Saturday, November 29, 2008

Things I'm Thankful For 2008 . . .

I have had this post rattling around in the "drafts" folder for like a month. I was hoping to get it done before Turkey Day rolled around but I failed. I finished it a few minutes ago so I figured, what the heck, I'll post it anyway.

Dear Reader Who Sorta' Cares About Me (Enough To Read My Blog At Least) -

I wanted to take a few minutes to put in (digital) black and white the twenty things that I am most thankful for in 2008. You might confuse it for my 2007 list but - I think the "repeats" deserve to be mentioned twice (and probably every year for the rest of my life).

1 - Joy and Ava - I won't go too in to detail on either one of them here. I am thankful for every little thing they do. And the big stuff too!

2 - My Family (Amores) - The rush of energy that will be radiating from the "Finger Lakes Region" of New York on Christmas Day will be the sheer joy that comes from me seeing my brothers play with their niece and from me being able to see and hug them and laugh with them. My energy will be enough to reverbirate "locally" - my parents enjoying their three children and two of the three loves of their sons lives and their grandaughter in their home for a full day will make the experience "tangible" on a much broader geographic level. I can't wait.

3 - My Family (Terry/Salmans) - We moved here to be closer to you crazy people. The growing pains of living in the same town have been a learning experience for all (at least the Amore part of the family) but, a year later, we woundn't want to be any other place but here and we appreciate the hell out of having you here with us!

4 - My Family (Amores, Coyles, Dicks (no, really, that is my Aunt and Uncles last name), Timmermeyers, Tilsons, Terrys, etc.) - I never understood aunts, uncles and cousins. Now I long to go back and get to know my extended family . . . something tells me they are all amazing people (if not all in a positive way (smile))!

5 - Finishing the Official "Journey" of Gastric Bypass - Seriously! I am glad to have it over so I can get started on looking at the rest of my life and how to maintain my weight, etc.

6 - Good Eats. Hands down my favorite show on television (besides The Biggest Loser and The Ghost Whisperer (I'm embarassed to admit we still watch every episode . . . and cry at many of them)) and the ONLY show that Ava will watch with me without at least asking/demanding we turn the channel to Noggin in the evenings.

7 - Living in the Central Time Zone - We're done with prime time television by 10:00 PM. MOST nights we are done by 9:00 PM. What a difference an hour makes when you aren't struggling to stay awake to watch the last few minutes of any given TV show (besides the old episodes of Seinfeld they show on our Fox affiliate).

8 - Seth Rogen - He just makes me laugh. His movies. His interviews. The way my wife has replaced him for Kevin James on her "crush list" (she's a Chubby Chaser, clearly). His story (fascinating stuff - if you don't know the back story behind the "overnight sensation" that is Seth Rogen, you should check in to it).

9 - Obama - Nope. I'm NOT jumping on a wagon here. Hillary was my "guy" and still is and always will be but there was something magical about seeing just how ready for "change" this country really was/is. Now let us all hope he can make good on the hype.

10 - JC Penney - It has been a full year now since I first got "thin" enough (size 52 waist is not exactly "thin") to shop in one of America's leading retail department stores. I give them a lot of crap for all their sales but CLEARLY I'm sold on the company and going in a store and trying stuff on and so on. Shopping as a skinnier person is fun. Affordable prices and great quality make it more enjoyable.

11 - Penny Loafers - I was e-mailing with Megan Thomas the other day (there was a picture of Horatio Sanz (down 100 or so pounds and looking suhweeet) wearing some killer kicks that Megan thought I might enjoy) and I had to confess to her that I shop at Brooks Brothers now. I haven't bought an utterly irresponsible pair of sneakers in years. At one point in my life - even being completely opposed to any/all forms of excercise - I owned 20 pairs of sneakers. They were gold, yellow, burgundy, purple, green, blue, silver, black/gold/silver and orange (to name a few). I don't know why I bought them . . . the new "introspective" side of me thinks it was a combination of a) shoes being the only "fashion" 500 pound men can have fun with and b) it took the attention away from the rest of my body (in theory).

12 - Reduced Fat Triscuits - I haven't really eaten "bread" in almost two years. Sure - I'll have a slice of it every now and again. ESPECIALLY if it is Joy's latest loafy obsession (Ezekiel bread). But, in general . . . wraps and Triscuits have kept me off the easiest pitfall in a high-protein, low-carb diet/lifestyle. . . bread. For that, I'm thankful.

13 - The Torah - I don't own a copy yet but I've been reading all about the books of Moses on-line and I'm anxious to finish my current religious readings/prep materials so I can dive in to the textual basis for all Judeo-Christian religions. Gettin' back to basics, folks. I'm thankful for that!

14 - Friends - I still don't talk to them as often as I might like (I don't "talk" to some of them at all, sadly) but I appreciate how many people I can stay in touch with and that show their continued love and support for me (and vice versa) in this crazy world through the bonds of friendship. I hope to do some traveling to the DC and NYC areas in 2009 . . . let's all catch up with real, face-to-face, time. I want to hug all your children and tell them how amazing their parents are!

15 - Vampire Weekend - I discovered and/or was "turned on" to a lot of new music in 2008. This year was the least hip hop/rap/r&b year of my life since my early teens by far (curse you T.I., Rhianna, The Roots and Jay-Z for refusing to let me break free of your respective genres in the last year). Vampire Weekend was, hands down, the most impactful of the new stuff. They may not be Coldplay (for better or for worse - many of you might be thinking) but I really enjoy them and hope to fill my ears with more music like them in 2009!

16 - College - No. Not for me. I am blisfully 8 FULL years away from the trappings of education. For Joy. NOT just because she is finishing her degree (in just two short weeks) but because this fall has been the most hectic and stressful time in the incredibly padantic history of our relationship and we have passed it with flying colors. The jury is still out on if we will finish with a 4.0 or not but - if they had a Dean's List for people suffering each other's stress and strain and rooting them through it - Joy and I would be the first people in line for those cords on graduation day. Only 21 more months until Joy finishes her Bachelor's Degree. Somehow I think it will be easier (and perhaps go faster) than the last 12 months . . . for all of us! I wouldn't trade a moment of this experience though. We're gonna' celebrate the night after the madness . . . but I think the real appreciation will come when Joy's head hits the pillow that night - knowing she's finished something she started 15 years ago! That's something to appreciate and a miracle to behold!

17 - Playa Azul - I can't even ballpark how many meals Joy, Ava and I have shared at this place in the last year. Nor can I approximate how many times I've been there with co-workers. All delicious. All enjoyable. All somehow memorable (as I point out that I can't tell you how many times I've been there). Yuhmay!

18 - Orange - Still my favorite color. Which still means I'm likely insane. Which still means I'm still the same old me . . . just lighter . . . and better able to pull off wearing the color orange.

What are YOU thankful for this year?

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