Monday, November 25, 2013

November Days of Gratitude #13

Technology is a bedeviling mistress. It makes life so seemingly easy while at the same time, raising the level of expectations to challenging levels. Because I have a blog I am expected to maintain it. When I don't, there is a whiff of failure about me that has no real basis. I have done nothing but fallen below some artificial level that means nothing to anyone but myself (and some pretty persistent SPAMbots).

And so, I have reached the last week of the Month of Gratitude and I haven't even mustered even a half-month of things that can be seen as "praise-worthy." And for that, I am sure that YOU are grateful.


Because, really only one of you even asked me to do this, so no one is missing out on anything.

What else is there to say?

I am looking forward to the (slight) break in the work routine that Thanksgiving provides. (Even thought I will be doing work here and there.) But the food is always good and the opportunity to host Lynda's parents is always a good thing.

I could talk about this morning's tweet:

But that would probably take more time and careful thought and wordsmithy than I want to devote to it right now. But if you are not a SPAMbot, pester me about it and maybe I'll get into it more the next time I sit down to type. (The secret word will be: NERVES.)

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

November Days of Gratitude #12

It's true. My trip on the Gratitude Train got a bit bumpy in the last week. I missed a few stops and even switched tracks once or twice. But I'm back and I'm all aboard, with my ticket ready to give to the conductor. . . and now my train metaphor has pulled into the depot and has run its course.

But just because I missed a few days doesn't mean that I've forgotten what it means to be grateful. Far from it, friends. For today I have what is perhaps the thing that I am most grateful as we pass the halfway point in this month of Thankfulness.

Today, I am so very grateful that I know that the idea for this movie exists . . . because I need to spend my every waking minute trying to prevent a single image from ever being recorded.

(Credit:; text added by me)
I shouldn't have to explain to you what a bad idea this is. Now, I'm not going to sit here and tell you that It's a Wonderful Life is a pinnacle of cinematic achievement or anything . . . but it has become a deservedly beloved holiday classic. A movie that I enjoy watching each year around this time, thinking about jokes that I make with my family, imitating George Bailey's aw shucks line delivery, how he embraces the despair of his anger and then turns around and hugs Bedford Falls when he gets a new perspective on life.

I don't care that original actors are involved. I don't care what the story might be. Nothing . . . and I mean NOTHING about this movie can be good. It DOESN'T. NEED. TO. BE. MADE!

If wiser heads eventually prevail, then I'll have something else to be grateful for later.

Friday, November 15, 2013

November Days of Gratitude #11.5

I realized yesterday that I had nothing to really be thankful for. It was just a day of work and home, kids, wife, work-related stresses and attempts to overcome the same.

So, I was thankful for the realization that not every day is something to be celebrated and examined. 

(Credit:; First . . . what? Also, why is this related to the search term "everyday"?)

Some days simply are.

And making it through them is reward enough. 


As for today? 

Well, first of all TGIF, amirite?

And it was a semi-relaxing Friday, because I spent it at home--ostensibly as a vacation day, but most of the morning was done trying to catch up in work that is falling behind. And the weekend will be much the same . . . Trying to make it to Monday with my head high, ready to take on another week. 

Here's to hoping. 

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

November Days of Gratitude #10

I'm sitting here trying to get myself to focus on some work. But I don't really want to. I took last night off and nothing collapsed around me today, so it is sort of easy to justify doing it again. But I know I have more meetings tomorrow, which means less desk time to actually accomplish any actual shuffling of papers back and forth (or actually the attaching of files to emails).

But . . . while I might be grateful for either the wonders of the modern electronic office place, or I might feel gratitude toward the dawning realization that every night off doesn't spell doom . . . today I think I am grateful for seeing a challenge and then choosing to accept that challenge.


For, you see, today I tried eating an apple the "horse-approved" way. I pulled out the stem and just started eating. And when I was done, there was nothing left by a single solitary seed. It wasn't even hard (except for the part where my lunchmates were making me laugh and the fact that I'd already eaten lunch when the challenge was placed, so my stomach was already a bit full).

