Does Anyone Need Any Ones?

One of my favorite things about the end of the year is all the lists. Top ten, top 100, etc., anything in between, with a vast range of categories. Top songs of the year. Top books. Favorite websites. Favorite people. Embarrassing things your mom likes to say in public. Top soups in the spring for Aleutians. 

I’ve done this in years past, looking back on the year before facing and focusing forward. I don’t think I’ve done it every December 31 since I’ve had this weblog/online journal, and I remember times when I’ve told you if you want to find out what I’ve done in a particular year, go dig around the archives yourself. This year, I’ve decided to try pulling events of my life from memory instead of resorting to the blog.

This year was pretty spectacular. Lots happened.

1 awesome roommate
1 trip to Austin, TX
1 foot after another in 3 races
1 triathlon with Bumpass included
1 new couch, party included
1 drivers license
1 American citizenship
1 reciting of the Constitution’s Preamble to a party crowd humming “God Bless America”
1 visit from Jenny
1 visit from Sarah
1 meeting with Ray
1 meeting with Ericka
1 Pleasy for the summer
1 taping of The Daily Show
1 National Spelling Bee with 1 numnah
1 mom and Tom visiting
1 BYU English class finished with an A
1 invitation to get published
1 camera to go crazy with
1 trip to Charlotte, NC
1 drive through Shenandoah National park
1 trip to Maine with a wild detour on the return trip
~1 dozen dates
1 amazing seminary class so far
1 pretty awesome Summer Olympics
1 sighting of Goblins and Abandon
1 incredible presidential election
1 great view of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade
1 roommate who graduated with her MBA
1 pretty amazing video1 truly addicting Wii
1 biological father who seems unusually intent in finding his daughter
1 very easy move to Inwood
1 amazing New Year’s Eve party to anticipate
1 of the best years of my life 

I know that’s not everything. 

You. You are everything. Thanks for a phenomenal 2008.

Happy New Year. Make sure you kiss somebody.

Photos of Thanksgiving, 2008

This one was for me. I’m on 6th Avenue, and not on Broadway, so the actual parade was a block away but the view was straight on the intersection of 37th and Broadway. I knew Snoopy (as Joe Cool) would be there:

IMG_5013 by you.

These are for my little friend, Aerie:
 IMG_5034 by you.

IMG_5035 by you.

This one kind of wraps up the rest of the day:

IMG_5109 by you.

I spent from 3PM to nearly midnight with some friends from church. I was in charge of the mashed potatoes. Nothing some butter and heavy cream can’t make delicious, right? We had great conversation and good laughs and amazing food. We went around the table a couple of times saying what we were thankful for. We had a pretty in-depth political discussion, and on my way home I replayed that dialogue in my mind, except trying to interject a republican viewpoint. Yay, cognitive dissonance!

More photos at flickr.

My tummy is full, folks. My heart goes out to those victims of terrorism across the world. My prayers are with them as well as with all those who might be sad for whatever reason. Abuse, hunger, loneliness. May you find comfort and peace. May we all.

Thanksgiving Morning Observations

I wake up at 6:15 this morning. I set my alarm for 7:30, but I can’t go back to sleep. I listen to the quiet rumble, the muffled echoes of occasionally passing vehicles bouncing off the buildings that form a labyrinthine cavern. I am in that cavern, and the sounds are like a blanket.

Dusk. I look out of the window, and barricades line 6th Avenue, and people have started gathering along Broadway. I hear more cars. I see more people. It’s not too cold outside; it’s actually a perfect day for a parade to celebrate gratitude. History. The sky fades into morning, and the clouds are translucent, like a twilight mist, except they decorate the sky.

My roommate is spending Thanksgiving in London. Interesting situation. Thank you, Britain, for letting us get fed up with your restrictions on worship and commerce and teas. We needed more variety of teas. We got fed up, crossed the pond, established a country I love with all my heart.

The rising sun rouses the east facades of this concrete canyon, New York City. The natural and manmade fuse, and the glow from the buildings isn’t artificial, quite. It’s other-dimensionly, and it’s magnificent.

Police cars are testing their sirens. I’m switching between VH1 and GAC while waiting for the parade to begin. I see cameras flash from neighboring buildings. The crowds are growing.

My head still hurts. The bump is virtually gone, but it’s still somewhat tender, and the pain radiates toward my left temple. I’m grateful that it didn’t get any worse. It’s nothing a little time and good company and food in abundance won’t cure.

family
friends
food
shelter
gospel

However many hundreds of subcategories apply to this list, I’m grateful for them all. Everything. My gratitude reaches through the internets and across the country and around the world and hugs you. I am thankful for you, for all you do, for all you are. I hope you feel that, and I hope today isn’t the only time you do.

It’s almost time to put on another layer or two, camp out on my balcony, watch some floats and giant balloons pass by (hi, Snoopy!), listen to music, feel grateful evermore.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Well, America, You Got It Done.

I’m still quite subdued about the whole thing. My Democratic friends jumped up and down and cried, rejoicing. My Republican friends were gracious or bitterly disappointed or angry. Which I can understand. I think if Senator McCain had won, I would have had to listen to a lot of whining from the left. I mean, it happened so fast. We found out SO early. All of a sudden CNN was flashing that Obama would be the next president, and I was instant messaging Karissa, and I said whoa and she said WOW and I said whoa and she said YAYAYAYAYAYAYAY! and I just couldn’t believe it. Then I got teary-eyed as Senator McCain’s eyes welled up and suddenly I couldn’t stay awake, even after taking a little nap. I guess the whole thing took a bigger emotional toll on me than I was aware. I’m grateful for the change. I have bigger and very hopeful thoughts I can’t quite articulate, but I’ll say this much now: I like the idea of someone who can inspire and conciliate leading our country. I like the idea of Michelle Obama being our First Lady. I especially like the idea of a new puppy in the White House.