Gratitude: August 2012

I’m proud to announce that on August 19th, Project Gratitude entered its Second Year.

That means I’ve exercised gratitude in writing roughly 2,190 times over the last 12 months. Hmm, I still feel like a crotchety middle-aged woman combating petrification and embitterment at every turn. I guess I need to keep working on this thing called inner peace. But I don’t *feel* like doing yoga. Sigh.

Moving on with the usual intro ~ As many days as possible, I list six distinct things for which I’m grateful. The list is archived monthly. Here’s August 2012.


A safe flight to JFK. Introduction emails from my BlogHer posse. New York. That the honking van racing with our taxi on 495 wasn’t being driven by a person caught up in the throes of homicidal intentions (like I thought), it was just ordinary NY road rage — which is far more expressive than the Los Angeles variety. Turns out the Sheraton is pretty nice. Heading out for dinner at 11:30pm and finding an open French restaurant right across the street (but of course).

The menu changed at midnight and I got my croque madame under a sidewalk umbrella with dear Andy. My first French lesson (also under the sidewalk umbrella). Walking in Central Park with Andy. Finding Argosy Book Store. My second subway lesson in 10 years (someday I’ll get it). The book at the Guggenheim store that informed us there was a Klimt available for viewing right down the street (consolation prize for the Guggenheim being closed). Imagining the hours when Adele and Gustav were in the same room together. His paintings.

Waking up on time (5:10am) to actually hug (in person) my favorite bloggers: Megan, Genie and Erin. Walking through Central Park shortly after dawn with said bloggers. Seeing the angel statue (too lazy to look up its proper name). Sitting in the front row of a fantastic panel at Blogher Blogging the Fine Line Between Your Identity and the Issues … featuring Mocha Momma, Faiqa, and Deb Rox (a huge & needed antidote to couple of the things Martha Stewart said — even though I loved her shoes, but I hate myself for commenting on her fashion. Would I comment on a man’s fashion? Of course not. Post on the topic forthcoming. Great fashion at the smaller panel too, btw: god-I-need-to-stop #selfdefeating #badfeminist #tweetaddicted). Talking to Ellen about her theatre-groupiness. Making it out of the conference in the late afternoon in time to have a wonderful night dining with Andy.

Waking up in NYC. Interesting panel about why we blog. Encountering some people whose work I can’t wait to read more of. The incredible date Andy planned for us: romantic Lower East Side dinner, rock and roll at Arlene’s Grocery and the Mercury Lounge. His awesome navigation of the city while I was completely not paying attention. Pizza and fun conversation out in the city at 3:30am.

Time to sleep in. A day of conversation with Lisa. Her amazing gift of gorgeous handmade jewelery. THE MET(!) with Lisa. Encountering some new-to-me works. Klimt. Rodin. Van Gogh.

Finally making it through those lines at JFK. Airplanes. Naps. Kitty greetings. A clear agenda. Our bed.

Flexibility of setting my own hours. Finally getting through the list! Enjoying using Quickbooks. Ocean drive. Staplers. The luxury of being grateful for staplers.

I can see my metatarsals again! My metatarsals. An informative meeting with a colleague. A gift of fresh rosemary. The smell of rosemary. Twitter (still).

Girl talk at lunch. The so-generous anonymous woman at the next table who surprised us by picking up the bill. A relaxing afternoon happy hour with an old friend. The elevator in the parking garage worked. Elevators. Safe arrival at home.

Being called “the silent killer” by our client (it was a compliment). That the crashing plane didn’t collide with a house or a car. The chutzpah to ask the people at the next table to immediately stop their conversation after figuring out that they were discussing — in great detail —  “A Storm of Swords”, (the 1216 pg novel of which I’m only on page 122). That they totally loved being asked to hush for the benefit of a fellow Martin fan.That all I heard prior to my intervention was, “The Red Wedding yada yada yada. Red Wedding.” That I’m smart enough to have guessed that “red wedding” must be something out of a George R. R. Martin story.

