Thursday, November 23, 2006

40 Things I'm Thankful For

(in no particular order)
(just thirty random things)

1. My friends. (I have great fucking friends) (I don’t see them nearly enough) (smart, funny, loving people)

2. My family. (as freaky as it sometimes gets, I have a great fucking family) (though sometimes I see them too much) (that’s a lie, I just said it because it juxtaposed with the “I don’t see them nearly enough” thing I said about my friends) (the truth is: I can’t get enough of my family) (it’s a good family) (in all of its weird-ass permutations)

3. Great teachers. (I’ve been immersed in the world of teaching lately and I have a newfound respect for all of the blood, sweat and tears that really good teachers put into it) (and I’ve been lucky to have had a lot of great teachers in my day) (“in my day” makes me sound like I’m dying)

4. 24 hour coffeeshops. (there should be one on every corner) (when I rule the world, there WILL be one on every corner)

5. Cheerleaders. (I’m not being ironic here.) (I like cheerleaders.) (Honestly, I don’t know any cheerleaders personally, but I like movie cheerleaders, and all of their bitchy, poppy glory.) (The other day at school, I was talking to this girl who was wearing what I thought was a cheerleader’s uniform, and I asked her, “are you a cheerleader?” And she totally blanched, then scoffed, then blanched again: “No, I’m on the dance squad.”) (I’m all for the dance squad, but come on, let’s hear it for cheerleaders.)

6. “Imagine” by John Lennon. (The only completely perfect song ever written.)

7. Tuna fish and sweet corn sandwiches at The Curly Dog Café in Camden Town, London. (I know it sounds gross, but it’s a good combo) (for real) (and besides, as far as the sandwich wars go, I’ll always be on Team Tuna, never on Team Peanut Butter)

8. Michael J. Fox. (my love for this man is well documented)

9. The peppermint hot chocolate at Starbucks. (is it wrong for me to be thankful for something from Starbucks?) (I can’t help it, though, because the peppermint hot chocolate ridiculous) (ridiculously good, that is)

10. Juke Boxes. (And I’m not talking about the fake little juke boxes they have at places like Johnnie Rocket’s, I’m talking about real honest-to-goodness Fonzie-type juke boxes, that have their own speakers and sometimes you have to hit ‘em to make ‘em work, and you’re filled with greasy food, but suddenly nothing ever sounded as good as Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing” and you can’t help but stand there and sway to the music.)

11. Really Good Bowel Movements. (Had one this morning.) (Enough said.)

12. Double features. (They don't do official "double features" at the movie theaters anymore [remember when they did???], but I love going to the movies on a lazy Saturday afternoon and then sneaking into a second film that isn't something I would ever normally see--i.e. it's nothing I'd ever pay to see, but since it's a lazy Saturday afternoon I might as well sneak into the new Rob Schneider movie, you know?) (The last time I tried to sneak into a second movie to make the afternoon's cinema experience a double feature was a couple of years ago. I was with Urp. We had just seen the remake of Texas Chainsaw Massacre and I forget what we were trying to sneak into, but apparently they had a really good surveillance system at this movie theater because security followed us in. When they asked us to show them our tickets, Urp pretended that she didn't speak English. She just sat there with this look on her face, like, "huh?" while I tried to talk my way through the moment. It was classic Urp. We totally got kicked out of the movie theater.)

13. Google.

14. John Hughes. (I watched Sixteen Candles on HBO this morning. Such a great movie. I remember the first time I ever saw Sixteen Candles—it was when I was in the 6th grade, I was over at my friend Katies’s house down the street when Katie’s older sister Kristen [who was already in high school and way cool] turned the TV on to HBO and told us “You have to watch this. It’s educational.”) (I remember feeling like I’d just been handed keys to the castle, like I had to watch this movie for dear life if I wanted to survive high school.) (Like, this movie was imperative.) (And it was.) (And any movie with the line “I bet you a dozen floppy disks that you don’t even get tit” is a great movie.) (Also, a couple of days ago, I was watching a Scissor Sisters concert on Logo, and Ana Matronic quoted Lea Thompson's character from Some Kind of Wonderful--which is, hello, also a such a great Hughes movie--that moment at the end of the movie when Lea Thompson tells Eric Stoltz: "I'd rather be alone for the right reasons than with someone for the wrong ones." That line of dialogue totally influenced my high school dating life, i.e. even though I wasn't ready to date dudes, a part of me knew that the only reason I was dating girls was that I wanted to fit in, and that was kinda the wrong reason to date girls, and so, after Shirley and Gina, I stopped.) (What I'm saying is, John Hughes: hugely influential.)

