Monday, January 31, 2011

Smile 31 is living in the winter realm of the Fae.

Ever had the power go out in the middle of an ice storm? Holyyyyyyyyyyyy crap, it was cold. Didn't help that I only had the heater at 60 when it went out >.<

So yeah. I smiled yesterday because at one point I was able to feel my toes. Awesome, right? : D


Sunday, January 30, 2011

This is 29/30. I kind of like the two at a time thing.

Going two at a time is neat, it makes it look like my posts aren't four lines long : P

My first smile is entirely based off feeling a little bit of spring in the air. It peaked near the 50's the other day, the breeze wasn't so biting cold and the snow started melting. I know it's just the end of January (HOLY CRAP more on that in a second) but February is pretty short and then (in my opinion, at least) it's springtime and the rest of you can disagree all you want but I don't care, March is awesome : P

Plus, spring training starts in mid-February. Baseball is the love of my life and you'll be getting plenty of posts about it as we get closer to spring, but for now I'll leave it be. : D

I get to see my dad tomorrow, that should be super fun. His company rents out what amounts to a city block of Columbus bars and restaurants every year for their best customers, and it's always cool to go see the people I used to work with over the summers.

Smile number thirty is about a wavering commitment. I never thought I'd keep this up for a week, let alone a month, and even though I'm shifting the format to make the posts a bit bigger I really feel like I'll be able to keep this up for a while. Hopefully that means a whole year, it might not, who knows. Everytime I hear somebody say something nice or tell me they read it everyday, though, I can't help but smile. I didn't think I'd make a big difference. Or hell, even a little difference. But I guess making a bunch of little differences everyday adds up over time. I'm happy to help you smile, it just makes me even happier.


Friday, January 28, 2011

Smile number 27 was this hilariously fail map of the United States. Smile 28 is chicken soup for the cliched soul.

It focuses on what each individual state is worst at.I'm proud to say that Ohioans are the nerdiest dudes in the union. Win, as far as I'm concerned.

What's your state worst at?

EDIT: Wow, that picture like...ate the entire screen/destroyed the page layout. I'll just provide a handy link : D

Anyway, I've been out pounding the pavement looking for work the last couple weeks, and to say the's been bad. Well, maybe not bad. Terrible is a good word.

Catastrophic, even.

That really doesn't deter me from walking into every business I can, filling out applications and generally making a nuisance of myself until I can get sat down for an interview. You know what does deter me from that, though?

It's freaking COLD outside. Gosh, I hate wandering around in melting feet get wet, my lips get chapped, my hands get numb. It's just an awful experience altogether. Whoever though up this weather idea was a real bastard.

(I'm lookin at you, Roker. I know you're behind this.)

Anyway, I got home and decided to make chicken soup.

Not from a can. I am an amateur professional here, people. I make my own soup.

I am also an incredibly lazy person, especially when it comes to cooking which NOW THAT I THINK ABOUT IT might be counterproductive to my life goals but what the hell OK. Anyway, I decided to go through all the steps, all the prep, and all the the mind-numbing time it takes to make soup.

And was delicious. There's something special about soup, I think. It's like food for the soul. When we're cold, when our bodies are weak, we don't reach for a sandwich*, do we? No. We reach for soup. And now here I am, enjoying a reheated bowl several hours later and I suddenly felt the grin spread out over my face. So yeah, it's late, but this time it's not because I'm just takes a REALLY long time to make soup!


*Unless, of course, you're reaching for a grilled cheese to go with your tomato soup. In which case, godspeed.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

26? A song about smiling. Duh.

Seriously, if you can't smile to this song...I really don't know what your problem is. I've listened to it like 10000 times today.

Ukulele kid needs to cover this thing. Get on it, kid.

I smiled the 25th time because I feel for you.

