After a surprisingly comfortable encounter with Liberian customs, Onyx made his way to what he figured was the arrival terminal. He couldn’t really remember anything about the airport from the time he was 14. He passed through the exit and walked straight to the nearest ‘money-changer.’ His Facebook friends had given him a heads-up about the exchange rate between the U.S. and Liberian dollars. He was fully prepared for the young man’s deception. The money changer told him the rate was LD$60 for every US$1.What he didn’t expect was for someone to come to his aid; especially not the character that showed up. A man as tall as himself, but nowhere near as big, walked to the money changer and said in a voice as blunt and heavy as a sledgehammer “My man! Stop dat ting! You tink you helping Liberia like dat? You can’t see dis man na real white man?” The money changer blinked rapidly in apparent disbelief. Onyx couldn’t tell whether it was from being caught trying to con him, or because he was taking in the man’s bizarre appearance.The tall, lithe, chocolate-complexioned man wore a leopard print Persian turban on his head with green horn-rimmed shades. As if that was not strange enough, he added a bright orange velvet dinner jacket with matching shorts to the mix. His choice in footwear helped complete the eccentric package, as silver penny-loafers adorned his feet.“Why you people can’t do deh right ting? Eh?” he asked the absolutely dumbstruck money changer. The money changer looked away from Onyx, apparently defeated by the words of the stranger, and said, “Sorry popay, deh rate da 86 LD for U.S.”The odd man turned to Onyx and removed his shades, revealing eyes that would weaken the bladders of most tourists. They had a feral quality that screamed “basket-case.” Against all of his better judgment, Onyx felt he could trust this man. He held out his hand to the man and said, “I’m Onyx; Onyx Togbah.”The man grabbed Onyx’s hand, smiled and shook it vigorously, responding, “My name Kerkula; Kerkula Mulbah, and I’m a taxi driver and fellow Kpelleh man.” Onyx now understood the reason for this stranger’s—Kerkula’s—intervention. He did not mind though. After the way he him saw handle the money changer, Kerkula Mulbah’s obvious street smarts might be just what he needed.“Kerkula,” Onyx said, “If we can come to a compromise on the matter of payment, you may have just gotten yourself hired as my personal guide.”Kerkula took Onyx’s bag and they walked side by side across the airport’s parking lot until they stood next to a canary yellow Toyota. Opening the door, he looked at Onyx and said, “From Montseraddo to Nimba, you will na find nobody who know LIB like me!”“Good,” Onyx said, “I am going to Gbartala in 3 days to find my father. I need someone who knows the terrain.” Kerkula sat down and pressed the button releasing his taxi’s automatic locks, looked at Onyx from the driver’s seat, adjusted his turban and said, “T-rain; Q-rain; and Z-rain. My brother I know all the rains dem! Sit down and get ready to find you pa!”Day 1The next morning, at a clean and cheap hotel Kerkula carried him to in the Monrovia neighborhood of Sinkor, Onyx was ready to “hit the ground running.” He felt like everything was falling into place thanks to his new ally.Kerkula Mulbah was quite possibly the most interesting person Onyx had ever met. For one thing, the man’s fashion taste only got more eccentric. He picked Onyx up from the hotel with a maroon fez on his head while wearing the Bayern Munich football club’s full kit. Just as before, his strange choice of shoes completed the image. This time it was a pair of fire-truck red hiking boots.Kerkula walked up to him, practically shouting at the top of his voice, “Oh-nees! My man, we need to get you some basic material.” Onyx knew Kerkula was right, it was important to be prepared for any eventuality. He needed to find a supermarket to buy water, toiletries, and a few healthy snacks.They got into his taxi and started the first day’s tour of Monrovia. Kerkula’s taxi was so clean you could eat off of the dashboard. Onyx became slightly ashamed when he thought of his dusty document-filled old Alfa-Romeo back in Ohio.“So?” Kerkula asked while driving, “What kinda work you do in America?” Onyx felt his face flush with embarrassment. His last stable job had been over a year ago, helping restore old paintings at an art gallery. Now he worked out of his car as a house painter. He knew he could lie to Kerkula, but he didn’t want to. He was aware of how some second generation Africans lied about their level of success to relatives back home; he did not want to be like them. “I’m a painter,” he said, adding “I paint everything from houses to pictures.”Kerkula looked at Onyx and turned the tassel on his fez to the right. He said, “My man, da good honest work. Anyting da can feed your family,” he said.