Monday, November 24, 2008

thanks giving: project

Begin by pressing play.

Below is a picture of a list of things to be happy about. I started keeping it when I was sad, a long time ago now, in Santa Barbara. I remember thinking that people would see it taped on my kitchen cupboard and think, "a list of things to be happy about is the work of a depressed person." But no one seemed to think so.

In fact, nearly everyone who came to my apartment regularly checked to see what I had added, or add something themselves once in a while. The list includes items like:

#9 winter sun

#56 phosphorescence

#74 airmail envelopes

The list has been tucked away for a few years now, but I still add to it mentally every now and then. A couple weeks ago (the same night I recorded the farmers and chocolate-makers playing the music recorded in my last entry), my friend Stephen Brooks sang a song wishing that everyone everywhere could be as fortunate as he was in that moment. I feel that all the time.

Just a few of the things I am profoundly thankful for this year include:

Erin back in New York, and just down the street.

Walking away from Edun a year ago was tough, but I managed to find another place that keeps me equally sleep-deprived, inspired and surrounded by impossibly eccentric personalities. Perfect.

Which brings me to how happy I am to still have all those silly beautiful Edun people in my life.

Even though they locked my computer, purse and scarf inside the office Friday night while I was lost in the Steven Alan sample sale. (Being locked outside Edun in the freezing dark was not as scary as briefly believing on Wednesday night that I was locked inside CUNY after editing video for thirteen hours.)

So...I'm thankful that right now, I am not locked in, or out, of anything at all.
It's easy to be so free when you've got a big safety net, which is...

My family.
This year started with my sister and her babes taking care of me in
New Zealand. If that music player up top is playing the song "Home" right now, that's what they gave me.

Here's my niece, Bella.

Skipping rocks will be on her list of things to be happy about one day. For now, it's just "throwing rocks," which was one of our preferred excuses for sitting together on the shore of the lake.

This photo refers back to #9 on the original list: winter sun, which is wonderful all over New York, but I highly recommend 2nd avenue. It also refers back to an entry from May when Polaroids were added to the list. I'm thankful that Tom Slaughter never lets golden light like this on the fire escape go unappreciated. I appreciate that. He snapped this on Friday.

I've been assigned cookies for Thanksgiving, probably because my cousin Judy knows there's nothing I'd rather make. So...thanks.

Click the little pencil below to leave a comment if you want, and let me know what's on your list.


  1. It's me again.
    Here's an example, it's so easy.
    #1 finding lost mittens

  2. Hey Jenni.
    It's one of the nutters from Edun who leaped across the pond a few months ago.
    i happened upon your blog with my Edun google alerts... I love the list idea! what a good thing to have especially when far away from home or not I guess... anyway, first I will confess I may steal your NY photo for my facebook profile;) and to add to your list well #1 for me would be, but of course, NYC on a sunny day in September (it just can't be beat!).
    Hope all is well back in the city.
    Take care,

  3. the band phosphorescent makes me happy. when i was little, i five i said i wanted to be a caveman when i grew up.

  4. Thanks always for that fuchsia morning sky on a Kingston Winter morning with a hot cup of coffee.

  5. Oh- and I am thankful for Jenni living down the street from Erin so I can see them both in New York.

  6. I remember that list from your IV pad...classic. its 34 degrees and raining here in Yakutat, Alaska and although its 3:45 the sun has already set and we're here chasing giant waves on some crazy red bull project...missing the family this thanksgiving but loving the life I lead so here's my contribution from the far north... #109 sitting alone at the end of the earth and getting a virtual cookie from an old friend. Cheers Jenni


  7. i am thankful for the family that i have. Not only the one I was born into, but the friends that have defined the very essence of it.


  8. The Machado Family Checks in:

    Patty- thankful for Kenny Machado
    Kenny- thankful for toothpicks
    Vince- thankful for sirius radio
    Marty- thankful for beer coozies
    Gary- thankful for honey bees
    Mikey Baby- (absent)

  9. mixing milk into coffee.

  10. I don't know where to begin- these days I feel like the luckiest girl in the world. I'm marrying my best friend in one week, have the goofiest dog in the world, am surrounded by the most amazing group of friends anyone could ever hope to meet (you're at the top of the list Ms. Avins), and was blessed with mad cooking skills. What else could anyone ask for?

  11. Boardwalks in Fire Island - while they have delivered a few nasty splinters over the years, they have made up for it by bringing some great memories and one or two incredible people into my life.

  12. I like a hot cup of coffee in the early morning while camping and then exhaling the steam from my mouth and nose. That's pretty exhilarating for me. But what I am really thankful for and what makes me think we can get through tough and rough times is how easy and casual it is to plug back in with family and friends and friends that are family. It's really great and I believe it is all we need. If you don't have a tight knit unit, link up with one because they are happy to let you in and it will be worth it and fun. And I am always pretty excited about 'Girl w/ the Faraway Eyes' by the Stones. Mick, morning coffee and s'mores, those are all things that I enjoy.
    Oh, and Alex G says he is thankful for cars.
    Happy Thanksgiving!

  13. Andrea Thankful for all the interesting and wonderful people I have met in my life and the opportunity to witness and be a part of their journeys through life.

  14. I, for one, am thankful for Pete Seeger.

  15. i am thankful for 11/30/08 Jet Blue flight 648 from SFO to JFK departing at 11:25PM out of gate A11 and for the warm, gooey chocolate chip cookies the jaybird gave me last week for my birthday

  16. I'm thankful God has blessed me with the life I get to live- good health, comfort, endless fun journeys and the ability to help others- and don't want to forget the little things like powder days, barreling waves, thick bowls of açai and yerba mate in the morning : )

  17. I am thankful for love, laughter, and the open road.