Tuesday’s Goal – Appreciation

I like many things. For me, life is terrific. Still, sometimes I get so caught up in monotony, negativity, cramps, anxiety, insomnia, self-loathing, gloom, grading papers, or bad TV (Oh Sixteen and Pregnant! Why are you so compelling?), that I fail to appreciate the many wonderful things, places and people that add quality to my every day. Today, I will think about what pleases me, so here, in no particular order, are some things that I am currently very happy about or grateful for:

1. The fact that grammar is evolving and it is becoming more and more accepted to end sentences with prepositions. This makes much more sense and does not compromise the flow of ideas with the convoluted acrobatics which one must undertake in order to make one’s point fit the rule. I am, however, against the aggressive campaign to do away with the adverb,  but this post is not about what I am opposed to. Let’s just say, I am for grammar, but in moderation, and as I see fit.

I am grateful for structure and rules, and for adaptation and progress.

2. I like this:

I am grateful for innovation and those who try new things.

2. Austin, why you so cool? In honor of you, here is a cool picture of a cool chick keeping cool in the Austin heat:

I am grateful for Austin, my friends in Austin who take me to cool places, and those who accessorize so well that their popsicles match their hair. That beats the carpet and the drapes any day.

4. I like these two topical covers from old New Yorker magazines:

The first is called “Dark Spring”, by Christoph Niemann. You can check out some of  his other work here: http://www.christophniemann.com/index.php/portfolio

The second is “Rubbed Out”, by Gurbuz Dogan Eksioglu. His name is spelled with umlauts and other accent marks I don’t know how to type or speak. He’s Turkish. You can see some of his work here:


I am thankful for art, designs, things that make me think, and those who create things that are beautiful, haunting, compelling or meaningful.

I’m also grateful that my parents subscribe to magazines and then give them to me when they are finished… even the Martha Stewart magazine. There. I admitted it. I’m grateful for the New Yorker, The Sun, and the A.V. Club section of The Onion.

4. Louis C.K.’s show, “Louie” is back! Yayyyyy! Catch it on Thursdays on FX. Here is a review of the season premiere: http://www.hitfix.com/blogs/whats-alan-watching/posts/review-fxs-louie-returns-for-season-2-darker-and-smarter-than-ever

5. I’m grateful for good music. If there was no good music, I might love that Todd Rundgren song, “We Gotta Get You a  Woman.” Or “Muskrat Love”, by the Captain and Tenille.

Right now I like this guy my friend KB turned me on to, Graham Reynolds. Not only is he a creative composer*, but a balls -to -wall banging piano player, AND a cool, give-back-to-the community-type person. Here is a video of him and this bad-ass teenage violinist, Ruby Jane Smith

Ruby Jane sings and writes songs, too. She’s so bad-ass!

* In an interesting and serendipitous coincidence, Graham Reynolds composed the score to the movie Through A Scanner Darkly, that my friend Kari did the costumes for!

I also like this:

So, I am thankful for great music and the many people who turn me on to it. You know who you are. Thanks!

5. I am hearting pistachio ice cream these days. So sweet and creamy, but wait! Is that a crunch and a hint of salt on my tongue? Yumbiliyah!

6. I am reading a new book and I love it so much! It’s called Super Sad True Love Story, and it’s by Gary Shteyngart. I first read a short story that featured the main characters of the novel in the New Yorker‘s 20 Under 40 fiction series (again, thanks for being you, wordy, sometimes way-over-my-head-magazine!) and was immediately intrigued, but the book has just blown me away. It’s funny and sad and scary. Shteyngart is a master of dialogue and a true wordsmith, and the story is an amazing commentary on so many topics: mortality, consumerism, media, marketing, love, loneliness, politics, the immigrant experience, government, youth, religion, priorities, class, consciousness, social worth …I could go on. It’s also dystopian, and you know I eat that shit up! Here is a trailer for the book, which was released last year and is now in paperback. By the way, Shteyngart was James Franco’s teacher.

I didn’t even know they had trailers for books.

I am so grateful I can read!

7. I am truly, eternally, unfailingly grateful for my family, those who I am related to by blood, and those by bond. I love you so much, and my relationships are my very best thing. Thank you for caring, coming back, forgiving, tolerating, appreciating, coaxing, encouraging, sympathizing, taking care, picking up the bill, petting my dog, emailing, laughing, not laughing, listening, hoping for the best, not giving up, pretending you didn’t smell that, sending cards and letters, looking forward to my arrival, picking me up, dropping me off, making me dinner and telling me goodnight. All of you… I’m just so lucky. Thank you!

This appreciation thing could go on for days, but I type really slowly, and so I have been sitting on a wicker chair in my shorty-shorts for about 300 hours now, and I can no longer feel my tush. I am exhausted with gratitude, worn out with the felicities of fortune that have graced me, and wrapped in a feeling of goodness and deep appreciation. Really. This goal shit worked!

I am really grateful that my biggest problem today is that I have so many things that I appreciate that it put my ass to sleep. If you have read this far, I really appreciate you, too! Your stamina and fortitude are admirable, and you should be rewarded…so I’ll stop now. You’re welcome. And thank you.