Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Potentially Lame Half-Grateful/Half-Griping Official Thanksgiving-Related Post (with links!)

A few thoughts that rolled through my mind as a late meal from Taco Time rolled through my digestive system at 6AM...

-If my dad's side of the family is the Utah Jazz, then losing both my grandparents last year was kind of like Stockton and Malone retiring.  You knew it was going to happen, and you knew that things would never be the same afterwards.  But thanks to a few draft picks and free agent signings (IE, births to my cousins in Oregon, my sister getting married), the team will eventually claw its way back to contention, even if we miss the playoffs for a season or two in the meantime.

-More than ever, I want the real Utah Jazz to win an NBA title, if only because I never want to hear the folks on the radio have to debate whether our state's first major pro sports title is this week's Real Salt Lake MLS triumph or the Utah Stars' ABA title back in 1971.

-It's more important than ever that we find opportunities to laugh at ourselves.  Fortunately, we have the Internets.

-(WARNING: POTENTIALLY SEXIST COMMENT ALERT) I used to think that the most obvious sign of the Apocalypse was a middle-aged woman driving a white Mercedes SUV.  Now I am more inclined to think it is the blond 20-year-old trophy wife driving her only child around in a black Cadillac Escalade.  (And yes, this observation is at least partially based in petulant jealousy...of the wife, not the Escalade.)


-I made a big deal out of getting bumped from my singles ward at the end of last year.  I think the reason I made a big deal out of it was that deep down I knew how socially dependent I had become on the membership, which was not a good thing.  Now, a year later, I think I have officially passed the point where even if invited, I wouldn't go back.  Because that would kind of feel like going back to Prom.

-Leaving the aforementioned ward may have been a shock to the social system, but the aftermath has reinforced the value of my immediate family and longtime friends.  IE, the people I will still know and love ten years from now, as opposed to ten days from now.  Spending less time at ward activities has meant more time with them, and I'd venture to say it's been time well spent.

-I am very grateful to be back teaching again, in spite of the associated hassles.  Still, it might be time to start putting a few more restrictions on student paper topics.  This was never a problem for my first five years of teaching, until one intrepid student decided to write his division/classification paper on the Kama Sutra.  This semester, of 40 persuasive argument papers, a record seven papers have been written on some aspect of drug legalization, including four that specifically advocate the legalization of weed.


Here is an actual comment I made on one of the aforementioned papers:

"To put it simply, if you want to  overcome the stigma attached to pot, you should probably avoid basing half of your evidence on material from a source called 'Half-Baked: a Pot-u-Mentary.'"

-We're only four episodes in, but I am thankful for the return of "V" to prime time television, if only because it serves to remind me that I'm not the only guy out there who can be suckered into supporting a clandestine alien invasion through nothing more than a pretty face and a tailored jumpsuit.

-I'm very grateful for long winding back highways like the PCH in California and Highway's 32 and 34 in Idaho.  There's nothing like getting a little open road perspective at 70mph as the wind whips through your (imaginary) hair and you drive by some of the great back road icons of Blue Highway America.

-Getting laid off from KJZZ cost me some financial security and the chance to get on TV once a week, but in the time since, I've been able to write a book and develop a new career, neither of which would have happened had I still been surviving on four hours of sleep a day.

-Life will always have its frustrations, and I'll always have plenty of reasons to gripe.  But if you understand that life is about agency, and not about justice, the pill is a bit easier to swallow.  Besides, in the end, if you can still relate your existence to a Fine Young Cannibals song, you're probably doing OK.