giving thanks.

I am a really thankful person. There are so many people, things, and events that have shaped who I am, and I’ve had more lucky breaks than I probably deserve. Don’t think I don’t know it. If I tried to make a complete, cohesive list, it would take forever and never be finished. So I’ll condense it a bit.

It goes without saying (but I’ll say it anyway) that at the top of the list are Manny, Kitten, C-Rex, and all my wonderful family and friends (real-world, blog-world, and work-world). You people are the absolute best. I love you so much!

Then I’d say my house. For the first time in a long time, I’m living somewhere that actually feels like home. And I have good appliances!

Next would be my job. For years I had a string of shitty jobs that made me dread going to work every day. Now I don’t. Hooray!

Everything else on the list is in no particular order: coffee, anti-depressants, e-mail, Internet comics and satire news sites, crossword puzzles, the kindness of others, makeup, Netflix, Sharpie markers, digital cameras, wine, Jon Stewart, the new vending machines at work, NPR, Clorox disinfecting wipes, our friends at the Irish Lion, cinnamon gum, my happy childhood, finding a doctor that actually listens to me, good schools, Britpop, blackberry jam, fake bacon, sunglasses, Real Simple magazine, Wikipedia, and nightlights.

open letters, part ii.

Dear General Mills:
You have almost gotten it right. I have long been a fan of the cheddar-flavored Chex Mix. The problem was that I tended to favor the cheese-dusted corn Chex. I’d eat the rest of the mix, but reluctantly so. Then you introduced “Simply Chex,” which was just a bag of cheese-dusted Chex. Wow! I was so excited! Except that it was both corn and wheat Chex. The wheat Chex, while I’m sure is a much better source of whole grain, tastes kind of like burnt cardboard. Go one step further and make me some “Simply Cheese-Dusted Corn Chex,” and I’ll be your happiest customer.

Dear My Period:
Thank you for arriving and all, believe me, I appreciate it. But damn you for sneaking up on me one day early.

Dear Wells Fargo:
Please stop calling me. I know my car payment is late. It’s in the mail. You’ll get it just in time to save the company from completely collapsing around itself. Jesus.

weird.

Last night, I had a dream that I was at the Academy Awards. I was Katie Holmes’ personal assistant, and I was there to accept an award on her behalf. Peter Boyle was the presenter of the award, some lifetime achievement thing. I was wearing a champagne-colored dress. Manny was sitting next to me. I had a really painful loose tooth – my top left canine. It was bugging the shit out of me, and I kept poking at it with my tongue. Right as Peter Boyle motioned for me to come up onto the stage to accept Katie’s award, I yanked the tooth out of my mouth. I had to – it hurt so bad. The pain was gone, but I was afraid there would be blood everywhere. Manny looked at me and said, “No blood! You look perfect, and no one will ever notice!”
And then I woke up. The dream felt so real that I actually had to check when I woke up to see if my tooth was still there.

actually, no, i do not want my mtv.

Once upon a time, I had cable. I watched TV regularly. It served many purposes. It was mindless entertainment on weeknights after the children had been put to bed. It was soothing background noise when I was lonely or cleaning, or both. It was both babysitter and pacifier (I admit it), mediator and instigator, releaser of my inner emotions and provocateur of my political anger. Manny and I had a schedule that often revolved around the television. We had CSI: Las Vegas every night from 8-10, Jeopardy! at 7:30, Battlestar Galactica on Friday nights. And although I never got into shows like Lost or Grey’s Anatomy, you bet your ass that I wasn’t going anywhere when Deal or No Deal was on.

Then we moved from our shitty and moderately-affordable apartment to our nice and slightly more budget-straining house. Cuts were made, and cable television got the ax. Frankly, I was a bit relieved. I was feeling dumber and all the channel-surfing was really intensifying my ADD.

So we’ve been living without our cable for almost four months now, and I’m fine. I don’t miss it (okay, well, I do miss Jeopardy! sometimes). However, Manny’s subscription to TV Guide is still in effect, and whenever one arrives in the mail, I usually just toss it. But for some reason, I was sitting at the table eating a bowl of cereal last night, and saw it lying there, so I started thumbing through. The cover read “GREY’S ANATOMY: Will Addison Give in to McSteamy – Again?,” which struck me as completely, utterly ridiculous, but for some reason, I kept on going.

I shouldn’t have been eating when I did this. Afterwards, I felt queasy and dirty. I don’t remember what I read or saw, but I just know that I can safely say I’m not missing anything.

Well, except maybe Jeopardy!

ADDENDUM: I just walked in on a bathroom discussion about The Dog Whisperer and overheard the following: “Oh, I love that man! He is my idol! I have never seen someone with such a positive attitude!” Ugh. Okay. First of all, I have never heard of something so hokey as a “dog whisperer.” Second, I do not think having a positive attitude is grounds for making someone one’s idol. I think that because, yes, I have a negative attitude.

d-e-m-o-c-r-a-c-y spells relief.

I promise I won’t gloat, at least not much, but if you make the assumption that I am ecstatic over the Democrats’ sweeping victory of the House of Representatives, you would be very correct. When I read the news last night, I cried. I really did. My congratulations go out to the winners, especially Baron Hill, Joe Donnelly, and Brad Ellsworth of Indiana. Help fix things, guys. We need change, we need it badly, and we need it now.

I am holding my breath and refreshing my browser as I anxiously watch CNN for the results of the Senate. Come on, Democrats in Montana and Virginia…

Oh, and also, my congratulations go out to Britney Spears. You’re better off without that douche bag, and only you could momentarily detract attention away from politics on Election Day.

ignorance may be bliss, but it still makes you ignorant.

The state of this country saddens me. If I had to describe it in three words, I’d use disgusting, disheartening, and suffocating.

What bothers me more is that people exist out there that don’t know about, or even worse, care about politics. I have certain friends and acquaintances that just don’t bother reading or thinking about the subject. They’d rather bide their time watching Dancing With the Stars and stuffing themselves with mental junk food.

Wake the fuck up! You may not particularly care about the hot-button issues like stem cell research, gay marriage, immigration laws, Iraq, abortion, etc. – probably because it doesn’t directly affect you. But just you wait. If this current wave of conservative control continues on any longer, it will eventually affect you. Healthcare, taxes, social services, shit – even the Internet and the materials you can find at your local library – you will be affected.

Today is Election Day. Get the fuck out there and vote.

When the Nazis arrested the Communists, I said nothing; after all, I was not a Communist. When they locked up the Social Democrats, I said nothing; after all, I was not a Social Democrat. When they arrested the trade unionists, I said nothing; after all, I was not a trade unionist. When they arrested the Jews, I said nothing; after all, I was not a Jew. When they arrested me, there was no longer anyone who could protest.
Martin Niemöller