- I can’t complete this challenge without mentioning music. But to be completely honest, I have responded to this question so many times for essays, scholarships, classes, etc. It’s kind of become rote at this point. I think the reason why Elvis Costello said, “writing about music is like dancing about architecture” is because it absolutely is. How do you describe the transcendent? You don’t, you can’t. Heinrich Zimmer famously said, “the best things can’t be told”. If you are a human being who is still alive and are reading this, you probably have many songs which have generated an emotional response for whatever reason; That’s made you feel electric and supernatural. So you know what I’m talking about. Music is the great connector and communicator, and it’s beautiful in that it is what it is.
- My sight. Granted, over the years it always seems to decline more and more, but I am so thankful I have it. The other night I was out playing an open mic a blind man came in to experience the show. It was very eye-opening (pun not intended) to witness. I found myself trying to put myself in this man’s shoes: Where did he live? How did he get here? How did he dress himself this morning? What did he eat for breakfast? How did he make it? At the venue, he ordered a tea or coffee and the waitress brought it over to him and had to show him where the table was to set it down on by bringing his hand down to it. He sat turned away from the stage and just intently listened. I found myself wondering how he would pay for his drink, how he would get home…Was he walking, heard the music, and walked towards it and that’s how he found this place? I found it difficult to put myself in his shoes because I couldn’t imagine not relying on my eyes to get me around and do things and go places.
- The sun. Sometimes sunshines just feels so good on your skin. I’m not a fan of tanning or anything, but sometimes it’s nice to go outside and just feel that warmth – even if it’s only for a short while. It might swallow our planet whole one day, but for now I’m okay with it 🙂
- Cool breezes. I love fall and cool breezes with no humidity. Maybe it’s because October’s my birth month, maybe it’s because my hands sweat less or something. It’s always reminded me of freedom or falling in love. When you smell autumn air, all your worries seem to fall away. It’s definitely one of the many reasons why I’m looking forward to the summer ending.
- I could probably go on ad infinitum about Joseph Campbell. But I will always be grateful for all that he contributed to the world and the literary community. I also find myself quite proud of the fact that he is American. I don’t get too patriotic often, but with Joseph Campbell I do. He makes me proud to come from this country. His mind was one of a kind, and he realized so many common threads within myth, folklore, religion, and psychology and how it applies to us as human beings and why it’s important. His work, reading his books, listening to his lectures, and watching his interviews as given me an abundant set of tools of how to live in the world as a human being, and I will always be thankful for his existence.
- Clean water. I know I’m lucky to live where I do, and it’s one of the reasons why I don’t complain about it as often as some. There are parts of the world where if water is not scarce, it is hard to find clean. As a citizen of the Northeast United States, I have access to clean water to drink, bathe, and wash dishes. It may not seem like a big deal, but when you hear about tainted water from leaked chemicals in West Virginia or know how often people get sick and die from water-breeding diseases in foreign countries, namely India and Africa, you realize how good you have it after all. Sometimes it’s the little things we take for granted. I’d hate to think we wouldn’t know what we have until it’s gone.
Forgot to post yesterday, so I’m playing a little bit of catch up:
- SLEEP. Sleep is a marvelous thing – a chance to recharge your batteries and wake up the next day energized and refreshed. What a blessing. A good night’s rest can make everything 100% better the next day. I’m a firm believer in getting a good night’s rest and would never trade it for the world! I slept wonderfully last night, and now I feel I can take on the day with joy and confidence. Never underestimate sleep. If there’s anything I’ve learned in 23 years, it’s that sleep is your friend 🙂
- My brother. I have a younger brother whom I adore. He’s 15, and he really is my best friend. He’s taught me so much about football, being a good big sister, and makes me laugh like no other. There definitely wouldn’t be as much incessant laughter and joking in my life if it weren’t for him. We giggle about everything. I don’t know where I’d be without him. He’s super talented in many ways (writing, trombone, conversing about big ideas) and loves news and sports. He really is the best.
- Somewhat relatedly, FOOTBALL. American football, that is. This is the first year I’ve started my own Fantasy Team and I’m so excited! And I know today is game day, so I will have to wrap this up rather quickly. A few years ago my brother taught me how to play Madden and from there I learned the rules of the game and fell in love with the sport. Although it is a new love of mine, I hope to enjoy it for many years to come.
Do you have a Fantasy Team? If so, who’s on it? Let’s talk stats, people!
