Wednesday, November 23, 2011


Killing time at work!

Top 20 things I'm thankful for:

  1. King Edith - my compass spun when she came on the scene.  I have no idea what was important to me before she showed up.  Now every single decision I make starts with her. She is beautiful and I love her so.
  2. Chelsey Erpelding - My beautiful wife who kept King Edith safe for nine months, and delivered a beautiful baby without any complications.  I can't believe how someone who needs sleep so badly suddenly operated on like four hours a night without showing any ill effects.  She made the most graceful transition to motherhood, and she will always be the love of my life. 
  3. Side Door - Chelsey's dad put a new door on the side of our house this year.  It's so great.  Not as great as the baby, but pretty darn great.
  4. Weekend football - Every weekend I get to watch football with my brother while he holds Edith.  It's a scene I never ever imagined we would participate in, but it's become a weekly ritual that makes me happy to have such a great brother. 
  5. Presents - So many people did such great things for us in advance of King Edith's arrival.  Hand-made blankets, cute outfits, lots of Target gift cards.  And then after we arrived, having in-laws help take care of her, or bring us sustenance when we were too tired to eat.  Nice families.  Nice friends. Amen.
  6. New Tom Waits and Okkervil River albums - two of my favorite artists made two great albums this year.  Hallelujah.  Now I just need the Silver Jews to get back together.
  7. Trip to Logansport with siblings - this should be way higher, but this trip to our old hometown was really special.  Seeing stuff I barely remembered.  Seeing stuff I remembered very well.  Getting to spend time with my siblings again.  Eating Noble Romans pizza.  A wonderful trip that couldn't have come at a better time. 
  8.  The two weeks of FMLA I got to spend with my mom and Edith - I don't normally get to hang  out with my mom for that length of time.  We were able to visit museums and malls and eat breakfast together.  Obviously it would have been nicer if she wasn't going insane over grandma at the time, but realistically what would the likelihood of something like be?
  9. My new computer at work - My old computer hated me, and then I hated it.  And then we hated each other at the same time for a while.  And then it would lock up.  My new computer has two screens and hurts my neck, but it's still way better.
  10. My dumb dog - Deuce has tested the limits of what is lovable this year.  Acting like a dick, needing expensive surgery, getting up in the middle of the night.  Sometimes that dog can be a real pile of garbage.  Yet there is something unsinkable about him.  He serves as a constant reminder that chaos rules in our house.  He hates everything but us.  And he loves us so much it's annoying.  I don't know what we'd do without him.
  11. All the people who reached out when Angelique died - I was blown away by how many people who did and said kind things when we lost Angelique.  Amazing.  Humbling. 
  12. The Superfriends Movie Club - I like watching and writing about movies.  Finally there is a group for me. 
  13. The Cake Gallery - this year we found a bakery that makes the most delicious cakes.  Giant, five-layer, knock you over, super-moist cakes.  They are super expensive.  I love them.
  14. H&M opening in Kansas City.  What great news this is.  Now I can buy my dress shirts (the only ones I've found that fit me right) without having to go to Chicago. 
  15. Adele - I'm so happy that everyone likes Adele.  I hope she gets her voice fixed.  I hope she keeps making albums that everyone likes. I hope she keeps naming them by her age at the time she makes them.  Conversely, I wish Katy Perry would stop doing whatever she's doing immediately.  Are you aware that her album is now tied with Thriller for having the most #1 records.  What god would allow this?
  16. I Love Toy Trains - When we got Direct TV I was excited to watch two shows - I Love Toy Trains, and The In Crowd.  One is about Toy Trains.  The other is about high-society homosexuals.  Predictably the trains proved to be more entertaining.  This is the format of ILTT - in the 1990's this hobby store decided to shoot video of all these sweet toy train set-ups.  That's it.  They even have a camera that fits in the engine, so you can see these set-ups from the train's point of view.  I watch it every week. 
  17. My sister's recent visit to Omaha - few and far between that I can hang out with my sister in Omaha without a 92-year-old grandma in-tow.  This should also be ranked higher.  This year I got to eat at the Radial Cafe with both my mom and sister.  Talk about great!
  18. Kent Woynowski and his ever-expanding music library - This should definitely be higher.  Thank god for Kent, and his willingness to join me in wading through lots of crappy music each year, in the hopes of finding the good stuff.  And then we talk about it.  And get mad.  It's the best.
  19. Omaha - while I dream of leaving someday, it's pretty great living in a town that has the following:  a) great farmers market  b) cheap everything  c) no traffic ever  d) pretty old buildings e) nice people  f) good bands coming through and g) lots of trees.  If it had less hills and white trash, it would be perfect. 
  20. Tragedy and Elation - I walk around this world largely unconnected to the emotional overtures going on around me.  Emotions embarrass me.  They make me go in the other direction.  I don't understand how to interact with them.  Which is why the extremes appeal to me so much.  I get them.  It's obvious.  So I'm thankful for the humanity I feel during both.  They remind me that I can be a human, just like the rest of you.          


  1. I really enjoyed reading this today as I am sitting at work hating my job. This makes me remember how great life is outside of work.
    I love you, Brent Koster.

  2. Very well written Brent and Chelsey. I too am thankful for so many things. My equally stupid dog, being able to live in my grandma's house, having a job that I really do like, that you guys have participated in the 30 day movie challenge, having a car that drives in snow, I could go on ad nauseum. The top of my list of course is an appreciation for everyone that helped me get through the death of one of my best friends. The people that participate on this blog are of course among the heavy hitters in that area. Thank you Brent, Wendy, Chelsey, Kent and Leslie, and of course thank you to everyone else who helped but will never read this.

  3. I'm thankful that I clocked in at #18. I didn't think I was going to make the cut.

  4. You are also in there at 5 and 11.

  5. I'm also thankful I made it onto the list. And thankful that I have friends who make lists like this. Made me tear up a bit actually.

    This year I am thankful that Kent is healthy. I am thankful that all of the babies born to our group are healthy and fine, and their Moms are as well. That we have an awesome house that hasn't killed us yet. For my cats who make me smile everyday.