1. People are finally admitting that Seth MacFarlane isn’t funny. Not even a little bit. Not even as an alleged satirist. I realize this isn’t exactly a shocking revelation but for those of us standing at the sidelines wondering how on Earth this smirking, blatantly misogynistic classroom bully became Hollywood’s highest paid TV writer – and onetime Oscars host – this feels like validation, albeit way late. Also, it helps to free us from the uncomfortable truth that anyone claiming to prefer Family Guy over the vastly superior Simpsons (even season 19 Simpsons) obviously isn’t fast enough to get the jokes.
2. I am not addicted to my mobile device. Not even a little bit. While I hugely appreciate the ability to track down a friend in a frothing crowd via text – and the ability to surreptitiously snap a picture of beautiful Sunny the cat lolling in the garden without lunging for a proper camera and disturbing the moment – I can put the thing away for whole hours at a time. And just talk. Or, better still, not talk.
3. Vodka. I am very truly grateful for vodka. This will only seem ludicrous to those who’ve never experienced things like my last (and, God as my witness, final) breakup. Or a pre-Christmas Saturday retail shift at St. Lawrence Market. Or an afternoon visit with B. Believe me, in those ridiculously trying instances, it was vodka – not positive thinking or deep breathing, despite the cachet of those claims – that soothed the nerves and propped up my weary soul for yet another day.
4. The Toronto Public Library. If there is a better library system in the galaxy – one that will order books specifically for me and deliver any title to my branch of choice for free – I’d like to know about it. It sounds like a boast but the truth is: I am now and have always been a super-nerd able to plow through two books a week. I would not be able to do this without the library. I love the Toronto Public Library.
5. I am grateful for my heretofore unknown but surprisingly comprehensive ability to forgive. For years I carried around anger over stuff and things and people and even though I read many very persuasive arguments stating that anger hurt me more than those I aimed it towards, I nurtured it anyway. And then one day, I stopped. And it actually did feel better. Certain acts and remarks still make me seethe – and I genuinely do not believe I deserved that awful breakup – but at least now I can see past the hulking black cloud to the green field in the middle distance. Sounds like a platitude, but regular hot yoga really helped with that. And vodka, obviously, though not both at the same time.
6. Speaking of, I am grateful for hot yoga, specifically as taught at Moksha Yoga Danforth. Prayer Twist not so much. But that feeling at the end of a grueling 90-minute class when you somehow pulled it out of thin air is better than… better than… what’s that thing two people in love do together? Yeah, it’s better than that.
7. Italy. I am ever so grateful for Italy. I’m guessing this one doesn’t need elaboration.
8. Darling Fue and sweet, skittish Mister Hister – ditto.
9. Oven-fired thin-crust pizza with Gorgonzola and wild mushrooms. Also Funghi Assoluti and my ability to credibly replicate Terroni’s superb take on the dish at home. Actually, quite a few people are grateful for that.
10. I am grateful for the ability to be grateful. Many aren’t and, whether they know it or not, it’s written all over their faces. And it looks bad and sad and alienating, plus it’s 100 percent Botox resistant. I hope my face says something sweeter.