There are times in life when emotional bombs start going off. You know what I mean, right? Like, one awful thing happens, and then it’s followed by another, and another, and it’s like the crap gods are taking aim right at you and are trying to kill you with awfulness. (Crap gods? I’m not religious, but that’s weird even for me). My Year of Crap Gods was 1994. Screw you, 1994. You were such a bastard to me. I was way too young to deal with 1994, but that’s the thing about the crap gods, they don’t really care how old you are or if you are ready to withstand the crap hurling. They just pick you and it’s your turn to be the target.
There are other times in life when the emotional bombs are not being thrown at you, but rather near you. It’s like your loved ones, collectively, are having their turn and you just see it happening everywhere you look and it sucks because you want to be the crap umbrella but you can’t.
Ok, that’s enough of the crap/gods/bombs/umbrella metaphor. This is going downhill fast.
So let’s cut the crap (har har) and just say that I’ve got a lot of people in my life right now who are having a bad time. Like, a weirdly high number of people. And it royally sucks for them, and I feel bad about all of it.
So today I am going to be all corny and make a list of things that make me happy. Just because.
1. Seattle’s weirdly summery summer. Usually Seattle’s summer starts in July, weatherwise. But this year it started in what, May? Early June? Something crazy like that. Remember when I said that I was hoping that skirt-weather days would hit 10 in a row? I don’t think I have worn pants for three months. (Please don’t take that last sentence out of context, ok?)
2. The fact that my mom and dad just call Nordic Boy sometimes, to chat with him. It makes me happy how close they are and that they love each other because they just do and they would anyway, and not just because they have me in common.
3. Tim’s Cascade Style Wasabi-flavored potato chips. I have no idea what “cascade style” means, and I don’t care. These chips are dreamy.
4. Dried cherries in my salad. I want to sing that one John Denver style, a la Sunshine on My Shoulders. “Cherries, in my salad, make me happeeeeee.”
5. Thank you notes from library patrons.
6. Reading a book on the part of my couch that I reserve just for reading books. It’s the coziest corner. My own personal “Cozy Center,” as my friend Jen would say. Do you have a Cozy Center in your house? I highly recommend having one.
7. Walking in my door after work. Nothing better than that.
8. Crispy new sheets on the bed.
9. Cursing. I really love the cursing and you will not clean up my dirty mouth no how.
10. Yael Naim’s version of “Toxic” by Britney Spears. I am standing by this statement and I don’t care what you think about it.
11. Alvin Ailey’s “Winter in Lisbon.”
12. Getting up at 4am, opening all my windows, and then crawling back into bed.
13. Hearing people’s life story in conversation. I love hearing people’s life stories, and wish I could sit down with each and every person I know and hear their complete autobiography. I sometimes wish that my job was to film people’s oral histories. Although I don’t like the term oral history, as it makes me think of the dentist.
14. Yesterday as I was driving home, there was a jeep in front of me with the top down. There was a guy and girl in the front, and a guy and a girl in the back. The girl in the backseat had a summery purple tank top on with crisscross straps in the back. She also had a ponytail. And I don’t know what groove they had going on in their car, or if the music was playing just in her head, but she was doing some serious car dancing in her seat. Shoulder-shimmying, ponytail waving, head bobbing. And when she would turn her head as she car danced, I could see the side of her big, toothy smile. That whole thing right there? Made me happy.