Here in the United States, the last Thursday in the month of November has traditionally been set aside as a holiday that we've come to know as Shopping's Eve. NO! Wait, hold on.
Here in the United States, last thursday in November, holiday -- holiday we call Thanksgiving.
I'm not in the mood to ponder what it's always meant. I am in the mood to expound on what it means. To me. Right now.
THANKSGIVING - The expression of gratitude.
Every day of the year, someone deserves my thanks. Today will be an opportunity to list them.
I thank my parents, Joy and Dennis and Gonzalo and Margarita, for doing what they could how they could to guide me toward adulthood. Guys, you did the best you could.
I thank my wife, Amber, for being patient, understanding and interesting -- and for striving to be the best parent she can be to our daughter. I love you.
I thank my daughter, Lily, for being a good kid, working hard in school, and letting Mommy and Daddy steer her as she grows up. Lily, you are a very smart kid and I promise that we will do our best to help you become a strong, confident, rational, happy, kind and humanitarian person. I love you, Bumples!
I thank my extended family -- Aunts and Uncles Betty, Vernon, Bess, Paul, Herman, Jack, Nita, Jane and Vivian; cousins (by blood and marriage) Tina, Penny, Kevin, PJ, Jeff, Tony, Julie, Tod, Harold, Lisa, Gary, Brad, Ed, Doug, Eric, Laura and Jeff; second cousins Nick, Miranda, Rebecca, Bailey, Levi and Sarah for doing your best to understand me, for everything you do for my daughter and for generally just being you.
I thank my friends, of whom I am happy and proud to say I have many and to name but a few: Angie "Anjiko-Z" and Ben Bass, Kyle Mayes, Jacob Kipfer, John Buchanan, Derrick and Amanda Ziegler, Tony and Yaz Murphy, Allison "Yucky" Gross, Jennifer Opiat-Lane, Datha Hoffmeister, Jeremy Helms, Angie "Not Ugly" Snow, Reneé Harrell-Smith, Kimberly Robertson, Brian and Brandie Wendling-Roberts, Phil Parli-Horne, Kate Matthen, Kristin Matthen, Erin Armstrong and Madeline Clark -- all of whom make my life a brighter one. Life is to be enjoyed, and you guys do a LOT to help me enjoy it.
I thank all the RPG bloggers out there for sharing their love of, insights to and enthusiasm for our goofy damn hobby. You guys keep this stuff alive, man. You make games and give 'em away because you love this stuff that much. Also, you're great stuff to read during lunch.
I thank all the atheist bloggers and activists for standing up to be counted and working to defeat the stereotype that we're all baby-eating monsters. I know it's tough saying out loud who you are, but if they can, so can we. Numbers!
I thank all the scientists and researchers across the world , who strive EVERY DAY to better understand, in rational and logical manner, the universe in which we live -- and, in many cases, they do it in spite of the waves of superstition that rise and fall the world over.
I thank all the teachers. ALL of them.
I give special thanks to every science teacher in the U.S. who says, "No, I will teach evolution, and I will not not teach pseudo-science."
And I thank you, for reading this, and letting me tell you what means the world to me.