Clockwise from top left: Wilco, One Direction and Jason Isbell
This weekend will be frenetic for most of the United States, with Thanksgiving travel plans and Black Friday looming on the horizon. And if you’re like me, you’re settling into that time-honored tradition of complaining about the cold. As an alternative, let’s look at some of the fun things this weekend has in store.
Lost in Music
Shh, don’t tell — I actually like One Direction, so let’s just call that an homage to my lost childhood. The boys have a new album out, which is named Four because it’s their fourth release. I’m also into Wilco’s four-disc Alpha Mike Foxtrot set. It’s a collection of rare and non-LP recordings that would make a great a holiday gift for a fan on your list. My favorite music news of the week was the bizarre invitation sent to former Drive By Trucker’s frontman Jason Isbell to audition for The Voice. He was a good sport and accepted, promising to wear a bikini while he performs. I’m on my umpteenth listen to his 2013 solo release Southeastern.
Losing Thanksgiving Calories
The fondly named (for everyone but the bird in question) turkey trots are a Thanksgiving Day staple in many communities, and if you’re up for burning some calories, getting a jump on the tryptophan and potentially giving back to others on your holiday morning, this is the weekend to find a trot and sign up. Runners World has a race roundup that ranks them by criteria including oldest, best scenery, most competitive and even best swag, among others. Running in the USA has a map that you can break down by region to find races near you. And if you’re vegetarian, Portland and Pasadena — both homes of the Tofurky Trot — look like your best option.
Loss on Paper
The stories in this week’s issue were beautiful meditations on loss of all kinds. Stacy Morrison wrote Being Small is the Greatest Escape, a lovely meditation on loss and, ultimately, recovery. Her memoir about divorce, Falling Apart in One Piece, was a key read for me during my own tough time a few years ago. Contributor Abby Sher’s Amen, Amen, Amen: Memoir of a Girl Who Couldn’t Stop Praying is next on my list, because her piece, Close to Death: From My Hospital Bed I Could Hear Her Dying, is one of the most moving things I’ve read in awhile. Also getting a ton of buzz is Brooke Shields’ memoir There Was a Little Girl, which is about her life with her mom, Teri. Teri was Brooke’s longtime manager and struggled with addiction and other tough issues in her life.
Lose the Stigma
The most wonderful time of the year kicks off this week, per the holiday calendar, and with it the pressure to spend money, gather with people (so many people!) and just to do do do. Oh, and by the way, be grateful too. Tall orders, and sometimes too much to handle alone. Talking to someone really can make a life or death difference if you’re feeling more loss than luck this season. If you need help or want to help someone else, PsychCentral has a roundup of hotline/helpline numbers for a variety of challenging life situations, including NAMI’s helpline and the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. And if you want to get out and help people in a variety of ways this holiday, check out the VolunteerMatch returns 234 service opportunities for the Thanksgiving holiday.