Reads Listens Views 11/21/12

Happy Thanksgiving. Photo Provided by Animal Farm Foundation.

Listens – Some soulful, Thanksgiving blues from a Frenchman who could swing his tail off. Great, great, musician. Press ‘play’ and read on.

About ‘Reads Listens Views’

Thanks to folks like my buddy Josh Norris at Rotoworld, Joe Goodberry, and Eric Stoner, I have new readers. If you’re one of them, I hope you enjoy what you’re reading at the RSP blog. Every Friday, I like to share my finds that are football and non-football. While I don’t get a ton of views of the non-football content, those that take the time to look express their appreciation. I also believe it is the non-football content that helps me look at the football world with a perspective that is worth sharing. This week, I’m posting this feature early to wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving.

Introduce Fantasy Football to Your Family With Fantasy Throwdown

Play me or your friends in free games of one-on-one fantasy football.

If you’re traveling for Thanksgiving and you want to introduce fantasy football to your family, there’s no easier way to do so than to play Fantasy Throwdown. Free to play and easy to learn, drafts take 15 minutes and what a fantastic way to enjoy the games with your family and help them see why fantasy football is so much fun.

Football Reads

 Non-Football Reads

  • Kurt Vonnegut Describing His Daily Routine – What I love about Vonnegut’s writing is his voice. He’s a wicked-smart friend who pulls you up to his level.
  • How Partisans Fool Themselves Into Believing Their Own Spin  – Until we take the best of both sides of an argument the machine’s gears stay stuck.
  • 45-Minute Roasted Turkey – I’ve cooked turkey all sorts of ways. For years I’ve deep-fried it in the backyard. Two years ago, I did a confit. Recently I tried this recipe. If you’re not worried about a Norman Rockwell-Hallmark moment at the dinner table, then this is the quickest and best way to do the bird.

Views – A letter from Fiona Apple about her best friend

Family and blood aren’t always synonymous. Photo by RussTeaches.

If I heard a Fiona Apple song I wouldn’t know it even though I’ve known he she was for years. Recently, Apple cancelled a tour of South America to be there for her best friend who is terminally ill. Whether the reasons are biological, biblical, or the sake that they grew up with a lot of people in their lives, there people in my life whom I love and respect who don’t understand the friendship that can exist between a human and an animal I understand the point that we shouldn’t treat animals like humans because we’re not respecting the animal’s nature.

I don’t believe in treating pets in such a way that it can endanger the physical or emotional welfare of human members of a family. But until there’s enough prove to disavow any possibility that a bond between a human being and many animals can exist and it’s not solely based on food, shelter, and comfort, then I’m choosing to believe what I see.

Below is the typed version of a hand-written letter from Apple to her fans to explain the bond she has with her dog Janet. If you’re a pet-person or you became one because you’re more of a solitary traveler through life, which many people of Apple’s skill-set are, then you’ll get what she’s saying.

I’m not a believer that family and blood are always synonymous. Loyalty and respect are earned. I hope on this Thanksgiving Day that you can appreciate and respect the family you have around you. If not, I hope you make choices moving forward to build your family, because, at least from this side of the monitor, I believe that’s how it’s done.

(Apple’s letter)

It’s 6pm on Friday,and I’m writing to a few thousand friends I have not met yet. I am writing to ask them to change our plans and meet a little while later. Here’s the thing. I have a dog Janet, and she’s been ill for almost two years now, as a tumor has been idling in her chest, growing ever so slowly. She’s almost 14 years old now.I got her when she was 4 months old. I was 21 then ,an adult officially – and she was my child. She is a pitbull, and was found in Echo Park, with a rope around her neck, and bites all over her ears and face. She was the one the dogfighters use to puff up the confidence of the contenders. She’s almost 14 and I’ve never seen her start a fight , or bite, or even growl, so I can understand why they chose her for that awful role. She’s a pacifist.

Janet has been the most consistent relationship of my adult life, and that is just a fact. We’ve lived in numerous houses, and jumped a few make shift families, but it’s always really been the two of us. She slept in bed with me, her head on the pillow, and she accepted my hysterical, tearful face into her chest, with her paws around me, every time I was heartbroken, or spirit-broken, or just lost, and as years went by, she let me take the role of her child, as I fell asleep, with her chin resting above my head. She was under the piano when I wrote songs, barked any time I tried to record anything, and she was in the studio with me all the time we recorded the last album. The last time I came back from tour, she was spry as ever, and she’s used to me being gone for a few weeks every 6 or 7 years.

She has Addison’s Disease, which makes it dangerous for her to travel since she needs regular injections of Cortisol, because she reacts to stress and to excitement without the physiological tools which keep most of us from literally panicking to death. Despite all of this, she’s effortlessly joyful and playful, and only stopped acting like a puppy about 3 years ago. She’s my best friend and my mother and my daughter, my benefactor, and she’s the one who taught me what love is. I can’t come to South America. Not now. When I got back from the last leg of the US tour, there was a big, big difference. She doesn’t even want to go for walks anymore. I know that she’s not sad about aging or dying. Animals have a survival instinct, but a sense of mortality and vanity, they do not. That’s why they are so much more present than people. But I know that she is coming close to point where she will stop being a dog, and instead, be part of everything. She’ll be in the wind, and in the soil, and the snow, and in me, wherever I go.

I just can’t leave her now, please understand. If I go away again, I’m afraid she’ll die and I won’t have the honor of singing her to sleep, of escorting her out. Sometimes it takes me 20 minutes to pick which socks to wear to bed. But this decision is instant. These are the choices we make, which define us. I will not be the woman who puts her career ahead of love and friendship. I am the woman who stays home and bakes Tilapia for my dearest, oldest friend. And helps her be comfortable, and comforted, and safe, and important. Many of us these days, we dread the death of a loved one. It is the ugly truth of Life, that keeps us feeling terrified and alone. I wish we could also appreciate the time that lies right beside the end of time. I know that I will feel the most overwhelming knowledge of her, and of her life and of my love for her, in the last moments. I need to do my damnedest to be there for that. Because it will be the most beautiful, the most intense, the most enriching experience of life I’ve ever known. When she dies. So I am staying home, and I am listening to her snore and wheeze, and reveling in the swampiest, most awful breath that ever emanated from an angel. And I am asking for your blessing. I’ll be seeing you.


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