“I will you carry to my house and let my woman prepare some dumboy for you later,” said Kerkula with such authority that it felt more like an order than an invitation. Not that Onyx minded. He realized that he had just made a friend.————–Eight hours later they were on their way to Kerkula’s house in Jacob Town. They had spent the day driving all over Monrovia so Onyx could become reacquainted with the capital city. Onyx was stunned how things had barely changed since he was a kid. Of course there were cosmetic changes here and there—new stores and few new buildings—but almost everything was just as he remembered it. Unlike his muddled memories of the airport, looking at the city was like being in a time warp.In Onyx’s opinion, this was not a bad thing. Liberia was still a country of breathtaking beauty. That beauty juxtaposed with the obvious scars of the decade-plus civil war just reinforced the image he had of the country’s mystical quality.He had gone with Kerkula from Broad Street to the city’s many beaches. While they were doing this, he learned that Kerkula was an ex-combatant. He did not say it to impress or boast. He explained it as matter-of-factly as Onyx had when he talked about his job. Onyx reciprocated by telling Kerkula more about his father, his two failed marriages and the best thing he had done with his life; his 12 year old daughter Yamma.They wrapped up their long conversation as they pulled up the driveway of Kerkula’s house. His home was a cozy little white building surrounded by bushes, with a coconut tree in the yard. The second Kerkula parked his car and turned off its engine, he was crushed by the embraces of four startlingly attractive kids. The group consisted of one surly looking (was there any other kind?) teenage girl, 2-year-old twin boys, and their older adolescent brother who was the spitting image of Kerkula.Kerkula introduced his children in order of age, starting from the oldest. His daughter, Precious was tall for 14, but still shorter than her brother Enoch; who towered over her at the age of 12. The adorable identical twins were named—hilariously— Napoleon and Alexander.Onyx followed Kerkula and his kids into their home. When he got inside he went into the airy living room and sat down on it’s wonderfully cushioned bamboo furniture. A minute later, a short voluptuous dark-skinned woman in a flowing white gown entered the room with her hand extended in greeting, saying “How you do papa? My name Victoria, but my friends can call me Vic. Welcome to your home yeh?” Onyx shook Vic’s hand and praised the cleanliness of her home. This sudden immersion in Kerkula’s domestic life made Onyx long for his daughter. He would have to call Yamma tomorrow. Family was the reason he was here.He needed his father. Yamma needed to meet her grandfather for the first time. He was shaken out of his reverie by Napoleon and Alexander who had decided he was a mountain that needed climbing. “Come let’s eat!” they said in unison. Looking down at their cherubic little faces, he replied, “Lead the way.”He sat down to the wonderfully spread table and looked at the smiling faces of the Mulbah family. He wanted what they had. He would find his father. He would make everything right. He made this promise to himself and before God as Kerkula told everyone to bow and say grace.…To be continued.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
The truth has come out at last, and President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf’s positive support to the national Amputee Lone Star should bring the message home to all.The message is: she celebrates with the victors and not those who continue to embarrass her with disappointing results. President Sirleaf recently made a donation of a 22-seater bus to the Amputee Lone Star.It was the president’s appreciation for the team’s numerous victories against other countries in football competitions.In her last address to the nation, President Sirleaf chose, watch my word, deliberately chose to ignore the national team.However, she commended the Amputee Lone Star for winning its version of the African Cup of Nations in Kenya.So this Sunday, at the Antoinette Tubman Stadium, the national soccer team, Lone Star will host The Crocodiles of Lesotho, in their first leg encounter and if successful after the second leg in Maseru, will join Group C of the Afcon 2015 qualifying rounds sometime in September.Though Lesotho is not known much in the African football, the team cannot be overlooked. Sadly, it seems that while Lone Star had 11 days to prepare, and while ‘lack of funds’ has been the culprit to have helped to bring home several of our professional players abroad, FA Boss Musa Bility cried on national radio about the Liberian government’s lack of interest in the national team.Interestingly, Bility should have known it the moment President Sirleaf ignored the national team in her