Thursday, December 12, 2013

"Thanksgivember"

Seems I haven't blogged in a little while. So as not to give the impression that I'm dead, here is what I was doing on Facebook in November, with edits kept to a minimum.

Oh, and do read that article I mention in the twenty-eighth entry. Many things I wanted to say on here but couldn't figure out how to express.

****

In past years, my cousin, among others, has done this "Thirty Days of Thanksgiving" thing wherein each day in November, the participant comes up with one thing for which they're thankful. Given the way I've been feeling of late, I'm going to at least make an attempt at this, just as my own exercise in knowing what's good. See how I fare. Starting with....

....well, how 'bout my aforementioned cousin, who did this the past two years and managed to keep most every entry engaging. Always one of my favorite people — an honestly loving fan of peace, cats, and all things good. Sense of humor, too. Hope to soon be in your metro, cous'. (I keep these statuses "public"; I can tag you if you like.)


Today on Thanksgiving Theatre:

The 1971 Alvarez acoustic six-string that is nestled inside my gig bag just behind me to my right. I feel so naked and incomplete when it's not with me. (I'm still incomplete, but I'm much better.) Sometimes I even get to play it, and I think I do pretty well, considering my wholly unorthodox style.


This fine extended Sunday in the land of Thanks: An extra hour of sleep. Pity it only happens once a year. This orb spins far too fast for my taste.

I will also cast a vote for bagels and lox.


Forth comes the fourth:

One of the few upsides of being forever unemployed is that I'm generally not bound to routinely rising at obscene hours of the morning. I honestly have no idea how I ever made it through middle and high school. College, though better with scheduling, remains an enigma in my head, despite seven and a half years of imprisonment there. My natural circadian rhythm seems to be that of a different planet, drifting through all bits of the Earth day through the days. I rather do prefer to stay true to (my) nature.


Harmonic Fifth:

In some years, and perhaps in some places, this would be Election Day here in the States. Traditionally, I've kept my politics on the blog and off of here, but I want today to acknowledge "the good guys" — the ones who believe in, and work toward, equality, opportunity, basic health and dignity, and peace, for everybody. (Here's a hint: Many of the "good guys" are not guys.) I do believe, conceivably naïvely, that we're going to see more of them in power fairly soon — maybe even enough of them to make a difference.


Sixth and stones may break for a few minutes:

The fact that I am done with college and academia. I speak from eight years and five or so varied majors of imprisonment there: It is a cold, lonely, isolating experience that is absolutely not worth twenty thousand a semester (unless you're really really really into being cold, lonely and isolated). Now I'm still cold, lonely and isolated, but at least I'm not rushing into deadlines for a price that a corporation would be lucky to afford (because corporations are totally people who go to college and everything). Something went terribly, terribly wrong with our education system somewhere along the line.


Unseventhed bread:

As sort of a follow-up to yesterday's entry in the "thankful" series (the relevance will become apparent), I remember my aunt Cookie. For the bulk of her story, you can check my archived blog entry. About half a year after I posted that entry, she was finally, mercifully, relieved from her earthly condition and memorialized in typically cold Chicagoland winter sunshine. She had no children, thus leaving my cousin and me as beneficiaries. Though my memory of her actual personality fades — she was sweet, I can say that much — my inheritance from her just about exactly satisfied my student loans, therefore relieving me of all but health insurance payments to haunt me all my days.

So, Cookie, many thanks for memories of happy times (I don't much mention them on the blog, but we had good holidays together in the old days) and for a significantly less dark time now. I hope you are enjoying peace and happiness in the next world, whatever it may be.


Livin' on th'eighth:

As long as I'm on aunts, I gotta shout out to my "main" one — my one remaining immediate aunt, who has stayed close with me and mine, lending graces, support, advice, and all things good through the years. Excellent host, award-winning care professional, mother of my cousin, and all-around solid-minded person. Also, she's on here (in tastefully limited doses). Hi Auntie dearest! Σ:+)


Number nine.... (repeat a few times)

("Ninth" is a really awkward word. Nothing appears to rhyme with it. I cannot think of anything clever to do with it.)

The fact that my family finally has something in the works to get the %$@& out of these flatlands. No offense to my friends who live here, but this town has nothing to offer me — no jobs, no truly close friendships, never mind romance — nothing. Yay for change! And yay once again for my cousin, who essentially led the way to the new metro! In fact, most immediate family is at our destination this weekend. Hi family! Snuggle the cats for me!


