cheers, mate


Studies have shown that the act of being “consciously thankful”, at least when put in a list of the end of each day, can have effects that equal both antidepressants and therapy. It’s one of those easy things you can do – like 20 minutes of exercise and Vitamin D – that pays enormous dividends, and Tessa writes her list every night.

I like to think my nightly sojourn to the pages of this blog provide something close, even when it’s in the form of a spittle-flyin’ rant, but I don’t have the data to back that up. For its part, America has one night a year dedicated to being thankful, which always makes your thanks very vague – family, home, job.

I’ve already used this blog to give thanks to inanimate ideas like Afrin, Excedrin, Dexy’s Midnight Runners (both kinds), the windshield wiper delay setting, Danny’s “Green Tea” dunk over Paulus, Brora 30-year-old single malt and the F#minor 7th chord. So here’s a few animate people who deserve kudos:


– I’m thankful for my great-great-Grandfather Thomas Evans (center), a coal miner in Pontypridd, Wales, who decided to come to America in 1891, carrying nothing but some books and an old violin. His son John Evans (lower right) sang songs in Welsh to my mom.



Los Angeles, 1941

– I’m thankful for my great-grandma Alice, who was more fun than a great-grandmother should ever be. She’s pictured here with my grandmother (whom I never met – she died in the ’50s) but Alice herself lived forever, long enough for me to meet her as a kid. She lived in a split-level old-folks apartment that was actually fun, and then almost burned the place down while entertaining. Having trouble telling who is who in the picture? That’s because there’s only 14 years between them. Wild West, baby!



– I’m thankful to Thornton “Mr. The Budster” Long, who possessed far more cajones than I did, and bothered to knock on my window at Hinton James when I was a navel-gazing loner set adrift in the first week of college. He had already met Jon and Chip, and decided we’d all be friends.



– I’m thankful for Charlie Todd, now the infamous purveyor of Improv Everywhere (please see their Frozen Grand Central if you haven’t already) but who was once the humble archivist of the Lab! Theater at UNC-Chapel Hill. I left a little note on there sometime in 1999, and a few months later, a friend I hadn’t seen in five years wrote me an email because she was afraid I might have descended into rampant marijuana use. Then I married her, and this amazing thing happened:


so who are YOU thankful for?

0 thoughts on “cheers, mate

  1. LFMD

    I am thankful for YOU! I have enjoyed reading your blog for years. You give me a little nugget of something to think about each day . . . you and your blog motivate me and challenge me, and you make me laugh, cry, and curse aloud. Doesn’t seem fair that I get all of this for FREE. To reciprocate, I am always wishing good things for you and your family. Take care and have a wonderful Thanksgiving.
    P.S.: Lucy is beautiful! If you ever have a chance, feel free to post a vimeo of Lucy and Lily for us fans.

  2. Anne

    Aww, I second what LFMD said. This is the second place I “go” every morning, after I’ve caught up on emails.
    Is the name “John Evans” really common in Wales? We were friends with a Welshman named John Evans (some 10-15 years older than us) in the 1970s and early 1980s … He had immigrated here from Wales. He was a rugby player, then coach, and supported the local club side that my husband played for in Providence back then. His son played too; can’t remember his name. Such a nice guy. Died a few years ago.
    Love the two beautiful ladies — grandma and great-grandma. 14 years’ difference in age! Truly more like sisters. Hot stuff.

  3. chip

    I am thankful for my wife Cathie, who can be seen at
    She spent all day yesterday on her one scheduled day off for the week making our new house look completely beautiful, including fixing and mounting the 1963 City Engineer map of Wichita that she bought for me at the thrift shop/antique mall.

  4. jason savage

    awesome post. love that Tessa makes a list every night (even every *other* night would be damn impressive).
    hugely thankful for my wife and daughter, and American roots music.

  5. chip take 2

    Oh yeah, one of the highlights of 2008 was seeing Lucy and her magic cowgirl routine wearing the cowboy boots that we bought her in Austin (and were picked out by my wife). So I’m thankful for Youtube and Lucy.
    And my dog. And Lucy’s dog.