Experiencing this did make me think about the nature of the "core" of the apple, which I do believe is nothing more than psychology at this point. There was only a small bit of fibrous, stalky stuff as I ate through the middle of the fruit, and in combination with the (so-called) regular flesh of the apple, there was no discernible difference in taste.

While my witnesses acted horrified at what I was doing, it felt entirely normal. So, why is there some sort of psychological rejection of eating an apple this way? It must be only a state of mind, right? So I guess I just need to learn to take all of my preconceptions about the world and just throw them away, leave them behind, leave no trace of them . . . just like I left no trace of that apple by eating it like a horse.

Now, I know that I can do anything. Now I know that the world is my oyster. And when I eat that oyster, I might just eat the shell too.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

November Days of Gratitude #9

The month of gratitude is rattling on toward the halfway point.
Are you running out of stuff to be thankful for?
Well, if you are . . . you'd better get your mind right and start thinking about what's really important.

Me? I can't swing a dead cat without hitting something to be thankful about. And today, that thing is that I'm thankful for my BBC-logo, navy blue, hoodie zip-up jacket.*
(Credit: me. And don't let this expression fool you. I'm gratful as all get out about this jacket.)

Why am I in love with this jacket? First of all, I look great in it. And it is comfortable. Whenever I'm cold around the house, I put this baby on and BAM . . . instant warmth. Most weekends, when I roll out of bed, I just go ahead and put it on right away. It's got convenient, easily accessible pockets for either my hands, my cell phone, or sometimes BOTH.

(And if you know me, you know that quick access to my cell phone is a life priority. you never know when I might need to post a picture of a well-cooked omelet on Tumblr, which will be simultaneously posted on Twitter and Facebook. . . . Also, you're welcome.)

But here's a secret. When I first got this jacket--a castoff from my wife, who got it as some job-related swag--I DIDN'T like it. But once I imposed my sartorial will upon it, I fell in love hard.

So, if you see me around the office or in the city sporting my new favorite threads, give me a sly wink, or maybe even a quick high-five if you're feeling like it. I'll know what its all about.

* Yeah, it DOES deserve that many adjectives. When you love something, you want to describe it to your friends.

Monday, November 11, 2013

November Days of Gratitude #8

I almost didn't write anything today. And for that, perhaps YOU are grateful?
But I came up with something . . . I just don't know how full of snark and sarcasm it is. (It's not. Sorry.)
Really, I am just tired and want to not think and not do work and zip up my jacket and sip some pumpkin-flavored tea.

And is that so wrong?

So, I'll link you to this story that John Green tweeted about earlier today. And I'll tell you that I am grateful for reading the story and for letting it make them think about how complex people truly are. And for how we all tend to default about what we think other people are like and how it is sad when we take action based on those assumptions. And how I wish we as a society could give others the opportunity to prove us wrong . . . if they were give the chance.

And now I'll stop typing and let someone else tell the story better than I.

(Click on the image to be taken to the story.)

Sunday, November 10, 2013

November Days of Gratitude #7

Today, to put it simply, I'm grateful to learn that I've been eating fruit like a putz since . . . like, FOREVER!

If you've followed me for a while, you know that I'm always learning the proper way to eat fruit--even if it challenges everything that I know as a human being to be wrong and weird.

I first reported on this back in 2009 . . . so long ago that the original video is long dormant and probably hanging out with David Lightman's computer speaker. So I re-found it to remind you.

But what is today's remarkable discovery? How to eat an apple like a BOSS.

(Credit: Foodbeast TV via

Want to see it in action? Watch the mind-blowing video and ask the same question that I asked. Is it witchcraft?


I'm sort of afraid of what I'll discover next. But I'll surely be grateful when I discover it.

Saturday, November 09, 2013

November Days of Gratitude #6

I've got some stuff going on today, so I've got to get my November gratitude moment in a bit early.
And in honor of last night's episode of Legend of Korra, in which we got to enjoy the "return"of some old school Aang-era friends, today I am grateful for Wang Fire.

Wang Fire is Sokka's embearded alter ego. His wise mentor. His better, more forceful self.

Just look at him. He's prominently displayed on my phone's lock screen.

He knows what's what and he knows what he likes. (And he'll signal his approval with a golf-appropriate clap that will make you feel warm and fuzzy inside.