last annual message to the nation.It is correct to state here that if the national team wants the president’s support in every way, then this Sunday should be the beginning of a new direction.It means that on this Sunday against The Crocodiles of Lesotho, the Lone Star must win.I am convinced that President Sirleaf has not ignored the national team because she does not believe in the players. She is unhappy because previous efforts to help the team to soar did not go as expected, and the team’s losses may have affected the president’s national transformation agenda.If that is not the case, how else the president’s cold shoulder towards the national team should be understood.But for eleven days and a team that has not played any test match to sharpen its winning edges against Lesotho, it makes it a total challenge for the handlers, as well as the players of the national team to, maybe find their way through.Excitedly, Jr. Lone Star went through the same experience and managed to come up with flying colors, though narrowly. It is a record that the senior Lone Star must follow.But my last question is: what can crocodiles do to the stars on the moon? Let Lone Star show Lesotho the answer.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
As Guyana marks more than 25 years in the fight against HIV/AIDS, Guyanese are being encouraged to identify their roles in the battle.The call came from Programme Manager of the National AIDS Programme Secretariat (NAPS), Dr Rhonda Moore, at a ‘World AIDS Day’ walk on Saturday morning.Representatives of Rong-An Inc. joined by the 13th Chinese Medical Team and officials in Kwakwani during the outreach“Do you see your role as a valuable contribution, or is it a lifetime commitment to ending HIV/AIDS? The goal is to end AIDS by 2030,” Dr. Moore said.She observed that dedication and hard work are necessary if the goal of eliminating HIV/AIDS within 12-13 years is to be achieved.Dr Moore reported that 2016 statistics show that, worldwide, there are 21 million persons living with HIV/AIDS who have access to treatment. Guyana has an estimated 8,492 persons living with HIV.“Sixty-nine per cent of those persons knew that they have HIV. Of those who knew their status, 84 per cent were on treatment; and of those who access treatment, 68 per cent achieved virus suppression,” Dr Moore detailed.The NAPS Programme Manager further noted: “The National AIDS Programme Secretariat will this year celebrate 25 years in fighting against HIV/AIDS.” However, she said, work still needs to be done to reduce stigma and discrimination while creating an enabling environment for persons to access care and treatment.Dr. Moore emphasised it is crucial that this service is sustained.According to the Department of Public Information, hundreds attended the Health Walk, which was a collaboration between the National AIDS Programme Secretariat and several public health agencies and international developmental partners. The exercise culminated at the Square of the Revolution with a brief interfaith programmeWorld AIDS Day will be observed on December 1, 2017, under the theme ‘My Health, My Right’
PALMDALE – Thirteen more candidates have applied for the job of Palmdale School District superintendent after the district extended the application deadline an additional 4 1/2 months. A total of 19 applicants will be screened and brought before the school board to consider, a search consultant said. “It’s a good response. We are very pleased with it,” consultant Robert Aguilar said. “It’s an attractive position in an area with potential growth.” Friday was the deadline to apply for the post. The district is seeking to replace former Superintendent Jack Gyves, who retired in June. Assistant Superintendent Roger Gallizzi has been serving as interim top administrator. Gallizzi was named to the interim post in July with a new superintendent expected by December. email@example.com (661) 267-5744160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! About 15 people had applied by the previous deadline, Oct. 20, but board members were told there were several people who missed the deadline and wanted to apply. Of the original 15, nine are no longer in the running because they did not submit a complete application, decided to stay at their current jobs or found employment elsewhere, Aguilar said. The current 19 candidates are either superintendents, assistant superintendents or associate superintendents, Aguilar said. Several are from out of state, and the majority are from California. Aguilar said he will meet with the board March 20 to discuss determining how many people to interview and when. Trustees have said they hope to have a new top administrator hired by the end of the school year. With the superintendent search taking longer than expected, the board in January gave Gallizzi a 10 percent raise, to an annual salary of $160,000.
AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGift Box shows no rust in San Antonio Stakes win at Santa Anita Gallery LA will showcase works by Francesco Modigo and Susan Matthews, 2-7 p.m., 5108 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood. Exhibit will run through Jan. 31. Call (818) 761-7784. Sierra Club sponsors night hikes at Griffith Park. Meet at the merry-go-round at 6:45 p.m. Hikes begin at 7 p.m. Free. Calabasas will have a Planning Commission agenda meeting, 7 p.m., City Hall Chambers, 26135 Mureau Road, Calabasas. Conejo Valley Mothers and More will host its monthly meeting, 7:30-9:30 p.m., Westlake Village Civic Center, 31200 E. Oak Crest Drive, Westlake Village. Call (818) 880-2211. The Mustang Club will hold its annual meeting, 7-8:30 p.m., Abe’s Deli, 19626 Nordhoff St., Northridge. THURSDAY: Moderate hike, 8:30 a.m., Wilson Canyon Park, in Sylmar. Meet at the park trailhead. Exit Roxford Street from I-5. Parking: $3 per car. American Indian arts and crafts will be featured, 9 a.m.-4 p.m., San Fernando Rey de Espaa, 15151 San Fernando Mission Blvd., Mission Hills. Skirball Cultural Center will feature the first-ever American retrospective on German painter Max Liebermann, through Jan. 29, and the exhibit “From Haven to Home” through Feb. 12, the 350th anniversary of the first Jews to settle in the U.S., 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles. Museum hours are noon to 5 p.m., Sun. 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Closed Mondays. Museum of Television & Radio will present a screening of “50 Years of Muppets & Jim Henson,” 12:30 p.m., 465 N. Beverly Drive, Beverly Hills. Call (310) 786-1025. Free with admission. A tribute to clarinet virtuoso Benny Goodman will be held, 8 p.m., Pepperdine University. Tickets: $35. Call (310) 456-4000 or visit www.pepperdine.edu for location and directions. Mail Datebook entries – including time, date, location and a phone number – to Daily News City Desk, P.O. Box 4200, Woodland Hills, CA 91365; fax (818) 713-0058; e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
More than 90% of farmers from across Donegal were found to be overweight or obese following a free health check clinic carried out at Raphoe Mart in 2015.The Irish Farmers’ Journal teamed up with Full Health Medical, ICOS and Movember Ireland to bring these free checks to marts around the country.Three out of four farmers were also suffering with problems with their blood pressure and a high percentage reported suffering with their moods and also with stress. Farming has always been an active job, but the number of farmers who are active outside of their work on the farm is very low.Couple this with a poor diet and add stress, lack of sleep and financial pressure, and you can see why there is a problem.The Irish Heart Foundation ran a similar program in 2014 called Farmers Have Hearts, FHH.The FHH program was again set up in order to run health checks on farmers at marts. Their reasoning for this was simple. They found from the study that; “Overall, farmers felt that heart health checks at marts were a good initiative for a number of reasons. Almost half of farmers (41.9%) said that they ‘would not have had a health check otherwise’; 14.0% said that it raised health awareness; while 12.8% stated that ‘meeting the IHF at the mart broke the ice and helped to overcome fears of getting a health check done”.The FHH study was run from October 2013 until May 2014 and their findings were as follows;> Almost half of farmers had high blood pressure.> Almost half of farmers had raised cholesterol levels> The majority of participating farmers were found to be overweight or obese.> Waist circumference of farmers exceeded recommended waist measurements> One third of participating farmers reported not physically active for 5 days or more a week> Almost half of farmers reported that they drank alcohol on a regular basis> A majority of farmers were found to have three or more CVD risk factors based on objective measured health outcomes from the heart health checks.Dr Jack Halligan from Full Health Medical, who ran the checks at Raphoe mart, said that a significant difference in cholesterol levels was found between Raphoe and a similar study in Roscommon.He posed the question ‘Does Red meat in Ulster have a higher fat percentage than the red meat in Connacht?’ However, a report from 2014 by the Irish Heart Foundation showed that it isn’t as simple as saying that red meat could be the main problem when it comes to higher cholesterol levels.You would have to look at the diet and lifestyle as a whole, before you could demonise a single food group as being the sole cause of the problem.Dietary intervention and being active outside of their work on the farm will be a huge help to farmers regarding all areas found in both studies.> Switching to whole foods with each meal.> Make the majority of their carbohydrates at each meal with vegetables. (1/2 your plate)> Eating lean protein with each meal. (Chicken, Turkey, Fish, Beef)> Reducing the amount of processed foods.> Lowering their alcohol intake.> Increasing their water intake.> Changing the way, they cook their foods, less frying and more grilling and steaming.> Stop eating biscuits and bars straight after your dinner.