Mad Brad: No reservations

The November to December cross-over is always an awkward exchange. The Thanksgiving breaks are merely foreplay for the Christmas holidays, and are never as wholly satisfying as a solid winter break. Yet, it’s always nice to break for thanks before the calamities of finals.

At the last minute, multiple assignments appear on the course schedules that weren’t there before and graduating seniors anxiously await the results of the one test that could prolong their commencement.

The deficit on selling back textbooks makes all those Black Friday savings seem nil, but the temperature has chilled down enough to peacoat temperatures. And I love peacoats.

Somewhere between leftovers and finalizing financial aid I had a moment of clarity. I can’t fully explain it, but I can say that somehow by giving thanks for everything I’ve endured, I awakened the desire to expect what is to come.

After years of being biased I finally went to Caf Agora. My normal hot spot, Caf Brasil, wasn’t open on Thanksgiving so I was forced from the confinements of comfort to try something new.

It was a delight. I can’t remember the last time I was so satisfied by an outing. I was fortunate to share time with my old friend Jenny in the midst of relaxing music, a serene atmosphere, a latte and a small cookie.

We caught up on life developments, plans for abroad studies and travels, and recounted what we were thankful for. It was nice to speak candidly, and I was filled with a weird euphoria as the night went on.

Despite everything I had been through, or anything that opposed me, I realized none of it mattered. Somehow being thankful for life without reservations made me really appreciate the fact that I had life at all.

It was like the culmination of years of study, triumphs, failures, aspirations and revelations all synthesized into an instance of pensive simplicity. You can fail at everything in life, but the moment you realize you’re still alive you tend to notice you have the chance to succeed. To survive a trial and still be thankful is bliss.

Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations, on the Travel Channel, is one of my favorite programs. Not only is it the type of field I’m perusing, but the essence of its style reminds me that night at Caf Agora.

Bourdain carouses the globe tasting the multitudes of culinary cultures. Sometimes he enjoys it, and other times he has to eat unwashed warthog rectum. But at least he tries it, and the next episode he’s in another land, willing to launch into the abyss.

Although by profession we may not be culinary crusaders, we all have had our shares of metaphorical warthog rectums that made us question our taste buds. But I believe that if we keep on eating we’ll find something satisfying.

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