Thanksgiving is rapidly becoming my favorite holiday.
It used to be Christmas, but things change.
Last Thanksgiving I spent alone, eating the only thing left in a barren cupboard for my "abundant feast to be thankful for": a bag potato chips.
There are certain core concepts in my life experience that I won't compromise, and that results in real sacrifices. Those sacrifices are identified long before I make a critical life choice. They are the coin of the realm. Nothing in this life is for free.
I won't sacrifice my integrity to protect, bolster, or promote some imagined or false sense of dignity.
If you focus your efforts on solely protecting your dignity, you end up a liar. Or certainly guilty of sins of omission, which are just as damaging to those around you.
Then when you are found out (and you will be found out eventually), you end up with neither. The dignity was always non-existent because you didn't protect the integrity. A classic double whammy, and in my mind, a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the foot that's easily avoided.
But this stance comes at a known cost, one that will result in a high probability that you will be eating potato chips alone on Thanksgiving.
I'm not complaining. I know that the way that I live is the result of choice, and I take full responsibility for the choices I make. Blame is a loser's game: It's only purpose is to deflect the realization of ultimate responsibility of your own choices and actions.
Blame is just a dodge to avoid the initial pain of a personal enlightenment and clarity. That pain is the key to personal growth. Unless you scrape your soul clean through the lens of personal responsibility, it's impossible to "let go of the past". You doom yourself to the same repetitive behavioral patterns, with the same repetitve outcomes.
Blame is a re-direction of focus, and ultimately, an internal psychological card trick that depends on mis-direction.
The minute I start to blame outside entities, I now can recognize it as a total waste of time and energy. The only thing you can truly change and recalibrate is yourself.
Don't hold your breath on the expectation that other's will change to suit your needs. They won't.
The only life strategy for positive change that makes sense to me is to re-calibrate, change direction, and change perspectives, in both a hypothetical physical platform (I.E. "The Angle") and a perspective based on observational assessments of pattern behavior of others (I.E."Once you step inside someones shoes, just don't see like them... think like them too).
So for me, although eating potato chips alone on Thanksgiving might be unpleasant to most of y'all, to me it goes with the territory I've mapped out in advance for myself. There is no surprise factor on my end. I own it.
When you declare you are going to write 365 daily blogs and not monetize that blog in anyway, I'm not only putting my integrity on the table for public scrutiny, I'm also well aware that there is an extremely high probability that I'll be living on macaroni and cheese with a can of cat food thrown in it for the next year.
That's a given, and a result of choice. A choice made with ultimate clarity.
I'm working with an alternate kettle of fish here, in the hopes that anybody that gets exposed to the real content of these missives can recognize the true value and agenda points that I'm seeking by going through the exercise.
If you happen receive the message, you will re-broadcast the message. That is what has been happening within me, and I'm inviting everyone to participate.
Let's play a game of catch on the widest playing field you can imagine, and then realize that the field is so wide, it can't be imagined at all. That will set the trajectory, vectors, and escape velocities needed for this particular game of catch to be not only wildly fun, but perhaps even a profound experience for all the players as well.
A year of mac and cheese is a small price to pay if in fact, the desired results can be manifested in a real, tangible way.
So during last Thanksgiving as I sat alone, missing my family and eating potato chips, I was not awash in self pity. In fact quite the opposite.
I contemplated the road I was on... I'm not impervious to self-doubt. I will be the first to admit that I don't have this quite perfected yet.
But ultimately the path I'm on is lined with two types of stones: Giving, and Giving Thanks.
The one thing that I value over anything else in this world are my primary relationships, specifically with my family.
And like Proust munching on a Madeline to reach a remembrance of things past, as I munched on my potato chip I knew I was one of the luckiest men on Earth.
I'm 51 years old, and I have been blessed to still have my parents around. They are healthy, active, and they contribute always to spiritually changing the environment around them in a positive way, whether they are aware of what they are doing or not.
I can still have access to the wisest, most loving, pure people I have ever met. Nick and Linda, and fortunately for me, I caught the luck of the spiritual draw and got to be their son.
How many middle aged people can say that?
This is why I moved from New Orleans back to Central New York. To really access that love in a meaningful way, and to eliminate the proximity issue as a negative factor. Staying in New Orleans, however it may have suited my professional aspirations, just didn't make any spiritual sense to me anymore.
Sometimes, just showing up is more than half the battle.
They are the greatest gift I have ever received.
Thanksgiving is on the cusp of Christmas. As I thought about the greatest gifts that I have ever received in my life, my thoughts then turned to what I could give back to the system in return, with no strings or expectations attached.
Very clearly, I knew what I wanted to give to anybody that was interested in receiving the most treasured gift in my world.
My family. I wanted to share them with you.
A vehicle had to be designed to pull that off obviously. I didn't have the means to invite 3'000 facebook friends to dinner.
But I did have the means of inviting the delivery of a Rossi Family Dinner into the private homes of 3'000 facebook friends. I had a brain, time, plenty of potato chips, and awe inspiring source material to boot.
