Happy Thanksgiving weekend, Canada!
It’s a cool grey day and I’m just starting to move after working a 17-hour day yesterday. I’m exhausted but content, the perfect mood for reflection and, given the day, dusting off the old giving-of-thanks format. I’m very grateful these days for this list:
- My family, consisting of my Mr. Darcy and Tegan the Jack Russell Terrorist — who delight me every day — and my faraway sister, parents and amazing niece I see on holidays like this. I wish I had enough time and energy to give them more than I do.
- That goes double for my friends. Being grateful for them is a given, of course, but I am so lucky to be surrounded by some truly great people.
- Riverdale Park, a place I’ll miss terribly now that summer has gone. I spend so many happy hours there, as pictured above.
- Glad Day Bookshop, the little LGBT shop I once loved managing in the mid-nineties and now, through the magical mysteries of fate, I am now managing again. While I loved how my freelancing schedule allowed me more flexibility to spend time with those aforementioned friends, it’s been amazing to go to work each day and truly love it. Every day, I feel needed, stressed and happy.
- Facebook. Is it evil? Of course it is but it keeps me in touch with my friends, the daily news and our customers (a strongly overlapping Venn diagram there). Its strange mix of work-and-play is a constant source of pleasure so thank you, Mark Zuckerberg, you little megalomaniac.
- Pema Chodron, the Buddhist nun who’s the closest thing I have to a religious leader. She’s salty and wise and guides like a lighthouse in the storm.
- Super Fresh Mart on Church Street, for carrying bags of crazy-delicious British-import jelly babies at an actually reasonable price. Also, their late-night bacon-and-cheese croissants are lethally delicious!
- Matt Elliott and Andrea Houston, two reporters relentless in their efforts to improve Toronto for citizens in general (Matt) and for queer teens in particular (Andrea).
- Kristyn Wong-Tam, Toronto city councilor for Ward 27. It’s a great relief to have someone who works on behalf of my neighbourhood, who’s smart and engaged and who isn’t totally fucking embarrassing.
- The end of “normal,” at least in vocabulary. I love how we’re all slowly but surely wrapping our tradition-crusted brains around words like heteronormative, privilege, cisgendered and neurotypical. Solving the problem of labels by adding more labels isn’t perfect, by any means, but they’re creating positive discussion.
- The Chipotle barbacao burrito. Seriously, I’m so grateful this exists.
- The BBC’s Doctor Who, my favourite pop hero since I was a kid and a concept that, despite indifference from the mainstream public and active hostility from broadcast execs, has remained unstoppable for 50 years now because its creators and fans (usually one and the same) have loved it so much. There’s a lesson I strongly heed there.
- And that other UK hero, James Bond movies in November. Their release dates always come around my father’s birthday, making for a happy tradition of taking my dad out to a movie, one that stretches back to 1987’s The Living Daylights. I’m also thankful that the producers of the new Skyfall had the good sense to ask Adele to create its theme song and that she absolutely nailed it. I’ve been playing this gorgeously apocalyptic ballad for days now:
And there’s a good message for any Thanksgiving, the one day we try to ignore our struggles and focus on family, friends and the things that inspire our gratitude: let the sky fall…we’ll face it all together.