15 Joys

1. The Ballad Of Buster Scruggs: Recalcitrant moving-picture poetry from the Coen Bros.

2. Mini ramp + beers and bar foodA tried and true Friday night maneuver.

3. Not forcing myself to be present for this blog, as work-life blazes and the burnout is real.

4. The purchase and decoration of a tiny living tannenbaum, to be planted on New Year's Day.

5. Wine tasting in Oregon orchard country. Wine tastes good! But I liked the views better I think. On the way home, we saw Mt. Hood framed by a burnished fall sky.

6. Thanksgiving in the mountains, in the snow. Walking in the wilderness for most of the day day, every day.

7. The Impossible Burger at Keys on NE Killingsworth.

8. Barbarian Days, A Surfing Life by William Finnegan. Bare feet. Malaria. Acid trips. A world of waves. And all the stories behind it all.

9. The sisterhood of Sunday morning walks. Despite weather, we get out of bed early to wander the NE Alameda neighborhood drinking coffee and peering in the windows of the rich.

10. The Man Who Invented Christmas, a charming film about Charles Dickens and his creative  process as he wrote "A Christmas Carol"—a seminal ghost story from my childhood.

11. Cold weather, and the need for a fire in the wood stove, and the need for the puppy to lay beneath that fire to dry the drench from her fur.

12. The proximity of Christmas vacation, and hopping an early flight to the Colorado high country to go get buried in the storm.

13. The Christmas cactuses at my desk, per their name, blooming right on time, right when one needs them.

14. Nighttime dog excursions. After a day cooped in a cubicle, walking up and down empty streets strung with Christmas lights, with the moon and stars.

15. The white elephant gift exchange at the Nemo Christmas party, where I had a decent bottle of Tempernillo stolen from me, only to come up on some homemade Chex mix and an IPA. Even Steven.