- The coffee plants in Kona, and the people who pick, process, and ship the beans. So I can grind and drink them.
- The Copper River in Alaska, and the people who rigidly steward the river's salmon. So I can eat them.
- The food cart scene the City of Portland has allowed to thrive. So far.
- The pure creativity over such a broad spectrum of tastes and cuisines of the brains and hands behind the food carts. These people work long hours, they love their job, and I'm kind of jealous.
- The fact this economic depression hasn't really impacted me personally. Which is good, since I've had to replace a furnace, water heater, microwave, stove, and dishwasher all in the last two years.
- Sports on TV - saving me gas, dollars, and time every single weekend. And not having to stand in line for the bathroom.
- The internet as a whole, because without it how else would I be entertained daily by things like ICanHasCheezburger and Very Demotivational?
- The multitude of bakeries Portland has to offer - and I must try every single one.
- Ditto the coffeeshops.
- And the breakfasty places. I should stop - getting hungry.
- Farmer's Markets, where I can find fantastically fresh fruit that then makes me just want to skip fruit all winter long rather than buy it in the grocery store.
- Specialty stores like The Meadow on N. Mississippi in Portland, or Market Spice by Pike Place Market in Seattle, where you can find a range of items and flavors you never thought possible. And then realizing you are hooked for life.
- A Civil War whose winner goes to the Rose Bowl - talk about fulfilling the dreams of an Oregon alum who has spent the last 10 years attending games at Reser Stadium. I won't lie, I'm conflicted on who to cheer for.
- Internet access and email on my cell phone - no longer do I need to be tied to my office to get something done (and yes, that's probably as much or more a curse than something to necessarily be thankful for.)
- To our three cats and our dog, who usually love us unconditionally. Other times they make us bleed. No, I never know which of those times is ever "now."
- To Twitter, because without it how else would I ever know about that daily special from Koi Fusion?
- To the people of this planet as a whole, because without them how else could I possibly be entertained and continually surprised with what they can do? And no, that's not necessarily a good thing.
- To the state of Hawaii, for making all of their beaches public property. Otherwise my wedding would have been a lot more expensive.
- To digital cameras, because now I can take as many pictures as I want without worrying about the cost of developing them all or having to carry multiple film canisters.
- To email, so I no longer have to make phone calls. Can you tell I like technology?
- To Netflix, so I can be a lazy ass and not walk or drive the four blocks to Blockbuster anymore.
- My DVR, so I can skip the commercials and watch countless more hours of TV than I ever thought possible.
- To Apple, because my iPod has now rendered my 400 CDs completely obsolete. And what exactly am I supposed to do with them now?!
- To eBay, where I can find that one autographed football card of Sabby Piscitelli I never would have seen 12 years ago.
- To Under Armour and The North Face (especially the TNF outlet in Woodburn), for helping me spend my money.
- To Jillian Michaels, whom after watching The Biggest Loser for six seasons finally convinced me to get off my ass and lose 30 pounds (so far).
- To the Washington County library system, whose online catalog and request system has convinced me I no longer need to buy a book ever again, and where I never have to browse again unless I want to. Goes back to the lazy thing. And about those 500 books I own...
Giving Thanks 2009
This is that time of year when we are expected to ruminate on just what we are thankful for. I have a lot to give thanks for - some fun, some ridiculous, some real.