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A Balcony View: Realizing goals from a lack of them

November 23, 2010|By Gary Huerta

Like many families, mine recently began focusing their Thanksgiving holiday on dysfunction. Forgive us. We came to this American tradition later than most families.

Nevertheless, we have arrived in grand fashion and without equal. But before we landed upon this well trodden pool of slop, we used to have a less volatile tradition of letting each family member talk about those things that prompt gratitude. Ah, the salad days of my youth.

Last year, I offered up a list of people and things that filled my heart with eternal gratitude. I thought I'd take the opportunity to do so again, simultaneously giving family members and other Haters a few more reasons to stick a fork in me.


But before I do, let me qualify my definition of gratitude. In my own quest for truth and happiness, I've come to believe that one should be grateful for both positives and negatives. Like that platter of turkey we are all going to devour in a couple days, it is the contrast of light and dark meat that provides contrast and allows us to choose what we will savor without guilt and what we ought to leave on the plate to avoid having our hearts explode.

In other words, when you know what you don't want in life, you more clearly understand what you do want in life.

So with that in mind, here is this year's list:

I'm grateful to Glendale Water & Power. You've provided me with plenty to write about and openly ridicule: raising rates on customers who actually conserved water, overcharging a customer for using an amount of water so absurd it defied belief. What can I say? You complete me.

I'm grateful to Far Niente and Sed Thee Thai Eatery for being so close by and so incredibly delicious. Every time I venture to the west side for food I am reminded by the snotty hostesses and insufferable crowds just how lucky we "Glendalish Town Folk" are to have restaurants whose food rivals that of any in L.A. County. And we don't have to drive through traffic or pay out-of-work actors to park our cars.

I'm grateful to Dan Evans and Jason Wells for giving me the latitude to write what I believe is important on a weekly basis and for having the infinite wisdom to edit and improve what I submit for publication.

I'm grateful to my Admirers and Haters. While life might be easier to receive nothing but complimentary reader comments, it's the ones that offer passionate differing points of view and creative ways for me to die that provide real opportunity for improvement.

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