Thursday, August 03, 2006

13 Things that Make Me Happy

Lots of bad shit's going on in the world right now, and there's lots and lots to be pissed about (Paula's listed 13 of them today). So I'm dropping some happiness on yo asses.

13. Coffee in the Morning. I love my coffee. Make it strong and give it to me black. I either want really good coffee (like the beans I buy from a few of our local coffee roasters and no, Starbucks does not serve really good coffee), or true diner coffee. I could sit and drink diner coffee all day long.

12. Flo-like Diner Waitresses with Big Hair and Smoker's Voices Who Call me Honey When Serving Me Diner Coffee. There's a diner in Denver called Breakfast King. Lots of truckers there, which is a true sign of a good diner. Every waitress in that place calls me honey or sweetie, and that reminds me of my aunts, which makes me happy.

11. My Aunts. My whole family, actually. I have a hugely gigantic family, mostly in Michigan, and I love the hell out of every single one of them. Growing up knowing my 4th and even 5th cousins was an awesome thing. We'll be taking Sam back to Michigan for the first time this October, and he's going to be able to me both of my grandfathers -- his great-grandfathers -- as well as his step-grandma, two aunts, two (possibly three) great uncles, two (possibly three) great aunts, and a whole slew of cousins. (and also spend lots of time with Grandma PJ, who's coming out to visit in September, yay!)

10. A Saturday with Nothing to Do. Having a full day to just chill out, read, hang with the family, without having to do anything, is pure bliss.

9. Pizza. 'Nuff said.

8. Intelligent and Entertaining Movies Appropriate for Children. I swear, 90 percent of family movies are such crap. But that 10 percent is such a joy. Disney movies once fell into this category, but they've become horribly cliched and predictable over the years (hopefully that will change with the new regime in charge). Pixar, however, has it right. The Incredibles, Toy Story, A Bug's Life, Finding Nemo, (haven't seen Cars yet), they're all true family movies that everyone can enjoy. What's more impressive is that they don't have to resort to adult-oriented jokes that go over the kids' heads to keep adults entertained (think Shrek); they just tell good stories that adults and kids both appreciate.

7. Intelligent and Entertaining Movies Not Appropriate for Children. Recently Julie and I watched Junebug, The Three Buriels of Melquiades Estrada and Capote. I was grateful to have seen each of them. Great performances, great stories, great direction, great scripts.

6. Making People Laugh. Comedy is king, and I will try to make people laugh by any means necessary. I perform improv. I do stand-up. I do sketch comedy. I write comedy. And making people laugh during simple interpersonal communication, that's the bomb. Especially dropping some humor when it's not expected. And I love making kids laugh, because a child's laugh is always genuine and never patronizing. They're too young and honest to worry about your feelings -- if it's not funny, they won't laugh. If they laugh, it's funny. Simple as that.

5. People Making Me Laugh. Because I work in various forms of comedy on a professional level, I'm pretty jaded when it comes to organized comedy, like stand-up or sketch comedy (remember when Saturday Night Live was funny?) or improv. So when someone makes me laugh, no matter who or when, I treasure it. (why do you think I'm such a fan of all of you?!)

4. Cranking my Stereo and Singing Along at the Top of my Voice While Driving. I don't care who sees me or who hears me, when I'm in the groove, baby, ain't no stopping me. Sometimes it's Johnny Cash. Sometimes it's Audioslave. Sometimes it's Frank Sinatra. Sometimes it's Van Halen. Sometimes it's Patsy Cline. Sometimes it's Rage Against the Machine. Whatever it is, I'm all about commitment.

3. Playing Hockey. Our team typically has games on Tuesday nights, and during the day I get so antsy to get my gear on and get on the ice. It's absolutely invigorating.

2. Scoring a Goal in Hockey. I grew up a basketball player, where you score a lot. I've had 30+ point games before. But scoring a goal? There's nothing like it, because of the amount of effort, strategy, skill and luck it takes just to get that puck in the net. A few weeks ago our game ended in a one-one tie. I scored the tying goal with only a few minutes left in the game, and it felt like I'd saved the world.

1. Hanging With My Family. I'm the luckiest mofo on the face of the earth. I have one incomparable wife, two awesomely awesome step-daughters, and a three-month-old boy whom I can hardly stand to be away from. Life is good, my brothers and sisters.

Life is good.

Be happy today!



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