Because my immediate family didn't have their main thanksgiving dinner until today (by now yesterday), and because i've got some screenprinting downtime, I will now present the requisite and hackneyed:
A top 5, but in no particular order
1. New Record Player
I've had a record player for a few years. I've collected enough vinyl for me to consider vinyl-playing capability an integral part of any home stereo setup I'd be interested in. Not enough auxiliary inputs on your reciever? I regret to inform you that I will be taking my business elsewhere. The old one was on its last legs after its last fall, which shattered the dust cover, and left some gears inside unable to lock into the the teeth of their neighboring gears. The belt kept slipping, and when it didn't, it spun the record fast enough to raise any song's pitch by a full step.
The new one is direct drive, has a speed control, can play in reverse, has a tone arm I can actually balance, has the cool light with the stationary dots so I know it's actually playing at 33 1/3 or 45, has another light that pops up when I need it to show me which track I'm dropping the needle. Also, it's really big and fancy and silver. It's a beautiful piece of machinery, and it sits nicely on my beautiful bookshelf.
2. New Girlfriend
She's a stone fox. And she's mean to me in the only possible good way--we tease each other relentlessly and it's good. She digs my beard and my hair, though both are as they are only because I haven't bothered to trim them recently. She makes me blush and giggle in a way and to an extent no one else has even come close to. I can say, three weeks in, I don't want to date anyone else. As in "ever." I really hope this feeling lasts. It feels like it will.
Her name's Kerry--she has her own blog which is shown far more attention than mine ever will be--and other than the fact that she can't separate the speaker of a poem from the poem's author (and the sheer distance from my apartment to hers) the closest thing to a problem I have is that she sometimes calls me "Matt" instead of "Matthew." Not that I notice; we usually just call each other "dude," because we're best friends and usually talk about records or the news. More often than not, both. We also squeal joyfully over the Bill of Rights.
3. New Ex-Girlfriend
I don't know if Elizabeth would like to see herself on this list, but yeah. We fell apart, which made room for Kerry. Also, it means I have to stop referring to Erin simply as "My Ex." Which is good. No one deserves to be remembered only for a failed relationship. I learned a lot from Elizabeth, and even though she is currently angry at me for dating Kerry (which situation will, no doubt, be expounded upon later in a thinly veiled work of fiction), she has been--at several very needy points in my life--there for me in ways I doubt anyone could reproduce, though I hope I never have occasion to test that. I told Elizabeth shortly before we split up (and, I believe, after) that she took better care of me than my own mother. Which may be true, and speaking of her--
4. Gracious and Generous Parents
Though my mom has sided with Elizabeth in each conflict we've had this year, to a point which I find unsettling and somewhat frustrating, I know she's still there for me, and loves me. But that disagreement is part of why I think Elizabeth took better care of me--at least Elizabeth knew when I just needed someone to take my side. My dad is going through a rough spot, but he's coming out of it well; and both give and continue to take better care of me than I deserve or want, and do it more thoroughly than they should--or really can.
5. Shuffle Function of the iPod
It just just played the Beach Boys' "God Only Knows" directly after "John Allyn Smith Sails" by Okkervil River. That will make sense to some; those will agree with me that said events are not just creepy, but unabashedly awesome.