I have a friend who really isn't particularly lucky. This isn't for lack of trying: she tries hard, lays it out on the line in everything she does, and sometimes, well...sometimes things just don't go your way. I think we can all feel for that. I can definitely feel for how emotional she gets, even if she goes a bit off the deep end sometimes. Honestly, I think that's why I care so much: I was, at one point in time, a very passionate person. She does a hell of a job of reminding me what that's like.

I feel like I let depression take so much from me, that by the time I faced myself in the mirror and told myself this was over, I'd lost a lot of passion for what I do. But when I hear extremely passionate people cry, or laugh just to laugh, or go off because their emotions are this sacred thing that deserves your attention...I remember how that feels, if only a little bit.

So in the end, thank you. I'm sorry things always seem to blow up in your face, I know how that feels. You are a wonderful, cheery if not somewhat neurotic addition to my day and I'm grinning because I feel for you.

Hell, because you (and people like you) help me feel anything. It's not much, but it's a start.


Monday, January 24, 2011

23? Making somebodies day. 24? I guess I could be sicker.

Last night I found something for a friend that they had been trying to find for years, and she was pretty excited about the whole thing. I always really like to make somebodies day : D

Today, I'm sick. Like nasty, dripping, feels like my nose is full of mud sick. A terrible layer of what I'm assuming is some kind of plague has formed on my skin, my hair is matted down...basically, it's completely miserable.

My response to that? OH WELL! Stayed in reading all day : ) I love how it feels to curl up on the couch with a paperback, so it was all well and good from where I'm standing (...laying...dying? Possibly)

Also, the tastiest part of my new lifestyle plan is my morning smoothie. I just throw a bunch of fruit, juice and yogurt in a blender cup the night before, stick it in the fridge so it's nice and cold and then buzz it in the morning. Nom :3

Take it easy for now, people, I know I'm gonna.


Saturday, January 22, 2011

Smile 22 is a full belly and a ukulele battle.

Went to the grocery store today. I don't think there's anything I love more than grocery shopping. Food really speaks to me on the shelf, ideas and meals and new flavor concepts trying themselves out in my mind as I peruse the aisles. I was able to purchase sandwiches and smoothie materials and lots of'd be amazed how much cheaper it is to purchase drumsticks and thighs, but people keep paying for boring old boneless chicken breast...yeah I'll stick with three pounds of thighs for 4 dollars.

Tomorrow I am starting Alton Browns "diet of four lists." It is based on altering your diaita, which is the greek root term for diet, meaning "prescribed way of living." It does not mean mindless calorie restriction, but more of a lifestyle that values nutrient density over calorie density. It includes a list of foods you should eat everyday/once every 3 days/once a week/never that really helps me plan meals, so we'll see what happens. Pair this up with walking around looking for a job all the time and I smell a recipe for success! We'll see what happens.

So yeah, there's a catch-me-up smile for the 22nd: I love grocery shopping, it expands my mind and will hopefully stop expanding my stomach so much sometime soon.

Now, for the ukulele battle...and yes, I enjoy the insturment, so sue me. In this battle is critically acclaimed ukulele artist Jake Shimabukuro performing "While my guitar gently weeps" by George Harrison.

Competing against him, and performing the same the ukulele kid.

This guy might become blog mascot sooner rather than later. Who do you like more?! Let me know in a comment. I know who I'm picking.


Smile #21: Awesome techno beat

Ever smile because you hear a song over and over again and eventually find out who wrote it, then listen to it 1000 times?

Yeah, that's what I'm grinning about.

Friday, January 21, 2011

19 and 20 smile combo: Just some random stuff

My 19th smile was simple: people who understand what I'm going through. Thank you all so much for the love and support. You're making my "keepin' on" go much easier.

My 20th smile, I have to admit, was even simpler. Have you ever marveled at what goes on after a snow storm? Do you ever stop to wonder why the sky is so abnormally bright, or why it's so quiet? I always find it so tranquil, I'll even sit outside in the cold just to experience it. Actually, I always think the calm after a storm is my favorite part. Nothing beats the smell after it rains, or the aforementioned tranquility of the aftermath of snow; or even the way the air feels after a thunderstorm, heavy, hot, but slowly cooling and inviting.

