I’ve been using the occasion of Thanksgiving to reflect on things that I’m thankful for. Granted, the genocidal origin of the festivities is troubling and the joy of large family gatherings (and indeed the entire holiday season) is highly suspect, but since they’ve gone to all the trouble of setting up a theme for the holiday, I say we might as well use it. Call me a traditionalist.

So here, in no discernible order, are ten things I’m thankful for:

  1. Physical Graffiti– I was listening to this album just before leaving town for Thanksgiving, and man, there is not a single out of place note. Even really good albums generally can’t get by without one unfortunate dud slipping in along the way (that “Lily and the Jack of Hearts” crap on Blood on the Tracks, for instance), so the fact that Led Zeppelin pulled off a near-perfect double album is truly a wonderment.

  1. The Beach- Although I work just across from it in San Francisco, I don’t get there nearly often enough. Yesterday I went to the beach near my parent’s house in Moss Landing, and it was perfect. The sky was overcast and the smooth bay reflected back shades of gray, green steel blue and purple-black. It was one of those moments when you find yourself stunned with admiration for this wild world we’ve been turned loose in the midst of.

  1. God- Speaking of the wild world we’ve been turned loose in the midst of, how about a shout-out to the Blessed Lady who caused it to be brought forth? Love ya, Babe!

  1. Ainu and Salaam- I just spent four days with my boys, two of the best cats ever made, Ainu and Salaam. The guest bed at my parents’ house is none too comfortable, but sleeping with two curled up little furrbies makes it worthwhile.

  1. Friends- I have some great ones. In the past few days alone I’ve had occasion to feel blessed that my life includes Caille, Chris (no, I am not referring to myself, I mean the girl one), Corinne, Eric, Glen, Helen, Jason, Jim, Jodie, Karen, Laura and Steve, to name just a few.

  1. Do-wop- In terms of electronic communications media, being at my parents’ house is kind of like being in Poland in the pre post-Communist era. As a result, there isn’t a lot to do in the evenings besides watching PBS. Which aired a great show last night of classic do-wop groups in concert. I am not aware that any product of human civilization in the past fifty years has topped the perfection of “Earth Angel”.

  1. Big breakfasts that include pancakes- I’ve had a lot of them in the last four days, and let me tell you, they were good.

  1. My family- Okay, they drive me batty. One could argue that they made me batty, but you have to concede the larger point that they made me. And are still there for me when I need them. Even if there’s a lot of newspaper reading and not much talking along the way.

  1. The hip-width to waist-width aspect ratio of the human female- I find this to be utterly delightful. I know that my appreciation has been handed to me by evolution and is in fact a kind of sucker-punch of reproductive biology, but this does not diminish my delight.

  1. Being sober this holiday season- Every item on this list, the fact that I’m writing a Blog about it, and that there are hundreds (okay, tens) of people reading it has all been made possible by this. 11 months and 9 days, yo!

And there’s my list. I feel like it just got me geared up enough that I could rattle off another ten and another ten after that. But let’s pause here, and I’d love to hear what you are thankful for…

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