Posts in Holidays
To smoke, or not to smoke

It’s been more than nine months since I smoked my last cigarette.

Your body goes through some pretty extreme changes in the months after you quit. It’s like a phlegm-filled puberty with the shakes and 100 percent more anger.

Everyone says that the first thing that returns is your sense of smell followed closely by your sense of taste. I’ve even stopped coughing up strange things and I can once again hit the high notes in R. Kelly’s “Ignition (Remix)."

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On Dynamite and Liberty

I’m not sure at what age I finally understood that my father found casual ways to break the law on a daily basis.

Later in his life – during a period of time where we didn’t talk much – he got into numerous disputes with his various neighbors.

I remember he explained how he cut down the neighbor’s telephone pole with a chainsaw and then threw a box of nails in the driveway for the police cars sure to pay him a visit. Of course he told me this over the telephone as if it was the day-to-day behavior of every sane American citizen; in the way you or I might explain to a friend how we accidentally purchased 2-percent milk instead of skim.

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Halloween: The Monster’s In The House

A recent reflection on a childhood steeped in dysfunction and turmoil revealed that my family had one thing on every other family in our neighborhood. Our holidays were actually quite pleasant. Television sitcoms, comedians and literature set the greatest familial battles  around holidays.

Somehow, in some inexplicable way my father, my stepmother and the white-trash Brady Bunch they created always managed to get the holidays right.

Christmas, the Fourth of July and Halloween continue to stand out as moments of peace in an otherwise tumultuous upbringing. 

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Airborne bird fathers a table tale

In the canon of Wernowsky folklore, there is no shortage of unusual holiday stories.

The tale of my father and the Thanksgiving turkey predates my birth by several years, but it's repeated so often that I feel as though I've experienced the fateful night firsthand.

It's this Thanksgiving story that sets the gold standard in my family's various tales of holiday madness.

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