Two Hundred and Ninety-Eight Beautiful Things… (51-100)

And we continue …

“51. Comic books. Especially ones where women are the main characters. 52. Crows. Crows are awesome. They recognize people and can problem-solve like the brilliant little Trickster gods they are. 53. Ice cream is probably the single greatest human invention after the wheel. Everybody loves ice cream because it’s cool, sweet, creamy, and like a little spoonful of heaven. 54. American football, because sometimes you just want to watch ENORMOUS men crash into each other at high speed. 55. Rest-of-the-World Football, because it really is The Beautiful Game. 56. While we’re on the subject of professional sports, how about baseball? Lots of people think baseball is boring, but it’s the only sport I’ve ever seen that can go from deadly dull to firecracker exciting in less than a nanosecond. And that’s what’s up. 😉 57. Books. All books everywhere, even the very old ones from Sumeria and Ur that were written on bricks. We’re a species so intent on making ourselves known across the universe that we figured out a way to write on dirt. 58. Gambling. If you’ve got an addiction, please disregard this one. Otherwise, gambling can be really exciting, especially if you’re gambling with somebody else’s money. Actually if you’re gambling with your own money, gambling kind of sucks. But either way, there’s an element of the magical involved, and that’s awesome. 59. Toddlers. Human children (and even the children of other primates like chimpanzee and orangutan toddlers) have this way of being both 100% fully present in this world and also utterly and completely elsewhere. 60. Card tricks rule, because they remind us how we often give far too much credence to what we can see with our own two eyes. 61. Grandpas are beautiful creatures who tinker with cars and roar about tools and sports teams and food and the prices of things, but who wouldn’t dare discipline you if their lives depended on it. Grandpas (when healthy and non-abusive) represent an embodiment of human wisdom and experience that incorporates maneuvering through the external world. Not all Grandpas, of course, and some are better internal navigators. But this is my list and I can generalize if I want to. 62. Grandmas are the single most terrifying and wonderful beings in the natural world (if you’re a grandchild). Grandmas will smack you in the ass and kiss your forehead and tell you not to make her smack you in the ass any more. Grandmas love with a ferocity that is unmatched by any erupting volcano, and may the gods take pity on anyone who gets between a Grandma and her grandchild. 63. Grass is beautiful, whether it’s the green grass of a well-manicured lawn (where such lawns are appropriate to the environment) or the waving, dry brown grass of the Pacific dunes of the California coast. 64. Daisies. I’ve loved daisies since I was a little girl. You can make crowns out of them. 65. Memory. I don’t know what I’d do if I couldn’t remember things. 66. Campfires are wonderful, especially when you get to sit around them with friends or family. 67. Pins make life better because they can help you organize things and keep your scarf from blowing away. 68. Holding certain crystals, like Calcite and Malachite, always makes me feel better. 69. Coins make me feel wealthy because they are heavier than paper money, even though paper money is worth more. 70. Letting my hair go gray has been a wonderful exercise in expanding my experience of what it means to be beautiful as I age. 71. I love reading. 72. Comic strips are the single most hopeful creative expressions known to man. No matter how old-fashioned and dopey and unfunny they might be, there’s still an artist behind them who is hoping to make you laugh. 73. Speaking of no matters, no matter how terrible I am at mathematics, I acknowledge that without it, we wouldn’t have architecture, engineering, and space flight. Plus other cool stuff. 74. Squirrels rule and are awesome because they are fiesty little fighters who will attack out of nowhere if they feel threatened, even if they’re smaller than their opponent. Kind of like Ireland. 🙂 (This connection is relevant because the Irish Red Squirrel is one of the animal totems of my father’s father’s lineage, which is Scots-Irish.) 75. I am in awe of people who can sew. They are marvelous in my eyes. 76. Speaking of marvelous and eyes, glasses are, like, the best inventions ever. 77. It’s beautiful when people listen to each other. I mean, really listen, and not just wait for their turn to talk. 78. We as a species have the capacity to learn from our mistakes. We often don’t, but we do have that capacity, and that’s something. 