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photos by Lara Shipley


November 30th, 2003 · No Comments

As a longtime vegetarian, I miss out on the Thanksgiving holiday’s traditional poultry-consumption. And as a lifelong secularist, I don’t have any deity to shower with praise for the good care (s)he’s taken of me over the last year. But there is something to be said for reminding yourself how good you have it. This November, reasons life doesn’t suck include:

  • A family I actually like, making the requisite trip home for the holidays something to look forward to, rather than (as seems common enough) vaguely dread. Unless they’re truly awful, you’re more or less required to love your family… but it’s great to be able to say you like them—like talking with them and spending time with them—as well.

  • If you asked me to write up my fantasy job description, it’d probably be something like this: “I roll out of bed, make myself some coffee, and write about (more or less) whatever the hell I please, preferably still in boxers. Sometimes this includes debate with sharp opponents.” To my constant amazement, someone actually pays me to do this.

  • Speaking of the job… the one downside to working from home was that the spacious English basement that was a fantastic apartment when it was the place I basically came to sleep, or do a little reading or web-surfing after work, can exacerbate cabin fever when you’re spending your whole day there, sometimes for days at a clip. So I’m pleased to announce that I’ll be moving on January 1st to some sweet digs over in the U Street neighborhood . My housemates will be two good friends who, appropriately enough in this digital age, I first met years ago on the forums at Free-Market.Net: Tim Lee and Chuck Karczag. It’s also strategically located near a very cool-seeming (and WiFi enabled) coffeeshop, a vital sort of home-away-from-home I’ve been missing since leaving Manhattan and Esperanto.

  • One of my best friends from high school recently noted that October marked the 10th anniversary of our adolescent circle of droogs. We’re all doing pretty radically different things (when we meet, I often think of that Bob Dylan line: “Some are mathematicians, some are carpenters wives, don’t know how it all got started, I don’t know what they’re doing with their lives”—except, for the most part, I do know) but we get together when we’re all back in town, and it’s almost as though no time has passed. And aside from being cool folk, it’s invaluable to have peers who knew your nascent self—knew you when you during the messy process of becoming who you are. It’s sad, in one sense, but fantastic in another that I typically don’t have time to see all the old friends I’d like to when I’m home for a visit.

  • Washington, D.C., may be a generally evil place, but it’s also a magnet for (among others, admittedly) scary-smart people who are serious about ideas, interested in trying to make the world better (by their lights), and yet have a surprisingly good grasp of how to have fun. It’s energizing to be surrounded by so many sharp people doing so many different, interesting things. And it’s a privilege to be able to call some of them friends.

  • So there’s this brilliant, vibrant, gorgeous, witty, and, in general, mindbogglingly wonderful economist person of whom I’m completely, absurdly, head-over-heels enamored. And for reasons opaque to me, she seems to think I’m OK too. That alone should put me high in the running for luckiest bastard on the planet.

In the absence of a deity to thank for all these things, I guess I’ll direct my gratitude toward the people directly responsible. If you’re in one of these bullet points, you’re part of what makes getting up in the morning tolerable, and I’m thankful for you.

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