Oh hey friends, it’s the last day of this series. Today, I’m thankful for fleece blankets. And fleece everything. I’m currently writing this wrapped in a fleece blanket after a fun night out with a friend, skating and boozing (but not at the same time). I have many, many fleece blankets in my apartment. Before I graduated to colder weather coats as a “grown up” (pshhh), I lived in fleece jackets in Oregon. Fleece is so soft and cozy and happy. Fleece pants are magical. The fleece blanket on my bed is sometimes almost too warm. But I love it. Fleece is a great fabric.
And there we have it: 30 days of thanks. It’s been fun. I almost thought I’d give up a few times, but as you can probably tell, I can write a lot on the right kind of topic. Now, I need to make some grilled cheese and eat the cookies my mom sent me and then catch up on a ton of sleep. For the record: I will never complain about being cold ever again. Something went wrong in my building last night and the heat was around, oh, 90 degrees. My radiators were basically on fire. Imagine the hottest gross summer day, and add heat suffocation. Yeah. Time to catch up on real sleep and enjoy cold weather for not trying to kill me (at the moment). Annnnndddddd…. scene.
Today, I’m thankful for hard copy photos. I know everything is great with iPhone cameras and digital pictures and giant external drives, but I love being able to still print pictures and maybe make use of them somehow. I started to get into scrapbooking and cataloging pictures at the end of high school, and then I went to great lengths to scrapbook all four years of college. It took two giant albums plus a third for the trips I took outside Oregon. Also, true story, I was still using disposable cameras until partway through my sophomore year of college. (That was also the year I made the leap from Discman to iPod. Yeah, I grew up with techie engineers and I’m the biggest laggard ever.) Anyway, I love printing photos. I fell off the wagon about a year after moving to NYC in terms of scrapbooking and taking pictures. I don’t take photos the same way I used to, outside of the major trips or adventures I’ve gone on in the last few years. Since moving to Albany, I definitely haven’t take enough pictures. And there have been a lot of silly adventures. I like having pictures in frames and making collages. Sure, I also love that I can make a screensaver of all my favorite photos, but there’s something cool (maybe?) about handing someone an album to look through than saying “hey, did you see my Facebook album?” And lets be honest, you’re probably never going to be able to have a gathering where you share exciting new photos or stories like in the past when all your friends have already browsed your photos online and read your status updates or tweets. Oh crap, I’ve gone curmudgeon-y. Pictures are great. I wish I took more. The end.
Today, I’m thankful for candles. Specifically, pumpkin spice candles. I’ve mentioned before how despite the fact that I grew up in a season-less Southern California, we always had a lot of, for lack of a better description, fall stuff around. My mom was a California girl as well growing up, and after going to school in Oregon (um, yes, I see the pattern), she fell in love with the fall season with all the fun colors and scents, and kept them with her even when she moved back. Pumpkin spice reminds me of home, and it’s also a comforting smell in general. Best of all, I have the most gorgeous votives for my candles. Thanks to my wonderful friend Maren, who used to work for Glassybaby in Seattle, I have these handblown glass votives. Pretty, right? Hooray, candles!
Today, I’m thankful for ice skating. The rink at Empire State Plaza has opened last weekend and I’m already in love. I went once with Brigette last winter, but since we had such a warm winter part of the rink was all melty. This time Brig, Leo, Zoe and I went to the rink for some awesome skating and hot chocolate afterward. Lets say it was magical. But it was a lot of fun. And I do foresee many more trips out, especially on Fridays when the rentals are free and maybe with a little flask action on the side too.
Today I’m thankful for Community. And Scrubs. And Arrested Development. And How I Met Your Mother. And Parks and Rec. And Cougar Town (DON’T JUDGE ME). And any other TV show I’ve gotten into over the years. You see, all of these shows are more than just a mild obsession. Well, first of all, they’re huge obsessions. But the other key point is that they developed from friendships or have been a catalyst in a friendship. Community has been my biggest obsession of late (see here), but it all began with Scrubs. Christine lent me the first few seasons on DVD, and that turned into a “I know everything about every episode” obsession, especially when I interned in NYC without cable. It also started my background noise obsession, for better or for worse. Scrubs connected me to my first friend at my first job in NYC, Justin, who then turned me on to HIMYM. That show has let me down more than any other, but it still has a soft spot in my heart. Maren introduced me to Law & Order marathons and House. Arrested Development is thanks to Katie and an ex-boyfriend, which I later shared with future boyfriends and friends. Community was more of an obsession I brought on myself when I was unemployed, but it also later helped me make new friends in Albany. And thanks to social media and TV critic bloggers I can obsess in a little corner on my own — although for the record it is WAY more fun to nerd out over TV with friends. There are so many other shows here and there that I’ve picked up either completely or not (and while The Wire is a big obsession for me, I’ve only watched it once…), but I should stop before this because a really big rambling and reminiscing mess. I’m not in the mood to organize so you see a lot of stream of consciousness self-interrupted. Event that last sentence was a mess. Hey it’s a Monday. It’s been a serious case of the Mondays.
