Two Hundred and Ninety-Eight Beautiful Things (201-250)

And we continue our list of beautiful things for which we here at Muse’s Darling Industries are grateful in this life, one for each of the people who died on Malaysian Flight 17.

“201. The opportunity to be a great big grumpy-pants this morning. I bet there are 298 ghosts out there who would gladly trade with me for just a second of being alive again. 202. I’m grateful for Margot Adler, brilliant journalist with NPR and author of the classic Drawing Down the Moon. She died today. May she be forever blessed. 203. Lilies. Loads and loads of lilies, for ancestors and sweet passage into whatever comes next. 204. Men who are kind. 205. Even though I’m not a regular practitioner of yoga, I love it because so many other people are, and it’s something I really want to start doing regularly. 206. Tattoos are awesome, even if they’re messed up. 207. I have a great appreciation for clerics (of any and all spiritual persuasions) who live lives of embodied social justice for everyone, especially the poor, the destitute, and the hopeless. May they be forever blessed. 208. Humor is awesome, and heals so many things. 🙂 209. And while we’re on the subject of grand themes, let’s take a second to applaud Hope, that star in the night sky that never fades, that quivering little being in Pandora’s box who refused to fly away and leave her even after everything else was gone. 210. I’m not a big fan of perfume in general, but still, it’s pretty wonderful that we can recreate scents from the natural world (and create our own wholly new scents) and bring them into our homes and lives at will. 211. Makeup is a pretty cool thing too. Yay being able to create new, interesting looks with color, contouring, and shading. 212. Tape. Tape is great. I like tape. 213. Photography is one of the most evocative of all the arts (to me, anyway). I love how much emotion can be conveyed within a simple photograph. 214. Differences. I love differences. They not only keep things from being boring, but they allow us to distinguish one thing from another thing. This is a very useful skill, especially when driving. <wink> 215. Tom Hiddleston. I hope I haven’t mentioned him already but he deserves a place of his own on this list separate from all the other beautiful, talented men working in film these days. #fangirl #NorseGodHottie #alsoShakespeareOMGdies 216. Starbucks for a quick afternoon decaf (and a nice 10-minute walk outside the office). Right? 217. Dice. Who doesn’t love dice? Talk about a divination tool! 218. Let’s give a nod to The Boomtown Rats because of all the awesome rock n’roll, Bob Geldof, and “Live Aid.” 219. Do penguins ever really get enough love? I mean, seriously. What sort of evolutionary track is going on there with a bird who can’t fly but who can swim better than most fish? 220. “Frozen.” Say no more. 221. Let me mention things here that mystify me in terms of how they’re made: paper towels, toilet paper, and kleenex. I could probably google it or binge-watch “How It’s Made” for a few weeks, but I prefer to let the mystery remain a mystery. I mean, there’s no “paper-towel” plant, right? And god help me, there’s no “toilet-paper” plant (because if there were, ew)–although some plants have big enough leaves to help out if you’re desperate. I’m just sayin’. 😉 222. Big musicals on Broadway. The spectacle, man. Talk about “bread and roses.” Broadway producers know what the hell they’re doing. 223. Golf. Let’s take a minute and give golf its due because it’s like full-body pool, and my guess is that it’s much, much harder than it looks. 224. Talk radio is pretty awesome because it helps me to not feel so lonely. Sports talk radio, that is. Regular news talk radio gives me hives. 225. Movie previews are awesome because they’re like little windows into the future, and they show me what other storymakers are making, story-wise. 226. Christopher Marlowe deserves his own item in this list because he’s the only dramatist of his era who could have knocked Shakespeare down a peg. His poetry was epic, his command of iambic pentameter utterly unmatched; but he never had Shakespeare’s great big heart, and he definitely played with dangerous political fire that ultimately got him killed before his thirtieth birthday. 227. Bill Walsh, since we’re mentioning people right now. 49ers coach Bill Walsh remade the game. (Of football. American football.) God bless you, Coach. 228. Have you ever played jacks? Not the card game, but old-school jacks where you bounce a ball and try to grab little metal objects of stabby death and then catch the ball before it hits the ground? I loved that game when I was a kid. I was GOOD at that game. 229. The California Golden Poppy. For twenty years I had no idea that poppies ever came in any other color, and I had no idea why WWI veterans wore these red flowers on their lapels and called them “poppies.” 230. The elliptical trainer at the gym, because of all the no-impact. Happy knees. 231. Pears. Seriously, people. PEARS. Pears are evidence of god(s). Somebody call the atheists and make them a pear pie. 232. And while we’re on food, because I’m hungry, let’s take a minute to thank all the powers that be for cheese. I am ready to acknowledge the awesomeness of all cheese, but specifically let me shout out Gouda, Havarti, and Feta. And also sharp cheddar. 232. Constant reminders in story and film that good triumphing over evil is possible. 233. Goddess worship, because as Tupac put it, “we all came from a woman got our name from a woman and our game from a … woman.” 234. Waking up in the morning and LOVING my gray hair. 235. Origami, because making things out of paper without words is another kind of poetry. 235. Straws are a miracle of engineering for which I am profoundly grateful. 236. Figuring out a solution to a problem. 237. Catching myself before I engage too deeply in schadenfreude. 238. Turning that schadenfreude into prayers of compassion and loving kindness for the elevation and benefit of all. 239. Performing in front of an audience. It’s exciting and thrilling and reminds me that I’m not living in my head. 240. Forgiveness–being able to forgive, and being forgiven. Both, together. 241. Going to see “The Nutcracker” performed by the San Francisco Ballet at Christmas. It’s a wonderful story beautifully produced, and it brings art to life. It’s a reminder that art is life. 242. I love having the right tools handy when I need to get a job done, whether it’s a hammer or a nail file. And yes, I have a hammer with a pink handle because that’s how I roll. 243. Reading glasses. You over-40s know what I’m talking about. 244. Those bouncy ball things at the gym that not-in-the-know sad people use to actually exercise on, but I use to sit-bounce on because sit-bouncing is AWESOME and hilarious. 245. Vincent Van Gogh saw the world in such a beautifully energetic way, like the wind was constantly blowing through his mind and he figured out how to paint whatever he was looking at that way. 246. Swords. Swords rule. I love the gladius and the katana especially. 247. Seeing the Golden State Warriors turn it around from being the laughing stock of the NBA to being one of the biggest badasses on the block. I love cheering for them. 248. Ireland is beautiful and fresh and green, even when the wind is howling and it’s pouring rain. 249. “The Brady Bunch.” Come on, you know you know the “When It’s Time to Change” song. 250. Eye liner can be a wonderful tool when used properly. By a professional (because some of us know what it should look like but are utterly unable to recreate the right look ourselves).


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