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thanksgiving without turkey...
bypassing potatoes and gravy, too, and heading straight for the sweet stuff
by tracey l. kelley (@TraceyLKelley)

I’m thankful for the people that have heard me cry, scream, and use biting sarcasm, yet still believe I am a good person and tell me so.

I’m thankful for the soft ‘baby’ smell all babies seem to have. It is the scent of promise and innocence.

I’m thankful I still dream and pretend.

I’m thankful my husband knows the difference between beauty by Maybelline and inner beauty.

I’m thankful for the simple grace of a tulip and how happy I become staring into its folds.

I’m thankful for ice cream. Not cheap store-brand, crystallized ice cream, but creamy, gooey, soft-around-the-edges ice cream.

I’m thankful for the family that isn’t really, but is.

I’m thankful I’ve been to a few places and have a few more places to go.

I’m thankful that many forms of music move me to tears, give me goose bumps, or make me dance without shame.

I’m thankful I’ve been hurt – not once, but many times – because how else would I know love?

I’m thankful I can still learn something new.

I’m thankful for the potent cocktail of jealousy and awe over someone else’s words and the resulting "book hangover" that lasts for days.

I’m thankful for milk chocolate. Boy, am I thankful for milk chocolate.

I’m thankful my family and friends are worrying about the mortgage or finding a job or braces instead of whether or not one of us made it out alive.

I’m thankful for my faith. It doesn’t matter if others can’t categorize it. It sustains me and makes me a better person, which affects others, and that’s what matters.

I’m thankful when someone takes me into his or her confidence.

I’m thankful that blowing bubbles with gum or soap is still something I thoroughly delight in doing.

I’m thankful that I’ve come to the cliff’s edge a time or two but manage to find the path back home.

I’m thankful for all the people who cared enough and believed enough. You know who you are.

I’m thankful for “kitty love.”

I’m thankful my husband holds my face when he kisses me.

I’m thankful that sappy stories or movies still make weepy, even when I’m fully aware I’m being manipulated by formulaic pap.

I’m thankful that Bob Seger reminds me of my uncle and the word “scrumptious” reminds me of my father-in-law and pink sweaters remind me of Mamanee. I’m thankful they didn't die alone.

I’m thankful that spring always follows winter, no matter what.

I’m thankful I wasn’t named Shelly. No offense to anyone with that name – I just don’t feel very Shelly-like and almost became one.

I’m thankful for I love yous at the end of phone conversations.

I’m thankful for the hugs other people’s kids give me.

I’m thankful for the winter game nights gathered around our table with friends and family. I’m thankful for the summer night patio conversations surrounded by these same people, fireflies, and crickets.

I’m thankful I’m relatively healthy.

I’m thankful for the lady yesterday who let me out of a crowded parking lot and onto the street. Many before her chose not to.

I’m thankful some people smile when I walk into the room.

I’m thankful I can attend “church” in the mountains or by the ocean.

I’m thankful for the rip-snorting laughter you can only release around certain people, the ones that mock you for snorting, which makes you laugh even harder.

I’m thankful I can sing, even though few hear me.

I’m thankful for fall mornings as the crisp leaves whisper hello and the sky winks a brazen blue.

I’m thankful for the “hand” of friends I have.

I’m thankful for slow, wet, hot kisses that last three days (to paraphrase).

I’m thankful for my bike.

I’m thankful that despite all that’s happened, we still manage to make it through and always have just enough.

I’m thankful my husband’s eyes twinkle at me.

I’m thankful that when I walk into a room and happen to forget why, I remember eventually.

I’m thankful that listening to, watching, or reading a good story is a wonderful way to pass the time.

I’m thankful for that really woozy feeling you have after an hour-long massage and all that is expected of you afterwards is that you drink 16-ounces of water.

I’m thankful for the serene peace after a heavy snow.

I’m thankful that branches of humanity are still visible among the debris.

I’m thankful for those special mornings that allow me a stack of the paper, a cup of chai, and some poached eggs without having to watch the clock.

I’m thankful I still believe in good for the sake of it.

I’m thankful when a stranger smiles at me in the checkout line. Even more so when they let me go ahead of them.