> If you have to eat before bed, have a protein rich meal. For physical activity find something you enjoy doing and try and add it in 2-3 times per week at least.It can be as simple as organising a game of astro turf with other farmers a few nights per week or any other activity you might enjoy.Apart from the exercise you are also getting to de-stress for a few hours each week, it will allow you to switch your mind off from work and any other stresses that come from being in the farming business in the current climate.Although farming is traditionally associated with a healthy lifestyle, farmers are affected by lifestyle diseases which tells us that something needs to change.With any health or weight related problem, physical activity and a healthy diet will always be the best way to start to make a change for the better.#TrainSmartFor more information, contact me through the link below.https://www.facebook.com/pages/Rushe-Fitness/120518884715118?ref=hl* Emmet is the owner and operator of Rushe FitnessDD Fitness: Obesity in the Donegal farming community was last modified: July 9th, 2017 by Emmet RusheShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:dietdonegalemmet rushefarminghealthobesityrushe fitness
A Letterkenny man has claimed he was paid €5,000 to dump illegal waste on the lands of waste disposal boss Jim Ferry.Man claims he was paid €5,000 by a competitor of Ferry’s Refuse to dump waste.Marty McDermott, 30, claims he took Ferry Refuse trucks on three different occasions to dump at Derryreel, Falcarragh in the summer of 2010. McDermott told Letterkenny District Court that he took the money to pay off debts of up to €500,000 which he built up partially through gambling.McDermott was giving evidence in the trial of Jim Ferry who is charged with eight different offences of dumping illegal household waste.This is the third day of the trial.At the end of the first day before Judge Paul Kelly, a mystery man walked into court and handed in a letter saying he was responsible for the dumping.That man has turned out to be McDermott who was working as a rubbish lifter at the time for Mr Ferry.McDermott gave evidence today to say that he was the man behind the dumping.He claimed he was approached by a man saying he would receive €5,000 if he dumped a load of rubbish at Derryreel.He said he had been ordered to meet another man at a crossroads in Creeslough but that two men turned up.Between the three of them they dumped two loads of waste on the land at Derryreel.Richard Lyons, barrister for Donegal County Council, asked why he had waited until now to come forward.McDermott said he had been wracked with guilt and went to a priest who told him to go and see a solicitor.He did this but claimed the solicitor told him to steer clear of giving any evidence in the case.McDermott said he has never seen his accomplices since.“I have never seen those men since. I didn’t ask them their names. It’s not what you do. You don’t ask a man’s life story when you were doing what I was doing,” he said.Barrister Lyons asked McDermott why did he think he was offered such money to do this by the unidentified man.“He said he wanted leverage in Gaoth Dobhair to keep Jim out of his area. He said he wanted photos to get him out of that country,” said McDermott.The letter which McDermott left into court was red out by barrister Lyons.It explained how he had been supported by Ferry since he was a young man and couldn’t believe what he did.He explained how he went to see the priest and that solicitor Kieran O’Gorman told him to stay well away from the courts.“I never thought in my wildest dreams it would come to this. The solicitor told me I would have to pack my bags and leave town and the county because I am sol well known.“If you think this letter helps and saves my friends jobs,” the letter read.He denied claims put to him by Mr Lyons that Mr Ferry paid him the money.“He didn’t pay me,” said McDermott.Mr Lyons asked if it did not concern him that he was dumping a load of waste directly across the road form Mr Ferry’s mother’s home in broad daylight with plenty of noise going on.“No. I was just thinking of the money,” answered McDermott.Judge Kelly is now considering legal submissions and the case is then expected to resume.Judge Kelly then dismissed the claim of McDermott labeling it “vague and unconvincing.”He said he also found it ‘extraordinary’ that Mr Ferry did not carry out an inquiry into why his trucks went missing from his depot for such long periods of time.The judge also said he not believe, after viewing video evidence, that McDermott was panicked while carrying out the operation on Mr Ferry’s lad in full view of his mother and sister’s homes.MAN CLAIMS HE WAS PAID €5,000 TO DUMP WASTE ON REFUSE BOSS’S LAND was last modified: October 2nd, 2013 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)
AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORE11 theater productions to see in Southern California this week, Dec. 27-Jan. 2160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! FOR the sixth year in a row, state Sen. Joe Simitian, D-Palo Alto, has authored a bill requiring drivers to use hands-free equipment while on their cell phones. Let’s hope that this time the measure passes. Seeing that drivers are supposed to keep both hands on the wheel at all times anyway, this bill seems like a no-brainer. We all have horror stories to tell about careless drivers who pay more attention to their phones than to the road. Simitian’s legislation, which has cleared the Senate and now goes to the Assembly, could save lives, and will at least make our commutes less harried. Besides, anyone who can afford the flip-phone with video camera and instant messaging – to say nothing of the monthly service plan – can swing a few bucks for an earbud.
