Before I begin, I want to make it clear that I alone, a member of “Team Tyler: the Iowa-based contingent” who goes by Aaron, take full responsibility for the content of this post. Mind you, I said “responsibility,” not “credit.” No additional members of “Team Tyler: the Iowa-based Contingent,” either currently or formerly residing in the state, are individually or collectively responsible for words and/or phrase choices, their likely interpretation by possible readers, effective or less than effective grammatical usage or overall appropriateness of the following post.
You see, this week is Caucus week in Iowa, which, pardon the declaration of the obvious, is quite political. In reference to said issue of a decidedly political nature, I intend to go no further into political discussions that shall not aid the direct advancement of our greater discussions and purpose on this site. I will applaud this site, however, for what I believe all will concur to be its overarching, unified bi-partisan message of support, uttered so eloquently in its URL: “Go Team Tyler!”
In like fashion, definitions chosen to demarcate this time of year often also become political. Dost I risk to offend a staunch advocate of the inclusionary and apparently all-encompassing expression “Happy Holidays” by titling this post “Belated Merry Christmas…” because I know that Christmas is the Holiday the Lincoln, Nebraska-based contingent of Team Tyler traditionally celebrates? Do I, without negative intent, nonetheless negate the wonderfully diverse ways various potential participants in the melting pot of Team Tyler celebrate according to their respective belief systems if I do not mention their respective Holiday accordingly? If someone wishes to join the fold of Team Tyler, would we not welcome them into our “blog-site huddle” even if they were to look at us confused, like, “I don’t really like football, so the huddle metaphor isn’t really working for me right now?” I dare say, again, speaking as an individual seeking allegiance within the larger group, rather than spokesperson for the group, that I believe we would ask said person: “well, do you like hopscotch? Or freeze tag?” And if they were to answer to the affirmative we would reply: “well, on the count of three, some of us are going to execute the metaphorical equivalent of a football play. You, however, feel free to usher a hopscotch contingent into a froth of hopscotch-like activity and as we are doing our football thing and you are doing your hopscotch thing we are all nonetheless united in our belief in the importance of fitness, recreation and physical human activity.” That would be a long breath for us all to collectively utter but I nonetheless believe us more than up to the task at hand.
Am I making any sense? I warned you at the beginning I hold no one else accountable for my representations for a reason. Nonetheless, I digress and, against my better inclinations, continue. And take brief moment to apologize to my mother, who is not only likely reading this post fearful of what I might say next but also a professional grammarian more than capable of correcting sentence construction while simultaneously analyzing content. I assure you, good mother, I have nothing of politically partisan nor controversial content to offer, as I hope will soon become evident, if I’ll just get around to it already. Moving on…
As report from representative of the Iowa-based contingent of Team Tyler, I write simply to say that on most yearly occasions throughout my corn-filled existence, ours are a privileged lot that perennially trades turns in driving to one anothers’ respective corny states to share our Holiday time in either seasonally tropical Nebraska or tourist hotspot Iowa. This year, of course, this tradition was not to be as the Nebraska-based contingent answered the greater calling and “joined forces like Voltron” (as we like to sometimes say) in the sub-zero-temperature-deprived destination of San Diego. Major bummer, you Iowa folk, you got hard-core dissed, Cali style, one might say, in favor of a family of Team Tyler enthusiasts who go by the surname of Moshirian. But one would be wrong. We brought in a bounty of Sacramento ringers to balance the geographic pendulum swing, for one. Second, we Iowa natives and their offspring (I profer) temper our selfish preference for the traditional “Voltron-like” Nebraska/Iowa conjoining in favor of what is (I argue) a larger, broader, more inclusive “Voltron-like” conjoining that includes the Moshirian/Wagner family Holiday in San Diego in addition to the multitudes who steadily, daily flock to the “Go Team Tyler” cause—wherever they (you) may reside.
You see, we are joined together by more than geographic proximity can take from us. Some of us are joined in prayer, some of us are joined in meditation, some of us are joined in positive energies sent, vibes emitted, hi-fives and hugs and fist-bumps capable of quantum leaps across the digital and human divide or, as a friend of mine recently said, simply through the channels of the collective will of our “well wishes extended.” Over this Holiday season, I was gladdened to know that we in Iowa and San Diego could almost simultaneously consume delectable lamb in solidarity. For my humble offering to tradition, I was allowed the privilege of making Christmas-eve soup, in honor of a growing tradition Jim and Marlene often delight us with whereby they engage in a spirited and good-natured soup-making competition. Every one at the table is of course a winner with two soups to revel in as well as the always clever and lightly-competitive banter of Jim and Marlene. For my soup I chose cioppino, for its tradition among late 19th century San Francisco wharf fishers who would “chop-up” “chip-in” and conjoin their various contributions from the day’s catch into a communal new form of bouillabaisse. The bevy of seafood options would form (like “Voltron”) into a multi-varied best of what each fisher had to offer. For the record, all the “chipping-in” was done by John and Joyce, with the swipe of a plastic card, as they, like Jim and Marlene, manage to grow more and more generous as the years accumulate. The sentiment of multi-ingredient chipping in, however, was maintained, in the mezcla mixture of seafoods and ingredients that make the soup.
I’m not here to brag about my soup. I am here to say that I was inspired by the soup-based blog cousin Leigh offered recently. The cioppino was pretty decent soup though, I think, and everyone else at the table, being the polite Iowans they are or were raised by, smiled nice at me and said the same. I mean, it’s kind of an arduous task to achieve in one soup what Jim and Marlene achieve in two and I would never pretend to be able to do so or to match their clever back-and-forth banter. The point is to make final metaphor in applause of what I have seen thus far and what I have full faith we will all continue to see from this impressive conjoining of individuals and families represented in a common cause–and finding the perpetual opportunity to join one another as family in the virtual living room blog space that has become “Go Team Tyler.” We all have something unique and spiritually flavorful to offer these efforts. On behalf of the Iowa-contingent of Go Team Tyler (but explicitly without their permission), may the best of 2012 be yours. And I personally look forward to “choppin’-it-up” with new and old friends and reading what you have to “chip-in,” verbally-speaking, and generally working together to keep our hero Tyler’s spirits up as he gets himself back to the full health he deserves considering the magnificent gentleman that he is.
Cheers, cousin double-A
For those that want to read more about cioppino: http://www.kitchenproject.com/history/1/
For those that want to read more about Voltron: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voltron
For those that want to read more about hopscotch: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hopscotch
Or freeze tag: http://www.ehow.com/how_2058069_play-freeze-tag.html
For those that want to read more about the Iowa Caucuses: You’re on your own. We’ve had our Holiday season overly inundated with ads and phone calls and, frankly, we think it’s some other state’s turn.