I’m thankful that my plants survive.

I’m thankful that if it all ends tomorrow, nothing is left unsaid.


Tracey likes to shake things up and then take the lid off. She also likes to keep the peace, especially in a safe, fuzzy place. Writer, editor, producer, yogini, ('cause yoger or yogor simply doesn't work) by day, rabid WordsWithFriends and DrawSomething! player by night. You can follow her on Twitter: @traceylkelley or @tkyogaforyou

more about tracey l. kelley


bigger than broadband
connections of the mind
by tracey l. kelley
topic: general
published: 10.31.03

create the happy
by tracey l. kelley
topic: general
published: 8.31.09


jael mchenry
11.19.01 @ 8:32a

Good people can use biting sarcasm. I hope. Or I'm gonna have to reexamine this whole self-image thing.

mike julianelle
11.19.01 @ 9:09a

This column is like an Alanis Morrisette song.

tracey kelley
11.19.01 @ 9:56a

Have I thanked India? No. Ireland maybe, but not India.

mike julianelle
11.19.01 @ 10:21a

Funny thing is, that wasn't the song I was thinking of, but it should've been.

I was thinking "Hand in my pocket".

tracey kelley
11.19.01 @ 10:28a

Jael, I think the simple fact you're putting it up for analysis is the most telling. You're clear, babe.

mike julianelle
11.19.01 @ 10:31a

Yeah, I hear you Jael, I have the same insecurity about my own reliance on sarcasm.

That's not true, I was being sarcastic. I'm sorry. I need help.

russ carr
11.19.01 @ 12:01p

I'm thankful for Michael for posting a glib comment. Several popped into my head early this morning when I first read the column but I knew I couldn't post them without feeling dirty somehow. I knew I could count on Michael to walk out into that "serene peace after a heavy snow" for the sole purpose of writing his name in it.

mike julianelle
11.19.01 @ 12:19p

Wow. Glad to help, Russ. But if I remember correctly, a few months back I was taken to task for attempting to usurp Adam's glibness.

Oh, and what exactly is "kitty love"? Or do I not want to know?

adam kraemer
11.19.01 @ 12:27p

I think that's the American name for the hooker I shacked up with in 'Nam.

mike julianelle
11.19.01 @ 12:37p

The King is back.

michelle von euw
11.19.01 @ 12:39p

More proof about the differences between men and women: I read the "kitty love" line and was immediately reminded of my furball of a cat when he purrs and looks all happy. The boys read it and they think of strippers.

And Bull Durham RULES.

mike julianelle
11.19.01 @ 12:43p

I like Bull Durham muchly as well. Oh, and I knew what Tracey meant by "kitty love", I was just being a pain in the ass.

tracey kelley
11.19.01 @ 4:44p

I knew I could count on Michael to walk out into that "serene peace after a heavy snow" for the sole purpose of writing his name in it.
Russ, you are so funny. Drive up from St. Louis so I can give you a big ole hug....

Thank you, Michelle. Of course you knew what "kitty love" meant. But it is funny to see just what MJ (no, not that MJ) and Adam will come up with, isn't it? Gallons of glib gab everywhere - look, I'm sticking to the floor because of it.

Only 1 critique so far, folksies, and you know what Big Daddy Joe said about critiques.

tracey kelley
11.19.01 @ 5:04p

Gosh, it just came to me. Didn't I mean to thank Mike? :) For...something?

mike julianelle
11.19.01 @ 6:41p

Tracey, you're diabolical.


tracey kelley
11.20.01 @ 9:30a

And clever, right?


tracey kelley
11.20.01 @ 9:33a

Ya know, the discussion I was hoping for was, for once, some of you might unplug the hip cord and share what you are thankful for as well.

Sooo...anyone? Bueller?

mike julianelle
11.20.01 @ 9:40a

I'm thankful it's a short work week. : )

tracey kelley
11.20.01 @ 9:48a

That's a start. Anyone (anything) else?

mike julianelle
11.20.01 @ 10:19a

I'm thankful for today's tag.

"Love it, or leave it, you better gangway..."