I kind of think people inherently take comfort in the calm after storms both literally and metaphorically. I'll smile today knowing that when all this is over, it'll be quiet.




Wednesday, January 19, 2011

18 smiles and the icicles around my heart are apparently melting.

No matter where you're at, no matter what your situation and especially no matter what your state of mind, I want everybody here to remember that you can always help somebody.

It might not be the biggest thing in the world. Hell, it might be holding a door, or saying hello, or just answering a question. The undeniable truth, though, is that you're going to make a positive impact on somebodies life, and that's awesome.

There are no heroes. Not in the old fashioned sense, at least. That's not how the world works. There is no white knight in shining armor, riding in on horseback to save the day. There are no dragons to slay. The new idea of a hero is much smaller, I think: it's the guy who holds the door, or smiles and says hello. It's the person willing to answer your question.

So smile and put your best foot forward, because you might be an inspiration to somebody and not even know it. I know I can be, and that's totally worth grinning about ; )


Monday, January 17, 2011

16 AND 17, all at once? It's because one thought is sustaining me.

I'm sorry, truly sorry for the lack of insightful, fantastic posting the last few days, but I figured I'd give you all some insight into my life.

Recently I was involved in a physical altercation with a coworker who managed to do some pretty decent damage to me. After a "lengthy" HR investigation lasting the entirety of one day, I was fired for starting a fight. Apparently getting the crap kicked out of you constitutes starting it, but whatever.

I am currently unemployed and a victim of the American economy, desperately struggling to find another job before I run out of resources. It sounds rough, sure, but that's not the point.

I wanted to talk to you today about perseverance. I could give up, yes. I could huddle up in a little ball, crawl to the government for assistance, pack up my stuff and go home. I could, in fact, do all of those things at once. But you know what? I'm not going to. I'm going to persevere. I'm going to go out there tomorrow just like I went out there yesterday, I'm going to get on the cold, cramped bus and look for work. Hopefully I find it, hopefully somebody can see that an eager person with faults is still someone worth spending time on.

If not, I'll just keep on keepin' on. That means I have to keep smiling, put my best foot forward, and get through my day the best I can. That's worth something.


Sunday, January 16, 2011

My 15th smile is a day behind but I hope you'll forgive me.

Sorry about the infrequent posting lately, I've just been really busy trying to get all this unemployment/finding new job stuff sorted out while simaltaneously filing suit against my former's been busy.

For now, though, I'll settle for smiling because of the wonderful support of my friends, Rick and Jeff. Thanks so much for coming to visit this weekend, thanks for being there for me.

16th smile later tonight : D


Saturday, January 15, 2011

My 14th smile is a shootout winner.

Had a ton of fun with two of the besties last night and the Blue Jackets beat the Red Wings 3-2 in a shootout, it doesn't get much better than that. I was extremely tired last night and didn't have time to write my smile before I passed out, so I guess this is kind of a makeup smile, so to speak. I'm grinning right now though, and will write my real smile for the 15th later tonight. I'm still going after two weeks, even if I'm posting from my phone :p I'm proud of myself. Hope you're all doing well today!


Thursday, January 13, 2011

13 smiles. This will be a short one.

I am smiling today because no matter how miserable I may get, no matter how wronged I may become, no matter how treacherous it will be battling the battle I'm about to rage, I can look at my life and say one thing:

I never have to go back to Friendship Village of Columbus ever again.

Good night.


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The 12th smile is a mellow high made of jello limbs.

I don't know what else to say today. It wasn't a particularly great day, my shoulder hurts and everybody, everybody EVERYBODY has constant advice for me. Listening to so many different people tell me so many different ways to handle a situation is frustrating: I have a hard time multitasking, always have.

One thing? No problem.

Two things? I'm a little shaky, but it'll get done.

Three things? I start to vibrate.