Today, I’m thankful for jukeboxes. I love that there are several bars in the neighborhood that let you play DJ. I’m not always the best at selecting songs – so much pressure! – but it’s still fun. Now I’d be in real trouble (er, more likely everyone else at the bar) if they actually have musical cast albums on there…
Today, I’m thankful for Oregon State University. This post is belated because I was busy watching OSU lose our annual Civil War game against University of Oregon. For the fifth year in a row. I drank a lot of beer last night. But the thing is, OSU brought so many great people, experiences, and things into my life. I never would have cared about football if I hadn’t gone to a (at the time) Pac-10 school. I met friends who are still some of my closest, even if we all live far apart from each other. From the very start a fluke last-minute change is how Christine became my freshman year roommate and we became best friends almost immediately. And over the years we’d reminisce about all the chance experiences and moments that caused a chain reaction leading us to something even greater. Thanks to OSU I worked on the newspaper, which lead to my internship at a small personal finance magazine in Corvallis which lead to my first job in NYC. Choosing a merchandising degree lead to me taking a chance on getting an internship at a fashion magazine in NYC, and thanks to working at the newspaper I had other friends coming to the city as well that summer, which is how I met Steph who became an amazing friend. The college experience is full of ups and downs, but I like that I can look back and see that a lot was put into motion during those years. Of course there are things I would like to change or do better, but I’m also pretty happy with the experience. And man, I REALLY miss the pacific northwest. It is so nice out there.
Today, I’m thankful for my grandfather. He passed away earlier this year and today would have been his birthday. He was a really great guy, a part of the long line of engineers in our family, and I’ll miss him.
Today, I’m thankful for video chatting. If you’ve been reading for a while, you know that I haven’t been back to California to see family since April 2011. Not going home for any holidays last year was very strange. I usually skip Thanksgiving since it’s too close to Christmas to be able to go home for both (although it is my favorite holiday by far). But with video chatting I’m able to still see people, and it can be a nice change from just talking on the phone. This picture is old (from mother’s day) but it’s pretty much the same vibe from my family: people and cats and fall decorations. If I can’t actually be with my family on the holidays, it’s nice to feel like I’m with them for a bit through video chatting. Happy Thanksgiving!
Today, I’m thankful for writing. I mean, that must be obvious, since I have a blog. I’ve always been into different types of writing and expression growing up. There are many journals in boxes somewhere in my parent’s house, as well as short scripts and idea scraps. After working hard at crafting my writing in high school and deciding to pursue it through the college newspaper at OSU, I started to figure out my voice and my strengths. I’ve written analytical papers, I’ve written fluff papers, I’ve been a reporter, I’ve written a fashion column, I’ve written the most boring copy and random copy for a slew of topics and companies. I like a good challenge. I also like catharsis. This week I’ve been inside my own head a bit too much, and there’s way too much to sort out that’s not appropriate at all for blogland (if I’m arguing all sides with myself in my brain, can you imagine the mess that would end up here?), and so I’ve been writing. My first impulse is to journal. If thoughts are replaying in my head over and over again like I’m trying to explain them to someone, usually writing them out helps. But with all the reading I’ve been doing lately, and after hearing Junot Diaz speak recently, I think about writing in other ways. Creativity is a great thing, even if it doesn’t lead to much. There are so many times I return to old stories I’ve written as part of coping with something or just for fun, and I’m genuinely surprised. Not just because it’s good (um, humblebrag?) but because it almost doesn’t seem like I wrote it.
Oh, and for the record, part of the reason my brain is messed up is from this WTF podcast with Daniel Smith. I listen to these interviews when I’m half awake in the morning. I’d like to read his books, but after listening to him and Maron talk through their anxiety and life problems, it all got inside my head so much that I’m not sure I could handle it.