I’m Thankful

I’m thankful for the people in my life. The people who love me and support me.  The ones who teach you new things and show you things that you already knew but forgot about.  The ones who push you to do better and the ones who give you a nudge and help you take that first step.

I’m a “The Journey” is more important than “The Destination” type guy and without the people in my life, I wouldn’t enjoy the Journey half as much.  So thank you all for that.

The list is probably long and I’d forget people if I went name by name but needless to say it includes my Family, my Friends, my Co-Workers (past and present), even people I know through social media that I’ve never actually met in person. You all play a part somehow, because if I didn’t like you I wouldn’t talk to you.

I have a lot to be thankful for and you probably do too.  So go eat another plate of Turkey or whatever suits your fancy and have another drink (unless you’re driving).

Also, I’m thankful for good Michigan Micro Breweries, because who wouldn’t be.

Create Something…

I’ve realized lately that I’m missing out on doing something that I love.  Creating things.  Taking the time out of your day to be creative and make something, whatever it may be.  It’s easy to lose track of that, to find that you don’t have the time to do those things that can easily be viewed as secondary to life.  Those things are important, they help provide balance and make your life more well-rounded.

I’m lucky that I have a career that allows me to be creative, to analyze problems and come up with unique solutions and create things.  It helps to stretch my mind and keeps me engaged. It’s nice to be able to exercise those creative and creating muscles outside of work though too.

On my days off before Thanksgiving I started to build a set of display boards for my children’s school.  They’re to display artwork and creativity, for the PTA Reflections program. I like to build things, I don’t have any time or space for it, but it is a rewarding feeling to see a need and be able to build something that fills that need.  I have a long way to go till those six panels are complete and standing proudly in the school cafeteria, but I’ll have a good sense of pride and accomplishment when they are. 

I’m a reading-aholic

 

Oh, something for me to read, great!

 

Ah, the benefits of unemployment  (there have to be some benefits, beside the paltry sum that the government gives you back to help tide you over, right?), nothing to do except sit around and read and look for jobs…  While I’d like to say that I have unemployment to thank for my recent foray back into reading books, the truth is I don’t read books during the day because I’m generally too busy.  It has more to do with my wife’s fantastic blog and her jobs shooting family portraits and editing pictures after the kids go to bed; the lack of good TV combined with my TiVo; and, the fact that Tiger’s baseball is over.  Whatever the reason, I’m always happy when I can find new books that truly captivate me and cause me to lose sleep because I just have to finish one more page (or the whole book).  Unemployment has really just meant that I’m better able to keep up with my Google Reader, 55 feeds and currently 204 unread items (damn books getting in the way).

I have always been an avid reader, but I would characterize it as a manic-depressive attraction; I go from reading no books for a while to voraciously consuming vast quantities of books.  In the last two weeks I have read The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, and Jonathan Franzen’s The Corrections and his new one, Freedom.  All three of which I would recommend, both to read and to use as a booster seat so a small child can reach the table top at dinner.  I also checked out The Omnivore’s Dilemma and In Defense of Food both by Michael Pollan.  Those two have been on my radar as books I’d probably be interested in and therefore I should read.  I also have a handful of baseball books that I’ve started and stopped for various reasons over the summer.

In addition to books I’m known to read just about anything I can get my hands on.  The Internet has been a boon and curse for someone like me…so much stuff to read!  One item that caught my attention recently was a series on The Atlantic Wire, What I Read.  The premise is simple:  “How do people deal with the torrent of information that rains down on us all? What’s the secret to staying on top of the news without surrendering to the chaos of it? In this series, we ask people who seem well-informed to describe their media diets.”

As someone who consumes a wide variety and amount of media, I searched through the profiles looking for some guidance on how best to feed and manage my addiction…instead I realized it was just another type of drug to feed into the Eye-V of information flowing into my brain.  In addition to the sometimes interesting profiles of “well-informed people” there was just more content to consume, new sources to look at, more blogs and news sites to tag and feed into my Reader…someone needs to create a twelve-step program for reading and information addicts.

I did like the idea of cataloging my reading and information consumption habits.  My psych undergrad background says it would be good for me to get it all out in the open and admit that I have a problem.  Perhaps for a future blog post, now I have to get back to reading about the evolution of Corn and the impact on human’s food chain.  Oh, but take a minute to let me know what good books you’ve read lately…I need something for after I finish these two in the next week.

Try new things

 

Have you ever had a persimmon?

 

My kids and I were talking about the nutritional content of apples, being a knowledge junkie, I had to know that answer to the question: how many carbs are in apples?  I popped up and grabbed our handy produce reference guide, Dr. Richter’s Fresh Produce Guide (a great little reference book by the way).  Thumbing through the pages and talking with the kids about the healthy things in fruits and vegetables we came across the Persimmon, Fuyu and Hachiya Persimmons to be exact. I asked my daughter, the oldest, if she knew what that was. No, and I couldn’t find any blame because I’m not sure I would have known what they were either.  I resolved to buy one the next time I went to Nino Salvaggio. A promise of a “sweet combination of pumpkin, plum and honey…available October to February.”

The persimmons, two Fuyu’s, have been ripening for the past few days with the anticipation of removing the four-leafed, capped stem and peeling the skin from the fruit and trying something new.  I’m a fan of trying new things.  Trips to foreign countries have seen fried worms, duck tongue, snake (complete with a shot of the blood and the bile mixed with Baijiu…to fortify the body), lychees, etc.  This isn’t some Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern sort of thing (that guy is weird). I’m also interested in new technology, new experiences, new places and new ideas.  Sometimes you need to expand your thinking and see what is new in the world, you never know when you’ll find something new that will put a smile on your face or maybe even change your worldview.

In answer to the open questions: 22 carbs in a “medium apple with skin”; fried worms were kind of mealy; duck tongue was phenomenal; snake was okay, snake blood and bile…eh, Biajiu is awful; lychees, delicious and interesting, might need to get some at the store again sometime.  Oh, the persimmon?  It was great, sweet, juicy with a honey taste. You never know unless you try it.

“Everyone has a ‘risk muscle.’ You keep it in shape by trying new things. If you don’t, it atrophies. Make a point of using it at least once a day.” -Roger Von Oech

Update: I guess Persimmons don’t hold up well when cut the night before and sent in your child’s lunch…neither kid liked them as much the next day.