Each year at Thanksgiving we think of the things we have to be thankful for. Usually, our families, our friends and loved ones, our health, sometimes even our jobs. But what about all the things in our life that we forget to be thankful for? Last year we came up with a list of some of those and they all still hold up. Here’s last years (cause they’re still great) with a few new ones added in.
If you want to fall in love with this place, visit our National Parks. Gorgeous and awe-inspiring nature. If you never leave the highway, the scenery can sometimes all look the same, but it ain’t! From sea to shining sea there are now 58 National Parks, which preserve our natural resources, natural wildlife and natural beauty. To kinda quote the title Ken Burn’s Documentary The National Parks: America’s Best Idea. (visit our 5: America’s National Parks Here)
There was BBQ in the USA before there even was a USA! The origins of barbecue in this country can be traced way back to colonial times and just like everything, developed into what it is today based on the region of the country, the landscape, the lifestyle of the immigrants there. I’m thankful for good barbecue from everywhere. Whether you favor Memphis style ribs, Texas pit, pulled pork from the Carolinas, or the sweet-sauced BBQ of Kansas City, there are plenty of slow-cooked, smoky meats to enjoy in the USofA.
We’re thankful for the most excellent comedic relief from the real news and politics of our times. Thankful for the funniness and satirical insight! Thankful for Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert!!!
Who is there for you in the late late hours when everyone else would turn you away? Who will offer you the comfort of pancakes and eggs and bacon when the clock says it’s time for dinner? And who will put all this in your reach in an overlit environment with chrome walls, paintings of dolphins, and often a full bar? Only your mother, and your local diner. And your diner won’t yell at you for forgetting to take out the garbage.
The only thing that makes a cold bearable is the sweet, warm, licoricey, mucous-free coma brought on by a shot of Nyquil. That’s right, so you can rest medicine.
…Bathrooms. Wait! Wait! Seriously. Hear me out. If you have a small child with a tiny, more or less useless bladder, you know that a bathroom emergency can happen anywhere. Luckily, Starbucks are everywhere, and the bathrooms are relatively clean, you don’t have to retrieve the key from a surly counter worker, and they don’t make you buy anything first. A godsend in an emergency. You can also substitute Barnes and Noble here.
We all take it for granted, but everyone should take a moment out of their lives and really appreciate how good a burger is. And you can get one almost anywhere, from the local diner (see above) to the golden arches to our super chic restaurants nowadays.
We’ve all come to take this modern luxury for granted. You can go on the internet, open a catalog or call someone and tell them you want something…by tomorrow morning…and you can get it! And it’s even affordable! Who would have ever imagined you could demand that something from across the country be in your hands by tomorrow morning, and get it without paying thousands of dollars. Amazing!
Everyone loves to hate the big theater experience but seriously, we are lucky to have it. The opportunity to sit in front of a screen the size of your house, (sometimes larger) is beyond belief. Think about it! If we didn’t have movie theaters– had never heard of them– and someone described this magical place to us where you could be surrounded by sound and see giant moving images, we’d offer to pay anything for the experience. AND you can eat snacks there too! Now if only they could figure out how to make popcorn good again, we’d be set.
…one reality show at a time. With hundreds of reality shows on the air we are able to watch each other at work or at play around the clock. Never be jealous of anyone else’s tv success because it will be of course short lived. And remember your own show can’t be too far away. Andy Warhol may have only be right about one thing but he was right as rain about it.
Yes, it’s true, with the exception of a few good shows, television is largely a wasteland. But luckily, there is a magical land where yesteryear lives on forever and it’s called syndicationland. This is a place where shows that used to blow have somehow become not only tolerable, but something you look forward to. And shows that used to be great are forever preserved for your endless enjoyment. So be thankful for unending reruns of Seinfeld, Friends, Everybody Loves Raymond and the King of Queens. Without them, you’d probably be forced to watch The Tonight Show.
With Facebook, Twitter, Skype, Yelp, Four Square, Google Plus and more you can have all of those annual socially awkward moments with relatives without actually having to make eye contact. When things get ugly, just click off!
