Thanksgiving was a low key affair this year. Just me and Caitie, but in the end, if I were to choose one person to spend Thanksgiving with, it would be her anyway. We went to a well-known diner for dinner where they gave us FAR too much turkey. It was actually quite a deal - soup, salad, MOUNTAINS of turkey (including a giant leg), stuffing, potatoes, spinach, drinks, and desserts (and they even threw in an extra piece of pumpkin pie for us to take home) for each of us for a grand total, tip included of 54 bucks. We have turkey for the next week. I suppose we can't really gripe too much, though both of us missed our families.
Which brings me to some of the top ten things that I'm thankful for this season:
1) First, naturally, Caitie. She's my soulmate, and there's little more to be said that isn't summed up in that word.
2) My family including my new in-laws who support us and love us.
3) A house over our heads, even if it is way over-priced and not in the greatest condition - there's a sense of pride HAVING a house and feeling very "adult" every time I walk into "our space."
4) NOT having roommates invading "our space" any longer (apologies to Bill, who we did actually like quite a lot).
5) Our friends - old and new. This year has really shown Caitie and me what friendship means as we have both gained and lost friends (no one died, but there are people now in this world who were one-time friends of ours who aren't any longer) during the past 12 months. Some of our old friends have shown just how good friends they could be, and we are both grateful for the new friends that we've made, especially those on our honeymoon and those in the past few months at the gaming club.
6) Emerald Tales -- I had my first short stories published this year. I've spent a lot of time sending out to agents for my novel and gone no where. Diana read my first submission to her magazine and liked it enough to publish it. She subsequently chose two more of my stories. Her themes have given me some great sparks of inspiration, and I feel I've been doing some of the best writing I've done as a result.
7)The authors of all the books I've read this year, especially Stephen King. Why Stephen King? Because this was the year I finished the Dark Tower series, started Under the Dome, and read On Writing. There's no question his work has been an influence on me, and I'm thankful for that. I've read many other books this year, but King's have taken quite a lot of time and given me many hours of enjoyment - for that I'm grateful.
8) My green class this year. I've made it no secret that I'm not always thrilled with the way things are going at my job. I'm trying to stay positive here, so I won't go into the details, but I want to mention my green class. This group of 18 students made me remember why I went into teaching in the first place. The kids are smart, funny, and creative. When they come into the class my whole room changes. I don't have to yell at them for not doing their work, I don't have to yell at them for talking too much, I don't have to pull questions or thoughts from them like a dentist pulling teeth. We started a project as a class this year and they stuck with it - and it's going to turn out to be AMAZING when it's done. Another group of kids couldn't have pulled this off. Included in this class are one kid who has become my right-hand man at acting club, another who has asked me to work with her personally to try to get a children's story she's writing published, and a third who my partner and I took a chance on moving into enrichment this year and she has completely blossomed as a student. So, green class, thank you for keeping my head above water!
9)Glee, Modern Family, Flash Forward, V, and Lost. OK, so Lost gets added because it's the last year and the eagerness with which I'm anticipating the final season is unparalleled in my TV watching career. The other shows have given me hope that maybe TV isn't going to completely devolve into reality show nonsense (though I admit I still love me some Survivor and Big Brother!). Glee and Modern Family are hilarious, Flash Forward and V are intriguing. I'm not going to be snobby and downplay the fact that I watch TV - I do and I love it. I'm grateful for these shows and their writers (along with the other shows that we've been watching for years) for keeping us entertained.
10) The internet. Yes, this is a little late in coming, but I've realized this year just how integral to our lives the net has become. Honestly, think about your life - how many aspects of it are not in SOME way connected to the net? I look back at this list, and EVERY one of them is connected through the net - I met Caitie online, I keep in touch with my family online (Marci, get AIM already because Facebook messenger drives me nuts), we keep in touch with our friends online and even found the game club we go to on meetup.com, the roommates who allowed me to keep the house -- all found on Craigslist (ironically except for Bill...), Emerald Tales - found it online, I ordered books/reserved them from the library/found out about new ones online (no ereader yet - MAYBE next year, though doubtful), my students couldn't pull off the project they're doing without the net and hopefully will post it online soon enough, and I spend far more time than I should writing about/reading about theories on FlashForward and Lost. All this, plus time spent playing poker, bejeweled (damn game took up WAY too much time this year) and plenty of others; going through facebook; watching hulu and youtube; getting netflix; buying wii games;p buying and listening to music (which could be a whole topic unto itself) -- where would our lives be now without the net?
So, there you have it. If you've made it this far, well, then, I suppose I'm grateful to you as well for that. Hopefully next year I'll be thankful for my book being published....hopefully....