Week 9: Ten Atypical Things T is Thankful For Each Day For a Week

I grew up with a lesbian mom, her partner, and two sisters.  I was surrounded by estrogen my entire life, and so with that, movies that may not be designated as macho were the movies I “enjoyed” growing up.  My friends were into Star Wars, I was into Mary Poppins and The Sound of Music…this challenge reminds me of this…(yep!)

While we’re on the topic of my estrogen glazed childhood, I hope you’ll allow a short detour into my background, before getting into this week’s challenge.  You would think that the line between male and female chores would be blurred in such an upbringing, and it was (sorta) there was nothing like strictly female chores or strictly male chores, we divided things like cleaning the house up pretty evenly.  But, I (even being the youngest) was always tasked with things like killing bugs, especially spiders, taking out the garbage, shoveling the walks and scrapping the cars, I wouldn’t suggest these are male specific chores, but I would suggest my older sisters were stronger than me, and I  was stuck doing what they wouldn’t.  This sidebar is about the one time I drew a line in the sand and said NO WAY!

Our drain pipe leading to the sewer busted somewhere in our front yard, as I was tasked with the raking, for some reason it fell on me to clean up the discharge of the breakage, not a pretty job, but most could be cleaned away with the hose.  It was a few days before a plumber could get out to fix the problem, and in those few days the yard would become uniquely decorated.  Toilet paper disintegrates, and so that was nowhere in sight, but what doesn’t disintegrate are the variety of feminine napkins used by the harem of females in my house.  So after a few days of a broken pipe, years’ worth of pads and pons made their way to the surface.  It was springtime, and it looked like it had been snowing for days at old 50 Smith Street.  At first I had no idea what these things were, as I was just a young lad who hadn’t started my period yet (yes my sisters had convinced me I would be getting my period someday soon).  I seriously thought the yard was filled with dead mice, and was really grossed out.  Then my sisters taught me about what they really were, then my mom the nurse taught me exactly what they really were…and that’s when I was like NOPE!  I had nothing to do with these new yard decorations, and I am not raking them up, I QUIT!!! Luckily I didn’t have to clean them up, and was quickly re-hired, as youngest son and sole male.  Back to killing spiders, and raking leaves…it took years before I would look at that rake and not cringe after what it had been through, I never did get my period, and for that I am grateful!  On to the challenge!

Leaving out the things that I am obviously thankful for, family, health, basketball, my career, etc…Here are 10 atypical things I am thankful for each day this week.

Day I

  1. Raindrops on roses
  2. Whiskers on kittens
  3. Plagiarizing lines from old movies
  4. Warm bed on a cold morning
  5. Dog prints in the snow
  6. Fluoride in the water
  7. Honey (did you know that the bee is the only insect that creates something edible for human consumption…I think I might love honey)
  8. Stepping on dry leaves
  9. Stress of putting off important things until the last minute (sounds weird, but there is a unique adrenaline rush that goes along with this)
  10. A shower after a long day

 Day II 


  1. Shit rockers from the 80’s.  For some reason, those who represent the days of 80’s hair glam seem to be the nicest, sincerest, and most genuine people I could ever meet.  Fans of hair bands are most assuredly the least pretentious people on the planet, and I kind of love them for it!
  2. Paper clips
  3. Thoughts about thoughts
  4. Furry caterpillars
  5. Losing track of time
  6. When students make me laugh
  7. Surprises in a jacket pocket that you haven’t worn since last winter (I found an acorn and a dollar bill in my jacket pocket today)
  8. Paint samples
  9. Loud wind on a quiet night
  10. Lists


  1. Peanut butter
  2. Automatic faucets in public bathrooms
  3. The road construction crew doing calisthenics every morning before they start their work.  Most people are so ready for this large piece of road construction to be finished, but I’ll miss seeing these guys getting ready every morning.
  4. Résumé paper
  5. Picking out stamps at the post office (I know it holds up the line, but if you can get Harvey Milk stamps, you get Harvey Milk stamps)
  6. Fancy socks
  7. Exclamation points!!!
  8. Glass water bottles
  9. Jackets with a kangaroo pouch
  10. REI

Day IV

  1. Dreams
  2. Cereal
  3. Brown paper packages tied up with string
  4. Passion
  5. Art in public places
  6. Awkward situations (I pretty much live for these)
  7. I just saw two ducks sitting on a branch in a tree, I’m not sure who is more confused, me or the ducks?
  8. Camping
  9. Death (the ancient god’s envied man for one reason, our ability to die.  I’m not sure there is a better reason to live than knowing the inevitability of our own immortality.  Bernard Williams wrote a spectacular paper on this topic…“The Makropulos Case: Reflections on the Tedium of Immortality”) {1}
  10. Amazon

Day V

  1. The smell of old books
  2. When I remember to enjoy the moment I’m enjoying (does that make sense? Can we call this meta-enjoyment?)
  3. Losing track of time
  4. Bright copper kettles
  5. The price of tea in China
  6. Trader Joe’s
  7. Sleeping right through to the alarm
  8. Sincere thanks
  9. Seasons
  10. Learning from mistakes

 Day VI 

  1. Warm winter mittens
  2. The smell of rain…I heard it’s actually the smell of worms right before a rain, if this is true, then I would pick the smell of worms right before a rain.
  3. Trying new things
  4. B 12 (the vitamin, not the bomber)
  5. Finishing a book
  6. The first 5 seconds of chewing fruit stripes gum
  7. Crickets chirping at night
  8. I’m finding I really enjoy thinking about the inverse of this list, i.e. atypical things I am not thankful for, e.g. when the dog bites, when the bee stings, when I’m feeling bad.
  9. Patterns, especially plaid and argyle
  10. When people don’t get sarcasm, this goes along with my appreciation for awkwardness in IV-6, but it’s a special type of awkward when you have to explain sarcasm to someone.


  1. Girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes
  2. Independently owned coffee shops
  3. Asparagus pee
  4. Pretending I’m part of a music montage, when I’m driving and a good song comes on.
  5. Food chemistry (I bet Alton Brown gets ass like a donkey farmer)
  6. Baby carrots…so much easier to deal with than big carrots, I wonder which tastes better…I think I need to do a blind taste test, and see which is truly better, you know who would know the answer to this question…Alton Brown! (I’ll keep you posted on the results)
  7. Thinking about what to (#) in a post, Alton Brown is making the cut, I have come to the realization that I may be mildly obsessed with a particular food network star.
  8. Post-it notes
  9. The world’s largest ___________. Fill in the blank, I love them all. e.g. tire, ball of yarn, baseball, free standing statue of babe the blue ox, fire hydrant, chair, etc… I need to take a road trip to the best of world’s largest __________.
  10. Not having a period

A short summation:  This was a great challenge, aside from pointing out all the typically unnoticed amazingness around me, I was able to think deeper about some of the small things I really enjoy, furry caterpillars are the best.  This is a list I can seriously go back to at any time I need a little pick me up.  Having a shitty day, oh, I’m good now, I just finished a spoonful of peanut butter, followed it up with some honey as I finished a book I ordered on amazon about the life and times of Alton Brown {2}.  Or, creating an awkward situation at Trader Joe’s while picking out cereal and wearing fancy socks.  Having this list at my side will pay dividends.  I suppose I will now go eat some baby carrots, and look at pictures of the world’s largest things on the internet, while enjoying 5 seconds of fruit stripes gum.


{1} Bernard Williams: see chapter 6

{2} Good Eats!


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