Category Archives: Happiness Month

A smile for your afternoon

Katie was lost… and then she was found.

(hat tip to Laura’s sidebar at FM²)

More happiness wishes, and a quick blog note

First the note – I have the Idol recap written, but events have taken precedence.  To wit:

Wednesday’s Happiness Wish is very personal to me.  One of my longest and dearest friends, whom I’ve known since college, suffered the loss of his youngest child over the weekend.  She was born with Trisomy 18, so it wasn’t entirely unexpected, but it still tears one up to hear of it.  So so sad for him and his wife.  They have two older children as well to think of, both of an age to be aware and form lasting memories of this hard time.  My Wednesday wish is for them, for healing and consolation.

For Thursday, my wish is happier.  We have a number of mothers who work in my building, and one was picked up here by her   husband, and her two young daughters came rattling through.  They were sunshine in dresses – happy, curious, friendly.  They borrowed some dry-erase markers from a few people around the office, and when I left they were in one of the conference rooms, doodling on the big board while Mom finished up her tasks.  I wish them happiness.

Today – how can it be anything but the terribly-suffering people of Japan?  The aftershocks from the quake are approaching 7.0 on the Richter Scale, with the main quake last night (our time) hitting 8.9.  The video has been wrenching.  I’m stretching the premise here because happiness is not the proper wish, but I wish them well – I wish their safety and protection and that their loved ones will be found alive and unhurt when it’s over.

All this wishing has had one good tangible effect thus far.  I came into the office this morning and found that the two girls had returned my dry-erase marker.  To be honest, I would probably not have missed it for a while, nor blamed them if in their excitement they left it in the conference room.  That’s what kids often do; their minds fill quickly with the immediate, with the next exciting thing, and they lose what was just past.  It was somehow so dear to find the marker back in its place, and it really made my morning.

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An easy wish today

Tuesday’s wish is a cinch – The Montreal Canadiens’ Max Pacioretty.  In a game against the Boston Bruins, Pacioretty was ridden hard into the boards by Boston’s Zdeno Chara, and his head was smacked into the leading edge of the glass partition at the end of the player’s bench.

These types of hits are not uncommon, and they are always scary.  Check at about 1:08 of this clip from December 1987, two such hits.  (The second will infuriate Isles fans: Washington’s Dale Hunter intentionally slamming Calgary’s Joe Neiuwendyk head-first into that post.  He was a dirtbag long before “finishing his check” five seconds after Pierre Turgeon scored, separating his shoulder.) Claude Lemieux infamously drove Detroit’s Kris Draper into the boards from behind, near (but not into) the separator between the player benches, badly hurting Draper and causing bad blood for years between the franchises.

Coming as this did merely days after an unpenalized cross-check to the head of Tampa’s Domenic Moore, delivered by Chara’s teammate Milan Lucic, this really leaves a terrible taste in the mouth of hockey fans everywhere.  People were already screaming that Lucic should have been ejected and suspended for this:

For that matter, they were upset about this play from that game, where Lucic did the same thing Chara did, only to Tampa’s Dana Tyrell.

Now we get the Chara hit – and I’ll put the vid below the fold here, because it really is that disturbing:

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More of Happiness Month, and a blog note

First, the note: I added a page to the top menu, right next to “About.”  It handles a few things that I neglected earlier, or weren’t useful to talk about until now.

On to Happiness Month, which suffered a serious blow over the weekend, as I didn’t get around to Friday’s wish until Saturday, and neither of the other wishes happened at all.  That leaves me two wishes in arrears and a third wish for the day.  And I really wanted each wish to have its own unique post, it’s own turn in the sun, if you will.

Since the wishing of happiness is not about me, I will not spend time here being angry with myself for this state of affairs – I note only that I am, in fact, quite angry, and that it helps nobody, and that’s that.  On to wishes:

Saturday’s wish is meant for the family and friends of that poor young man, Wes Leonard, who made the winning shot to complete a 20-0 season for his high school basketball team, but collapsed while being carried off the court in truimph.  He died at aged 16.  That’s just incredibly sad and I hope that his town and his loved ones find solace in the weeks and months to come, remembering him happy and successful, doing what he so loved to do.