But don't get Wang Fire angry! When he get's angry, he'll straighten you out something FIERCE!

But don't despair, because Wang Fire is a family man. He loves his kids with a burning as magnificent as his very strokable beard.

He's always available for a therapy session, to help smooth out the rough patches. Get to know him. You'll be glad that you did. 

Friday, November 08, 2013

November Days of Gratitude #5

You probably thought I wax gonna take the night off because . . . weekend? Well think again you guys! Because the November gratitude train stops for no one and no thing.

And for that, we are quite thankful. (Especially those of us who value punctuality and tight scheduling.)

Today, I am thankful that Jamie Buchman has provided a new way to teach my children about how they fall short from my astronomically high standards. 

Here's the backstory.

Last night I was sitting up late, maxin' and relaxin' after a long day of work. And while Lynda slept on the couch, I chose to watch some old DVR episodes of Mad About You. Unfortunately, one of the recorded episodes was a clip show ("The Test" if you're curious). Fortunately, it featured one of my favorite 15 seconds of the series.

(Helen Hunt, you can paper my roll anytime.)
So, just substitute me for Jamie/Paul for my kids and keep everything else the same. In my mind, this scenario happens nearly every single day. Why can't they learn to put a new roll on? And, certainly I've asked this question before. But I'm trying to be understanding, I guess. This is just what I do.
I get up in the mornings and survey the rooms. If the kids are awake, they've probably left their fans on. And when I go into the bathroom, it's certain that the nightlight is still on, even though it isn't needed in the daylight hours. But it's no problem to switch that off (to save bulb life, don't 'cha know) because I've got to be in the bathroom anyway to pull the bunched up shower curtain back closed again (to help it dry and . . . because it looks better that way. And while I'm at it, I'll notice the probable lack of toilet paper because odds are, the toilet isn't flushed anyway.
And, for that last one  . . . I don't really mind so much, at least not in the morning. Chances are, if they remember to flush the toilet I'll be in the shower and will get scalded with suddenly hot water. So, they've learned to hold off on that.
BUT . . . if they learned just to listen to see if the shower was running . . . I wouldn't NEED to check on them about it.
BUT, but, but . . .
. . . this is about gratitude. And while I found another instance of the problem this very morning . . . I am grateful that Jamie Buchman is here to help me lead them to water.

Thursday, November 07, 2013

November Days of Gratitude #4

Today, I am grateful to know what the fox says.

Wa-pa-pa-pa-pa-papow! is my favorite, for some unspeakable, deeply unknowable reason.

(This may be old news to you. But hey, I'm really busy today and I need . . . NEED . . . to be grateful for something. It's the November imperative.)

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

November Days of Gratitude #3

In my ongoing series of being super thankful during the month of November (and ONLY in November) . . . today I am glad that Lady Gaga is going into space.

(Credit:Julian Parker/UK Press via Getty Images)
 This is, I think, what the movies Apollo 13 and Gravity have been trying to tell us. Their lesson is that space is easy. It is a hospitable environment that anyone is suited for. And who among us is MORE suited for space than Lady Gaga?

I sort of feel responsible for this turn of events, because I have spent a good portion of time supporting/glorifying/celebrating celebrities . . . encouraging them to think that they can simply do whatever they want.

But maybe it's not all my fault. Maybe Felix Baumgartner's jump from the edge of space just made it seem all quite easy. (I mean, he only achieved a speed of 700 miles per hour, while recovering from some insane spins, and ended up landing on the ground and walking away like . . . hey, dude, no problem.)

Or perhaps its was Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield's personalization of life in space (not to mention his public heckling of the disaster . . . or was it just the physics? . . . depicted in Gravity) made it all seem so, um, easy?

But it's not JUST wackos on the edge of the world making it seem easy. Have you already forgotten about wire-walker Nik Wallenda's casual stroll over the Grand Canyon?

So, all things in all . . . it guess it's surprising that Lady Gaga hasn't been in space BEFORE now.

I'm just grateful that she's going at all.

God speed Gaga.

You go for us all.

