A very incomplete list of things I am thankful for. Very. Incomplete.

Liquor stores, bars and taverns.  All those pretty bottles  make us feel happier, even if it’s only temporary.  Gratitude extends to beer, wine and all forms of adult beverages consumed in bars or in private residences.

 

Blue skies.

 

Trees.

 

The Pacific Ocean.

 

Books.

 

Music.

 

Music.

 

Books.

 

I know, but I really love books and music.

 

Deep thoughts.

 

Smart phones. Instant gratification on everything I am curious about–and I am curious a LOT.

 

Clouds.

 

Rain. Yes, I did express thanks for blue skies earlier.

 

Nacho Cheese Doritos.

 

Popsicles.

 

Asparagus.

 

Coffee. Oh my gosh, how did coffee not get thanks until this far down the list??

Coffee. Coffee. Coffee.

 

Music, books, music, books. I can’t let them think I love coffee more.

 

Down comforters in the Winter.

 

Pie.

 

Water.

 

French fries.

 

Ceiling fans.

 

Wool. I can spin it into yarn and then knit and weave garments. You will want to be my friend in the event of an apocalypse.

 

Black eyeliner.

 

Indoor plumbing.

 

Cars.

 

Cute shoes.

 

Northern Italy.

 

Cheese.

 

Pasta.

 

OK let’s just say food and call it good..but especially cheese and pasta. If you had cheese, pasta, coffee, beer and water you would not need a whole lot else. Especially if you knew someone who could knit you wool socks.

 

Fall days where it is just cool enough that you know that you won’t be able to go without a jacket for much longer but you still can.

 

The brassiere.

Air conditioned bedrooms

 

Keyboards/computers. As a leftie, it is wonderful to go through the day without my left hand all smudged. If you write from left to right like we do in English, and hold the pen or pencil in your left hand, it smears through everything you write and leaves the outer edge of your hand all stained. This problem is no longer much of an issue now that we do so much of our writing at a keyboard.

 

Smiling and laughing.

 

Teeth.

 

Clarence and George.

 

Rhett and Scarlett.

 

Hitchcock.

 

The tongue.

 

Amazon.

 

Words.

 

Silence.

 

Hats.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lists.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Is it any wonder I reject you first?

Is it any wonder I reject you first?
Fame, fame, fame, fame
Is it any wonder, you are too cool to fool.

–David Bowie/Fame

 

Ah, rejection.

So much human behavior is driven by a fear of it,

or because of receiving it.

 

Most of the time rejection sucks.

Sometimes it’s kind of a relief.

Sometimes it is good for you.

 

Like a lot of things, how we react to rejection is a big part of how well we overcome it.

Do we just give up, or do we keep trying?

Do we keep trying the same thing, or do we try something new?

 

Edison was fired from his first few jobs for being unproductive. I hear he overcame that early rejection and  invented some cool stuff later. Edison had the right sort of persistence: he not only kept trying through multiple failures, but kept trying new things.  I am unlike Edison in almost every possible way. (Unlike Edison as a band name? Maybe) I am a wimp about any form of rejection,even the mere possibility of it. Obviously, worrying about rejection that may or may not ever even happen is…sigh…yeah. Just dumb. I know, I know. Working on it. I’d figure out how many things I’ve not done or said in my life out of a fear of rejection but that would be even stupider than having worried about the rejection in the first place. And I hate math. (As well as punctuation, apparently…and when did I start misusing parentheses like this?!?)

 

On the other hand, it’s not good to totally ignore rejection, either. For instance, if you are eternally shot down for the same stupid line you use to pick up women in a bar…well…maybe you should take the rejection under advisement and figure out what it is that we find so objectionable. Is it you personally, or your corny line? Or both? (Taking a moment to give thanks for no longer being of an age and level of attractiveness that makes me a target for these guys)

 

Personal rejection is difficult for me in particular.  Are you a relative who told me that I’m lazy and stupid and will never be able to hold down a job? Yeah. I probably remember that. It motivates me in some ways, and just bugs the crap out of me in others. I can’t really argue with the part about being lazy, because I am.

 

On the plus side, I do get over rejection fairly quickly if it is professional or academic. I find it mildly annoying, if I think I’m right, to have an idea rejected. If I am wrong, I can mostly acknowledge it. Mostly. I don’t enjoy having an idea rejected because it is incorrect, but I do have to admit that I am not always right. And I can practically hear the sniggering! I don’t like to admit I’m wrong, but it does happen.

 

Do I have a point about this? Not really.

 

Just thinking out loud.

 

It would be out loud if you could hear me typing–I’m an assertive typer.

 

 

 

 

Losing my religion

I haven’t said enough

I thought that I heard you laughing I thought that I heard you sing

I think, I thought, I saw you try

But that was just a dream

–REM/Losing My Religion

 

I lost my religion gradually while I was a teenager.

As a child, I was quite religious. Or maybe I just really enjoyed singing. I’ve never been completely sure, but singing definitely kept me in a religious environment long after I’d otherwise lost all interest in organized religion.

 

The first blow to my life as a Believer was in Vacation Bible School when I was 11 or so. We were having a discussion about choosing between right and wrong, and how we had the ability to choose because God had given us the gift of free will. We could choose to do either right or wrong because God loved us so much he allowed us to choose. That confused me a bit. I’d been taught that God was both omniscient and omnipotent, so I didn’t understand how letting us choose when he must KNOW we were going to screw up could possibly be a loving thing to do. The teacher attempted to explain by explaining that God wanted us to freely choose to do the right things.  When I asked “but, you said he knows everything we are going to do as part of his plan for us! It seems kind of mean of Him to let us choose if he already knows we’re going to fail. Why let us choose? What doesn’t he just make us want to only do the right things?”

 

That was not well received.

 

I wasn’t trying to be argumentative (really!) but the woman teaching the class thought that I was questioning the will of God, and didn’t appreciate my curiosity one little bit.  I persisted (nicely! really!) in my questions and was asked to leave. Kicked out of Bible school. I was mortified. I also assumed that I was completely in the wrong.

 

That was the first crack in my religious armor.

 

The hole in my armor got bigger when Elton John came out. What does that have to do with religion? To me, as it turned out, it had everything to do with religion.

In one of my churches, when I was 9 or 10, someone had overheard me singing an Elton John song and commented that I probably shouldn’t listen to him because he’s a homosexual and the Bible says that’s wrong. I don’t think I knew what homosexual meant, but assured him that if Elton turned out to be a homosexual I would have to stop listening to him if the Bible said so.

A few years later, in  1976, when I was 12 or 13, Elton came out as bisexual in an interview with Rolling Stone magazine. By that time I had a better understanding of what homosexual meant, and also knew that I was not about to quit listening to my favorite performer because a book said some of the things he did were morally wrong.

 

Free will, right?

 

I chose music.

 

God clearly saw that one coming.

 

By that time, I’d already more or less stopped going to church. I attended a youth group through much of High School just because it involved very little preaching and a whole lot of singing.  As I got older, my religious beliefs fell away more and more.  For a while I tried to keep up a semblance of religious belief. First I would identify as an agnostic, but eventually had to admit that I simply did not believe in any kind of God at all any more.

 

I still don’t.

 

But I still love Elton John.

 

Music is one of the things I will always believe in.

 

 

 

 

Here is what Elton (via Bernie’s lyrics) has to say about criticism in the song “All the Nasties.”