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November 24, 2011  | by: Addie Stuber

Thanksgiving is here! Across America, people are gathered ’round gravy-drenched plates of food. Between bites, many will talk of blessings related to home, family, health, finances and careers. While these topics are certainly noteworthy, I’d like to bring up a different set. Here are a few Pop Culture experiences and items from 2011 that I am grateful for…

Slipper Socks – When dinner guest pack up leftovers and leave, I will take off my uncomfortable fancy shoes and put on a pair of polka dot chenille Slipper Socks.  Regular socks are good for utilitarian purposes: warding off blisters and between-the-toe sweat. Slipper socks are the height of toddler luxury. They are reminiscent of the booties of yore and, unlike onesies, are completely socially acceptable to wear as an adult! Women’s slipper socks are readily available online. (I personally appreciate this polar bear pair from Urban Outfitters.) I wish I could say the same for men. I learned the hard way that slipper socks have not crossed the gender divide. I attempted to buy a set for my boyfriend and was disappointed to discover a serious lack of variety. I was forced to buy a set that was dually advertised as ‘Hospital Socks.’ Amazon had comments such as, “My Grandfather is recovering from pelvis surgery and he loves these! The no-slip bottoms are perfect for getting in and out of the shower!”

Smuttynose Pumpkin Ale – Wine is usually paired with Thanksgiving fare. Offer a seasonal beer instead. Smuttynose’s Pumpkin Ale is the best I have sampled and definitely something to be thankful for this season. Don’t be fooled by the badly photoshopped label of a droopy gourd. The beer is the perfect balance of hops and spice. Smuttynose only keeps it on the shelves September through November. Try a bottle before it is too late!

Pictureplane – After a couple of beers have been consumed, don’t be surprised if you are in the mood to dance. Pictureplane is a great playlist choice. On October 29th, Pictureplane opened for the “Check Your Ponytail” show at Brooklyn Bowl. The crowd’s energy was complimented by plenty of strobe lights and robotic, veiled groupies. I had never heard of the band prior. The set turned out to be my favorite of the night. Pictureplane is Travis Egedy, a Denver-based electronic producer. His sound is a fuzzier version of Girl Talk, in that it samples without being overt. Crank up the volume on Thee Physical ‘s “Real is a Feeling” and shake away those mashed potato pounds!

Laurel Nakadate – Tryptophan and dancing is a tiring combination.  Relax and watch a video by Lauren Nakadate. A couple months ago, I saw a show of hers at  MOMA’s PS1. The exhibit was entitled “Only The Lonely.” Nakadate’s work investigated isolation set in motion. America’s landscape was explored through tears, strangers and solo routines. For her short films, Nakadate invited herself over to the homes of unknown men, set up a tripod and a.) had a party, b.) played dead or c.) imitated Brittany Spears. The situation could be translated as creepy or downright dangerous. Neither element was present on film. Instead of being worried for Nakadate, my fear was transferred to the bewildered men whose space had been invaded by a spritely female.

Acknowledging big gifts is great. However, thankfulness can boil down to the basics – sounds, feels, sights and tastes.

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