Life's Pretty Good, Y'Know?
After a full day of eating on Thanksgiving, I lay in my bed, staring at my ceiling, having just fought through another tryptophanic nightmare in which the Pope burst into my room in a pillar of fire, forbidding me to ever brush my teeth again (not made up).
But really, apart from these gravy-induced visions, the day had been a good one. I had the opportunity to see lots of relatives and inform them that, no, I was not yet married. I tore through pies like clay pigeons, in a heated house, on a leather couch, and in front of a hi-definition football game.
Well, I was feeling mightily blessed, to say the least, and I remembered the list I had made a few months ago of things that bothered me. And yea, verily, I began to feel like a huge weenie.
Thus motivated by my burden of guilt, I got out of bed and forcibly wrote down a few things that I had to admit made my life a contented one, or at least a humorous one when rewound and played back on the great DVR of life.
However, what started out as a rememdy for a weighted conscience soon blossomed and blistered into a ravenous outpouring of ink as my writing hand was inundated with blessings that, I was painfully realizing, I did not show enough appreciation for. The logjam behind my ball-point didn't clear up till three in the morning, at which point my face was maybe a full inch from the surface of my desk. I threw myself back into bed and woke to edit what my pen had vomited during the night.
Well, I can't very well list everything I wrote down, partly for brevity's sake but also for fear of incrimination. I'd like to share this second list of some things that maybe make your life a little more liveable everyday. Some are small, some are grand, some are possibly the product of yam-based hallucinations. Enjoy.
1. A thick, new pair of socks.
2. When I order fast food, and Jimmy the fry cook accidentally puts an extra taco in my bag, and he "can't really, like, take it back, so just take it, dude. No charge." That's some gooood taco.
3. Bill Murray movies.
4. Cleaning out the dark recesses of my closet as an adult and finding toys that were the stinkin' coolest (e.g. Legos, Variations on the Ninja Turtle Theme, etc.) and sitting on my bed and playing with them for a half hour.
5. Going on a blind date, expecting to be paired up with Barath-Og the Dragon Woman, but actually meeting a really nice girl who ends up becoming a good friend.
6. But also, I have to love blind dates that are about as smooth as being dragged across the Bonneville Salt Flats behind a truck, because they make good stories later on and I'm sure help me more fully appreciate the one with whom I finish the race.
7. Friends who can laugh at the little things you do but never dislike you for them.
8. Extreme conservatives and liberals, because they give me someone to make fun of and make me feel reasonably normal.
9. Old paperback books that can be re-read countless times.
10. Compliments on things I do terribly (like when people say, "Great job on your solo in class today! That Debussy piece was perfect for your voice." And I say, "Oh, shucks..Thank you!" But really, I'm thinking, "That was an affront to the entire Romantic period of music, and I could possibly be executed for it in a number of European countries." Those compliments are almost as good and sustaining as the extra taco.)
11. The Muppets. You laugh, but I don't want to live in a world without them.
12. Also, Barney the Dinosaur (I recently came out as a closeted Barney-phile. It was hard at first, but I would never go back. I love him, and I'm pretty sure he loves me).
13. Leftovers that taste better the 2ND day.
14. Calling little kids the wrong name on purpose and watching their horrified, scrunch-faced indignation as they give you a look that says you're dumber than mud. ("My name is not Fred! It's Sara! I'm a girl!" "Whoa, whoa, Fred, no need to yell!" "IT'S NOOOOTTTT FFRRREEEEDDDDDDDD!!!!!" "What, Fred? I couldn't make that out.")
15. Otter pops. Particularly the red ones.
16. Writing something completely self-serving and giggling at it, knowing full well that it only amuses me, and then showing it to no one.
17. The infinite possibilities of the light bulb joke. One hundred years from now, in a Harvard English building, there will be a class entitled "21st Century Poetry: Free-Verse, Haiku, and Light Bulb Jokes."
18. Also, limericks. Try having a limerick-writing contest with someone. It's fun and educational.
19. Mormons who find it humorous to be made fun of, instead of just being offended by everything.
20. Nice old people who still remember common courtesies, like how to speak on the phone in a polite manner.
21. When little kids swear but don't know what they're saying. You try not to laugh. One of my fondest memories is walking up to my dad in zealous enthusiasm and bleating out the new word the neighbor kids taught me that day, waiting for his approval and watching him try really really hard not to laugh while he informed me that, though it rhymed with truck, it has nothing to do with one.
