A wee bit o’ grateful randomality.

I’ve been in a bad mood for days and days and days (with intermittent cheeriness when not required to think) for reasons that are simultaneously very solid and deeply boring. So. Not going to get into that.

BUT: I haven’t been required to think much today, as I have pottered about my Thanksgiving preparations, and even as I type I can hear my children and husband having a blast while they pick up the basement (having fun as they pick up — all in all, it’s not a bad life), and I’m really, really trying to come up with a post. Yet, as they say in… in… Yiddish, maybe?… “yok.” A big fat nothing. (Might be Turkish. I’m really not clear on this).

BUT THE SECOND: I just saw someone on Twitter saying they’re grateful this Thanksgiving that it’s President Obama and Vice-President Biden, rather than President McCain and Vice-President Palin, and as a shudder went down my spine, I thought: “Oooh, yes. I am very grateful for that, indeed!”

So. A random list of things that bear being grateful for, even if they might not be the first thing to come to mind:

  1. The fact that it’s President Obama and Vice-President Biden, not President McCain and Vice-President Palin. Pause to let that sink in for a bit.
  2. Firefly. Obvs. (For reference, click here, and also here).
  3. Nathon Fillion, Alan Tudyk, Gina Torres, Jewel Staite, Sean Maher, Morena Baccarin, Summer Glau, Ron Glass, and Adam Baldwin (the cast of Firefly). And mostly Joss Whedon (creator, producer, often writer and director of Firefly. Not to mention composer of the very, very shiny theme song to Firefly). And the fine people at the Horde who hounded me into watching Firefly.
  4. Indeed, the Horde itself. It is a rare and delightful thing to find and help form a genuine community of caring, crazy-smart, and ding-dang funny people on the internet, yet there it is. Even though I’ve been in too bad a mood to hang out much the past few days, I’m very glad to know they’re out there in the tubes.
  5. Which I suppose means I’m also grateful for the person of, not just the writing of, Ta-Nehisi Coates, at whose blog the Horde gathers, but that sounds a little weird, so we’ll just leave that as subtext. Though I’m happy to be openly grateful for his writing.
  6. My couch. (You don’t know this [well, most of you don’t] but my couch is the best couch in the universe, and the husband and I often comment — as the four of us sprawl across its sectional awesomeness — that it’s the best decision we ever made. Short of, you know, each other).
  7. The Black Keys – a most rocking twosome that I discovered this year and really, really love.
  8. These two straight guys kissing to protest the threat posed to Spain’s marriage equality law.
  9. The fact that Whole Foods got in a new shipment of that corn bread mix that my kids love.
  10. Oatmeal. With raisins and brown sugar.

I am, of course, very grateful also for the more obvious things (the kids and husband themselves, for instance, and friends and a beautiful home and my health and so on), but then, you already knew that, didn’t you? I’ll bet the couch thing hadn’t even crossed your mind!

If you’d like to leave your own utterly random list in comments, please do! And, while I’m at it – #11: My readers and commenters. Thanks so much for coming by, you guys. It means more than I think I can rightly say, but I take it as a real kindness. Thank you.

Happy Thanksgiving to one and all!


  1. I’m grateful for the Horde, too. And for great friends IRL. And, tonight, for sambal oelek chili sauce. Also for The Vampire Diaries (although I’m sad that it’s off the air until January). And, as the cold dark depths of the Yukon winter close in on me, I remind myself daily to be grateful for how f*cking beautiful it is here at this time of year.

    • : )

      Another thing to be grateful for: You can curse on WordPress all you want. You fucking heard me, god damn it!

      • helensprogeny

         /  November 25, 2011

        A-fucking-men! And also, (just because I can): a big “fuck you” to Disqus. Which I mean in the friendliest possible way.

  2. caoil

     /  November 23, 2011

    Of course you know we’re thankful for you, right?

    • Aw. And here it’s not even your Thanksgiving! Thank you right back.

      • caoil

         /  November 25, 2011

        I don’t think I can confine my thankfulness for certain things to just one day a year! 🙂

  3. I’m grateful for the many second chances life offers. I have been lucky and blessed to have them.

  4. Lise

     /  November 23, 2011

    Your sister.

  5. wearyvoter

     /  November 24, 2011

    I am grateful for the Horde. I am also grateful for a husband who likes to cook, and will have time to do so tomorrow. (I will be following behind him on “clean as you go” and to hunt things out of obscure corners of the fridge and cupboard and bucket brigade them to the prep area.)

