i'm thankful that even though i had built up going back to work as this horrible huge ominous thing, it's actually been just fine and, as is almost always the case, the blurry projection i built out of anticipatory anxiety far exceeded reality. i'm thankful to hope that maybe if i keep writing this observation down over and over again, it will eventually sink in and i will stop imagining the worst. i'm thankful that though a lot of email had built up while i was on vacation, most of it was just spam and auto-notifications that could be marked as read and very little required actual responses. i'm thankful that i've been busy enough with work that the day has gone by quickly, but not so busy that i've felt overwhelmed. i'm thankful for the faculty member who asked me out to lunch to talk to me about my life and i'm thankful for the pretty good lox bagel i ate (i'm thankful for this essay about a lox bagel). i'm thankful that he taught me that having a beard is a causal rather than correlative thing w/r/t crossfit membership and thankful for how excited he was when i told him about grating cauliflower and sauteeing it in olive oil with salt. i'm thankful that as we exited the restaurant and walked back from downtown, it was suddenly sunny and warmer than either of us had expected.
m thankful for the strange dream i had, probably inspired by a) walking around naked in the house at night because our neighbors have been out of town and so i don't have to worry about them seeing me through the lit windows and b) d seeing knots of mouse poop in a few of the drawers and cabinets while cleaning the kitchen and being grossed out by this and unsure whether this was left over from the last time we had a mouse having me put mouse traps in the a few of the drawers and cabinets. i'm thankful that in the dream, my parents were having some kind of key party in a weird seventies ranch that was "our home" but that i did not see either of them naked or having sex. i'm thankful that in the dream, goaded on by the middle-aged scantily-clad party-goers, i stripped naked to whoops and cheers and did not feel embarrassed or ashamed about this but grinned boyishly. i'm thankful that in another room, away from the noise of the party, my dad approached me and gave me a mission: there was a live mouse caught in a trap in the drawer in the kitchen and i needed to get rid of it very quietly before anyone at the party noticed and freaked out. i'm thankful that i crept naked through the darkened kitchen and quietly snatched up the mouse, which i carried out through a sliding glass door and released into the void.
i'm thankful for this times article about how Teens use apps, which even if it is a small sample size trend story, provides some interesting food for thought. i'm thankful to think that maybe my (generation's) fears about the way that the next generation viewed authorship, that it was devalued by a culture in which curators were kings and queens, might have been unfounded (i'm thankful for the insane manic multi-thousand word blog comment i once wrote about the problem of tumblr book deals and then emailed the blogger to beg that it be removed). i'm thankful, even though it also makes me sad, to think maybe the problem for millenials is actually at the opposite extreme, that they value creativity so much that to post any images that aren't beautiful and perfect and original on instagram makes them feel bad and scared, that they will be judged for their basicness. i'm thankful that i can empathize with their all-consuming fear that they're not being followed by enough people ("during the recent focus group at science, one girl said she showed instagram ideas to at least three people before posting. another said she deleted any post that did not garner enough likes. “i post and i just delete, because i don’t want to have, like, never mind,” she said, too ashamed to announce the precise number of likes out loud."), since i have felt that to varying degrees of intensity for as long as i've been posting things online. i'm thankful to get to watch d's sister e's snapchats every night in bed and to savor their wonderful fragments of the quotidian before they vanish. i'm thankful for the most recent one, in which she watched the scene in the office where dwight leatherfaces a CPR dummy and laughed heartily and sweetly in response.
i'm thankful for kourtney kardashian's frequent tweets about how she held a great live stream in her app but it didn't work and/or nobody came. i'm thankful for her other tweet genre, which is to pair vague abstract emo poetry with photographs of calabasas sunsets (1, 2). i'm thankful that someone criticizing navel gazing in an essay online accidentally typed "naval gazing." i'm thankful to imagine a whole generation standing on the edge of the shore and watching the glimmer of ships in the distance.
You just read issue #1334 of
thank you notes.
You can also browse the full archives
of this newsletter.
Brought to you by
Buttondown, the easiest way to start and grow your newsletter.