I guess, in a way, it's comforting even though it's frustrating: while I'm getting stressed, it's nice to know that people care about me enough to try and help. I went to a reorientation at work today, came home, took one of my muscle relaxers and descended into a flopsy-limbed nap that relieved some of my troubles.

So basically, as I sit here trying to shrug off what I'm absolutely certain is enough muscle relaxant to tranq a horse, I wanted to smile and thank you all for caring so much about me. So much <3 is always worth smiling about.


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

I smiled today because tomorrow will be better.

I was curious how I was going to handle a bad day on here, when I finally had one. When I really had absolutely nothing to smile about, what was going to happen?

Today was one of those days. Today at work, a violent coworker grabbed my by the head (the head? wtf? WHO THROWS A SHOE HONESTLY) and proceeded to make me feel like hamburger meat. If I wasn't a little luckier I'd probably look like it, too. But that's ok. You know why?

I'm the bigger man. I have the better plan, and I'm more than willing to execute it. But this project isn't about bad smiles. Smiling about revenge is not being happy.

I'm smiling, in the end, because anything could be better than the day I had today. I'm just sayin.


Monday, January 10, 2011

The Tenth Day: I busted my butt and laughed it off.

So. Money.

It's a bad thing for me. I never really handle money particularly well. I like shiny things too much, don't like bills enough, and generally have enough left after two weeks to eat. Sometimes.

Actually, "eat" is such a strong term. "Survive?" "Not starve?" Lets just say I've lost a bit of weight. Anyway, that's not what this is about. Today, I woke up late (no work, whee!) stumbled out of bed, and sat down in my directors chair...which abruptly ceased to be. I'd seen this coming for a while, but I like to use something until I can't use it anymore so I stuck with this chair, a 4 dollar number I bought at a thrift store a few months ago. It was comfy, I liked it, whatever.

So I'm laying there on the floor in the remnants of a chair, laughing hysterically as I pull a chunk of wood out of my arm (not hurt that bad, I'll live, no worries)and I just think to myself "oh well, I'll buy a new one eventually."

Then I checked my bank account and realized since I got my student loans squared away, paid all my last months bills on time and settled with Discover card, I had 300 dollars sitting around. I can actually buy a new chair. I don't have to worry about taping this one back together, or pulling my couch up to my desk just to use my computer for a few weeks. This is substantial and awesome for me, it doesn't usually happen. Needless to say, I was incredibly excited, smiles as big as you can fathom inhabiting my face for the rest of the day. I may have actually weathered a good portion of my financial storm, and that's worth smiling about.

All because I fell and busted my ass. Funny how things work out.


PS: Decided to leave a cool video or some music everyday. That being said, my sister showed me this video: it's by a group called Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes, and they're pretty awesome. Check it out!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

My 9th smile is dedicated entirely to shredding on the banjo.

Yeah, that's right, the banjo. Wanted to take a minute to talk about a group of people who have been integral to my happiness, hope you don't mind. They're called Mumford and Sons, and they're a british jam-band. I apologize if the idea of banjos sets your off musically, but I don't cater to everybody : P

Well, I guess I'm not just here to talk about the band. I'm more here to talk about music and it's effect on my life. I used to have a song for everything, you know? Playlists on the old musicmatch jukebox on our first computer that were hundreds of songs long. I loved punk and country, rock and roll and just enough R&B to shock people. Basically, I was a music fiend. My only pipedream was (and still is, sort of) starting a garage band. I used to dedicate songs to people, make them mixtapes, sing out loud in the shower/car/street, whatever. I remember buying my first CD ("Enema of the State" by Blink 182) and absolutely blasting it wherever I went. The day I discovered Napster was like a gift from above.

And sure, as I grew musical tastes changed, genres shifted, what was and wasn't popular continued to be dictated from somewhere unknown*. But the music was always there. Then one day, it just stopped.

Depression is a hell of a condition. I just want to put it out there.

It's even more difficult when you're alone.

It's incredibly diffcult in a new place.

It's impossible without music.