15. The struggle. (A lot of the people I’m closest to have been dealing with a lot of heavy shit lately, and struggling—a lot. And I have to believe that the struggle is worth it and it makes us stronger and the evolution is necessary, and we’ll get through these moments that feel, right now, so hard.)

16. Penises and Vaginas. (I swear that the last phrase of the above thankful statement did not make me think of this thankful statement, but it is a nice transition.) (I'm more thankful for penises that I am for vaginas, in all honesty, but we wouldn't have penises if it weren’t for vaginas, so let's just say that I’m thankful for all genitalia.)

17. Q-Tips. (My ears produce so much wax that if it weren’t for Q-Tips I would definitely be deaf right now.)

18. Jake Gyllenhaal’s abs. (no explanation necessary)

19. Photo Booths. (I fantasize about owning my own photo booth.) (How cool would that me?) (My house would totally be the party house if I had my own photo booth.)

20. The Beatles. (so much goodness) (especially The White Album--my favorite)

21. The little old Armenian lady in Glendale who tipped me a dollar that one time. (This was years ago, when I was a senior in college, I was working as a host at Louise's Trattoria in Glendale. One of the Delivery guys called in sick and we were slammed with all of these deliveries, so they needed me to take some of the food out. I had to deliver a meal to this little old lady on the third floor of one of the apartment buildings on Jackson. I remember taking the elevator up, finding her apartment, knocking on the door. She opened the door and let me in, all smiles. I gave her the bag of food and told her what the total was and her face fell. She had cash for me, but she'd miscalculated what the total was going to be and she didn't have enough money to tip me. She was obviously upset and embarrassed and I told her not to worry about it and have a nice day, it honestly wasn't a big deal. This wasn't even my real job, I was happy to have a break from hosting in the actual restaurant. So I left her apartment and she apologized again, I got in the elevator, went down three floors, and then, as I was walking down the sidewalk back to my car, I heard someone yell out "hey!" from above. I looked back at the apartment building and this little old lady was standing at one of the third floor windows. We had eye contact, she stuck her hand out the window, and a dollar bill started floating down to me. It was like a feather, just whisp whisp whisp fluttering down. I caught it and smiled up at the woman and she smiled back down at me and then disappeared from the window. I don't even know why I just thought of that woman just now, but I always thought she was sweet for finding that dollar and not letting me get away without a tip.

22. Anderson Cooper’s smirk. (whatever you think of the guy, you have to admit that he has a really sexy smirk)

23. Rainy Days. (I hate the rain when I have a lot to do and a lot of places to be, because I hate to drive in the rain--I'm one of those people that other people are always complaining about when they say "people in Los Angeles don't know how to drive in the rain"--but when I don't have anywhere to be, I love the rain) (it's fun to stand in the rain and catch water in your mouth and just get soaking wet)

24. Regina Spektor. (Where has this woman and her music been all of my life?) (Her songs rattle around my head all the time.)

25. Tivo. (Even though I don't actually have Tivo, I have the cable company's knock-off version, but it's practically the same and it allows me to be a complete couch potatoe on my own terms, i.e. at one in the morning, and still have a life during "primetime hours") (I don't watch anything live)

26. John Irving. (Hello, A Prayer for Owen Meany)

27. Graham Greene. (if you haven't read The End of the Affair, you must)

28. Fyodor Dostoyevsky. (I had a debate about Dostoyevsky the other day with this student who was arguing that Raskolnikov should have just turned himself in and gotten it over with instead of going on and on, and I was like: "you are so dumb." Okay, I didn't really call her dumb, but I totally wanted to.)

29. The fact that I have a car that doesn't break down every day (knock on wood)

30. T.J. Wilk (too sexy for words)

31. The Real World/Road Rules Challenge (I wish this show was on every night of the week) (I forgot to watch it last week and I was so upset) (like, when I realized I'd forgotten to watch it, I literally gasped for air and cried out "no!")

