2017 has been a mighty rough year politically, but it has been a pretty great year for me and my family, so I still have much to be grateful for.
My daughter continues to thrive at college, making amazing films despite the stress of having unpaid labor in front of and behind the camera. So, perhaps the scenes with lots of extras may not be quite as crowded, and the shooting schedule gets to be a bit, um, stretched out. But the work is most impressive. I am also thankful for the wonderful community of friends who helped get her through various challenges over the years including the month or so that she was in between driver's licenses.
We finally resolved the Leaky Cauldron problem as Mrs. Spew's tenacity in landing a contractor paid off. The house is not only drier but looking brighter with a lighter coat of paint.
The entire Saideman family celebrated my Dad's 90th birthday by taking a cruise to Alaska. Sure, getting to Seattle was most challenging, but we got to enjoy that city as well. The ship had great food and staff, and the sights were amazing. The only downside was my repeated finishing just out of the money in the poker tourneys.
I am grateful not just to Carleton for the sabbatical but for its continuing ability to foster a supportive community. Even though I was not around much this past year, I still very much appreciated my colleagues at NPSIA and what a great place it is. I am also grateful for those who funded my ample (ok, more than ample) travel this year--SSRC, SSHRC, the Paterson family, etc. 2017 has seen me do research in Japan and Brazil--both trips were successful and enjoyable, full of insightful people, great food and beautiful scenery. I got to go to Mumbai, Honk Kong and Las Vegas for presentations, so I am most thankful for those opportunities.
I am very thankful for my co-authors who not only make my work better, but take it into new directions. I am also grateful for the virtual communities I have via social media. Sure, facebook helped the Russians flip the election, and twitter gives far more visibility to the truly awful, but these and other social media help me remain connected to old friends, make new ones, and learn much from people I would otherwise not know.
I would be more grateful for this hotel's internet if it was not so flaky. If it improves, I will add pictures to this post. And maybe some other stuff for which I am grateful. I do know that I am quite likely personally and professionally, so I will give much thanks as I eat pie and candied yams this afternoon.
I hope you and yours have a great thanksgiving, and that the next year will be a bountiful one.