For all in tenths and purposes:

We are living in an age where technology has made it such that quick, clean transit to different pieces of geography is very much possible and nearly always at hand.

This is, of course, a doubly-edged sword that requires a sure, steady hand.......


The eleventh in the room:

Given what my feed on here looks like right now, this must be Veterans' Day. Now, I've honestly never quite figured out how I feel about soldiers past or present. I'm sure historically a great many fought for things they actually believed in and were genuinely convinced that they, their nation-state, and their actions were right. I'm sure they generally don't deserve to be stripped of domestic dignities, as seems to be a thing in the political world here. And I realize, from the back of my mind, tales of my grandfathers fighting in the second "world war", an event that is probably more talked about and referenced in culture and contemporary life than any other.

So in an effort to keep my offense to a minimum, I will respectfully acknowledge everybody who played a role in shaping the world into something we can recognize today (It's not easy). I wish you peace, love, happiness, and perhaps even some *tangible* survival benefits.


See for your twelfth:

This is my parents' wedding anniversary. We celebrated with a nice meal out this past evening — stuffed mushrooms, calamari, salad, shared entrees including creamy rigatoni and chicken piccata, crème brulee — majestic stuff. We celebrated the evening *before* the actual day, because later today, my mother must leave me, father, and the dogs alone for a while to look after *her* mother, who lives on rather a different continent. So the time seems just appropriate to dedicate an entry in my "thankful" series to the folks — especially..........Mom.

Mom is undoubtedly the brains of our little three-piece vehicle in the cornfields. She has our finest financial sensibility; she seems to instinctively know all the little things in domestic life that simply don't come naturally to father or me; she showed the lion's share of interest in and attention to me as I developed; she "sure can cook!"; and, as we and time have evolved, she greatly splits with me the task of looking after father (while she still looks after me to an extent).

We don't always see eye to eye on things. She still scoffs at the "Cheshire Adams" moniker; I suspect she always will. Our world views and basic philosophies are forever at odds with each other. Our mutual tastes are next to nil beyond the realm of food. But at the heart of the matter, she's kept me sheltered, fed, clothed, and comfortable. And those are pretty damn advantageous qualities.

So here's to Mom, a 'Book dweller among my friends here. I bid you a safe and pleasant journey across the globe, as well as health to Grandma and everybody. I'll be waiting for you over here......alone.....with father......and the dogs......and.......



OH GODS PLEASE DON'T LEAVE ME


Lucky thirteenth: Mother is at grandma's place intact. Yay!

Fourteenth or againtht them?:

A bot cannot replace me.

Σ;+)


(Editor's note: At the time of the fourteenth entry, the 'Book feed was flooded with people playing with an app called "What Would I Say?" that read the users' statuses and produced mostly nonsensical word strings based thereon, signed "-[user]bot".)

Out of my brain on this fine fifteenth:

A day shall come when I will never again have to do suburban yard work.


Sweet sixteenth:

Hugs.

Most any time I can get 'em, I'll give 'em. This culture is nearly devoid of friendly physical touch — much to its detriment, I firmly believe. We're hardly close with anybody anymore. Physical proximity just may promote mental/spiritual proximity. And if nothing else, it's something I can give in the absence of items or funds.

(Conceivably related note: family Thanksgiving tomorrow! Yay!)


Edge of seventeenth: These all-too-elusive *joyous* family gatherings.

(posted a considerable number of hours before the event, so that I may be enjoying the actual event rather than checking into cyberspace all throughout it. Ya dig?)


What I eighteenth:

Cranberry sauce, pickles, dark meat, shrimp, pasta, cake, pie, chocolate, and all other edible delights.

Thanks also to the family and friends that allowed me to partake in festivities this past day!


Nineteenth new-Facebook-down:

Music.

I can't imagine too many of you who are friends with me requiring an explanation of this, so suffice it to say that life would suffer greatly without it.


Where you twentieth (h/t EJ):

A follow-up to yesterday's entry: The fact that, so far, I have been able to freely engage in discovery and sharing of musics without legal consequence. Supposedly, some countries have essentially banned music altogether. So far, this country has managed to fight the suits to an extent. Keep it up.

