyyy out of my comfort zone and helped put together a fundraiser for the American Lung Association.

I met this MMA fighter, Rudy, who has a lung disease that's put a stop so his MMA career. But instead of feeling sorry for himself, he decided to have an MMA exhibition (where mixed martial arts fighters grapple each other) and charge people to watch and half the proceeds go to the Lung Association. 

I'm wearing my jaunty-hide-the-gray hat.
I have to write another post that tells how we met, because we run in completely different circles. But anyway, I helped with the planning of this thing, because that's my strong suit. He gathered the fighters and got some publicity for the event, because that's his strong suit and together with some other talented people, we pulled off a pretty cool event. 

It was a lot of work to commit to right before Christmas, but it felt rewarding, I have to say. 

When a group of people put their mind to something and work together, great things happen. It sounds cliche, I know...but it's true.

That sounded very Mr. Roger-ly, didn't it?

Well. Now you're all caught up. 

I'll probably get my "what I did for Christmas vacation" post up sometime in February, so you'll have that to look forward to.

Not-so-succinctly and very, very, lately,


Abby said...

Well, you've been busy! I have not seen the Mr. Rogers movie, but I'm sure it's as good and inspiring as you say. What a wonderful man he was, whom I didn't appreciate enough when I was a little kid.
I always read your blog posts quickly because it seems that's how you're "talking" when you write them. Maybe I'll slow it down now.

Lori said...

Hi Abby - You can read as fast or slow as you like, I'm just grateful somebody reads. :-)

Gigi said...

I love that Mr. Rogers lesson about slowing down. I don't think I speak fast, but I know that I sometimes speak without thinking about what I am actually going to say. And I also don't do well with new people - this may help.

I would love to see this movie but - side-eyes the guys in my life - I will probably have to wait for it to hit Netflix. *sigh*