Something I have been giving thanks for recently: living long enough to enjoy the company of people who share my interests, and to see some of those interests catch hold in larger circles and even get their fifteen minutes (and then some).
The John Laurens biography is a gift from around 15 years ago, from a friend I met back when our journals were on Diaryland. I first heard of Laurens during the 1984 miniseries on George Washington, and developed such a crush on the combination of his idealism + tragic fate (or, to be precise, Barry-Bostwick-as-Washington's reaction to it) + the actor portraying him (Kevin Conroy, since known mainly as the voice of Batman) that I ended up combing through all the Washington bios in the high school and local university library for any mention of Laurens, writing two papers on him and drafting a third ("Alexander Hamilton's Best Friend") in my 30s.
So it was a hoot for me to check in on Jen Talley's timeline yesterday, where she was live-tweeting about Hamilbrarians rapping (#alamw4ham #Lib4Ham #alamw16)...
Nothing quite like a roomful of librarians singing at the top of their lungs "When you knock me down I get the F*#% BACK UP AGAIN!" #lib4ham— Jessica Storrs (@wanderingjess) January 9, 2016
...which is icing on top of my Hamilton-Laurens stocking stuffer having 1066 hits as of today.
If I'm remembering right, I "met" Jen through a Sayers mailing list and then stayed connected through Diaryland and now Twitter. I met dichroic through the same Sayers list, and this year she answered my yearning for the baby Loch Ness monster ladle in the photo above. A friend I met through Snupin fandom sent the sleeping dragon cake pan.
I mentioned both the ladle and the pan yesterday night at a party, having been greeted by the substantial Nessie sculpture in the host's front yard. During the course of the evening, the conversations also included Cthulhu, Doris Salcedo, earring backs, film processing, Stephen King, parks, bruxism, real estate, the High Museum, imaging tech, karaoke at the American Legion, cold water flats in Africa, and trying to finish art/craft projects begun mumble-mumble years ago.
And also cancer and health: one of the guests was a man younger than me with a newly installed replacement hip -- one of many surgeries resulting from cancer + treatment. He emphasized how glad he was to still be here. Another guest was a librarian who, as she put it, will be living with myeloma for the rest of her life. The day before, a friend from high school e-mailed me about a classmate who has just begun treatment for leukemia.
Which all ties back to feeling so immensely grateful that I am here, and you are here, and we together get to giggle and admire and obsess and shout out these things to each other and (if/when we choose) to those in the wider world longing for the spark and sizzle and solace of shared interests, and the things we make and send in celebration.