My good friend Ashley nominated me for this 5 Days of Gratitude challenge via Facebook but because I’m a firm believer in not posting anything over “x” number of characters on The ‘book, I’ve decided to complete it here. (If you’ve clicked on this from Facebook, it also gives you more incentive to read my blog ;))
But anyway – Here it goes:
- I’m super grateful for my parents – and even that’s an understatement. Overall, they have been loving and supportive of all my post-college endeavors, even though I haven’t landed a job – yet! They encourage me in all my creative pursuits whether it be in baking, reading, or blogging, and without them I would be very lost. I used to think it was cool to be considered separate from parents but over the past few years I’ve begun to realize they are my biggest assets and my loudest cheerleaders. I will forever be grateful to their advice, humor, and support.
- I’m grateful for the ability to read and write. When you take into account the destitute and uneducated parts of the world, you recognize just how much you have to be thankful for. Sometimes I feel like such a spoiled brat having loathed going to school, especially in high school. Because I know there are kids out there who would jump at the chance to read a book or learn how to spell. It’s a shame what we take for granted these days. I was reading some Spinoza just before I began writing this. Imagine if I didn’t have that luxury, especially as a woman? It’s crazy to think about.
- Nonna. I will always be grateful that my Nonna is still with me and my family. The doctors and nurses who see her already admit she’s beaten the odds thus far. At 86, she definitely has her laundry list of issues and diagnoses but she is alive, well as can be, cognizant, intelligent. She’s practically sailed around the world emigrating back and forth from Australia, Italy, and finally the US. She survived World War II on the losing side (seriously, she has stories about living in some caves while being bombarded by the Allies). I happily care for her, cook for her, give her her pills, laugh, joke, and sing with her. She has a story for everything and helps me perfect my Italian. I love her very much.
So as previously stated, I eBay on a rather consistent basis. Gives me some nice pocket change since I’m living at home “funemployed” and whatnot. Sometimes I pay off my student loans with it, other times it’s nice to buy a cheapie record or gear for my guitar (like this awesome O-Port I just got). So if you’d like to see what I have for sale, click here. Sometimes it’s jewelry, others games or just other odds and ends I find at my house or Nonna’s house that no one’s really using anymore. Check it out for sure! I like to think my positive reviews speak for themselves 🙂
About the O-Port: It’s a type of feedback suppressor I heard really good things about (after hours of intense research and checking with my guitar tech) that also allows me to humidify my guitar because it doesn’t completely close up the soundhole. For those who many not be in on the musician vernacular (or do not have advanced knowledge about acoustic guitars), sometimes electric-acoustic guitars (acoustic guitars you can plug into an amp) create feedback when in front of a monitor or amp. It’s not pleasant. It’s actually quite annoying. I was recommended by my guitar tech to buy a feedback suppressor so I could play live with my guitar but not experience the womp of feedback noise when I played. I bought the cheapest one, not really knowing there were different types out there. (To those who are familiar with feedback suppressors, I purchased the Planet Waves Screeching Halt) It was basically a rubber plug you stick in the soundhole – and it worked. The thing was, I had to detune and retune every time I put it in or took it out because I wasn’t able to humidify my guitar otherwise. (I have a little humidifier I place in the soundhole when I’m not using the guitar to keep the wood in good shape. This also helps the guitar stay in tune. We often forget how delicate wooden guitars really are. Don’t forget wood expands with heat and contracts with cold, just like anything else) I love my guitar, (Baby Britain is her name) but she does not like being constantly tuned and retuned like that. It would create too much stress on the neck and strings would end up popping off to add to my annoyance. Aside from that, I also think the suppressor was too big for the soundhole. It should have been smaller. (It was a real pain to put in a take out)
So behold the O-Port. It’s designed so you only have to detune and retune your guitar once. You detune to install it and retune and use forever! Not only does it suppress feedback, but it creates way better tone due to the mechanics and shape of the plastic. The bigger end goes inside the guitar with the smaller “O” going on the side of the soundhole. Plus it’s open so I can comfortably fit my humidifier in there. Pretty neat, huh? I think so too.
I hope to start playing live again soon. It kind of sucks because I no longer have my own car (Winter 2k13 took my catalytic converter) and have to rely on the availability of my mom’s car. She recently started to take classes again, so I can really only use it where there are gaps in her schedule. Maybe I’ll do a StageIt show soon. Wonder if anyone would be into that…I’m gonna def look into it.
Thanks for reading, y’all. At the very least, I hope you learned something new about guitars 😉
Don’t forget to check out my eBay stuff!