My name is Oreo, and I’m a lucky dog. I live in a doggie apartment complex with my best friends and some of the most loving people in the world.
Each day, I get to leave my little home for about 30 minutes. I get to go outside, play with my doggie friends, and stretch my legs! They get stiff from my doggie cage.
I’ve been here several years, but it’s not so bad. I know a lot of nice humans who take care of me. I meet a lot of nice humans, too! They come in and pet me, talk to me, and some even play with my friends and me. Sometimes, they take my friends home with them.
I’m not sad, but I do miss my friends. And I don’t understand why no one ever takes me home.
Regardless of religion, for many of us the holidays mean time with family. If your family is like mine...actually, no. Scratch that. If your family is real, not pretend and not a Norman Rockwell painting, you probably have a few personalities. Or eccentrics. Or weirdos. Lord knows I got ‘em.
These are the uncles who take family gatherings as an opportunity to pitch their newest, most exciting business idea. “It’s like Uber but for air conditioning repair. Get it? It’s an app. Boom! Right?” Or it’s the cousin who’s been working the campaign of a Republican presidential candidate no one has heard of. “CNN won’t let us debate—not even the undercard. You know why, right? You know why? (You don’t ever answer because you don’t want to encourage him.) They’re scared of the truth telling. It’s a revolution, man.” Maybe it’s not your side. Maybe it’s your partner’s aunt. The one who shows up to every family gathering sporting a new husband (“He’s your uncle now!”) and a smattering of children between the ages of four and 16.
Nerve damage is a recurring story in my life. I injured my lower back playing baseball in high school, coped with nerve pain on and off throughout my running career and, more recently, temporarily paralyzed my foot after what I’ll pretend was an epic and daring feat (it wasn't).
So when this past July rolled around and I found out about another case of nerve damage, the news wasn’t too hard to stomach. I’d been in the situation before. I knew the best- and worst-case scenarios. What was hard to stomach, however, was how it all began.
I took a nap.
I recently heard an interview with blues legend Buddy Guy where he talked about the first time he listened to Cream’s psychedelic blues song “Strange Brew.” Guy complemented Cream’s guitarist Eric Clapton on the main riff in the song.
“That’s your lick,” Clapton responded. He’d pulled the riff from Guy’s 1965 collaboration with Junior Wells on the song “Hey Lawdy Mama.”
Buddy laughed and said, “OK.”
This is the blues. It’s tradition to borrow and imitate the greats. Even the composition rights for “Hey Lawdy Mama” are typically given to blues pioneer Buddy Moss. Also in 1967, when “Strange Brew” was released, musicians didn’t beef much over who wrote what and who inspired who. It wasn’t considered stealing. No love was lost between Guy and Clapton.
But things have changed.
A coworker of mine, Cassie Kaye, said something last week that really disappointed me. We were in the Nebo kitchen talking jive and getting jazzed for Thanksgiving when someone brought up pies. Naturally, I got excited because I love pie. Then Cassie spoke up.
According to Cassie, the best Thanksgiving pie is apple. Apple? What the shit? How is apple a Thanksgiving pie?
When it comes to Thanksgiving, the pie in my eye is pumpkin. To me, pumpkin pie is the quintessential Thanksgiving dessert. I was surprised to find my fellow Neboers did not feel the same.