A city that feels like home now. There are certainly times I miss Michigan, like when it gets up to 60 degrees Fahrenheit in late November or I haven’t played Ticket to Ride in a group setting for many months or I just wish Scott’s and my parents were a 15-minute car ride away. But I’m at a point of contentment now. I have a good job, good friends, and good ways to fill my time. And, well, it’s Manhattan. It’s just a wonderful, frustrating, spellbinding, weird, and ultimately rewarding place to be.
A job that reminds me I’m good at something. Here’s where you need an Oxford comma. Here’s why we’re adding a hyphen here, but not here. Here’s why you can’t use the word “special,” and here’s how to write about branding without ever actually using the term “branding.” It might not make sense that, at the end of the day, I get a lot out of writing, proofing, and editing for a marketing agency that caters to retailers, both mass- and niche-market. But believe me, it’s a beautiful thing for me.
Breaks from the boroughs. (Long) weekend trips are just terrific, especially when you have friends and family spread throughout the country in choice locations.
A partner in cat-co-caretaking, TV-watching, movie-over-analyzing, city-exploring, subway-riding, play-attending, town-skipping, video-game-discussing, food-eating, couch-sitting, and meaningful-and-meaningless-conversation-having. Scott’s a pretty good guy.
A cat who loves chin scratches and wearing a judgmental expression. I’m so glad we decided it was high time to adopt a cat in December of 2009.
A cat who functions as a pillow and doesn’t seem to mind having his head rubbed till he shakes like a dog. And I’m so glad we adopted another one, even if Midna and Garrus will never be best friends.
A family I’ll always love coming home to.
Friends of all sorts in all situations.
Escapism via entertainment. It’s nice to know that children’s literature, book club selections, trade paperbacks, Animal Crossing: New Leaf, the Mass Effect series, countless TV shows, and can’t-miss movies are there when it’s time to take a break from the world around me.
Billy Joel, the Beatles, and the Hold Steady.
Brooklyn Nine Nine. I like everything about this show and highly recommend you try it out so you can do the same.
Blink Fitness. A no-judgment gym with killer playlists, individual TVs on one bank of treadmills and elliptical machines, a place to pretend I know how to row, and the friendliest employees possible? I’ll take it.
The built-in application on my phone that allows me to take notes on what’s happening in my subway car. Thanks, Android OS, for the Notes function. Without you, I could never make a list of in-car ads, intriguing wardrobe choices, or paperbacks I’ve seen left behind.
The Buy One Pizza, Get One Bottle of Wine or Pitcher of Beer Free happy hour deal at Tappo.
The kindness of strangers.
What I believe in. I’m reading the book of Luke right now. Of the Synoptic Gospels, I think it may be the one I most enjoy reading. But that’s a tough call.
Striped sweaters. Now’s your time to shine, guys.
Despite the occasional mini-freakout, I’m in a really good place right now. Thanks for contributing to that. Here’s to a visually overwhelming, alarmingly cheery, and (hopefully) cold, snowy, wonderful holiday season.