22. Any fourth quarter of a Utah Jazz game in which they can maintain a lead of ten points WITHOUT BLOWING IT AND GIVING ME ULCERS YOU STUPID PUNKS I KNOW PEOPLE IN COMAS WHO FIGHT HARDER FOR REBOUNDS!
23. Hymns performed as written.
24. Tater tots.
25. Finding a forgotten candy bar in my desk at work. Just try not to be happy when that happens. "Oh, man....A candy bar. That's horrible!"
22. Doing things like numbering lists incorrectly and watching peoples' faces scrunch up when they read it. Or singing a quarter-step flat in a chord, then looking around, practicing my anal-that's-the-wrong-pitch face while trying to catch the imaginary culprit and berate them with my raised eyebrows.
27. Foreign professional athletes who learned all of their English from other American professional athletes. ("Ya, we just is going to need give our A-game over 100% and you know, yeah. And crash de boards more so coach is happy man.")
28. Finding a shirt that's already ironed when you're in a hurry to get out the door.
29. Watching two dogs bark at each other through a fence.
30. Jigsaw puzzles. It's an acquired taste.
31. Also, maps. I could stare at a map for days. Africa, rural Iowa, inner-city Stockholm. Anything.
32. Reading a classic work and figuring out that, hey, this is one of those books that is not only famous, but actually enjoyable! How did that sneak past my professor?
33. GOOD cartoons, like the Ninja Turtles or Animaniacs. None of this Shiat-su, Princess Warrior of the Dead And Also Small Cute Pink Things garbage that kids watch these days.
34. Old, retired athletes who look up from their stock portfolios and real estate holdings and chuckle as today's Initialed Nicknames bear their bling across the gap of a mediocre, unremarkable career rife with dunks and missed free throws.
35. Badly-written sitcoms that are PG-rated on the worst day and about as deep as a cup of pudding. These beautiful shows can spend a half hour over the deep emotional complexities of Davey borrowing Bobby's sweater withough asking, and I love it.
36. Pudding cups.
37. 3 on 3 basketball games with a bunch of old, chubby guys with bad knees and white legs who like to stop and walk to the drinking fountain a lot. Also, they never get into fights over who exudes more testosterone, and they NEVER call each other for fouls.
38. Sight-reading a really difficult piece of music.
39. Christmas decorations I made in elementary school that Mom still puts out.
40. The smell of frying bacon.
41. People who can sit down and have a long conversation and don't see it as a waste of time. And by people, I mean girls. (That's right. I said it.)
42. People who not only say they aren't racists, but are, in fact, not racist.
43. When I fall asleep watching a movie and my cat briefly wakes me up by curling up on my chest and going to sleep.
44. Good-looking girls who say hi to me before I say hi to them. And also think nothing of it, knowing full well I have no shot. Like throwing bread to a duck, I know it's not that nutritious, but I'm pedaling my guts out for it every time.
45. When I get home and my dog is blissfully happy to see me and shoves her face between my calves and wags her tail and whines contentedly.
46. This may bug you, but I love Love LOVE it when the Sacrament meeting hymns are so slow that you can take a breath between every note.
47. People who understand when I'm making a joke.
48. People who do not understand when I'm making a joke, which is sometimes just as fun. For me.
49. Accidentally falling asleep on soft fuzzy carpet as the sun hits me through a window, then waking up and realizing it was only ten minutes, but I feel like I could run a marathon.
50. Huge Goliath-Burgers with everything on them that are so bad for me they verbally insult me as I'm eating them.
51. Running into an ex and seeing them with someone who's even goofier-looking than me. With less hair. Sadistic pleasure, I know, but a pleasure nonetheless.
52. Groucho Marx quotes. ("Time wounds all heels.")
53. I don't know what to put here, but I'm leaving it open. I quite literally left hundreds of other things off this list, but I would greatly appreciate your contributions. So, contribute! Let me hear about the things you love. I might not agree, which probably makes you wrong, but you'll get at least a B for effort.