"Thanks For Everything"

I was going to write this column on the phenomenon of Christmas, in that it seems to bury Thanksgiving as far as popularity. When was the last time you saw a string of turkey lights on someone's house in November? But I'm heading into some rough weeks, and I've been in a pretty dark mood this morning, and at the suggestion of Jeff Mariotte's column at Mania, I'm going to do a litany of things I'm thankful for to try and brighten my mood.

I'm thankful for comic books, specifically the renaissance of quality Marvel, as well as the amazing number of cool books on the market. Every week, I get something I love to read.

On that note, I'm thankful that my comic book reviews have been so well-received. I get e-mail notes from people just telling me they enjoy my reviews, I get discussions started on newsgroups and mail lists, and it makes me feel really good. It's also earned me some minor perks, such as getting DC Previews, and getting my Marvel comics a week early (for which I'm thankful for Dragon's Lair) and even getting the occasional free comic or book. Not to mention that it's let me get to know (online, at least) a number of very cool pros and fans in comics.

I'm thankful for my family, even though they may not think so at times. Spending Sunday with my mom, dad and sister celebrating their birthdays, was great. And it was really good to see my grandfather this weekend, as I came to the sobering realization that he's the only grandparent I have left.

Although I never seem to have enough of them, I'm thankful for the basic necessities and luxuries in life that I have. I've got a house, a car, and a nice computer and home entertainment system. It's easy to forget when you can't have everything you want, and when you see some people making so much more money than you, but I've got a lot. When it comes to material needs, I've got no call to complain.

I'm thankful for Suzanne, the love of my life. She's amazing, and I don't think she really realizes it or understands when I tell her. No matter what else is going on, I can always think of her and smile. And spending time with her makes everything else go away. I never thought I'd meet someone who could make me so happy.

Finally, I guess, I'm thankful for the Internet. It sounds odd, but online, I've found a whole new world. Every day, there are discussions about comics that I get into on e-mail. I see friends hourly, one message at a time. I can look at all kinds of news, entertainment, whatever on the web. And it's another creative outlet, a place for people to see my writing even though I don't have a publishing house.

Hmmm...Jeff was right. Try counting up the things you're thankful for. It will make you feel a lot better.

Randy W. Lander

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