Also, that there have been people with whom to share and discuss music in cyberspace. My tastes tend to not grant me many friends in physical proximity.

Here, for instance, is the song I reference in the heading, a light psych affair from Norway. Enjoy while you can; there's a message on the top of the page that reads "Hi, United States JUZP is upgrading. music will be filtered. sorry for rare interruption". (But I do assure you, Kaspersky doesn't mind the common site among Google Video search results.)


Twenty-first (Ambrosia):

One more in the music section: Not only that I can indulge in the music of others, but that I have also been able to craft a certain amount of original material. This, to me, definitively states that I am a unique being — passion incarnate — rather than a clone who accepts whatever trash the powers that be have decided is popular and right. Whose was that quote about having created something? It's made the rounds on here often enough. It's something like that. Create! Firmly establish yourself as alive in this world!

Also, natch, the contemporary technology that allows me (and many) to upload my recordings to a place where they can be heard anywhere there is internet. Given the heading, I cannot resist linking to my relevant song here once again......


Twenty-second to none:

This.

The only dog I ever cared for.



Twenty-third in the punchbowl:

I sense this series has worn thin. Either I'm running on a premise that was stale two years ago, or I've bared maybe just a little too much of my inner mind. So for your Saturday, I nominate feedback and honest discussion, wherever and whenever it may be offered. Too often we, as a species, ditch the truth in favor of "politeness" or some such thing. Truth is, there is absolutely nothing polite about silence as a response to a thought. Anyone who responds with silence may as well not exist. And lying through your teeth (or keys, or touchpad) is just bad for everyone. Speak your mind. Don't hold back. You look fat, and that's perfectly fine.


Packs of twenty-fourth:

Warmth.

Physical or personable, I thrive on 'em all. These flatlands are a bit short of the physical on this late November day; luckily, our house has nicely functioning heating. And I suspect you all know by now what I think of this country's overall personality these days.....


Twenty-fifth to serve:

Laughter. Science-proven natural medicine. However downward we may spiral, we must always remember (how) to laugh. Beware the ones who lack a sense of humor; they are a certain ticket to misery.

Here is a YouTube channel that features just about the entirety of the UK Whose Line is it Anyway (and related shows), a show that picks up after the first two or three seasons and is much less rigidly censored than the US version.

By the way, what makes you laugh? Comment away!


Twenty-sixth and tired:

I don't feel the pressure of deadlines and strict following of artificial rules, and so on days like this when my brain is a blank, I can post something quick and stupid like this. Or nothing.

:+)~


Twenty-seventh heaven:

Cats.

'Nuff said.



Twenty-eighth — Chanukiving, or Thanksgivukah, or "I'm not prepared for this!":

Just before I posted the link to this article yesterday, I tweeted the author, "To put it simply: Thank you for that piece." He courteously responded: "You're very welcome. Thanks for the thanks." And that just seems about right. So, for your once-in-seven-eons celebration today, I nominate for ...."Chanoveming"? (Thanksgivember + Chanukiving.... I dunno. Ain't portmanteaus fun?)......

Gratitude. It's easy to lose or forget in contemporary society, where everything is relentlessly slung at you in mass quantities. How do we react when we're stuck in traffic in our cars with climate-control and high-definition audio systems in a spot beyond cell phone signal reception? Or when a long-time bug-and-incompetence-plagued cyber-hangout that we frequented nonetheless is shutting down? How do we treat the conceivably imperfect families that took us in and accept(ed) us?

Some food for thought to accompany the food for the twice-over holiday.

Happy travels (I'm about to see to my own),
~C.A.~


Tie-dyed (not black) twenty-ninth:

A certain wit and wordsmithery. It's gotten me bugger-all in life beyond cyberspace so far, but it is such good free, noncommercial fun, ain't it?


Down and thirtieth:

Finally, in a moment of blatant pandering, I would like to acknowledge all of *you* for keeping me entertained and relatively sane in these trying times that don't have to try very hard, and for at least putting up with this Thanksgivember nonsense and some of my politics revealed herein. I don't have many places I can go, so it's nice to have a friendly virtual place.

I know you're sorry to see this series end, so I'll ask you: What would you like to see from me in your cybertravels? Little observations? Youtube Facebook DJing? Words and links of sociopolitical conscience? Or maybe just bad puns and cat pictures? Clue me in if you have a preference.

Decent December, descendants! (h/t Wim)

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