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2:32 p.m. - October 26, 2005
Ain't It Good When Things Are Goin' Your Way - Hey Hey!
I’m a happy guy!

Sure, I have my moments of dolor and morose moping. Who doesn’t?

This summer I had a stretch of time where I was sad, anxious and uptight for about three weeks, but that was due to sleep depravation, stress, and the fact that I think too darn much and when I overanalyze things I tend to do the wrong thing.

I did have a therapist tell me that I have OCD and have a tendency to get depressed on occasion when the OCD kicks into something negative. But that doesn’t happen that often, and now I can kind of tell when I’m going a bit into OCD-land.

But I’ve always been a happy feller – even when things were down and I was downsized or lost a girlfriend I had the attitude that “things happen for a reason” and “whatever happens, happens, just move on”, after a while. I also had the confidence that I would find another job quickly. (The girlfriends were another ball o’ wax confidence wise but I still muddled through).

Even with a magic number impending in less than a month (it’s no biggie, really, but to some people it is), I have no fear and loathing – no doom and gloom. Well, except that the White Sox will win the Series and the Cubs are still left wanting. Sigh…

So there’s no “Woe-Is-Uh-Me-Bop!” in my life, right now. (I’m sure there will be at some point, but hey, I’m dealing with the here and now right now.)

I have a lot to be happy about. In fact, I made a list. (Of course I made a list. It wouldn’t be me without a list…who ya dealing with here, anyway?)

So this is what makes me happy, at this precise moment in time:

• Liz – Of course! She keeps me on the right track. She’s a great wife, a great mother and is always there for support and kindness. She tries to laugh at my cornball attempts at humor. She’s done a lot for us since she’s decided to stop working – the house is a little (a wee bit) more sane now. I love her! I’ve got a girl and she is mine - she’s got everything! (Note: It is NOT true that if I didn’t put Liz at the top of the list I’d be sleeping on the couch – I’d be stuffed into Katie’s armoire (I KID! I KID!))

• Katie – The first light of my life. Almost four years old now, and in every way she’s exactly the kind of child I hoped to have. She’s bright, social, inquisitive, and fun loving. (Sorry, no current pix because recently there’s been a cold going through the house and it’s no fun to take pictures of the kids with snotty noses.) Just reading through her story makes me happy! There’s nothing better than having her jump up and down when she hears the key in the door, then gallop toward you at full speed as you walk in after work.

• Kristin – Last night’s 45-minute howling notwithstanding (the teething, she is starting full scale now), Kristin has been an absolute delight. She rolls over, she laughs, she smiles, and now she’s learned how to blow bubbles with her slobber. (Ok, that’s not a nice visual, but it’s cute as hell!) Her eyes are still blue, and her sisters were already dark brown at this point. (I know it’s only ½ of the same DNA, but the racial makeup is the same. Mysterious ways, of course!) Reading her story again, it seems like yesterday when she arrived, but it was June. Time does fly.

• Friends – My old friends are my rocks. Moose, Mac, TC, Sid, Tank – they’re my peeps. I’ve known the Goddess for a few years and she’s up in the pantheon as well. I’ve reconnected with the Jenster lately and I know why she’s special. Yeah, I do some idiotic things once in a while but even when it affects them, they’re right there with me. They also show no mercy and give no quarter when it comes to the putdowns and slams. (People wonder if we actually like each other – we do – would mortal enemies slam each other like we do??) Plus, this year I’ve met some groovy new folks at conferences like AJ, the Candidate and City Mouse. With friends like this – you can’t help but be happy.

• Work – I feel like I’m in the perfect place for me. It’s challenging, envigorating and fun, plus it’s a place I care about deeply and I feel like I’m doing some work for the greater good. I feel good about my job, my work, and the networking I’m doing with others in my field. I’ve presented at national conferences, written some chapters for an upcoming book in my field, led regional conferences and shaped the agenda for our big software user group. I feel great in that I know what the heck I’m doing for the most part, and when I don’t I can turn to people like the Guru who can point me in the right place.

• The House – I still love my house. (No, the houses across the street haven’t changed, though). It’s getting to be chilly, and heating a house that big takes some effort, but it’s still a great old house. I was in bed the other night staring up at the ceiling, and counting my blessings that I’m here, in a house I’ve always wanted to live in, with the job I love, with a family I adore, and with friends who are right there for me. (Of course, I wondered when the big ol’ shoe was going to come through the floor and whack me upside the head. In due time, no doubt).

Yeah, those are some huge things to be happy about. And I’m grateful for them. I do count my blessings. So with all that going for me, I’m not going to wallow in my squalor when some things don’t go my way.

There are some little things that elate me, though:
• A well turned 6-4-3 double play. Baseball is a game of hidden grace, and a fluid twin-killing is among the best thing ever. (6-4-3 is the scoring shorthand for a double play that goes from shortstop, to second, to first).
• A short-handed goal in hockey. That’s one of the most exciting plays in sports. When a team is a man down and scores a goal it’s usually a breakaway and a huge rush the other way.
• A well executed screen pass in football, usually to a tailback or a flanker. Especially when the big uglies up front allow the defensive line to bust through, just so they can build a wall around the tailback when he catches the pass. It’s a lot of fun to run with the football when everyone in front of you has been knocked down, so I hear.
• Hitting the game winning shot in noon basketball, during the final game of the day, and then running off the court in triumph. I’ve done that a couple of times, and it’s a rush. I especially love it when I hit a 20-footer and beat the team of the assistant basketball coach. Hah – take that Mr. Athlete! Mr. Slow and Fat got ya, from downtown, baby!
• Monty Python’s Flying Circus and Mystery Science Theater 3000 – When I’m down, I can put in a DVD or VHS of those shows and immediately feel better.
• Finishing a great book. When I finished “Collapse” by Jared Diamond I was glad I read it. Now I gotta get off my duff and finish my stack o’ books. (After the World Series, I swear.)
• Calvin and Hobbes – The best comic strip, ever. The best Calvins, I feel, are when he builds the snowmen.
• Cooking breakfast for the family, as illuminated here!
• Making my tortellini dish. Sure, I stole it from Moose’s mom, but it’s so divine, and simple. Just cheese filled tortellini, Prego, Italian sausage and mozzarella. It’s a party in your mouth.
• A good beer (either an import or microbrew), or a nice red wine. Especially when it’s served with a nice, thick steak. (Sorry, I’m a carnivore at heart. But that’s why I married Liz – we had a 10-minute discussion on the merits of bacon cheeseburgers on one of our first dates!)
• The drum solo from “Take Five” by Dave Brubeck. That moves me in so many ways.
• Making mix CD’s and then getting emails with feedback, and then seeing people allude to the songs you sent them in things they write!
• Listening to “Rubber Soul” by the Beatles (British version, please) for the first time in three months, and still marveling at the songs.
• Seeing Kristin’s face when she looks at me when I have my iPod on and am doing air drums a small section of “Warning” off of the first Black Sabbath album. (It’s at about the 8:19 mark of a 14:15 ‘medley’ of sorts. I think part of it is the only heavy metal song that uses a jew’s-harp. A lot of the song is a guitar-wank fest that gets old, but that section from 8:19 to about 9:50 is perfect to do air drumming to, because it’s so basic, yet powerful!). Kristin does think her daddy’s silly, though. (So does Katie, who tells me that often).
• You. All of you – all of my friends who read this. All of the people who link to my essays, and those that leave comments and notes, and those who take the time to email me. And all of you who also write stuff that I drop in on and read. You all, you’re the tops.

Okay, that’s enough. Let’s not turn this into a Hallmark Channel movie, shall we? Move along. Director….cut!


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