Thursday, November 25, 2004

SwanShadow gives thanks, from A to Z

For last Sunday's church bulletin, I wrote an article listing a few of the things for which I'm thankful. You can pop over to the church site if you're interested in reading it.

In a concerted effort not to repeat myself, I'll do the blog's list in alphabetical format. Thus, a few things (hardly an exhaustive recitation — more like the gratitude sampler plate) for which I'm thankful today:

Advertising, because if people didn't need it, I'd be making my living doing something else.

Baseball. As Thomas Boswell once wrote, life begins on Opening Day. Here's hoping the Giants enjoy a postseason run in 2005, as Barry "U.S." Bonds (another "B" for whom I'm thankful) continues his assault on the Babe and the Hammer.

Comic book creators, past and present, for all the wonder they've shared with me over the past 37 years. Thanks especially for the stalwarts of the Marvel Age of Comics: Stan the Man, King Jack, Sturdy Steve, Big John, Jazzy Johnny Sr., Roy the Boy, Gene the Dean, Sal, Herb, all the Jims, Woody, George, Don, Marie, and for a few spectacular, shining moments, the mighty Steranko. We'll never see their like again.

DSL, without which life would be excruciatingly slow.

Everlast, the company responsible for the handy stopwatch that manages my working life. And for all those gloves they provided to Muhammad Ali in his heyday.

Filet-O-Fish sandwiches at McDonalds. Heaven on a bun.

Green growing things, like the grass and shrubbery and redwood trees I see every day outside my office window.

Humor, and the sense with which to appreciate it. If I couldn't laugh, I'd be crying a lot.

Iron Chef, still one of the most entertaining hours in the history of television. Nothing beats watching Sakai, Michiba, Chen, Kobe, and the nonpareil Morimoto turning weird ingredients like anglerfish, sea urchins, natto, and cod roe into gustatory magic, spurred along by the gangbusters commentary of Fukui, Doc Hattori, floor reporter Ohta, and the giggling female guest of the day. Allez cuisine!

Jesus Christ, because without Him, none of the other stuff matters.

KJ and KM, my girls. Two finer young women no man deserves.

Linda Fiorentino, because someone ought to be thankful for Linda Fiorentino. I watched Liberty Stands Still again the other night, and she really is something.

Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, 15th Edition. The book that saves my bacon several times a day, every day.

News from ME, Mark Evanier's superlative weblog that, more than any other single factor, inspired me to attempt my own. An essential cornerstone of my online experience every day. It's everything SSTOL aspires to be, and more.

Orion. He's my favorite object in the night sky, and I look forward to his reappearance every autumn. It's awe-inspiring to realize that Rigel, his left foot (on our right, as we face him) is over 300 light-years away, and that the reddish glow we see from it tonight left there before George Washington was born.

Pembroke Welsh Corgis. Ask the man who owns one. Or ask the Queen. Speaking of which...

Queen. KM is now, for whatever reason, into the music of Freddie and the boys. Lately she's been digging my old Queen albums out of the massive rack of neglected vinyl that occupies a corner of the living room and taking them to her grandparents' house to play them (we haven't assembled the stereo since we moved into the current house nearly eleven years ago, so there's nothing on which to play records here). KM's favorite Queen song: "Somebody to Love." My favorite Queen song: "Fat Bottomed Girls."

Raindrops on roses, and whiskers on...well, not kittens, because I don't care much for cats. Walruses, maybe. Because, as we all know, the Walrus was Paul.

SwanShadow Thinks Out Loud, the Internet's virtual window into the deep dark recesses of my brain.

Trivia quizzes. Because I like learning new stuff. And proving to myself that I still have my old Jeopardy! chops.

Usual Suspects, after nearly ten years, still the greatest film of the 20th century's last decade; it's constructed like a house of cards, yet never falls down. Featuring star-making performances by a soon-to-be-all-star cast: Gabriel Byrne, Kevin Pollack, Benicio Del Toro, Chazz Palminteri, and the incredible Kevin Spacey as Roger "Verbal" Kint: "Keaton always said, 'I don't believe in God, but I'm afraid of him.' Well, I believe in God — and the only thing that scares me is Keyser Soze." And whatever happened to screenwriter Christopher McQuarrie? Was this the only great script he had in him?

Vegas: looking forward to our 20th anniversary sojourn in January.

White markerboards, because some of us forget stuff if there isn't a big purple note about it right in front of our faces. And because I can never, amid all my clutter, find a piece of scratch paper when I really, really need to scribble something.

X-Men: stronger than ever after 40 years. Cyclops is still my favorite — even if in the movies, he's been reduced to a whiny second-stringer.

You, you wonderful, marvelous, fabulous SSTOL reader, you.

Zacchaeus, who, like myself, was a little man who found himself up a tree on occasion. His story reminds me that even such a poor lamb as I can be valuable in the eyes of the Good Shepherd.

I hope you and yours, gentle reader, count your blessings today, and discover how innumerable they truly are. And I hope that, for those of you who stop in here regularly, that SSTOL is, in its own minuscule way, a blessing to you. Thanks for your support, your comments, and the gracious use of your eyeballs for a few moments. Shalom!

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2 insisted on sticking two cents in:

Blogger Scott offered these pearls of wisdom...

And whatever happened to screenwriter Christopher McQuarrie?He made a wretched little movie called The Way of the Gun. Now he works as an anonymous script doctor in Hollywood.

5:56 PM  
Blogger SwanShadow offered these pearls of wisdom...

Thanks, Scott. I knew the first — I actually own The Way of the Gun on DVD (I fished it out of the five-fifty bin at Wal-Mart some time back) but have never watched it — but not the second. I know there's excellent money to be made in fixing other people's broken scripts, but surely a guy with that much talent can come up with more than one good one of his own?

3:30 AM  

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