Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Happy Talk

If you ask me, there's been a little too much discord out there lately. I’ve gotten into a few too many ideological debates on Facebook (okay, even one is too many for me, really, gives me such a headache). I’ve recently received two "chain" e-mails on subjects that raise my hackles, from people who either don’t know me very well or don’t care if it raises my hackles. In the news today, there was yet another story of suicide bombers killing American soldiers, another billboard somewhere comparing Obama to Stalin and Hitler, and oh my gosh, don’t forget the oil spill in the Gulf. On top of that, it was 103 degrees in Burbank today as I ran my usual errands. And that got me to thinking.

How do we not go crazy train these days?

So here's what I did. In a fit of defiance against the barrage of bad stuff, I started thinking about the little things that make my life happy. And it’s my blog so I’m writing it all down and perhaps you, dear reader, will start to think about the good things in your life. And so, in no particular order, these are some things that make me happy:

  Morning coffee from my French press. I’m serious, it’s the best way to make coffee. You should get one.

  Playing peek-a-boo with other people’s babies in stores and restaurants. Especially if the parents aren’t looking. I have no qualms about making goofy faces in public, as long as it makes a baby smile.

  Watching Dan fall asleep on the couch while we’re watching television. He’s just so darn cute. And then he wakes up with a start and says, “I’m a little tired!” like this is news. So darn cute.

  Listening to the Classic Rewind channel on Sirius radio in my car (channel 15). I'm listening to David Lee Roth do that wild shriek in “Running With The Devil”, which transports me in time to the back of the bus in high school, where that cute but slightly dangerous senior blasted it from a tape deck. Oh, heavens, he looked just like that stoner dude Dawson from Dazed and Confused (green shirt, below). He never knew I had a crush on him. Since now I can’t even remember his name, I guess he never will.

 All right, check ya later!

  Related: Dazed and Confused. And Grosse Pointe Blank, and The Big Lebowski, and Raising Arizona. Among some others. I like the funny movies.

  Picking up my daughters from camp or school and Claire leaps into my arms, not caring that I now have a 48-year-old lower back. And I don’t care either. (Until later.)

  The hummingbirds at the feeder outside my kitchen window.

  A cool California evening spent on the back porch with the fountain on, sharing a glass of good red wine with my neighbor Irene. Or maybe one of her killer raspberry martinis. (But only one.)

  Spending time with my new friends in the We Don’t Suck writing group. Because they are smart and talented and they think I am too. Which is awesome.

  Sweet potato fries. Dipped in ranch dressing.

  Reconnecting with a couple of old friends on Facebook. Especially Karen, who sent me some Skyline Chili. If you are not from Cincinnati, I’m sorry, you will not get what a big deal that is.
  Speaking of Cincinnati: oh, how happy I am when the Bengals win! This, of course, is tempered by the frequency of their losses. But that’s another blog post.

  Related: I love football. American football.

  Related: Dhani Tackles the Globe on the Travel Channel. Best show on television. (That's super hunky Dhani over there.)
  AirTalk with Larry Mantle on KPCC. Especially FilmWeek on Fridays at 11 a.m. He is the smartest guy on the radio and he talks about everything and has fascinating guests. And it’s usually not politics, but if it is, he is Switzerland, if you know what I mean. You can listen online at or on iTunes radio.

  Sedona, Arizona. My favorite place. Especially hiking the Red Rocks with Dan.

  Related: Dry saunas.

  Volunteering in the girls’ classrooms, teaching them art through the Meet the Masters program. At the end of this past year, I received a big thank you note signed by the second graders. Kate wrote: I like you a lot. Seriously, does it get any better than that?

  Shopping at Von’s and having my stuff rung up by Aaron, who babysits my kids. He is working his way through UCLA – working his ass off – and he is smart and kind and hard-working. Basically, the kind of young person who gives me hope for the future. So it’s always nice to see him. He always asks me how the kids are doing.

  I love it when my son Charlie, who is 13 and pretty much wants nothing to do with me, comes out of his cave to tell me something funny that happened. He has a great smile, that kid.

  I also love hearing him play the piano. And watching him. Makes my heart want to burst.

  Okay, I’ll say it: I love it when the kids are with their dad for a whole week in the summer, so I can be totally self-absorbed and go shopping, and then do the annual clean-and-purge in the girls’ room. (Yes, seriously, I look forward to that. Go figure.) They have gotten into the habit of asking me, before they go to their dad’s, “what are you going to do to our room?” because one time I painted in there, one wall in bright turquoise, moved the furniture and replaced the nasty carpet, all in one week. Mostly, though, I just throw stuff out, which they don’t notice.

   Wimbledon. I love to watch good-looking men in tennis whites. (Or even out of their tennis whites. Oh, Rafa...) So sue me.

  Office supplies make me happy. That’s weird. Also school supplies and new candles.

  Wedding shows on TV. I want to work at Kleinfeld’s with Randy Fenoli. Or be David Tutera’s assistant.

  Getting an idea for something I want to write about, then rushing home to write it, sitting on the couch with little dog Clem curled up next to me. Like right now.

I could keep going, but I only gave myself one hour to write down as many happy things as I could (and a little more time to find some pictures of the really hot ones). (Sorry, I didn't have a photo of Dan falling asleep.) Now it's your turn to write your own list. Better still, share with me in the comments section below. Please?

It will make me so happy if you do.