Well, probably not. I will say this about being sad, though: it steals from you. You can't be sad for long if you have what you love...but sometimes the sadness just takes and takes and there's nothing left. One bad thing is a ripple that becomes a wave that besets a maelstrom and suddenly you've long since drowned in a pool of thoughts: it's not an optimum place to be. It's not fun for me to talk about. But my sadness took my music. I don't really remember rocking out to much of anything, singing in the shower...anything; over the last year or so I've been silent musically. Even posting song lyrics (an old hobby) became a shell of it's former self.

Recently though, music has worked it's way back into my life, largely in part to a group of four rowdy Englishmen rocking out in the purest way possible. A friend showed me their most popular song, and to hear the passion of the music, to realize how much they loved what they were was incredible. It was like falling in love with an idea all over again, I went head over heels for music. And now here I am, with a media player queue about 40 songs long, listening to everything that carries a beat I can sway to. I sing along, even though my perpetual headphones (speakers are broken) make me sound completely ridiculous and more than a little obnoxious. Today at work (under some brilliant advice from a previously mentioned sister) I loudly sang along to everything I could think of as I washed the dishes. I've never had more fun at work.

It was there that I realized everybody has a song in their heart, and you have to do whatever you can to keep from silencing it. As for me, the ballad of my heart is back. It's quiet, but soon enough I feel I'll be raising hell in the best way, a raging paeon for the soul.

Basically, smile: You've got the music in you.


*When you were little, did you ever wonder who decided what was popular? I always had this vision in my head of all the people more "cool" than me sitting around in a dark room somewhere deciding what I had to do to not get beat up.**

**They never seemed to tell me what that WAS precisely. Oh well.

PS: Onto the actual music! I feel like everybody should listen to one of these. Just give it a shot. "Little Lion Man" is not safe for work/Mormons, but everything else is peachy-keen.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Day 8: Thanks for the smile, sister.

I am a man blessed with many things. I'm even a man who is actually good at a few areas of life.

"Sisters" happens to be a category in which I excel.

Depending on your interpretation, I have either two sisters or six. I prefer the latter. As for how that works, it's a story for another day, which you'll undoubtedly know, there being 357 more stories to tell and all.

Anyway, today was a pretty rough day at work. Lots of stuff going on, lots of annoying cleanup. Pair it with my employers suddenly lopping 45 minutes off my regular shift and suffice to say it wasn't great fun. On my way home I was actually desperate to find my smile. I sat down on facebook (as most do) and saw one of my sisters online. Simaltaneously, I sent another sister a text while starting a chat with the former sister to ask how my other sisters were doing. See what I mean? Multi-sister multitasking. Come on. I rock at sisters.*

So we talked. I set up lunch with text sister while facebook sister let me know all about college and life and how she LIKES MY BLOG** and scriptures and all sorts of good stuff. And I realized something: I'd really lightened up. I was laughing, I was enjoying life, and most importantly, I was grinning. Obviously grinning.

So there's that. You didn't even realize you helped make my day, but you did. Thanks for helping me out. I love having a family sometimes, even if mine is a little bigger and harder to manage than most.


*Is there anything more worthless to rock at than sisters? Well, maybe the ukulele. Unless you're THIS LITTLE GUY HOLY CRAP

Look at that guy GO. Sure he doesn't know the words but whatever!

** Apparently people actually like it. Who knew. Weird.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Day 7: The book of Ether to the tune of "Lean on Me."

I am not a particularly religious man. I just wanted to preface this, in case I have more readers than I thought and somehow spark a religious debate. I have no interest in discussing religion with anybody in any great depth, I feel every persons perception of religion is sacred to them and them alone and should generally be let be.