79. Listening to Shakespeare performed live is a miracle, a beautiful and profound poetic howling into the void that one man can change the course of human history. 80. Bilbo Baggins lives in the world in which I live, and if that’s not a beautiful thing, I don’t know what is. 81. Pearls. Pearls are the only things I can think of that get more beautiful the more you wear them. 82. Despite whatever we do to ourselves physically and emotionally, both as a species and one-on-one, we’re still here. After 4 million years of evolution and 150,000-ish years of our current incarnation, human beings are still here. That’s a reason to hope right there. 83. Wine is lovely and sacred and a beautiful beverage. 84. While I don’t have great heaping gobs of sexual experience, I understand it’s a wonderful thing, so here it is. Connecting with another person or persons is sweet and human and healthy and I wish we could all do it more often without getting hurt or scared. 85. Sunscreen rules and you should use it because your skin is worth it. 86. Despite the awfulness of the American health care system and how it drains our income and turns us all into either horrifically bad or magnificent accountants and project managers regardless of our desires or other vocations, it still is a wonderful thing when we’re hurt or sick and we get to a good doctor or nurse who actually cares about making us feel better. 87. It’s a great thing that maybe a hundred thousand people who were probably bullied to within an inch of their lives as they grew up can flock to San Diego once a year and spend a summer weekend celebrating magical thinking, epic costuming skills, and brilliant storytelling, and the whole world tunes in to watch. 88. Movies. Seriously, movies. Go be somebody else for two hours. 89. Trees are amazing. I’m not kidding. They keep our atmosphere fresh and full of oxygen for us to breathe, they’re wonderful to look at, and many of them produce fruit that we like to eat. People even climb up trees, which rules, and other living things make their homes in pretty much every single tree on the planet. I’m looking at you, SpiderBro. 90. That one painting in the Legion of Honor in San Francisco, the one portrait of the man from the 17th century that stares straight out of the frame and into my soul every time I walk around the corner and spy him–the one who makes me cry and wonder, “Where do I know you from?” 91. Ballet is such a beautiful form of artistic expression that I think ballet dancers are just as much poets as they are athletes. 92. Speaking of poets, poets. They/we/I belong on this list, whether they’re good or bad. The fact that they even try merits inclusion here. 93. I’m so grateful for how well my little hybrid car works–all its parts function well together, and knock wood nothing has broken down yet. 94. Babies of all species everywhere, because it’s hard being a baby. You don’t know anything, you’re bald, you don’t know any language except “Cry” and you poop in your pants every few hours. But you’re all still beautiful and we love you because we can’t help ourselves. Baby goats especially–there’s nothing happier in the world than a baby goat. 95. It’s awesome when things work. It doesn’t matter what the machinery, what the process, what the problem that’s being fixed. If it’s got moving parts and it works, we love it. 96. That one flower that only blooms once every hundred years and smells like ass doing it. Seriously, even just writing that was awesome. 97. I’m going to give a shout out here to my boy Colin Kaepernick because he’s the fiercest athlete I’ve ever seen in my life. 49er Faithful Forever. 😀 Actually, I’m going to include Hunter Pence too, for the same reason (Let’s Go, GIANTS!). These guys give absolutely everything they’ve got every single day, all the time. I don’t know how they do it, what moves them, what fuel they use, but they’re inspiring. 98. “Princess Caraboo” is my favorite movie ever because it tells the true story of a woman who remade herself in an immensely imaginative way because she didn’t like what society was telling her she should be. Here’s to the creative “fuck you, assholes!” 99. When story reboots work. I’m looking at you, “Battlestar Galactica.” 100. Being a child and running down the street with my eyes closed and my arms flailing. I was pretending I was swimming, with all my heart. Yeah I fell and cut my chin open. Stitches were required, and much screaming was performed by my understandably freaked out mother. Still, I love that I “swam” down the street in the utter fullness of five-year-old belief.





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