No matter where you stand on any issue…no matter how grim things may seem for your particular point of view, fear not. Because the Great American Pendulum is in effect and guarantees you that if you wait just a little while, that pendulum is going to come a-swinging back in your direction. Of course, it will then go whizzing right past you into absurdity..but don’t worry, it will be back again. So if you’re disheartened, humiliated, unpopular, ‘out’, unloved, or incorrect, you will soon find yourself on the other side of that coin and be cool, popular, loved, ‘in’ and correct.
In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, Americans, especially the East Coast, should be thankful for the basic essentials to our life. Millions were left without power, heat, and gasoline, and got to experience a little of what life would be like without those things that we now consider essentials. Many others lost their homes entirely. The deadly hurricane served as a wake-up call not to take hot showers, lights and internet for granted.
Have you ever thought about what a miracle it is your have a paved or at least cleared path directly from your doorstop to almost any place in the country. Our road system will take you within 10 miles of any spot in the entire country. That’s right, it’s impossible to be more than 10 miles from a road of some kind. And you didn’t have to do anything to make that happen. Extraordinary!
Last year we raved about how lucky we are to have such a diverse and extensive National Park System, but we should also mention how many of our cities have outstanding public spaces and parks. Our culture doesn’t always put a priority on open spaces but places like Central Park and the High Line in New York, Philadelphia’s Fairmount Park, Boston’s Public Gardens, Chicago’s Grant Park and Lincoln Park, San Diego’s Balboa Park, and that’s only the beginning.
We used to think the DVR was the greatest thing that ever happened to television, but the DVR has nothing on the ability to order and watch things on demand. Whether it’s your cable company’s on demand, Netflix, Amazon or any other on demand service, thanks to on demand you don’t have to worry about being home at any time, and you can rent a movie without leaving your chair. Let’s be thankful for on demand this year.
One state after another is beginning to legalize weed outright, or at least make medical marijuana available to those who need it. Sure, our Federal government may start cracking down in Colorado and Washington, but the groundwork’s been laid for possibly seeing the marijuana issue going to the Supreme Court. Let’s hope the rest of the country sees how a weed economy can help everyone and hurt no one.
Coachella, Lollapalooza, Bonaroo, Gathering of the Vibes, and the dozens of EDM festivals are just a few of the many music festivals that fill up the summer here in America. Britain’s proud of their music scene, but if the United States knows how do one thing, it’s throw a party. Hundreds of thousands of people show up for these events which have the biggest musicians in the world performing. It’s our right as good Americans to overpay for water and roll face off Molly.
Nothing is more central to being an American than our individual rights, and our freedom of speech right helps us to protect every other right. In America we can tell the president he sucks, protest in favor for or against Jerry Sandusky and complain about our government. True, we may be too lazy to do anything about it but at least we have the right to say what we think. Without the first amendment, we could kiss things like the pot legalization movement, civil rights, and changes in power goodbye. Some of this years more visible exercises of free speech included the SOPA protests, letting Bloomberg know how you feel about his Soda ban, the occupy movement, and letting Chick-Fil-A know how you feel about their anti-gay marriage stance. In the history of our nation, no tool has been more powerful.
The country that led the way in deep fried cheese covered chemical filled foods is now recognizing the wonder of simple, good, all-natural food. We finally figured out that our watermelons stopped tasting like watermelons, and our chickens were bigger but definitely not better. Maybe you don’t care, but you can be thankful that you have the choice of whether to get a KFC double down or a farm raised organic roast chicken.
After years of having to watch nothing but the broadest comedies and dramas on the big 3 (or 4) networks, thank God for HBO, Showtime, FX, Starz, and others, we finally have shows (and amazing documentaries) that we are excited to see every week. Louie, Shameless, The Larry Sanders Show, Boardwalk Empire, Homeland, The Wire, Dexter, Mad Men, Six Feet Under, Magic City, Episodes, Extras, Bored to Death, Big Love, The Sopranos, and so many others all came out of Cable TV original programming.
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What are you thankful for?