That being said, I am going to share something today: my favorite scripture. It's a passage not too many people will be terribly familiar with, and I apologize. It is from the book of Ether, the 13th (or 14th, depending on whether you count the Words of Mormon as a book) section of the Book of Mormon. It is from the 12th chapter, the 27th verse, and I owe my understanding of it to Sister Bowers, a seminary teacher and remarkable woman who actually got me to listen to something at 5AM. It goes as such (and YES, from memory, sue me if it's wrong but please don't tell Sister Bowers or she'll retroactively take away my only scripture mastery sticker)

"And if men come unto me, I will show them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble, and my grace is sufficient for all men who humble themselves before me. For if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me; then will I make weak things become strong unto them."
Ether 12:27

I don't think this has to be interpreted in the context of Christ (even though I love this verse so much it's one of the few instances where I'll permit it : P ). I really think this verse has something for everybody. The last few days I've been planning to see my father and a few good friends on the 14th of January, to go to the hockey game with them, catch up, all that jazz. Today I realized I'm anxiously awaiting it. I cannot wait to see my friends, how different they must be, what stories they'll have to tell me. You could say I've been a bit of a hermit the last year or so and I really miss having that in my life. And then this verse hit me like a ton of bricks, completely out of the blue. Then it hit me.

Ether 12:27 is about leaning on others. Sure, it's in the grand context of the Savior, in all his splendor. But you know what he's saying? If you make the effort to help yourself and others, others are more likely to help you. If you make yourself humble, people won't mind helping you be strong. In a lot of ways, I realized this applied to me: I've been making an effort to change my life, and suddenly...all my friends are back. I abandoned them, shut myself away. But when you open up, when you come back down to their level, they're always going to be there....much like Christ, actually, but that's a different story for a different day.

You know what's funny? I could've said I smiled today because of achieving some kind of greater understanding. I really could've, and you'd believe me, too. But you know what I really smiled about? You'll never guess.

After I realized the scripture could apply to the people around you I thought out loud: "It's too bad those "God is other people" hippies don't read the Book of Mormon." It would really make their case, you know?!

Then I went back to work with a wicked grin on my face.


Thursday, January 6, 2011

Day Six: Smiling because I'm free.

Life isn't bad right now. At least it's not for me. I have a friend who is going through some huge issues right now, though, and we've been talking a lot about it. He's miserable, but tied down to his situation by some major responsibilities and kind of stuck. Actually I'm pretty sure he did the opposite of what I discussed yesterday: he waited far too long to cut bait, sanity is a thing of the past and now he has to wallow in it, lest he deal with the rather extreme ramifications of booking it.

I realize now that you need to overreact to be free sometimes. Did Colonial Americans really need to revolt against the crown because of a tax on tea? (And yes, brilliant readers, I know the American Revolution was over more than tea. It's called exaggeration.) No, they didn't: but they did, and hey, it sure seems to have worked out. Did Mandela have to starve himself, spending the majority of his life in prison to end Apartheid? Probably not, but the guy sure made his point.

I guess what I'm trying to say is this: impatience is a sign of freedom, not bondage. As smart as it is to think everything through to the end about 99% of the time, in matters of the heart* I find it smartest to just go with what makes you happy. Sometimes it's irrational. OK, it's almost ALWAYS irrational...but sometimes that irrational decision is the best one. I look at my friend, and realize I don't envy his situation, but I hope he makes the decision to be happy, however he goes about it.

As for me, my grin today is simple: I, just like anybody else, am free to break the chains that bind me. No man, no act of God, no circumstance can keep me down if I really want to be happy.

...and the more I think about it, the more I realize that's where I want to be.


*unless of course your matters of the heart are of the medical persuasion. In that case, I'd recommend the advice of your doctor/witch doctor/tribal shaman. You should think those through. Yeah.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

And on the fifth day, I smiled about cutting bait.

So I've recently realized that some things in your life exist entirely to drag you down. I've also been intelligent enough to realize that if things exist in your life entirely to drag you down, then you should probably get rid of them. I've also been intelligent AND blessed enough to be able to start doing that.

