Nothing much of note has happened in the last week so this will be short.
I let my dog nap on the bed in the evenings. It ensures she stays out of trouble and I like the companionship. She doesn’t spend the entire night as she wriggles and I’m a light sleeper. Last night I asked her to get down, as she knows she should, when I went to bed. She was having none of it. She curled up tightly and starting wagging her tail as if she was thinking “I bet I can stay up here if I’m really cute.” I picked her up, still in a ball, and gently placed her in her own rather plush bed. She was so annoyed her plan hadn’t worked that she actually curled up again, with her face away from me. I tried to scratch her belly, which always works, and she wanted nothing to do with me. My dog was pouting! I nearly fell over, I laughed that much.
Today I’m thankful for small periods of perfection.
I was having a particularly trying day at work last week. I left at midday to get food. I mostly needed to get out of the building. It was utterly perfect, for me, as soon as I stepped through the door. A light rain had just started and the smell was intoxicating, especially mixed with the greenery around. There’s a church on the other side of the road and their bell started ringing. It was still and exquisite. For about five seconds. As I rounded the building I heard a hard-of-hearing colleague on a call. They are lovely, but notably loud. They’d agree with the sentiment. I laughed harder than I’ve laughed in a while at the sheer absurdity of it. It was I needed, when I needed it.
Today I’m thankful for olives.
I don’t remember seeing this happen but my sister swears it’s true and I have no reason to doubt her. Neither of us is fond of olives. Our mother almost inhales them, she enjoys so much. While the two of us were growing up she’d always have a jar of them in the refrigerator. I always gave them a wide berth. My sister would lick the salt from them and replace the olives in the jar. She says she thought the salt was the only reason a well-balanced person would purchase olives. She told this to our mother about a year ago. Our mother responded that she’d always wondered why her olives were so bland.
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Today I’m thankful for the Angry Metal Guy.
I’ve mentioned being a bit of a metal head. I lean more toward older stuff (RIP, Ronnie D.). I’m a power/prog metal weenie and like some doom and math metal. The NWOTHM is absolutely my thing. I prefer clean vocals. I’m not a fan of black metal. I’m not offended by the antireligious aspect. It’s mostly that the world is already so screwy that I don’t need to be any more nihilistic. I enjoy learning about emerging artists and ludicrously specific subgenres (technical death slam, really?). I’ve listened to this nonstop for the past several days.
The site manages to be informative and occasionally hysterically funny – see the comments on any Jorn Lande post. This beauty is a good example. Sourced via the Angry Metal Guy. I do not own the video or song, and material on the Angry Metal Guy website is protected by copyright.
I think Monster Magnet may be my new favorite band name.
This might run a little long though I hope you still enjoy it. Today I’m thankful for my mother’s unflappability.
We visited Reykjavik in 2014. Our return flight left Keflavik in the afternoon so we landed late in the evening. We both had an additional flight. We scheduled a layover long enough that we could get a hotel room and full night’s sleep.
I wanted to find an acceptable hotel offering a free shuttle to the airport the next morning. Most hotels have shuttles but they can cost as much as a nice dinner. I eventually found a place with fair reviews, advertising a free shuttle.
A cheerful driver picked us up at the airport. The hotel concierge greeted us as we walked in, from behind a substantial pane of glass. We were shown to a very clean room, complete with concrete floor and sturdy deadbolt. We ordered pizza (actually quite tasty), blocked the door with a chair and had a quiet night. Our drive to the airport and return flights were uneventful.
It wasn’t until I finally got home and scoured the hotel website that I noticed the discreet mention of “hourly rates.” I had booked my mother and me into what was essentially a love hotel. I was mortified. My mother thought the entire experience was exceedingly funny, and did it all with a broken fibula. I have to say that everyone at the hotel treated us very kindly, as we were clearly out of place.
Today I’m thankful for my grandmother.
I’m not wholly sure how to describe her. She is gracious, wickedly funny and occasionally terrifying. The woman is a gourmet cook and born hostess who could put Martha Stewart or Mary Berry to shame. She sings like a big band girl singer. She has a habit of mentioning recent local deaths whenever we visit and seems to relish the especially grisly ones.
This tendency was happily displayed the last time my sister visited. I only heard about this after the fact from my father – I was not there. I laughed so hard I went hoarse. Gran told my sister (my father was there as well) about a man in town who had killed his parents. With an axe. A month previously. She’d sat on the information all that time, saving it to tell my sister in person. My sister lives a four hour drive away so it can be a while between visits. I don’t if Gran was in on the joke, thinking “they always say I talk about people dying so I’ll show them” or if she genuinely thought my sister would find the information interesting. She is absolutely canny enough to be in on it but would never admit such a thing. I adore this woman.
Today I’m thankful for traffic cones.
My employer moved locations. They’re leasing the building we currently occupy. There aren’t enough parking spots for every employee so a number of people come in early trying to beat the rush.
I did the same one day. While pulling in I saw a traffic cone blocking the empty spot nearest the disabled (badge) slots. Our landlord’s name was stenciled on the cone. As I removed my key from the ignition a large white luxury car pulled up next to the blocked spot. I recognized the driver as she got out of her car. It was the landlord’s administrative staffer. She saw me watching, smiled, grabbed the cone and put it in her car, and pulled into the best unsigned spot in the lot.
I told my colleagues, who promptly suggested we each make our own cones to “officially” claim good spots. We haven’t done so, but I also have yet to see the original cone make a repeat performance. If I had I think the rest of the lot would suddenly sprout matching orange “fruit.”
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Today I’m thankful for opportunities to learn about social media notifications.
This happened about a year ago. I have no excuse beyond low-grade technophobia.
I’d noticed that some of my uni friends were travelling and updating their profiles with all the places they visited. I don’t travel as much as I’d like but I’ve been some interesting places and wanted to share them. I spent a hour updating my history and went to bed.
My sister messaged the next morning because she received almost a hundred notifications, all along the lines of “(I) was here!”. I’d apparently missed unchecking that one small box for which notifications I wanted to send. I immediately apologized to everyone and went dark for a week.
Today I’m thankful for nonsense sounds.
Sometimes combinations of word sounds just make me laugh. They sound utterly silly to me. I don’t know how many other people have similar experiences. My sample is so far limited to two.
The domain I chose reflects my love of things that sound silly together. I’m naturally pretty quiet and stern, contrasted by my very absurd sense of humor. I can be both dark, like thunderheads, and just plain goofy. It’s reflective of who I am, and sounds a bit like word salad.
This is a strange one but bear with me. Today I’m thankful for cephalophores.
Cephalophores are a particularly colorful category of saint. The word “cephalophore” roughly translates from Greek: “cephalos” (head) and “phoros” (bearer). They’re usually commemorated as people who were executed by beheading, but who didn’t die before picking up their heads from the ground and marching along to some singular spot, demanding to be remembered for this particular action.
I’ve always had a soft spot for the odd and absurd and I think this meshes nicely. So take a moment, lift a glass to St. Denis, and remember that cephalophore is a great Scrabble word.