Cllr Murray rejected scheme – and council backed motionSinn Féin Social Protection Spokesperson Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD has welcomed the unanimous passing by Donegal County Council of a Sinn Féin motion rejecting the Gateway Scheme.Speaking this afternoon Deputy Ó Snodaigh said: “I very much welcome the decision of Donegal County Council today to unanimously pass a Sinn Féin motion rejecting the exploitative Gateway Scheme.“Just last week I made a public call on local authorities to reject the scheme so I am happy that Donegal started what I hope will be a state-wide response to Labour Minister Joan Burton’s attempt to force unemployed people into 22 months of hard labour for a measly €20 top-up to their dole payment. “Gateway will not enhance the employability of participants as there is no quality training involved and there is a recruitment embargo in place on local authorities.“Gateway punishes people for being unemployed and copper-fastens the under-staffing of essential local services. “This scheme is similar to JobBridge, another failed government initiative that exploits welfare recipients with little hope of gainful long-term employment or the enhancement of skill sets. It is more to do with massaging the unemployment figures than being a genuine back to work initiative. “It is entirely unacceptable that the Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton has not dedicated more resources towards the sustainable, mutually beneficial and long term employment of those who have found themselves unemployed since the collapse of the economy. “More motions have been tabled by Sinn Féin Councillors for March’s city and county council meetings urging them to reject this scheme and I urge them all to follow’s Donegal’s lead on this issue.” PARTY’S DELIGHT WITH DONEGAL COUNCIL’S REJECTION OF DOLE TOP-UP SCHEME was last modified: February 25th, 2014 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:donegal councilgateway scheme
So perhaps you are wearing a tank top to your improv troupe’s turkey dinner, ordering Chinese food with your life partner, barbecuing tofu dogs with your hairdresser, or doing Jell-O shots with Grampa (again). Maybe you’re having a family potluck, begging your friend to cook, or hopping random parties. You might be going to a singles mixer, a couples get-together, or to your first finger-food networking soiree. It could be a Meetup meets Myspace gathering, your AA group’s buffet, or this year you’re refusing to partake in another dumb holiday. Even if you’re planning something that actually could be in an L.L. Bean catalog, it’s L.A., and it’s totally OK. Happy Thanksgiving! Tina Dupuy is a stand-up comic and a writer living in Los Angeles. She’s the author of the blog www.sardonicsideshow.com.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBlues bury Kings early with four first-period goals I ask this: Why do all my ideas about Thanksgiving take place in a New England setting? I’ve never lived there. But in my mind’s eye, all the leaves on the trees are colored and the air is just a bit chilled. There’s dark wood molding and a fireplace. The people are sober and plain, yet good looking. Basically, my vision of how this holiday is supposed to look is straight out of an L.L. Bean catalog. But that’s not where I live. Here it’s sunny and 78 degrees. I have a fireplace. In it, you’ll find copies of all my bills and a collection of self-help books that I’ve received as gifts. I’ve never actually lit it – but a girl can dream. There is a certain defiance to any kind of tradition in Los Angeles. It’s a city where there are no dress codes because our celebrities and other important people won’t stand for it. Where the rich are thin and tan, as are the homeless. You can get away with wearing jeans to funerals, weddings and Thanksgiving dinner. But the jury is still out on flip-flops (unless you’re famous). This makes visitors from other parts of the U.S. nuts. “Everything is so casual and informal here,” they whine. Yes, it is. We have our own take on everything out here in California. But I will remind anyone who criticizes L.A. for not adhering to traditions that not adhering to traditions is actually an American tradition. After we gained our independence from England, we nixed all holidays and tried to find our own way. Congress actually met on December 25, 1789. Yeah, it was Christmas, but “who cares – we’re America.” I would argue that defying the status quo is what makes America great, and, on a smaller and more recent scale, Los Angeles. It’s Thanksgiving. The only time of year where the widely consumed sandwich meat, turkey, suddenly has special narcotic properties. The biggest shopping day of the year, the busiest travel day of the year, and the most drunken arguments over why we bother to make sweet potatoes when no one eats them day of the year. All U.S. presidents since Truman have pardoned a turkey as an annual tradition. This year, I heard the turkey’s name is Scooter. Hmm. In the 1600s, there were the pilgrims and their newfound menu of maize and wild bird. But this day of thanks wasn’t an American staple until 1863. In the middle of the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln proclaimed that the last Thursday of November be a national day of Thanksgiving. I won’t mention how a certain actor showed his gratitude. In Los Angeles, it’s a huge annual football day, where as a city we are all reminded that we don’t have our own team. But we have the Lakers!