I think one of the foundations of being a happy, functioning person is having the ability to let things go. Sometimes, things are just entirely out of your control, and you need to get out while you can save your sanity. I am a person who gets incredibly hung up on tiny things: things people say and do, what they want and need. I'm generally the kind of person who lets these things eat him up. And in reality, I still am, but today had some special circumstances where I was able to finally say "Eh, I don't need this. I'm done." I won't bore you with the specifics, but I was proud of myself.

This is massively important to me, and I hope to try and repeat it more often.

As for the official tally, 360 smiles to go, and I'm already trying to squeeze out metaphorical reasons to grin ;0

You know what's funny, though? I started doing this as a way of mentally training myself: if I inundated myself with happiness, there's no way I could still be sad, right? It was reconditioning that Big Brother would've admired. The funny thing is, though, that the more I focus on being happy, the less I have to worry about picking specific happy moments: they all seem to be running together, now...almost like I'm happy most of the time. Sweet.

Big smiles tonight, people. It appears I'm learning something.


Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Smile number 4: Liver and Onions

I'm not sure how well some of you know me, but anybody with any inkling of who I am will understand one thing: I hate my job.

Well, hate is such a weak word. I megaloathe it. Better? Who knows. Anyway, today was the most dreaded day of work possible. Today...was the liver and onions special.

FREAKING LIVER AND ONIONS. I absolutely hate the stuff. Smells like a rotten animal, tastes like a thousand pennies screaming their bloody last as they drown in gravy. For the uninitiated, liver and onions is (are?) completely disgusting.

Unless you happen to be a gomer. An old person. A resident at "Next Stop Heaven" old folks home, even. You know, like the one I work at. I've provided a handy chart to help understand the situation better.

As you can see, I was totally screwed, sentenced to a crime worse than death: serving this zombie-drug to hundreds of elderly folk, drowning in a sea of food tickets, constantly being nitpicked for my service while I simaltaneously drown in the three days of prep I'm STILL expected to put out. It usually goes like this?

And that's with about seven hours to go. Except today, it didn't really do that.

It just didn't.

...your guess is as good as mine. Orders piled to the ceiling seemed miniscule. Pitfalls I would usually explode in we're easily stepped over. Small tasks that usually seemed herculean on liver day were just that, small tasks. It was incredible. I don't know if I finally conquered my white whale, or if a different outlook on life is really starting to change things for me, but I do know one thing: when I was done, I actually tried the liver. Not half bad.

And that's definitely worth a grin.


PS: "Eli Says: When did you conquer YOUR "liver and onions." Figuratively speaking, of course. If liver and onions was also your white whale, I would like to point out you are not as interesting as me and should probably give up.

PSS: If your white whale is actually a white whale, can we hunt it together?

Monday, January 3, 2011

The third smile is the charm, right? Day 3, folks: I absolutely love to sleep.

Yeah, that's right. Sleep. It's a pretty easy thing to love. If you're doing it right, it's 1/3 of your life, that's pretty important stuff we're talking about, here. I slept in today.

You know, that was after I took a nap last night. Nothing on Earth cannot be fixed by a decent night of rest. That is absolutely worth smiling about.

Sorry for the short writeup today, I've been really busy. So I'll leave some of the content up to you. Tell me, do you love naps? Where is your napping spot? Let me know what you're thinking.

Smile on,

PS here are cute kittens taking a nap

They were all too lazy to write new content, too! : D

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Day 2, Smile 2, Post 2, Catch 22, Blue 22 set hike: Why I love playing hooky.

*SPOILERS* : I left work "sick" today. Lock up your daughters, alert the authorities, whatever it is you do. I'm a terrible person. Then again, if it's good enough for Ferris Bueller, it's damn sure good enough for me.

There's something inherently fanciful about not having to work when you're supposed to. Seriously, do you ever call off work/call in to school/decide to skip class? Isn't it absolutely liberating? Don't get me wrong, I'm not recommending losing your job/failing out of school for attendance problems. That's not fun. I'm just saying that fun had while you're supposed to be working is just BETTER than normal fun. How much fun do you have playing hooky?