Writing all day long. The entertaining and informative on-line presence of some women I encountered at BlogHer. A few TV/meal breaks with Andy. Nurse Jackie. Despite the fact that grocery shopping is overdue, I found dessert in the pantry: a fortune cookie and a tootsie pop. New recipe: left over rice mixed with veggie “sausages”.

Imagining his spirit in a new way – emanating light with giant soft wings (so trite, but it made me smile). The new shape still made me laugh with his naughty humor. The courage to peek at the old journal again. The wisdom to stop reading after one and a half pages. Being able to buy new ear buds for Andy. Chocolate.

The time to walk 2 miles to my appointment (and back again). The smell of raw potatoes. The Lumineers. Ears to hear them with. Finding that library book on the sidewalk. Looking forward to returning it, checking it out again & reading it.

Therapy. The way the temperature dips at night. Running shoes. iPods. Sidewalks.

Being able to assemble food (I can’t call it cooking) for Andy. Feeling needed. Work I like. Kind emails showing appreciation. Letting this and the last entry be one item short.

Relative free speech. Pussy. People who break the rules. People who sacrifice for the greater good. Andy’s back slowly beginning to feel better. Brazilian food.

Days so comfortable that they become forgettable. Brooms. Water. Watering cans. Flowers. That the patio rug is reversible.

A nice walk. Talking to my my mother. How happy she sounds when she hears my voice. The fun we have watching Ellie and Ruby. Time to sit in the sun and read. McSweeny’s.

Peanut butter. Another nice walk. When pieces fall into place. A sweet text from a wonderful woman. Watching TV with Andy. Persistence.

Dave Eggers. The way that chapter of his made me feel. The power of words. Learning how well I know my pen pal’s written voice. Working independently. More Breaking Bad.

Learning more about a new-to-me-business. Jamaica Cakes on Pico. The ability to stock up on OJ and coffee and peanut butter. Technical help from an independent contractor. That Ruby’s mess wasn’t more messy. Being appreciated.

Getting a good night’s sleep. A quick visit to the downtown office. That I’m not as rude as the woman who shouted in the middle of the restaurant to a stranger, “You’re a bad mother.” My idea to anonymously pay for the bill of the woman with the crying toddler (who had been called a bad mother). The generosity of my parents and Andy that allowed me to make such a decision. Sweets from the dollar store.

Not having to rush off in the morning. An evening walk. Peace at home. Dinner with my girls. We all survived another day. Moving forward with some long standing projects.

Learning that I’ve been using “honing in on” incorrectly all these years. The Sketchbook Project. Dr. D for suggesting it. Our mutual friend. Thesis theme with video tutorials. New-to-me, inspiring artists.

Waking up with energy. That Ellie ran back inside nearly as quickly as she ran outside. Poetry reading. Jack Grapes. Beyond Baroque. Venice, California.

Being able to visit UCLA. Time to wander and explore and exercise. Memories that make me smile. Free thoughts. A wonderful email from Canada. Purchasing my domain names.

Accomplishing a specific thing at the office, finally. Beginning to draft text for my sketchbook. Another 50 minutes of therapy. Nailing down my dates for a road trip with my family. That I’ll be able to visit my niece at her college. Ruby sat still for some much needed grooming.

Basil from Dr. C. Memories of the man who called it bah-zil. It’s not just that our shrink was at Woodstock, he wears Led Zeppelin shirts during therapy. Julie Delpy’s creative work. That electric outlet I encountered just as my cell phone battery was dying. Popcorn.

Free, private, safe time and space. That the fire detector stopped beeping when it did. Mom’s eye surgery was a success. She’s feeling better. Sitting out on the deck with Andy. Our view.

My eye mask that keeps the light out. Andy had a pleasant afternoon free from normal Friday work. The big blue moon. Comedians. Podcasts. My sketchbook arrived from The Brooklyn Art Library.


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