  6. gina

    Adopting your foster kid is VERY cool, Alan! All the best as you draw your new little one into the clan.
    I am thankful for Quinn — my exasperating, awesome, bright, wonderful, Star Wars-loving 6-year-old son. And for my husband, Greg, who posts on here regularly. And our dogs, Ghost and Goblin.
    I am also thankful that I got a job working with first-graders. I love them, and this is the first job in a LOOONNG time that I look forward to almost each and every day. (Now I just need to figure out how to make more money….) The teacher I was assigned to has a great spirit, and I’m lucky to be working with her.
    Thank YOU Ian, for this blog!

  7. craighill

    i am thankful for my wife, family, michael jordan, george lynch, buttered popcorn, good friends, ice cold stella artois, liz hurley, ian and his blog, the pull of a monster trout on a fly rod, HD tv and diet cheerwine.

  8. janet

    I am thankful for the ability to be thankful…………….to be thankful for the grandest and the simplest of experiences…………………smiling at the drops of rain on a spiders web .

  9. Bud

    I’m grateful that Obama won, and that I appear to have won the Scotch. :-)
    Oh yeah – and for family & friends & all that crap, too….

  10. frcathie

    i am grateful that bud won the scotch, too (i was worried there for a bit that i might pull it out..), but so grateful obama won.
    and, of course, for my beloved husband.

  11. Randy

    Ian, like many on here, I’m thankful for you starting this blog. While I don’t always agree with everything on here, it often takes me back to those days at UNC on Wednesday’s when I picked up a DTH.

  12. eric g.

    I join the chorus who are thankful for this blog. So thanks, Ian! I’m thankful for my girlfriend Sarah, my four pets (two dogs and two cats), and my great friends, who have sustained me through some mighty thin times. I hate to single out anyone, because I have truly been blessed with some of the best friends anyone could ever want, but I’ll give special thanks for two dudes named Chris: Landgraff and Chapman, without whom I probably wouldn’t be here today to type this. Thanks, guys.

  13. xuxE

    i am ESPECIALLY thankful that my son did not lose sight in his eye after the tinker toy incident this year – they should be BANNED and i hope no other parent has to watch their kid passed out from pain and getting morphine in the ER.
    very grateful the otehr son’s stitches healed well and no permanent damange from the LAUNDRY BASKET incident this year. another warning – you know those pesky chemicals they are removing from plastics? the ones that make them more pliable? well without that crap, plastic is becoming razor sharp when you break it, so if your kid decides the laundry basket is a fun toy BEWARE OF BREAKAGE INTO SHARP PLASTIC SHARDS. my son has about 8 stitches to prove it.
    very thankful my man is having mad music success this year after working his ass off and that the movie cornelius is getting out there finally and getting some props.
    and for me my big gratitude is of course devious inc. which we just finally finished filming this weekend basically. so so incredibly thankful for that journey (gaining countless pounds from the stress and chaos, not so much). i do have a feeling though that the film is going on my thanking list for many years to come.

  14. emma

    I am thankful for Thanksgiving. A day (or long weekend) that encourages us to spend time with family and friends and to look around and see and appreciate all the things that we have to be thankful for. My list this year is long and I am looking forward to my time with my family and friends.

  15. block

    Sometimes i feel the list would go on so long as to border on the absurd… and endless list of sorts.
    the other thing that strikes me about these “thankful” list things is I always feel like there are the things you are supposed to be thankful for… like your wife and kids… which OF COURSE i am thankful for! But they can also be a real royal pain in the ass. Then there are a whole bunch of other things that people are thankful for that they never mention.
    I always thought it was kinda cool when they interviewed John McEnroe after he won a tournament; he would always thank his mother and father for “having me”.
    you’d think he would have thanked them for their “support through the years” or some crap like that. But he didn’t. Johnny Mac – keeping it real.
    Then there is the guy at the end of American Beauty who gets shot in the head… I think he ends up says something like “most of all I am thankful for my stupid little life”. I cry every time I see that part.
    I guess it isn’t the heroic deeds or mony we make or the acclaim we receive that we will miss the most. It’s be the “stupid” things.
    Like a bunch of gone nuts college chums spending the better part of a day last Memorial Day weekend mowing out a three hole golf course out of an, in use, cow pasture.

  16. Neva

    I am thankful that I can still be thankful. Ten years ago, if someone had informed me what I was in for at this point in my life I would’ve anticipated unhappiness, worry and misery. But, despite all that I can’t control and all the shit that comes my way, I have found happiness in every day and in even things I would’ve thought we be too sad or difficult to stand. I am thankful that we are all much stronger than we think.


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