To me, it seems like the answer is "a lot." You've more than likely heard that the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry. This is why, as a principle, I don't ever lay my plans down in strange places unattended. It's got multiple purposes, obviously.

1. I never have to actually plan anything. Unplanned actions have more potential, and therefore are more likely to be fun.
2. My plans usually involve neither men or mice this way
3. Lord knows you can't lay something down unattended and get it through airport security. Last thing I need is the NSA impounding my brain.

The other benefit? If all of your actions are spontaneous, then what part of your life could possibly become mundane? What if everything is a surprise, if everything was an adventure? What if everything had just a little bit of panache? Life would be a hell of a lot more exciting, wouldn't it?

Of course, we're all a little too smart here. We realize that can't happen. We make routines, we keep schedules, we know that we eat dinner at six and go to bed at ten and wake up for work the next morning. Humans really are creatures of habit. Seriously, extrapolate that a little bit. Breakfast/Work/Lunch/Home/Dinner/Bed/Breakfast.../eventually death. We can be the most boring creatures in the universe when we let ourselves. If we allow ourselves to become that idea, that concept...then we really change from creatures of habit to creatures of wasted potential.

Sometimes, I call off work just to not become my creature of habit. Today, I left work early (OH NO) and it felt like I had absolutely limitless potential. I know that because of my being "sick" I won't have to work tomorrow. The thought alone makes me think I could fly tomorrow, if I tried hard enough. Think about it: Monday morning now has eight entire hours of limitless potential that I hadn't planned for. Anything I do, now, is going to be new and exciting. If I walk to the park, if I go to the chinese place down the road and write on my laptop; hell, if I sit at home playing Warcraft I'll know I did something completely unexpected. That's worth something! If I know I have time to do something, anything that I'll really enjoy, there's no chance to walk out of that feeling sad.

In the end, I suppose that's worth a grin (and 15 minutes of your time.) Maybe I'll find my next smile playing hooky tomorrow.

Anyway, my question for you (go ahead and leave a comment, if you wish) is simple: Do you like playing hooky, and do you have a fantastic hooky story to share with the class? Let me know what you think. Until then, smile: at least Y211+1 didn't come today.


Saturday, January 1, 2011

Day 1, Smile 1: Thankfully, there was no Y211.

...or not. Again. Remember when this used to be a big deal? I would really hate to have been one of those people who celebrated the turn of a century, let alone an entire millenium* in their basement huddled around cans of beans and filtered water. I remember 2000. I was 11, going on 12, knew everything, and had a completely uncontrollable urge to dash outside. There were fireworks and drunken reveling in my neighborhood**, much as their always was. Nothing special. And now I can't help but think that if a plane had crashed out of the sky right then, I'd have been toast because I went outside. I've always been a curious one. People consistently have a habit of not rewarding my curiosity, whether by being boring or via flaming jet...though I suppose that wouldn't really be boring***.

* I remember the people on TV making a huge deal out of a woman who was going to have lived in three centuries. She was born in the latelatelate 1800's, managed to not get polio, shove off Hitler, the Great Depression and more than likely several bears in order to survive until the year 2000. This was an absolutely huge deal, that she lived in portions of three centuries. Think of the incredibly small amount of people who have likely done that. Now remember that all of us are going to need to live 981 more years to see the year 3000. My point? You'd have been a grand fool to not celebrate 2000. You'll never see anything like it again.

**So I know everybody has a special memory pertaining to the bus stop. Each and every one of you probably used a bus stop traveling to school for a really ridiculously long time. You remember something special. In my case, I remember being able to lay there on the concrete and be absolutely certain I could see the curvature of the Earth. Absolutely ridiculous? Yes. But I spent a lot of time alone at the bus stop.

*** You know what's NEVER boring? Footnotes. You will giggle at them.

Anyway, I think you should have a fabulous new year and show people my blog so you aren't the only crazy man on the internet reading it. As for me, you can put it on record: I smiled today because the world didn't come to an end. I'm starting small.