Sunday’s wish is for Sheila, who lost a very dear friend last week, too young as is usually the case.  Lately I see a lot of people I know dealing with bad times and the deaths of loved ones, and I know how terrible this always is; how little everything else seems to matter, how small the things we all say in comfort; and yet how much small kindnesses can mean in such times.  Happiness is not the right wish here, so please consider this wish for peace and healing, and for grief to work as it needs to for your lasting benefit.

And since that’s a lot of heaviness – my friends adopted a rescue cat last week.  They probably don’t need the help since pets are living happiness, but I wish them many happy years together with kitteh.

Friday’s happiness wish

This has to be quick… heck, it’s already late.  But today – uh, yesterday’s happiness wish goes to the New York Islanders’ Trevor Gillies.

The long background on Gillies can be found over at Lighthouse Hockey.  The short background: Gillies is in trouble with the league for a very bad prior incident, resulting in a long-but-deserved nine-game suspension.  His first game back, one of his teammates was smacked into the boards, and he smacked the offender in reply.  Unfortunately, his hand came up and hit him in the side of the head when he did it.

It’s the sort of thing that a fan of the team says wasn’t so bad, and a fan of the opposing team calls “crushed head-first into the boards.”  The truth of it is that it was a bad hit, but not nearly as bad as what had gotten Gillies his nine-game ban.  It also never would have happened if the guy he hit, Minnesota’s Cal Clutterbuck, hadn’t hit one of Gillies’ teammates from behind and into the boards.  Heck, Clutterbuck’s hit was just as bad.

Well, Clutterbuck got a two-minute minor for boarding, and eeeeeeevul Trevor Gillies got a TEN GAME suspension from the league yesterday.

Turns out, it is possible to railroad a guilty man, too.  What Gillies did warranted two or three games at most.  Scapegoating the guy is frankly taking the easy way out for the NHL, because Gillies is purely an enforcer.  A guy who sucker-punches an opponent, regardless of skill level, should be punished, right?  Not so much when you’re Pittsburgh’s Jordan Staal – ejected for a sucker punch to the Rangers’ Brandon Prust, but not suspended at all.  Not so much when you’re Boston’s Milan Lucic, who can cross-check an unsuspecting opponent in the head the very next night after the Gillies-Clutterbuck incident, and not be ejected at all – in fact, he scored the game-winning goal in that game.

It looks far more like the league is only interested in handing out stern punishments to players who aren’t that good, while winking and nodding at the other stuff.  And the media are right along with them on this.  So today, Trevor Gillies, I wish you happiness.  It won’t take any time off your suspension or refund your lost salary, but it’s something.

Didn’t forget! Wish Happiness Month continues

It’s Brett Loewenstern, American Idol contestant.  He’s so endearingly geeky and odd.  America sent Brett to the Toadstools of Shame because his cover of Light My Fire was… well, they agreed with me.  It wasn’t really that good.  Terrible song choice.  He didn’t really sing it like he could have, nor how Jim Morrison did.  Kind of between two stools; not bad, but just weird.  In a normal year, it would have been enough to survive the cut from 24 to 20.  This year, cutting directly down from 24 to 12?  Nope.

(Top three guys, for me, were Scott McCreery, Casey Abrams, and James Durbin.  I’m a little sad for Ralph Macchio – er, Robbie Rosen – he was pretty good but lost in the vast middle.)

I have to say that thus far, I think America’s done well identifying a good top ten.  Jordan Dorsey, for example – big voice, bigger tool.  He’s on the outs so far.  Clint “Jun” Gamboa – Kinda bleah cover of “Superstition.” Goofy, pitchy – he’s out.  The girl with the humongous soul-crushers? Her poor suffering ears have a toadstool each to spread out on.  (Seriously, those earrings are hubcaps with tassels on them.  She’s wearing dreamcatchers on her head and it’s bizarre.)  And then, there’s Brett.