  6. wearyvoter

     /  November 24, 2011

    Also, too, I am grateful that you run an open thread here when TNC needs to be elsewhere.

  7. dmf

     /  November 24, 2011

    By John Ciardi
    Once I had 1000 roses.
    Literally 1000 roses.
    I was working for a florist
    back in the shambling ‘Thirties
    when iced skids of 250 roses
    sold for $2 at Faneuil Hall.
    So for $8 I bought
    1000 roses, 500
    white and 500 red,
    for Connie’s wedding to steadiness.

    I strewed the church aisle whole
    and the bride came walking
    on roses, roses all the way:
    The white roses and the red roses.
    White for the bed we had shared.
    Red for the bed she went to
    from the abundance in her
    to the fear in what she wanted.
    The gift was not in the roses
    but in the abundance of the roses.

    To her
    whose abundance had never wholly
    been mine, and could never be his.
    He had no gift of abundance in him
    but only the penuries of sobriety.
    A good steady clerk, most mortgageable,
    returning in creaking shoes over
    the white and the red roses. Returning
    over the most flowering he would ever
    touch, with the most flowering I
    had ever touched. A feast of endings.


    This morning I passed a pushcart
    heaped with white carnations
    as high as if there had fallen all night
    one of those thick-flaked, slow, windless,
    wondering snows that leave
    shakos on fence posts, polar bears
    in the hedges, caves in the light,
    and a childhood on every sill.
    Once, twice a year, partially,
    and once, twice a lifetime, perfectly,

    that snow falls. In which I ran
    like a young wolf in its blood
    leaping to snap the flower-flakes
    clean from the air; their instant on the tongue
    flat and almost dusty and not enough
    to be cold. But as I ran, face-up,
    mouth open, my cheeks burned
    with tears and flower-melt,
    and my lashes were fringed with gauze,
    and my ears wore white piping.

    There is no feast but energy. All men
    know—have known and will remember
    again and again—what food that is
    for the running young wolf of the rare days
    when shapes fall from the air
    and may be had for the leaping.
    Clean in the mouth of joy. Flat and dusty.
    And how they are instantly nothing—
    a commotion in the air and in the blood.
    —And how they are endlessly all.


    My father’s grave, the deepest cave I know,
    was banked with snow and lilies. We stuck the dead flowers
    into the snow banks dirty with sand
    and trampled by digger’s boots.
    The flowers, stiff and unbeckoning,
    ripped from their wires in the wind
    and blew their seasons out as snow
    Purer than the snow itself. A last
    abundance correcting our poverties.

    I remember the feasts of my life,
    their every flowing. I remember
    the wolf all men remember in his blood.
    I remember the air become
    a feast of flowers. And remember
    his last flowers whitening winter
    in an imitation of possibility,
    while we hunched black
    in the dirtied place inside possibility
    where the prayers soiled him.

    If ever there was a man of abundances
    he lies there flowerless
    at that dirty center
    whose wired flowers try and try
    to make the winter clean again in air.
    And fail. And leave me raging
    as the young wolf grown
    from his day’s play in abundance
    to the ravening of recollection.
    Creaking to penury over the flower-strew.


    This morning I passed a pushcart
    heaped beyond possibility,
    as when the sun begins again
    after that long snow and the earth
    is moonscaped and wonderlanded
    and humped and haloed in the
    light it makes: an angel
    on every garbage can, a god
    in every tree, that childhood
    on every sill.—At a corner of the ordinary.

    Where is she now? Instantly nothing.
    A penury after flower-strew. Nothing.
    A feast of glimpses. Not fact itself,
    but an idea of the possible in the fact.
    —And so the rare day comes: I was again
    the young wolf trembling in his blood
    at the profusions heaped and haloed
    in their instant next to the ordinary.
    And did not know myself what feast I kept
    —till I said your name. At once all plenty was.

    It is the words starve us, the act that feeds.
    The air trembling with the white wicks
    of its falling encloses us. To be
    perfect, I suppose, we must be brief.
    The long thing is to remember
    imperfectly, dirtying with gratitude
    the grave of abundance. O flower-banked,
    air-dazzling, and abundant woman,
    though the young wolf is dead, all men
    know—have known and must remember—

  8. Darth Thulhu

     /  November 25, 2011

    Thankful for your warmth and decency. Happy Turkey Weekend!

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