A Streaming Thanksgiving
Ivana Bystuf, marketing director for a San Francisco streaming company, was taking care of a few last minute details before heading out of the office for the Thanksgiving holiday. Her screen displayed her grocery order which was to be delivered to her apartment the next day between 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. -- a pre-made feast, just heat and serve, leaving her plenty of time to destroy any evidence proving she had not made the dinner from scratch. She clicked the order button, but to her horror, instead of her confirmation filling the screen she was greeted with "page not found." The server was down and the entire office was offline. Giving up in a huff, she gathered her stuff and ran out into the night.
Ivana entered the brightly lit fluorescence of the grocery store and was appalled by the chaos. Kids were crying, mothers were scolding and the haggard look in every clerk's eye conveyed the message that they could snap at any moment. She headed straight to the turkey section and was greeted by a confusing range of options.
Flustered, she grasped her cell phone - if only she could watch Julia Child describe the perfect turkey on its tiny screen! Alas, she would have to face this dilemma alone - streaming-capable cell phones were still just a vague promise for the future. She crossed her fingers, grabbed a bird and ran through the store gathering the other necessities. There would be no pre-made and delivered Thanksgiving meal, but maybe, with the help of the Internet, she could cook something passable.
The Streaming Cook
Back at home, Ivana threw down the groceries and dragged her laptop, with Ethernet cord in tow, into the kitchen. (After months of run-around, her DSL had finally been connected.) While her favorite search engine popped up lists of references to pies and turkeys, she set another browser to weather.com, secretly hoping for a heavy snow to impede her family's arrival the next day. Alas, her video player streamed the latest weather report, revealing clear skies through to the morning.
In her search for the perfect pie recipe, Ivana stumbled across a classic bit of video: Bill Gates getting pied in Brussels. Amused as she was, this was not solving her problem, and she tried to focus on a serious search for a cooking miracle.
She first decided to make an apple pie, and even discovered a video to help her make a lattice pie crust, and another video promising to hold the key to a perfect golden crust.
Ivana had never cooked a turkey before, and was extremely relieved to find a video describing how to brine a turkey. To think, she would have just thrown the turkey, frozen, into the oven! She studied up on how to carve the turkey, skim the fat, and make gravy in preparation for the big feast the next day.
While wandering the Web, Ivana actually clicked on a banner ad for Mr. Clean, and was rather amused how the animated Mr. Clean helped her figure out how to clean her oven with the results from his "technical library".
The next morning, Ivana awoke from all-too-little sleep amazed at the spread she had managed to whip together the night before. She slid the stuffed turkey into the oven and flipped her computer on to check the weather again. Then she tuned in to her favorite Internet radio station (www.dublab.com) to stream some tunes as she readied her apartment for the onslaught of relatives.
Things were tidied and the table set with just an hour to spare when she realized she had nothing to occupy her sister's kids during the ball game later that day. She searched her favorite entertainment sites looking for some turkey-day amusement. A half hour later she was giggling with glee, shooting frantic turkeys and transforming them into golden oven-roasted meals in It's Turkey Time, created with Shockwave by eZone.
But before finding this gem of a game, Ivana had sifted through animated stories of Thanksgiving cheer that she was fairly certain were not appropriate for children. On JibJab, she found a Nasty Santa cartoon featuring an elf's attempt to pass a penguin off to Santa as a turkey dinner, resulting in his own roasting.
She had a momentary flutter of social consciousness when "The Thanksgiving Song", by irreverent rap trio No Time, exposed the true history of Thanksgiving. But she was quickly distracted by an amusing Thanksgiving farce depicting a super heroes' gathering, nearly ruined by a lack of cranberry sauce in Holiday Force: Cranberry Crisis on AtomFilms. Atomfilms also offered up a gruesome thriller of holiday weekend spent alone in a dorm -- Urban Chiller: The Dorm, by Nick Stillwell.
Ifilm even arranged a Holiday Showcase to make her holiday entertainment hunt easier, but skimming the titles -- South Park: The Spirit of Christmas: Santa vs. Jesus from CrapTV, and Christmas in the Hood -- she figured she was no closer to finding kid-safe entertainment.
Ivana had returned to eZone for another turkey shoot when her doorbell brought her to her feet. She brushed out the wrinkles in her skirt, took a deep breath and repeated a low mantra: I am an adult, I am an adult. She opened the door and was greeted by her entire family plus one grocery delivery person holding out a prefab turkey dinner.