I'm thankful all of my friends and family are doing well this holiday season. Even the ones living in NYC.

michelle von euw
11.20.01 @ 11:23a

I'm thankful that college basketball season is underway.

tracey kelley
11.20.01 @ 11:55a

I'm thankful some of you are responding to this request (Mike showing sensitivity, even!) ... let's keep going.

mike julianelle
11.20.01 @ 11:56a

Thank you for the music, the songs I'm singing. Thanks for all the joy they're bringing.

Sorry. Had to temper the bogus "sensitive" rap.

jael mchenry
11.20.01 @ 1:49p

I'm thankful for Intrepid! Top that.

jael mchenry
11.20.01 @ 1:55p

Oh, and Mike, I really wanted to use "killing your brain like a poisonous mushroom" but if you take it out of context it's not a very nice thing to say about the site.

Oh, and Tracey, that face-holding stuff is fantastic, isn't it? Hahhhhhhh.

mike julianelle
11.20.01 @ 1:58p

I'm thankful for the slow birth of the "good movies" season. Just around the corner...

To the extreme I rock a mic like a vandal, light up a stage and wax a chump like a candle!

Please stop me. Please...

jael mchenry
11.20.01 @ 2:27p

If there's a problem, yo, I'll solve it.

(Check out the hook while the DJ revolves it!)

And honey, the season is here. I've got Harry Potter, Heist, and Amelie to see over the weekend. Unfortunately I heard bad things about Tape and Novocaine... but Tenenbaums can't be far off, can it?

mike julianelle
11.20.01 @ 2:32p

Saw Heist at Boston Film Fest in Sept. Amelie is beckoning, but indie films don't follow the Oscar-bait sched of major studio releases. Tenenbaums is end of December. XMas in NY...

Tape. I've heard some good things, but I refuse to see a movie co-starring Ethan hawke and Robert Sean Leonard. Yikes.

Oceans 11 looks like fun. I dunno if Potter counts as a good movie yet.


adam kraemer
11.20.01 @ 2:43p

Am I really the only person who's got a problem with the idea of not seeing a movie that's gotten good reviews based on who's in it? I can understand not paying to see it, but refusing to see it? That's a bit closed-minded, isn't it?

adam kraemer
11.20.01 @ 2:44p

And Ethan Hawke was great in "Mystery Date," as was Fisher Stevens.

mike julianelle
11.20.01 @ 3:14p

I don't have a particular problem with Ethan Hawke, he's done some good stuff, but I dislike Robert Sean Leonard immensely. Isn't it closed-minded to want to see a movie just because of good reviews? Most people see movies based on plot or actors, with or without reviews. It's just an opinion, I'm not particularly interested in seeing Tape. Sorry.

adam kraemer
11.20.01 @ 3:18p

Oh, I know nothing about the movie one way or the other. Actually, I can't really admit to having heard of it until just now. I just think that not seeing a movie because of an actor you haven't liked in other things is the equivalent of not trying a food because it contains an ingredient you haven't liked in other things.

jael mchenry
11.20.01 @ 3:24p

Not this again.

Close-minded. Both of you. Shame.

Yes, it's exactly like not eating a food you don't like. If you don't like it, you shouldn't have to eat it. It doesn't matter whether it's a texture issue (genre) or an ingredient issue (casting) or an issue of something being cooked til it's burnt (bad directing.) If you don't like it, you don't like it, and you can tell from either looking at it or hearing about it that you're not going to like it, so why waste your time and money when you'd rather be tasting or seeing something else?

mike julianelle
11.20.01 @ 3:26p

Well, I know I hate zucchini, so therefore I don't eat zucchini. I think such a stance with an actor is pretty common.

I'm not saying that I avoid every movie he's in, but there isn't anything about Tape that really compels me to overlook my dislike in him.

There are certain actors whose appearance in a movie will be reason enough to go, and there are actors whose inclusion will turn me off of going.

adam kraemer
11.20.01 @ 3:32p

Jael McHenry, ladies and gentlemen: queen of extending the analogy. Can we give her a big hand?

That was excellent.

mike julianelle
11.20.01 @ 3:38p

Ya know, Jael, I was having a fine time arguing the finer points with Adam, and then you had to come around, take my side, and outdo me.