Brett was the very last of the 24 to get in, and he did so over two very good singers.  It’s possible that he has no chance in the wild card round… will he even be one of the three boys out of seven that the judges will hear?  At this point I don’t know.  I’m watching the first guy, Stefano, sing his wild card song now.  He’s nailing it.  But that’s not the point. Brett’s endearing even if he’s not a top-12 talent.  And you don’t have to be the next American Idol to sing for a living, or to be happy doing something else for a living.  You can enjoy yourself without a talent show imprimatur.

So Brett – I wish you happiness, little bro.  I wish you freedom forever from those pinheads who tormented you in school for your gifts and your gentleness.  I wish you the strength to deal with the careless cruelties of life, to be above them and beyond them.  Be happy, kiddo.

The second Happiness Month wish

On the way to work yesterday, I had a very unpleasant close call with a livery driver.

Not that a communte of my length is short of unpleasant moments… but this was especially unpleasant.  The driver hit almost every sore point I have on the roadway:

  1. He didn’t wait for me to move back to the right before he passed.
  2. He didn’t use a turn signal.
  3. He crammed himself at high speed into a gap maybe two feet longer than his minivan.

He may not have tailgated – I didn’t observe because I was busy trying to watch the heavy traffic to the front and right.  What he definitely did, though, was dangerous enough.  Even then I may have let it go had it not been for the painted slogan on the back of the vehicle:

Love, Respect, Unity

Yeah, I felt the love and respect all right.  It was infuriating.  And when he pulled the same maneuver on the car in front of him, it was ON.  I managed to get close enough at a red light to jot down the name of the cab company and car number.  I jotted down the phone number.  This guy was toast… well, as soon as I had time to call.  And somehow I never made time to call during the day, and after the day I had my hockey game, and reffing, and the long trip home after midnight, and so on.

I’m much more calm now.  I’ve decided instead to wish happiness to Random Cab Driver, and hope that he’s no longer hassled or distracted by whatever had him behaving that way yesterday.

Happiness Month

An off-hand comment in Tracey’s Snarktacular Oscars 2011 liveblog has made me think.

We were talking about the usual topics: the jowls of Tom Hanks, the presenters being way more comfortable than the official hosts, the awful awful writing, Best Sound vs. Best Sound Editing, bored snipers, the Best Foreign-Language Boobins, and the vain hope that Billy Crystal or Sandra Bullock or ANYONE would quietly assume command from the overmatched James Franco and Anne Hathaway.  And then Tracey said it

I loved Reese’s Brigitte Bardot ponytail. She looked fabulous. It sounds corny to say, but she just kind of warms my heart. I find myself wishing happiness for her. I’m a sap.

And you know what?  That’s not corny – or it shouldn’t be.  It’s sweet.  Frankly, we need more saps.  So that’s what this is about.  I am officially declaring March to be Happiness Month.  To join, all you have to do is wish happiness for one person per day throughout March – via Twitter, your own blogs, and (this is best) your prayers if you are inclined to it.

First off – I wish happiness to Charlie Sheen.  Yeah, you, Charlie.  You may be bitchen and winning and all of that, but this really isn’t funny.  I mean… look at the two “goddesses” the “Vatican assassin warlock” has been palling around with:*

The older of these girls looks 17.  The other girl probably has an 3-ring binder with geometry homework and “Mrs. Charlie Sheen” inside.

If you were actually happy, you wouldn’t be chasing it so hard.  You wouldn’t make such a public and determined spectacle of your own behavior, as if you had to prove to the world how good you have it.  You wouldn’t be so violently rejecting everything that you suspected might help you be a stronger and healthier man, who no longer needed everything you’re accustomed to prop you up. Above all, you wouldn’t be so furiously on the attack against everyone else.  You wouldn’t claim in that interview to love and support and thank your fans, and then forty seconds later dismiss their concerns with “It’s sad for them” and “Get a job, anyone?”  (It starts at 7:50 of the clip linked above the picture.)

You share what you’ve got in this world.  Happy people naturally leave happiness in their wake; miserable people spread misery.  It’s all they’ve got to share.  So Charlie Sheen, you are my first wish.  All snark aside – be happy.

* edit, 3/02/11 – Sheen called HIMSELF the Vatican assassin warlock, not the “goddesses.” In my defense, I can only quote the man himself: I can’t process Charlie Sheen with my normal brain.