thanksgiving is such a funny thing. everyone celebrates it in generally the same way, but when you get into the nitty gritty of a family's traditional meal and schedule, it seems like everyone's varies ever so slightly. i'm speaking from experience here; i have not spent thanksgiving in virginia with my parents since 1998! when i moved to florida for college, i wound up at friends' and boyfriends' houses for dinner each year, or taking long-weekend trips to new york city to spend time with my best friend. some people eat at 1pm, some at 7pm. some people insist mac & cheese is a thanksgiving dinner staple (what?), and some families put their christmas tree up right after dinner. i grew up eating pumpkin pie in the living room while dads and grandpas watched football. every year i learn something new, and it's been fun taking bits and pieces to shape my own traditions. yesterday mark and i were guests at his sister's, and we had the whole day to ourselves until stuffing time. we lazily watched the parade on tv (the one tradition that has never waivered in my 31 years!), went out for coffee, and caught a matinee of what was easily the most beautiful movie i've seen since amélie (life of pi- GET THEE TO A THEATER, STAT). we met up with one of mark's childhood friends after dinner and wound up at a casino(?!) where i won $14.40 on a cat-themed slot machine called kitty glitter. i just never know what the third thursday in november holds for me until i live it! i do know that i'm always, always thankful. especially for the momofuku crack pie mark's made two years runnin'.