Marcia, Marcia, Marcia!!!!

joe procopio
11.20.01 @ 3:49p

I'm thankful that at least one of you makes me laugh at least once a day.

I'm also thankful that Jael is thankful for intrepid.

Marcia, Marcia, Marcia!!!!

Whoops! You're back to soft.

mike julianelle
11.20.01 @ 3:52p

And it's back to the pigfighting thread.

michelle von euw
11.20.01 @ 4:24p

And I loved the last movie Ethan Hawke and Robert Sean Leonard appeared in together. Of course, that was Dead Poet's Society and I was about 12 at the time.

Actually, I'm a big fan of RSL. I don't remember exactly what this is based on, other than that Shakespeare comedy he did with the Brits, Keaton, Denzel and a horrible Keanu, but let me check IMDB and get back to you.

mike julianelle
11.20.01 @ 4:29p

Swing Kids. It HAS to be based on Swing Kids.


And I'm sorry to say it, but I think that Dead Poets Society is a severely overrated piece of tripe.

michelle von euw
11.20.01 @ 4:33p

OK, RSL was in nothing I've liked or even seen, other than Much Ado about Nothing and Swing Kids (also starting mve favorite Christian Bale).

BTW, I'm thankful for good looking actors who provide hours of eye candy.

michelle von euw
11.20.01 @ 4:40p

In 1989, DPS was a great movie because it said some serious stuff that wasn't very popular with the Republicans who were running the US at the time; people died; and it didn't have a traditional happy ending. As a 15 year old, I appreciated that someone other than John Hughes was talking about teenagers.

tracey kelley
11.20.01 @ 5:10p

Okay. Tracey takes a deep breath to indulge the inevitable movie sidebar once again....

MAAN was a fun romp - almost all characters (except, of course, Keanu, receiving the award for "2nd Best at Portraying an Englishman but Not Holding an English Accent") looked like they were having fun. And it showed.

DSP was a predictable piece of tripe, but Robin Williams is good serious (Julliard tuition well-spent, eh?) and the message was important.

Saw The Man Who Wasn't There over the weekend. The Coens have done it again - although it's no Fargo.

JUST came back from Harry Potter...
loved it. It stayed as true to the book as it could in 2 1/2 hours.

We now return to our previously scheduled discussion of being thankful.

Jael - yeeees, the whole face-holding thing...the boy toys on the site could learn from us, no?
"So here's to you, Mrs. Robinson..." Oh - that's me. ;)

matt morin
11.20.01 @ 8:35p

Not to ruin the recurring movie discussion, but I'm thankful for my friends and that they are there when I need them and vice versa.

I'm also thankful that the Vanilla Ice lyrics ended.

tracey kelley
11.21.01 @ 12:28a

Matt! Aloha! Welcome back. The sun, it looks good on ya. Nice sentiment, too.

matt morin
11.21.01 @ 1:55a


Thanks for the welcome. Hawaii was last month however. Last week was New York.

Next month: Des Moines! (Kidding.)

tracey kelley
11.21.01 @ 10:19a

Rats. I seem to have lost my "Julie the Cruise Director" name tag, so my paperwork on your travel agenda is lost, too. So sorry. ;)

Come on to Des Moines, San Fran boy. I dare ya.

russ carr
11.21.01 @ 11:40a

I'm thankful for Jael leaving a trail of breadcrumbs from CA so I could find this place. (When will you come back to us, dear?)

I'm thankful for Adam and Michael for giving me a level to which I can aspire. (or is the word "sink"?)

I'm thankful for Tracey, the oasis in the sea of glib gab, and the highest point in Iowa.

I'm thankful that all hope is not lost in the modern cinema.

I'm thankful for a wife (31 years old today) who lets me play Civ 2 all day on my days off...as long as I cook dinner, too.

I'm thankful that I can wake up every day and try again. Anything less than my best is a felony...but I've not been arrested yet.

mike julianelle
11.21.01 @ 11:47a

Wow. Nice work Russ. Btw, do you have a cheesy user name at CA?

Now I gotta try and be all nice:

I'm thankful noone takes me too seriously. Reactions to my current column notwithstanding.

I'm thankful the Dolphins don't play the Jets again this year.

