Maybe the fifteenth time the dogs went berserk yesterday I trudged out the front door to see if it was an actual threat, or one of the goddamn cats next door, or just the mailman (who has the temerity to put mail in the box within eyeshot of the guardian hellhounds--seriously, man, what are you thinking?), but found just a little flyer rolled up and tucked under the hose bib. Usually these are handyman ads or menus for restaurants that invariably close within two weeks of their menus showing up at my front door, but this day it was someone's anonymous statement of gratitude. I just skimmed the front material--the upshot was that someone had challenged this person to list 25 things he was grateful for, and he wound up with something like 340 before running out of space. The first one listed was an early memory from the age of 4, of initially being grateful that a neighbor had bought him a double-scoop ice cream cone, and then immediately after that being grateful to his cousin for sharing one of her scoops when he accidentally dumped his own cone on the sidewalk. And so on for most of a double-sided xerox.
I'm not sure how to pick the items that would go on my own list, since obviously any middle-class American's list should be completely filled with stuff like housing, employment, access to medical care, and that whole Constitution thing before even getting around to the juicy bits that make better flyer copy than "7.25% fixed mortgage rate." Fail to list the basic stuff you should be weepingly grateful for and karma snatches it away! Did I mention my family and my dogs? Very grateful for them, capricious universe! Very much so! No takey! Hands off!!!
That said, after this shit week I am grateful for the database guy fixing some major problems that were giving me fits. I am grateful that my company's proposal for a major excavation from an early time period that interests me greatly won the county contract. I am grateful for prehistoric people using rocks for tools in consistent ways that left identifiable signatures in the archaeological record, ensuring my continued employment.
I am grateful for the best teacher I ever had, and was remiss in not making the big TomDay birthday post I'd planned for March 1. I'm grateful that he touched so many students' lives that we sought each other out after his passing, and that as a result a couple of people I hadn't talked to in 20 years are back in my life as e-mail buddies.
Also grateful for Big Head Todd, the Santa Catalina mountains, snow in the desert, Merrell footwear, Frankie's Philadelphia Cheesesteaks and Hoagies, cool shade, streaming internet radio, cushy soccer balls, sunflowers, and geckos. Not grateful for static electricity, constant desert springtime dry winds, feral cats, olives, being pinched--fucking pinch me on St. Pat's day and you'll be picking yourself up off the floor--Will Ferrell except in Elf, cartilage tears, or John McCain, who is a douchebag.
I could go on and on.