32. People who give the "thank you" wave after you've let them into your lane (it's just the nice thing to do)

33. All You Can Eat Salad Bars (I love Soup Plantation) (but I go overboard)

34. Road Trips (It's been too long since I've been on one) (the last road trip I took was with Jessica, we drove from one side of the country to the other, dipping our toes in the pacific ocean at the beginning of the trip and the atlantic ocean in the middle of the trip, and then back in the pacific when we returned home) (I wish it was possible to drive to London)

35. London.

36. The fact that i'm not as much of a hypochondriac as i used to be.

37. Geniuses named David (as in Lynch and Milch)

38. Both of the awesome writing groups I'm a member of (i pinch myself, i feel so lucky to be involved with so many talented writers)

39. Having the freedom to say whatever I damn well want to.

40. And, of course, my blog readers. (love y'all)


Anonymous said...

Wow, you're welcome! (giggle) I'm #2, #32, and #40!
I can't wait until you rule the world because I could really use a 24 hour coffee shop about now.
You have me pondering "Imagine" and now I'm kinda depressed for two reasons: 1) because I didn't write it! and 2) because the world isn't that way! Wow, thanksgiving night bummer. Oooh, I'm thankful for Michael J. Fox too...speaking of which I think they now have the first season of Family Ties on DVD! Yippee! (Yes, I already know I'm a dork...a sad fact that statements like that only reaffirm...but I embrace my dorkiness so it's okay, right?.
Oh my god, A Prayer for Owen Meany...loved it..was my favorite book for a while.
Just a closing thought re: #5...our President was one (cheerleader)...and do you know any straight guy ones? Me neither. Enough said...thankful for #39...and you!...and the Beatles too, yeah, definitely the Beatles!

Anonymous said...

Bears and wrestlers and Vienna and a penis that gets bitten off in the front seat of a car and a transgender football player and Ellen Jamesians and worried parents, all made me want to write the Great American Novel. The World According To Garp changed my life, made me want to write like the sad neurotic wonder that is John Irving. And Owen Meany BROKE MY HEART and I loved it. I'd forgotten all that. Thanks for reminding me.

Erik said...

Cous, it is SO totally okay to embrace your dorkiness. Hell yeah.

Sorry to bum you out on the whole "Imagine" thing, but you've gotta admit it's a perfect song and I think of the hopefulness of it. I mean, yeah, the world isn't like that now, but if we could all believe...or even if most of us could believe.

Are you saying our President is gay? Because we don't want him. (When I say "we," I mean the gays.)

Erik said...

Doug, Owen Meany is my favorite of Irving's books, but Garp is a super close second. I actually read Garp first--and it blew me away--so weird and beautiful. But Garp was like a really good boyfriend, and then our relationship ended amicably, and then I found the love of my life in Owen Meany. Because Owen Meany is just beyond, you know? Just so good, it's beyond.

Anonymous said...

Holy crap! I love cheerleaders, too. Esp, male cheerleaders. Which brings me to this game which a friend just got from the local import store and let me tell you, it is rad. You command a troupe of 3 male cheerleaders that run around Tokyo cheering people up.
Best. Game. Ever.
Happy Thanxgiving!

TheDarkerUma said...

1) Tatoos that come about from being kicked out of a double feature because one has total trust that the design of them must be perfection.

vince hates vaughn because obesity excels

TheDarkerUma said...


Dave said...

I had never thought of Stuggle as being something to be thankful for. But you've changed my mind. It makes total sense now. How can we achieve if we don't have to actualy achieve. It's the stuggle that shows us what we've accomplished. Great, great way to look at it.

And you know what? I'm thankful for that lady in Glendale as well. It's people who give that make the world a better place for each and every one of us to live in. I'm gonig to try to give more.

Thanks for the thoughts Erik!

Anonymous said...

thank you, erik. i am thankful for you and your voice in this new fangles way of having community.

Anonymous said...

fangled, new fangled.

Anonymous said...

This list made me laugh and cry. Guess that tells you how awesome it is, how awesome you are.

Thank you, especially, for putting the struggle in perspective. In the wisdom department, and many others, you are still a Wonder Boy.