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Thankful for solidarity, friendship, and heads like a hole

November 28, 2010

I’m not someone for whom Thanksgiving means much beyond a few days off and a chance to see family. But maybe that’s fine. I mean, what silly abstraction can anyone come up with that tops vacation with family? I’m always thankful for such things when I can get them.

Here’s a few other things I’m thankful for this year:

Dan Savage’s “It Gets Better” Project

It began as a response to the recent rash of tragic suicides by gay teens, and has benefited from the involvement of celebrities and activists and people from all social circles. Hopefully, the message for LGBT teens will be as effective as it is simple: “It Gets Better.” There are dozens of videos on YouTube of people telling their stories and giving hope to younger LGBT folks as they struggle with bullying and homophobia. Perhaps my favorite is this latest one from the team at Pixar Animation Studios. I’m thankful that there are people out there willing to share their wisdom and advice with those who may not feel they have a friend in the world.

Monday night meals

Three weeks ago, faced with the prospect of cold, dreary days and 5pm sunsets, Mrs. theGeek came up with a brilliant idea. During the winter, every Monday at 7pm, she and I will make available a modest meal with an open, informal invitation to all our friends to join us for an evening of friendly socialization. Come as you are. BYOB.

It has been a wild success, with a laid-back and comfortable atmosphere and even some pot-luck contributions from others. Not only does it provide an opportunity to spend more time with our nearest and dearest, AND give us a chance to try new recipes, it gives us both something to look forward to on the most dreaded of weekdays. Now, instead of slogging through our day jobs every Monday, we have the anticipation of a festive evening and a good, healthy meal ahead of us. It really, really works and I urge everyone to try a similar gathering. The work is minimal and the benefits are legion. Thus, I am thankful for the ingenuity of my spousal unit and the communion with dear friends.

Pretty Hate Machine re-issue

This week marked the re-release of Nine Inch Nails’ debut album, Pretty Hate Machine. This is a remastered edition featuring all 10 original tracks plus a cover of Queen’s “Get Down Make Love” that originally appeared as a b-side to the “Sin” single. The remastering process has really brought new life to these songs. I know this record like the back of my hand, and like the recent re-issue of Pearl Jam’s Ten, I was surprised at what the remaster was able to bring out. There are guitar parts that I never heard before, and entire sections of songs that sound completely different. I am thankful to have a reason for a fresh listen to a classic album.

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