Nick and Linda. Married now for 57 years, and true partners in every sense of the word for life.
They are love. The shining example that I have had , and amazingly still have as a constant beacon in my life. My true north.
So the conceptualized vehicle took the form of this little tutorial of how we roll on a Sunday, making Sunday Gravy.
I shot, edited, and annotated the process of construction of the secret family sauce, in 18 segments. If you follow them to the letter, The Rossi Family comes to you in your kitchen, and takes a metaphysical place at the family dining table.
As mentioned before, I'm frying a stranger than normal batch of fish here. As you learn the sauce, you can see the love. You can see why the sauce is just a vehicle for something much larger.
If you make the sauce with the people you love, you just won't receive the message I'm trying to broadcast through your eyes and ears. All of your senses will be activated and turned into receptors: Taste, Touch. Smell, Sight, and Sound. Its a full body shot of the love I have known for my entire life. And in the end, it just won't feed your belly.
After I uploaded these videos, I then sat down and sent a single, personal inbox to my entire facebook friends list, at that time about 2'700 people with the message of what I knew to be true.
I went through a lot of potato chips, and it took me about four weeks straight to do it.
If you look at the play counts, about 1-2% of all of those letters resulted in a friend actually watching all 18 segments.
That's a good enough success ratio for me, because in the end, all I needed to do was recognize, get the signal, and rebroadcast. I gave what I valued the most, and then let go of any expectations.
It's just a game of "Hot Potato" that I'm playing with the infinite power of God, The Universe, Shiva, Allah, Mother Nature, et.al. or whatever dogmatic name you want to attach to the unknowable power and energy exchanges that happen in the realm of ultimate creation.
I wasn't looking for a big number, but I was looking for the select few in that pool of 2'700 friends that saw it as an opportunity to play universal hot potato with me.
Seen in that light, I found who I was looking for. Mission Accomplished.
THE DAILY DOSE has been widely distributed since I started it 29 days ago, receiving over 8,000 page views in four weeks.
I didn't send out 3,000 singular invitations to this time around. People are reading, receiving, and participating in the process on their own initiative, and for their own reasons.
This is an amazing gift to me. You send the energy out, it does come back.
So the delivery system may have changed, but the intent is still the same.
The greatest gift I can give you in thanks for your continued support and participation, is the gift that appears below. Thank you. Every single one of you.
The nourishment I receive, and that you have given, is greater than any bag of potato chips could ever deliver, or a ten course meal for that matter.
Share Love. Show Love. Express Love.
Like daily prayer, daily exercise, daily meditation, or even swallowing a daily muti-vitamin, if in by doing those three little things once a day, you begin to realize that THE DAILY DOSE IS IN THE DISCIPLINE.
Tomorrow is never guaranteed. If this epistle is my last act on the planet, I can live with that in the next dimension.
If I continue on the potato chip diet, I'm going to get to that dimension sooner than initially planned anyway.
But these are the prices I pay willingly and will continue to do so. It's worth it.
MAKE SAUCE, NOT WAR.
Intro: Spinning/ "The Right Termaters"
Step 1. Drain The Termaters
Step 2. Poppin Termaters in Da Blenda
Step 3. Five Cans Left Over
Step 4. Meat Inventory
Step 5. Bracciola Ingredients and a Little Family History
Step 6. Bracciolas:1st layer: Salt, Pepper, Garlic, Cheese, Prosciutto on Bracciola
Step 7. Bracciolas: 2nd layer on the Bracciola
Step 8. How To Roll and Tie a Bracciola
Step 9. Preparing for the "Browning"
Step 10. Browning the Sauseeg
Step 11. Scrapin' the Flavah!
Step 12. Meat on the Bone Separation and Displacement Physics
Step 13. Sauce Heating Clues & Browning the Bracciolas
Step 14. Garlic Technique: Cooling The Pan
Step 15. Garlic Technique
Step 16. Finishing the Garlic & Deglazing the Pan
Step 17. Kitchen Chemistry & Finale
"You may shoot for the stars and end up in a back alley behind Pluto, beaten and bloodied, but at least I dare to dream, and that’s better than being Earthbound, mired in the muck of mediocrity.
I judge my forward progress and success by the crushingly epic nature of my failures.
The more epic the crash, the more I’m convinced I must be doing something right"
AS ALWAYS: PLEASE FEEL FREE TO COMMENT, SUBSCRIBE, AND SHARE THIS BLOG ADDRESS VIA COPY AND PASTE IN AN EMAIL, THROUGH THE TWITTER OR FACEBOOK "SHARE" BUTTONS,WORD OF MOUTH, FILTHY WHISPERED GOSSIP, FALSE NARRATIVE, TIN CAN AND STRING CONFIGURATIONS, PONY EXPRESS, OR CARRIER PIGEON. WITHOUT FEEDBACK OR ACTIVE "SHARING", WHAT YOU JUST READ.... DOESN'T EXIST!
THANK YOU KINDLY,
COLONEL BEAUREGARD "IRON THIGHS" JEFFERSON, A.K.A. "THE MANAGEMENT"