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

November Days of Gratitude #2

Get Thankful everybody. It's the time after summer, between Halloween and Christmas, when we all have to tote up our blessing and remember that we have got it really good. Shove down those work frustrations. Put aside those unfulfilled life goals. Overlook those daily failings. Life is better than you think, says I.

How do I know?


Well, today, I am thankful for tact . . . and I bet that you are as well.

Without tact, we'd actually say what we think. And if we did that, each day would be some sort of verbal Armageddon and we'd really be angry all the time because everyone would be confronting us with the worst version of ourselves . . . most likely the version of ourselves that we are afraid to admit to and that we really don't want people to deal with.

So, we hid behind tact and politeness and get-alongingness and we're all in this togetherness. And it is the glue that makes things stick. It is the lubricant that smooths over the rough patches. It is the grease that helps me get through a day when everyone is looking out for their own interests but I am worried that I'm never looking out for mine.

[And yes, I'm sure some of you might read yourselves into these sentences, and I can only say that this post is motivated by a single incident that happened to me this very afternoon at 4 pm and it happened when I got home and it isn't related to members of my family and it isn't directly work-related. So . . . I PROMISE . . . rest easy. This is NOT about YOU.]

See, how I just used tact and conciliation to ease your concerns--assuming you have any? I could have just left it out there and left you to twist and worry all night long wondering . . . Is David hating on ME?! But what did I do?!!! I can't have David hating meeeee! (I assume you are all worried about how I view you at all times.)

But I was tactful. I assuaged your fears. I'm not angry with YOU.
I'm just angry at THAT person over there . . . the one behind you, standing slightly to the side, the one that I'm directing my angry eye toward. THAT one . . . And BOY are they gonna feel the burn when I unleash my tact-less comments in their direction!

Monday, November 04, 2013

______ Days of Gratitude

It's a few days into November! And you know what that means . . .

Yep. All of Facebook is full up of people listing their thanks, their warm fuzzies, their moments of gratitude and secret thoughts for how great things are. And, really, that is great. I have lots of those things. The problem is . . . I'm keeping track of them . . . sort of . . . in a jar at my office desk (where I sorely need to be reminded of good things every now and then).

So I can't step all over the toes of THAT post, which will probably be written sometime in January 2014, when I sit down and review those slips of paper and then wonder why I have this huge hole of not noticing anything between June and (probably) December. (One may hope that I can proudly look on my ever progressing work project and say . . . oh, yeah . . . THAT THING.)

Still, who am I to pass up a good meme and force myself into doing some blogging. (Since I'm certainly NOT doing NaNoWriMo.)

So, now that I've let almost four days slip past me in this month of gratitude, I'll kick it off with this:

Item 1: I'm grateful that I am not living in the middle of a zombie apocalypse.

If the worse happened, I'd end up like this little dude. (Credit:

Sure, it might feel that way . . . but trust me. We are NOT living through a zombie apocalypse right now. (And I should know, since I've read the Zombie Survival Guide, watched all episodes of The Walking Dead, and even played some zombie-themed board games.)

Because of this expertise, I can assure you that we are not currently experiencing the nightmare of relentless attacks from undead hordes. (Those are only the robo-calls for tomorrow's school board elections.)

If this WERE a zombie apocalypse, I wouldn't even be here. I would have bit the dust a LOOOOONG time ago. As my aforementioned research in this topic has shown me, I do not have the skills needed to fight off hordes of  walkers/skin-eaters/biters/what-have-yous. I would have twisted my ankle on day 4 and become some corpses' lunch before the weekend. No, I'm not equipped for such a catastrophe.

I know some techniques:
  • fill up an upstairs bathtub with drinking water
  • hide out with suitable weaponry on the second floor
  • destroy the staircase, because zombies can't climb
  • hope the horde moves on so that you can forage
 But its unlikely that you can rebuild a civilization upon such a flimsy structure.
I have no Scouting experience and I have proven many times over that I'm not much in the way of handiness. So . . . unless you need females to repopulate the planet or you need the occasional joke about LOST to get you through a tough day of fighting off the recently deceased . . . I'm just not your guy.

Sorry. . .

So, I'm happy THAT is not my problem today.