I'm thankful my parents and brothers are only a 2-hour drive away.

I'm thankful for DVDs.

I'm thankful for Intrepid, and all its staffers and users, who give me a forum for my creativity and warped sense of humor. And ego.

tracey kelley
11.21.01 @ 12:07p

Way to show everyone how it's done, Russ. :) (and not just because you mentioned me!)

Mike, I knew you had it in you. Now don't abuse us with any more VI lyrics to detract from your good guy image - your column already accomplished that.


jael mchenry
11.21.01 @ 3:11p

"Mike," his cheesy CA username isn't as bad as yours. So many secrets...

"Russ", I'm on the Buffy board occasionally. Do you need me back in Action?

(Ha, I kill me.)

lee anne ramsey
11.21.01 @ 3:35p

Hm. I have to warm up for tomorrow when I have 10 people coming to my house for a little gobble gobble.

I'm thankful that I have a good life, people who love me, people who listen to me ramble on (and on) and a place like Intrepid to go when I'm feeling like writing.

jael mchenry
11.23.01 @ 3:22p

I'm thankful I got a spare moment to come back and reread this discussion and notice that I got major props there in the middle.

Taking a little bow in my mind.

Also let me express my wonder and thanks at the fact that as jaded and overeducated and critical as I am, I can still, on occasion, be completely transported by a movie. See Amelie. Everybody. See it. I mean this.

russ carr
11.23.01 @ 5:25p

Did I not tell you?

jael mchenry
11.24.01 @ 10:14a

Now that you mention it, yes you did. Thank you Russ. It totally makes up for raising my expectations unreasonably for Ghost World ;)

(Or, in the words of Giles to Buffy, "Oh, I'm sorry. My contrition completely overwhelms the impending apocalypse.")

Sorry, couldn't resist the opportunity to quote.

[Mike, is it "overwhelms" or "dwarfs"?]

Anyway, now that both Russ and I recommend Amelie, the rest of you have no choice but to march lemminglike toward the cliff, I mean, theatre.

russ carr
11.24.01 @ 1:32p

In the words of some oldies song, "I saw her again last night." The show we wanted to attend sold out, so we schlepped around the mall (an upscale mall with an arts theatre - wow!) for an hour. It's one of those rare films where I could watch it a couple of times in succession and not grow tired of it (unlike Lethal Weapon 4, which was shown back-to-back with itself on TBS on T-Day).

Note to IM males: Take a date. Amelie has an aphrodisiacal effect not unlike chocolate.

jael mchenry
11.26.01 @ 6:07p

Grosse Pointe Blank is on TNT frequently these days so I'm in the midst of a basic cable love affair. (Hey, that would be a great song title: Basic Cable Love Affair.) But LW4? Yech.

Yes, I could see Amelie again. And again. In terms of romance, it's everything Serendipity wasn't, so I second Russ' aphrodisiacal recommendation. Better than chocolate, really.

mike julianelle
11.27.01 @ 9:25a

So, Jael - and keep in mind I will see it no matter what, your opinion HOLDS NO WATER with me - it wasn't too cheesy/schmaltzy for you? Amelie, I mean.

Oh, and I saw the Coens' last nite. Good, gorgeous cinematography and some great acting and hilarious moments, but something seemed lacking. But most Coens' benefit from closer/repeat inspection, so the jury remains out...Tony Shalhoub was great, and Scarlett Johannson, the more normal girl in "Ghost World" is a good actress. I like her.

jael mchenry
11.27.01 @ 10:00a

It was exactly cheesy/schmaltzy enough. Something about schmaltz with panache, very French.

You'll see it cuz I said so. Wha-chhh.

tracey kelley
11.28.01 @ 10:54a

It's so funny that, in the last intrepid poll, movies ranked -what- 2nd? 3rd? as the most important form of media to us, but yet movies always seem to take over any column discussion.

sloan bayles
12.16.01 @ 1:29a

Liked it very much. Pink sweaters, a secret stash of candy, and a neverending supply of understanding. It is always a good thing to be reminded of what we truly should show thanks for.

tracey kelley
12.17.01 @ 9:18a

Way to be sensitive there, kiddo. :)

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